Beginner's Guide  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Beginner's Guide  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Tips and Tricks Guide Fri, 18 Jun 2021 10:25:01 -0400 David Carcasole

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is finally out on PlayStation 5. One of the most highly anticipated releases of the year, it is the continuation of one of PlayStation's most beloved franchises. 

With its history, there are many aspects of the game that have been well established. But whether you're a long-time fan or playing for the first time, this Rift Apart tips and tricks guide covers the basic methodology for combat, exploration, and collectibles.

From how to use your wrench effectively to understanding expert movement and picking up all of the game's shinies, the tips and tricks below will help you make the most of your time in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart

Your Wrench is Your Friend and Great for Crowd Control

Ratchet in a fighting stance holding his trusty wrench with red tress in the background.

The first thing anyone should know about playing a Ratchet and Clank game is that the wrench is an absolutely vital part of gameplay. Your wrench is your first and best weapon within every Ratchet and Clank game, and you should aim to be familiar with it. In Rift Apart, Rivet's hammer works in the exact same way, so everything bout the wrench below follows for Rivet's hammer, as well. 

It is excellent for crowd control, as you'll often find yourself surrounded by multiple enemies. The ground slam is an exceptionally strong attack that will do away with enemies at any point in the game. This doesn't mean you should use your wrench all the time, though that is a strategy that shouldn't be overlooked. 

You'll also want to use your wrench as a way to save ammo, since the ammo crates you find might not always have the ammo type you need. It's worth mentioning as well that in arena challenges, which require you only use one weapon, you can still use your wrench without being penalized for it. 

Strafe and Use the Phantom Dash

Ratchet using phantom dash to escape an enemy.

More important than which weapons you use, how you move across the different battle areas is vital to your survival. You'll strafe far more often then you'll walk, moving side to side with a jump here or there to avoid oncoming fire. Like in previous Ratchet titles, don't be afraid to move and jump liberally in battle

This is where Rift Apart also introduces a new mechanic, the Phantom Dash. It's a dash move that lets you move through enemy attacks without taking damage, though it does take about half a second for the landing animation to finish. That can leave you open to attacks from time to time, so be careful with your timing. When in doubt, jumping immediately as you land can help you avoid an attack that would have otherwise hit you when landing after a dash.

Don't Forget to Zoom Around with the Hoverboots

Ratchet using hoverboots to glide above the ground.

Rift Apart also re-introduces a fan favorite from the series, the Hoverboots. These now let you speed across the map, something extremely usefeul for quick getaways in combat and for exploration

You'll find that until you get your Hoverboots and the Phantom Dash, many areas are blocked off. Ratchet & Clank has a history of making players utilize their gadgets to find every nook and cranny, so make sure to backtrack through planets you've already visited once you get your Hoverboots.

Look Up for Collectibles

Gold bolt hovering about Ratchet in a factory.

When I say look up, I mean that looking around each room before you leave is always worth it. Rift Apart has more than a few collectibles that are simply hiding away on platforms above, only accessible with your Rift Tether.

If you've looked around an area and are still having trouble locating a collectible, look at your map. Collectibles will appear on your map after you've been near them, and you can even place a pin on them, which helps lead you directly to whatever you're looking for. 

That Shiny Stuff is Helpful

Rivet standing to the right of a Raritanium deposit in front of a lava flow.

There are six different types of collectible items in Rift Apart:

  1. Bolts
  2. Raritanium
  3. Armor
  4. Spybots
  5. Gold bolts
  6. Lorbs

Each of them serve their own purposes, and they're all important, though some are more important than others.


Bolts are the main currency in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart with which you'll buy weapons and ammo, so they are important to pick up and farm any chance you get. Enemies drop bolts like crazy after defeating them, but make sure to go and grab them, since they don't float to you automatically.


Raritanium is what you use to upgrade weapons, which makes it just as vital as Bolts. You'll find Raritarium scattered across each map, so keep an eye out. It has a distinct blue glow and crystal design. Sometimes it is attached to the side of a structure, sometimes it's on the ground. Just keep an eye out.


Armor can be found on regular maps, but it's mostly found within pocket dimensions, which are short platforming puzzles on each planet. Each piece of armor comes with a passive upgrade that increases when you find the rest of the set. Find all three armor pieces and gain the maximum bonus. For example, the Galactic Ranger armor gives you a 20% increase to melee damage.

The best part is that because the bonuses are passive, you'll always have the bonuses because you collected the armor, so no need to wear it if you don't like the style. 


Spybots aren't exactly necessary to find in the way Bolts and Raritanium are, but you'll want to find all 10 for several reasons. Along with some backstory on each planet in Rift Apart, each spybot gets you another piece of the blueprints for the Ryno 8, an ultra-powerful weapon and Easter-egg machine. You'll also get the Aim to Misbehave trophy in the process. 

Gold Bolts

Gold bolts and lorbs are the two collectibles that would be categorized as the least necessary to collect, though I do recommend it. Gold bolts provide cheats like infinite ammo, and fun skins, game modifiers, and additional stickers/frames for photo mode. Getting 5 Gold Bolts gets you the Nooks and Crannies trophy, too. 


Lorbs are Lombax Orbs, they are only found on Savali. Collecting them all will give you an armor set. They also provide some more information regarding the lore around the Dimensionator. The armour set you acquire is the Wasteland armour set, which gives you a decrease in damage taken from the local fauna of each planet. 

Weapon Wheels Are Like Orges, They Both Have Layers

Ratchet and Clank weapon wheel highlighting blast pistol.

The last aspect you'll need to understand about Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is, of course, your weapons. The franchise is infamous for its wacky, fun, and over-the-top arsenals, with Rift Apart continuing that legacy.

You'll quickly find your favorites as you go, picking up some over others depending on your play style. But what's important to understand about combat in Ratchet & Clank is that you need to utilize the entire weapon wheel

Layering on different attacks and effects is key to wiping out large groups of enemies and doing heavy damage to tougher enemies and bosses. Mr. Fungi, the Topiary Sprinkler, the Glove of Doom, and the Bombardier are all weapons made exactly for high damage and crowd control.

While you let one of your weapons do the shooting or stunning for you, all you have to focus on is layering that damage with your more traditional weapon of choice. This helps keep the pressure on while you make a quick dodge or regroup and recover health.

If you don't layer on multiple effects at once, fights will simply take a lot longer, and you'll find yourself constantly low on ammunition for the weapons you do use. It's ultimately a recipe for making things more difficult on yourself, which no one wants to do.


So there you have it! Whether you've played a Ratchet & Clank game before or not, I hope this guide helped you understand how best to succeed in the new PS5 exclusive. If you're looking for more information on Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, check out our guides on how to acquire get all of the Zurpstones for Trudi as well as the weapons you should upgrade first.

Arena of Valor Beginner's Guide: All You Need to Know to Get Started Thu, 28 Dec 2017 16:43:48 -0500 Joseph Rowe

Tencent's Arena of Valor for mobile is finally here in North America. Whether you're new to the MOBA genre completely or you're coming from League of LegendsDefense of the Ancients 2Heroes of the Storm, or another MOBA, we've got you covered with our Arena of Valor beginner's guide. We'll teach you everything you need to know to get started kicking butt.

The Very Basics

If Arena of Valor is your first MOBA, you've got a few things to learn before moving on to other tips. On the main game mode map, 5v5 Grand Battle in the Antaris Battlefield, you will be placed in a team with four other players, and you must face five others. Each player is free to choose a character, but none may repeat. Anyone can play any role, but it's better to strategize your picks (see Class Roles section). Each character has a passive, two normal skills, and an ultimate ability. Your normal abilities have the shortest cooldown, and your ultimate has the longest because it usually does the most damage, heals the most, or enhances you in a way that is worthy of the name "ultimate."

Your main goal in Arena of Valor is to destroy the enemy's crystal while protecting yours. You do this through teamwork and coordination. It usually entails killing other heroes in team fights and then pushing lanes in by killing enemy minions and destroying enemy towers.

You can also help your team by killing neutral creeps (NPC enemies) in the jungle; some of these will just give you gold, while others will give you buffs. Some of the buffs are player-specific like the Might buff, but others are team-specific like the one you get from the Dark Slayer.

In AoV, killing enemy heroes, minions, jungle creeps, and towers will earn you gold which you can spend on items that make you more powerful. You will also gain experience that lets you take more abilities and beef up the ones you already have. These are all helpful in aiding you to reach the end game goal of destroying the enemy crystal.

The Main Objective and Teamwork

The goal of any competitive game is to win, right? (Well, hopefully while having fun!) In order to win in Arena of Valor, players have to destroy enemy towers until they get to the enemy base's crystal. Killing enemy heroes is lots of fun too, of course, but your main goal is to work together as a team and destroy that gosh darn crystal. MOBAs are filled with players who want all the immediate glory of a high KDR without having to work together as a team towards a common goal: destroying that gosh dang crystal. Sometimes this can help if the rest of the team compensates for that player's lack of focus or if that KDR-focused player is keeping enemy players down long enough for you to push the lane as a team, but if everyone is worried about their KDR, then the enemy's gosh damn crystal remains untouched. So, remember that it pays off in the long run to work together as a team; otherwise, the enemy will, and your own sweet crystal will be blown the heck up.

Class Warfare

Up next in our Arena of Valor beginner's guide are class roles. They're pretty important in other MOBAs, and this mobile one is no different. The main breakdowns in AoV are: tank, warrior, assassin, mage, marksman, and support. However, each of these classes can be a mix of another class. For example, Mina is a pure tank, but Arthur is a warrior/tank.

A tank is the character in AoV who will take the brunt of the enemy team's damage and who oftentimes has something that will either control the enemy team with crowd control or something that will give them mobility to catch up to them. For example, Mina has both a hook to grab the enemy team and an ultimate that taunts them. This focuses the enemy's fire on the tank, allowing the lower health, higher damage characters to quickly dispose of the taunted foes.

A warrior is kind of like a tank, but they do more damage and usually have less utility. These are characters like Lu Bu. He has an ability that will knock an enemy up in the air, but it has to be a third consecutive strike. He also has one that slows them down, but this is meant for him to go in and get the kill. His ultimate just buffs him up, giving him more life steal and survivability, allowing him to shred the enemy team. This class seemingly corresponds to bruisers in League of Legends or the squishier warriors in HotS like Sonya.

In Arena of Valor, assassins do what their name implies: they assassinate. These are characters who are meant to focus on a squishier target, usually one that is isolated from the enemy team and that would do high damage to the group in a team fight. Assassins have significantly lower health pools than warriors and tanks, but their damage output and ability to stay on a target make up for that. Butterfly is an assassin whose abilities allow her to teleport to low-health targets, slow them, and do some serious damage.

Mages are AoV's magic users. Unlike warriors and pure assassins, who usually focus on just attack damage, mages will focus on ability power. They can do some serious damage at times, but their damage is usually less burst-oriented and more sustained. They also have abilities that are meant to either harass, initiate, or control the enemy team. Veera is a mage whose ultimate and first main ability do serious damage, with a second ability that stuns her foe. Two or three combos are usually enough to kill a foe, but the stun also helps you set up kills for teammates as well.

Up next is the marksman. They sort of correspond to League of Legends' AD carry role. These characters tend to be more gear dependent than other classes, and thus, it's better for you to farm gold until you can do some serious ranged damage in team fights. The first character you unlock in Arena of Valor, Valhein, is a marksman. He's got a kit that's set up around stunning enemies and building hunter buffs that allow him to increase his movement.

Last but certainly not least are support heroes. These heroes give up high damage or tankiness in favor of abilities that help the team. They either heal, buff, or debuff the enemy team. Peura has abilities that grant her teammates armor while slowing and damaging enemies as well as one that heals herself and teammates while increasing attack speed.

In addition to the classes, there are also roles in Arena of Valor. These are more character dependent, but each class tends to have certain roles that usually overlap with them. For example, a lot of tanks have the mobility role because they are meant to increase mobility in order to help the team win in fights. 

It's Just a Laning Phase

Just like League of Legends and most other MOBAs, Arena of Valor has a laning phase at the beginning of the game. This is where you and your team will exchange blows with the enemy team in lane while trying to farm each other's minions for exp and gold. This is an incredibly important phase of the game, as being gold- and exp-starved leaves you weaker than the enemy team. In this phase, depending on your role, you will want to focus on getting the last hit on enemy minions to increase your gold uptake. Last hitting gives you a bit more gold than simply standing next to a minion does. This gold will allow you to buy better items faster, which will give you an advantage over foes who do not last hit. You can also harass your foes until they leave their lanes or you kill them. The former will make them weaker in the end game, and the latter will do the same while giving you some cash.

This phase usually lasts as long as the outer turrets are still in place, which isn't that long in Arena of Valor compared to DotA or LoL. Sometimes it's better to leave turrets up to get more gold from minion waves, but other times it's better to push them in as fast as possible to get the bonus gold/exp you get from a turret kill. This is something that depends on your character's early vs. late game performance and something to consider with your teammates.

Welcome to the Jungle

Jungling. A big pain in the butt for most players, but some seem to love it. This is when you spend most of the early match in the jungle instead of in a lane in Arena of Valor. This is done to give a solo lane to one of your teammates in order for them to get more last hits to maximize their gold/exp potential to make them more powerful. It also makes the jungler more powerful because they'll be getting gold from the jungle monsters along with the buffs that they find there. For example, the Sage Golem in the picture above will give you increased cooldown reduction and a significant increase to your mana regeneration temporarily if you kill it. The Might Golem, the red one on the opposite side of the jungle, will give you basic attack damage over time and a slow to help you finish off enemies. Both of these buffs are extremely useful for popping back into lane occasionally and ambushing your foes with a teammate.

In the river, there are also creeps. The two most obvious ones are the little ghosts that float around near the top and bottom lanes. If you kill these, they will send a spirit to check out the enemy's jungle to let you know if someone is jungling there and if they're weak or are planning an attack in your lane. There are also three bigger creeps tucked away in the river. The Abyssal Dragon will give you and your team exp and gold; the Spirit Sentinel will give you a life regen buff; and the Dark Slayer, the strongest creep (that requires your team to help you), will give your whole team a boost to damage and health/mana regen, even if they're not around for the kill. The last creep is great to kill before big team fights, as it can give you a significant advantage that will help you push to win.

