It’s good when the Force is with you, but it’s even better when you simply know what you’re doing. In Star Wars: Force Arena, it’s especially good to have a plan of attack.

Those opposing turrets aren’t going to destroy themselves, after all, and your enemy (or enemies, if you’re playing 2v2) are coming for your base. Your best bet is to make something happen quickly.

Plus you want to be able to make the right moves between matches so you can level up your cards and improve your deck. Even if you’re spending some time waiting for reward packs to open, there’s a fair amount you can do so that when you fight again, you’ve got the best chance of winning.

The Force might be able to assist you with all of that, but we’re here to provide an alternative. Our Star Wars: Force Arena Tips, Cheats and Strategies can get you into the game and crushing the enemies of the Rebellion or the Empire, whatever your preference might be. (and if you want to unlock more leader cards, be sure to read our special guide devoted to all the ways you can do just that!)

Tap to Move, Tap to Attack, Tap to Live

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The biggest difference between Force Arena and other MOBA/card game mash-ups is that you have a leader character under your control. Other characters and vehicles get played by dragging them onto the battlefield once you’ve built up enough energy to pay their costs, but the leader can move and attack wherever you send them.

Moving around the board is as simple as tapping where you want your leader to go. Attacking is just as easy, as you simply tap on the enemy unit or turret you want to target and your leader will continue attacking it until it is destroyed, he or she dies or you give them a new target. You’ll see what you’re currently targeting thanks to a small but bright green line on the screen.

Every leader also has a skill activated by a round button in the lower-right corner of the screen next to the cards in your deck. Unlike those cards, the skill isn’t connected to your pool of energy, but rather something you can use whenever its cooldown timer finishes. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the skill for every leader you plan on using, as well as their special ability, which is passive (meaning you don’t need to activate it) but still important.

Keys to Victory in the Force Arena

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The primary goal in Force Arena, as it is in most MOBAs or MOBA-style games, is to destroy your enemy’s base. Doing so means taking out a shield generator deep in your opponent’s half of the map, and getting to it will likely mean eliminating at least one of the turrets in the two lanes on the game map.

What’s important to remember is that there’s a three-minute time limit for each match, so destroying turrets is also an end in and of itself. You get a point for each one you destroy, and if no one has blown up the other’s shield generator when time runs out, those points determine the winner. If a match is tied at the end of three minutes, there’s a 60-second overtime, and if things are still square after that, the match ends in a draw. It’s like kissing your sister. Just ask Luke Skywalker. Ahem.

Of course the opposing players are trying to do the same thing to you, which is why the mini-map is so important. On it, you can see the current location of the enemy leader (or leaders, if you’re playing 2v2), as well as triangles which represent enemy units — though you won’t be able to know what units those are until you get close enough to see them. Good thing the maps aren’t that big.

Behind each turret on the map is a glowing green plus sign that will restore some of your leader’s health. Those are up for grabs for leaders on either side, so you can retreat behind your own turret if you need a little healing, and you might be able to grab one in enemy territory once you’ve blown up a turret provided you can beat the other leader to it.

One final thing that’s important to keep in mind is where you can play your cards. In general, you simply drag a card from the bar at the bottom of the screen and drop it right where you want it. However, there is a zone around enemy turrets that prevents you from playing cards there, preventing unfair sneak attacks. Destroying the turret eliminates that zone and allows you to drop units and vehicles closer to the main turret, which is useful for a game-ending final push. Just remember your opponent can do the same to you.

Deck Construction: Ain’t Like Dusting Crops

Star Wars: Force Arena

Force Arena nicely sets you up with decks of cards that are fully functional right out of the gate. You can also edit your decks by tapping on the ‘Deck’ icon in the main navigation bar on the left-hand side of the main game screen and then tapping on any of your four (two Rebel, two Empire) active leaders.

