BattleForge Beginner’s FAQ and Advice

BattleForge Beginner’s Frequently Asked Questions and Advice by ghengismark

There is already a wiki and other resources. If you read those, you know the basics. But I wanted to post some special advice that I wish other people told me when starting out.


1) How do I get more BFP, gold or cards?
2) What are the best ways to use the Auction House?
3) I started out with 3000 BFP from the retail. What do I do with them?
4) What should my color strategy be?
5) So I picked my colors. Now what?
6) PvP or PvE?
7) How should I build my deck?
8) What is the best way to go through the PVE maps?
9) What are the in’s and out’s of the PVE loot system?
10) What can you tell me about the PVP system?
11) Why is everyone speaking German or some other language?
12) What is CC and how does it work?
13) How are bases/buildings used differently in this game then other RTS’s I have played?
14) How does void power work?
15) I beat a PvE map on Standard. Why does it still not allow me to play advanced?
16) How does repairing work?
17) What is the significance of unit size?
18) Why do some unit abilities not work the way I expect? How do I hot-key buildings?
19) What do I need to know about fliers?
20) I am playing a single player PvE map. How do I pause?
21) I see that some expert players create a new deck specifically for a certain PvE map. So they must have like 15 decks. Is that really necessary?
22) I suspect my opponent/teammate is cheating. How secure is BattleForge?
23) I just joined with Play4Free. Is it possible for me to get anywhere with the cards they gave me, without spending any money?
24) Why would I want more then one copy of a card?
25) Will there be new cards in the future? What about new upgrades?
26) There is someone who keeps trying to sell me BFP points in the chat channels. Who is that? Are they official? Has this game been hacked?
27) How do I raise my Deck Level? What is the point of Deck Level, Player PvE Level, and Player PvP Level?
28) Where do I find upgrades in PvE maps?
29) What are the common slang/abbreviations in Battle Forge?
30) Just how rare are the different rarities?
31) What is this talk I hear about “German Primetime”?
32) What are some good manners I can follow when playing multiplayer PvE?
33) Are there clans or guilds in this game? What about using the Friends List?
34) What are the different types of cards?
35) If I buy more retail boxes, can I add the 3000 BFP and 64 cards from the starter decks to my existing account? What is the cheapest way to get BFP?
36) What happens if I get an upgrade I already have, or if with a group, that everyone already has?
37) What are Promo cards? What are those duplicate cards with different art, and a star in the top corner?
38) What are Affinities and how do they work?
39) How do I view replays?
40) How do I play a player-made map?
41) How do I use tokens that I earned in PvP and random PvE?

1) How do I get more BFP, gold or cards?

BFP are very, very valuable, since the only real way to get them is to pay real money. You can get them by playing around in the AH, but this can be difficult and time consuming to actually make a big profit.

Gold is easily earned with every game you play. The higher the difficulty, the more the gold. Gold is used to send in-game mail, apply upgrades, and sell on the auction house.

Cards only come from BFP, either through boosters or the auction house. So if you want more cards, you need to come up with more BFP. You can do this by paying real money or selling some of your other cards.

Because gold can be earned in-game and BFP cannot, there is market for gold->cards or gold->BFP transactions. An influx of Play4Free people has made this much more common, since P4F people either are unwilling or unable to spend any money at all. Be wary when making these transactions. Always do the math to find out how much a card is worth on the AH in BFP. Be knowledgeable about the current gold/BFP exchange rates. It is typical to exchange from 500 to 1000 gold per 1 BFP. Also, there is no way to trade gold in a secured trade window, so it is easy to be scammed, since it must be sent by in-game mail on good-faith.

2) What are the best ways to use the Auction House?

If an auction is on medium or long, don’t bother. You will likely be outbid before it is done. Bid on short sells, or low buyouts. When I am trying to get a certain card, I put all the low shorts and buyouts on a watch, then monitor it.

As long as you are frugal when buying, you can never go wrong, since you can likely sell it back for the same price you paid for it.

Be careful about “fad” cards. Avatar of Frost may be a great card, but for the 1300 BFP people are asking for it, you can buy 80% of an entire color of cards. Also, some “common” cards are great, like Magma Hurler and Tremor, and some “Ultra Rare” cards are very difficult to use well, like Church of Negation. Don’t let the popularity or rarity of a card affect your judgment of the value of a card to you.

3) I started out with 3000 BFP from the retail. What do I do with them?

Opinions on this varies. Some people think you should never buy a Tome, always just frugally buy what you want on the AH. Others, like myself, think you should buy some Tomes, and some on AH to fill it out.

If more people started buying on AH instead of Tomes, then the supply of cards would go down, prices would go up, and Tomes would be a good deal again. So by the laws of economics, you can count on the cards in Tomes being the cost of the Tome itself on average. (1250 BFP)

COMMENT by Adita: Tomes have been changed twice since this was written. The cards are no longer inserted into your colloction, so don’t buy tomes if you want to get cards.

That being said, buying a Tome is gambling. You may get crappy rares and spend 1250 BFP on 500 BFP worth of cards. Or you may get an Enlightenment and get 2500 BFP worth of cards. Remember that if you are a patient and frugal auctioneer, you can always sell cards for as much, or more, then you bought them for.

I think it is good to buy Tomes now and them. There is some risk, but since you are just starting out, the commons and uncommon cards, even the crappy rares, are worth something to you. A more experienced player would only care about the good rares and write the rest off as losses. So for new players, I think Tomes are slightly better.

So, my advice is to buy two registered Tomes. This will give you 12 boosters and 16 extra common cards, and 500 BFP left over. You now have a broad set of cards to work with. Unregister your two tome decks to add them to your main pool and make them accessible. You do this by making a NEW deck, choose Tome deck, then click on the pools and DISBAND them. You can leave a tome intact if you want to do Tome pvp, but I am assuming you are an absolute beginner, so I think that would be a difficult and frustrating experience.

