The "Extra Lives" problem for new players in CIU:

Keys. The staple of pain for most new players (that I’ve introduced this game to).
When I introduce this game to my friends, they often find it fun for the first few hours,
then drops out of it entirely, and I think this is the #1 issue.
(There are more, but this is the more obvious one)

Anyways, here’s the first problem I’d like to bring out:
Investing keys in alot of important items nets you with so little keys,
you’d often be better off not spending them at all.

A small example: Extra Lives.
An extra life is very important in missions,
(IA even recommends you get more lives once you’ve run out of it)
but as of right now it hurts your key gain, alot.
1 life = 5 keys. Which means when you die, you lose 5 keys each time.

The main problem here is that when you’ve lost a life, your firepower gets nerfed severely, meaning you’d have more chance of dying again the more you play, which means an even lower chance of winning, more keys lost, and frustration keeps on rising, to the point where the player would simply leave, and never to be seen again.
Also: If you want to get back to where you were, you’d need to spend more keys, which lowers your key gain even more, and it goes on and on in that one step forward, two steps back fashion, until you run out of keys entirely.
And when you have no keys to spend on anything, it basically means no fun.

I tend to think of this kind of experience as this:
You’re trying to accomplish something, but every mistake you make sends you back a long way, and the road to get back to where you were keeps going harder and harder, such is the case of this game. Most people find that kind of experience frustrating, and even rage-inducing for some.
It’s already harder to do it again than it is to do something new, which is clearly evident in games such as Getting Over It or Geometry Dash. Most people would just be incredibly frustrated, they’d never get to see everything about the game.
Which is even worse if the game you’re trying to start is an online game - less players means less funds to pay for servers - which means the game servers’ quality starts to decline, which keeps going until the game dies entirely due to out of funding.

Now, you might be thinking:
Why don’t I not spend them on lives? Good answer!
If you make a mistake, you immediately die.
Which basically turns this game into Geometry Dash, but far far more tiresome, with no catchy music for repeats, and you may not even get any keys when you died, despite having finished many missions before.
(New players only have access to CI levels, so I’m limiting the equation there)

If you’ve seen the problem here, congratulations!
Now, know that Extra Lives are one of the cheapest items in the Store, and think:
What would it be like when you use them for the more expensive items?

It’s supposed to be fun for the new players,
that way they’d play the game longer, we’d get more people to hang out with,
and IA gets more money to expand the game and make it better for everyone.

As of right now, I see this as a problem, a huge one,
so big that, if not fixed, the game may die due to out of funding.

Solution? I actually have no solutions,
I just want to bring up this problem and we might be able to find something out together.

I know about retail stores and Shady Dealers,
and mission types that gives you keys at the end of the level,
but new players might not even get to see them before they uninstall this game,
simply because they’re frustrated, so I’m leaving them out of the equation entirely.

I kinda want to know how many people have been removed from the galaxy in each update.
I saw so many green dots in the previous update where I was visiting, but when the new one came out, all the dots in the area I was visiting vanished. Like, over 100 of them I think.

Also, Insights are useless - part 2 coming soon. [Link to Part 1 if you haven’t seen it]


I see. Some people are experienced with the CI series and they don’t find much trouble playing CIU. But many newbies can’t play that well, thinking they’re stupid and tell them to play better is pointless to keep them playing the game.

I was a long time fan of the CI series, especially CI4. I’ve played CI4 many times before. I also won CI3 and CI5, so switching to CIU is not a big problem. I bought CHL and 15000 keys for a head start. I’m not pro in the game, but my experiences and investments helped me a lot in playing the game fine.

I’ve invited some of my friends to play the game with me. Most of them denied. Only 2 accepted so far. They don’t know the game well and die many many times, while I stand still to carry the team. They don’t want to waste their extra lives so that they never bring and keep re-joining whenever they die. They find it harsh. I see them with the sight of forgiveness and empathy, instead of blame them for playing badly.

But yeah, the game is competitive in some way, maybe we should accept the difficulties. What really make the game fun are playing together, help each other and share experiences. Be kind and helpful with our newbie friends might keep them playing the game longer.


The extra life system currently implemented in the game is bad game design, simply due to the fact that, as you said, it hurts the player’s key income. I never use any extra life for this sole reason.

This is my idea to solve the issue:

  • The player gains extra lifes passively while playing but you can only get them every X points, like you used to in the episodes.
  • But this time X is a variable predetermined by the spacecraft model currently used (better model gets higher tresholds) and gets sightly lowered the higher the item rarity is.

This system not only will be more forgiving to new players but will also give more reasons to hunt legendary equipments of non top-tier ships.

