- If you’ve played a MOBA before, this guide will introduce you to the few special touches that make awesomenauts what it is.
- If you’ve already reached prestige 9 and currently pwn noobz at league 1, you might not have a lot to learn here, but who knows! You might find out something new (If you didn’t understand half of the sentence, consider this guide for you).
You’ve done well to take interest in Awesomenauts, you’ll have a ton of fun playing it! But before we jump into the game, let’s talk a bit about what kind of game you’re getting yourself into (If you already know what a MOBA is and the common features of MOBA games, you can skip the next chapter).
(You can check out the change log here!)
According to Wikipedia; “Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), is a sub-genre of the real-time strategy (RTS) genre, in which often two teams of players compete with each otherin discrete games, with each player controlling a single character through an RTS-style interface.”
In most MOBA games, each base spawns AI controlled “Creeps” which walk along a “Lane” and attack enemy creeps and “Towers” defending the lanes and base. The final objective is to destroy the central building of the enemy base, with all other buildings being purely optional.
Awesomenauts very much fits this description. In Awesomenauts, you will control one character (Awesomenaut, ‘naut for short) and fight in a 3vs3 battle to destroy the enemy base. With the help of AI controlled “Droids” you will need to bring down “Turrets”, and ultimately,the enemy “Drill” to win the match.
For this to make more sense, lets have a look at one of the game’s 4 maps and see how this all comes into play.
- Each map has a different pattern for how solar is organized in the drop-pod drop. Try to master the patterns to gather as much Solar as you can. Gather 35 solar or more, and you’ll get a shiny achievement!
2. Shop & Heal Station: Not far away from the landing zone you should see a green capsule-shaped structure. This is the shop, and it also serves as ahealing station. When you’re inside, you will be healed very quickly and will be able to access the shop by pressing “E”, from which you can buy itemsand skills (more on that later). In addition, pressing and holding down “F” on your keyboard at any time will teleport you back to the shop in about 5 seconds. Very useful if you find yourself in trouble or need to spend all your hard earned solar on new gear.
3. Droid Spawner: Underneath your feet you should see a conveyor belt and, if you’re lucky, a few small droids moving along it. This is the Droid spawner, and as soon as those droids will reach the end of it, they will jump out and move along on the battlefield.
4. Solar Drill: Your drill is the heart of the operation. If it goes down, your team will lose the game, so make sure to protect it at all costs! Just don’t forget to destroy the enemy’s drill.
5. Boosters: Above your drill you should see a white jet engine looking thing. Walking or jumping onto it will propel you forward in an arc very quickly, saving you time when going across the map. Some maps have more than one of them, and they are very useful for escapes and for moving across the map. They are often called “Jump Pads”.
- Tip! Base boosters will only work for their respective teams!
6. Turrets: Turrets are your main defensive structures. They are positioned strategically to defend the drill from any enemy forces. They are very durable, have a fast fire rate and can block most enemy projectiles if you stand behind them (just remember that they will be damaged!). As such, you should try to keep them safe, as they cannot be repaired once damaged or destroyed!
- Turrets will fire against the nearest target, so try to stick with your droids(more about them in just a moment) so they will soak the damage.
- When a turret goes down, the team who destroyed it will spawn a super droid, which has a lot of HP which is regenerated over time and deals heavy damage from range. The super droid will move on the lane on which the turret was destroyed.
- Back turrets have 1200HP, while front turrets have 1000HP. Take this into consideration whenpushing!
That’s it as far as structures go.
7. Droids: As mentioned earlier, Droids are spawned from the Droid spawner in your base. They move at a slow pace towards the enemy base and attack everything that’s in their way. Once a droid reaches an enemy turret, it will deploy its shield, adding 100% HP to it’s current HP. Droids level up every 6 minutes, adding +15 HP, +1 damage, +20% turret damage, reaching a max level of 3.
- Obviously, try destroying Droids before they reach your turrets, because then they will be harder to kill, and will distract the turret from enemy ‘nauts that might attack it.
8. Critters: Every map has a neutral area called a “Jungle” (more about that soon), which is inhibited by harmless “Critters”. Killing them will give you Solar and will heal you for 30 HP.
9. Hiding Spots: Some maps also have hiding spots. These are opaque areas that turn semi transparent once you walk inside them. These are great spots to teleport away, ambush enemies or set-up traps. Just remember that the enemy might be doing these things to you!
10. Glass Platforms: Glass platforms are special in that you can drop down from them by pressing “S”, jump up through them by pressing “W” and even fire through them.
Moreover, each map has a unique element that you won’t find on other maps.
