Blood Brothers 2, DeNA’s follow-up to the original Blood Brothers, is an intriguing card collecting / role-playing / strategy hybrid. There’s seemingly a lot to take in at first, but with 148Apps’ help, you’ll soon be able to effortlessly smack away whatever your enemies lob at you. Have at it!
War Tactics for Novices
Claim your gifts when you play the first time – You should receive some gifts when you first play Blood Brothers 2, including a quantity of gold, some rare commanders, and some blood sigils (the game’s hard currency). These all come in extremely handy for the early portions of the game, so make sure to claim them! In fact, make sure to claim all your gifts every day. You don’t acquire them automatically, and if they sit in your mailbox for too long, they’ll disappear.
Pay attention to the weapon triangle – The key to victorious battles in Blood Brother 2 is adhering to the weapon triangle. Mounted units trump archers, which trump swordsmen, which trump mounted units. If you’re wielding a stronger weapon than your enemy, you’ll do double damage. However, if your enemy has the stronger weapon, you’ll have twice as much damage inflicted on you.
Save your blood sigils – When you lose a battle or run out of stamina, Blood Brothers 2 offers you the chance to continue or recharge for blood sigils. Don’t take the offer. Save your sigils for pacts, which are necessary for summoning strong commanders.
Don’t miss your chance for daily pacts – You’re allowed to conduct a pact for new commanders at three points in the day: Dawn, noon, and twilight. If you miss a draw, you can’t go back. You have to wait for the next window.
Try not to let enemies get the first strike – Keep your distance from enemies when you’re on the map screen. If a unit moves on you, they get the first strike. However, if you move on them, you get the first strike.
Tap to select a commander, and swipe to use their skill – If your commander glows blue, it means they’re ready to launch their special attack. Said attacks are usually best to save for strong enemies, however. Simply tap a commander’s portrait to put them on the battlefield and execute normal attacks. If you’d like them to use their attack for that turn, swipe upwards when putting them on the field.
Observe enemy details before choosing your commanders for a battle – You can take a look at enemy intel before starting a fight. Doing so lets you know what kind of enemies you’re up against, how strong they are, whether or not they can be recruited, and most importantly, what weapons they’re wielding. Always take a look at the facts, and choose your own troops accordingly.
Stay Alert, Stay Safe!
Retreat to your base for healing – You can heal your units by retreating to your base. You regain hit points whenever you move out, then back in. Don’t spam the trick, however: You only have a certain number of moves to achieve your goal in a level.
Matching weapon-for-weapon will do in a pinch – Lacking the soldiers necessary to trump an enemy commander’s weapon? No worries. Matching a foe weapon-for-weapon is acceptable, too. Just try very hard not to put yourself in a position where your weapon is weaker than your enemy’s.
Turns recharge tactics – Tactics are valuable because they let you attack enemies from a safe distance. Every turn charges your tactics, so use them strategically.
Using tactics doesn’t take up a turn – Utilizing tactics against the foe – the catapult, for instance – doesn’t take up any turns. It’s not a bad idea to save up tactics for boss characters. They can really soften up a fight, especially if you’re hurting by the time you reach your final destination.
Hello, Budding Mayors
Want to know what we made of all this upgrading and inevitable waiting? Check out our SimCity BuildIt review!
SimCity BuildIt is a city-building game from EA. Your job as mayor is to build houses for people to live in, industry and utilities to serve them, and to try and make sure the good people of your city don’t get mixed up in their own sewage.
SimCity BuildIt is straightforward for the most part, but that doesn’t mean running a city is always smooth sailing. Here are a few tips to keep your city happy and well-oiled.
More citizens means more taxes – When all is said and done, your goal in SimCity BuildIt is to attract new citizens and keep them happy so they don’t move out. More citizens means more tax money for beautification projects.
You’re not charged for paving streets or moving buildings, so go nuts – Moving stuff around in SimCity BuildIt doesn’t cost you anything, nor does laying down roads. You can organize and re-organize your city without fear of going broke, so go for it.
