Just when you thought you have seen everything in the world of gaming, Ariel Software comes up with a simple yet brilliant game with Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator. Despite the volume of sim games that flood the market and numerous other games that bank on high quality graphics and big budget audio backgrounds and celebrity voice overs, Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator drives back to the basic roots with its simple, fun, and addictive gameplay in a unique 8-bit environment with both its graphics and sound.
Despite still being in beta stage and only being out for a couple of months, Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator has breached the 1 million downloads mark from the Google Play Store alone and has also secured respectable spots within top lists of games in several countries. The game has likewise maintained largely positive average user review ratings on both iOS and Android platforms. Suffice to say, people who may not be exclusively looking for an ant colony sim game have found themselves hooked on Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator so if you are in the current lookout for a new gaming experience on mobile, then you should check this game out.
Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator puts you in the role of a worker ant who is tasked to command other worker ants and soldier ants in your growing colony. Constantly gathering food for the queen so she can reproduce is among the many duties that lie on your shoulders. There are various other resources you need to search for and collect as you will also spearhead the continuous development of your colony. Life as a worker ant is not all about gathering resources, reproduction, and colony development, as there are many dangers that lurk around the anthill.
There is a quick and easy tutorial session that greets you as soon as you dive in on the game. The first few objectives lined up in the long list of accomplishable quests will form part of the tutorial and introduce you to all the basic tasks and features of Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator. Given the simplicity of the game’s mechanics and the overall straightforward presentation of the interface, it is fairly easy to pick up and play the game.
Now, if you need some help to improve your colony, then stay with us and read our comprehensive Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator beginner’s guide below! Our strategy guide comes with a bunch of tips and strategies to help you build a mighty ant colony and dominate every battle!
1. Continuously Gather Resources
Gathering resources stands as the most basic responsibility of every worker ant. There are different resources to gather and manage as well, each with its own unique uses. The most basic sources of materials like leaves and seeds will always be available but sources of honeydew and insect body parts will only be around on occasions. In this sense, a continuous task revolves around gathering leaves and seeds, with the consideration of processing a portion of the former into fungus.
There will always be 3 leaves on the map and as soon as one expires another will take its place. Leaves can be stored as is, or can be processed into food via the food-processing chamber. Leaves are also an exclusive resource material for upgrading the food-processing chamber, and likewise needed to upgrade the seed storage chamber and the body parts chamber. You Also need huge sums of leaves to infiltrate the fire ants chamber later on.
Fungus is a direct product you obtain from processing leaves at the food processing chamber and is the sole food source needed by the queen to produce ants. Note that only one fungus is needed to give birth to a worker ant, it requires 15 fungi to produce a soldier ant. As you continue to engage in all sorts of battles, you will need a healthy supply of fungi all the time. This is also required to upgrade the leaf storage chamber, the seed storage chamber, and the honeydew chamber.
Seeds will always be available on the map as well but only once at a time. A new pile of seeds will spawn as soon as the supply of the current one empties out. Seeds are the exclusive resource materials needed to upgrade the queen’s chamber and the nursery chamber. It is a material needed to upgrade the body parts chamber and honeydew chamber as well. You also need a huge amount of seeds to enter a fire ants nest.
Body parts are a more limited resource and can be obtained from creatures that roam around the map like tarantulas, scorpions, mantises, and so on. As these creatures only appear once every 24 hours unless you use pheromones to attract them, and the option to capture and enslave them instead of killing them for parts, this resource will be more challenging to farm. Body parts are exclusively needed to build and upgrade the slaves chamber.
Honeydews are an even tougher resource to gather as they can be obtained primarily from aphids and bringing them back to your anthill is difficult. Another option is to infiltrate a fire ants nest, which requires a lot of resources and offers a big challenge to the unprepared as well. While there are quest rewards that also provide honeydews as a reward, the amount you will earn in contrast with the need for it makes it a very valuable resource. You can access the Honeydew Shop at the lower right side of the screen to view or purchase different buffs that permanently improve your colony’s performance.
2. Balance Worker Behavior Based On Needs
As you continue to perform upgrades on the food processing chamber, more worker ants will become available for you to manage. You will notice a red exclamation mark atop the “Workers” icon on the left side of your screen, indicating that there are idle ants waiting for instructions and deployment. Note that in instances when worker ants are killed and replaced with new ones by the queen, the fresh batch of ants will not readily replace the previous ones in their assigned task.
