Tap Ball 101: How to Play

Hey Howdy Hey Tappers!

So looks like we’ve got a new game sweeping the streets of our Springfields…Tap Ball!  A game invented by our very own Homer J Simpson!

Tap Ball is a combination of a bunch of sports, as Homer says…”Tap Ball takes the best parts of other sports — dribbling, the infield fly rule, an epidemic of concussions — and adds the excitement of watching people play second-rate video games! …. Best of all, the only equipment you need is a smartphone, thirteen balls of varying size, bats made of glass…some chalk to mark the many end zones, a quaffle, Kevlar body armor and a greedy, narcissistic owner to screw it all up!”

As you can see Tap Ball doesn’t make a whole lotta sense, but hey what do you expect from a game Homer invented?  After all… “The only rule of Tap Ball is…
THERE…ARE…NO…more than sixty-seven rules. With attached sub-rules, notes, and clarifications.”

Anywho…to play Tap Ball in YOUR Springfield, it’s a whole lot less complicated.  So let’s breakdown the ins, outs and how tos of playing Tap Ball on your Tapping Device…Homer Free 😉


As usual let’s start with the basics….

When Can I Start Playing Tap Ball?


You can start playing Tap Ball once you trigger the Balls of Glory Pt. 1 quest. This quest triggers AFTER you’ve completed Meet My Trophy Life Pt. 4.  For the full questline check out our Turbo Tappin’ Post here.

Who Can Play Tap Ball?  (Which Characters)

From the initial quest triggering in Act 1 only a select few players can Play Tap Ball.  Initially you’ll only have 4 or 5 characters that can play (the 5th depends on if you shell out donuts for Football Nelson).  As you win prizes in Act 1 and complete the Daily Tasks you’ll unlock more Characters who can play.  Here’s a list of who can initially play in Act 1 BEFORE you win prizes:

unlock_homer_referee unlock_lisa_soccer unlock_apu_pinpal unlock_nelson_football

-Referee Homer
-Soccer Lisa
-Pin Pal Apu
-Football Nelson (Premium, you have to purchase with donuts)

And once you’ve unlocked Act 1 Prizes here’s who else can play:

unlock_jasper_softball unlock_mrburns_softball

-Baseball Jasper
-Softball Mr. Burns

And Daily Training Prizes:

unlock_dredericktatum_boxing Lugash

-Tatum (should unlock by Saturday 6/27)
-Lugash (Should unlock by Tuesday 6/30)

The other characters you won’t unlock until Act 2 starts….

If A Character Is On A Task, Can They Still Play Tap Ball?

Yes.  This is probably one of the best benefits of this update…you can send a character off on a task (for the questline or to earn extra Amateur Bucks) and they can STILL play Tap Ball!

How Do I Play?

To start playing Tap Ball you can either tap on your field or bring up the game hub and find the flag icon, either way will bring you to the Play Tap Ball! menu.

Screenshot_2015-06-24-15-39-50 Screenshot_2015-06-24-15-21-35

Once you’ve got the Play Tap Ball! list up you’ll see a bunch of options for playing various Tap Ball Games.  To play a game IN YOUR OWN TOWN select the Single Player Option:


This will then bring up your list of characters on your Tap Ball Team:


You will need to select FOUR characters for your team.  Just hit the Select Button to bring them over the the Roster:


Once the Play Button turns blue you’re good to go!  Hit Play to Play Tap Ball!

Note: The order you select the characters in is the order they’ll appear in your game (Character at the top is the first one that’ll start the match and the players will move down from there.  So in this case it’ll be Ned, Lisa, Homer & Apu (will close out the match)

What Happens Once I’m Playing Tap Ball?

Your first time through you’ll get a TON of popups explaining how to play and what each action does.  We’ll go over them again here.

Your play field will look like this:


You’ll have 3 icons across the bottom and the score, as well as your rating and your opponents rating will be across the top.

Here’s what each Icon at the bottom does.  The first, on the bottom right corner (the Flag) is the GO Button:

Screenshot_2015-06-24-12-32-08 Screenshot_2015-06-24-12-32-12

Pretty simple right?  Tap the Go Button once and they’ll start their Face-off, you’ll see the characters each with their own individual sports related animation.  Tap the Go Button twice and you’ll skip the animation and go right to the results of that round.

Next let’s talk about the Icons on the Bottom Left.  First up the Switch icon:

Screenshot_2015-06-24-12-32-35 (1)

The Switch button does just what you think it would, it switches a player for another player.  (will only switch for the player directly behind them.  So in this case it’ll switch Apu and Lisa)  This comes in handy if your character has a low star rating and is facing another character with a higher rating (you always want your character to be tied or better in the star rating than their opponent).  Here’s how EA explained it:


And finally the Tonic Button:


Pushing this will give that character a temporary (for that round) 2 star boost.  So if you’re in a close match and you have a weaker character up use the Tonic Button to win that round.  Here’s how the game describes it:



And yes if you’re 5 star going up against another 5 star it’ll still give you a boost. 

