The popular Facebook game has now come to iOS devices — are you ready to go back in time to feudal Japan, and take part in epic Underworld battles with Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition? Nekki Games has just released this game for iPhone, iPad, and other iOS gadgets, and the company describes the title as a “nail-biting mix of RPG and classical fighting (games).” You can equip your character, the Shadow, with a wide variety of weapons and armor, and have him showcase his martial arts techniques against a wide range of enemies, including vicious demon bosses. Your ultimate goal is to close the Gate of Shadows, and you’ll need to go through six different worlds in order to achieve that. Are you up to the challenge, and ready to do battle against these forces of evil?
While the learning curve isn’t really as steep as you may expect, this is also a very deep game with a lot of features and game modes. But we’ve got a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to learn the game from top to bottom, and have a better chance of completing that all-important sixth and final stage/in-game world. Read on, and check out our exclusive guide for Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition, that contains all the tips you need to complete the game faster!
1. Don’t Attack Your Enemy Willy-Nilly
Once you’ve started playing Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition, one of the first things you will notice is that the game sort-of penalizes you for recklessly attacking your opponent. All-out offensive strategies will get you nowhere in this game, and we’re going to explain why below.
First of all, it’s not a good idea to focus solely on offense and flail away at your opponent recklessly because you have a meter below your health bar that fills up as you land consecutive strikes against them. You can think of this as a “rage meter,” and while we will get to that later, this meter will always run out if you fail to connect on your attacks. And if you keep on mashing the punch and kick buttons, what usually happens is that your character will have no choice but to attack with weak knees that hardly dent the enemy’s health bar.
The second reason is because this is a game that rewards the defensive counter-puncher rather than the offensive button-masher. Blocking is actually quite easy — if you don’t do anything, the game will automatically do the blocking for you. But it doesn’t always ensure that you will avoid your opponent’s attacks, so you should also make use of those rolls, flips, and other evasive maneuvers. At the same time, it may take some practice, but you’ll get best results if you counter-attack the enemy, i.e. attack them off a missed blow or kick, or attack them if they perform the wrong evasive maneuver. That means a greater chance of a Critical Hit, or a Shock hit, meaning one that hits your opponent so hard that their weapons fall off.
2. All About The ‘Rage Meter’
As we explained above, aimlessly hitting punch or kick and not connecting will deplete the bar underneath the health bar, which we refer as a “rage meter” for lack of a better term. How else does it work, and what can you do to fill it up quickly?
Aside from missing your attacks, the rage meter will also run out if you don’t launch any attack whatsoever; that’s why it’s important to try stringing together a combo of consecutive, hard hits to fill it up quickly. Once it fills up the first time, you’ll see the word “Hard!” underneath. That essentially levels up your attacking power by one tier, and it won’t go back one tier, no matter how often you miss, or how long you choose not to attack. But that doesn’t mean you should rest on the combo-stringing; once you fill up the rage meter again, you will then move from Hard to Brutal. That means your attacks will become even more powerful, but as the expression goes, “wait, there’s more.”
After Brutal comes Aggressive, and after Aggressive comes Crazy. The final tier is Fantastic, so once you reach that point, your attacks will be at full power, giving you a better chance than ever of polishing off the enemy quickly.
Once again, we cannot stress this enough. Don’t spam the attack buttons if you don’t want to stay in Passive style for the entire duration of the round. Attack with combo-stringing in mind, but do it smartly, and not recklessly. And if you see a chance to break an enemy’s combo string, then go for it! The last thing you want is to let your opponent get “in the zone” and ride a wave of momentum thanks to their combo.
3. Mix Up Your Moves
In conjunction with what we’ve been telling you from the start, it pays to mix up your moves and show some variation, regardless of which mode you’re playing. Although your opponents are all AI-controlled, that doesn’t mean they’re completely predictable once you get the hang of the game. Sure, you can detect a pattern once you’ve been playing for a while, but the AI too can sense if you’re getting too predictable, i.e. hitting the punch or kick button once too many, or using the same alternating punch/kick pattern. It also seems as if the computer can “telegraph” your moves; for example, AI enemies may know just what to do to counter a kick when they see you attempting it, and naturally missing from far away. Don’t be too predictable — show some variety so that you don’t get outsmarted by the computer!
4. Don’t Stand So Close
Another thing to look out for when fighting is the tendency to stand too close to your opponent. You may be the type who prefers close-contact attacks, which is fine. But you need to know when to step back, because opponents can easily go for a throw if you’re too close, and therefore completely vulnerable to being thrown. Likewise, you can do the same if you’re close enough to your opponent (by hitting the punch button and moving forward or backward, depending on where you want to throw your opponent), but in most cases, you’re better off moving back to safer ground rather than attempting to throw the enemy.
