If you have been an avid mobile gamer for quite some time, and have played more mobile games than you can possible count or even remember, then it is highly likely that you have spent time on at least a couple of Gameloft’s titles. Gameloft has been among the pioneers in the mobile gaming industry, developing and publishing mobile games for over a decade.
Asphalt 9: Legends, Disney Magic Kingdoms and Minion Rush are just 3 of Gameloft’s 64-strong app portfolio. With well over 1 billion downloads of its games from the Google Play Store alone and consistent positive average user review ratings maintained across both Android and iOS platform users, it can be expected that every new release from the company is worth peeking into.
Auto Defense is one of Gameloft’s newest titles available for iOS and Android platforms. At first glance, Auto Defense may seem like your typical tower defense game but its uniqueness and extra addictive factor lies in the synergy system that applies to your turrets. Auto Defense is certainly enjoyable for players with different ages and levels of expertise, especially for people who love applying strategic planning and quick wits. Though sheer brilliance and flawless tactics will not always win the battle, no challenge will be insurmountable for the patient and determined defender.
You can expect a lot of challenge as you defend your tower in Auto Defense one wave after another. There is a quick and simple tutorial session provided and the controls and interface are equally easy to understand and navigate. Considering everything, the number of towers available early on is perhaps the only overwhelming factor but once you get to know each one, the basic understanding part is pretty much covered.
There are different ways to set your defenses up and clear waves but the probability of success greatly depends on how you strategize. And there’s where we come in, as our Auto Defense beginner’s guide features loads of tips, tricks and strategies to have the best turrets and keep the alien invaders at bay!
1. Get To Know Each Turret
You will be starting out your tower defense adventure with just a handful of turrets but you can expect the early rewards to pump the numbers up rapidly especially in the early stages of your journey. Before you dive into the next challenge, get to know each of the turrets you have already unlocked. Although you can still view each one’s details in the field, maintaining focus on the battle at hand is very critical for every wave defense.
In addition to each turret’s name and unique appearance, you need to check important stats like damage, range, and fire rate. Additionally, having a solid memory of what their synergy effect is will help you decide how to best utilize each one of them in the battlefield.
We initially had the impression that the Pistolero, being your first turret, is as basic as it gets and would probably just be around to receive synergy buffs from some turrets based on its position. Upon checking its synergy info on the turrets page, we realized that the Pistolero can actually benefit other turrets with a synergy buff that increases the bullet speed by 20%.
Another important information to keep in mind is a turret’s rarity grade. Turrets in Auto Defense fall within 1 of 4 rarity grades, which are common (gray), rare (green), epic (purple), and legendary (red). At base level, rarity grades determine a turret’s superiority as far as stats and synergy effects are concerned.
Rarity grades also determine a turret’s cost in the battlefield so you can expect legendary ones to cost a lot more than common ones. Likewise, considering the relative shortage of coins early on in the battle stages, you can expect lower grade turrets to become available for deployment in the early waves while the higher grade ones will frequently appear towards the latter stages.
2. Upgrade Your Turrets As Much As You Can
Unlocking new turrets to add to your arsenal is just the beginning of strengthening your defensive capabilities in Auto Defense. The collection aspect, which carries with it an addictive and exciting element, lets you earn additional cards or copies of each turret. These extra copies are used to upgrade the turrets, giving them an instant boost to their stats. The availability of an upgrade can be easily determined as you will see an indicator atop the “Upgrades” icon at the lower right side of the screen.
In addition to the extra copies of turret cards you need for each upgrade, you will also need to spend bolts, which is the basic currency, as part of the cost. In many games that come with an upgrade feature, especially ones like Auto Defense where higher grade options exist, there will always be hesitation to go all out on performing upgrades. The inclination to save for later is undeniably a valid recourse for the most part as you will surely secure stronger turrets that are worth upgrading and ensuring you have enough coins when the time comes does seem like a logical reason.
In Auto Defense, we recommend that you upgrade turrets as much as you can. If there are several turrets you can upgrade but can only afford to spend coins on some of them, then that would be the only time to pause for a moment before deciding. Each world or level in Auto Defense holds a long stretch of waves with the first one having 30 waves to conquer. If you were unable to clear the whole 30 waves, it will be likely that you will have the same performance as before without any upgrades on the turrets that you use.
Rarity grades accorded to each turret do not just categorize them in terms of superiority in stats and synergy effects. It can be expected that turrets of a higher rarity grade will be more difficult to unlock, and once you start obtaining extra cards to upgrade turrets, the same probabilities will hold through. This means that you will wind up with a plethora of duplicate cards to upgrade common turrets and the rate of duplicate cards you earn will dwindle as the rarity grade of turrets go higher.
