Both science and common sense will tell us that no, there’s no truly “endless” thing in the world. But they haven’t seen this anvil, a wondrous artifact capable of both creation and combination. Unfortunately, greedy eyes have also spotted our treasure, and it’s up to us to keep the forests safe and prevent those with ill intentions from getting their hands on the anvil. Take up your bow and arrows, it’s time to defend the Archer Forest.
Archer Forest is an idle defense game where you’re tasked with managing the defense of the mystical anvil. To do that, you’ll need to recruit the beasts of the forest, arm them with arrows and other deadly accouterments, strengthen your hill fort, and fall and learn from your mistakes.
Archer Forest is simple on the surface, but there are a lot of systems in play here. And while it’s easy to pick up the game and see some progress without guidance, you may run into problems such as “which upgrades should I invest in” or “where do I get more of X”. If you’re looking for some extra guidance to help you get used to the game, then this Archer Forest beginner’s guide is for you!
Upgrading Your Stuff
Idle defense games like Archer Forest live and die via their upgrades. Here’s an overview of how and where to get stronger.
- Always create arrows. Progression is greatly tied to your Arrow Level, the maximum level of arrow you’ve created or merged. As your AL progresses, you’ll gain access to new modes like PVP and guilds.
- Tap the anvil to make arrows. Use arrow stones (button to the left of the anvil) to refresh charges. Save these for when you’ve done some upgrades.
- Two arrows of the same level = 1 of a higher level. You can merge directly into arrows that you’ve already equipped.
- Turn on auto production/merging as often as you can.
- Gold upgrades = only last until Rebirth. Still a good idea to buy them as gold has no other use.
- Permanent upgrades = last forever but require either Diamonds or Rebirth Stones.
- Priority upgrades: Hill Expansion (more active character slots), attack speed, critical rate, then skill cooldown.
- Priority Rebirth Stone upgrades: everything in the production tab. Arrow upgrades are strong and easy early to mid-game power boosts.
- Always fight bosses to get cards. Card bonuses stack. Don’t forget to claim your free boss fight ticket every 20 minutes from the item shop.
- Runes are like boss cards, but you need to buy them. You can watch an ad every day for 1 free rune roll.
- Totems provide powerful passive upgrades but cost a large sum of Diamonds.
The first and most important thing you need to know is how to create arrows.
Making the stuff is easy – just tap the anvil at the bottom of the production screen. This will use up one anvil charge (as indicated by the number within the anvil) and give you a brand-new arrow. The anvil charges up over time.
If you need to make more arrows NOW, you can use an arrow stone to instantly replenish the anvil’s charges.
But don’t do that just yet; instead, save your arrow stones for when you’ve upgraded your base arrow production levels.
Merging arrows is the cheapest way to improve your hill fort. Simply tap on the anvil on the lower part of the screen to create an arrow. Do note that the anvil can hold up to 10 charges and each tap will deplete a charge.
Once you have enough arrows, just drag them over another arrow to merge them. These arrows can be equipped individually to your archers. You can also directly merge with an arrow that an archer has equipped to level it up. On an important side note, you get some Diamonds the first time you reach a new arrow level.
Arrow upgrades may be simple, but don’t overlook them – their beauty is in their simplicity. While they are free, each level gives an appreciable boost in damage. The strength of your arrows, abbreviated as AL (Arrow Level) is a good indication of what you can and cannot do. Arrow Level is also heavily tied to account progression – the higher your AL, the more features you’ll unlock, such as PVP and guilds. Always keep your archers topped up!
In the beginning, creating level 1 arrows might be acceptable as you can easily merge them. However, because of how merging math works, you’ll need to produce ungodly amounts of level 1 arrows if you want to get anywhere. That’s where upgrades come in – more on that in a bit
It’s always a good idea to turn on auto production and auto merging for arrow logistics. Do this by tapping on the auto production button in the upper right of the screen, near where the enemies spawn from.
This will require you to watch an ad or pay 200 Diamonds for 30 minutes of automation. Just watch that ad – it will save you a lot of time and effort.
The gold that your archers earn can be used to buy semi-permanent upgrades via the gold upgrades panel.
This panel allows you to upgrade many practical aspects of your hill fort, such as archer attack, archer attack speed, critical rate, critical damage, fence health and recovery speed, and even gold generation speed.
The catch here is that they are semi-permanent; you read it right the first time. When you rebirth, you will lose all gold upgrades with no refund. You’ll also lose all gold when you Rebirth. With that in mind, go ahead and spend your gold if you’re having a tough time or pushing for higher waves – this is especially important since gold upgrades do affect boss battles.
