What Are In-App Purchases?
In-app purchases are purchases made from within a mobile application. Users typically make an in-app purchase in order to access special content or features in an app such as power-ups, restricted levels, virtual money, special characters, boosts, etc. The purchasing process is completed directly from within the app and is seamless to the user in most cases, with the mobile platform provider facilitating the purchase and taking a share of the money spent (usually in the range of 30% or so), with the rest going to the app developer.
In the case of Clash of Clans, the only available in-app purchases are various quantities of green Gems, the premium currency within the game. Clash of Clans is free to download, but has an option for players to purchase Gems with real-world currency. This type of game is called a 'Freemium' game, as defined by the fact that the game is free to play, but premium items or content are also offered for purchase ('Freemium' being a portmanteau of 'Free' and 'Premium'). As it turns out, lots of people use real money playing Clash of Clans, as it is one of the top-grossing games on the Apple App Store.
Is It a Good Idea?
Many people use Gems to buy resources or finish upgrades. People who buy large quantities Gems and use them on upgrades (especially the Town Hall) are referred to as "gemmers" or "gem buyers". However, only upgrading the Town Hall isn't a good idea. "Gemming" your Town Hall will mean that you have less time and resources to upgrade the other buildings at each Town Hall level. Unless you continue "gemming" the buildings, it will come to a point where your resources will be extremely limited (collectors and mines are too low-level and raiding is not effective due to the loot penalty), causing the "gemmer" to be unable to upgrade the other buildings and forcing them to either continue "gemming" or give up the game. The latter would be considered quite a waste, so "gemmers" would most likely continue gemming their troop levels, buildings and resources.
However, when using gems 'correctly', buying gems can really speed up your progress in the game by a huge lot! For example, not using the gems for the sole reason to upgrade your town hall to level 11, leaving the defenses at an extremely low level, but use gems to speed up troop training, allowing rapid attacks and rapid raiding of resources. Another way is to (if you are an impatient person), use it to speed up long building upgrades.
Some people buy Gems for the sole reason of building the third, fourth or fifth Builder's Huts (quite often the third). However, upon achieving 1,250 Trophies the player is awarded 450 Gems, which is by itself nearly enough to buy the third Builder's Hut. See Achievements for more information about in-game Gem rewards.
Players can purchase resource packs, which provide additional value over purchasing resources normally. They may offer Gold, Elixir, Dark Elixir and/or Gems, usually a combination of them. These resource packs vary by Town Hall or Builder Hall level, so generally a higher amount of resources are available per pack at higher Town Hall or Builder Hall levels.
Any resources that exceed the player's storage limits will remain in the storages, at least until they are spent or raided by enemies.
Town Hall/Builder Hall Starter Packs
When a player has just upgraded to a new Town Hall or Builder Hall level, players may be offered an appropriate starter pack. These starter packs usually contain resources and buildings that the player unlocks at this new TH/BH level. For instance, a Town Hall 10 Starter pack will include Inferno Towers.
Buildings offered by the starter pack may appear at levels higher than level 1. For instance, the Builder Hall 7 starter pack includes a level 4 Giant Cannon.
For a limited time, specifically during the Christmas season and also during random events, clan gifts are included with the purchase of either a Bag of Gems, Sack of Gems, Box of Gems, or Chest of Gems. Each package includes a gift for up to 20 Clan mates.
Bag of Gems includes:
Sack of Gems includes:
Box of Gems includes:
Chest of Gems includes:
|Clan Gift||Clan Gift (Christmas)||Clan Gift (Chinese)|
The icon for clan gifts change depending on when it is in use and depending on the player's language setting. During Christmas time, the clan gift is represented as a purple Christmas present with a gold bow wrapped around it, presumably containing Gems inside. In any other event, the clan gift is represented as a purple sack with gems poking out of the top of the sack. However, if the player's language setting is Chinese, both icons are replaced with a red sack with the Chinese character "fú" meaning "fortune" or "good luck".
The (RED) Gem package is available normally every year in multiple Supercell games around the time of November-December. The initialization of this event happened when Clash of Clans partnered with (PRODUCT)RED in the fight for an AIDS free generation. The purpose behind this package is to help show your support and help spread AIDS awareness by participating in this so called "charity event." To participate in this event, all you have to do is buy the Pile of Gems while the event is active. During the event, 100% of the proceeds go to (RED)'s fight against AIDS.
During this update, the Clash of Clans app logo was changed to show the Barbarian with red hair and a red mustache during the duration of this event. If you decide to donate, you get a "thank you" message pop-up on your screen asking if you would like to show your support by decorating your Town Hall with (RED) for a limited time.
Aside from packs that offer resources, there are also certain packs offering certain Magic Items, such as a pack containing a Book of Heroes. These packs may also contain resources to complement the use of the items provided; in example, the Book of Heroes pack also contains a large amount of Dark Elixir to fund Barbarian King and Archer Queen upgrades.