Unsurprisingly, like anything with even a hint of Minecraft mixed in, Foursaken Media's Block Fortress [$1.99] is absolutely ripping up the iTunes charts. Brad and I bumbled around a bit in game for a TA Plays, there's a stupid-huge thread in our forums, and we've even had the developers share some tips. Well, TouchArcade reader and apparent Block Fortress pro-level player who goes by "Giggles Grimm" sent us some of his tips, and we figured we had to share them with the rest of our community. Keep in mind, these tips are a little more advanced with some assumed knowledge that you as a player have spent some time with the game. Trust me, it'll all make sense once you do.

So, without further ado-


GIGGLE GRIMM'S TOP 10 TIPS FOR KICKING ASS AT BLOCK FORTRESS

1. Start your base as high as possible near mineshafts. I generally situate it right on the edge of a cliff, or better yet a cliff on water. This tends to make defending one or two sides of your base much easier.

2. Your main goal in the first 4 rounds is to race to establish:

  • Three mine shafts near your base.
  • Two farm blocks (add three more after round five).
  • Upgrade your barracks to level 2.
  • Add a fourth mineral mine, this time using a mining drill which extracts resources quicker.

This will help set you up with a good income of minerals early, and let you expand to installing more mining drills while balancing with a well-defended base.

I typically get to round five with three or four plasma blocks on mineshafts or on the sides of my base, plus at least one mortar and one laser on the roof.

3. Here's two equipment options that are more important than guns: Buy and equip a spotter and craft an ID mod on it, as soon as possible! This is very useful for figuring out where those damn Shadow Goblocks are and other boss Goblocks. Buy a stimpack and upgrade it for the speed mod. This will have you running much faster all over your map, which is a huge advantage after round ten.

4. Craft, craft, craft. Play multiple maps simultaneously to get you green, blue, and white minerals. As far as weapons are concerned, upgrade plasma, laser and mortar turrets to detector mode as soon as you can so that they will take down enemies at night without the complicated fuss of lights. If you do have to use lights, use tracker lights on top of your base, as the others are pretty useless. Crafting a tactical light onto your firearm of choice (for me, shotgun, plasma, cry gun, and bazooka) can also be helpful.

Four more big crafting tips:

  • Upgrade tech metal (see below).
  • Upgrade your spotter with the ID mod.
  • Upgrade your stimpack with the speed mod.
  • Adding salvage to mining drill and powerblocks will let you move your mining operations around with ease, depending on where the next attack comes from.

5. Build on top of your base. I typically put five powerblocks on the base roof in a cross, then build a floor over that on four corner posts (just one post can be taken out, leading to roof collapse or turrets falling off), and then lasers and mortars on top. The reason for putting your most valuable defensive assets on top of your base is that most Goblocks will go after your base first, which is very durable and alerts you when it is being degraded. Then totally encase your base in a mesh / techmetal pyramid.

6. Mesh, mesh, mesh. At least in the early stages of the game, you can afford mesh building blocks a lot more than concrete or metal, because it uses money rather than minerals. Use mesh everywhere. Later, you can craft tech metal with the salvage and HP options, and then you'll have highly durable blocks that you can move around between rounds at will without financial penalty.

7. Turtle your farm and your mineshafts. That is, build mesh pyramids to completely cover over them with a plasma gun or two on top. For my farm (only plant on bedrock) I put wooden or concrete blocks on top so that there is no financial penalty for accessing my food when i need to restore HP. Erase the land blocks down to bedrock around each mineshaft and the farm so you don't have to constantly monitor whether the Goblocks are getting in underground while your mortars degrade the landscape. Keep your powerblocks at the same level as your mineshaft so that you can see Goblocks trying to get in to attack them (if they're attacking down low it's much harder). Powerblocks sometimes fall down when the earth blocks they are on become degraded, so build them up on mesh blocks even with the mining block.