And that’s really it to actually playing Tap Ball.  You literally just tap 😉

How Often Can I Play Tap Ball?


Well…your characters need to rest after playing.  They require a 4hr Cool down after each match.  So when you go into your Play Screen you’ll see this:


However…this is a digital game and not real life, so naturally there’s a solution to make the Recharge time go faster…Obesotade! 

Obesotade is a magical sports drink that will instantly Recharge your players for another Tap Ball match!   You can pick it up in the Amateur Shop…but of course it’ll cost you Amateur Bucks…and a lot of them!


Here’s what you can get:

ico_june2015_revive_024-Pack- 400 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md Will recharge 4 Players instantly 

ico_june2015_revive_03 6-Pack- 600 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md Will recharge 6 Players instantly 

ico_june2015_revive_04 12-Pack- 1200 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md Will recharge 12 Players instantly 

So you can either wait the 4hrs or shell out some Amateur Bucks to recharge them instantly with Obesotade!

Tip: Leveling up your characters will also instantly recharge them.  In some cases this may be a cheaper (Amateur Buck wise) option than getting Obestotade! 

What’s the Payout For A Win/Loss/Tie?


In Tap Ball, much like soccer, you can either Win, Lose or Tie a match.  The payouts for each are different.  It also doesn’t matter how many points you win by (or lose by) the score is exactly the same.

Here’s what the payouts look like if you start the match (either in your town or in a neighbors town…just a match YOU started):

Act 1 Payouts…

For a Win:
10 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 60 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01

For a Loss:
ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 30 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01

For a Tie:
ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 40 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01

We’ll cover the payouts if a neighbor plays you in your town while you’re away in our neighbors breakdown post.

Now you’ll notice below the reward on the popup screen there’s something called a Bonus

Screenshot_2015-06-24-12-33-21The bonus payout varies for every match and is based on the Difficulty of the Match (i.e. how many stars the match was rated).  In the example above the match was rated 1/2 star, so the bonus was 2 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md and 10 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01.  The harder the match you play, the higher the bonus will be.  So even if you play someone at 5 stars, the match will be rated much higher and your bonus will payout at the higher difficulty even if you lose. Here’s a look at the bonus payouts based on the difficulty rating:

Rating Amateur Bucks Foam Fingers
1/2 Star ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 10 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01
1 Star ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 20 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01
1 1/2 Star ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 25 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01
2 Stars ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 30 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01
2 1/2 Stars 10 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 35 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01
3 Stars 12 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 40 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01
3 1/2 Stars 14 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 45 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01
4 Stars 16 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 50 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01
4 1/2 Stars 18 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 55 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01
5 Stars (Max) 20 ico_june2015_amateurbucks_md 60 ico_june2015_foamfingers_01

So as you can see with the bonus payouts you can still make a ton of Amateur Bucks and Foam Fingers even if you play a high level player and lose.

Let’s say your rated 1/2 star & your opponent is rated 5 stars…if your match is rated 5 stars in difficulty and you lose you’ll still earn 22 Amateur Bucks and 90 Foam Fingers…

That’s a lot better than playing a game rated at 1/2 Star and winning…where your payout will be 12 Amateur Bucks and 70 Foam Fingers.

So don’t always avoid those 5 star players…even if you lose the rewards are still pretty good!

IMPORTANT: The difficulty rating of a match is determined by THEIR rating, not yours.  So if you’re 2 stars and you play a 5 star, the difficulty is 5 Stars.  BUT if you’re a 5 star and play a 2 star the difficulty is 2 star.  So be careful who you play once you get higher in ratings.
Also, important to note…you WILL NOT know the rating of a RANDOM Opponent until you’ve started the game.  You can only know the ratings of your neighbors (via the Tap Ball menu).  Random Opponents will not be shown.  So (in my opinion) it’s better to play your neighbors, than random opponents. It helps you and it helps them 🙂

How do I Increase My Difficulty Rating?

It’s pretty simple really, you use Amateur Bucks (or donuts) you earn by playing to upgrade your players to higher stars.  The higher level your players are, the higher your difficulty level will be.


We’re going to cover leveling up characters in another post, but for now know that each time you level them up and spend the Amateur Bucks, it’s for 1/2 a star.  They can only be upgraded 1/2 star at a time.  

Note: There’s something going on where at times (if you have some tickets) you can upgrade the characters fully for 0 donuts, even if you don’t have enough tickets (as long as you have some).  Not a bad way to level them up quick.  Just tap the orange upgrade button (even if you don’t have enough tickets) and it’ll show you the buyout cost to upgrade with donuts…

What’s a Good Strategy For Playing?

