Contra Returns is a revamped version of the classic Contra Series. Despite being based on one of the most iconic games in video game history, Contra Returns isn’t exactly the same as its older counterpart because a lot of aspects have been changed to satisfy the need for modernization. In this aspect, even the most hardcore Contra players might need to relearn a few new mechanics that may otherwise be too confusing since they mostly cater to modern fans.

The gameplay of Contra Returns tries to stay as close to the original as possible, so the core mechanics of the game will definitely be familiar to veterans. For beginners that have never tried playing Contra before, everything may seem overwhelming to the point that their experience playing the game may become more stressful than fun. Let’s jump into some of the most important elements in Contra Returns that veterans and new players need to learn more about before diving into the game.

The Characters

Contra Returns retells the legendary Bill Rizer and Lance Bean from the original Contra series to lead the story as protagonists once more. Along with these two Contra Warriors, a great number of other characters have also been included, which can be collected by the player when one buys them at the store using premium currency or collects shards that are rewarded to the player after completing missions or stages. Contra Returns features more than 40 characters, which includes a few invited from other title collaborations.

BlueStacks Beginner's Guide to Playing Contra Returns

Each character in Contra Returns includes a unique set of special abilities that they can use in combat. The characters are separated according to their rarity, with some characters getting duplicate versions of themselves in alternative costumes. Players can only use one character when entering most of the game modes, especially in the PvP Arena mode, and can’t choose to switch between other characters. These characters can be leveled up and enhanced to improve their stats and abilities.

Weapons & Sub-weapons

There are different types of weapons in Contra Returns that use the same mechanics as old Contra. Players have their main weapon, which is often the assault rifle (with its unlimited ammo that still needs reloading). Sub-weapons in this game include the same weapon types that you can collect from the item pods in the game. These sub-weapons include flame-throwers, spread shotguns, and rapid-fire machine guns, just to name a few of the best weapons that you can collect.

BlueStacks Beginner's Guide to Playing Contra Returns

Just like characters, players can collect new weapons by unlocking them using shards or by getting them randomly from the gacha system. Weapons can also be leveled up and enhanced by expending weapon tickets and collecting random weapon parts from the main campaign. The game promotes farming for parts so that players will be able to improve their weapon’s damage and abilities that scale alongside their account’s current level. Choose your weapon according to the stage that you’re going to attempt.

The Combat System

The game uses almost the same mechanics as classic Contra. The 2D side-scrolling shooter game remains true to the original as players use their guns to shoot down enemies they pass by as they avoid obstacles and attacks from the enemy shooters. As players progress into a stage, they will be tasked with defeating certain enemies before being able to proceed further until they reach the boss at the final part of the map. Once a boss has been defeated, the stage is considered a victory.

BlueStacks Beginner's Guide to Playing Contra Returns

One big change in Contra Returns is that players now have an HP bar instead of relying on Life Points, so that even if they get hit by an enemy or fall off a certain part of the map, they’ll lose HP instead of reducing the number of attempts they can try. As mentioned, characters can also use special abilities on the stage and switch between their primary and secondary weapons freely. If a character reaches 0 HP, they have the option to lose the game the classic way or revive instantly up to two more times for free.

Game Modes

The most entertaining part about playing Contra Returns is that there’s no shortage of game modes that players can choose from. As the player’s account levels up, they unlock different game modes that contain even more sub-categories that are also unlocked as the player progresses through the game. Unfortunately, the game uses an Energy System, so players can only attempt any of these game modes as long as they have the necessary amount of energy to do so.

BlueStacks Beginner's Guide to Playing Contra Returns

The main game modes in Contra Returns are the Story Mode and PvP, with the other game modes mostly acting as fun mini-games or places where people can farm resources needed to upgrade their weapons or heroes. In the story mode, players can follow the narrative of Contra as the elite unit takes on the Red Falcon Organization. This mode is also important for unlocking some of the other game modes and heroes that will help the player’s account progress even further.


One of the things that keep Contra Returns interesting as a daily game is a fact that players need to collect resources in order to upgrade their arsenal. One of the most important resources in the game is Gold, which is used to buy a lot of the stuff in-game and also used as currency for the cost of upgrading items or heroes. Gold can be earned by simply doing the regular stages of the game but if you’re planning to farm this resource, you might want to check out Challenges and the Daily mode.

BlueStacks Beginner's Guide to Playing Contra Returns

Another important resource in the game is Diamonds, which is the premium currency in the game that players can buy using real money. However, players can also collect this resource by completing missions and rewards for daily activities. Other resources that players can collect are weapon parts and exp tickets which are needed to upgrade your weapons. Both of these materials can also be farmed by completing certain game modes and repeating them through the Raid System.