While many mobile games go out of their way to avoid using the MOBA term, Flame vs Blaze isn’t one of them. Square Enix’s new anime-styled burst of 3v3 multiplayer mayhem includes many things one would expect to see in a MOBA, albeit shot through with the usual brand of delightful weirdness that is the company’s trademark.

One of the biggest issues when starting any new MOBA is the intimidation factor/learning curve when you’re just getting started. Flame vs Blaze has a decent enough tutorial to help you with the very basics, like moving, activating skills and the like, but after that, it sort of tosses you into the deep end and has you fend for yourself.

We’d hate for you to get lost along the way, so we’ve put together some Flame vs Blaze beginners’ tips so you can jump into battles and feel like you’re contributing right away.

The Goal of the Game

Every match in Flame Versus Blaze features three players on each side, though you can join the queue for a match as an individual. Each player controls one character, called an Agent, with unique skills that can be activated to help out in battle.

The goal of each match is to destroy the opposing team’s (red if you are on the blue team or vice versa) Reactor. However, unlike other MOBAs, the Reactors aren’t static objects or towers, but rather large creatures that come to life in the final phases of a match and battle it out with each other.

In the early stages of a match, your job is either to gather Mana to level up your Reactor and make it stronger. Small bits of Mana can be found around the battlefield or when dropped by defeated Agents from the other team. There are also Mana Clusters that pop up during play and have to be defeated like monsters before they give up their Mana.

Speaking of monsters, the vast area below the main lane has neutral monsters who will join and fight for your side once defeated. Some monsters will fight right beside you, while others will either defend your base or attack the enemy base.

Once the Reactors wake up, your job then becomes either attacking the opposing Reactor directly, defending your Reactor or gathering up mana to charge your Reactor’s special attack. Eventually, one Reactor will be defeated, granting a victory, and the rewards that come with it, to the other team.

Got all that? It might sound complicated, but each match basically boils down to this:

  • Early game: Round up monsters and gather Mana
  • Mid-game: Seek out and harvest Mana Clusters or attack the other team’s Manaplants to weaken their Reactor
  • Late game: Join in the battle between Reactors and push for the win

It’s obviously better to try to join in with what your teammates are doing, but if you stick to that general game plan, you’ll be contributing to your team’s success.

Your Agent and You

Flame vs Blaze Beginner's Guide

After completing the Flame vs Blaze tutorial, you’ll have the chance to unlock one of the three starting Agents: Yasaka, Baza and Dahlia. You’ll have that Agent to use in any match going forward, though items called Rental Tickets will allow you to use an Agent you haven’t unlocked for an hour at a time. Agents can also be permanently unlocked by spending Topaz, the game’s premium currency.

Every Agent has four different skills to bring into a match. One is passive, meaning it’s always on, while the other three need to be activated using the buttons in the lower-right portion of the game screen during battle. While you’ll have to experiment to find out what they all do or read the individual character guides we’ll surely be doing, in general, skills can be identified by type based on the color of their button:

  • Blue buttons indicate buffs, either for teammates or monsters you’ve recruited
  • Green buttons indicate heals, either for your own Agent, teammates or both
  • Red buttons are attacks, which can be single-target or AoE

But wait, that’s not all (said in best infomercial pitchman voice)! Flame vs Blaze also features a mechanic called Mode Shift that changes the attributes and skills for your Agent. Some Agents can Mode Shift only at your team’s base, others can do it after a specific trigger, but all Agents change their appearance and one or more skills once they’ve done so. Learning how and when to Mode Shift and make it work for your Agent of choice is an important part of graduating to more advanced play.

What are These Cards For?

Flame vs Blaze Beginner's Guide

Agents advance in terms of attributes by leveling up during a match, meaning the progression is the same for every player, every time. Where you can customize the Agents a bit to suit your own style is with a deck of  four cards which can be slotted in for each Agent.

A deck starts with a Core Card, which automatically grants its effects as soon as a match begins. That doesn’t mean they aren’t powerful, as certain Core Cards can change the effects of your skills.

The other three cards are called Sub Cards and generally represent equipment that your Agent is using. The order of the Sub Cards in your deck matters, as the first one is available right away, the second kicks in at level 4 and the final card takes effect at level 7. That means that unless you are really kicking butt in the early stages of a match, the third Sub Card is only going to be useful toward the end, when the Reactors are duking it out.

Cards can be leveled up in the most time-honored mobile card method possible, by acquiring more copies of the same card and then spending currency to improve them. You can earn new cards from the scratch-off tickets you get after a victory or by completing missions.

Why You Should Never Quit a Match

Flame vs Blaze Beginner's Guide

Our last beginner’s tip is more than just etiquette. The matchmaking system in Flame vs Blaze penalizes you for dropping out of a match by not enabling you to start another Ranked match until a certain amount of time has elapsed, almost like you were in the penalty box playing hockey. Thus, even when things look hopeless, you should stick it out if at all possible.

Note that this applies to Normal matches too, even though they don’t affect your rank. Call it the game’s way of making sure you finish what your start. It’s also a reminder to play Flame vs Blaze somewhere you have the strongest possible internet connection you can muster, as you’ll need it to ensure you don’t get accidentally disconnected and suffer the penalty.