Empires and Puzzles Top Tips & Tricks for Beginners (2023)

Image with words, 10 Key Empires and Puzzles Tips

It’s time to put my Empires and Puzzles Tips out there! And this page contains my best. I wanted to be honest and sensible and I think I’ve managed to achieve both.

But before I start, you should know:

  1. While I’ve been playing Empires & Puzzles for some time now, I don’t claim to be an all-knowing deity. There are loads of long-term players and we all have something valuable to share.
  2. My Empires and Puzzles tips are based on my own gameplay, style, and preference. Along with many of the great tips shared by my readers across the blog.
  3. I am very Cheap-to-Play, meaning I spend very little money on Empires and Puzzles. That’s relevant because my tips are coming from that point of view.
  4. I only play for fun, not to be the best. That said, I am by nature an analytical person, and I believe that has helped me better understand the mechanics of this game.

Please share this post and your own tips in the comments below.

Caveat: This post contains gameplay speculation and personal opinion. It may also contain comedy and sarcasm. It is not advice and is solely for entertainment and informational purposes.

Screenshot of Empires and Puzzles Township

What is Empires & Puzzles?

At its core, Empires and Puzzles is a Match-3 Puzzle game, primarily played on mobile devices.

It takes the basic Match-3 idea and adds Heroes. And the Heroes have Special Skills that are charged with Mana which is collected as you play.

In the beginning, new players find themselves with a small township to look after, and a few Heroes to develop.

There isn’t so much of a ‘Final Objective’ in Empires and Puzzles (besides levelling all the buildings and collecting some decent Heroes); it’s more of a continuous journey. A never-ending puzzle game.

That said, there’s always loads to do, like Events, Tournaments, and Seasons.

💡Let’s get to my Empires & Puzzles tips!

1. Think Before Spending Money

I don’t normally talk about spending money on this blog, but if I’m to be sincere, this has to be on my list.

Empires and Puzzles is a business, -just like every other game out there. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s apparent from the community that people can spend more money than they’re comfortable with.

No one can tell you how to spend your money, but having this as my #1 Tip lets you go in with your eyes wide open, clearly acknowledging Spending and its relevance to your gaming experience.

It’s nice to have good Heroes, and as a creative person I know it’s good and right to support creative people who bring you joy, but it’s just as important that you feel comfortable with the process and the outcome.

A few more related considerations:

  • Never Chase Heroes: There’s a great post on the forum which serves to illustrate this point perfectly; it could cost you a lot of money to target and pull a specific Hero.
  • Make the most of your roster: Heroes will come in time. Whether you’re C2P or F2P, you’ll undoubtedly collect some useable Heroes, and my tip is to try and utilize them! I’m as bad for this one myself, but before worrying about the latest Best Hero at the Portal, check your bench for any sad, unloved, Heroes waiting for their shot.
  • Accept the Grind: It can be frustrating waiting for things to happen in E&P but you’ll get there in time. What really matters is that you’re having fun. If you’re enjoying the core game, then don’t stress and just embrace the Grind, -because it’s designed to never end.

2. It’s Your Game: Play it Your Way

There are loads of gatekeepers in every walk of life.

People who assign themselves Rulers; only too happy to dictate your boundaries.

My tip is the same for this game as it is with the rest of life; disregard those people (politely put).

That doesn’t mean don’t listen to opinions, just don’t let oppressive people take away your joy.

Speaking as a grumpy old cynic, I couldn’t have achieved anything in life had I listened to those gatekeepers who sought to limit me.

💡Related: How Long Have You Been Playing Empires and Puzzles?

3. Play a Rainbow Defense Team (Empires & Puzzles Tips)

Screenshot of Empires and Puzzles Rainbow Colour Stacking team
An example of a Rainbow Defense Team (Empires and Puzzles)

In short, a Rainbow Team is the most advantageous lineup you could field on Defense.

-Don’t make it easy for a Raider to Stack against you.

It’s true, some top Defenses are Stacked, but they work for a number of reasons related to the Heroes used (which might not be immediately clear to a new player).

For more on this, including a guide on how to build a Defense Team, check out my post, here.

4. Use a ‘Stacked’ Raiding Squad

Example of a top Raid team
An example of a Stacked Raiding Team (Empires and Puzzles)

It’s getting harder and harder to compete at the highest levels, but one thing you can do to improve your chances is to Stack your Raiding Squad.

I’ve already written an entire post about this subject, so please check it out if you’re interested.

I personally like to Stack 3/2, but am currently experimenting with 4/1.

