Days Gone: The Best Tips & Tricks to Know Before Playing

Days Gone is finally here, and there are quite a few tips and tricks that players should know before getting started. Even though the Days Gone story leaves a bit to be desired, there’s a lot to love about the full-on freaker massacres in store, and the many ways Deacon can dispatch his foes. The third-person open world shooter has a familiar approach for fans of Red Dead Redemption, Last of Us, or Mad Max, but there’s a few important distinctions to keep in mind.

Though not crushingly difficult, Days Gone does have a large difficulty spike towards the end, when taking down hordes becomes required instead of a random encounter you might run away from. Though there are plenty of early missions to learn the ropes of Deacons’ various skills: stealth, bike-riding, crafting, and so forth, some things aren’t explained quite as well. And so, it’s understandable for players to want to know some Days Gone tips and tricks.

Related: Days Gone Review: A Cliche Open-World Zombie Love Story

Before you hop into your first playthrough, check out Screen Rant’s tips and tricks for Days Gone below. It’s always helpful to have a little assistance in the post-apocalypse.

  • You’ll burn fuel fast driving around on your bike Oregon, so make sure to add gas stations to your route (they’re marked on the map).
  • You’ll save a lot on gas by taking your foot off the petal when heading downhill. Don’t always do this; sometimes in a chase you need to go fast, but know that coasting downhill may get you just the extra distance you need to make it to a gas station to fuel up again.
  • Water is bad news for motorcycles, and even driving through shallow water can damage your bike. Though it isn’t too costly to repair it, you’ll want to save as much scrap as you can for other crafting opportunities.
  • You need to loot after every fight, all the time. Bandits you kill will always have something; whether it’s an already-constructed bandage or medkit, or just an ingredient for a certain recipe. Their camps are often littered in supplies as well: scrap, kerosene, etc. It may not be incredibly engaging, but you’ll thank yourself for checking every nook and cranny later. Unfortunately, the primary enemies in the game, freakers, don’t carry much on them. But simply running over their corpse will place an ear in Deacon’s inventory. These ears can be sold as bounties at the various camps, increasing your credits and trust. Why they pay for freaker ears, we don’t know, but they should always be looted so they can be turned in and used to get upgrades or guns.
  • Don’t hold onto your credits until the end of Days Gone. The various camps offer a lot of tantalizing upgrades. Copeland can get your bike in tip-top shape, and Tucker has a veritable arsenal of guns. While it is important to level up both your fighting and your… flighting, make your priority a new set of arms. Deacon starts Days Gone with a junk condition pistol (the worst level) and later gets a rifle as his primary weapon. They’re functional, but once you get your Trust with Tuck’s camp up to Level 1, there are a lot better guns you can buy. Don’t wait on leveling up trust or save up hard-earned credits to buy the really high-tier items. They may look amazing (and trust us, they are) but you need something in the interim.
  • Days Gone features an extensive day-night weather system that is at times beautiful. Exploring the rainy forests of Oregon is not without its pleasures. However, the changing weather and time also leads to a lot of enemy unpredictability. Most noticeably, freakers are out in full force at night and are a lot more aggressive. They’re still out during the day of course, just less in numbers and less willing to give up the chase. Keep in mind this isn’t always the case; some missions will feature hordes of these freaks irregardless. If you’re struggling with a particular mission (one that doesn’t auto set the time or weather), try sleeping at one of the various beds and advancing the time or simply doing another activity and trying again when the weather’s changed.
  • Way before the game is ready to introduce you to them, you may encounter a huge cluster of freakers, moving together like a mob. This is a horde, and they are tough. Each horde consists of around 150 or so of the undead and they can easily overwhelm you. If you run into one with low ammo, very few health kits, and most importantly – no molotovs, turn around. There’s no shame in running from a fight, especially one that you can’t win.
  • NERO checkpoints often have anywhere from 2-6 loudspeakers. Once the power goes back on, these puppies will ring out, bringing down the wrath of freakers around you. To avoid this, you can either shoot the speakers down with a silenced gun or cut them down with a knife by climbing on top of the outpost. Be careful to look for hidden speakers in trees (sometimes they can be a bit tricky!).
  • Use napalm molotovs all the time. Though the recipe is essentially the same as basic molotovs with a bit more ingredients that are a bit rarer, these guys are necessary in taking out hordes. Necessary. Fire can spread quickly over a large group of baddies and kills them much faster than praying and spraying.
  • Gunfire attracts more freakers. Yes, guns also kill freakers, but if you keep firing in a crowded area, you’ll end up firing for a long time, wasting precious ammo. So instead of shooting these bad guys when there are only a few around you, take out a trusty crafted (or found) melee weapon and go to town.

