One of the most frequently asked questions that backers have in regards to Kickstarter is just how “add-ons” work. Now, while this is hardly a recent phenomenon in crowdfunding, it is also one of the most confusing aspects of reward fulfillment. It’s gone by different names in the past but in reality it’s all the same and something that we’ll be looking at in this installment of Kickstarter Primers. We have a step-by-step video explaining how to go about getting add-ons below, but if you want to know more about what they are then read on. Or skip to the video if you don’t care.

addons1Reward tiers are pretty self-explanatory. You find one you want with the items that you’re looking for, select it, and put in your pledge. If you want to move up a tier or two it’s as simple as hitting a button and making said change. However, when it comes to add-ons this is something that Kickstarter itself does not have any built-in functionality for. This is something that the project creator and backer have to keep track of themselves unless they use a third party program like BackerKit or Pledge Manager.

But just what is an “add-on?” The simplest definition would be that it’s an extra item on top of what your pledge level is. This isn’t counted as part of your selected tier and won’t show up until you get your survey from the project creator. The only thing you have to worry about is how much each add-on you’re picking is and add it on top of whatever your tier is. This is explained in more detail in the video, but do know that you’ll need to remember what you put in for when the time comes to start shipping rewards. This is important for both sides of the equation.

addons2Add-ons can really be anything that the project creator can think of. Most of the time these tend to be extra copies of existing items already found in the reward tier matrix. Like extra copies of the game or soundtrack. Other times they’ll be special rewards that you can’t get otherwise. Like the “Cartoonize by Cami” special that ran over at Gibbous recently. Some projects don’t even offer add-ons and what you see in the tiers is what you get. These aren’t mandatory for any campaign but they can help to boost the totals if you find something that you really like that you can’t get elsewhere.

addonns3There really isn’t a whole lot to how add-ons work. Follow the steps in the video, and you shouldn’t have any problems getting everything you want once the surveys are distributed after the campaign. Just make sure you remember what you put in for or you might miss out on what you wanted. It might not be a bad idea to keep notes of everything you’re getting just in case the surveys get sent out long after your money is collected.

That’s all you really need to know about how add-ons work. If you have any nagging questions regarding crowdfunding please don’t hesitate to ask them. Just leave a comment below or send us a message with what you want to know. We’d be happy to answer any little thing that might be confusing you, either backer side or creator side.

About the Author

Serena Nelson

Serena has been a gamer since an early age and was brought up with the classic adventure games by Sierra On-Line, LucasArts, and Infocom. She's been an active member on Kickstarter since early 2012 and has backed a large number of crowdfunded games, mostly adventures. You can also find her writing for Kickstart Ventures and

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