Initially launched as Empires & Puzzles RPG Quest, Small Giant Games’ Empires & Puzzles: Epic Match 3 continues to remain strong after almost 5 years since its launch back in 2016. With well over 50 million downloads from the Google Play Store alone and maintaining largely positive average user review ratings from both iOS and Android platform users, the charming mix of match-3 puzzle, role-playing, and camp-building elements that Empires & Puzzles showcases certainly fills players’ needs for a variety of activities and challenges in their adventure.
Now, if you have just started playing the game and want to jumpstart your progression through its various stages and challenges, or if you are a returning player who wants to be updated on the latest tips and strategies, then read on as our detailed Empires & Puzzles guide (2021 Update) features tips and strategies to help you dominate every challenge in the game.
As Empires & Puzzles has been around for quite some time, we have previously written helpful guides on it. Be sure to read our earlier strategy guides as well, as the tips and strategies we shared in those articles can still be applied today.
1. Prioritize Progression Through The Campaign
Although you will find yourself multitasking or at the very list switching between upgrading your kingdom, tending to your heroes, and engaging in puzzle battles as you dive into the world of Empires & Puzzles, the campaign is to be considered as the most important aspect of the game.
All other activities are important too but given the in-game stamina that you consume with every campaign battle you engage in, and given as well that the limit is rather low for starters, you would want to ensure that your stamina does not reach max capacity as it will stop replenishing when it reaches its cap.
The campaign mode can be accessed via the “map” icon at the lower left side of the screen. The story campaign is divided across 23 provinces with each one offering greater challenges than the previous one. Each province consists of numerous stages as well with a boss stage at the end of it. There are naturally resources to be obtained through each battle and you are very much free to replay or instantly complete previously beaten stages.
Unlike conventional and purely RPG adventures, progressing through the campaign in Empires & Puzzles takes a lot of work and strategy. The initial group of heroes you have will start experiencing difficulties as you progress through the third region. With some work on the team you build, as well as strategizing around each move in battle, you can still win against stronger opponents.
Likewise, do not hesitate to replay previously beaten stages to farm for extra resources if you cannot defeat the current stage.
2. Always Maintain A Balanced Team
The hero mechanics of Empires & Puzzles may appear simple at first, but as you make progress early on and experience tough battles, you will come to realize just how important it is to have a well-rounded and synergistic team roster. To begin with, the first five heroes you will recruit and have on your team is okay, but given that they are of the lowest tiers or grade means that you will have to switch them out as you earn stronger heroes.
There are basically 2 important traits to consider when choosing which heroes to include in your main team and rarity is actually not even one of these considerations. Higher grade heroes are stronger and have more potential, but then each hero’s elemental affinity and special ability are more important than rarity.
To start off, elemental affinity is the most important point to consider as you will always have to consider one representative on your team for each of the 5 elements. The color of the gem or tile you successfully match in the puzzle provides energy to the hero of the same color and each gem’s base damage is reflective of the hero’s strength.
Well technically, you can use a full team of fire elemental heroes. Every successful match you create out of red gems will add energy to each one of them and the damage that red gem matches inflict will be powerful. However, all other tile matches you create will have zero damage on enemies, even against those who are weak against fire.
Even a full team of heroes with a couple of them sharing the same elemental affinity leaves you at a disadvantage. This is because the puzzles are randomly generated and there will always be assorted tiles that represent all 5 colors.
Given the size of each puzzle and the number of tiles on it, it is highly improbable for you to never have to rely on any specific color. Ultimately, you cannot work around deviating from the standard roster of having each element represented by heroes within your team.
Next to elemental affinity is the hero’s role or class, which determines the function of the hero supposedly aimed towards a more cohesive team rather than an independent unit. There are fighters, barbarians, rogues, paladins, monks, rangers, wizards, and clerics. While some special abilities may seem tied up to a hero’s class, it is best to more specifically look into each hero’s special ability to determine their role in combat.
The most basic necessity is to have at least two to three heroes that specializes in dealing damage. There are heroes that deal damage as well as inflict status ailments on enemies. Some heroes can deal damage to multiple enemies. It is important to have someone who can provide healing to the party as well.
As potions require limited resources and time to craft, you would want to boost your team’s survival through one hero’s ability to recover lost health in combat. There are support units as well that can either boost the team’s offensive prowess or defensive strength. These units can be utilized well across a variety of scenarios.
