You most probably know Supercell as the company that gave you Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. Well, the company is back with something less fantasy-based and more modern urban-based, but with the same focus on multiplayer gameplay that you’ve probably come to expect. Brawl Stars is currently available for iOS devices only, and in just a few parts of the world as of this writing. But the game promises to be another winner from the mobile gaming giant. This is an exciting 3 vs. 3 MOBA title where you can take on other teams controlled by real people from all over the world, unlocking various game modes and characters with their own specific abilities. You can shoot ‘em up, blow ‘em up, and punch ‘em out in any of the four game modes, but whatever you decide to do, it’s all about beating the rest of the human competition and banding/eventually bonding with other players.
This is a brand-new game, and given the fact that it comes to us from Supercell, you’re probably eager to check it out for yourself and win some 3 vs. 3 fights with your friends, or other random players from around the world. But before you do that, we advise you to check out our Brawl Stars ultimate guide, where we cover just about every tip you need to know in order to succeed in all of the game’s modes.
1. Toggle Between The Different Control Modes
When you play Brawl Stars for the first time, you will be playing under the Tap to Move control mode, which means you can simply tap anywhere on your screen to move your character/hero/Brawler to where you want them to move to. This control mode appears to be better-suited to owners of larger phones, as well as tablets (only the iPad for now, unfortunately) — larger screen size means more room to maneuver around through this method. But if you own an iPhone without the “s” designation (read: a smaller iPhone), you may encounter some trouble, just as many players claim to have experienced.
In this case, you may want to try the Joystick Move control mode instead. That’s going to give you a small virtual joystick, which you can operate simply by holding your finger on the screen (anywhere on the screen and dragging it to move your Brawler. Go to the main menu, click on the Settings icon on the top left (the gear-like icon), then tap on the arrow button to switch from Tap to Move to Joystick Move, or vice versa. We suggest trying both control modes out for yourself to see which one works for you the best, then sticking to the one you’re most comfortable with going forward.
2. Why Else Should You Choose Joystick Over Tap?
As we mentioned above, your mileage may vary when talking about control systems. It’s going to be all up to you when it comes to choosing the control mode that works for you the best, but Joystick Move also works better for a lot of players because it allows them to strafe easier; Brawl Stars isn’t all about offense, as you need some defensive and evasive maneuvers as well. When strafing, it’s best to vary the distances and the angles you use, because if you get too predictable, opposing players will see you as an easy mark, and quite vulnerable in the grand scheme of things. Specifically, you would also want to strafe against close-contact Brawlers such as El Primo, as movement is critical so that you can avoid his powerful punches. With Joystick Move, it’s easier to elude El Primo, as Tap to Move doesn’t allow you such freedom.
3. Joystick Placement Is Also Critical
Another key thing to remember about Joystick Move is the importance of placing the joystick properly. You don’t want it to be too close to the edge of the screen, as you won’t be able to extend it too far, therefore limiting the room you have to move around. Also keep in mind that taps would allow you to shoot if your fingers aren’t on the screen; holding/moving would activate the joystick. The first finger to touch your phone or tablet’s screen will always be the joystick finger, in the event both your fingers tap on the screen at the same time.
4. Does The Joystick Make It Harder For You To Aim?
Some players, on the other hand, prefer Tap to Move, because of the school of thought suggesting that the joystick makes it difficult to get a good aim at enemy Brawlers. That’s actually not the case, as the fact that you can activate the joystick from anywhere could work to your advantage, and not disadvantage. Some players have come up with a technique called “two-finger joystick,” which means you will be using the usual fingers to move yourself upwards on the map, but if you need to move down, you’ll need to switch fingers in such a way that the joystick finger moves on top, while the aiming finger moves to the bottom. It’s more difficult than it sounds, but mastering this technique is important to help give you an advantage against more experienced players.
