A hostile alien race ravages the galaxy.
Its swarms and legions of soldiers fly through the galactic skies, eating away at any form of life and sometimes whole planets. Several civilizations are in danger and if nothing is done now, the end of all that lives is nigh with very little to stop it. But deep within the galaxy’s far reaches, a beacon of hope shines brightly—it’s this very beacon that signals a new age of retribution for all those who wish to survive. This beacon is the powerful galactic force that aims to eradicate the hostile aliens once and for all. They are the Falcon Squad.
Developed by Falcon Games and published by ONESOFT GLOBAL PTE., Falcon Squad is yet again another space shoot-em-up (or shmup) to add to their growing collection. Similar to some of their other titles such as Galaxiga, 1945 Air Force, and Space Shooter: Galaxy Attack, Falcon Squad spares no introduction when it comes to blasting scary monsters from space in the face. Hop into your spacecraft of choice and get ready for a mission that will determine the fate of the galaxy.
The alien swarm grows ever thicker and only you and your siblings in arms from all over the world (yes, this is an online game), can stop the drones from devouring planets alive. But the aliens are growing smarter and more powerful each time you progress—how will this war end and will you be able to bring peace to the galaxy at all?
If you’ve just started on your mission and are a rookie at the ship’s seat, read our comprehensive Falcon Squad guide below and send those nasty space bugs back to where they belong!
Shmups and You
The shoot-em-up genre is nothing new.
Anyone would recognize a good classic: Galaga, Truxton, Tyrian, Raiden, RayStorm, and Space Invaders if you wanna go that far back. What do all of these titles have in common? A ship flying through space while shooting at hostile enemy spacecraft. In some cases, it wouldn’t be set in space, but in the Earth’s very atmosphere like Strikers 1945. Regardless of the setting, shmups can also be played in a variety of perspectives with top-down and side-scrolling being the most popular ones. Occasionally, shmups can even be played from a perspective from behind the craft you’re flying such as in the Afterburner series.
These types of games were often fast and brutal. They come with all sorts of enemy attack and shot patterns, different guns to collect and master, and scary bosses usually awaiting every player at the end of a level. Despite the formula having been in the gaming landscape since forever, nothing stops it from being enjoyed by all kinds of gamers. It’s a simple setup that’s tried and true for enjoyment.
The mobile market has its own brand of shmups and they’re no slouch in introducing this beast of a genre to a new generation of gamers. Older shmups would include the likes of Gemini Strike, but famous titles in both the iOS and Android markets would be SkyForce and EverWing, with some titles following in their footsteps like WinWing, HAWK, and yes, Falcon Squad.
That said, you are about to play a game with simple mechanics. But don’t let that fool you, there are a few things you’ll need to know about Falcon Squad before you become an ace pilot yourself. It’s a long road ahead and you won’t just be facing armies of planet-devouring monsters, you may face rival pilots, too. Sometimes, you might even just be your own worst enemy.
Before we touch upon the specifics, keep reading and prepare to dive into the super basics of this game—things you can still keep in mind up until you’ve surpassed many players!
An Overview of Falcon Squad
Falcon Squad pits you against a variety of enemies but not without structure per level.
To expound on this point, each level will require you to face waves of enemies. The number of waves per level varies and the types of enemies per wave is just as unpredictable. That said, two examples of this is having some final waves containing cargo crates that drop gold when destroyed whereas others will have a miniboss or a boss waiting to challenge you. There are times when none of these happen and you’ll only then realize you’ve cleared the level after the alien rampage. Though, you may have to be observant with how the enemy operates.
The enemies can fly in in various patterns from anywhere on the screen. Some patterns may be defensive in nature wherein the enemy guards a bigger enemy in the center, while others prefer to be in an attack formation that favors an attempt to fill your ship’s hull with holes. This also means that, because the enemy loves to vary in flight formations, they can emerge from the sides closest to your ship or, in later levels, from behind you. So it pays to keep your eyes open for where the enemy makes their entry.