Empires & Puzzles is designed in such a way that switching one hero with another may impact the rest of the team in that you may also have to substitute some of the other heroes. Suppose that you currently have a 1-star fire elemental hero in your team that you are considering to replace with a newly-recruited 3-star hero.
Conventionally, that would seem like the viable option to take. Consider the scenario, however, if your 1-star fire elemental hero is the designated healer for the team. Simply switching her out will not be as acceptable as an option unless you will switch in another healer for one of your other heroes.
In most cases, you will have to consider making roster changes while maintaining the balance of roles within the team. As you make changes, it is best to test them out on a stage you have previously conquered as well. While one of the more appealing goals when it comes to building a team is exhibited by the squad’s overall power, you should be open to occasional reduction in numbers if necessary.
3. Be Very Selective When Upgrading Heroes
One of the reasons you will have to repeat battling through previously conquered stages in the campaign mode is to farm for resources you constantly have a need for. Although basic resources such as food and silver can be generated within your base camp, items you need to train heroes as well as ascend them can be farmed from the story stages.
Given the in-game stamina that gets consumed with each battle you engage in, as well as the constant need for each resource you will have to continuously collect, it is important to employ a thrifty approach towards investing in or expending resources on heroes. With lower grade heroes on your starting party, chances are that you will be switching to different ones early on.
As epic (4-star) and legendary (5-star) heroes are rather difficult to obtain, it will certainly take some time until you come across a hero that will certainly be in your team until the end game. As such, only enhance the heroes you currently use to match your current needs.
Each hero you acquire can be further strengthened through levelling them up as well as ascending them. Levelling up is the more basic method of the two enhancement options. Although the heroes that you take into battle do not earn experience points, the continuously flowing supply of hero units you can obtain from story stages as well as training serve as the main requirements to level heroes up.
On your hero roster, which you can access via the “heroes” icon at the lower left side of the main screen, you can tap on the hero you want to level up and click on the level up button at the lower left side of the window. You will then choose any number of heroes you will feed to your chosen hero along with food costs for each sacrifice. Note that sacrificed heroes of the same elemental affinity as the hero you wish to level up generates 20% more experience points.
Once a hero has reached his maximum level, you can ascend the hero using ascension materials as well as food. Ascension increases the hero’s stats and special skill level. The ascended hero will revert back to level one, but will now have a higher level cap than before. A hero’s rarity grade determines how many ascension levels he or she can go through.
4. Quick But Frequent Visits To Your Base Work Best
While actively playing Empires & Puzzles certainly holds its own rewards, progressing efficiently in your adventure does not necessarily require a lot of time. Considering that there is a very limited amount of stamina to manage early in your journey, a few rounds on the campaign map will leave you with some idle time as you wait for your stamina to replenish.
Empires & Puzzles also lets you earn passive rewards through the food and silver that your base camp generates over time. While we consider progressing through the campaign as the most important task you have, upgrading structures in your camp comes as a close second.
Fortunately enough, the base camp in Empires & Puzzles is as simple as it comes. There is no need to worry about layouts and complex activities as you will only be limited to producing resources, ensuring they are within storage capacity, and occasionally training recruits and crafting items.
Early on, it will only take a few minutes for each structure within your camp to complete its upgrade and switching between the campaign and performing upgrades will be the most efficient thing to do. As your camp and its structures reach higher levels, the time it will take to complete an upgrade stretches further and you will soon enough run out of energy and still be back at camp to see that the upgrade is still in the works.
If raids and PvP battles are unavailable, then there is hardly any point in staying online but as your structures will continue to generate resources, you will have to claim the outputs preferably before they max out. In this sense, it becomes a viable tactic to spend quick but rather frequent visits to your base camp. Comparable to casual games, you can spend a few minutes to log in and claim resources generated by your farms and mines and even expend some of your in-game energy on quick campaign runs.
5. Do Not Rush Making A Move
Typical puzzle games, especially within the match-3 subgenre have always been known to impose extra pressure on players through the employment of countdown timers on each puzzle. Empires & Puzzles, however is not entirely a conventional match-3 puzzle game as battles you engage in are the puzzles themselves with each tile match you successfully create, generating the means to attack enemies. As you might be convinced early on that you have to make a move as soon as you are able to do so, keep in mind that you can take as much time as you need and make every effort to strategize on every move.