Visit neighbors’ trading posts for cheap goods – Make friends with other players, then visit their cities once a day to access their trading posts. It’s a great way to get materials quickly and cheaply. Every player is assigned to a fully-developed neighboring city, so don’t worry if you lack friends.
Got a Sweet Tooth?
All these strategies for crushing candy (and soda!) are all well and good, but what if you want to know if you should even bother with it in the first place? Fortunately that’s precisely why we have a Candy Crush Soda Saga review for you!
Have you recently downloaded Candy Crush Soda Saga and are in need of some help? We’re here with some handy tips and tricks to get you out of a jam!
It sounds a little obvious but remember – this isn’t Candy Crush Saga or any of the other Match-3 games you may have played. Candy Crush Soda Saga isn’t just about matching up anything and everything. All the levels have key objectives that you really need to focus on. Don’t be distracted.
The Bubble Bear stages require you to make the bubble bears float to the top. This is done by matching up soda bottles to make the soda level rise, thereby taking the bubble bears upwards.
Always focus on clearing soda bottles first.
When you can’t match up a soda bottle, focus on matching directly above the bubble bears to help them float to the top that bit faster.
Calling All Dragon Riders:
Want to know what we liked (and didn’t like) about all this fantasy fighting? Check out our Mark of the Dragon review!
Mark of the Dragon from Gamevil is a strategy/battle game that plays similarly to Clash of Clans. There’s one twist, however: you can breed dragons and raise them to be rideable war machines. Not surprisingly, this small gameplay tweak is pretty cool.
But fighting isn’t easy – even when you’re commanding things from the back of a giant lizard. Here are some tips and tricks to help you succeed in the dragon war.
Keep the Home Base Safe and Stocked
Guard your eggs – Dragon eggs are arguably your most valuable resource in Mark of the Dragon. They take time and effort to breed and hatch, and the resulting offspring forms the backbone of your assault force. Other players can steal eggs during a raid, so defend them accordingly. Build walls around your nest, and put weapons nearby.
Upgrade your resource depots ASAP – Upgrading the most important structures in your base, like your headquarters, requires a lot of resources – more than you can hold when you first begin playing the game. It’s extremely important to upgrade your resource depots whenever possible so you can amass the iron and wood necessary for major building projects.
Raids provide tons of resources – Low on wood or iron? Mark of the Dragon’s single-player campaign provides opportunities to score tons of resources. Get out there!
Cars: Fast as Lightning is a cute and fun app that combines racing and town-building with the charisma and marketability of Disney Pixar’s Cars franchise. It’s a friendly game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a few tips to help you make Radiator Springs shine again.
Complete quests to earn rewards – Quests queue up on the left side of the screen when you’re not racing. Quests offer rewards like experience and coins, and they’re a good way to get back on track if you’ve been meandering from task to task.
Pay attention to the difficulty meter before you race – Each car you engage in a race has a difficulty measuring from one to four. Make sure to race within your rank if you don’t want to waste gas on a loss.
Place attractions on the track to earn more experience with races – Don’t neglect putting attractions on race tracks. They earn you a bit of extra experience with every race, plus they make the joint look classy.
Finding your own true love is never easy, let alone finding it for other people. Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker makes matchmaking fun, though. You get to send couples out on dates, coach them through small talk, and mark them with Cupid’s arrow – sometimes literally. If everything goes well, you’ll get a wedding invite. If things go badly – well, there are other fishies in the sea, right?
Here are a few tips that will help you help others get lucky in love.
When you unlock the salon, tap on the question mark to get Kitty’s opinion on outfits, etc – Once you learn a bit about the art of matchmaking, you unlock the salon. Here you can change your clients’ clothes, hairstyle, and other features to make them more desirable. Tap the question mark block to get Kitty to tell you what personality types are attracted to a particular set of clothing or a certain hairstyle.
Use profile tabs to shuffle between general info, likes, and personality – When a lovelorn client shows up on your doorstep, make sure to read their profile thoroughly. That means combing through all the tabs on file: their general information, what they like, and their personality traits.
As you level-up, you learn more about clients’ personalities – Occasionally, leveling-up rewards you with the ability to perceive clients’ personality traits. In other words, the more you play, the easier it becomes to match up lovebirds.
