Earth 2160

Earth 2160

33 ratings
Complete gameplay guide
By Lord_of_Orange
a complete guide focused on Skirmish mode.
   
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Introduction
Earth 2160 is not a loved game. I get it… the terrible voice acting, the sometimes bad balancing, rubbish pathfinding and let’s not even talk about the cringy main menu song. However I quite enjoy it and I was surprised to find nothing when I googled info about in-game mechanics. No walkthrough, no forum, no wiki, nothing. The fact that many rules are opaque at best and the handbook is full of errors doesn’t help either. So I decided to make this guide to help out new players (if there even are any, the game is ancient) who maybe got this game in a Steam sale and have no idea what to do.
Disclaimer
I don’t claim to know everything about the game or that I’m a good player, but I played quite a bit of Earth 2160 when I was younger.

This guide is highly subjective so take everything with a grain of salt.

The guide focuses on the Skirmish game-mode against the AI but I’m sure some tips will be useful for the Campaign and Multiplayer as well.

In the guide I will mention light and heavy weapon slots. This is not an official in game description but a creation of my own. I consider light weapons armament that is installed on smaller vehicles and most planes (Laser blasters, Rocket launchers, Chainguns, Electro cannons, Sniper rifles, etc.) and heavy weapons the choices (3 per faction) for the main ground battle units (Armor piercing cannons, Heavy rockets, Ultrasound wave blasters, etc.). Additionally there are some special weapons that can only be mounted on one specific vehicle type (Flare, Flamethrower, Electromagnetic impulse emitter, etc.)
General Tips
  • Never use infantry. Infantry is so weak, that it is simply not worth the resources and supply cost. Even for scouting fast and light vehicles (Dubna, Apollo, Spider) are the better choice. The only exception to that rule are the hacker units (LC and UCS only) but we’ll get to that later.

  • Don’t use flying units (except if you play the Aliens). Bad news for aircraft fans but the Anti-Air rockets are just too strong. Maybe in Multiplayer you can punish your opponent if he doesn’t invest in AA but the AI usually builds them so a complete air-build is no real option. An exception to that rule may be the flying artillery vehicles (Pluto, Orsk, Condor) which can be used instead of normal Artillery when they are protected by your ground army.

  • Use Anti-Air-vehicles (especially against the Aliens and the UCS). All heavy weapon system are ground-only so don’t forget to bring specialized Anti-Air vehicles to destroy enemy aircraft and harvesters.

  • Never use the “Powerful Engine”. The additional Shield regeneration rate is generally not needed and the late-game units can be awfully slow. The Fast engine on all vehicles is the way to go!

  • Come up with a plan and stick to it. Research is very time and resource intensive so you should not choose a tech that you won’t use in the late game or is not a prerequisite to something you need.

  • “Attack move” is your friend. Just click “a” for attack and click on the ground. Your selected units will move to the designated area and attack every enemy they encounter on the way.

  • Use Command groups. Select units and press Strg+(number key) to create a group. Press the number key to select all units of the group and give them orders. With Shift+(number key) you can add the selected units to an already existing Command group.

  • Keep in mind that the slowest unit selected unit dictates the Speed of the whole group when you give an order. That can be of benefit since faster units won’t rush forward but fast, reinforcing units will not be driving at their full speed towards the frontline.

  • In the production tab you can left click on units in the production queue to repeat the build order. The factory will build the unit and then add it again at the end of the queue. This way you don´t have to manually fill up the queue every so often.

  • If you are low on resources build more mining units (obviously) and try shifting the focus of your resource spending with the sliders in the resource menu. For example, slow down unit production and stop research for a short time to get that building you really need.

  • Turtle in the beginning. This is not absolutely necessary but generally it’s a good idea since defensive structures are very good in the early game. Let the enemy come to you and watch how they get destroyed by your bases defensive systems (Wall Cannons, Twin Towers, Turret-Addons, Lairs) while you can tech-up. Just don’t forget to expand to a new resource location in time and build at least a few defensive buildings there to slow down enemy attacks.

  • Don’t use lasers/energy weapons in the late game (against anything other than Aliens). At first lasers seem to be OP and wreck everything in their path but as soon as the AI installs shields on their vehicles you will not only have to go through 2 “health bars” but almost all energy weapons do reduced damage to shields. In Multiplayer this might be a different story. Maybe your opponent skips shields for some reason which would make laser/energy weapons a viable choice.
    Better stick to weapons that bypass shields with chemical or armor piercing damage.
    A big exception to this rule are the Aliens which don’t have any shields on their ground units.

  • If you don’t know what to research next keep the following general rule in mind: First vehicle-research (just the ones you will use), then weapons, shields, armor and finally engines and support tech (yellow>red>green>blue). Get all basic techs you are going to need before researching upgrades (smaller icons).

  • Nearly all defensive structures can change their weapon system at any time. For example you can switch a Laser blaster to a Wall cannon once you have researched the needed tech.

  • Don’t forget to rotate buildings. This is especially important with the ED where you have to manage the access tubes on your buildings but also defensive turrets can start firing more quickly when they are facing the right way.

