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Command and Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath - Multiplayer Advanced Guide

Written by 1st impact   /   Updated: April 8, 2021    


Advanced Guide to Multiplayer



Initial Build Order



Overview

  • All factions start the same, I'll be using the GDI construction tree but this is easily translated across to other factions. Unfortunately you're going to need to emulate the Pros if you want to stand a chance, this means you should use the hotkeys:
  • Spam E when the map is loading to instantly open the building tab.
  • Hit F1 to instantly start Power Plant production.
  • The rest should be fairly self explanatory, especially if you've checked out the settings.

We'll assume you're on a map with a single tiberium spike (as most maps are) this means:

  • Power Plant
  • Barracks + Watchtower
  • Refinery + Engineer Sell Watchtower
  • War Factory Sell Barracks
  • Refinery + 1 Harvester

Queue 2 more harvesters once Refinery is built.

Either pack up the MCV after you've placed the ref or build 1 more Power Plant before moving to the next field, this depends generally on which you personally prefer

This isn't taking into account if you get rushed or if you're planning on doing a rush, otherwise from Low to Expert you'll find everyone doing this exact build no matter what faction they are.

I also understand this watching will be easier than reading, in which case I strongly recommend watching; BikeRush, Masterleaf or Green_Zero on Youtube and pay great attention to their opening build order.

Scouting



Some factions have better scouts than others, you will be completely reliant on them to defend you from incoming rushes or denying the enemy from seeing yours.

They are relevant even until late game as you must fight the fog of war almost as much as your enemy.

Early game

You've trained your engineer, possibly trained an extra squad, sold your watchtower and your barracks, you'll need to escort the engi to a spike and then spread out across the map with the ideal situation of getting direct sight at the enemy base.

Riflemen

The most balanced scouts with good speed and firepower, can also make a foxhole if you want to keep eyes on a position, particularly effective inside the enemy base.

Militants

Terrible speed and firepower, mostly ideal to clump them together or sneak around the sides of the map.

Scrin

Fastest and cheapest, can easily overwhelm human forces.

Cyborgs

Slightly better than Riflemen if acquired through selloff but also slow, becomes a dangerous nuisance if 2 or more make it to the enemy base and begin EMPing structures/harvesters.

Confessors

Extremely slow but has incredible firepower, mostly used for anti-scouting and rarely seen far from the home base due to the lack of mobility.

In the event of extreme anti-scouting

If your opponent manages to kill all your scouts before you can see their base, it may sometimes be worth building a Pitbull/Buggy before you build your first harvester from your freshly placed warfactory.

If fighting

  • GDI: Worth it depending on how aggressive anti-scouting was.
  • Nod: Definitely worth it as this faction has far too many rush capabilities to gamble on.
  • Scrin: Not worth, the more buzzers, the less likely you'll be rushed, either way more Riflemen is a far better option.

Rushes

This is here as both awareness of how to defend from a rush and also how to perform one, this meta is constantly changing and even now new ones are being discovered. But we'll cover the most common ones from each faction and their weaknesses. Most of the time, if these are properly scouted and countered, the rusher will never recover.

Orcas

How to build

  • Use the initial build order, except build a Command Post instead of a War Factory.
  • Upgrade Power Plant and build Airfield.
  • Variation 1# Build 2 airfields to double the Orca building speed.
  • Variation 2# Use the Bloodhounds support power for a surprisingly savage opening.

Weaknesses

  • ZOCOM will find this very difficult with their sonic Orcas.
  • Nod harvesters are stealthed and will be very hard for you to micro your scanners.
  • Need to kill 3 harvesters without losing all the Orcas for it to be considered a success.
  • Reaper 17 shields mean they will lose the maximum of 2 harvesters only.
  • If scouted, Pitbulls, Buggies and Gun walkers are a nightmare to deal with.

Flame tanks

How to build

  • Use the initial build order, except build an Operations Centre instead of your 2nd Refinery.
  • Upgrade Power Plant and build a Flame tank and a Reckoner.
  • Sell Operations Centre and insert Black Hand squad inside the Reckoner.
  • Variation 1# Build 3-4 Bikes to back up the flame tank.

Weaknesses

A stack of Pitbulls, Bikes or Disintigrators/Seekers will completely stop the reckoner and will take down the flame tank with some microing.

Shadow Teams

How to build

Do not sell your Hand of Nod, instead build a Secret Shrine and immediately use your Shadow Team Strike support power, land the shadow teams at the enemy base and destroy the power plant using their explosive charge ability, this will cancel the enemy War Factory being built.

Weaknesses

  • If the enemy builds their War Factory before you destroy their power plant, your chances of winning will be halved.
  • An APC+Pitbull combo will easily hunt down the squads, this is the same with Gun Walker+Seeker or a simple Attack Buggy.

Bike Rush

How to build

Use the Initial Build Order, although instead of building harvesters, build 4 or more bikes and use them to target the enemy harvesters.

Weaknesses

You'll suffer a slight setback in economy if the enemy deflects them.

Devourer + Corruptors

How to build

Instead of expanding, go straight into Nerve Centre and then build a 2nd warp sphere. Use the tiberium field to charge your lasers and go straight to the enemy base, micro manage your corruptors to keep everything healed

Weaknesses

  • Aircraft is decent at picking off travelling units and possibly the harvesters.
  • Infantry, despite the Corruptors, are a hard counter to Devourers.
  • Fight fire with fire, 3 War Factory tanks can easily overwhelm the relatively fragile Devourer.

