Gears POP! is a brand new multiplayer battler game that combines the cover shooting, world, and characters of Gears of War with a Funko POP! character design and gameplay pulled right out of Clash Royale.

The cover mechanics do provide a level of innovation though, which makes Gears POP! feel a lot fresher than many other Clash Royale clones. However, it is a pretty big new mechanic to learn, which might be off-putting to fans of Supercell’s card battler.

To help ease you into this new experience a little more gently, we thought we’d put together a guide. We’ll walk you through the entire experience before providing a few more specific tips and tricks that should help you become the next Marcus Fenix.

Gears POP! Beginner’s Guide – How it Works:

On paper, Gears POP! looks an awful lot like a Clash Royale clone, and in many ways it is. You create a “deck” made up of unlockable characters, equipment, and ultimate abilities and head into battle against other players in real time.

The battles themselves bear a lot of resemblance to Clash Royale too. There are three “towers” you have to destroy to win, and most of the action takes place down one of two different lanes.

You drag your preferred card into one of two different lanes to play it. Each card has an energy cost, and you have an energy pool of up to 10. The pool constantly recharges as you use energy, and managing this system is absolutely key to the experience.

There’s also a lot of similarities in terms of cards. So far, we’ve seen like-for-like copies of Giant, Spear Goblins, Knight, Hog Rider, and spells like Fireball and Poison.

As a result, many of your favourite strategies will likely transfer over. However, the cover mechanic does provide enough of a shake up that many others won’t, and you’ll have to try and shrug off a lot of your instincts to learn the new approach.

How it works is, your troop cards are split up into two different types: cover cards and non-cover cards. That’s the fancy term we coined for these two types of coins.

Non-cover cards act exactly as they would in Clash Royale, moving forwards along the nearest lane to attack the tower at the end of it. Cover cards, on the other hand, will head to the nearest piece of cover.

Once there, they’ll take cover for as long as it takes to “capture” that piece of cover. This takes a few seconds, and once you’ve captured the pieces of cover on both sides of the arena you’ll gain ground, allowing you to place your units higher up the arena.

The early game generally consists of battling for cover in Gears POP!, as both teams strive to own as much of the battlefield before the last minute, when they gain access to double energy and can put together a powerful push.

There’s also your ultimate ability, which can turn the tide of battle in a bind. There’s the Emergence Hole, which releases a stream of wretches (it’s basically the Graveyard in Clash Royale) and the Hammer of Dawn. If you’ve played Gears of War, you’ll know exactly what to expect from that.

Gears POP! Tips and Tricks:

Now that you understand the basics, here’s a few specific tips and tricks to help you master the experience:

  • Managing energy is still key: Managing energy is the most important aspect of every single Clash Royale type game going. If you can get yourself an energy advantage (you basically have more energy than your opponent to use in a counter) you’ll win every single time. Manufacturing these situations is key.
  • Learn how to counter each specific cards, and all energy costs: How do you achieve that? Well, you start by spending some time scouring your unlocked cards to try and learn everything about them. How much damage do they do? How much health do they have? Are they fast? Do they target buildings? Learn exactly what they do and then learn how much energy they cost and try and formulate a strategy to bring them down with cards that cost less.
  • Grenades are extremely important: In many situations, grenades are absolutely king. You can use them on offence, defence, as a distraction – there are so many different ways to use them. What you don’t want to do is waste them though. Learn key moments when you need to use a grenade and save them for just those.
  • Focus on gaining, and keeping, ground: The player who has gained the most ground by the time the double energy minute pops round usually win. That’s because they basically control the entire arena, and can counter any of their opponent’s attacks with ease.
  • There’s little point in playing when you have maximum crates: When you’ve won four games and have the maximum number of crates, there’s no point playing any more. Wait until a crate is open and play again then.