Here you will find tips and tricks for getting into Echo Star. This will not go over HOW to play the game, but rather some advice from me, the game designer, so you can ease into the experience. If you want to learn how to play, use the tutorial built into the game itself.
THIS IS A LOT OF INFO. Don't feel the need to read it all at once. Play the game, come back, and pick and choose what you want to learn a bit more about.
This is the unit you play directly and your micro control of this unit will determine the outcome of battles. Perfect strategy can fall apart if you can’t play your hero well, so know your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as that of the units themselves.
I recommend you start with the Peacekeeper. It's designed to be beginner friendly. Do NOT start as the Ranger. That is one of the most advanced units in the game.
Difficulty Order (from easiest to hardest): Peacekeeper, Hydra, Axion, Dauntless, Atlas, Tarantula, Armadillo, Ranger, Guardian
Peacekeeper: The shield is the cornerstone of the Peacekeeper kit, but the difference maker is how you use the mines. Running in and exploding them in melee is the best way to ensure the enemy takes damage, but so will you. The orbital strike is best used against buildings and slow massive units like the Dauntless and Armadillo. Just be sure you wait for the Dauntless to dash and Armadillo to transform first.
Atlas: Great AoE hero capable of wiping out entire infantry armies by itself. All of its moves use energy, so be very wary of that bar. The Atlas ultimate has extreme AoE and can decimate an entire force in one shot if used well. Be sure you have energy for it, because if you use it and run out, you’ll fall and take damage. Also don’t use it on buildings. That will disappoint you.
Ranger: This dual mode unit is difficult in both forms. It has very short range guns in mobile mode, so proper use of stealth is key to reposition yourself around your opponent or lose aggro from RTS units. The ultimate can serve as a failsafe stun and damage dealer in case you’re in a pickle. If you decide to plant the Ranger into sniping mode, be sure to keep in mind that you will point the direction of your cursor and can only fire 45 degrees on either side of it. If you don’t position properly, you’ll find yourself getting flanked VERY easily. Headshot is best used against large, slow units and buildings, while lineshot works best against fast movers and big infantry. Headshot is extremely picky with contact, so use it wisely. If you do land one, or if you’re godly enough to land a critical headshot, you’ll find yourself in a very advantageous position.
Hydra: Like the army unit, the Hydra has a minigun, flamethrower, and rocket pack. Unlike the army unit, the hero can use all 3 at once. The catch is when you use the minigun and flamethrower, it locks you down and puts control of the flamethrower on the movement buttons/joystick. The Hydra ultimate is simple in that it boosts all of your 3 main abilities, so there isn’t much nuance there. The difficulty in using the Hydra lies in how you best lock yourself down and control two weapons at once.
Tarantula: Slow and bulky, this unit can be taken down easily if rushed head on, so try to stay in the backline as long as you can. Use your E to reposition yourself or jump in to let off your charged cannons. Always rev them both up at the same time. The Tarantula’s ultimate is best saved for a duel or huge army as 3 fully powered shots from the cannon in a row is devastatingly powerful but using them on a small army is a bit of a waste. Remember that the Tarantula’s only anti-air is its chain lightning gun too, so you are very weak against air units.
Armadillo: This unit is best served in a variety of roles. In bunker mode, its shield can protect your escorts and army while the guns and turret take out units. Try to set your bunker up so you can use 3 of the turrets while firing. If you angle it just right, that’ll maximize your damage. Remember that your ultimate can only be used in one of the two forms, so choose wisely. The shield overdrive is best used when your shield is completely depleted, not when it’s full. Mobile mode Armadillo is best used in farming runs and against small armies. Bunker mode is best used against medium range heroes and large armies.
Axion: It might not seem like it, but this is the aerial assassin support class. The Axion does very little damage with its guns, so don’t pick it as a duelist. Where the Axion shines is with its harpoon. Use your boosters to get into range of hooking an air unit, pull it back to your army, and watch the army blow it up. Rinse and repeat. The napalm strike ultimate then works well to mop up large ground armies. The Axion works best in large arenas. An advanced tip is using the harpoon to drag enemy heroes out of combat entirely. You can pull them to retreat zones and force them out of combat altogether. This can be useful if your army is a bit weaker and you have to deal with something like a hero Dauntless. You’ll retreat too, but sometimes that can be worth it.
Guardian: Be careful with this one. It’s a highly circumstantial pick and I’d only choose it when you have a huge army you want to keep alive. This makes it good in the late game. The tractor and repulsor beams stop all units that get drug by it, which is amazing against melee units. The giant shield acts a powerful projectile blocker for your army, if you place yourself between your army and theirs. Use the ultimate when you’re in this position as well. It should go between or on your army for best use. It’ll slow all units inside, so you want them to be slow before they are already on top of you. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal with the Guardian. That’s what it’s there for.
