Should I Spend Donuts On the Basketball Court or X-Ray Machine?

Hey Howdy Hey Tappers!

The spies are invading Springfield!  Yes, the Secret Agent update has hit our games.  We’ve got hacking, drones, dossiers and a shrinking donut bank account because there are LOADS of returning items in our stores just tempting us with those sprinkles!

Of course with that limited-time label it can be tempting to buy everything that looks awesome because it’ll be gone soon.  But don’t sweat it!  That’s where we come in to tell you what’s worth those donuts and what you might want to hold off on.

Wondering if you should add the Basketball Court or X-Ray Machine to your Springfield?  Well before you hit that confirm button let’s break down the pros and cons of adding these throwbacks to your Springfield…


Decoration: Basketball Court
Donut Cost:
60 Donuts
Bonus %: 2.5 % bonus on all cash and XP
Previous Post: 
Should I Buy
My Opinion On it Now:
Opinion remains unchanged from previous post.  As a premium player I like it.  Freemium players should pass.

Decoration: X-Ray Machine
Donut Cost:
10 Donuts
Bonus %: .75 % bonus on all cash and XP
Previous Post: 
XRay Machine
My Opinion On it Now:
So this one is super interesting.  The bonus percent offered for donuts spent is awesome… 0.75% for 10 donuts is phenomenal return for donuts spent.  For comparison sake, if you purchased 3 (30 donuts) that’s a 2.25% bonus compared to the 30 donut jet engine bike’s 2%.  Really good bonus % for donuts spent.  Of course the question becomes, how many X-Ray machines do you really need?
Good investment if you’re into bonus %. But if you don’t care,pass…because at the end of the day you’re spending 10 donuts for an X-Ray machine that just sits there (although it’s animated when it’s tapped).

And that’s it my friends, the quick Should I Buy recaps for the Act 1 returning items so far.

What are your thoughts on the Basketball Court or X-Ray Machine?  Will you be adding them to you Springfield?  Do you already own them? Sound off in the comments below, you know we love hearing from you!

71 responses to “Should I Spend Donuts On the Basketball Court or X-Ray Machine?

  1. I have 1000 bonuts I’ve saved up but very tempted to buy 100 xray machines. I have a cash bonus of 305% and wondering if it is worth getting it to 380% my current income is about 4.8mil per day on a good day and this would take me to 5.75mil


    • You would be better off buying mystery boxes. For 715 donuts you will 69% plus lard lads and other items you can sell.

      • Thats an intresting tactic I’ve not heard before. How did you calculate the 69%? Whats the math behind it?

        • It is based on experience. There are cycles involving 2 or 3 billboards followed by 2 or 3 vans with 10 or 30 donuts, Lard Lads or other items in between. In other posts I go through it more exactly. Depending on your start, you eventually start with a item, item, billboard and ends with a van followed by 10 donuts.

          • I had a go

            I started with 936 donuts- 319.35% cash/xp bonus and brought 20 mystery boxes I got

            Khlav kalash stand x4
            Bomb shelter x3
            Charmers 1979 onda x3
            Minnow pond x1
            10 donuts x2
            30 donuts x1
            Itch & scratch board x2
            Channel 6 news van x3
            Lard lads donuts x1

            Which left me with
            866 donuts & 327.35%

            So a Cost of 70 donuts (120 + 50 rebate) &
            Increase of 8%
            (290 donuts worth of goods)

            1% cost 8.75 donuts not bad at all

            • I made a mistake, it is 520 donuts for 69%. The cycle for my is (2x)(88 donuts for 9%), (44,6%), (4x)(58,9%),(68,9%)

  2. Gak! Why don’t I check this site more often? I’ve been buying Rocket Bikes as fast as I can, but have been missing the X-Ray machines for I don’t know how many days now! Thanks Alissa!

    My xp-farming stats, for anyone who cares: currently farming 85 KEMs per harvest, usually 5 harvests per day; current multiplier 848.01%; usually able to buy a rocket bike with each harvest (due to harvest yield plus the additional bonut rounds between harvests), sometimes not quite, which means I’m getting almost 150 donuts per day. I’m still kind of strapped for cash, throwing everything into building as many KEMs as possible, rather than expanding my land.

    ADVICE for KEM farmers regarding bonut rounds: depending on your multiplier, it can be more efficient (i.e. get more donuts per money spent), on average, to *not* always make the additional selections (at $50k each) to ensure you get 3 donuts, and instead use that money to buy more KEMs per harvest.

