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Island War Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Raid Other Islands and Dominate Your Opponents

Island War is a MMO RTS developed by Fastone Games where you manage your raiders and invade the islands of other players. Finding holes in their defenses, you send out boats with your finest soldiers to invade and pillage the targeted base for resources. Be wary, as other players can do the same to you and steal your resources in turn.

island war intro

You recruit Troops and merge them into stronger groups to keep up with the growing strength of other players. Use collected resources to upgrade your base, unlocking stronger defenses and new units to find and merge, including powerful Heroes to aid you in defense or offense. Aside from PvP, you can embark on a campaign to test how well your armies fare against special formations and take on events to collect more resources and rank high on the scoreboard.

island war filler a

Island War should be familiar for some players who have played this genre, but this guide will also show some things unique to Island War and how to get the most out of it. It is a lot more than dumping all your Troops on one coast and expecting the best, as there are elements of strategy to soften up your target for a successful raid. Stay with us to learn the basics of Island War, and find out how you can raid other islands and dominate your opponents!

1. Merging And Marauding

island war boats

When you first start up Island War, you will be sent to a trio of training missions before you can set your merry band of raiders on the open seas. Your forces enter enemy islands via a boat, which can hold up to six Troops of soldiers. Each Troop has a unit count that determines if the group has multiple individuals or only has one unit per “group.” In the beginning, you only have one boat, but you can get more boats to send more armies later up to a maximum of six boats.

You can therefore have up to 36 Troops sent into one raid. Before embarking on an attack, you can rearrange and/or merge your forces as needed by tapping the soldier icon on the left side; you can recruit new Troops via the card icon on the right side. Once you are done with preparations, hit the “Battle” button and set sail.

island war attack

Deploying boats is simple: you just tap the coast you want your Troops to land on, and their boat will come ashore, attacking any enemy that gets into their respective range. Boats are launched in numerical order, though you can manually select what boat you want to send out by tapping the boat at the bottom of the screen. The “standard” game mode, and the main draw of Island War is Arena. In this game mode, you have two minutes to raze your target’s core structures before you run out of soldiers or time.

The timer only starts as soon as you send someone to the targeted island, giving you some time to scout the enemy defenses before launching the assault. By default, you start with a Troop of three Swordsmen, but you will unlock more units as you go through the tutorial.

Later, you get the ability to send Paratroops during the attack. These Paratroopers only consist of one Swordsman, but they can serve as reinforcements for your front line, a distraction to pull defenders away from key locations, or as flankers against ranged enemies.

To discourage spamming, Paratroopers gradually regenerate up to a cap. Razing bases earns you two resources: Wood and Gold. These are used to respectively upgrade your own base and recruit new Troops.

island war recruitment

Recruiting Troops requires Gold, and this can be accessed through the Recruit button at the home menu or while you are managing your Troops. The Gold costs for recruiting go up each time you make a summon and gather more soldiers, though thankfully there is a cap based on your current player level. There are different tiers of Recruitment that offer better odds of rarer Troops, in exchange for greater Gold costs.

The first tier of Recruitment can only get you common and uncommon Troops, but at this point in the game they will suffice. Your starting Recruitments will get you a Troop of archers, a reasonable addition to your fledging army, and additional Swordsmen to demonstrate merging. We will list some of the Troops you can find through Recruitment, along with their rarities:

island war troop list

Bomber (Common): A kamikaze unit, the Bomber rolls his bomb towards the nearest enemy core structure and blows up, dealing heavy damage if not destroying it entirely.

Spearmen (Common): Another group of melee units, Spearmen can push back whoever they lock horns with and compared to Swordsmen, they have better armor penetration in exchange for slower attack speed, making them ideal for crowd control or dealing with heavily armored enemies.

Arctic Wolves (Uncommon): A pack of combat canines that home in on the nearest enemies with low health, but are fragile in turn. This typically means attacking ranged or support units first.

Fire Mage (Uncommon): A wizard who chucks fireballs at the enemy, which also damage nearby foes. He travels alone though, so any unit that specializes in hitting the backline is a major concern.

Colossus (Rare): A lone stone giant who taunts nearby units into attacking him. This makes him a dedicated tank and an asset for your ranged forces.

You can view any units you have unlocked, along with units you can find later, via the Heroes tab at the bottom of the screen. Heroes themselves will take some time to unlock before you can find them, and instead of merging them, they are leveled up by bringing them to raids or leaving them to defend your island. The Heroes tab also allows you to view the stats of your forces, and lets you merge them outside of your boats.

Duplicate groups can be merged to improve their health and damage output, with groups consisting of multiple units getting more members, up to nine soldiers in total. You can only merge groups of similar rank as indicated by the stars or number on their cards, and this process maxes out at Rank 9 as of the current build.

