Uno Level 200!

Yay! I made it to the very top level!

This is my second post on Uno and Friends, with my first covering Uno & Friends – Tips and Tricks. This post will cover the recent update, which includes Journey.

My article on Update 17 is out as well. It covers the two recently added Journeys and more.

The Evil-ution of Uno and Friends

In June of 2014, Ronald Huereca posted his Why Uno and Friends is Evil post on this blog, back in a simpler time before Leagues, Uno Dare, Companions, Team Uno and now Uno Journey.

His main points were that the game was:

  1. A rip-off since it wasn’t free, or at least it wasn’t free if you wanted to play more than a few games without buying tokens
  2. Encourages players to cheat by the using boosts which cost coins
  3. Crashed a lot causing players to lose tokens, coins, and win streaks
  4. Was extremely addictive à la South Park’s “Freemium” episode from Season 18

He vowed to never play again, although I have seen him sneak a game or two and had him play as my partner in Team Uno (and we are AWESOME).

I, on the other hand, was/am addicted, but I had developed ways to avoid spending real money which I posted as Uno and Friends – Tips and Tricks in January of 2015.  By that time, Uno had added Leagues, a new game called Uno Dare which allowed you to win a total of 12 avatars (only a couple of which are really useful, the rest are kind of meh), but that article predated Companions, Team Uno, and now Uno Journey.

Some loathe and hate the new features, while some find them quite intriguing. Within this article I will go over Uno and Friends Companions, Team Uno, and the newest incarnation, Uno Journey.

Let’s start with Companions.

Companions

There are 31 companions as of this writing. Originally, companions could only be used in the Companion Tournaments which was just fine with me. Now, if you have a companion, you cannot turn it off to play a regular game or a tournament, and you are stuck with whichever one you chose for the entire game/tournament. Companions aren’t available to use in Uno Dare or Team Uno.

You can buy Companions. You can also win them if you place first in one of the three Companion crate tournaments (Wood, Steel or Titanium Crates). You only win a crown and tokens in the Master tournament, but no companions.

Companion Crates to Purchase

Companion Crates to Purchase

You can also get companions as the final reward prize in the Daily Login if you login everyday for 15 days, or complete an objective in Uno Journey and win the game.

Anyone can play in the Wood Crate tournament, but you have to own a certain number of different Companions to be able to play in the Steel and Titanium Crate or play the Master tournament where you don’t win a companion, just a crown and some tokens.

Companion Tournaments

Uno Companion Tournaments

Different Companions are available from each of the tournament crates, but if you buy the Golden Crate, you have a shot at getting any Companion other than the UNO-corns (Blue, Green, Yellow and Red) which you have to win in UNO-corn tournaments that only show up from time to time.

Uno Companion - UNO-corn Rainbow

Rainbow UNO-corn

When you win or purchase a Companion crate, you will also get coins with each Companion for levels 1-5 , and tokens for the next 5 levels, you get the Companion plus a boost and/or tokens. If you already have the particular Companion at the Ultimate Power (level 10), you will not get another one. Instead you will receive up to 18 tokens (depends on which tournament crate the critter came from). This isn’t a terrible trade-off for not getting a Companion.

Something you need to know about the Rainbow UNO-corn is, once you have won one UNO-corn in each color, you will receive it. Whee! The Rainbow UNO-corn’s level will match whatever is the lowest level you have for the other UNO-corns. For example, I have a level 6 Blue UNO-corn and a level 3 Yellow UNO- corn, but my Red and Yellow UNO-corns are only at level 2, so my Rainbow UNO-corn is at level 2.

There are 31 different Companions if you count the UNO-corns. Each Companion has its own “special power.” Like the 12 avatars you can win playing Uno Dare, the powers vary in usefulness, the vast majority don’t do much to improve your ability to win.

In addition to having a “special power,” if you manage to win (or buy) 10 of the same Companion, it reaches “Ultimate Ability.” Keep in mind that your Companion’s special power increases at levels 5 and 10 (see paw prints). For example, if the Companion makes a random player draw a card when a specified card is played, this power will be available once per game for levels 1-4, twice for levels 5-9, and 3 times at level 10. You retain the special power, and at level 10 get Ultimate Ability. The number of times the special power is available is crucial to game strategy particularly if you are playing certain levels in Uno Journey. As you will see in the screenshots later in this post, you can guess the level pretty much by the size and shape: those at levels 1-4 are the largest, decrease in size and/or shape at level 5 and again at level 10.

There is an upside and a downside to using each Companion. It is a lot like teasing a kitten: great fun until its claws come out, or it bites you. I have all 31 companions with 21 of them at Ultimate Ability, and I pretty much use only a few of them exclusively: My favorite by far is the Frog, followed by the Dolphin, the White Tiger Cub,and the Sea Horse.

Memorizing the power and Ultimate Ability of each and every Companion would be an awesome feat, but I do have a day job that allows me to have air conditioning and indoor plumbing which I like. An additional issue is that not all Companions look alike. Per the Gameloft FAQs, Shiny Companions are only available from the Golden Crate (meaning they have to be purchased rather than won) and Royal Companions that are found in any kind of Crate but are only available during special events. Shiny Companions sparkle and provide an extra charge to the Companion’s power (the power can be used twice for levels 1-4, 3 times for levels 5-9 and 4 times at level 10). Royal Companions are just fancier versions of regular Companions. I have some that sparkle which means they are Shiny, and I have a large number that are purple which means they are Royal. Oh, and some of my purple Companions also sparkle as you will see in the screenshots.