One of the core mechanics of Empires & Puzzles comes with the colored tiles or gems having more purpose than restrict combinations as well as provide variety to the puzzles layout and challenge. The colors of each gem essentially impact how much damage your attack does to each monster.
Gems or tiles, just like each hero and enemy in Empires & Puzzles, belong to one of five colors or elements that work around the proverbial “rock-paper-scissors” mechanics in conventional strategy RPGs.
As we mentioned in our first guide, each color has an advantage and disadvantage against other colors. For the basic elements, red beats green, green beats blue, and blue beats red. As for the special elements, which is colored yellow and purple, they are both strong and weak against one another.
With these mechanics in mind, every move you make requires more than merely aiming to actually match any 3 tiles or gems together, given that some combinations will be more effective against the enemies ahead of you while other combinations will either be averagely effective or less.
6. Be Wary Of The Puzzle Hints And Auto Mode
If it takes you a while before you make your next move, Empires & Puzzles, just like conventional match-3 puzzle games, provide you with a helping hand as far as potential moves are concerned. If you are idle for a few seconds, a couple of gems will begin to shake, mildly informing you of a potential move. While this does help in some cases, there are often more tactical choices to employ.
Again, we highly recommend taking as much time as you need before making a move, especially in important battles. The hint that comes with being idle is an option unless, of course, it is the only move available. In any case, you will instantly know that there are no possible moves if the tiles are shuffled. Until it does, you can be certain that there is still an available move, and more than one for the most part.
There are also scenarios when all available matches you can make are negligible and both seemingly yield the same result. Rushing towards making a move may not give you ample time to analyze the situation and miss chances for better combinations and damage outputs.
It may be a little difficult to notice early on, but there is actually an auto mode button you can click on at the upper right side of the battle screen. While this feature makes it convenient for you to go through a stage with little to no effort, expect that the auto mode’s A.I. will never play as good as you do, even if you are a beginner. The auto mode’s logic simply chooses the first available move it sees and automatically activates a hero’s ability once it becomes available, discarding any potential strategy at hand.
Auto mode is a viable option for farming stages you have already beaten, specifically those stages that you did not have a hard time plowing through. Against more challenging enemies or stages, PvP, and raids, we recommend that you go for manual mode all the time.
7. Consider Practicing Other Match-3 Strategies
Naturally, you will choose to attack an enemy who will launch an attack sooner than the others. The numbers at the left side of their health and energy bars are countdown indicators of when they will attack. If the sword icon starts glowing, then you know that you are down to your last match-3 attack as they will attack after that. In some cases, you also have to assess if prioritizing a specific target is worth it. Suppose that there is a dark elemental monster about to attack and the only tiles you can match are of the same element to target that monster, the damage you will inflict will be weak and ineffective unless the target has HP close to 0.
Although there is some luck involved as far as what the next set of tiles will appear when you make a successful match, some situations make the chances of combos appear more likely. For most match-3 puzzle games, new tiles come from the top of the screen, making it a smarter decision to make a match on the lower area of the puzzle. As Empires & Puzzles is inverted in the sense that new tiles or gems ascend from the bottom of the puzzle, it is best to consider prioritizing to match tiles at its top end, given all else is equal, of course.
The logic here is that when you successfully match tiles at the upper part of the puzzle and the matched tiles vanish, more tiles will be affected, ultimately leading to more movement from the bottom set of tiles upwards. In this sense, the chances of combos out of luck increases, potentially creating special tiles as well as dealing more damage to the enemies ahead.
While the core concept of a match-3 puzzle mechanics incorporated into Empires & Puzzles’s battle system requires you to actually match-3 tiles or gems, doing so is simply the minimum requirement. Matching 4 tiles as well as 5 tiles together generates special items that when used can leverage your attack against the enemies ahead. As such, being presented with an opportunity to match more than 3 tiles together can occasionally take precedence over other possible moves.
Beyond going for a match of 4 or more tiles, it also becomes important to strategize around using them. Just like your hero’s ability, special tiles or gems are often saved for more important attacks. If it would be sufficient to eliminate enemies with a simple match-3 combo, then it is best to hold off on using your hard-earned special tiles. If possible, you should save them for boss battles when in story mode or hold for potential special tile matches in PvP and raid battles.