Want to see what we thought about exploring the dimension between life and death? Check out our Phantom Rift review!
Phantom Rift from Foursaken Media is a deep adventure/role-playing game that centers around intense battles with enemy monsters. It plays a good deal like Capcom’s Mega Man Battle Network, which thrived on the Game Boy Advance, and veterans of that series should be able to sink right into Foursaken’s title.
But that doesn’t mean surviving the Rift is easy. Here are some tips that will help keep you alive in this strange, dark world.
The questions at the beginning of the game seem to influence the magic spells you receive – When you begin playing Phantom Rift, you’re asked a brief series of questions about who you are. Do you like fighting with friends, or alone? Do you prefer fighting close-up, or from afar? The way in which you answer these questions seems to impact which spells you start the game with. For instance, if you say you prefer fighting up close, you should start off with an assortment of sword spells.
Stuck? Talk to Wispin – Wispin is your guide in the Rift. If you’re unsure of what to do next, tap on him to chat. He can help light the way. [Editor’s Note: *rimshot*]
Use energy sparingly – Early in Phantom Rift, you receive a ring that restores health at the cost of 30 energy. This is a valuable tool, and can mean the difference between life and death. That said, energy is very valuable as it’s also used to buy spells, weapons, and armor. Instead of healing yourself with energy-consuming items, try restoring your health in-battle using spells.
Want to know what we thought about this hectic space combat/roguelike? Check out our Space Colors review!
Space Colors is a cool shooter/roguelike from Team Chaos. You travel from planet to planet across a huge galaxy and complete a variety of missions. One day, you may pick up a benign space crate. On another day, you may be asked to get serious about roasting alien slime.
When it comes to suburban life simulations, The Sims pretty much wrote the book. In The Sims Freeplay, we get to see a mobile-centric version of the game that is equal parts enjoyable and complex. Here are a few tips to get folks going on the natural path to building a happy, healthy cyber-community.
The first thing one probably wants to understand is the currency system. There are several different tenders that can be used to make purchases or otherwise enhance the life of your Sims. Within the game, the main form of currency is referred to – naturally – as “Simoleons.” Simoleons are probably most like real-life money, and can be earned by having Sims do things like going to work. Established properties can garner Simoleons at intervals, so it pays to “invest” and upgrade these properties. There are a few easter egg Simoleon earning activities as well, like pets digging for them.
Another currency type is the “Social Point.” This can be earned in neighboring towns by doing tasks such as practicing fire fighting. This encourages interaction with other players, as it’s easier to get fellow players to invest in an item necessary to get Social Points. Social Points can be spent on items in the game store.
“Lifestyle Points” can be gained by completing quests, increasing the town’s value, leveling-up, or watching and viewing special offers. They can also be purchased with real money. Lifestyle Points can be used to purchase items and speed up tasks.
The game also incorporates experience points, which allow characters to level-up and have access to more content.
One of the best ways to accumulate cash is to work. Consistently. On that note, getting promoted helps earn more faster. Building in moderation also helps maximize reserves. Happy Sims are better able to earn spendables, so keeping Sims inspired by ensuring their needs are met.
Even the simple act of gardening also leads to supplemental game cash. Several “natural” tasks like checking mail can net small amounts that add up.
There are quite a few professions to choose from, ranging from Real Estate Agent to politician, and a Sim’s career can be enhanced by “practicing” the job. Practicing makes the Sim better, and helps them get promoted. Sims can max out in careers, so the progress is not limitless.
Hobbies are great tools for gaining experience and limited content. The availability of hobbies to a specific character are generally restricted based on what one has unlocked and the age of a character. In other words, after the age requirement is met, one might have to do achieve/build something to be able to perform that hobby.
The biggest overall tip is to exhibit patience. The game runs in real-time, so there is always the temptation to use Lifestyle Points to expedite the action. Those Lifestyle Points could probably be best used elsewhere. Along those same lines, rushing to become a real estate mogul sounds logical – in the real world. In FreePlay, restraint is sometimes a good thing.
