Guides  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Guides  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The Ascent Cyberdeck Upgrades Fri, 06 Aug 2021 10:28:59 -0400 Justin Koreis

One of the most important, but least explained, aspects of The Ascent is your cyberdeck. This piece of hardware is your key to unlocking your way to better weapons and equipment, as you build your ultimate killing machine in this dystopian cyberpunk RPG. What exactly does the cyberdeck do, and how to upgrade it? Let’s take in a look in our The Ascent Cyberdeck upgrades guide.  

The cyberdeck is a hacking tool, and a very good one. This handy device can do everything from opening locks and robbing ATM, to taking over automated turrets and mortars. As long as you stand in close proximity to a hackable piece of tech and have a high enough cyberdeck level, you are in control.

Boosting your cyberdeck requires you to find cyberdeck upgrades. Each upgrades raises your cyberdeck level, up to a possible ten levels. Each level unlocks an additional ability for the cyberdeck. One level will allow you to open higher tiers of locks, another will enable turret hacks, and so on.

While your cyberdeck maxes out at level 10, there are more than ten upgrades to find. Some are easily located as you complete story missions, others are off of the beaten path, and a few require you have sufficient unlocking privileges (from prior cyberdeck upgrades) in order to access them. 

The Ascent Cyberdeck Upgrades Locations

The Ascent Cluster 13 Cyberdeck Upgrade

The first and easiest Cyberdeck upgrade to find is in Cluster 13. This is in the urban area with all of the shops you arrive at following the first mission. Head toward the upper left corner, directly northwest of the armory. You will find the upgrade on the balcony at the top of the stairs. 

The Ascent No Man’s Land Cyberdeck Upgrade

This upgrade is easy to miss. On your way to the Grinder you will pass through an area called No Man’s Land. Look for a small, one-story building with “Q72” painted in large letters on the street in front of it.

The building is easy to locate from the large neon sign on the roof.  To the left is a staircase. Take those stairs to the roof, head all the way to the top right corner, and locate the upgrade inside of the chest.  

The Ascent Black Lake Towers Cyberdeck Upgrade

This upgrade is almost impossible to miss. Progress through the story. During the mission Trading Places you will be sent to the Black Lake Tower region, into a building called Coder’s Cove.

There will be a short cutscene, after which you can go through the door to your southwest, and find the upgrade sitting on  some boxes.

The Ascent AG Vault Cyberdeck Upgrade

This is another hard to miss upgrade. Proceed through the Data Miner main story mission. Eventually you will reach a large elevator, which brings you to a lower level.

At the bottom follow the narrow hallway, into a nearby open room. You will see a chest locked with a level 2 lock. Directly next to the chest is the cyberdeck upgrade.

The Ascent Cosmodrome Cyberdeck Upgrade

This upgrade is easy to collect during the Foreign Code mission. In theory you are chasing someone who is trying to escape, but in practice they are nice enough to give you some time to explore.

Once you reach the Cosmodrome, pay attention the numbers and letters painted on the structures. In the northwest corner of the area there is a building labeled C6.

Head inside, and look for the two chests side-by-side on your map. Head that direction. Eventually you will come to a door with a level one lock. By now you should be able to hack that.

Open the door, and proceed inside. The upgrade is in a red chest in the north corner of the room.

The Ascent Lanier’s Apartment Cyberdeck Upgrade

The mission Trace Protocol will send you into Lanier’s Apartment. After a bit of story, you will be tasked with checking out the security office. This one is very easy; the upgrade is sitting right in front of you once you enter the office.

The Ascent ExMat Lab Cyberdeck Upgrade

This next upgrade is also part of Trace Protocol. You will enter into a lab (basically the only clean place in the entire game), fight through some enemies as you make your way forward.

Work your way to the northwest area, until you find a larger square shaped room with banks of computers around the perimeter. The upgrade Is on the left side of the room, sitting on one of the computers.

The Ascent Pinnacle Cyberdeck Upgrade

Toward the end of the game, you ascend to the highest tier of the city, called Pinnacle.

As soon as you arrive circle clockwise around the large circular opening in the floor. Once you arrive on the far-right side you can go through a doorway, onto a large open balcony.

While you enjoy the view (look, sky!) walk all the way to the railing. The upgrade is near the edge, at an outcropping.

The Ascent The Glut Cyberdeck Upgrade

In the Glut, near the metro station, is a prison. The cyberdeck upgrade is inside, but the prison interior is only accessible once you start the Prison Break Sidequest.

Find Alex, an NPC standing on a helipad in the Glut. He will ask you to go take out a mech inside the prison.

Once you have the quest, head to the metro station. The prison is just to the northeast. Go through the entrance, and follow the perimeter of the building as it circles all the way around.

The cyberdeck itself is in the southwest corner of the building. You don’t need to kill the mech to get the cyberdeck upgrade, but you may as well get the side quest done while you are there.

The Ascent Nitroad Cyberdeck Upgrade

On the outskirts of the Warrens level, you will find Nitroad, a beaten-up industrial district near Black Lake Towers.

Look for a standalone building, labeled Storage 16B and BioChoice Pharma on the exterior. Opening the door requires the ability to open level 2 locks. Inside is a red chest, containing the upgrade.

Once you have picked up 9 upgrades your Cyberdeck will be fully powered, giving you maximum hacking ability. You are welcome to find the other upgrades, but you will not be able to pick them up. Now that you are an unstoppable hacking machine consider turning your attention to sidequests, and working on your perfect build. For those and more be sure to check out all of our The Ascent guides 

Returnal Red Doors Explained: What are Red Doors? Sun, 02 May 2021 16:37:43 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Returnal has a lot of doors. Some are tangible and lead to new areas in each of the roguelike's biomes, giving you access to fabricators, reclaimers, and translocation spheres. Others are more metaphorical and tie into Selen's story. The game's red doors are of the former variety and can be found in certain locations on the Returnal map. But what do they signify? 

In short, red doors denote the location of a biome's boss. Once you go through these, you're on your way to fighting one of Returnal's five big bads. The first one you come across is for the Anathema Vault in the Overgrown Ruins, Returnal's first biome. 

What are Returnal Red Doors?

Once you go through a red door in Returnal, you'll likely come across a handful of enemies leading up to the boss. Sometimes these can be low-level mobs, but they can also be tougher enemies, such as Automatons in the Derelict Citadel, giving a good run for your money. 

It's always important to be ready for a fight when going through red doors, though can always go back to other areas in a biome before taking on a boss. All Returnal bosses have an arena, and fights only start once you've entered their arena.

Luckily, the threshold for most arenas is pretty clear, and most of them have a weapon to pick up just before them. So don't go past the weapon if you don't want to start the boss fight! 

Can You Bypass Red Doors in Returnal?

Sometimes, red doors can be circumvented by finding a teleporter that takes you straight to the boss fight. These are, like everything else in Returnal, often located in random places in each cycle. But be on the lookout for them, because they let you bypass a large portion of a biome, which can be particularly useful if you already have a good build and don't want to risk dying to disadvantageous RNG. 

These portals look like mid-sized stone pillars (one taller pillar in the middle and two smaller ones on each side) with a blue, glowing sphere in the middle. They will expand into a quadrilateral shape and a mirage of the next area in the middle when you approach them.  


That's about all there is to know about Returnal red doors. For more on Returnal, including guides on how the game's save function works, how to get the grappling hook, and how to get past orange/yellow doors, consider heading over to our Returnal tips hub!

How to Unlock Rosalina in Super Mario 3D World Tue, 16 Feb 2021 12:38:44 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Rosalina is a playable character in Super Mario 3D World on Switch, alongside the four regulars of Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach. But instead of being available at the start, she's a secret character you must unlock.

If you've been wondering how to add her to the list of characters, we've got everything you need to know about doing so in the guide below.

First, finish the main game by clearing World Bowser and getting 170 Green Stars. After that, one of the Sprixies will leave a rocket in World 1.

Interact with the rocket, and go to 3D World's first bonus area, World Star. Then complete World Star-1, Rainbow Run. Like all bonus locations in the larger series, the stages here have a noticeable increase in difficulty.

Star-1 includes a color-switch platform challenge, Plessie ride with no guard rails, fast-rotating platforms, and more. The catsuit offers some insurance with the platforming challenges.

After beating that level, move on to World Star-2, Super Galaxy. It features a number of Octo Goombas and long stretches of rotating platforms.

If you don't have a cat bell and don't feel like finding one, using a Mario-series amiibo offers a random power-up and might be worth a shot if you've got one lying around.

The teal princess unlocks automatically once you clear World Star-2. Unlike other characters, she has a default spin attack that knocks out nearby enemies. However, the attack disappears once she obtains another power-up. Aside from that, she plays roughly the same as 3D World's other characters.

That's all you need to know about how to unlock Rosalina in Super Mario 3D World, but stick around for more Mario 3D World guides in the coming days.

Monster Hunter World Phantom Bird Guide Thu, 08 Mar 2018 22:13:34 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

There are many things to hunt and catch in Monster Hunter World, and the Phantom Bird is no different. Though elusive and hard to find if you don't know where to look, We'll go through the steps to find it and then the best way to capture it.

First off, these creatures aren't something you can easily track. The bird lives in tandem with two other creatures:

                         Apceros                                                                  Aptonoth





You will have to look on the back of these gentle giants, that is where they like to nest.

You will need patience because the spawn rate of the Phantom Bird is not a 100%. You will need to switch between two locations, the Ancient Forest and the Wildspire Waste. You will want to check the backs of these creatures in Sector 1 of both of these zones. If you don't find them on the first go, just switch to the other zone. Keep switching between sectors until you find them on the creature's backs.

Once you find them, put on your Ghillie Mantle and approach with caution. From here, aim toward the middle of the group with your capture net. This will give you the highest chance of catching the Phantom Bird. If you are successful, Downy Crake should be now yours to own.

If you are unsuccessful, don't fret. Just repeat the process until you find them on the back of one of the two creatures once again.

Good luck on your hunting, hunters. Want more tips and don't know where to start? Check out more of our Monster Hunter: World guides. Here are some to start with:

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Combat Guide: Excel at Blade Combos, Driver Combos, and Chain Attacks Mon, 04 Dec 2017 12:48:14 -0500 Autumn Fish

The combat system in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 gets pretty engrossing once you understand all of its bells and whistles. The problem is, while the tutorial may spread out the introduction of many of these mechanics to make it easier to digest, it doesn't do a great job of demonstrating what it's talking about.

It took quite a bit of trial and error, but now that I have a solid grasp on the combat system, I fully intend to share it with you. Whether you're confused about elemental Blade Combos or trying to figure out how to maximize the potential of your Chain Attack, you're bound to find the answers you're looking for here. It really does make the experience that much better.

Let's dive in!

The Basics of Combat in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Before you can truly master the techniques that deal megatons of damage, you first need a solid grasp on the basics of combat. This section details the revamped Auto Attack, using Driver Arts, Attack Canceling, building up your Special, and switching Blades. If you already feel confident with the basics of combat, feel free to skip on to the next section, but remember to always keep these in mind.

Unlike past entries, your Auto Attack actually halts completely when you move, only starting again once you've planted your feet firmly in one position. While this may not seem like too big of a deal at a glance, you'd be surprised how much the Auto Attack plays into the combat system overall.

For starters, every hit of your Auto Attack slowly builds up the gauge on your Driver Arts. Once the gauge on an Art is full, its icon lights up, and the Art becomes usable by pressing the corresponding face button. Using the Art depletes its energy, requiring you to charge it back up again with Auto Attacks.

However, if you just use Arts as soon as they become available, not only are you making poor strategic decisions, but you're also missing out on dealing a lot more damage. By using an Art at the end of one of your Auto Attacks, you perform what's called an Attack Cancel, indicated by a ring that appears in the middle of the screen when you succeed.

Combat System Basics XC2 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Guide

By Attack Canceling into an Art, it becomes more powerful. The further you are into an Auto Attack chain, the better the result. This means that timing your Attack Cancels on the last hit of an Auto Attack chain is ideal for maximizing your potential.

As if the extra damage wasn't enough of an incentive to Attack Cancel everything, it also serves to build your Special Attack gauge much faster than it would otherwise. Using only Arts, you can build the Special gauge up through three levels of power, each with its own animations and Quick-Time Events (QTEs).

Once at the third Special level, you can reach a fourth by having maximum Combat Affinity with your equipped Blade, indicated by a golden resonance line. You achieve high Combat Affinity with your Blade by simply standing near them and not switching them out for awhile.

When you go to finally use your Special, consider Attack Canceling with it too for a bit of extra damage. You can even Attack Cancel when you go to switch Blades via the D-Pad so that they arrive in battle with their abilities ready to go.

With the fundamentals down, we can finally move on to the fun stuff. By utilizing elemental Blade Combos, Driver Combos, Fusion Combos, Elemental Orbs, and Chain Attacks in just the right way, you can pull off techniques that deal truly delightful amounts of damage.

How to Complete Elemental Blade Combos in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

A Blade Combo begins when you unleash a Special Attack of any level on an enemy. A timer with an element attached to it appears on the top-right of the enemy's health bar alongside a rather confusing pyramid of elemental icons and effects that pops up in the top-right corner of the screen.

How to Complete Elemental Blade Combos XC2 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Combat Guide

Both the countdown timer and the flashing elemental icon represent the element of the Special you just used. On the right side of the currently flashing icon are two different elemental icons. These icons represent different branches that you can go down to reach the end of the Blade Combo.

In order to continue the Blade Combo, you need to switch to a Blade of either of the two elements in the column directly to the right of the starting icon, and unleash their Special after it's been built up to level 2 or higher. If it's not at least level 2, it won't advance the Blade Combo, and you'll lose precious time. You have until the timer depletes to continue the combo or it will fail, and you'll have to start over.

Once in the second stage of the Blade Combo, you'll notice that half of the four elemental icons that were originally available in the final column are now entirely inaccessible. That's because when you decided which of the two elements you'd use to continue the combo, you also locked yourself down a branching path. If you're stuck without a Blade that can finish the combo, then you're out of luck, so it's important to plan ahead and choose a path that you can complete.