Disintegrators

How to build

  • Do not sell the Portal, instead build 4-6 disintegrators and send them to the enemy harvesters.
  • Variation 1# As Traveller, build a stasis chamber after placing your Portal, then select the Advanced Articulators upgrade as a devastating upgrade throughout the rest of the game
  • Variation 2# Build a stasis chamber and upon reaching the enemy base, use the Stasis Field support power on the MCV and War Factory if possible.

Weaknesses

  • Pretty much nothing, these guys are nearly always worth it so here's the way to defend it instead.
  • GDI: Build APC asap, place mines on tiberium field and garrison Rifleman squad if you can.
  • Nod: Have a Shredder turret ready to be placed.
  • Scrin: Have a Buzzer hive ready to be placed.

Eco, Eco, Eco



As discovered a long time ago, the most efficient way of extracting tiberium from a field is 5 harvesters and 2 refineries.

When you expand to your 2nd field, these should be the first things you build in the event of no rushes:

  • Refinery power down.
  • Power Plant power refinery back up.
  • Refinery.

It also helps if you've built 2 more harvesters to rally at the new field.

Cash is king

This could not be more true in Kane's Wrath, in 90% of matches, if your economy is better than your opponents then you'll win. However, in the event of a third expansion field it's generally better to either tech up or build multiple war factories in order to amass a great army and THEN expand to the next field.

The blue glow

  • If there is some juicy blue tiberium on the map, this is usually a priority, not only to get the double income but also to deny your enemy the sweet nectar of the gods.
  • When to prioritise this will vary greatly with each map, but generally the 4th harvester you own (the 2nd one you've built from the war factory) is the one that should take it.
  • Maps like Tournament Arena however will find it's only worth taking once you've expanded to your 2nd field.

What to Expect from Your Enemy



These are the late game structures and armies you should expect your enemy to be working towards, not accounting for enemy tactics, ie; enemy has built nothing but infantry.

This also of course doesn't account for every single strategy out there, this is more of a general look into likely army compositions

GDI

  • Variation 1# T1 swarms of Pitbulls, APCs with AP ammo upgrade and Predators with Railguns.
  • Variation 2# Nothing but Juggernauts and Mammoths.
  • Variation 3# Intense Firehawk bombing campaign.

Steel Talons

Same as GDI, more likely to base push however due to Titans being able to fire over structures, very powerful on small maps where an MCV doesn't need to travel far to reach the enemy base.

Zocom

  • Variation 1# MARV + a metric ton of infantry upgraded with AP ammo and Tiberium Field Suits.
  • Variation 2# Hammersheads or Firehawks with Ceramic Armour upgrade + Zone Raiders.

Nod

  • Variation 1# Bike+Buggy spam into T4 Catalyst Missile, Tiberium Core missiles upgrade and Redeemer.
  • Variation 2# Stealth tanks, Avatars and Redeemer.
  • Variation 3# Scorpion spam with Laser+Dozerblade upgrades.

Black Hand

These guys will almost certainly get the Black Disciples upgrade and show you what infantry spam really looks like, mostly made up of rocket squads with a few confessors sprinkled in for the attack bonus. May also build a few mantis's and beam cannon support.

Marked of Kane

Same as Nod but every basic squad has an EMP, very hard to push with a conventional force.

Scrin

  • Variation 1# Nothing but Tripods and Gun Walkers.
  • Variation 2# Tripod spam into Hexapod.
  • Variation 2# Tripods supported by Devastator Warships/Storm Riders.

Reaper 17

Shard Walkers and Tripods, expect nothing more and nothing less, horrifying combo to deal with if you can't destroy their tech centre or catch them early-game.

Traveller 59

  • Variation 1# Hexapod + Prodigy.
  • Traveller is renown for 'Hex-Laming' where players will use two teleport abilities to jump in and out of combat, a Phase Field support power to gain temporary invincibility, Temporal Wormhole to trap your forces and a harem of Corruptors to heal it in seconds.
  • Backed with cheap mind controllers you can see why this is the most hated of all factions.

Counters for each strategy

Well this is the great question every player is asking, you can draw your own conclusions from the above but your own library of strats will never have a 100% success rate.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid



Scout complacency

Remember, intel is only valid for 30 seconds after it's gathered. Never forget that the moment you lose sight of your enemy, they could be doing anything. It is very common for you to be building a perfect counter to your enemy's tank army, only to find they've actually been forming a huge airforce or infantry swarm.

Support Powers

They're there to be used, even though some of them are expensive and you may rather use that to build an army, you'll find their power to gather intel or disrupt the enemy often far exceeds their price tag

Keep Building

The worst pitfall that will plague people even at high level is becoming too focused on a fight and forgetting to queue the next building or place the one that has just been constructed. You'll find this most often occurs when dealing with a split force attacking from 2 sides. You may win the battle but if you forget your buildings, you'll lose the war.

Blaming your loss on hacks

  • While no game is completely free of cheaters, you'll find the it's especially rare to find one on KW, possibly due to how close-nit the community is.
  • Accusing your opponent of cheating will achieve two things; you make yourself look incompetent and you get yourself tilted because you believe your loss wasn't your fault.
  • This mindset is mostly egotistical as you believe you're 'too good' to lose like that, if you suffered a loss that you felt should've been a win, the best thing to do is study the replay before making any claims, the most likely outcome is you'll discover a strategy you've never considered before which is always a good thing. Try to stay humble.

Not learning Hotkeys

Any opportunity to remove the amount of micro-management you have to do should be taken, some important hotkeys to note are:

  • Q - All Units.
  • E - Building Tab.
  • R - Defences tab.
  • W - Select all of same unit.
  • A - Attack anything en route to location.
  • D - Reverse move to location (defends rear armour).

Written by 1st impact.