Mastering all of these concepts in Days Gone will ensure that you’re prepared for the horde, marauders, and anything that the apocalypse can throw at you. Keep in mind that these may not suit your playstyle, so mix and match as you see fit.

Next: The Real Reason Days Gone Removed Player Choices

2019-04-25 02:04:31

Ty Sheedlo

Mortal Kombat 11: The Best Tips & Tricks To Know Before Playing

Mortal Kombat 11 is arguably a great jumping on point for beginners and older players who haven’t picked up a title in the long-running series for a while, with its time-bending storyline and highly polished fighting mechanics. With any game, though, there’s bound to be a learning curve involved and Mortal Kombat 11 is no exception.

The difference between Mortal Kombat 11 and other games, however, is that a lot of vital tricks to succeeding at or making the game a somewhat easier experience are hidden beneath the surface. This isn’t really new to a Mortal Kombat game, either, but this most recent iteration does a few things differently. With that in mind, there are a few different things players can do this time around, from completing early tasks to unlock skins for each character to making some of the difficulty away from some of oft-frustrating Towers of Time mode.

Related: Mortal Kombat 11 Fatal Blows Explained & How-To Guide

Some of these Mortal Kombat 11 tips and tricks are easier to accomplish than others, but all of them will make the game slightly easier or more enjoyable in the long run. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of these various Mortal Kombat 11 tips and tricks that you’ll want to know about before booting up the game:

  • Make sure to complete each character tutorial, as it’ll guarantee you a new skin for each. This actually serves two purposes, as the very intuitive tutorials will make you a much better fighter as you learn the ins and outs of each of the quite large roster of characters.
  • Keep an eye on the offensive and defensive meters at the bottom left and right sides of the screen. Holding R1 or RB (depending on your console) and attacking will unleash more powerful attacks while defensive breakaway maneuvers (R2 or RT) will help you recover faster. These meters can deplete, but they will recharge.
  • Use projectile Konsumables in the Living Towers mode, especially with modifiers where it makes it basically impossible to block enemy attacks or buffs. This will increase your chances of winning and make the frustration at least somewhat bearable.
  • Customize character loadouts, as the standard ones may not play to your strengths as a fighter. Completing the aforementioned tutorials first will make customization all the better, as well, as you’ll better understand each character’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Complete the story mode. This may seem like a no-brainer, but every activity in Mortal Kombat 11 rewards currency and cosmetics, including the story mode. It’s a great way to build some Koins before you head into competitive fighting.
  • Focus on one character at a time for augment slots. Otherwise you’ll be spreading your Koin spending out too thin and end up with a bunch of underpowered fighters. Pick your favorite and grind as much as you can stand toward making them powerful. It’ll pay off in the long run. Though, hopefully this changes with NetherRealm Studios’ promised updates to make things less grindy.
  • Experiment with combos. The move list is great for learning the basics of combat, but there are a ton of hidden combos for each character. Play around with different button combinations and see what wonderfully violent combos you can discover.
  • Complete daily challenges. These are a surefire way to getting Koins and other forms of currency as fast as possible. It will help you in both the Towers and Krypt modes.

While there are certainly other ways to become better at Mortal Kombat 11, the above list of tips and tricks are some of the best ways to turn yourself from a novice to a pro in a short amount of time. Keep in mind that a lot of these tips and tricks won’t help you much in ranked play as NetherRealm has designed it with previously designed character variations to ensure balance.

More: Mortal Kombat 11 Ending Explained (& How To Get All THREE Endings)

2019-04-24 02:04:51

Corey Hoffmeyer

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – Tips & Tricks: Tactical Combat Video

Learn some basics in tactical combat for The Division 2, out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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2019-04-22 18:01:09

World War Z: Best Tips, Tricks, & Hints To Know Before Playing

Before you take on the zombie apocalypse in World War Z, prepare yourself with these tips and tricks. Saber Interactive’s zombie apocalypse co-op shooter, World War Z, is finally out in the wild, and players are having a blast with the game’s non-stop barrage of high-octane action and class-based co-op multiplayer.