  • Pause often. You can pause the game with the Pause-key (first time I used it on my PC) and you should do so to improve the micromanagement of your units. See a few enemy anti-air vehicles on the horizon? Quickly hit pause and give all your flying units according retreat orders before resuming. This way you basically gain unlimited APM (without having to be Korean ;-) )

  • Deactivate the “rotate with right click” feature by unchecking it in the options menu. Generally it’s not necessary to rotate your map and it can even get confusing. By unchecking this option you don’t have to worry about tilting your camera a few degrees every time you right click to give your units orders.

  • When playing against Aliens prioritize anti-air weapons. The alien fleet is strong and one big aircraft can easily destroy even a fortified position. Build up a bigger AA-army and build it sooner than in other matchups otherwise you won’t be able to overpower the alien Anti-missile systems.
Eurasian Dynasty - ED
Pros:
• IMO best resource collection
• Two shield-bypassing weapon types
• Good tech-tree-layout
• good defensive structures
• Vehicles can camouflage while standing still
• best “ultimate weapon”

Cons:
• No Hacker unit
• A bit of planning ahead is necessary when building your base
• no defense against Jammers and the Chaos device (irrelevant when playing against the AI)

ED-vehicles
  • GAZ-N21 Gagarin: a bit better than the starting vehicle (Dubna). It has one light weapon slot. Equipped with chemical rockets the Gagarin is the best Anti-Air vehicle the ED has to offer. You can install Ground-Rockets on it for a poor man’s artillery.
  • T-850 Rasputin: Tank with one heavy Weapon slot. The Rasputin can be installed with the Flare upgrade which deflects incoming rockets (especially useful against UCS and ED)
  • T-926 Kirov: more expensive but sturdier than the Rasputin.
  • T-930 Moscow: Has less HP than the Kirov but can mount 2 heavy weapons. This is going to be the backbone of your ground army in the late game.
  • KV 4X Aurora: artillery Unit. Use a hand full of these to obliterate the enemy base after the enemy army is dealt with. It’s useless against units and must therefore be protected by your army.
  • AN-80 - Infantry Transporter: Infantry is useless, so this Infantry transporter is too.
  • KA-78 Gruz: flying repair robot which keeps your tanks alive. Sounds nice in theory but it’s easily shot down by AA. Just let your tanks die and replace them with shiny new ones.
  • KA-74 Amursk: light flying unit. You could use it with Anti-Air chemical rockets instead of the Gagarin but I prefer the Gagarin. It can be used to harass the enemy base with Ground-rockets if there is no AA.
  • KA-82B Khan: strong aircraft that operates from an Airfield. The Khan can be outfitted with either AA cannons or bombs (best used against buildings).To be honest I don’t have a lot of experience with the stationary aircraft type (Khan, Mercury, Atlas, Beetle) since they don’t match my playstyle. Use them for base-defense or build an outpost with an Airfield and attack the enemy base from there. One major drawback is that you have to order every single bomb/sweep run.
  • KA-95 Orsk: Flying artillery. You can use them instead of the Aurora with the benefit of them not getting stuck between your ground army units. Only useful against structures. Watch out for AA.
ED-weapons
  • Explosive Technology: It unlocks the Sniper unit. Its upgrades (Heavy bomb technology and Enhanced explosive technology) add damage to bombs (used by the Khan) and Rockets&Cannons (very important if you go for armor piercing cannons).
  • Earthquake Technology: unlocks a better cannon for the Aurora artillery that has a bigger damage radius.
  • Chemical Technology: prerequisite for Anti-Aircraft rockets and a very strong weapon to be mounted on tanks. In comparison to the Armor piercing cannon it trades range for splash damage. It is useless against Aliens since they are very resistant to it.
  • Advanced laser technology: can be used on defensive structures or on tanks. While it is a good weapon in the early/mid game the laser gets countered by shields later on. It is effective against Alien units.
  • Ion Blaster: A type of laser that damages the electronics of vehicles but can only be used on light vehicles (Dubna, Gagarin). When the electronics are destroyed a vehicle cannot move or fire (indicated by a little, yellow lightning symbol). Keep in mind that electronic damage regenerates and a vehicle can get back into combat after a while. The Ion blaster does quite some damage to shields but must destroy them before it can do electronic damage.
  • Rocket Technology: Prerequisite for Anti-Aircraft Rockets. It unlocks the light weapon Ground rockets which is good against buildings in the early game. However the long travel time of the projectile makes it almost impossible to hit moving targets. Additionally it unlocks the rocket infantry unit.
  • Flare: Support weapon that deflects incoming missiles but cannot deal damage. It can only be mounted on the Rasputin.
  • Armor piercing Cannon: very strong heavy weapon used on defensive structures and tanks (and on the Khan for AA).
  • Ballistic Missile Technology: The “Ultimate weapon” of the ED. This tech allows you to build a Ballistic missile launcher which can produce ballistic missiles and fire them anywhere on the map. Keep in mind that there is quite a delay between the order and the impact of the missile so better aim for enemy structures and not moving targets.
ED-armor and shields
  • Anti-chemical armor: Reduces damage taken from chemical weapons. This armor should be used when playing against the ED because you will face chemical tanks and chemical AA Rockets. Also install this armor when fighting Aliens.
  • Reflective armor: Reduces damage taken from Lasers and other energy weapons. IMO this armor should never be used since the shields deal with this type of damage.
  • Classic armor: Reduces damage taken from cannons, guns, rockets and such. This armor is best used against the UCS but also the ED deals this damage type. The LC uses classic damage in the mid game. Keep in mind that all types of armor raise the damage reduction against classic weapons (therefore a tier 2 Anti-Chemical armor is better than a tier 0 Classic armor in reducing this kind of damage).
