Welcome to the battlefield! In State.io, you’ll be squaring off against other states who want to conquer the world and remake it in their image. Obviously, we can’t let that happen because they’re wrong, and our state is the most glorious and the best state in the world!
State.io is a minimalist RTS game. Available on both iOS and Android, you control states and vie with AI players for control of different territories around the world. From the USA to South America, to Europe, you’ll spread your nation far and wide, and soon the whole world will be a part of your great empire.
But before that happens, you’ll want to have a look at our State.io beginner’s guide, and some of our tips, tricks and strategies to help you on your quest for world domination.
State.io uses states as the basis for all in-game actions. States automatically produce units over time, and can both attack and be attacked by other states. Likewise, your enemies’ states will do the same, and they’ll also be pushing towards victory.
The number underneath each state represents how many units are currently in that state. The number also corresponds to a general combat strength; as a rule of thumb, one unit will destroy one enemy. Therefore, you should aim to attack with superior numbers to ensure victory.
Gray states are neutral states. They don’t produce units over time, but will still defend themselves when attacked. They don’t serve any purpose in the game other than to be taken over. The more states under a player’s control, the faster their unit production becomes.
Reinforce Your Armies
After you get those shiny coins from clearing stages, you can spend them on three upgrade trees. These trees deal with your Starting Units, your Production Speed, and your Offline Earnings.
Starting Units increases the number of units your initial state has at the beginning of a round. The more units you have, the faster you’ll be able to take nearby neutral territories and grow your armies.
Production Speed is how quickly your states will produce units, expressed as units per second. While it takes a while to get to the whole numbers of unit production, even a .33 second increase will greatly outpace a 1 unit per second production rate. Since this bonus is applied to all states under your control, the effect of this upgrade will be greatly amplified and pronounced throughout the battle.
Offline Earnings is simply how many bonus coins you get for each hour you spend offline. This can be multiplied by watching an ad when you next log in. While it measures your income per hour, the game actually does give you coins every minute, and you can log in for a tiny amount of cash.
State.io also adds an ad option for when you can’t afford upgrades, if you buy multiple levels at once. By watching an ad, you can cover the cost for one more upgrade level in the same batch, letting you get 3-4 upgrades per visit to the upgrade screen.
While State.io is fairly basic in its gameplay, there are some tips and tricks that you can use to get the upper hand in combat.
Reinforce Your States
While playing, you may have realized that states cap at 50 units. This cap refers to each state’s inherent unit production as well as any units left over from occupying that state.
However, you can reinforce states in the same way as you would attack them; just select a state or states that you own and drag the arrow towards the target state. This allows you to build garrisons in the hundreds, making taking particular states a daunting task.
Target Faraway States
Because of how the game plays out, you may not realize that there’s actually no restriction on unit movement. You can send units to any state on the map, not just adjacent ones. Use this to pick at weak points in your opponents’ territory, or establish forward states. It’s also worth noting that your units can move over any terrain – this includes water.
Attacking Taxes Your Resources
This may sound elementary, but it’s an important concept to master in State.io. When you attack, you are effectively leaving one of your states with zero defenders, leaving it vulnerable and making it a prime target for enemy occupation. Likewise, the state you’ve just taken will be on similar uneven footing unless you’ve made a massive, dedicated push.
This is true for your opponents as well. Look for weak spots in their states and don’t hesitate to prey on states they’ve just taken or states from which they’ve newly deployed units, as they’ll likely have weak garrisons.
Issue Joint Orders
You can give orders to several states at once! This is done like giving an order to a single state; however, drag your finger over your other state centers before giving the final movement order. This will cause units from all involved states to participate in whatever action you’ve assigned them to – great for making joint, multi-directional pushes or massively reinforcing a single state.
Combat is Simple Mathematics
There’s not much to the combat of State.io – just remember that units destroy other units at a ratio of 1:1. A garrison with 10 defenders will be beaten by 10 attackers. This is especially important in the early game, where taking and holding neutral states is paramount.
Intercept Enemy Armies
Combat doesn’t occur solely in states. Armies that meet each other while marching will damage each other, based on how units collide. In a sense, you can think of units as bullets that are used for both attack and defense. Use smaller groups of units to weaken your enemy’s armies as they try to attack your states. The sacrifice of a few units can mean the difference between keeping or losing a vital state.
Pay Attention to Dangerous States
The more units a state has, the more pronounced its player color becomes. Keep an eye out on these states, as they could potentially house hundreds of units that an enemy is building up for a fatal sweep into your lands.
Let Them Fight
As the saying goes, “the enemy of my enemy is…still my enemy!”. There are no alliances in State.io, but careful players can use their rivals against each other. Let your enemies fight over neutral states, then swoop in and take them all while your opponents are weakened from the clash.
Pump the Production Speed Upgrade
Among the three upgrades available to you, Production Speed gives the best value for money by far. Its game-wide effect means that the more states you have, the more powerful the upgrade becomes. It’s possible to sweep through the first couple levels with nothing but production speed alone, and it’s only much later that the Starting Units upgrade becomes necessary or even viable. Your opponents will also gain more upgrades, so you need to stay either with or ahead of them.
Keep the Endgame in Mind
It’s really easy to get swept up in battles to conquer neutral states, but it’s doubly important to keep your eyes on the prize. Victory is achieved when all other players have been eliminated. Conquering the entire board is nice, but you’ll win instantly if you crush your enemies.
There’s a special case for units in transit here. If they manage to conquer whatever state they’re attacking, the game will continue. However, if they’re wiped out either by intercepting armies or losing to the state’s defenders, you win. Act decisively, and keep your actions in line with your strategy to close the game.
Miscellaneous Tips And Tricks
These are other tips we’ve discovered while playing the game, but they deserve their own section as they’re not strictly applied on the battlefield.
Turn Your Connection Off
Ads are useful for getting those gold multiplier and upgrade bonuses, but let’s be honest – they can be really annoying. Few things break your tempo like having to watch back-to-back 30 second ads every time you want to do something.
Fortunately, State.io is actually an offline game. If you don’t want to deal with ads at all, you can turn off your wifi connection or mobile data on your device, so no ads will pop up. If all else fails, you can just keep pumping your Offline Income stat to compensate for lost ad bonuses.
The Store only has Cosmetics
For those wary of pay-to-win games, State.io’s shop only has cosmetic items. In spite of what it may first look like, all the Fighters tab changes is the icon of your units. Same with the Building tab – it’s just for the icons of states under your control. Fortunately, you don’t actually have to shell out cash for these, but you will have to watch an ad.
You Can’t Grind Gold
Finally, you may come up against a wall that you just can’t overcome. In that case, your only choice is to rely on your offline income. While it’s the least important of the three upgrades to invest in, you should still put some gold into it, since you can also watch an ad to multiply these gold gains by 3 – 5 times.
Go Forth And Conquer
That wraps up our beginner’s guide for State.io. While it’s a really basic game, it can become very engaging to watch and fight on larger maps with lots of armies. If you have anything you’d like to add, or have some suggestions for our article, let us know in the comment section below!