Quick Start Guide

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Starting the Game

1. Choose a team with the team selection screen (default "N" key.) The "Auto-assign" option will attempt to balance the teams by assigning you to the one with less players.

2. Choose a commander: On classic maps a Commander Voting screen (the "," key toggles this window) will display at the beginning of a round, allowing players to vote for a Commander for their team before the game begins. The number by the player's name denotes the amount of votes they currently have. Click on the name of a player you wish to vote for.

3. Choose a squad: While waiting for the vote to finish you can choose a squad by opening the squad window (default "C" key) and join an existing one or create a new one and invite other players in.

  • Joining a squad at the beginning of a game is a good idea. Aside from other benefits, this will unlock one Skill upgrade without having to earn the first promotion. Squad Leaders (denoted by a star next to their name and on the minimap) emit an aura that affects squad mates in their immediate vicinity, therefore it is a good idea to be in close proximity to the Squad Leader at all times to reap the benefits of their aura.
  • Squad Leaders emit different auras depending on their class. See the Squads section on this Wiki for more information.

4. Choose a class: A Class Selection screen will appear next ("B" is the default toggle key for this window.) After picking your class, weapons and skill click the 'Accept' button.

  • Players can change their Class using this menu when they are killed and are waiting to respawn. Live players can also change their class inside an Armory, Barracks or, depending on the map, at flags.
  • Engineer is one of the most useful classes at the beginning of a round, especially on classic maps. They can quickly build the base and defenses.
  • The Engineer's "Repair Upgrade" skill is an excellent choice at the start of a game because it greatly reduces time it takes to build structures.

5. Choose a spawn: Finally, a Spawn Map will pop up where players can choose where they spawn into the game. Usually there will only be one starting spawn location available which is denoted by a circle. Clicking the circle selects that spawn location.

  • As other spawn location become available (e.g. new Barracks are built, an APC is purchased at Vehicle Factory, flags are captured) this window can be used to select a different spawn location by clicking on any of the circles.

How to get into the action

1. Commander: At the very start of a match, you need to choose a commander. Vote for someone who already has a lot of votes. Do not command if you are new, wait until you understand the basics of the game and understand what research is useful.

  • A good commander won't guarantee that you win the game, but a bad commander will guarantee that you lose it.

2. Choose the Engineer class at the start of any classic map. Yes, the Scout sounds really cool, but it is near useless unless you know exactly what you're doing. An Engineer can do everything you need early in the game, so you'll be prepared for anything that hits you.

3. Join a squad and move out right away. There is no Vehicle Factory, no armory, and very little in terms of defense at your home base, so don't bother looking for it.

  • The sooner you reach the front lines, the sooner you can establish a good defensive barrier to defeat the enemy. Don't dawdle around the base!
  • If you noticed someone who did well in the previous match, follow them if they are an Engineer and watch what they do.
  • Believe it or not, but the most deaths among new players come from enemy mines. ALWAYS keep a lookout for them on the ground.
  • You can get extra ammunition from engineers from ammo boxes they can drop or from an armory which you will not have at the start of the game. Just use the request ammo voice command and an engineer should be willing to help you.
  • If you're an Engineer, don't be afraid to let the other classes charge into the fray first. You're the jack-of-all-trades, which means the other classes are better at dealing with their area of expertise... let them handle it.

Your Objectives and what to do

1. Move towards the enemy base, and look for resource nodes- they're the yellow dots on your minimap. When you get to one, pester your Commander to drop a refinery on it, so you can build it. Don't stand too close so there's room for the building, and watch out for enemies!

2. Prepare to engage the Enemy once you're close enough to their infantry and defenses (usually anywhere in the middle of the map). As an engineer, you're ready to build any buildings the commander drops for you. Now is a good time to build your own turret and camera, or maybe some walls to give your team cover.

3. Press the Offensive! Now that all the refineries are captured by someone, you're gonna have to start attacking the enemy if you want their refineries for your team. Be sure to stick with your squad, and focus your attacks on spawn points to push the enemy back, not their infantry, or they'll simply keep coming at you. If there's an undefended enemy refinery, destroy it and build your own!

