Wrinklers are twitchy leech-like creatures that, in normal gameplay, only start appearing during the Grandmapocalypse. They provide a large buff to CpS during idle play, while appearing to be a debuff during active play.
Wrinklers appear within the game's left panel and slowly crawl toward the Big Cookie. Upon reaching the big cookie, a Wrinkler will begin to feed upon it, withering the total CpS by 5% each. A total of ten Wrinklers can feed on the big cookie at once, with each additional Wrinkler withering another 5% of CpS – two Wrinklers wither 10% CpS total, three wither 15%, and the maximum of ten Wrinklers withering 50% of the total CpS. While the output of manually clicking the big cookie is unaffected, having enough Wrinklers will appear to halve the cookie production of every building and upgrade.
A Wrinkler can be killed, or popped, by being clicked on from three to five times. The game hints at this property by having a Wrinkler continuously shake when hovered over. When exploded, it will drop 1.1 × the number of cookies that it withered during its life. If the current season is Halloween, a popped Wrinkler also has a 5% chance of unlocking one of the 7 Halloween cookie types. The stats menu will display how much of the current CpS has been withered, as well as the total number of popped Wrinklers.
Each wrinkler considers the full wither rate to be the rate at which it feeds, rather than its individual 5%, for the purposes of calculating how many cookies you receive when popped. Thus, as the number of Wrinklers grows, the amount of cookies found after popping them begins to increase quickly. A single Wrinkler gives an effective 5% boost to CpS, though the effect is not visible until the Wrinkler is popped. Because of the stacking effect, a full 10 Wrinklers give an effective rate of 6 × CpS, although once again, the benefit is not noticed until the Wrinklers are popped. If the Wrinkler has not yet reached the big cookie, it will not drop any cookies or upgrades when killed.
If the Grandmatriarchs are appeased, whether via Elder Pledge, Elder Covenant, or by selling all grandmas, all the wrinklers on the screen will automatically be exploded, and will not begin to appear again unless the Grandmapocalypse is restarted.
CPS multiplier Edit
To calculate the effective CpS multiplier, assuming Wrinklers present, the formula consists of: (Base factor) (5% withered per Wrinkler) (each Wrinkler hoards 5% times number of Wrinklers present). This is further amplified by a flat factor of (10% gain after popping) and optional (5% more cookies) per Wrinklerspawn upgrade. Put together and simplified, this is with Wrinklerspawn and without.
From the above formula, we can draw the following CPS conclusion:
CPS Multiplier with "Wrinklerspawn"
Spawn Rate Edit
Each empty Wrinkler slot has a (re-) spawn rate of 0.003% per Grandmapocalypse stage per frame (the usual framerate is 30 fps). And, from this we can draw the following:
|Wrinklers Alive||Probability of Respawn Each Second|
|One Mind||Communal Brainsweep||Elder Pact|
- On average, it takes 18 minutes and 4 seconds for all 10 Elder Pact (speedup factor ) Wrinklers to spawn, from a starting point of 0 Wrinklers. This is calculated by the sum over the inverse probabilities of occupying each slot: . For Communal Brainsweep, x is 2, and therefore it takes 3/2 of that time, about 27 minutes. For One mind (x=1) this is three times as long, which is about 54 minutes.
- As the CPS multiplicator gain from Wrinklers depends heavily on the number of Wrinklers, but respawn time also is longest for the last Wrinklers, one should not pop single Wrinklers on demand. The last Wrinkler takes about one third of total spawn time (6 min 10s for Elder Pact, see above), while CPS multiplicator is reduced from 6.275 to 5.22775 during that time. Ten consecutive pops therefore reduce CPS by 20% for an hour. A full Wrinkler rebuild has a much stronger impact on CPS (effective multiplier 3.59), but only for 18 minutes. After that, the full 6.275 multiplicator from ten Wrinklers is active again. In other words: Extrapolating the full rebuild time to the one-by-one approach (~1 hour), rebuilding has an effective multiplier of 5.48762 over that time, while popping them in turn yields 5.22775, about 5% less. Besides that, getting all withered cookies back at once may lead faster to a CPS increase by new buildings, and is also much less time-consuming and error-prone to perform.
Exploding a Wrinkler after it has begun to feed on the big cookie has a 5% chance of unlocking 1 of the 7 Halloween-themed cookie upgrades. If you have the Spooky cookies achievement, it increases to 20% chance. However, if the particular upgrade chosen at random is already unlocked, it will not unlock a new one. So on each Wrinkler explosion, the actual chance of unlocking a new cookie type is equal to , where N is the number of upgrades already unlocked and r is the success rate (0.05 normally, 0.2 with "Spooky cookies", 0.145 with "Santa's bottomless bag", and 0.28 with both).