Epic and legendary grade turrets start out with better stats than their counterparts in lower rarity grades but considering the effect of having more upgrades performed on the latter, you can have stronger lower grade turrets than higher grade ones. This is again reason enough for you to invest as much as you can in any turret available for upgrade.
In addition to having stronger turrets at your disposal, every upgrade you perform earns you EXP to level up your account. Each level up increases your tower’s HP, enabling it to take more beating from the alien waves.
3. Master The Basics Of Auto Defense
Even for experienced and veteran tower defense enthusiasts, Auto Defense still leaves plenty of room for experience and growth, especially as far as strategizing in the battlefield is concerned. Although the quick tutorial makes the basics easy to understand, the tactical aspect of Auto Defense’s gameplay is broader in comparison with most games in the genre. As such, there is a lot to learn and remember to ensure a higher rate of success across the waves of enemies.
Before starting your run on any world, a set of recommended synergies will be presented to you. While success does not necessarily require strict adherence to the recommendations, taking note of it and capitalizing on its advantages in the battlefield can increase chances of survival and victory. Pair that up with a decent level of familiarity with each turret at your disposal will further increase efficiency in combat.
Each world map comes with a distinct layout of slots where you can deploy turrets. You will initially be only able to deploy 3 turrets and you need to level up to unlock an additional slot. 3 turrets are initially available for purchase and deployment as well. Coins are required to level up, purchase a turret, and refresh the list of available turrets for purchase and deployment. Coins are earned with every enemy you eliminate and there are turrets as well that help generate coins over time.
The map layout, from a strategic standpoint, is not limited to the actual placement of slots where turrets can be deployed. Some of these slots are connected to one another and arrows depict how synergy will flow from one turret to the next. This is a crucial aspect of the game and will have a huge impact on how your turrets, as a group, will perform across different waves. What happens is that arrows are directed towards the recipient of the synergy buff, which means that some turrets may only be providers while others can receive synergy effects from multiple sources.
The idea of synergy effects can appear similar in instance where you can exchange positions between 2 turrets. For example, a long range turret receiving a synergy effect from another turret that has a freezing effect will appear to have the same effect vice versa. In a way, a turret that can freeze having longer range will basically perform the same way and you may be inclined to just go with whichever way, believing that both ways are absolutely identical. This, however, is not the case.
Keep in mind that only special abilities of turrets are passed down towards the synergy receiver so individual stats will often play a vital role as to which turret ought to be the receiver of the synergy buff. The assassin gun and combat rifle, for example, have hive damage outputs compared to the rest of the turrets and if you value damage over everything, then they should be at the core of your setup.
Deploying them as a support to another turret gives the receiving turret a 30% damage increase, which may or may not result in higher DPS. As for other effects, let us take the ice pistol as an example. Ice pistols slow down targets by 50% for 2.25 seconds and turrets receiving their synergy buff will only slow down enemies by 46% for 2 seconds.
Knowing exactly what each turret does on their own, the synergy buffs they can pass on to receiving turrets, and the priority abilities you want to set up are all equally important as you decide on how to set up your defense. Although availability of turrets come at random during battles, having set up your perfect defense in mind as the battle ensues will lead you towards better performance on each battle.
4. Always Prepare To Merge Turrets
Being able to level up fully and having full utilization of all available turret slots can certainly bring a sigh of relief. The initial wave of enemies and having very limited slots for you to deploy turrets on will have you setting sights on leveling up to unlock an extra slot. To some extent, it will feel very natural to have all slots loaded with turrets as your short term goal in every battle.
Auto Defense has merge elements that further spice up strategies in battle. Dragging similar turrets together merges them and creates a much stronger version of themselves. The turrets’ grade in this case will be indicated by a star and similar turrets of the same star level can be merged together. You may tend to forget about this mechanic as a beginner, but Auto Defense provides indicators that will notify you when a newly purchased turret can be merged with a similar one deployed on the field.
To a large extent, especially as waves of enemies grow more challenging as you make progress, successful defenses will rely more and more heavily on the star levels of the turrets you deploy, making merges a very crucial part of your survival and successful run. The first level of merging is practically a giveaway as you can directly drag a newly purchased turret to where the identical one is. This will not require you to have an empty turret slot to deploy to first prior to merging.
