I’ve been really getting into this game! As a relatively successful free-player, I figured I might as well post some tips and tricks here for other players trying to get the most out of the game without spending any money. The series will be divided into 4 into what I call the Four B’s:
I’m going to be writing and providing videos and screenshots from the Autobot perspective, but since the two sides are essentially mirror copies of each other, everything applies equally if you’re playing the Decepticon side.
So first, your base. The design and layout may not seem important but it is actually a vital aspect of the game experience, primarily because when the enemy attacks, you lose resources! Nothing’s worse than slogging through a number of battles to gain enough resources to upgrade a bot or a building, only to have a significant chunk of it stolen by an opposing player.
Of course, successful defending will also earn you Cyber Coins through the achievements: the first for winning 10 battles on defense, and then another for 125 – a goal that few are ever likely to reach, since once your base starts getting into Zone 12/13 territory you will almost never get attacked.
When bots are not under attack or executing an ability, they will attack the building nearest to them. Therefore, position your buildings strategically, to force the enemy to go where you want them to go. Even simple Build Bots can be used to guide the enemy towards your kill-box, or away from your high value buildings. Make them go in the wrong direction, waste valuable time, or walk towards their doom!
If any of your attacking structures are still intact when your HQ is destroyed, then they were in the wrong place. Make sure that you position everything so that the enemy WILL encounter them as they progress through your base. That way, if you lose, you have the satisfaction of knowing that it was through sheer power and not because they avoided your defenses somehow.
In the battle shown in the video below, I got lucky, with the defender having a Laser Turret, Auto Cannon, Shock Tower and Mortar all useless against a Gunner firing from a distance. These should have been positioned in front of the HQ, or at least close enough to defend it – especially the Shock Tower, which is absolutely useless at the back because of its very short range:
Get spaced out
Some of the most lethal attacks in the game are doom for bases with their buildings all clumped together. Like Jazz and Mixmaster’s Orbital Strike ability, or Air Raid and Slipstream’s Neutron bomb + another air attack to set it off. These can also be combined with a Glass Gas attack (e.g. Cliffjumper/Kickback’s Glass Gas Rockets), allowing even a weaker team to do serious damage.
I can also usually Glass Gas + Fire to do some serious damage to a group of buildings, and of course Bumblebee and Skrapnel can put an entire section out of commission with their EMP Bomb.
Therefore it’s best if your attacking structures have some gaps between them.
Don’t give away bonuses
Keep your +3 buildings (the Space Bridge and Research Lab) out of the way! Once destroyed, they give your opponents a quick boost that allows them to launch even more devastating special attacks against your base.
Use your utilities
Energon and Alloy Harvesters have some serious HP of their own, especially at high levels, so use them to delay the enemy while they get slaughtered by your defenses. They do result in your opponents getting an ability point per building though, so use them thoughtfully and sparingly.
Pair things together (but not too closely!) which have complementary skills, e.g. most teams will try and fly-bomb your Mortars, so make sure there’s always a Laser Turret nearby to intercept them on their flight path and ensure that their actions have cost them something.
Here are my personal preferences for upgrade order. Basically, the priority at the lower levels is Energon, Energon, Energon:
- Energon Harvesters: free Energon!
- HQ: to upgrade the Research Lab
- Research Lab: to upgrade bots to win battles and get Energon
- Space Shuttle: the more bots you can ferry to battle, the faster your bots level up and the easier battles become
- Laser Turrets: despite their short range, these have the greatest attacking power, moreso that you’ll have more of them than Beam Lasers
- Mortars: range and group damage
- Auto Cannons: essentially useless, better at being tanks than they are at killing bots
- Alloy Harvesters: past a certain point, you’ll pretty much always have more alloy than you know what to do with
- Everything else: defending your base is a “nice to have” but ultimately how fast you can gather Energon matters more
There will obviously be some exceptions to this, e.g. if you don’t have enough Storage to hold enough resources to upgrade you should upgrade your Storage. As you get towards the higher levels, resources start becoming less and less relevant – the lengthy upgrade times (7 days at HQ14 and 14 days at HQ15), combined with not getting attacked very often, means that you’ll have plenty of time to get back any resources that you lose.
Here are a few other silly little tricks you can try:
- Space Bridge Fake: HQ level 10 and below looks a little bit like your Space Bridge, and I’ve seen heaps of players’ bases try to fake out their opponents by setting their base up so that all the defenses seem to be protecting the Space Bridge in the hope that opponents attack it thinking it’s the HQ, while the real HQ is placed nondescriptly somewhere else.
- HQ peek-a-boo: at Level 12, the HQ building suddenly becomes HUGE, which means you can hide another building behind it (especially the Autobot one, which is more square than the Decepticons one, which leans to one side). Stick a high level Laser Turret or Mortar there, and attackers won’t know what hit them until the last minute.
- Time trap: this notorious base design is based on putting buildings inside walls laid out in a hexagonal beehive pattern. This causes bots other than gunners to waste time bashing through walls to attack the building, and can easily lead to teams losing the battle from timeouts. However, Space Apes have subsequently introduced a few bots and abilities that get around these (e.g. Slog and Straxus’s Seismic Charge) so it’s not the winning strategy that it used to be.
That’s it for this part of the series. I’ll keep updating it to add more screenshots, and any other tips that people share in the comments as well, so check back often!