To finish the Blade Combo, repeat what you did to continue it by switching to a Blade that matches one of the two elements left in the column directly to the right of the blinking icon and unleashing their Special after it's been built up to level 3 or higher.

Note that if computer-controlled Drivers in your party have Blades equipped that can continue an active Blade Combo, they will automatically switch to that Blade, and the ability to activate their Special via ZL or ZR is locked until it reaches a level that can successfully advance the combo. You can figure out what level their Special is currently at by counting the number of dots circling their character portrait.

Elemental Orb XC2 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Combat Guide

Once you finish a Blade Combo, an Elemental Orb appears to circle around the enemy and seal its potential to perform certain types of attacks. The potential you seal is determined by whatever move you finished the combo off with, while the element of the last move determines which Elemental Orb appears. You can continue to surround the enemy with additional Elemental Orbs to seal more abilities and increase your Chain Attack potential so long as you're using different elements. Trying to make an Elemental Orb of the same element as one already in play will just result in the old one getting replaced.

With the knowledge of how to complete a Blade Combo under your belt, you can take Driver Combos and Chain Attacks to a whole new level.

Driver Combos and Fusion Combos in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Anyone familiar with the series will immediately recognize Driver Combos. These Driver Combos are essentially strings of attacks that juggle enemies, leaving them unable to attack or defend themselves.

Some of your Arts inflict additional status effects -- such as Break or Topple -- when used at the right time. If the proper order of operations isn't followed, however, the status isn't inflicted, and the Driver Combo won't properly advance. 

The order goes Break, Topple, Launch, then Smash. A Break can be activated at any time to start a new Driver Combo and must be followed up with Topple, then Launch, then finished with Smash

When Break is activated, a timer pops up on the top-left side of the enemy's health bar that slowly counts down the time you have left to continue the Driver Combo before it breaks. The Topple and Launch timers count down progressively faster than the first, though, so make sure all of the necessary Arts you need are ready.

Driver Combos and Fusion Combos XC2 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Combat Guide

If you time a Driver Combo so that the timer for Break, Topple, Launch is active when you finish a Blade Combo, you perform what's known as a Fusion Combo. A Fusion Combo's finishing Special deals loads of damage, so make sure you look out for these opportunities.

Now that you know how to perform Driver Combos and Fusion Combos, we can talk about maximizing your damage potential through Chain Attacks.

Maximize Your Chain Attack's Potential in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

You won't be able to use Chain Attacks until they're introduced to you in the game, but you'll quickly find that they are devastating when executed just right. Once all three bars of the Party Gauge are full, you can activate a Chain Attack by pressing the + button.

With this technique, every Driver in the party gets a chance to unleash a Special with any of their equipped Blades. Additionally, this is the point where you burst down any Elemental Orbs you set up with Blade Combos. If you manage to burst Elemental Orbs, you earn extra Chain Attack rounds and can even unleash mind-numbing amounts of damage with a Full Burst if you destroy enough orbs.

In order to burst an Elemental Orb, you simply need to attack it with a Special of the opposite element during a Chain Attack. Opposing elements are as follows:

  • Fire vs. Water -- During Chain Attacks, Fire Specials burst Water Orbs, and Water Specials burst Fire Orbs.
  • Wind vs. Ice -- During Chain Attacks, Wind Specials burst Ice Orbs, and Ice Specials burst Wind Orbs.
  • Earth vs Lightning -- During Chain Attacks, Earth Specials burst Lightning Orbs, and Lightning Specials burst Earth Orbs.
  • Light vs. Dark -- During Chain Attacks, Light Specials burst Dark Orbs, and Dark Specials burst Light Orbs.

Chain Attacks and Burst Elemental Orbs XC2 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Guide

Creating Elemental Orbs with Blade Combos and Fusion Combos and bursting them all during a Chain Attack is the key to dealing maximum damage in combat. It's a lot of setup, but the frightening amount of damage you'll deal in the end is well worth it.


Now that you have the combat system down, how do you like it? Is it fun to build up and maximize your damage potential, or does it still feel like a slog? Let us know in the comments below!

For more tips on your journey to Elysium, check out our other Xenoblade Chronicles 2 guides. Here are a few to get you started: 

NBA Playgrounds: How to Start Playing With Friends Mon, 22 May 2017 15:26:19 -0400 Nick Lee

Since its release on May 9, players of NBA Playgrounds have noticed one vital feature missing from the game -- a true online mode that allows them to play with or against friends. NBA 2K and most other sport games have normalized the fact that when you get a modern sports game, you're going to get online play, too. But as of right now, Playgrounds users can only engage in random-match online game modes or a classic offline co-op mode with friends.

Yes, you read that right: you currently cannot play with your friends in online mode -- only in the local offline co-op.

So until a true online co-op mode appears, players can still get comfortable with the local multiplayer feature to challenge their friends on the basketball court. For those who would rather ball solo, you can participate in ranked play (unless playing on the Nintendo Switch). 

How to Play With Friends in Offline Co-Op for NBA Playgrounds

The classic fun with friends around one TV is brought to life in Playgrounds. To access this local mode, head to the the main menu select an Exhibition Match. From there, you'll see be four spaces that you can choose, which represent the four characters in the teams. Players will then choose a team and a player, and then you can start the fun.

If you have played a single-player Exhibition Match previously, the characters you choose may already be pre-selected, so just press the circle/B button until all four boxes are cleared.

How to Unlock Online Play in NBA Playgrounds

If you want to hop online and test out your skills against people other than your friends, there's a mode for that! But to play online in NBA Playgrounds, you first have to unlock the mode. Unlike a lot of a games that have you go through tutorial runs before you can access some of the game's core features, NBA Playgrounds requires a full unlock.

First, you need to unlock Tournament Mode in order to get online, but that won't be too difficult. To unlock Tournament Mode, you need to reach level two, then open the player pack you receive.

From there, you only need to reach round three of the tournament. With the tournament finished, you'll be able to take on friends or participate in ranked play for online modes.

Will Online Mode Ever Let You Play With Friends?

Saber Interactive promised to include a full-fledged online mode a few days after launch -- but now two weeks later, players are still on the bench. We hope to see a patch in the coming months that will upgrade online for the Switch, but can't say for sure if that's actually going to happen. 

 As you wait and grind through Playgrounds, check out our other guides to get ahead of the game:

Atlus Thanks Western Fans For Playing Persona 5 Thu, 04 May 2017 15:22:31 -0400 Curtis Dillon

Atlus, the developer of Persona 5, has released a special thank you to fans in the wake of the game's hugely successful release in North America and Europe.

The game's long-time director, Katsura Hashino, penned the following special message:

As a developer, I’m very happy to hear that Persona 5 is being played by so many people overseas. To be honest, it’s really hard to gauge its popularity in the West when our team’s in Japan; we’re not able to see everyone’s comments and discussions. It’d be great to interact with the fans abroad, but sadly, I’m stuck in the development room slurping instant ramen (laugh). Persona 5 is a very “Japanese” story with some political aspects to it, so I couldn’t imagine how Western players would react to it. I did know, however, that Persona 5 was highly anticipated by gamers overseas even back when we were developing the game, so I was curious to see how its story would be received.

I’m going off on a tangent here, but I think that traditional Japanese superhero stories tend to be about fighting off invaders from outside their society, while Western ones focus on fighting against villains and misfits that come from within it. There’s a sense of society being responsible for creating this evil, and such a setting lets the audience’s imagination run wild, like “it could’ve been me.” For instance, doesn’t the Joker from Batman make some valid points that resonate with you?

Persona 5 is also a superhero story in which you fight villains that are born from within society, so I thought that it might be received differently than the previous entries. Of course, it could’ve missed the mark completely and been criticized for it, so my anticipation and anxiety were split half and half. Since the game just launched in the West, I’d like to look back on it at a later time, once I receive feedback from the Western audience—how their gameplay experiences were, what kind of things they felt, etc. I hope that the tale of Persona 5 will leave a lasting impression on everyone who plays it. No matter what kind of project I take on going forward, I love creating RPGs that are both moving and relatable regardless of cultural differences—in fact, I’m most interested in strengthening those aspects right now.

Last year, with the milestone of the Persona series’ 20th anniversary, I handed off the series development to my successors and announced the start of my new RPG project that takes place in a fantasy world. Be it a game set in modern day, like the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series, or a game set in a new fantasy world, I aim to create games that provide an invaluable experience of reflecting on oneself through a journey, while roleplaying as characters that players can deeply relate to.

These efforts are only made possible thanks to the positive reception we receive from fans—not just in Japan, but worldwide—of the Persona series and Atlus RPGs in general. I appreciate all your support for the newest entry in the Persona series, and I hope that everyone will enjoy the new Atlus RPGs to come.

Persona 5 released on April 4 in North America and Europe, and has since sold over one million copies and received critical acclaim. Check out our ranking of all the games in the series, as well as why we reckon people will be talking about Persona 5 for a lot longer than Final Fantasy XV! Or if you need assistance during gameplay, check out all of our Persona 5 guides

Persona 5 is available now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. For all your Persona 5 news and extensive guide coverage, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

How To Get Every Single Capital Cashino Token in Yooka-Laylee Sat, 22 Apr 2017 16:35:33 -0400 GeorgieBoysAXE


And that’s that. You have now acquired all 180 tokens in Capital Cashino, and hopefully, if you followed my guide right, you would’ve spotted and grabbed everything else you needed to get the last six Pagies.


Oh, and have fun with the Boss on this stage, because that thing is just the absolute worst.




There are only two tokens left, and we saved them for last in this guide because they’re just so obscure -- and easily forgettable. Prioritizing them here is the best way to ensure that they won’t be missed.


The first one is just under the ramp that leads into the Card House entryway, while the other will require you to transform into your copter form one last time. Snag it from the top of the flag pole that marks the Hole-in-One for the golf course.



After you finish delivering Sir Stealsalot to his stop, cancel out of the Helicopter transformation to begin the Casino Vault heist. The Vault will have a gauntlet of rooms where you have to guide the lasers in the room to their respective Lens-panels, similarly to that of the Laser guarded security room.


Be sure to hop on the descending platforms just right, and keep an eye on your power meter gauge as Camo Cloak will drain it faster than any other move within the pair’s repertoire of skills.


After you shoot all of the lasers into their arranged reticles, you’ll be able to open the final door that will lead you to five tokens floating in the air outside.



The next order of business will have you playing Morgan Freeman to the Hamalot Pigs’ Ms. Daisy as each one will one you to give them a lift to somewhere else on the map under a certain time limit. Listed below are the destinations for each swine, and directions on how to best ferry them there in order for you to earn the 20 tokens they offer for the ride.




The closest pig to you after finishing the broken slot machine quest should be Sir Leapsalot, as he’ll be on the floor that’s next to the roulette tables. Speak with him to get the request for a ride, and he’ll drop a hint to where he wants to be: "Flying here won't be hard, try your luck above the House of Card."  You’ll have a 40 second time limit, so make haste on a direct route northwest from his pad to the card house roof to nab the first five tokens.




Our next medieval porker will be Sir Shootsalot, and he’ll be stationed in the hallway in front of Dr. Puzz. The archer’s clue is “Flying me here should be a breeze if you know of all the trees,” which will start another 40 second time limit. The exact location is on the palm tree that's in front of the golf hole on the course, and upon a successful landing, the valiant pig will reward you with five tokens for his safe passage.




Sir Scoffsalot will be at the corner of the Card House and the Yooka-Laylee Pachinko Machine.



The Plump hero’s hint is “To get here you'll have to Zoom, get me to the Storage room," which is referencing the little storage room that’s behind Rextro's arcade cabinet. This one is a little bit of a challenge, as you’ll have little time to spare in your travel to the room even when flying there at top speed; just make sure to keep it tight, and you’ll be rewarded with another 5 coins for your haul.




The last pig of Hamalot will be Sir Stealsalot, and his location is a little tricky as it will be in a hidden nook next to the Laser guarded security room area that's blocked by destructible blocks.



The Rogue Pig’s clue is “Blast your way in, don't even halt, to sneak me into the Casino Vault," and the location is charted between the end of the golf course and the Yooka-Laylee Pachinko game. Drop the pig off in time to get the last five tokens for the mission.







Ok, here’s where your coin search begins to get tricky. There are a total of 11 Broken Slot Machines that’re just littering up the resort, and inside of them are some precious tokens — four to be exact, giving you a total of 44 coins in all.


Now is when we call upon the service of Dr. Puzz and her quirky mad science to transform the Lizard and Bat into a Neon green and purple helicopter, loaded with the ability to fly anywhere for an unlimited span of time, and shoot as many missiles as you could ever hope to.


This Guide is going to post the most efficient priority to track and hunt these machines down; you’ll find the first two right in front Dr. Puzz’s D.N.Ray, parallel to one another, as pictured above.



The third machine is up machine is hidden in the giant pile of red dice blocks that’re stacked in front of the guarded laser security room.



Our fourth broken slot machine is in the storage room that’s accessed by an alcove stashed away behind Rextro's arcade.



Broken Slot Machine number five is located in the area that’s on top of the security room, sitting atop some large golden dice blocks that’re next to Kartos.



Do a 180 toward the entrance of the roulette house, where you’ll find the next Out-of-Order, near the opening foyer along the right-hand wall.



The seventh machine is on the awning of the casino wall to the right, past the Drop Ball game.



Going on to the next broken heap, it’s located on the floor area of the golden dice block piles where you first competed in the hoop jump challenge.



The ninth defective one-armed bandit is to the left of the Power Grid entrance by the card house.



Heading into the double digits, the tenth Machine is on the rooftop of the golden dice block pile next to the Mini-golf course.



Our very last Out-of-Order machine is on the hieroglyphic awning that’s next to the hole-in-one of the golf course.



After the coins are collected from the Pachinko board, get back on the marble path and head in the direction that’s facing the first section of roulette tables and the Match game on the ground. When you’re in front of the ramp that leads to the dance floor, look to the left of the walkway to spot a glitzy elevator tube that’ll transport you up to a Slot Bandit, who will challenge you to a game of golf like you’ve never played before.


