Remember the old Empires & Allies on Facebook? Forget about that one. Zynga has kept the name but changed everything else for its latest mobile strategy game, enlisting experienced real-time strategy veterans to create something brand new.

That’s not to say that you’ve never played anything like it, because it does contain a number of familiar elements common to other build and battle titles. You’ve got a base to construct with various structures that can be upgraded. A variety of different unit types will unlock as you progress, allowing you to take on increasingly difficult enemies – including boss battles — as you advance.

None of those elements are new. What is different is the more active role you have to take directing your forces to attack, as well as some of the thought that goes into defending your own HQ. We can help you combine your old instincts with these new features thanks to our Empires & Allies Tips, Cheats and Strategies. Simply read on and you’ll be on your way to becoming a more effective commander right off the bat.

  • Early on in the game, you’ll be managing just two basic resources. Fuel is supplied by the Oil Derrick and stored in the Fuel Stockpile while Supplies are gathered at the Supply Drop and stored in the Supply Stockpile. Both are important, but Supplies probably are slightly more crucial since you need them to build and upgrade structures and defenses. If making a choice between what to pursue first, I’d lean toward Supplies.
  • Another good resource management tip for beginners is to favor storage over production. Why? Because you can always head out to the world map and do single-player attacks to gather more Fuel and Supplies, but if you don’t have anywhere to stash them, it’ll all be for nothing.

Empires & Allies Tips, Cheats and Strategies

  • Buildings and defenses that can be upgraded will have a small green arrow below them when they are eligible for improvement. Note that you may need to be a certain level and have the proper resources on hand to perform a particular upgrade. It’s also important to note that you can only have one construction or building upgrade in progress at a time unless you buy an additional engineer for 750 gold.
  • Unlike other mobile strategy games, you don’t need to build different kinds of structures to have a mixed fighting force. The Troop Tarmac is all you need to produce any of the units you unlock as you advance. That being said, you’ll want to have the maximum amount for your level built at all times so you can field a variety of units when you launch attacks. Upgrading a Troop tarmac allows it to hold more of any given unit at one time. If you’re ever in a hurry, you can tap the lightning bolt icon on the side of the screen to rush all your troop production by spending gold.

Empires & Allies Tips, Cheats and Strategies

  • When planning base defense, having a mix of weapons is key, as your enemies won’t be coming at you with only one troop type. All defenses have their purposes, but the Domed Defense and Rally Flag can be especially useful. That’s because both of them are customizable provided you are of a high enough level; the Dome can house a Sentry Gun, Laser or Aerial Defense (it looks like a disco ball!), while the Rally Flag can eventually set patrols for six different unit types. Changing what these defenses are packing is the easiest, most cost-effective way to safeguard your base if you find attacks against your base are repeatedly succeeding in the same manner.
  • On attack missions, timing is everything. You play a much more active role in how and what your forces attack in Empires & Allies than in other games. Even if you are convinced you have the right troops to do the job, don’t just drop them all at once. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your units vs. the defenses of the base you are attacking and plan accordingly.

Empires & Allies Tips, Cheats and Strategies

  • Once you’ve upgraded your HQ to level 4, you’ll gain the ability to begin placing troops one at a time instead of as entire squads. This can be extremely helpful when you are attacking bases for the first time, giving you a chance to test tactics without committing a whole squad at once. To switch between squad and single unit deployment, tap on your HQ and then tap on the helicopter icon that appears on the menu at the bottom of the screen.

Empires & Allies Tips, Cheats and Strategies

  • Command Points are what you’ll be using to activate all of the options available to you during combat. The most basic of these is the flare, which costs just one point and signals a specific target for your troops to attack. Other abilities you’ll unlock include various kinds of air support attacks, heals and buffs. You’ll gain more Command Points for each enemy building you destroy, so you can almost plan ahead like in chess, knowing you can gain more points to enable future actions.
  • Some single-player missions are boss levels, which may feature special units that you won’t see in PvP battles. Be prepared to take it on the chin a time or two before you can figure out how to approach the bosses. Another feature of boss levels is that the deployment zones are often in inconvenient places that don’t allow you to bypass certain defenses too easily. It’s almost like a puzzle game meeting an RTS game halfway, so be forewarned!

Empires & Allies Tips, Cheats and Strategies

  • When picking territories to assault on the world map, pay special attention to the areas you have already cleared but are in danger of falling back into enemy hands. These are marked with an exclamation point and a timer that tells you how quickly you need to act before you lose the stars associated with that region. Make these areas your priority.
  • As soon as you’re able, definitely consider constructing the Alliance Building. Joining an Alliance isn’t mandatory, but it is nice to have other players available to lend you a hand. Within an Alliance, players can help speed up each other’s upgrades and send resources, plus be eligible for special Alliance loot. Even if you aren’t especially social when playing mobile games, there’s really no downside to joining up in Empires & Allies.