With an interesting mix between hero-centric MOBA gameplay combined with card battling mechanics from Clash Royale, Star Wars: Force Arena [Free] is a fairly unique hybrid on iOS. Even if you weren’t fan of Star Wars in general, there’s enough of a twist in terms of gameplay that it may be worth checking it out regardless. Of course, being a freemium title, there are plenty of the usual freemium systems in play to try and coax money out of players. We’ll discuss those, along with some specific gameplay guidance, in the hope of giving you a leg up on the competition.

A Best Offense Can Be a Good Defense - This tip is highly dependent on the competency of your opponent. Early, on you’ll probably encounter folks that dive head-first against a turret at the beginning of the battle. It’s fairly easy to counterattack this by waiting until they get within range of your turret. Once that happens, lay down some cards and immediately start counterattacking the hero. They should go down in seconds, after which you and your mobs can mop up and immediately advance on their turret. Due to the quick respawn timers of heroes, an early victory like this won’t necessarily guarantee a win, but it should definitely give you a head start.

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Learn When to Switch Lanes Strategically - As you come up against more advanced opponents, most won’t necessarily go gung-ho at the start of a match and will play the turtle defense as well. When this happens, be prepared to split your mobs across lanes and try to get them frantic. If they stay near one lane, to dispatch mobs, put a few down on the other and push that one. You may not be able to take it down, but you’ll do damage and eventually you’ll be able to whittle it down to destruction.

When being on the defensive, be prepared to put mobs down on to defend lanes that only have mobs. Unless you see the opposition hero there, then of course you should focus there as well. In general, you want to make sure that mobs are attacking mobs and heroes are attacking heroes. Once you can establish a stable defense like that, then you can make a decision to push using some of the other tips in this guide.

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Positioning Is Key - This tip applies to both your hero and the mobs you place. When i comes to your hero, you want to make sure that you take advantage of their strengths and that you don’t  ever pit them head-on against a turret. For example, if you’re playing as Leia, you don’t want her next to strong melee opposition. Conversely Luke isn’t going to get much damage in if he’s getting pelted by blasters from afar. So, make sure you keep your hero positioned to cause as much damage as possible.

In terms of mobs, since Force Arena allows you to play mobs anywhere within your spawn zone (which expands after you take down opposing turrets), always make sure you place them in strategic spots. If you can launch some close quarter mobs around an opposing hero and surround them, do that. If you’re placing a sniper, make sure you place them somewhat far away from the action so they can do damage and stay alive. If you’re placing AoE damage mobs, put them near groups of enemies. Smart positioning can easily turn the tide of battle so it’s imperative to be able to think on your toes and know the optimal locations for placement.

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Finally, when you’re pushing a turret make sure you have mobs taking the hits for your hero so that way they can do damage without taking too many hits. It’s an obvious tip, but it’s important because your hero by far has the most damage potential so it’s important not to waste it.

Counter Types When You Can - Certain mobs have high health and take ranged hits better. Others are best at quick hits and can do decent damage to slow moving enemies. There are also mobs that are anti-infantry and others that are anti-turret. The reason I’m calling out the various mob types is because the most successful players will not only have a deck of varied mobs but will know when and where to place them on the map. Quick and efficient countering goes hand-in-hand with strategic positioning and will guarantee a great chance at success.

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Sometimes It’s Better to Die and Respawn - Force Arena isn’t very big on hero regeneration, which means there are a lot of times that you’ll enter a battle and come out victorious but very weak. At this point, you need to decide whether or not it makes sense of your hero to run back to base and pick up some health replenishments or to soldier on commit suicide and respawn back with a full-health. Depending on the circumstances it may in fact be more advantageous to do the latter than the former.

Just remember that when your hero is fallen, not only is a major DPS down for your team, but you also can’t place cards. So, if you have full energy when you decide to kill yourself, you’re wasting a lot of potential energy.

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Don’t Let Energy and Hero Special Moves Go to Waste - Just like in Clash Royale, each mob you place onto the battlefield takes energy, which is constantly being filled up throughout the match (the rate of replenishment actually increases towards the end of a match). In addition, all heroes have a special move that is on cool down at the start of the match and can be activated at any time. While it sounds obvious, one of the underrated keys to success in Force Arena is making sure that you keep a close eye on both your energy and your special moves. In general, letting your energy fill up without putting mobs down is simply a waste. Similarly, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be using your special move liberally if you’re in the middle of a battle. In terms of mob usage, even if you launch one down a lane you aren’t actively attacking can make a difference in the overall battle as it focuses the opposition to multi-task defense.

Keep Tabs on Your Free Card Packs - Star Wars: Force Arena provides daily free packs for players. In fact, you can actually accumulate up to three free packs at any time. Thus, it goes without saying that you should be checking into the game periodically (even if you don’t plan on playing) in order to check on your packs and open any that are waiting for you. The packs won’t typically be rewarding any particularly rare cards, but you’ll always get a small amount of currency and some common cards which can be used to level up.

