How Does Temple Run Scoring Work?

18 Jan

Hello Puzzled Explorer!

If you got here then you’re probably confused about Temple Run’s scoring system, and rightfully so. It’s pretty complex and not explained anywhere, even though understanding it is critical to obtaining a high score.

After I failed to find any information online, I decided to discover it by myself. So I started writing down my score in various game situations and then tried to figure out what happened that got me that score.

Several hours later, here are the results:

What does the Temple Run multiplier do?

Before explaining the scores, let’s explain the multiplier. What it does is simply multiply every point you earn, from any source. So if the basic score for a meter is 1 point, and your multiplier is 18, you get 18 points per meter.

You start with a multiplier of 10x, and it increases by 1 for every achievement you unlock. So after 10 achievements your multiplier is 20x and the same run will earn you double the points.

The Basic Scores

The 3 basic elements that give a score:

  • 1 point for each meter you run
  • 5 point for each coin collected
  • 25 points for each power-up collected
Enhancements and Bonuses

The score is further enhanced in several ways:

  • The Mega Coin has the same effect as collecting multiple coins. The first upgrade is 50 coins, and it increases in increments of 25 per upgrade, reaching a maximum of 150 coins.
  • Red coins are worth 2 coins. Blue coins are worth 3. The standard full line of regular coins is 25 coins, Yellow-Red mix is 35 (3 yellow + 2 red, repeated 5 times), and Yellow-Red-Blue mix is 55 (2 blue + 2 red + 1 yellow, repeated 5 times). Note: sometimes a line is broken because of obstacles and turns.
  • Every 100 coins you collect (you can track it in the meter on the left side) you get a bonus. This bonus is a bit complex and works as follows:
    • Every time the meter fills up (100 coins) a piece is added to the circle in the upper left corner. It has 4 pieces.
    • The first piece earns you 100 points (before multiplier of course), the second 250, the third and fourth 500. Once the circle is full, every meter-fill is still 500 points. You can see this number flying from left to right every time this happens.
    • When you trip or resurrect all the pieces fall, and the meter resets (i.e. next bonus is 100 points). This is why you may find that  you don’t get the bonus at round multiples of 100 coins.
    • An additional bonus of 100 points per meter-fill is gained for each upgrade of the Mega Coin. So when it’s fully upgraded you will get 600, 750, and 1000 points instead of 100, 250, and 500.
    • When the meter fills up rapidly (e.g. when you have the fully upgraded magnet and blue coins), you may find you don’t get the full bonus. It may be closer to 500-600 per meter-fill instead of 1000. I believe this is a bug. If anyone has another idea why this happens – do share.

The Bottom Line

So at the end of the day, where do most of the points come from? I find that when playing well for a significant distance the source of your points is roughly distributed as follows:

  • 20% from the distance you ran (i.e. 1 pt per meter X multiplier)
  • 40% from the coins and the mega-coin
  • 40% from filling the bonus meter
  • The 25 points per power-up are negligible

Any Lesson Here?

So how should this affect your play? I think the following lessons can be learned here:

  • Make an effort to collect coins – they account for 80% of the score (directly, and by filling the bonus meter). One trick is to look carefully where the coins are around a corner and tilt before turning.
  • Complete achievements – they’re not just for fun, they improve your multiplier.
  • Don’t trip – it resets the bonus.
  • A Fully upgraded magnet is very valuable – it triples the value of coins, which triples their score AND fills your bonus meter like crazy.
  • Delete Temple Run from your iPhone – it will drain all your spare time 🙂

Hope that helped! Let me know if I missed anything…

Update… Bitter Sam

Here’s a new game I now like more than Temple Run, and thought I’d share it with you (search “Bitter Sam” on the AppStore). Enjoy.