Beginner’s Guide to the Combat and Game Basics in RAID: Shadow Legends
RAID: Shadow Legends is one of the most iconic gacha RPGs in the mobile market, which revolutionized the genre with its amazing graphics and art style, featuring a much more gritty and realistic look, mixed with tons of fantasy elements to create a truly appealing feast for the eyes. Compared to what was on the market back in 2018, RAID came like a breath of fresh air that, while not necessarily innovating the genre as a whole, made it much more appealing and engaging to play. And this is without mentioning how omnipresent the game was (and still is), thanks to their marketing that revolved around giving influential content creators sponsorship deals to run ads on their videos.
There are many reasons why RAID: Shadow Legends stands out among the rest. And while its graphics and visuals rank high among these, the game is also quite engaging as well, especially when you’re far ahead and playing the most intense and demanding battles, or when you’re participating in PvP. However, far before you actually reach this point, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with a ton of different elements, both in your Bastion, as well as in combat. And in this guide, we aim to give beginners to RAID: Shadow Legends an introduction to the most important aspects of both the hub, as well as the battle system.
If you’re a newcomer to this fantastic gacha RPG, or are simply a returning veteran looking to see if anything has changed significantly (spoilers, it mostly hasn’t), then this guide is for you.
Your main hub in RAID: Shadow Legends, where you’ll be spending most of your time, at least when you’re not actually on the battlefield grinding for artifacts, silver, and XP, or in dungeons grinding for upgrade materials. Your Bastion is where you’ll find all of the facilities available to you in this game, including the following:
The very first facility that most of us are drawn to, and why wouldn’t we be? It’s so flashy! Appearances aside, the Portal is important mostly for one thing; it’s where you’ll use Shards to summon champions. In other words, this building is the gacha summoning feature in RAID: Shadow Legends. Additionally, this is where you’ll also be performing fusions, by combining certain champions to create others.
Whenever you have a Shard to spare, you can come here to spend it for a chance of unlocking some of the best characters in the game. In reality, however, you’ll almost always get trash, since the odds of getting rares and legendaries are so slim. Nevertheless, this trash also has its purpose, since you can level up crappy champions to use them as “food” for your main squadron via the Tavern.
Regardless of what you get here, you can rest assured that your starter champion is more than adequate to beat and farm the main campaign stages, which is where you’ll be spending most of your time and energy early on.
Unlocked early at level 6, the Great Hall is where you’ll spend the medals you receive from participating in PvP battles, in order to unlock permanent bonuses for characters of specific affinities.
This building lets you upgrade several stats, including HP, ATK, DEF, Crit Damage, Resist, and Accuracy, by spending medals in the corresponding slots. Moreover, each slot has 10 tiers, each with an increasing cost in medals to unlock. While we’ll talk more about affinities later, make sure to spend resources only on the affinities that will benefit your main squad the most.
This place is where you’d usually go to hang back and relax after a long day of grinding, but in reality, or at least in RAID: Shadow Legends, it’s actually where you’ll go to upgrade your champions even further.
In the Tavern, you can perform a variety of upgrades like increasing a champion’s rank, upgrading their skills, or ascending them. More importantly, however, this is where you’ll use your “food” champions to level up your main champions to get them up to speed without having to grind in the main campaign as much. However, for best results, you’ll still need to grind the campaign somewhat, since the higher the level of the “food”, the more XP they will grant.
This is just a simple store where you’ll find all sorts of items and deals, which rotate on a daily basis. Though most of what you’ll find here is often superfluous or downright useless, there might be occasions when you’ll find a good champion or artifact, or perhaps even a good deal on shards.
The Forge is unlocked much later into the game, when you’re at level 30, and it’s where you’ll use various crafting materials in order to create artifacts. It’s worth noting here that creating artifacts requires both the materials, as well as paying a fee in silver. Moreover, the items that you can craft here can’t be obtained through any other means.
Some of the artifacts that you can craft in the Forge are the best items in the game, though it’ll be a while until you reach the point where you can actually create them.