North America's Finally Got Talents

Talents in Arena of Valor correspond to League of Legends' summoner spells. These are extra spells you get on a longer cooldown that can help you win a fight. There are 10 you can unlock by leveling up. You start off at level 1 with Sprint, Restore, and Recall. Restore and Recall cannot be removed. Recall summons you back to your base to heal, and restore heals you sort of like a potion would in a game like DotA 2. Just like in DotA, taking damage will negate the effect, so be careful when you use it. Some examples are: sprint, which allows you to speed up to catch your foes, execute (unlocked at level 3), which deals an AoE damage to your foes that's great for finishing them off, and Flicker, which allows you to teleport a little bit to either finish someone off or to escape.

Killing Sprees Lead to Shopping Sprees

The reason for all the murdering you do in Arena of Valor is to get gold to get better items to be better equipped to kill again and reach that end goal. There are lots of items that grant different increases to your stats and, sometimes, unique traits that make you a more formidable combatant. 

When new to Arena of Valor, it's best to stick with the preset builds that you find in-game or find some online. The picture above is from a game where I was playing Mina. I was relying on the third build for her, which gives you a bit of burst with your control. I had gotten a little bit of gold at this point, so I had an Astral Spear (bonus attack damage and armor pierce) that could later turn into a Spear of Longinus (bonus attack damage, armor, cooldown reduction, and a stackable passive that decreases enemy armor).

Certain heroes will favor certain items, like attack-damage heroes favoring attack-damage items; tanks favoring armor, magic resist, and health items; and mages favoring ability power items. However, every player should try to build at least one or two defensive items each game that match whatever damage source their foe has the most of. For example, if the enemy team is mostly mages, you can negate a good amount of their damage by building the Medallion of Troy, which gives you cooldown reduction, a significant amount of HP, a magic damage absorption shield, and insane magic defense.


Just like League of Legends has its runes, so too does Tencent's Arena of Valor have arcana. They function pretty much the same. Thankfully, just like in League, they can be bought with in-game gold.

There are three colors of arcana: red, purple, and green. Red arcana usually gives some sort of buff to your attack, such as attack damage, ability power, or critical hit chance. Purple usually gives a buff to your HP, lifesteal, or movement speed. Green will give you armor and magic defense most often.

In addition to the three colors of Arcana in Arena of Valor, there are three tiers. The first tier gives you the least amount of bonuses but also costs the least, and the third tier gives you more bonuses but costs 2,000 gold per rune. The higher the tier, the higher the pure bonus or the more likely it will have a split focus in bonuses. For example, a tier three green rune called Prowess gives you +9 magic defense whereas same tier, same color Mythril gives you only +5 magic defense but an additional +5 armor.

Arcana is not as important when you're just starting out in AoV, so don't fret too much yet. However, as you progress, and especially when playing competitively in ranked modes or at tournaments, you will need to get full pages of maximized arcana. Which ones are best? That depends on your character and the specific builds you're going for.

Acquiring Heroes, Skins, Arcana, Etc.

What modern game would be complete without a convoluted shop with different currencies and, of course, things to buy with real money? Arena of Valor is no different. You can buy certain heroes, skins, arcana, and more with in-game gold, gems, and vouchers you can purchase with real money.

Many Arena of Valor heroes are purchasable with either vouchers or in-game gold. The gold cost depends on the hero and usually how new they are. The lowest cost for a character with gold is only 1,888 gold, but the highest is a whopping 18,888. The lowest cost for vouchers is 399 (roughly $4 USD), and the highest is 1,199 (which can be bought for about $10 USD). Other heroes, such as Veera, are acquired by log-in bonuses, or, in the case of heroes like Ormarr, by playing a certain number of games. Zephys, at least for now, is only unlocked by making your first real money purchase in the shop. 

Skins are obtained mostly by spending real money via vouchers. Some are obtained by leveling up or through special events. Others are gifts or are given out to players who rank high enough in a season.

As mentioned before, arcana is purchased with in-game gold, but it is limited to only two pages unless you use vouchers to obtain additional pages.

Gems can be used in the gem shop in AoV to get magic crystals (used in the lucky draw), arcana chests, lucky chests, and exp and gold bonus cards. Keep in mind, however, that there is a limit to the gold you can earn in-game per day, and that depends on which server you're on.


I hope this Arena of Valor beginner's guide helped you! If there's anything that you think should be added or clarified, let me know in the comments section below as well as how you're enjoying this mobile MOBA so far. We will be making more in-depth guides for concepts like jungling and character-specific item builds, so stay tuned for more!

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Beginner's Guide: Tips for New Drivers Mon, 04 Dec 2017 14:24:29 -0500 Autumn Fish

The Cloud Sea of Alrest is a dangerous place, and you'll need all the help you can get if you hope to survive Xenoblade Chronicles 2. You may already have aptitude as a Blade Driver, but on the Titans of Alrest, you'll find yourself challenged by more than just your enemies.

As is par for the course for vast JRPGs, there are several systems to grapple with while learning the ropes. Thankfully you're introduced to many of these systems rather slowly, but it's not hard to overlook or forget them in the rush to get to the meat of the game.

Because of that, we've put together a few tips on all the things you should keep in mind while just starting out in Alrest. Let's dive in!

Fine Tune the Difficulty in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to Your Preference

There's been a slight change in how Experience (EXP) is handled overall. While you still gain direct EXP for defeating enemies, Quest Experience doesn't apply right away. Instead, the Quest EXP you accumulate all goes into a pool of Bonus Experience that can be cashed in when you rest at an Inn.

The best part is, when you rest at the Inn, you get to choose how many levels to give your Drivers based on the pool of Bonus Experience they've accumulated. You may even choose not to level them at all. Ultimately, how quickly you level is completely up to you, so you no longer have to worry about making the game too easy because you wanted to complete all of the side quests.

Check the Quest Log for Tips When You Get Stuck

Gone are the days where we scour GameFAQs for help on every other sidequest in Xenoblade. The Quest Log in this entry is actually estimable and quite excellent at showing you all the information you need to know.

Improved Quest Log and Sliding Difficulty Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Beginner's Guide Tips

You can pull up your active quest objective at any time in the overworld simply by pressing ZR. With that pop-up open, pressing the Y button lets you dive straight into the Quest Log so you can see more detailed information on the quest. Combine all that with the new compass and solid map interface, and you have a Quest Log that's actually a joy to use.

So whenever you find yourself stuck, just open up the new-and-improved Quest Log. You'll be surprised how much information can be found in there.

Distribute Blade Core Crystals Evenly Across All Available Drivers

Core Crystals are items that Drivers open in order to resonate with new Blades. In order to keep your options in combat as open as possible, it's important to distribute these Core Crystals evenly across all of your available Drivers, lest you run into an issue where one Driver has too few Blades to swap between while others have more than they can handle. Remember, variety is the spice of life!

Remember to Actively Work on Blade Affinity Charts

Aside from Core Chips and Aux Cores, filling out Affinity Charts is one of the main ways you can upgrade your Blades. Rather than using Skill Points to upgrade these charts like Drivers do, you need to build Trust to unlock new upgrade tiers and complete side objectives to activate the bonuses.

It's important to check the Affinity Charts often to keep track of what side objectives you need to complete in order to power up your Blades. Many of these objectives are pretty straightforward, but some of them don't make much sense.

Blade Affinity Chart Core Crystals Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Beginner's Guide Tips

The ones I found to be particularly confusing included the use of a skill that I hadn't heard of. None of your Arts go by the name of the skill, after all, so I was left wondering how to use it for many hours. Later on, however, I found the objective slowly completing whenever I would use certain stages of my special attack.

So, when confused about how to complete an Affinity Chart objective, it's a good idea to just continue playing with that Blade. Ultimately, the objective should eventually complete itself through normal gameplay.

Raise the Development Level of Towns to Access Upgraded Shops

If you raise the Dev Level of different towns, their shop inventories will expand to offer greater variety and better deals. In order to raise your Dev Level, you need to chat up the citizens, complete side quests, and purchase deeds to the shops in town.

Don't think buying the deeds to shops is a waste of money, either. Even if it didn't contribute to the Dev Level, you still earn amazing passive abilities for owning these deeds. There are just so many benefits to upgrading towns that you seriously have no reason not to.

Return to Previous Areas When the Cloud Tide Shifts

The Cloud Sea goes through periods of High Tide and Low Tide in Alrest. Unlike the tides in the real world, however, the Cloud Tide isn't exactly affected by the time of day, so your fate is left up to the Titan you're riding upon. When the Tide does shift, however, it's a good idea to go back to old areas in order to see if you can't discover any cool secrets.

Development Level Cloud Sea Tides Long Rest Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Beginner's Guide Tips

You can manually affect the Tide if you wish, but it's a little more complicated than fiddling with the Time options in the menu. In order to shift the Tide, you'll have to find an Inn to stay at that offers Long Rests. When you awaken, the Cloud Tide will have shifted.

Don't Be Afraid to Avoid Strong Enemies

Anyone familiar with Xenoblade is also familiar with disproportionately strong enemies littering beginner areas. If you're new to the series, you should know that you're by no means expected to take down every enemy that stands between you and your objective.

Sometimes you'll find a strong enemy right in the middle of your path. No matter where it's found, however, don't be afraid to run away and return once your party is more prepared. You may even choose to simply walk around it.


Take your time learning how each game system works, and Alrest is sure to reward you. For help figuring out the combat system or the secrets of the Cloud Sea, be sure to check back with GameSkinny for more Xenoblade Chronicles 2 guides

Here are a few to get you started: 

How to Diffuse a Bomb Without Losing All Your Friends Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:45:45 -0500 bazookajo94

So you've got a lot of friends but not a lot of games to play. You're tired of Cards Against Humanity, and you can't sit through another round of [insert popular FPS here]. You don't wanna browse the shops for more games, and you don't want to leave your house for an activity because, ew, outside. 

Maybe the best solution to your problem is Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, a multiplayer VR game in which one person wears the headset and sees a bomb and whoever else is in the room (e.g., your friends and loved ones) sees a manual. The one diffusing the bomb describes what they see, and the people reading the manual describe what the bomb diffuser must do in order to diffuse the bomb before time runs out and everybody explodes. 

I don't even have to tell you how this game could cause actual, literal explosions -- of rage and confusion and overall mayhem. GameSkinny has already mentioned this is a game to destroy a relationship. 

Instead, this article aims to give you some tips so that you can survive the first few bombs without losing your mind -- and everyone you love and cherish. 

First thing to remember? 

Don't be a jerk. Just keep repeating that to yourself over and over as the night progresses. Don't be a jerk. Don't say, "How are you not seeing this? How are you not understanding this? It's right in front of your face?" 

That isn't productive. That isn't going to help. It's going to shut the whole operation down, and everyone is going to die. Don't say degrading things out loud to your friends while you play a game. That should be a rule in every multiplayer game. 

Don't be a jerk. 


Second general piece of advice? 

If someone hasn't played this game before, but you have, don't act like you know everything. Let them discover the wonders of diffusing a bomb on their own. Keep your mouth shut. Remember the reason you started playing this game in the first place: because you want to have a fun game night with your friends. Not because you want to show off how smart you can be and how much better you are at this game than they are. 

If you start acting like you know everything and say things like, "Oh, just give me that, I'll do it," or "Just listen to me and stop listening to everyone else," tension is going to rise immediately. 

Okay, now that the general "don't be a jerk" tactics are out of the way, here are just a few tips concerning some of the modules that show up a lot and confuse even the most veteran players. 

On the Subject of Wires

If you are diffusing the bomb, do not start telling the people what color the wires are. And if you are reading the manual, do not ask what color the wires are. 

Just don't. It doesn't matter. The easiest way to get through this module is to ask how many wires there are -- and that's it. Here's a scenario:

The diffuser says, "There are six wires." The manual reader should then begin reading down the list for six wires, top to bottom, until they find their answer. Most of the time, you don't even have to read the whole line because if the manual reader says, "If there is only one black wire--" and the diffuser cuts them off to say, "There are no black wires," great. Move on to the next line.

Same with On the Subject of The Button. Don't worry about what the diffuser says. Just go down the list (in the exact order the list goes in), until you find what matches. Do not skip the order, because if there is a match earlier on the list than the line you skipped to, you are going to mess something up and earn yourself and all your friends a strike. 

On the Subject of Wire Sequence 

Yay, more wires! But this one is a little more complicated. And the first couple of times you do this one, you're gonna have a bad time. Because now you do need to say the colors of the wires. 

But wait! Stop! Don't tell the manual reader how many wires and what colors and what they're connected to immediately. Instead, go one wire at a time, top to bottom. The diffuser should only worry about the color and number occurrence of the wire; the manual reader is in charge of telling them if they should cut the wire. 

For example, say your module looks likes this:

The diffuser should say, "First occurrence black," as the first wire is black and it's the first time we've seen a black wire. The manual reader will then look at their manual and say to the diffuser "A, B, or C." Diffuser, because this wire is connected to a B, cut it, then move on. The manual reader is only going to say the letter corresponding with the wire if it should be cut.

For example, when the diffuser moves on to the next wire and says, "Second occurrence black," the manual reader will say, "A or C." If that black wire had been connected to a B, don't cut it, and don't waste everyone's time by saying, "But it's connected to a B!" If it's connected to a B, don't cut it, and move on. "First occurrence red." "C." Great. Don't cut the red wire, and then move on. Remember that when you press the down arrow to move on, the occurrences travel too, so the next black wire you see is going to be, "Third occurrence black." 

Eventually, you'll be powerhousing through that one, bing-bang-boom--err, I mean, no boom. 

On the Subject of Memory

I saved the worst for last. Okay, so maybe the Morse code one is the worst, or the Venn diagram one, but I'm here to give you the basics, not the whole game guide (though if you want it, I'll be here all week). 

Are you ready for the best advice of your life for getting past this difficult module? Okay, well, here it is:

Dude, just write it down.

This is a team effort, so utilize the team. The diffuser says what stage number it is, the manual reader reads the hint, and then the diffuser should say what position and number they just pressed. And then someone on the outside should write that down. Then, the diffuser, who already has enough on their plate, doesn't have to remember everything. 

But maybe you have more fun with the struggle. Maybe you prefer things to be diffucult, and that's okay. Or maybe you don't have asshole friends and never had to worry about losing friendships while playing this game, and that's okay too.

But just in case tensions do run high and suddenly everyone hates each other by the end of the night, these tips can hopefully ease some of the strain off your suddenly fragile relationships. 

