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I've seen conflicting stuff about this. Some people say 1:40:1 is ideal, while others say 1.6:40k:1 (or converted to 1:20k:0.6 and then simplified to 1:20k:1) is ideal.
Which is it? 1:40k:1 or 1.6:40k:1?
The difference is huge since it would mean I should have invested way more into energy power than I currently have.

I'm not sure where the 1.6:40k:1 comes from to be honest.
The two ratios you see most often are 1:40k:1 (and bars to 2 after beards get unlocked) and 1:37,500:1 (similarly with bars going up after unlocking beards.
The reason for both is fairly simple, it is all about spending as much exp on both power and cap because the formulas for the majority of the features in the game multiply the amount of energy/magic you put in by the energy/magic power.
This means that 1% increase on one or 1% increase on the other offer a roughly similar increase (some features will increase a bit more from power, others will increase a bit more from cap, depending on how much of your cap you put in each).
1:40:2 is a lazy aproximation of "same amount of exp in everything" (but because you don't need as much on bars early on it is reduced to 1 until you get beards)
1:37,500:1.87 is a more accurate version of it (because 1 power costs a bit less than 40k cap, similarly bars get reduced to 1 before beards).

It might depend what your goals are (where you're at in the game) and what you mean by "ideal".
Some might look over the energy and magic stats and aim for a ratio which keeps roughly the same amount of exp invested into each stat.
Looking at the base costs: 150 exp for +1 E.Power, 40 exp for +10k E.Cap, and 80 exp for 1 E.Bar
* a ratio of "1 : 40k : 2" spends "150 exp : 160 exp : 160 exp" which is as close to equal spending as you're going to get
* (Magic stats cost 3x as much as energy stats. So the same ratio gets 3x the cost and therefore people would lean towards buying 3x more energy stats than magic stats. (Early game at least. I've seen people say to shift towards having only 2x (or perhaps even something closer to 1.5x) as much energy stats as magic stats later in the game. I'm not sure how late in the game, though.))
Some people might look more into really specific questions about the exact amount of benefit for having more of a resource to invest into a feature (whichever feature may be of interest for a particular area of progress in the game) vs having more power behind the amount of resource they already have. I can't get into that in any detail myself... Bars doesn't necessarily play into that comparison too much until later though. (I've seen the advice be to do "1 : 40k : 1" (or perhaps even heavier on the power than that, like the "1.6 : 40k : 1" ratio you mention) until beards are unlocked and then shift to include more bars sometime after unlocking beards, because bars scale the beard leveling speed more favorably than power does.)
The first way is the easy way to get a sense that you're doing things "efficiently". It gives you a straightforward answer that you can just plug into the "custom purchase" fields and then use the "buy all custom purchases" button to make sure you're sticking to your ratio.
The second way is the nitpicky analysis that digs deeper for a more precise answer. (Though the answer may not technically be possible to use with the same precision. I've seen people say some number like 37.5k in place of the 40k. The game won't actually let you buy that specific amount of energy or magic cap though. It needs to be rounded up or down to a multiple of 10k. Occasionally you might change the amount being bought so you can make up for the difference from the last few purchases and get back on track for that more precise ratio.)

> *Originally posted by **[MuljoStpho](/forums/984525/topics/1825873?page=1#13110613)**:*
> <snip> (Though the answer may not technically be possible to use with the same precision. I've seen people say some number like 37.5k in place of the 40k. The game won't actually let you buy that specific amount of energy or magic cap though. It needs to be rounded up or down to a multiple of 10k. Occasionally you might change the amount being bought so you can make up for the difference from the last few purchases and get back on track for that more precise ratio.)
Or, if you were willing to make your progress less continuous, you could multiply through the ratio until each component was some multiple of the custom-purchase increment. 1:37.5k, for example, is also 4:150k, and the latter *can* be plugged into the "custom purchase" boxes. Likewise, the precise-and-box-compatible ratio for "same EXP in each stat" is 8:300k:15.
This does in some ways make progression slower if you're plugging the multiplied-through ratio into the "custom purchase" boxes (because you have to accumulate much more EXP at once before spending it for a big jump), but it does mean you don't have to keep track of any divergence from your targets (or recalculate every time). For strictly optimal speed in the early game, of course, you should buy each stat in the minimum possible increments as soon as possible, buying always the stat that'll keep your ratios closest to your current target, but that'd be a lot of micromanagement for comparatively little reward.

