(WIP) All you need to know to get started and then some.
This guide is a WIP in my free time and at my interest/leisure. What is said here is correct to my knowledge and may incorporate new information or tweaks at any time. I am trying to be comprehensive in explaining more obscure things and get across all of the basic understanding required to properly play and not just be clicking buttons.
As of 0.70 early-access release, the ui is actually quite good for what it’s designed to be doing, and the only real problem is the windowed-mode (alt+enter) hanging offscreen. This can be fixed with third party tools but isn’t really that big of an issue.
If you do not see the red fire variant (small person) at the bottom bar, try windowed mode and dragging it up. The fire variant is your tutorial guide. There is lots of additional information about the game in the last tab on the right and is worth reading, it also expands as you unlock new features. You can click the middle icon on the bottom bar between the arrows to access a quick-jump list.
I found no real issues with the game window myself, but if it’s that much of a problem for you it can be resized with Winsplit Revolution or Autohotkey scripts.
The game UI is laid out how it is for a reason, and while the window resizing currently isn’t exposed ingame, it does actually handle resizing just fine collapsing from 3 columns down to 1.
Quick UI rundown
Across the top bar of the screen you have various statistics and some useful % numbers that will be covered in their respective topics. You can click the header to open some extra info and number entry configs.
Across the bottom bar of the screen you have:
- tutorial/guide – fire variant
- synchronization (rebirth) – digital stopwatch
- go left in menus – left arrow
- current location/open jumplist – icon depends on current middle menu
- go right in menus – right arrow
- unlocks menu – green joystick/ufo
- daily roulette – blue wheel (gain 1 charge every 24h, no cap)
- hourly slots – red star (gain 1 charge every 1h, no cap)
At big enough resolutions the screen is divided into 3 columns, or 1 if too small.
The column shows the name of the menu, then whatever purpose it serves, and the bottom has buttons to control what you have selected on it.
TL;DR start: put TIME into Gather-Knowledge, go to Build and Build-Library, open unlocks menu and start buying circle nodes. Eventually you’ll be able to synchronize (rebirth) for a reasonable amount of tempo and be unlocking square nodes. Prioritize the finger icons because they unlock automation. Don’t forget to customize your automation and actually turn it on.
Time is a resource that you generate every second. You generate 1 time every second, 1 second of time, if you will. This is also generated while the game is closed, as is almost every other resource.
(If cloud saving to/from mobile is ever fixed, you can even double it by watching an ad! there are some moderately powerful but unintrusive ad-watching opportunities on mobile, I highly recommend it!)
Time is used to allocate to various processes to make them run faster. More time = faster output.
Time has a “value” starting at 1 second = 1 power, and this is increased by your “Time Power” multiplier. If you were to have 700x Time Power, that same 1 second would now be worth what 700 seconds was worth before.
Most things you can allocate time to in the game have a cap on how much time is useful to allocate, and any above that is being unused.
You never “lose” or “spend” time. Only temporarily use it on things, and can reclaim it all at any time.
The basic starting gameplay consists of: Get time, allocate time to gathering resources or materials, spend those things on buildings or stat upgrades, get science to unlock new features, rebirth to earn a currency called (tempo) while keeping your unlocked features and time but losing most generated stuff.
All of the manual busywork after a rebirth can be fully automated and set to custom values, with the appropriate and not-hard-to-get tempo upgrade.
Most things that generate or have an effect in some way have a statistic called “power”. This just means they’re more effective, and in the case of things you can allocate, it takes less to reach the cap. This does not mean things run faster, just that for example 2x power takes half as much investment to cap for max speed. These stats and breakdowns of their sources can be seen on the Stats page.
Investing Time into Knowledge at the gather menu grants you… knowledge.
This knowledge then needs to be converted to science through the Library, which itself also requires knowledge to build. More libraries means faster conversion, as well as a higher Science cap. I’ll repeat it again because it is important: Your science gain is capped by your number of libraries, specifically by the cost to build the next library. When you’ve generated more total science than you are keeping up with libraries, your science generation will plummet. The (100%) number under Science at the top tells you what your output is being scaled to because of this. This value is reset by the rebirth mechanic (synchronization). This means if you spend science on unlocking things, you could be marginally to significantly hampered until next rebirth.
