Advanced KEM Farming – Should I always go for 3 donuts?

Salutations Stats & Strategy Specialists

(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter ‘S’)


A couple years ago, I wrote a post about KEM farming (which can be found here) and how it yields donuts. Since that time, many of you like myself have gone on to grow your KEM farms to over 100 KEMs, earning over 100 donuts every 4 hours, as you have raised your XP bonus percentage into the thousands.

At this point, some of you may wonder is it worth always going for 3 donuts when you fill an XP bar? Or are you better spending that money on additional KEMs?

Let’s take a look and see…



There are 5 possible outcomes of those donut boxes if you always go for three donuts:

  1. 3 donuts on first try
  2. 2 donuts on first try, 3 donuts on second try (Cost $50,000)
  3. 1 donut on first try, 3 donuts on second try (Cost $50,000)
  4. 2 donuts on first try, 1 donut on second try, 3 donuts on third try (Cost $100,000)
  5. 1 donut on first try, 2 donuts on second try, 3 donuts on third try (Cost $100,000)

If we average these 5 probable outcomes (taking into account the first possibility is twice as likely as the other 4), you’ll earn 3 donuts at a cost of $50,000.

          18 donuts at a cost of $300,000 / 6 = 3 donuts at a cost of $50,000

So “Always Going For 3 Donuts” cost $16,667 per donut.

          $50,000 / 3 donuts = $16,667 per donut



Now the question is are you better off spending that money on more KEM instead of going for 3 donuts? Another way to put it, can you earn a donut for under $16,667 by buying extra KEMs?



Unlike the 5 outcomes that exist if you always go for 3 donuts, there are only 3 possible outcomes of those donut boxes if you stop at the first choice:

  1. 3 donuts on first try
  2. 2 donuts on first try
  3. 1 donut on first try

So the average of these 3 outcomes is 2 donuts when you fill a 1,000,000 XP bar. So 1 donut would require 500,000 XP.

          6 donuts / 3 = 2 donuts
         1,000,000 XP / 2 donuts = 500,000 XP per donut


With $16,667, you can buy 1.157 KEM at a cost of $14,400. [For the sake of simplifying the math, I’m ignoring the fact that the first 24 KEM are cheaper, resulting in a slightly lower average KEM price than $14,400 depending on the size of your farm. However, the more KEM in your farm, the closer the average cost gets to $14,400.]

          $16,667 / $14,400 per KEM = 1.1574305555555555555555555KEM

So the question is how can we earn 500,000 XP with 1.157 KEM. Or alternatively, that comes down to 431,991 XP per KEM.

          500,000 XP / 1.157 KEM = 431,991 XP per KEM

To earn 431,991 XP per KEM with the XP collider on, we divide by 5 for the XP collider resulting in 86,398 XP per KEM.

          431,991 XP per KEM / 5 = 86,398 XP per KEM

When we divide this by 2,000 (the base XP of KEM), we get 4,320 as the XP multiplication factor.

          86,398 XP per KEM / 2,000 XP per KEM = 4,320%

Minus the 100 that just naturally exists gives us a required 4,220% XP bonus in order to earn 431,991 XP per KEM with your XP collider on.



That means you need an XP bonus of 4,220% to make it wiser to spend your money on more KEM and just stopping at the first box, rather than keep going until you get to the box with 3 donuts.


4,220% is the magic XP number.


What is your XP bonus? Is it over 4,220%? If it is over 4,220%, have you been stopping at your first choice? If it under 4,220% have you kept going until you get 3 donuts? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.

304 responses to “Advanced KEM Farming – Should I always go for 3 donuts?

  1. I don’t even know to spend my donuts on anymore. This helped me so much and now I have thousands of donuts and nothing to buy. Even with too many I’m not spending 2 on a fence post.

    • I’ll happily spend hundreds of donuts to get a good stock of basic design elements like fences! The more options I have for basic design items like that the better for both current and future designs. I’ll be buying at least a hundred (probably more) of those fences before the event ends!

      • I agree. So many times I want a couple more items in a redesign and can not buy it or have to wait weeks for it to show up in the vault. I am now spending my donuts for extra design elements.

        BTW, anybody know why I can updates on older threads like this but none in the newer threads?

        • We’re sitting on about 130,000 doughnuts so why not spend a few on this junk? We’ll never be able to get rid of these things anyway. And more keep coming all the time! It’s a vicious cycle.