World War Z isn’t a cakewalk, and even the most hardened players might have hard time trying to survive the endless waves of zombies hungry for the taste of fresh flesh. Especially on harder difficulties, it’s easy to get overrun by the horde. A four-person squad may seem like an unstoppable force, but the tough zombies will exploit any weakness in their quest for yummy brains.

Related: Here’s What Left 4 Dead 3 Could Have Looked Like

For beginning players, as well as those who’ve already cut their teeth in World War Z‘s first week (at least after overcoming the game’s continuing problems with connectivity and crashing), we’ve assembled some pro tips on how to survive World War Z.

  • Start On Easy: There are five difficulty levels in World War Z. The natural instinct might be to start on Normal or Hard, but it’s better to start on Easy. For an initial playthrough, it’s best to just enjoy the light storytelling and get a feel for the levels and which weapons work best for you. It sounds obvious, but it’s best to learn how to play before trying to conquer Insane difficulty.
  • Bring Friends: World War Z is an online multiplayer co-op game. Like Diablo, Borderlands, Destiny, Army of Two, or, honestly, any co-op game, it’s best played with friends. Trying to conquer levels on Hard difficulty or above can be blisteringly difficult without proper communication, and that’s best handled with friends.
  • Stay In Formation: Most levels in World War Z feature numerous encounters where the team is placed in a wide open area and tasked with defending a position from an onslaught of hundreds of zombies. In the very first level, the concept is introduced via the battle at the mall atrium, in which the team must set up defenses and hold the line against a swarm of zeke who are trying to climb a fence and enter the mall. Communication is key; if a well-armed team delegates responsibility over each portion of the fence, the situation can be resolved with only a minimum number of zombies making it into the mall.
  • Stick Together: In addition to the arena-style horde fights, World War Z also features more traditional corridor shooting. It’s tempting to race through these areas and reach the next objective, but that’s an easy way to get killed. Creeper and Bull zombies can overpower an unaware player and incapacitate them until they’re rescued by another player, meaning “lone wolf” players are better served running with the pack, so to speak.
  • Seriously, Stick Together: Several objectives, including the final leg of the first level in New York, involve scouring a large area for items and returning them to a central point. It may seem tempting to split up and cover more ground, but that path can quickly lead to a TPK (total party kill). Zombies don’t have to divide and conquer when players willingly split up and offer themselves up to be eaten by the horde. At the very least, split up into pairs, so one player can always cover the other’s back. Still, on any difficulty harder than Normal, stick together at all costs.
  • Stay Stealthy: Many areas can be conquered without arousing the attention of the whole horde of zombies. Sticking with silenced weapons like the initial pistols and melee strikes can allow like-minded teams to clear even large rooms without taking a single point of damage. Many level 4 or 5 weapons also feature silencers, including the Combat Shotgun and Sporting Combine (two of our personal favorites)
  • Choose Your Weapon: Save for exceptions like the Heavy Weapons class and certainone-offs like the Revolver and Double Barrel Shotgun (not to be confused with the Compact Shotgun), nearly every weapon in the game earns XP with use and can level up, to a maximum of Level 5. Once you find a gun you like, try to stick with it and it can become more powerful after investing some Credits. That being said…
  • Spend Credits Wisely: Whether it’s purchasing class-specific upgrades, upgrading weapons, or even upgrading multiplayer classes, everything in World War Z costs credits. While it can be tempting to upgrade everything, there’s just not enough credits to go around. It’s better to pick and choose. Especially in the early game, where you’ll be playing on the easier difficulties, it’s not worth buying every single upgrade; instead, purchase the Level two versions, which cost 150 credits, and then wait for the Level 5 version, which costs 1000. Beating levels on higher difficulties awards more credits, so the more you play, the more powerful you get, the more credits you earn. The progression curve is surprisingly natural in this respect.

