The following is intended as general help for beginners, it may not be applicable to every situation and does not cover advanced tactics.
If this is your first time
- Unlock all of the mech squads, which is done by spending coins earned from completing in game achievements.
- Unlock all mech pilots, which are found randomly in time pods, or randomly awarded upon perfect completion of an island.
At the end of each play through of the game, you will be asked which of your 3 mech pilots you want to take to the next time line. Initially it's best to select the same pilot for each game: between games they will increase in experience and gain new skills, making each subsequent play through easier. Maxing out your first pilot's experience will earn you an achievement (and a coin).
Pay attention to the achievements specific to your squad, each will earn you a coin. At the start of the game, you will only have access to the Rift Walkers, so attempt to complete these achievements in your play through:
- Drown 3 enemies in water in a single battle
- Kill an enemy 5 or more tiles away with a Dash Punch
- Complete the first Corporate Island
Maxing out your pilot and completing the first corporate island are fairly easy first goals, and they will earn you enough coins to unlock the Rusting Hulks.
- When choosing which missions to pursue on an island, a good way to prioritize is by risk/difficulty vs reward. Consider Reactor cores the most valuable reward, and power the least valuable; this is because reactor cores cost 3 reputation. Power costs one reputation, however reputation is more valuable because it can also be spent on other things when power is not needed. You will need to weigh your decision based on how badly you need power, and how difficult the mission is.
- Try to choose missions that fit the abilities of your mechs. Missions that require you to protect something are easier if you have shields or ice, but these don't help much if you're required to kill a large number of enemies.
- Achieving all bonus objectives in an island will give you an extra reward. Keep in mind Time Pods are also considered as bonus objectives.
- Depending on how much power you have, when deciding between protecting an objective and a city; it is not always better to protect the city. This is because damage to the city means you will lose power that you already have, whilst the loss of an objective carries a heavy opportunity cost.
- Losing a perfect island bonus also means missing out on a new pilot, weapon, or 2 reputation/repair so consider the situation carefully before you decide. Unless your grid power is dangerously low, it's probably better to sacrifice the building and repair the grid power later rather than miss out on a significant bonus at the end of the island.
- Take a look at the Vek types when choosing which islands to attempt and what order to attempt them in. In particular, the psion and leader types can make a big difference in the island's difficulty.
- Mechs can be repaired easily, and are repaired for free at the end of a mission. This often means that it is preferable for a mech to take a hit instead of a building or objective.
- Similarly, mechs can be used to form walls to push Vek into. This can turn a non-damaging push into a damaging one.
- Friendly fire sometimes makes sense. For example, a mech stuck in a web can sometimes be freed by being hit by artillery.
- Consider how attacks can push friendly units around. The positive is that it can be used to break them out of webs or to increase a friendly unit's range. The negative is that it might prevent the unit for attacking (e.g. pushing it into water).
- As long as you don't actually use an ability, you can undo as many moves as you want.
- Being too aggressive about preventing reinforcements can create a nightmare in later turns when six Vek emerge at once. It can be better to kill a Vek than to block reinforcements, so focus on that first. However, enemies do not spawn before the final round, so you can prevent an enemy from spawning by blocking it over multiple rounds.
- Use the environment against the Vek as much as possible: push them into mountains, each other, water, lava, and over spawning holes. Every passive source of damage is a HP that you don't need to remove with a mech.
- Psions don't do direct damage but passively increase the abilities of other Vek. Taking them out early is often a good strategy. However, consider how they can be used to your advantage:
- Study the turn order (found in the top right of the UI), it goes: environment, Fire/Electric damage, Vek attacks, NPC action, new Vek spawn. It will also tell you the order in which each Vek attacks. Use this information to get them to hit each other, and determine where they will end their turns.
- Any Vek with 1 HP who are also on fire will die before they act.
- Often it pays to not collect time pods by standing on them. Time pods are recovered at the end of the mission as long as they are not destroyed (or walked on by a Vek), and Vek don't usually target them. Not spending a turn to go collect them means that it can be spent doing something else.
- It is often more valuable to spend reactor cores on your mechs' inbuilt abilities than it is to buy new weapons (depending on the weapon and cost).
- Improving movement allows your team more flexibility on the map. Being able to move further in one turn is crucial for adapting to new threats across the board. However, consider using weapons which also move the mech, as they have much greater range than walking does.
- Improving HP will increase your team's ability to do many of the tips in the combat section, such as shielding buildings, or acting as walls.
- XP is quite important in this game, and it's worth giving all your pilots a chance to level up.
- If one of your pilots is at max level already while others are struggling, consider swapping that pilot into a Mech which rarely kills enemies. That way the other pilot will get a chance to kill extra enemies and gain some XP.
- Passive ability weapons can be very useful, as for a single cost/slot the whole team benefits.
- When buying weapons, consider how useful it actually will be vs having more movement or health. A typical weapon costs 1 reputation + 1 reactor core (3 reputation).
- If you replace a weapon or a pilot, consider selling the old one. You are likely to earn between about 4-10 reputation per island, unused items can be sold for 1 reputation, and can be game changing when you only need 1 more reputation to do something.
- On the other hand, consider saving up one extra Pilot in case one of the primary pilots dies.
- If you want to carry over reputation to the next island, you can buy weapons now and sell them later.