8. Lasers are the best defensive tool in the game, in my opinion, because they take down enemies of all types from far away (For example, I've never had to worry about giants, my lasers take them down before they get to any mine-pyramids.), allowing you to focus after round ten on finding the shadows that the turrets won't target or other bosses. This is why you need your base on a high point. By round fifteen I usually have ten lasers, at least, on top of my base, arranged on diagonal booms (two layers thick) to give them maximum firepower dispersion. Craft to upgrade the heck out of lasers- damage, detector, mostly. The only downside to this strategy is having jumpack Goblocks get on your roof and destroy them, or having bazooka or laser Goblocks pick them off. So intercept these types early and monitor your rooftop closely.

9. Don't diversify turrets. By sticking with plasma (close support), mortars (medium support), and lasers (long-range support) only (well that's the three turret types that I prefer, anyway), you can craft upgrades to them and be sure your upgrades improve gameplay on all your maps.

10. Save often! I save after a successful round, and then again after investing my newly-earned money and minerals. This way, if my investments (new turrets, mines, etc.) prove unsound, I can go back to the save at the end of the last round and invest differently.

BONUS TIP: This is more a theory than proven practice at the moment, but I think a well-upgraded bazooka is the best way to combat shadows from a high point. They stick together in groups, so you can take them down with a few bazooka shots from the roof of your base and then close in to finish with shotgun. Might also be a good way to deal with other Goblock headaches like leaders and engineers at a great distance, if you craft armor-piercing upgrades to the bazooka.

The more I play at higher levels, the more it seems that sticking close to your base is extremely important - otherwise one group of Goblocks attract you to the east, and while you're shotgunning them down, two more groups move in on your base from the west and then you're screwed. So having weapons that will take enemies down at range, without pinpoint accuracy, becomes more important - hence my investigation into playing from the base roof with an upgraded bazooka as much as possible.


Did you get all that? Thanks again to Giggles Grimm for his dedication to the game, and for sending us this extensive list of tips. It's really sort of amazing that Block Fortress has this level of depth that actually makes it viable to have these kinds of discussions on the vastly varied strategies of the game. This is what works for Mr. Grimm here, but, you could be equally successful doing something else elaborate defending your base from the Goblocks.

Agree with his strategies? Disagree? Have different ideas entirely? Share your tips in the comments here.

  • lr1919

    Thanks for the tips!

  • vicsark

    Thks, some good ideas here. The game is awesome.
    Difficulty curve is high though!
    So if you need more tips, there's a "Hints and Tips for Block Fortress" thread in TA forum (created by Dreathor)

  • Cooler King

    Resources are the key to survival so getting the most as soon as possible is vital. Once you have self powered and salvageable shafts, drills, plasma turrets and laser turrets you can really deplete those nodes. First wave build 2 shafts and 5 plasma turrets, second wave build another shaft and as many turrets as you can afford. Now on wave 3 you can sell everything back and upgrade your barracks, build 3 drills, and build 2 laser turrets. Keep building more drills as you can and by wave 7 or 8 you can have orbital lasers out.

  • drloony

    Giggles is awsome, thanks for sharing your tips. His tips have really helped me step up my strategy in this game without using any IAP so far

  • arekusanda

    Great tips!
    Also flares are amazing later on and are cheap to keep up the whole night round @$50/reload. They become a necessity if your long range towers are not detectors since disintegrators get particularly nasty if left alone to snipe.

    A grid of 10 orbital lasers is also an amazing weapon to behold and you could afk through level 20 if it wasn't for the darn shadows.

    Rate of fire modded howitzers are also a good laser replacement once you unlock it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/darko.toxis Darko Toxis

    Has TA not noticed the work that Dreathor is putting into the general thread with hints and tips, including frequent updates. Considering he had a tweet from the developers for reaching level 60+ early on, some of those tips may have been more appropriate to use instead. Giggles is stated as a pro-level player but it doesn't say what level he is actually on ;) or did he forget to give that information lol.

  • FatDatBoy

    I totally disagree with him!
    Here are my 5 tips in getting your Block Fortress experience to the next level!