To help both beginners and Uno gurus alike, I will share the “special power” of all 31 and the “Ultimate Ability” for the those I have at level 10. PLEASE SHARE with me and fellow readers if you know the “Ultimate Ability” for the other 10 Companions. First, let’s cover the 10 Companions I only know the “special power” they have.

I have all the UNO-corns, but I have not unlocked Ultimate Ability for any of them. The “special power” for each of the Uno-corns, with the exception of the Rainbow UNO-corn, is really easy to remember: When an opponent plays an even numbered card the same color as your UNO-corn, a random opponent draws a card. The Rainbow UNO-corn’s power is that when a Draw 4 is played on you, ALL other players draw a card. [I have leveled up to 10 for the Blue UNO-corn on February 15, 2016, and the Red UNO-corn on May 20, 2016. The Ultimate Ability is if you hold an even blue numbered card of the color of the UNO-corn in your hand, you draw one less card if a Draw 2 is played against you. I would conjecture that this is ultimate ability for green and yellow UNO-corn by color as well.]

The other five Companions that I don’t know the “Ultimate Ability” are:

  • Blue Jay – when you play a blue numbered card, an opponent’s existing hand is revealed.
  • Llama – when a Draw 2 is played on you, discard the lowest-valued card from your hand
  • Penguin – when you call Uno, the opponent with the fewest cards draws a card.
  • Platypus – when you play a draw two, the player on the opposite side of the table also draws a card.
  • Red Panda – when an opponent plays a Draw Two, their existing hand is revealed.

Here are screenshots of the 21 Companions I have at level 10 showing each Companion’s “special power” and “Ultimate Ability.”

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General comments on how I rank usefulness of “special powers” and “ultimate abilties”:

  1. Companions with the power to reveal a player’s existing hand. I consider this a defensive power. The companions that have this power are Blue Jay, Cardinal, Parrot, Rabbit, and Red Panda.   These companions are useful IF you don’t use the Spy Boost for regular games and Uno Dare. There is some value when playing a tournament and but even then, if used early in the game, you still don’t know what cards have been drawn since the power was used unless the opponent’s Companion is the Dolphin or Siamese Cat at Ultimate Ability or a Sea Otter. I find these 4 Companions to be relatively useless.
  2. Companions that make you discard the lowest-value card in your hand when an opponent plays a particular card or you draw a certain card.  I also deem this a defensive power. Companions that do this are Chimpanzee, Golden Retriever, Lama, Pomeranian, Sea Otter, and at Ultimate Ability, Dolphin and Frog. This is a a mixed blessing since it may mean that you discard a playable card and will have to draw a card of higher point value that may or may not be playable.
  3. Companions that make opponents draw cards (or extra cards).  This is purely an offensive power (pun intended). Companions with this ability include all the UNO-corns, Dolphin, Gecko, Llama, Llama, Meerkat, Orangutan, Penguin, Platypus, Russian Blue, Sea Horse, Shibu Inu, Siamese Cat, Sloth, Tamarin, Tiger, Turtle, and White Tiger Cub, as well as the Ultimate Ability for the Chimpanzee, Golden Retriever, Pomeranian,  and Sea Otter. It is most useful if triggered towards the end of the game.
  4. Companions that protect you from special cards or cause you to draw fewer cards. This is another defensive ability and more useful than the ones listed above. This is the Ultimate Ability for these companions: Cardinal, Gecko, Meerkat, Orangutan, Parrot,  Sloth, Tamarin, Sea Horse, White Tiger Cub, and Turtle . The Ultimate Ability allows you to either take your turn (ignoring skips and reverses) or draw fewer or no cards (Draw 2, Draw 4), making it possible to get rid of cards faster and Uno.
  5. Companion that will let you take several consecutive turns.  I consider this an offensive power, particularly if you can play a Draw 4, Draw 2 or change the color. The Frog is the only companion that allows this. Despite the drawback of  discarding  the lowest-valued card in my hand at Ultimate Ability which happens whenever I draw a skip, I have won a hell of a lot of games (and surprised or pissed off a lot of opponents) by being able to play 2, 3 or even 4 cards (multiple skips) in a single turn.

Most of the companions have either an offensive power and a defensive Ultimate Ability or vice versa as you can see from the screenshots of the 21 above, but some are purely defensive or purely offensive. In my view, an offensive power with a defensive Ultimate Ability results in more wins, but I am sure other players may disagree.

Team Uno

What is Team Uno?

Team Uno

Team Uno

Team Uno was launched with the last major update. You have a partner and two opponents. Like the create-a-game (now accessed through a tab after you choose Team Uno on the main page), you can invite friends to be your partner or an opponent. Despite having 100 friends, none of them ever seem to be online, so I mostly play with a random partner.

Team Uno Crowns with Uno Journey Jungle and Desert Crowns

Team Uno Crowns with Uno Journey Jungle and Desert Crowns

There are 4 levels: green, orange, (it could be red, but it looks orange to me), blue and gold (or maybe yellow). Each level has five games. You start at green level, and once you win 5 games without a loss (this resets the win streak to zero), you win the green crown and unlock the orange level. Once you win 5 games, at the orange level, you get the orange crown and unlock the red level, etc. You also receive 1 scratcher for three wins at the green level, 2 scratchers for three wins at the orange level, and so on. If you have already won the crown for that level, you get the same number of scratchers when you win the 5th  game and the win streak for that level returns to zero.

Games are 2 minutes long and green level cost 2 tokens, orange 4 tokens, blue 6 tokens and gold 8 tokens.There are boosts you can use (same as for tournaments). The goal is for either you OR  your partner to Uno or have the lowest value hand of the 4 players when the timer runs out in order to come in first. This means you could be holding three Draw 4s, but if your partner is holding a 0 when the timer runs, your team places 1st. In order to help each other, partners can see each other’s hand.