Except for Unique cards that are restricted to use with specific leaders, decks can include any seven cards along with a leader card. But the better question is what cards should they include. Deck-building strategies could easily fill a separate article on their own, but here are two important concepts to keep in mind:

  • Average Energy Cost – You’ll learn pretty quickly that the most powerful cards in Force Arena also tend to cost the most energy. Yet if you simply load up your deck with high cost cards, you’ll find yourself only being able to play a few of them — remember that matches are only three minutes long — and outmaneuvered by opponents who have more balanced decks. The starter decks in Force Arena can give you a guide to what you want to shoot for in terms of average energy cost, generally between 3.3 and 3.6. When you unlock new cards and consider using them, you’ll want to swap them for something in your deck that costs the same or perhaps one point more or less either way to keep the average cost in an optimal range.
  • Card Advantages – Maybe rock, paper, scissors is a little more difficult in the Star Wars galaxy. Instead of having cards separated into categories so you can tell what enemy units upon which they have more or less of an effect, you have to do a little digging. If you tap on any card in your collection, you’ll see a tab marked ‘Advantages.’ Tapping on that will show which cards from the opposite faction it can be used on for extra effectiveness and which ones against which it will struggle. This knowledge can also guide your deck construction at the meta level, because if, say, your Rebel decks are running into lots of AT-ST Walkers, you can leave the Ion Mine out and be sure to have the Rebel Trooper in.

Card Upgrades and Advancement: When Hoarding is Good

Star Wars: Force Arena

Unlocking cards in Star Wars: Force Arena is just the start. If it’s a unit or vehicle you really enjoy using, you’ll want to acquire as many copies of that card as possible, as it takes a certain number of them to upgrade it and make it stronger. Yes, that’s very much the same system as another popular game that combines MOBA and card game elements. Let’s just say it rhymes with “Dash Morale.”

Cards that can be upgraded show up with a green bar under them in your collection. Just tap on one and hit the orange button that says ‘Upgrade’ and you are good to go provided you have the required number of Credits — an amount that increases as the card reaches each higher level.

Upgrading cards also gives you player XP toward increasing your personal level, which you can track via the meter in the upper-left corner of the main screen. Besides bragging rights, improving in level is crucial because it makes your shield generator more durable and bumps up the health and attack power of your turrets.

How do you get more cards? There are a few different ways, all of which you should file away in a nice place like Scarif:

  • In the Shop, where there’s an ever-changing selection of five cards you can buy with Credits, as well as card packs you can purchase with Gems.
  • As rewards for battle; you’ll receive a Victory Pack for each win, though it will take several hours to unlock each one. Force Arena also give you a Free Pack every four hours (and you can store up to three if you haven’t logged in all day) and a Play Pack once you’ve acquired 10 Play Points by participating in matches.
  • In the Trade tab, you can trade cards of certain rarities for random cards of another rarity, provided you hand over a certain number of Credits.
  • For completing missions, which you can track by tapping the small orange checklist icon in the upper-right corner of the main screen. Mission rewards can include packs, specific cards or the option to choose one card from a selection of cards of a given rarity level.

Take Me to Your Leaders

While Star Wars: Force Arena is bound to get more leader cards over time, we can at least give you a head start on the ones in the game at launch. Let’s meet them all.