    1. When I choose the Location for my Base, I usually pick an open space so that all my turrets have clear sight of my enemy! Or if you are playing on a mountain map I personally love to sit inside a Valley because then you can shoot of the Goblocks while there running down that wall! ( most of them are vulnerable from behind)

    2. When it comes to resources and mines I typically don't care about having any mines close to me, due to me having a fully upgraded mining drill ( Salvage, power source ) which mean I can place them wherever I want and get loads of minerals early on!

    3. Now the most important question is "what to buy in the first few levels?"
    Well this is how i Typically start:
    1. Round: upgrade your barracks to level 2
    and buy yourself a shotgun and a Stimpack
    ( survivability and damage! )
    2. Round: Now that your barracks are level 2
    You can buy mining drills which you place
    on the side of the map where the enemy isn't
    coming from! ( This means more shotgun
    defending = more fun!! )
    3. Round: By now you should have enough
    minerals to buy some Tech metal walls to
    reinforce the side the enemy is coming from
    ( remember 3. Wave is the big one! ) also buy
    1 50. Cal turret and place it 2 blocks away
    from you tech metal wall, on another tech
    metal brick. ( remember to move around your
    mining drills so that the enemy cant reach
    them! )
    4. Round: now you should really start
    building up your turrets!
    I do it in this fashion:
    ^_____^ 50. Cal turret = ^
    ___^___
    ====== Barracks = ======
    ( repeat this on each side and consider
    placing a tech metal block under each turret!)
    I do it this way because now your inner turret
    can shoot goblocks when they attack your
    outer ones, and the other way around.
    5. Round: this is where the night comes in
    for the first time and you'll be surprised
    how easy it is when you have crafted the
    detectors mod onto your 50. Cal turrets!

    4. One thing that allot of people don't realize is how important you as a player are the goblocks attack! Not only do you need to kill the shadows, but you also need to target but buff enemys! Such as the medics, engineers, veterans etc. !
    So get in there and fight!!
    ( I recommend at least a spotter and stimpack fully upgraded! And two other weapons of choice. For me it's the sniper rifle and the shotgun. )

    5. The key to success in Blockfortress is :
    Crafting!
    Here are a list of items you have to upgrade:
    Tech Metal I & II : Salvage Mod
    .50 Cal : Power Source
    Detector Mod
    Salvage Mod
    Howitzer : Power Source
    Detector Mod
    Salvage Mod
    M.I.R.V : Power Source
    Detector Mod
    Salvage Mod
    Freeze gun : Power Source
    Detector Mod
    Salvage Mod
    Orbital laser : Power Source
    Detector Mod
    Salvage Mod
    Mining drill : Power Source
    Salvage Mod
    Spotter : Identification Mod
    Barracks Mod
    Status Mod
    Stimpack : 5 x Movespeed Mod

    Your weapon of choice : Tactical Light

    This is just my little tactic to getting your game to the next level!
    Ofc. This only included the levels 1-5
    But really all you need to do from there on is add the OL and M.I.R.V. Replace some .50 Cal woth the Howitzer and your ready to go!!

    Feel free to leave a comment if you have any other questions!

  • FatDatBoy

    I totally disagree with him!
    Here are my 5 tips in getting your Block Fortress experience to the next level!

    1. When I choose the Location for my Base, I usually pick an open space so that all my turrets have clear sight of my enemy! Or if you are playing on a mountain map I personally love to sit inside a Valley because then you can shoot of the Goblocks while there running down that wall! ( most of them are vulnerable from behind)

    2. When it comes to resources and mines I typically don't care about having any mines close to me, due to me having a fully upgraded mining drill ( Salvage, power source ) which mean I can place them wherever I want and get loads of minerals early on!

