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Guide: The In-App Purchases of Six-Guns on Windows Phone 8

Gameloft’s latest Xbox Windows Phone release Six-Guns is a free to play game. Of course it must be monetized somehow – in this case via In-App Purchases (IAPs). Six-Guns actually offers a wider variety of things to buy than many free games, which can be confusing (or off-putting) to new players.

We’ve spent ample time with the game as we prepare for our upcoming review. And we’ve also spent a little cash in order to put those IAPs through their paces. Read on to learn how to which premium purchases might be worth your coin, plus some encouraging news about cloud saves.

Gold

Six-Guns’ soft currency is gold, meaning players can earn large quantities of it through normal gameplay or grinding. Completing missions and killing enemies during missions get you gold. Missions are repeatable, so while they start with modest payouts, eventually you’ll earn up to 1,000 gold for completing them.

Gold can be spent on several things:

  • Guns: Dragon Revolver, Double-barrel Shotgun (3500), Revolver Sniper Rifle (5000), Dual Guns (8500), Longshot Repeater 1887, Assault Pump Shotgun (25000), Tesla Gun (35000), Impaler (65000), Witch Impaler (150000), Flak Cannon (150000), Demon Thrower (150000), Doom Bringers (450000), Gatling Annihilator (500000)
  • Clothing: Outlaw set, Mexican set, Gunner set (22500), Hunter set (71000), Witch Hunter set (partial - 28000), Machinist set (partial - 36000), Gunslinger set (partial - 46000)
  • Horses: Florida Cracker Horse (350), Morgan Horse (3500), Spanish Mustang (9500), Black Steam Horse (50000), Quarter Horse (65000)
  • Ammo: Gun Ammo, Rifle Ammo, Sniper Ammo, Shotgun Ammo, Werewolf Slayer Ammo, Railgun Ammo, Tesla Gun Ammo, Demon Disks, Cannon Gun Ammo, Gasoline, Bugs, Defiler Ammo
  • Saddle Bag Upgrades: Single slot, 10 slots

One of the first things you’ll want to buy is a Saddle bag upgrade. Otherwise, you’ll have a tough time carrying around ammo and especially collectibles. The first bag upgrade isn’t too expensive, but each subsequent slot goes up in price.

You’ll start to earn gold at a decent rate once you reach the higher mission levels. But if you’d rather not wait, buying some gold via IAP and getting the 10 slot Bag upgrade can make things much more comfortable early on. The $9.99 purchase of 33,000 coins will cover 10 slots if you haven’t bought too many slots already.

Note that the $19.99 ‘Chest Full of Coins’ purchase appears to be broken. Hopefully Gameloft will fix it in an update.

Stars

Sheriff's Stars are the hard or premium currency, meaning they mostly need to be bought via IAP. Players earn one medal every time they level up. On very rare occasions, quantities of 1-3 medals can be won for free in the daily lottery.

Stars can be spent on:

  • Guns: Lawmaker Revolver (15), Lee Navy Bolt-Action (20), Sawed-off Shotgun (25), Railgun (35), Sniper Gun (35), Cannon Gun (45), Eagle-Eye Sniper Rifle (50), Triple-Barrel Terror (55), Hand Cannon (75), Scythe (120), Crucifixator (285), Flamethrower (300),Werewolf Slayer (400), Defiler (450)
  • Clothing: Business set, Duelist set (44), Sheriff set (110), Rogue set (130), Witch Hunter set (partial - 55), Machinist set (partial - 85), Gunslinger set (partial - 89)
  • Horses: American Warmblood (3), Appaloosa Horse (10), Standardbred Trotter (25), Mechanical Horse (150)
  • Healing items: Healing Elixir (1), Great Health (2), Panacea (3),
  • Ammo: Fire Stakes (1), Flak Cannon Ammo (1)
  • Lottery: Bronze Bullet Chest (5), Silver Bullet Chest (10), Gold Bullet Chest (20)
  • Gun upgrades: Any gun can be fully upgraded instantly with medals. Some individual gun upgrades also cost medals.
  • Skip Missions: if you’re having trouble with a mission, you can pay 5 medals to skip it. Be careful not to skip missions by mistake!
  • Respawn: During a mission (or even multiplayer matches), you can pay medals to respawn.

Obviously some of the things that cost stars are a big waste – namely respawns and healing items. I also recommend against skipping missions. You’re better off coming back to a mission later on, after you’ve leveled up or bought better equipment.

Gun upgrades are a tempting way to spend stars, but only do so if you’re using one of the most expensive guns in the game. You don’t want to burn stars on a gun that you’ll outgrow in time.

Playing the Lottery can actually be a fair use of stars. The Gold Bullet Chest only pays out premium items, with the Swarm Gun being the best reward. The Bronze Bullet Chest offers a Sniper Gun (35 star value) and the Silver Bullet Chest offers the Submachine Gun and Scythe (120 star value).

Before you spend stars on a premium item, consider…

Item Packs

Clothing, weapons, and horses are also available as themed packs. These packs cost dollar amounts rather than stars, and they can be a better value than buying items separately. You’ll find the Packs under the chest icon in the Shop.

  • Starter Pack ($4.99): Dual Guns, Revolver Sniper Rifle, Florida Cracker Horse, Outlaw set
  • Bandit Pack ($8.99): Longshot Repeater 1887, Appaloosa Horse, Mexican set
  • Browncoat Pack ($14.99): Assault Pump Shotgun, Spanish Mustang, Gunner set
  • West Legend Pack ($29.99): Railgun, English Bloodhorse, Hunter set
  • Law-Enforcement Pack ($44.99): Impaler, Mechanical Horse, Sheriff set
  • Witch Hunter Pack ($64.99): Witch Impaler, Witch Hunter set
  • Machinist Pack ($69.99): Flamethrower, Black Steam Horse, Machinist set
  • Overkill Pack ($99.99): Includes the contents of all other packs.

The Starter pack is actually a pretty good value when you’re first starting out since it comes with two different weapons. The guns alone would cost $4.99 worth of gold, so the cheap horse and outfit act as a bonus.

As for the high dollar packs, I expect the only people who will purchase those are seeking an unfair advantage in multiplayer. They’d also provide a huge leg up in single-player, but most users will get by fine without them.

Experience

Leveling up has two advantages: it can unlock new items for purchase in the shop, and players gain 5 health per level. You can gain XP towards leveling up by killing enemies and completing missions, just like gold. But if you’re in a hurry, buying an XP pack will cut down on the grind. If the XP purchased causes you to pass a level that has an Achievement, you’ll unlock that Achievement right after purchase.

Health Boosts

Okay, so leveling up increases your health. But you can also buy permanent health increases on top of that. The extra health will make single-player missions that much easier to survive. It also brings a multiplayer advantage since you’ll be able to take more hits.

Of all the IAPs in Six-Guns, the health boosts could possibly be the best value. A $4.99 purchase gives you the equivalent of four levels’ worth of health, while the $9.99 purchase provides 12 levels’ worth. Buying gold just cuts down on grinding time, but the extra health from a boost will go above and beyond the health you could otherwise earn.

 Cloud saves and cross-platform features

Let’s face it, “whales” – players who enjoy spending money on IAPs are the ones who’ll be doing the most spending in Six-Guns. But anybody who really enjoys the game and wants to show Gameloft some love might find value in some of the more affordable IAPs.

Of course, when making an IAP in any game you’ll want to consider the permanence of that purchase. Many Windows Phone games don’t provide users with any way to back up their save files, so changing devices or uninstalling the game could result in a permanent loss of purchased content.

Thankfully Six-Guns uses cloud saving! If you ever need to reinstall the game (as I did), you’ll be prompted about using the existing cloud save. This could also prove quite useful when the Windows 8 version of Six-Guns comes along. Presumably, both versions will share the same cloud save data. So any purchase made in the Windows Phone game will likely extend to the tablet and PC version as well.

That’s it for our IAP discussion. Come back on Wednesday for our full review!

  • Six-Guns – Windows Phone 8, including 512MB devices – 436 MB – Free – Store Link

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

71 Comments
  • Very expensive in-game purchases, and the multiplayer game lags as hell. Can barely finish a match after getting disconnected from 10 matches.
  • Hey thanks Paul, that looks very helpful! Didn't know about cloud saves, awesome like asphalt tracker good job Gameloft.
  • Nice guide but I wouldn't buy anything until they fix the game. My level 16 character and all my progress was lost and Gameloft has yet to even respond to my email. The same thing happened in Uno on level 56 and Gameloft was no help. So I wouldn't spend any real money on any Gameloft game unless you're willing to lose it.
  • Why don't you try reinstalling the game and see if it finds your character on the cloud?
  • Thanks I will try that when I get some free space. Had to make room for Sims.
  • I want to buy something but I change my credit card. However the game force me to buy it with the old card. It doesn't have the add or switch credit cards. I can not change to my new card when the old card is still in the game. The old card is out of date. So how can I spend money to buy things? I have money, have new card but I can not add it to buyPleasePleasePlease
    Please
  • Are you sure you're not a bot? To change the credit card on your account, go to xbox.com.
  • What do you mean by "find the character on the cloud" my characters progress was DELETED this game is a waste of valuable time! The developers will never fix the game because they just want the cash people will spend to get their stuff back! 
  • <p>I agree. I also lost all game progress and NO respond from Gameloft WHATSOEVER!</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
  • How much space needed for the game to install?
  • After installation, the game takes up 850MB of space. and also while installing there must be 1GB of free space in the Internal memory.
  • I had a bit over 2 GB of free space and it still wouldn't let me install :(
     
    I ended up having to remove everything except the Sims and then installing my games in order of descending size.
  • Ya. IF you are downloading it from the market it directly from the market then that much space is required. I installed it form SD card hence that extra space which the download file of 400MB+ would have occupied, was saved.
  • Thanks Paul. I've been trying to get myself to play this game, but I just can't. Maybe on a tablet or a PC, but not on a 4.5" screen. Along those same lines, while I think your guide is awesome and would certainly try to grind to your suggestions if/when I get around to the game, $10 to buy something for a free mobile game? There's a reason portable console games (Gameboy, Gamegear, etc) always cost less than their console counterparts.
     
    It comes down to this (for me at least) - If I have to pay more that I think the game is worth in IAP, what's the point?
  • I get the appeal of the freemium model to developers, but one of the things that really irks me is how the pricing of some of it is really out of whack with reality. This game has $99.99 IAPs? That outrageous! Sure, every developer is free to charge what they want and who knows if anyone even buys that, but something about it just seems insulting. In this case too where it sounds like you're paying money to get an advantage over other players in multi-player... seems kinda shady IMO.
     
    In terms of value, Grand Theft Auto V is coming out in 2 days. That's $60. Seems silly to think that a little phone game could possibly bring as much value as a major console title. Sure GTA will have add on's as well, but even those were $20.
     
    On my Kindle Fire, I noticed that Plants vs Zombies recently was updated to include new minigames (they were all available on the WP version, but were absent from the Android version). You could grind through the game and get them for free, but if you wanted to buy sun to unlock it, you could spend $4 and unlock pretty much anything in the game. Hate to say it but even EA seems to be much more reasonable in this case.
  • I agree it would be better if the prices were lower. But the existence of some crazy expensive items like the $100 bundle (which is actually a lot of items, not one expensive item) doesn't inherently make the game worse. The problem would be if you needed those things to complete or enjoy the game, which would be unreasonable. That said, the advantage that premium items provide in multiplayer is definitely imbalanced. I'll discuss that at length in my review.
  • Paul, please tell me that your Windows Phone glitches and there isn't an actual IAP worth $100
  • The Sims FreePlay has a few that go for that much. :-S
  • I'm having a good time with this game.  Put $5 in it so far.  It's worth that much for sure.  Don't think I'll do any more.
  • I've actually been waiting for your Six-Guns review so I could make this comment.
     
    I've been playing this game for the past week and while it's a pretty good game, the pricing for the IAP's are absolutely ridiculous. There is a an outfit that I want to purchase, the Sheriff's outfit, which costs 110 Stars. The only way for me to buy this outfit in it's entirety would be for me to purchase stars, since you can only earn 49 Stars at most (you get one star every time you level, and the level cap is 50). I wouldn't have a problem with that if it was priced reasonably, but I would have to spend $10 to have enough Stars to buy this one outfit, not including the stars I would get from leveling.
     
    Now, I've played other freemium games before, couple of MMO's, and have no problem supporting the developers when I enjoy the game and feel I'm getting relative value for what I'm spending.  If they had priced the outfit at $5, I would have made that purchase, but at $10 it's a no-go. Just to give an example of just how egregious the pricing is, the most expensive item is a gun (Defiler)  that costs 450 Stars, that one item would cost atleast $80 in Stars.
     
    So, instead of getting a couple of dollars coming their way from me and other users that feel the same, had they been more reasonable with pricing , they'll be getting zilch. It's a shame, cause I would like to support the game since I like what I've seen of it so far, but I'm not going to throw money at it just to do so and get nothing of value in return.
  • Made a mistake, the Sheriff's outfit would cost $20 worth of stars.
  • I admit that's a lot! And I know it's annoying when items are priced out of our comfort zones. But my question is, why not just ignore the things that are priced for whales and buy stuff that's actually kinda reasonable like Health boosts?
  • Because there's no need to buy health pack unless your LAZY! HUH? What?? Really!!  Read-on Don't ever buy an IAP for health it's not needed if you die on any mission you don't need health you either need better tatic on the lvl or better skills maybe better gun but that's it. to restore your health just go to menu & join muiltiplayer game real quick then back to single player & healths full again! I guess if your to lazy to do that then by all means waste you real money on a iap of health to pass a lvl but remember you can't buy skills!  P.S. people complaining about other stuff like stars etc.. just use the time trick to replenish the lottery item.
  • Oh no, I meant the permanent health upgrades. Not the little health bottles.
  • Still no need for it! by the time you go & do that your healths full again. It does auto replenish. Plus you can just do the time trick & play lottory over & over to get the clothes that would cover the added iap health with a defensive clothing set.
  • Well for me, the permanent health boosts are not really a "sexy" purchase. If I'm going to be spending money, I want it to be on something I can enjoy, like clothing or guns, extra health just doesn't do it for me. If I hit the level cap, and feel like I could use it, maybe then. But here's the thing, that's if I bother playing the game that long. The Sheriff's outfit would have been a purchase I made a week in, possibly followed by other purchases later on.
     
    And while I said I want to support the game, in the same breath, with the way things are ridiculously overpriced, I don't want to give Gameloft a dime. I want them to see that the pricing structure is so off that it's turning players away from making any purchases at all. They should realize that they are not operating in a vacuum, that when they price items that high, they're not only competing with mobile games but console and PC games as well.
     
    My question to you Paul is, for every whale that makes these IAPs at the current pricing, how many customers are not making IAPs but would have had they been a quarter of the price? If that number is more then 4, they're actually losing money.
  • That is a good question! And again, I would price everything lower if given the choice. I know what you mean.
  • Every piece of clothing can be won it the lottery! learn the time trick & there's no need ever to complain it's free! I have unlocked 4 full sets already from the lottery. not to mention a bunch of silver stars & cash..
  • I've done the lottery time trick 50+ times, the stars only came up 2-3 times, which I didn't win. I've mostly won ammo, a couple of pieces of clothing from the lower sets, and gold a couple times. The highest clothing set in the free lottery is the Business outfit I believe, unless they start offering better items as you level, but I doubt that.
  • Yeah, the business outfit does seem to be the highest level of clothing available in the free lottery.
  • I dont buy anything... I play a bit of it...and go back to my Xbox to play Red Dead Redemption that I got for 1200 MSP or so a few months ago on a big Rockstar sale.... IAP sux big time...ok. Thanks.
  • Love Red Dead rRedemption, I just hate Rockstar for keeping it a Console only game with absolutely no PC support.
     
  • Absolutely hate in-app purchases and I just flatly refuse to even try any game that decides to use them, even if the base game is "free".
    I would rather pay full price for a FULL game then be screwed around constantly by in-app purchases that can end up costing you tens or even hundreds of dollars for a stupid mobile game.
     
  • Wow, you're going to have a tough time with mobile games then. Free to play games are just where mobile games are going.
  • I guess I will be having a tough time with them too. I absolutely refuse to pay actual money for some stupid item in a game, especially a mobile game. It won't hurt my feelings though, I'd rather spend my money on things that I can actually use.
  • Disagree! 100% with Paul!! The only reason it's going this way is manipulation! It's all about the $$ nothing else! PERIOD! there's not even an argument! As long as there's suckers & kids with the hands on this stuff, they will continue to be scamed no matter how you look at it!! Lets be real here can you even name 5 gameloft games that can be completed 100% NO becasue there are none! It has nothing to do with the Game the user or anything else except how do we get more $$$.
    no different than how our government works here in the USA. Good Bad OK They don't care what you say what you do or how it's done as long as the $$ keeps coming!  There's no way in ______ Gameloft cares they have a bad ass game or not they have clearly made more money on games that are 1,000's times worse than this Awesome game! But But But IAP makes this game worthless.
    Still to this date Paul how many Gameloft updates have you seen on WP??  I think that about explains it! There really is nothing good or even nice to say about gameloft at all! Every great game is ruined by either IAP or No updates to there title's.
    I'd really like to know what's so great about them! Please entertain me!
  • Does free really matter that much to people? It's only a couple of dollars. This game shot right to the top on day one, even surpassed modern combat 4 in downloads and pretty much everything else. People are missing out on some good games if they refuse to pay out of spit or principle. I just don't get it.
  • I can see it now Madden 30 online only version "Free" on all platforms... Why free cause more people download free crap then we will give you 5 players to field a team. You have to buy the rest via IAP. now it should cost you $200.00 to field your team maybe someone else can do the same thing & you will finally be able to play a game!  Oh but wait you can't play a game yet because you still need a reff & a stadium to play in, sweet more IAP. Now your game starts but on the first play a player is injured now the game pauses till to make an IAP for another player to replace your IAP injured player. I may be dreaming but this is a great model for gaming I can't wait!!
  • I switched from iOS 1.5 year ago. I was at level 35 on my iPod. I got the .sav file on my computer. Is there any way to restore my progress?
  • No, unfortunately Xbox Live rules prevent cross-platform saves with non-Xbox platforms.
  • How does the cloud save works? Game started to crash on every quest. Reinstalled the game, now all my progress is gone.
  • For me, it detected my cloud save the first time I relaunched the game after reinstalling. I don't know what else you can try other than reinstalling again (and obviously, making sure you're online when you launch it). Hope you're able to get your progress back.
  • Cloud saving is a joke. You're progress is lost in the clouds now. And the developers couldn't give a shit either.
  • Thanks for the answer. It did to that eventually. But the save contained only my purchases and level. The story and everything else is starting from scratch. Is that correct? And how does this influnece the counters, for example kill 10000 enemies. This was deleted as well?
  • When it restored my save, I didn't lose anything at all - my inventory and quest completion were retained. I THINK it remembers the enemy kill count too. Glad you didn't lose everything, at least!
  • Nope did not. Actually i lost everything. Today i started it and everythyng was gone. Even my purchaces. And reinstalling did not helped. It did not detected anything. Shame i liked this one. 
  • PLEASE PAUL. I 'd beg you. PLease Paul. I reinstall game but the cloud save didn't appear so i lost money for nothing. I buy a lot of star. If you didn't made it. Who made this game? And who will help me?I need an answer or an explantion at least. I know you can help me. Please. Please. Please
  • You can tell who made the game by playing the game or reading the first sentence of this article. I'm sorry you're having trouble with the cloud saves, but your comments have always been weird and I'm not tech support. Good luck though.
  • Help me to buy it because I changed my credit card but the game force me to buy it with the old card that is out of date when I first played game. The game doesn't allow to change the payment to another card as other games. How can I buy it now? I have money and card. But you don't allow me to use another card when the old card is outdated. So you don't need money. Don't want to sell thing? How can I buy things now?Please
  • Dude, don't go posting the same question in every article. I answered your original comment.
  • I used to go Xbox.com. but I don't find where to change credit card. Help me. Please. I will be grateful. Thanks alot. Please
  • thanks alot . Now i try and i can change my creditcard now. OK. I will buy it. When i reset the game to the beg