As you fight through the alien onslaught, you’ll notice them drop powerups that will enhance your ship for the duration of the level (if not temporarily). Some of which are temporary weapons. Here are a few examples of powerups you can find in the game:
- Attack Up — Increases the damage dealt by your ship and it’s companions.
- Bomb — Your ship detonates a bomb that causes everything on the screen to disintegrate.
- Bullet Up — Increases the number of bullets fired by your ship’s main gun.
- Laser — Your ship fires a spread of laser beams in different directions from its front.
- Missile — Your ship fires a small salvo of missiles at the enemy.
- Over Power — For a brief amount of time, your ship will have all of its guns set to overdrive.
- Speed Up — Increases the speed at which you move your ship.
- Wave — Your ship unleashes a powerful shockwave around it.
Without further ado, let’s now move onto the meat of this guide!
Falcon Squad 101
Below is a list of tips and tricks that you can take with you in your sorties alongside the noble Falcon Squad. The swarm might be tough, but you’re tougher than the lot of them. Strap yourself in and prepare to grip your flight sticks tight.
This is almost a no-brainer when it comes to games like this. However, there are subtleties to dodging rather than mindlessly weaving through enemy gunfire.
For instance, in most cases, the enemy’s bullets will be traveling much slower than your ship can move. To move excessively in distance could mean putting your ship in unnecessary danger. Imagine this: an enemy fires its shot directly at you and you move your ship all the way to the far left of the screen. The chances of you colliding with the enemy will be greatly increased.
Thus it’s imperative to try to dodge in small movements. However, too small and your ship could get hurt, still. A quick idea of where your ship can get hurt is in its body. This means the center of the ship excluding the wings; the bullets can safely glide past the wings. By dodging in small movements, you’ll also be able to focus your fire on important targets such as the boss.
Bobbing through the enemy’s fire is one thing, but can you pick up powerups while doing so?
2. Take Risks Only When Necessary
Here comes a powerup… amidst a storm of bullets! What will you do?
Will you dive right in and take the powerup albeit suffering a penalty to your 3-star rating? Or should you let it pass? The latter option is the lesser of two evils. Not only will it get you that 3-star rating, which we will talk about very soon, but it will also help you assess the situation at hand.
Once you see a torrent of bullets about and there is a powerup somewhere there, try to see if the bullets are traveling slow enough that you can safely snatch the powerup. However, it also helps if your ship has a considerable amount of speed on it—i.e. after picking up a couple of Speed Ups. The powerups are slightly magnetic, so getting in the immediate radius of the powerup should allow you to receive it safely. Otherwise, it’s unwise still to take it if there are too many risks.
Always remember simply that greed kills in Falcon Squad. The alien swarm itself is already quite greedy since all it does is consume life and the resources of living areas. Be not like the enemy, be one with the cause you fight for!
Pep talk aside, you’ll notice that your ship comes with an Active Skill, or a Super. Do not use this wantonly.
3. Save Your Active Skill for the Boss
Much like a lot of things in this game, Falcon Squad rewards things done in moderation.
What we mean to say is that using up your ship’s Active Skill only on swarms of enemies is not only a terrible idea, but it is quite wasteful. The Active Skill is an insanely powerful attack that rivals the strength of the Over Power powerup and that’s already saying something. For the starter ship, the Bata FD-01, its Active Skill is a powerful spread of energy bullets fired at an even more rapid rate. A very powerful screen-wiping attack, for sure.
This is why you should concentrate your Active Skill’s fire on the boss. Once the boss has come into view and you notice that its health bar is going down, let all hell break loose and open fire. Unleash the might of the Falcon Squad onto them and watch their life crumble. If the boss survives that attack, surely they’ll be weak enough to take down with just your main guns.
Though, this also means that you have to maintain your ship any time you can, otherwise its guns won’t be strong enough to vaporize the enemy’s carapaces.
4. Upgrade Your Ship, Drones, and Wings
Your ship is your own. There are many others like it, but this one’s yours!
Before every level, you will have to check if your ship is eligible for an upgrade. You’ll know this by seeing the green arrows floating by its side. Now, there are a few ways you can upgrade your ship: either by increasing its rank or increasing its star level.