Or maybe you should just stick to Card Against Humanity. 

Citadel: Forged with Fire - Level 1~20 Beginner's Tips Guide Sat, 05 Aug 2017 15:42:47 -0400 Joseph Rowe

Welcome to the wizarding world of Harry Potter Citadel: Forged with Fire! Before you tame a dragon to fly around the skies with, you've got to pick up some sticks and kill some orcs. This beginner's guide will show you the way.

Getting Started

First things first, you'll have to choose a server. If you want to level up faster or play in an easier way, look for the 2-10x style servers. These servers give you bonus EXP, attribute points, knowledge points, and/or harvested resources. If you're looking for just a vanilla experience, look for a server with a relatively normal sounding name without a 2-10x marker.

You can choose a PvP server in Citadel: Forged with Fire if you want, but keep in mind that this guide is intended for starting out on a PvE one.

After that, you will have to create a character. After joining or creating your own server, you will be brought to this menu. You can choose your gender, one of four different faces, one of four different hairstyles, and the color for your skin, hair, nails, and eyes. Give yourself a proper magic-y name like Merlin, Morrigan, or Phillip. 

After that, you'll be given the choice of starting off in one of three different areas. I go with Raincourt because it's near a coast with easy access to iron and gold ore, but you can still find those in mountains or on other coast near the other starting zones.

Shortly after spawning, check your keyboard configurations and make sure you know your bindings in Forged with Fire. It's also helpful to make sure you know where your melee button is for when you need to attack enemies close up when you're out of mana. You can make the game easier for yourself by going to the game tab in the options section and enabling the equip on auto equip feature.

Magical Gathering

After doing all the above, you're finally ready to play. Look around you for resources on the ground. Your first batch of resources in Citadel: Forged with Fire will be Wood, Yellow Pine, Stone, and Rune Crystals. These will be used for building your structures, crafting weapons and armor, brewing potions, etc. You'll also find Ghost Orchids, Mushrooms, and Crowberries, which can be consumed to restore mana and health. They're also used in creating mana and health vials which will be important later on.

Once you hit level 5, you can unlock the extract spell, which allows you to take resources like wood from trees, stone and ores from different kinds of rocks, for 1.0 mana per second. This is a very, very useful and time-saving spell to have, so be sure to get it as soon as you can.

Progression - Primary Attributes

If you couldn't tell by my previous mention of it, leveling up is a part of Citadel: Forged with Fire. You level up in the game by collecting resources, exploring new areas, killing enemies, crafting items, and building structures. When you level up, you gain attribute points and knowledge points.

Attribute points go towards increasing your health, mana, damage, or storage capacity. Depending on the kind of server you're on, you'll get one or more points per level. When you get extra points, you have more freedom when spending them, but if you're playing on a no bonus attribute point server, you'll want to only spend as much on storage as is absolutely necessary because health, mana, and damage will take priority. 

Progression - Knowledge

Knowledge points go towards recipes for crafting and structures as well as unlocking spells. Each node, save for the Amnesia Elixir under Utility, has at least one more node underneath it. They all have level requirements. For example, you can create the most basic versions of the four weapons, a couple pieces of cloth armor, a health and mana vial, wooden floors, walls, and doors, a throne, one combat spell, and four other spells for each weapon type. 

In Citadel: Forged with Fire, each piece of knowledge has its on point requirement. For example, the combat spell Mana Blast costs only 1 point to unlock but Lightning Bolts, the level 10 combat spell, takes 4 points. The most expensive unlock is the Dark Flight flying essence; it costs 12 points.

When playing on a vanilla server with limited points, you have to plan ahead. If it's possible, it's best to work with other people. One wizard can focus on one type of combat or crafting structure (which I'll address later) while another takes what that wizard didn't. One ally can focus on wands, pump his mana up, and brew potions -- while another one focuses on axes, pumps her health up, and forges armor. Trading resources, weapons, armor, etc. with each other is an efficient way to play the game without spreading your focus too thin. This is important in PvP and in higher level PvE situations.

The picture below is a progression I followed in a recent game of Forged with Fire. This is at level 22. You don't have to follow this build, but it is an example of a solo one where I focused on the staff as my main source of damage.

Starter Weapons and Armor

You are free to choose your first weapon, but I have a preference for staff and axe so that's what I'll suggest.

In order to build a Staff of the Forest in Forged with Fire, you'll need: 1 Rune Crystal and 6 pieces of Wood. You should unlock the Fireball spell when you can to go along with this weapon. This will let you do some decent damage to enemies from afar. When they get in close, you can try to melee them with your staff but it might break so be warned.

To build a Stone Head Axe, you'll need 4 pieces of Wood and 2 Stones. I usually just use this as an off-hand weapon to melee with when I very first start out so take Terrene Smash if you so desire, but it's not necessary.

For a Woodland Cloth Hat and a Woodland Cloth Tunic, you'll need 2 pieces of Cloth and 6 pieces of Cloth respectively. This will be your first armor set. It's quite wizard-y.

As you level up in Forged with Fire, you'll be able to unlock improved versions of these weapons as well as new kinds of armor. I recommend sticking with the same style of weapon you picked at the beginning in order to conserve knowledge points. For example, if you went staff, once you hit 10, you can build the Deathweaver -- and at 20, you can build Gorthrax's Ramshead. You have more freedom in what kind of armor you wear. You'll also be able to gain better armor as you loot enemies and treasure chests.

Let the Base Drop

You can access your structure building menu by pressing B if your keys are set to the default bindings. This will pull up a menu (pictured below) that allows you to choose between structures of different types. Under Wood, you'll find what you've unlocked for wooden structures, like doors and walls. For magic, you'll find your throne, the forge, the workbench, etc.

Find yourself an open area to build your structure. Depending on the surrounding ground, your floors might need support -- so try and look for an area that is flat to save resources. You'll need to build some floors. I find a 3x3 is okay for starting out, but 3x5 or more will eventually be needed to fit your chest, throne, etc. if you go for all of them. You must place your throne in your house to make sure it doesn't disappear. As of right now, you can only have one throne out at a time.

Your base will be where the majority of your crafting is done. The picture above with the built house features one I made in the aforementioned solo play. I had a throne, forge, workbench, tailoring bench, storage chest, and respawn stone. I recommend this for your first solo playthrough, though you don't need to have all three of the crafting tables if you're playing in a group.

You'll need a Forge to craft certain weapons, armors, and all the jewelry. You'll need a Tailoring Bench to create certain crafting materials like leather and refined cloth, as well as to craft certain armors like your level 5 set with Soloman's Hat, Initiate's Robe, and Footwraps. The Workbench is used for certain weapons and armors as well as brooms, saddles, and Soul Binding Scrolls for taming. You'll need a Conjuring Cauldron to brew vials for health, mana, and more.

Mana and Health Regeneration

Depending on the server you're on, mana is scarcer than you'd think. The regeneration rates in Citadel: Forged with Fire are pretty low so you'll want to craft as many health and mana vials as you can.

You can build health and mana vials starting at level 1. Health vials require 1 Rune Crystal, 3 Crowberries, and 1 Mushroom. Mana vials require 1 Rune Crystal and 2 Ghost Orchids. At level 10, you can unlock potent health and mana vials. These require a cauldron, so don't get them unless you have one of those already. They're stronger versions of the previous vials yet still require the same type and number of ingredients. 

You can also craft a Primitive Magic Ring for an extra +1 to your mana regen and a Magic Necklace for the same in health regen. A Primitive Magic Ring requires 2 Iron Bars, 1 Amethyst Crystal, and 3 Rune Crystals. A Magic Necklace requires 2 Iron Bars and 1 Precious Stone.

Iron Bars are found on enemy corpses or smelted from Iron Ore found on the black rocks that line coastlines and lay on the sides of mountains. Precious Stone can be found in similar rocks that are in caverns or on certain mountain-y areas. Amethyst Crystals can be found at giant geodes located in more dangerous areas you're not ready for. You can also craft one under your Inventory recipes with 2 Precious Stones and 1 Light Essence (found on peaceful creatures.) 

Monster Hunter

After the exp from resource gathering, base-building, and exploring becomes negligible, it's time to start slaying some beasts to level!

Always check an enemy's level before engaging in Citadel: Forged with Fire. When you're level 5, it's dangerous to do combat with a Level 20 Giant, but not too scary fighting a level 3 Boar. Unless, of course, you have the pacifist enemy bug where none of your foes attack you. If that's the case, then as long as you're not in the aura around them that does damage to your character, you can take down higher level monsters to level faster. It's not quite as fun, but it's good for trying out spells, testing damage, etc.

You'll be able to find Enemy Camps to clear as well. They are marked with a red sword on your map. These are areas where you'll find groups of enemies. Early on, this is likely to be an encampment of Orcs like shown above (though on this server for some reason, all my spells were on constant cooldown so I died shortly after this screenshot). Normally, there's also a treasure chest nearby, so be sure to look for one of those. It might save you some resources or knowledge points, because they sometimes contain resources, armor, weapons, and potions.

Once you get some more levels under your belt, you can explore caverns, which are also marked on your map. These are where you'll find rarer materials like Precious Stone. They're guarded, of course, by stronger enemies than what you're likely to find outside. These are best tackled with a group of other players.


Travel and Exploration

Traveling by foot is a pain in the butt in Forged with Fire, but thankfully by level 10 you'll be able to craft a Traveler's Broomstick to let you fly around much faster. One of the downsides to this is that it takes mana, of course, unless you're on a server with the mana cost removed. This is where your mana potions will come in handy. You'll need them to ensure you don't fall to your death while up in the air on your broom.

Another downside is that it prevents you from having any other trinkets equipped -- because apparently in this universe, you can't wear a ring or a necklace at the same time.

In order to create a Traveler's Broomstick, you'll need a Workbench and 10 pieces of Wood, 2 pieces of Leather, and 1 Faery Dust. I recommend doing this as soon as you hit 10. You can get Faery Dust from faerie and sprite enemies.

One of the most convenient features of Citadel: Forged with Fire is fast travel. There are a number of towers spread throughout the map that you can use to travel between them. In the map picture above, the player icon is where the closest fast travel tower is. These are very easy to unlock on a no broom mana restriction server so if you're on one of them, fly around and unlock as many fast travel towers as you can as early as possible. This will save you some travel time later on.

You can also try and build your base close to a travel tower if it's safe to do so. This is especially useful as you progress in the game since you'll need rarer resources from deeper into the map. You can use the towers to head back to your base shortly for dropping off resources when you're encumbered. 


You unlock the spell to tame creatures called Pacify at level 10 in Forged with Fire. This is useful, as it'll not only give you a 4-hour long pet that follows you around, but it also lets you give them commands. You can give orders like those shown above, as well as mount certain creatures like horses, elk, and dragons. The storage function is great for when you are on a resource run and get encumbered, but are too far from your home to get to your chest.

You can extend the duration by anywhere from 4 hours with soul binding scroll I (level 15 requirement) to 14 days with soul binding scroll VI (level 60 requirement.) This is of the utmost importance, as you're likely to bond with your pet. I had a wonderful elk named Goofus who carried my burdens, let me ride him, was a loyal friend, and died valiantly defending me from a group of orcs. Rest in peace, Goofus.

Hitting Level 20

If you followed my advice above for building your base, crafting your weapons, etc., you're likely to get somewhere in your teens just from harvesting, crafting, exploring, and killing the handful of monsters you run into. After that, though, you will have to hunt monsters more. As mentioned above, I recommend going for the camps. Keep doing this until you hit 20 in Forged with Fire.

If you hit 20 and are using the staff, I have a specific recommendation for you. The third tier of the staff is Gorthrax's Ramshead, which requires 11 Rune Crystals, 3 Bones (found on demons and the like), 6 pieces of Wood, and 1 Eagle Feather. An Eagle Feather is something you likely won't have come across at this point, as it drops from powerful Giant Eagles.

If you go to the east of Raveneye Lake, there is a cave marked on the map above called Yako Bokin's Cave. Outside of the cave is a camp of undead enemies. Inside of it is a bear and two Giant Eagles that are around level 20. If you maintain the right distance and you're lucky, you can attack the first Giant Eagle you see without it aggroing. Be careful, though, as it will easily kill you if you try to engage it up close and aren't prepared. It's doable solo, but if you can, I recommend grouping up for this.

After getting an Eagle's Feather from one of the Giant Eagles, head back to your base and forge your new level 20 weapon. You can see how much you've progressed in a few hours by flying back to the starter areas and trying out your higher level spells and weapons on weaker enemies. It's nuts to see how many enemies you can one  and two shot at this point.


If you follow the beginner's guide above, you'll have nothing but smooth sailing -- assuming the game doesn't bug out a ton for you, an issue I address thoroughly in my Citadel: Forged with Fire review. If there's anything missing from the guide that you think I should add in, something that I didn't explain in enough detail, or anything else, leave a comment below! Either way, happy wizarding!

Need more help with the game? Check out the rest of our Forged with Fire guides to get all the information you need!

The Long Dark Beginner's Guide: Survival Tips and Tricks Tue, 01 Aug 2017 12:22:07 -0400 Sergey_3847

The Long Dark, an indie survival game from Hinterland, is leaving Early Access today -- and is celebrating its full launch with a brand new story mode! But if course, the sandbox elements are still this game's most essential component, and you'll need to understand them thoroughly if you want to survive. 

If you haven't played the game during the alpha stage, then you'll have some trouble progressing -- as its challenges are quite hard, even for experienced players. So in this beginner's guide for The Long Dark, we're going to give you some tips that will help you make this dangerous journey and endure your adventures in the snowy wilds.

Set the Right Difficulty

The Long Dark offers four levels of difficulty. If you’re a new player, you'll want to skip the Interloper one, which is the hardest. But if you really want to learn something, then don’t take the easiest setting, either. Instead, go for Stalker difficulty. It is perfectly balanced, and can really give you a sense of realistic survival.

Find Shelter and Get Warm

Your game starts in the Northern Canadian wilderness, and your first task is to get warm clothes and shelter. Your starting clothes are not very good, so you must find a place to hide from the cold as soon as possible.

Don’t stray away into the wilderness too much, but try to follow the main path or the highway, as this will surely lead you to a safe place. On your way, you can start picking up sticks from the ground that will serve as the fuel.

