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MARVEL Avengers Academy: Tips, tricks, and how to save your money!

It's not hard to get started in Avengers Academy, but here's what you need to know to really get your super campus rolling!

Sometimes even Earth's mightiest heroes have to buckle down and hit the books. In an alternate MARVEL universe, Director Fury has stepped up to combat the growing (although somewhat adolescent) Hydra threat by opening up a school for superheroes - and flashy young Tony Stark is one of the first kids through the gates. Nick Fury never shows all his cards though, and it's part of your job to get the real story behind your new super campus as well. 

Surprisingly fun, MARVEL Avengers Academy, TinyCo's latest mobile game for Android and iOS offers flashy cinematics, adorably overblown character interactions, and boasts a star-studded cast for the voice work including names like John Cena (Hulk), Colton Haynes (Thor), Priyanka Chopra (Ms. Marvel), and Alison Brie (Black Widow). 

Like most freemium mobile games, Avengers Academy is not a difficult game to play - you assign heroes to tasks and quests that are best suited to their skills, build up your school, and recruit more heroes - but it's not always easy to find the most efficient and cheapest way to do it! Here are some things to know before you really get started. 

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1. It's all about time management. 

At its most basic, Avengers Academy is a game that centers around your characters completing new quests and missions for rewards - which all take either time or money/resources to do, and it's not always up to you which character is up for the job.

Prioritize the quests (blue squares). Every action that your heroes make requires a different amount of time, so it's better if you use your time to focus on the important stuff first. Don't tie up your characters in useless actions that aren't necessary for completing an objective because it won't yield you any extra rewards, and will still tie up that character for a given amount of time.

2. Know how to read your Mission Board.

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You'll find the other non-story quests on the Mission Board (as seen above -- access it by tapping the bottom-left corner of the main screen). These quests will be white for characters you're not currently using in other actions. Complete these for extra credits and items. They come in three tiers: easy, normal, and heroic. The tiers give you an idea how long they'll take to complete, and how much loot you're going to get at the end.

Some things you should know about the Missions Board:

  • If the character portrait is plain, the character you need to assign to that task is available. 
  • If they've already completed the task, you'll see a green check in the corner. (Note: Some actions that you assign for a quest mission are also required for non-story missions - doing it once will complete it for both.)
  • If they're already assigned to another action, you will see a yellow minus symbol in the corner of their portrait.
  • If you need two heroes in order to complete an action, their portraits will switch back and forth to indicate both necessary characters. 
  • There will be times where the hero you need is available, but the building they need to perform the action in is already in use. If Spider-Woman needs target practice for 3 minutes and Iron Man needs it for 40, it's probably a better idea to let the lady go first. 
3. Know what rewards you want!

 If there's a choice between quests for currency and quests for items, always choose the items!

 You're going to need them soon enough to complete your blue sidebar quests to story completion. There will be plenty of opportunity to farm for gold, even during the item missions so that should be your lowest priority.

However! Depending on how much time you have to devote to the game, if a non-story mission takes three minutes and the item quest takes 40, finish it fast and then take on the second one. Non-story missions don't change if you don't do them fast enough, so you don't have to worry about rushing to prioritize if you really want a certain reward.

Also be aware that mission board quests have a chance to drop Pym Particles which open up the Academy grounds. (You can also use the Hulk to help clear up a little around the yard if you've already managed to recruit him!)

4. Know what to spend your shards on!

Spending on outfits and items aside, you have the option of spending your shards and/or real money to rush certain tasks. 

It may seem a little backwards, but rushing the entire quest will usually take less shards than rushing specific actions. So while you might spend 4 or 5 to complete a quest quickly, you could spend 20-25 rushing the individual actions in order to complete the same thing!

5. Tunnel vision is not a bad thing!

There are a lot of things your characters could be doing... but keep in mind that they all take time, specific characters, and currency in order to accomplish. Doing even a single mission will tie your wallet up pretty significantly, so try to focus on finishing one quest before moving onto the next

The most common exception to this rule are the related non-story missions that are completed by doing the actions in your active quest mission.

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6. Push notifications are your friend. 

If you want to be efficient, you're going to want to set push notifications on. The game runs on wait timers and it's not difficult to lose track of how much time you need to complete your missions. Even if you're in the middle of doing something else, it doesn't take long to reassign your characters to something new, especially if you're determined to play without paying... and you'll lose out on time spent completing something new. 

Some small annoyances are worth it, and the push notifications only ping when all of your characters are done with their assigned actions so you'll be able to reset them all at once. 

7. Be wary of Avengers Academy hacks. 

Many cheats simply require you to switch to Airplane Mode and change your clock settings around - these are fairly harmless if they happen to work out, although perhaps not entirely ethical. And in this particular case, turning phone's time ahead won't actually let you rush your actions. 

But there are already a number of hacks and cheats for Avengers Academy out on the Internet offering unlimited Infinity Shards, and you should always keep in mind that you should be careful about clicking links and installing suspicious new apps on your computer/phone, no matter what they're offering you. 

8. Build and upgrade new buildings. 

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You should already have gotten a taste of how you can make new additions to the school by adding new buildings like Stark Tower in the tutorial - these buildings unlock new actions for characters that allow them to complete new quests. You can also upgrade them, which in most cases will allow more than one character to use it at a time.

As you progress, you'll be able to add, rearrange, and decorate the campus exactly the way you want it. 

(Note: While you're upgrading a building, none of your characters will be able to use it. Try to start these upgrades when you know you're about to go a long time without touching your phone.)

9. Unlock new outfits!

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Very early on (Academy Level 6), Wasp starts earning her keep by setting up shop with the super hip Van Dyne Boutique - offering several stylish new outfits for your favorite Avengers (and some of your favorite villains too!).

It's important to note that these are more than just cosmetic - each one comes with its own unique actions and special quest line.

10. Know how to get more heroes. 

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These are the guys that you're going to need to farm all your rewards and to keep your super campus going. It stands to reason that getting more should be one of your highest priorities. 

Many of the heroes you can recruit to your school pop up by doing quest missions - but not all of them. Take a look at How to Get More Heroes in MARVEL Avengers Academy to see which familiar faces you can expect to pop up in the hours ahead!

If you have any other questions about how to play this game, just let me know in the comments below and I'll do my best to see what I can do to help! 

Published Feb. 16th 2016

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