5. You Might Want To Use Tap To Move If You’re A Beginner
We’ve already covered both movement schemes above, especially the Joystick Move option. But what about Tap to Move? We wouldn’t really recommend it once you’ve gotten to a more advanced level of skill in the game, but if you’re starting out and are still used to being stationary while on the attack, Tap may be the preferable option.
6. Familiarize Yourself With Each Of The Brawlers
We will be dealing with the topic of the Brawlers of Brawl Stars in a separate article, but we’re going to be touching on them nonetheless in this ultimate guide, while keeping things short and sweet. It’s always a good idea to know the Brawlers you’ll be controlling, as well as the Brawlers opposing players control, and to read up on them and their Super Abilities. But hands-on gameplay is another good way to see which one works for you the best; you’ll never know which Brawler suits your play style the best unless you use them.
For a few brief words on what to expect from the basic Brawlers, we can give you a couple examples. Brock, for instance, is a ranged sniper with a rocket launcher as his main weapon, while his Super Ability is the Shoulder Rocket, which is great for those long-range attacks. Meanwhile, Barley would be the Brawler to use if area-of-effect is your thing; his Super engulfs the ground in flames, allowing him to take care of as many opposing Brawlers as possible in one go.
7. Range Matters A Lot When You’re Mastering A New Character
Talking about mastering new characters in Brawl Stars, you would normally want to use the Joystick option when using a Brawler for the first time. Swiping and holding before you release your finger will be of help, as you’ll see a white line pointing toward the direction you’re aiming at. Take note of this, as this represents your Brawler’s attack range — be mindful of this, especially if you’re using a ranged or AOE Brawler. To give you a few examples, you won’t get much range (just a short, wide cone) from Shelly, as she’s a close-contact Brawler who’s armed with a shotgun. Colt, on the other hand, has a much longer range as a sniper, which will be evident by the long, straight line you see when swiping-and-holding.
8. Read Your Opponents To Ensure Yourself Of Better Shots
Another benefit of swiping-and-holding to attack is having the ability to see where your shots will land. Bear in mind that it would take time for attacks to commence and bullets to hit their targets, and also remember that the average Brawl Stars player likes to move around the map. That means it’s not a good idea to fire at an enemy Brawler with the assumption that they’ll stand their ground; what you should do instead is to lead and “read,” or in other words, lead your shots and read your opponents by predicting will they will be moving.
This strategy would be best employed in the Smash & Grab and Heist game modes. As you can be sure that your opponents will be targeting the crystals in the former mode and the safe in the latter, you’ll have a good idea where they’re going; think of this as “practice” mode for the “lead and read” technique we mentioned above. You can also use this if someone else has you in hot pursuit — fire your weapon backward while you move forward, and you’ll likely see the enemy Brawler eat a bullet and be none the wiser. But don’t expect to get this technique down pat overnight; it takes a lot of practice reading enemy Brawlers, and leading shots isn’t always the easiest thing to do in most situations.
9. Log In At Least Once A Day
Even if you have no intention or free time to actually fight a battle in Brawl Stars, it still pays to make sure you’re logging in at least once a day, even for a brief moment to claim some rewards. This could be done simply by revealing a new event; you’ll get 8 coins by revealing the next upcoming event, and won’t even have to take part in any kind of Brawl to earn those coins. It’s not much, but it could easily add up over time. We should also tell you that with 100 coins, you can open up a Brawl Box, which comes with either one of two things — a new Brawler unlocked, or Elixir, which you will use to upgrade the Brawlers who are already on your roster. (Of course, it’s a Supercell game, so there’s got to be Elixir somewhere, right?)
10. Other Ways To Earn Coins
Aside from the above method, which is the simplest and least time-consuming way to earn coins, you can also play the currently unlocked events. Even if you end up losing in the events, you’ll still earn something, though it’s always best if you win, as you can earn bigger rewards. There is a cap, however, to the amount of coins you can earn per event— hitting this cap means you’ll have to wait till a new event is revealed if you want to earn coins again.