And while I was writing this post I just happened to remind that reactors are the only ship equipment with no in-game effect so I just came up with this idea of a rework:

  • Now the reactor currently equipped determines how many :zap: you lose when you get killed and gives an equipment peks bonus
  • The cheaper the reactor is, less firepower will be lost
  • The more expensive the reactor is, the player will gain more keys at the end of the game

This will be in line on how skill levels are currently balanced: the player choses how to handicap themselves and they get rewarded more keys at the end

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I’ve thought of an auto-use idea. Let’s call it “power preserver”. It’s stackable, each time used it will preserve your firepower and keep the satelites with you after you die. Making it available with low price might be more forgiving to newbies.

it depends on difficulty of that mission you are flying. harder mission means more power lost

easy mision will only lost around 2-3 powers, but 70% or above lost 5 powers per death encountered

Most people I’ve showed this game to tends to die a lot on the easy levels.
(1 orange bar in difficulty, about 14 levels in duration tops)

I guess they dont know the movement & how to play this game, or they just wanted to die , always die (like “milu” recruit)

If they wanted to die I won’t be seeing any frustration - rather the opposite of it, since they wanted to die.

True, but let’s not forget most newbies tend to play on singleplayer without going to Forums first, so the gameplay design is still the most important one.
They have to like the game before they engage in the other stuff like Multiplayer, then the Forums, wiki editing, or even modding.
I mean, I only joined the Forums after 60+ hours of gameplay on me.
And I wrote my first post after 62ish hours, just so I won’t say anything stupid.


Reactors are weird, I’ll give you that.
Also, the idea has lots of balancing and the purpose behind it is really cool.
Kinda wish it’d be a bit more simple since explaining all of that to newbies is a bit tough.

I’d just think about something like … give the players keys depending on what they’ve spent in said mission. If they use alot of items, they’d get alot of “bonus keys” upon mission completion, or half of said “bonus keys” if they fail a mission.
So say, if you’ve used 4 lives in a mission, and you’ve finished it right?
You’d get 15 keys as bonus (the first life lost doesn’t count as used)
But you’d get 7 (half of that) if you fail.

But of course things get complicated when you factor in retail stores and/or Shady Dealers.
(I tend to look at my problems straight in the face, split them up, and solve the smaller bits first)

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The game is meant to be a challenge. Some missions are supposed to be very difficult, more than others. It is up to the pilot to choose the task most suited for them. Making the format easy would disrespect the efforts and accomplishments of those who have achieved successes. Budget is as important as skill. If you waste keys you have less chance of progressing. I have found that tactful spending helped me fight these annoying chickens more effectively. I encourage competition and have found good advice in this forum. If the pilot is dedicated to the goal they will learn how to fly and budget for success. If not they will quit. Their choice. If the quitters were left to float around the galaxy without being removed we would be dealing with space junk. Not to mention wasting valuable server space. If new pilots had a better weapon instead of the Moron gun to start they would have an easier start, but I’m sure this has already been suggested. I have never seen a need to purchase keys, I earn them. This is part of the competition. Anyway, the pilots who fly and choose to offer their ideas help make this endeavor better for all of us. Be well all…


That is why the best solution should also be the one that respects old players’ hard work and give them a challenging arena, while making a fun platform for everyone else as well.
It is an universe after all, and everyone should be welcomed.

That’s kinda why I left the solutions as empty in the beginning, since it’s not easy to think of a solution for this universally huge problem.

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First of all it is a galaxy, and the competition is the same for all. I was inspired by the top pilots and challenged myself to be better in my skills. To advance in my rank I spent my keys wisely. This is important when you devise a strategy. I find this to be a sound plan in the game and in life. @ChickenGaming you raise good points but making the game easy for some does not make it better for others. Fly safe. Be well all…

IA tried to balance this issue and it was successful a bit.

When a new player joins. He does have lower Tiers. Which means that every mission difficulty is reduced by 50% iirc. And they have the Hatchling starter ship. Which have a high key bonus when finishing the missions. which made the game more moderate for some begineers and then learn their skills throughout the game.

For other begineers who suffers much in their first moments. Well. No Idea for that but thankfully that there are event missions like space race or weekly challenge that are unlimited-ly unlocked which begineers can use to learn skills or farm keys to grow their progress ig.

I remember that in earlier chapters of this game that we earn extra life once we acheieve more score or food or missiles (I don’t remember exactly what casues this). But I wish the same feature could exist for begineers throughout the game.

^you’re either badly misinformed or you worded it really badly. Lower tiers restrict you from accessing higher difficulty missions, they don’t reduce difficulty.

Make the hatchling have automated/implemented extralifes-

From Early Access version 79:


Oh, welp. Sorry for that mistake. Missing out on stuff while being away from the game for months is fun. Guess that neither of us were completely right, tho Baron was closer to the truth.


It’s fine. Though it’s known that it’s not better to say anything have details about it. But apology accepted.