For AI War 2 players, this guide will provide a couple hints to help people who like to jump right in 😉 . Truly barebones! Some RTS experience required.
- Start a game: Single Player -> Quick Start -> Enter a name for your campaign at the bottom -> Scenario 1 – Classic Fleet – Difficulty 4. Pick scenario 2 or even 3 if you’re looking for more challenge from the start.
Difficulty 4: AI begins to push back a bit.
Difficulty 5: More reactive AI, more consequences for conquering willy-nilly.
Difficulty 6: Start watching your back, choices matter more.
Difficulty 7: The AI, while still limited by economy, doesn’t hold back. Conquering too much territory probably spells your doom.
- To win the game you must find the AI homeworld and destroy its base. Grow powerful enough to achieve this goal while taking only the territory you need and keeping AI Progress to a level you can handle.
- Everytime you capture a new planet, more of the map is automatically revealed.
- You start with some fleets. Fleets autobuild units as long as there is a factory or mobile factory on the same or an adjacent planet. Flagships can be crippled but never killed.
- Tab opens the galaxy map. You can select and move your fleets and individual units from here or from the planet view.
- L key loads a fleet into its flagship, U key unloads it. Transports are tough, use that to reach distant targets.
- Ctrl+right-click on a wormhole to send units through, or alternatively right-click the destination, whether it be a specific location or a planet on the galaxy map.
- Capture a planet by destroying the enemy command station and building your own (Build tab). You can often manage to do this while there are still enemies in the system! (Note that your units won’t target automatically the command station, warp gate or other building which increases AI Progress, you need to right-click it yourself.)
- Building units costs metal per second, and how many units (and turrets) you can have is capped by energy. Captured planets auto-build metal harvesters, yields vary. Logistical Command Station is often a good pick to build as it gives you a good amount of energy while still letting you build decent defences.
- Any AI-controlled neighbouring planet with a Warp Gate building can send periodic attack waves against your planets. Build turrets (Build tab) to stop those, or do a sneaky raid to kill the gates in the directions you don’t want to get waves from. (You can concentrate all waves on a single planet this way.) Always leave one way in, or wave reinforcements will just build up until they find some way to you… and it won’t be pretty.
- Get more powerful by capturing planets which give you new Fleets, or give you buildings which improve your fleets or turrets like Advanced Research Stations, Global Command Augmenters, Coordinators, and so forth. Sometimes you can get those without capturing the planet by hacking them remotely or with a flagship (look at the Local and Hacking tabs from the galaxy map for every neighbouring world and read all the building descriptions).
- Unlock Research from the Tech tab. Research and hacking points are finite are are “mined” from planets you capture.
- Destroying a command station or warp gate angers the AI, a.k.a. increases AI Progress (AIP). Capture enough territory to support your economy, acquire weapons and have safe planets for economic stations, but don’t try to capture the whole map like your typical Civ or space 4X game.
- Try to ignore or neuter (destroy everything except command station and warp gate) worlds that don’t offer you much. Hacking lets you often get stuff without having to destroy the AI command station.
- Capturing planets is the main source of science points (to upgrade stuff) and hacking points. Just having a command station there starts harvesting them, it’s a valid strategy to strip the science and hacking points from a planet and then abandon it – one less thing to defend.
- One you see the location of the enemy boss, start planning for your final capturables and your final assault.
- Too challenging? Don’t be afraid to play a lower difficulty to master the game mechanics in a more relaxed environment.
- Not challenging enough, or the AI seems too passive? Crank difficulty up to 7, where the AI is as devious as it gets. Then crank it down a bit if it’s too insane. To have fun you want to play close to your skill ceiling, whatever that is.
- Too unfair? This is not a standard RTS where you and the AI play by the same rules, each building your base and sending units at the other. In this game the AI has budgets to reinforce its planets and defense/attack fleets, and it allocates more budget as you increase AIP. If you keep AIP low by seeking AIP-reducing buildings, you can limit its economic growth (a.k.a. “awareness” of you) while you grow in power.
- Play the in-game tutorials. Seriously. This game has a lot to offer and isn’t easy to figure out without guidance. The button to open them is at the right of the welcome screen, above the Tip of the Day, next to the How To Play button. You’ll want to read the instructions closely because those are “indie” tutorial which you can break by following the instructions incorrectly – just restart if you get lost, they’re short.
- In-game, you can get some light guidance from the Journal (J) and Intel (I) tabs.
- The How To Play button accessible from the game’s welcome screen or the in-game Esc menu is your friend!
- The wiki has a Getting Started section which explains some fundamental concepts of the game: https://wiki.arcengames.com/index.php?title=Getting_Started
- Strategic Sage has a nice beginners’ guide on Youtube, as well as full games:
- Command & Conquer Remastered Collection Red Alert Soviet Campaign Mission 5 Distant Thunder Guide
- Outscape: How to Avoid Being Ganked
- Cosmochoria: The 11 One Stones
- Planet Bounce FAQ
- Starcom: Nexus – Saurid Science Station Guide