Pixel Cafe Guide: Tips for Beginners

Pixel Cafe is a time management game with visual novel elements. You will be preparing dishes for multiple customers, serving them as fast as possible, and getting their favorite drinks before they lose their patience, and walk away from your cafe.

The game also lets you uncover hidden stories as Pixel, the protagonist, finds work in various new cafes, forming connections with her new bosses and clients and finding her worth in a dog-eat-dog world. Beautiful cut-scenes between the cafe management game will provide more insights into Pixel’s life, her past, and present, and how her grandparent’s memories changed her life.

Pixel Cafe Guide

You may be familiar with Pixel Cafe’s gameplay if you have played games like Diner Dash. If you haven’t, then these tips and tricks will help you manage your cafe, increase earnings, and make the most of the special upgrades.

How to Play

As soon as you finish the tutorial, you can freely move to grandma’s home and the cafe using the map. Click on a location on the map and your character will move to that place. As you progress, you will unlock more cafes, which will increase the protagonists’ earning opportunities. We will start with the cafe game basics in this section:

Menu and various icons

1. On the top-left corner of the screen, you can see your total earnings for that level. Earnings for a level are denoted by the coin icon. A combo bar is below this icon.

2. Each time you serve a dish to a customer, you will fill the combo bar. Aim to serve all dishes to your customers without stopping to keep the combo bar full. A full combo bar increases the chances of earning bonus tips from customers.

3. The total number of customers you will be serving in a particular level is displayed on the top-left corner of the screen, just next to total earnings.

4. Serving all customers will fill the horizontal green bar on the top of the screen. The more coins you earn from a customer, the faster the horizontal bar fills up. Aim to serve a customer as fast as you can to keep the cobo bar full – you will earn extra coins (tip).

You can see the silhouette of three cups on the horizontal bar. Aim to reach cup milestones on the horizontal bar. You can reach up to three cup milestones by serving all customers at a particular level. You will earn bonus coins if you get all three cups in a level.

5. Notice two people icons below the total customer count. They are the number of lives you currently have. If you fail to serve a customer and if she leaves, you lose a life. If you fail to serve two customers, you lose two lives, and it’s game over. You can increase the total lives by buying the “Lives” Pixel upgrade. Check the “Pixel Upgrades” section in this guide to know more.

6. When a customer orders a dish, its icon appears on her left. Drag the matching dish toward the customer’s order section to serve her that dish. So if a customer has ordered coffee, a coffee cup icon will be displayed beside her. Use the coffee machine to make coffee and once ready, just drag the coffee cup to the customer’s order.

7. The vertical green bar beside the customer is her “patience meter”. It decreases over time. Once the bar turns yellow, the customer becomes impatient, and once it turns red and diminishes, an angry customer leaves your cafe.

For multiple orders, when you serve one dish, the green bar fills a bit, giving you extra time to prepare the second dish and serve it to the same customer. Serve her all the dishes before the green bar turns red. If a customer orders multiple dishes, serve the one that is quickest to make.

8. The timer on the top-right corner of the screen displays the total time remaining to serve all customers. You must serve all of them before time’s up. Below the digital timer is the pink-colored “Special” bar. The pink bar fills up every time you serve a dish. Once the special bar is full, click on it to activate special time, which will increase the preparation speed. Coffee and drink makers will prepare drinks faster. It will be a smoother and faster experience, thereby serving customers faster and increasing earnings.

9. The tiny rectangular icons below the top horizontal bar represent the counters where your customers wait. If the customer is waiting on the right counter, the right counter icon flashes. If she is waiting on the left, the left one will blink.

10. In case you make a mistake while preparing dishes or have prepared a wrong dish, you can put them in the trash can at the bottom-left corner of the screen. Some amount will be deducted from your earnings.

Whenever a customer tips, a second stack of coins appears next to the first one. This usually happens when you serve her as fast as possible. remember the more coins you earn, the faster the top horizontal bar fills up.

