How To ZAP Elves? Elf Bottler

Hey there Hoppereenoos!!

Looks like Phase 2 of the TSTO Christmas 2014 Event has brought back another favorite of mine (though minus SEEING the electrocution I giggled so much at). This is in the form of the Elf Bottler.


The main currency for Phase 2 is Bells. To get Bells, you gotta fire bottled Elves out of the Cannon. To get Elves Bottled you have to find them and tap on them…or…collect 3,700 Bells and get the Elf Bottler.

2014-12-27 06.01.24Now what? What on earth do you do with this thing? How does it work? Just can’t figure it out? Well I am here to help out.

First things first, activate the Elf Bottler. This is quick. Just tap on the Elf Bottler Icon in the top right corner of the game.

Elf Bottler Icon

It will trigger the Pop Up explaining the Elf Bottler. Just tap the screen anywhere to clear this message. Elf Bottler Info Pop Up

Now that it is ready to get…let’s give it a try…

Now comes the part that trips people up. So a few pointers first. Myself, I have the touch screen sensitivity turned down low AND a screen protector. What does this mean? It senses my fingers enough to play the game with a simple tap, but the device may have a lil harder time picking up on the amount of sensitivity needed for the Bottler/Zapper. So this will be a lil trial and error til you get down just how soft or hard to push to get it to pick up. You may have to adjust YOUR device sensitivity.

Next suggestion, try and tap when you are really close to at least one Elf. Just be careful, it is also best to try and tap on areas WITHOUT anything around. This is so you do not activate a task or a building nearby instead with your tap.

Press one finger to your game and hold it there. If it picks up on your finger, you will see lightning bolts start to shoot out from underneath. On my phone, it was a softer tap to get it to trigger. On my tablet, a harder tap. Again, just try until you figure out your device sensativity.Elf Bottler Start to Zap

Once you see those sparks…DO NOT LET GO!! (Once you let got the Bottler/Zapper will stop.)

As the lightning bolts continue to shoot out…drag your finger across the screen continuing to hold down and not let go. Now you do not really need to see the Elves to Bottle them. Just make slow passes in areas that you can’t really see around. Like highly decorated, forest type, lots of tall buildings around, essentially locations you wouldn’t be able to see the Elves by just a quick look. Elf Bottler Zap Elves 1


Once you pass by them, you will see the Elf in a Bottle pop out and, if you have the Cannon Control Building placed, random Cogwheels too.

Elf Bottler Zap Elves

It is interesting to see them pop out of areas you didn’t even realize an Elf was hiding out in.


You are welcome to contact EA if you feel there is an issue with the Zapper. Some devices just really do not like the feature. Outside of that, just stick to “hide and seek” with the Elves.

So let’s play Hide and Seek. To do the “Hide” portion, tap on your Movement Menu icon in the lower right corner in your game.

Directional Arrows Movement Menu

This will take you to the screen to move items around. It is also the screen you can use the “Eyes” to “Hide” Objects. In this case, Buildings and Decorations the Elves may be hiding behind. Just tap the “Eye” to close it and the object will be hidden. For the Elves, they are a “Character” so close all but the Characters icon.

Movement Icons

Now for the “Seek”. Start to scroll around town to see if some Elves are hidden in areas you just could not see. Once you locate them you can back out of the Movement Screen and tap on them as soon as you get a chance. (This is where that Bottler/Zapper comes in handy. Getting ones you can’t see.)

To give you an idea, here are a few areas in regular viewing mode vs hidden mode. Elf in Wooded Area

Elf in Wooded Area Hidden

Here is an image of what seemed like one Elf in the area is actually THREE Elves. Elf hidden behind Building


That should give you a few options to locate the Elves not matter whether you use the Bottler/Zapper or not.

Now go give it a try and see what you figure out. Let me know if this post helped you out. Need more information? Have more questions? Having fun yet? Lol. Sound off in the comments below.


53 responses to “How To ZAP Elves? Elf Bottler

  1. Mine is such a PITA to use I don’t even bother. Next to impossible for me to get mine working, even when I tap on empty land.

  2. I had trouble getting my zapper top work at first, but if trap the zapper button in the upper right corner and then tap okay, go to the cannon control and hold type fonder down on the entrance door it starts working…. that is the only way I have been able to get mine to work 🙂

    • I have had good luck tapping and holding on the exact same spot that the “ok” button is, in the dialog box that comes up after you tap the elf zapper button.

  3. Not sure if this changed,but I’m getting around six elves an hour and do not have enough to shoot the cannon every three hours. What’s the point in reducing the firing time if there isn’t enough elves?

  4. omg, I was such an idiot. I didn’t realize you could drag it around to capture them until I read your post Bunny.
    I was finding it easier to just touch the individual elf’s than to use the zapper.
    Thanks so much and just another reason why I LOVE this site.
    : )

  5. I final got mine to work after a cpl days of trying but, it still doesn’t work quite right. Sometimes I’m right on an elf and it doesn’t bottle them. It also won’t drag across the screen it just moves the hole screen when I try to drag it and the zapper stays in the same spot. I’m on an I-pad. Anyone else having this issue? Also, I noticed my friends actions stopped giving bells towards the end. ( the last friends on the friends screen that is) I have 41 friends including the default ” other Springfeild” so there is apparently a daily cap on the bells. 🙁

  6. I preferred the ghost zapper. This dragging thing is a drag…..

  7. I was having trouble firing up the elf bottler but I’ve found that if I press down and hold on a patch of land I haven’t bought yet it starts up every time.