But before you talk to him and agree to said game of golf, there’s some housecleaning that you should do to even the odds.


Clear out all the enemies on the course first, because not doing so will make steering the huge golden golf ball much harder. Beware of the Burly that’s posted up in one the sand traps, his attack is devastating, and could take your life if it connects even a couple hits on ya. 



The trick to taking him out is to sneak up on him and  Sonar ‘Splosion the brute, staggering him until he winds up for his spinning Lariat. Prepare to perform a static Lizard Leap into the air right before he lunges at you, which if done right, will place him directly under you, and susceptible to a well-timed Buddy Slam right on top of his stupid skull.


Go back to the Mechanical crook, and start the game; Reptile Rushing in the ball on the straightaways and Tail Twirlin’ on the curves are the best tactics to get the ball there, earning the reward of five tokens.



Very close to the Ball Drop Game on the right is the last Pachinko Game that you’ll have to deal with. Same rules apply here: Lizard Lash the mechanism to drop the balls and make sure that you time the drop just right in order to land at least four balls into the goal -- bottom-middle of the gambling board. Successful completion of the game will net you six tokens and will be last Pachinko game that you’ll have to deal with in Capital Cashino.



After touching down onto the ground from the slide, cut directly through the middle section of Capital Cashino to reach the other end of the area where there will be another mural of the main characters on what appears to be another Pachinko game, but is fortunately much more manageable.


Starting the clock at 2:40 and counting, Players will have to move on and off the button that will control the air vents that will blow the blow upward, steering through the spinning turnstiles, and timed release of the air vent function to navigate the ball to the goal on the other side. Try not to get trapped in the middle claw-shaped apparatus, and you’ll be fine—the game will spit out 7 tokens for your troubles.



To the left of the Power Grid entrance is a platform where you can Sonar Shot a familiar switch, the card suit, Diamond. Doing so will trigger a spiraling platform to rise up to another high rise where you’ll see another Diamond switch. Hit it with Laylee’s sonar to move another spiraling pillar your way, raising a door that will reveal a hidden area.



Move through the various platforms and open doors. Watch for the giant rotating spoked pinion that will try to knock you off. The next room will have a bunch of Diamonds in a row, Sonar 'Splosion the


Four club diamonds, and move on to collect all of the tokens, Sliding down back to the floor with seven more coins to add to your pocket (or wherever Yooka stashes all the stuff they grab, I don’t know.)



Follow the Marble walkway again until you see the end of the Card House on the right. Veer off in that direction until you see another entranceway. This is another vault that will lead you to the power grid area.


Once inside, you'll make your way into a room with a long pathway leading to the exit. You’ll need to position the animal duo over the mechanism that raises the door and then quickly Reptile Rush down the long pathway as stepping off the switch will release the door and cause it to gradually close. Each room will have a new obstacle that you’ll need to navigate passed, and they will all hold a number of coins in them, so make sure to explore each new room.



Reptile rush through separate obstacles in a race to get to the end of the room, relying on a switch that will temporarily open a door  at the end of area in every area, until you reach the end of the course where you’ll see 5 tokens floating in the air, accounting for eight tokens in total.



Trace your steps back to the same stairway that you used to get up to the Fountain, and follow the path once more until you come across another Slot Machine proprietor hanging out in front the architectures adorned with Playing cards.


The crook will tell you that a special card was stolen from him and taken into the Card House; agree to help him out, then Reptile Rush up the newly raised ramp. Aim to snag all five tokens on the way in. Watch out for the shifting shock traps that can get you the moment you Reptile Rush through the cracked glass pane. Proceed inside the card house, where there will be a tower of class cubes with a special card on the top of it.



Reptile Rush through all seven glass encasements to get the special card, while evading enemies who will try to impede you, return the card to the slot machine to win another five tokens, getting a total of 10.



Returning to the Marble road along the edge of the wall, you’ll spot some colossal steps off to the left of the pathway. Hop up them to reach the edge of a giant fountain, where you’ll need to dive underwater to grab four tokens.



Use the Buddy Bubble technique to walk along the perimeter of the structure to grab the tokens. When you're done getting them, remain underwater in bubble form, and go to the middle of the fountain to break a barrel hiding under the Golden Corplet statues to reveal a jet stream port. Fall into the port, then pop your bubble to be thrust up and squirted above the statues (in the air) where you can collect three more tokens, totaling to seven in all.



Now we arrive at what many consider to be one of the worst fetch quests in Capital Cashino: the Pachinko games. The first one we’ll do is the one with the original promo art for Yooka and Laylee, and it’s posted right next to the Shooting Gallery entrance.


All you have to do is Lizard Lash the middle grapple and drop the bundle of balls from above through the rotating turnstiles and pegs, with hopes that you’ll be able to get four of them inside the goal at the bottom. You can try to increase your odds by manipulating some of the other turnstiles on the Pachinko board with the other Lizard Lash controls, but all in all, the answer to this puzzle is simply more luck than skill; getting four balls in will win you six tokens.



Circling around the marble pathway again, you’ll see large entryway against the outermost wall that’s flanked by Frostberry bushes and Character face tiles. Slurp Shot the Frostberries, and take aim at the at the faces displayed above the doorway in the order that they’re listed on the patterned diagram plastered to the left of the door. You’ll hear a chime that will grant you access to the next room, where another shooting gallery awaits you.



The next room features the same kind of puzzle, only the tile order will be hidden at the left-hand side of the ground level of the room, behind some crates that you'll need to smash. Once you’ve got the pattern down (or you know, you could just look at the screenshot of it right here) you’ll need to go back toward the front area of the room in front of the raised area with the red blocks. Shoot at the blocks in order to create ledges that can be used steps up to the top of the raised platform where the door is, shoot the correct priority of faces to unlock the door, and go on forth to the next room.



When you go inside the next room, you'll see the target order needed to open the door in plain view; the catch is that you’ll have to shoot at them within a spinning carousel in the middle of the area. The easiest way to aim at them is from outside of the round cavity that the tiles are spinning in instead of trying to shoot at them from directly within. 


Try stationing yourself in an area where both the tiles of the spinning carousel, and target order set on the wall are in your line of sight, then tag the appropriate character plates with some Frostberries to move onto the next room.



The final room will have a series of pillars that're stacked with crates on top of them that you'll need to smash or shoot out of the way. The tile pattern that shows what the priority of targets is will be located at the bottom of the towering platform, and the arrangement will be five tiles long. Shoot down the last set of them to open the door out of the gallery and six new tokens to grab.



After the Match game, navigate toward the marble pathway on the left, and follow it around the corner of what appear to be giant golden dice blocks. Stay the path until you see some huge red dice blocks directly ahead; Lizard Leap your way up to them to talk to another Cashino employee, and he’ll challenge you to platforming skill trial with hoops and fans.



The clock will start counting down from 2:10, with nineteen total hoops to hover through thanks to the convenient fans that’re on the surfaces of the Gold Dice structures in the obstacle course. All of the hoops are fairly easy to run through, with the exception of the ninth one.

A giant shock-trap pendulum will swing back and forth surprisingly fast, obstructing this specific hoop. You’ll have to time your approach just right with this one to make sure you don’t lose too much time on the clock. After you slide down through you final hoop under the time limit, you’ll gifted 55coins from the disgruntled Slot Bandit.



Once you’ve slid back down to the floor of the Casino, you’ll spot the familiar Poker Chip platform with suits that took you up to the first Roulette Table area.


Head that way but then steer eastward around the end of the table section to encounter another Slot Bandit who will be standing next to the question mark tiles on the ground.


Talk to the swindler to prompt a matchmaking trial where you'll have 1:30 seconds to unlock all of the pairs and win the challenge. Feel free to Buddy Slam the pattern of match icons you see above until the game is over, forcing the game’s curator to hand you another five tokens to add to your collection.



Off to the left of the Air Ball drop game is a ramp that leads up to a cracked glass panel covering an entry way. Reptile Rush up the ramp to break the glass and enter through a series of lit-up dance floor rooms where there will be a ton of enemies.



The mobs of Cashino Corplets will continue to spawn no matter how many you take down, so don’t spend too much time fighting them.


Just clear whatever gets in your way, and start Reptile Rushing through the next cracked door panel where you’ll enter a room with a hydraulic ramp that will move up and down. This quadrant and a couple of areas after it will have some tricky ramp gaps that will require precision and timing with your roll dashes; get through all of the rooms to snag eight tokens at the end of the mini-course.



Once you collect the Tokens, make your way around the tube and up the minecart tracks to the Slot Machine that’s behind Kartos. Each Slot Machine is going to house a different number of Tokens, and will have a unique strategy to their reel spins that will force you to carefully observe the patterns that spin past each slot. The goal is to get a matching row of the heroic pair’s faces for it to dispense the coinage.


The very first Slot Machine will be the trickiest one you collect. As you Lizard Lash the lever, you’ll need to align the rotation of the first and third reels of the slots with the middle reel that’s constantly spinning. When the Yooka-Laylee heads are synced, wait for the suit to appear on the payline, and then quickly Buddy Slam the middle switch to stop entire reel entirely for the prize of five tokens.



The next Machine will be to your immediate left, on the ground floor by the Capital B Pachinko wall game. This one is the second most challenging as it will feature five reels instead of three, getting faster after every stop. And the direction of each dial’s spin changing between up and down with every slot switch you slam on. With the right patience, the completion of this machine will reward you with seven tokens.



The next one isn’t too much further to the left, and is much simpler, as you’ll only need to stop the traditional three reels. But beware: the reels are once again spinning in different directions from one another. The first and third slot wheels will have the Banana slot positioned before the Yooka-Laylee symbol, and Duke’s head will spin by right before the Lizard and Bat mug on the middle one; just keep an eye on these to help time the moments that you need to slam to get another win at the slots. Once successful, you’ll be rewarded with five tokens.



You know what, we lied, this last machine is definitely the trickiest one as the three switches on this coin-eater aren’t connected to the reels that they’re directly in front of, making it a bit disorienting to keep track of. The first switch will stop the third reel, while the second will stop the first, and the final halting the middle reel — the speed will also shift with each stop but if you manage to match this one up, you’ll earn another five tokens for your collection.



After you're done here, the next goal will be to the immediate left along the walkway. You’ll spot some raised platforms and a spot to the right of it resembling a poker chip with some rotating card suits that’re garnishing its perimeter. Stand in the middle of the Blue Poker Chip spot with all the card suits, because they’re not merely just some gaudy décor, they’re switches that will need to be triggered all at once by Laylee’s Sonar ‘Splosion.



Once you have your wing-girl screech her heart out, you’ll cause the Poker Chip to rise up in a shooting stack that will shoot you up to the top of the raised platforms. Jump your way over to the other end of the tables, and beware of the floating Bizzy’s that guard the area as they can be a bit tricky to evade when you’re hopping from one spinning table to the next. Keep going to reach the end of the gambling dials to arrive at the second spot with spinning card suits, and let out another Sonar ‘Splosion.


You’ll then activate a telescoping platform that will bridge the long gap between you, and the path to the second section of tables that were near the guarded security room. Cross the makeshift bridge as quickly as you before it retracts back into its port to reach the other side where a third poker chip platform awaits.



Trigger it to elevate to a marble-top scaffolding where you’ll then need to use the Glide maneuver to float over to the tables where there will be a building with a Craps floor plan. Inside is a series of Hallways with trenches that can only be crossed by riding the moving roulette table platforms that travel back and forth between the trench, hiding some tokens along the way.

Be careful not to get hurt by the giant red balls that're circling the rotating roulette platforms in order to reach the end of the corridor, and Sonar ‘Splosion the switches that hide the remaining tokens, earning you 6 coins altogether.



Once you make your way out of the Wager Laser room, turn right, and head in that direction until you hit the wall at the end with a high rise boxroom that resembles a security office. You’ll want to follow the end of the wall to the corner, until you come across a nook with an infrared light brightly casting a conspicuous looking lens-like sensor on the wall—look a bit familiar to you?


That’s right, another chance to whip out the Camo Cloak so that you can reflect the beaming light into a concentrated laser, and aim it directly at the lens-like panel. Doing so will trigger the platform next to you to rise up, where another panel and laser light will conveniently appear for you to repeat the process.



After you get to the third platform and blast the last two panels, you’ll be granted access to the security room that’s holding some caged tokens -- and troublesome goons inside of it.


To unlock the cages with the goods, beat up on anything that moves until the enemy respawns eventually stop, chiming a tune that will open all of the cages where you can add a total of five tokens to your collection.



To navigate to the first bundle of tokens, you’ll want to make a hard right from the entrance of Capital Cashino, as you'll stop at a metal Tunnel opening. Go inside the tunnel where you’ll end up in a room where a mustachioed Usher will wait by a locked off gate. Speak with the reeled Curator who will ask you to destroy all of the enemies within the laser room -- with the promise of a handle of coins for your services in return.



As the door opens, make your way in. You’ll have two different options to dispatch the troublesome enemies hiding behind the cascade of glass paneling.

You can either defeat the enemies with the intended use of the Camo Cloak against the giant laser within the middle of the room, aiming it’s concentrated blast around the perimeter of the room and sweeping all the goons in sight. Or you can simply spam Sonar ‘Splosion and the radius of Laylee’s scream will also take them out.

Clearing out the room of baddies will net you your first five tokens.



Yooka-Laylee, the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie has some mighty big paw prints to fill, and as such, Playtonic Studios has gone to great lengths to amplify the elements that the Bear n' Bird titles were famous for by eleven, with huge stages that’re chock full of objects to collect.


One particular level is already earning a reputation for its demanding fetch quests, with its intricate nooks and crannies that’re tricky enough to have some gamers crashing into their own intellectual walls in frustration; I’m talking about the fourth world, Capital Cashino.


The glitzy adult arcade is easily the most distinct stage in Yooka-Laylee as it only has six physical Pagies to collect out the 25 total—the other 18 have to be purchased with a unique form of currency that’s only found in the casino at a poorly disguised Capital B at the remittance stand. With 180 Cashino Tokens to collect, the already bloated list of trinkets to snag might make the process of inventory management even more imposing to the seasoned gamer, let alone a first time player to the collectathon formula.


