Angry Birds, Rovio's bird-catapulting physics puzzler, has broken more records than flimsy wooden houses in becoming the iPhone’s best-selling app of all time.

Something about the visceral, primal thrill of hurling disgruntled birds at houseproud pigs has struck a chord with the iOS audience, and we waste some 200 million minutes a day playing it.

But it's definitely not easy, and it's full of secrets you might not be aware of. We decided to throw together this Angry Birds walkthrough guide, which covers everything from basic tips to secret goodies, to help you get the most out of Angry Birds.

The Basics

Angry Birds depicts the life-long struggle of bird-versus-pig, and its your job to catapult these kamikaze birds into the pig's towers, knocking down their houses and defeating the green swines inside.

High score

Simply killing all the birds will unlock the next level, but if you want to get the maximum three stars on each stage, you'll need to aim for some high scores.

The key to getting a high score in Angry Birds is a mixture of deadly efficiency (unused birds net you an automatic 10,000 points each) and unrelenting damage (smashed objects give off small, but quickly accumulated points).

You'll often need to use both strategies at once, though: simply using a very small number of birds might not get all three stars if you didn't make much damage.

Get physical

The iPhone packs a powerful processor that's more than capable of pumping out a pretty convincing simulation of physics. That means that offsetting balance and attacking weak points is always a more effective strategy than blindly firing at the main reinforced walls.

Plus, some materials are sturdier than others. It's no use fruitlessly bashing away at a stone wall (especially because it takes about three direct hits to finally smash one) when you could focus on the easily destructible wooden platform that's holding it up.

Assorted tips

Pinch and zoom to see the entire battlefield on one screen, so you can quickly see how far away your catapult is from the pig's base.

Every bird leaves a trail of dust behind, meaning you can replicate (or slightly deviate from) previous throws without the tedious guesswork.

You don't always have to attack from left to right: if you aim the bird high enough you can attack from above. Perfect for levels with fortified walls, but exposed roofs.

Wait until your previous bird disappears. If you hit your last bird's dazed body, your attack will be significantly dampened.

The Birds

Unlocked: From beginning

Plain old projectile birds. Won't do anything when tapped, and isn't very tough either.

Unlocked: World 1, Level 10
Achievement: Split it! (10 points)

Scattershot birds dissipate into three small projectiles when the screen is tapped.

Think of these little guys like a shotgun. You can make a scattershot early to hit a good range of targets, but ideally you want to release these fellows close to the target so all three birds will smash into a small area at once. That's how you inflict the most damage.

Unlocked: World 1, Level 16
Achievement: Speed is the Essence (10 points)

Kamikaze birds rocket at super speeds when the screen is tapped.

Despite their greatly increased velocity, they still won't do much damage to materials like stone and glass. They rip through wood like it's wet paper, though, allowing you to quickly attack enemies buried deep within a structure.

Unlocked: World 2, Level 5
Achievement: Boom Boom! (10 points)

These are caustic birds that explode to create shockwaves and destroy close blocks and birds. They blow up in their own time, but if you tap you can explode them instantly.

Remember, these guys are so heavy that they'll destroy even a large chunk of stone in just one hit.

Unlocked: World 2, Level 14
Achievement: Mother of all Bombs (10 points)

Egg-dropping maternal birds. Tap the screen to launch an explosive egg from your backside, before firing your now deflated friend into the stratosphere. Get as low to the target as possible for maximum splash damage.

Don't forget: these enemies can still be used as classic red-styled birds if you don't tap. Useful if you just need a boring old projectile.

Unlocked: World 6, Level 5
Achievement: Return to Sender (10 points)

Boomerang birds turn around and fly backwards at roughly double the speed when the screen is tapped. Learning their trajectory is just a matter of patience and experience. In the right hands, though, these exotic toucans can be deadly accurate, and very powerful.

You can fire them backwards, and then quickly tap the screen to make a fast-flying bird. You'll be hard pressed to make efficient hits in this way, but it's a useful trick to keep under your belt.

