At various points throughout the game, you can watch advertising videos in return for a boost. These videos are entirely optional - you can play without them!
What you can boost
Ad boosts have varying effects depending on where they are used:
- Boosting individual mines: Press the "Boost" button at the bottom of the mine screen to watch an ad. This provides a 2x income boost (applied to final income, i.e., independent of Elevator and Warehouse throughput) in that mine, lasting 4 hours. Watching further ads does not increase the boost factor, but does stack the duration, up to 1 day 7 hours. Other than this, there are no limits on how many income-boost ads one can watch. You can increase the boost amount and the maximum boost time with Skills , up to 3.14x total boost!
- Boosting all mines on one continent: Occurs automatically when all mines on the continent are unlocked and any mine is boosted through the mine screen, and/or is boosted through the "$ Collect" button on the right-hand pane of the world map, under each continent group. Mines which you reset through Prestige will lose the boost, but if reapplied through another ad, all other mines on the continent receive the extra boost duration even if already boosted (thereby yielding potentially uneven remaining boost times for different mines even if the entire continent is unlocked).
- Boosting all mines on all continent: Occurs when all the continents and all mines are unlocked and are boosted through the "$ Collect" button on the right-hand pane of the world map, under "All Continents".
- Manager sale at 100% value: Normally, any manager may be sold at any time for 50% of their purchase price. By watching an ad, that particular manager can be sold for their full purchase price. Note that the bonus is one-off, i.e. to sell another manager at 100%, you need to watch another ad.
- Doubling Idle Cash: Idle Cash is collected in all active mines while you are out of game, and in all mines other than the one you are actively managing when in game, in both cases usually at 10% of what each mine earns when you're in the game. Whenever you re-enter a mine, you have the option to double the Idle Cash income stockpiled since your last visit to that mine by watching an ad. Note that Idle Cash is not credited to the main account until collected in this manner (with or without boost).
- Collecting Idle Cash for an entire continent: In the world map screen's right-hand pane, you can watch an ad to collect the Idle Cash income of all mines on the currently-selected continent at once, including the 2x bonus normally gained from ads. This approach is significantly more convenient than collecting in each mine manually.
- Collecting Idle Cash for all continents: In the world map screen's right-hand pane, you can watch an ad to collect the Idle Cash income of all mines from all continents at once, including the 2x bonus normally gained from ads. This approach is significantly more convenient than collecting in each continent manually.
- Reducing unlock time on Rock Barriers: The rock barriers that separate mine shafts (into 6 sets of 5) take a certain time to be removed (once removal is paid for in Cash ), with deeper-lying barriers taking progressively longer to unlock. Regardless of barrier level, you can watch 2 ads per 60-minute interval of real time, with each ad watched taking 30 minutes off the barrier unlock timer (and reducing the Super Cash price of instant unlock correspondingly). With the first few barrier levels, this can be a significant help!
- Chance to gain a Chest: Chests (which drop collectible upgrade cards for Mine Shafts , Elevator , and Warehouse) have a chance to drop whenever you log back into the game. Watching an ad (for any of the above boosts) counts as "logging back in" for the purposes of Chest drops; i.e., watching ads frequently may increase the number of Chests that drop over a given period of time. The bonuses gained from Chests are global and multiplicative with all other bonuses, making the Chest drop chance on ads a worthwhile benefit.
Free-to-Play with elective ads
Idle Miner Tycoon is free-to-play, i.e., no payment is required to access the full game. It is also free of ads that would be displayed without your consent (e.g. in screen margins or as pop-ups). While you may elect to buy in-game items for real money (and these are sometimes advertised in-game, in a relatively non-intrusive way), this is in no way required to play or to progress past a certain point.
Therefore, like many other mobile games, Idle Miner provides an alternative way of optionally supporting the developers in the form of elective ads that "reward" players for watching with various benefits. You should keep in mind that the developer receives a small commission whenever you watch an ad, and while individually the amounts are usually minor, watching enough ads over a longer period of play may well translate into a fairly reasonable income derived by the developer from the ad-watching player, potentially comparable to prices asked for pay-to-play mobile games.
This may be of interest to players who cannot afford or do not wish to pay real money, yet at the same time would like to support the game's development.
As in most mobile games, ads are, in the main, for other mobile games, of various kinds. Some of these include playable mini-demos; however, as usual, participation is not required to gain the in-game reward; only the completion of the ad timer is. A minority are for gambling (either "online casino" or "investment" apps offering products with risk-return profiles functionally equivalent to gambling, such as Bitcoin and binary option trading). Other ad topics do not seem to be served, at least not with ad targeting disabled.
Unless you have opted out, your operating system's targeted advertising practices apply.
Ad duration depends on type of ad served (not under game developer's control), and varies mostly in the range of 8 to 30 seconds, with 20-second clips being probably the most common.
As usual, ads can be muted and / or skipped (muting has no effect on reward; skipping forfeits reward). In case of skip or failure to play, you should be able to watch another ad (i.e., the failed ad should not count against potential in-game limits), unless there is a technical issue in registering the failure (which may be outside game developer's control).