Luckily, GameSkinny has you covered with this detailed guide on how to grab every single coin in the flashy world.


Before you jump into the guide though, we should get some disclaimers out of the way.


This walkthrough will only focus on where to the find the tokens within the stage and the steps involved with getting them; we won’t be covering the other six Pagies that’re associated with the level, such as Ghost Writer hunting or the Kartos mini-game. This guide is also written with the presumption that you have already expanded the Grand Tome belonging to Capital Cashino with the necessary Pagie cost, and will be prioritized as one play-through where all the areas of the stage are already available.


The bits that we want to get out of the way are the location of your move-tutoring snake sensei, Trowzer, and the science doodad item, the Mollycool, as they’re both vital to the completion of this coin run.



You can locate the serpentine salesman north of the world’s entrance after you’ve made it past the security cameras. Hang a left by the villainous cashier at the corner of the Card House. Once there, Trowzer will charge you 80 quills for the Reptile Rush move, a maneuver that will have the duo charge up their Reptile Roll in place by triggering the Reptile Roll and pressing the attack button, working similarly a technique made famous by a certain Blue Rodent.



The Mollycool is another easy item to snag, as you’ll make way toward the structure that’s smack dab in the middle of the casino floor. The prized fuel for the doctor’s D.N.Ray is hidden within a slot machine that’s conspicuously close by the tentacle scientist, and will only require three well-timed Buddy Slams on the Yooka-Laylee slot reel to pop out as a prize from the one-armed bandit.


Not that you have all that taken care of, it’s time we start placing bets, and earning some of that sweet golden change that Capital Cashino has to offer!

Top 5 Most Helpful Threads in the Overwatch University Subreddit Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:00:01 -0400 Jerline Justo

Overwatch provokes players to cooperate with their teammates and to decide whether to move for the offensive or the defensive, making this the most popular game among gamers. But let’s admit -- not everyone can be pro players after a couple of missions.

That’s why fans created Overwatch University on Reddit.

Overwatch University

Overwatch University is the place where fans come together to gain some guidance and tips in order to improve their gameplay. Fans share ways to use a character’s ultimate and places to practice an ability.

But these five threads turn players into greater heroes.

Ranging Practice


For some players, they might find it difficult to find a character most fitting for them because each one specializes in different weapons and abilities. This thread by Nitia can improve players’ gameplay and test a character's weapons, especially for new players. This type of training can also test characters’ abilities, like Ana’s sleep dart or Genji’s Dashblade. With each practice, players can have a go-to player when entering a game and help out the team with their amazing skills.

The Pros and Cons on Each Support Hero

overwatch, characters

Every team needs a support hero, but players sometimes do not know who to play when it comes in different situations. SkylineOW opens this thread, sharing a YouTube video where he explains to players the pros and cons of each support hero and which maps that would bring out the best of each character's abilities. He also explores which support pairs work best together as well as which benefits the other characters. With this, players can help their teammates with efficiency and cooperation.

Competitive Play with Symmetra, Baston, Orisa, and Lucio

overwatch, competitive

Competitive play becomes an essential component to Overwatch players, challenging themselves and gaining more experience. But as the game develops, will the player’s gameplay be affected? This thread by Snlffer analyzes how Symmetra, Baston, Orisa, and Lucio and how they have changes affect low tier players. His analysis gives players some ideas to think about when playing these four characters that can be helpful during a mission.

Orisa: Fast Tips

Orisa, overwatch

With the recent release with Orisa on March 21, fans enjoy playing the new character and experiencing her tank abilities. But since Orisa is still a new character, players are motiviated to learn about her, which is why this thread by deepflash can be helpful. Deepflash explores the perks about her abilities as well as how to create combos with Reinhardt. Blizzard gave fans an amazing character, but these tips turn any player pro at Orisa.

Zarya: An Advance Guide Plus Tips

Zarya, Overwatch

When playing Overwatch, players tend to see characters, like Tracer, Reaper, or D.Va, on the field, but this thread by CANAS1AN can convince players to play Zarya. Like SkylineOW, CANAS1AN shares a YouTube video explaining full details about Zarya as a way for player to improve during competitive gameplay. Even though not a lot of players play this character, the thread encourages players to play Zarya while understanding her mechanics and functions within a team.

Overwatch University offers more than just these five threads. They provide more insight and training tips for players to improve their skills. With the right amount practice and patience, players can turn into pros in no time!

Nier: Automata YoRHa Betrayers Quest Guide Thu, 09 Mar 2017 05:32:49 -0500 Ty Arthur

A must-play PS4 experience, Nier: Automata offers a stunningly beautiful ruined Earth to explore while dispatching robotic enemies by the hundreds (check out our full review).

While the resistance is facing overwhelming odds and should be working together, it turns out perhaps everyone isn't on the same page after all, with some androids who are supposed to be on your side going rogue and stealing supplies.

That's the premise of the YoRHa Betrayers side quest, which is bestowed by checking your email and receiving a confidential mission details message. The message starting the YoRHA Betrayers quest will only appear after the Goliath event when you access the flooded ruins. You can grab this mission at any access point after that event.

Starting YoRHa Betrayers Side Quest

YoRHA Betrayers Quest Walkthrough

After reading the email message and starting the quest, three different map locations will be marked where the rogue androids could possibly be hiding out. The idea is to detain them, find out why they went rogue, and recover the stolen supplies.

Where the two androids actually end up for the first battle is randomized, so try all three marked map locations in order until you see a brief cut scene where they show up, but keep the other two locations in mind as you will need to search them out later.

Finding Renegade Androids

Partway through the battle, the betrayers will flee and there's no way to stop them (with 9S blithely commenting "they got away"). Here's where people tend to run into trouble with this side quest - you have to check the other two previous locations to find them.

Remember that starting area after finishing the prologue mission and first getting into the open world aspect of the game? Frequently the rogue YoRHa soldiers will appear for the second battle on the main building rooftop from way back in the beginning of the game in the city ruins area.

First you must defeat the two androids from the previous battle, then a third will appear who should be tackled with long-range attacks rather than up-close melee.

You may notice this quickly goes from "interrogate" to "exterminate" with very little provocation. 9S won't be happy about killing fellow androids and the mission parameters suddenly changing from capture to kill without warning. Pay attention, because this has big repercussions in one of the game's many endings!

Finishing off the rogue androids

Following the second battle, return to the resistance camp and speak with resistance leader Anemone to complete the quest and earn 10,000 G, 400 XP, and Type 40 Lance.

Disturbingly, it will appear the YoRHa deserters didn't actually steal anything at all, and command sent down the mission request for reasons unknown. No one can seem to answer the questions 9S has about why this mission was given in the first place and how the intel managed to be bungled so badly.

Problems Completing YoRHa Betrayers

Whether a bug or an intentional issue that just isn't explained well in the dialog, many players are reporting that the rogue androids don't spawn in any of the locations.

At this point it appears they most frequently won't actually show up until after you have completed main story quest The Forest Kingdom, but some players still don't get the androids to spawn even if they'd already completed the quest.

The most surefire way to get them to show up is simply to complete the next main story quest and then return to the three locations, which seems to resolve the issue most of the time.

 Finishing the YoRHa Betrayers Side Quest

Need more help with other aspects of the massive Nier: Automata? Check out our other guide content:

Dragon Quest Builders Guide - How to find Potatoes Fri, 14 Oct 2016 00:56:05 -0400 Autumn Fish

You'll need to gather potatoes if you hope to complete Chapter 2 in Dragon Quest Builders. Not only will your NPCs ask you to build a farm with potatoes, but you'll also need to craft a potato salad to heal sick NPCs in the Sick Room.

So you've scoured every nook and cranny of every island and still can't find them. You're beginning to wonder if they even exist at all.

Chances are, you've passed them at least 3 times already. I can't blame you either; they're hiding in plain sight. They look extraordinarily like the white flowers used for healing cream. I passed them about 10 times before finally discovering them.

Unless you're familiar with potato plants, you probably wouldn't know that potatoes have flowers on them. In Dragon Quest Builders, the potatoes all have white flowers, but they can bloom as dark as deep violet in real life. They look like this before their dug up for their tasty roots:

dragon quest builders guide how to find potatoes

Refer to the header picture for an in-game photo of potato plants.

Now, to find potatoes in Dragon Quest Builders, stock up and head through the Red Teleportal. Follow the winding swamp North until you find yourself in front of the expansive brick area with Skeletons and Legerdemen out to fry headless Builders. Attack all of the "white flowers" in sight. You'll quickly find that they're really potato plants.

Take a moment and examine the potato plant. It's just a smidgen taller than the White Flower, but the main takeaway is the yellow center. This is your identifier for potato plants.

After you've gathered yourself a large stock of potatoes, it's time to finish your farm and heal your sick villagers. Simply drop a few potatoes on your transfusion machine to craft some seeds and plant them in tilled soil to make sure you'll always have some potatoes ready.

Use the rest for food. You can never have enough food in Dragon Quest Builders, and meals with Potatoes recover plenty of hunger.

Can't find Cod? Coarse Cloth? Never fear, GameSkinny has you covered. Check out our beginner's guide for more Dragons Quest Builders tips and tricks. Stuck on something else? Request a guide in the comments below.

Guild Guide: How to help your guild get better at any game Fri, 08 Jul 2016 06:52:42 -0400 Eliot Lefebvre

The past couple of installments of this column have focused a bit more intensely on specific games. I've talked about how to help your guild get better at World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV. They're both subjects that I know quite a bit about, and one that I could probably continue on about for quite some time -- although "How to get your local Solitaire group to improve" would probably not be terribly welcome.

But then, that's the fun part, isn't it? Sure, you might not actually play Final Fantasy XIV, but there's stuff in there that's equally applicable to groups in every game. You can, in fact, extrapolate. And even if you can't, there's some general-purpose advice available for everyone about how to make sure that your group gets better at whatever game you're playing. So this week, let's be a wee bit more general -- starting with a tip that's been implied but unsaid the whole time.

Make sure you're actually good yourself

You've heard the sentiment batted around many times by now, I'm sure: It's better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. And that is, in fact, entirely true. I've seen far too many people open their mouths to give advice about how to play a given class in various games, only to reveal in the process that the speaker has no idea how to actually play the game effectively. Sometimes less than no idea.

So before you start worrying about the group doing better, take the time to make sure that you're doing well. Step back. Read up. Do research. Practice your rotation, group up with strangers, and get advice.

I'm not saying that you should be the best in the world, obviously; the upper side of average is fine. You should be reasonably confident that you are, in fact, capable of fulfilling the basic tasks necessary to succeed at content. You should be looking at your own performance and finding flaws to be improved, sure, but you should feel like on a whole, you know how to play the game well enough to clear the content that other people want you to help them improve in.

Similarly, you should also be willing to double-check your advice. If you tell your group that the DPS needs to kill something in a Star Wars: The Old Republic raid, when a DPS member fires back "actually, that should be the healers doing that"? Check on it. Look it up. Find consensus. Your goal here is to be good, not to win an argument.

Don't discard contradictions out of hand just because you want to be right. Master the art of suggesting to your fellow players that you all try doing things this way, even if some of them are sure it should be done differently. They might turn out to be right, but you can find that out for sure later.

Find out who needs which kinds of attention

When someone isn't playing well, there are a lot of potential reasons. Some players just don't know what they're doing yet. Some players need to fail a few times in order to learn the mechanics. And some players are going to need personal one-on-one attention to understand what they're doing wrong and how they're going to fix it.

Every player who is trying to improve needs a different sort of attention. The players who need to fail a few times, for example, are going to be pretty upset if you take them aside and try to coach them through something in a one-on-one setting. You need to let those players screw up and see "oh, that's what I need to do." Check in with them occasionally to make sure that they do know what they're doing, but you don't want to pressure them. On the flip side, the players who do need one-on-one attention will often say that they know what they're doing; it's just that the actual encounters will tell a different story.

Your task, as someone trying to improve the group, is to find out who needs what and provide it. Which sounds easier than it is by a wide margin. Many players will think they're better than they are, and you will need to (gently) correct them. Some players need praise, others need to be carefully walked through what's going wrong so they can understand their individual role. And there are a lot of players who expect to find that they respond a certain way to stress, only to discover after the fact that it's the exact opposite of what they need.

Be flexible and organic, and be prepared to tailor your approach to each individual player. Back off as necessary, and try to get a sense of who needs personal attention and who can be counted on to correct their screwups.

Assume competence

This one might seem like a little thing, but it makes a difference. If someone is screwing up repeatedly, there are two ways to approach the problem. You could ask Scott what's going wrong ("Hey, Scott, what's the matter? You can do this stuff, I know you can") or you can be upset with Scott for failing ("Scott, come on, get this together"). The former is always a better approach.

People naturally tend to work up to what other people expect of us. If you, as an officer, approach a member to discuss performance with the stated expectation of solid play, that member is more likely to think that they need to be playing at their best. If you act like they just didn't try, thoguh, it breeds resentment. It gives them the feeling that the effort they are putting in isn't appreciated, just expected.

As with many other things, getting better is as much about attitude and culture as it is about mechanics. Having a culture based on the assumption that people can do something encourages more positive attitudes.

Plan your improvement times and keep them narrow

In order for a group to get better, you want to throw them against the unexpected. You want to have difficult content or opponents ready to go. So your group gets together at a specific time on a specific night, you go up against your opponents, you do the best you can, you work on improvement, and then you stop. You walk away, you let it go, you let it be.

It's sometimes almost impossible to do this. It should also be your watchword. If you say that your group will be practicing a difficult boss for two hours, though, you make sure that at the two-hour mark, you are done. No more work. No "we almost had him, just one more try." Two hours and done.

The reason this is so important is that improvement and practice is grinding. It's often not fun, and it's frequently marked by a string of failures. And especially when you're doing the same thing for an extended period, some people are going to get tired, or get bored, or otherwise just want to take some time away. They deserve that space to process and internalize what they learned.