To prepare coffee, click on the coffee machine’s green button to start making coffee. Wait until it is full. When full, the yellow button on the machine blinks. Click on the button to stop the coffee maker from overflowing, then click and drag the cup to the customer. Do the same for the pink drink machine on the left counter.

For dishes, you must put the blue plate first on the counter and then put the required ingredients on it before serving to the customer.

As you progress, new ingredients appear on the counter. Some customers would like to have straw and ice on their drinks, so make sure you put them on a drink before serving.

Pay Attention to Counter Icons

The tiny rectangular icons below the horizontal green bar show where your customers are waiting. These small icons represent the counters where customers order food and drinks.

Counter icons

At the top of the screen, there will be two counters and customers will arrive at one of the counters or both. Press and hold the left mouse button and swipe right to move to the left counter. Swipe left to move the right counter. The tiny counter icons are just visual representations of the real counters on the screen.

Whenever a customer waits on one of the counters, the corresponding counter icon on the top of the screen lights up and blinks, indicating her exact location. If the customer is waiting on the left counter, the left counter icon will blink. The counter icons also serve as a mini visual representation of a customer’s patience. You will see the color of the icon change from green to yellow and finally to red as the patience level decreases.

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Avoid the Coffee Maker from Overflowing

When you click on the coffee maker’s green button, you begin making coffee for your customers. When the cup is full, the green button blinks. Click on the button to stop the machine and then serve coffee to the customer.

If you don’t click on the blinking light, the machine won’t stop and the coffee will overflow. An overflowing cup of coffee is useless and needs to be thrown in the trashcan, so pay attention to the yellow blinking light as it indicates that the cup is full and the matches need to be stopped from overflowing it.

Serve the Quick Dishes First       

Since Pixel Café is a time management game, you must serve dishes to customers before the green “patience bar” next to them diminishes to the bottom. On most occasions, a customer will order more than one dish, and each time you serve a dish to her, the green bar fills up a bit, giving you extra time to serve them the remaining dishes.

Pay attention to the dishes a customer orders and serve the one that takes the least time to cook. If someone orders a dish that requires one or two ingredients and a cup of coffee, you serve her the dish first as it takes time for the coffee machine.

You can apply the same trick to two or more customers. Find out the easier/quick-to-prepare dishes from each customer’s order list and prepare those first. The goal is to keep the customer’s patience bar on the greener side and to make this happen, serve the quicker ones first.

Tip: We recommend playing with a Gamepad. With a mouse, it would be cumbersome to move from one table to the other. To ensure faster servings and smoother movement, always use a gamepad.

Upgrade Counters

As you progress through levels, you will have to manage multiple customers. A customer will order several dishes and it won’t be easy to prepare and serve them as fast as possible with a limited number of preparation slots and only a single coffee machine. In such situations, it would make sense if you upgraded your counter by adding more slots and coffee makers to manage multiple orders.

Upgrade counters

With additional slots, you can place multiple plates and prepare more than one dish at a time. With an upgraded coffee maker, you can make two cups of coffee at once.

On your map, click on “Counters” at the bottom of the screen or press “C”. The counters menu lets you add more plate slots and a swanky new coffee maker for managing multiple orders. You will need coins to add slots and level up your coffee machine.

Pixel and Home Upgrades

The map displays a couple of locations in the beginning – the café, where the protagonist does her day job, and her home. As you progress, you will unlock more locations, including new cafes that provide more earning opportunities, and of course, new stories.

Pixel Cafe Map

You will find a few hotkeys displayed on the bottom-left corner of the map. Pressing the “H” key will take you to her grandma’s house. You can use the coins earned from the café to buy upgrades and new furniture for Pixel’s home:

Once you reach home, you will find two options in the top-right corner of the screen:

1. Home Upgrades

Under home upgrades, you can buy new furniture to change the overall look of the house. Upgrades cost coins though, which can be earned from the café mini-game, so make sure you play as many levels as you can and serve all customers to earn coins and bonus tips.

 – Click “Home Upgrades” to open the furniture upgrade preview. Click on a piece of furniture. An arrow appears above it.