  • Energy shield generator: installed on light units, artillery and aircraft to give them shields against energy based weapons. It also works on tanks but they can use the stronger Advanced shield generator. The research also unlocks Shield generators for the ED which protect the base from energy weapons.
  • Advanced shield generator: Bigger version of the Energy shield generator used on tanks and buildings.
    Tanks often have 2 slots for shield generators. The bonus of 2 shield generators stack but is generally not needed. One shield generator is sufficient in most scenarios; I recommend putting a Repair device in the second upgrade slot.
ED-upgrades and support
  • Repair Device: slowly regenerates HP of vehicles when equipped. It’s not as important as shields and should be researched later. Since your main battle vehicles have 2 upgrade slots you can install one Advanced shield generator and one Repair device to get a versatile mix. For light vehicles, aircraft and artillery you have to choose the Repair device or the Energy shield generator. In my opinion the Repair device is the better choice late game, but it depends on what you are facing and it doesn’t make that much of a difference anyway.
  • Vampire- Energy shield revindicator: a kind of support weapon that drains enemy shields and adds the shield power to your vehicle. It can only be mounted on the Gagarin and the stealing effect is not that useful since the light Gagarin dies to shield-bypassing weapons very quickly. However it does an awful lot of damage against enemy shields (but does no damage otherwise).
    Mixing a few Vampire weapons into your army can make the Heavy laser a viable choice again. However I do not recommend it since both the Vampire-Gagarins and the Heavy laser-tanks are almost useless on their own. Therefore this composition needs a lot of micromanagement to mix the two units right.
  • Powerful engine: engine that boosts the shield regeneration. The shield regeneration rate provided by the Shield generator is sufficient under most circumstances. Better use the Speed engine.
  • Speed engine: Engine that does not replenish shields but makes the unit faster. Earth 2160 is a rather slow paced game and the units profit greatly from being a bit faster. I recommend putting this engine on every vehicle.
  • Mobile Doppler radar: unlocks the GAZ-65V Grozny, a support vehicle without any offensive armament. It can be equipped with the Mobile Doppler radar, Jammer or Chaos device. The Mobile Doppler radar installed on the Grozny detects camouflaged units (Shadow generator tech from the UCS or ED units) in a certain radius. Against the AI this is not necessary since it doesn’t use camouflage.
  • Jammer: disturbs control of enemy units in the vicinity, however they still attack if they are in range. This is indicated by the crossed out radio tower icon next to effected enemies.
  • Doppler monitoring module: unlocks the Automatic radar center, a building that detects all enemy aircraft on the map and can counteract camouflage (if this works in a radius or on the whole map is not clear to me)
  • Chaos device: Upgrade to the Jammer. In addition to blocking commands the enemy units attack random targets. This device can really ♥♥♥♥ up an enemy army but I recommend researching it later when you already have the required tech for the rest of your army. The crossed out radio tower symbol indicate the effected units.
ED-good unit composition
  • Main battle vehicle: the strongest unit available at the time (Rasputin<Kirov<Moscow) with chemical cannons (not against aliens), the best armor you can afford (see above which armor to use against which enemy), Speed engine, advanced shield generator+ Repair device. If you also fully upgraded your armor piercing cannon tech you can put one armor piercing and one chemical cannon (not against aliens) on a Moscow tank. This way at least one cannon is always effective against the enemy armor.
  • Anti-air vehicle: roughly 10 Gagarin with anti-air chemical missiles. Best armor (depends on enemy damage type), Speed engine, Energy shield generator OR Repair device (depends on enemy damage type)
  • Artillery: a few Aurora-tanks preferably with the Earthquake rocket launcher. Best armor (depends on enemy damage type), Speed engine, Energy shield generator OR Repair device (depends on enemy damage type)
  • Support (optional): Rasputin with Flare, best armor (depends on enemy damage type), Speed engine, advanced shield generator and Repair device
    Grozny with chaos device, best armor (depends on enemy damage type), Speed engine, Energy shield generator OR Repair device (depends on enemy damage type)
ED-Tips
  • When building your base pay attention to the connection ports and leave at least one port in every direction you may want to expand to later.
  • For production I recommend at least 3 Production hangars. The rally point for your units is controlled at the exit. 2-3 Research and technology centers should work at all time.
  • Instead of Hackers the ED has special rocket infantry which can do damage to buildings early game and Snipers. However I prefer light vehicles with rockets.
  • Don’t forget to build an Ammo supply center. Whenever a unit runs out of ammo the supply center will send a drone with ammunition to it. Depending on how far away the unit is the travel time can be quite substantial so it might be a good idea to build an Ammo supply center at an outpost closer to the action.
  • Defensive systems (towers and wall cannons) can be modified at any time and wall cannons can be moved around along the walls. I recommend armor piercing weapons against ground units mixed with a few chemical AA rocket-launchers. When expanding to a new resource deposit I recommend building a colony center with a few of these towers to protect your Vologda harvesters.
  • A gate can only be built next to a wall. So you have to build part of the wall first before placing the gate.
  • Infantry can lie down to get a defensive buff but can only crawl. This can be a problem because units in the same control group move only as fast as the slowest unit. Meaning that your reinforcements on the way may slow down to a walking pace because a soldier lied down somewhere at the frontline. Either order them to stand no matter what or just skip infantry all together.
Lunar Corporation - LC
Pros:
• Weapon systems are included in the vehicle research
• Good defensive structures
• Units don’t need ammunition
• No power supply management. Just build Solar modules anywhere and power will be transferred all across the map.
• Units regenerate HP slowly without any upgrades needed