The thing about this game (TSTO) is that there’s really no right or wrong way to play.  Everyone’s going to play their own way and that’s ok.

But I know a few of you (ok a lot of you) are going to ask us what’s the best way to play…and while there is no “best way” I will share with you my techniques:

Upgrade your characters early and often. For me I’d rather spend my Amateur Bucks on upgrading my characters than Obesotade. Then all of my matches (as long as played with a 5 Star Player) will pay out at the higher bonus % and I have a better chance of winning and earning even MORE Amateur Bucks.

Send characters on tasks frequently to earn more Amateur Bucks.  Knowing that you can still play a Tap Ball match even if your character is on a task is a HUGE help.  There’s no reason why all of your Amateur Buck earning characters (we’ll have a post up very soon with the list of who can earn what) shouldn’t be earning Amateur Bucks every minute of the day.

Don’t use the Tonic unless you absolutely need it & if you get an offer to buy some with donuts, Don’t. (you can earn it for free from tapping fans, occasionally they’ll fall).  The tonic really isn’t needed that much, at least not right now.  If you’re playing a high difficulty level, which is when you might think you need it, odds are if your characters aren’t leveled up enough you’re going to lose the match.  And that’s ok.  Don’t waste Tonic on 1 player to get 1 point, it’s not worth it.  Similarly with a lower level match odds are you’ll win, so it’s not worth wasting Tonic if you already have 3 points.  It’s the same pay out if you win by 2 or 4.  The ONLY time I think it’s worth it is if you’re 5 stars going against another 5 stars.  In which case the boost will give you the edge, but in this case I’d wait to see how the coin tosses have gone first before wasting the boost.

Help your Neighbors. Your neighbors will earn points for you challenging them, so before you play a random opponent think about playing your neighbors first & help them earn more points.

And that my friends covers the details of playing Tap Ball in Springfield!  A pretty simple game to play, once get get the hang of it!

What are your thoughts on Tap Ball?  What’s your current win/loss record?  What difficulty rating are you on?  Thoughts on the payouts?  What’s your strategy for playing?  Sound off in the comments below, you know we love hearing from you!

280 responses to “Tap Ball 101: How to Play

  1. (Spoiler Alert!) this is just like Superhero Sequel Event (kinda) :p

    • karenskuality

      Yup, just what I thought!

      Except… Nowhere near the level of “fun and excitement”!!! (Dripping with sarcasm…I didn’t care for the two ball event, but I think I’ll like this one even less 🙁

      BTW, an event that most people I know LOVED…the Stonecutters, have all been clamoring for a second event, no we get a redux of TapBall? Okay, show of hands…who were the 4-5 tsto tappers who actually liked the TapBall event? LOL


  2. Throughout this update ive had problems with the balls. I play my game on my phone as well as my niece. When she isnt staying with me i play her game for her. I drop balls in my town with hers and vice versa. Very rarely did the balls actually show up. Its not that they’re “hidden behind a building” or whatever. They just dont show up. Im pretty bummed cuz i bought a decent amount with the tickets and it ended up being a waste. I could have used the tickets on something else 🙁

  3. completely not random! So many more fall to the other side. I’ve been adding it up, and it’s close to 15 to 1.

  4. I’ve looked and looked through all the posts and comments I could find. At which point did you recommend to stop upgrading players? I never could find that article. But I know you always do such a great job breaking everything down. I wouldn’t have gotten through the ate twilight event without you!

      • Thanks, I’ve seen this article too. What I was looking for, was at what specific star level to stop upgrading players for the best payout on ABs. Kind of a cost/benefit analysis like you do so well with previous events. Could you please respond with a star upgrade number that worked well for you? I know it’s too late to make a difference now. I just think I made a mistake by upgrading my players too far (this event was more than met the eye).

        Thanks for your hard work and help, it’s much appreciated!

        • Didn’t do it with this event. Because the cost/spend is going to depend on what you want. Best thing to do is go to 4 stars and use tonic you’ll win every match against 5 star players. Or go to 3 and use tonic and you’ll be at the same level..

  5. Got the crazy cat lady by saving up the flags in the act 3 prizes but she’s not in my town or inventory. The outfits for the characters I don’t have yet are in my inventory bur she’s nowhere to be found. Any idea what might have happened?

  6. I have collected 9 tonic but both the switch player and tonic icons are greyed out. How do I access them.

  7. Do you keep the outfits for the different Simpsons

  8. Do you keep the field after the update is over

  9. Marymacnblack

    I think this is the glitchiest update so far. Now my issue is that I’m not getting bucks in my friends neighborhoods. One hour ago it worked fine in my main game but now it’s not working in my secondary game. Anyone else have this?

  10. Happened again today. My daily win bonus is only 75 bucks instead of the 120 that the message says. Anybody else notice this?