Now that the sequel to the widely lauded Civilization Revolution is finally upon us, it seems high time to fill you all in on the best ways to lay siege to the world for a second time. But as any diehard Civilization fan already knows, the long and winding road to victory can be fraught with countless twists and turns. Hopefully, if you take a few of these hints to heart, you might be able to alleviate a few of those first devastating defeats.
Research Unlocks All Doors
No matter what the objective in the specific scenario being played, research will eventually be the key to success. Here are a trio of key research concepts to keep in mind as the battle progresses:
In many cases, the other civilizations on the map are slow to expand outward. Take advantage of that time to pour extra gathering units into pulling in as many research points as possible early on. You will reap the benefits as the eras advance.
Though the game does tout its ability to shift gears throughout the research trees, it is still best to put focus one specific area, with specific end goals in sight. Only after exhausting one avenue of advancement in an era is it really beneficial to branch out into other paths.
There are great late-game payouts for each research tree, so make sure to check out the flowchart and find the payouts that will best compliment your playstyle.
The Evolving Role of Cities
As mentioned before, early on it is best to pour the most resources into research. But as time progresses and more cities are added to the empire, the roles of each province should change.
When more settlements are added to the empire, don’t be afraid to move the production of battle or defensive units out towards the borders. Unless roads link the entire empire, transporting units towards the front lines become far more cumbersome than necessary.
It is best to use the more internally located cities as resource mines for pulling in additional research points. The benefits of these advancements can then flow outward, further powering expansion
As cities expand away from the capitol, don’t be afraid to change the production role of a city to better match its geographical location on the map. Try to think about what resources in the area are most beneficial to the whole of the country and if the location should be more focused on offense, or defending the core of the empire
Don’t feel the need to establish settlements as soon as settlers become available. There is nothing wrong with idling these units until a more suitable location is found. Under most circumstances, patience will lead to far more beneficial locations becoming available from either a resource gathering or tactical sense.
Despite the game offering up to four different ways to win a match (cultural, economic, conquest, or scientific) it will be pretty much impossible to win without some form of moderate combat. When heading into battle, it may be best to keep the following things in mind:
Get rid of warriors as soon as possible. They are quasi-useful early on when grouped into armies of 3 units, but their effectiveness wanes quickly.
Evolve unit production along with technology. Don’t be afraid to move away from tried and true unit types you rode heavily (in the case of cavalry units, quite literally) early on in the campaign. All of the enemies will be doing the same, so don’t be the one bringing a catapult to a tank battle.
Don’t be afraid to sacrifice a unit or two if you don’t have any scouts available. There is nothing wrong with sending one of the worthless warriors you have hanging around to the slaughter if it means you will be able to get a read on the level of your opposition. Sometimes it is better to lose a level one troop instead of a mid-level army that could be more effectively used elsewhere. After all, warriors are much cheaper and quicker to produce than the disposable spy units.
Don’t forget to cover your back. Any city that doesn’t have at least one troop stationed within its borders is ripe for the conquering. This is essential to not lose sight of when in the throes of rapid expansion. An unprotected city is essentially like leaving the front door unlocked for anyone to walk in and claim for themselves.
As empires become less centralized, consider using roads as a way to ‘hotlink’ provinces for quickly transferring resources and troops. In the long run it can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Above all else, Civilization Revolution 2 will consistently provide a different experience for every single match. Don’t chain yourself to one specific play style, and you will ultimately be able to harvest far more hours of enjoyment than those intent on pigeonholing themselves into a gameplay corner. So get out there and explore; there’s plenty more to learn and enjoy!
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is a surprisingly intricate game – well, surprising if you’re unfamiliar with the series, anyway – and as such there’s no shame in getting a little help. Which is exactly why we’re here! We’ve put together a handy guide for hunters who are just starting out, full of all sorts of useful knowledge that will hopefully keep you all alive out there.
So suit up, grab your gear, and get ready to lay the smack down on to very large critters!
So You Want to be a Hunter?
The first step to getting anywhere in Monster Hunter is figuring out what type of weapon (or weapons) will work for you. There are quite a lot to choose from – 11, in fact – and each one is different. The best way to try them all out is at the Training School.