- Solar Boss: The solar boss resides on Ribbit IV‘s jungle area. When approached by anyawesomenaut, it’ll burp 5 damaging projectiles in an arc. These are very dangerous, and can kill most ‘nauts very easily. However, killing the solar boss will completely replenish your health and reward you a hefty sum of 30 Solar.
- The Worm: In Sorona you will find a giant worm in the bottom center of the map. Pressing the button above the sealed hole will open the seal and allow the worm to come out. Anything that touches the worm will be sent into oblivion. Try not to push the button while your friends are down below to avoid embarrassment.
- Low-Gravity Field: AI Station 404‘s giant Central area has low gravity, making you jump higher and fall slower. Take that into account when moving up or down there.
- Flying Droids: Another unique feature of AI Station 404 is the flying droid. Each team has a flying droid spawner, that can hold up to three flying droids at once. By jumping on it, the spawner will release the droids, which will act like normal droids. However, flying droids have more HP, damage and can fly (as the name implies). Flying droids level up like walking droids.
- Invisibility Orb: In Augilion, the game’s 4th map added when patch 1.17 was released, you’ll find an orb in the middle of the jungle area. The first ‘naut to grab this orb will gain invisibility, which breaks when attacking or using a unique ability.
Finally, I’ll go over the UI (User Interface):
1. Chat Window: The chat window is where you will see messages from the players in the match and a few system messages like killing sprees and who killed who. You can send a message to your team by pressing “Enter” or to everyone in the match by pressing “Shift+Enter”.
2. Ability Bar: The bar in the bottom center shows your abilities, and what button is used to activate each ability.
3. Solar and KD: The number next to the golden cube shows you the amount of Solar you have. The number next to the star and skull represent Kills and Deaths.
4. Minimap: The minimap shows the current location of your fellow ‘nauts (large dots) and droids (small dots), as well as the current damage level of turrets. Any enemy that comes close to an ally will also be displayed on the minimap, so it’s always smart to keep an eye on it to know where enemies might be.
5. Level, User Name and Health: The green bar floating above ‘nauts, droids, critters and towers represents their current HP (hit points). Once it goes empty, they die or get destroyed. The number next to the username above the HP bar represents the ‘nauts current level. It increases by 1 for every 100 solar you gain. Generally speaking, it’s wise to avoid ‘nauts that are 5 or more levels higher than you.
6. Numbers: Numbers jumping out of characters indicate damage (if colored white) or healing (if colored green).
Ok, so now we know what we can find in the battlefield. Now it’s time to learn what we can do there.
In every match, your objective remains the same: Destroy the enemy drill before they destroy yours.
In order to do that, you need to bring down theturrets that defend the base. However, approaching turrets alone will get you killed in a jiffy, so you need something expendable that will soak the damage for you.
Enter the Droids. As previously mentioned, droids will spawn in your base and walk towards the enemy base. The path in which the droids walk is called a “Lane”. Some maps have more than one lane, and multiple turrets defending a single lane.
Every map also has a region which is inaccessible to the Droids, which is called the “Jungle”. There you will find critters to refill your health. Generally speaking, fighting in the jungle is more dangerous than in a lane, because you will often have a hard time running away should you end up on the losing side.
For every enemy ‘naut, droid, turret and critter you kill, you gain “Solar”. As briefly mentioned previously, this is the game’s currency. You will need it to purchase skills and items from the shop. You also gain 1 Solar (can be doubled with an item) every few seconds automatically as long as you’re alive.
Before even starting the match, you will be asked to pick a character. Hovering over an icon with your mouse will display the character’s portrait and will show its 4 abilities a few seconds later. All characters (From now on Awesomenauts or ‘nauts) have 4 abilities: 2 unique skills, 1 main weapon and 1 jumping ability. As you gain user levels by finishing matches, you will unlock more ‘nauts to choose from. Take your time and pick the character that you think best suits your play style.
After selecting a ‘naut, you will be asked to choose a load-out. If you’re new, you shouldn’t have more than 3 items for each ability. As you gain user levels, you will unlock more items to choose from. For now, go over each item, learn what it does, and then click on it to select it. Remember that in the future, even though you will unlock up to six items per ability, you can only take 3 with you to the field.
A few seconds of loading time and you should see yourself already launching from the drop-ship. As always, try to collect as much solar as you can in the drop to get a head start.
The moment you first touch down is the beginning of what most players refer to as “Early game”. Most players break a match down into “Early”, “Mid” and “Late” stages. We will talk about each of them as we reach them.