  8. The elf bottler doesn’t seem to work as well as the bunny zapper did. I have to go over my Springfield two or three times in a criss-cross pattern before the “all clear” message pops up. I have seen the lightning pass over elves without them getting caught several times.

    And I also seem to be one of those to not get 12 elves per hour. The spawn rate definitely seems to be lower in my game so that I too am constantly out of elves even if I could fire the cannon.

  9. Side topic. Pardon the pun. Sideshow Bobs Krustyland Balloon game hasn’t worked for days. Anyone else having this problem?

  10. Got more bottled elves than I can get rid of. NEED COGS!

  11. Off topic but has anybody been getting screwed. By the daily prize I play all day and most of the night and i keep just getting day one prize?

  12. Thanks for the transparent tip

  13. I had trouble with the bottler yesterday and asked for help in the Sunday open thread. Finally got the feel for it today and figured out that it takes a few seconds before the lightning bolts actually start to shoot out. Thanks as always for the helpful tips Bunny and you have a couple of cool areas in your Springfield (really like the chess board).

    • You can see a lot more of Bunny’s amazing art if you click the 2D/3D DESIGNS button at the top of the blog! Other people’s art is there too, and some of it is just amazing!

  14. A clarification for those who might be having trouble with the elf bottler: You only need to tap the elf-bottler icon once — after you activate it and see the message, it works every time you need it, without having to tap the icon again. At least that has been my experience. (I think the icon is just a reminder that you can use the elf-bottler.)

    Also, I’ve had the best luck getting the elf bottler to start if I am holding my finger in the middle of the screen — otherwise, it tries to scroll and doesn’t seem to register the touch correctly. After it starts, move your finger slowly in the direction you want to scroll, until you get the hang of it.

  15. Thanks for much for that hint to turn on transparency for all but characters! I have two smaller, more compact towns, but my A-game is so sprawling and huge, even with the zapper it takes forever to go over the whole map and find all those sneaky little elves.Makes it so much easier to just go transparent and scroll all over until I find them all.

  16. I find the zapper to not be very effective. Often the “lightning” ends going around the elf and offers no change. Still using the tried and true search and destroy

  17. I like your runway bunny. With the up up buffet and the lantern fires leading the way.

  18. I get concerned when I hear people say they don’t have enough elves to shoot because I have almost 250 in the bank. I don’t think I’m behind. My cannon is at level 8 and I have over 8000 bells already. This is well ahead of Bunnys ‘s calendar. Am I missing something?

    • Nope. ALWAYS better to be ahead.

    • Way to go, wish I knew your secret, I am over 9000 bells but the bottled elves have dried up. Much like others can’t get up to the 33 per 3 hours I need to keep things going.

    • I’m at 9000 bells and 10 cogs short of upgrading the cannon to level 10, but I’m sitting at 30 elves in bottles… I’m lucky if I get 3 elves an hour! Soon I’ll be waiting to fire anything off with the cannon, since I’m not getting the elves spawned like they’re supposed too…

    • As you upgrade the cannon you can shoot an extra number of elves and the length of time between firing gets shorter and shorter and you go through your surplus pretty fast … I am lucky to get maybe 4-5 elves show up in the three hour wait so i have basically run out of elves now …. would take me two days to build up another surplus at the rate I have them appearing …. although my son’s town seems to be teeming with them in the same three hour time frame. I just logged in after about 1 hours wait and had only 1 elf ….

  19. Since the elf zapper I cannot move my stuff around, buildings , trash , etc

  20. I only use it when there is a few in one place, otherwise I feel as it’s kind of uncontrollable.

  21. I wish it were more like the ghost vacuum from a couple years back. I have had a lot of contact with EA since the Xmas update and the servers are just to overloaded. It’s still fun to play with but sometimes you will have to go over an elf 3 times before you get it.

  22. Is anyone else not getting enough elfs to keep up with the cannon. Im on every time it reloads like clockwork but I only get about 2/3 of the max elfs I can shoot

    • Like you, I’m collecting every elf that’s available and firing my cannon like clockwork (currently every 3 hours) but I frequently don’t have enough elf’s to fire anymore; It’s really frustrating.

    • I stopped firing the cannon every time it was charged. I found I was down to 1 elf! So, I fire it off a couple times a day (really, only enough to finish the cannonbaum quest) and go elf-hunting at least 4 times a day. This helps to build up a surplus of elves, which means more bells earned as the cannon is upgraded. Currently, with this system, I am level 9 cannon (should be level 10 tomorrow) and have over 9000 bells.

  23. I keep running out of elves! I don’t seem to be getting to 15/minute as posted before. I’m running out of guys to bottle and fire off!

  24. The elf bottler doesn’t work as well as the bunny zapper did. I think the size of the event slows things down. (Still neat when it works though, lol)

  25. Too bad, I’m far behind with the bells only because I couldn’t connect for about 3 days because of the holidays, I haven’t even got this “elf bottler” and now it was just time to fire my cannon, i wanna play and I keep getting that awful bart screen😑 I really hope I can catch up 😥

    • There are two ways that I get around that screen. The first is to use a different device. So if my iPad doesn’t connect, I connect via my phone. When both won’t work, the second thing I do is delete the app and reinstall it.

      Good luck.

    • When i get Bart screen continuous I turn off the wifi connection and log in via my phones 3G, close it, log back on to my home wifi and reload the game … works everytime

    • Bart Screen: I generally do a shut down of the app and wait about 10-15 mins. If this doesn’t work, I restart my device and try to wait it out. Then and only then, if waiting it out doesn’t work, I go in a clear the cache and reload the game. This is faster and more likely to get it working than uninstalling/reinstalling the app.

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