Last Updated on 01.02.2023 by Sergei Belov
While most mobile games belong to a particular genre when it comes to gameplay, some have decided to consider a combination of two or more different game mechanics to give players a diverse experience, especially those who are good at multiple genres. Just when you thought all the possible game combinations had already been developed and published, 37Games offers a peculiar but sensational mix of Puzzles & Survival.
Puzzles & Survival is one of the latest games from 37Games that combines elements of a base-building strategy MMO with three-in-a-row puzzle mechanics. As confusing and unrelated as the genre may seem, both of these popular genres require strategic thinking, and while the strategies you can use on each side of the gameplay are very different, both are based on patience and planning, which is essential for the best results.
Truth be told, it’s not often that anyone is an avid fan or has much experience with either style of game, since people who typically revel in the three-in-a-row puzzle game genre are hardly experts in base-building games. However, Puzzles & Survival does not require players to be experts at puzzle solving or to have a background in strategic MMO games.
There are many activities to consider just in terms of building a base in Puzzles & Survival. To some extent this may seem confusing, especially for the inexperienced, but this material will give you a firm grasp of the basic mechanics of the game.
If you’re stuck at a certain stage of the campaign, struggling to defend your base from attackers, or just looking for more effective means to do better at both base building and puzzle solving, read our guide! We’ve put together an in-depth guide to the game, including tips and strategies to help you build the best base and complete the best puzzle combinations!
Complete the main mission
Puzzles & Survival offers players many activities even at the beginning of the game. To keep things simple, all the activities you can do can be divided into 3 groups. The first has to do with the growth and development of your base, which includes building and upgrading facilities, training various heroes and units, and conducting research to improve all aspects of your performance.
Given that your operational base is located in a huge world dotted with many non-player characters, resources, and other players like yourself, leaving your base and exploring the uncharted is another category. Last but not least is the campaign mode, in which you move from one stage and chapter to the next, battling zombies and zombie bosses at every turn. This is where the three-in-a-row puzzle feature in Puzzles & Survival comes to the rescue.
Because there are many objectives scattered throughout each of these categories, although some of them have prerequisites that limit your actions, it can be difficult to decide which aspect of puzzle and survival to prioritize. Fortunately, the game has a set of chapter objectives and a recommended quest chain that serves as your guide to effectively progressing through the game. You can check them out on the bottom left side of the screen.
It may happen that the recommended quest is among the chapter goals, and in addition to being able to choose which chapter goals to complete first, you can also deviate from the highlighted quest and perform different actions depending on your preference. However, given that some improvements and features depend on the level of improvement of certain structures, following both chapter goals and recommended quests is the best option, especially at the beginning of your adventure.
When it comes to achieving chapter objectives, you will earn experience points for each task completed. Completing all chapter objectives brings you a set of resources as rewards, which can include hero shards that help you unlock new heroes and enhance existing heroes. There is a separate set of rewards you can get after completing recommended quests, and the resources you get with each completed task can further accelerate your progress.
Keep facilities loaded
One of the main factors that determines how well you can progress in any base-building MMO strategy is your ability to complete multiple tasks at once. This can be a bit confusing at first, especially if you’re new to the genre, but after a while, cycling between each object and production queue becomes a chore that anyone can easily handle.
One important structure that needs to be constantly clicked on is the production rooms. Puzzles & Survival has different types of these facilities, each with its own unique resource for production. A farm produces the food needed for units. A sawmill produces wood, which is the main resource needed for construction. The Virus Lab is unique in that it produces the antiserum your heroes need to level up.
Later, the Metallurgical Plant and the Gas Field appear. Each of these structures produces basic resources on a minute-by-minute basis, and their level directly determines how much they can produce and store. You can demand resources at any time.
Next are training facilities that provide you with troops. A trap factory is essentially similar to training facilities and produces traps that help protect your base from attack. Improving these facilities will allow you to train or produce higher-level units, greatly increasing your overall strength.
The Research Center is different from other structures, which provide you with one type of product in the form of military units or basic resources. The Research Center is a bit more important in the sense that you can choose which aspect of the war you want to invest in first. The research options are divided into 4 different aspects, namely development, economy, armed forces, and fortification. Each is important and gives you an advantage, but some should take priority over others, especially since you can only develop one study at a time.
Development refers to the core functions of your camp, such as building, research, and training, making it the most important option to invest in early in the game. Economics can also boost your productivity early on, as each study improves production and collection of basic resources. Armed Forces would be a more tempting option, given that this tree focuses on the strength of your army. However, with Peace Barrier early on, you can save it for later before you are ready for battle. Strengthening is similar to the other side of the armed forces and instead focuses on the strength of your wall defenses, traps, and defenders.
Aside from buildings, the most important aspect of base building that you need to constantly maintain is the builder, which is your means of building and upgrading the structures in your base. By default, you will only have 1 builder, and each new upgrade takes much longer. You can buy an additional builder for a day, and the first one will be free, so be sure to take advantage of it and use it as best you can.