Page 2 of 2: World War Z: Other Tips & Tricks

  • Choose Your Class: There are six classes in World War Z, each with different strengths and quirks. At the start, the classes seem practically identical, though they really start to become distinct around level 10 or so. When playing on Easy and even Normal, there’s not much strategy to class selection, but having a Medic and Fixer on hand becomes vital on the highest difficulties.
  • Bring A Medic And A Fixer: Medics can partially restore their own health when healing allies, and restore more health when using medkits. Since medkits are a scarce and precious resource in World War Z, a little extra healing power truly goes a long way. Starting at Level 10, Fixers can start each level with a rare Breach Charge, which can open doors to exceptionally powerful weapons, defenses, and medkits. On Insane difficulty, a Breach Charge can easily be the difference between triumphant success and embarrassing failure.
  • Seriously, Bring A Fixer: Fixers don’t carry grenades, tasers, or molotov cocktails: instead, they carry supply drops, which can load any teammate’s primary weapon with explosive ammo. These bullets are so powerful, they can tear through even a Bull zombie in a matter of seconds. When holding the line against a swarm, a strategically deployed supply drop can make all the difference.
  • How To Handle A Zombie Wall: Some of the best moments in World War Z come when a swarm of zombies attempts to scale a vertical structure. The visual spectacle of the incredible animation is matched by the tension and excitement of trying to stop the horde from reaching the top. The best way to handle a wall of zombies is to launch explosives at the base, while a sharpshooter or two snipe stragglers who manage to elude fiery death. With coordination and a little luck, a skilled team can take down a wall without a single zombie making it over.
  • How To Dodge A Bull: World War Z lacks a dodge roll, so Bull zombies can be particularly dangerous. They can take a lot of damage before going down, and have a nasty move where they charge a player and grab them, dealing continuous damage until they’re taken down by other players. Once one has its sights on a player, it’s really tough to evade a Bull, but there is a trick: put something between you and the Bull. Try to position yourself so the Bull will crash into a conveniently-placed obstacle; it will save a lot of grief!
  • Watch Out For Creepers: The Bull’s counterpart is the Creeper, who hides until a player gets close before pouncing on its target. As with the Bull, a player grabbed by a Creeper is completely incapacitated and must be rescued by a teammate. However, Creepers don’t have noticeably more health than regular zombies, and a player with quick reflexes can often take one down before they use their grab move. When a Creeper is in the area, the characters will comment on it; use this opportunity to check tight corners, the preferred hiding spot of these nasty critters.
  • Try PvPvZ: In addition to the co-op story, there is also a somewhat traditional multiplayer suite. Zombie swarms are still present in these 4v4 modes, adding a unique twist on an otherwise standard assortment of modes. Winning a match gains players a cool 250 credits, and getting together with a skilled team can lead to a windfall of currency which can be used to further upgrade weapons and classes.

Next: World War Z Releases Hot Fix to Address Launch Connectivity Bugs

2019-04-21 04:04:14

Zak Wojnar

Mutant Year Zero Beginner’s Guide: Tips & Tricks To Surviving Road To Eden

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and it’s a unique, fun, turn-based adventure, and we’ve come up with a beginner’s guide to help players get started. Combining elements of real-time stealth with the challenging and robust combat system, the game has decently steep learning curve. Even for veterans of the turn-based genre, Mutant Year Zero offers something new and takes a bit of getting used to before a player hits their stride.

Mutant Year Zero provides a few introductory levels before the enemies start getting really challenging, but for some players, it may not be enough time to figure out the balance between using the game’s two dynamic approaches. Even with hints turned on in settings (which we highly recommend doing for beginners), some tactics may not be immediately obvious. Strategies are never fully explained, so there can be a bit of trial and error involved in earlier difficulty-spiking levels in order to progress.

Related: Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Review – Charming and Challenging 

For those impatient players who just want to see Dux and Bormin make it to Eden safe and sound, Screen Rant has constructed a beginner’s guide. Some tips may be old news to turn-based combat pros, but Mutant Year Zero’s real-time components may need a bit of explaining as well. And with the game’s varying levels of difficulty (including the permadeath “Iron Mode”), players of all backgrounds could always use a little help.

Approach Stealthily

Players traverse the Mutant Year Zero level in real-time, and the game transitions into turn-based combat either once the enemy spots them or when the player decides to ambush. It’s very important to make sure to use the characters’ flashlights sparingly. When they are turned on, the characters move significantly faster and can more easily spot hidden loot, however, the enemy’s radar is larger. Turning the flashlights off means the characters move in stealth; this approach is always better when enemies are nearby.

