Comparison Topic: Universe vs. The Episodes


A few notes before you begin reading:

  • This is NOT me hating on Chicken Invaders, this comparison is just done for fun
  • The information is based off of the latest release of Universe, so it may be inaccurate in the future
  • This will regularly be updated as time goes on
  • This is NOT a checklist of what’s missing in Universe, this is instead comparing Universe (both right now and in the future) with the episodes, I MAY do that in the future though
  • Yes, I did most (if not, all) of the research on the CI Wiki, most of the credit goes to @EmeraldPlay and the other users for the information
  • For those interested, I have a parallel topic to this detailing the evolution of Chicken Invaders, it can be found here: Comparison Topic: The Evolution of Chicken Invaders

This topic is built to compare Chicken Invaders Universe to the Chicken Invaders Episodes (1 through 5), and see how different are the episodic games compared to Universe. This will cover different topics ranging from key collection to waves to other miscellaneous information, some are more obvious than others.

Anyway, let us begin!



  • Skills (named difficulties) define how much damage is dealt to the enemies (Rookie being the default, Veteran is half and Superstar Hero is a third)
  • Multipliers are applied based on the difficulty, platform (mobile multipliers are higher than PC), multiplayer mode (multiplayer has lower multipliers the more players are playing), and Space Ninja paintjob if used (CI5 only)


  • Skills instead define how much health the enemies have (again, Rookie being the default)
  • Skills also define how hard the mission will be, the harder the skill, the harder waves and harder enemies will be dealt
  • Multipliers will still apply to platform, and possibly even multiplayer when it releases, but regarding skills they will only apply to Tourist, and the Damage Amplifier if it’s used (Tourist and Rookie, not sure for other skills)
  • Harder skills have increased enemy fire rate and quantity



  • There’s only one spaceship available, the Müller M404-PI Deliverer
  • In Chicken Invaders 5, the entire spaceship can be painted (we’ll get to that later)
  • In Chicken Invaders 4, there are unlockables that change the color of the engine
  • Additionally, in Chicken Invaders 4, there exists an unlockable that changes the spaceship into the Millenium Hatchling (Hen Solo’s spaceship), but that’s purely cosmetic and doesn’t affect how the spaceship behaves
  • The spaceship model changed between games


  • You can choose between six different spaceships
  • You start with the H&C 101 Hatchling
  • The Millenium Hatchling isn’t available, yet
  • Apart from the body (which may come in a future update), the entire spaceship can be customized, you can change the loadout (the reactor, the heat sink, the engine, default weapon, attach satellites, hardpoints, etc)
  • You can own multiple spaceships, the one in use is called your “flagship”
  • Each spaceship varies from each other, for example: Amount of hardpoints and satellite docks, mass, slots, maneuverability and equipment bonus
  • Spaceship models are fairly limited (only the H&C and Müller brand spaceships vary from one another), it’s still unconfirmed whenever spaceships themselves can be customized (asides from the paintjob)


THE EPISODES (Chicken Invaders 4-5 only!)

  • Keys drop from enemies only
  • In Chicken Invaders 5, there exists a paintjob called the “Gold Digger”, which increases key drop rate by 20%


  • Just like the episodes, keys drop from enemies, but they are awarded depending on your performance on the mission
  • You can sell food at Space Burger for keys
  • You’re awarded keys for showing up every day
  • You also get keys when you discover a planet/constellation/star system (they key amount depends on the object that you’ve discovered)
  • To my knowledge, so far no objects exist (apart from Skills) that increase key drop rate



  • They can be activated in the options menu, but are only available in game builds from the official website
  • Using them forbids certain objects from being obtained


  • No such thing exists and is planned


CHICKEN INVADERS 5 (and possibly, future episodes)

  • Customization is free
  • Activating certain unlockables are required to customize more parts of the spaceship
  • There exist several “rare custom paintjobs” that impact the game upon usage


  • It costs keys to customize your spaceship
  • In exchange for that, there are more options, like the Wingstreak and the appearance of the Engine
  • Rare custom paintjobs have yet to be added



