Just starting out in Returners and feeling overwhelmed? Here's what you'll need to know!

Returners Beginner’s Guide: Building the Right Pantheon

Just starting out in Returners and feeling overwhelmed? Here's what you'll need to know!

Known for expansive, gorgeous, and exceptionally grindy MMOs like Mabinogi, Vindictus, and Maple Story, Korean developer Nexon has in recent years hit the mobile gaming platform in force with games like Masters of Eternity and Durango: Wild Lands. Hardly tied only to the MMO genre, Nexon’s latest hit Returners brings epic RPG storylines and fast-paced 5v5 PVP battles to Android’s Google Play and the Apple App Store

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In an unexpected side-step from the usual world building of new characters, Returners is stocked with heroes drawn (loosely) from real life as well as myth and legend (in a similar vein to Hi-Rez Studios’ SMITE). Based on the free-to-play model, the game revolves around advancement and upgrades with two different types of currency (regular gold and premium gems). 

This guide will discuss how to get started in this game – and how to get going without dipping into your wallet!

(Looks a little different from your history book, doesn’t he?)

1. Getting More Characters in Returners

Battling is fairly straight-forward in Returners; the fights are played out in real time and your characters attack automatically so your primary concern is to point their efforts in the right direction (i.e. target monster) either individually or as an entire team. You’ll need to set your character formation, and keep track of your combat power and your Tactic Cards.

Note: Tactic Cards cannot be used in PVP play. In regular fights however, you can equip up to two of them for regular battles which give you abilities like taunts and heals which can be used as many times as needed (although on a cooldown timer). 

But who do you need to throw into the fight? There is a huge number of different characters in the game with more being added every so often, each with their own stats, abilities, and star ratings. They’re all broken up into five different classes: Tank, Fighter, Ranger, Mage, and Support. Once you complete the tutorial, you will have one character from each class – and if you want more, you have a few options as to how you get ’em.

You can purchase them using your currency (some of the 1-star characters are available for summon in the store by paying $10k gold, but the majority of the more enticing characters require those precious gems). Don’t waste your resources on just any hero or you’ll find yourself paying real money for more gems!

A cheaper method by far is to acquire new characters by completing tasks during events or completing story chapters in the story mode. This, plus daily login rewards are also excellent ways for you to stock up on extra rewards. 

2. How to Get Free Gems

These are your early-game tickets to easier battles and better rewards – but don’t spend them willy-nilly! The battle difficulty as you progress through the game is going to ramp up and you are going to want higher-quality heroes all the time. While your characters can be upgraded and improved, you’re always going to want high-star ratings to make sure your A team is outfitted with the best.

Daily Missions and Achievements

The regular login rewards don’t have any gem rewards, but there will often be events where the devs will throw some at you just for logging in. However, completing daily missions will earn you rewards that include gems. And if you complete enough of them, you’ll also complete achievements (e.g. complete 5 daily missions, complete 13, etc.) which will earn you additional gem rewards. 

Finish Adventure Battles with 3 Stars

There’s a bit of finesse when it comes to planning out your battles, but you’re hard-pressed to lay on the smack down as quickly as possible. Completing the battle as quickly as possible will gain you extra rewards, and at the end of each 10, a special rewards chest will get tossed your way – the payout for which includes gems. 

3. How to Get 3 Stars in Every Battle

To finish with 3 stars, you need to down your enemies and finish the fight as quickly as possible

I didn’t time it myself, but other sources suggest that the time limit is about 40 seconds. If you want to clean house in that amount of time, you’re going to need to go hard on your offensive. Luckily, even if one of your characters dies in battle, if you can complete it within the time limit, you can still stock up on the star rewards. Fight to the finish!

After you complete the tutorial, you should have enough gems to trade for a good, solid 4-star character. After a few days of play, you should be able to introduce another few 3- and 4-star characters into your team roster. For those of you who are emotionally invested in certain characters (don’t lie, we all have them) regardless of their star levels, rest assured that they can be upgraded even if they aren’t quite up to snuff right from the get-go. 

(Note: If you’re unsure about what characters you want, the game itself provides a kind of message board for each character that you can view when you look into them, discussing preferences and strengths and weaknesses. Definitely worth taking a look even if you know who you want.)

However, you should focus your efforts on your core team, no matter how many characters you end up acquiring. While you can switch them out as you like, you’re going to want a solid group that is the best that you can make it.  

Equipping your Characters

While it is a little more time-consuming, once you begin to acquire a lot of different gear (and you will, among other rewards, the game will give away a new piece of gear ever 24 hours), you’ll want to equip your characters individually rather than relying on the auto-equip. 

It’s slower (I actually auto-equip and then fine-tune afterwards, swapping stuff around until it’s all to my liking) but this way you’ll be able to ensure that the best gear available is the stuff your characters are currently wearing. 

Upgrading Your Characters and Transcending

Remember what I said about hanging onto the characters you love? You can do it – and you can increase their star ratings as well if you’re willing to put the time and the grind work into them. Equip them well, and then run them into battle, particularly the same Adventure mode battles, over and over again to level them up and gain experience. Keep upgrading your gear, upgrading your skills, and acquiring new Tactic Cards as well. 

Once you get a character to their maximum level, you will be able to let them transcend which allows that character to gain a star level. (Once you do this, their levels will reset so this will also be the best time to use an EXP book if you have one.)

Note: While on the subject of replaying, check out the rewards for completing specific levels as well, as this is the best way to earn upgrade crystals which you’ll need for, well, basically everything. Upgrade weapons, gear, characters, each will require different upgrade crystals. 

Other Things to Note

  • Just because you have a core group does not mean you should ignore absolutely everyone else. There will be occasions where you don’t need a fully balanced team (e.g. two DPS characters in a boss battle situation versus bringing a healer) so it’s worth it to make sure some of your second string characters are still up to snuff. 
  • The above will also help you when you start taking on arena mode which is played with two character teams of 3 in two different rounds. What classes you choose to take into this mode will largely depend on how they’re leveled and what they can do. 
  • Pick up characters with standout skills if you can (e.g. tanks should have good stun and taunt abilities, spell casters and DPS characters (ranged and melee) should have high ult abilities, etc.)

That’s all for now! Stay tuned to GameSkinny for any new tricks, tips, and ways to keep on winning!

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Stephanie Tang
Avid PC gamer, long-time console lover. I enjoy shooting things in the face and am dangerously addicted to pretty. I'm also a cat.