As soon as you find a cabin or a house, immediately start looking for clothes and food inside. But be careful with your food and always check it for staleness. If it’s below 50%, then it is advisable not to consume such stale foods as they may provoke sickness.

Change your clothes and use any bed for sleeping. This will help you get warm and protect you from freezing.

Beware of the Wild Animals

Before leaving your shelter, make sure that you have a torch with you. For now it’s your only protection from the wolves and bears. You can craft a torch using three simple components: wood, cloth and lamp oil. You should be able to find all of them in your shelter.

Another way of getting rid of wild animals is to throw them a decoy, which is basically a piece of meat that you can carry around. The wolves will most definitely smell it on you, so drop it as soon as you hear barking in the distance. This way they will chase the food rather than you.

One more trick you can use to avoid wolves is to crouch. It will make you almost invisible to them, even in cases when they appear really close to you. But don’t get too close, as there is a chance that they will attack you no matter what.

In time you will need to find a real weapon, such as a rifle. It is way more effective against wild animals. You might also want to get yourself a hunting knife that can be used for skinning animals.

Learn Navigation and Weather Prediction

Navigating the map and predicting weather are probably two of the most important skills for survival in The Long Dark. It will help you find the best locations for setting up your base and hide in there in case you get caught in a blizzard.

The best places for setting up your base on the map are following:

  • Trapper's Homestead: A decent location that has fine loot inside, including a rifle. (Mystery Lake: South-West)
  • Camp Office: Located in the central area of a Mystery Lake, which makes it perfect for fishing.
  • Quonset Gas Station: Located in an area infested with wolves, but has tons of valuable loot inside. (Coastal Highway: East)
  • Farmhouse: Find it in the central part of the Pleasant Valley. It not only has good loot, but also a basement that can be used for storage purposes.

Try not to leave your base too early in the morning, as usually the weather is extremely cold at that time of the day. If you see that there is snow falling and wind blowing, then return immediately to your base -- in such cases, the blizzard is inevitable.

If you do get caught in blizzard, then try to find any other shelter that is close to you. Don’t try to reach your base if you know that you’re too far away. Just light up your lantern and get to the closest building you may have passed during your exploration.

Hunt For Survival

When you have all the clothes, equipment, and your own base, you can start hunting for wild animals. Now you’re the predator, so learn as much as you can about hunting.

First, look up into the sky and check for a pack of crows circling above a certain area. This will indicate that there is a dead animal nearby, which you can use for meat or skin.

Secondly, don’t forget to check for footprints. You will see them in the snow. In time you will be able to distinguish them pretty well, and even follow your prey.

Lastly, learn fishing. You can craft hooks and lines easily using metal scraps and cured guts. If you are located on a lake, then look out for fishing huts. Often these huts already have fishing equipment inside them, so you don’t really need to craft anything. Make a hole in the ice and catch some fish, which is an excellent source of food.


This is pretty much it for the basics of the survival game in The Long Dark. With the new Story Mode, the game should deliver all kinds of fresh challenges. So keep your eyes open and come back soon for more The Long Dark guides at GameSkinny!

Beginner's Guide to Dunk Nation 3X3 Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:37:12 -0400 Justin Michael

I've been on the go a lot recently, which means that I've been playing more and more mobile titles. With more than 200 games hitting the iTunes and Google Play stores on the daily, there are no shortages of games to try out. One of the games that I have been playing for a few days now is Dunk Nation 3X3 -- a competitive 3v3 basketball game. 

I'm not much of a sports fan outside of watching combat sports like K-1 and UFC but I was drawn in by the vibrant, almost comic book style graphics of this game. And, after hitting Silver IV, I decided that I could share some pointers and general tips with the awesome readers here at GameSkinny to help give them an edge over their opponents. 

Pay Attention to the Tutorial

When you first fire up Dunk Nation, you're going to get hit with a lot of boxes, tabs, and screens. The user interface can be pretty cluttered and confusing at first so take your time. 

The tutorial moves pretty quickly and you'll find yourself learning the basic game mechanics in minutes -- as well as getting flooded with rewards and clicking into several different screens. My best advice here is to take your time looking into the various tabs and screens offered by the main interface.

Game Modes & Progression

There are a number of different game modes to choose from in Dunk Nation -- from 1v1 to 3v3 PvP, story mode, and a practice mode to hone your skills. If you were having a bit of trouble with the tutorial, then I highly suggest practicing your skills for a few minutes in the practice mode or doing the first couple of story matches, as they are relatively easy. 

I find the story mode to be a bit on the boring side, so I generally play 3v3 matches and have been lucky to get some decent teammates. 

Once you start winning matches, you're going to start leveling up your character and your team -- so make sure you pay attention to upgrading your skills! Just note that your character's level cannot be higher than your team level, and your team level goes up as you play/win matches. 

Improving Your Player

The main way to improve your player is to upgrade their skills. This helps to round out your character and might activate special effects. Make sure you equip skills so that they gain experience from PvP matches.

Once you progress further in the game you can send your characters off to training camps to improve their attributes, as well as unlock talents.

Lastly, doing the rookie missions is a great way for you to get a quick boost in the early game. Going through the A.I. story mode missions, as well as doing the daily quests, is a consistent way to rack up the EXP and score some great rewards. This can only be done once, however, so don't expect to grind your way to the top.

General Tips & Positioning Tips

Some of these general tips might seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many people don't make use of them at the lower ranking.

Use Fake Shot: If you quickly tap the shoot button, you'll do a pump fake. I use this regularly -- and you'd be surprised how often it actually works on the defenders.

Pass the Ball Around: Don't hog the ball -- you don't have to make all the shots for your team. In fact, the bulk of my wins in Bronze was because there was a greedy ball hog on the other team. This is a team game, so use teamwork and pass to your teammates when they're open and ready to make a play.

Drive: Don't be afraid to break past those defenders and get that dunk. Find your spot and hit that sprint button to break through them. This also works well with the pump fake for that extra layer of frustration. 

There are 5 different positions that you can choose to play in Dunk Nation -- Center, Power Forward, Small Forward, Point Guard, and Shooting Guard. Each of these positions has an area of the game that they excel in, so there is a position for each playstyle.

Center: The Center is usually in the paint -- the 2-point area of the court. The Center excels at defending shots in the paint, as well as getting rebounds. This position is a great choice for the "team player" type.

Power Forward: My favorite position to play, the PF is the position for scoring dunks and making plays in the paint. PFs have good speed and can put up points on the inside.

Small Forward: The SF is your jack-of-all-trades position -- they don't really excel in any given area. This is a good starting position to play if you don't quite know what position, if any, you want to specialize in. 

Point Guard: The PG is your playmaker. He's fast and has great passing skills, allowing him to set up plays and get the ball where it needs to be on the court. 

Shooting Guard: The SG is your half-court sniper and the go-to player for crushing those 3-pointers. If you're trying to put up points from mid to 3-point range, then this is the position for you.


That wraps up our Dunk Nation beginner's guide! Hopefully, this helps you to get started off right on your road to ballin' out of control on your mobile device of choice. If you have any tips you'd like to add or any questions, drop a message in the comments below. Just make sure you keep checking back for more Dunk Nation guides here at GameSkinny.

Valiant Force Training and Fusion Systems Guide Mon, 24 Jul 2017 10:30:20 -0400 ActionJ4ck

Training -- also called Card Fusion -- is vital for optimizing your heroes in Valiant Force. Because the training system is required for job advancement and key stat boosts, you will find yourself severely outmatched as the game goes on if you don't learn how to take full advantage of it. Luckily, we're here to help guide you through the process.

To unlock the ability to fuse your cards, all you have to do is achieve player level 7 (note that your player level is not the same as your heroes' levels). This can be done in a day or two as long as you remember to claim your daily quest rewards, as these grant a large amount of player XP. 

How to Train/Fuse Cards in Valiant Force

Now that you've reached player level 7, you can fuse cards by going to hero screen of the character you want to upgrade and selecting Train in the Job Level section on the right (see image above). Do that, and you'll be taken to a screen like the one below, where you'll be asked to select some of your other units to fuse into the center one.

Notice how different units contribute a different percentage to the main hero's training. The higher the unit's current number of stars, the more it will contribute. Feel free to use any units that only have the potential for 1-3 stars, as they are just fodder for your 4 and 5-star heroes. Even units with a maximum of 4-star potential will serve as fodder eventually, but in the early game you can still squeeze a lot of use out of them.

Once you've chosen which units you want to fuse into your center hero, simply pay the gold and watch the training bar increase. Don't forget that all units used for fusion will be lost forever, so double-check to make sure that you're not using anyone important.

Keep feeding units, and eventually your hero will achieve 100% Training, granting them instant stat bonuses. But it doesn't stop there. You just maxed out the hero's Job Training, but it still hasn't increased their Job Level. So why not? Odds are your hero hasn't reached their maximum Hero Level yet, which is 20. If you look at the image below, you'll notice there's both the Hero Level on the left side and the Job Level on right side.

Once your hero has maxed out both his/her Hero Level (20) and their Job Training (100%), you'll finally be able to upgrade them to the next Job Level by tapping the green Upgrade button on the right. 

Once you do that, you'll receive some sizable stat increases, a heightened max level for the hero's skill, and a +1 next to the unit's job name to denote their current Job Level. Their Training will return to 0% and their Hero Level will be brought back down to 1 so that you can experience the fun of raising them back up all over again. If you plan on advancing your hero into a more advanced job, then you'll have to get them to their current job +2


How to Get More Fodder For Fusion in Valiant Force

You'll probably burn through your supply of 1-3 star heroes quickly, but luckily acquiring more fusion fodder doesn't require too much effort on your part. Here are few methods:

  • Pay Gold: You can spend 45,000 gold to summon a pack of 10 1-3 star units, which will usually be enough to fully train a 3-star hero and most of a 4-star hero. Though you shouldn't overdo it at first, gold will become much less of an issue as the game goes on.
  • Farm: Maps 22-3, 23-3, and 24-3 are ideal for farming low-potential heroes thanks to their low energy cost to run and decent hero drop rates. 
  • Quests: Daily quests throw a surprising number of hero tickets at you, and doing them also grants you XP, gold, and items, so there's really no downside to doing them.
  • Be patient: you can get a free 1-3 star summon every day. While this method is admittedly slow, it also doesn't take up any play time or resources. It adds up, trust me.

Now that you understand how fusion and training work in Valiant Force, you are well on your way to assembling the ultimate fighting team. But if you want even more help, then you can check out some of our other Valiant Force guides here on GameSkinny.

Gigantic Beginner's Guide: Heroes, Guardians, and Creatures Wed, 19 Jul 2017 12:37:57 -0400 Sergey_3847

After a year of beta testing, the complete release of Gigantic is coming for free to Steam and Xbox One on July 20. This new MOBA will surprise many players with its unusual mechanics and a roster of powerful heroes. And even if you have a massive experience in the given genre, Gigantic will still provide you a decent challenge.

It’s a hard game to master that offers a complete multiplayer team experience with the voice chat and command pings. The understanding of the match-ups will play a huge role in the competitive play, and the only way to get the advantage is to have more knowledge about the game than the other team.

So keep on reading if you want to learn how to play Gigantic as effectively as possible!

The Rules of the Game

Two teams of five heroes play against each other on a map that hosts two guardians -- enormously powerful creatures that must fight each other to death. Each team must power up their guardian so that it can strike down the enemy guardian.

Your team then needs to inflict three wounds to the enemy guardian in order to achieve victory. The first guardian that reaches 100 points of power has the advantage, so your job as a team is to know how to power up your guardian faster than the enemy’s team.

Power Gauge

There are four ways how your team can power up your guardian:

  • Killing an enemy hero
  • Killing a young creature
  • Killing an adult creature
  • Capturing power orbs

Each of these four actions will bring the power gauge that much closer to 100 points. If you can do it faster than your enemies, then you will have a greater chance of winning.

Enemy Guardian

As soon as your power gauge gets full, your guardian will immediately chase the enemy guardian and capture it for you to inflict damage while it’s down. If you manage to remove all three health charges from the enemy guardian, your team wins.

Timing and positioning are extremely important here. You will have about 15-20 seconds to finish off the enemy guardian -- and if you fail to do so, the other team will have the chance for a comeback.

The Composition of Your Team

Currently, there are 18 heroes available in Gigantic. Just like in every other MOBA, characters have certain roles that have to be well-distributed in order to create an effective team of five players. Here you need to have at least one strong melee front-liner, a supporter, a healer, and a couple of ranged heroes or assassins.

The best melee hero in the game is Lord Knossos, who is both highly mobile and strong. Beckett is a great ranged character. And if you want to add something spicy, then consider Uncle Sven, who can serve as your team’s main support.

Of course, you can manage your roles the way you want it, and the way that's most fun for yourself and your friends. But always be aware that the enemy team will work really hard to put your guardian down, and they will use the best possible combinations of heroes they can get.

The Importance of Healer

One of the most important (and often neglected) types of character in any MOBA game is the healer. In Gigantic there aren’t that many great healers, but there is one you don’t want to miss -- Vadasi.

This hero is really something, as she is not only capable of healing all of her allies, but she can do just as much damage to the enemies. This means that she will not decrease the efficiency of your team by taking the slot of another typical damage character, but will actually make a difference.

Tanks and Assassins

It’s really cool how Gigantic treats its heroes in a different way than other MOBAs. For example, The Margrave -- the game’s best tank -- is not your typical slow hero, but one that can both handle enormous amounts of damage and charge using his blazing shield as an attack mechanic.

Speaking of charging and killing several enemies at once, consider Tyto the Swift – an assassin with a skill that literally lets him swoop through a group of enemies and slash them all down at once.

Creatures and Upgrade Mechanics

Creatures are just as important for your victory as the heroes you choose for your team. You can summon creatures in certain places on the map and they will help you power up your guardian rather quickly.

You should always protect your creatures and try to take down the creatures of the enemy team. Currently, there are five types of creatures available for summoning, so consider them carefully and decide which ones you want in your match-up:

  • Bloomers look like trees and carry the function of healers. So in case you have no healer as a hero in your team, then consider this type of creature as a replacement.
  • Cerberus is a hyena-like creature that sniffs out the enemies on the map and indicates them on the mini map. This type of creature is super useful for any team composition.
  • Cyclops is a large beast that controls certain areas of the map and blocks the enemies from passing through them.
  • Drake is a pure damage creature that can be used in close combat and for siege attacks.
  • Obelisk is the only type of creature that can be summoned on the enemy territory for the sole purpose of protecting your power orbs from being captured.