  • With the exception of Chicken Invaders 1, there’s a limit of 120 waves (110 in Chicken Invaders 2, and 121 in Chicken Invaders 3, as the game starts with a bossfight then moves on to the first chapter), each split onto “chapters” containing 10 waves each
  • The waves are defined and don’t change
  • Bossfights occur every 10 waves
  • In contrast to the first point, Chicken Invaders 1 doesn’t really have an ending, but waves are still split on sets of 10, and it’s the same waves over and over again


  • Missions vary in length, regular missions are limited to 40 waves
  • Weekly challenges, though, last 100 waves
  • Bossfights are set based on the length of the mission
  • Skills affect the waves, both the enemies and what waves will spawn



  • They are usually released around a set time of the year
  • They affect the looks of the game, and sometimes the sounds and the music
  • Official purchases from the official site bundle these for free
  • On Steam, these are treated as DLC
  • On third party sites, the editions are fully sold separately


  • Due to the massive size of the game, they are not planned, but there could still exist Holiday content in the future


This information applies only to the official website


  • Chicken Invaders 1 is free
  • Chicken Invaders 2 costs €9.95
  • Every game starting from Chicken Invaders 3 costs €11.25
  • The purchases from the site come with extra goodies, ranging from all languages, to a “license” that allows for unlimited downloads, free holiday editions and updates


  • The game, both right now and after release, is free
  • In-App Purchases will be available after release for purchasing keys
  • @InterAction_studios is planning to include a “Chicken Hunter License” after full release that will cost roughly $5, it will allow for multiple installations to be linked together




  • The forum can be used to report bugs, submit feedback, send ideas and more.
  • Not sure if the forum also applies to the Episodes or not



  • They’re available from numerous sites other than InterAction’s own, for example, Big Fish Games, but they lack certain features, like multiplayer and cheats
  • The games are available on Steam, and mobile devices from their official stores


  • Only planned to be distributed from the official website
  • Steam and mobile versions are also planned, yet not right now because the game hasn’t been released yet
  • Those won’t be too different from the original edition, unlike the episodes



  • Depends on the chapter
  • Chicken Invaders 5 included unlockables that increased score (handicaps and a paintjob)


  • Depends on your skill
  • The score is then recalculated based on your performance



  • Superweapons are obtained every 100 food units
  • You can obtain extra lives every certain digits of score (It goes like this: Every 1 million points on Rookie, 3 million points on Veteran, and 10 million points on Superstar Hero)
  • Unlockables are required to change Superweapons (only two exist: Missiles and Mine Bombs)
  • At certain intervals, the Hero will say certain dialogue depending on the wave and/or boss (multiplayer and the Holiday editions of CI5 are exceptions, though)
  • You can only use one type of superweapon at a time


  • You need to mount superweapons and lives, alongside other objects like HUD items and other things that may be used during a mission (Coolant Canisters and Poultry Paybacks, for example)
  • Currently, there’s no way to obtain extra Superweapons or Lives within the mission (a Classic mode is in fact planned, though)
  • The player has no dialogue during the missions, except for the Space Race challenge, where the player says: “I must hurry!”
  • You can mount multiple different types of superweapons on the same mission (Example: 3 Missiles and 3 Mine Bombs)



  • Two players in one computer is available in both Chicken Invaders 1 and 2
  • CI3 and up feature this, but also allow for LAN and internet multiplayer
  • Steam versions of CI3 and up only feature Friends Multiplayer (multiplayer with your Steam friends)
  • Mobile versions and versions from other sites lack this feature (CI3 and up)


  • Not yet available
  • In future versions, players will able to join squadrons, creating one requires a Squadron License, which in the current version, is available to purchase, but maybe doesn’t work (didn’t really test it)
  • “Fly with a wingman” mode will likely not be added



  • They appear in between chapters to progress the story (or in the case of CI1 and CI2, before the title), usually comic in nature


  • No cutscenes, the only one that can be “considered” a cutscene though, is the text at the beginning of the game (new run)



  • The bosses are always the same


  • The health and attacks of the bosses depend on your skill



  • Updates are released in a long period of time (it could take even months before an update releases!)
  • Changelogs are posted on the official news tab on the InterAction website
  • Updates reset mission progress, high scores and any configured options

