If you’ve always dreamt of leading troops into battle in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars: Commander gives you that chance. This free-to-play game from Disney Interactive and Lucasfilm imagines you as the leader of a mercenary outpost on Tatooine. Both the Empire and the Rebel Alliance are eager for your help, and your decision to aid one side of the struggle or another could make a difference in the war that wages during the first three Star Wars movies.
(Note: I’m talking episodes IV through VI here; those will always be the “first” three to me.)
Once you’ve made your decision, the two sides play a bit differently since the Rebels rely on heroes like Han Solo and Princess Leia while the Empire rolls out impressive amounts of vehicles to do its dirty work. Still, there are some general tips and strategies you can use to maximize what you get out of your Star Wars: Commander time no matter which faction you choose to back.
- Let the missions guide what you build
As with any strategy game with a base-building element, there’s a strong temptation to build as many kinds of structures as possible in Star Wars: Commander as soon as you have the credits or alloy to do so. That’s understandable, but since some chapters of the solo missions require you to build specific things to pass them, you’re better off waiting to construct, say, a second Barracks until a mission requires it. You’re unlikely to need it before that point.
- Collect resources often
One of the things you’ll notice fairly quickly is that your base will have the capacity to hold a lot more credits and alloy than your individual Credfit Markets and Alloy Refineries can hold before they max out and stop producing. This is one game you’ll want to check back in on a little more often, or consider turning on push notifications. Otherwise, when you log in, you’re going to be disappointed at the relatively small amounts of resources you’ve built up after a long time away from the game.
- Upgrade everything when you get the chance
The game places fairly strict limits on how many of each type of defense, army and resource structure you can have at any given time. There’s nothing you can do about that, but you can spend your resources on upgrading what you do have. Turrets are a great example. You can only have a few in the early stages of gameplay, but simply upgrading them to the next level makes them much more effective. You also need the extra capacity that Credit Vaults and Alloy Depots provide if you want your base to keep growing. When in doubt, upgrade.
- Put your most precious structures behind walls
I don’t know about you, but in any strategy game with walls, I get the urge to hide everything behind them just to feel safe. You won’t be able to do that in Star Wars: Commander, because the limits on the number of wall pieces you can build won’t allow it. Put your resource -holding buildings and headquarters behind walls, as they’re the targets you most want to protect from enemies.
- Don’t attack other players for the first few days
This is fairly common advice for attack-and-defend games of this type, but it bears repeating: you get a few days of protection from PvP attacks, so you may as well use it. Even if you find someone you know you can beat for a good number of resources, once you attack someone, you open yourself up to incoming PvP assaults. Give yourself some time to build up some defenses.
- Consider joining a Squad ASAP
There’s really no benefit to going it alone. If you have a bunch of friends who play, start up a squad with them. Otherwise, use the Info button in the Squad menu to find a group that’s open to all, and join up. You can always leave and join another one later if you don’t like it, and the benefits of having someone to watch your back outweigh any negatives.
- Commit only the amount of troops you need to win a battle
Every unit you commit to an attack is lost to you, whether it falls on the field of battle or survives. Thus, it’s wise to only send in just enough force to win. This can be tricky at times, but with practice, you’ll start to learn where to place units and not to send in more until you absolutely need them. Getting the troops to attack what you’d like them to attack? That’s a different story …
- Use your airstrikes carefully
The developers of Star Wars: Commander did a nice job designing the solo missions to keep you on your toes with regards to when is the best time to call in some aerial firepower. Sometimes you need it right away to soften things up for the initial assault. Other times, you want to send in troops and only call in the airstrike when they are facing a mob of enemy troops or a particularly tough defense. Think it over before you call in an airstrike.
- Replaying the solo missions to get all three stars is worth it
The only way to get precious bonus crystals is to pass every mission in a Chapter with three stars each. That makes it worthwhile to go back and replay earlier missions once you’ve built up a slightly stronger force in order to get all three stars.