CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars is a physics-based vehicle builder and battler by ZeptoLab. In this game, players will construct the strongest cart they can and send it into automated battles against other players’ creations. Gamezebo’s CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars Tips, Cheats and Strategies will help you master the arts of building and blasting makeshift cars so you can climb to the top of the feline-infested leaderboard.
I’ve got a vehicle, some parts…now what?
CATS is all about sending your vehicle into battle, getting new parts, and building/upgrading your machine so it can progress through the ranks to earn even better parts, and so on. The four main areas are: Quick Fight, Championship, League, and Bet matches.
Quick Fight is the button in the bottom right corner of the main garage screen. If you choose this option, you’ll immediately be thrown into a 1v1 fight with a random player close to your same rank. After winning three Quick Fights (they don’t have to be in a row), you’ll earn a supply box with new parts and items. These boxes take time (or gems) to open, however, and you can only store four boxes at once. Winning Quick Fights also earns you Rating points (the blue cat faces). Each Quick Fight you win increases your win streak by one, which also increases the amount of Rating points you earn upon winning. Quick Fights are a good way to win supply boxes and slowly raise your Rating points.
Championship is the button to the left of Quick Fight. This is the closest thing to a story progression the game has: you’ll be placed in a bracket with 14 other players that are at your same Championship level. You can choose to battle individual players from this bracket and earn medals for defeating them; the six players with the most medals after two days will advance to the next stage of the Championship. You can also advance instantly by choosing the “Fight” option in the bottom right corner of the Championship page and successfully beating all 14 other players in an endless bout. (Note: in earlier stages, you don’t have to beat all of the other players to advance, but this becomes the default after Stage 4).
Losing Championship matches has no negative effect (unlike Quick Fights, where you lose your win streak and some Rating points). Players will often trade medals back and forth: anytime someone challenges your vehicle in a Championship battle and wins, you will then have a chance to challenge them again (the red sword next to their name will reappear) and win the medal back. Whenever you see a pop-up saying your machine successfully defended itself and you’ve earned coins, this was during Championship challenges by other players.
Advancing through the stages of the Championship opens up new types and levels of items: these items will begin appearing in any supply boxes you earn from the moment you reach the new Championship stage onward. For instance, when you first begin the game, you’ll only have access to the brown Wooden vehicle parts, but once you reach stage 5 of the Championship you’ll begin earning the blue Metal parts. Increasing your Championship rank is the only way to access these higher tier items, so it’s really important to play and do well in Championship whenever possible.
Bet matchups are available by tapping on your Uncle Tony in the garage. There are always two types of bets available: quicker, lower-value bets at the top and slower, higher-value bets at the bottom. In a Bet matchup, you simply pick which of two opponents you think will win a fight. You then bet an item on the match and wait for the battle to start. After the battle has occurred, you’ll be able to watch the results and find out if you won. If you win, you’ll earn a bonus to the item(s) you bet as well as some Rating points. If you lose, you lose the item(s) you bet.
Finally, the League is your overall, worldwide ranking. The Rating points you earn in the other areas will all be added together to create your League total. The League is mostly just a standing leaderboard, but you will advance to higher League brackets as you gain Rating points, and there will be rewards given out every couple days based on ranking. Even players at the bottom of the League board will win a prize, but the better your ranking, the better the reward. The supply box rewards earned for League placements are opened immediately and do not go to your garage storage, so you don’t need an empty space for them.
Our personal approach to the game has been: play Quick Fights to fill up our supply box slots, aim for streaks to get crowns (and open supply boxes as often as possible). Always have a wager set on a Bet matchup. When we’re out of room for more supply boxes and waiting on a Bet result, we focus on the Championship. Try the 14-player Fight and note which opponents beat you and what their strengths are. Adjust your vehicle to counter these opponents and try the Fight again. If you’re actively playing, advancing through the Championship instantly by winning in the 14-player Fight is a good goal. If you’re stepping away for awhile, make sure you have a supply box in the process of opening, a Bet wager down, and your vehicle is complete/in good shape because…
- Don’t exit the app with a half-finished vehicle. CATS pulls your current vehicle’s status at all times, so if you leave the app without equipping any weapons—or even if you take too long while building a new loadout—your unfinished vehicle could be used in battles with other players. If you know you’re going to be stepping away for awhile, try to at least leave your vehicle in semi-defensible form so you can still hold your own in Championship 1v1s and earn some extra coins.