Gold upgrades are nice, but what you really want are upgrades that will stick. That’s where everything else comes in.
These permanent upgrades are very powerful, but there’s a catch: you’ll need to pay in either Diamonds or Rebirth Stones (green heart things). On the other hand, there’s almost no aspect they can’t improve: from making hardened walls that recover faster to just straight-up increasing the combat power of your archers, or even adding more slots for more archers, there are few things that the right kind of money can’t solve.
The problem here is the sheer choice. As a new player, the best upgrade to start with in terms of Diamonds is more archer slots (Hill Expansion)since more archers – even 1-star ones – are an exponential boost in performance. After this, it’s a good idea to go for more attack speed, critical rate, and skill cooldown reduction.
On the Rebirth Stone side, prioritize upgrading your Production tab as Arrow Level provides by and far the largest power boost in the early to mid-game.
Bosses are powerful monsters that are challenged in a separate arena.
Bosses are very tough, but they’re always worth fighting as they drop powerful passive cards that boost all your archers. Note that a card’s bonuses fully apply for each copy of that card you have; 5 5 ATK cards and 1 100 ATK card cumulatively give all your archers 125 extra ATK. Sounds strong? You betcha! Always fight bosses when you’ve got boss cards chilling in your inventory.
To fight a boss, you’ll need a boss ticket which you can earn via grinding or quests. You can also watch an ad every 20 minutes to get a boss ticket – head over to the item shop (the chest in the lowermost panel) to get it.
Runes And Totems
Runes are like boss cards in that they provide passive bonuses. However, they’re markedly slower as the only free way to earn them is to watch an ad once a day.
Runes come in three rarities – green commons, blue uncommons, and purple rares. The rarer a rune, the bigger of a passive bonus it generates. And yes, runes fully stack with themselves.
Totems, on the other hand, are one-time big-time purchases. Each one costs a large number of Diamonds but give powerful effects such as more gold, more Rebirth Stones, attack boosts, and game speed.
Both of these upgrade types cost Diamonds, so I suggest you don’t invest in Runes yet outside of the free once-per-day ad Rune. We’ve got more important things to buy with Diamonds, like…
Come, My Animal Friends!
…rolls in the character gacha, because why would you roll for runes when you can roll for more characters? Don’t get me wrong, runes are nice, but as a new player, your priority should be filling up your roster with high-rarity characters.
- Always use your 20-minute free gacha pull in the item shop.
- Optimal pulling means waiting for the quest to summon characters before pulling for a bunch of 10.
- Rarer characters mean higher stats and more importantly, two skills. Avoid lower rarity characters whenever you can.
- Pulling dupes = leveling up a character. Each level raises stats and more importantly, skill levels.
- You can buy individual upgrades for a character with Rebirth Stones. Skip this as you should be prioritizing production upgrades.
Bunny And Friends
The character gacha starts with a skippable minigame. Pull the bar on the right to the top. Or just hit the fast-forward button.
You can buy characters in one or ten-pull packages. As the cyclical quest system has “summon archers” as one of its quests, it’s a good idea to refrain from pulling until you get that quest especially if it asks for a multi-pull. And just like boss tickets, you can get a free 1-roll every 20 minutes in the item shop. Please always do so.
Once you’ve gotten your hands on a bunch of new companions for Bunny, it’s time to dissect them. In terms of their abilities, I mean.
As you can see, each character has individual statistics. They are, in descending order:
- Attack: This character’s attack damage.
- ASPD: The character’s attack speed.
- Arrow LV: The level of the arrow you’ve equipped to this character.
- Skill Upgrade: Percent-based increases to the character’s skill numbers. A 10% Skill Upgrade roughly equates to 10% more damage with skills. Skill Upgrade functions differently for different skills.
- Cooldown: Percent-based ultimate cooldown reduction.
Characters can also have one to two skills, based on their rarity. As such, avoid using or investing in 1 or 2* characters as they’re inherently worse due to their missing skill.
Rarer characters pack both an active and a passive skill. These skills level up alongside the character. To level up a skill, you’ll need to pull dupes of a character in the gacha; get enough dupes and that character will level up, netting a sizeable increase in stats and skills. See what I meant about saving your Diamonds for the character gacha instead of runes?
To use a character’s active skill, tap the icon in the lower bar in the upper menu, or the lower part of the screen when in a boss fight.
You can also just turn on auto skill for both regular grinding and boss fights.
As if the sweeping upgrade system wasn’t enough, you can also raise the values of individual characters. Go to the info screen (4th one from the left on the bottom panel) then tap the character you want to look at.