Increasing a ship’s rank means to increase its overall stats. Once you reach an increment of 10, you will be prompted to spend gems on it to complete its ascension to the next set of levels. This also means that the color of your ship’s main gunfire will change, signifying its drastic increase in strength. Ranking up requires gold.
Increasing a ship’s star level is more difficult. You will require its fragments to do this. Unfortunately, fragments aren’t interchangeable. Therefore, fragments belonging to the Bata FD-01 can only be used on that specific ship. However, in gaining all of that and using them on the specified ship, you will give them a new Active Skill as well as a massive boost to performance. It helps if you’ve been increasing the ship’s rank before this.
The same principles apply when upgrading your Drones and Wings. While your Drones still use gold as the currency, Wings use energy to upgrade which you can obtain solely from playing the game. Drones provide support fire from the sides while Wings provide an extra Active Skill for those pesky bosses.
Because upgrades are a big deal in the game, we highly recommend saving your gems for upgrades.
5. Save Your Gems for Upgrades
Gems—the premium currency of many a mobile game.
You’ve seen them everywhere: Dragon Tamer, Match Land, Gold and Goblins, Brawl Stars, Clash of Clans, Cookie Run: Kingdom, you name it. Gems have become a staple in signifying currency that can be earned in-game but received in bulk through paying with real money. Falcon Squad is no alien (get it?) to using gems as premium currency. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t earn gems by playing the game.
Certain things in Falcon Squad reward the player with gems. It could be watching an ad or completing some quests, or maybe a daily login bonus. There are multiple avenues for you to earn gems but there are also multiple avenues for you to spend them. That said, we highly recommend that you don’t spend them anywhere else but upgrades.
In doing so, you’ll have stronger ships, more promising equipment and an infinitely easier time clearing levels. While it’s true that some ships and drones are more powerful than the ones you already have, nothing beats simply upgrading your current loadout. It’s easier to manage and you won’t have to worry about distributing your gems between different ships. Keep your gems saved strictly for upgrades and you’ll go far—really far.
One way you can also ensure your upgrades is to aim for 3-stars with every stage you play, regardless of the difficulty.
6. Aim for 3-Stars
There’s nothing better than being able to do a great job.
Rewards often come around once in a while in Falcon Squad, but the greatest rewards often get to you whenever you complete a level at 3-stars. Usually, earning 3 stars altogether requires you to fulfill the following objectives:
- Destroy at least 60% of the enemies
- Remain untouched
- Destroy all enemies
Granted the first item might be easy to accomplish, but the other two might be a tall order. If you constantly get 2-stars or 1-star because you constantly get hit by the enemy or fail to destroy them all, consider upgrading your ship or playing through the level to memorize all of the enemy’s attacks. Don’t worry so much about failing: it’s the best teacher!
The real reason as to why you should complete each level with 3-stars is because you will get nifty rewards for completing all levels in the chapter with this rating. For instance, a typical set of 3-star completion rewards would be a decent helping of gold alongside some gems and a random bundle of fragments of a spacecraft or a drone. If you want to make your ship stronger more quickly, this is one of the better ways to do it.
Another alternative would be to open chests! Take a gander at this.
7. Open Chests When Able
Just like gems being commonly used as premium currency, lootboxes are present in this game!
While lootboxes are not a need in this game, they are among the very few ways you can gain new ships or drones. Opening a chest could require keys (or gems, but we already went over this). Otherwise, the Gold Chests can be opened by spending a gold fee. Sometimes, you might even be able to open these for free by watching an ad (more on this later).
More precious chests like the Diamond Chests should only be unlocked using Diamond Keys since their prices in gems are rather exorbitant. Eventually, once you’ve cleared Level 21 on Normal, you will unlock the Engine Chest which gives you the chance to obtain special equipment that help improve your ship’s performance. These require special keys to unlock but said keys can be earned through certain events or rewards.