Making practice a regular thing means that it can be done at your own pace. You can take a deep breath, do what you need to do, then step back and try again later. You don't have to bash your head against the wall forever, just long enough to do what needs to be done.

It's important to have that safety valve. It's good to know that improvement is ongoing, but it isn't the only thing to be experienced in the game. Sure, you might have been close to victory one time, but taking some time away will tell you whether or not you can replicate that victory. And when you come back and nail the fight each time, you'll know that all the effort to make a better group paid off dividends.

Road to the Show in MLB The Show 16 Guide: How to make a hall of fame caliber pitcher Mon, 11 Apr 2016 11:36:49 -0400 Eric Adams

Having a dominant pitcher in Road to the Show mode for MLB The Show 16 can be one of the most exhilarating experiences the game has to offer. There is nothing quite like taking a perfect game into the late innings for a chance at history. The tense nature of pitching truly adds something amazing to the game. 

Our most recent MLB The Show 16 guide profiled how to make a hall of fame caliber position player, but provided little information on creating a pitcher. This guide will tell you all you need to know about creating a hall of fame worthy pitcher in Road to the Show mode. As with the last guide, we'll start with the first feature you will encounter in Road to the Show mode.

Customizing and creating your pitcher

Road to the Show mode allows you to completely create a pitcher from scratch. You will be allowed edit a variety of things, including pant length, glove color, and more. But the most important thing you will do in customizing your ideal pitcher is to pick the pitches you would like them to throw.

Your first pitch should be a good old 4-seam fastball. Some of you may want some more movement on your fastball, but the dart-like 4-seamer will come in handy when you need to put a pitch right on the black.

Your second pitch should be some type of off-speed pitch such as a curve ball or a change-up. In order to make your 4-seam fastball a feared pitch, you must have a feared off-speed pitch to set it up. This will keep the hitter off balance and allow you to keep the advantage during the at-bat.

Your third pitch is your decision -- just don’t choose a knuckleball because it is just too unpredictable. You will be able to add more pitches by using training points, but it's best to stick to 3 pitches early on in year career mode. Too many pitches to focus your training points on will cause some of your pitches to be weak links. You should focus on having two dominant pitches.

Focusing your Training Points


There is no other way to impress the scouts other than to pitch well. We will get to how to do that in a moment, but first you must understand how to spend your training points.

You will see three different types of menus where you are allowed to upgrade your player. One section is fielding and base running -- and you should completely ignore base running. Don’t completely ignore fielding, but it is not as important as your pitching statistics, obviously.

As much as it may hurt for you to do this because everyone wants to hit homers, you MUST ignore batting. Wasting your points to create a crummy pitcher who just hits well is not worth it and you probably won’t make it past the minors.

This brings us to the pitching menu, where you will spend nearly all of your training points. You will see things such as stamina, pitching clutch, HR/9 innings, and a couple of other specific attributes. You will also see your actual pitch statistics. This is where you will focus your training points.

4-Seam Fastball

Your best and most reliable pitch should be your fastball. There are 3 different fastball statistics to upgrade: control, velocity and break. Focus all of your points on the Velocity and Control attributes and DO NOT put anything into Break. This pitch is supposed to be the pitch you can locate anywhere and with good speed. You want to be able to control it and you want it to be at least 95 mph. 

Off-Speed Pitch

 Your off-speed pitch is the exact opposite of your fastball. You must focus your training points on Control and Break instead of Control and Velocity. The more break you have on the pitch, the more it will move, making it harder to hit. You should still use some training points on your off-speed pitch velocity. The faster you throw the off-speed pitch, the harder it will be to hit -- especially if you have a lot of movement on it and can control wherever it goes.

How to pitch 101

Here come the tips that will allow your RTTS pitcher to be a dominant force in the big leagues. The first tip is to use the pitching meter display and keep the ball icon visible. This will make locating your pitches and as hard or as soft as you like. The ball icon when your pitcher is on the mound has the option to be visible, visible but faded, and not visible at all. Make sure you make the ball icon visible at first, because you will not be able to see where you are throwing the ball. You will only be able to move the analog stick to where you think you are throwing the pitch.

The next tip would be to throw to the corners. If you are up in the count 0-2 on the hitter, then your first obligation should be to throw a 4-seam fastball up and in. This is the hardest pitch to hit in the history of baseball and if you have pinpoint precision, you will start racking up strikeouts. Using the corners, you will be able to keep the advantage in the at-bat. Pinpoint your pitches on the corners of the plate and you will be golden.

The final tip is to develop a sinker. I know what you are thinking: "why didn’t you tell me this earlier?" Well, to be honest, I didn’t want this guide to seem like it was controlling every choice you made. You may have a phenomenal 3rd pitch and if you picked a sinker originally, then good for you. However, the sinker MUST be the first pitch you incorporate into your repertoire. The sinker pitch can sink from the middle of the plate to the left or right inside corner and is simply devastating. If you have the patience to develop a good sinker, then it will become your best pitch.


There you have it...apply what you have learned in this guide and you are more than on your way to the Hall of Fame. One thing I did not mention in this guide that was mentioned in the other and should go without saying is to use the perks system. The perks system will allow you to create situational advantages for yourself in a game throughout your career.

 To recap:

  • Use the pitching meter and ball icon display
  • Pitch to the corners, 0-2 count is fastball up and in
  • Develop a sinker pitch
  • Use the perks system

MLB The Show 16 is out now for PS4 and PS3.

Road to the Show in MLB The Show 16: How to make a hall of fame caliber player Wed, 30 Mar 2016 10:30:01 -0400 Eric Adams

MLB The Show 16 will be hitting stores tomorrow and gamers are eager to start hitting some home runs. Most of you will pick up the game, give Road to the Show a shot and immediately think you are Babe Ruth, only to realize that you are merely a rookie. Don’t you fret, there are a few things you can do to make your player a real stud. Before we get into that, let’s discuss the very beginning of Road to the Show mode.

Customizing and creating your player

In Road to the Show, you will create a baseball player and be able to choose which position you would like to play along with a multitude of other customizations. Those customizations include batting stance/pitching motion, bat and glove color, batting gloves, uniform modifications and plenty more. Don’t worry about choosing a specific region from where you are from. Whether it is East, West, Central or International, this decision will have no impact on your player and how he performs.

The most important thing you will do when creating your player is assigning stat points. When you first make a player, you will be assigned a certain amount of stat points. What you do with your stat points will determine what type of player you create. If you want to be fast then you put your points in speed. If you want to aim for a gold glove then you should work on arm strength and fielding. If you want to be a singles and line drive guy then work on contact. Home run hitters will pour the points into the power department.

Use your points wisely and try not to worry about not spreading them out enough. You are headed to the minors to work on your skills regardless of what you do so don’t worry about maxing out a certain attribute. Speaking of maxing out an attribute, you should max out Contact and Power simply because batting is how you get most of your points as long as you aren’t a pitcher.

Impressing the scouts

The next step after creating your player is taking part in Bowman scout day to determine your draft stock. At Bowman scout day, you will take part in fielding and hitting drills. How you perform in these drills will determine your scouting report, which you will see at the end. It is here where you will be introduced to the brand new Showtime feature. When fielding the ball, entering Showtime mode will slow down time, allowing for a better reaction to the situation at hand. When batting, you are allowed to use the Showtime feature one time and not on every pitch, or else this would be too easy.

Depending on how you do at Bowman scout day, you will then be given a draft projection. You will be able to play two more games against other draft hopefuls from around the world that will either help or hurt your draft stock depending on how you perform. You will then be drafted, and just like that, you are playing baseball for the minor league affiliate of a Major League squad. Time to progress through the ranks and prove that you belong in The Show.

Tips and tricks for racking up stat points

Your player will start off with an overall of about 65 or less. While you are sure to play like a 65 overall minor leaguer, there are some things you can do in the settings to increase your chances of performing well. The better you play in your games, the more points you will receive to increase your stats.

My first suggestion for helping you perform better is a simple new feature that is making its debut in MLB The Show 16: the perks system. Perks are available when you enter the training and perks menu from the Road to the Show home screen. In order to use perks, you must be a certain overall in a certain attribute. So the perk that allows you to slow down pitches may require a 75 overall plate vision attribute in order to use it. While you may not be able to use some of the better perks right away, there are still perks you can use relatively early on that will help you on your journey to the majors. Long story short, use the perks. They can help you pitch better, field better and hit better, so why wouldn’t you?

The next suggestion relates to when you are batting. You will most likely use the camera angle that puts you in the catchers POV. You will notice your strike zone, at least for the first pitch, and then it may disappear, but you can modify that so it stays throughout the at-bat. Here is the hint, turn on and use the reticle. By reticle, I mean a little oval shaped outline that will act as your hit box. Putting the ball right in the middle of this reticle will result in better contact and better chances at getting a hit. It may take some getting used to, but it makes hitting much easier. There are plenty of other options that will change the way you hit, such as the timing preference, but this is the easiest feature to adjust to. This reticle makes hitting much simpler.

The final suggestion may come as a surprise to some veterans of the game and might even be disagreed with. The trick is to turn off guess pitch. The guess pitch feature allows you to guess the type of pitch and where it will be in the strike zone. If you guess correctly, then you will have a better chance to hit the ball. However, guess incorrectly and you will be penalized and put at a disadvantage. Being a long time fan of the franchise, I can assure you that you are better off turning guess pitch off entirely. The risk is not worth the reward here, and you will be at peace knowing that you are not putting yourself in a hole before even seeing a pitch.

Carry Over Saves

As was the case with last year’s edition of The Show, there will be carry over saves for the Road to the show mode. This means you can continue your players’ career from where you left off in the previous installment. Assuming you can still use the perks system, this will offer a nice reward for players who put in the time and effort from last years installment.

Creating a Pitcher

"I don't like pitches up and in, especially fastballs" - every hitter ever

Didn’t want to leave out something for those who wish to bring the heat, so here is my only piece of advice. As a pitcher in MLB The Show 16 (or any MLB The Show game for that matter), your strikeout pitch should always be a fastball up and in. Trust me when I say that this pitch just works. It also works best if you use the 4 seam fastball option, so make sure that is one of your first three pitches. I know some of you may want some movement and opt for the cut-fastball, but the 4 seamer works best. Up and in and you always win. Watch the strikeouts pile up, and as long as you continue to work on your accuracy and pitch power, this pitch will remain your bread and butter.

From Rookie to Veteran to Hall of Famer

MLB The Show 16 offers baseball fans the chance to become the player they have always wished they could be. It is a game that can exhilarate with the best of the sports games and is certainly worth the time of baseball fans who also play video games. However, it only releases on PS4, so sorry about that Xbox owners.

While on your journey to Cooperstown, make sure you remember the three suggestions that will help along the way. Make sure to:

  • Use the perks system
  • Turn off guess pitch
  • Turn on the reticle feature for hitting

By doing all of that, you will ensure success and start performing like an all-star. MLB The Show 16 releases for PS4 and PS3 tomorrow. Play ball!

Pocket MapleStory Angelic Buster class guide - Levels 1 - 10 Mon, 14 Dec 2015 06:15:18 -0500 QuintLyn

Pocket MapleStory launched on mobile recently, bringing the popular MMO IP to our pockets. There is a lot that players need to know, and we're here to help.

We started with a simple guide to getting started in the game and have posted guides for both the Demon Slayer and the Dual Blade. Now we're giving you the third of our class guides -- Levels 1-10 for the Angelic Buster.

This guide will consist of two parts, a spoiler-free (ish) summary section that will give you a general rundown on things and a more detailed section that outlines your quest objectives. Don’t worry, we’ll let you know when the spoilers are about to start.

The Basics

The first ten levels of the Angelic Buster takes place in and around the sacred city known as Pantheon. The first ten levels-worth of quests for the Angelic Buster will be made up of a nearly even mix of Main Story quests and side quests.

Because of the sidequests, you may not level at exactly the same rate as I did. But you should hit Level 10 around the time you turn in Quest 17 of the  Main Story.

When the game starts, you’ll get to watch a brief prologue -- in the form of a cutscene -- explaining what happened to your character’s mother. Once that scene finishes, the story will catch up with an Angelic Buster name Tear in Pantheon. Tear is different from the others in her city, as you will soon find out. As a result, she’s picked on by most everyone you run into in the area -- even the adults who should know better.


Skills in Pocket MapleStory are grouped into sets called Job Advancements. Skills can be “mastered” -- with each skill requiring a different amount of skill points to master. As an Angelic Buster, you won’t have any skills until you complete the 1st Job Advancement quest, at which point you’ll get your first Job Advancement with five skills.

Job Advancement 1

You’ll get your first job advancement from a quest around LvL 6 -- a little earlier or later depending on some options you take while leveling. This advancement will give you 13 new skills needing anywhere between 0 to 30 skill points to master. You’ll get your first skill point to invest when you hit LvL 10. Stats for these skills will increase as points are added.

1st Job Advancement Screen 1

1st Job Advancement Screen 2

It’s also important to note that some skills will not be usable until some other requirement has been met. These will be indicated by a small red “No” sign on the skill card.

  • Soul Buster (Master LvL 1) - Channel Eskalade’s power to controll both the Soul Shooter and Soul Ring.
  • Dress Up (Master LvL 1) - Summon the power of Eskalade to transform into Angelic Buster.
  • Grappling Heart (Master LvL 1) - Tosses a magical line above you to ascend to higher platforms.
  • Star Bubble (Master LvL 30) - Fires a condensed stream of unrefined energy. Deals damage within a certain range when the projectile hits.
  • Feather Hop (Master LvL 1) - Press the Jump key while in midair to jump in the direction you are moving.
  • Melody Cross (Master LvL 30) - Uses the power of Eskalde to increase stats for a certain period.
  • Affinity (Master Level 20) - Get closer to Eskalade to draw out strength and make your body lighter.
  • Pink Pummel (Master Level 30) - Rushes through enemies, knocking them back. Has a chance to recharge. **Requires Star Bubble 5 or higher to unlock.
  • Lovely Sting (Master Level 30) - Pierces enemies with a beam of pretty power and curses them. Use the skill again to detonate the curse. **Requires Star Bubble 5 or higher to unlock.
  • Power Transfer (Master Level 20) - Generates a shield that absorbs a portion of damage dealt by the enemy.
  • Soul Shooter Mastery (Master Level 30) - Increases Mastery and Accuracy of Soul Shooter.
  • Beautiful Soul (Master Level 20) - Permanently increases DEX. **Requires Soul Shooter Mastery 10 or higher to unlock.
  • Great Affinity (Master Level 20) - Get closer to Eskalde to receive battle experience and increase resistance. **Requires Affinity 10 or higher to unlock.

