GuruShots Tips, Tricks and Cheat Sheet

The 2021 edition is out NOW! Don’t miss it and aim to become a GURU!

Don’t miss part 2 where I give two examples to explain how much time you should expect to play in order to be successful.

This is the second article on GuruShots, the photography game. In the first article “How to Become a Guru at the GuruShots Game” I described how to create your photographer profile, how to enter challenges and play. This time, I want to give you the best tips and tricks on playing the game. This is a summary of things I learned over the year playing the game. If you want to play GuruShots and be successful, read on and you’ll thank me later.

  • Be picky when selecting photos for a challenge. Respect the theme.
  • For challenges with four photos, as soon as you decide to enter the challenge, select four photos, no less. If a photo doesn’t perform well, you’ll be able to swap for another one. More photos give you more votes so the higher you will finish the challenge.
  • For long-lasting challenges, enter in the last 24 hours. It doesn’t make a difference for the final results are most of the voting sessions by others happen at the last minute anyway. You’ll save time and be able to do other things in your life, like reading my blog. But, if the challenge is in the “locked” state, you’ll need a key to unlock it and enter the challenge.
  • For speed, challenges enter in the last 4 hours. Same for long-lasting challenges, most of the activity happens at the end.
  • Before swapping one of your pictures, wait for voting to stabilize. At some point, your photos won’t get more votes for many hours… if your exposure level is at the maximum, then this means your photos won’t really get new votes. It is safe to swap one of them, the one with the worst score.
  • Generally speaking, for me at least, I perform better in very specific challenge themes. An example of the narrow theme is “flying birds”. But “Your best shot” is a way more general theme and it is difficult to get a good score in these challenges because you are competing with very talented photographers.
  • If you are not sure to understand the theme meaning, open the challenge and look at the current guru picks or the current ranking. You’ll see lots of photos, the best ranking ones are the theme’s best representation of the theme.
  • If you have “Fills” available, use them when you enter a challenge and see quickly how your photos are performing. You’ll save time. But remember, “Fills” are not free. When you don’t have one, you’ll need to buy one.
  • If you want to use one of your “Boost”, wait when the photos don’t get any more votes for a while. And use your “Boost” near the end of a challenge and apply it on the best performing photo. Remember, “Boosts” aren’t free and use them while your exposure level is at the maximum.
  • If you decide to enter early in a challenge is because you may just love to browse (and vote) for great pictures! That is ok!
  • If you enter late in a challenge, you may be asked for a key as the challenge may be in a “locked” state. Users without special keys will be kept out.

With these tips, I hope you get better at GuruShots and eventually become a Guru! Enjoy playing! If you want to create your profile, follow this link. If you want to see my profile, follow this link.

Disclaimer, I’m not paid by Gurushots for this article.

44 thoughts on “GuruShots Tips, Tricks and Cheat Sheet

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  1. Everything in your article is easily found on the site if people are willing to read. I am in the camp that this whole thing is basically a rigged system. One of your other responders stated they’ve been stuck at Master now for quite some time…same here, one Top 5% finish shy of Master, a win and two more Guru picks and I’d be a Guru…been that way now FOR MONTHS despite being on a competitive team for Matches, and spending a decent amount purchasing fills and the like.

    I have a feeling that the Guru’s with their voting impact play a big part of who does and does not win these challenges.

  2. One clarification, you do not need a key to join late in a challenge if you join from within a team participating in a match using that challenge.

    1. Great blog and really interesting read, I just joined a 10hr ‘People on the beach’ challenge, 1hr 45mins to go.. entered an average photo (at best) and tried out the voting theory, to my surprise my very average photo got to 1090 votes and Elite level in about 20mins

      It’s actually kind of disappointing, been playing for a while now, by no means a great photographer but its been fun but definitely a bit odd how I accumulated so many votes, wish I knew about this sooner!

      Thanks for sharing!

      1. I’m currently working on a major new and updated article on the Gurushot game. Should be out in the coming weeks. Thanks for your comment.

  3. So far, as I play, I have used swaps only for poorly performing photos in a challenge. Most of the time all the photos I enter receive vote counts in a close range without any one of them performing markedly poorly. Thus, I have accumulated quite a few earned swaps (I never buy swaps, fills, and boosts) without having shots performing sufficiently poorly for me to want to swap. Up above, Mike B. mentions swapping the highest performing photo out and later swapping it back in. I don’t understand this as the swapped out photo’s vote count would get lost to my total vote count while it is not in the challenge. How does this give an advantage with receiving votes? Does this also apply if the swapped in photo out performes the swapped out photo?