Dauntless: This unit will be extremely tempting to pick due to its size and epicness, but you will die fast if you don’t pay attention to its strengths and weaknesses. The Dauntless is essentially a melee air unit. The laser range is extremely short. You can use the broadside cannons as a longer-range weapon, but they are uncontrollable, so you may not target what you want to. Still, use these if you think charging forward might result in instant death. Always remember that pointing forward is not always the best option for the Dauntless. Another major point to remember is that your dash can kill you. Don’t just use it wildly or you’ll find yourself real dead, real quick. Use it to position yourself or pick off weak units/heroes, but pay attention to your health bar. The Dauntless’ ultimate is on a 3 second delay, so prime it like a grenade, then dash into the enemy right before it explodes for maximum effort.
Intro to Strategy:
This is the bread and butter of Echo Star. We want you to use your brain to think about things like splitting versus focusing, rushing versus expanding, and what units to build against your opponents, without the stress of time management and muscle memory. Learning proper strategy requires foresight and critical thinking. If you are thinking only about the current round, you are likely going to lose to someone who is thinking one or more rounds ahead.
This is where you'll make most of your biggest decisions. I'll break down strategy for each of the 3 major choices you make.
This is by far the most nuanced of the three decisions you'll make. You not only have to choose your own development, but you have to pay attention to your partner's too. Sync bonuses are very important and can make a huge difference.
· These are good for long-term planning. However, if you lose your expansion, you’ll need to rebuild.
· Income from expansions does not come in until the next round, which makes you economically weakened the round you build it. That means if your opponent picked economy or tech and attacked your expansion, you’d be in a bad spot.
· Don’t build expansions if you are trying to turtle.
· Putting turrets on your HQ and then building an expansion essentially makes your turrets useless unless your expo is destroyed, which should never be part of your plan.
· Don’t forget these also protect you from a direct HQ attack. If you are in dire straits, building an expansion can be a nice safety net against an enemy you know is going to try to go for the HQ kill.
· Sync bonuses on expansions make them weaponized, like your HQ, which is a good way to ensure some level of safety from small invasion forces.
· This is also a medium-term planning option as you benefit immediately and permanently, unless your opponent destroys the tech lab.
· Remember that your Tech labs only unlock new heroes while your partner’s unlock new army units.
· If you want your ultimate abilities, you need to sync up with your partner to unlock them. You get the best bang for your buck doing a sync at tech level 3, but it’s also a much longer wait time, making you weaker in the short term.
· This also goes for ultimate uses. Mix up your hero use, using a bunch of different ultimates, then refresh them with a tech upgrade. Refreshing your ultimate after one use is not a great return, unless you’re also getting a new tier of units, which essentially acts as a free ultimate refresh.
· I say again, do NOT let your tech buildings die. You’ll have to rebuild them, which can be catastrophic to your economy.
· This is a medium-term planning option as you benefit immediately and permanently, just like tech labs. Turrets are not rebuilt between rounds, so if half your turrets die, only the surviving half carry through until you use turret again.
· Turrets can go on each of your 3 bases you have active and the 2 outside objectives, if you own them.
· Do not do a sync bonus unless you can get 3 or more turret placements in one go. Otherwise it’s a waste.
· Do not put turrets on your HQ unless it’s the only base you have. Turrets should go on your outermost expansions. If you have two expansions and only one has turrets, that base will be attacked by default.
· This is a short-term planning option as it only benefits you in the round you use it.
· This is best utilized right before a major offensive, like an attack on the HQ.
· It’s nearly impossible to get a round 1 HQ kill without doing economy, so if you’re going for a Zerg rush, be sure to econ.
· Syncing economy gives you and your partner substantially more power to the ability. This is the one development that likely has more uses in its sync form than its solo form.
This is where your actual skill as a commander comes in. Failing to maintain board control will result in a lost game. You need to be mindful of your opponent and what they might do and try to mitigate that while also pursuing your own goals.
· Direct attacks on the base are recommended when you have a superior force, know they have an expansion you want to eliminate, or have absolutely no way of winning through objective victory.
· Attack order is Expansion with turrets, Expansion with mounted gun, Normal Expansion, HQ.
· Attacking bases is where bluffing comes in. You can send you or your ally, bait the enemy to pull back, then in the conflict phase, move that token to assist wherever your other force is. If you find them via scouting, you can even potentially bait them home and take their spot, resulting in two free objectives or farming runs.