Then I would go on the Auction house and buy 1 of every common card you don’t have. You can look at to get a list. Do not pay more then the minimum price for a common, which is 2 BFP buyout.

If you are feeling zesty, buy 1 of every uncommon you don’t have. But be careful, since some uncommons are more expensive then some rares. Try to get uncommons for 5 BFP, but some will run 20 BFP and up. Do not spend too much. Just go for the cheap, easy ones.

After you pick colors, you can further refine your collection.

4) What should my color strategy be?

Once you have all the commons and most of the uncommons, you can play around and see which color style appeals to you. You want to focus on two colors. You can spend more real money later to get more BFP and thus more colors, but with your basic 3000 BFP, stick with two. This will let you make a pure deck of each color, and a bunch of combos.

There are good combos between all the colors, but each color has a different focus. In short, Shadow is can be tricky and should be avoided by new players, unless you have your heart set on it or you plan to always use it in a combo deck with another color. Nature is an excellent choice, and Fire and Frost are both good. All the colors are fun to play, and require different play-styles.

Nature (Green) – The best color for PVE. It has a lot of powerful cards and combos that make PvE easy. Unfortunately, most of the cards that make Nature so good are thus very expensive on the AH. Nature focuses on healing and having mobile “towers” that link to each other to make them stronger. Nature has very weak direct damage spells. When you get to the Expert level, 4 out of 5 decks have Nature.

Frost (Blue) – A defensive color. The best towers in the game, and the only color with a lot of buildings/spells/creatures to support towers. Most frost units have more life then damage. While Nature has healing, Frost has a lot of shielding, which has a similar effect. An important note for people who are new to BattleForge… buildings in this game are not like other RTS. In most other RTS, builds are built in your “base”. In BattleForge, buildings are often summoned during the battle, and are built in 15 seconds or so. So offensive towering is a common and good tactic, and Frost is the best at it.

Fire (Red) – A well rounded color that focuses on offense. A lot of very good direct damage spells. Most of the units do more damage and have less life. A lot of anti-structure spells/units/buildings.

Shadow (Purple) – Shadow is like Fire on steroids. Shadow is all about offense, like Fire, but Shadow has even more potential for damage, at the cost of hurting your own troops. Shadow adds more risk, and requires more skill to play. A pure Shadow deck is powerful in the hands of an expert, but very frustrating in the hands of a beginner. Also, Shadow cards need to be upgraded to be really powerful, more-so then other colors. Some would say that some Shadow cards need to be upgraded to be usable at all. It is recommend that you do NOT start with Shadow. Or at least mix it with another color. Some of my favorite cards in the game are Rippers, Ashbone Pyro and Soulshatter, all of which only require one Shadow orb, and thus compliment another color very well.

5) So I picked my colors. Now what?

After you picked 2 colors you want to focus on, sell all the cards from the other colors that will earn you 10 BFP or more each. Keep all the commons and most of the uncommons, so you can throw some in if you feel like it. Then use the proceeds of your sell-off to buy more rares and such for the colors you are focusing on. After you are done, if you are a patient and frugal auctioner, you should have a competitive collection of two colors that can take you through all the Standard, Advanced, and some Expert maps.

6) PvP or PvE?

I feel it is better to clear all the standard PvE maps, and most of the advanced PvE maps, first before doing PvP. The reason is 3-fold:

  1. You will have more experience/skill when you start PvP. A new player has no idea about the game mechanics of void power, deck strategy, summoning, etc. Play through all the Advanced first before going head-to-head.
  2. You will have more upgrades when you start PvP. If you enter PvP with a lvl 0 deck, you are already at a big disadvantage. Most PvP’ers will have an upgraded deck.
  3. You will be able to use your tokens from PvP to buy the upgrades you are missing. After doing all the Standard and Advanced maps, you will have a decent amount of upgrades. Go here for the loot table: Replay all the standard maps until you have all the upgrades for all standard maps. (besides the 12-players. It is hard to get loot from them) Then try to get most of the advanced upgrades. You can then use PVP to get the 1 or 2 cards you are missing from a map. Expert maps may seem impossible to you, but now you can use PvP to buy expert-level upgrades, instead of having wasted your PvP tokens on Standard/Advanced level upgrades.

7) How should I build my deck?

There are 4 tiers of units, accessible when you get another orb. A t2 unit is generally 50% better then a t1 unit of the same power cost. So when you get a new orb, try to stay in the higher tier. There are some exceptions, like t1 spells that are useful in t4, like Home Soil and Mark of the Keeper.

So you roughly need 4 “sub-decks” in your deck, one for each tier. That gives you 5 cards per tier. I find the best strategy is to have 2 units, 2 spells, and 1 building per tier. That will vary greatly, as needed, but that is the very rough guideline.

Note that this is for PvE only. In PvP, most of the fighting takes place at the lower levels, so you want to go mostly t1 and t2, some t3, and no t4. PvP is over quick, and it is much better to attack with 400 power then spend it on a t4 orb.

8) What is the best way to go through the PVE maps?

Complete all, or nearly all, of a difficult level before moving on. Each difficulty is much harder then the one before, so you might as well pick the easy fruit first.

For each difficult level, first complete all the maps once. Since it will be the first time you complete each map, you will get new upgrades each time. It also opens up all your options.

Then you start grinding.

PVE is all about repeating maps to get upgrades (loot). Whenever you finish a map, you are given a random assortment of upgrades from a possible list for that map. 1-player maps give you 2 upgrades of different colors. 2, 4 and 12 player give 4 upgrades, one of each color. This is important to understand, since, on average, you will get 2 upgrades for 1 and 2 player, 1 upgrade for 4 player, and 1/3 upgrade for 12 player. So obviously, it is a much better deal to clear out the 1 and 2 player maps first, then the 4 player. I tend to avoid the 12-player maps until I am done with the others.