While it is certainly a good idea to rank up your best soldiers as soon as possible, you do not want to concentrate your forces onto one boat or island side. If your best forces go down quickly, the rest of your raiders will follow in short order.

island war lucky time

Recruitment also adds up to “Lucky Time” which serves as a pity system in case of unfavorable Recruitment results. Once enough Recruitments have been made, you can pick up to three units comprised of two rare units and one legendary unit. The first unit chosen is free, but the last two units require Gems, the premium currency of Island War. Once you make your choice(s), Lucky Time resets and you must build it up again with Recruitment.

2. Island-Keeping

When your forces set sail, the islands they attack belong to other players, and they can do the same to you. In fact, the game keeps track of any raids on your island and whether or not they are successful. You have the option of performing a revenge raid if you want to get even over a particular attacker.

island war home base

All islands are a 6×6 grid, and players can move their buildings and Troops accordingly. As we mentioned earlier, there are core structures that any player must defend, and all players have three to protect. These structures are as follows:

island war defenses

City Hall: Your base of operations, the City Hall controls what defenses you can construct on the islands, namely walls and turrets. Upgrading this increases the maximum number of defenses you can construct and unlocks new turrets to build. You can also spend some Gems to warp your base to a new island, which might have natural defenses such as cliffs that you can build your defenses around.

Army Camp: Where your Troops are maintained outside of battle, the Army Camp also spawns Swordsmen to help defend. Upgrading the Army Camp increases both your Troop reserve cap and their maximum level cap, generally improving the performance of both Paratroopers and defending Swordsmen, unlocking new units to find in Recruitment.

Gold Mine: This is where you passively earn Gold and Gems while you are away from the game. Upgrading this building increases the amounts earned per hour, but the mine can only hold up to eight hours’ worth of accumulated resources.

All structures are upgraded using Wood earned from attacks and the time to complete an upgrade varies based on the structure. Walls are upgraded immediately, while core structures can take several hours, if not the entire day to fully upgrade. In addition, you can only build or upgrade one structure at a time. You can hire up to two additional builders with Gems, but they only hang around for a couple of weeks before they have to be hired again.

Alternatively, you can boost building speed with Rune Stones, which are earned from attacks on your island regardless of if they succeed or not. There are different boosts to build speed, and spent Rune Stones contribute to their durations, with more potent boosts requiring more Rune Stones. Structures can by moved, though the camera angle can make precision placement a bit difficult.

Luckily, tapping the Troop icon to manage defender also gives you a top-down view of your island, making it much easier to manage defenses.

island war top down

While knowing where to land your Troops is vital to a successful raid, the current weather can also determine the performance of all soldiers on the field. The forecast can be looked up via a totem pole on the home page, which briefly flashes the current forecast when starting up the game.

Weather changes every four hours, and the forecast displays both the current and future state of the sky and wind speed. The weather effects we have encountered are below:

island war forecast

Sunny: The default forecast where all units function normally. Troops that deal fire-based attacks will deal increased damage.

Fog: A haze covers the islands for the next few hours, reducing the accuracy of all ranged units.

Rain: When it rains, it pours, and the muddy ground slows everyone down. The rain also weakens fire attacks.

Wind speed affects how far your ranged units can shoot, but they must be deployed in the direction the wind is blowing to take full effect of it. You can see the direction by looking at the ripples on the sea around the island, with more ripples generated at stronger winds.

Deploying your forces in the direction of these gales can help your ranged Troops soften up the enemy from farther away. But this still depends on how enemy defenses are laid out; this might not be exploitable immediately, if at all.

3. Head-To-Head

There are several game modes in Island War that players can join in, but everyone starts with the above-mentioned Arena unlocked. Arena pits you against another player’s island, where your main goal is to destroy their City Hall, Army Camp, and Gold Mine in two minutes, or before you run out of Troops.

The game generally tries to find someone who matches your current Attack Power, which is a measure of the overall strength of any forces currently on your boats. However, in case the game gives you an unsuitable opponent, you can generate five additional targets for you to select by tapping the Next icon at the lower left corner of the screen. This list can be refreshed as needed.

island war enemy refresh

Aside from Gold and Wood, the first 20 Arena fights of the day will add trophies to your Arena rank, which helps determine what players you will be facing. After enough trophies are collected, you advance to the next rank. You can still fight other players even after the trophies of the day have been collected to gather resources.

Arena matches also add up to a battle pass system that offers additional rewards after passing certain thresholds. Both the battle pass and the Arena ranking lasts 14 days. Once that time is up, all battle pass progress is reset, and your current Arena rank is rounded down to the nearest rank threshold.

island war battle pass

After enough trophies have been collected, more game modes get unlocked for you to play in. Some of them require clan membership, which requires your City Hall to be upgraded a bit before you can join a clan or make one yourself. The additional game modes are listed below:

island war game modes

Campaign: Unlocked after acquiring 1300 Trophies, Campaigns are missions where you send your Troops on islands with preset defenses and defenders, and you complete these missions by destroying everything that is not a wall. The campaign is split into chapters and each chapter has 10 missions to complete. You can even adjust the difficulty of the campaign before entering it, earning more Wood and Gold during attacks in exchange.