When you first summon the creature, you will summon a young version. Then, you can upgrade it to the adult status. In order to do so you must have enough Focus charges that can be accumulated in the following ways:

  • Damaging enemy players
  • Healing your teammates
  • Taking damage from enemies

Know Your Guardian’s Weak Point

The two available guardians in Gigantic, one for each team, are controlled by an AI, just like the creatures you’ve summoned previously. Leiran the Griffin and Grenn the Naga are their names, and you must know how to inflict enough damage to each of them if you want to achieve victory in this game.

As soon as your ally guardian reaches 100 power, it will rampage across the map and pin down the enemy guardian. Your team must be ready for the moment and get all of your damage power on one spot -- the guardian’s head.

It will start glowing to let you know that this is where you need to shoot. If you manage to deal 24,000 damage at once -- the enemy guardian will be defeated, and your team will win. If you can’t, then the enemy guardian will be released, and you will have to start over again.

But don’t worry, the damage inflicted to the enemy guardian is preserved -- so if you manage to capture it once more, it’ll be easier to kill it. All it takes is three wounds:

  • First wound -- 6,000 HP
  • Second wound -- 8,000 HP
  • Third wound -- 10,000 HP
Protect your guardian

What do you do when the enemy guardian is chasing your own guardian? Don’t stall -- protect it with the help of a shield! The opportunity to build the shield appears right at the moment when the enemy guardian begins the rampage.

The shield will protect your guardian to a certain extent, so build as much of it as you can. Below is the breakdown of the damage such a shield can withstand:

Power Enemy Guardian Damage Shield Strength
0 Power 5000 dmg / 7500 dmg 0 hp
10 Power 4800 dmg / 7200 dmg 70 hp
20 Power 4600 dmg / 6900 dmg 140 hp
30 Power 4400 dmg / 6600 dmg 210 hp
40 Power 4200 dmg / 6300 dmg 280 hp
50 Power 4000 dmg / 6000 dmg 350 hp
60 Power 3800 dmg / 5700 dmg 420 hp
70 Power 3600 dmg / 5400 dmg 490 hp
80 Power 3400 dmg / 5100 dmg 560 hp
90 Power 3200 dmg / 4800 dmg 630 hp
100 Power 1000 dmg 700 hp



This should be enough for you to get the best out of your heroes, creatures and guardians in Gigantic. Make sure to choose one hero and practice with it as much as you can, and don’t forget to communicate during the match-up with your teammates for more efficiency.

Come back soon for more Gigantic guides here at GameSkinny!

Puzzle & Dragons Beginner's Guide: Tips for Starting Your Own Puzzling Adventure Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:08:50 -0400 stratataisen

Puzzle & Dragons is a mobile, puzzle strategy game developed by GungHo Online Entertainment for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. The main premise of the game is for you to take a team of six monsters (5 of your own plus a friend's) through a series of dungeons.

Your monsters can have up to two attributes -- Water, Fire, Wood, Light, and Dark. And to attack enemies, you have to match at least three orbs of the same attributes that your monsters have in a familiar match-three puzzle game board. 

But unlike similar puzzle games (Bejeweled or Candy Crush), you are not limited in your orb movements, but in how long you can move the orb. So very skilled players can clear the entire board and make up to 10+ combos. 

When you're a beginning player, though, starting a new game can be rough. So we've put together this beginner's guide with tips to help you along your puzzling journey! 

Save Your Magic Stones

There are several ways to obtain Magic Stones in Puzzle & Dragons -- finish all levels of a dungeon for the first time, participate in special events where GungHo hands them out like candy, reach milestones for the number of days logging in, or spend real money.

This tip is directly related to whether or not you want to go the non-in-app purchase (non-IAP) route, or you're willing to fork over some real money on this game. If you're spending real money, you can be a wee bit more flexibile with spending your Magic Stones, but I still wouldn't go wild with it. 

If you do opt to go the non-IAP route, it's going to be tough. There are so many shiny things for you to spend those Magic Stones on -- from Rare Egg Machine (REM) monsters and increasing your monster box capacity to increasing the max number of friends you have or restoring your stamina.  

While it may seem like a good idea to spend your Magic Stones right away, it's better to hold off and stockpile them at first. There's a time and a place to use them, which we'll elaborate on more below. 

Only Roll for Gods and Monsters During Godfests

Godfests are events that happen about once or twice a month where the rate to roll certain Gods/Monsters from the REM is increased. There are Godfest-exclusive monsters that you can only obtain during these events, and only a few others that you can pick up from other special occasions. 

This is where you’ll spend the majority of your Magic Stones, and the main reason why you’re saving them in the first place. The REM is where you can get the better monsters and excellent leaders for your team -- if the RNG Gods favor you, that is. There is a lot of RNG involved with the REM, so you may not get what you want the first time you roll during one. Be patient -- there will be another just around the corner!

Even if you spend real money on Magic Stones, you’ll still want to only roll primarily during Godfests.

Box Space: To Expand or Not to Expand?

One hundred spaces seem like a lot to start out with, but you’ll find it fills up rather quickly. It’ll be tempting to spend more than a few of your Magic Stones to open up more space -- and this isn’t a horrible use of Magic Stones, because you should open up space when needed. Just don’t go crazy.

A good rule of thumb for box space is to have double the amount as you have ranks. So at rank 100, your Monster Box should have 200 space.

Don't Spend Magic Stones on Stamina

At the lower levels, you never want to waste a Magic Stone on stamina. It’s not worth it. Your stamina replenishes when you level -- and at lower ranks, you’ll be doing that a lot. If you’re just shy of your next level, wait for your stamina to replenish on its own until you can run the next dungeon.

Even at the higher ranks, using stones on stamina is not a good idea. It can be worth it for some limited-time dungeons or if you’re farming for a particular monster skill, but I wouldn’t waste more than one or two Magic Stones on this.

Focus on Your First Puzzle & Dragons Team

Having a team to concentrate on helps immensely. It means you know what monsters you want to level and evolve first, as well as which ones to evolve. If you don’t have a team yet or need help figuring out a team, there are helpful communities which can lead you in the right direction.

Evolution Material

Evolving your monsters allows them to become stronger, but you need evolution materials (evo mats) to do so.

You’ll want to save the mats you get through various dungeons (usually the weekday dungeons) or the Pal Point Egg Machine during the Evo Carnival. At really low ranks, you’ll probably want to have only the mats for the team you’re focusing on at first.

Once you gain more ranks and expand your monster box, having about five to ten of each on hand will be helpful. This is mainly so you don’t have to go farming for mats when you get new monsters.

Use PAD Hearder

PAD Hearder is a nifty little site that allows you to track what monsters and mats you have on hand and what you still need. Start using this now before your list of monster gets too large.

This site also helps others more easily see your list of monsters when you ask for team suggestions.


I’m sure you’ve noticed, but there’s a lot to learn about Puzzle & Dragons (PAD), and it may seem more than a little overwhelming at times. Fortunately, there are great communities and websites out there for the game that can help you by answering questions and providing information in the form of news, team building guides, co-op strategies, and friend-finding.

Want even more information? Check out these other guides on GameSkinny!

Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have any other suggestions for new players you’d like to add? Let us know down in the comments below! And stay tuned for more Puzzles & Dragons guides!

Valiant Force Beginner's Guide Mon, 17 Jul 2017 10:29:45 -0400 ActionJ4ck

Valiant Force is a surprisingly deep tactical RPG. Though you may be tempted to jump into the thick of things right away, you'll quickly find that there is much to Valiant Force that goes unexplained in the tutorial or that you would only learn through trial and error.

Luckily, we here at GameSkinny have compiled a beginner's guide for this mobile game to help you hit the ground running. This Valiant Force beginner's guide is going to quickly cover choosing your heroes, Faiths, Classes, equipment, runes, and the garrison -- all of which you'll need to have a firm grasp of if you're ever going to save Arathos. Let's get started.

Valiant Force Heroes: Who to Keep and Who to Toss

As you've probably already noticed, each hero in Valiant Force is rated out of five stars based on their potential. It's the first criteria that you should be using to assess a unit's worth -- followed by Faith, which we'll talk about later. 

The difference between characters of different star ratings is huge, especially as the levels increase. The difference is so huge, in fact, that you shouldn't even bother training up your 1-3 star heroes, as doing so would simply waste your time and resources. Think of these units as simple fodder.

Eventually, you'll unlock the option to "train" your units by sacrificing others, effectively feeding them to each other. You'll want to use this option to get rid of most of your 1-3 star units while strengthening your 5 stars. (Check out our Valiant Force training and fusion guide for more tips on how to train properly.)

Obviously you won't have much of a choice at the very start of the game, but your first priority really should be to get enough 5-star heroes to fill up your main squad. 

That said, there is a group of 5-star heroes in the game -- called Valiants -- that are a cut above all others. They are Freya, Darrion, Lucille, Kiera, Kane, and Shizu. You'll get to select one for free at the end of the tutorial, but for the most part, you'll have to rely on random drops, login bonuses, etc. to acquire them. They are well worth it, however, and should be utilized whenever possible.

Valiant Force Tip: Yes, Faith Matters

In addition to using a unit's stars to measure their potential, you should also be weighing their Faith. Each hero has 1 of 6 possible Faiths, a randomly assigned modifier to its stats. You can find a hero's Faith by tapping the symbol to the right of their name on the hero information screen, where you can also see how that faith modifying a unit's stats. For your convenience, though, here's a quick rundown:

  • Zeus: Mostly balanced, but with poor CRIT and MAG
  • Ares: High ATK, poor MAG
  • Hera: High CRIT, poor DEF and MAG
  • Kratos: High DEF, poor CRIT and MAG
  • Hercules: High HP, poor CRIT
  • Athena: High MAG, poor DEF and CRIT

As you can see above, there is no universally best Faith; instead, they are each better for use with different types of units. You'll obviously want each unit to have a Faith that compliments its intended playstyle, and avoid Faiths that hinder it. 

Faith can affect units so much that a 4-star hero with the ideal Faith can often outperform a 5-star hero with a poor faith, so it is important to take that into consideration when deciding which heroes to invest in. That being said, don't despair if you draw a 5-star Valiant with a bad Faith. You can pay gold to re-roll it -- but just be aware that it's going to cost a good chunk of gold and another 5-star unit.

A Primer on Classes and Jobs in Valiant Force

When you draw a new unit, it will be one of six different Classes. Like most games, classes determine that unit's basic stats and playstyle. Here's a quick rundown:

  • Champion: Champions are the main melee-damagers. Though they boast phenomenal ATK, they have surprisingly low defense -- so don't go expecting them to tank any hits for you. 
  • Guardian: Guardians are your defenders. They won't dish out any crazy damage, but they can sure as heck take it. 
  • Healer: As the name implies, Healers heal things. Though useful, you'll have to keep them well-protected due to their squishy levels of DEF and HP. 
  • Mystic: Mystics kind of cover a wide range of magic-based functionality. They can use their magic for pure damage, or have skills that support the party in other ways.
  • Ranger: Rangers possess decent ranged damage output, but require protection due to their lack of durability.
  • Shadow: Though their ATK stats aren't super high, Shadows usually have high CRIT to balance out their damage potential. They also possess many skills to debuff enemies or inflict negative effects. 

Like Faiths, there is no absolute best class. In fact, it's a good idea to have a solid mixture of classes.

In addition, units can be further specialized with Jobs. Each Class has 6 different Jobs branching out from it (not counting the starting default job), for a total of 36 possibilities. Acquiring a Job has a few requirements, and you can check out our Valiant Force job guide for more information on that. For now, just know that your units can be eventually be further customized beyond Classes.

Pay Attention to Equipment and Runes in Valiant Force

Every hero comes with 7 equipment slots, plus up to 9 slots for runes. You would think that it's best to just equip all the best individual items possible, but you'd only be sort of right. 

You'll notice that pieces of equipment you acquire come with some sort of suffix at the end, such as "of Might" or "of Defense". This indicates that they are part of a set with other like-named equipment. If you gather more items of a set, then they grant additional stat bonuses. Because of this, it is actually sometimes better to stick with lower-level equipment in order to maintain the set bonus. 

A similar principle applies to runes. Each character can have 9 or fewer rune slots, but some runes will take up more slots than others. As such, you may sometimes find it more beneficial to unequip a higher-star rune in favor of several less powerful ones. The bottom line is that with items, higher stars does not always mean better gear for that unit.

Valiant Force Tip: Prioritize Your Garrison

The buildings in your garrison will provide a ton of useful benefits, but it'll take you a long while to get everything built up. Because of this, you'll need to prioritize which buildings get built and upgraded first. 

The first thing you should focus on is the Gold Mine. Used for everything from summoning new heroes to upgrading weapons and armor, gold is arguably the most important resource in Valiant Force -- especially for players who choose not to spend money on micro-transactions. 

Next, you'll want to prioritize the Salvage Yard, which will enable you to scrap much of the junk that you'll find throughout the game. After that, you should turn your attention to Armorsmith and Weapon Forge, which will allow you to craft much better armor and weapons using the materials obtained from the Salvage Yard. 

Next, consider the Marketplace and the Wishing Well. The Marketplace will give you access to a ton of useful items in exchange for gold and gems, while the Wishing Well simply gives you free stuff.

Don't even bother building the Alchemy Lab, Farm, Iron Quarry, or Mercenary Camp. The former three provide you with materials and such that can easily be obtained elsewhere, while utilizing the Mercenary Camp would only waste resources that could go to strengthening your own units.


Hopefully you're now on the right track to getting started in Valiant Force. With our beginner's tips in hand, you should have no problem sinking your blades into all the game has to offer. Don't forget to check back with GameSkinny for more tips, tricks, and guides for Valiant Force

The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Factorio Tue, 11 Jul 2017 15:18:15 -0400 ESpalding

Every now and then, a building sim comes along that throws a real spanner in the works -- and Factorio is that sort of game! There's so much to this incredibly detailed factory building game that, unless you know a thing or two about engineering, you are going to need a bit of help to get started. I don't have a clue about industrial processes or manufacturing, but I'm a fan of games of this genre. 

Factorio does not let the builder fan in me down -- but my starting game was definitely a process of trial and error. So to help all you new players out, I've written this ultimate beginner guide to Factorio to give you a helping hand and a good place to launch into your own game.

