Tips and tricks for Shooty Skies beginners

Mighty Games' 'Shooty Skies' can be tough to figure out. It might seem simple, but this mobile title is shockingly complex. No worries, though, we're here to ease your pain.

So, you’re heading into the holidays and you’re looking for something to pass the time while you’re sitting around your parents' living room and pretending to listen to your family’s yearly updates. You need something quick that you can pick up and put down at a moment’s notice. You need something a little strange so no one will ask you about it (thus saving you the always awkward “explaining the appeal of technology to a senior citizen” moment). You need something with a little violence to help let off some steam after having to fake joy at yet another set of pictures starring your brother’s kids (like the year long bombardment on Facebook isn’t enough).

Most of all, though, you need something holiday appropriate. After all, it’s the time of year when we all come together to celebrate pretending to enjoy time with your family. It’s special, and you need a special game. Enter Shooty Skies, the newest bit of fun from the ADD crowd at Mighty Games, the same folks who brought you Crossy Road. The mobile flyer just released its Christmas update a few days ago, so it’s the perfect holiday-themed game. As with their previous hit, Shooty Skies is fast, tough, and completely addictive. It’s another dose of candy-coated weirdness that you won’t be able to put down.

In spite of its simple appearance, though, there’s surprising complexity in this little mobile title. If you’re looking to get the most from your Shooty Skies experience, read on for tips and tricks!

Yeah, Strategy Plays In

Shooty Skies city gameplay

Okay, it’s a good idea to go ahead and get this through your head right away. Yes, there is strategy involved in Shooty Skies. You can’t just barrel your way through the waves and waves (and waves) of bad guys and expect to actually get anywhere. 

Shooty Skies is an endless flyer, which means exactly what it sounds like. The gameplay revolves around your character flying forward while shooting down the nasty a-holes who attempt to assassinate you. That may sound incredibly simple, but Mighty Games has incorporated a fair amount of strategy into the title.

First things first, you need to learn your enemies’ movement patterns. There’s only a finite number of baddies in Shooty Skies, so it’s not asking too much of players to simply take note of the way enemies move on the screen. 

Expect to die several times while you’re learning, because the game takes no prisoners when it comes to taking you down. Enemies will come at you fast and in great numbers -- so while you’re watching and learning, you’ll be pretty much slaughtered until you can pick up their patterns. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Sit Still

Shooty Skies characters

Once you learn the way your enemies move, don’t fall into the trap of trying to constantly stay in motion. Trying to scramble around the board constantly will essentially occupy all of your time, eliminating any chance you have to concoct a strategy. In addition, the game’s most powerful weapon is only charged up when you take your finger off the screen. In other words, constantly moving means constantly having to rely on your lowest caliber arms. 

Now, Shooty Skies is going to try and get you to dance around the board. They’re going to crowd the screen with threats and make you anxious about taking a short breather. Don’t fall for that. Moving constantly is a surefire way to fail time and again.

So, every once in a while take a second or two to stop, pause, and charge up your weapon. Then, take a deep breath and prepare to unleash the dogs of war (or cats, depending on which character you’re playing).

Pick Your Play Style

Shooty Skies early gameplay

For a game with no plot and no real progression, Shooty Skies does a lot in the area of player freedom. You may just be swaying side to side and shooting at random targets, but Mighty Games has really given you the freedom to sway side to side and shoot down random targets your way. 

First, you'll want to experiment with your weapon selection. As you play, you’ll accrue coins, which you can then translate into temporary weapon upgrades. There are lots of different varieties of weapon, so be sure to spend some coin early on and mix up your play style to find the best one that works for you.

Here’s  a couple of potential strategies for you:

Carpet bomber: The carpet bomber operates from the “slow and steady” school of thought. You don’t want to move too much, and you want to constantly be charging that super weapon. You're the kind of player who likes to wipe the screen clear in one go as opposed to handling each opponent individually.

Sniper: You know that one good shot is better than fifty haphazard ones. Snipers don’t need a bunch of fancy weapons, they just need to stick and move and pick their shot with care. If this is you, you’ll want to learn your enemy’s movement’s very quickly.

One pixel-cat army: This is rewarding as heck if you’re willing to spend some time getting punished. This is for the kind of player who likes to move and shoot. You should start grinding out those coins (or watching those ads) in order to start purchasing newer, better weapons. It’ll take some time to unlock the best stuff, but once you’ve got two hours on the clock, you shouldn’t have any problems keeping your scores high.

Let The Prizes Come To You

Shooty Skies game screens

When you’re careening through the skies and you take down a baddie, every once in a while — in grand video game tradition — they’ll transform into a coin via a puff of smoke. In Shooty Skies, mid-game coins are pretty valuable as coins. They're rare and they fuel all of your plane’s upgrades. In the case that you murder a jerk who’s on the opposite side of the screen, it can be pretty tempting to zoom on over and nab the coin that results. 

Don’t do that, especially if that coin is at the top of the screen.

Just like the headline reads: Let the prizes come to you. They’ll get to you soon enough, so just be patient. Think of Shooty Skies as a game of tennis. You never want to leave your half of the screen and try to gravitate towards the middle of your territory. Never let yourself be pushed against the southern border of your screen for too long. This will limit the number of big course corrections you need to make and it will always leave you plenty of room to maneuver if things go sideways.

Watch Commercials (I know, just do it)

Commercials in Shooty Skies

I know, it goes against every instinct we have as consumers (especially young consumers). Ads are evil. Well, guess what? Entertainment runs on ads, so even the most benevolent companies are constantly scheming new ways to get you to watch commercials. Shooty Skies’ tactics for forcing commercials on you are pretty darn brilliant.

Remember how earlier, it was pointed out that coins in Shooty Skies are extremely rare, but that they’re also very necessary for upgrades to your plane? Well, if you’d like to skip the grind and get some low level weapons early, all you have to do is watch a commercial. I know, that sounds like a self-betrayal, but it can be worth it. It’s only 30 seconds. Hopefully it'll pay off.

Published Dec. 17th 2015
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