In Nimble Quest, you kill monsters and you pick up gems. Each hero has a progress bar underneath them that shows how far they are from the next upgrade (star). I tried to figure out exactly how this progress is calculated by comparing different numbers (gems, kills) before and after a game. The change in 'experience' appeared to be close to the number of gems I picked up, but not exactly equal. So how is this progress calculated?

Is it based only on these two factors (gems and kills), or only one of them, or does it involve other factors, such as what level you get to (do higher levels give you more experience per monster as well as more monsters in the level overall), how many max/current heroes you have, or even which character you are using (do all heroes progress at the same rate)?

A source from Nimblebit (the developers) would be ideal.

Edit: Although an answer has been posted saying that killing monsters does not contribute to hero progess, I decided to leave in the relevant paragraph as it lists a number of possibilities.

  • I've looked around for some pictures and I see it now as well. I'll try and look this evening to see what the status of my bars is. That would actually save a lot of time since the 2th stars already cost so much gems. In that case: good question! Haha. – Joetjah May 8 '13 at 10:07

1 kill == 2 gems worth of upgrade progress


For a new hero, it costs 1000 gems to purchase an upgrade from level 1 to 2. Playing this champion for the first time and getting 100 kills will reduce this cost to 800.

This is easily testable:

  • Pick a hero that isn't level 3 yet.

  • Tap the upgrade button to see how many gems it will cost to upgrade to the next level; Write this number down.

  • Start a game with this hero, kill exactly one monster, do not collect any gems, and run into the wall to die.

  • Check the gem cost for an upgrade, and find that it's now 2 gems lower than the number you wrote down.

You can repeat the experiment and die as soon as you collect a single gem; You will find that the upgrade cost has only been changed by 2 times the number of kills.


I played a quick game through to Forest 2, killed a bunch of things, then suicided. Here's my kill and gem sums for the play-through:

Starting upgrade cost (lvl2-lvl3): 36754 gems

  • Forest 1 - 15 kills, 152 gems
  • Graveyard 1 - 45 kills, 365 gems
  • Sewer 1 - 90 kills, 641 gems
  • Courtyard 1 - 150 kills, 1064 gems
  • Castle 1 - 225 kills, 1424 gems
  • Dungeon 1 - 315 kills, 1697 gems
  • The Depths 1 - 420 kills, 2178 gems
  • Forest 2 - 449 kills, 2210 gems

Ending upgrade cost: 35856 gems

Note that 36754-35856 = 898, and 898/2 = 449 kills.

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  • What about the gems you pick up? They count for 1 gem's worth of progress, presumably? So 1 kill + 1 gem picked up = 3 progress? – Alex May 8 '13 at 10:56
  • And is it the same for every level? – Joetjah May 8 '13 at 11:17
  • The gems are just currency when picked up, they don't directly affect your progress. You have to save them up and then spend them in a lump sum to buy upgrades. – Curtis Tasker May 8 '13 at 17:32
  • Yes, its the same for every level. Test it by checking your upgrade costs before and after a game, and you'll find your upgrade costs have decreased by exactly 2 times the number of kills you got in the game. – Curtis Tasker May 8 '13 at 19:33
  • Tested this tonight, it's correct. Gems go towards your 'pot' and kills give your character experience – Alex May 11 '13 at 22:43

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