The more players a map has, the more gold it gives. The higher the difficulty, the more gold. This somewhat makes up for the poor upgrade output of 12-player maps. If you have a lot of upgrades but not enough gold to apply them, work on getting the 12-player map upgrades for a bit.

Print out the loot lists from the BattleForge wiki.
Use a pencil to cross off upgrades as you get them.

Loot is randomly given, no matter what you have. If you already have it, it is given to someone else or converted to gold. So when you have 11 out of 12 upgrades on a single player map, you have less then a 1/6 chance of one of the two cards you are given being the card you need. It is the law of diminishing returns. The more cards you have from a map, the more times you have to repeat it to get the few left that you don’t have.

Depending on how bad you want that upgrade, how much you hate the map, etc, you may just pvp a few games and claim the last upgrade that way. Then the map is “done” for that difficult level. I mostly use pvp points when I am missing 1 or 2 out of 12 on an advanced 4-player map.

If you feel a map is impossible, you are probably making a bad strategic decision at some point. Take a look at some replays. See question #39 for more info on replays.

9) What are the in’s and out’s of the PVE loot system?

There are three types of loot distribution, Random, Need/Greed and Assign. All three have their pluses and minuses, but in reality, all three are flawed and most players are unhappy with all three. There has been a big push to get smarter loot systems in future patches. But I will lay out the 3 systems so you know what you are getting into.

RANDOM – Each card is given randomly between all players who do not already have that card. Note that when you have the case where one player needs all 4 options, and the 3 other players need only one, the first player often gets most or all of them. The Random setting is very dumb. Another flaw is that if a player drops during the game, he is still eligible. So if Player A drops after 1 min of play, and the other 3 players heroically finish the map, player A may still get all the loot. Making it so that dropped players get nothing, and adding some AI so that the system tries to randomly divid the upgrades up evenly would make this loot option infinitely better.

NEED OR GREED – This is Random with some optional logic from the players. I say “optional” since some players just “NEED” everything they can. If all players did this, then Need/Greed would just be Random, except players who drop would not still get loot. But some players think Need/Greed is just that… you Need 1 or 2 cards you need, and greed/pass on the rest. The difference of perspective leads to a lot of anger, as many players who try to do the honest thing lose out. Sometimes people will talk about how they will vote, such that everyone gets something. This essentially turns it into “communal Assign”. And players can still deceive by saying they will pass on a lot then still Needing everything. All in all, you need to trust other players if you want to work it out. It is best just to make it clear at the start that everyone should Need everything, unless you have reason to trust them.

ASSIGN – This gives all the power to one player, the host. If you trust that player, this is the only method to consider. Avoid Assign where the host is lower level. They are more apt to lootjack you. However, once you get to higher levels (deck level 30 and above or so) the players get more trust-worthy. I look for Assign games at the expert level. I almost never get intentionally screwed by expert players. Assign is the best since you have intelligence behind the card choice, but only if you trust that intelligence.

10) What can you tell me about the PVP system?

PVP is well done in this game. It is fast, exciting, and demanding. In PVE the AI is stupid. PVE is hard since you are in a difficult situation, but the computer just marches mobs along a pre-defined path and attacks you, never using spells or offensive towers. In PVP you are facing a cunning, creative and intelligent foe on even ground.

There are two areas to PVP in… Ranked and Sparring. Sparring is just for fun. You get no gold, tokens, rankings, or PvP levels. Ranked gives you all that. I really see no reason to ever do sparring, since you earn gold and tokens even if you lose in Ranked. The one advantage of Sparring is you can pick your teams/opponents, so maybe if you wanted to arrange a game or grudge match, it would be the way to go.

There are two types of PVP: Tome and Collection.

Collection lets you use any card in your collection, with upgrades. Since people can custom make decks, all the dirty tricks come out here. By the same token, you can have more fun making your killer, dream deck to uber-pwn.

With Tome, each player has 6 booster packs + 8 extra commons, with no upgrades, so it is more even. Tome matches earn more Tokens. I am told that Tome matches do not raise your PvP rank / ELO score, but I have yet to confirm this.

Loot in PVP comes as tokens. Victory and Honor tokens are earned when you win any kind of match. Battle Tokens are given if you win or lose, although you get more if you win. Battle tokens are based on how long the match lasted. If you win in 3 min, you make get 3 BT. But if the match lasts 20 min, you may get 9 BT. So even if you are losing, it is worth it to put up a good fight to the end. Battle tokens are what you will usually need more of when upgrading cards. Tome matches give more tokens.

Now when you start PVP, you will feel frustration and annoyance at certain tactics. There are combos and strategies that will catch you by surprise and seem unbeatable. But everything is beatable. In fact, when you get to higher lvl PVP matches, the fad tactics that people rant against on the forums are not used as much, since experienced players have learned the counters to them. Everything has a counter. If a player is investing in one tactic, then he has committed his resources to that end. Every tactic is counter-able and every tactic has a weakness.

That said, the game is not perfect, and there are some tactics that need some balancing.

The main point is, don’t get frustrated. Learn. You are earning tokens even if you lose.

11) Why is everyone speaking German or some other language?

BattleForge is very popular in Germany, and EA has mixed-country servers. I personally don’t mind it since most Germans speak English anyways, and they seem to be skilled and mature players on the whole. You will also run into Russian, French and Spanish-speaking folk.

12) What is CC and how does it work?

CC is an old gaming term from MMORPG that means Crowd Control. It is an effect that stops your enemy’s units or renders them impotent for a short time. It is useful in certain situations, but remember that CC spells cost power, and all they buy you is maybe 15 seconds of time. Most cc makes the enemy immune to the same cc for a short time (10 sec).

The common CCs:

Freeze – Blue has a lot of this. The enemy cannot do anything for a set time. The drawback is that frozen enemies are “armored” and only take 50% damage.