You can also level up your player account, which is done through the EXP you earn by playing the game. EXP is awarded regardless of a brawl’s outcome, and as we will mention in a bit, even if you brawl against AI enemies. Leveling up can earn you coins as a reward.
Ranking up is not to be confused with leveling up your player account, as this pertains to your Brawlers. Any Brawlers used when beating real players in a battle will earn trophies which go toward their rank, and coins are also awarded once you’re able to rank up a Brawler.
11. What’s In It For You In Each Game Mode?
At this point, we might as well begin discussing the four game modes, and differentiating each of them for your easy reference.
Bounty is the first game mode in Brawl Stars, and this is a mode wherein you earn one point for each opposing Brawler your team kills. Each point/kill would increase the number of stars above their head, or the “bounty” associated with each Brawler. And if you kill a Brawler that has a bounty over their head, your team ends up earning their stars. For example, if you kill an enemy Brawler who has a five-star bounty, you’ll end up getting five points for your team.
Smash & Grab will take place in that part of the map where crystals are produced every few seconds or so. First off, each team will have to compete to be the first to collect 10 crystals. While it may seem like that’s it, a countdown will actually start after the first team has reached the 10-crystal mark. Your goal would then be to keep the crystals until the countdown timer runs out, and prevent the opposing team’s Brawlers from knocking crystals out of your hands, while trying to knock crystals out of THEIR hands if they’re the ones who reach the 10-crystal mark first. This, of course, would require killing the opposing brawler.
Heist mode will require one team to play the offensive role, and another team to play defense. Think of this as Brawl Stars’ version of Capture the Flag, as it’s the offense’s job to destroy the safe that’s being guarded by the defense. The offensive team wins if they destroy the safe before the timer runs out, but the defensive team wins if the safe remains up, even with just a sliver of health remaining, once time is up.
Lastly, Showdown is a more intensive game mode that goes beyond the usual 3-vs-3 brawls; in here, it’s 10 players in a free-for-all setting, with a poison cloud hovering over all of you and progressively spreading throughout the map. You can pick up Elixirs from the crates or from dead Brawlers, allowing you to upgrade within the scope of the brawl. And if you’re wondering about the objective, your only goal here is to survive as long as possible.
12. Hone Your Skills Or Practice In Bot Brawl Mode
Although Brawl Stars sells itself through the multiplayer battles you can take part in — this is a MOBA, after all — there are various match types across each of the four game modes, namely Bot Brawl, Co-Op Brawl, and Brawl. As you can see, there is an option in here that allows you to fight AI enemies.
As the name suggests, Bot Brawl will have you taking part in matches against computer-controlled enemies, though the catch here is that your two teammates will also be AI bots. Given that the computer opponents tend to be very predictable and simplistic in their strategies, this is the perfect opportunity for you to try out new tactics for yourself, without anything at stake. You can also quit at any time in this mode with no consequence to yourself or to any other human player, which means rage-quitting is fine if the new tactics you devised aren’t passing muster.
Conversely, standard Brawl mode features 3-on-3 battles pitting three human players against another team of three real people. This is where the action is, so to say, and this is where everything you practiced in Bot Brawl can be translated into a “real world” situation; this is also the least predictable, as every real player has their own distinct strategy and set of tendencies. This is where the stakes are high, but if you want to get a feel for things without putting anything on the line, Bot Brawl is where it’s at.
13. Co-Op Brawl – The Best Of Both Worlds
Of course, you may find it better to practice alongside other real players, because teamwork is essential for success in Brawl Stars, and you may be wanting to see if you and your human teammates can work as a team when the going gets tough. In this mode, you’ll still be facing a team of three AI enemies, so choose this mode if you’re more interested in testing those new strategies out as a team.
Like Bot Brawl (fortunately) and Brawl, Co-Op Brawl will reward you with EXP and coins; this means regardless of your chosen brawl type, you’ll still be winning something at the end of the day. But as we mentioned, Brawl is high-stakes MOBA action in the truest sense, and that means you can win trophies if you’re victorious, and also lose trophies if you get defeated.