UNIVERSE (Early Access)

  • Updates are semi-weekly (didn’t bother to count so please let me know)
  • Changelogs are posted on the forum each under the title “Early Access (version number)”
  • Unless noted otherwise, updates generally reset configured options and current mission progress
  • @InterAction_studios has confirmed that there will exist updates in the near-future that will reset progress entirely (or keep the keys the player has collected across the entire game), however, as of right now, these have yet to come



  • It’s unconfirmed whenever Chicken Invaders 1 had a beta testing period (closed or open, more likely closed)
  • Chicken Invaders 2 had a brief beta testing period, they could last as much as 10 days
  • Chicken Invaders 3 and up had closed beta testing, these last 26 days prior to release
  • The testers of Chicken Invaders 4 and up were divided into beta teams
  • Editions are tested by the beta testers that did the most work
  • The Christmas Edition of Chicken Invaders 5 was an early access period, available for those that previously purchased the CI5 package
  • Early Access for said edition lasted three months


  • This game has open beta testing (or as iA calls it, Early Access)
  • It’s still unclear when early access will finalize (ie: the game release), so far, the only confirmed information on the matter is: “When it’s done”
  • Testing is 100% free (if you haven’t already, you can get the game here: Download Early Access, I recommend using the bottom link, just to be safe)



  • You can run old versions perfectly fine
  • Old versions are, however, incompatible with multiplayer


  • You can run an old version, but you’re unable to connect to the server, as it asks you to update (that’s considering the game is online)

Please let me know if there’s anything that I’ve missed, or if any of this information is inaccurate, as always feedback is greatly appreciated, and I hope you have a great day!

Comparison Topic: The Evolution of Chicken Invaders

Chicken Invaders 4 only lets you change the engine color, not the fuselage.
It might be also worth noting that enemies will always give you the same amount of points for defeating them, while in the episodes it depended on the current chapter, and that lives and superweapons are obtained differently (in the episodes lives are obtained through getting enough score and superweapons through getting enough food, in Universe they have to be bought and preloaded).


Oops, let me fix that

EDIT: Fixed, added scoring and gameplay mechanics differences, as I forgot to do so the first time :roll_eyes:


ROTY have 121 levels. The prologue boss level counts for me.


Noted and added.


Actually are 120
“This wave is under mantainance”


Still its a wave and needs to be count


That wave was intended to be a joke, but still counts nonetheless


This has been removed(with Tourist being the exception)


Please explain


They still change enemy health, as it’s dependent on the mission difficulty. Skills instead used to change the damage dealt to enemies (which iA referred to as changing enemy health for some reason)


I have in fact mentioned this


according to version 6 changelog, enemy health boost based on skill level has been removed with the exception of Tourist


And I just told you that iA meant enemy damage, not enemy health.


We use “Increasing health” and “decreasing damage” interchangeably.

Technically, harder difficulty indeed means reduced damage, but “increased health” sounds more intuitive.


UPDATE: With the release of CIU Early Access 10.1, I’ve decided to mention the bosses and the differences between Universe and the Episodes

For those that don’t want to go back and read, here it is:

As always, let me know if something is missing or is inaccurate


UPDATE: (and bump) So there’s ONE mayor thing that I forgot to mention, that being beta testing! For those that DO NOT want to return to the top of the page and find the section, here it is:

Also, you may have noticed that I completely changed the format of the post, this one to me is better organized and cleaner. (Also subtle, you have to pay attention to catch the difference!)


Add this in SKILLS (UNIVERSE):
Higher the difficulty:
Speed up Enemies
Enemy Fire Rate Increased + Enemy Fire Quantity Increased = Semi Bullet Hell Experience


Listed. Thanks!


UPDATE: In case if you haven’t noticed, I have made a side topic to this one covering the changes between the episodes, titled “The Evolution of Chicken Invaders”, linked on the main post!

Anyway, here’s the newest addition to the list, covering old versions of the games (added because a topic recently has caught my attention on the matter of old versions of CIU). For the ones that REFUSE to look it up on the main post, here it is: