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I find that I miss a lot of power-up spawns on blind turns where I am not fast enough to react to jump and get them. I realize their spawns are random, but are they completely random? Should I look for them every 100 m, every 250 m, or triggered my score levels or something else?

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I've wondered this also. My guess is that the power-up type is generated randomly but at predefined times or distances. I've never encountered two power-ups within 250 m of each other. –  nbogard Feb 17 '13 at 8:59
    
I just played a quick 3 rounds collecting two power-ups in each round. I hit the first at about 550 m and the second at about 1300 m for all rounds. Note that this was on an account with one Pickup Spawn upgrade (10% increase in frequency). –  nbogard Feb 17 '13 at 9:03
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2 Answers

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By how I've played, you usually get one during 500-650m and the second one is at 1000-1200m. Even further, you get into a mine, soon after you get out, there will soon be another power up. This is about how far I have gotten.I hope to get even further to find more power ups to improve this answer even farther.

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Yes, the first two are consistently at those distances. And there is always a power up just outside of mine exits. –  nbogard Mar 1 '13 at 0:44
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Power-ups appear fairly consistently - once you've gone 600 meters (without any frequency upgrades) without a powerup, one should appear. Failing to collect the power-up doesn't seem to affect the distance that the next one appears.

Power-ups can't appear above rope slides or during mine cart sections, but the distance traveled on those counts towards distance without a power-up and if you've reached the required distance in one of those areas the power-up should appear at the exit.

Gems and treasures always replace a power-up.

When using boost as your active power and power-up frequency are both fully leveled by coins: I find the best strategy is to only manually activate boost within a short window after the power-up spawn. Otherwise, you are likely to be boosting at the next power-up, making it extremely hard to collect.

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