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Manager the Timers On Your Packs - Winning a battle in Force Arena will always result in the award of a card pack. All packs, however, have a timer associated with them before they can be opened. In addition, players can only have one timer active at any time. Also, in addition to the free packs and the earned packs, there’s also a “Play Pack” that gets awarded and is instantly opened once you accumulate a certain amount of points playing any matches. Just like everything else, the Play Pack itself is on a respawn timer and you only start accumulating points for the next pack after that timer elapses.

With all those timers in mind, in order to be efficient in Force Arena, you will need to keep tabs on all your timers. Make sure you log into the game when your pack timer is up to open the next pack in your queue. Conversely, be aware of when your Play Pack timer resets so you can start playing again. The game does offer a “Premium Booster” that cuts timers in half (as well as gives you an extra slot to store a card pack) but it unfortunately costs real money and can’t be purchased even with premium currency.

Be Wary of Playing After a Full Deck - I basically alluded to this final tip in the previous paragraph, but it comes to accumulating and opening packs be advised that once you have a full pack queue, any new victories will result in wasted packs (since you won’t be able to store them). In addition, once you’ve hit your Play Pack for the day, any additional battles will not award points until that timer resets. Personally, I think Force Arena is enjoyable enough that battles are pretty fun regardless of whether or not you get rewards at the end, but I would highly recommend taking your time and making sure you actually have pack slots before playing.

Well, that about covers it. Star Wars: Force Arena is a pretty enjoyable freemium title and by following the above tips hopefully you’ll have greater success as well. Got any more tips to share? Share them on the forum page.

  • MintCity

    Well done. You manage to hit all of the gameplay aspects. However, I think a lot of players start out their accounts wrong. Initially, they do not pay a lot of attention to their missions and special missions. These provide a lot of really good rewards for a new player. The limited time special missions eventually give you a "legendary card selector" that allows you to pick any hero you want in the game. Often times it is better for you to hold on to this card selector for after you complete mission five. Mission five gives you a unique card. After you have this unique card you can determine if you want to buy the hero that corresponds with it. A hero and it's unique card can definitely make your life a whole lot easier (in the long run) as a free to play player. That's just my opinion though!

    • Evolution888

      or just get the unique card of Ben Kenobi and wreck with Luke 🙂

      • Mike

        Luke can be defeated if you know what you're doing.

        But my guess is that they'll nerf Kenobi to some extent. He shouldn't be able to force change a tank. It creates a total imbalance.

  • Hydrawolf

    I disagree on your final point, it's absolutely best to play without pack slots initially. You want to get to the highest level as soon as possible because they reward more cards. Once you get to Tier 7, then it doesn't really matter.

    • MintCity

      I agree. Getting to higher tiers definitely speeds up obtaining new cards and card progression.

      • vid_icarus

        It can be hard to succeed and to level if you don't have a constant stream of cards to upgrade your decks with tho

      • Mike

        It also means you have to play A LOT to reach tier 7.

      • MintCity

        That is true but once your packs are full you should still get to the highest tier you can.

  • http://wizodd.tumblr.com Wizard of Odyssey

    Eric, such jargon! Lanes, mobs, DPS, AOE, heroes ... the strategy seems simple enough, but some of your readers might not be steeped in MOBAspeak and could be coming at this because of the Star Wars angle. Could we get an English translation, please?

    • RunningWild

      Hehe lanes means the areas you and your opponents can pass through to get to each other's bases. Force Arena typically has two (top and bottom).

      AoE stands for Area Of Effect. This refers to units or weapons that damage (or buff) anything in the immediate area. The Imperial Probe Droid for example has an AOE attack after it's energy depletes it will hit the ground and create a blast that damages units around it.

      Grand Admiral Thrawn's skill gives nearby units extra movement and attack speed for 6 seconds but it only affects those in a close radius to him. As this is a positive AOE, it's referred to as a buff.

      Finally DPS means damage per second. In this game, each unit attacks at a set speed - the player only tells them where to go and who to attack. So units with higher DPS are usually worth more when it comes to storming a turret or units with high health. The hero characters are ofcourse stronger than regular units so are of higher strategic relevance for this and other reasons the author covers in the article.

      Of note in Force Arena is the respawn time of a leader increases by one second each time they are defeated.

  • mgs2ss

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No. I refuse to ever play another Star Wars mobile game. Every single other one that I played was arbitrarily taken down (other than KotOR, obviously), and can no longer be played. I'm not trusting them with another cent or second of my time.

    • RunningWild

      Play away I say. Just don't spend a cent! I'm really enjoying this and I still play a bit of Galaxy of Heroes. Force Arena is far more superior though IMO.

  • Michael DFirenze

    Any way after lvl 9 u will see this is a P2W game
    The card upgrades progession is so slow due to very little rewards the game gives oyu, no matter u play or not, u will get stuck forever
    Even when you choose ur cards wisely u will end up paying or leaving the game, because the credits are so damn spendable and very hard to get. I mean really 11k for lvl 2 upgrade for ur main hero....not even to mntion the cost of lvl 3 upgrade