4. Move in for the kill: When tanks start rolling out, you can do some serious damage. If you've successfully pushed the enemy back somewhere along the front lines, keep attacking the weak point.

  • When in doubt, head towards the enemy base and shoot anything that moves.

Helpful Tips

  • By pressing enter you can choose where you spawn. After a while, the commander may have a forward barracks set up closer to the front lines, or there may be an APC closer to the enemy. You wont have to spend any time walking to the enemy by choosing to spawn in one of these new areas.
  • Go easy on your commander. Commanding is probably the toughest job in the game, and not everyone is an expert at it. If someone inexperienced volunteers to command because no one else wants to, remember that they stood up to the challenge when no one else would--so cut them some slack.
  • If your commander gives you an order, you should probably do it. He can see the whole battlefield, so he knows what the enemy is up to, and what you can do to defeat them. There's a good chance he gave that order because it will greatly aid the team.

How to use the Engineer class

  • Placing Engineer Turrets right next to the Barracks at the start of the game is generally not a good idea. Commanders can always protect their location by purchasing their own Turrets. Securing Refineries before the enemy team gets to them and locations for forward bases should be the top priority, since controlling territory and resources is what makes the difference between winning and losing.
  • The Repair Upgrade skill lets you build a lot faster, thus wasting less time building and allowing for more time moving up. This is extremely important at the start of a game when your Commander needs the bases built quickly. Additionally, this skill will give you the ability to complete a Turret before the enemy closes in.
  • Cameras display positions of nearby enemy infantry units on your HUD. This is especially invaluable on closed-quarters maps such as District or Escort. Even on larger maps Cameras and Radars deployed in strategic positions (around corners, in foliage, etc.) can serve as an early warning system to you and your team mates.
  • The seismic grenades cause little damage to infantry or tanks. They are best used against buildings and other Engineers' deployables, but not against anything mobile.

Dealing with Turrets

  • The best way to destroy a turret is with three well-placed Engineer grenades. Alternatively, a grenadier can use his missile launcher or his mortar to quickly take them out from a distance. The Rifleman also has a few regular grenades that can do the trick, if you're desperate. Shooting them with your machine gun, though, is not a good way to destroy them. Like all buildings, turrets are immune to regular gunfire.
  • You can throw grenades at Level 1 turrets from far away, because you can throw grenades farther then they can shoot. But once they get to level 2 and 3 you will need a new tactic for destroying them: tanks and grenadiers are the easiest way to destroy a turret, but you can try creating walls to creep up on them with another engineer, or use the geometry of the map to find a way to get close without them shooting you.

Dealing with Walls

  • One of your first ideas might be to build a giant wall around your base. This is a very bad idea. Remember, you've got to go out and claim that territory before the enemy does! Walls take time to build, time that you need to spend making Refineries and turrets and anything else the commander drops for you.
  • The best use of walls is in strategically placed, small segments. Just a segment or two of walls can be used to provide cover from turrets and to block in tanks or enemy command vehicles. Instead of one massive line of walls across a base, a few segments carefully placed can defend buildings against rocket fire and forward APCs from enemy attack. (Don't trap the APC by surrounding it completely, though!)
  • Attacking walls is not an effective way to destroy them- they can take a lot of damage. However, they're weak against the Engineer's build abilities, and he can deconstruct them with his engineering tool quickly and easily.

Making your vehicle

1. Enter the Vehicle Factory, and 'use' the blue control pad inside to pull up the vehicle creation screen. Alternatively, pressing the 'Vehicle Menu' key (binding found on the Controls in-game menu) inside the Vehicle Factory brings up the same screen.

2. Choose a chassis in the upper left corner, and click 'customize.'

3. Equip your tank by pulling equipment from the left side of the screen onto the tank in the center, then click 'next.' Do this with weapons (red: cannons, green: missiles, yellow: machine guns) armor (don't forget to choose how much of each type of armor you want!) and an engine. Don't forget to drag existing weapons, armor and engine off the vehicle if you wish to replace them with a different unit.