Non-Passive skills can be added to your ability/item bar by pressing the shortcut button in their info screen.


Angelic Buster Equipment

For your first few levels, you may be tempted to purchase weapons or equipment from the vendors in the village. DON’T. Your quests will provide you with the exact same gear before you’re even able to use it. Save your money for something else. That said. The minute you hit Level 8, swap that gear out.


Similar to the Demon Slayer, the Angelic Buster can go a while before having to worry about being killed in a quest. Her quests are an even mix of fetch/talk to random people quests and kill missions, making the first few monsters you’ll run into lightweights. That said, it’s always best to stay on the safe side and keep an eye on that health bar. Be sure you have a decent number healing potions before heading out as well.

Making money (Mesos)

Level’s 1-10 are basically all still part of the introduction/tutorial area. There won’t be a ton of opportunity to make money just yet, but there doesn’t really need to be. Pocket MapleStory practically hands players Mesos every time they log in. There are rewards for logging in daily, different holiday “events” that will grant you items and cash, and more. Of course, you can earn extra by taking a little extra time to kill a few more things while out on quests and bringing back the loot to sell.

The Dirty Details: In-Depth Guide

Above we covered the basics for Levels 1-10. If you want to play and experience the story for yourself, what’s above (plus our Getting Started in MapleStory guide) will give you everything you need to survive the first ten levels of your life as a Dual Blade. So, stop here. Because anything beyond this point contains SPOILERS.

We’ll break this area down into sections based on levels. Keep in mind that depending on your own play-style, levels may vary slightly.

Level 1


As mentioned above the Angelic Buster’s story will start out with a bit of prologue. We join the playable character’s mother Victoria after a battle with a being named Magnus. The being has already killed Victoria’s partner Kaiser and attacks Victoria. There a back and forth of battle before Magnus retreats, saying he won’t give up until he controls Pantheon.

Victoria and Magnus

A while later we see Victoria again. She has lost her power and is with child. Able to feel Magnus’ power returning she worries for Pantheon and the future of her unborn. As she comes to a decision the cutscene ends and another begins.

Finally, we are with the playable character, Victoria’s child named Tear. We see Tear crying when a boy named Kyle finds her and asks if the other children are picking on her again for being a “mutant without a tail and magic powers.” He then tells her that they’re just jealous because she’s the daughter of a hero; adding that they don’t like him either.

At this point an adult named Carlos comes looking for them and informs them both they should ignore the others because they’re better than the rest. He then tells Kyle that Cartalion is looking for him and can be found at Nova’s Sanctum. As Kyle leaves, Tear can hear someone calling for her.

Tear goes to find out what she’s being called for, only to have the person requesting her presence -- Anor -- take some jabs at her, telling her he can’t believe they traded her mother for her. After this loving discussion, you’ll be offered your first quest.

Pantheon City

Quest 1 - Same Old, Same Old

  • Objective: Talk to Anor
  • Location: Pantheon
  • Rewards:
    • 80 XP
    • 190 Mesos

Talk to Anor again and he’ll give Tear more grief before saying he wants some work done and offering the next quest.

Quest 2 - Anor The Bully

  • Objective: Kill 8 Sleepy Grobblers
  • Location: West Pantheon Plains
  • Rewards:
    • 120 XP
    • 248 Mesos

You’ll find the Sleepy Grobblers on the lower levels of the Plains. Dispatch 8 of them and return to Anor. Anor will opt to antagonize Tear some more before telling her she needs to go see Christina.

Quest 3 - The Relentless Jerk

  • Objective - Talk to Christina
  • Location: Pantheon
  • Rewards:
    • 60 XP
    • 190 Mesos

You’ll level up after accepting this quest.

Level 2

Christina can be found just a bit to the left of Anor. Talk to her to complete the quest. She’ll chastise Tear as well. (Apparently Tear can’t do anything right for any of these people.) After a bit of needling, she’ll offer another quest.

Quest 4 - The Tokka Menace

  • Objective: Kill 8 Limestone Tokka
  • Location: West Pantheon Plains
  • Reward:
    • 120 XP
    • 248 Mesos

Head to the West Pantheon Plains and you’ll find the Limestone Tokka’s on the upper platforms. You should ding another level while slaying the Tokka.

Level 3

Return and talk to Christina again. Shell give Tear grief before sending her back out on another errand.

One of Christina's quests

Quest 5 - An Unreasonable Request?

  • Objective: Collect 8 Boulder Fragments
  • Location: West Pantheon Plains
  • Reward:
    • 153 XP
    • 276 Mesos

You may have already collected some of these fragments during your last quest. So you may not need to kill as many Tokka. However, if you’re halfway or more through Level 3, just go ahead and take down a few more so you can hit the next level before returning.

Level 4

Return to Christina and she’ll mention something about giving the boulders to Kyle as a present before mentioning that someone named Fenelle is looking for Tear. For once, Tear will actually be excited.

Quest 6 - A Call From Fenelle

  • Objective: Talk to Fenelle
  • Location: Nova’s Sanctum
  • Reward:
    • 77 XP
    • 190 Mesos

Fenelle will ask Tear if the others have been picking on her and Tear will tell her not to worry, after which she will be tasked with taking Kyle his lunch box since he forgot to take it with him when he went out to train.

Quest 7 - A Kind Priestess

  • Objective: Take Kyle his lunch box
  • Location: South Pantheon Plains
  • Rewards:
    • 77 XP
    • 190 Mesos

When you accept the quest, you’ll notice Fenelle has a second one for you. Go ahead and grab it.

Side Quest 1 - Threat On Pantheon

  • Offered by: Fenelle
  • Objective: Listen to Fenelle’s Dream
  • Location: Nova’s Sanctum
  • Rewards:
    • 60 XP
    • 190 Mesos
    • 5 Red Potions

Since you’re already here, go ahead and listen to Fenelle’s dream. She’ll immediately offer another quest.

Side Quest 2 - Omens In The West Plains

  • Offered by: Fenelle
  • Objective: Find out what the dreams mean.
  • Location: West Pantheon Plains
  • Rewards:
    • 60 XP
    • 190 Mesos

Go to the West Pantheon Plains and tap on a sparkling area on a ledge. It will complete the side quest and you’ll level up.

Level 5

Tap the sparkling area again and receive another quest.

Side Quest 3 - Suspicious Light

  • Offered by: Sparkling Light
  • Objective: Report the suspicious light to Fenelle
  • Location: Nova’s Sanctum
  • Rewards:
    • 60 XP
    • 190 Mesos

Before returning to Fenelle, take Kyle his lunch box. You’ll find him on a ledge in the South Pantheon Plains.

Kyle thanks Tear for bringing his lunch and tells her he's working hard to live up to having Nova Guardian Kaiser’s powers. Tear will then notice Kyle’s sword is in poor shape and he’ll tell her he just needs some Alert Grobbler Stalks to fix it.

Quest 8 - For A Friend

  • Objective: Collect 8 Alert Grobbler Stalks
  • Location: South Pantheon Plains
  • Rewards:
    • 160 XP
    • 276 Mesos
    • Brown Rocky Suit

Obtain the stalks and return to Kyle. After giving Kyle the stalks, he’ll tell Tear that she can try praying at Nova’s Sanctum to fix the tail and magic issue.

Quest 9 - Clutching At Straws

  • Objective: Pray at Nova’s Sanctum
  • Location: Nova’s Sanctum
  • Rewards:
    • 80 XP
    • 190 Mesos

Return to Nova’s Sanctum.

As you pass through Pantheon on your way to Nova’s Sanctum, you’ll notice Anor has a quest available for you. It’s a repeatable side quest. Grab it and save it for later.

Side Quest 4 - Research Materials

  • Offered by: Anor
  • Objective: Collect 8 Onyx Stonegar Pieces
  • Location: South Pantheon Forest
  • Rewards:
    • 336 XP
    • 276 Mesos

Once you have the quest return to Nova’s Sanctum. Everyone will be gone, but you’ll see a sparkly area near where Fenelle would still be standing. Tap it to complete Clutching At Straws. It will immediately offer you a new quest.

Quest 10 - Praying To The Ancestors

  • Objective: Tap On The Sparkles
  • Location: Nova’s Sanctuary
  • Rewards:
    • 80 XP
    • 190 Mesos

Tap on the sparkles again and you’ll get a cutscene. Tear will notice the Relic is shining and touch it. She’ll freak out for a bit, thinking she allowed Magnus to run away with the Relic and that she’s put Pantheon in danger. While fretting, she’ll hear someone she thinks is a ghost call her name. A statue-like dragon will tell her that she woke him.

Meet Eskalade

Quest 11 - Meet Eskalade

  • Objective: Talk to Eskalade
  • Location: Nova’s Sanctuary
  • Rewards:
    • 80 XP
    • 190 Mesos

Accept this quest and you’ll ding Level 6.

Level 6

Go to your right and tap on the dragon-statue, he’ll tell Tear that he’s the Great Guardian Dragon of the Novas who was stuck in the Relic. Tear suspects he’s the same guardian that fought alongside her mother. Eskalade can’t remember for certain but tells her she might be right, before offering the next quest.

Quest 12 - 1st Job Advancement

  • Objective: Kill 8 Amethyst Tokka
  • Location: Radiant Rock Forest
  • Rewards:
    • Soul Shouter Weapon

Proceed to the Radiant Rock Forest and you’ll see the Amethyst Tokka on the upper levels. Be careful while slaying these. They hit harder, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your health bar and use health potions when necessary.

Return to Eskalade and turn in the quest. He’ll tell Tear he remembers a pink haired girl that looks like her. Tear believes that was her mom.

He’ll end the conversation by telling her that Christina is looking for her and offer the next quest.

Bully For You

Quest 13 - Bully For You

  • Objective: Talk to Christina
  • Location: Pantheon
  • Rewards:
    • 96 XP
    • 190 Mesos

At this point Fenelle and Cartalion will reappear in Nova’s Sanctuary. You can turn the Suspicious Light quest into Fenelle.

You should also ding Level 7 right around now.

Level 7

Both Fenelle and Cartalion will have side quests available for you. Grab them before going to see Christina.

Collecting Laloong Tails

Side Quest 5 - Becoming A Trainee

  • Offered by: Cartalion
  • Objective: Collect 8 Laloong Tails
  • Location: South Pantheon Plains
  • Rewards:
    • 176 XP
    • 276 Mesos

Side Quest 6 - The Crack

  • Offered by: Fenelle
  • Objective: Talk to Christina about the Shimmering Light
  • Location: Pantheon
  • Rewards:
    • 60 XP
    • 190 Mesos

When you’re done gathering quests, you can take a look at your first job advancement under skills. Two skills are active and can be slotted in your shortcut bar.  Once you’re done with that, go find out what Christina wants. She’s upset with Tear because Kyle was apparently hurt and demands that she collect materials for potions to be made with.

Quest 14 - Christina’s Grief

  • Objective: Collect 8 Grumpy Gobbler Stalks
  • Location Grumpy Grobbler Habitat
  • Rewards:
    • 204 XP
    • 276 Mesos
    • Purple Hatchling

While talking to Christina, turn in The Crack quest and she’ll offer another.

Side Quest 7 - Soul Purification

  • Offered by: Christina
  • Objective: Collect 8 Sleepy Grobbler Stalks
  • Location: West Pantheon Plains
  • Rewards:
    • 120 XP
    • 276 Mesos

Chances are you’ll have already collected plenty of Sleepy Grobbler Stalks on your other quests. If so, go ahead and turn in Soul Purification and Christina will give you another quest.

Side Quest 8 - The Dimensional Crack

  • Offered by: Christina
  • Objective: Report to Cartalion
  • Location: Nova’s Sanctum
  • Rewards:
    • 60 XP
    • 190 Mesos

Go back and see Cartalion, turn in the quest and he’ll offer another.

Side Quest 9 - External Power

  • Offered by: Cartalion
  • Objective: Talk to Cartalion again
  • Location: Nova’s Sanctum
  • Rewards:
    • 60 XP
    • 190 Mesos

Talk to Cartalion again to turn in the quest and receive yet another.

Unjust Dimensional Crack

Side Quest 10 - Unjust Dimensional Crack

  • Offered by: Cartalion
  • Objective: Talk to Christina
  • Location: Pantheon
  • Rewards:
    • 60 XP
    • 190 Mesos
    • 3 Red Potion

Return to Christina and turn in the side quest. She’ll seem surprised by this whole crack business and offer the next quest.

Side Quest 11 - Dark Energy

  • Offered by: Christina
  • Objective: Kill 8 Alert Grobblers
  • Location: South Pantheon Plains
  • Rewards
    • 160 XP
    • 248 Mesos

Before leaving, check your equipment and slot the Soul Shooter. When you tap your attack button, you’ll notice an immediate change in Tear’s appearance and that your weapon is much more powerful.

You have your new powers

The South Pantheon Plains are on the way to the Grumpy Grobbler Habitat, so knock out Becoming A Trainee and Dark Energy on your way there. You should hit Level 8 while killing the critters for these, so when you do, remember to slot the armor you earned earlier.

Level 8

Continue to the Grumpy Grobbler Habitat and collect the Grumpy Grobbler Stalk before returning to Christina. Turn in Christina’s Grief. And she’ll comment on how quickly the job was done. Tear will lie to Christina about how she managed to do the job quickly, keeping her recently acquired abilities a secret.

Christina will then tell Tear that Cartalion is looking for her again.

Quest 15 - A Serious Warning

  • Objective: Talk to Cartalion
  • Location: Nova’s Sanctuary
  • Rewards:
    • 102 XP
    • 190 Mesos

Before leaving, turn the Dark Energy Quest into Christina and she’ll offer another.

