If you plan to spend money on the game, you will want to be efficient about what purchases you make to maximize the cost/benefit.
There are 3 types of gems in the game:
- Paid (only acquired via spending money)
- Free (gems acquired via spending money which are not classified as paid)
- Shared Free Gems (gems acquired from within the game and not from spending)
Paid and Free gems are only accessible on the platform they were purchased (i.e. iOS, Google Play, Amazon). Shared free gems can be used from any platform.
Some banners and special shops in game only take paid gems as currency, so it's important when purchasing gems to be aware of the balance of free and paid gems provided by the purchase.
High Efficiency Spending
If you want to spend only small amounts on the game or at least focus first on the high efficiency purchases, the most efficient purchase is the Premium Subscription Bundle, which is $8.99. This gives a total of 4,800 free gems over 30 days (weighted towards the later part of the 30 days) and 490 paid gems, in addition to event skip tickets (533.3 free and 54.4 paid gems per $1). If you want to spend a bit of additional money, or want a slightly cheaper and slightly less efficient bundle, you can also/instead buy the Alchemist Pact, which is $5.99. This gives a total of 3,000 free gems over 30 days and 300 paid gems, in addition to skip tickets (500 free and 50 paid gems per $1).
If you also want to add a small additional purchase on top of this, once a month you can purchase the Pouch of Gems for $0.99. This gives 250 gems (50 of which are paid gems). If you purchase it again this is only 50 gems, but the bonus gems reset usually twice a month.
There is also a one time purchase available of the Level Up Pack which is cost efficient. It gives 10,500 free gems for $5.99. The gems are given via milestones as you reach various levels- if you have already reached player level 100 you will get all the gems immediately.
For higher spenders (primarily newer players) that are interested in acquiring useful selectors, it may be worth looking at the Progression Bundles. These are one time purchases that don't include gems, but do include some selectors that can be useful. In particular the memento selector from the level 40 bundle can be of significant value. You must purchase these bundles in order.
Most other bundles that don't include gems are not a good value, although there are exceptions.
High Spending/Whaling Tips
In general if you are a larger spender ($100 or more at a time) then switching to the Amazon app version of The Alchemist Code would benefit your spending greatly, allowing you to save up to 25% at a time. Amazon app version uses a currency called Amazon coins, which can be purchased either in game or through the Amazon store.
While the coins can be purchased within the game itself when selecting gem bundles, it is not recommended to do so. Doing it in this fashion gives no discounts as you purchase the exact amount needed and some games will charge tax for this method of transaction, ultimately costing more. However if you buy via Amazon, you can save anywhere from 8 to 25% based on how large the bundle you buy is. Naturally the larger the bundle the greater the savings. So buying coins then spending them within the app is the best approach.
When buying in the game, it is now done via coins, where 1 coin = 1 penny. You can set your purchase settings in game to require passwords each time if you need to control yourself or prevent others from pressing it easily.
If you have the Google or iOS version already on one device and do not want to uninstall and reinstall, then on another device you can install the Amazon version, or even on an emulator and use that as your spending source while mainly playing via the Google or iOS versions. Note that for this you will need to bind your account either with the new Data Link method or Facebook so that no data is lost. You can log into any version of any device you have, however the account can only be logged into one at a time.
Note: This may not work in some countries (such as Australia) without using a VPN due to purchase limits from local Amazon stores.
Getting the Amazon App Version
First make sure you have your account data linked (assuming you have already created one, if you are a new user this doesn't apply to you). Next using either your device's browser or app store, download the Amazon app store. Log in using your Amazon account and search for The Alchemist Code and download the most recent version. If you do not log in the game has no way to associate your purchased coins with your version of the game. After that launch the game like normal and download all your data if you had another version before.
Updating Amazon Version
There is a slight annoyance with this, as each time an update rolls around, unless the Amazon store app has logged you out for it's own updates or you logged out at some point, even in your App Updates tab, you will not see the game, leaving you unable to launch.
If the Amazon app store updated, generally then it should appear as it would have logged you out.
Log out on the Amazon app store, then log back in check the Apps>Updates section and it should now appear, perhaps needing a refresh (pull down on phones).
Purchasing Gems Via Reward Programs
In addition or instead of spending money, you can purchase gems using the Amazon app version if you participate in reward programs which give Amazon gift cards, and then use those to buy gems. One option is the Microsoft Rewards program available from Bing.com. The Amazon App Store also gives daily login rewards in Amazon coins. There are also surveys available via the Google Rewards app, which can earn Google Play Store credits that you can use to purchase gems.
There is also a Free Gems system available in the game now, run by Tapjoy. A lot of the items in the free gems system are contingent on buying things or are scammy in some way (and may not reliably pay out), but the ones that involve just watching a video or downloading and running an app usually work.