Rebirth (Synchronization) and Tempo
Synchronization, which I refer to as rebirth throughout this guide, is the first reset mechanic in the game. It has a cooldown of 10 minutes real time, and earns you Tempo depending on various activities progress in game. I won’t list them here but just about everything, on top of real time since last rebirth, earns you more Tempo.
When you rebirth you lose all of your progress in most of your quickly climbing stats, all your buildings, etc. You retain a passive level boost to some of these things however, and rebirthing frequently is actually a good thing. You will usually quickly regain where you left from, especially once you have the first few automation unlocks. If you feel things stagnating much at all, just rebirth.
The unlock menu (green joystick/ufo) has various permanent* upgrades that you can spend Science and Tempo and some other currencies way later on in.
Science (circle nodes) is spent on the main unlocks in the tree and are usually 1-level purchases that signify you’ve gotten a science breakpoint.
Tempo (square nodes) is mostly spent on multipliers to various things, or unlocking automation (square finger nodes). Most non-automation tempo nodes are multiple level, being purchasable 10+ times at increasing tempo costs. You can “clear” or unallocate the tempo to most of these nodes for a full refund if you want to spend elsewhere.
*unlock menu is reset on the second rebirth mechanic way lategame, unlocking even more unlocks to buy and currencies to spend
Variants are a resource that you generate through building Tents. These can be allocated to many things, much like Time, but are lost on rebirth unlike time (because you lose your Tents). You need to (and will quickly have automated) rebuild tents to regain them, and then reallocate them (also easily and quickly automated). Variants boost output massively. Try for at least 1.
Raw Food is gained by Capture of various critters. Raw Food is converted to Food through Campfire. Campfire is built with Spices. You need enough food to power your variants(the (100%) under VARIANT at the top), and they will gain a boost up to 200% with enough food output.
Crafting is done with gold (from the Refinery converting Ore to Gold) and capture materials. There is no benefit to variants (or time, even) in crafting unless you have the gold and capture materials to do so. Finding a balance based on your various powers and upgrades can be effective but isn’t explicitly necessary.
Combat is you slamming your face against an enemy and hoping it works out. There is a little bit of damage variance but you can mitigate this by boosting various stats. One of the ways you improve your combat stats is Craft, as above. There are many different things that end up boosting your combat stats. When you kill an enemy, it’s LIVES goes down, and when it’s killed and has no LIVES to spare, you gain loot (gear and runes). You can and will need to change AREA to get different gear drops and fight stronger monsters. AREA’s can have tiers, 0/1/2/3 which increases monster stats but gives you more of that areas drops.
Gear is gained by killing monsters in combat, and has its own piece-individual progression. Every time a piece of gear drops, for example the Boxing Glove, its level goes up by 1. Certain levels are Tier breakpoints. You must choose which gear to equip at any given time, with higher areas drops having better potential, but they might be worse than a high-farmed-lower-area, gear for a little while simply because you farmed the lower area enough.
You can equip 1 of every slot and 8 accessories, cycling up in gear as you progress in areas. You can swap to any area at any tier any time (later areas given you’ve unlocked it through TOWER progress).
Another kind of drop is Runes that are just more pieces of gear but you pick, up to the number of rune slots you have unlocked, at once. Base gear gives passive stat boosts but these runes give chance based effects like double attacks or damage reflect. You “Tier up” these runes manually through the rune menu when you’ve received enough drops of them.
The tree is unlocked a little while into the game and you earn fruit like variants, except by building farms using seeds. The tree is made up of nodes you allocate time to in order to boost various stats passively. Your number of fruits is the total number of nodes you can be powering at a single time. Powering a node makes it earn progress, and is not required to continue benefitting, from that progress. You should spread out your overall earnings across the tree, given enough TIME, maybe focusing occasionally on nodes you want a larger benefit in at the time.
Your tree soft-resets on rebirth, losing your current progress but gaining a portion of it permanently. You can automate the tree buying nodes eventually and it will purchase nodes in the order you last purchased manually as fruit allows.
Tabs – Gather/Build
Gathering is to gain your basic resources that are generally, but not exclusively, used to build buildings. This will not cover everything, just what pre-reset players have access to. There is a lot more content in the game past these.
Knowledge: Generates Knowledge to upgrade Library, as well as being converted to Science.