5. Know Your Character’s Orientation, And Be Aware
In a game like Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition, awareness is very, very important. Unlike in your average fighting game, the appearances of the characters are not clearly defined — everyone is a shadow, after all! That means you may face opponents that look exactly like you do in shadow form, meaning they’ve got the exact same helmet, armor suit, and weapon. Make sure you’re always looking at the highlight at the bottom of the fight screen — that represents where your character is, and if you can recognize that highlight, you shouldn’t get lost and be fooled into thinking you’re controlling your character when you actually aren’t.
6. There Is Only One Way To Win A Round
In many other fighting games, you’ll end up winning a round if time runs out and you have more health remaining than your opponent. That’s not the case in Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition, where the only way to win a round is to knock your opponent out and wipe out all his/her health before the 99 second time limit expires. There are no draws here, and no option for you to avoid contact and run out the rest of the timer if you’re ahead on health points and want to play it safe.
If time runs out and you still haven’t knocked your opponent out, the sad fact of the matter is that the game will award the round to your opponent, even if they haven’t knocked you out either! Yes, we know it sounds unfair, but that’s one reason why this game is rather challenging as far as fighting games go.
7. Grinding Isn’t Always An Option Either
Another reason why Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition is challenging is the fact that you don’t get any option to farm for coins, gems, and/or experience by replaying tournament stages or campaign stages you’ve already completed. Once you’re done, you’re done, and that means you essentially cannot grind via the traditional means in this game. Later on, we will be explaining the best ways to earn coins and gems, but if you’re expecting to be able to replay stages like other games allow you to do, that’s not available in this game.
8. Play Survival Mode If You Want To Grind For Coins And Gems
We might as well get started here with one good way you can earn coins (the common currency) and gems (the premium currency) in Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition. We’re talking about Survival mode here, and in this game mode, your objective is to beat as many enemies as possible without your health bar running out. For each successive opponent you beat, you will receive a slight boost in HP, but at the same time, you will be facing tougher enemies with higher attack and health points, sturdier armor, etc. But as you beat more enemies, you will also earn more coins and gems once your Survival run is over.
You can replay Survival as often as you please, especially if you’re unable to move forward in the tournament or campaigns, but can’t afford to upgrade existing equipment or buy new equipment. There is, however, one catch to this way of grinding — you cannot grind for XP this way! All you’ll get for completing a Survival run is two measly XP — that’s 2 XP for the entire run, not 2 XP per opponent defeated. If you want to level up quickly, there’s no other way but to beat opponents in tournaments and campaign battles.
9. What To Expect From The Tournaments And Campaign Mode
One of the more prominent modes in the game is Tournament mode, which is a series of 24 fights, each one harder than the last. Winning tournament fights is a great way to earn more coins and XP, though the only time you may win gems is during the 24th and last fight. It’s pretty simple and straightforward, though probably not as easy to complete as the game would make it out to be.
The main game mode, however, is the campaign or story mode, which would require you to fight a series of enemies, again each one harder to beat than the last, until you’re down to the boss character. There are less fights in each stage of the main campaign mode, and they tend to be more difficult, especially the boss fight. Still, that means richer rewards in terms of coins and experience, and some gems as well on top of the higher coin earnings and XP!
On the bottom right side of your screen, there’s another campaign mode of sorts, and that’s the Old Wounds campaign. In here, you’re in control of the Sensei, i.e. the character who briefs you from time to time when you’re fighting as the Shadow. These are side missions of sorts that you can complete if you’re grinding for gems, as you will be earning a few by defeating the enemies involved. Take note, however, that you are fighting as the Sensei, whose skills, weapons, and armor are all predetermined, and not at all based on your player level in the game. You cannot replay these missions either once you have completed them. This could make the Old Wounds missions more difficult to complete, but they’re worth a go, if you’re trying to earn more gems without having to pay real money for them.
10. Take Part In The Duels
Duel mode is another game mode available in Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition, and these are fights where you get random equipment, and face random AI opponents. That is, in fact, the challenge here — you have no control over the equipment, though the good thing is that duel opponents are usually of Normal difficulty. Winning a Duel will earn you some coins and gems, but the catch is that you can only take part in these matches every four hours. Don’t miss the opportunity to take part in Duels so you can earn more currency without paying real money!
11. Upgrade To The Fullest, Then Buy New Stuff
There are fighting games where it’s encouraged that you stick to your tried-and-tested weapons as long as possible and hold off on blowing your currency on new ones, and there are those where you’re encouraged to keep on buying new weapons because they’ll invariably be better than the previous ones, even if they’re fully upgraded or leveled up. Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition is the latter type of game when it comes to equipment, though there are some restrictions and other considerations in play.
