This guide is a composition of the basic skills that will help you get started. These techniques were created from the playing and analysis of the game. This guide is not the be-all end-all, however. There are still many strategies I am sure I have not come up with, and the strategies can depend on your play style and experience. This guide is simply meant to give basic and practiced strategies to beginning players.
Before the game actually starts, there is a menu for you to choose from different skills. For the sake of simplicity, I will not list out every skill. The skills' abilities are able to be read in the menu and the skills you choose depend solely on your play style, however there are some skills I have determined to be more effective than others. Their effectiveness is influenced what my play style is, and since all players will play differently from one another, different skills may be more effective for you.
When choosing your ship's build, there are some precautions you must take. In each skill class, Mobility, Offense, and Utility, there are two different types of abilities. One which use currency (usually more effective), and ones that do not. The most effective build I have seen is two non-currency skills, and one currency skill. This makes sure you don't harm your economy (see ) and lose access to your currency skills. For individual skills, play around with them and see which you are most comfortable with and have the most fun with. Remember, however, skills and playstyles can differ from ship to ship.
In the skills, there are also counter-plays that have multiple factors. These factors can be the ship, their skills, or the individual's play style. Since this is more complicated, however, I will save this for an Advanced BtV Guide.
Basic Layout and Beginning Strategy
When you first load in, you spawn next to your home planet, with no skills and no rings on your planet. The highly recommended starting ring is Industrial. This is to kickstart your economy early and allow you to safely use your currency skills and build other rings. For skills, I recommend starting with your Offense skill for Ambrosium Stalling (see Ambrosium Stalling) and/or being able to defend yourself in enemy mining territory or your own.
The basic layout of the game is one semi-circular lane for minions and gates, one smaller circular lane for miners, and the side opposite to the minion wave features camps (see Camps). In the center of the map is the sun, and around the sun various planets spawn. They spawn at around the point you can build your second ring.
The safest strategy for a beginner is to go for the planet currently farthest from your enemy. They will typically not go for this, and if you're not confident in your skills, is the safest bet to overpower them in the late game. If you desire a more passive route, make sure to go for a mainly Industrial ring build, as this will get you the most currency. Also, frequent the Pirate Camp (see Camps) often to get a large amount of Ambrosium to further your power. Make sure, however, to keep an eye on your gates while you are out and about, since they are relatively easy to destroy and a pushing enemy wave is never good.
What is economy? In BtV, economy is how much Ambrosium you can create in a specific time frame in comparison to your opponent. These are all dependent on Industrial rings and Pirate Camps (see Camps). In BtV, economy is EVERYTHING. Economy determines how quickly you can build rings, Guardians, and turrets. You can't do anything in this game without relying on economy.
- Utilizing specific skills? Ambrosium.
- Building turrets? Ambrosium.
- Need to build a Guardian to defend you? Ambrosium.
- Need to strengthen your minion wave with rings? Ambrosium.
If you take nothing else from this guide, the economy centered around Ambrosium is the MOST important aspect of this game. If you can outperform your opponent in currency, you have a MUCH higher chance of winning. When claiming control over planets, you require currency to build rings. You require currency to upgrade your minions. You require currency for almost everything!
Now, how do you build currency? The fastest way to build a stable economy is through Industrial rings. Industrial rings can spawn Ambrosium Harvesters at a rate of one per 15 seconds with a maximum of four per ring. If you build four rings, then you have a maximum of 16 harvesters, and in one minute that's 800 Ambrosium. If you can manage to capture at least two planets, you should have a stable enough economy to put turrets on your current planets and take over your opponent's. One way to cripple your opponent is to go into his planet and destroy his rings, which surprisingly, are relatively easy to destroy, especially in the late game. This causes them to lose everything, from strong minions to Guardians. Since rings are the main focus of the game, a stable in-game economy is completely necessary.
"Ambrosium Stalling" is a term I coined after repeatedly utilizing this strategy against enemies, and finding it quite effective. Ambrosium Stalling is when you start the game off by killing the enemy's Ambrosium Harvesters which spawn from the Indrustrial ring. As stated by Nexam (BtV developer), "[Industrial rings] spawn one harvester every 15 seconds to a maximum of 4. Each harvester give +5 Ambrosium every 6 seconds."
The significance of this is, if you manage to destroy your opponent's harvesters early on, let's say, two harvesters, you made 35 Ambrosium while they made 0. If you stay and kill four (one minute), you made 125 Ambrosium while they made 0 (when the fifth one spawns). That's insane!
This is a method that I use quite often, and not just in the early game (when it's most effective). Doing this strategy in the late game and killing many harvesters can still damage your opponent when you don't have much else to do. However, Ambrosium Stalling does suffer its own drawbacks. Your opponent can do it to you, as well, which ruins the purpose of the strategy. The best way I have determined to counter this is to kill one harvester, warp back to yours, then fight your opponent. If you're smart, you can force their ship to auto-target the harvester, then get a shot or two in yourself before being attacked.
Camps are structures that spawn throughout various times in the game opposite to the minion semi-circle lane. There are three camps: Pirate, Corsair, and Mothership. Each camp has a specific purpose:
- Pirate: Ambrosium (starts at around 200)
- Corsair: (Currently unkown)
- Mothership: Gives your mothership a buff, making it stronger against the enemy.
The camps may have a huge impact, but are generally used not all that often due to a lot of the game being planet battles. They can be incredibly useful, especially the Pirate Camp early game and the Mothership Camp late game. However, they are not necessary, and your ability to get one really depends on the aggressiveness of your opponent. If they are attacking your planets at every chance, it is most likely safer to avoid the damage from the camps and stay in-lane, ready to jump to a planet at any moment. Camps, if timed correctly, can have a huge impact, but be wary of your opponent taking your planet. The damage from the camps may entail your end.