To start off, you will need a dedicated worker ant to focus on feeding the queen. You can only assign a worker ant for the task and while it is not a continuous task, it will be an important one for the most part of your adventure. Insect body parts are also a scarce resource, which means that you only need to assign workers to gather them very rarely and only for a very short period of time.
The larger bulk or 99% of your worker ants will be divided across gathering leaves and seeds. As far as leaves are concerned, some will simply drag resources to the leaf storage chamber while others will have to take it to the food processing chamber for the leaves to become fungi. There are two basic factors to consider in dividing ants across these gathering duties. The first one is the maximum storage capacity of the respective resources within your home and the second consideration is your needs relative to production and the development of your colony.
There are no perfect divisions of labor in the colony as each player has different approaches to progressing the improvement of their colony. In our case, for example, the ratio we generally follow is 6:3:1. This means that 9 out of 10 ants gather leaves and 6 of them process it for fungus while 3 store it as is. 1 or 10% of the worker ants population continuously gather seeds.
While this is the standard ratio we follow, we naturally make adjustments to it depending on the urgency of current needs. If you are close to having enough resources to start on a chamber upgrade, then it is best to push for it before leaving the game. As such focus must be set or channeled to the resources you are lacking in.
3. Plan Your Upgrades Ahead Of Time
Relative to the above discussion, developing your anthill, specifically the numerous chambers within it can be done in any sequence. The only factor that would delimit your prioritization is if the amount of resources you need to perform a specific upgrade is more than the maximum amount your storage for those resources can hold. In this sense, it is only practical to map out the series of upgrades you will have to do to have a smooth flow of progression in your colony.
One important feature in Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator is that you can simultaneously upgrade all different chambers and will only need the resources to do so. Given that different resources are needed for each one, simultaneous constructions should form part of the regular activities you should engage in especially when it comes to chambers you have critical improvement needs from. Beyond increasing amounts of resources needed, the duration of time it takes to complete an upgrade also exponentially extends the higher the upgrade levels go.
To classify upgrade options, some of them are purely needed to increase storage capacity. Other upgrade options, on the other hand, cause a valuable improvement on your colony’s performance. The food processing chamber, for example, does not just increase the amount of fungi you can store as it also increases the maximum number of worker ants you can have. As such, this is definitely among the upgrade options to prioritize.
Every higher level of upgrade on the food processing chamber requires bigger amounts of leaves, which is why you have to ensure that your leaf storage chamber can hold more than enough leaves to ensure that you will be ready for the next upgrade instance on your food processing chamber.
The queen’s chamber is also an important upgrade to consider as each increase in its level also levels up your soldier ants. As soldier ants are crucial to defending your anthill and attacking others for extra resource, maxing this out should be among the priorities as well. The queen’s chamber has a maximum level of 5 for starters anyway so it requires a relatively shorter grind for seeds to fully upgrade it. Just like the food processing chamber and other rooms, though, upgrading the queen’s chamber will eventually require seeds more than what you can store. As such, be ready to upgrade the seed storage chamber for it as well.
The rest of the chambers like the nursery chamber, body parts chamber, and honeydew chamber are not as important at the start, so feel free to a lot resources for them at a later time. While upgrading the slaves chamber can tremendously boost the fusion success rate of your insect slaves, gathering the needed body parts to upgrade it will take some time. As such, you can bank on it later as well once you have upgraded all the more important chambers in your anthill.
4. Follow The Quest Guide
While you can continue to obtain every resource you need and progress through Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator without even bothering with the quests, each objective in the list can earn you valuable resources. Additionally, it is important to look into each one and have it serve as your guide towards progression. Although Dr. Zany does a pretty neat job of introducing you to the basic features of the game, more can be learned or remembered if you regularly check quest objectives you have yet to clear.
Note that you do not need to follow a certain sequence when accomplishing quests although some of them are directly dependent on others. For the most part, the most difficult feat we have faced so far is protecting the convoy from fire ants and not losing a single ant in the journey. By default, this is a very difficult feat to accomplish and you may have to max out the queen’s chamber and have level 4 soldier ants before attempting to clear this objective.
Likewise, you may have to spend some honeydews to upgrade worker ants and soldier ants to accomplish this. The strength, speed, and numbers of your ants are a factor to consider in protecting the convoy but strategies can also be imposed to raise your chances of success.