Whenever you have the chance to unlock a chest, don’t squander it. You might get better equipment that will turn your game around for the better. Though, if it’s the Gold Chest, hold onto your gold since upgrades are much cheaper and generally better.
We mentioned rewards, right? Did you know that logging in every day will give you something new?
8. Login Every Day
Game developers should give their players incentive to play their game.
Whether it’s through well-crafted story events, or fun minigames, it’s always something for players to look forward to. But a tried and tested method of keeping players interested in a game (most of the time) is a daily login system.
The daily login system offers a ton of varying rewards ranging from a simple allowance of gold, a couple of gems, and then much later on it gives you rarer rewards. These rewards could be various fragments, special currencies, and even keys for chests! The game encourages you to keep playing and in doing so, you make your ship stronger each time.
Logging in is easy for rewards, but how about doing quests?
9. Complete Quests for Bonus Swag
Falcon Squad, in a sense, is a pseudo RPG.
What we mean by this statement is that the ships are the characters or the heroes on their journey and your purpose is to defeat the alien ravagers. But there is more to just annihilating the alien hordes. Sometimes, even the greatest of warriors will require direction and that’s what quests are for.
Your quests in Falcon Squad are divided into 3 different categories:
Daily quests are small feats that can be achieved within a day. Weekly quests are somewhat larger tasks than Dailies, but they can be done in a matter of a few days if you play the game diligently enough. Lastly, Achievements are long-term quests that stick around for the duration of your stay in Falcon Squad, though they will reward you with each step along the way.
The reason why you should be completing these different quests is because, much like login rewards, they give you tons of neat prizes that you can use to further improve your ship (or eventually improve, if you can’t yet). The rewards don’t stop at just completing the objectives, filling up the bar on top will open up boxes with better rewards in them. Time to get cracking, pilot!
If the alien swarm makes you weary, you can always do this one last thing…
10. Watch Ads for Even More Rewards
It’s an unfortunate fact that our games have all been invaded by advertisements.
They happen all too often—when you finish a level, when you die, when you start the game up, right before you close the game, and many other means to trigger these, for lack of a better term, annoying interruptions. But there are some games that ease up on the way they send their ads towards their player.
Falcon Squad’s ads are all completely optional. Though, while optional, we strongly suggest that you give them a watch whenever you can. Yes, yes, we know that it can be a burden to break your immersion in the game, but sometimes the ads actually give you some really good stuff. The usual would be giving you more gold than usual at the end of a level but some would also be chances to spin the Lucky Wheel for random rewards, opening certain chests like we discussed earlier, or even unlocking new ships.
The ship unlocking is what can get tedious, but if you really want those new, more powerful ships (the Sky Wraith requiring 10 ad watches and the Fury of Ares requiring a whopping 70 ad watches) then pay your diligence onto the game. Though, we would suggest doing this if you’ve run out of things to do for the day in Falcon Squad or if you’re taking a break. Sometimes watching ads could be entertaining, after all.
In the end, Falcon Squad is a game chock full of surprises. Getting far is an uphill battle, especially when you get to the later levels, but if you ever get lost, try to remember the basics you’ve learned from this guide:
- Dodge, but don’t do it excessively. If done improperly, it could do more harm than good.
- Taking risks is good, but assess the situation first.
- Use your ship’s Active Skill on the boss. Don’t use it carelessly!
- Keep your ship, drones, and wings in tip-top shape. A tiny boost in power will go a long way.
- Your gems should be used for upgrades as much as possible.
- Always aim for a 3-star completion.
- Chests are full of great surprises. Open them when you get the chance.
- Each day brings a new reward. Keep logging in!
- Quests should direct you in your path to victory. They also give you a ton of great prizes when completed.
- Watch ads if you’d like to take a break. They reward you for doing so.
And this concludes our guide for the mighty Falcon Squad. Get ready to blast some baddies with your newfound knowledge and make the galaxy a safer place for all. Buckle up, stay frosty!
Are you an ace pilot? Have you seen your fair share of war across the stars? Are there any tips that we might have missed out in this list? Be sure to shoot them at us in the comment section down below!