Oink/Sleep – Turn to pigs/asleep. Nature. The drawback is that you reduce it’s time if you attack them.

Entangle – Nature again. Stop them from moving, and sometimes melee units in range will stop attacking. The drawback is that they can still attack if they are ranged units or melee very close.

Paralyze – Nature yet again. The drawback is that it takes a few seconds to get ready, in the case of Creeping. And the drawback is that it only effects one unit, and requires a unit to be used, in the case of Fathom Lord.

Slow – Frost and Shadow have some of this. A unit is forced to “walk”. Nether Warp (Frost) is good at this since it portals your enemy away from you, then forces them to walk back slowly.

Knockback – This is fire’s main form of CC, since fire has so many explosions. This is a side-effect of many creatures attacks and some spells. It caused the unit to fly back a short time, get up, and move back to where it used to be. It effectively causes 2-3 seconds of drawback-free cc. Most things that cause knockback only work on small or medium sized units. Note that a Large units trample (knockback) small units just by moving through them, and X-large units trample medium and small units. Knockback is great since it is usually free add-on effect to an already damaging attack. Makeshift tower, Frost Mage, and Magma Hurler are great cards because of this. In PVP, these cards can keep small units off their feet the whole time up until they are dead.

13) How are bases/buildings used differently in this game then other RTS’s I have played?

In other RTS, you build a base at your starting point, use those building to make units, and send out mobs from there. You need to unlearn that way of thinking.

As a Skylord, you can drop a building or unit anywhere you want. The only requirements is that you have enough orbs, enough power, and you have a ground troop nearby. So while you want some towers to protect your immobile orbs and wells, don’t think of that as your “base”.

Towers are meant to be used offensively. Taking into consideration Summoning Sickness (1/2 life, 1/2 damage and no abilities when first summoned), you should not build a mob at your “base” and march them across the map. Save the power, march one fast unit across them map, then drop all your units in near your target.

14) How does void power work?

When you spend power, it is not gone, it is just temporarily unavailable. 10% of it is “gone”, but the other 90% is slowly returned to you for free! So when you cast a spell, repair, use an effect, or anything permanent (unit, wall, building) is destroyed. The exceptions are wells and orbs. They do not return power.

Why is this important? If you lose a big battle, you know you have a lot of void power coming back to you. If you get your 3rd orb, you might want to kill your t1 creatures and buildings so you can get the power back for t3 ones. If you clear out a base on PVE and you no longer need a wall or towers, kill them so you can use the power elsewhere. Expert players have “rolling” bases, building new towers on the front lines as they destroy the ones behind them.

Also, don’t fight too hard to save units/buildings. (Especially if you play Shadow). If a tower is about to die, don’t fight to save it. Repair it so it lasts longer, while you build a second tower behind it. When the first dies, hey, more void power.

This also discourages “turtling”, where you invest heavily in fortifications. If you put all your power in towers, until they are destroyed, you will not get that power back. Your power drys up. However, if you keep throwing units into the meat-grinder, on the offensive, you get that power back and you can go forever until you wear down your target.

You can see how some buildings that return void to you can be very powerful. Shrine of War, Shrine of Memory, Shrine of Greed, and my favorite, Furnace of Flesh. If you keep the void flowing into your pool, you will essentially have a never-ending supply of power.

Some other abilities count on you having a large void pool, such as Backlash and Shrine of the Martyr. If you time these right, they are very powerful. Backlash usually finds a home in any deck I have that has Fire.

15) I beat a PvE map on Standard. Why does it still not allow me to play advanced?

You must complete the whole campaign line of missions on a given difficulty before you can start over at the higher difficulty.

16) How does repairing work?

Repairing engages an automatic process where your structure’s health slowly regenerates at the cost of power, which is slowly deducted from your pool. You cannot repair during combat.

The easiest way to repair is to press the ‘b’ key and click once on all your structures that need it. If you see a colored hammer, that structure needs repair. If it is red, then repairs are already underway and if you click again you will stop them. If they are gray, then you cannot repair, either because they are already underway or something else is stopping you. To get out of repair mode, press ‘b’ again or right-click on the screen. You cannot command units while in repair-mode.

Repair-work is slow, and costs power. But that power, like all power, is put in your void. In addition, repairing is exempt from the 90% void refund rule. 100% of repair costs is returned to you. So in a sense, you get that power right back over time, and repairing is FREE. Unless you are really starved for power and counting every point, it is always a good idea to repair.

Walls and 3rd-party structures are a little odd to repair. Unlike your structures, you have to have a ground unit near them to repair. And walls will repair differently if there is an enemy near-by. If there is one, the existing sections will slowly repair but the destroy sections will not. Once the enemy is gone, the destroyed sections leap back into existence and the repair-work goes faster. So sometimes it is a good idea to lead the enemy away from your walls with a unit to get a short reprieve.

17) What is the significance of unit size?

There are four sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. You can tell a unit’s size by the letters right next to it’s health number on it’s card.

Each unit also has a size letter next to it’s damage. This is the size that the unit is best at fighting against. If a unit attacks a size that it is good against, it gets a 50% bonus to it’s damage. If there is a star there instead of a letter, it doesn’t get a bonus against any particular size.

This concept is overlooked too much by beginners. If you play a part of the map and struggle to defeat an enemy or base, check your size match-ups. Using a different unit, so that you now get an advantage and your enemy no longer does, effectively doubles your force. (50% more damage for you and 50% less for them)

If you are in PvP, and you are getting harassed by a Skyfire Drake, use Defenders instead of other archers. Since they get a bonus to large targets, they will eat the Drake alive.

If you are in PvE, try to have more anti-small then anti-medium. Medium enemies are not as common, especially on the lower difficult levels. So, for Fire, opening with Sunstriders and Wreckers is a bad idea, since they are both anti-Medium. Use Thugs instead of Wreckers. When you fight a mob, have the Sunstriders focus on the medium enemies and the Thugs focus on the small.