Cons:
• Resource collection is slow and the mining facilities take up a huge amount of space
• Only 4 buildings can be built at a time and there is no queue
• The Ripper is worse than the other two “ultimate weapons” in my opinion.
• Worst artillery unit

LC-vehicles
  • (Apollo: The starting vehicle of the LC and its only light ground unit. It can use the anti-aircraft magneto missile launcher and Anti-missile defense system.)
  • Phobos: tank with one heavy weapon slot.
  • Deimos: tank with two heavy weapon slots. It is slower than the Phobos but has a lot more HP.
  • Charon: tank with three heavy weapon slots and one light weapon slot. It has a little less HP than the Deimos.
  • Crion: Artillery piece that is primary a flying unit but has to land before firing. Because of this mechanic you have to micromanage it a lot, move after every salvo and guess where you have to land to be in range of the target. Also it’s susceptible to both AA-fire when moving and ground-fire when landed.
  • Athena: Light flying unit with one light weapon slot. It can be equipped with the Electromagnetic impulse emitter.
  • Ares: heavier flying unit than the Athena. It is the only flying unit in game which has a heavy weapon slot (however it can’t use the Magneto piercing weapon).
  • Pluto: flying artillery. Watch out for AA.
  • Mercury: stationary aircraft that can only attack air targets. It can be equipped with AA-missiles (armor piercing damage) or an energy beam weapon (energy damage). It can be a very strong defensive unit.
  • Atlas: stationary aircraft that deals huge armor piercing damage with a bonus against buildings. There are no customization options for the unit except for a shield slot.
  • Ripper & ultimate Ripper: “ultimate weapon” of the LC. It unlocks the Ultimate battle module where one Ripper or Ultimate Ripper can be built. The Ripper is a kind of stationary aircraft that uses a strong laser weapon. You have to designate a straight line which the laser will be fired along. After that it has to return to its module and charge again. Since the Rippers are very slow and hard to control I recommend using it against structures only. The Ripper is very sturdy so it can shrug off a few AA- missiles but it is not invincible. The Ultimate Ripper has higher HP and can fire its laser longer than the Ripper.
LC-weapons
  • (Electric cannon: unlocked with Battle module. Light weapon that fires an Electric beam that jumps from enemy to enemy a few times. It deals energy damage and electronic damage. It’s nice at first especially the damage to multiple targets. Later it can’t deal enough damage and rather stun-locks stronger tanks with its electronic damage than killing them. It does bonus damage to shields.)
  • (Plasma beam cannon: unlocked with Twin tower. Heavy weapon that deals energy damage. Don’t use it against enemies with shields.)
  • (Magneto piercing weapon: unlocked with Phobos. Heavy weapon that deals armor piercing damage. It’s the only heavy weapon that bypasses shields in the LC and should therefore be used in the late game (except against Aliens))
  • (PSI ray cannon: unlocked with Deimos. Heavy weapon that deals psychic damage against drivers of vehicles and infantry. It sounds very nice and in the early game it is very strong but it has to penetrate shields before hitting the driver and does very little damage to shields, so it’s not viable in the late game.
    Once the pilot is hit with enough PSI rays one of three things happen: The driver dies and only the empty vehicle remains, you gain control of the pilot and the vehicle, the driver goes mad and drives around aimlessly and fires its gun randomly from time to time. If the driver dies its vehicle may block your army at a narrow path. To prevent that you would have to take some normal damage dealing units with you to manually attack the empty vehicles in your way.)
  • (Ultrasonic wave blaster: unlocked with Ares. Heavy weapon that creates an ultrasonic beam which does energy damage in a certain area. While this is an energy weapon and it has to penetrate shields in order to deal damage it is a viable choice even in the late game since it does bonus damage to shields.)
  • Anti-aircraft magneto missile launcher: does substantial energy damage to aircraft but has to overcome shields. It can be installed on the Apollo, the Battle module and on Energy wall generators.
  • Ground magneto grenade launcher: light weapon that shoots grenades. It can be used to destroy buildings in the early game. However the long travel time of the projectile makes it almost impossible to hit moving targets.
  • Sonic wave generator: light weapon that can’t be installed on the Apollo. It fires an AoE blast that damages nearby ground units with energy damage.
    Electromagnetic impulse emitter: can be installed on the Athena. It deals electronic damage in an area around the plane. The electronic damage can stun-lock enemy units. In order for it to work it has to destroy shields first but does so very quickly. To get the maximum out of the weapon use it right on top the enemy ground force to hit as much units as possible
  • Freezer: can be installed on the Pluto. Hit enemies cannot move for a certain amount of time but they can still attack.