Another building with multiple uses, unlocked at level 15. The Guardian Ring is where you’ll go to unlock permanent upgrades for specific hero factions, much like the Great Hall. The difference here is that instead of arena medals, you’ll have to assign duplicate champions as “Faction Guardians”, which will bestow passive bonuses to every other champion of the same faction and rarity.
Most importantly, however, this building is where you’ll find the Sparring Pit, which is where you can assign certain champions to train, and they’ll automatically get some free experience on an hourly basis. The amount of experience they get varies according to the level of the slot. You can unlock up to five slots by paying gems.
The Guardian Ring is also where you can sacrifice duplicate legendary champions to empower the originals, and also where you can “release” duplicate legendaries in exchange for Life Tokens. Afterward, you can take these tokens to the Token Trader and purchase other champions.
Last but not least, the Mine is a building that most of you will find very useful, especially if you’re thinking of playing RAID: Shadow Legends for a long time. This building is quite straightforward: Its purpose is to generate gems every few hours. However, in order to unlock the first rank, you’ll need to pay 500 gems up front. Additionally, its gem production is limited to 5 gems a day at the first rank, which means that it’ll take you 100 days to get back your investment.
Only unlock the mine if you’re thinking of playing for a long time. Conversely, you’d be better off saving your gems for quickly maxing out your first set of masteries once you can start farming the Minotaur’s Labyrinth.
Game Modes in RAID: Shadow Legends
Though we already gave a brief introduction to the most prevalent game modes in this game in our RAID: Shadow Legends starter guide, let’s do a quick recap here before talking about the combat itself:
- Campaign: Standard game mode consisting of 12 chapters, each with 7 stages. This is the prime mode for farming silver, XP, and epic gear, and it’s where you’ll be spending most of your time in the beginning.
- Dungeons: Tougher challenges divided into a variety of themed dungeons, which players can farm for many different upgrade materials like scrolls and potions, as well as some of the best gear in the game.
- Faction Wars: A PvE game mode where players must enter into faction crypts using only teams of champions from a specific faction. These crypts have a series of levels of increasing difficulty, and also have some of the toughest bosses in the game, the Crypt Keepers. There is only one faction crypt available at any given moment, which stays open for 24 hours, after which the selection rotates to another one at midnight.
- Arena: An Intense PvP mode where players can face each other in the battlefield for honor and glory, and also for awesome rewards like arena medals, which can be used in the Great Hall for unlocking permanent bonuses.
- Clan Bosses: A mode available only to those who are in a clan. It consists of a daily boss battle that requires a key in order to access. These keys regenerate automatically every 6 hours, though you can spend gems to purchase more of them. This mode comes in different difficulties, with higher challenges granting better rewards, but also requiring better teams to properly beat.
- Doom Tower: Currently the most difficult mode in the game, consisting of a 120-floor tower that resets on a weekly basis. The idea is to clear each floor, and the monsters and bosses within, or at least to get as far as possible. This mode comes in two difficulties, normal and hard, with the real challenge lying in the latter. Additionally, players need keys to progress through this tower: Gold Keys are used for challenging floors you’ve yet to clear, while Silver Keys are for accessing uncleared secret rooms, or for rechallenging defeated bosses, in order to farm materials for the Forge.
Introduction to the Combat in RAID: Shadow Legends
Now that we know what each of the hub buildings do, and also about the different game modes in RAID: Shadow Legends, let’s go ahead and talk about the fun stuff: fighting! However, before we get into it, we want to make a quick detour to talk about something that will help you to quickly progress, level up, and even obtain the best characters from the very beginning.
Play on BlueStacks to Get the Best Experience
By this point, most of you will probably be aware that you can already play RAID: Shadow Legends on PC through the Plarium Launcher. This effectively lets you enjoy this awesome gacha game, but with all the perks of playing on your computer, such as better graphics and performance, mouse support, and the possibility of playing on your large PC monitor to get a better view of the action at all times.