My main gripe is that both noobs and even experienced players at level 100 and above fail to understand that this is TEAM Uno. Instead of seeing this as a cooperative game, they play it as a competition and sabotage their partner, ultimately causing both of them to take a loss. I also hate when I have a Bot as a partner; it isn’t like the Bot is trying to compete against you, but rather that it has no strategy at all either to help you or win the game itself.

Despite the fact that you get scratchers after 3 and 5 wins, the scratchers will never allow you to recover all the tokens spent in playing Team Uno at any level. Games won or lost neither extend nor end your win streak for regular games, but you receive very few points even for a win so it is not a good method to help you level up.  Plus, if you buy boosts, you will never get enough coins back with a win to cover those you used as you can in a regular game, particular if you have a 24 hour double coin bonus earned from a tournament win.

Team Uno Win Streak

Team Uno Win Streak

Team Uno Tips & Tricks

Before the update that gave us Uno Journey, there was a good reason to play Team Uno as you will learn below. At this point the best tip I can give is: “Don’t!” If you do choose to play it, either voluntarily or as part of Uno Journey, if you discover after the partner’s second play that s/he just doesn’t “get” that this is a cooperative game, just play it like you would any other game and try to Uno first. In fact, when my partner is less than a level 30 or is a Real Bot (automated players supplied by the game that play with no delay), I don’t bother to wait to see if they understand that we need to work together and just treat them as opponents from the get-go.

Team Uno Playing with a Partner who gets it

Team Uno Playing with a Partner who gets it

Uno Journey

Let me rant about how much I HATE Uno Journey, or the Journey to Hell as I call it.

As of the current version of Uno & Friends, there are 3 Adventure environments: Jungle, Desert and Arctic with the promise of more to come (sarcastic “Yay” or Ronalfyc “Meh”).

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Each adventure has 20 progressively more difficult main objectives. To achieve the particular objective, you will play regular games, Team Uno, Uno Dare, or a tournament. You do get to choose which level of Team Uno (if you have qualified for more than one) or tournament, and I recommend you choose a cheap one.

Each time you meet the main objective (which can border on the ridiculous), you get league points (based on what level of the secondary objective you reach and you also get STARS – extremely sarcastic “w00t”) and you can replay an objective even if you have accomplished it to receive additional league points (or companions).

Uno Journey Objective

Uno Journey Objective

Most of the games you play on Uno Journey are regular games (2 tokens), but Uno Dare will cost you 5, and while you can play the Green Tournament for 2 tokens, not everyone is good at playing tournaments, and the competition is more fierce in the tournaments that cost the least.

Also winning a tournament or coming in second does not extend your win streak, and the points and coins you get in a tournament are minimal. As I said before, you earn league points if you achieve the objective.

You also have the opportunity to win relatively useless avatars, companions, and maybe even a crown for finishing each Adventure journey (double sarcastic “Yay” or Ronalfyc “Yawn”).

I have finished the Jungle and Desert Journeys (and managed to win the crowns), and managed to successfully achieve the final objective to finish the Arctic Journey but did not win the crown with this as the final objective:

Uno Journey Objective 60

Uno Journey Objective 60

I think you can see the problem here: I have 31 frigging companions, a couple of which are no more than a level two, but with those 2, their special powers are activated if I call Uno and if I don’t, another player will challenge and I draw 2 cards. In order to NOT activate the other companions, I cannot play a certain card, draw a certain card, or hold a certain card; nor can an opponent play certain cards either on me or other players or call Uno.

The rest of the companions either require I not play a numbered card of a certain color or I not play a special card or that my opponents not play a particular numbered or special card which I cannot control.

In other words, in order to reach the objectives in Uno Journey, I am basically required to sabotage my ability to win. This is not only counter-intuitive for competitive play, but the abso-fucking-lutely most frustrating experience I have ever encountered! As indicated above, I finally achieved the Objective but not the crown by using my level 5 Penguin which would be activated if I called Uno. This required watching my timing, drawing cards when I didn’t need to and quite a bit of luck. Not fun at all!

Uno Journey Artic Completed

Uno Journey Artic Completed

Uno Journey Artic Completed

The Final Evil-ution

With every Uno & Friends update there are major changes. The update that gave us Team UNO was awesome because despite my overall disdain for Team Uno itself, playing it did provide a truly awesome way to save tokens and coins so you could extend your win streak and level up.

Here’s how Team Uno used to be a real boon before the arrival of what I will refer to as Update 16 which gave us Uno Journey:

If you had  lost your win streak in regular play or the timer had run out on your win streak, you could immediately exit the game and then log back in, play a round of Team Uno before you played a regular game. If you did this, you could avoid having to pay up to 35 tokens or 5,000 coins to keep your win streak going. If you came in second  in the Team Uno game (i.e., lost), you kept your win streak for the regular game and had to pay nothing to play the next regular game. If you won the Team Uno game, the cost to play the regular game was dependent on the Team UNO win streak for the level you had just played: 25 coins for a win streak of 1, 200 coins for 2 wins, 2 tokens for a win streak of 3 or 4. This was considerably cheaper than paying 35 tokens or 5,000 coins when you have a 27 (10x bonus) or more game win streak. At least for now, if you do lose a game or the win streak timer runs out, you can play Team Uno and tournaments without having to pay to keep your win streak.

Lose the win streak of pay the price

Lose the win streak or pay the price

This recent update still crashes, but these are less frequent than when Ronald and I previously wrote. This is a big plus because, even though Uno started refunding your tokens if there was a crash during a game, there is nothing more frustrating than being in the final round of a tournament ready to Uno and have the game crash unless it is to have it freeze after a hard fought win.