Where to Start in Factorio

Once you have gotten into the game itself, you will find yourself in a woody grassy area. The first thing you need to do is go for a walk. Familiarize yourself with the immediate area around you, look for various drilling locations, and maybe get a glimpse of where the enemy forces are based. You need to make sure you memorize where the Coal, Ore, and Stone areas are to begin with. This is what you will be drilling for first.

But before you can even start drilling, you are going to need some fuel for your starter Burning mining drill, so get to chopping those trees down. Trees can be chopped down just by holding down the right mouse button. 

As you get a burning mining drill and a Stone Furnace for free at the beginning, once you have acquired some fuel, you can get straight to harvesting your first raw ore -- Iron.

So, remember I said to memorize where your nearest iron deposit was? Well, now you need to head over there and place mining drill. Once placed, left click on it and it will bring up the drills menu and your inventory. Drag the stack of wood you have in there into the square that looks like a gas pump. The drill will start off and, voila! Now you are drilling for iron!

Now you have some raw iron, you are going to need to get it to a stone furnace. Sure, you can just collect it in your inventory -- but since Factorio is all about industrial process, there is an easier way. If you place your stone furnace at the top of your drill, the ore will automatically be placed inside the furnace. Make sure you load the furnace with fuel again, and away it will go. You will have steel plates in no time!

Each production unit, whether it be a drill or a furnace, can hold up to 100 pieces before it will stop and wait for you to remove them. Once you have a more automated process, this will be done automatically -- but just be aware of this to start with.

As you only start with one stone furnace and one burner mining drill, you will need to make sure that you have gathered enough materials to make more early on. Here's what you'll need:

How to Make a Burner Mining Drill

How to Make a Stone Furnace

To gather Stone, you do not necessarily need to set up a drill to get it for you. At this early stage, it isn't used in much other than in making a stone furnace. Just find a patch of stone and you can mine it whenever you want in the same way you chop down trees.

Using Coal As Fuel

While chopping trees is a quick and effective way to gather fuel for burning, finding an area of Coal is well-worth your time, as it burns for longer so requires smaller amounts for the same output. Coal can be mined in a similar way to iron -- but for a larger output, there is an autonomous method to keep your coal stores up.

As the burner mining drill requires fuel to work, you can set up a set of four drills that feed coal directly to each other. If you look at the image below, you will see that each drill is facing another with their outputs. This means that they are putting coal directly into the next one. As the coal is mined quicker that it is burnt up, there will always be a large stack of coal in the drill's fuel slot. Just take coal out of it when it's needed.

Starting Power Generation in Factorio

The first type of power you will need to generate is Steam Power. With this, you can start to use Electric Drills and, shortly after, the Electric Furnace.

To generate steam power you are going to need to craft five items -- Offshore PumpBoilerPipesSteam Engine, and Small Electrical Pole. The recipes for each are as follows:

How to Make an Offshore Pump

How to Make a Boiler

How to Make a Steam Engine

How to Make a Small Electric Pole

Pipes only require one steel sheet to make.

Now that you have everything you need, you need to find a body of water. On every map, there will be a water source of sorts -- and this is where you need to place your offshore pump on the shoreline. Attach to it, in the following order, a boiler, a pipe and then the steam engine. The electric pole is then placed next to the steam engine. Put some fuel in your boiler and you are generating steam power!

But there is still a sign on the engine that says that there is a power problem! Well, that happens when you don't have anything to power. My advice is to invest some materials into making an Electric drill to replace one of the ones you already have.Once you have it in place, make sure you have enough electric poles available to connect it to your steam engine.

Introducing the Science of Factorio

Once you have the basics of power generation and crafting under your belt, the next thing you need to start thinking about is research. This research allows you to progress through the game's tech tree, unlocking all kinds of tech, leading you to advanced power generation like Nuclear Power and advanced technological defenses and weapons.

Before you even select what you'd like to research first, you need to build a Lab and understand Science Packs. These are used to generate your research, and they're made up of various smaller items. For example, the Red Science Pack is made up of Copper Plate and Iron Gear Wheels. Not only do the science packs take a long time to make, but as you can imagine, research takes a pretty long time as well.

The science packs also kind of represent where you are in the game. As you can see from the image above, science comes in four colors:

  • Red Science Packs are the easiest to make
  • Green Science Packs are slightly harder and require more materials to make
  • Blue Science Packs are the hardest and most complex of the sciences in-game
  • Purple Science Packs are very easy to make, but require Alien Artifacts.

The first bit of research you will do is Automation. This is pretty straightforward and only requires 10 red science packs. This will unlock the use of an Assembly Machine and a Long Armed Inserter. I recommend that you get some assembly machines up and running as soon as possible, as these allow you to craft more items at once. I currently have three in my basic set-up -- one crafting an item I use a lot and the other two crafting red and green science packs.

Other Beginner Tips for Factorio

Now you know how to mine your basic raw materials, how to smelt them, basic coal mining set-up, how to introduce electricity into your game via steam power, and the basics of how to research different technologies. So what other starting tips can I give you?

  • You will want to have a mine, furnace, and storage chest set up on a stone deposit. When Stone is put into a furnace, it creates Stone Bricks. These bricks are used to make paths, which increase your walking speed by 130% -- very useful if you are on a map where your resources are spread out over a large area!
  • You will want to build up your crafting materials pretty quickly to begin with, and storage is a great way to do this. To begin with you have access to Wooden Chests that have 16 slots and Iron Chests that have 32 slots. Keep all your mining processes going at all times and fill up plenty of chests to ensure you always have a backup... especially coal!
  • Always make sure everything is doing something, focusing primarily on your lab and on your assembly machines. Even if you have your assembly machines making something pretty basic, stock up on components you need for science packs.

  • As things can be pretty spread out, don't stay still. Continually run back and forth to make sure that machinery has the required fuel. If some processes stop, then you could end up with a bottleneck and the factory will start failing.
  • Don't be afraid to start building up your defenses. Unless you are playing peace mode (where the opposition will only attack if you hit them first), you have no idea when an enemy strike is going to happen. Get armed and get a Radar up as soon as you can!

Well, there you have it! We hope that you find this beginner guide to Factorio useful and that it has given you a great place to start off from. Be sure to check out the rest of our Factorio guides for more help with this intense building game:

Futurama: Worlds Of Tomorrow Tricks and Strategies for the Beginner Thu, 06 Jul 2017 13:39:52 -0400 Ty Arthur

Hypnotoad, Nibbler, and that hard-drinking robot who wants you to bite his shiny metal ass are all aboard for a freemium time-wasting adventure in the recently released mobile game, FuturamaWorlds Of Tomorrow!

Contrary to what the loading screen will tell you, no one actually gets more flavor points for licking the screen. In fact, this little Futuarma romp holds onto points and resources like Zapp Brannigan holds onto an inflated sense of self-importance. You'll have to pry them from the game's cold, dead hands.

Unless you are planning on spending a significant amount of real money (or rolling the dice with a Futurama: Worlds Of Tomorrow cheat program that has you installing very iffy side apps to get free pizza and Nixonbucks), this game is all about hurrying up and waiting.

Time and resource management are absolutely key here. Not sure how to proceed? We'll show you the best ways to get on re-building New New York without emptying your wallet into a digital shredder.

    ..and give out handy tips like: "don't try to reason with Lrrr!"

Get Two Robots

Like it or not, you are basically going to have to lay down a little cash to buy a second model Robot 1-X for clearing out areas covered in Hypnowaves. You only start with around 10 pizza and earn very little extra pizza each day, so waiting to get to the 50 slices necessary to buy another robot could take days... or weeks.

Why do you need a second one? Because the wait timers for clearing out areas usually involve hours or days... but if you have your robot already out on an hours-long mission, it won't be available for those silly 5 and 6 second missions required to complete storyline tasks.

Yep, you'll be stuck waiting for a menial non-story task to get finished before you can move forward in the main quest line. Buying that second robot and keeping him free for story missions makes this game about 80% less frustrating.

            It stings a bit, but if you are committed to the game, its necessary

Fuel Economy

The space missions part of the game, where you switch from city building to RPG combat and Choose-Your-Own-Adventure dialog choices, is entirely dependent on how much fuel you have on hand.

Fuel replenishes extremely slowly (at a rate of 1 about every 8 minutes of real world time!). Every single dot on the star map takes up fuel, and the maps tend to be pretty big. This is really how they get you on the money front, because you can spend cash to buy pizza and replenish fuel during the mission.

Don't forget, if you run out of fuel, you don't have to ditch the mission entirely. Choose the option to "temporarily return" (using the castle icon in the top-right) so you can handle some things back in New New York, then later when the fuel has replenished you can head straight back to your previous location on the star map.

    I've got two fuel left... and 15 dots to cover

Here's the important part of space missions to always keep in mind: any character who is involved in a timer mission back in New New York can't come with you. That means there's one less character for combat or for dialog sections where you might need a specific person to proceed.

That's why you should complete all the space missions you can first -- using up all the fuel you've got -- before setting anyone onto a timer back in New New York.

It's almost a certainly you won't have the resources necessary to finish all tasks and quests immediately -- whether you've run out of fuel or money or pizza or just time. So unfinished quests are listed conveniently in the lower-left corner as a series of character images. Just tap one to return to where you were at before.

 Returning to quests

Rearranging New New York

While in New New York, you always want as many structures as possible. They not only increase your resources, but also give you something to do while waiting for timers to fill. This is particularly frustrating in the early game when you have only a handful of buildings and nothing to do for hours.

Pull up the store (the cash register icon in the lower-right) and check it regularly, as there are rotating sales letting you get new buildings that offer up precious resources for tiny amounts of Nixonbucks.

Once a building is placed, wait for the icon to appear above its roof (you can tap and hold to see its progress), then tap the building to make the resources appear -- but don't forget you still have to pick them up.

One aspect of the city building that isn't immediately clear is that you can actually move your existing structures to other locations. Tap and hold a building so a circle of dots appears, and then you can move structures that were previously placed by tapping the new position. This is especially helpful if a large object ended up in front of a small object in the game's isometric view.

     Moving your Slurm machine

Those are all the basics you need to know about resource management to get started in Futurama: Worlds Of Tomorrow! Got any other tips on how to stay ahead of the pizza, fuel, or Nixonbucks curve? Let us know what we missed in the comments! And stay tuned as we cover classes, combat, leveling, and space quests soon. 

A Beginner's Guide to Colony Survival Wed, 05 Jul 2017 14:30:10 -0400 Justin Michael

Colony Survival is an interesting game that popped up on my radar during the Steam Summer Sale event. Currently, the game is in Early Access and is only at version 0.2.5 at the time of writing this, so there isn't a ton to do yet. But the developers have been consistently putting out patches and just recently added new content to the game. 

If you want to pick up this base-building survival game, I'm going to help you to get off to a good start with a good start with a few handy tips I've picked up while playing it myself. Let's get into it!

Take Your Time to Pick a Good Location

From what I've noticed, there currently isn't any sort of bonuses or penalties for where you choose to set up your colony. So I tend to look for a lake or river area to build by, in the event that there is an update that requires you to have water for your colonists in the future. Plus I like the aesthetic. 

I have noticed that you will not get attacked by zombies until you place your banner down. So take your time looking for the perfect spot.

Slowly Build For and Hire Your First Colonists

I start off with three colonists -- two to become berry farmers and one to be a guard. You can only hire colonists if there is a bed for them to sleep in at night, so make sure that you build your beds first. What I do is build up a bunkhouse for my colonists to live in and fill it up with beds.

The house above can fit 15 beds in it, which is plenty. But don't hire quite that many colonists from the start, or you will run out of food and they will die. 

Plant Crops and Begin Food Production

Like I said above, I started out with two berry farmers for my initial food production. I like to plant the berry crops in a 5x10 plot next to one another, so that when I hire wheat farmers it matches up with the 10x10 wheat fields... because symmetry!

Berries are useful because they don't really have a grow time like wheat, which is on a 3-day cycle. The downside to berries is that they only produce 0.6 units of food per bush, and each colonist needs 5 units per day. So you'll need quite a few of them if you're going to keep any number of colonists alive and full. 

Grow Wheat, Make Bread, and Stagger Your Supply

It's important to set up your wheat farm ASAP, as you're only going to produce 12 units of food between your berry farms -- which only acts as a buffer to slow your food drain.

Your colonists can eat the wheat after it has been harvested but that's ultimately a waste, as you can turn it into bread for 3x the food value. All you need to do is build grindstone to have a colonist grind it into flour, and build an oven for a baker to turn it into bread.

Once you reach this point you should stagger your crop harvests between 3 wheat fields so that each day, at least 1 field is being harvested. That way you have a steady supply of food coming in.

Keeping the Zombies at Bay

The zombies aren't really much of a problem in Colony Survival, but their numbers do scale in relation to the number of colonists. If you have the resources, you can just wall off your city. Currently, zombies can't damage walls and they can't get over walls 2 blocks high. 

The other option is to make sure that you have guards within line-of-sight range of the entrances to your colonist's sleeping quarters so they can take care of the zombies. I get by with a mix of walls and 2-3 guards without issue.


Like I said, Colony Survival is still very Early Access but it does already have promising mechanics and multiplayer capabilities. I'm looking forward to what the devs have in store for us as more patches roll out.

What do you like most about the game? What other gameplay additions would you like to see? Let's talk about it in the comments below! And keep checking back to GameSkinny for more Colony: Survival guides.

Fate Grand Order Beginner Tips and Tricks Fri, 30 Jun 2017 12:06:53 -0400 Synzer

Fate/Grand Order is a mobile game that combines traditional turn-based RPG battles with a Card system. There are several characters, or Servants, you can choose from -- all with their own affinity, skills, and stats. There is a lot to know about this game if you are just getting started, but I'll make it easier for you.

Party Setup and Class Affinities 

The first thing you want to get down is how to set up your party, and what should should look for when deciding. You can set a total of 5 Servants in your party: 2 starting members and 3 sub members. The 3rd starting slot is for a temporary support Servant you choose each battle.

Each servant costs a certain number of points to put in your party, and there is a cap on how many you can have. The higher the quality, the higher the cost.

The 2 starting members and support member will begin battle first. The sub members will only join once a starting member loses all their health. Each time a member in combat dies, it will be replaced by a Sub member until nobody is left.