          • That is a lot of doughnuts. I stopped farming over a year ago (2/3/4 years?) when one of my games hit 20,000 and my others where over 10,000. I even eliminate about 1/2 of my bonus % because collecting donuts was taking to long every time I entered the games. After massive mystery boxes and buying a lot of the new land up North (and speed gaming and extra items buying) one game is now down to 462 donuts (and some unmined veins). I can’t imagine have over 100,000 donuts and not buying a lot of everything.

  2. addict2simpsons

    Some quick calculations on buying boxes:

    First box is free and will give you an average of 2 donuts.

    Buying one extra box if you only get 1 donut at first try, wil give you an average of 2.5 donuts, you will have to buy an extra box every 1 in 3 tries, so it costs 50.000/3=16.333 for 0.5 donuts more on average.

    4 Times (to average donuts when not buying a box) 16,666= 66.667.

    So unless you only need to buy less than 4.63 Kwik-E-Marts to level up, it is cheaper to get the donuts out the second box then by building new Kwik-E-marts.

    Going for the 3 donuts means ;

    One in 3 times it’s free

    One in 3 times you get it wrong and have to spend 50.000 to get them donuts.

    One in 3 times you even get that wrong and have to spend another 50.000 making a total of 100.00.

    So it costs 150.000/3=50.000 for 1 donut more on average.

    2 Times (to average donuts when not buying a box) 50.000 = 100.000

    So unless you only need to buy less than 6.95 Kwik-E-Marts to level up, it is cheaper to go for the 3 donuts then it is building new Kwik-E-marts..

    Correct me if I’m wrong, please comment if usefull

  3. addict2simpsons

    I think the calculation is wrong.

    If you don’t buy an extra box, you will get an average of 2 donuts a box.
    So the 50.000 in the calulation is not for 3 donuts but for a higher average of 1 donut.
    That means that getting 2 more donuts (the average amount of donuts you get from the first free box) than you would have without buying,will cost you 100.000.
    Divide that by 14.400 and you get 6,95 Kwik-E-Marts you need to level up to get to the break-even point.
    If you need more than 6.95 K-E-M to level up, go for the 3 donuts!

  4. I’m at 3950% (thanks to being able to buy burning bushes for $500 or whatever it was)…. money/XP from 12 hour tasks nets me ~30 donuts (going for 3 on each XP go-round) and several millions in game money. I don’t bother with KEM farming anymore because it honestly just takes too long to do it, at least with filling up large empty plots with KEMs (it took nearly 20 minutes to clear the large plot of KEMs after I got to this level…and since the XP collider is so easy to reload now…). I may start doing 4 or 5 at a time, just for the few extra bunch of donuts.

  5. I personally found that once you have a lot of extra money the best way to get to level 939 is to use the blood mobile. I had some where in the billions of dollars is money with nothing to spend it on. I was around ~450 level then with buying and selling blood mobile for 2-3 hours I got to level 939. After playing the game for any length of time you often have lots of money that had little use , but donuts can always be used for items from the yearbook.

  6. Having an issue and wondering if anyone else is.. I’m max level and now the game isn’t saving my donuts from the pick em tickets. Earned a bunch of donuts farming, closed the game and when I came back I was back at the original donut amount but minus the 5 to start the xp multiplier and the cash I spent.. donuts earned with the daily activities do stay though.

    • That is really odd. Do you sync (by going to friends and back) before shutting down? I always sync and strongly recommend everyone sync before shutting off.

      • Yup.. tried sync by going to the friends that didn’t work either.. game did 2 large updates after this started and it didn’t fix it either.. might just have to uninstall and install although that works if the updates didn’t

    • I had this same problem.. When I collected from buildings, Character tasks, KEM farming the donuts I got would be gone if I left the game, got the bart screen, or yes.. even when I would go to neighbours to sync.
      The only donuts that would stay would be from Daily Challenge, Find Maggie, and Recycle plant. This went on for almost 5 months. EA couldn’t figure out what was going on. We would go though everything at least twice a month. They were confused.. but at least they would give me a few hundred donuts for the loss each time.
      Then in mid Dec 2019 it fixed itself, I have been able to keep my donuts that I collect from everything I do in the game.
      One thing I stopped doing .. is when the Daily Challenge is to send ALL Springfielders to KEM or Krusty’s, I only send the amount needed .. which is usually 5. Because I am in the Billions with ingame currency and over 60K in donuts.. I don’t need to send people on tasks or challenge to reap the benefits. I know it may not have caused my issue with the loss of donuts.. but I got stuck in that loop issue and that’s when I lost donuts. So far so good.. by not sending everyone from the daily challenge I haven’t had an issue… (yet)

    • I have had issues with the game not saving Donuts collected from tapping on friends Towns, and also from Donut farming if I am disconnected from the server.
      I have server stability issues when I play on my cellular connection (lte & or 4g) but I have not had the same problem while playing on my new wifi connection at home, my previous wifi connection had suffered from constant server disconnections like my cellular connection.