    3. Now the most important question is "what to buy in the first few levels?"
    Well this is how i Typically start:
    1. Round: upgrade your barracks to level 2
    and buy yourself a shotgun and a Stimpack
    ( survivability and damage! )
    2. Round: Now that your barracks are level 2
    You can buy mining drills which you place
    on the side of the map where the enemy isn't
    coming from! ( This means more shotgun
    defending = more fun!! )
    3. Round: By now you should have enough
    minerals to buy some Tech metal walls to
    reinforce the side the enemy is coming from
    ( remember 3. Wave is the big one! ) also buy
    1 50. Cal turret and place it 2 blocks away
    from you tech metal wall, on another tech
    metal brick. ( remember to move around your
    mining drills so that the enemy cant reach
    them! )
    4. Round: now you should really start
    building up your turrets!
    I do it in this fashion:
    ^_____^ 50. Cal turret = ^
    ___^___
    ====== Barracks = ======
    ( repeat this on each side and consider
    placing a tech metal block under each turret!)
    I do it this way because now your inner turret
    can shoot goblocks when they attack your
    outer ones, and the other way around.
    5. Round: this is where the night comes in
    for the first time and you'll be surprised
    how easy it is when you have crafted the
    detectors mod onto your 50. Cal turrets!

    4. One thing that allot of people don't realize is how important you as a player are the goblocks attack! Not only do you need to kill the shadows, but you also need to target but buff enemys! Such as the medics, engineers, veterans etc. !
    So get in there and fight!!
    ( I recommend at least a spotter and stimpack fully upgraded! And two other weapons of choice. For me it's the sniper rifle and the shotgun. )

    5. The key to success in Blockfortress is :
    Crafting!
    Here are a list of items you have to upgrade:
    Tech Metal I & II : Salvage Mod
    .50 Cal : Power Source
    Detector Mod
    Salvage Mod
    Howitzer : Power Source
    Detector Mod
    Salvage Mod
    M.I.R.V : Power Source
    Detector Mod
    Salvage Mod
    Freeze gun : Power Source
    Detector Mod
    Salvage Mod
    Orbital laser : Power Source
    Detector Mod
    Salvage Mod
    Mining drill : Power Source
    Salvage Mod
    Spotter : Identification Mod
    Barracks Mod
    Status Mod
    Stimpack : 5 x Movespeed Mod

    Your weapon of choice : Tactical Light

    This is just my little tactic to getting your game to the next level!
    Ofc. This only included the levels 1-5
    But really all you need to do from there on is add the OL and M.I.R.V. Replace some .50 Cal woth the Howitzer and your ready to go!!

    Feel free to leave a comment if you have any other questions!

  • SmackDatButt

    It seems almost as if the game presents itself in a way to where it's either 1. You have to become a Block Fortress pro or 2. Just don't play at all.

  • riChchestMat

    The problem with these strategies (and the game) is that you have to grind a lot on different types of maps to be able to get the crafting powerups. There should be a progression from level 1 with no upgrades to the end.

    • http://twitter.com/bri_yoshi Brian Yoshimura

      I disagree, the game would be really boring if we didn't have to grind to craft. It is not hard to obtain the resources you need, just make sure you pick the map and get the important ones recommended by the people giving tips. If the game was just a simple play through from level 1 to max level getting all upgrades, that would make it like every other game on the market. This game is unique with all the welcomed complexity.

  • yojimbo

    I also disagree with putting your base at the highest point. I used to do that, but now I put mine at the lowest, and then have dispersed laser towers scattered around the map. The reason is that around level 22 or 23 or so, you get attacked by swarms of different types of shadow. It doesn't matter how high your base is, they'll scale it really quick. At that point, ironically, your bases strengths work against you. It's really hard to pick the shadows off a high tower. If you're on top of the tower then the angle is too steep for you to be able to shoot straight down (devs: why can't we shoot down? I'm on top of a cliff, someone's climbing up the cliff, but I can't hit them? Why??). And if you're on the ground, having to circle around the tower firing at each face takes really long. They'll strip the tower of its defenses in seconds. But with a squat, low profile base, you can take the high ground and shoot down on to the shadows. Way easier.

    I like the idea of the bazooka against the shadows, haven't experimented with that yet. I just hit level 50 though, so first I'll have to see what this heavy plasma thing is all about...

