Here are some general tips for you to play Earth 2160.
- Never use infantry. Infantry is so weak, that it is simply not worth the resources and supply cost. Even for scouting fast and light vehicles (Dubna, Apollo, Spider) are the better choice. The only exception to that rule are the hacker units (LC and UCS only) but we’ll get to that later.
- Don’t use flying units (except if you play the Aliens). Bad news for aircraft fans but the Anti-Air rockets are just too strong. Maybe in Multiplayer you can punish your opponent if he doesn’t invest in AA but the AI usually builds them so a complete air-build is no real option. An exception to that rule may be the flying artillery vehicles (Pluto, Orsk, Condor) which can be used instead of normal Artillery when they are protected by your ground army.
- Use Anti-Air-vehicles (especially against the Aliens and the UCS). All heavy weapon system are ground-only so don’t forget to bring specialized Anti-Air vehicles to destroy enemy aircraft and harvesters.
- Never use the “Powerful Engine”. The additional Shield regeneration rate is generally not needed and the late-game units can be awfully slow. The Fast engine on all vehicles is the way to go!
- Come up with a plan and stick to it. Research is very time and resource intensive so you should not choose a tech that you won’t use in the late game or is not a prerequisite to something you need.
- “Attack move” is your friend. Just click “a” for attack and click on the ground. Your selected units will move to the designated area and attack every enemy they encounter on the way.
- Use Command groups. Select units and press Strg+(number key) to create a group. Press the number key to select all units of the group and give them orders. With Shift+(number key) you can add the selected units to an already existing Command group.
- Keep in mind that the slowest unit selected unit dictates the Speed of the whole group when you give an order. That can be of benefit since faster units won’t rush forward but fast, reinforcing units will not be driving at their full speed towards the frontline.
- In the production tab you can left click on units in the production queue to repeat the build order. The factory will build the unit and then add it again at the end of the queue. This way you don´t have to manually fill up the queue every so often.
- If you are low on resources build more mining units (obviously) and try shifting the focus of your resource spending with the sliders in the resource menu. For example, slow down unit production and stop research for a short time to get that building you really need.
- Turtle in the beginning. This is not absolutely necessary but generally it’s a good idea since defensive structures are very good in the early game. Let the enemy come to you and watch how they get destroyed by your bases defensive systems (Wall Cannons, Twin Towers, Turret-Addons, Lairs) while you can tech-up. Just don’t forget to expand to a new resource location in time and build at least a few defensive buildings there to slow down enemy attacks.
- Don’t use lasers/energy weapons in the late game (against anything other than Aliens). At first lasers seem to be OP and wreck everything in their path but as soon as the AI installs shields on their vehicles you will not only have to go through 2 “health bars” but almost all energy weapons do reduced damage to shields. In Multiplayer this might be a different story. Maybe your opponent skips shields for some reason which would make laser/energy weapons a viable choice.
Better stick to weapons that bypass shields with chemical or armor piercing damage.
A big exception to this rule are the Aliens which don’t have any shields on their ground units.
- If you don’t know what to research next keep the following general rule in mind: First vehicle-research (just the ones you will use), then weapons, shields, armor and finally engines and support tech (yellow>red>green>blue). Get all basic techs you are going to need before researching upgrades (smaller icons).
- Nearly all defensive structures can change their weapon system at any time. For example you can switch a Laser blaster to a Wall cannon once you have researched the needed tech.
- Don’t forget to rotate buildings. This is especially important with the ED where you have to manage the access tubes on your buildings but also defensive turrets can start firing more quickly when they are facing the right way.
- Pause often. You can pause the game with the Pause-key (first time I used it on my PC) and you should do so to improve the micromanagement of your units. See a few enemy anti-air vehicles on the horizon? Quickly hit pause and give all your flying units according retreat orders before resuming. This way you basically gain unlimited APM (without having to be Korean 😉 )
- Deactivate the “rotate with right click” feature by unchecking it in the options menu. Generally it’s not necessary to rotate your map and it can even get confusing. By unchecking this option you don’t have to worry about tilting your camera a few degrees every time you right click to give your units orders.
- When playing against Aliens prioritize anti-air weapons. The alien fleet is strong and one big aircraft can easily destroy even a fortified position. Build up a bigger AA-army and build it sooner than in other matchups otherwise you won’t be able to overpower the alien Anti-missile systems.