Another good example is that the PvE map Dwarven Riddle mostly full of Large enemies. Bringing anti-Large troops in all tiers, and some t3 and t4 fliers to cross over to the other side, is good, strategic planning. Convoy is another map full of large enemies.

18) Why do some unit abilities not work the way I expect? How do I hot-key buildings?

There is a flaw in the game mechanics that make it very difficult to use certain unit abilities. If the unit ability does not require a target, then you can have a whole group of them do it by pressing the unit ability once when the unit is selected. For example, Overlord’s Bloodshare, or Tremor’s Earthquake.

However, if the ability requires a target, such as the Shadow Insect, then only one of them will do the ability, and it will not allow you to do others unless you click on them individually. This renders units such as the Shadow Insect all but useless, since it is too hard to find and click on a group of Shadow Insects individually in the heat of battle.

On a similar topic, you cannot hot-key buildings, another flaw in the game mechanics. This makes certain buildings like the Embalmer’s Shrine, Shrine of Greed, Shrine of Memory, Comet Catcher and Shrine of War much more difficult to use, since you must go back to your base, find the building, use it’s ability, then jump back to the heat of battle. Also, you cannot easily direct a group of towers to focus on a specific enemy.

It is unfortunate that these game mechanic flaws exist, since certain cards are handicapped and unused for reasons other then the cards themselves. Hopefully the game will be patched and these cards will go back into use again.

19) What do I need to know about fliers?

Fliers are a class of unit that have special rules. It is important to understand them, as using and countering fliers is important for both PvE and PvP.

Advantages of fliers:

  1. Unless they say otherwise, flier are swift. In addition, they can move over most all obstacles. This makes them the best choice for a fast-response team. This is useful for base defense, as a compliment to towers. When you need to respond to several fronts or there are enemy “snipers”, such as Nox Troopers or Firedancers, that hit you from out of range of your towers, such as in Bad Harvest. This is also useful to aid allies when you could not normally reach them, such as in Titans.
  2. Fliers cannot be attacked by many unit types. The only units that can attack fliers are ranged units and XL melee units. If you attack with flyers, target your enemies AA (anti-air) units first, then you can destroy him at your leisure. There are some maps, such as King of Giants, where this is critical. When you go through a map, make a mental note what areas have AA and what are lacking it, and take advantage of that.
  3. All fliers have ranged attacks. This makes them good AA themselves.

Disadvantage of fliers:

  1. Fliers typically have very low health. This makes them die fast if an enemy does happen to have AA. It also makes them particularly vulnerable to direct damage spells, such as Eruption.
  2. Expensive. Fliers typically cost more then a comparable same-tier, same stats ground unit.
  3. Fliers cannot be used to summon units or spells. You must have a ground unit to do so. So in PvP, if an enemy attacks with many air units and just a few ground, kill the ground first. Then he will be unable to use spells or summon re-enforcements. Note that there are a few spells that seem to ignore this rule.

The general idea is that fliers are very useful for specific purposes, but don’t build them unless you know why you are building them. It is a much better deal to get beefy ground troops if there is no good reason for having fliers. Also, try to keep yourself covered with AA at every orb-level of your game.

20) I am playing a single player PvE map. How do I pause?

You can’t. Even though it is single player, the game engine creates the game in the same online lobby system as a team game. There is no difference from the game’s point of view. So you cannot pause it even if you are all alone.

21) I see that some expert players create a new deck specifically for a certain PvE map. So they must have like 15 decks. Is that really necessary?

Once you get to Expert-level, yes. Also on some of the harder Advanced maps too. Each of the maps have a different objective. One, such as Defending Hope, is all about building a massive defense. Others, such as Mo, are all about a moving offense. Some, such as Nightmare Shard, are a mix. Once you get to Expert, there is no room to mess around. You need to have what you need when you need it. A generic deck will make game play harder then a tailor-made one.

And PvP requires something totally different then PvE.

So when you are working on the standard and advanced decks, just play with new decks and learn your color’s strengths and weaknesses. But you will find that in a map you may lose or have a setback. Ask yourself what card would have helped you more there, then clone your deck, name the new deck the name of the map, and start tailoring it to what you need. Think in terms of what you need to accomplish at each orb-level.

22) I suspect my opponent/teammate is cheating. How secure is BattleForge?

Since it is an online game, each of the player’s games have to match each other. If an opponent breaks the rules somehow by hacking his client, the change will be an irregularity. It will create a desyncronization error with the other players and end the game.

Also, you can always look up replays. They are auto-saved after each game. Exam closely what the other player did, and learn from it. Chances are he used a card or tactic you are unfamiliar with. If you are still convinced that he did something wrong, ask about it on the forums. There are many experts who know fully what is possible and what is not.

23) I just joined with Play4Free. Is it possible for me to get anywhere with the cards they gave me, without spending any money?

Here is a listing of the cards you start with:

My answer here is more of my opinion then fact, but I would say no, you cannot really get anywhere. You could probably finish most of the Standard PvE maps, but the Advanced and PvP would be very difficult. With 8 pre-selected cards from each color, you have no options. I was never a P4F player, but looking at the cards I think your best option would be to go Nature for first orb, Fire for second, then either Frost or Shadow for third.

Regardless, you cannot make a 20-card deck without using 3 colors, some of the cards you are given are seen as underpowered by the community, and your selection of t4 units are particularly weak, other then the green dragon.

Here is what you CAN do… spend just a little bit of money to buy 500 BFP, then buy all the commons in the game. After that, buy as many uncommons as you can. That should put you in a position where you can make a pure-color deck, or a two-color deck with options of what to use. This might be able to take you through the Advanced PvE maps, but not the Expert ones.

Don’t misunderstand. This game is not about money, where whoever spends the most wins. (Although having a full library of cards helps.) However, you need to spend the normal amount. Playing with less is playing handicapped from what is intended.