      I don’t know if this will help but my current wifi connection is through my own separate wifi router with a DSL ISP, my previous wifi connection was through a modem/router from a Cable ISP.

      I believe that the issue was caused by the modem/router:
      I find that when using a modem/router, you are more likely to have connection issues with mobile devices.

      I have reached out to EA help multiple times for assistance, but there has only been 1 person that was willing to assist me beyond offering the basic troubleshooting steps…. but we got disconnected.

      • I suspect the problem is that tapped out notices the large number of donuts that kem brings in as a error and correct the error by removing the large number of donuts that you can get. I also noticed that for no reason tapped out can disconnect or refuse to allow you to connect at all even if you have a good connection.

        • I’ve had that issue of not being able to connect at all, pretty often: sometimes I just wait until it connects, of I’m at home I usually follow the troubleshooting steps & end up reinstalling the game.
          That’s the EA help solution: Delete game files, reinstall, wait a ridiculous amount of time for it to download…. then update.

          They definitely have server issues that go unacknowledged.

  7. So a bonus of 4,220% means that just 1 KEM will get you to the next level up bonus?

  8. I would think that, if you’re at a high XP bonus cash doesn’t matter any more. You’re automatically generating it. Go for three.

    • We always go for three for exactly that reason. We’re sitting on 72,000+ doughnuts and billions of dollars. Nothing really to do with it all

  9. I love the numbers, but am constitutionally unable to stop at anything but 3 donuts. I have accepted myself the way I am, and just pay the money…

    It helps that after a hiatus of about a year, when I started playing again in early November I had about 22 million game dollars for some unknown reason and I decided to bump my KEM Garden from 36 to 78 KEMs. I had been over 900% in bonus, but since early November have gone to 1050% thanks to the Yearbook. I spent 30 donuts in the Yearbook every time I reached that number and usually stopped buying when all the bonus items were obtained on a page unless I wanted something else. Shifted to the cheaper Black Friday mystery boxes until I got what I wanted from those. The Yearbook and Bonus Item lists kindly provided by the Addicts here have been very helpful in deciding whether a Yearbook page is worth pursuing or if I should try another page. Am trying to save up donuts now in case anything good comes along in an event.

    The new KEM garden and increasing bonus really boosted donut production for me, and it takes a lot less time to farm 78 KEMs where I put the revised garden than in my old 36 KEM garden layout. I finally figured out how to make the game automatically line up my KEMs as I tap. See, change is good and stimulates the little gray cells.

    78 KEMs still lets my income rise slowly and now I’m at 34 million dollars after planting my KEMs. I feel so rich. Spending $100,000 for the sheer joy of getting 3 donuts is worth it.

    Buying bloodmobiles or rat trap delivery trucks still is more expensive than farming for me, but more importantly – I discovered I don’t really like that approach any more but do like farming. All those growing KEMs in three neat rows are just lovely to look at and fun to harvest.

    My only problem is that I get this nearly uncontrollable urge to eat pink donuts with sprinkles every time I harvest. “Nearly uncontrollable” only because there are no such donuts for sale within walking distance and I have no car.

    • How do you make the game automatically lineup the KEMS? I always have to move each new one into place.

      • The way we do it is orient the KEMs with the long side going from upper left to lower right. Place the first one in the leftmost corner of the empty rectangle you’re placng them in. The first one should be on your screen just to the right and up from the center of the screen, just a bit. After the first one is placed the second one should appear just to the right and higher than the one you just placed. If the second one is less than one KEM to the right then move it and then the third one should be in the right place. If it’s farther than one KEM away then you need to move your screen. This will work for one row until you run out of empty space. Then you’ll have to start another row manually. Play around to get used to the correct placement.