– In order to access the Training School you’ll need to first speak to the village chief (the elderly woman by the fire). To find her, just head up/North from your home. Once that’s finished you can find the Training School on the opposite side of the Guild Hall.
– Select the Beginner School, read through the basic Hunter Info, then you’ll be able to select Weapon Usage.
– Weapon Usage will allow you to try out every single category of weapon in the game. You’ll be given a temporary set of equipment, and an item box full of handy items at the start. The weapons you use are decent, and the tasks are simple – just enough to give you a sense of how the weapon functions.
– The distinctions between each of the 11 weapon classes are too numerous to go into in a beginner’s guide, but an important thing to remember is that there are two main groups: Melee and Ranged. Both groups utilize completely different types of armor, so make sure to keep that in mind when crafting new gear. Continue reading Monster Hunter Freedom Unite – Tips, Tricks, Cheats, and Strategies for New Hunters »
To access it, go to No Save Mode. Access the level select by tapping S-E-G-A on the SEGA logo in that order, then tapping and holding with two fingers on the title screen. Go to the Sound Test, and play tracks 01,09,09,02,01,01,02,04 to unlock debug mode. Then, play 03,03,03,0B,10,10,10,04 in order to unlock Proto Palace, which is accessible by playing the Hidden Palace Zone from the level select. You only get one life and the level eventually warps out as it is incomplete, but now you can explore this beta level for yourself — and with the advanced exploration abilities of Tails and Knuckles. We also have hands-on video of how to enter the code and unlock the level below.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a deceptive game because it can be so easy to get into, but doing well winds up being a bit of a challenge. Well, for those just jumping into the game with its iPad release, here are a few general tips on how to get better at Hearthstone.
If you’re serious about becoming a good player, dedicate yourself to doing so. This is not a standard mobile title, this is a Blizzard-made PC game that’s available on mobile. Yes, it has an easy learning curve to get into, but there’s a steep mountain to climb to be an expert, and part of that is collecting all the great cards that are out there.
So, if you’re going to go from newb to even just being respectable at the game, be prepared to dig in. Get ready to lose often, and to spend a lot of time learning how to play well as much as actually trying to play. Remember: you’re at a disadvantage because there’s plenty of experienced players out there already thanks to the game’s PC beta period, even though there are those folks just jumping in as well. Also remember: this is a free-to-play game. You may want to spend money on booster packs if you want to get better cards.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. It can be easy when starting out to stick with the starting class and to just try and build them out. Don’t do so – there are nine classes in total, and it’s possible that one might be more conducive to your play style than another. So try them out as you unlock them. This is why I say you should be dedicated. You likely won’t get to a position where you are at an optimal level for a long time if you’re committed to being good.
So always be trying out different things, playing as different classes, trying different strategies, and especially forming different decks. I recommend reviewing a deck often: is a card a good idea to have in a deck? Would a new card be better than one already in the deck you’ve made that you’re comfortable with? You won’t know for sure until you try it out for yourself.
Pay attention. Try not to be distracted when you’re playing seriously. You want to know at all times what your strategy is going to be, what cards you’re going to play – and more importantly, not play, as a powerful ability might be better served for later. Mana amounts are more of a suggestion of what you can do, not what you must do. You have some time to make moves, so take advantage of it!
But the other big reason to pay attention is that decks are only 30 cards. While it’s impossible to know what exactly a player has in their deck, if you know they’ve used something already (especially twice), then you know what they can’t do in the future, or can even just have an idea on what they might do, based on their class (this is why you experiment)! Be smart, and you can outwit your opponent.
Play often! You’re not going to get better by not playing. Play regularly – practice against the AI, especially when starting out. But try to complete the missions daily if you’re a serious player: they’re free gold for the taking, and free gold means less real-world money spent on arena entries and booster packs (or just more of them if you’re intent on not paying)! And remember: the things you learn will stick more when you play and do them more. Your account will transfer between different platforms, so you can play wherever you so choose.
So get out there, and get Hearthing those stones for great victory!