Once the player notices a group of enemies, they should plan how they want to approach. Thinking about which side flank is best and which areas provide solid cover are key to taking an easy victory. The enemy will not have a turn to attack until the heroes are revealed; use this to your advantage. Even after selecting “ambush,” there’s still a buffer period before attacking, so using turn-based only abilities before an engagement can help provide players the advantage they need. It’s also important to remember that although an enemy might appear to be alone, there are often reinforcements close by. So even if it looks like you might win the numbers game, the tide of the battle can turn in an instant. Always take the stealthy approach.

Know When to Fight

Very early in Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, players will encounter an enemy at level 50, a much higher level than the player at that time. Mutant Year Zero warns the player to avoid the fight, because they will most certainly die. It’s a helpful bit of advice that comes in handy more often than one might think. Although the difference in level is never quite as extreme, players will often encounter enemies that are a bit more advanced than their team. Remember, not every engagement is one worth taking. Though it’s sometimes difficult to avoid all of the enemy’s radars, sneaking through them carefully and slowly might be the best option.

In that same vein, it is possible to single out weaker enemies and create different engagements, where not all of the bad guys are fighting together. With a single button press, players can split up their team; moving them around the map separately can provide an advantage before the turn-based combat even starts. When the player has found one spot that works for a single character, they can choose to engage then or regroup with the team for all the firepower in one spot.

Splitting up has its downsides. Enemies might single a specific character out, taking their health down fast. By the time a buddy is in range to revive, it may be too late. Players should keep in mind distance for combat when splitting up. Operate in a range where you aren’t too grouped up and one grenade can impact all characters, but not too far that Dux, Selma, or Bormin can become isolated instantly.

Explore and Retrace Your Steps

Stepping away from combat for a second, its valuable to remember that the only way to pick up valuables in Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is to explore. The levels aren’t vast, so it never takes up too much time, but it is always important. Players will find junk that can be traded in for weapon upgrades and more valuable junk that can be used to upgrade team abilities. Additionally, the world is littered with medkits and grenades, which you can never have enough of, as well as special hats and armor. These latter-mentioned rarer items provide stat boosts and perks, so every character in your party should have one if possible.

Sometimes Mutant Year Zero levels will be locked off because the level cap is too high. Players should make sure that once they’ve leveled up, they retrace their steps and go back to these areas. There will definitely be loot and likely rarer items there as well. Using the map to fast travel makes something that could be tedious quick and fun.

Turn-Based Tactics Tips

It’s helpful to remain stealthy throughout as much of the combat as one possibly can. Right from the start, Dux is equipped with a silent crossbow, allowing him to take out enemies in range without alerting other enemies. Players can wait until a scavenger has moved far away from his friend and isn’t on their radar, then attack. Picking enemies off one-by-one with silent weapons makes fighting the whole group later a lot easier. A 3v3 is a breeze compared to a 3v5. Selma is also equipped with a silent weapon (a pistol) so keep her and Dux apart for maximum silent efficiency. All characters can change their equipped weapons, so giving each of them a silent weapon is best if you want to take this approach.

Another key element to the turn-based combat is taking up the right positions. The game highlights when the character receives half-cover or full cover bonuses. Even though the enemy can shoot through the cover, it’s important to take a stance behind a wall or rock to grant the hit and critical hit bonus. Gaining the high ground in a fight also helps with the characters’ chance to hit, so finding cover on the high ground is often the best bet.

Page 2 of 2: Even More Mutant Year Zero Tips & Tricks

Visit the Ark

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden makes it easy to travel between levels, so players should take full advantage of this opportunity. Go to the Ark (the game’s hub world of sorts) between every single or every couple of levels. Not only will players be treated to a short story from the Ark’s Elder, but they will also have the ability to visit each of the shops housed in the neon city. Mutant Year Zero players should upgrade their weapons, purchase team abilities, and take a look at the wares of the shopkeeper, Iridia. She often has a new weapon for purchase, but if you can’t afford that, then stock up on grenades and medkits. They’re relatively cheap and players can carry as many as they want. In later fights, these items are necessary to survive.

Delta’s upgrades are also very important to keeping guns relevant once players encounter harder enemies. Don’t feel attached to any particular weapon as you will find better ones, but make sure to always equip attachments like scopes to improve the range and damage of your firearms.