· This also works as a bluff of a bluff. Send one force, make your opponent think you are bluffing so they don’t send a defensive force, then send your entire army and get free reign on their base or HQ.
· Proper balance of bluffing and attacking can be a gamechanger.
· These two locations are essentially the same, despite having different names. This will change-ish when travel time is implemented.
· There is a hive that is destructible in each of the two zones that results in a big bonus to income, but permanently reduces the max income you can farm from a zone. It’s important to remember which ones still have living hives.
· Do not send your partner AI to farm unless they have a huge force. Losing units costs money and that defeats the purpose of farming for more money. Hero and Escort cost nothing and are best used for early farming runs.
· AoE heroes and tanky units are recommended for this zone. Armadillos for permanent unit production and Guardians to heal are also a good combo. Ranger and Axion are real bad here.
· These relate to the two outermost objectives that are accessible at all times.
· The arenas for the dam are tiny, so artillery is not highly recommended.
· There are no neutral units here, so if the enemy does not show up, you get it for free.
· This objective is very high impact to game flow.
· Only heroes can fight here, so pick hero classes that are suited for dueling. Most fall into that category except the Guardian, who I would not recommend ever taking into the Volcano.
· When you hold the Volcano, you get it for free the next round, meaning you only need to control one objective for a point. You can use that advantage to stack your entire team on a dam, or go for a base attack.
· Never choose this outright, currently. There are no travel times implemented, so picking it outside the Conflict Phase makes no sense.
· Defend covers all 3 of your bases, even though the location for it is on the HQ. If there is an attack in one of your expansions, you’ll immediately pop over there.
· Defense is a gut call on whether or not you think the enemy is bluffing or how valuable your base is compared to board control.
The balance of unit composition will dictate your team power and ability to win fights. You only have 15 supply per base and each unit takes up 1 supply. That means overuse of cheap units can lock you into a weaker army. Currently your army ally 100% controls unit composition, but this will change in the future when we add Tilt mechanics. For now, this information will serve as insight into unit utility.
Peacekeeper: Cheap cannon fodder used to fill up your roster. Not particularly good or bad at anything.
Atlas: Great inexpensive tanky unit that does little damage but soaks a lot. Can’t attack air.
Ranger: Extremely weak and has a high cooldown on attacks but does a lot of damage. Be sure to pair these with some front line or watch them vaporize.
Hydra: Has a single target minigun, AoE flamethrower, and anti-air rockets to handle every scenario. Not particularly tanky, so be careful keeping them on your front line, but they make up for it by being strong against every situation.
Tarantula: Long range tank with a small AoE blast zone. Best used against infantry heavy teams. Can’t attack air.
Armadillo: Super tanky far backline unit that produces little MURI Militia that serve as good cannon fodder. Great way to create sustainable unit comps for farming. Can’t attack air.
Axion: Cheap air unit that serves as a good quantity counter to heavy ground-only compositions. Not particularly strong otherwise.
Guardian: Only weaponless unit in the game, so don’t build it alone. It produces little drones that fly around and heal your friendly units and heroes.
Dauntless: This behemoth sports a sweeping short-range front laser and fast firing broadside cannons. It’s tanky enough, but also very expensive, so don’t let it get focus fired upon.
The goal of this page is to teach players urgency and speed without heavy punishment for failure. Your actions here should be quick and to the point. Here are a few tips to best utilize your time on this page.
· Only scout the missing enemy if you intend to gank them when you find them or if you want to know if a particular location is being contested, like a capture point you control but aren’t defending.
· Remember that turrets act as scouts for locations. If you have turrets on objectives, you don’t need to send your army to that location outright.
· Currently there are no travel times. Use that to your advantage… For now.
· Try to think about what your opponent needs before making changes yourself. They may be trying to trick you into doing something.
· If you can see the army, the enemy army list on the right will update. Use that to know if you will win.
· Use the preview images to figure out what hero and escort the enemy hero is using, if you’ve spotted them.
· Don’t forget you can’t send your army ally to the Volcano.
The Action Phase is a very simple, intentionally. Kill your opponent and don’t die. We kept it simple because micro-oriented reflexes are difficult to balance with high level strategic thinking. The one thing you’ll have to learn is that different arenas call for different strategies. The tiny dams call for close quarters heroes while the huge volcano is best suited for long range or speedy units.
This is a very simple page right now. It shows objective changes for the round and who gets a point. Eventually it will have more information like your income, army and buildings changes, and enemy army and building kills you made.