- Try to challenge currently online players to catch them mid-edit. While you don’t want to leave your vehicle underprepared for attacks, you can use the fact that cars are always pulled in their current state to your advantage. Have you ever challenged someone only to find their vehicle was just a chassis, with no wheels, weapons, etc.? They were probably in the middle of editing it and you just happened to battle them at the same time. If you’re in the Championship menu and see someone listed as “Online,” try challenging them. You might catch them in the middle of rearranging their weaponry and get an easy victory. In the image above, DJD217 and Meowch (us) are both showing as currently Online and would be good choices for opponents to challenge in case we’re editing our vehicles.
- You won’t win ‘em all. There are a wide variety of weapons, chassis, and support items in CATS, as well as an endless combination of how items fit onto each vehicle, their total Strength, etc. Even if you have a well-built car that is winning frequently, you will inevitably come across a vehicle that will beat you. Sometimes this is simply a matter of your opponent having more HP and/or higher Strength; sometimes it’s a perfectly placed counter to your size or layout. Either way, everyone in the game wins some and loses some. Losing a few battles doesn’t mean your current build is bad, but it does mean that a successful counter to it exists.
- Learn from the players that are currently beating you. If you keep running into the same type of loadout or item that is winning against you, try recreating that loadout. You may discover a new type of vehicle you didn’t know you would like, or at the very least, it will help you understand the strengths and benefits of that specific creation. For instance, we kept losing to players driving a Classic or Surfer that had a Forklift in front, which would flip our car and leave us defenseless. We made a similar vehicle and used it for awhile to see its strengths, weaknesses, counters, etc. That led us to one of our favorite vehicle types, discussed just below…
- Your car doesn’t have to go anywhere—try building a stationary tank. When the Forklifts kept getting us upside-down, we decided to make it as difficult as possible for them to tip us over: by staying in one spot, making them come to us, using a hard-to-tip chassis, and sticking a Repulse on the front for added defense. This setup worked so well that we ran with it for over a day before switching to another layout.
The trick to creating a healthy tank is choosing a chassis that you can still put (usually short) tires on without the vehicle actually going anywhere. If the wheel wells are high enough on the chassis, you can equip Knobs for their health bonus but you won’t roll around. We chose a Titan because with spaced out and evenly sized wheels, it’s fairly difficult to tip over, and it’s one of the skinnier chassis—so it takes longer for the opponent to reach it. You’ll want to use distance weaponry like Rockets or Lasers so you can still attack your opponent without being near them, and the Repulse on the front will knock anyone who gets too close back across the screen—and actually tip over any unwieldy vehicles. This is hard to pull off if your projectile weapons are not powerful enough, but once you unlock at least one really strong Rocket or Laser, we suggest giving it a shot.
- Another counter to the Forklift flip is equipping a Blade. We really struggled against Forklifts for a lot of our early matchups. Besides making a stationary tank, another option is to equip a Blade near the back of your chassis. This way, even if your vehicle is flipped, you can still hit your opponent since the Blade rotates a full 360 degrees. Make sure it’s close enough to the rear that it will hit someone a few inches away from you, but not so far back that it tips your car over. Speaking of which…
- You can sort items in the edit menu. The upper-right corner has some small icons indicating specific parts: tap the first icon to view only chassis, the second icon to see weapons, the third to see wheels, and the fourth to see defensive items (like Boosters or Forklifts). Tap any icon twice to revert to the original list that shows you everything. This is the only way to see stickers, which always show up at the beginning of this list.Also, any item you unequip will be sent to the end of that item type’s list. So, if you’re editing your vehicle but only want to change the chassis but use the same weapons: swap chassis, then switch to the weapons menu and scroll all the way to the right to find the weapons you just unequipped.
- Having trouble editing stickers? Tap on the chassis so it is your highlighted item. The rest of your currently equipped items will slowly fade away, showing only the chassis and any stickers you have equipped. From here, it’s much easier to grab a sticker and move it around rather than trying to grab it from underneath all the other items.
- Always test new layouts before taking them into Quick Fights. Losing a Quick Fight will break your winning streak and cost you Rating points (the blue cat faces you get for winning Quick Fights). You really don’t want to use untested vehicles in this arena: instead, take your new loadout to the Championship or a random player from the League list. Losing a Championship battle doesn’t cost you anything, and choosing the 14-opponent “Big Fight” will let you see how your new vehicle fares against a lot of different challengers.
