You might not have expected to need a hero and troops guide for a Match-3 game, but Empires & Puzzles smoothly blends RPG elements into the mix and allows players to completely customize their armies. To go to “battle”, you will need a team of 5 heroes, one for each gem color. Then, whenever you match 3 or more gems of a specific color, you deal damage to your opponents based on the stats of the hero and the troops associated to that color.
In addition, heroes feature special skills that can be used in combat outside of the “normal” order of things. These abilities can be extremely useful when you’re up against bosses and other tough enemies, but, of course, there’s a catch… and its name is Gacha. As with most mobile games, not all heroes are equal. To put together a solid team, you need to learn how to obtain more heroes and troops, as well as how to upgrade your best ones.
How to Obtain More Heroes
There are two ways to obtain new heroes in Empires & Puzzles. These are:
The Summoning Gate
Here, you get to spend all your hard-earned premium currency and summoning tokens. There are multiple types of pulls to choose from, all with unique features and costs. For example:
- The Daily Summon can be used once per day for free to generate a hero or troops of 1- to 3-stars rarity. Most of the times, the pulls from this summoning gate quickly become fodder for your best heroes, so it’s never worth spending premium currency (150 gems per pull) in this manner.
- The Epic Summon can generate a 3-stars or higher hero for the premium price of 300 gems. The color of the hero is randomized.
- The Epic Troops Summon will generate a 3-stars or 4-stars troops for the price of 200 gems per pull.
- The Elemental Summon offers a 3-stars or higher hero of a specific color for 300 gems each. This gate cycles through all 5 colors throughout the month and is a great way to complete your team when one or two of your colors are particularly weak.
- The Event Summon replaces Elemental Summons for the duration of certain events where special heroes can be obtained for 300 gems each.
- The Hero of the Month can be obtained as a bonus from either the Epic, Elemental, or Event Summon, but the drop rate is very low and will usually force players to spend real currency.
The Training Camp
An alternative way to obtain new heroes, the Training Camp does not require you to use premium currency for pulls. However, it does need lots of food and plenty of building upgrades to even give you the chance to land a higher-rarity hero.
How to Upgrade Your Heroes
There is generally no good reason to invest resources into 1-star heroes, unless you absolutely have to in order to progress through the storyline. Even then, it might be worth waiting for a couple of summons because 1-star heroes will be the first to go. Once you’ve obtained a decent hero that you want to include in your “core” team, it’s time to take a look at all the possible upgrades.
To increase a hero’s level, you can feed them up to 10 other heroes for XP. It’s a good idea to use the same-color fodder for your favorite characters because this increases the XP gained by 20%. In addition, any “trainer” heroes you obtain from rare loot or shop bundles will can further improve XP gain by 20% when used to feed characters of the same color. Not only will you need a lot of fodder heroes to max out a core team member, but you’ll also use a ton of food in the process, so don’t forget to start farming this resource early.
Improving Special Skills
Each time you level up a hero, there is a chance that their special skill will be improved. This can happen up to 8 times per hero. You can improve the chance of skill upgrades by using higher rarity heroes as fodder, by using same-color heroes, and by using copies of the same hero. Using four copies of the same hero during a level-up guarantees that the character’s special skill will be improved.
Depending on a hero’s rarity, he or she can be ascended a number of times for stat improvements and a +1 skill boost. While 1-star heroes can only be ascended to tier 2, 2- and 3-star heroes can go up to tier 3, whereas 4- and 5-star heroes can reach tier 4. Ascension requires increasingly rare materials, some of which can be farmed on the map and some of which must be obtained from Hero and Monster chests, killing titans, events, and direct purchases.
How to Obtain and Upgrade More Troops
While you configure your team from the “Heroes” menu or prior to a battle, you’ll notice that each of your characters features a troops slot where you can equip better troops. These units are designed to improve certain hero stats such as, for example:
- The hero’s attack or damage done to enemies.
- The hero’s defense, thus reducing the damage received from enemies.
- The hero’s total health pool.
- The hero’s healing bonus or the amount of health received from potions and other special effects.
- The hero’s crit chance.
- The hero’s mana recovery speed.
Troops can only be obtained from Daily Summons or Epic Troops Summons, as well as from various missions across the map. The only way to obtain 4-star troops, however, is to spend premium currency on special summons.
Unless you’re a P2W player, you’ll likely be stuck with your 2-star troops for some time. To improve them slightly, you can level them up just like you do your heroes. In the process, you’ll consume other same-color troops and generous quantities of food.
All in all, Empires & Puzzles is a very P2W-oriented game, with most players complaining that epic and legendary heroes are locked behind serious pay walls. However, you can put together a semi-decent team with the chance to clear most PvE missions even without spending real currency. You just have to set your priorities straight, build a solid base, and keep a low profile in PvP.