  10. I don’t get this surprise after levelling up????

  11. I have noticed a formula in my tapped out that swaps every couple of days so I am almost alyays getting 3 doughnuts on my second try it only ever goes to 3 when the pattern swaps to the second one they are always one is: 1,3,2: 3,2,1: 2,1,3 the other is: 2,3,1 : 3,1,2 : 1,2,3.

  12. a bit late but this math is wrong, first every kem costs 10800 with resale. Also you forgot to include the costs of the kem. for example me with a multiplier of 1436 it costs roughly 7 kem’s per spin which costs a total of 75600. if I go for 3 donuts it will cost a total of 175600 or 58300 per donut. going for two would be the best as it would only cost a maximum of 62800 . spending anymore than that makes no sense as I could just buy another spin for that amount. use s kem calculator online to find the nitty gritty details, hope this helps.

    • Wollig Konijntje

      Agree with dto…
      There are in my mind 4 useful strategies:
      1: Accept what you get, never tap. You get an average of 2 donuts. The cost of these depend on your XP.
      2: Tap once when you get only one at first. You will get an average of 2.5 donuts. Every extra donut (vs strategy 1) costs 33333.
      3: Always tap when you are sure of extra donuts, this means tap if you have only one donut or one and two donuts. You will get an average of 2.66 donuts. Every extra donut (vs strategy 2) costs 50000.
      4: Always go for three. You will get 3 donuts. Every extra donut (vs strategy 3 will cost 75000.

      Only looking at the cost and ignoring time spent tapping you are best of adopting strategy 1 if you have a multiplier of more than 1520%, strategy 2 with a multiplier above 980%, strategy 3 with a multiplier above 620% and 4 if your multiplier is less than 620%.

  13. Cheryl Barcus

    Umm huh I suck at math, please dummy this down. My level is 939 can’t raise it anymore. So how do I get all these doughnuts your speaking of? What is KEM?

    • Hasenpfeffer

      KEM = Kwik-E-Mart, the most money efficient way to raise experience quickly. Before level 939, you gain 1 level (and 1 donut) for each level. Once you reach 939, you’ll start getting a ‘pick one’ bonus every 1M exp.

  14. I don’t understand. I don’t get any options for this, I automatically get given 1 donut for levelling up. Which I think is about once a week. How do I make this happen?

  15. I looked at this differently- what is the best investment per 50k?

    After selling back a KEM, the cost is 10,800 per. At 900% bonus, it takes 10 KEM to generate 1M XP, or roughly $100K per upgrade. On average you would earn 2 donuts per upgrade, so that is $50K per donut. This has led me to a “stop at 2” strategy: if you get 2 on your first try, stop. Spending another 50k only gives you a 50% chance of another donut (by getting 3 instead of the dreaded 1 donut). But if your first pick is only 1 donut, Another pick gives you on average a 1.5 donut payout for that 50k, so it’s worth it.

    Previously I always went for 3 because I had more $ and donuts than I could spend on useful stuff. The reunion mystery box changed all that, I’m now farming every $ I get and still can’t empty out the new mystery box!

  16. I never let my donut tally go below 20000
    It’s easy to make a couple of hundred per day just spend half hour per day buying blood trucks to replace when new update comes
    You can do the update in 3 lots of 2 weeks but complete the whole thing by about half an hour and then spend 2 weeks getting your donuts back (about800 to 1000)

  17. I do 3 donuts regardless of cost as I have$42b
    I can’t earn any more money coz it turns read at s limit of 42994000000 ish
    So it doesn’t matter cost
    AlsoKEM takes 4hours but blood trucks are instant and give 6 donuts per truck if you have do high enough
    Also I’m on 3247%
    How in gods name do you have room to put stuff to teach 4200%

  18. I am at a little over 500%, don’t have a of money because I spend all my money on KEM farming, and I don’t have a lot of donuts because I spend my donuts on stuff when I get enough for what I want (while keeping my collider going) 😉 I always go for 3 donuts, unless I just don’t have enough money – like if I left the game broke and close to filling the meter again, and when I log back in, it’s donut time right off the bat.

  19. If I want an XP multiplication factor of 7, for example, I would need 700% XP bonus. Subtracting the 100% that I naturally get, i would need a 600% XP bonus.

    In order to get a 4,320 XP multiplication factor, it seems like you would need a 422,000% XP bonus!

  20. I only take a stab at 3 when my reveal is 1 donut. I’ll settle for 2 and instead just buy more KEM. It’s working for me so far; had over 600 Donuts until I bought all the mystery boxes and premiums during this event 😂

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