Library: The current cost to build your next library is what determines your science cap. Your current amount of libraries determines how fast knowledge is converted to science.
Wood: Generates Wood to upgrade Tent, every tent gives you more Variants.
Tent: Every tent built gives you an additional variant. These are your main output boosting allocation.
Spices: Generates Spices to upgrade Campfire, and is used along with raw food to produce food.
Campfire: Converts raw food and spices into food, which your variants need to be effective. Their effectiveness can range from almost nothing to 200% with a surplus of food. More variants allocated means higher food requirement.
Ore: Generates Ore to upgrade Refinery, and is converted by the refinery into Gold
Refinery: Converts ore into gold, which your CRAFTing uses to build gear.
Seeds: Generates Seeds to build Farms, every farm gives you more Fruits.
Farm: Every farm built gives you an additional fruit. These are your total number of nodes able to be making progress at once (concurrently).
Tabs – Capture (and food)
In this tab you see what critters there are to capture. Certain stat boosting crafts require certain critters captured.
There are powerful multipliers purchasable in the unlock menu with tempo, and variants do a lot of work here as well.
You require at least 1 variant allocated to a critter to be capturing it.
Capturing critters also gives you raw food, for the campfire to make food so your variants to stay effective.
Finding the balance of raw food, campfires, and allocated variants is one of the most important things to be mindful of. Variants can be up to 200% effective with enough food. This is indicated under the Food entry at the top bar. You can click the top bar to see various stats on this topic. You want your raw food net rate to be 0 or higher, and your food net rate to be double the variant food consumption or higher. Variants won’t lose maximum effectiveness unless your food drops to 0, at which point they’ll lower to whatever portion of their demands you are meeting; so if you have a surplus of food as new variants are created, you might be okay for a little while until it runs out. Variants only eat if they’re allocated.
Tabs – Craft
Craft’s purpose is to give you combat stats. It requires allocated time (and preferably variants) to process, takes your capture materials (ladybugs, mantis, rats, etc), as well as some gold (from ore+refinery), to create boosts to your ability to fight. These are all lost on rebirth, but you keep a fraction of them as permanent levels so it’s really more like just setting you back a little bit. You’ll rebuild them probably before your next rebirth is even off cooldown.
Tabs – Combat / Gear
This is where the fighting is done. You can allocate time and variants into lowering boss stats or boosting your own. These are not levels, they are only active as long as your have time/variants put into them. They are basically multipliers with your other stat boosting things and don’t “gain progress” themselves.
This is where you change areas and area tiers to fight.
Different areas drop different gear that you can see by expanding the box, and higher tiers (0-3) have higher gear (same gear) drop chances but the enemies have more stats.
Once you unlock automation you probably won’t touch this menu much except swapping area or customizing variant allocation.
Allocating time is required to get your stats up to max, and enemies stats down to 10%.
Combat stats: Most of this is pretty straightforward.
You slap, they slap, rinse and repeat. Winner takes all.
Lives is how many times the healthbar needs to be emptied before loot is dropped. With a mechanic later (allocating jewels) this can be chewed through faster with overkill, but for awhile you’ll be limited to 1 life taken per swing.
Health is the amount of health you or the boss has, if it hits 0 then it (or you) dies.
Regen is how much health regen happens between the turns, there can be spots where you can overcome the enemies regen but taking a long time because they regen most of your hit, watch out for those.
Damage is the amount of damage done per hit, no surprises there.
Armor is a direct 1:1 reduction of damage taken per hit. You’ll need to have your attack higher than the enemies armor + regen to make any progress. (or just armor if you’re one-shotting them somehow)
Magic and Magic shield are basically damage+armor but a post-prestige mechanic. You won’t see this for a long time.
If you die, you have to wait until your regen refills your hp.
This is where all of the pieces of gear you get show up. The same piece of gear dropping increases its level. Certain level breakpoints increase the gear tier. Gear tier multiplies the base bonus directly. Both of these being higher means the gear gives better stat boost which you can see by clicking it. You can only equip 1 piece of gear in a given slot at a time, and up to 8 accessories.
Below the gear slots are slots for Runes, and below that eventually, pets.
Runes and pets (from raid) are more gear but you pick up to 8 (depending on unlocks) from a list to equip, as you unlock them.