Skip this for now. It’s more important to buy production upgrades with your Rebirth Stones.
The Forest Economy
We’ve talked a lot about the different currencies in Archer Forest, but mostly about how to spend them. The question now is how to make them.
- Always do quests to get free stuff.
- Quests follow a set pattern. Match your activities with the quest requirements to get the most mileage out of your resources.
- The pattern is: Tap to make arrows -> merge arrows -> tap the screen for lightning bolt -> make high level arrow -> pull in the character gacha -> kill monsters -> clear stages -> boss fights -> tap to make arrows.
- Rebirth = game over. You get Rebirth Stones based on your progress and start over from wave one on your current island.
- Rebirth Stone income is influenced by your current level, island, Rebirth Stone modifiers, and other factors.
- You can manually Rebirth via the upper left button. You can also set a level to automatically Rebirth in the settings.
- If you’re actively playing, watch flying ads (top screen) to get some Diamonds.
- Don’t forget to double your AFK gains. AFK gains are based on the highest wave you successfully cleared, regardless of Rebirth.
- If you plan to stick with Archer Forest, get the ad block. Boosted income with no ad time in between equals massive gains.
Archer Forest’s quests are simple and easy to access – they’re literally at the top of the screen. Always do your quests as they give out a steady stream of rewards, like Diamonds
Do note that quest requirements are not retroactive, meaning you don’t get credit for doing a quest task before it becomes a quest. In the early game, this isn’t too bad, but it can be annoying when you get quests such as “summon 10 characters”. When it comes to spending Diamonds for characters, try not to do it unless a quest asks for it.
Quests follow a cycle. This cycle is: Tap to make arrows -> merge arrows -> tap the screen for lightning bolt -> make high level arrow -> pull in the character gacha -> kill monsters -> clear stages -> boss fights -> tap to make arrows. With that in mind, you can get the most mileage by waiting to do some activities until the quest you get asks for it. Multi-pull only when you have a quest, and save your boss tickets for when the boss fight quest appears.
On a side note, “fighting a boss” will count twice if you lose and retry. This counts as two fights for quest progress, but only costs 1 ticket!
The Rebirth system is how you gain those invaluable Rebirth Stones that you’ll need for various upgrades.
Rebirth is essentially game over. Notice how your archers passively fight mobs at the top of the screen? If the fence’s HP hits zero, you lose. Losing isn’t the end though; you can rise and fight again via the Rebirth system, which sets you back to the first wave of that island. When you restart the game, you get paid a certain amount of Rebirth Stones.
The amount of Rebirth Stones you get depends on several factors:
- The island’s difficulty factor. Higher difficulty means more Rebirth Stones.
- How far you got before you lost. More progress means more Rebirth Stones. Inversely, Rebirthing very early into a playthrough (whether manually or if you die) incurs a massive Rebirth Stone penalty. Expect single-digit profits if you do so.
- Any modifiers you may have in play, such as boss cards or cash shop items.
- You can also pay 300 diamonds to double your Rebirth Stone income. I suggest you don’t do this.
You can also Rebirth manually by tapping the Rebirth button on the upper left of the screen. Alternatively, you can go to the settings and set a level at which you’ll automatically Rebirth. This is particularly important when you reach the mid-game and find pets that give you bonuses to gains while at certain waves.
On occasion, you’ll see a flying creature with a play sign fly by the battlefield. Tap it to watch an ad to get some Diamonds. They’re not much, but free is free.
Archer Forest does have AFK gains.
Your AFK gains are always proportional to the highest, hardest stage you’ve cleared. This means that you don’t need to worry about Rebirth messing up your AFK gains. As with most games, you can double your idle gains by watching an ad – make it a habit.
Get The Ad Block
If you’re in for the long haul, then the ad block will be an invaluable tool.
Veteran players of Archer Forest swear by the ad block. It’s not hard to see why – free and instant doubling of your AFK gains is just the tip of the iceberg. The ad block is a one-time payment, too.
One of the best perks of getting the ad block is how it makes auto production and merging free. You still have the option to watch an ad when doing this; doing so gives you better returns for your production and merging.
Man The Gates!
Archer Forest is a game that has a lot of interconnected systems beneath its cutesy surface, and with the knowledge imparted in this guide, you’ll be able to quickly find your footing and march onwards with your animal companions.
That concludes my Archer Forest beginner’s guide, and I hope you were able to learn something to help you get into the groove of the game. If you have any suggestions of your own or any tips and tricks to share, make yourself heard in the comment section below!