 – Click on the arrow to view new furniture/upgrade options and their associated costs.

House Upgrades

 – Cycle through various new upgrade options for that particular furniture by pressing the arrow keys above it and then press the ENTER key once you finalize an upgrade. The cost for the new upgrade will be deducted from your total earnings, shown on the upper-right side of the screen.

 – After buying a new upgrade, press “ESC” first and then click on the new furniture item to view new upgrade options for that item.

You can purchase upgrades for the living room, bedroom, and kitchen. To move to a new room, first press “ESC” in case you are in the middle of purchasing a new furniture upgrade. After pressing the ESC, you will find hotkeys for each new room displayed on the top-left and top-right corner of the screen. If you are in the living room, you will need to press “Q” to move to the bedroom. To move back to the living room, press “E”. When you are in the bedroom, press “Q” to move to the kitchen press “E” to move back to the bedroom, and so on.

When you spend coins to purchase a new upgrade, you also earn “smiles”. The higher the cost of an upgrade, the more smiles you will earn. Smiles are used to purchasing “Pixel Upgrades”, which are associated with useful upgrades to speed up serving and preparing food and drinks for customers.

2. Pixel Upgrades

You will find this option below “Home Upgrades”. These upgrades are associated with the main character’s workplace, i.e., her café. Click on this option to open a new menu:

Pixel Upgrades

1. Special Duration: Each time you serve a dish/coffee to customers, the pink special serve bar on the top-right corner of the screen fills up. When the pink bar is full, click on it to activate special time. Your dishes and drinks will be prepared faster as long as the special time “pink” bar does not diminish fully. When you purchase the special duration upgrade and max it out, you will notice that the bar decreases at a slower rate than before, giving you more time to make the most out of this feature and serve your customers faster.

2. Special Fill: Like I said earlier, serving customers fills the special time bar. Purchase this upgrade if you want to fill the pink bar faster.

3. Combo Interval (1 Smile): The combo bar is on the top-left corner of the screen. Serving food and drinks to customers at a stretch, i.e., without stopping, fills the combo bar faster. The faster you serve your customers, the faster the combo bar fills. A full combo bar increases the chances of earning bonus tips from customers. However, if you are slow in serving back-to-back customers or if there’s an interruption while serving them, then the combo breaks and the bar decreases fast. Purchasing the combo interval slows down the time taken by the combo bar to diminish, giving you some more time to get your combo servings back on track. 

Dish Preparation: Speeds up food preparation time.

Dish Overdone: This slows down the time taken for the dish to get overdone. Without this upgrade, food will get overdone at a faster rate, and you will have to throw it down the bin.

Drink Preparation: Speeds up preparing coffee and other beverages. The coffee machine will fill the cup faster.

Drink Overflow: Once the cup/glass is full, the coffee overflows, and you cannot serve it to your customers. With this upgrade, it will take more time for the cup to overflow, so once the cup is full, it won’t overflow instantly like before.

Trash Cost: Putting the wrong ingredients in a dish or an overflowing cup of coffee can’t be served to the customers. You will have to toss them into the trash bin. Every time you throw a dish into the bin, coins will be deducted from your earnings. This upgrade reduces the coins you lose for putting dishes into the trash bin.

Lives: When the green “patience bar” next to a customer diminishes and turns red, she loses her cool and leaves your café. You lose one life. The number of lives is displayed on the top-right corner of the screen, near the earnings section. Every time a dissatisfied customer leaves the café you lose a life. The game ends when you lose all your lives. In the beginning, you have only two lives. You can add more by upgrading “Lives”.

I recommend upgrading the following to increase your earnings and keep your customers happy:

1. Special Fill

2. Lives

3. Trash Cost

4. Drink Preparation and Overflow


Steven is dedicated to his craft, and he just loves writing in-depth PC game guides and walkthroughs. He’s so passionate about gaming that he’s been known to stay up all night playing. He loves finding easter eggs and hidden gems on his favorite PC and console games.

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