LC-armor and shields
  • Anti-chemical armor: see Anti-chemical armor in the ED section.
  • Reflective armor: see Reflective armor in the ED section.
  • Classic armor: see Classic armor in the ED section.
  • Shield generator: see Energy shield generator in the ED section.
  • Advanced shield generator: see Advanced shield generator in the ED section.
LC-upgrades and support
  • Infantry-second class: buffs the infantry but it’s still useless.
  • Hacker: Hackers only work against UCS battle robots but they can be very powerful. A hand full of upgraded Hackers can halt an entire UCS army. The Hackers do electronic damage to the unit and once it hits 0 (which is rather quick) you gain control of the unit. They have quite a long range which is necessary to stay out of enemy fire. Keep in mind that the LC Hackers can’t hack while using their jetpacks.
  • Battle module: tower module that has two slots for the following weapons: Electric cannon, Anti-aircraft magneto missile launcher, Ultrasonic wave blaster and Magneto piercing weapon.
  • Twin tower: Has 2 weapon slots for the following weapons: Plasma beam cannon, PSI ray cannon and Magneto piercing weapon
  • Anti-missile defense system: Can be installed on the Apollo and shoots down missiles. It’s useful against the UCS and maybe the ED.
  • Energy weapon disperser: is mounted on the Styx and dampens nearby hostile energy weapon fire by 80%. Very good on paper but the AI rarely uses energy damage.
  • Crypto communication device: unlocks the Styx, the support unit of the LC. If it is equipped with the Crypto communication device it counteracts ED Jammers and Chaos devices in a certain area.
  • Regenerator: mounted on the Styx it regenerates shields of nearby allied units.
    Subfrequency antenna: mounted on the Styx it counteracts UCS Shadow generators and other camouflage.
  • Movement detection module: unlocks the Espionage module, an alternative to the MCM main construction module. It can only support 4 modules on top of it but can detect all enemy ground units.
  • Powerful engine: See Powerful engine in the ED section.
  • Speed engine: See Speed engine in the ED section.
LC-good unit composition
  • Main battle vehicle: the strongest unit available at the time (Phobos<Deimos<Charon) with Ultrasonic wave blasters, the best armor you can afford (see above which armor to use against which enemy), Speed engine, 2x Advanced shield generator.
  • Anti-Air vehicle: roughly 10 Apollos with Anti-aircraft magneto missile launchers. Best armor (depends on enemy damage type), Speed engine, Shield generator
  • Artillery: a few Plutos (when playing against Aliens use the Crion since the Droserian Lair can outrange it). Best armor (depends on enemy damage type), Speed engine, Shield generator OR Repair device (depends on enemy damage type)
  • Support (optional): Apollo with Anti-missile defense system, best armor (depends on enemy damage type), Speed engine, Shield generator
LC-Tips
  • All LC building modules can fly. Use this to customize the towers. If you take off with a High technology module the research gets paused until it lands but its progress is not lost.
  • No additional modules can be built on top of High technology modules, Fighter stations and the Ultimate battle module. Build these at last or fly to another tower in order to build additional modules before switching back.
  • The in game description MCM Main construction module is wrong. 5 modules can be placed on top of it, not 4. The Espionage module is the one that only supports 4 modules.
  • Laser fences can be disabled by clicking on one Energy wall generator and then on an adjacent one. The barrier between them will be deactivated and can be activated again the same way.
  • To defend your base and resource outposts build a few Twin towers (the Plasma beam cannon is fine in the beginning but switch to Magneto piercing weapons later) and Energy wall generators with AA launchers. In the beginning of the game Electric weapons on Energy wall generators and battle modules can do outstanding damage.
  • When a building is landing during the last part of its construction or is flying to another location it is very prone to AA fire and will be destroyed after a few shots.
  • Mining facilities mine an equal amount of crystal and water on default (if both resources are within their reach). When you order them to mine only one resource you will get double the income from it.
  • The rally point for Production structures is set at the Main construction module. Because of this and the fact that things can get quite confusing when you have multiple production tabs for each tower, I recommend you build all your Production modules on one tower.
United civilized states - UCS
Pros:
• Fast resource collectors
• Teleportation
• Fast unit Production

Cons:
• The main defense tower is useless on its own, only the Addons to the tower do damage
• Vulnerable to Hackers (but the AI won’t use them) and to Anti-Rocket technology since they rely heavily on rockets
• No mobile Anti-missile units
• No dedicated supply buildings. Best use the Storage addon to the refinery when you are supply-blocked.
• Some research options are rather useless