To challenge someone from the League list, simply tap your Rating at the top of the screen (where the blue cat points and your current medal are) and then tap the red magnifying glass next to any player’s name. This will let you battle their current car, and there’s no penalty for losing or reward for winning. If you’re trying to build against a specific type of car or weapon, try to find someone in the League or Championship with that type of car and then keep battling them as you make minor adjustments to see how they turn out. Unfortunately, you have to actually fight them to see their vehicle—there’s no preview option at the moment—but once you find a good fit they’ll typically have the same car available for at least a little while. The circled number next to a player’s name indicate their current Championship stage, so choosing someone with the same or close number to your own will ensure you’re battling players with roughly the same types of components.
More than any other edit, we highly recommend testing out tire adjustments thoroughly. Even a tiny change to a wheel’s size can send your car toppling over before a fight even begins. Scooters, Rollers, Knobs, etc. all have very different rates of movement and traction in addition to their sizes, so you really need to confirm wheel layout in your test runs.
- If your car keeps toppling over, try gear slots that are closer to the center. The physics in CATS is very touchy and easily influenced: a Forklift placed even just slightly closer to the edge of a vehicle is much more likely to tip it over than one slightly nearer the center. Also, wheels that are wider apart provide a sturdier base. Look at not just the types of items you are using (anything that extends outside the chassis itself has a chance of tipping it) but also the locations of the slots.
- I don’t have enough Power to equip all the items I want. Each chassis in CATS has a preset amount of Power (the lightning bolt), and each item (weapons or defensive) requires a certain amount of Power to be equipped. So, let’s say you wanted to equip a Rocket that cost five Power and a Backpedal that cost two: you’d need a chassis with at least seven Power. There are only two ways to increase a chassis’ Power: fuse Power toolboxes (won in supply boxes) to a chassis or upgrade the Skill that adds Power to a specific type of chassis. For instance, at the first Skill level, there is a Skill that adds one Power point to all Titan chassis.Otherwise, you either have to use weapons that require less Power, or equip fewer weapons total. One really powerful Laser that costs six Power can be just as good as a Drill and Chainsaw that cost 12 combined. As you unlock higher level chassis, they will generally come with more Power initially, yet higher level weapons don’t always require more Power to be equipped.
- Strength isn’t everything. Although greatly mismatched challenges—such as one between a player with 50 Strength and a player with 200—will usually favor the higher number, vehicle construction really plays a key role. As mentioned above, something as simple as a Forklift could turn the tide of battle—if a vehicle is tipped over and its weapons can’t reach the opponent, no amount of Strength will make a difference. When you’re judging Bet matchups and Quick Fights, really consider the vehicle as a whole vs. just the numbers at the top of the screen. Will the vehicle with Rockets and Lasers destroy the one with Drills before it can cross the screen? Do the mismatched wheels on the Titan make it prone to tipping over? Everything plays a role in the outcome, and it’s only through watching fights and seeing results that you’ll get a feel for the pros and cons of different vehicle compositions.
- The Strength value you see is DPS. ZeptoLab explains this in their helpful FAQ available from the in-game menu, but it’s worth repeating here. The strength values (sword icon on weapons and your vehicle as a whole) are indicative of DPS, or damage-per-second. A weapon like a Drill, for instance, attacks constantly, so its value is essentially what damage you’ll do every second. A weapon like a Laser, however, only attacks every 2.5 seconds and stores up damage when not attacking, so its total damage output is actually 2.5 times its strength value: so, a Laser with 100 as its strength will do 250 damage when it fires. This is why you can often auto-kill low-health opponents with a single Laser shot even if your strength value is lower than their total HP.In the image above, our opponent had more Strength and a much higher HP. However, one of his weapons was a Drill, meaning he’d have to get close to us (and past our Repulse) to begin using some of that DPS. It was possible his Laser made up most of that (since there’s no way to tell the Strength of individual weapons), but we took a chance and ended up just barely winning with our Rocket/Laser combo. His Drill made up enough of his DPS that we were able to finish him off before he could get close enough for a kill.
