Dune Spice Wars Tips and Tricks Guide
Dune Spice Wars is truly a testament to just how much there is to learn to even stand a chance in a 4X game, with dozens of little systems and features that all tie together in a single match. While the game doesn't currently have multiplayer, the AI can still be quite challenging.
In this guide, we'll give you a few tips and tricks to get you started on your conquest of Arrakis.
Set Your Harvesters and Ornithopters to Auto
Ornithopters and harvesters are the two vehicles you'll use the most in Dune Spice Wars, and while you can control them manually it's much easier to let them do things automatically.
To set your Ornithopter to auto simply click on it, or on the icon on the right side of the screen. In the unit selection panel you'll see a set to auto button.
When selected this lets your Ornithopter scout the map on its own to uncover villages, caches, points of interest, and more. The benefit is you can focus on everything else. You'll start each match with one Ornithopter, but can build more by spending 400 Solario and two fuel.
Once you take your first village and get a Refinery established you'll have a Spice Harvester. You need to manually select the Harvester and select the harvest button to start it up, but there's a second button for "Auto-Recall". You should absolutely enable this as it lets your harvester automatically flee if a Sandworm appears.
The only catch is that once it's returned to your base you'll need to go and manually start it up again. Still, it's better than losing a harvester and having to wait for another one to be built.
Spice Is Your Most Valuable Resource
As the name of the game suggests, Spice is everything in your conquest of Arrakis. Your first goal should be to conquer as many spice fields as possible and set up harvesters. Spice fields are highlighted by purple dust markers, so you can use that to plan out your expansion route.
In the top-left corner of the screen is the Spice gauge, which you can control to change how much spice you sell, versus how much you put in your stockpile. While it's generally a good idea to sell more spice, you want to make sure you have enough in your stockpile to meet the Spice Tax.
Your best plan is, generally, to move the slider mostly into the purple until your stockpile has enough for the tax, then switch it to yellow until the next tax phase starts.
Focus Mainly on One Playstyle and Research Tree
Considering there are three different ways to win a match, you'll likely want to focus on one playstyle in Dune Spice Wars. That means taking specific actions and investing heavily in one area of the research tree. This could also greatly depend on the faction you play as:
- House Atreides is good at diplomacy and charters.
- House Harkonnen excels at military.
- Smugglers are best at espionage.
- Fremen benefit from exploration and quick expansion.
To go along with these playstyles you'll want to focus on the research tree that benefits you the most, which are color-coded.
- Blue upgrades benefit espionage and agents.
- Green benefits diplomacy and Landsraad.
- Red is for military.
- Orange helps with exploration and economy.
You can, of course, dabble in all of the categories as you see fit, but because of how slow research happens it's best to put most of your time into one in order to get the best benefits.
As a note, you can increase research speed by constructing Research Hubs in your villages.
Airfields and Sandworms are Essential
The map in Dune Spice Wars is massive, and your military units simply don't move very quickly. Luckily, the game does give you faster ways of getting around. Fremen have exclusive access to Sandworms, while the other three factions get shuttles.
Fremen can use Sandworms at any time to transport units to areas they control, and on the right side of the screen, you'll see a gauge for the worms that has a three. Place your units on the sand and then select the Sandworm. You'll need to choose where the worm picks up and where it lets off, but keep in mind they can only go on sand. You have three charges, that when used will slowly recharge.
The other factions will need to construct an airfield, found in the military structures section in any village.
Move your units into the airfield's range and select them. Once selected you'll see an option on the unit selection screen to use an airlift, which will cost Solari and fuel. The catch is that your airlift can only travel to wherever another airfield is placed. This means you'll likely want to have a network of airfields within your controlled territory.
Focus on Improving Villages Before Expanding
There are dozens of villages to take control of on Arrakis, and it can be tempting to quickly try and conquer as much as you can. However, it's a better idea to conquer a few villages and focus on fully upgrading them before you move on. An unprotected village can easily fall victim to a bandit raid, or a few units from another faction.
At the very least, make sure you fill any Militia slots you might have open in each village. It's also a good idea to put a Missile Battery in any village that lies on the outskirts of your territory, for extra protection.
Past that, you should unlock at least one or two additional building slots on each village so you can place additional resources, in case you need them.
Don't Forget About Your Spies and Operations
Roughly 10 to 20 minutes into a match you'll unlock your first agent, and a notification at the top will alert you about it. You can open the Espionage menu by clicking the magnifying glass icon on the right side. Here you'll be able to assign agents to different organizations and factions.
Agents naturally earn a resource called Intel and can earn additional resources based on where they're placed. An unassigned agent isn't doing any good, so make sure you have all of your agents assigned at all times.
You can spend Intel to set up Operations, each of which have various effects. For example, one might let you resupply allied units in a region, while another launches an assassination attempt against another faction. It's easy to forget about Operations, but they can help give you a serious edge when you're trying to take over enemy regions.
Building In Your Capital Can Give the Edge
Your capital is a vital location, but you won't be able to build anything in it until you reach 10,000 Hegemony. Once you reach that threshold you can build incredibly useful districts in the capital that correspond to Economy, Military, and Statecraft. You can even get an extra bonus if all buildings in a district are the same type.
It's likely you'll need to wait a while before you can build in your capital, but if you have some spare resources definitely take a look at the available options, and how they might help your current playstyle.
Hopefully, these tips can help you get a strong start in Dune Spice Wars. For even more guides and walkthroughs, make sure to check out our Dune Spice Wars guides hub.