The expected value of Wrinkler explosions needed (without "Spooky cookies") to unlock all 7 Halloween cookie upgrades is 363. More importantly, for those who are not seeing the upgrades, the 90th percentile is more around 600 Wrinklers. After that point, you can blame your luck or lack of it.
|Cookies Unlocked||Probability of Appearance|
|Without "Spooky cookies"||With "Spooky cookies"||With "Santa's|
|0||5%||One in 20||20%||One in 5||14.5%||One in 7||28%||One in 3.5|
|1||4.29%||One in 23||17.1%||One in 6||12.4%||One in 8||24%||One in 4|
|2||3.57%||One in 28||14.3%||One in 7||10.4%||One in 10||20%||One in 5|
|3||2.86%||One in 35||11.4%||One in 9||8.29%||One in 12||16%||One in 6|
|4||2.14%||One in 47||8.57%||One in 12||6.21%||One in 16||12%||One in 8|
|5||1.43%||One in 70||5.71%||One in 18||4.14%||One in 24||8%||One in 12|
|6||0.714%||One in 140||2.86%||One in 35||2.07%||One in 48||4%||One in 25|
|Expected value for Wrinkler explosions to unlock all||363||91||125||65|
A method to get all the cookie upgrades quickly is to wait for a few wrinklers to spawn, wait for an autosave ("Game Saved" popup), pop the wrinklers quickly, and - if no cookie upgrade appeared - quickly hit F5 to reload before the game is autosaved again - the wrinklers will be back and you can try popping them again.
Another way, similiar to the first, is to open mulitple tabs with wrinklers, and pop the wrinklers on each tab until you get a cookie upgrade. Always leave one tab open with wrinklers, so if all the other tabs fail to give you a cookie upgrade, you can manually save on the tab that still has the wrinklers, and repeat the process.
To help keep track of how many Wrinklers you have popped, go in the "Stats" section, then look under "Special"
- Owning the achievement "Spooky cookies" makes Halloween-themes cookies drop more frequently.
- In the game's code, next to the code that tells the wrinklers to return 110% of their sucked cookies is the comment "cookie dough does weird things inside wrinkler digestive tracts".
- The flavor text for the Ghost cookie ("They're something strange, but they look pretty good!") is a reference to and parody of the famous line in the theme song for the 1984 film Ghostbusters, "There's something strange, in the neighbourhood" and "When there's something weird, and it don't look good".
- The flavor text for the Bat cookie ("The cookies this town deserves.") is a reference to a famous line from the 2008 film The Dark Knight, in which the character Lt. James Gordon states that Batman is "the hero Gotham deserves."
- The flavor text for the Spider cookie ("You found the recipe on the web. They do whatever a cookie can.") is a reference to the web-slinging Marvel Comics character, Spider-Man. Aside from the spider pun in the first sentence of the flavor text, the text also parodies a line in the theme song used for various Spider-Man media, "Spider-Man, Spider-Man. Does whatever a spider can." "The web" refers to either the internet or the actual spider.
- The flavor text for the Slime cookie ("'The incredible melting cookies!'") is a reference to the 1977 film The Incredible Melting Man'.
- The flavor text for the Eyeball cookie ("When you stare into the cookie, the cookie stares back at you.") is a reference to a quote by the german philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, "when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you". It could also be a reference to a quote by Sister Jude, a character in the show American Horror Story: "If you look in the face of evil, evil's gonna look right back at you.
- The wrinklers somewhat resemble Crimeras from Terraria, although Crimeras were implemented after wrinklers.
- The "Moistburster" achievement may be a reference to "Voidthirster ", a card from Ascension . It is also reminiscent of the bloodthirsters from League of Legends and Warhammer. Or perhaps it is a more obvious reference to the Alien Franchise's Chestburster.
- Prior to the v1.0453 update, Wrinklers disappeared when you closed the Cookie Clicker window or exited the browser.
- The fangs of the Wrinkler somewhat resemble a left hand. (Large fang being the middle finger, fang to the right of the large fang being the pointer finger and so on).
- When a wrinkler appears, the vignette (they are yellow if in a cookie frenzy, red in clot, black otherwise) disappears until all of the wrinklers are popped/on the cookie.
- Clicking on a Golden (or Red) Cookie, Reindeer, or Bunny while it is on top of a Wrinkler will also count as clicking on that Wrinkler.