Since they’re technically the same game, I’ve added tips for Enemy Within to our pre-existing guide for Enemy Unknown. All of the Enemy Within tips can be found towards the bottom of each category, and are denoted with a bullet point. You can also check out our Enemy Within review right here.
The X-Com series, particularly the earlier games, are notoriously unforgiving. Although while XCOM: Enemy Unknown has been modernized, and is therefore more player friendly, it’s no slouch either. In fact, even on the Normal difficulty there’s a good chance you’re going to get creamed if you try to breeze through it. But all is not lost. If you find that you’re losing soldiers at an alarming rate or keep getting the project disbanded because a bunch of countries freak out and leave, we’ve got a few tips you might want to consider.
Facilities are essential. Your manufacturing and research abilities, as well as your satellites, all require the proper facilities to operate. Completing a terror mission to earn five engineers could be a waste if you don’t have enough workshop space to use them. And that could lead to falling perilously behind in the early game arms race.
Research, research, research. Don’t neglect your scientists! The technologies they can uncover after studying alien corpses and weaponry are essential to giving your soldiers a fighting chance. By the same token, don’t be afraid to take aliens alive. Assuming you can do so with relative safety. It allows you to recover their weapons intact, which can then be equipped on your soldiers or sold for a tidy profit.
Don’t ignore the Council. You might prefer to spend your money and resources on better armor and weapons, but if you don’t get a few satellites in orbit and ignore the Council’s requests you stand to lose immense amounts of funding. Plus you can flat out lose if too many countries abandon the project.
Check your stores often. Sometimes you’ll acquire items you don’t need for research or manufacturing, and these can be sold off in bulk for a decent price. The same goes for alien tech and specimens you’ve fully researched. So long as it isn’t Ellerium or alien alloys there’s a good chance you won’t need it for the long haul.
Build smart. Most facilities belong to one of a few different categories, such as energy production or satellite use. Whenever two facilities belonging to the same category are next to each other either horizontally or vertically (i.e. uplink next to an uplink, etc) they both get a bonus. This is a very good thing.
Pay attention to your upgrades. You won’t necessarily have the chance to develop all of them, but many of the projects you can produce at the Forge (once it’s available) can make a huge difference.
Consider holding off on major tasks. Despite all the open-endedness Enemy Unknown’s story does progress linearly. Every so often an urgent mission or task will appear, and once it’s completed the next phase of the story begins. While the alien forces will get more and more difficult to deal with over time, regardless of where you are in the story, there are benefits to keeping the plot in check. Namely it gives you the opportunity to research better equipment and gather more resources before the endgame.
Don’t rush to build a Cybernetics Lab or a Genetics Lab right away. I know it’ll be tempting to try out all those shiny new toys as soon as possible, but it will take you a while to collect enough Meld (the new alien substance you’ll use to enhance your soldiers) for either one to be useful. You’re better off focusing on keeping your squads well-equipped at the start – you can always build either (or both) structures later.
Both cybernetic and genetic augmentations take time, so plan accordingly. No matter if you’re turning your soldiers into hulking death machines or enabling them to leap several stories into the air, you’ll need to wait a few days – in addition to the upfront money and Meld costs, of course. You’ll want to pace yourself so you don’t end up with half (or more) of your best soldiers stuck in surgery or whatever when the aliens start a new terror campaign.
MECs don’t use equipment. If you do ever turn a soldier into a MEC trooper, know that they won’t be able to use any of their old equipment. If you plan to augment one or two of your soldiers and they happen to be using nice armor or weapons, you can pass them along to the others and save a few million bucks on production costs.
Pay close attention to soldiers’ skills. Plan accordingly. Try to select skills that compliment each other, such as the heavy’s Holo-Targeting (accuracy bonus to all squad members when firing on an enemy) and the sniper’s Squad Sight (can target any enemy that other soldiers see, no matter the distance, so long as there’s a clear path to the target).
Consider having two or more of each elite class. It can take some effort but will be worth it. It enables you to create various soldiers with skills that are ideal for a variety of situations; such as a sniper that specializes in large, outdoor environments or an assault soldier ideal for cramped locations.