Rebel Leaders

Star Wars: Force Arena

  • Luke Skywalker – Special Ability: Trust Your Feelings; When Ben Kenobi is defeated, Luke Skylwaker’s damage increases by 20% for 30 seconds. Skill: Lightsaber Slash; Slashes with his lightsaber to deal 250% of Attack Power as damage to enemies in front of him.
  • Han Solo – Special Ability: Lucky Shot; Han Solo has a 15% chance to deal 100% critical damage on a basic attack. Skill: Trip Mine; Arms an explosive on the ground that deals 500% of Attack power as damage when stepped on.
  • Princess Leia – Rebel Leader; Princess Leia’s units always get a 7% movement speed boost. Skill: Call for Reinforcements; Deploys 3 Rebel honor Guards.
  • Lando Calrissian – Special Ability: Gambler; When Lando uses his skill, Energy is randomly recharged by 1-2. Skill: Tactics; Uses superior tactics to swap the cards in the player’s hand for new cards.
  • Sabine Wren – Special Ability: Explosives Expert; The Attack Power of Ally units using explosives increases by 25%. Skill: Explosive Barrage: Jumps backward and tosses multiple explosives in front of her to deal 300% damage.
  • Captain Cassian Andor – Special Ability: Marksman; Cassian Andor’s ranged units get 1 increased range. Skill: Special Forces: Calls in 2 Rebel Pathfinders.
  • Bodhi Rook – Special Ability: Technician; Damage taken by Bodhi Rook’s Structures and Land Vehicles decreases by 20%. Skill: Request Supplies: Calls in an Energy or Health Pack that anyone can use.
  • Ezra Bridger – Special Ability: Contemplation; If Ezra’s HP is less than 40%, all of Ezra’s units gain 10% Attack Speed. Skill: Spinning Strike; Jumps ahead while swinging a lightsaber, dealing 250% of Attack Power as Area of Effect damage.
  • Baze Malbus – Special Ability: Comrades; As long as Chirrut remains alive, Baze gets an Attack Speed increase of 25%. Skill: Buster Shot; Fires 3 explosive shots, each dealing 110% of Attack Power as damage to the target and surrounding enemies.
  • Jyn Erso – Special Ability: Underdog; The Attack Power of ranged units increases by 18% if the number of remaining Ally Turrets is less than the number of Enemy Turrets. Skill: Sharpshooter; Uses a sniper rifle to deal 400% of Attack Power as damage to a distant enemy.

Empire Leaders

Star Wars: Force Arena

  • Emperor Palpatine – Special Ability: Unlimited Power; When an Enemy or Ally Leaderis defeated, Palpatine’s Attack Power increases by 14% for 15 seconds. Skill: Force Lightning; Hits enemies with Force lightning that can chain to nearby enemies 5 times, dealing 350% of Attack Power as damage.
  • Boba Fett – Special Ability: Target Acquired; Boba Fett deals 12% more damage to Enemy Leaders. Skill: Missile Strike; Fires a missile from his jetpack, dealing 300% of the Attack Power as Area of Effect damage.
  • Dengar – Special Ability: Back to the Wall; if the number of Enemy Turrets is more than the number of remaining Ally Turrets, Dengar’s Attack Power increases by 20%. Skill: Grenade Toss; tosses a grenade, dealing 300% of Attack Power as Area of Effect damage.
  • Agent Kallus – Special Ability: Exposed Weakness; Kallus always deals 10% additional damage when attacking enemy units. Skill: Crackdown; strikes the ground with his bo-rifle to deal 250% Area of Effect damage and stun enemies for 1.5 seconds.
  • Director Orson Krennic – Special Ability: Advanced Weaponry; if the number of Enemy Turrets is more than the number of remaining Ally Turrets, the Energy Recharge rate increases by 20%. Skill: Dedicated Fire; fires 6 shots and deals 360% damage to the enemy.
  • Darth Vader – Special Ability: Fearsome Enforcer; if any Leaders on the Battlefield are defeated, all of Darth Vader’s units recover 12% HP instantly. Skill: Force Pull; uses the Force to pull all enemies in front of Vader closer to him, dealing 100% of Attack Power as damage.
  • The Grand Inquisitor – Special Ability: Press the Advantage; Ally units gain 20% Attack Speed and 20% Movement Speed when an enemy leader is defeated. This lasts for 7s. Skill: Spinning Saber; spins his lightsaber as he moves forward, dealing 350% of Attack Power as damage to the enemy.
  • Grand Moff Tarkin – Special Ability: Loyalty Through Fear; use a Battle Support Card for a 50% chance to recover 1 Energy. Skill: Orbital Strike; calls in an Orbital Strike that deals 400% of Attack Power as Area of Effect damage.
  • Grand Admiral Thrawn – Special Ability: Student of War; Thrawn’s Attack Power increases by 5% every 5 seconds up to 50%. When he is defeated, his Attack Power resets. Skill: Skilled Commander; boosts Ally morale, increasing Attack Speed by 40% and Movement Speed by 40%. This lasts for 6s.