The first thing you should do is go to the shop and buy some items. You’ll notice that before you can purchase the first 2 rows, you will need to buy and unlock the corresponding ability. You don’t have to unlock both of them right away, or any of them, for that matter. But it’s always smart to have at least one ability at your disposal, since more often than not it’s your abilities that get you kills, not just plain weapon fire. As you play the game more and more you will develop your own ideal item load-out and purchase order. This is often referred to as a“Build” and if you want, you can check out some guides for different ‘naut builds here on steam or at the Awesomenauts Wiki.
After getting your items, it’s time to go out and help your team achieve victory. Remember that your objective is to destroy the enemy drill, and to do that you need to bring down the enemy turrets. You could go guerrilla and poke the turret with a few shots, teleport back to base and then repeat, but that would be slow and will leave you very vulnerable to enemy attacks. Instead, take advantage of your disposable droids: destroy the enemy droids in their path (A triple win situation: Your turret is safe, your droids can continue towards the enemy turret and you gain solar!) and help them reach the enemy turret, where they will deploy their shields and be much harder to destroy. Then you can attack the turret safely and have enough time to escape if the need arises.
A good rule of thumb is to teleport back to the base (Remember, press and hold“F”) when you have more than about 250 Solar. After teleporting, open the shop and buy more items to improve your abilities and make yourself a bigger threat to the enemy. In a nut-shell, this is what you will be doing during the early game: Attack turrets, gain solar, buy items, repeat. Of course, you will probably get a few kills and deaths against enemy ‘nauts.
Midgame takes place when you have a few items under your belt and have a few turrets destroyed (either yours or the enemies’). At this point, turrets often get less focus and instead the team goes in for the kill against enemy ‘nauts. As such, remember to keep it safe and stick together with your team, as you are much harder to kill that way and you can get kills much more easily. Don’t forget to teleport back to the base to heal and buy new items. If you don’t have a lot of solar on you or don’t want to waste time teleporting for heals, you can go to the jungle and kill critters for quick HP refills.
As you level up and gain more solar, the penalty for dying is increased. While dying early game will result in about 1 to 5 second waiting penalty, dying midgame can easily reach up to 25 seconds of staring blankly at the screen, waiting for your drop-pod to launch. Remembering that, it’s wise to get as many enemies down together as possible, because they won’t be able to defend against your attacks.
As the mid-game goes on you will naturally continue to push and eventually destroy the last turret separating you from the enemy drill.
Most players refer to this point as the late-game stage. You have probably maxed out an ability or two by now, and the path to the enemy drill (or yours) is open. While it’s tempting to just rush in and attack the enemy drill, it’s often wise to get rid of any other turrets first before attacking the drill. That way you can secure an additional escape route and reinforce your droid waves.
Additionally, since the defending team will be… well, defending, it might be wise to try and kill as many of them as possible before attacking the drill. Don’t be afraid to use trickery and back away – luring the enemy away from their safe-spot at the base and finishing them off in the lanes or jungle is a great way to secure victory.
Sooner or later the drill will be destroyed, and hopefully you will see “Victory!” written on your screen. You will then see the scoreboard, which displayes the prestiege and league of the user (more on that later!) along with the match level, ‘naut, username, kills/deaths, droids killed, turrets destroyed and ping of the user. You can also hover over a user with your mouse to see which items they have purchased. Finally, you can open the scoreboard at any time by pressing “Tab” on your keyboard.
Pressing “Space” will show you your user level progression, as well as how much EXP (experience points) you’ve gained in the match.
And that’s it! You now know how to play the game, from beginning to end. But there’s something missing. We’ve talked so much about the game and what’s in it, that we forgot about the stars of the game – the Awesomenauts! But before we talk about them, lets expand our knowledge of MOBA games by learning a few terms that apply to awesomenauts.
Here’s a list of terms that you’re likely to hear in-game or in discussions about gameplay.
- Gank(v): A “Gank” is the act of attacking a solitary enemy surprisingly, as a group. Ganks are often highly effective and what starts as an attack against a single enemy can quickly escalate into a team-fight.
- Push(v): To “Push” means what you might already be thinking: attacking the enemy lanes and “pushing” towards their base, attacking turrets and droids that may be in the way.
- Tank(v): To “Tank” means to take the majority of damage in an attack. Awesomenauts that have a lot of HP usually “Tank” for their allies and manage to survive most attacks that would be fatal for other ‘nauts.
- Nuke(v): To “Nuke” someone or something means dealing a lot of damage over a short period of time. Sometimes referred to as “Burst Damage”.