💡Related: Empires and Puzzles Stacking Guide

5. Join an Alliance/Find Community

There are many ways to engage with the Empires and Puzzles community and it’s well worth the effort.

My tip would be to try out an Alliance or two, check out the Forum, hang out in the Reddit Sub, and join a Facebook Group.

An Alliance can add a whole new dynamic to Empires and Puzzles, as you strive to compete in Wars and Quests, giving your all to obtain the best loot and rewards for you and your buddies.

There’s loads of information, opinions, and positive interactions to be had in what is quite a large community.

💡Related: Empires and Puzzles Jargon Guide (you might need this…)

6. Learn How to Value Heroes and How to Build Teams

This Tip could also be called: “Be willing to experiment”.

Success in Empires and Puzzles is largely predicated on the synergy you find in a Team of 5 Heroes.

And in order to find that Synergy, you have to learn to experiment.

You can’t just pick your 5 hardest-hitting Heroes, and expect to win a Raid. -In most cases, that’s not gonna be enough.

Now, I’m not saying you can win every battle, but taking the time to learn about why a Hero is powerful and what other Heroes they’ll synergise with, will definitely impact your ability to better utilise your roster.

Here’s an example of a strong Defense Team (Pre. X-O-Pod Nerf). Can you dissect and explain what’s going on here?

Top World Defense Team example - Empires and Puzzles Screenshot

💡Related: Raid Tournament Guide (All about Building Teams)
💡Related: My Most Disappointing Heroes

7. Focus on Levelling your Buildings

There are loads of Buildings to level in E&P and all of them are gonna help you in one way or another.

My 7th Empires and Puzzles Tip would be to: Keep at it.

Keep your Builder active.

At some point, you’ll have completed everything, and then you can relax and bask in your glory.

But until then, just keep going.

Some key building-levels for me have been:

  • Training Camp 20 – Where you can get free Legendary Heroes
  • Hero Academy 10 – Where you can retrain Legendary Heroes (to get better ones!)
  • Training Camp 11 – Where you can train extra low-cost 1 and 2-Star feeding Heroes

And yes! Farms and Mines are essential for keeping the resources flowing.

8. Understand Troops (Empires and Puzzles Tips)

Cyclopes Troops Empires and Puzzles Tower of Styx

Troops will make your Heroes better in nearly every way, but you have to invest time and resources into making your Troops more powerful to get the payoff.

To get you started, I’ve got an entire post about Troops over here. ~It’s also worth checking out the Comment Section where even more knowledge has been dropped by the main contributor to that post, and other experienced players.

Troops that give a Mana bonus are always better than Troops that don’t (imv), and I always prioritise levelling those.

👉 Remember to assign your best Troops to a Hero before the start of battle.

Malosi with Troops Attached Empires and Puzzles
Malosi and Assigning Troops

💡Related: Empires and Puzzles Troops
💡Related: Empires and Puzzles Tomes & Trainer Troops

9. NEVER use a Legendary [5-Star] Hero as Feed!

If you’re new to Empires and Puzzles and you pull a new Hero like Klaern, you might be tempted to use him to level another Hero, but please don’t!

Klaern Empires and Puzzles Hero Card Small

If you don’t want a 5-Star Hero you’ve pulled, do one of these two things instead:

  • Save them for the next Soul Exchange
  • Stick ’em into the Hero Academy-10

Also, lock all of your Important Heroes so you don’t accidentally feed them!

Lock Hero Card Klaern Example
How to Lock a Hero (Empires and Puzzles)

💡Related: Empires and Puzzles Soul Exchange

10. Understand the Power-Creep

I’ve explained the Power Creep in this post. But what I want to explain here is a simple idea:

  • Understand the value of a Hero in a world of the Power Creep

What do I mean?

That not all Skills are created equally.

For example, a big hitter like Master Lepus, was once considered among the most powerful Heroes in the game. Today, he’s a footnote.

Whereas Bera, who’s been around as long as him, is worth more today than she was when she first arrived.

Why?

Because Bera Stops Minions.

POW 💥.

Simple, classic, and undeniably useful.

There are loads of Heroes built this way, and they’re the Heroes that I try to highlight on this blog.

The fact is, Attack stats will rise, HP will rise, and Healing will rise, but Ludwig will always be Ludwig. It’s a beautiful thing.

Screenshot of Ludwig Empires and Puzzles Hero Card

Strategy and Tips for playing Empires and Puzzles

I like to think that my entire blog is filled with good Empires and Puzzles tips, if not mine, then yours! But I wanted to get my favourite tips onto one page.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have any Empires and Puzzles tips to share? Please share them in the comments below.