Big Brother
Unlocked: World 9, Level 1
Achievement: Seeing Red (10 points)

At the time of writing, the Big Brother bird is the game’s final poultry-type, offering up enormous power. This pot bellied evolution of the classic red starter rips through wood and glass like butter, and can take out concrete without too much bother either.

He has the destructive power of the black bomb bird, just without the explosive finale. His giant size makes it tough to squeeze into tight corners, but he can wipe out entire structures just by wiping out the bottom foundations.

There’s little strategy found here: just let him loose and watch materials smash and pigs pop!

Unlocked: World 18, Level 1
Achievement: None


This new bird was actually introduced in Angry Birds Seasons, but has since made his way to the original game. He looks like a scrawny little chap when he's sat in the catapult, but one tap of the screen unleashes his true power.

He puffs up like a self-inflating dinghy, forcibly pushing aside blocks and pigs alike. He's a little like the bomb bird but smaller (perfect for entering tight spaces) and his power is more destructive than explosive.

Look for tight openings and fire the Orange Bird right in. When he puffs up you'll dislodge the foundations, making anything above tumble to the ground.

Power Ups

In August 2012, Rovio added a selection of consumable power-ups that make it easier to beat those nuisance piggies.

You'll get five of each power-up for free when you first load the updated game. You'll also get a chance to win a free power-up, every day, with the slot machine. But if you want more, you'll need to grab your wallet.

You can buy individual power-ups or get the ultimate combo packs to get a selection of helpful items in one go. The prices are as follows:

Individual power-ups
Ultimate Combo Pack
10 power-ups - 69p 20 power-ups - £1.49
30 power-ups - £1.49 60 power-ups - £2.49
80 power-ups - £2.99 240 power-ups - £6.99
180 power-ups - £6.99 500 power-ups - £13.99

Here's how to use each one:

Tapping this button causes the entire level to shake, which can dislodge the pigs' house and knock piggies to their doom. It doesn't do much at the start of the level because of the relative sturdiness of the houses.

Wait until you've smashed up the stage a bit and then if you have a few pigs left over in precarious situations, hit the Birdquake button to finish them off.

Sling Scope
Sling Scope
When you tap this button, a red laser beam will appear when you pull back your bird. This will show you exactly where the bird will hit the tower.

This is very handy if you need to dislodge a very specific piece of the scenery, or if you've got one pig left but it's in an awkward position. Remember that when you activate the Scope, it will be applied to all birds in the level.

Super Seeds
Super Seeds
Click this button and the bird that's currently sitting in the catapult will bulk up - making it bigger and more powerful. It only affects the current bird.

If you're using a blue bird, then all three birds that split off will be supersized. Same goes for the white bird: when it has munched on Super Seeds, its explosive egg will be bigger.

King Sling
King Sling
This replaces the tired old wooden catapult with a hardy metal-slingshot. With this upgraded bird flinger, you'll be able to send birds farther and with more power.

This sticks around for the whole stage, so every bird on the level will get more power. Therefore, use it at the start of the level. You can also use it alongside other power-ups, like Super Seeds and Sling Scope.

Video Guides

Developer Rovio and some ardent Angry Birds fanatics have posted videos of every level, showing off the best strategies to beat the stages.

If you’re stuck on a particularly tough stage; don’t waste your cash on the Mighty Eagle, just watch the pros in action.

Click here to find Pocket Gamer's collection of video strategies for Angry Birds.

In Angry Birds's 1.2.1 update, Rovio introduced the golden eggs - a collection of hidden Easter eggs designed for the most fanatical supporters of this app.

You're expected to hunt high and low for the golden eggs, but we'll save you the effort with this handy step-by-step guide.

Click here to find Pocket Gamer's complete guide to finding every golden egg in Angry Birds, on part 1 and part 2.

Now that you know how to beat Angry Birds, why not take a look at the Angry Birds Seasons-based companion to this feature: How to kill pigs all year round: Angry Birds Seasons tips, tricks, and golden eggs.

Pocket Gamer's Guide to Angry Birds

Basic Tips - Video Strategies - Golden Eggs (Page 1) - Golden Eggs (Page 2) Other Angry Birds Guides: angry-birds-icon-vanilla angry-birds-icon-seasons angry-birds-icon-rio