    Here are three approaches, and the xp-per-KEM thresholds where it’s the best, according to a computer program I wrote:

    – Up to about 72,000 xp per KEM — use “must have three”: go ahead and pay the $50k once or twice to get 3 donuts; this still costs less than building more KEMs.

    – 72,000 to about 162,000 xp per KEM — use “accept two”: pay the $50k ONLY if your first selection yielded 1 donut. If you see two donuts, don’t pay for any more selections; build more KEMs instead.

    – Above 162,000 xp per KEM — use “accept one”: *never* pay the $50k for more selections; the KEMs are always cheaper per donut yielded, on average.

    Remember, to see how many xp you’re getting per KEM build, take the total of the big, fat blue numbers (this is assuming you have xp accelerator on) and multiply by 5/4. The big blue numbers only show the extra you’re getting due to the xp accelerator; the original xp amounts are shown in the usual tiny white font, which I find pretty hard to see. I usually take a screen shot (or several) to be able to count the big blue numbers accurately.

    • You should look into buying mystery boxes, cheaper plus you get Lard Lads and some other items you can stick into inventory. My cycle (begging with fallout shelter…billboard) is (Donuts, %bonus) (102,15.00%)(3X(58,9.00%))(2X(88,9.00%)) Average of 6.4 to 9.7 donuts per %bonus versus 20 for Jet Bike or 13 for x-ray. Only the flags offer a better return, if you can’t use the Lard Lads.

      • Thanks; I did try that for a few rounds. I’ve got 5 Lard Lads now, and have come to the conclusion that the mystery box stuff is just too bulky to allow me to get to my target 1500% – 2000% multiplier and still have a reasonable-looking Springfield. 🙂 But maybe I’ll try it again at some point.

        I did get a ton of flags during the World event, but hope to eventually switch them out with something more compact when I get to a comfortable total % bonus. Ideally, I want to convert it all to Wailing Walls, and arrange them together with the XP Collider around the power plant, with the idea that it’s Mr. Burns’ plot to manufacture unlimited Donuts using the power of evil spirits. 🙂

        Oh and rocket bike is 15 donuts per %bonus, not 20 (get 2.00% for 30 donuts).

        • Sorry, that’s Jet Engine Bike, not rocket bike. 🙂

        • I am at 1658.56% and have hidden all the billboards and vans behind buildings. The other stuff I just leave in inventory.

          • I guess it’s mainly the Lard Lads that I find bulky. Though they do generate some revenue. Anyways, you’ve certainly opened my mind on this option, so thank you.

    • I second the advice to adopt a strategy of sticking with your initial guess if you rolled 2 or 3 donuts, but pay the $50k if you just roll a 1. I put together a spreadsheet comparing the different strategies (I, as above, II tapping once, III tapping until you get 3 donuts) and as your bonus % increases, Strategy I becomes more cost-efficient in terms of donuts gained per $ spent. I currently need to buy almost 12 KEMs to go up a level (bonus is around 625% for conform-o-meter, plus 150% XP bonus for SH buildings).

      The main tricks to getting the spreadsheet to work (including the variable pricing of KEMs) are to cost each KEM as 75% of the list price (because you get back 25% when you sell it) and knowing how to calculate probabilities and average donut return from each strategy:

      I (re-tap 1’s only): average 2.5 donuts for KEM cost + $50,000/3 per level up
      II (one-tap): average 2 donuts for KEM cost + $0 per level up
      III (find 3): average 3 donuts for KEM cost + $50,000 per level up

      I’ve set this up in gnumeric (a spreasheet program) but if someone wants it, I can convert it to OpenOffice (or whatever it’s called) and post it somewhere.

      • If you generate more money then you spend then it is a matter of time (4 hrs) versus upping your % that will generate more cash/XP then you save. At 1658.56% it cost me a little over 5 KEMs ($14,400 each) to generate “level”. So if I get one, that would by $72K, so it would make sense to buy another at $50K, and then again. If I get 2 first, I have a 50% change of getting 3 for $50,000 and 3 for $100,000 or $75K per donut. So on average that would by $57 per donut in the worse case(50%) versus $41 for best case versus $36 doing nothing. So basically it is a matter of money versus time. If it took 10 KEMS, that would be 144,000 for 2 donuts or $72K per donut. So if it takes 11 KEMs or more to “level”, then it would make sense to go for 3 donuts all the time.

