Playing Marvel Strike Force alone is great, but it’s even better when you’re part of a halfway decent Alliance. Or even more than halfway decent, if you can find one. One of the primary benefits of joining an Alliance is to participate in raids, something you can’t do solo.

Raids are special maps that present a series of fights that lead up to one or more boss battles. They have their own rewards based on participation, so the more “work” you do in a raid compared to the other members of your Alliance, the better the loot you’ll earn. On top of that, raids are also organized by seasons that last for several days, and hitting milestones within each season can yield you extra rewards similar to the way that Blitz mode does for you as an individual.

Why you want to play raids

Marvel Strike Force

Raids have their own currency, aptly named Raid Credits. You can spend these within the Raid Store for things like character shards (at the time of this article, it’s the most reliable way to earn shards for Thor) and gear ingredients.

An arguably even better way that Raid Credits shine is that you can use them on special Raid Orbs that produce blue, purple or orange gear, which is some of the most powerful in the game and absolutely necessary to get your most powerful characters to the highest gear tiers. You’ll need plenty of Raid Credits for these Orbs — the Orange Gear Orb is 15,000 Raid Credits — which is why you’ll want to be playing raids as often as possible.

Finally, raids are a great source of ability materials to level up the powers of your various characters. It’s pretty challenging to advance most abilities beyond level 3 without raiding, so keep that in mind.

How to start a raid

Marvel Strike Force

There are multiple tiers of raids, each of which is designed to challenge increasingly more powerful teams of characters. The top tier of Ultimus Raids, for example, is intended for level 50-plus characters, which is obviously no joke.

Starting any raid requires the proper number of keys — either Ultimus Keys for the raids that are in the game permanently, or other kinds of keys for any limited time only raids that might be running. Keys are generated by using Campaign Energy, and are cumulative for your entire Alliance. Each Alliance member can only contribute a maximum of 600 keys per day of each type.

To start a raid, simply tap on the raid you’d like to kick off, tap the ‘Enter’ button and then tap the ‘Launch’ button, which will display the necessary number of keys. Because any Alliance member can start a raid and spend keys that technically belong to the group, you’ll likely want to coordinate when to begin one using Alliance chat. If you’re in a well-run Alliance, the leader should handle organization of raids and you probably won’t have to worry about starting one often, if at all.

Marvel Strike Force raid tips and strategies

Marvel Strike Force

Raids have their own Raid Energy (because of course they do!) that limits the number of battles you can undertake. It starts at a maximum of 50 points, with points regenerating over time. You can also use Power Cores to refill your Raid Energy instantly if desired.

The idea is to clear every node of a raid map, which always will have multiple paths to get to the final boss. For this reason it’s a good idea to coordinate which path you’re planning on taking with your fellow Alliance members. Working together, it’s very possible to clear an entire map, even without the participation of every member of your group.

One thing that is crucial to keep in mind when planning for raids is that your health persists between battles, meaning that if your characters are badly beaten up in one fight, they’re still going to be that way when you start the next one. You can and often should rotate heroes and villains out of your team before starting a new battle if necessary. You’ll also be given the option to heal characters before picking your team using special healing canisters you can win in other game modes.

Finally, you’ll quickly learn that raid battles often throw large numbers of smaller enemies at you instead of several more powerful ones (though some battles are like that too), so if you see a large overall power number for a particular node, don’t panic. That’s the cumulative power of all the enemies there, and it might not be as bad as you think if it’s simply waves of lower level goons your characters can handle.

Looking for more Marvel Strike Force advice beyond raids? Please check out our tier list, best character guide and tips on how to earn free Power Cores.