First of all, we would recommend buying a new weapon or piece of armor if you’re at Hard difficulty or harder in a certain battle, and cannot seem to defeat your opponent no matter what you do. Once you’ve bought that new item, make sure you upgrade it to the fullest — it’s always better to pay coins than gems when upgrading, because the gems can be used to buy special kinds of weapons and armor, which we will be discussing in a bit. Also keep in mind the the game only allows you to upgrade to a certain extent, depending on your level — it wouldn’t be much fun, after all, if you make your items so impressive that even the boss battles are a walk in the park!
12. Save Your Gems For The Enchanted Items
By now, you should know about the different game modes to play if you’re looking to earn more coins and/or gems. And we also told you earlier that we don’t really recommend paying gems when buying items or performing upgrades that can otherwise be bought/done with coins. So what should you be saving up your gems for?
The answer to this question would be the enchanted items, meaning those items in the equipment menu (the middle option in the main menu on the left side) that have gems underneath them. You don’t have to buy a weapon or piece of armor just because it’s enchanted, though — tap on the gem to find out what it does and what kind of buffs it provides, so you can make a more informed decision on whether to buy the item or not. Typically, we’d only buy the enchanted items once in the later parts of a stage, once you’re almost done with the tournament and getting ready for the boss battle.
13. You Can Also Earn Gems By Completing Achievements
If you want yet another way in which you can earn gems in Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition, you can try completing more achievements, though these can be completed in the natural course of playing the game. For example, you may need to make the first strike a certain number of times, reach a certain style tier (Strong, Brutal, Aggressive, etc.), finish rounds with a head hit, etc. It helps if you view the list of achievements by going to the player menu (the one with the fighter icon, second from bottom on the main menu), then clicking on the ribbon icon below. You can also go there to claim your gem rewards once you’ve completed the achievements!
14. About The Skill Tree
Passive skills and new fighting moves in Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition are referred to as Perks, and you can view the skill tree for these Perks by going to the player menu, then clicking on the staircase icon on the bottom part of the screen. As mentioned, Perks usually mean passive skills, such as a certain percent chance of triggering certain buffs, e.g. a Critical Hit with 160 percent damage for 5 seconds in the case of Avenger level 1. You may also get to learn some new fighting moves, which are then added to the list of moves that can be accessed by clicking the roundhouse kick icon next to the staircase on the bottom of the screen.
We’ve observed that there isn’t really any right way or wrong way to prioritize learning these Perks. They all connect to one another in the tree, so it doesn’t really matter which order you learn them in. It could also depend on your preferred play style — for example, do you prefer more impactful, buffed Critical Hits, or do you prefer a greater chance of First Strikes reducing enemy health by a certain percentage?
15. Practice Mode Isn’t Useless
See the dojo-like icon on the main menu? That’s the Practice icon, and you can tap on that icon any time you want to practice your moves without any opponents to throw you off your focus. Some say this is the least interesting part of the game, but we would beg to disagree — especially if you’ve learned a new fighting move or acquired a new weapon, it wouldn’t hurt to try it out in a no-pressure setting. And who said it wasn’t a good idea to practice the execution of your basic moves? You might as well get some work done at the dojo if you want to stay sharp for the next battle.
16. Bonus Tips For The First Boss Battle
In the best interests of covering as much ground with this guide as possible, we’d like to touch base on the battle against Lynx, the first-stage boss in the game.
Before we get there, we did mention earlier that you need to defeat all of a boss’ underlings before you get to them, and when talking about degree of difficulty, bosses can be a real handful. The game’s limitations on the level of equipment you’re using leave you no choice but to come prepared with the best, most leveled-up weapons and armor the game would allow, but nothing beyond that. And instead of best-of-3, boss battles are best-of-5, which mean longer fights, unless they completely annihilate you within a matter of seconds. Beating a boss will earn you coins, gems, and a collectible Seal, and will also unlock new types of weapons or actions or features. For example, you can unlock throwing weapons by beating Lynx, magic by beating Hermit, and so on.
Moving on to Lynx, we found that we got the best results when we used the Blood Reaper, which stands out for two reasons. One, it’s an enchanted weapon that could cause the enemy to bleed for a 5-second period of time after being hit, losing 6 percent of health per second. Two, it’s got an unusually long range, which means you can attack Lynx from a good distance, and still hit him.
When fighting Lynx, make sure you’re at a generous enough distance, but not too far, because he’ll try to keep you at bay by throwing projectiles, which would most likely knock you down and allow him to close in. Expect him to close in quite often and try taking the battle toe-to-toe, and always try moving back. Critical Hits from Lynx could shock you, or knock your weapons out of your hand — once that happens, he’s essentially got the round won, because your firsts are simply no match for someone as tough as the first-stage boss. Also beware of his invisibility skill; make sure to pay attention to where the hits are coming from, so you can quickly adjust your orientation and connect with your Blood Reaper, even if you can’t see him.
For more Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition tips and tricks, please head over to our second strategy guide, which explains how to survive later stages and beat more bosses in the game.