        • > So if it takes 11 KEMs or more to “level”, then it would make
          > sense to go for 3 donuts all the time.
          Only if you’re assuming each KEM costs 14,400. Because of variable (cheaper) pricing of the first 25 or 26 KEMs, a strategy of re-tapping (only) 1s can still be better than the other strategies.
          The total cost per level is 75% of the KEM cost plus your level-up strategy cost (which averages out to zero, $50k or $50k / 3). The fewer KEMs you need to build to level up (as determined by your current % bonus), the more impact the strategy cost has. If the KEM cost is very large relative to the strategy cost, then a strategy of always going for 3 is best. At a certain bonus % point, the strategy of re-tapping only 1’s becomes more cost effective. With an even higher bonus %, your KEM cost approaches zero (helped along by variable pricing) so you get more donuts per dollar by always accepting the first offer (so your strategy cost is zero, and you average 2 donuts per level up).
          Of course, if you have a massive bonus % and reach the last stage, where always accepting the first offer is best, you’ll be accumulating so much extra cash that no amount of KEM farming (practically speaking) will be able to keep your cash at a fixed level. At that point, you might as well alternate between KEM farming with a single-tap strategy and periodically spending loads of cash on land, aspirational items, decorations or rat traps. Donuts would effectively cease to be a problem at that stage.

          • Yes, the first 25 are a bonus. It was you do if you have no cash, and therefore to waste $100,000 (or even $50,000) on a donut would be a problem. It is why you should spend your donuts on %, hoping to get the other items (that don’t help you in the game) later.

          • I’ve gone back and figured out the thresholds completely analytically, rather than relying just on the computer program — and came up with the results that agree with it, just expressed in terms of KEMs per bonut round (see below). This accounts for the 1/4 sell-back revenue, and for the lower pricing of the first 24 KEMs in the harvest. The calculations were done assuming a harvest big enough to yield 30 donuts on average, which ensures more than 25 KEMs up to a very high % level. The thresholds shown should shift to higher values if you’re building fewer than 25 KEMs.

            – If it takes more than 13.7 KEMs to get a bonut round, the “Must get 3” approach is the best.

            – If it takes between 6.17 and 13.7 KEMs per bonut round, “Accept 2” is best.

            – If it takes less than 6.17 KEMs per bonut round, “Accept 1” is best.

            I was going to post all the calculations here, but it turns out to be way to much to be readable as a comment; maybe I’ll email it to the site and they might make a post out of it or something. But first I want to tackle another challenge: which approach is best for the non-KEM bonut rounds? i.e. if you spend $50k or $100k for the 2nd or 3rd round, is that a waste of money vs. building more KEMs?

            I got these results for that, but they’re not general — they’re only for the case of 30 donuts per harvest; it’ll change for different harvest sizes, because the cost per donut changes with harvest size; the thresholds should be higher for smaller harvest sizes. X is the number of KEMs to get a bonut round:
            – for X > 12.6, use “Must get 3” for non-harvest bonut rounds
            – for 7.7 < X < 12.6, use "Accept 2" for non-harvest bonut rounds
            – for X < 7.7, use "Accept 1" for non-harvest bonut rounds

          • To DCM: Thanks for the effort, works well with those trying to save cash.

  3. Basketball Court or X-Ray Machine – one takes up too much space and the other was earned for free from a prior Event (sorry EA, I pass) 👎

  4. Why does all the good stuff have to cost to many donuts? It takes to long to get them and can’t afford to buy donuts?

    • if you want premium items and don’t wish to shell out real cash, then you need to farm for donuts. Once you increase your bonus %, you will have more than enough donuts.

      • But that is the whole point !
        Many of us do not have a high enough percentage to make donut farming worthwhile & to achieve a higher percentage we need more donuts !!!

        • How much % do you have? Did you buy the Beach Hideaways and expanded them (100%). Are you getting your five a week from the monorail? Do you visit your friends (usually about 10 a week), finding Maggie? When you farm do you turn on the XP Collider? (I have it constantly turned on). Do you buy the mystery boxes for the cheapest bonus (depending on cycle 6.4 to 9.8 donuts per 1% increase)? Do you use the rocket ship and vision quest to get free items that have bonuses?