Uno Dare

Uno Dare Wheel

Uno Dare Wheel

For those new to Uno, the whole point of Uno Dare was to win avatars, some of which really are useful such as the Princess that gives you 10 points for your first Uno call or the Diva that gives you 5 points each time the Mirror boost is used in a game. The game uses the same boosts as regular games. Instead of Wild and Draw 4 cards, there are black Draw 2 Dare cards that let you change the color (no challenge provision) and all blue, green, red and yellow Draw 2 cards also contain the word Dare. When one of these cards is played during the 2 minute game, the target player can either accept the Dare and avatar and just lose your turn or decline the Dare and draw 2 cards. Only if you win the game do you get to add the avatar to your collection, and you may win but already own that particular avatar.

Originally, Uno Dare cost 3 tokens and was a time-limited game that showed up at intervals just like the Uno-corn tournaments do. After the game ended, there were two different Uno Dare Wheels.  As I recall, the first one which cost nothing to spin, and you could skip it and proceed to the second which is the same as the current Uno Dare Wheel other than the cost which was based on the number of coins you had won. If you spun the first Uno Dare Wheel, you won either no additional coins, an amount of coins equal to those won in the game, 2x the coins won in the game or you lost all coins won in the game. I didn’t like the odds, so I normally skipped this and went to the second one where you at least had a chance to get your 3 tokens back.

Uno Dare Wheel Prize

Uno Dare Wheel Prize

Uno Dare reappeared with the last major update before Update 16 for a lengthy stay . The cost to play increased to 10 tokens, and only the second Dare Wheel remained with a fixed cost of 500 coins. In spite of the fact that the only avatar I am lacking is the Pirate which I really want, I wasn’t going to spend 10 tokens to play because a loss affects your win streak, I rarely receive a Dare with the Pirate avatar, and, for me at least, I am not very good at winning the game.

With Update 16, the price has dropped to 5 tokens, but I still do not play it voluntarily (Journey forces me to).

There a few things to celebrate

Several versions ago, the win streak timer disappeared making it impossible to know when your win streak would end unless you used a stopwatch and knew how long you had at each win streak level. This was a particularly nasty thing if you were a new player. Well, this update puts the timer back on the main page! Nice move Gameloft (one of the few compliments you’ll get here)!

Uno Win Streak Timer Returns!

Uno Win Streak Timer Returns!

The last major update before Update 16, if you wanted to send free gifts to your friends you could no longer do this from the either the All Time or USA Leaderboards other than for the first twenty friends because it would no longer advance to the second page. You could still do it if you clicked the Social on the main page, clicked “Friends & Mailbox” went into the “Add Friends” tab, but it was cumbersome, and it took me about a week to even figure out how to do this. With Update 16, the functionality has returned to gifting your friends from the Leaderboards (you can still do it through “Add Friends which is more cumbersome), but, alas you are still limited to having only 100 “All Time” friends. And, no, you still cannot delete friends.

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Another boon with Update 16 is that it seems that Gameloft finally realized it was really unfair to pit beginners against those who were Uno gurus. I’ve noticed that I am now playing against other players who have attained high levels in regular games, tournaments, and Team Uno. The downside is that if there are not enough players at that level, the foursome is filled with Bots. I HATE BOTS!

Playing with Bots

Playing with Bots

So Why Do I Hate the Recent Update?

You will blow through your tokens and coins at an accelerated rate! If you are new to the game, you are well and truly FUCKED. Here is why:

Regular games now last only 4 minutes

When I first started playing Uno and Friends, a game could last an eternity (I played one game for over 40 minutes, and several lasted 20-30 minutes. Nice bang for the buck, uh, token, provided you win since your win streak could have expired during the game. These marathon games generally happened whenever the majority of players had mirror and overdraw turned on. I’ll take a “sacrifice second” just to end a game when if it seems the best option.

A few updates ago, Uno and Friends began entering a two minute overtime (similar to tournaments but without a shortening the time to a card before a time out). Whomever had the hand with the lowest point value won first, second lowest won second, etc. I never timed when “overtime” kicked in, but it seemed to be somewhere at 10-12 minutes. Very few games went into overtime, and while others hated this innovation, I personally loved it particularly when players left the game, and become Bots who don’t play or draw a card until their timer runs out, and it seemed the longer the game, the more likely it was to freeze or lose server connection.

Since I am good at tournaments, and I would win over 95% of games that went into overtime. I understood those who deplored the introduction of overtime since I realize it meant starting a new game more often and that meant using more tokens and (coins for boosts) but the majority of games ended with an Uno either before or during overtime, so I really didn’t mind. I generally have 2000-4000 tokens from playing tournaments, etc. and 2-3 million coins from games as a result of winning tournaments that give you 24 hour double coin and double win streak bonuses.

With Update 16, regular games last only 4 minutes (2 minutes and then the 2 minute overtime kicks in). Very rarely does anyone Uno within the first 2 minutes so the vast majority of games are decided in overtime with a fair percentage being decided by value in your hand. Even with my resources, this sucks, and where is the fun when many of your games do not end with a player Uno?

Not only is Ronald’s main reason that Uno is evil reinforced, but the game itself is a lot less fun even for those of us who are addicted! Gameloft, this is your worst innovation to date!

You No Longer Get League Points for Achieving Goals

This is unless you play Uno Journey or give expensive house gifts.

Why is this a big deal?

I achieved my second place in the Master League by playing nearly every day until I accomplished the daily goal and won the daily prize. Even on those days when I didn’t achieve all three daily goals, I would still get a lot of league points.