The Play4Free is just a demo. I really recommend you just get the retail version. Then you will have a lot of cards and options. It is a good game, and it is worth paying the company for making and supporting it.

24) Why would I want more then one copy of a card?

With each upgrade you get, you can then also do a “charge upgrade”. That is where you merge cards to let you use it more times. Every card has a number of charges, which is the number in the bottom-left corner of the card’s picture. As long as you have charges, you can cast the card at a very fast rate. However, once the card runs out of charges, you need to wait a long time between uses. So if you had Master Archers upgrade 2, you could make them have 15 charges by merging two other Master Archers cards into the first.

Doing charge upgrades is always worth it with commons. Also, it raises your deck level, effectively giving you double the deck level points per upgrade. Deck level is only for show though.

For more rare/popular cards, you need to ask yourself if it is worth the cost in BFP for those cards. For example, I cannot imagine having 2 extra charges on an Avatar of Frost, since that would cost an extra 2800 BFP, just so you can create 2 more quickly. Also, some cards don’t need charges, like Shrine of War. Being a global effect building, you don’t need to spam them out. You typically just need one. On the other hand, I would have as many charges as I could on my t1 units, since you usually need a horde of those on most maps.

Remember that the BFP you spend on a card charges are BFP you could be spending on cards you don’t have. Spend them wisely.

25) Will there be new cards in the future? What about new upgrades?

BattleForge will act as any other Trading Card Game (TCG), and come out with future editions of cards. The main edition we are playing with now is called “Twlight” (200 cards) and the 2nd edition that came out was “Renegade” (120 cards). You can tell the edition by the symbol in the rarity bubble at the bottom-right of a card. Twilight is a moon, and Renegade is a ship.

It has been acknowledged by the Dev team that they will try to release a new edition every 6-9 months.

The Upgrade 3’s have been released, and so far there are absolutely no rumors or otherwise that there will be a U4.

26) There is someone who keeps trying to sell me BFP points in the chat channels. Who is that? Are they official? Has this game been hacked?

No, they are not official, and no the game has not been hacked. They are annoying vendors who try to sell BFP points.

They create their own program ( that sends fake keyboard text to BattleForge so they can have the program continually spamming advertisements. BattleForge is not hacked since it is just an automatic typer, external to BattleForge.

All this recently became a problem as a side-effect of the Play4Free program. Before, potential spammers would have to pay real money to get an account, which would be soon banned. So it was not worth it. Now, with Play4Free, spammers can indefinitely create new dummy accounts to spam from with impunity. That is why the spammers usually have user names like “sdflwoshdf”. They are disposable accounts, to be thrown away as soon as they are reported and caught, only to make a new account.

You should only purchase BFP from EA. You should not purchase from 3rd parties for three reasons:

  1. They are very untrustworthy. Even if they actually deliver your points after you pay, which is unlikely, they now have your credit card info. The mere fact that they will violate the game EULA, annoy all the players, and try to stay one step ahead of the game developers says that they have no problem with a crooked scheme as long as they make money.
  2. Buying BFP from anyone other then EA has resulted in buyer being banned from the game:…ad.php?t=12383
  3. If you buy from them, you are encouraging them and keeping them in business. We want the game developers to be spending their time and resources coming up with new maps, units, fixes and features. Not spending all day trying to counter the spammers that you just funded. Give your money to the game makers, so they keep making content for the game.

27) How do I raise my Deck Level? What is the point of Deck Level, Player PvE Level, and Player PvP Level?

Deck Level is simple math. It is adding up all the number of upgrades and charge upgrades in a deck. Start with knowing that every full deck has 20 cards. So if your deck has no upgrades at all, it will be deck level 0. If every card has a lvl 1 upgrade, but none have charge upgrades, it will be deck level 20. If every card has both a lvl 1 upgrade and a charge upgrade, it will be deck level 40. Since you can have one charge upgrade per normal upgrade, and there are 3 upgrades, that gives you 6 potential points per card, which gives a possible deck level of 120.

Deck and PvE levels do nothing as far as game mechanics. They are just for other players to see and appreciate. Now that might seem pointless to all but the insanely competitive, but it is actually useful. When you are in the Lobby, trying to pull a game together, all you can judge about a stranger that just joined your game is his level. If he has a deck level above 80, you KNOW that he has beaten an expert map before, has played the advanced maps many times, and knows his stuff. Lower difficultly levels don’t really care about this, but it is important on the expert levels since no one wants to waste their time when a team member does not appear up to the challenge. On expert level, every player counts. Also, the higher the deck level of a team-mate, the less likely he will need much of the loot. If someone has a deck level way above the map you are playing (lvl 70 on advanced) chances are he just needs 1 specific upgrade or is farming gold/xp, so you will get most of the loot.

For PvP levels, it does play a part in game mechanics. In addition to showing off how good you are at PvP to other players, your level is used to match you up with people of similar skill. You can only gain PvP levels until you get to lvl 10, but above lvl 10 you can lose levels if you lose too many matches. Also, PvP loot rewards require certain PvP levels to claim them.

28) Where do I find upgrades in PvE maps?

The Dev’s published an official loot list:…ad.php?t=21054

There are also lists on fan sites:

Here are some general guidelines for where to find upgrades:

  • 1 player maps usually have commons, 2 player maps have uncommons, 4 player maps have rares, and 12 player maps have UR. There are many exceptions to this, but it is a rough trend.
  • Standard maps give you Lvl 1 upgrades. Advanced maps gives lvl 2 upgrades. Expert maps give lvl 3 upgrades.
  • All a card’s upgrades usually reside on the same map. So if a certain map has the lvl 1 upgrade of a given card on standard, you know that the lvl 2 and 3 upgrades of that same card can be found on the advanced and expert versions of that same map. This is true of the Renegade maps and the Advanced/Expert of the Twilight maps. But the Standard Twilight maps are a little different, since there are different maps at that difficulty.
  • The original maps give upgrades to the Twilight card edition. The Renegade maps give upgrades to the Renegade card edition. The Renegade Maps are: Empire, Blight, Raven’s End, Slavemaster, Convoy, Mo, Ocean and Oracle.