- CC(n): CC is short for “Crowd Control”, which is the term used for effects that impair enemies without necessarily damaging them. This includes stun, blind, silence (AKA mute, which means the enemy cannot use any unique skills), snare (different from stun in that you can attack but not move) and slow.
- Squishy(n): A “Squishy” character has low HP, and as such is easier to kill. Opposite of “Tanky”or “Durable”.
Most MOBA games categorize their characters by “roles”, with most characters having more than one role. While Awesomenauts doesn’t do that categorization, it’s good to know the common roles nonetheless.
- Carry: A “Carry” is a character who is weak at the beginning of the game and grows incredibly powerful by the end of it. Carries tend to be “carried” by the group at the beginning of the match and end up “carrying” the group by the end of it. Good example: Voltar.
Derived from the carry is the “Semi-Carry”, which starts off weak but can reach its maximum power by mid-game. Good example: Skølldir.
- Ganker (AKA Assassin): A “Ganker” is often powerful throughout the match and is able to take down most enemies alone. They deal massive amounts of damage over a short time period and are often equipped with skills that won’t allow you to fight back or run away. Good example: Leon.
- Initiator: Initiators tend to be the first ones to start a team fight, as their skills allow them to move in quickly and deal damage. Good example: Froggy G.
- Pusher: If you remember the meaning of “pushing” then this role should make sense. Pushersare able to “push” lanes very well and can inflict a lot of damage to turrets for long periods of time. Good example: Voltar.
- Roamer: Roamers tend to move around the map and help out where it’s needed the most. They sometimes go to a different lane from where their team is in order to attack a defenseless turret in an attempt to bring it down or split the enemy team apart. Good example: Raelynn.
- Tank: A “tank” has a very high amount of HP and as such can “tank” damage for his allies. They are very valuable in team fights and can save the lives of other, squishy ‘nauts. Good example: Clunk.
- Support: The support does what their name implies: they support the team by healing them or helping them escape. They are also good at defending the base and turrets from enemies.Good example: Voltar.
Derived from the support is the “Lane-support”. A lane support character can push lanes and help fellow ‘nauts but does not do a lot of damage to turrets. Good example: Genji.
- Nuker: A nuker is able to deliver high amounts of damage with a single ability or within a very short time-frame. Good example: Coco.
There are a few more roles out there, but I won’t talk about them just yet. Now it’s time to meet the ‘nauts!
Role: Ganker, Initiator
Unique Skills: Splash Dash – Froggy G dashes towards the cursor, damaging and stunning enemies in his path. He is invulnerable during the dash.
Tornado Move – Froggy G spins around and damages any enemy that touches him.
Role: Nuker, Pusher
Unique Skills: Dynamite Throw – Lonestar throws dynamite sticks in an arc. Holding down the button will throw further.
Summon Hyper Bull – Lonestar calls upon his mighty hyper bull, which knocks back any enemy touching it.
Role: Ganker, Initiator
Unique Skills: Tongue Snatch – Leon pulls his tongue out towards the cursor, snatching any enemy ‘naut it touches and pulling them to Leon.
Cloaking Skin – Leon becomes invisible and leaves behind a dummy to confuse his enemies.
Role: Tank, Nuker
Unique Skills: Vaccum Bite – Clunk bites his enemies, damaging them and healing himself.
Explode – Clunk goes into overdrive, causing an explosion after a few seconds. The explosion deals heavy damage to enemies near Clunk and also damages Clunk himself.
Role: Support, Pusher
Unique Skills: Suicide Drones – Voltar summons a suicide drone every few seconds. The drone will passively fly around Voltar and fire against enemies. Voltar can command the drone to explode at a target, dealing increased damage and destroying the drone.
Healbot – Voltar drops a healbot that heals allies within a large radius.
Role: Support, Roamer
Unique Skills: Acid Spit – Gnaw spits out 2 acid projectiles that deal damage over time to any enemy that touches them.
Grow Weedling – Gnaw uses parts gained by biting enemies (main attack) to plant weedlings on the ground, which attack enemies and critters that approach them.
Role: Nuker, Ganker
Unique Skills: Ball Lighting – Coco fires a ball of lightning which travels towards the cursor. The ball will explode after a few seconds or by clicking the skill button again. The ball can pass through solid materials like the ground and turrets.
Blaze – Coco leaves behind a trail of damaging and slowing electric bolts.
Role: Semi-Carry, Tank, Roamer
Unique Skills: Mighty Throw – Skølldir throws the enemy units within his reach backwards.
Earthquake – Skølldir slams the ground and causes an earthquake to erupt in front of him, dealing damage over time.