There are a variety of Servants you obtain, and you should level each Class type so you can bring in one that is strong against a current enemy, or take out those that are weak to them.

Class Affinities

There are at least 9 class affinities in the game. You can view 8 of them by clicking on the "See Info" tab when you are setting up your party. You can also view during battle by selecting "Battle Info". The Ruler affinity is not shown in that section.

fate grand order class affinities

When an Affinity is strong against another type, it means it will deal more damage to them and take less damage from them. If they are weak, they will take more damage from them and deal less damage to them. 

Affinities are as follows:

  • Archer: Strong against Saber, weak to Lancer
  • Saber: Strong against Lancer, weak to Archer
  • Lancer: Strong against Archer, weak to Saber
  • Assassin: Strong against Rider, weak to Caster
  • Rider: Strong against Caster, weak to Assassin
  • Caster: Strong against Assassin, weak to Rider
  • Berserker: Strong against All types, weak to All types
  • Shielder: Neutral to All types
  • Ruler: Resists all types except Berserker, Shielder, and Ruler.

Before battles, you can look at the top of the screen during party setup to see the types of enemies you will face. This can help you decide who to bring for that battle.

Servants Skills and Noble Phantasm

Each Servant also has 1 or more skills they can use during battle. Before you select cards to attack, you can use these skills.

There is no limit to how many skills you can use at once, but they all have cooldowns. This means you must wait a certain number of turns before you can use them again.

Each class also has their own passive abilities that are always active when you use them in battle.

Noble Phantasm is your Servant's special attack. You can only perform this attack when your NP gauge is at 100%. You can raise your gauge by attacking with that Servant, or getting attacked.

Card Types

When you fight, you must choose a card type along with the character. There are 3 total card types and they each give a specific bonus.

  • Buster: Increases overall damage
  • Arts: Increases NP Gauge fill speed
  • Quick: Increases Crit Rate next turn

fate grand order card types

When you use one of these as the first card you attack with, you will get the above bonus. If you use all 3 cards of the same type, you will get an increased Chain bonus.

If you use all 3 cards of the same Servant, you will perform an extra attack at the end. They don't have to be the same type to get this, only the same Servant.

Master Equipment and Skills

As a Master, you control your servants in battle, but it goes beyond that. There are 3 assigned skills you can use during battle, and 3 command spells. You can use these before you attack, just like Servant skills.

Master Skills
  • First Aid: Greatly restore one ally's HP.
    • Cooldown: 9 turns
  • Instant Enhancement: Significantly increase one ally's ATK for 1 turn.
    • Cooldown: 15 turns
  • Emergency Evade: Apply Evade to 1 ally for 1 turn.
    • Cooldown: 15 turns

As your Master level increases, so does your skills.

Command Spells

These are spells that you can only do once or twice a day, depending on which you use. You start with 3 spells, and every time you use one of the abilities below, it takes away 1 or more. You only restore 1 every day.

  • Release Noble Phantasm: Increase 1 servant's NP by 100%. Costs 1 spell.
  • Repair Spirit Origin: Fully restore 1 servant's HP. Costs 1 spell.
  • Restore Spirit Origin: Revive all party members when everyone's incapacitated. Costs 3 spells.

Since you only recover 1 a day, if you use Restore Spirit Origin, you will have to wait a few days before you can do it again.

Enhancement and Customization

You can increase the strength of your servants by enhancing, evolving, fusing, and equipping them.

Servant Enhance

You can enhance a Servant by selecting Enhance from the menu, then Servant. Here you can choose a Servant, then select other servants or EXP materials to increase their level.

Skill and Craft Essence

If you get enough skill materials for a class affinity, you can increase the skill level of 1 of your servant's skills.

Craft Essences are equips you can give your Servants. These will increase their HP, Strength, or both. They also will give an extra effect, such an increased Quick Card effectiveness.

fate grand order craft essences


When you reached the max level on a Servant, and gathered enough Ascension materials, you can evolve them. This increases their max level and unlocks other skills and character icons.

Noble Phantasm

If you have more than 2 of the same Servant, you can fuse them together to increase the level of their Noble Phantasm. This will make their special attack much stronger.

Extra Tips

Now that you know how all the systems work, here are some tips to help you go further in the game.

Switch Servants Between Attacks Sometimes

If you use the same servant to attack more 2 or 3 times in a row, it will continue to attack the same enemy even if the first attack or 2 killed it.

You can fix this by switching to another Servant for your second or 3rd attack. If one servant defeats an enemy and a new servant attacks, it will automatically switch to a new enemy.

This is useful if you want to use the same servant twice in an attack, but still want to hit more than 1 enemy.

Each Attack Counts as a Turn

Skills that say they last for a certain number of turns means each time that Servant attacks or gets attacked. Keep this in mind when deciding on when to use a skill.

Craft Essences increase the Cost of your party

These give great benefits to your Servants, but they will also make them cost more. If you only have enough to put in your Servants, equipping them will make you go over.

If you don't think you will need your sub members for a battle, you can take them out to give you enough points to equip craft essences.


That's it for my beginner tips and tricks for Fate Grand Order. Let me know if you have any questions!

God Wars Future Past: 10 Beginner Tips To Help You Get Started Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:28:28 -0400 Synzer

God Wars Future Past is a tactical RPG, similar to games like Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics. There are multiple Jobs/classes in the game, different weapons and skills to equip, and more. All of this can get overwhelming for those just starting the game -- but I'll help by giving some tips you should know when getting started.

This guide is going to go over a number of beginner's tips that will get you started on the right foot in this game. Let's dive in! 

10 Tips for Getting Started in God Wars Future Past

1. Be sure to search the herbs and box areas before ending battle.

You learn early on that you can choose to search boxes for loot, and shiny herb areas if you use Kintaro's special skill. It is important that you do this before defeating the last enemy, because the battle automatically ends once you do put an end to them -- which means you will miss the items if you don't check before the final blow.

2. Pay close attention to each job's stats, and the stats of each character 

god wars future past stats

Each Job you pick has a certain amount of stat growth in each area. (For example, some can have higher Magic Attack and lower Physical Attack.)

Each character also has different base stats in a particular area. You will want to look at both of these to determine the best Jobs for each character. 

  • Example: If a character has a higher Magic Attack than most of the other characters, and a lower Physical Attack, they would be better suited to a Magician job than a Warrior job.
3. Keep an eye on enemy weapons, skills, and the terrain.

This game is all about tactical advantages, so you need to know your enemy. Pay attention to whether or not an enemy is above or below you, if they have a bow or other long-range attack, etc.

If they are using bows, you will want to make sure they aren't above you in elevation. Also try not to get within range of long-ranged attacks if you aren't able to hit them or use other skills.

4. Press Square when targeting an enemy for addition stats.

This is great for viewing an enemy's class, passive skills, resistances, and more. Everything you need to know can by seen by cycling through their stats with the Square button.

god wars future past resistances

5. Have a Balance of Jobs, including a Tank and Healer.

It is good to have a variety of Jobs so you can handle any situation. Healers are important because they will keep your party alive.

Tanks are important because they can take a lot of damage and increase their Impurity. Characters with high Impurity will be targeted first for attacks, so they can also keep your other members from being harmed.

6. Don't be afraid to play on Easy.

There is no penalty for playing on Easy, and no benefit for playing on harder difficulties. In fact, Easy gives you better rewards for completing each battle. The only reason to play on harder difficulties is if you want a challenge.

7. Invest in MP and MP Recovery Abilities early on for Casters

Priest and Magicians use a lot of MP for their main attack and support abilities. Things will be much easier, and more fun, if you have more MP to use more abilities.

I especially suggest the Meditation skill that you can cast to gain MP.

god wars future past guide

8. Pay attention to which direction you face after your turn is over

Getting hit from the back or the side makes you take more damage. If you can, have your character face a direction that will protect these positions.

9. Use the Right Stick to change your Camera View

Sometimes it is hard to see exactly how an enemy is faced or where a unit is on the battlefield. You can use your right stick to rotate the camera, and zoom in and out.

10. Go to Options if you want to Speed up Battles

The animations look great, but sometimes you want to speed through things if you are playing a bunch of battles, or redoing earlier levels. If you go to Options, you can go down to Speed Up, and select Yes.

This will skip most of the animation and camera effects so you can get through battles quicker.


Those were my 10 tips for starting in God Wars Future Past. Let me know if you have any questions!

Getting Started in Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind Fri, 09 Jun 2017 14:00:39 -0400 Justin Michael

With the Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind finally available, it's likely to attract some new players. If you're one of those new players, then welcome to Vvardenfell! There's lots for you to do here, from running PvE delves to testing your mettle in the 4v4v4 Battlegrounds mode. 

There's plenty of content in the new expansion for veteran players to sink their teeth into as well, like the new Warden class. The Battlegrounds also offer a fresh PvP experience for those players who have already conquered everything else Tamriel has to offer. 

How to Get to Vvardenfell and Start the Morrowind Expansion

There are a number of different ways that a player can gain access to Vvardenfell and start their journey through the ESO: Morrowind DLC. What it comes down to is if you’re wanting to experience this expansion with an existing character, start a new character, or are a completely new player to the game.

Below, we'll break down how you can start this new journey depending on what point of entry you want to use.

Existing Account & Existing Character

If you've already been playing ESO, and have a character that you want to play through the new content, you're going to have to do a quest before you can gain access to the new area. You’ll need to go to a nearby inn and look for the quest starter for “The Missing Prophecy.”

After completing that quest you’ll get the Twilight Shard -- a memento item -- as well as the ability to travel to the Seyda Neen wayshrine in Vvardenfell.

Existing Account With a New Character

If you have already been playing ESO, but decided to make a new character for a fresh experience (or to try the Warden), then you’ll have the option to take your new character through the new ESO: Morrowind tutorial level.

Whether or not you do the tutorial is up to you. If you choose to skip it, you’ll end up at the docks in Seyda Neen.

New Account, New Character

Much like the above scenario, if you’re new to the game and are making your first character, then you’ll go through the new ESO: Morrowind tutorial -- but won’t have the option to skip out of it. You’ll also end up at the docks in Seyda Neen at the end of the tutorial.

If you decide to create another character later on, you’ll be able to skip the tutorial if you don’t feel like going through it more than the one time.

The Warden Class

One of the biggest additions to the base game with the Morrowind expanion is the the Warden class. The Warden is a druid-like class that focuses on using natural magic and the aid of animal companions to help out in fights or give the player and their team some useful buffs. I go into more detail on the strengths of this class in my beginner's Warden guide, so check it out if you're interested in rolling a new character!

New Delves & Where To Find Them

Fancy yourself the adventurous type? Luckily for you, 6 new delves are available in Vvardenfell -- Ashalmawia, Khartag Point, Matus-Akin Egg Mine, Nuchuleft, Pulk, and Zainsipilu. 

These delves are a great new addition and really showcase the beauty of Vvardenfell -- especially Nuchuleft, which is quite the dwarven ruin.

You can find the rest of the delves in the following areas:

  • Ashalmawia: West Gash region Northeast of Gnisis
  • Khartag Point: West of Ald'ruhn near the coast
  • Matus-Akin Egg Mine: Northeast of Molag Mar
  • Nuchuleft: West of Vos
  • Pulk: South of Nuchuleft
  • Zainspilu: Right outside of Seyda Neen

Battlegrounds PvP Mode

For those of you who like to test your mettle against your fellow players, there is a new PvP mode added by the expansion in the form of the Battlegrounds. The Battlegrounds offers 3 game modes -- Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, and Domination. You can take part in the new PvP once you're over level 10, so new players will have to grind a bit before they can get in on the action.

The best part about this new PvP is that it focuses on smaller scale combat with games being 4v4v4 battles and in arena-style "maps."

  • Capture the Flag: Plays like any other CTF game. Your 4-man team captures one of the other team's flags while defending your own.
  • Team Deathmatch: Pits you in a 3-way battle -- 4v4v4 -- with no rules or objectives other than killing others before/more than they can kill you. 
  • Domination: The slightly more strategic mode where you are tasked with capturing and holding objective points -- gaining points for every location held by your team. 

All modes are won in the same manner -- the team that reaches the point limit first, or has the most points by the end of the match, is the winner. 

Extra Tips For Newcomers

Veterans will know a lot of this already, but for those newcomers to ESO, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Don't waste your gold on buying gear early game. It's overpriced and you'll frequently get gear as quest rewards and dungeon drops.
  • Do spend that money on a mount and upgrades for it. You could also buy a larger bag for carrying more loot.
  • Gather and store all your crafting materials in your personal bank account. It saves space on your character and it's accessible from the crafting workbenches.
  • Make sure to have a few extra lockpicks when you're wandering around. You tend to find chests in the most random spaces and it's easy to loot once you get good at the lockpicking minigame.

Hopefully, this helps you to start your journey into the wonderful world of Vvardenfell. If you need a few more tips for this game, check out the rest of our ESO guides as well.

5 Tips & Tricks to Help You Master Ballz - The Hit Android Game Wed, 31 May 2017 15:58:36 -0400 Justin Michael

I'm always on the hunt for the next great casual game distraction. Whether it's a quick 5 minutes to clear a dungeon in a game like Bit Heroes or one of the many clicker titles out there, it's nice to have a fun, engaging game for those much-needed mini breaks throughout the day.

And then I stumbled upon Ballz.

Ballz -- an endless "breakout" style game on Android from Ketchapp Studios -- has quickly become the competitive obsession in my household. And in this guide, I'm going to help you get started on the right foot by offering up a few tips and tricks that'll have you busting, no time!

Ballz Basics

The goal of Ballz is to survive wave after wave of bricks by hitting them the exact number of times labeled on them, and the game is over once a brick touches the ground. 

To help you achieve this goal, there are 2 different items on the playing field that you can collect -- the glowing white orb and the white ring. The orbs should be your priority, as they give you more balls to break the bricks with. The rings act as currency for you to purchase other colors to use for your ball.

Now that we have the basics out the of the way, let's get into some of those tips and tricks to help you crush your friends and their wimpy scores in Ballz.

1. Collect the white orbs whenever you can.

I know that this is a common sense tip, but I'd say that you should try to grab the orbs, and even prioritize doing so over breaking bricks -- unless the brick is going to make you lose the game. When you hit an orb it gets added to your ammo for the next round. More orbs = increased survival.