UCS-vehicles
  • Kazuar: stronger version of the light starting unit (Spider). It has one light weapon slot and can be installed with an Anti-aircraft rocket launcher. It is the only light unit that has 2 upgrade slots.
  • Jaguar: Unit with one heavy weapon slot and one “light” weapon slot with the following choices: Flamethrower, Shuriken grenade launcher, X-ray gun, Plasma grenade launcher
  • Lion: Has the same HP as the Jaguar but is slower. It has 2 heavy weapons platforms
  • Scorpion: artillery unit. It can be equipped with a Plasma cannon or a Mayhem rocket launcher. The Plasma cannon must penetrate shields while the rockets can in theory be destroyed by anti-missile systems. The damage is almost identical.
  • Scarab: light and fast flying unit. It can be equipped with a Chaingun, an X-ray gun or a Shuriken launcher.
  • Condor: flying artillery. It has the same weapon choices as the Scorpion.
  • Beetle: stationary bomber that can either equip Heavy bombs or Plasma bombs that both do bonus damage to buildings.
UCS-weapons
  • Rocket launcher: unlocks the Anti aircraft rocket launcher for the Kazuar as well as Heavy rockets as a heavy weapon. Heavy Rockets (or just “Rockets” on the Jaguar) are a very strong but slow firing weapon and it is the only heavy weapon of the UCS that bypasses shields. Get this tech as soon as possible (best after the Jaguar research).
  • Anti-missile defense system: The only application for this system is on a High defense tower. It can be effective since many artillery units are rocket based.
  • (Plasma blaster: unlocked with Jaguar. It also unlocks the Silver P infantry unit. A slow firing heavy weapon that does quite a lot of damage but has to penetrate enemy shields.)
  • Gaussian beam: energy based beam weapon that jumps from target to target and receives a damage bonus for each jump. This can be very effective against large enemy forces. However as an energy weapon it still has to penetrate enemy shields.
  • Chain gun mkII: upgrades the Chain gun. However it is still a weak, light weapon. This upgrade is not worth getting.
  • X-Ray gun: light weapon that directly hits drivers inside vehicles and does damage to them. Very strong in theory but it is blocked by shields and does very little damage to them. The empty vehicles of killed drivers can become obstacles.
  • Plasma grenade launcher: light weapon that does bonus damage to buildings and shields. However the long travel time of the projectile makes it almost impossible to hit moving targets. It can be very effective against enemy fortifications at least in the early game.
  • Flamethrower: does chemical damage and can only be equipped by the Jaguar as his secondary weapon slot. It’s beyond me why this minor weapon has so many upgrades. Save yourself the resources and skip this tech.
  • Heavy bomb hold: unlocks a stronger bomb for the Beetle. It does armor-piercing damage instead of energy damage and its damage range is a bit better.
  • (Shuriken launcher: unlocked with the Scarab and can only be used on this unit. It does high damage to infantry but is otherwise useless.)
  • Shuriken grenade launcher: can only be installed on the Jaguar as a secondary weapon. It shoots grenades which damage infantry units in a small area.
  • Shield disperser: it can only be equipped by the spider and destroys all nearby enemy shields with an AoE attack.
  • Bomb teleport facility: The “ultimate” weapon of the UCS. It works very similar to the Ballistic missile. You have to produce bombs at the facility and then you can teleport them anywhere on the map. Keep in mind that the bomb will take time to detonate and can be destroyed easily if not placed well.
UCS-armor and shields
  • Anti-chemical armor: see Anti-chemical armor in the ED section.
  • Reflective armor: see Reflective armor in the ED section.
  • Classic armor: see Classic armor in the ED section.
  • Mirror shield generator: see Energy shield generator in the ED section.
  • Advanced mirror shield generator: see Advanced shield generator in the ED section.
UCS-upgrades and support
  • Communication array: unlocks the Salamander support unit and can only be equipped on same. It counteracts Jammers and Chaos devices from the ED in a certain radius.
    Infrared search device: on the Salamander it cancels out camouflage effects in a certain radius.
  • Shadow generator: mounted on the Salamander. It camouflages the Salamander itself and all friendly units in a certain radius. Keep in mind that the camouflage effect is canceled when a unit is firing or at night when your units turn on their headlights. Turn headlights and fire at will off to become invisible. If enemy units bump into your camouflaged units you are also revealed.
  • Silver one mkII: upgrades the standard infantry unit. still useless.
  • Decker: Hacking unit of the UCS. See Hacker in the LC section
  • Long distance teleportation: boosts the range at which you can set the waypoints at production facilities. With this tech you can teleport produced units almost everywhere on the map.
  • Unit teleport facility: up to 6 units standing on the teleportation pads can be teleported instantly anywhere on the map. After a teleportation the building has a short cooldown. However getting the units to stand still on the pads is hard and you might only get 4 units at a time so this is not a convenient option to transport your main army.
  • Internal repair robot: see Repair device in the ED section.
  • Powerful engine: see Powerful engine in the ED section.
  • Fast engine: see Speed engine in the ED section.
  • Doubling unit production count & Triplicate unit production count: With this tech each Unit factory can produce two/three units at once. This can be very powerful. However, if you are losing so many units that you can’t keep up the production with a few Unit factories (I usually go for 3-4) you are doing something wrong. With the UCS I consider the supply count my most limiting factor for my army production, not the factories. On the other hand this tech might open up the possibility to swarm your opponent with cheap, low tier units.