Thank you for reading!

[Please always check in-game Hero Cards to confirm details]

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Have you seen Roughian & Nurgib? Empires and Puzzles January 2023 Hero of the Month.

Don’t forget to check out my Hero Ranking Page!

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Screenshot of the Ducks from Empires and Puzzles
Old Cynic’s Bonus Tip: Never kill more Ducks than you need to (bad juju)

Copyright (decoration images and text): oldcynic.com
Images used by way of review/tutorial – Copyright owned by Empires & Puzzles: Small Giant Games

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30 Comments

  1. What an honest piece of work you put here, sir.
    I would have liked to learn some of these tips when I started 3 and half years ago. Luckily, I never gave a 5-star as food, but I have made another mistakes, like chasing heroes (I still damn you, Heimdall).

    If I could give one more tip is the most valuable currency on E&P is patience. I remember I spent all my saved gems 6 months after I started playing because I chased Mother North. Of course I did not get her and it was the first time I got frustrated by the game. A couple of days ago I pulled her from the portal, with a nice sweater as a second outfit.

    P.S. On the Yellow Ninja page I left you a challenge, to rank all the ninjas from Mika to Ruby. However I learnt earlier today there are 5 more coming, hence I will throw the challenge when they are available.

    1. Thanks Mig-El, great tip on Patience and so true. I remember saving up all my EHT to try for Mother North and expecting to get her 😄. Live and learn!

      I saw the Ninjas in Beta and they do look crazy as you’d expect. I’ll try to work on a TOP 10 Countdown of all the Ninjas when they arrive. Depends when they’re out. I’ll take a look.

      Thanks for sharing!

          1. This is not even a negotiation!
            It is only a challenge, you can accept it or deny it. But let’s be honest, how would you look at yourself in the mirror if you deny it?

  2. this is a great list, I think some people also get caught up in it being a competition, but the ability to buy stuff makes it just about spending more.
    I pulled Jove only had 1 ascension mat, bought what I needed to max, bought golden emblems to max him, bought aethers to LB. So for $120 I skipped months of waiting on mats. So it isn’t a fair playing field.

    1. There is a danger of getting caught up in competition but I suspect a lot of people just want to be able to win a few raids, complete the daily tasks, hit the Titan, and enjoy a war. Oh, and have a few decent/fun heroes to play with… at least, that’s my standpoint.

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. In your opinion what is the best troop for each color? I have 1 purple cyclopes, 1 green cyclops and the rest 4* season 1 troops. Which ETS (Epic troop summon is the best. I am leaning towards magic but not really sure. As always love the posts.

    1. Hi Mitchell, for me it’s Cyclopes Troops over Magic as I’d prefer the Bypass over Healing. That said, I would take and level Magic Troops happily if I didn’t have Cyclopes for that Element because they’re a fantastic 2nd best. Plus, their aesthetic is the best of the lot imv.

      As a C2P player, I would be happy to have either, but if I were to get picky, it would be Cyclopes.

      Hope that helps and thanks for reading!

  4. Awesome post, as usual. One note on buildings; it is easy to focus on buildings that have an immediate useful purpose (like mines, forges, training camps) and neglect ones that seem to be less so, but one will find themselves playing a very long game of catch-up when you are short of resources due to those buildings (iron & food storage) being too low of a level. Keep all buildings constantly leveling and don’t forsake any simply because they have no apparent use at the moment. One investment that I found worthwhile is the VIP for the second builder, daily emblems and daily gems. It is one purchase that functions every day, and at $4.99 USD per month that works out to 16 2/3 cents a day (for a 30 day month).

  5. Hi OC,

    As always, insightful, engaging and honest. I am pay to play but always spend within my budget. It is an aspect that one must not lose sight of. Thanks for sharing, and always look forward to your reviews with anticipation. You are unequivocally a guru of empires and puzzles. Best, RM14

  6. Great post, as always, and full of tips that are 100% solid. Also all the other posts are more good info, like set a budget, dont chase, there will be another great hero in next event. I am pretty advanced and would love to hear your comments on HA (grind troops not just retrain 5*?), Alchemy Lab, and Hunters Lodge. Thanks again, happy holidays.

    1. Hi Max, yes I train Troops in the HA, although I recently suspended training to get some quick feed for Ludwig following the Soul Exchange.

      I don’t feed Troops just to feed them though. I don’t have Dark Mana Troops so I’ve been spinning HA9 to try and get a basic set. (I also try at the Magic & Cyclopes portals). So I keep all those feeders waiting for when I finally get some.