4. Weapon grouping: this screen allows grouping of weapons. The numbers represent the weapon group that will be selected when that keyboard number is pressed, while the Fire Mode drop-downs represent the primary or secondary mode for that weapon.

5. Finally, click 'build.' You're ready to roll!

  • You can save tank Layouts so you don't have to customize your vehicle from scratch every time. Give descriptive names to layouts so that you don't forget what technology they contain.
  • If you park on a Repair Pad, you can re-equip your tank with different technology once it becomes available via Research. Just pull up the vehicle customization screen (Default: v) and repeat the above steps. Not that you cannot change the tank Chassis on a repair pad, and re-equipping it destroys all armor, so you'll have to stay on the pad while it regenerates.
  • As a general rule of thumb, if your going to buy a jeep, just get an APC instead and park it somewhere safe and walk the rest of the distance. Your team will love you for the extra spawn, and your commander won't get mad at you for wasting resources.
  • Sometimes there are a lot of different weapons, armor, or engines you can choose to put on your vehicle. If you're not sure what type of tank you should make or how you should customize it, don't be afraid to ask your teammates for advice.
  • Until you get upgraded armor your tanks will be very weak. Until you get upgraded engines your tank will overheat very easily. Until you get more powerful weapons, your tank won't be able to deal a lot of damage. In other words, a single grenadier can destroy even the powerful heavy tank if that vehicle isn't upgraded, but a heavy tank with the best technology in the game can hold off an entire team!

Vehicle Combat

1. Do not waste your tank.

  • Unlike in other games, vehicles are not free and do not respawn when lost. They cost resources that your team generally cannot afford to lose. Attack, fall back and repair, repeat. The team that preserves their tanks and their resources is the team that wins.
  • The Engineer is a good class to drive tanks with (especially with the repair upgrade skill) because of the ability to repair in the field and rearm when ammunition runs low.
  • Grenadiers also make good tank driver because of their Defusal skill, which allows driving over enemy mines without detonating them.
  • Driving close to an armory , driving onto a repair bay, or stopping near an Engineer's ammo box will re-stock your weapons.

2. The right gun for the right job.

  • There are many weapons in empires, each with a different use. However, as a rule of thumb, machine guns are good against infantry, cannons are good against tanks, and missiles are good against buildings and, to a lesser extent, tanks.
  • Standard cannons aren't that strong against buildings. For example, several level 1 turrets are better and quicker dispatched by using infantry items instead of wasting tank shells. On the other hand, upgraded weapons like the High Explosive Cannon can destroy turrets very quickly.
  • High Explosive Cannons and Nuclear missiles are very effective against infantry, and certain machine guns can damage tanks as well as infantry.

3. Fight smart!

  • Use your teammates and allied tanks. Two medium tanks are better than one heavy tank. Make sure to work as a team. If the enemy is focusing fire on your friendly tank and you still have full armor, try ramming the enemy tank to block his attack on your teammate. Also, make sure you both concentrate your fire on one target at a time, to eliminate it quickly.
  • Keep an eye on your heat levels. If someone is far away from you and driving in circles while you just sit there spamming your weapons, he might just be baiting you. Once your heat levels are in the red, most engines will stall and you will be unable to fire your weapons, he'll swoop in for the kill. Different weapons cause more heat to fire than others, so make sure to take that into account when selecting the loadout. Also keep in mind that some weapons are specifically designed to overheat the enemy vehicles.
  • Wait until you have a good, clear shot before firing your weapons. You have to consider your tank's speed and the enemy tank's speed when firing. It is tricky, but keep practicing and you'll get the hang of it in no time.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. If you're fighting in no-mans land where neither team has the advantage, don't be afraid to retreat and lure the enemy tank into following you. If you can lure him into the range of some turrets, start blasting him and try to ram him so he can't escape the turret range. This also gives you a longer distance to chase the damaged enemy tank before you run into his own turrets. This is just one example of how you can use your surroundings to your advantage, so pay attention to what's happening in the map!
  • Watch out for mines. They cause a lot of damage to vehicles, and can often kill a not upgraded tank with a single mine. For this reason, Grenadiers are a great tank driving class because you can chose the mine Defusal skill, that will let you drive over mines without setting them off.