> *Originally posted by **[meliral](/forums/984525/topics/1825873?page=1#13111019)**:*
>
> Or, if you were willing to make your progress less continuous, you could multiply through the ratio until each component was some multiple of the custom-purchase increment. 1:37.5k, for example, is also 4:150k, and the latter *can* be plugged into the "custom purchase" boxes. Likewise, the precise-and-box-compatible ratio for "same EXP in each stat" is 8:300k:15.
37500 can be input in the custom puchase boxes.

Can it? I thought I'd seen it always change the input to a multiple of 10k.
...
Oh,weird. It does allow 37500.
If you go anywhere below 10k it changes your input to 10k. I just checked and confirmed that. Maybe I saw that when I was fiddling around early on and just assumed that it'd hold true for inputs above 10k as well. Or maybe it was more restrictive like I thought I remembered and 4G updated the behavior to be a bit less restrictive at some point. Either way, I guess that's good for the people who want to be more nitpicky and precise.
Personally I kind of lean a bit towards the "OCD" side of things anyway. Wanting my base energy/magic caps to always be as nice and clean looking as possible, dealing with something like "1 : 50k : 1" as a minimum ratio. (Sure, that can only ensure that the base caps look neat and tidy. The overall total caps will be whatever they're going to be after applying various bonuses. But whatever.) I say "meh" to the more efficient suggestions and instead use 50k in my own ratios. (Actually, since I've started to have exp coming in quick enough that I can easily deal in slightly bigger packages all at once instead of only buying the minimum ratio each time, I've currently got my custom purchases set up as "20 : 1M : 40" energy and "10 : 500k : 20" magic. Just over 25k exp total cost between a click of both buttons. I'm at a point where that's easier than multiple clicks on 1/10 of those numbers.)

The [New Player Guide](https://ngu-idle.fandom.com/wiki/New_Player_Guide_%28Truth%29#Ratio_Talk) on the wiki explains the 1.6: 40k: 1 ratio. This gives equal spending on power as on cap + bars, which gives the largest power\*cap.
For example, let's compare 1.6: 40k: 1 with 1: 40k: 1, by spending 1M exp on energy. The cap:bars ratio are the same, so they'll take the same time to reach cap.
**1.6: 40k: 1 **
3333 Epow, 83 325 000 Ecap, and 2083 Ebars, with Epow\*Ecap = 277.7 billion (2.777e11). This costs 999 890 exp.
**1: 40k: 1**
2564 Epow, 102 560 000 Ecap, and 2564 Ebars, with Epow\*Ecap = 263.0 billion (2.630e11). This costs 999 960 exp.
Thus we can see that 1.6: 40k: 1 spends 70 exp less, but gives 5.61% more power\*cap.

1.6:40k:1 comes from making cost of power = cost of cap + bars. This maximises power\*cap for any fixed cap:bars ratio.
For example, let's compare 1.6:40k:1 with 1:40k:1, by spending 1M exp on energy.
> **1.6:40k:1**
> 3333 Epower, 83 320 000 Ecap, 2083 Ebars.
This costs 999 840 exp and gives power\*cap = 277.7 billion (2.777e11).
> **1:40k:1**
> 2564 Epower, 102 560 000 Ecap, 2564 Ebars.
This costs 999 960 exp and gives power\*cap = 263.0 billion (2.630e11).
We see that 1.6:40k:1 gives 5.6% more power\*cap, at a slightly lower (120) exp cost.

Basically, bars are great for short rebirths (what you more or less need to do in challenges to clear them without wasting too much time, not all that necessary in normal rebirths) and for beards (bars are the main stat for beards, and those can bring you some really decent bonuses if you keep investing in bars as you invest in the other two stats).
They also really help if you don't want to be waiting too long at the begining of a rebirth, but it's more like a side benefit (it's great for the forgetful and the lazy people but not exactly vital).