Gurushot Series: Part II

Gurushots Survival Guide — Part II

  • Spending money on Gurushots
  • Spending time on Gurushots
  • Spending emotions on Gurushots — winning and losing

Gurushot is a commercial enterprise

  • Bundles (or single items as well) of ‘keys’, ‘swaps’, and ‘fills’: one ‘Swap’ sets you back USD 0.99, 5 ‘Fills’ USD 1.99 (that’s USD 0.40 per fill), and one ‘Key’ USD 2.99. You can clearly see what is the most valuable thing here, keep that in mind.
  • Exhibitions: Exhibitions entry fees seem to be currently USD 7.99, e.g. this one here is only slightly more expensive than buying the ‘Bonus Bundle’ you get with paying the fee. But check the details, some exhibition challenges do not provide ‘Bonus Bundles’, then the full fee goes into the participation of the exhibition without getting any other value.

What does Gurushots to keep you on the platform and engaged?


Trying to win is expensive




  • Normal 4-image challenges: these challenges keep you mostly engaged by the changing topics. But they are also running a lot longer (a couple of days) than the 1- or 2-image challenges, creating a need to maintain them by voting (keeping the exposure bonus meter up) and also checking if a boost becomes available (you don’t want to miss a *free* boost, do you? Remember, a key cost you USD 2.99 if you need to buy one). You need to be a bit more experienced in the game to recognize that you don’t have to keep the exposure bonus meter up all the time and that using the boost early in the game might not be the best strategy to win the top spot in the public vote category.
  • 2-image challenges: The 2 image challenges are now more similar to the 4 image challenges after they fixed the bug where it was not possible to get a free boost. Now you can get a free boost, but as 2-image challenges are usually shorter than 4-image challenges, you have less time after the challenge comes online to join to be able to get the free boost unlocked at a random point in time. It looks like they are experimenting with the unlock keys and boost quite a bit, so review the current rules around the boost to make sure you understand how it works.
  • 1 image challenge: There is nothing to mention here in terms of Gurushot trying to hold you on the platform, except for the very short-term 1-image challenges covered in a section further down.
  • Special challenges like ‘picture of the week’ or ‘image of the day’ or ‘picture of the month’. These challenges restrict the entries to images that have been uploaded in a specific time frame before you enter them into the challenge. By doing that, they ̶f̶o̶r̶c̶e̶ encourage you to upload new images regularly. You can also choose to not participate in these challenges if you don’t have any new images. I think these challenges are a good thing from a game perspective as it keeps the pool of images fresh, but they are also an instrument in the arsenal of tools to keep you engaged.
  • Similar to the previous, there are special challenges like ‘5-hour-speed-challenge’. They pop up randomly, and if you don’t want to miss them, you need to log in every couple of hours… every day… every week. Or you don’t, and you just miss them. No big deal. I participate in them if I happen to be online in the game at that time, but I am not trying to not miss them. Your choice.
  • Special exhibition challenges. Well, these challenges serve a lot of purposes, for the player as well as for Gurushots.
    The exhibitions cost money for the host, so they need to recoup that by charging the player a fee if they want to participate. There is a tricky bit involved in these exhibition challenge fees, and that is that you didn’t get any value out of your fee if you failed to reach the threshold (usually ‘All Star’ status or Guru Picks, and in the top 1000 images). That has now changed as you seem to now often get a ‘free’ bonus bundle with your fee (keys, swaps, fills) — together with your potential access to the exhibition. As there is a requirement to get to ‘All Star’ status in that challenge, people might use additional boosts or swaps to achieve that, which obviously creates demand for these perks. So exhibition challenges can be costly, and only you can judge if participating in that is beneficial for you or not.
    I did a couple of these in the past, it just felt good to have your image displayed in various locations around the world (“My images have been exhibited in Mailand, Berlin, Madrid, London, and New York!”), but in reality, there is probably not much coming out of it other than an ego-boost. Maybe for the winner or top 40 printed images, that might be different as they get actual exposure to real people. But being 1 of 1000 images playing in an infinite loop on a screen at the exhibition is not much exposure, I guess.
    Most exhibition challenges run for weeks, so I wouldn’t bother to keep the exposure bonus meter up. Enter late in the game, pay the price (2 * key to unlock late entry and boost), and vote for only one session at the very end. With good images, you should still be able to get into ‘All Star’ level without paying attention to the challenge for weeks. They want you to get to ‘All Star’ level for the exhibition challenges as that unlocks the potential to be exhibited (which unlocks your wallet to pay the fee).

Activity section


  • The ‘Bell’:
  • Swap suggestions
  • Other notifications: There are a number of other notifications to make you do things, e.g. to apply for an exhibition (if you reached ‘All Star’ level and haven’t applied already), or to join a team, or to buy a discount bundle, or to tell you that your free boost window expired (that one is especially mean). And I am sure they invent more notifications over time for some other functions they want people to use.

Spending time on Gurushots

Spending Emotions on Gurushots



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