Orcs Must Die Gameplay Frequently Asked Questions by SixOkay
Here’s a Beginner’s Guide to playing Orcs Must Die! It’s worth noting that there are things in here that might be considered spoilers if you’re looking to be surprised by some stuff in the campaign.
1. What am I doing here?
You’re one of the last War Mages of the Order – powerful guardians who protect magical rifts, the gateways between worlds. Your goal is to stop a mob of nasty orcs (and their equally nasty allies) from reaching the rift and passing through into your world beyond.
Kill enough orcs, and you move on to the next fortress. Let too many orcs escape, and you’ll lose. Simple enough, right?
2. I’m ready! How do I kill orcs?
With weapons, spells, and a wide selection of deadly traps!
Placing a trap costs coin; kill more enemies and survive waves to earn additional coin for more traps. Attacking is free, though weapons all have an alternate fire that uses mana. Spell attacks all use mana as well.
You’ll regain mana over time.
3. What weapons do I have?
You start with the two signature weapons of the war mage, the crossbow and bladestaff.
The crossbow is perfect for taking down orcs at a distance; aim for the head to inflict extra damage. It also has an area-effect stun bolt as its alternate fire.
The bladestaff is your melee weapon, handy for the times when groups of orcs get up in your face. The bladestaff’s alternate fire will knock groups of orcs back to give you a little breathing room.
As you progress through the campaign, you’ll unlock additional magical weapons and spells. Remember to try out their alternate fire as well as their primary attack!
4. What traps do I have?
A. Your first two traps are the spike trap and the tar trap. The spike trap will do damage to your enemies, while the tar trap will slow them down so YOU can do damage to them.
Both of your starting traps can only be placed on the floor. Later in the campaign, you’ll have access to traps that can go on the walls and ceiling.
You can place traps before the game begins, but you can also place traps during the orc attacks.
5. How do I unlock new traps and weapons?
Keep playing! After you defend each fortress in the main campaign, you’ll get a new toy.
6. I’m running around in a fortress! Where are all the orcs?
Patience – you’ll see plenty of orcs soon enough!
First, open your spellbook and select the weapons and traps you want to take with you. You’re required to take the crossbow, but everything else is optional. As you progress through the campaign, you’ll earn additional slots on your toolbar and will be able to take more orc-killing goodies with you on your adventure.
At the start of your defense of each new fortress, the power of the rift is holding back the orc onslaught outside the gates. After you’ve placed your first traps, use the “Go” command to start the attack.
Every three waves, you’ll get another “Go break.” Take advantage of the breaks in the action to place some extra traps, or sell traps that aren’t in good positions.
7. I’m hurt! How do I heal up?
The rift will heal you if you stand near it (and you’ll also recharge mana more quickly).A.
Some enemies also drop red health potions when they die; if you’re hurt, run over a health potion and you’ll heal up. (You won’t pick up potions if you’re not damaged, and you can’t stockpile them.)
In addition, every time you reach a Go break, you’ll be immediately and completely healed.
8. How do I upgrade traps?
After you complete each fortress, you’ll earn between one and five skulls, depending on how well you did.
Between fortresses, spend these skulls to upgrade traps. The cheapest upgrade is eight skulls, so you’ll need to beat at least two levels before you can upgrade your first trap.
If you like, you can go back and play earlier levels and try to improve your rating to earn extra upgrade skulls.
Once you complete the campaign, you can earn a whole new set of skulls in Nightmare mode and upgrade even more traps!
9. What do I have to do to earn five skulls?
The first four skulls are earned based on the number of rift points you have left at the end. If you let even a single enemy through, you’re already down one skull. Beat a level with one rift point remaining, and you’ll only earn one of the first four skulls.
You earn the fifth skull by beating “par time” for a level. Each fortress has a different par time, listed on the postgame score screen. The initial “Go break” doesn’t count toward your par time, but subsequent “Go breaks” do – so don’t waste too much time if you’re trying to get that elusive fifth skull!
If you play on Apprentice difficulty, you’re limited to a maximum of two skulls per fortress – but you can always go back and replay on a higher difficulty for more skulls later!
10. How do the Weavers work?
Once you reach the campaign’s second act, you’ll earn access to the first two Weavers. You can select a different Weaver each time you defend a new fortress.
Each Weaver has a wide variety of upgrades that can be purchased for coin. Weaver upgrades are not persistent; they last only for the current level.
11. Can I make the minimap bigger?
Yes. Press M on PC, or press left on the DPad on XBox360, to toggle a larger minimap on or off.
12. What’s this “bloodmap” thing?
The bloodmap shows you how well your traps are working. Red dots on the bloodmap show kills by traps or guardians; green dots show combat kills (weapon or spell).
To toggle the minimap from its regular state to the bloodmap, press L on PC, or press right on the DPad on Xbox360.
The bloodmap also automatically toggles on during Go breaks, then off again once the next wave begins.
13. What are these “combos” I keep getting?
If you’re trying for big scores, combos will earn you lots of bonus points. Every trap or weapon that affects an enemy before he dies will add to the combo. So if you slow down an enemy on a tar trap, then push him, then light him on fire, then lure him into a wall of blades, you’ll get a 4X combo.
Only combos of 3X or higher count.
14. Does the kill streak do anything?
Kill streaks earn you extra coin and also add to your final score – plus, they’re really satisfying! Keep killing enemies to extend the kill streak. How high can you get?
15. How does scoring work?
On the score screen, the first column shows you what you did – how many kills you got with weapons, how many with traps, how many combos you got, etc. The second column shows you how many points you got for each category.
16. My friends are crushing me on the leaderboards! I need scoring tips!
The highest scores are earned by playing quickly and efficiently, killing more enemies with traps rather than weapons, and getting lots of combos and kill streaks.
Stack up a wide variety of traps in key chokepoints, use everything in your arsenal, and explore the Weaver tech trees for ways to improve and extend your combos.