  4. I am not able to log in to the game on my laptop. It simply will not allow me. I have tried facebook login, my email login. Bluestacks apk crashes all the time as well. Can you help please

  5. I would say – It’s a “get hooked” system… any “spend nothing big – win a lot” – lottery…..with all “get hooked” tips&tricks…….nothing more – nothing less…….if U a borred, and have some spare money – go for it…… 😉

    1. I haven’t spent a nickel in at least 6 months–once you enter a lot of challenges you can coast by on the fills, keys and swaps you earn from them.

  6. I have found for guru picks, the best time is join before voting starts, then use a fill 30 mins before voting begins. Its human nature for a guru to be looking at the start of his/her challenge. If they dont see it they cant pick it. I got to master in 8 days without spending any money BUT I did spend a LOT of time playing. Your images have to be of a reasonable quality too 🙂

    1. I was in the lead for days in one challenge right up to where there was only 47mins left ..yep in the lead with only 47mins left….I thought…But in the end I finished in 15th..15TH ??????? WTF…what happened ???

      1. Their system is rigged. It takes a combination of triggers (keys, swaps and fills) to win a challenge. Those triggers are not free. You either have to buy them, or participate in enough challenges to earn them – huge waste of time. Unsuspecting newbies entering this game have no idea what hit them. By the time they figure out the algorithms and win (if they are smart and lucky enough), they would have wasted A LOT of money and time. And then GS changes the algorithms. They are not upfront about this either. It’s like walking into a casino, where the dice are loaded and all the games are rigged. That’s why, in order to play the game, you have to agree to their terms, which state that they can only be prosecuted in the state of Israel. This type of pyramid scam in the US would earn them hefty jail terms instead of 3.5 million dollars of yearly revenue (that’s for the company of about 10 people). To win you need to enter at the peak voting time. You’ll need a key for this. This may not be ideal for your time zone, so prepare yourself for about 3 days and nights without sleep. Once you’ve reached maximum amount of votes possible – voting on your picture have ended and you are in # 1 position (you may need several swaps and fills to get there) – swap your picture out of the contest. Let the meter run all the way down and swap your winning image back in about 30 – 7 minutes before end of the challenge (this depends on the exposure algorithm of the challenge you are playing, they are different, fast and slow. Time is shorter for “fast” challenges, which accumulate votes faster.). Once your image is back in, hit the auto-fill button and watch the results. You have a decent chance of winning or at least getting in the top 10.
        The question is: why would anyone want to do all that?

  7. how is it possible that some challenger stay days on the same counter; i used a flashlight symbol and nothing change spectacular, this is not possible that nobodys like uor pictures at that time, very strange do you have an explanation

  8. Hi All. Is nice to read about Gurushots. Thanks for the Tips.
    One question. To win a challenge Is it a “must” make a swap?

    Thanks and best luck for all

  9. I would like to ask about how to recive the prize in gurushots. My friend won twice and doesn’t know what to do to get the money. I will be gratefull for the answer.

  10. I’ve got enough Guru Picks, All Star Ranks and GS Points to move into Master rank but I’m stuck at Champion because I can’t seem to get any Top 5% ranks. Any advice for that specifically?

  11. Thank you for your much appreciated tips and tricks!
    I noticed that watermarks are not favourite for Guru picks, which of course is understandable.
    I used to watermark my photos too but know now it doesn’t make sense 😉

  12. Thank you for your help! I am enjoying submitting my pics and I am always learning in the field of photography. Would love to find you & follow you, I will try. Thanks again.

      1. OK Jean-François, je viens de vous trouver. De très belles photos, ce sera un plaisir de vous suivre 🙂

      1. Indeed 🙂 Seems that my second message was lost, so I’l say again that you have some great pics and that I will enjoy following you, here and on Gurushots. À bientôt!

  13. I’ve been a GuruShots player for about 3 weeks, I achieved Expert quite soon but could not move on. And then, the first day I started to follow your tips I received my first Guru’s Pick and became a Champion. It’s really awsome, thank you!

  14. Thank you for this article. I have a couple of questions:
    Here is a scenario: Let’s say a Dominant Blue challenge (4 photos) is going to end in 2 hours.
    – I joined exactly 2 hr before close. What is the best time you would join? I know it is all about timing, so I am asking for the precise time! 🙂 No worries if you can’t answer.
    – What is the order for swapping? Fill>boost>Swap or Boost>Fill>Swap?
    — Also, what happens if I swap my best performing image (after votes have stabilized) when the exposure meter is high and it has boost?

    1. Hi,
      It is hard to say when is the right time to join… one thing is sure, they now require a key in order to join a challenge 24 hrs or less before the end of the challenge. If you don’t have a key, you can’t join unless you buy one. For sure, if you join in the last few hours of a challenge, you will no really affect your final score as long as you maintain your exposure to the max level.

      For the second question, the best order, for me at least, is : fill first. swap the least performing photos… and near the end, boost your best shot.
      Hope this helps.

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