14. Keep A Close Eye On The Circles
Each of the Brawlers in any given match will have blue or red circles around them; a blue circle represents a friendly Brawler who’s on your side, while red circles, of course, designate enemy Brawlers. Look out as well for secondary circles, also colored blue or red to designate the team; these signify that a Super attack is all ready to launch. Aside from that, you’ve also got yellow circles, which mean that a player has chosen their Super, and are most likely preparing to unleash it. Anyone can tap on the button again to deselect the Super, but if the circle is yellow, get ready to move, as that could mean a powerful attack heading your way in any second.
15. There Is A Method To The Madness When Using A Super
Tapping the button does not automatically mean that you will be launching your Super; instead, you have to actually launch the attack manually. Even if it’s a healing ability, you’ll still have to activate, then use the Super, as healing would require you to aim at the target Brawler. So what does this mean as far as keeping your Supers as sneaky as possible goes? Well, we would recommend that you only hit the Super button just before you launch the attack. Or you can hit the Super button and save the attack for later, if you’re simply trying to psyche out an enemy Brawler.
16. The More Brawlers, The Merrier
Is Brawl Stars one of those games where you should not really focus on unlocking too many new characters, instead sticking to those tried-and-true options due to the prohibitive costs of upgrading and/or the difficulty in learning a new character? Fortunately, that’s not the case if you’re the type who likes collecting new characters. More Brawlers means more game modes unlocked, and a chance to earn even more coins. Once you’ve got three Brawlers, you can unlock a second game mode slot, and once you’ve got five and seven respectively, the third and fourth slots become available.
More unlocked Brawlers, might we add, also allows you to have more options when it comes to finding your favorite. You may find out that the new Brawler you unlocked is actually more compatible to your play style than the one you had previously designated as your favorite, while also learning about how to counter that same Brawler if he/she is used by an opposing player.
Another advantage of having more Brawlers is the possibility of discovering characters who work better in certain game modes. For example, DynaMike might not be a good choice for Bounty mode, but he may be a better option to use if you’re playing Heist or Smash & Grab.
Aside from opening Brawl Boxes, you can buy them with Chips, which are a premium form of currency in the game.
17. Use Your Super Wisely
Each Brawler, as previously mentioned, has their own Super Ability, which can take a while to unlock, and be quite draining to use in terms of energy. It pays to practice launching Supers while in Bot Brawl, because you should make absolutely sure that you don’t miss your shots when you’re up against real players; loading up your Super doesn’t come easy, after all! Time your attacks, and once again, try your best to read the enemy’s moves before you can even think of attacking.
18. Here’s The Only Way For You To Regenerate Health Automatically
Although it is possible to heal teammates or to have them heal you, automatic health regeneration only takes place under two conditions that need to happen at the same time — nobody should be hitting you, while you yourself shouldn’t be attacking either. It’s a rather strange mechanic, but it does encourage hit-and-run tactics; you may want to try a quick shot at the enemy if you’re low on health, before moving back to a safe distance, not firing at anyone, and healing up/refilling your ammo.
19. Teamwork Tips For Multiple Game Modes
The beauty of MOBA games is that they encourage teamwork and cooperation, thus allowing you to really interact with the other real players taking part in these games.
When playing in Bounty or Smash & Grab mode, you’ll want to keep in mind the number of stars over your heads in the former, or number of crystals your team is carrying in the latter. That means you shouldn’t be too aggressive if you’ve got the upper hand; doing so may only cause you to lose your advantage. Play it safe if you’re ahead, and focus on staying alive. On the other hand, you should also be protecting and defending teammates who have more crystals or a higher bounty on their heads than they do. Don’t give away where these teammates are located in any way, as enemy Brawlers could easily target them to turn the tide in battle.
As for Heist, it’s all going to depend on whether you’re on the offensive or defensive team, but your focus in any case would be on the safe. It wouldn’t hurt to “take one for the team” if it means increasing your chances of destroying or protecting the safe before time runs out; as is the case in most other MOBA games, you’ll re-spawn anyway and be able to re-enter the fray once that happens.