To start off, you cannot utilize the mini map to check where the fire ants will be coming from and you will have to rely on watching from all sides and spotting trouble as they approach. Each fire ant that approaches will target a specific worker ant and will initially travel a straight line towards its target. The best formation requires that you place yourself at the center of the convoy so you can navigate easily across all sides.
Instead of approaching the fire ant moving towards the convoy, you can instead predict where it is headed and have your soldier ants close in on where that point is. The worker ant targeted by the enemy fire ant will also be constantly marching towards home, so be sure to consider that in the strategic placement of yourself and your soldier ant bodyguards.
5. Exterminate The Red Ants As Soon As Possible
The red ants in Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator serve as your eternal rivals on the map. They have their own anthill, a growing colony, and an unquenchable thirst for the resources you gather for your own colony. It is possible to avoid a direct confrontation with them, but once they decide to gather from resource spots where your workers also obtain materials, it becomes unavoidable. Red ants will typically be stronger than your ants, especially early on when you have yet to perform any upgrades on your soldiers’ levels. You have the advantage of strategy, however, so with enough preparation, you can exterminate them to have uninterrupted gathering of resources.
While it will be difficult and expensive to try and exterminate red ants with your level 1 soldier ants, it is still possible. If you can avoid doing so and can hold off until you have an upgraded queen’s chamber and stronger soldier ants; that would be the better option. It is also helpful to have the max number of soldier ants available, which is 50, and more than enough fungi to replace soldier ants that fall in battle.
Once you decide to exterminate the red ants, you have to see it all the way through and kill their queen. Otherwise, it will be a waste of effort, time, and resources, as the colony will simply reproduce to replace their fallen members. Regardless if you have level 4 soldier ants and a maximum of 50 to spare as well; a slow, gradual approach towards conquering the red ants colony is recommended.
As a prelude to an all-out attack, you can instead station yourself and soldier ants you recruit at the resource spot where red ants gather materials from. Red soldier ants will accompany their workers to the resource spots and will attack your workers when they get close to it but most of the soldiers are guarding their anthill and the queen. Doing this will cut down not just their numbers but their supply as well and, as far as soldier ants are concerned, you will have the advantage in numbers.
From the resource point, work your way slowly towards the red ant’s base, recruiting soldier ants in case you lose some of them along the way. You can choose to ignore some red worker ants but be sure to eliminate all soldier ants before entering their anthill. Once inside, there will be a few more soldier ants to eliminate before going for the queen. It may be best to have the maximum number of soldier ants with you before heading into the queen’s chamber as she will be guarded by a lot of soldier ants as well. The queen itself will not be able to defend herself so it is practically a victory when all soldier ants are disposed of.
After eliminating the queen, you will earn a pheromone, which is needed to attract creatures, and a random number of gems. A new colony of red ants will respawn in 12 hours so be sure to prepare for the next one.
6. Farm And Fuse Slave Creatures
The experience of managing ants and the anthill along with watching them as they perform their specific duties can already be a fun treat for players. Destroying red anthills and even searching for and battling against colonies of other players bring extra layers of excitement as well. Beyond all that, however, Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator comes packed with a variety of other insects you can battle with and as an alternative to collecting their body parts, you can enslave them to become a part of your army.
These creatures appear randomly once every 24 hours and you can attract one instantly at random using 3 pheromones. Once a creature is present in the map, a red arrow will point you towards it. Some creatures are more aggressive than others and will attack once you stray too close to them. Others will only strike back when hurt.
There are currently 7 different creatures to collect in Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator with each one having unique traits. Beyond different stats and rarity grades, there is also a different approach to attracting these creatures, fighting them, and utilizing them as members of your army.
The tarantula is most likely the first creature you will see as you spend your first minute or so in the world of Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator and is one of the 2 common insects in the roster of creatures. Tarantulas have average stats and will lock onto a target and charge towards it. You can attract tarantulas using pheromones any time of the day across all weathers.
The praying mantis is the only other common creature you will encounter in the field and attacks very much like tarantulas. These creatures exhibit higher attack rate and speed than tarantulas but have much lower health. Like tarantuals as well, you can very much attract praying mantises using pheromones at any time.