Master League Standing

Now number 2, but on my way up in the Master League Standing

Now the only ways to earn league points and move up (or maintain your rank as compared to other participants) so you can get weekly tokens and coins are to play Uno Journey or shell out a bunch of coins (100, 500 or 1000) to buy league gifts for others in your house.

League gifts

League gifts

Conclusion – The Evil-Dom

Leaderboard status All Time

Leaderboard status All Time

I’m a level 200, and #2 in the Master league. While I would like to ultimately  be #1 in both the Master league and on the All Time Leaderboard, a lot of the updates Gameloft has introduced have dampened my drive to reach these goal. I do enjoy playing Uno, but my enthusiasm has been dampened by the changes. If Gameloft keeps providing updates dates that make the game more expensive and at the same time less fun, I will find a new addiction.

As with my last post on Uno & Friends – Tips and Tricks, please feel free comment to comment or ask questions and I will get to them as soon as I can. You may also wish to read the comments for additional insights and may find answers to your questions there as well. Happy gaming!

 

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Profile Picture for Pauli Loeffler
I am an attorney-at-telecommuting (i.e., I answer phone and email compliance questions for members of a trade organization). My slightly (?) perverted sense of humor helps keep me sane. I love animals, especially cats and dog. For fun, I like to sing karaoke, play Uno online, various board and card games in person and drinking red wine.

Comments

      1. Monika,

        The goal is to activate a companion at least 3 times during the tournament and place at least 3rd in round 1 for 5 house points, reach the second round for 10 house points by placing first or second in round 1, or reach the 3rd round for 15 house points. Unless you have a companion at ultimate ability or a “Shiny” companion at level 5, there is no way you can activate the companion at least 3 times in the first round. Frankly, if you are using a companion that is below level 5, there is no way to activate the companion more than once per round, so you will have to make it to the final round AND activate the companion in each round to achieve the goal and move on to Level 51. For round 50, you will need to choose your companion with this in mind.

        Re-read the Companion part of the article as to each companion’s “power” and “ultimate ability.” Click the information for each of your companions. The power or ultimate ability of a companion may be “activated” by cards you play, such as when I use the Tree Frog and play a Skip. Others may be “activated” when an opponent plays a certain card, such as the when I use the Seahorse and an opponent plays a Reverse. Still others are “activated” if you draw a specific card, such as when I use the Dolphin and I draw a Wild card, a random opponent draws 2 cards.

        I hope this helps.

    1. I'm not entering for the giveaway, I just wanted to thank you for recommending new readers of Michael to read The Fifth Valve. It's nice to know where to start when you read a new author's work! 🙂

    1. Sledge,
      If your house wins the league competition which lasts for approximately 2 weeks, you will be eligible to play in the league tournament. If you win, you get the crown. The number indicates the how many league tournaments you have won. Read my comments Uno and Friends – Tips and Tricks as to why I am not much of fan as far as this tournament is concerned.

    1. Curry,

      As nearly as I can figure, it means you have to activate a Companion either by you or another player drawing or playing a specific card, calling Uno, etc. and even then, the game doesn’t necessarily give you credit. I really dislike Uno Journey. BTW, in order to ear a decent amount of league points, play level 16 of Journey (regular game, goal: no special cards at end of the game–mo draw 2 or 4, no wild, skips or reverses).

  1. As curry, I have trouble with journey rule. For example, “play jolly 4 with active card and no one can contest you (or something like this, I’m trying to translate)

  2. The journey levels where the objective is ‘when a wild draw 4 card is played, use a wild to change the color back’ is obviously not what it sounds like. I’ve tried many variations and can’t win. Can you post how to meet the objective? Love everything you posted here. It’s excellent!

      1. Tee,

        In order to reach the goal, the player immediately before you must play the wild card (not a Draw 4) and change the color, here can be no other player between you, and you must play a wild card (not a Draw 4). Playing a Draw 2 or Skip that changes the color does not satisfy this, and if you are not the immediate next player, changing the color back won’t meet the goal either even if the player before you draws a card and does not play or plays a card in the new color. You would still have to place at least 3rd to advance to the next level.

  3. I have been looking for something like this, I am glad I can find it. I am so angry and tire of all that buggs in the game. One of the last ones , when the Journey came out, make the temperature go sooo hight and make my tablet just shutting down and now its almost broken. I wrote them, but seems they just dont understand the problem.
    I start to play like almost 2 years ago. First I was level 89 and my progress was lost, but I keep playing and when I get level 87, my progress was lost AGAIN, now I am level 130. I remember playing against you on the tournaments.
    Now a new actualization came out, its full of bots, peolpe with level 4, 16, 30, and I lose 500 tokens in this days because the points in tournaments are wrong and I cant even go to the round 2, before that I win all the time, now its impossible and so enoying.
    Sorry for my English, keep writing!

    1. Dinn,

      I had a major level loss last fall in October. It took almost 2 weeks before customer service was able to re-link to the correct saved profile. It is best if you happen to have a screenshot that shows your last level which I did since I was working on writing this post.

      The last couple of weeks, at least one of the weekend tournaments has started to load then exited the game completely, taking the tokens. I complained to customer service who responded that you get your coins back when there is loss of connection with the server (which is true, and a notice of the refund pops up when it takes you back to the home screen). Fortunately, I took a series of screenshots the second time I tried the tournament, but you can only include 3 as attachments to the form, and four were needed to show the progression. I sent all 4 in reply to that response, and the tokens were refunded. When it happened again this weekend with the Valentine’s Day Tournament, I simply replied to the email that advised me of the refund for the other tournament (I think it was the Chinese New Year the weekend before), and they refunded my tokens without requiring the all 4 screenshots I took for the Valentine’s Day one.