Take Out High-Priority Targets First

After the player has set up in a solid position prior to combat, they should identify which enemies should be eliminated first. There are many different enemy types, from pyros that throw grenades, to stalkers that try to flank the heroes and land melee hits. To win the fight, knowing which enemies to prioritize is key. Take out healers and alerters first. Healers can revive dead squad mates or heal heavily damaged ones, and there is nothing worse than seeing all your hard work disappear with a well-placed medkit. Alerters will call in reinforcements, which is always a bad thing, so take them out before they can make a sound.

After those enemies are gone, most of the other enemies can be dealt with in any order, depending on the individual’s playstyle. We’d recommend “putting down” the Zone Dogs fast, as they can move great distances and their bites hurt, then following that up by taking down grenadiers. Their area-of-effect and damage-over-time outputs can make the whole team wish for a re-do.

Use Grenades Effectively

Though Mutant Year Zero focuses on weapons and player abilities as the main tenants of its turn-based approach, there’s a third element that is also key to winning battles: grenades. Each character can equip two grenades prior to a fight, so players should make sure they use these slots efficiently. Vary it with two different items, perhaps a Molotov and a grenade, or a grenade and a smoke bomb. Throw them when enemies are grouped up for maximum damage. And remember to keep a hold of those smoke bombs for when your heroes are affected by burn damage; it nullifies the effects.

Level Up and Equip

Last, but far from least, it’s important to level up heroes and equip the best weapons and loot you have in your arsenal. Do this before every encounter, not just at the start of the level or after visiting the Ark. Players should always have at least one medkit and a few grenades before engaging a group of enemies.

Character abilities are also necessary for later fights, so make sure to spend XP wisely. Mutant Year Zero isn’t generous with its points for abilities, so upgrade the characters to your playstyle, but remember your play-style should always incorporate stealth over pure firepower.

More: Top 20 Video Games of 2018, According to Critics

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2018-12-04 08:12:08

Artifact Game: Tips, Tricks, and Hints for Beginners

Artifact is finally here, and players can use a beginner’s guide to help them get started. The long-anticipated digital card game from developer Valve has appeared poised to shake up the genre in a big way for months now, and so far, Artifact is living up to the billing. Putting aside any issues players might have with the way its economy is structured, the game is certainly a hit in the early going, with plenty of people tuning into streams and downloading the game themselves to give it a shot.

One thing that isn’t immediately obvious about Artifact, though, is the learning curve. This isn’t just another digital card game, and Valve was not afraid to introduce some serious complexity to the way its TCG variant is played. Artifact quickly breaks down into some extremely complicated board states, and players who are unprepared for three lane gameplay will often find themselves running out of clock on their turns or getting overwhelmed by all the information that needs processing.

Related: Hearthstone’s Next Expansion Has Been Fully Revealed

Luckily, that’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a short beginner’s guide to Artifact to arm new players with the kinds of tips and tricks that can be lifesavers during early experiences with the game. Read on to find out how to dominate your lane, destroy your enemy’s Ancient, and not make any egregious errors that will cost you a game (though, in a title like Artifact, that is bound to happen eventually).

Artifact Guide: Seize the Initiative

Initiative isn’t too complex as a mechanic – essentially, there is a coin during gameplay that appears on either side of the board, and the person who has that coin has the first action in a given turn. Artifact is a well-balanced game and there aren’t many cards that are complete blowouts, so usually both players will be able to act with their heroes in a given laning phase.

That isn’t always true, though, and the further one dives into Artifact the more obvious it becomes that managing initiative is a huge boon. Cards that say they grant initiative are deceptively powerful, often letting players chain together a few spells in a turn that can disable or outright kill an enemy hero – if you had initiative to start, then that’s almost like forcing them to skip a turn.

What Artifact doesn’t do a great job of explaining is that if a player simply passes their turn without doing anything in a lane, they’ll get the initiative coin for the next lane. Sometimes, if none of the cards in your hand will do much in a specific lane, it’s better to just pass and use them first in a different lane for maximum effect. That helpfully ties in to our next tip…

Artifact Guide: There Are Three Lanes For a Reason

Artifact is about winning two out of three lanes in a given game (or cheesing the Ancient, which is just as risky in Artifact as it is in DOTA 2). While it’s not a bad idea to approach the game as though it is a MOBA, balancing each lane, managing creep for money, and pushing towers when it is most convenient, that’s not necessarily the best way to win. Much like in DOTA 2, it can often be correct to abandon a lane that is faltering to reinforce the other two and try to push those instead.