The tiger beetle is an uncommon creature that has superb attack rate and speed, but lags behind in terms of health. Instead of charging into its target, the tiger beetle will jump, enabling it to go for a swift kill but becomes vulnerable once it no longer needs to jump to kill another target. Although the tiger beetle can be attracted using pheromones rather easily any time, they appear more frequently at dawn.
Another uncommon creature to add to your collection is the scorpion, which is as sturdy as the tarantula but has maximum attack rate stats and a little higher speed. The scorpion is likewise a formidable attacker but needs protection as well given its health stats. Scorpions are easier to attract with pheromones during the night time and before dawn.
As the first of the 3 rare creatures in Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator, the bombardier beetle is one creature to watch out for. These creatures are very tough and have at least twice as much health as the aforementioned creatures. Although the attack rate is lower than that of a scorpion, the fact that it can hit and kill anything in its path makes an encounter with it a very dangerous one.
This creature bombards its target from its rear end so it is best to always keep moving about and not let it focus its behind on you. While very difficult to attract, the best time to expend pheromones to tray and summon a bombardier beetle is between sunset and midnight.
The rhinoceros beetle is the slowest creature you can find in the game but also the toughest as its HP exceeds that of the bombardier beetle. The rhino beetle is also capable of eliminating huge numbers of enemies with its AoE attack. Once it starts to glow red, it will damage everything within close proximity. Though not as effective when attacking enemies in an open area, the rhino beetle is a force to be reckoned with in close quarters, like the queen’s nest. You have a much better chance of attracting a rhino beetle during night time, after dusk and before dawn.
Last, but definitely not the least, is the dragonfly, which brings its own superior advantage in combat given the fact that it can fly. The dragonfly is very fast and powerful and unless it stops flying, it will be invulnerable to attacks. It does not sport as much health as other creatures but definitely best at offensive assaults in the open field. Dragonflies will spawn more often than the other rare creatures and is best attracted when there is rainfall. While it can rain at any time of the day, it is easier to attract dragonflies when it is raining during nighttime.
While it is fun to keep adding more and more creatures to your collection, there is a limit as to how many creatures you can keep and upgrading the slaves chamber will not increase the cap. You can only keep 12 creatures in your army and will have 3 free spaces in storage. You need to spend 200 gems to unlock an extra storage space to have a maximum of 12 as well. Although there is always an option to discard a creature, it should only be a last resort as what you would want is to fuse similar creatures to rank them up.
The higher the level of the creatures, or the higher their star ratings are, the more difficult it becomes to successfully fuse them together. Another important point to consider is that only creatures of the same level can be fused together. A successful creature fusion guarantees a higher grade version that exhibits about twice as much power while a failed fusion will eliminate one of the 2 creatures.
You can increase the probability of a successful fusion in 2 ways. The first one is by upgrading your slaves chamber in the colony menu, which needs a huge amount of body parts. Another way is through spending honeydew via the honeydew shop.
7. Keep Your Defenses Updated
One of the more challenging aspects of Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator comes from the PvP combat, which does not take place in real-time but still difficult to win through, especially for beginners. These battles can take place in 2 distinct ways. The first one is when you are offline and away from your colony and players who wish to challenge other players may chance upon attacking your colony and ransacking your supplies. The second is if you tap on the attack tab of the battle button on the lower right side of your screen and click on the “find player” icon.
Defense is naturally a more important aspect of the game in our book so be sure to always keep your defenses intact and upgraded. For starters, you need to make sure that all 50 of your soldier ants are deployed in their respective stations for defense. This may either be outside the anthill, within its corridors, or the queen’s chamber.
What you need to keep in mind relative to this, is that whenever a soldier ant perishes in the line of duty, newcomers will not automatically be deployed to their previous stations. Suppose your entire set of soldier ants is wiped out in battle, the next 50 ants produced by the queen will sit idly and not be stationed on any defense locations. As such, make it a habit of always checking their allocations on the defense tab of the “battle” menu and ensure that they are properly deployed.
Likewise, creatures you have enslaved also need to be assigned to different areas for defense. Naturally, you will have to consider some as more suited for the open field, like the dragonflies, while others are best suited for the queen’s chamber, like the bombardier beetles and rhino beetles. In any case, it is a good idea to experience a lot of battles yourself and engage in attacks against other players’ colonies. Win or lose, what you should gain are defense strategies and formations to continuously improve yours over time.