      As far as the game causing your tablet to overheat, I have never noticed that, but it does really use up your battery. If your tablet is an Android, and you upgraded to Lollipop or Marshmallow, the upgrade is the reason for the device overheating. I had that happen with my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. Clearing the cache partition worked for the Lollipop upgrade, but my phone crashed and locked with Marshmallow, and I didn’t do a back-up before having to perform a fresh install and lost a lot of data (and time). I generally play using my iPad 2, and I have never noticed any overheating.

  4. Great post and detail.

    Any idea of how many total active players there are in this game? I won’t ever aspire to get higher than my current ranking anymore, but am really curious how many players are on this.

    Gamecraft must be making an insane amount of money.

    1. Nano,

      Thanks for your comments and congrats on reaching your personal goal! My original goal was simply to beat Ronald’s level since he got me hooked on the game. After achieving that, my goal was to become a Uno Guru. Once I achieved that, my goal was to reach level 200. Once that happened, I lost some of my drive to play. I do log in daily to claim the daily prize and generally play whatever the current limited time tournament is available plus a few games. At this point, I don’t really have a “goal” other than maintaining my rank in the top 3 for leagues, top 100 for all time and top 40 for the US. Basically, playing Uno is just a way fro me to wind down after work.

      As you astutely recognize, having a high win streak is the key, and once you achieve that, it is so much easier to avoid any outlay of real cash. BTW, here are a couple of tips: If you lose your win streak due to coming in 3rd or 4th but the timer has NOT run out, simply exit the game and log back in. You will not have to pay tokens or coins to maintain your win streak. On the other hand, if you choose do pay to maintain your win streak (or the timer has run out so you have to pay), if you win the game, your win streak will increase not by 1 but 2 games! Since I have a 1400+ game win streak, I never have to pay tokens for this, but it costs 5,000 coins. However, I have 3.25 million of those, so paying 5,000 is not a big deal.

      I have no idea how many active Uno players there are but if you want to take the time to click the the arrow to go backwards from your rank for All Time, you can get some idea. I would guess there are at least 25,000 – 40,000. I am sure Gameloft makes a tidy profit, particularly from noobs.Its sales for the first half of 2015 was 127.4 million Euros, up 15%.

      Thanks again for your comments. Happy gaming!

  5. The worst was when i won all the unicorns and got them on the highest level and all except blue one disappeared :/ i came back after a long break and i’m up to last level of journey but am struggling as to which companion would activate the least, I don’t have the penguin you used and have gotten all available companions from top 3 crates. I’ve tried the dog and the tamarin :/

    1. Aliyecrz,

      I ended up just playing tournaments using my fav companion (the Frog at ultimate ability), and eventually won a tournament without it being activated to get the crown. For level 60 of Journey, I don’t think it matters that much what companion you are using as much as luck as far as the cards the other players play and the ones you draw or play. I just kept playing regular and time limited tournaments in Journey until it finally just happened.

      Congrats!

  6. Hi, How to win avatars in uno dare? Must we intentionally draw new cards 2x even though we have the card color then come out first place?

    1. Nocturne,

      Each time you accept a Dare (have a Uno Dare Draw 2 played against you), your avatar changes, you do not draw any cards but lose your turn. If you win the game, you win the avatar. If you don’t have that avatar, you would have to say “no” to the Dare, draw 2 cards and win the game. I am still missing the pirate avatar from my collection. I don’t really like Dare (it’s expensive and is more luck than strategy/skill).

  7. Having trouble with the Journey game “after a wild changes the color, change the color back using another wild”. Tried multiple ways of what I thought would work to no avail. Also, I had to start my account over after the update. Was level 76, back to 47 now but geesh…

    1. Rdub,

      Contact customer service and complain about this. It is a known issue, and they will (eventually) get you back to the correct level.

      1. Thanks Pauli – also do you or anyone know how to get past Journey lvl47?
        After wild changes the color change color back with another wild. Done this a few different ways and can’t seem to get the achievement.

        1. Did you find out the answer to this!!!???
          It’s driving me NUTS!
          If you did please let me know!
          You can find me on FB as Janette Odeh.

          SOMEONE PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!!

          1. Yes I did thanks to Pauli’s insight.

            You need the player before you to play a Wild card (not +4wild). Then you play a wild card (again not +4) and change the color to the card color that was played 2 players before. Ex.
            You are player 3 of 4.
            Player 2 plays a blue card Player 3 plays a Wild, changes color to green You- play a wild and change color back to blue.

            Hope this helps!

    1. Ruth,

      The goal is to activate a companion at least 3 times during the tournament and place at least 3rd in round 1 for 5 house points, reach the second round for 10 house points by placing first or second in round 1, or reach the 3rd round for 15 house points. Unless you have a companion at ultimate ability or a “Shiny” companion at level 5, there is no way you can activate the companion at least 3 times in the first round. Frankly, if you are using a companion that is below level 5, there is no way to activate the companion more than once per round, so you will have to make it to the final round AND activate the companion in each round to achieve the goal and move on to Level 51. For round 50, you will need to choose your companion with this in mind.

      Re-read the Companion part of the article as to each companion’s “power” and “ultimate ability.” Click the information for each of your companions. The power or ultimate ability of a companion may be “activated” by cards you play, such as when I use the Tree Frog and play a Skip. Others may be “activated” when an opponent plays a certain card, such as the when I use the Seahorse and an opponent plays a Reverse. Still others are “activated” if you draw a specific card, such as when I use the Dolphin and I draw a Wild card, a random opponent draws 2 cards.

      I hope this helps.