29) What is the common slang/abbreviations in Battle Forge?

Here are some things that are specific for BF. For general expressions, like noob and WTF, there are many guides on the internet.

BFP = Battle Forge Points
OP = Over-powered, or Original Poster, depending on the context
UP = Under-powered
C = Common
U = Uncommon
R = Rare
UR = Ultra-Rare
Pure = A deck that only contains a single color.
RGSF = This is a code to give the order of colored orbs to get for a given deck. So GFGG would be Green for the first orb, Frost for the second, Green for the third and forth. Green/Nature, Red/Fire, Purple/Shadow, and Blue/Frost are all used. This can be confusing since F can equal Fire or Frost.
Splash a color = This is when you just add in a few cards of a color to a deck. So if you have a deck that is GFGG, someone might say they “splashed Frost” just to get Cannon Towers and Juice Tank.
Spammers = The people in-game that constantly “spam” messages by whisper or channels trying to get you to go to their website to by BFP from them. Most of them have herpes. Stay away from them.
t1 t2 t3 t4 = This refers to how many orbs are required to summon a card. So the Giant Wyrm is t4, or “tier 4”, since it requires 4 orbs to summon. While the Windweavers are t1.
CC = Crowd Control. See question #12.
F2P = Free to Play. People who play BattleForge without paying for it, although they are severely handicapped in card selection.
Charges = This is the number of times a card can be used before it starts a slow recast timer. It is the white number on the card icon in-game on your deck bar at the bottom. It also sometimes refers to Charge Upgrades, which are when you merge multiple copies of a card together to get more charges. Lastly, it can refer to a special spell-casting mechanic on the Convoy PvE map.
Devs = EA Developers. The programmers who make the game and the patches.
ELO = ELO is a point system that determines your PvP Ranking. If you win a ranked PvP match, you earn more ELO points, and your PvP rank may go up. If you lose a PvP match, you lose ELO points, and your PvP rank may go down. The difference between two player’s ELO effects how much ELO is lost/gained. So if a low-ranking player beats a high-ranking player, the ELOs will change by a large amount.
Tokens = These are PvP rewards that can be exchanged for Upgrades. There are Honor, Victory, and Battle Tokens.

30) Just how rare are the different rarities?

A given Booster Pack has 8 cards.. 5 commons, 2 uncommons, 1 rare. Also, 1 in every 6 rare will be an ultra-rare. So, there are 30 commons per UR, 12 uncommons per UR and 5 rares per UR. Also, since Commons are given away as part of F2P and in Retail boxes, they are even more “common”.

31) What is this talk I hear about “German Primetime”?

German prime-time is 5-10 PM CET (Central European Time). During this time you will find generally find more traffic and experienced players, since the game is most popular in Germany compared to other countries.

There are rumors on the forums that the game gives better cards from booster packs and better upgrades in loot during this time. The rational is that the game is made by Germans (Phenomic is a German branch of EA) and thus they rigged the game to favor their timezone. This is untrue, and it often said as a joke to explain it when good luck befalls others. “Well, you must have bought those packs during German prime-time when you pulled both the Avatar of Frost and Mountaineer from one tome!”

32) What are some good manners I can follow when playing multiplayer PvE?

Glad you asked. Most tips are about good communication.

  • Work out your loose strategy before the map starts. Things like, going right or left on Blight, or who will defend the base and who will defend the wagon on Bad Harvest.
  • Don’t “steal” orbs or wells. Most maps given an equal share to all players around the same point in the map. If you want to take 3 orbs and leave your partner with 1 so you can use Enlightenment, get his consent first.
  • When playing on Assign or Need/Greed, TALK about what you are doing first. The host should take all player’s requests before assigning. All players should understand what the criteria is for Need/Greed for that group.

33) Are there clans or guilds in this game? It is a MMO game after all. What MMO game does not have guilds, especially ones that rely on cooperative play? What about using the Friends List?

Shockingly, there is no support for guild membership or channels. Until that happens, you should start building up your friends lists with people you enjoy playing with. By the time you get to expert, you should have a long list, with 6+ of them online at any given time. That way you are not playing russian roulette with poor players and lootjackers on expert maps.

I add a person to my friends list if they:

  • Handle loot distribution fairly and generously
  • Are not rude/vulgar/offensive/immature
  • Communicate well
  • Good player (they don’t have to be a “pro”, they just need to hold their own and have mastery over the basics)

Even when (if) guilds come, I will keep my friends list, since membership in a guild does not always insure my personal set of standards.

34) What are the different types of cards?

It may seem like a basic question: Units, Buildings and Spells. But there is a little more to it.

Units can come in squads or single models. Squads are typically 6 small units or 4 medium. Other cards list their Charges in the bottom left corner of the card’s art. But squads will say something like 8×6. That means you have 8 charges of the card, and when it is cast it gives a squad of 6 members.

Squads take damage until they get to around 10% HP, then members of the squad start dying. If you manage to save the squad, they will heal on their own near a building, but dead members will not come back. However, if you hit the unit with a healing effect, say a Shaman or Surge of Light, then the dead members resurrect. So if you do not have any healing effects, the unit will only heal to a fraction of it’s full health. Sometimes it is then better to kill the unit, commit it’s power to the void, and cast a replacement.

Also, when squads are knocked back, they all generally run back to their starting point. By the time they get there, they have usually been knocked back by the next attack. This makes them very vulnerable to knock-back CC compared to single models.

For the two reasons given above, and not any clear advantages, squads are less desirable then single-model units with the same stats. To counter this, squads tend to have 10% better stats then a comparable single model of the same tier and power cost. Compare Forsaken and Nox Trooper, for example.