Upgrade the barracks. Don’t forget about the Officer Training School. Many of the upgrades you can acquire can be a huge help throughout the game; especially the ones that increase the squad size. Check in every so often as more options become available as your soldiers gain higher ranks.
Don’t ignore the support class. Having a medic on the team can mean the difference between a favorite soldier spending a few days in the infirmary or getting their own epitaph. Plus their smoke grenades can really help out in a pinch.
Sidearms can be your best friend. Pistols may not seem all that great at first, but they can mean the difference between life and death; especially plasma pistols. Make sure to give your most powerful handguns to your snipers as they can’t move and fire their rifle in the same turn unless they learn a specific perk. Otherwise, if you intend to move them at all, make sure they have rockin’ pistols. And make the effort to manufacture the pistol upgrades when you can, too. I’ve had my snipers take down enemies from quite a distance during their reaction shots using only a pistol on several occasions.
You wanna live? Get a S.H.I.V. The S.H.I.V. is a small robotic vehicle, not unlike a human-sized tank. They’re no replacement for a battle-hardened soldier but with enough research and development they can be quite devastating. Plus they’re the perfect expendable solution to filling an injured soldier’s spot on the squad during a mission.
Use the right armor. You might think it’s clever to put every single soldier in your squad into the most durable armor you can find, but it’s more likely to hinder them. For example, snipers shouldn’t be on the front lines, and therefore could benefit a lot more from armors that may not be super-tough but can help them reach the high ground easier.
Award medals to your soldiers as soon as you get them. Medals another of the new additions in Enemy Within, and you can use them to give your favorite soldiers a slight boost to various skills or attributes. Each medal can be assigned one of two permanent buffs (in other words, once you pick a medal’s effect you won’t be able to change it), so you’ll also want to think about what will be best for the long haul rather than what might be handy in the moment.
No matter how cool it sounds, don’t turn everybody into cyber soldiers. Sure MEC troopers are a force to be reckoned with, but they aren’t as adaptable as regular or genetically modified soldiers. One or two MECs will probably be enough. And MEC suits are interchangeable, so even if you lose a cybernetic soldier you can still pass their rig onto someone else.
Autopsies lead to more modifications. As with the rest of your technology, the more types of aliens you autopsy the more gene and cyber mods you unlock. If you want to really dig into either of these new sub classes, make sure you don’t dawdle when it comes to cutting those bodies open.
The Foundry can be a MEC trooper’s best friend. In addition to a few new projects that benefit regular soldiers (such as giving everyone the ability to carry two items), there are quite a few that are specifically tailored for MEC troops. Things like improved armor durability and movement. Make sure you check these projects out if you’re serious about cybernetics.
Converted MEC troopers keep their ranks. This is important because, just like regular soldiers, higher ranks means more skills. If you convert a high-ranking soldier into a MEC trooper, you’ll be able to access the same number of skills from the MEC skill tree. It gives you a bit of a head-start, as it were.
Both cyber and gene mods are irreversible. The game makes sure to tell you this, but it bears repeating: once you modify a soldier, you cannot go back. On a similar note, MEC troopers can never be genetically modified or vise-versa.
Cars can, and will, explode. It seems obvious but I can’t stress the importance of keeping an eye out for burning vehicles enough. Cars and trucks do provide decent cover, but once they catch fire it’s only a matter of time until they blow. And you don’t want your soldiers near them when that happens. So take a moment to see if the vehicle you plan to move to, or are currently hiding behind, is a ticking time bomb before you make a move.
Don’t take unnecessary risks. It’s often better to miss out on alien tech than to lose a skilled soldier. Take it slow and don’t spread out too much. If a soldier encounters an alien squad and no one can reach them within a turn or two, they could be in serious trouble. Splitting up into groups of two or three is usually the best way to go. At least until your soldiers reach the higher ranks.
Head for the high ground. Everyone, soldiers and aliens alike, benefits from a higher elevation. The higher up you are, the better your accuracy and the worse your enemy’s is. It’s not worth taking unnecessary risks to get to the top of a building or anything like that, but if you have the chance to take a higher vantage point then do it.