        • It takes time and sustained effort in the early stages, to be sure. But constructing a Kwik-E-Mart gives a really fantastic amount of xp vs. the game money you spend, and every % bonus you gain by investing those donuts back into % boosters makes it that much easier next time. I’m still pouring everything into that effort, with the exceptions of the limited-time deals that keep coming up. Those are great to have, but annoying to have to pause my ramp-up for. 🙂

          You’ll also have a big jump if you get to the point where you can reliably generate well above 25 donuts every 10 days, so that you can afford to keep the XP Collider on all the time.

          It does take months and months (I’m at about 6 months, and I’m over 800%), but if you start now, you should be ready to pretty much buy what you want by the next Halloween event. 🙂

        • The experts here have huge bonuses but you can start at much lower numbers. Same with number of KEMs. If you do the math, you will see that with lower numbers you do need to have the XP collider on.

          It depends on how much income you have from buildings and tasks, so make sure you know that number. Remember you get back 25% of the purchase price on resale so assume 75% of the price has to be covered by your income. Or you can just take the strictly empirical approach and gradually add KEMs, keeping an eye on your game dollars – if they are staying the same or increasing at the rate you want, then you’re fine.

          Here’s my low budget approach:

          I just have a little KEM garden of 25 KEMs, so that’s only one KEM at the max $14,400 price. I started gardening when I had a conformometer bonus of about 150% and also had all the XP bonus buildings squished into my Heights (not really a designer, if it fits then it’s in). Now my conformometer bonus is about 244% – I buy bonus items when I can only if I like the item and get bonus items from the rocket ship also and occasionally from the tortoise game I think. Sometimes a crafted item has a bonus even if they don’t say so in the description. I check my bonus before and after adding something.

          I was about level 130 (needing half a million XP for each level up donut) when I started a few months ago but now am maxed out on levels and get the three donut boxes guessing game for every million XP.

          I want to build up my cash reserves and have enough cash to actually do things in the game periodically, plus I can’t resist recycling and Maggie donuts and can’t resist going for the boxes of 3 donuts. In my game, though, often the box of 3 is in the same position for at least a short while and cycles through in a sort of predictable manner, so that makes my addictions less expensive.

          With my size garden and income from buildings and tasks, I can get between 3 and 6 donuts per harvest. It only takes 2.5 donuts to pay for the XP collider each day if you wait until you have 25 donuts for 10 days before starting. If you can’t swing that or if you aren’t maxed out on levels, you just will make less profit. But even one pickup per day will be slightly profitable for me. Before my isp went all wonky (I can’t count on more than minimum 7 hours up per day, max 12 hours), I was able to pick up four or even sometimes five times per day. Now I’m thrilled if I get two chances to harvest….

          By steadily increasing my stash of cash, if I see something I really want but don’t have enough donuts, then I can buy and sell rat trap delivery trucks or bloodmobiles for the XP and pile up donuts quickly for a purchase.

          Maximizing XP is the key to earning level up donuts. You can get high XP points (hundreds) every time you play the black hole or tortoise games. That big turkey that gives out prizes three times a day also often gives out a pile of XP. Heights production tasks and plantings at Cletus’ farm give out XP. I don’t know if these get multiplied. Often a pile of XP points is released when you place crafted items in events, so always place them even if you store them later.

    • My advice is, study the article of Safi about KEM farming.
      It helped me greatly 🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩

      • FYI, I just posted some of my own KEM advice separately in this thread, based on my experience so far (and a computer script I wrote), regarding the best choices to make during the bonut rounds.

    • Correct !!!
      I understand EA needs to keep the money rolling in but let’s have a little help for those who want to play but can’t afford to buy too many donuts.
      So far all that has been offered with cash is a set of chairs…….pathetic.

  5. Josephine Kick@$$

    OK, I think it will work this time 😊

    • What a terrific airport! I’ve used a couple “glass tunnel” pieces on mine, but nothing as elaborate…it looks great!😋

    • Well, I wasn’t thinking about buying any more X-ray machines because I didn’t know where to placed them and I wasn’t into leaving them on storage but, this is a great incorporation idea, Josephine. Thank you for shared it with us! 😉

  6. I bought like 5 sets of the country flags during Destination Springfield. That was an insane % bonus deal. Was it 30 flags for 50 donut? 30 flags at 0.25% each or 7.5% for 50 donut was great. Placing all those flags did take a lot of space though!