Role: Support, Roamer
Unique Skills: Mine Deploying – Yuri drops a mine which drift down slowly and explode when touched by any enemy unit.
Time Warp – Yuri surrounds himself in a time warp bubble, slowing any enemy who enters it.
Role: Support, Pusher, Nuker
Unique Skills: Snipe – Raelynn charges her gun and fires a powerful, long range shot which pierces through enemies and causes knockback.
Timerift – Raelynn throws a small timerift which slows down any enemy that gets inside. Hold the skill button to throw farther.
Role: Tank, Nuker
Unique Skills: Siege Mode – Derpl transforms his walker into a stationary turret and gains new abilities. In siege mode, derpl will fire faster with longer range and higher damage. Activate the skill again to transform back into normal mode.
Grid Trap/Nuke – In normal mode, Derpl will drop a grid trap which will snare enemies, allowing them to attack but not move. In siege mode, Derpl will fire a powerful nuke which will home onto the nearest target.
Role: Ganker, Support, Silencer (Skills are primarily CC based)
Unique Skills: Smoke Screen – Vinnie and Spike pop a smoke screen at their current location, blinding any enemies inside.
Spike Dive – Vinnie and Spike charge a short distance towards the cursor. At the end of the charge, Spike will release spikes around him and damage all enemies near him.
Role: Lane Support, Semi Carry
Unique Skills: Cocoon – Genji spits a projectile that, when hitting an enemy droid or ‘naut, removes them from play for 4 seconds (They cannot attack or be attacked).
Monarch Blessing – Genji provides a shield for his allies which protects them and provides 30% damage reduction for 4 seconds.
Role: Harasser, Nuker
Unique Skills: Evil Eye – Ayla fires a short range projectile which damages and slows the first target it hits. The damage and slow effect increase the lower Ayla’s health is.
Rage – Ayla goes into a rage, surrounding herself with a bubble that damages and all enemies inside it while healing Ayla. Ayla floats around freely during rage mode, but also suffers damage over time as long as the bubble is active.
These are the ‘nauts that are currently available to play. The list will be updated as new ones are released! We have one more section ahead of us, and then you will be ready to play!
In any MOBA game out there, the best way to win is working together as a team. In awesomenauts, the team and maps are relatively small, so sticking together is a great way to ensure victory. Don’t be afraid to leave the group every now and again, but try not to go against enemies alone unless you’re certain you know what you’re doing and that you’ll get the kill.
Keep an eye on your minimap and be on the lookout for allies that might be in trouble. Not everyone sticks with the group all the time and sometimes trouble might show up before you even notice. If you find yourself in trouble, press “2” on your keyboard to let your allies know you need assistance.
So you’ve managed to get the enemy’s health down to just one tiny green cube of HP, and the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ tries to run away! Your hunting instinct might yell at you to charge forth, but sometimes chasing an enemy will lead you into a trap that gets you killed before you manage to even try to escape. It’s not always easy to know when it’s a trap and when it’s a free kill, but you will learn eventually. If something smells fishy, it’s better to back off because…
There’s really no reason for you to die. Dying results in the enemy team gaining 30 solar each, with your killer gaining 60. You won’t be able to help your team, which puts them in greater danger and makes them easier to take out. You’ll have to stare at the screen like a dweeb for several seconds (It can reach upwards of 25 seconds!), counting down ’till you launch from the dropship, which also takes time. Instead of gaining solar and helping your team, you end up at your base, falling behind your friends. Oh, and did I mention you give your enemies an ego boost?
You might think that putting as much effort into laning and pushing would be the ideal strategy to win, and in some cases you will be right. But think about it this way – when you push enough and reach a turret, what happens when an enemy ‘naut attacks you? They get the help of the turret if they manage to get rid of the droids, and if they’re fighting a losing battle, all they need to do is walk a few steps back and now the turret will take the hits for them. If you notice you aren’t able to push properly, don’t be afraid to take a few steps back, lead the enemies into thinking they can push and then killing them, allowing you to push with less resistance.
Really! Well, not exactly a minute, but every 90 seconds your maximum HP will increase by 3. This will happen 10 times, so within 15 minutes your HP will increase by 30.
And we’re done! Welcome to Awesomenauts my friend, now load that game up and kick some ♥♥♥!
As with my previous guides, I happily welcome any and all comments. If you have some tips you’d like to share, feel free to write them and I’ll add them in with credit to you! Don’t forget to rate and share the guide if you find it useful, I’m sure there are many new players that could use the help of this guide.
Some of the images in this guide are from theAwesomenauts Wiki website. Check it out and bookmark it, it’s a very useful site for any Awesomenauts player!