8. Find And Stay With An Active Guild
There is hardly any point, nowadays, to have an online game that you venture into exclusively on your own. As social features have long since become an integral aspect of online games, so too have guilds, clans, factions, and alliances become a staple feature in numerous games. Beyond the social aspect that these player groups provide, the idea of being in an alliance sets its core upon a unified effort towards a common goal. Although you can make progress in your adventure all on your own, you will miss out on some features if you opt out of being a member of an alliance.
Once you reach account level 4 in Empires & Puzzles, the alliance feature becomes available and you may even be notified of existing alliances that are out looking for members. By clicking on the alliance icon at the bottom of the main screen, you can quickly and easily choose from among a number of alliances which one to apply for. For the most part, alliances will accept you with open arms and will not have you wait for an approval from its leader. As such, it becomes a wise move to choose carefully from the available options as you would want to find and be a member of an active alliance.
If you are a total newbie when it comes to online games, or the concept of alliances in online games, then what you should keep in mind is that alliances come with a lot of benefits without any drawbacks at all. In the case of Empires & Puzzles, you can readily reap rewards from joining an alliance as you can join in on raids and wars provided they are available.
These added game modes, which are exclusive to members of an alliance earns you extra rewards usually based on the entire alliance’s efforts. As such, it becomes very beneficial to players who are just starting out as veteran members of an alliance can easily accomplish feats for every member to revel in its rewards. Do not let it deter you from contributing to the alliance activities as much as you can, though, as every bit of effort you exert contributes to the alliance’s score.
9. Accomplish Missions For Extra Rewards
In addition to immediate rewards you obtain from each battle you engage in, Empires & Puzzles provides various additional rewards relative to your activities and accomplishments. For starters, you may notice treasure chests that fill up at the left side of your screen. These treasure chests can be unlocked and claimed based on your activities on the 3 basic game modes in the game.
There is a chest that you can obtain for every 100 monsters you defeat making it another incentive for you to farm previously conquered stages in the campaign map. Once you have rebuilt the watchtower at the right edge of your base camp, you can enter inside an claim additional resources. This also unlocks the ability to engage in raids and battle other players’ heroes. Heroes you defeat fills up the bar that unlocks another chest for you to claim. Last but not the least, there is a third and final chest that you can claim after defeating 5 titans.
Naturally, you will not be able to defat a titan on your own and you would have to rely on your alliance’s strength and dedication in defeating titans. You have to participate in the battle against the titan for the win to be counted.
There are also missions you can access via its icon at the bottom of the main screen. These missions serve as accomplishments that offer one time rewards for milestones you have reached across every aspect of your adventure. Gems, which are a premium currency in Empires & Puzzles, are usual rewards from objectives you accomplish. Story season milestones are rewarded with tokens you can use to summon higher grade heroes from the summon gate.
When you finally achieve account level 10, daily quests will become available as well. While these quests typically stand as the easiest tasks to accomplish in conventional RPGs, and are available right at the start of your adventure. Reaching account level 10 takes a while, but the added incentives that come with it, through the availability of daily quests, make the journey worth the dedication and effort.
10. Remember To Claim Freebies
In line with ensuring that you go on an adventure within the world of Empires & Puzzles as well as visit your base camp at least 3 times a day, the game provides additional freebies are available for you to claim. There are free summons to claim once every 24 hours and an ad boost that rewards you with gems and resources once every 8 hours.
Engaging in battles, training, as well as unlocking chests can earn you more recruits to add to your growing army. You can summon more using gems at the summon portal, but given that gems are a premium currency and a lot more challenging to earns makes free gacha pulls even more valuable. Be sure to keep track of when you are eligible for a free gacha summon by checking the countdown timer on the summon portal icon. Ad boosts can be initiated via the tower at the left side of your camp.
In some occasions, you may also receive freebies through your inbox so if you notice indicators on the mail icon at the bottom of your screen, be sure to check it out. Empires & Puzzles often holds special events that provides extra incentives for players. Be sure to keep an eye out for event icons and take advantage of freebies that can be earned.
We expect that the world of Empires & Puzzles will continue to grow following subsequent updates but for now, this wraps up our Empires & Puzzles guide (2021 Update). We hope that you picked up a lot of useful tips and strategies that you can readily apply to your subsequent dives into the game. If ever you do stumble upon some more helpful tips on top of what we shared with you, do let us know about them in the comment section!