Also, all units have a classification. This is in the bottom-left corner of the card-art, next to the charges. It typically says something like Demon Dominator. This classification is useful since some cards get bonuses against specific other cards. Like Lightbane gets a damage bonus against “Undead”.

Some buildings are “Rapid Construction”. This means that instead of taking 15 seconds or whatever it is, it takes only about 2 seconds.

A very important distinction that a lot of people miss is in the classification of spells. Some are “Spells” and some are “Arcane”. “Spells” are what you would think… they are effects that can only be cast near a friendly ground unit. (Note that I said “Friendly” ground unit. You can cast spells to help allies on the other side of the map from you.) However, “Arcane” can be cast near any friendly unit, air unit included! Most healing and protective spells are Arcane. So you can create a group of flyers and heal them on the far side of the map even though your “Spells” cannot be used near them. In addition to Nature’s healing spells, some other examples are Revenge, Blood Healing, Ravage, Area Ice Shield, and Ward of the North. Do a quick inventory to see which of your cards are Arcane and which are Spells.

35) If I buy more retail boxes, can I add the 3000 BFP and 64 cards from the starter decks to my existing account? What is the cheapest way to get BFP?

Yes to the first question. After you open the retail box, the key is on the back of the manual. Enter it into the Marketplace screen inside BattleForge, the screen where you spend BFP to buy boosters and tomes. After a few seconds of waiting, you will get 3000 BFP and your 64 cards. It will also auto-create the 4 starter decks in your deck pool, which you can just delete.

Buying extra retail boxes is, by far, the cheapest way to get BFP. They are $20 in the US and on I just picked up 3 of them at my local store. EA’s online store charges $20 for 2250 points. Retail is $20 for 3000 + 64 common/uncommon/rare.

I will not go into buying from unofficial sources, since it is risky and I do not advocate it.

36) What happens if I get an upgrade I already have, or if with a group, that everyone already has?

If you play the same map, same difficulty over again, there is a chance you will get an upgrade you already have. If that happens, and NO players can use the upgrade, it is converted to gold and given to all players. The gold is typically a small amount, proportional to the cost of applying the upgrade. So a Common U3 cost 500 gold to apply and converts to give you 80 gold. An Ultra-Rare U3 costs 6,000 to apply and converts to give you 800 gold.

Note that if you play “Assign”, the host can choose to convert an upgrade to gold even if someone needs it. This is a sleazy thing to do, unless everyone agrees, since an upgrade is always worth more then the gold, even no one wants it that bad. The same thing can happen if everyone passes on a card in “Need or Greed”, but that is a rare occurrence.

37) What are Promo cards? What are those duplicate cards with different art, and a star in the top corner?

Those cards with the star ARE Promo cards. They are “Promotion” cards that are given away by the game company for special reasons, such as participating in the original beta or pre-ordering the game. You cannot get them from boosters or tomes.

They act the same as their non-promo counter-part, except they look a little different and they are fully upgrades. So the Promo Firedancer has dark skin instead of light skin, and she has the same stats/charges as a normal Firedancer would after that Firedancer was upgraded 3 times to U3 and was merged with 3 other normal Firedancer cards to get Charge Upgrade 3.

Besides being a collectors item, since they are of limited supply, they are equal to 4 firedancer cards in charges, and all the effort of getting the upgrade loot to get the firedancer to u3. So they are expensive. 4-6 times as expensive as their normal counter-parts.

38) What are Affinities and how do they work?
Affinities are a new concept introduced in the Renegade edition of cards, so the original Twilight edition does not have them.

The clearest explanation I can give is that they are just designators of different cards. Affinities have no effect on game play. They do not allow alternate orbs or anything like that. The color of an Affinity is irrelevant for game play. Affinities are different versions of the same card that have a single card rule that is different. However, that difference usually completely changes the way that you would use the card.

So in short, Affinities are just a way of seperating one card into two different cards with slight but significant rules.

39) How do I view replays?
You can find replay files on these forums, and also on To play a replay, copy the pmv file into this directory: My DocumentsBattleForgereplays. Then go to your Profile in the lobby/Forge and click on the camera tab on the side of the book. You will see the replays from that directory listed. If there is a picture of a broken gear on the replay listing, that means that it is an old replay that can no longer be used. Every time a patch comes out for the game, all replays older then that patch become obsolete.

40) How do I play a player-made map?
First you download the map you want to play. They are usually attached to forum posts in the Map Editor’s Corner of the forums. It will usually be zipped, like this:

Make sure you use anti-virus software on this zip file before opening it!

You unzip it, and you will get a map file and a map directory, like this:
MyMap (dir)

You need to move all of this to your Battleforge directory in your My Documents.

My DocumentsBattleForgeMapMyMap

Note that if your Map directory does not exist under Battleforge, you need to create it. It has to be named “Map”, not “Maps” or anything else, or your maps will not show up in-game.

Once everything is in the right place, start up Battle Forge.

If it is a PvP map, you need to go to Sparring Grounds. If it is a PvE map, you need to go to User Generated Maps, the blue dot in the bottom right of the world map.

When you create/join a game, your map should be listed there. If the person who created the map did not add enough data, it may be “Unnamed”.

If you copy a new game in place, and want to load it without exiting Battle Forge, you need to back out to the world map, then go back into User Generated Maps or Sparring Grounds.

If you get an error “File Inaccessible”, it means that Battle Forge has temporarily locked down the map for whatever reason. Log out (not quit) and log back in the game.

41) How do use tokens that I earned in PvP and random PvE?

When viewing your card inventory, right-click on a card to see Updates. This page shows what updates and charges you can apply. There should be a tab that says “Claim Updates”. Click on that, and you will see a new page where you can spend tokens to buy updates you are missing. After you buy the updates with tokens, you then still need to go back to the main updates page for that card to apply the update you just bought.

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