  8. Pauli,

    I am level 176 and I almost exclusively use level 10 white tiger cub since I don’t have to draw cards if I have 4 or more in hand (also, spreading a draw 2 to a 2,1,1 for all opponents is a nice perk).
    I am writing to ask if you know what the other two exclusive companions are.
    I have all level ten companions, including all unocorns, but I don’t know what these two new exclusive companions are and what they do.
    Thank you for your post and feel free to ask me anything. I echo all of your frustrations and HATE when my game freezes up and when I log in, it puts me back 5 wins ago and forces me to pay to keep my win streak when I haven’t lost! It’s obvious that I need to never let my win streak run out. I’ve only ever gotten to 76 win streak even though I’m at level 176 and consider myself a winner most of the time.

    Yours,
    Steelo

  9. Steelo,

    There are 31 Companions: 25 that you can win or buy from the crates and the 5 Uno-corns (the Green, Blue, Yellow and Red are won in special tournaments, and the “Rainbow” one is becomes available when you have the each of the colors).

    By “exclusive” Companions, I think they mean “Royal” (purple) or “Shiny” (sparkles) versions which are only available if you spend hard cash and buy a golden crate. The golden crate contains ALL the Companions other than Uno-Corns.

    One thing that has changed since I wrote the article is that if you pay to keep your win streak, then you win the next game, your win streak advances by 2 games rather than just by one. Once you have a win streak around 120, it costs coins rather than tokens to keep your win streak.

  10. I saw/played against someone with a high level WITHOUT any Companion just recently. That was odd.

    I thought Companions cannot be discarded?

    1. Coolio,

      That is weird! I suppose if you never play a companion tournament nor do the daily log in, you would be able to avoid getting a companion, but it would certainly put you at a disadvantage other than for Journey goals where NOT activating a companion is part of it. It also could be a glitch (bug).

      1. Hi Pauli,

        I had to do a double take to see if he really did not have a Companion, and how I wish I had taken a screenshot of that guy with no Companion. He was level 60-something if I’m not mistaken, most certainly level XX. Unless he did not want a Companion from the start, and refused to open any crates…that’s the only explanation I can think of. Maybe he wanted to go gung ho and advance all the way minus any Companions? 🙂

        We were playing a Green tournament….

    1. lilbabbit.

      I believe these are only available from the golden crate which means they cannot be won in any of the tournaments. You will have to pay real money and buy the golden crate to get these.

      1. What is the trick to journey lvl 47?
        I have played this many ways.

        “After a wild changes the color, change the color back using another wild”

        Ross

        1. Rdub,

          I remember being very frustrated playing this level, thinking I had satisfied the goal but not being able to advance. In order to reach the goal, I believe the player immediately before you must play the wild card (not a Draw 4), there can be other player between you, and you must play a wild card (not a Draw 4). Playing a Draw 2 or Skip that changes the color does not satisfy this, and if you are not the immediate next player, changing the color back won’t meet the goal either even if the player before you draws a card and does not play or plays a card in the new color. You would still have to place at least 3rd to advance to the next level.

  11. 1) How many wooden crate tournament can I win? I start to receive “?” and some tokens after winning the wooden crate tournament. Does it mean that no more companion from wooden crate?

    2) How do I get the red lizard?

    3) what does a streak do?

    4) what is multiplier?

    Thank you for enlightening😃🌻🙏

    1. @ Jonathan

      Let me help answer your questions.

      1) You can win as many wooden crate tournaments as you prefer. There are 6 companions in the wooden crate. So in theory you can win the wooden crate tournaments 60 times to level all the companions to full. After that, you will not get any more companions from winning them, just tokens. The same applies to all the other crate tournaments.

      2) Red frog (not lizard) is found in the titanium crates. You have to win the titanium tournaments to get a chance to find the red frog. Since there are 7 companions here, finding the red frog is a matter of luck at first, unless you win so many titanium tournaments that the app has no choice but to give you the red frog. 🙂 Of course, in theory you can win titanium tournaments 70 times and not only get the red frog, but level it up to full.

      3) Streaks improve your rewards from winning each new game. If you keep winning games in a row, your rewards per win snowballs higher and higher. You get more points, coins and tokens.

      4) Multiplier is like if you keep winning in a row, your multiplier goes up and up, like X3….it means you get 3 times more points and coins than you would get from winning just one game. The maximum multiplier is X10.

  12. Hello!
    I’d like to congratulate you for making this exhaustive post.
    I have all the companions (and so do with the Unocorns)at their maximum level (except for exclusive ones). Some days ago I got a Golden Crate (yes, i achieved level 200, thanks daily tournaments!) and it gave me the Platypus and a Shiny Golden Retriver.
    Now my question is: is it possible to win a shiny Unocorn or even a shiny White Tiger from the golden crate?
    Again thanks for sharing all this info!

    1. TheDarkSide,

      As long as you have not obtained Ultimate Ability (level 10) you can buy the Golden Crate and get any of a Shiny Companions (also the “Exclusive” Companions such as the Sea Otter, Sloth and Platypus). Once a companion is a level 10 Ultimate Ability, it cannot become a Shiny Companion (or a Royal Companion). For instance, you have a level 0-9 White Tiger Cub, and you buy a Golden Crate (which contains ALL companions other than UNO-corns), and you get a Shiny White Tiger Cub. It doesn’t matter whether you win or buy other White Tiger Cubs, all of them will be Shiny. This also applies to “Royal” companions which don’t give you anything extra but are “royal” purple. Shiny and Royal companions have to be bought from the Gold Crate, and yes, you can have a Royal companion that is Shiny.