2. Aim for the gaps

Your orbs are fickle and want to see you lose, so trap them above gaps in the bricks or between brick "walls" so that they maximize the number of hits. Remember that the placement of bricks is random, so that gap might not be there next turn to take advantage of!

3. Angle your shots

If you want to have any chance of surviving for more than 10-20 rounds, then learn to angle your shots! Don't just aim directly at a single brick or aim for the bottoms of bricks. You're wasting your shots doing that, because you're not going to catch anything on the ricochet. 

4. When in trouble, shoot sideways

Much like angling your shots for maximum effect, shooting as close to sideways as possible can help you to clear up high-number blocks that might end your game early. By angling it as close to horizontal as possible, you'll actually hit the same block multiple times with the same ball. This is tricky to pull off though, so it will take some practice.

5. Use the videos to your advantage

So, you flubbed up and "lost" the game. Fret not! You'll get a limited window to view a 30 second video for a second chance at the level. Once it's over, the tiles will be shifted around at random and you'll get another go with all your orbs in tow. You only get one extra chance though, so make it count!

Bonus Tip: Tactical second chance

Maybe there is no way that you're going to be able to clear the brick(s) that will end your game -- but you still have your second chance. Instead, look for a way to clear out some of the bricks that you can, especially if those also lead to you grabbing more orbs. That way, when you reset you've cleared some of the other bricks, and you have more orbs in your arsenal to give you that fighting chance. 


Using these tips and tricks, I've been able to hit a score of 117 turns and am currently dominating my friends -- until they read this article.

How far have you made it in Ballz? Share your score in the comments below as well as any tips you might have and thanks for choosing GameSkinny as your source for gaming news and reviews!

Skullgirls Mobile Beginner Tips and Tricks Wed, 31 May 2017 12:47:30 -0400 Synzer

The quirky fighter Skullgirls has an app version that's just as fun as the original game. There plenty of fighters you can unlock, but they each have an element like other fighting mobile games. You can also set your own special moves, level up, and use a skill tree for each of your fighters.

I'm going to go over the basics you need to know when getting started in this version of Skullgirls.

This guide will go over getting started in the Skullgirls mobile app including:

Fighting Basics 

Skullgirls is an old-school fighting game and has simple controls. Tapping the screen performs normal attacks, which turn into combos when you keep tapping. You can also make gestures to move around and perform different maneuvers:

  • Swipe Left: Dash away
  • Swipe Right: Dash towards your opponent with an attack
  • Swipe Down: Perform a crouch attack
  • Swipe Up: Juggle your opponent in the air.
    • If you tap immediately after knocking the opponent in the air, you will follow with an aerial combo.
  • Swipe Anywhere with 2 Fingers: Throw the opponent
  • Hold the Screen with 2 Fingers: Block
Special Moves and Blockbusters

Each character can get several special moves and powerful attacks called Blockbusters.

Special moves can be performed by tapping their icons on the bottom left of your screen. These have cooldown timers, so you will need to wait until you can use them again.

Blockbusters are performed the same way, but they don't have a timer. Instead, you must fill the meter up by attacking or getting attacked until the move is available. After you use it, you must fill the meter up again.

Elemental Strengths and Weaknesses

skullgirls mobile elements

There are 5 different elements each fighter can have. Each element has a strength and weakness.

  • Fire: Weak to Water and strong against Air.
  • Water: Weak to Air and strong against Fire.
  • Air: Weak to Fire and strong against Water.
  • Light: Strong against Dark.
  • Dark: Strong against Light.

When you use an element that's weak to another one, you deal 20% less damage. When you use an element strong against another, you deal 20% more damage.

Light and Dark elements are special. These 2 will deal 20% more damage to each other, but they will not deal 20% less damage to anything.

Character Progression and Customization

You can equip multiple types of special moves and Blockbusters on your characters to make them unique. The only thing you need to do is unlock them.

Special Move and Blockbuster Equipping

Each character start with 2 slots for moves and a set amount of Move Points. Each move requires a certain number of move points to equip. So if you have one that take up 8 points and you only have 10, you can only equip other moves that equal to 2 or less.

Each move can either be Bronze, silver, or Gold Tier. The higher the tier, the better the move. The good news is that a move will always take up the same amount of move points, regardless of tier.

You can upgrade all moves by spending coins and some moves give additional effects when upgraded.

Skill Tree

Each character also has their own skill tree. As you level up a character, they will earn experience and skill points. You can use these skill points to unlock bonuses in the skill tree. You must also spend coins when unlocking skills.

Each character has the same things in their skill tree, with the only exception being the character ability section. This part depends on the character you are using. The other sections allow you to increase their damage, reduce the energy cooldown so you can use them more often, increase their max health, unlock more move slots, and increase the max amount of move points.

skullgirls mobile parasoul skill tree

Leveling and Powering Up

When you participate in fights you get experience. With enough experience, you will level up and get stronger.

You can also fuse unwanted fighters into another fighter to earn experience. If you fuse the same type of fighter, such as 2 Parasouls, you will get extra skill experience.

Each fighter can also be Bronze, Silver, or Gold -- like your moves. You can raise a Bronze or Silver fighter to the next level by fusing the same character types and reach max level.

  • For example: You can evolve a bronze Parasoul into a silver by fusing 3 other bronze Parasouls into the desired one and leveling it to 30. They don't have to be the same element, just the same character.

Game Modes


This mode allows you to practice with up to 3 fighters. The A.I. won't fight back, so you can spend the whole time practicing moves and strategies.

Story Mode

This is the main story of the game and how you will get most of your unlocks. There are multiple chapters and difficulties -- and you get rewards for 100% completion of each chapter.

Prize Fights

This mode uses a separate energy system and has you playing against randomly generated teams based on your team's overall power. The fights change periodically, as well as the rewards.

Daily Events

These events change daily, of course, and focus on one character. You will be able to gain skill points and moves for the featured character by completing the battles. You will also be required to use the featured character in some of these battles.

Store and Relics

Every day you get 3 challenges that will reward Gems upon completion. You can use these gems to buy more coins or relics.

Relics are how you unlock more characters and moves. You can collect relics by completing chapters and other events, buying them with gems, and getting them for free daily. Each day there is a special relic you can buy to give you a character featured in the daily event.

There is also a relic you can get for free after you have unlocked enough characters. This one will give you either a silver or gold tier fighter.

Extra Fighting Tips

You Can Equip Multiple Blockbusters, or None at All

You have complete control over your moves -- the only limiting factor is the amount of move points you have. You can use multiple Blockbusters if you want, or even none if you rather use normal special moves.

Take Advantage of Elements

Sometimes you will fight with 2 or 3 fighters, while other times only 1. You could even have 1 against multiple fighters. The bonus you get for being strong against another element is huge, and can help you win even if the opponent is stronger.

Link Special Moves and Blockbusters With Your Combos

skullgirls peacock blockbuster

Many moves can be executed in the middle of a combo, and will guarantee you hit with it. Make sure you do this so you don't end up missing these power attacks.

Also watch out for blockbusters labeled as "unblockable". If you use these, you will always hit -- provided you are within range of your opponent.


That's all I have for getting started in Skullgirls mobile. Let me know if you have any questions! And stay tuned for more guides!

Starpoint Gemini Warlords Beginner's Guide Fri, 26 May 2017 09:43:46 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Starpoint Gemini Warlords is a space sim RPG with overarching 4X elements. As such, there is a lot to learn before you can effectively construct a fleet to conquer your enemies -- or at least use as a deterrent in the case of ever-escalating tensions with an “ally”.

In short, SPGW is complex, but that’s why we here at Gameskinny went through the school of hard knocks -- so that you don’t have to. This guide will cover: 

  • Options
  • Resources
  • Research and Development
  • Boarding and Capturing Enemy Ships
  • And More

Let's get started. 

Options in Starpoint Gemini Warlords

Turning the Fog of War On or Off

In this game, fog of war refers to whether or not you want everything on your starchart (map) to be hidden from the outset or not. If the fog of war is on, then you must explore the map to see what lies ahead in the great beyond. If not, then you will automatically see all the bases on the massive world map.You can not, however, turn the fog of war off once you have started a playthrough.

Pause While In Context Menu or Starchart

You can also choose whether or not the game pauses while you are in the context menu or starchart. Personally, I preferred to have it pause in both of these menus since it reduces the chaos of the world map and strategy elements respectively. Although, seeing the starchart update in real time is really awesome.


There are three resources used for much of your research and construction in SPGW: ores, gases, and materials. However, only materials are used to craft ships for your fleet. This, combined with the fact that you receive fewer materials than other resources, means that they are highly sought after.

Research & Development

At the beginning of the game, you will not actually have access to the research facilities. You will want to change that fast, as there are many things you will need to research, some of which are mentioned below. By going to Concordia Headquarters, or by accessing your construction tab, you can build your R&D facilities.

Boarding & Capturing Enemy Ships

Luckily, there is a way to get more materials by boarding enemy ships. To board an enemy ship, you need to target them, then open the context menu and choose to board using your ground troops. Once you do this, a minigame of sorts will pop up on your radar.

To be breached, each room will require a certain amount of troops. The middle option, represented by a fist, is called pillaging. Pillaging more advanced systems, like the shield generator, can result in effective bonuses for you in combat. Once you get to the last room, you have the option to try and force surrender for the crew; this will be presented by a % symbol.

What You Can Do With A Captured Ship

Once a ship has been pacified, you are given several different options. You can scrap the ship for materials. You can add the ship to your fleet, which costs materials. You can add the ship to your personal collection, which costs credits. Or you can send the ship in for research, which lets you build more of that ship for your own fleet.

There is no best option, per se, but it is always useful to get more materials for your troubles.

How to Get Good At Space-Swashbuckling

Sadly, this is all RNG-based, which means you have to hope that the RNG gods are on your side. But there are several perks, as well as research options, that help you get better at boarding ships while also reducing boarding cooldown times.

Boarding Perks

Specifically, there are a set of perks listed under the Warfare tab that is worth investing in whenever possible. The first set includes the largest family of perks in the game (7) and goes from Privateer to Pirate Lord.

The second set of perks is the Savvy Chief perks. These are the only perks that you earn by completing specific requirements. To earn each rank, you must both capture ships and pillage them, gaining worth up to a certain number. The requirements are listed in the description of each rank of the skill.

Boarding Research

There are also several different research topics you will want to invest in for boarding. These are all found under the Support tab. Boarding Armor increases your efficiency (just like the above perks). Boarding Training reduces the cooldown for boarding. And Boarding Angel makes the med bay, which is found on each ship you are trying to capture, give you more troops.

Unlike the perks mentioned above, it will be harder to solely invest in research from the beginning of the game. However, it should be conducted as soon as possible to maximize its benefits. 

Keep Tara (and other Ships) With You

Early in the game, you won’t have many ships available except for Tara Higgs’ ship. Keep her with you. There are two reasons for this.

Tara's Ship Is Expensive

Tara levels up alongside you, which means that her ship is always getting more expensive to replace. You can be careful with where you send her, but you can never ensure that she won’t get destroyed unless she’s with you.

Case and point: Around level 20 or so, I sent her and a small detachment to protect a zone I had captured. They greatly outnumbered the enemy contingent… until they sent a lot of reinforcements from a neighboring zone. Then I was footing a ~6,000 materials bill to replace her ship. Yikes.

Tara's ship cost significantly more than any ship I could build at the time.

More Ships = Easier Combat

Early in the game, you won’t get into many large scale battles, so keeping Tara with you will ensure that you are outnumbered less often and that you even sometimes outnumber your foes. Remember, you can never outnumber your foes alone!

Find the Class that Best Suits You

Currently, there are three classes in Starpoint Gemini Warlords: The Vanguard, The Sharpshooter, and The Marauder.

The Vanguard concentrates on close quarters combat and receives a damage bonus the closer you are to your target. The Sharpshooter concentrates on long range combat and receives a damage bonus the further you are from your target. And The Marauder receives a critical hit increase while also using a tactical cloak to pick and choose when it strikes.

But Don’t Worry If You Don’t Love Your Class

At the arena, called the Gladiatrix, you can respec your character. This will allow you to mismatch abilities from various classes. For instance, you could grab The Marauder’s tactical cloak, The Vanguard’s pull ability, and The Sharpshooter’s push ability to ensure that you always have control over the battlefield.

The Gladiatrix is found between Concordia Headquarters & Phaneros.

Respecing your skills will cost roughly 100,000 credits per level. This can be a decent amount later on, but even around level 20, this won't take very long to earn. Respecing your perks will usually cost about a third as much as this. You can also swap your class for 1 million credits.

Freelancer Perk

Another perk that you will want early in the game is the freelancer perk. This increases the rewards you earn from tasks you receive from the job board. It’s really straightforward. You get more money for less work. This ensures this perk always stays relevant as long as you need to keep getting more money.

Managing Your Ship


The Rev Plays has made some great tutorials that
help players learn the strings when starting out.

Your ship has a lot going on at any given moment. Even your first ship will have about six or more equipment slots, and this will only drastically accelerate as you get into larger ships, like Cruisers.


You can purchase equipment, which is set to your hotkeys. Some equipment is used for non-combat activities, like borehole torpedos (mining) and scavenger drones (scavenging), while other equipment is used for combat-related purposes, like various repair drones and mines.


You can upgrade your light weapons and heavy weapons. The placement of each of these on your ship does make a difference since guns that are on the front of your ship can not shoot enemies that are behind you.

On top of this, each battlement can have multiple turrets. You should see a fraction underneath your battlement when equipped, such as 1/5. By highlighting the gun and clicking configure, you can buy all the turrets available for that particular battlement, which obviously makes the gun much more powerful.


You can also enhance your light guns and heavy guns, as well as your shields, propulsors, and all of the other parts of your ship. In particular, I recommend enhancing your propulsors. These enhancements can make your ship faster and/or more maneuverable, which is not only helpful in combat but is also a quality of life upgrade.

Note: If something already has an enhancement on it, buying a new enhancement and placing it on that item will destroy the previous enhancement unless you first unmount the original one.

Swapping Ships

You should also know one tip about ships: remove all your equipment from a ship when you swap it or sell it. This will either save you from having to swap back and remove it or from having to rebuy said equipment later on.


Surely there is still a lot of learning left to do in SPGW, but with these tips, you should now be well on your way to conquering Gemini the way only a true warlord ever could. Don't be the warlord Gemini needs, be the warlord it deserves.