The runes drop like gear does in specific areas, and you need to upgrade their tier manually through the rune equip menu (and pets through pets menu). Runes are chance-based effects unlike the gear’s % stat boosts.
Generally speaking you’ll want to equip later areas gear (farther down the list) as its potential for boost is significantly higher than anything lower. Likewise you’ll want to be farming the highest (and maybe a little of second highest) areas you can be, for the most recent gear.
The areas alternate between the first four slots of gear and the second four slots of gear for drops.
The new gear will overtake the old at a fraction of the old gears level, but could be a little worse until that point.Just make sure you can keep killing whatever you’re trying to kill, after swapping gear.
Tabs – Tree
The tree is a lot of passive boosts and options for what you want to focus on.
Allocating a node requires fruit and a bit of time and earns you levels on that node. Levels give you % boosts to various things. There are minimum (10%) and maximum (100%) values of TIME for a node to progress.
When you pick one of the four starting nodes, you have to follow the path to connected nodes and branch out from there.
Your total node count is limited by your fruit number, and you can clear out a node (and any depending on it…. except rune boost nodes can stay allocated? probably a bug.) at your preference without penalty.
Earning certain breakpoints of levels increases the node tier, multiplying it.
Any progress gained in a node is yours to keep… until rebirth.
You keep a fraction of your earned levels as permanent levels… until prestige.
You can unallocate nodes and place your fruit+time elsewhere. You keep the levels and boosts they’re giving you.
The tree can be of significant boost to you, especially if you focus nodes together, like knowledge/science or variants..
Automation will fill in nodes in the same order you did most recently.
The tree gains new outer rings from unlocks. Once you reach a surplus of fruit it can be useful to get an amount of levels in nodes near the tree and build up the cheap ones. Outer rings have higher “v#” nodes that usually scale better though.
Tabs – Jobs
Jobs are a way to invest extra science into multipliers. Allocating science to these will earn you levels that reset on rebirth but like some other mechanics give you permanent levels to accrue.
Tabs – Tower / Jewels
The tower is more fighting, that gets harder as you’re able to clear it faster, that earns you talent points to spend on various stat modifiers.
These modifiers are ‘temporary’ much like the stats on combat’s page. They require allocated talent points to stay effective and do not gain effect over time, just certain breakpoints of maintained allocation.
You gain fragments from fighting in the tower and after earning a certain amount of fragments you gain talent point capacity. You can unallocate talent points and put them elsewhere at any time.
Of note, the automation settings are number of levels, not total amount of talent points to allocate. So to get the same talent point investment across v1/v2/v3/v4 requires, for example on gather power, 1e8/1e6/1e4/1e2.
You also earn Jewels here. These are powerful and few but almost-entirely-permanent currency that you can swap between a few options at your whim. This includes:
- Overkill potential, allowing multiple lives to be wiped out per hit in combat and raids.
- Plus time on kill, allowing a longer timer for raid fights
- Fragments plus, dropping more fragments in the tower for more talent points
- Lower boss health/damage/armor/regen in combat and tower and raids
Tabs – Planck / Timer / Raid
Planck: Pretty much fully automated time dumps if you have excess time. Lower levels generate higher levels.
Timer: Again time dumps for stats. Increases efficiency of related stats.
Raid: This is more combat where you earn pets (souls) to equip. Long, timed fights, more timer with Jewels. Each boss corresponds to certain stat and they increase in difficulty until their cooldown expires. There are a few stats only obtainable through this.
Tabs – Achievements / Shop / Stats / Setting / Tutorial
Achievements: Earning certain breakpoints gives you achievements for permanent bonus to that stat. 2^achi.
Shop: The part of the game you can pay for.. eventually. Not necessary to progress at all. Gems/diamonds can be used for some okay boosts. On mobile has a section to watch ads for some temporary (4h) boosts.
Stats: Some decent breakdowns of your power ratings for everything and where it’s from.
Settings: Where you can get various links to useful resources, interact with cloud saves, and other settings.
Tutorial: The last tab explains a large portion of what i’ve covered here, and gains new content as you unlock things.
Just try playing and exploring, and if you don’t feel like you’re making progress, try synchronizing for some tempo. It’s only a 10 minute cooldown and you can spend that tempo on various multipliers. Or maybe you just need to wait a little longer for more (real) time to invest!
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