Side Quest 12 - Creatures In The South Plains

  • Offered by: Christina
  • Objective: Kill 8 Laloongs
  • Location: South Pantheon Plains
  • Rewards:
    • 176 XP
    • 248 Mesos

Don’t head to the Plains yet. Go see what Catalion wants first. When you talk to Catalion, he’ll say he thought Tear had run off. She’ll tell him she feels responsible for all the trouble, and he’ll tell her that the weakened barrier is allowing monsters into Pantheon, sending her off to slay some.

Quest 16 - The Wages Of Sin

  • Objective: Kill 8 Onyx Stonegar
  • Location: South Pantheon Forest
  • Rewards:
    • 336 XP
    • 248 Mesos

After Cartalion issues the quest you can turn in Becoming A Trainee and pick up another side quest.

Side Quest 13 - Material For Armor

  • Offered by: Cartalion
  • Objective: Collect 8 Laloong Wing
  • Location: Grumpy Grobbler Habitat
  • Reward:
    • 259 XP
    • 276 Mesos

Take the quest and head out. You’ll go through the South Pantheon Plains and the Grumpy Grobler Habitat on your way to the South Pantheon Forest, so knock out Creatures In The South Plains and Material For Armor. You’ll ding Level 9 in the process.

Level 9

Continue to the South Pantheon Forest and you’ll b able to complete both Wages of Sin and Research Materials at the same time. Return to Cartalion and turn in your main quest. He’ll comment on how quickly the job was done and say he’s considering having Tear take up Kaiser/Kyle’s duties for a while since he’s gone after Magnus.

When Tear says she wants to say goodbye to Kyle, Cartalion will tell her that she might make it if she hurries to the West Pantheon Border.

Quest 17 - An Unexpected Notice

  • Objective: Find Kyle/Kaiser
  • Location: West Pantheon Border
  • Rewards:
    • 168 XP
    • 190 Mesos
    • 2 All-Cure Potion

Depending on how many mobs you have killed while running back and forth, you may hit Level 10 after this quest. Turn in the other quests you currently have and you’ll definitely ding level 10.

Level 10

You’ll get your first skill point when hitting Level 10, so don’t forget to apply it to a skill.

And there you have it. Levels 1-10 of your journey as a Angelic Buster. Of course when you hit levels may vary depending on whether whether or not you pick up the side quests and in what order you elect to do them.

In the meantime. Keep an eye out for the next guide. 

Beginner tips for Gears of War multiplayer Wed, 02 Dec 2015 04:35:05 -0500 Cameron Patel

The multiplayer landscape for most competitive games can be incredibly daunting. For anyone entering a social match, it is almost inevitable that the first few games will be filled with constant death and probably more than a little regret. There is often a steep learning curve, especially for games that have had many different iterations through the years.

Gears of War multiplayer is no exception. Luckily, have been playing Gears of War since it released in 2006. I remember the first time I jumped into multiplayer. There were so many people walking around with their chainsaws revved, hoping to run into someone who was as clueless as they were. Sadly, the benefit of having a lot of newbs no longer exists. Times have changed since then, and level of gameplay has increased exponentially.

A lot of people say that you need exceptional reaction time to be good at multiplayer games. That may be true for games like Call of Duty -- but with Gears of War, I've learned that as long as you play smart and have the basics down, there is a high chance of having a positive K/D ratio. 

Some of these tips can be implemented right away. Others come from experiential learning. Be patient and play smart.

1. Find the Proper Sensitivity

This is key. Regardless of what you may find naturally comfortable in terms of sensitivity, most games (including Gears of War) will set you at an "average" level that they have found works for most people. But do you really want to play on a setting that is generalized for all players, or do you want to find something that specifically fits you?

Finding the most comfortable sensitivity will take time and experimentation. You may start at a 15 sensitivity and find it to heavy and sluggish. Change it to 25, and that might be too quick, so then go back down to 20 to see how that feels. I would say as a general rule, don't go below the set "average" level that the game starts you at. If you do, most people that you will be playing against will have a reactionary advantage over you. They will be able to move their camera and turn faster, and that could lead to many deaths on your part.  

From my personal experience playing Gears of War, Halo, and Call of Duty, I've learned that you can get used to any type of sensitivity. I tend to max out all the sensitivities in any game that I play, and with time I become more accustomed to quick-paced camera movement. Sure, I'll die a lot in the first 20 games, but the final outcome is definitely worth it.

2. Learn to Move Properly

There are so many people I've played with in the past who, for some odd reason or another, seem to jump straight into multiplayer -- or at the very least, it seems as if they did.

The campaign should be a prerequisite for beginners who want to play Gears of War at a somewhat reasonable level. Playing it on the regular difficulty is not too daunting. It's a great platform to hone your skills, learn the different mechanics of the game, and get used to all the guns. Learn to use the cover; learn when to run and when to dive. There are so many skills that seem natural to veteran players, but they initially take a bit of time to develop. 

3. Know When to Hard-Aim, Pop-Shot, or Hipfire

The shotgun is by far the most useful weapon in this game, since much of the combat takes place in close quarters. Most people who start off don't realize that the shotgun is a much tougher weapon to use than it would seem. Beginners tend to just hard-aim the shotgun and hope to god that they can hit the enemy, but Gears of War combat has a quicker pace than most people give it credit for, especially up-close.

The only times I ever hard-aim someone is if I am sneaking up behind a stationary target and I want a 100% sure kill. For most other scenarios, the pop-shot is the best way to use a shotgun. The problem with hard-aim is that it greatly limits your movement. By using the pop-shot, you move around more freely and still have the additional damage of the hard-aim. A pop-shot is a quick skill where you orient your body toward the enemy, and just as you are about to shoot them, quickly hard-aim at them, shoot, and release. It should all happen instantaneously and in a smooth motion. It's easier than it sounds.

I actually hip-fire quite a bit, but it really depends on the scenario. If someone is very, very close to me, and I know I will probably have a hard time pop-shotting them, the hip-fire is actually pretty effective.

4. Learn how to Wall Bounce

I put this on the list a bit begrudgingly, since this is definitely not something amateurs should be trying their first couple of times playing the game. But it is something that I see as vital to learn -- if not for actual use, then to anticipate the opponent's movements. 

A wall bounce, for people who may not know, is the ability to stick to the wall for cover and almost instantaneously release yourself. It enables you to take a vital position over the opponent, and also adds an unpredictability factor to your game play.

Almost everyone I see playing online currently uses wall-bouncing, so make sure to understand the path and eventual destination that the person is trying to take by using this skill. I think that this skill is a bit overused, and should be resorted to somewhat sparingly against most people. You only need to have one good bounce to get the perfect shot on someone, if done properly. 

5. Use the Pistol Properly

The pistol is probably the most underrated gun in Gears of War, and is often neglected by newer players. It offers much better precision than the lancer. In fact, if you have a steady hand and quick trigger finger, you can easily down someone quicker than you could using the lancer. 

The other very useful skill to learn when using the pistol is getting head shots. You may be battling someone with a shotgun when they inexplicably start running away. Take your pistol out, and with one or two shots to the head, you can usually take care of them. 

Of course, there is also the pistol-whip -- which I feel guilty to add here since it is a bit cheap, but it can be very effective. Two hits with any weapon will always be an automatic down. But with a pistol, you can shoot someone twice and hit them, and that will down them even more quickly. 

6. Use Your Power Weapons

There are a lot of really great, iconic weapons in the Gears of War games. Of course there's the chainsaw, the shotgun, and the smoke grenade, but the power weapons are really where the fun is at. 

I would say that the Sniper is by far the most satisfying power weapon, but I am going to just tell beginners to skip over that weapon for now, since it's probably the hardest weapon to use in the game. Instead, look for the Torque Bow for long-distance shooting. You don't need to aim for the head to kill someone with it, just aim for their body. Also, if someone is hiding around a corner, shoot the ground near them with the bow to injure them and take out their weapon.

The Hammer of Dawn is deceptively hard to use, and really isn't super useful in many scenarios, so beginners should steer clear.

The Boomshot and the frag grenades are the probably the two easiest weapons for beginners, so they should be the ones you concentrate on. There will always be people going after the Boomshot at the beginning of each round, so bide your time in picking that one up. If you do have the chance to find one, aim near the feet of the person you are trying to kill. It is much easier than shooting their body.

As for frag grenades, a lot of the time they are in locations near your spawn, so it is a bit easier for you to pick one up without a fight.

7. Learn the Maps

For any competitive multiplayer game, it is imperative that you understand the maps. Not only does it let you know where the power weapons are, but it also helps you understand where people are likely to congregate. 

Find potential weaknesses -- areas where your opponent may not be paying complete attention because they are preoccupied in a battle somewhere else. This skill improves with time and spatial awareness in the game. If you notice that a bunch of players are spawning in a certain location, think about which direction they might be heading in. Is it toward the power weapons or where they died previously? Playing multiplayer games is not as mindless as many people would like you to believe. Sure, you can probably get by with good reflexes, but for the rest of us without those innate gifts, using our heads is the next best option.

Gears of War is the only real 3rd person shooter that is viable competitive game. Ever since the first game came out in 2006, everything has just felt so right -- from the controls to how the gameplay is designed. There hasn't been a single game since then that been able mimic the game's precise controls or smooth cover system. Sorry, Mass Effect

Playing this game online can be infuriating at times, regardless of how long you have played. But it is important to realize that nothing is really based off of chance. Sure, you can get lucky with a frag throw every once and awhile, but the vast majority of the time, results can be measured in skills and smarts. Learning the basics is just the beginning.

Fallout 4 Guide List Mon, 09 Nov 2015 18:04:18 -0500 Synzer

There are several guides for Fallout 4, so I'll put them all here for your convenience. Whether you want beginner tips, info on settlements, or anything else you can think if, this place has links to them all.

General and Misc Tips

Crafting Guides

Check back constantly as I update this article with more guides.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate Guide: Skills, Gang Upgrades, and Crafting Sat, 24 Oct 2015 06:07:23 -0400 Serhii Patskan

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is finally out and so is our guide on three most important upgrade menus in the game: Skills, Gang Upgrades, and Crafting. You need to get yourself acquainted with these upgrades, which are vital for a successful walkthrough of all the missions. Also, you may want to look at our guide to the first three sequences of the main story. Both guides will help you make the right decisions and invest your hard earned experience points into skills that will be of the most benefit to your characters.


Assassin's Creed Syndicate skills tree guide

The new skill system in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has three sections: Combat, Stealth, and Ecosystem. You can upgrade each skill by using points that you earn after accomplishing missions. Evie and Jacob, as the two main protagonists, have two independent, but similar skill trees. However, each earned skill point is shared by both of them.

This means that you can upgrade different skills for two of your characters independently, which is recommended. For example, turn Jacob into a Combat master and Evie into a Stealth specialist, while Ecosystem is equally important for both of them. Here are the most important skills you need to upgrade initially. Eventually you will have to upgrade them all.

  • Multi-Finisher allows Jacob to take out multiple thugs simultaneously.
  • Stun Attack disables your enemies for a short while and lets you accomplish a combo.
  • Unstoppable increases time limit for executing your combo attacks.
  • Counter lets you oppose the enemies’ attacks better.
  • Health Boost increases the amount of your health points.
  • Execute is a combination of a stun attack and a combo that deals massive damage.
  • Mutilate boosts your attacks and lets you bring your enemies down much faster.
  • Lockpicking is very important, as you will encounter lots of locked chests with great loot and locked doors along the way.
  • Stealth keeps enemies from noticing you and reduces any noise you make.
  • Assassin Steps reduce the fall damage and the noise level of your landing.
  • Intimidation keeps your kidnapped targets from escaping.
  • First Strike lets you deal massive damage before your enemy attacks.
  • Knife Master increases the amount of knives you can carry and their overall damage.
  • Eagle Vision allows you to see all the potential enemies around you.
  • Gunslinger recharges your gun automatically if it’s empty in the middle of the combo.
  • Leadership gives you more Rooks that accompany your characters during missions.
  • Scavenger helps you obtain more resources.
  • Defense reduces all melee damage received by your character.

Gang Upgrades

Assassin's Creed Syndicate gang upgrades

You can recruit people into your gang and take them with you on different missions. For upgrading your gang members you need to go to the main menu and choose Gang Upgrades. There you have three different skill trees: Ringleader, Insider and Swindler.


Ringleader allows you to make your Rooks stronger by leveling up skills like firepower or recruiting tougher characters, such as Brutes. Here is what you need to upgrade first:

  • Rook Training is a set of skills that helps your Rooks gain better combat abilities.
  • Rook Riders lets you purchase better carriages for the streets of London.
  • Rook Watchers lets your gang members use guns to defend themselves.
  • Carriage Sabotage makes blighters’ carriages less resilient.

Insider lets you increase the numbers of certain objects - such as hanging barrels over London - that make your missions a bit easier. Other perks include bribing the policemen, hiring kids, purchasing medicine and more. Here is what you need to upgrade first:

  • Police Bribes make policemen turn away if you perform any illegal activity.
  • Little Rooks allow you to recruit and train the kids of London to become better thieves.
  • Growler Boom is a perk that increases your popularity.
  • Medicine Market lets you buy medicine in shops.

Swindler is designed to give you more discounts on various items; hallucinogenic darts, ammunition, etc. You can also use this branch to increase your income by accomplishing heists. Here is what you need to upgrade first:

  • Black Market Affiliation lets you save on ammunition.
  • Pub Investor increases your overall income.


Assassin's Creed Syndicate craftingAssassin's Creed Syndicate upgrades

The crafting system in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is really easy to understand, but you still need to know a few key points to be able to use it in the most effective way. Once you’re in the crafting menu, you have two options: Gear and Upgrades.

  • Gear includes all your gauntlets, belts, certain types of melee weapons, cloaks and other items.
  • If you see a red icon on an item you wish to upgrade, it means that you lack certain materials necessary for crafting, or you simply don’t have enough money.
  • The black icon indicates that you have everything that is needed for an upgrade.
  • Some items require your character to reach a certain level before you will be able to craft or upgrade them.