UCS-good unit composition
  • Main battle vehicle: the strongest unit available at the time (Jaguar<Lion) with Heavy rockets, the best armor you can afford (see above which armor to use against which enemy), Fast engine, Advanced mirror shield generator+ Internal repair robot.
  • Anti-Air vehicle: roughly 10 Kazuars with Anti-aircraft rocket launchers. Best armor (depends on enemy damage type), Fast engine, Mirror shield generator OR Internal repair robot (depends on enemy damage type)
  • Artillery: a few Scorpions preferably with a Mayhem rocket launcher. Best armor (depends on enemy damage type), Fast engine, Mirror shield generator OR Internal repair robot (depends on enemy damage type)
UCS-Tips
  • Because you create a production tab for each new Engineering facility with a unit factory attached I recommend dedicating only a few Engineering facilities to unit production (1 with 4 unit factory attachments should be enough) to avoid confusion.
  • Rally points are set at the Engineering facility it only has a limited range but teleports the produced units directly there. Keep in mind that you cannot set your rally point half way across the map (at least until you get the Long distance teleportation tech) and let your units go there like you would with other nations.
  • Termites are very fast harvesters so you don’t need that much. You get one Termite with each Refinery and Landing zone-add-on and can build them in the Heavy unit factory. An actively mined resource deposit should have at least one Landing zone-add-on to prevent a Termite jam when they want to unload their resources.
  • Use the Storage add-on to the refinery if you need more supply. As a side effect they also raise your maximum resource stockpile. Put Storage on ever free Refinery slot and replace unused Landing zones (by selling them) with it. When you are in a pinch you should consider building a refinery somewhere just to get more supply from Storage.
  • The Main defense tower on its own is useless since it does almost no damage. The add-ons to it are the real defensive structure.
  • A Heavy defense station can be equipped with either a Plasma blaster, a Gaussian beam or Heavy rockets
  • The High defense tower mounts a Plasma grenade launcher, Anti-aircraft rocket launcher or an Anti-missile defense system
  • Units stationed in a Bunker can shoot at the enemy while being protected. When built it already comes with 2 infantry units inside (if you have the required tech 2 Silver P units else 2 Silver one units). Fun fact: a Bunker is cheaper to build than the 2 free infantry units inside. However I think the defense towers are far more powerful and you should stick to them.
  • To power UCS buildings they have to be in a radius of a Power plant or an Energy transmitter (which in turn has to be in range of a Power plant). For maximum power output install 3 Cold fusion generators and one Energy coordination center per Power plant.
  • Drones can repair units and buildings.
Aliens
  • The Aliens are quite different to all the other factions. There is no research tree, no resource storage, no unit customization, it’s almost like playing a different game.
  • The Aliens don’t use a base to produce units, but they have basic units which can clone themselves indefinitely (Mantians and Replicatorus) and morph into different units. Before an alien can clone itself or morph it has to collect resources by standing still next to a deposit. Alien ground troops only need water while the alien fleet needs crystal and metal (therefore the Aliens are the only faction that require all 3 resources).
  • All alien ground units have high chemical damage resistance, alien aircraft are armored against energy damage and conventional damage
  • Since the alien ground forces and aircraft do not compete over the same resources you should always build a ground army as well as an air army.
  • Alien aircraft are by far the most powerful in the game. Their shields and inbuilt Anti-missile defense system (Morphorator Light Cruiser, Postomor Destroyer) can keep them alive and make them a viable choice. But these units are definitely not invincible. The Anti-missile defense system can block a few incoming rockets but gets overwhelmed quite easily and once those AA missiles hit, the aircraft will go down very quickly. So you still have to watch out for enemy AA-weapons.
  • Besides ground and air units alien can morph into stationary defensive structures (Nests and Lairs). Use those to defend your resource deposits, your Mantian, Replicatorus and Morforatorus units.
  • Remember to give yourself enough space when setting up your stationary defenses. Your “nesting grounds” can get quite claustrophobic when hordes of Aliens cluster around resource deposits. Also the gigantic flying units collecting resources overhead make it hard to see and select ground units below.
  • To avoid confusion and prevent unnecessary micromanagement try to synchronize your production units. For example, let all your Mantian Queens fill up with water, then clone half and morph half into tanks. This way you don’t have to tab back to your base every time a unit has collected resources and think about what to do with it. In order to stay synchronized all the Mantians need access to water as soon as they are cloned (stay close to the water deposit).
  • In terms of production I use 1 constantly cloning Mantian Lady (its clones morph into Nests/Formidians), 1 cloning Mantian Princess (its clones morph into Hermipterian Defenders) and 3+ Mantian Queens (their clones morph into all your major battle units). In terms of airforce I usually go with 2 constantly cloning Replicatoruses.
  • Aliens can’t be attacked by weapons that do psychic damage.