However, while the practicality of playing on your computer cannot be overstated, the Plarium Launcher leaves a lot to be desired in terms of quality of life. Luckily, you can play RAID: Shadow Legends on PC with BlueStacks, and not only enjoy the best that your computer has to offer, but also get access to a ton of features that will help to dramatically improve your experience with this game. Some of these features include the Instance Manager, which actually makes it possible to reroll in this game, as well as the Macro Recorder, through which you can automate most of the farming and grinding, especially if you’re looking to farm the campaign for silver and XP.
Check out our PC setup guide for RAID: Shadow Legends to learn more about how to get started.
The Combat System in RAID: Shadow Legends
There are many different game modes in RSL such as the campaign, the dungeons, the arena, the Tower of Doom, and more. And while most of these have their own variations and rules, they all revolve around the same thing: Fighting.
As luck would have it, there’s not much to the combat in RAID. In fact, most of your time in this game will be spent in auto-combat, letting your team do the heavy lifting. This is with the exception of PvP, where you’ll probably want to pay closer attention in order to properly counter the enemy’s strategies and respond accordingly to their moves and team composition. In this sense, for the times that you want to play manually, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with a few key concepts that are intrinsic to the combat in RAID:
First off, we’ll be talking about affinities, which are important from the moment you start building your team.
In a nutshell, each character in the game can have a specific affinity, which is similar to “elements” in other RPGs. There are 4 different affinities, with each being weak to one, and strong against another. Understanding these affinity matchups can give you an edge, as targeting these weaknesses with the appropriate element lets you do extra damage, and avoid taking excess damage yourself.
The affinities in RAID: Shadow Legends are Force (Red), Spirit (Green), Magic (Blue), and Void (Purple). The way they match up against each other is the following:
- Red beats Green
- Green Beats Blue
- Blue beats Red
- Purple is outside the trinity and has no advantages or weaknesses against the others.
Sure, while recruiting the best and most powerful meta champions, regardless of their affinities, should be the aim of any player looking to succeed in RAID: Shadow Legends, it’ll be a long time before a newcomer actually manages to pull this off. In the meantime, knowing about affinities can give anyone the extra push they need to beat a tough stage or defeat a pesky boss.
The Turn Meter
Next up, one of the most important elements to consider when in combat is the turn meter, which is one of the bars that are above each character on the field. The top bar represents each hero’s remaining HP, while the bottom bar represents the character’s turn meter.
In short, whenever the turn meter fills up, the character in question will get a turn in combat. The rate at which this bar fills up is determined by the character’s SPD stat. This means that, in theory, if a champion has enough Speed, they could even get two turns in a row. However, increasing your SPD to this point is not possible with every champion, and instead it’s better to rely on skills that manipulate the turn meter in order to alter the order in which units act in combat.
In RAID, there are skills that can speed or slow down the turn meter, in the form of buffs and debuffs, respectively. Furthermore, there are skills that can directly add to, or subtract, from the turn meter. For instance, Kael’s “Acid Rain” skill, which deals damage to the entire enemy team, grants the champion 25% of his turn meter per every enemy he defeats with it. And just like Kael, there are countless champions in RSL that can manipulate the turn order in this manner.
Buffs and Debuffs
Last but not least, and while this might be a bit obvious, buffs and debuffs play a major role in RSL. Not only do they let you get more turns or delay the enemy’s moves like we mentioned above, but they can also bestow your team with other powerful effects, like increasing critical rate, attack, defense, or any other attribute, but also weaken your foes with opposite effects.
It goes without saying that winning battles is more than just about bringing your strongest damage dealers to the field; you must also consider bringing units that can debuff the enemy, as well as provide allies with beneficial effects, to your team. Especially for boss enemies, maintaining a steady stream of debuffs to keep them weakened will help tremendously in defeating them.
Keep in mind that many heroes can have beneficial secondary effects on some of their skills, which naturally provide buffs and support while performing their role. Kael’s Acid Rain skill, which we mentioned above, falls into this category, as it can produce a beneficial effect while also doing damage.
And that’s it for our RAID: Shadow Legends combat and game basics guide. Feel free to leave your questions and comments in the section below!