Upgrades include items that you already have in your inventory, like throwing knives and bombs, that you can upgrade to be able to carry larger quantities of.

Come back soon for more awesome Assassin's Creed: Syndicate guides at Gameskinny!

Magic Duels: Tips to Dominate the Battlefield Thu, 03 Sep 2015 20:11:44 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

So the newest digital incarnation of Magic: The Gathering has been released and unlike previous entries in the series, this one is free to play, encouraging newcomers to finally give the long-running card game a shot. If you are a newcomer, fret not. The game’s tutorial does a pretty good job in teaching you the basic mechanics of the game as well as some special abilities you will see in it as well. Since the tutorial does a decent job in explaining most things, this is more a general tips for newcomers from someone who has been playing the physical game for around four years now.

I am no expert, but I have seen some solid strategies in the time I have played. Dear reader, use this knowledge well to dominate your opposition! 

Get a solid hand

Your opening hand can make or break your chances of winning. While you can draw into cards you need later in the game, you need a solid opening hand to tide you over until your clench cards or to keep your opposition at bay. So what makes a solid hand?

I generally have three mana in my opening hand for any deck. If you have ways to mana ramp (get more mana quickly) in your deck, you could maybe start with only two in your opening hand. I urge to try for three though. This gives you option to play spells early and provided you draw into more mana, have access to the expensive spells later.

Watch the mana

Always keep an eye on your open mana, as well as your opponent’s. Why? Well depending upon the color your enemy is using, you can save yourself a lot of grief. If your enemy is playing with blue mana, it is generally a safe bet to assume they have some counter spells in their deck. In order to avoid getting your ace cards countered, know the cost of the counter spells. If your enemy doesn’t have any open mana or a way to produce mana, you can probably get away with that amazing card you want to play without having to worry about a counter spell. If your enemy has all of their mana untapped, you might want to hold onto it.

The same principle goes for the other colors too. The less mana your enemy has open, the less trickery and shenanigans they can perform. 

Know the colors

Each of the five colors in Magic has a central theme and spell uses. These are the general themes of each color. 

Blue is about countering spells, trickery, drawing cards, and milling (causing cards from the top of your foe’s deck to go to their graveyard) the opposition.

Black is using about sacrificing creatures in order to devastate opponents, kill spells (which instantly remove creatures or other permanents), and reanimating cards in the graveyard.

White usually revolves around life gain, controlling the enemy’s creatures, and enchantments.

Red is all about burn spells (similar to kill spells but usually do a set amount of damage rather than instantly removing a creature), land destruction, and destroying anything your opposition cares to play.

Green is about mana ramp, large scary creatures, and creating token creatures.

While there are some variations and exceptions, the colors generally fall into this pattern. Knowing what each of the colors does can allow you to somewhat expect what your opponent will be playing, especially when they play color combos which you can read about here. 

Study the board

Whenever your foe plays a card, read its effects and try to figure out their reason for playing the card. Are they setting up a combo? Is it just an awesome creature? Is it misdirection? If you can figure out what your adversary is up to or at least a general idea, you may be able to prevent them from further building up their forces necessary to win.

Keep up with all of the effects on the board as well. I have won plenty of games because my opponent forgot the effect one card had which swayed the tide of battle. When you play a card, you don’t want to be surprised by an effect triggering from a card which had already been played and you had knowledge of. Do your best to keep up with all that is going on with your board.

Know when to be aggressive and passive

One of the major keys to a successful Magic duel is using your creatures wisely. Sometimes it pays to go for blood and mercilessly swing away at your foe’s life. Other times till, you will be better off provoking an attack until you have a game plan or advantage. This especially applies when you are facing more than one adversary and aren’t sure what is being played. Bide your time, and do your best not to paint yourself as a target by plunging into combat. 

Try to build combos

Combos are the bread and butter of Magic. A well-constructed deck will have a theme and synergy between cards in order to play off of each other and set up combos to demolish your enemy. Not only do you want build combos in your deck, you want to build them on the field too. Is the card you are playing going to compliment another card you’ve played or further your combo? Building a combo on the field will make you the bane of the opposition, which brings us to one of the most important points I can share.

Pay attention to the order you play cards

The order in which you play cards can turn the tides of battle in an instant. Whenever a card is played, it goes on the stack. Each additional card played before the initial card comes into effect or abilities triggered will go into play first before the first card comes into play.

For instance: You play a creature spell.

Your enemy taps mana to activate an ability on his creature which counters a spell.

In response, you play a card which sends the card back to your opponent’s hand.

Your card will resolve first. Since the counter spell was played by a creature no longer on the battlefield, you get to play your initial card and mess up your opponent in one fell swoop!

By playing your cards correctly, you came out ahead in the situation. However, this tip also applies to playing cards to trigger a combo. For instance, look at this card.

Notice the ability? Whenever this card or a creature enters the battlefield under my control, I get to tap an enemy’s creature, effectively removing a blocker or attacker. In order to make the most of this ability, I would be wise to play this card first, followed by any other creatures to ensure I can tap as many of my enemy’s creatures as possible. As I mentioned earlier, knowing your board will assist with cards reaching their maximum potential 

Single out threats






I know this seems obvious, but people constantly glance over major threats without giving them a second thought. While a card may not be an initial threat, if there is the slightest potential for it to come back later and make you regret its existence, you want to remove that card as soon as you possibly can. Never allow a threat to linger unless you have a way to turn the tables or even steal the threat. 

Know when to play your “Ace” cards

You’re in a bit of a pinch, and you just drew an awesome card. The great question now is to play or save for later? While it may be tempting to play the ace you drew, you might be better off playing it later. For example, look at this card "Psychic Spiral" below.

Great card right! You get to mill your enemy for however many cards are in your graveyard at Instant speed! If played correctly, this card can win you the game. However when I drew this card, I only had two cards in my graveyard.

It wouldn’t be of much use to me at the time, and I would be better off saving it. Three turns later, my graveyard was overflowing with 24 cards, and I had only one card from my deck to draw. At the end of my turn, I played “Pyschic Spiral” and caused my foe to mill 24 cards from their deck, milling him out. When they went to draw a card at the beginning of their next turn, they could not, and I won the game.

Knowing when to play your best cards is the difference between victory and defeat.

Don’t get cocky

Never assume you have won the game. As soon as you do, you will let your guard down. In a game of Magic, tables turn with no warning and comebacks are a possibility. I myself have won more than a few games while only having one life remaining. Never relax until the game is completed.

Have fun!

This is by far the most important thing to know. If nothing else sticks with you, I hope this does. Magic is a fantastic game, and it can lead to many stories and even friendships. Remember it is only a game and enjoy yourself.

Now go have some fun and please learn to play Commander (EDH) next!

Color combination guide for MTG deck building in Magic Duels Tue, 01 Sep 2015 09:56:58 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

So you read my tips for Magic Duels and want to know more about the awesome game of Magic: The Gathering, right? Well, you came to the right place! While the last guide concerned general tips for Duels and Magic, in general, this guide will concern color combination and deck building.

This guide will be a general overview of the main color combinations and what to expect when playing or building them.

Mono-colored Decks

Blue: Blue decks are usually about trickery and foiling everything your opponent tries to play. Counterspells are the hallmark of blue, which negate spells your enemy plays. Another hallmark of blue is drawing cards to gain an edge on your opponent. Some other tenants of the color are stealing creatures or other cards on the board from your foe, causing them to mill their deck into their graveyard, or controlling the board.

A blue deck usually has counterspells, some card draw, a few creatures (usually flying), and some form of creature control such as reducing the attack power of their foe’s creatures or tapping them so they cannot attack.

White: White decks are usually centered on life gain and board control. White generally has some of the best removal in the game, second only to black, allowing you to remove almost anything your opposition plays.

A white deck is focused around removal and board control with a splash of life gain to ensure you remain ahead of your adversary. You could also focus around token generation in order to get an army of creatures for relatively little mana.

Black: Black is all about death, whether it be destroying your foe’s board or sacrificing your creatures to gain an advantage, only to reanimate them later. White has powerful removal, but black’s is arguably more powerful, although the removal in black usually affects all creatures in play.

A good black deck has plenty of ways to destroy their opposition’s board while playing strong creatures which can either attack or be sacrificing for an even greater effect.

Red: If black is death, red is about chaotic destruction. Red generally has “burn” spells. Rather than simply destroying or removing creatures, red spells usually deal a set numerical amount of damage. On top of that, red also has plenty of ways to destroy your foe’s mana, enchantments, and anything else they play. It’s basically white’s chaotic younger brother. The creatures also reflect this mentality.

A red deck has plenty of burn and removal spells as well as plenty of creatures to pummel your foes with.

Green: Green is all about massive creatures and generating mana to play these creatures fast. Green also has a little life gain and some removal, usually an effect from a creature card played. Most of green is about the creatures, though, whether it be big ones or token creatures. Green has the biggest and meanest creatures in the game.

A green deck needs mana acceleration in order to access the bigger creatures before their enemy. Mana ramp + lots of creatures, and you can’t go wrong.

Dual-Colored Decks

Two color decks revolve around using the best of two colors and usually have cards specifically made for their combinations, although you can use general cards in these combinations as well. These combos’ names are derived from their corresponding guilds from the Ravnica block lore.

Selesnya - Green and White: One of my favorite combinations, Selesnya is a blast to play. This combination takes the token generation from both colors and uses the control from white with the mana acceleration of green. The idea is to quickly generate mana in order to flood the board with tokens and buffs for the tokens while controlling the board.

A good Selesnya deck has a lot of token generation with mana ramp. You also want to play cards that buff your tokens and big creatures to act as finishers.

Orzhov - White and Black: This combo is based on what are essentially vampires. Orzhov finds you using cards which steal life from your foes while increasing yours. You will also use the removal from both colors to keep your enemy’s creatures at bay to ensure you retain the advantage. Several Orzhov decks also use enchantment cards and token generation.

An Orzhov deck has plenty of life-stealing as well life gain. You will also want some creatures which synergize with the life steal as well as removal cards.

Boros - White and Red: Boros is all about aggression. Boros utilizes cards that allow your creatures to attack when played, increase the attack of your creatures, or other such benefits. On top of the aggressive creatures and enchantments, Boros has the removal of both red and white.

Boros decks are extremely aggressive. Boros decks are built to attack as soon and often as possible. You will want low mana cost creatures and buffs for your creatures. You will also want to add removal in order to slow your opponent down and prevent them to play blockers to block your aggressive attempts.

Azorius - Blue and White: These decks can be a major pain to play against. These decks have some serious control and will make your day miserable if you aren’t wise when playing against them. These decks usually revolve around controlling the board in nearly every facet and dominating the skies. These decks also have plenty of card draw in order to maintain a card advantage over their opponents.

You want to add plenty of cards to ensure you maintain control of the board, whether it is by tapping your foe’s creatures, reducing attacker’s damage done, or other sorts of trickery. Add some card draw and some flying creatures on top of the control and you have the basis for an Azorius deck.

Dimir - Black and Blue: Ah Dimir. The embodiment of trickery in Magic, Dimir is the ultimate foil deck. Dimir revolves around foiling anything your enemy plays while playing creatures of your own that are unblockable or other such tricks. Milling your opposition’s decks into their graveyard is another tenet of Dimir. Dimir is my personal favorite and once you play a game with a Dimir deck, you will see why.

A Dimir deck needs counterspells, trickery spells, or milling in order to be effective. You also want to add some creatures that have some special effects which will make them difficult for your foes to remove.

Rakdos - Black and Red: Rakdos is all about chaos and destruction. Rakdos usually employs aggressive creatures who might have some drawbacks but make up for it with ferocity. This combo also employs the removal and burn of black and red. Sacrificing your creatures or something of yours in order to damage your opponent is another key tenant of this combination. Also, some kickass demon and devil creatures!

Rakdos employs a lot of removal and punishment spells. Aggressive creatures are a key focus as well as the removal. There will also be enchantments which devastate their opposition.

Golgari - Green and Black: Death means nothing to the Golgari. The Golgari combination is about reanimation and utilizing your graveyard, as well your opponent’s, to your advantage. The creatures usually have an effect that triggers upon death or allows them to be beneficial after death. On top of the creatures and reanimation, Golgari utilizes removal in order fill graveyards with creatures to reanimate.

You want reanimation in your Golgari deck. There will also be creatures that are beneficial or have benefits upon their death. Removal is a necessity as well as the reanimation in order to make a strong Golgari deck.

Izzet - Red and Blue: Burn baby burn! Izzet is all about the burn spells. On top of burn spells, Izzet revolves around countering spells, card draw, and creatures to pick away at their foe’s health.

Besides the burns, you want to add card draw and counter spells to your Izzet deck. You will want some creatures in order to block or pick away at your enemy’s health. The burn is the foundation though.

Simic - Green and Blue: Simic usually revolves around making your creatures stronger in the form of counters, creating tokens, or swapping creatures in play with ones in your deck. Simic has some mana ramp, and the creatures sometimes have properties of blue such as countering spells and drawing cards.

A Simic deck needs ways to buff your creatures in order to thrive. Most Simic cards have ways to place counters on your creatures as well as increase the amount of mana you can utilize. Once a Simic deck gets rolling, it can be difficult to stop.

Gruul - Green and Red: Some of the biggest creatures in Magic are home to the Gruul guild. Besides gigantic creatures, Gruul also utilizes burn and destruction spells to slow their enemies down before unleashing hell. A well-built Gruul deck is a terrifying thing to behold.

Mana ramp is a must for a Gruul deck. In order to play the behemoth creatures, you must utilize mana acceleration in order to play your trump cards. Some burn spells as well as destruction of enemy enchantments and such is a must. Suppress their board, flood your field with mana, and unleash massive creatures. WIN! 

This list has covered all of the mono-colored and dual-colored deck combinations. While there are tri-colored deck combinations, those will be covered in another post. There you will meet my favorite, Kaalia. 

If you have any questions or tips to share, feel free to sound off in the comments! Until then, get to dueling. I’ll see you on the battlefield!