      You can run 2 lanes in the Hero Academy and Troops are often the second option for me. (The first is still retraining Legendaries, tho this may change in future as the effort seems futile & we have the Soul Exchange now).

  7. Great post. There are a lot of tips that I wished I had known early on. I spent a lot of time on troops that I probably shouldn’t have. A couple tips I would add though. If possible, join an alliance that has a good mix of supportive players. Just a couple players with experience that they’re willing to share makes a huge difference. And never use gems to speed things along. It seems obvious now but I lost out on a lot of summons because of it.

  8. I learned a lot here to help my game and alliance. Initially I was frustrated with bad draws, now, I make sure I’m loaded with 100 coins of all events at all times. Expect nothing and be surprised and get good drops for everything in process. Almost to 2 TC20

  9. Hey Old Cynic. Happy Holiday Season. Thanks for the insightful post.
    In raids and wars, I usually go with 3-1-1. Doesn’t seem like this is a popular strategy, but I feel like one of those off colors ends up saving my bacon when the initial board isn’t kind.
    Yes, this game is all about patience. E&P has always meant Empires and Patience to me. Ham and Iron, Ham and Iron, build build build!
    Take care!

  10. Great post for those starting out, and a good reminder for the vets. I would like to add a few things:
    1. Nothing is ever set in stone with this game. You may think you don’t have a great hero or you might think you have the best hero, and wham! Buff/Nerf later and the tables are turned. Don’t ever discount a hero.
    2. If you do spend money on pulls, don’t spend over a dollar a pull.
    3. Do your research. Like reading everything on this sight. This goes with the previous tip, so you know which events you want to pull from.
    4. Do map stages…get to season 4 and 5 as quickly as possible. It’s a money-free way to get great pulls.

    1. Thanks, Wulfgar. You’re right, you gotta be set to receive those Nerfs and Buffs. And I second that completing Stages for free pulls. Thanks for contributing!

  11. Great post, thank you. Re: spending money… oddly, when I stopped (apart from 2nd builder & PoV), I found the game instantly less stressful & more enjoyable… I wasn’t chasing heroes any more, or being disappointed at bad pulls and lacklustre 5*. I have a reasonable sized roster and a fair few heroes & troops to build up – enough to keep me busy. So now I ‘just’ have to grasp the finer points of synergy! 😸

  12. Hey Mr Cynic and friends, first of all, happy holiday season!

    And, what a great guide, helpful for a lot of people that aren’t of high level in the game.

    I can concur that levelling your troops is of as much importance as levelling your heroes. I sometimes beat high level opponents with good heroes but crappy troops, and likewise I sometimes get wiped out by a team with less appealing heroes but they have lvl 30 troops. (I’m around 27 currently.)

    There’s a lot more to some buildings than meets the eye at first. TC (cheap heroes, food storage), HA and Alchemy (Emblems and other interesting stuff through alkashards) also offer advantages that one may overlook in this everlasting flow of interesting heroes.

  13. Anyone giving tips on how to play E&P is good, but coming from you, it’s almost gospel.

    I will swear by Tip 5, simply because I’d probably still be meandering at Level 9 today if I didn’t ask around for an active alliance to join. Currently, I’m Level 51, approximately 3 years after I first joined an alliance, and it doesn’t look like I’ll run out of steam anytime soon because my current alliance is just too fun.

    I have a tip that was passed down by countless other experienced players, and that I partially followed through and through when progressing through level: the premium currency, gems, is best spent on *only* Hero Cap Increases, especially in the early-game, because they cost the least when you have the lowest amount of hero slots. Each level up increases your hero cap by 3, so if you don’t spend on Hero Cap Increases early on, you’ll find yourself wanting the space *and* needing to spend more gems on each cap increase once you inevitably build a roster of heroes. This tip has potential synergy with Tips 1 and 6 – since you’re not chasing heroes, but instead adding more space for the future, you can focus on working with what the RNG gives you. And personally, I have never gotten anything useful from gem pulls – C. Krampus came from the free EHT in Christmas 2021; M&M and Celidana came from hoarding EHTs I got from Mystic Visions, Alliance Wars, etc.). I got all my best heroes in this game without paying a cent for them.

  14. I too am C2P, just POV and that cute dragon, and now that I’m an elder in my alliance just an occasional gift for them. All your tips are spot on. I would only add that choosing an alliance where you feel comfortable safe and supported will add more fun to the game than any hero or in game bling.

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