In Artifact, that can honestly happen as early as a few turns into the game. There are some bad match-ups for heroes out there that can make laning against them extremely difficult. Often, it’s worth it to concede the match-up in that specific lane and attempt to bolster the remaining two before the opponent realizes what is happening.

Look at it this way: if you have two heroes in one lane and three in the other, and your opponent has one or two stuck in a lane that is already being slowly whittled down, then you have a distinct advantage in the other two lanes. This can certainly backfire, and a wise opponent will look to purchase a Town Scroll quickly to get another hero in one of the lanes you’ve reinforced, but this is a basic principle of Artifact that isn’t obvious when you first begin playing. There are three lanes, but you only need to take two to win. It’s simple, but as a strategy, it can lead to some very fascinating decisions that aren’t as obvious as the mantra makes it sound.

Page 2 of 2: Shop Wisely, Solo Queue, and More

Artifact Guide: Shop Wisely

The shopping phase in Artifact can easily swing games. A player who chooses the right items ahead of time, uses them in the right moments, and plans for their enemies items will be rewarded with many a victory that looked impossible.

The thing is, shopping in Artifact is just as difficult as the rest of the game once you’ve got the basics down. As a quick rule, it’s often better to focus on items that will armor up or bolster the health of your heroes in the early game, while weapons like Blink Dagger later in the game become more valuable as time goes on. Weapons that simply boost attack are typically wasted because they will be replaced the most easily once players have a bit more gold, whereas armor is important and can help heroes survive longer. Remember: when heroes die they keep their equipment for the next deployment phase, so investing into heroes is just that. Sometimes equipping a hero who is about to die is still right to set up a better lane for them the next time you deploy them.

Also, Town Portal is your friend. It seems like it is a disadvantage to remove a hero from a lane and have to deploy them again next turn when you begin Artifact, but saving a hero, cheating your opponent out of five gold, and getting to assess the battlefield are all extremely valuable.

Artifact Guide: Solo Queue is Your Friend

Playing against bots in a multiplayer card game can seem silly. The point is to utterly decimate an opponent and extract a satisfactory friend request at the end of the match – or at least it has been, in digital card games prior. If Magic: The Gathering is Wizard Poker, then Artifact is kind of like Wizard Chess from Harry Potter in the sense that it is equal parts refined and brutal, and while the brutality is easy to experience on both sides of the spectrum, the refinement takes time.

That’s why it’s important to practice in solo queue’s bots. Hats off to Artifact‘s development team, because they’ve created a bot system that is genuinely worth practicing against. The AI might not make all the right plays on Normal difficulty, but they’re a shockingly accurate caricature of other fledgling players for sure, and the bots will even teach you a few neat interactions that you can then use yourself.

Artifact is a game of repetition. There’s no way players will get significantly better without putting a lot of time in. Using solo queue guarantees you’ll be able to get a bunch of fast-paced games in, and lets players practice whatever new strategy they’ve cooked up before taking it out into the wilds of competitive play.

Artifact Guide: Resource Management is King

Everything in Artifact is a resource. The game is sublimely designed, and the result is that there are no wasted parts. Mana, cards, gold, heroes, creep, items, and more are all resources that factor into every single turn decision. That’s before addressing more complex definitions of resources like tower health, minion presence, card advantage, and still other factors.

If that sounds like it is a lot to keep track of, it is. But players who want to get better can do so with one core principle in mind: manage your resources to the best of your ability. Does that mean playing perfectly? Absolutely not. Artifact is the kind of game where the player who makes less mistakes typically wins. It’s almost impossible to play flawlessly, especially this early into the game’s life cycle.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t try, and that’s the best philosophy to have in Artifact. To start, try keeping track of gold, cards, and hero abilities – manage the as best you can, every game, and see how you grow as a player. Then incorporate something else into that plan, like items. Evaluate how best to utilize each of them on every turn, even if it means you get close to time.

We’ll level with you. There’s no quick way to get good at Artifact. It’s going to be a long grind to the top, and these tips and tricks are only meant to get the climb started. That said, you could do way worse than trying to keep these five basic principles in mind the next time you play Artifact, and they’ll help you on your way to becoming laning royalty. Happy card slinging!

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