A 2-star merge, on the other hand, can already be a big challenge to pull for the uninitiated. Since turrets you purchase start at having 0 stars, you will need a vacant turret slot first to deploy and merge 2 copies of the same turret before you can merge the 1-star turret to a similar one. You can naturally expect that higher star levels will require even more open turret slots.
For efficiency, always stand ready for the next level merges. It is still recommended to utilize all available turret slots in the field but at the very least identify which ones will be let go first in the event that you will need an open slot. You can discard deployed turrets by dragging them back down to the shop. You will receive a few coins as compensation as well.
5. Learn To Change Tactics Fast
Different deployment choices, random availabilities of turrets, and the ability to merge turrets together all contribute to making each new run in the battle campaign, as well as other game modes, a unique experience. All these game mechanics, however, do not make up the entirety of what to expect in Auto Defense in terms of providing players with an ultimate test of strategic capabilities.
A turret deployed on a specific spot are typically permanent stations in conventional tower defense games but in Auto Defense, being able to make adjustments to each turret’s deployment is one of the game’s extra challenging but rewarding features.
Regardless of your turrets’ individual levels and how you were able to set them up on the battlefield, Auto Defense has a clever way of making each run a lively, volatile one. It is a given that higher waves of enemies are stronger and that there are boss battles to prepare for every 10 stages. Beyond that, however, you will notice that just because the previous wave seems too easy does not mean that the next one will only be slightly more challenging.
Once you have set up all available turret slots and seem to have arrived at a perfect defense, an upcoming wave will certainly prove that a different setup will be more efficient. Enemies all come down towards your tower from the top of the screen, but where exactly they spawn from and the how the concentration of mobs appear makes it necessary to make adjustments to your setup from time to time.
Despite the presence of turrets that have long range, there will never be an instance where one turret can reach every spot on the visible field. In this sense, the turret or turrets that you depend on to be the main death bringers will not be equally utilized or relied on across every wave. If your main guns, for example are situated at the middle of the battle map and mobs of enemies have gone past beyond their line of sight, then you should consider relocating them to where they can dish out the most damage.
Considering these predicaments, setting up your turrets for a perfect defense hardly means reaching a finalized, constant setup. Rather, what you need to be always ready for are setups where shifts in turret locations can be done to optimize damage outputs from all areas of the map.
6. Expend Attempts In Duo Mode To Hone Your Skills
Auto Defense is an adventure where you can hone your strategies as well as pick up new ones. Even with all the tips and strategies we can share in this guide, there are certainly plenty more that are best learned from your own experience. The main campaign battle mode as well as the event stages both have their own share of learnings to impart but Auto Defense’s Duo Mode allows you to learn from other players like yourself.
Duo Mode is a real-time co-op game mode where you get to team up with a random player and take on a special set of mobs. The gameplay pace is a lot faster compared to the other game modes so it is a good idea to rack up some experience in the single player modes first as preparation.
You will be assigned to handle the 2 leftmost aisles of turret slots although synergy effects are not limited to each player’s respective side. It takes 40 points to earn a reward and the feat is difficult to pull in one attempt. In any case, you will have a maximum of 5 attempts and tickets replenish over time.
Beyond the actual chest rewards, it is important to try and learn from your partner in each Duo Mode run. As a beginner, chances are that you will be paired with a better player as can be seen through the comparative damages that you both have garnered.
Regardless of whether or not the other player is performing better than you, seeing a turret combination other than your own will certainly leave you with insights. In some cases, it may be helpful in giving you ideas on what synergy combos to try and on the other, deployment decisions that you may want to avoid.
Do not shy away from partaking Duo Mode just because you feel that you might pull the other player’s performance down or vice versa. Both players will surely benefit from the co-op experience beyond the points and rewards earned.
7. Partake In Special Events
If the main campaign battle mode serves as your training ground to learn and develop your strategies and the duo mode introduces you to another player’s tactics you can learn from, then Auto Defense’s events serve as ultimate testing ground of everything that you have learned. This does not mean that you should only engage in the special and daily events when you can consider yourself an expert as you should likewise expend limited attempts to partake in these events as much as you can.
Daily and special events are like unique dungeons that offer creative ways to make a tower defense gameplay even more challenging. If there are similarities between the 2 types of events, it is that you play to earn points and points earned unlock rewards. You can expect a lot of great rewards from these events especially if you are active. You should not be easily discouraged by a lackluster performance as these challenges are really tough as nails.