  • araczynski

    Sorry, but everything about this game sounds like a life wasting grind. Ill assume there's boatloads of IAP to help out with that intended problem. These guys are going downhill fast in my book.

    • lavenders2

      You hate a developer based on assumptions!?
      You don't actually know what your talking about?
      I don't even...

      Btw, the only way to get past the grind a bit is an experience doubler, and you don't feel punished at all for not using it. Same thing with buying the minerals, since they can all be earned at a modest rate in game.

  • Irvin

    I disagree with some of the tips. But here are some of mine.

    1) when upgrading turrets, upgrade detection first then DPS. For DPS upgrade rate of fire for slow turrets and damage for fast turrets (like laser).

    2) Do NOT build a tower, it's a waste of resource and need more turrets to cover areas, istead build on a pole, cover the pole with short range turrets like plasma at the lower portion and long range like howizer at upper portion.

    at the very top of the pole buld a platform and build a power supply in the middle with orbital lasers surrounding it. With enough howizers and orbital lasers the mobs wouldn't even be able to reach your field of view.

    3) A cheap way to defend mines away from your base at lower level is to dig a hole in the middle of a tree and put a power supply in then cover it with blocks.

    Then build a pole on top of the tree and cover it with turrets. Mobs will not attack environments so the tree is safe unless you use motars and such that destroys environments.

    4) Plasma Rifle can be upgraded that it will not require reload. It is an important primary weapon later on.

    5) you can equip more than one weapon at a time.

    6) At lower character levels, use mines to protect base from shadows to squeeze another level of two until they overwhelm you.

    7)Personally, My build order is: 2 mines, 2 plasma turrets, 1 power supply at level one. Then work on more plasma turrets until you got 4+ mines and level 3 baracks, then work on getting howizers.

    After 4 or so Howizers, get oribital lasers, then normal lasers.

    The reason to get normal laser last is because they are only required for long range enemies and that don't come until later in the game.

    Once again get detection for all turrets you're using.

    8) Plan ahead, Minecraft style the powersupplies by digging an underground room with only one or two blocks for entrance, that way you only need to defend those 2 blocks since enemies don't attack environment.

    • Daniel Schulz

      Good points. I, too, favor the plasma rifle. I usually build two mines on turn one, with one plasma turret (no power supply). That allows me to buy the plasma rifle on turn 2. I focus on plasma turrets early, laser turrets, next, then howitzers. As I have time, I'll fill in with mortars and hvy plasma, with the goal of having 2 hvy plasma by lvl 20, and about 10 howitzers.

  • Sperrus

    Some Tips by me:

    1. Put the energy core upgrade on the plasma rifle and use it as your main weapon. (No reload => unlimited shooting) You can also cut trees down pretty quick with it.
    2. I prefer the power hammer over the shotgun...
    3. use howitzers an put reload upgrades + detectors mod on them.
    4. 10 orbital lasers take down a medium group of enemys in one shot. (huge splash damage)
    5. I also prefer a wide open place, so your turrets have clear sight of all enemys.

  • master

    build small square base with all m.i.r.v on top all the way around dont miss a gap will lag some but they cant reach your base.

  • master

    you can also dig around the barracks and put a bunch of plasma cannons on the walls so they shoot down then build a wall around that with a bunch of mortars and m.i.r.v's

  • mattna

    To build on cooler king and sperrus
    To deal with shadows at higher stages, I kinda found a glitch:

    (Spoiler alert, stop reading)

    - Build a pyramid to cover your barracks, however big
    - build a column of two blocks on pyramid
    - build a "+" sign (in top view) of 5 blocks on top of your two block column
    - continue building a single block column up, place all your valuable stuff far up on the column.
    The shadows won't climb over the + to get to your stuff.
    And they won't attack the blocks of your pyramid to get to your barracks.
    They just dance around the top of your pyramid like proper sacrificial offerings.

  • Pjo

    I upgraded my 50-cal with range firepower and damage and they shoot quickly at all ranges and usually have a tall tower with howitzers on 4 blocks 90 degrees from each other.