- When building your base pay attention to the connection ports and leave at least one port in every direction you may want to expand to later.
- For production I recommend at least 3 Production hangars. The rally point for your units is controlled at the exit. 2-3 Research and technology centers should work at all time.
- Instead of Hackers the ED has special rocket infantry which can do damage to buildings early game and Snipers. However I prefer light vehicles with rockets.
- Don’t forget to build an Ammo supply center. Whenever a unit runs out of ammo the supply center will send a drone with ammunition to it. Depending on how far away the unit is the travel time can be quite substantial so it might be a good idea to build an Ammo supply center at an outpost closer to the action.
- Defensive systems (towers and wall cannons) can be modified at any time and wall cannons can be moved around along the walls. I recommend armor piercing weapons against ground units mixed with a few chemical AA rocket-launchers. When expanding to a new resource deposit I recommend building a colony center with a few of these towers to protect your Vologda harvesters.
- A gate can only be built next to a wall. So you have to build part of the wall first before placing the gate.
- Infantry can lie down to get a defensive buff but can only crawl. This can be a problem because units in the same control group move only as fast as the slowest unit. Meaning that your reinforcements on the way may slow down to a walking pace because a soldier lied down somewhere at the frontline. Either order them to stand no matter what or just skip infantry all together.
- All LC building modules can fly. Use this to customize the towers. If you take off with a High technology module the research gets paused until it lands but its progress is not lost.
- No additional modules can be built on top of High technology modules, Fighter stations and the Ultimate battle module. Build these at last or fly to another tower in order to build additional modules before switching back.
- The in game description MCM Main construction module is wrong. 5 modules can be placed on top of it, not 4. The Espionage module is the one that only supports 4 modules.
- Laser fences can be disabled by clicking on one Energy wall generator and then on an adjacent one. The barrier between them will be deactivated and can be activated again the same way.
- To defend your base and resource outposts build a few Twin towers (the Plasma beam cannon is fine in the beginning but switch to Magneto piercing weapons later) and Energy wall generators with AA launchers. In the beginning of the game Electric weapons on Energy wall generators and battle modules can do outstanding damage.
- When a building is landing during the last part of its construction or is flying to another location it is very prone to AA fire and will be destroyed after a few shots.
- Mining facilities mine an equal amount of crystal and water on default (if both resources are within their reach). When you order them to mine only one resource you will get double the income from it.
- The rally point for Production structures is set at the Main construction module. Because of this and the fact that things can get quite confusing when you have multiple production tabs for each tower, I recommend you build all your Production modules on one tower.
- Because you create a production tab for each new Engineering facility with a unit factory attached I recommend dedicating only a few Engineering facilities to unit production (1 with 4 unit factory attachments should be enough) to avoid confusion.
- Rally points are set at the Engineering facility it only has a limited range but teleports the produced units directly there. Keep in mind that you cannot set your rally point half way across the map (at least until you get the Long distance teleportation tech) and let your units go there like you would with other nations.
- Termites are very fast harvesters so you don’t need that much. You get one Termite with each Refinery and Landing zone-add-on and can build them in the Heavy unit factory. An actively mined resource deposit should have at least one Landing zone-add-on to prevent a Termite jam when they want to unload their resources.
- Use the Storage add-on to the refinery if you need more supply. As a side effect they also raise your maximum resource stockpile. Put Storage on ever free Refinery slot and replace unused Landing zones (by selling them) with it. When you are in a pinch you should consider building a refinery somewhere just to get more supply from Storage.
- The Main defense tower on its own is useless since it does almost no damage. The add-ons to it are the real defensive structure.
- A Heavy defense station can be equipped with either a Plasma blaster, a Gaussian beam or Heavy rockets
- The High defense tower mounts a Plasma grenade launcher, Anti-aircraft rocket launcher or an Anti-missile defense system
- Units stationed in a Bunker can shoot at the enemy while being protected. When built it already comes with 2 infantry units inside (if you have the required tech 2 Silver P units else 2 Silver one units). Fun fact: a Bunker is cheaper to build than the 2 free infantry units inside. However I think the defense towers are far more powerful and you should stick to them.
- To power UCS buildings they have to be in a radius of a Power plant or an Energy transmitter (which in turn has to be in range of a Power plant). For maximum power output install 3 Cold fusion generators and one Energy coordination center per Power plant.
- Drones can repair units and buildings.