For the current special event, Haremageddon, as an example, it will certainly feel like you just jumped into the mid-part of a campaign world’s set of stages. You need to think fast and deploy turrets faster. The bunny bosses have unique abilities, like shuffling turrets within their range. A daily event called No Man’s Land, as another example, sets your tower right at the center of the map with enemies coming in and moving across different directions.
Regardless of your performance in any of these events, it will certainly give you more skill and courage to give the campaign world another run so be sure to partake in each of them as much as you can and further sharpen your wits and strategies with each run.
8. Accomplish Daily Tasks And Achievements
Actively replaying the main campaign battles and expending attempts on both Duo Mode and Special Events earn you instant rewards outright. With 39 turrets to unlock and upgrade and 9 worlds to conquer in battle mode, Auto Defense certainly paves a long road for you to trek on.
Progress can be aptly felt every step of the way and even if the upgrade costs exponentially increase with every bit of progress you make, the immediate rewards you can earn from your efforts aptly sustain growth.
Beyond the login bonuses and immediate rewards, however, Auto Defense provides players with extra means of gaining more resources and 2 of these come in the form of the daily tasks and achievements. You can access both these features by clicking on their respective icons at the bottom of the battle page. Daily quests and achievements work differently but both sets of objectives are directly in line with the usual activities you engage in on a regular basis.
Daily quests come in sets of 3 objectives and you need to accomplish 30 objectives to earn an epic grade treasure chest. You need to clear all 3 objectives for a new set to appear but if for some reason you are unable to accomplish some of them, you can refresh the list after watching a short video ad. The instant refresh attempts are limited, though, so try your best to accomplish each task on the list.
Achievements, on the other hand, provides a long list of milestones for you to break and often comes in tiers, meaning that accomplishing a certain feat will unlock a more challenging one of a similar nature. Most of these feats are naturally accomplished following your natural progression. It can be expected that some will take time to reach, particularly targets lodged on latter worlds.
Regardless of the task, it is best to check on the list in its entirety. Using the achievements list as your guide towards progression can help you accomplish some of them faster. You are rewarded a chest for every 10 achievement objectives met and the sooner you grab these rewards, the better it will be for you.
9. Take Advantage Of Ad Boosts
Video ads in free-to-play mobile games is nothing new and if you are still relatively a beginner when it comes to mobile games, then it becomes important to understand the rationale behind the existence of ads. Mobile games that can be played and enjoyed absolutely free primarily rely on micro transactions or premium services for them to continuously be available for everyone to enjoy. In the absence of premium offers or lack of reliance on any of them, ads are either an alternative or a support.
Fortunately enough in the case of Auto Defense, there are neither video ads that pop up while you are playing nor ads that you will be forced to play or watch. Instead, there are ad boosts that can tremendously speed up your progression and, for the most part, you would want more of it if you have enjoyed the game.
One of the best and biggest ad boost can be accessed via the shop. There are treasure chests you can obtain for watching an ad and you can open 4 common chests and one legendary chest by playing a 15 to 30-second video ad for each of them. This opportunity to earn free chest refreshes once every 6 hours so if you are up for rapid progression, especially in terms of turret upgrades, then you should definitely take advantage of this feature.
Another equally valuable ad boost presents itself following your base’s collapse in a campaign run. You will normally have to start over and battle through the first wave but a free revival can be earned if you choose to subscribe to another ad boost. Doing so will replay the last wave of your run with your tower’s health back to its max value. There may be instances when you will still fail to conquer the stage but any second chance is an opportunity that should not be missed.
We mentioned earlier that a boss level appears once every 10 levels. These waves are certainly more challenging than other waves but another ad boost can provide you with a breather to help you for the next set of waves. Playing an ad at this point will let you spin the lucky wheel for random rewards. You can earn coins to help fun your turret purchases and other expenses in battle but the best reward is an instant star grade increase for a random turret. This is especially helpful if all your turrets are already at 1 or 2 stars. Regardless of your fortune in the lucky wheel, any reward is certainly helpful for the battles moving forward.
Within the battle page, there is also an opportunity to spin the premium wheel at the cheap cost of playing a short video ad. You can earn bolts, gems, or even a treasure chest. You will most certainly never run out of needs for bolts. Premium currency is always a welcomed treat and any chest opened almost guarantees a new upgrade that follows.
And that sums up all the tips, tricks and strategies we have collected for Auto Defense. Again, as much as are confident that each tip and strategy we discussed above should propel your progress in your adventure to new heights, there are definitely a lot to learn from each run you engage in. If you have spent as much time in the world of Auto Defense as we did and stumbled upon some cool tricks of your own, do not hesitate to drop us one down in the comments!