- Keep chassis with good gear positions. While you can improve a chassis’ Power levels and HP, the one thing you can never change is the type of weapons it accepts or the position of those weapons’ gear slots. If you find one you like—say a three-weapons chassis or one with defensive slots on the front and back—hold on to it. Even seemingly identical chassis will often have very slight differences when examined closely: wheels that are slightly farther apart or closer to the ground, gear slots that are higher or lower, etc.Speaking of, we recommend favoring gear slots that are lower to the ground than higher up: there are a lot of small, short chassis that can dodge weapons that are too high, but almost none of them can dodge weapons that are very low. If you put a Rocket at the top of a Titan, for instance, it will just fly overhead when battling anything shorten than another Titan.
Also keep in mind that the square gear slots are for defensive items like Forklifts and Boosters and the round gear slots are for offensive weapons like Rockets and Drills. When you sort your items via the icons in the upper-right corner of the edit screen, the second icon (that looks like a Rocket) shows everything that attaches to round gear slots. The fourth icon (that looks like a Forklift) shows everything that attaches to square slots.
- Fuse items before selling them. Most of your money in CATS will come from supply boxes and Championship battles: you shouldn’t have to sell too many parts to make ends meet. Instead, fuse items to your favorite chassis and weapons to give them more HP or Strength. Fusing is a little tricky in its current format: you have to tap the item you want to fuse to and then drag the item you are fusing (losing) onto the first item’s picture to the left of your current vehicle (in the edit vehicle menu). If you tap the second item, its stats will appear and replace the first. So there’s an awkward dance of tapping an item to decide you want to fuse to it, then tapping around to find what item you want to use as the fuser, then tapping the first item again and carefully dragging the second item.Even if you aren’t fusing, we generally keep most items instead of selling them. It’s nice to have backup items around that you don’t mind losing in Bet matchups, discussed below.
- Take part in Bet matchups as often as possible. Although Bet matchups can provide bonuses to your vehicle, we prefer to use them as a way to earn extra Rating points. The danger in losing an item you bet is always there, even if a match seems like a sure thing—you can see how many other people have bet for each opponent by the “total bets” dial and the majority opinion is usually a safe bet. If you’re willing to shell out gems in case you lose a wager, you can use Bet matches to build up a pretty high bonus to a single part: you can bet the same part on subsequent matches, adding to its bonus’ percentage increase to a maximum of 60%.
- What are these crowns on my supply boxes? For every five wins you receive in a row in Quick Fight, you will earn a crown. This means at a win streak of 5, 10, 15, etc. a crown will be assigned to a random supply box. This is always true, so if you reach a streak of 10 you will earn a crown; if you then lost your win streak, reset to 1, and then reached a streak of 5 again, you would get another crown. Crowns improve one of the items in that supply box, making it more powerful. Each supply box can have up to three crowns on it total, impacting three different items. So it’s beneficial to aim for win streaks not just for the added Rating points, but for the extra item boosts as well.
- How do I get Super boxes from the Quick Fights? Honestly, this one is a mystery: it seems random at this point. We’ve played a series of Quick Fights while full on supply boxes in our garage and noted every type of supply box we would have won if we’d had a slot available. For seven fights in a row, we won a Super box every two battles. Then, we played another twelve Quick Fights and won a Regular box every time. Your current win streak doesn’t seem to affect the type of box you get, either, so it really just seems like random luck.
- Skip Quick Fights to keep your streak going. After you enter a Quick Fight, but before you tap the screen to watch the battle play out, there is a button in the bottom right corner that looks like a fast forward icon with a coin amount on it. If you tap this, you can spend that coin amount (it increases with each Championship stage you progress to) to skip your current opponent and get another one. The next opponent may or may not be easier for you to beat, but if you’re trying to reach a certain win streak for Rating points or crowns, you can always pay to skip sure-losses.
- Don’t forget about your Skill points, but don’t feel like you have to spend them immediately. Skill points are the blue and white paw coins you win for advancing through the Championship stages. This is the only way to earn Skill points, so they are very rare—be sure to look at the available Skills and look ahead to Skill trees that are not yet unlocked to decide how you’d like to spend your points. Skills are unlocked permanently once you spend a point—and they remain with you even if you Prestige—but the limited number of points means you won’t be able to unlock all of them unless you Prestige numerous times. To see the available Skills and/or spend your points, tap the icon at the top of the main garage screen with the sunglasses-wearing cat face.