Alien-ground units
  • Mantian Lady: starting unit that can clone and morph into the Formidian trooper or become a stationary Orchidian Nest. They heal nearby units very rapidly (doesn’t work on structures).
  • Formidian trooper: basic unit that deals bonus damage to infantry. It can attack ground and air targets.
  • Formidian guardian: stronger version of the Formidian trooper. In addition it deals bonus damage to structures. It can attack ground and air targets.
  • Mantian Princess: can detect moving ground-troops on the map, so keep at least one around to get intel on enemy movements.
  • Hermipterian Grenadier: much like the grenade/rocket units in the game this alien launches long range projectiles that do bonus damage to buildings. It is not effective against moving targets.
  • Hermipterian Defender: dedicated anti-air unit that deals chemical damage
  • Mantian Queen: can detect camouflaged units. It can transform back into a Mantian Lady if needed.
  • Arachnian Exterminator: artillery unit.
  • Arachnian Demolisher: stronger version of the Arachnian Exterminator that deals armor piercing damage instead of chemical damage.
  • Gryllopian Brainer: slow unit that does psychic damage to drivers and infantry. When the enemy has no mind points left it switches to your side. Shields protect from the psychic damage but the Brainers do a lot of damage to them, so they stay a viable option even in the endgame. Fight the enemy with their own vehicles!
  • Coleopian Tank: has a very high attack rate and deals chemical damage.
  • Oryctian Tank: has the highest HP of any alien ground unit. It fires considerably slower than the Coleopian Tank but has enhanced range and deals armor piercing damage.
Alien-fleet
  • Replicatorus: the base air-unit of the aliens and the only one that can clone itself. If you lose all of these you won’t be able to build a fleet anymore. It needs to collect crystals before cloning or morphing itself. It can’t attack. According to the handbook it can regenerate damaged flying units (I never tried it)
  • Morphoratorus: it needs to collect metal in order to morph. It can’t attack.
  • Postomor Fighter: 4 light and fast fighters.
  • Morphorator Light Cruiser: first large attacker of the alien fleet that is able to destroy incoming missiles. It has to collect crystals in order to morph into the final alien aircraft types.
  • Postomor Destroyer: direct upgrade to the Morphorator Light Cruiser. It is extremely powerful against enemy units. However the anti-missile defense system doesn’t make you invulnerable, keep that in mind and watch out for enemy AA.
  • Postomor Heavy Cruiser: shoots long range missiles that do high damage against enemy structures.
Alien-structures
  • Orchidian Nest: a basic defensive structure that can shoot ground and air targets. It does very minor damage
  • Cactacian Nest: deals high chemical damage to ground units.
  • Cactacia Lair: The Lair adds a few extra HP to the Cactacian Nest and changes the damage type from chemical to armor piercing damage.
  • Droserian Nest: very strong anti-air structure with high range.
  • Droserian Lair: The Lair adds a few extra HP and a missile-defense system to the Droserian Nest.
Alien-good unit composition
  • Main battle unit: A mix between Oryctian tanks and Coleopian tanks. The Oryctian tank soaks up the damage and kills enemies with Anti-chemical armor. The Coleopian tank deals with everything else that dares not to use Anti-chemical armor.
  • Anti-Air unit: roughly 10 Hermipterian Defender
  • Artillery: a few Arachnian Demolishers
  • Aircraft: Postomor Destroyers and maybe a few Postomor Heavy Cruisers to take out enemy fortifications from afar.
    Support (optional): Gryllopian Brainers
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6 Comments
MrCounterMax Jul 17, 2021 @ 4:25am 
Replicatorus heals units in the same way as Mantian Lady, both flying and ground
jerommeke Oct 27, 2020 @ 5:37am 
Thanks, this is very useful to me. Didn't know how to handle a single skirmish game, without being totally annhilated within 15 minutes.... Don't like dying... :steamhappy:
Gallyx Sep 14, 2020 @ 5:39am 
Thank you
Lord_of_Orange  [author] Sep 13, 2020 @ 1:45pm 
@Gallyx The electric cannons are strong especially if a lot of your tanks are clumped together and the lightning bolt jumps from target to target. The bonus damage to shields is also rather powerful.

That being said- The electric cannons can only be mounted on the light apollo's. If you are having trouble dealing with them you should prioritize tank production. Heavy weapons like chemical cannons will make short work of the apollos before they deal too much damage.
Destroying vehicles with the light laser turret of dubnas and gagarins can be rather tedious, since they have a malus to vehicle damage (x0,2 i think), which heavier weapons do not.
The AI also switches rather quickly to phobos with magneto piercing weapons . So don't bother with reflective armor IMO; advanced shield generators should suffice.
Also mixing some gruz repair bots in your army, might be a good idea. They can repair disabled tanks with damaged electronics.
Gallyx Sep 13, 2020 @ 2:37am 
I have a question. How do you counter LC electro cannons as an ED player? In first few minutes my lasers make short work of their Apollo's but after they start putting electro cannons there im screwed. I tried building Rasputins and Kirovs with fully upgraded reflective armor and the heaviest shields i had but they still melt through them in seconds, any advice?
✪ ΛΝΙΜΛL™ Jul 2, 2019 @ 8:38am 
brilliant work