  7. I didn’t remember I already had an x-ray machine so I bought one, oops.

    • The old one (was it from Superheroes 2 or Sci-fi? I can’t recall…) doesn’t seem to have a bonus though, only the new ones purchased with donuts. 😢

  8. As an X-Men fan I had to pick up the court this time!

  9. cool

  10. Josephine Kick@$$

    When I saw the bonus % for the X-ray machines, I bought several. They look pretty good in front of the baggage carts at the airport terminals 😀

    Wow, I hope I did that right (other than it’s sideways 😂😂😂

  11. I earned an X-ray machine during super heros. Does it earn a % like the helicopter recently did? Might be esoteric, since I can’t find my X-ray machine in storage or in my Springfield.

  12. Agh I’m so mad!!! I accidentally hit Gil’s deal today and purchased the computer nerds for 195 donuts!!! No “are you sure” window came up and now EA is telling me I have to contact iTunes support that EA can’t help me. What kind of stupidity is that??? Has anyone been through this and know what to do? Thanks!!

  13. I bought a whole bunch of X-ray machines for the XP boost…I prefer them to a lot of the mystery box items because they are small and can be hidden anywhere. I have 25 now hidden in my town…all behind 5 buildings. A single one will even fit behind a house. Other than the mini nukes, I can’t think of anything this small, with such a great XP return.
    On another note…the nerds are here! They are separate characters but have some jobs (hacking the school) together. Instant buy😁👍.

    • I bought those nerds on the spot. Each of them give 80 Cheap Intelligence 🙂

    • I considered buying a bunch but I wasn’t sure how to fit them into my design (or what passes for that in my town). I forgot you can hiee them, thanks!
      With regards to the nerds: it’s worth noting that they will earn event currency at a super-premium rate (just like the Hank Scorpio skin). They’ll each earn 80 event currency per 4-hour task. Other “regular” premium characters (and disappointingly camera-hat Homer as well) will earn 60. Regular non-premium characters will earn 40. So if you’re worried that you’ve fallen behind these guys will generate 960 event currency extra each day, more than enough to ease your fears. And it’s early in the event, and this event’s prizes are IMO great, so you’ll reap a lot of benefits! Plus, they’re three fully playable characters…
      My town is getting crowded though, when the event ends I’ll have more than 250 fully playable residents and I want to make sure they all have a place to live, eat and work. That’s a lot of houses and businesses… LOL! #1stworldproblems

    • Josephine Kick@$$

      They also earn event currency if anyone is needing a boost & not sure if you want them 😀

  14. Random question that has nothing to do with this post…What makes buildings “tapable” in your friends town? For example, this event is the WiFi. But not all buildings are available for tapping. WHY? I know some may have not been cleared by that neighbor yet, but I know some are never available for tapping.

    • For the why you’d have to ask EA. But the how is, they’re coded in the files like that. There’s a list of buildings that can be hacked, it’s not every building though. And again for the why you’d have to ask EA.

      • Thank you for the response. I feel like I know a lot about this game, more than I should. But I just could not put together a logical reason for tapability in a neighbors town. Then you said EA, that right there is logic enough. Thank you for all you do.

  15. I usually find that if I spend 100 donuts on Mystery Boxes I can accumulate a good deal more than 7.5% XP bonus with the Channel 6 News Vans and Itchy and Scratchy billboards prizes.

    Heck, starting from 394 donuts, I’ve just increased my XP by 12% and got a couple of $ earning Lard Lad Dont shops and still have 359 left over, havinfgalso won 30 donuts a couple of times.

    • It’s both the XP % bonus AND the fact that the X-ray machine is easily hidden.

      It’s a way to have both high bonus for bonut potential and still have an interesting town design not marred by lots of news vans and billboards.

      • I have hundreds of vans and billboards hidden in my town, though I will admit a lot of my buildings have satellite dishes (which I like). There a lot of buildings that will hide many vans if you don’t mind the dishes.

  16. Last time I passed on the Basketball Court thinking “MEHHHHH”. Then tapped it in one of my neighborenos and shouted a XXX word because of regret not to buy it. An X-wing plane!!!
    I have bought it now without an attosecond of thought 💭

    • The colors also match the spy Headquarters…one of my neighbors did a fantastic job on his headquarters area and incorporated it into the design…his volcano lair is just to the right of the basketball court, but wouldn’t fit in the picture…(hey, Nick…great design)

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