Never, ever, ever, ever, blindly rush in to a room. It doesn’t matter if it’s a UFO, base, regular mission, or terror site. It’s a sure-fire way to get vaporized. Approach with caution instead. Get at least two soldiers into good positions, preferably with one next to a door or window, and go into Overwatch. Then carefully open the door or peek in on your next turn.
Approach all newly encountered alien species with extreme caution. At least until you know what they’re capable of, and especially if you’re new to X-Com. What looks like a pushover could quite possibly decimate your entire squad if given enough of an opportunity. Just assume every new life form you encounter is the most dangerous creature you’re ever going to face and you should be all right.
Take ‘em alive. It’s not always feasible, or worth the risk, but when you can you should try to capture an alien or two alive. Not only can their interrogation lead to new research opportunities, you’ll be able to recover their weapons intact which could save you a fortune in engineering costs.
Push forward at the beginning of your turn, not the end. When you move ahead into unknown territory you always run the risk of encountering a squad of aliens. Believe me, it’s much better to discover them after only moving one or two soldiers than all of them. It leaves the entire squad incredibly vulnerable, especially in the later levels.
Keep Chryssalids as far away as possible at all times. You’ll typically see these spider-like aliens during terror missions but they can (and will) appear elsewhere. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. Trust me.
Surprise attacks are possible. While the aliens are definitely at an advantage most of the time, they aren’t omnipotent. Use this to lure them into a trap on occasion. If your soldiers can’t see them, they can’t see your soldiers, so it’s possible to set a few up in key locations and use one of your own as a decoy to draw them into range.
Don’t underestimate Sectoids. Sectoids are the most “normal” of Enemy Unknown’s, and possibly the most common. However, while they aren’t particularly durable they can use their telepathic abilities to strengthen their comrades. However, if you kill a Sectoid while its mind is merged with another alien both will die. Keep that in mind.
Pick augmentations that suit a soldier’s class. Most of the genetic modifications you can research are useful in a variety of situations, but some are far more tailored to certain types of solders than others. For example, giving your sniper the ability to jump super-high will make it much easier for them to reach the high ground in a hurry. The modification that prevents poison and strangling is also great for snipers as they tend to hang back in combat, which leaves them susceptible to the new Seeker enemies (think robotic flying stealth squids). Similarly, it’s most beneficial to give your scouts (typically Assault or Support classes) mods that allow them to ‘sense’ enemies that are still hidden.
MEC troopers are not invincible. Oh sure they’re more durable than regular soldiers but they’re also bigger targets and they can’t use cover. Until you’ve got a high-ranking soldier using a second or third tier MEC suit, you’ll want to avoid using them as walking, talking shields.
Try to use two MEC troopers, one with each kind of secondary weapon. The flamethrower can be monstrously effective against Chryssalids, especially when they group up, but it has a very limited number of uses during a mission and the lack of range makes it a poor choice against targets with guns. Foundry upgrades can make it more formidable, though. Conversely, the pneumatic fist (I don’t care what it’s actually called, that’s what I’ve dubbed it) has absolutely no range. However, it can one-shot most small enemies and may even knock them several feet through a wall. It can also be a very effective (and cool looking) way to finish off larger enemies like Berserkers and the new Mechtoid.
Play around with new types of equipment when you can.Enemy Within also sports a number of new secondary items for your soldiers to carry into battle such as grenades that can stun your enemies temporarily and special ammo that deals significant amounts of damage but isn’t useful over long distances. There’s no reason you shouldn’t try most (or all) of these new toys out – especially once all of your soldiers can carry two items apiece.
Do NOT investigate the fishing village. Trust me.
The Most Important Thing
Be prepared to lose. A lot. Newcomers, especially. XCom is a fair game, but it’s also fairly unforgiving. A few wrong decisions early on could create a ripple effect that totally undermines your progress later (see previous tips about selling gear and tending to the Council). Depending on the difficulty and options selected you could also lose a beloved soldier in a flash thanks to one silly mistake. Avoiding these situations is incredibly difficult, but learning from them doesn’t have to be.
If you’ve got your own tips and strategies you’d like to recommend feel free to chime in below. With the odds stacked so firmly against us, We’ll need whatever help we can get.
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