Headhunt: Unlocked at 2000 trophies, Headhunt mode has you take on challenges that refresh daily. There are two Headhunt challenges available: Legion Conqueror, which is an alternative source of Wood and Gems but can only be done 20 times a day, and Endless Trial, where you try to deal as much damage as possible against endlessly respawning foes.

Challenge: Unlocked at 2000 Trophies, Challenge mode is essentially a more competitive version of Arena mode, where you are competing against other players in special, four-day contests. The first version of Challenge mode has special weather conditions exclusive to this game mode that buff certain Troops while debuffing other Troops. The second version removes the weather conditions and just pits you and rival players against each other.

island war clan war

Clan War: Unlocked at 1500 Trophies, and only accessible if you are part of a clan, Clan War lets you fight against other clans, either in the Leagues, where all clans can participate, or in the Legends Championship, which is exclusive to the top 20 clans. There is also Clan Hunting, where clan members are given three daily attempts to deal maximum damage against a raid boss, increasing their clan rank accordingly.

4. Pointers For Pillagers

While gameplay in Island War looks straightforward, knowing when and where to launch your assaults can mean the difference in a close match, so we have some tips to maximize your chances:

island war filler b

Scout out your targeted island first. You can rotate the camera by holding down your finger on the screen and swiping in your chosen direction to see any flaws in the enemy defenses. That way you can decide which ship lands first, or if you should use Paratroopers to bait defenders into unfavorable locations.

Remember that you can select what ships should land first. Send a dedicated tank force to bait out attackers before sending in your ranged, squishy forces. That said, after landing your selected ship, the game will default to the numerical order. If you want a specific order of attacks, rearrange your Troops before launching an attack.

Do not send all your ships onto one coast. Remember, there are Troops that deal damage in an area of effect, so clustering your forces will make them take the full brunt of their attacks. Play your cards right, and you can pull the majority of enemy defenders into one spot with only a ship or two, allowing a fragile but damaging strike force to destroy their core structures relatively unharmed.

Paratroopers should not be underestimated. Aside from a distraction, they can be used to attack ranged units or turrets that are giving your frontline trouble. You can also drop them onto enemy core buildings and hack away before your main army breaches the defenses. The game recommends that you wait until your Paratroopers have fully regenerated up to the cap, so you can deploy them immediately, and we recommend this as well.

Refresh your enemy list if your selected opponent is not up to your liking. Maybe because your selected opponent is too strong for your army, or maybe the opponent is far too weak for a fair fight. Either way, you are not stuck with whoever the game pairs you up with for an Arena match.

Do not forget about the weather. A rainy day will slow down everyone on the field and weaken all fire-based attacks. If your heaviest hitters happen to use fire attacks, your assault might end poorly.

On the other hand, the weather will also affect the enemy so it may soften up their defenders if the weather is “good.” If the wind is strong enough and enemy positions are favorable, you can opt to send out your ranged Troops in the direction of the wind to increase their range.

island war filler c

Building up your defenses warranted a section of its own, seeing as you have no real control outside of layouts:

Walls should not be ignored, as they can slow down attackers and prevent them from destroying your core structures before time runs out. Even without that, walls can be used to funnel enemies into chokepoints as they do not attack walls directly unless they are in the way of a core structure. A proper path can make invaders waste time as your defenders whittle them down.

island war filler d

Get a new island as soon as possible. Even if it only has a couple of cliffs, those can be used to place turrets for improved range. The cliffs themselves double as a free, indestructible wall so consider building your defenses around them.

Put your best defenders onto the field to increase the likelihood of a successful defense. In some cases, the quality of your garrisoned Troops will be sufficient in repelling any would-be invasions, and make some enemies choose someone else over you. This is not guaranteed, and some crafty players can make up for slight differences in Attack Power with tactics.

Regardless of Attack or Defense, merging is a must in keeping your Troops in top shape. However, sometimes merging results in a more powerful Troop, but less overall units to help in attacks or defenses. Before going for a merge, consider how well your forces can work with one less Troop on the field. If you do not feel confident, hold off on merging until you have sufficient replacements.

island war combat end

And that concludes our guide to Island War! We hope you find this game enjoyable and that our advice helps you conquer your foes. If you have any tips you would like to share, let us know in the comment section below! Good luck and game on!


Saturday 31st of December 2022

hello in the territory tab how to unlock the “adventure” and “pier” mode?


Tuesday 6th of December 2022

How do I get the Double C island?


Saturday 26th of November 2022

I notice some new island which accommodates more troops. Its 7 by 7 island and not 6 by 6 which is common. How do I get one of those


Tuesday 25th of October 2022

How do I get the blue discs needed to upgrade soldiers?

Chad Galloway

Sunday 21st of August 2022

How do you level up the hero??


Friday 30th of September 2022

@Chad Galloway, with exp get those in the soul crucible section. You will have to sacrifice some troops and pay some wood.