8. Engage In Battles As Often As You Can
As there will be stronger players around if you have just started playing Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator, chances are that you will be overwhelmed by the sheer strength of their defenses, particularly their creatures when you randomly get matched up to one of them with an attack. It will be impossible, or at the very least highly improbable, to win in an attack if you do not have creature slaves in your army’s roster. As such, it is best to farm pheromones first and attract and enslave as many creatures first before you start challenging other players.
Fortunately enough, Dr. Zany offers a much easier way to win battles and earn pheromones. Instead of choosing to attack other players at random, you can instead challenge him by clicking on his button instead. Winning over other players will can earn you more pheromones and resources, though, but as a training ground and for farming purposes, you can challenge him again and again.
You will need to consume 1 battle token before attacking other players or Dr. Zany himself. Note that you will not be able to earn trophies as well if you choose to do battle against Dr. Zany. If you ran out of battle tokens, you can get more from the gem shop. Although there is an option to purchase battle tokens using gems, the better alternative is obtaining 1 for free by watching a 5 to 30-second video ad on the right side of the gem shop window. You can watch as many ads as you want to earn as many battle tokens. You can likewise battle Dr. Zany as often as you wish as well, effectively giving you an endless opportunity to farm pheromones.
Ones you have collected enough pheromones and captured enough creatures to defend your colony, you may choose to attract more for fusion as well as for body parts needed to upgrade the slaves chamber and boost your chances of a successful creature fusion. Once you are happy with your army and are confident enough to take on other people’s defenses, then engage in an attack.
You will start off with 1,000 trophies, which will increase if you win a battle against another player and decrease if otherwise. Once you have won enough battles and amassed at least 1,500 trophies, you can begin earning yellow pheromones, which are a higher grade pheromone that has a better chance of attracting rare creatures. At 2,000 trophies earned, you can begin earning the rarest pheromones, which are the blue ones and have the highest chance of attracting rare creatures.
In addition to higher chances of attracting rare creatures, yellow and blue pheromones can be used at the pheromone shop to purchase uniquely colored creatures. These creatures do not exhibit any advantage over their regular versions but still cool to have. Likewise, pheromones can also be combined to obtain the next level ones but this will also be dependent on how many trophies you have.
9. Prepare Well Before Taking On The Fire Ants Nest
Compared to the red ant colonies and various creatures you battle with in the field, the fire ants nest is by far the most challenging. You will have numerous encounters with fire ants as you try to collect honeydews from aphid farms, and will protect your convoy from them on the way home. In small numbers, the challenge they provide will be almost equivalent as any other, but within their lair it is a totally different ball game.
You can see a fire ants nest on the map that looks similar to your anthill and the red anthill. Once you step into the entrance, you will be asked to pay a battle token, 950 seeds, and 950 leaves or 350 gems. The first option is the only viable one, though. You can only take soldier ants with you in battle and will have to beat all 15 chambers within to clear it.
Each succeeding chamber grows more difficult than the current one with the first 2 only having fire ants while a growing number of creatures that increase in level litter the next sets of chambers. Each chamber you clear earns you honeydews and clearing chamber 15, which houses the fire ant queen, will reward you a total of 200 honeydews. It is actually a lot, but the journey towards clearing the chamber will be very difficult even if you have invested well enough on your soldier ants.
In any case, there will eventually be a point in the game where you will amass huge amounts of both leaves and seeds. Investing regularly on trips within the fire ants nest even if you only clear a few chambers will be worth it. Likewise, you will easily be able to replace fallen soldier ants with your massive stocks of fungi so the only thing you need to worry about is actually making progress within it. Every bit of honeydew you earn from each attempt will take you a step closer to purchasing new upgrades anyway, so keep your patience up and explore different strategies to beat the fire ants nest.
As a last note, Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator is a game where progression can be made even if you are offline, relative to the time it takes for constructions and upgrades are concerned or when you are waiting for the next creature, aphid farm, or red ant colony will appear. Actively playing will still contribute much to your progression and there are hardly any limitations as to how much time you can spend on farming various resources.
Well, that is it for our Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator beginner’s guide. We hope that you picked up a lot of useful knowledge from the tips and strategies we shared in this article. Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator certainly holds more in store for its present and future fans as the creature collection window itself seems to hold more space for additional insects. If you have played Pocket Ants: Colony Simulator extensively enough and stumbled upon a neat trick or strategy we have not included in our guide, be sure to share them with us and drop us a note down below!