  11. Marymacnblack

    I’m having a real issue with new tasks not kicking off. I have verified that ALL characters are free, stopped and started the game, everything I can think of, yet I just sit there idle. Been playing over a year and a half and haven’t had this issue before. Is it related to Tap Ball or no?

    • It could be or it could be a new issue. I suggest contacting EA and tell them what’s going on, they can look further into it

  12. I have unlocked the Fit Milhouse character in Tap Ball, but it’s not in my list of players and I can’t find him in my inventory either. I had the same issue with the Boxing Drederick Tatum character as well, but I found it in my inventory. Can anyone help? I’d greatly appreciate it.

  13. I unlocked lugash but i can’t find him. He’s not in my box eather. Do you know where i can find him?

  14. Quick question:
    I have four characters with over 4 and a half star rating and I have two new characters with 2 or less stars. When others play against me, will they play against four of my best characters or random ones? And if so(if they play against random characters), will my rating be based off of my entire team including all 6 or just the four including random low star ranked players?
    Thank you!

  15. Has anyone else noticed they’re getting less amateur bucks than they should be with daily wins? The last few days since the start of tap ball act 2, it said I’m getting 120 buck for my daily win however I’m only getting 65. Anyone else noticed this? Is there a fix for this anytime soon? Thanks!

    • It’s going around. Best thing we can tell you to do is contact EA. The more people that contact the quicker they are to respond

  16. Hi will you do an upgrading post? Upgrading is getting really expensive now, and I’m wondering if I should start saving tickets.

  17. Just to chime in…I have received FAR more heads on the coin toss than tails. I always boost or swap to make sure I’ll have a win in the end, but let the coin land where it may when it won’t cause a loss if I get tails. This is working pretty well for me so far! =)

    • So YOU’RE the one getting all of our heads, lol! 😉

      I knew they must be going somewhere….

  18. Just got softball burns and now I have 5 tap ball players. Since I need 4 players to play, I’m thinking I should keep upgrading my original 4 and not bother with burns. Unless I get an additional 4 freemium player, maybe I shouldn’t waste my bucks upgrading the extras. Do you think that’s a good strategy?

    • Not a bad strategy

    • I’ve been using a different strategy. If you have only 5 players, you can focus on saving enough bucks to upgrade two players, even if it’s two of your lowest-rank players. You then play a game with them, upgrade them AFTER the game, and you can get an extra game just by spending 1 obesotade or 1 donut on one of the other players (since you’ll already have one active player sitting on the bench). If you don’t have any obesotade, you would have to collect enough bucks to upgrade 3 players, but it can still be done. I currently have 6 players, which makes it even easier to get extra games – and in any case, it seems like we’ll be getting Milhouse in tap ball pretty soon…

      • Absolutely. I do the same. It’s easier to receive tonic than tap bucks so no harm in waiting to upgrade players til you have plenty of $ for quick turnaround

  19. You should point out that Lugash, Baseball Jasper and Boxing Dredick Tatum are all only available if you already purchased those premium characters with donuts. In Act One the only non-premium character you can add to the initial four is Burns.

  20. Keep getting booted out of the game when I go in to the Tap Ball menus. I have to go in at least 5 or 6 times before I can get anything done – purchases, upgrades, tasks etc. Anyone else experiencing this?

  21. I only have Ned Lisa and Homer, how do I get more players?

  22. According to the event calendar, by today I should have roughly 15,000 something’s….what does the number in black on the calendar represent? I only have 8,902 fingers and 200 tickets. Why am I so far behind? I see a lot of prizes in my neighbors towns already. I seem to be missing something since I’m so far behind and the more posts I read, the more confused I get……

    • The number in black is where you should be by the end of the day.

      Are you frequently tapping? And when I say frequently I mean like ever 4hrs or so. Or are you just going in once or twice a day? It’s pretty easy to get the prizes if you tap frequently and get all of the fans in your town (since they each drop 10 fingers)

  23. Alissa, I’m a little confused about this statement you made: “Because the higher my character is, the higher the difficulty rating. And then all of my matches will pay out at the higher bonus %..”.

    I thought the bonus was determined by the OPPONENTS rating, not yours. In another area you actually mentioned this “The difficulty rating of a match is determined by THEIR rating, not yours.”, but this seems to be contradicted by the first statement. Is the first statement incorrect?

    • The second sentence was an addition made after we ran some tests, after the post was written. The second statement is right. The first sentence should read, then you have a chance to win against 5 stars and pay out higher..

  24. When I am trying to switch characters or drink tonic it says that i have 2 of each, but it’s grayed out and not selectable

    • It could be that it’s not available because it was already done, or could be a glitch. Try hard closing and restarting, if that doesn’t work contact EA

    • I have this same problem. I’m trying a hard boot and resign in, but I won’t know until I can play tap ball again.

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