Generally speaking, you should adapt to your teammates’ strengths and weaknesses, taking advantage of the former and filling the gaps when it comes to the latter. For instance, you should be near Nita (who has a bear as a “pet”) or Poco (who has a powerful Super) if you’re low on health and needing to stay around a little longer. And if you’ve got an AOE skill, you’ll want to aim your Supers in such a way that your skills work against as many enemies as possible. Also check the bushes for enemies that may be in hiding before a teammate heads in for the kill.
All in all, you should be treating Brawl Stars as if it was an actual team sport, not thinking much of individual accolades (even if there are such “MVP awards” after each brawl), but rather of your team’s overall success.
Naturally, there’s no need for any sort of teamwork whatsoever if you’re playing Showdown. It’s every Brawler for themselves in Showdown, so you’ve got only yourself to look out for in that particular mode.
20. Map Positioning Is Vital
Now that we’re moving on to the more advanced side of Brawl Stars, we ought to tell you as well about how it’s important to have optimal power positioning on the map. In layman’s terms, power positions are those points on the map where you can confidently fire away at the enemy without putting yourself at much risk of getting blown away. Usually, these would be in the middle part of the map, and would also allow you ample space to get away if the enemy gets you in a compromising spot.
You also need to have map control in order to ensure yourself of victory in most brawls, regardless of mode. That would require having two of you, or all of you, in varying power positions. What you want here is to block enemy paths and to properly use the concept of lanes in MOBA gaming; for instance, each of you would need to have lines of sight to a lane on the map, allowing you to be ready whenever an enemy emerges or spawns.
21. Do Not Go Toe-To-Toe For The Kill
We probably should have mentioned this earlier, but it is also very important that you don’t go head-to-head against an enemy and chase them just so you could blast them off into kingdom come. Any MOBA player will tell you that this would often result in the enemy running off to their base to heal up, or effectively luring you toward their teammates, allowing the opposing team to finish you off, instead of you finishing that one player off. That’s an easy way to give the enemy map control, and to turn the tide in their direction. Only chase after an enemy if you’ve got a teammate who can also cover your power position for a brief period of time, but in most cases, it’s best not to get tempted into doing this.
22. Pre-Firing As An Advanced Shooting Technique
Earlier, we told you about how you can try predicting where the enemy will be heading to before firing at them. We also mentioned the process of path aiming earlier, as we talked about how it could be a good idea to see the path the bullet is headed to before actually firing. But there are a few other advanced techniques you can try out while playing Brawl Star, such as pre-firing, which would entail firing your weapon into an open area where enemies may potentially walk into. They would then either be forced to walk into the shot, or wait until the coast is clear, but in any case, you’ll end up firing the first shot, while usually having a psychological advantage over your opponent. Just be careful not to waste all your shots in one go when using this strategy!
23. Edge Walking As An Evasive Maneuver
Our next advanced tip is primarily designed for Showdown mode, which, as you know, is the free-for-all game mode where you’re up against nine other players, with every man and woman for themselves. Edge walking is a technique where you move along the edge of a wall that has grass on the opposite side. This would allow you to flush out anyone who may be hiding in that grassy area, and if the coast is clear, you can then move to that spot. Although it’s possible that an enemy Brawler may be hidden so cleverly that you cannot see them behind the grass, you will most likely be able to gain better positioning against them.
24. The Tilted Battle Technique
Last, but certainly not the least, the tilted battle technique is another good way to throw off your opponents. This is based on the premise that both you and the enemy Brawler do not want to make the first move, and are trying to outwit the other by gaining the strategic advantage in the brawl. That’s where you can try a little variant on good old evasive tactics by walking toward the corner ever-so-slightly, then backing up. Keep on repeating this action until they end up firing at you and missing. That’s going to put you up 3-2 in terms of bullets, and that one-bullet advantage could be key for you going forward into the battle.