      Are you as angry as I am that it now costs 35 tokens to continue your win streak rather than 5000 coins when your win streak is some number over 100? I noticed that most of those high up in the leader board standings have gone to 0 win streaks. For instance, the guy holding the #1 position for the Master Leagues gave up a nearly 10,000 win streak.

      I will play tournaments and will pay the 35 tokens to continue my 2400 win streak, but no more than 6 times per day (more if I am on a roll and winning tournaments), but I don’t play nearly as much. I can’t imagine a noob getting hooked on the game. The new Tiki Journey Goals weren’t nearly as terrible as the Arctic Journey (damning with faint praise) but the Mines totally suck. It will take me 3 or more weeks to finish since I refuse to deplete my tokens and have to pay real cash. I am stuck at “play 5 red cards of the same value” (tournament). Really? What were they thinking??? I love tournaments and make it to the final round 80% of the time, but this goal is 98% luck of the draw and 2% skill.

    1. Megan,

      I know you all companions other than the UNO-corns can be purchased if you buy the Golden Crate. I believe the White Tiger (there isn’t a snow leopard companion) may be won in the Titanium Tournament.

    1. Licky,

      Review the section on Companions. If you are playing any game other than Team Uno, your Companion “activates” when something happens such as drawing a certain card, playing a certain card, having another player play a certain card, etc. For instance, if you have Sea Horse, if you have the Rabbit as your companion and an opponent plays a “0,” his exiting hand is revealed. If yuo have the yellow UNO-corn, if an opponent plays a yellow even numbered card, a random opponent draws a card.

  13. Level 79, PLEASE HELP! It say “play a skip followed by a draw 4”. If someone make me draw 4 I can’t skip, because it’s not a tournameant. I threw a skip after someone made the person behind me draw, it didn’t work. I threw a draw, then a skip after, it didn’t work. I just don’t get it. I also came in 1st place, sooo that wasn’t the problem. Please respond asap!

    1. Danielle,

      In order to complete the goal, you must play a skip card immediately followed by a Draw 4. If you play a skip and play any card other than a Draw 4 on your next turn, you do not meet the goal. If you play a skip and then draw a card before playing a Draw 4 you already have, you do not meet the goal. Playing a Draw 4 in the prior turn then playing the skip does not meet the goal. Note that if your companion is the Red Frog, and you have a playable skip and a Draw 4 in your hand, you could actually play the skip first and immediately play the Draw 4 since the Red Frog’s power lets you play another card in the same turn, and the goal would be accomplished.

  14. I’ve been playing uno for three years now and I have yet to get the exclusive tournament unlock for me to play and I play everyday….I’m not understanding. I kind play this faithfully

  15. Patrick,

    I don’t know what House you are in, but Yellow and Blue Houses seem to get the short end.. For a long time, Green House seemed to always win and get the tournament, and after several complaints, Gameloft seemed to assign more players to Red House. For 2 or 3 months Red seemed to win and get access to the tournament. For the last several weeks, Green House has won. I am in Green House, and while I have had access to play this tournament, I generally don’t since other than getting the crown, it isn’t worth having to play Bots and the risk of not getting additional tokens unless you win the tournament.

    1. Thanks for replying, yeah your right I do want the crown; I’m blue house and is there no way you can switch houses? And as of right now it looks like blue house is full or winning and 1D 2h 40mins remain until it’s over or starts over. I might not know how this actually work since I never get the tournament. Do I have to wait 1D 2h 39mins from now lol or what? Cause I’ve been at this for awhile

  16. Patrick,

    Gameloft assigns the houses, and there is no way for the player to do this. I have heard from a couple of people that their houses mysteriously changed.

    The timer simply tells you how long the current competition to win access to the tournament lasts. Depending on your time zone, you will get a pop up congratulating you on being part of the winning house Friday evening with a link to the tournament. You must achieve all house goals to get the invitation. The tournament is available for 2 days.

    1. Erika,

      In order to level up a companion, you either have to win it again when you play and win a companion tournament, buy a companion crate (real money) or click the daily login for 15 consecutive days (a companion crate is normally the final reward). Each Uno Journey also contains at least one level with a reward of a crate with a companion when you meet the goal and earn three stars.

    1. As nearly as I can remember, the white tiger can be won in the Titanium tournament. I know that it is one of the companions you might get if you buy a Golden crate.

    1. Michelle,

      The Ultimate Ability ability for the Giant Stilt is if you hold a numbered blue card, you draw one less card if a Draw Four is played against you.

  17. Hi

    I played against an opponent with Dragon companion on my opposite side of the table. I noticed when I placed a red draw two card. The Dragon’s ultimate ability got triggered. Ad the companion rose up and roared. Evey one on the table had to draw two cards (except for the dragon owner). Although I don’t have a screenshot or video to prove it. it is still nice to watch out for the opponents holding Lv.10 Dragon.

    1. Adeeb,

      I have the Dragon at Level 10, and it’s Ultimate Ability is when holding 3 or more cards and another companion’s ability forces you to draw, that person receives a random card from your hand. I wonder what companions you and the other 2 players were using. Dander, the reindeer’s special power is that if you draw a Red Special Card, all others draw a card, so if the opponent you played the red Draw 2 on drew a Red Special Card, it might have started a chain reaction.

  18. How do I get the ability to deflect a draw 4 to the player that threw it out? I thought it was a companion ability but after having it happen so many times I have noticed that opponents have different companions and not just a certain one and that it even happens when so!e of them are newbies.

    1. Brandy,

      If the you have the Mirror boost, the opponent who played the Draw 4 on you will draw 4 cards if you draw, and 6 cards if you challenge and fail.

      Pauli L.

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