A controversial choice to consider is whether to go for builds and improvements that are completed faster, or those that are lined up as quests, but take much longer to complete. In some cases, some improvements will depend on the level of other buildings, leaving less choice as to what to build or improve next. For best results, it is best to choose one builder for long structures and another for faster ones. If you need to get out of the game, this is the best time to consider building queues that take time to complete.
Be selective when improving your heroes
One of the unique elements of Puzzles & Survival are the heroes, especially when compared to the heroes of other strategy MMO games. Each hero in the game has unique abilities, as well as connections to other elements, like characters in a strategy RPG. These different elements relate to how quickly they can use their special skills in campaign puzzle battles and how effectively they can defend themselves against other teams of players in the arena.
Heroes also have varying degrees of rarity from 2 to 5 stars. To start, you’ll have a set of two- and three-star heroes, and you’ll have a random chance to get more from Noah’s Tavern. Naturally, getting heroes with 4 or 5 stars won’t be easy, but for starters, heroes with 2 and 3 stars can help you through the trials of the campaign.
What’s important to consider is the affinity each member of your team has for the elements, and creating a team in which each member represents a color or element is the right way to go. This is because you will be challenging enemy zombies and players of different colors, and every puzzle you complete is bound to have a different color. Given that matching gems are a source of energy for heroes to use their skills in combat, you need to make sure that each match-3 you create expands the capabilities of one of your heroes.
Given the shortage of heroes early on, you should consider improving the ones you have enough to handle your current problems. Once you get a hero with a higher rarity, you can swap him or her on your team and refrain from spending resources on a hero you no longer use.
Leveling up heroes is the easiest way to make them stronger. You’ll need a unique resource antiserum to level up your heroes, though, once they reach their maximum level. You’ll need to evolve them first to increase their maximum level. Evolution requires combat instructions, which are obtained through battles in the story stages and campaign chapters.
Obtaining duplicate heroes from gacha is not a waste of time at all, as you will need additional shards of certain heroes to improve them and enhance their characteristics. On the heroes page, which you can access via the icon at the bottom left of the screen, be sure to check active skills and passive buffs, as knowing exactly what your heroes can do will help you strategize better in match-3.
Take your time in battles
Most puzzles are timed to force players to make simple errors of judgment with every move they make. The puzzle feature in Puzzles & Survival can be even more dangerous, given that the throngs of zombies ahead of you are preparing to attack with each pass.
As impressive as the view is, there’s really no need to rush through a move in combat, as there are no time constraints to worry about. This way of thinking leaves almost no room for pressure, so you can take as much time as you need to select the best possible moves, combos, and preparations for each move.
Unlike typical three-in-a-row puzzle games, matched gems shooting at zombies are replaced by gems from the bottom of the puzzle, not the top. This is an important factor to consider in some scenarios, as there will be cases where two or more possible moves will have the same effect.
As the gems move up, choosing to match gems closer to the top of the puzzle has a higher chance of causing unexpected combinations as more gems will move. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always advantageous, as sometimes you’ll have to hold off powerful combos for the next wave of zombies or bosses in the last stage.
Putting 4 or more gems together to unlock special tiles like grenade and dynamite can certainly help you deal more damage to enemies. Likewise, knowing the skills of each of your heroes can also allow you to defeat enemies beyond suitable gems. A more important part of surviving the campaign stages and defeating players in the arena depends more on how you use these powers and abilities.
Destroying enemies, no matter how you do it, is naturally the primary goal of every battle. For the sake of efficiency, however, using every special ability in your arsenal to the maximum extent requires strategic planning and timing to get the best results. For example, at every stage, the first wave of zombies is always the weakest of all. Just a few gem matches is enough to eliminate them quickly enough, even without using grenade effects, gem combinations, or your heroes’ abilities.
Since your heroes charge their abilities with every gem match you reach, sometimes you need to match gems even if they don’t damage any enemies ahead of you. Likewise, you should consider choosing a less flashy action to prepare the remaining gems for a larger combination. It is advisable to save as many of the heroes’ special skills as possible for the boss battle. In between, however, don’t forget about healing to make sure your team makes it to the end of the battle.
Join the alliance as soon as possible
Guilds, factions, clans and alliances are almost synonymous with online games, especially MMORGs and MMO strategies. Although in some cases joining an alliance opens up additional opportunities and becomes a source of additional rewards, the importance of joining one in Puzzles & Survival is crucial to your survival.
Fortunately, you can join an alliance almost as soon as you start diving into the world of Puzzles & Survival. Finding the right alliance simply means finding a fairly active alliance with lots of members. If you haven’t yet decided to look for an alliance on your own, it may happen that you receive an invitation from a newly formed one.
There are many benefits to be gained by simply being a member of an alliance, but for the most part, what you can get out of it depends largely on how active you are. First, being part of an alliance can help reduce the waiting time in line for building, training, and research. Once you start any of these activities, you can click on the icon at the top of the structure to ask for help from other alliance members. Each ally who decides to send help will shorten the waiting time in the queue for each of your pending processes.
In the same way, you should watch for the help icon to appear in the lower right corner of the screen. Clicking on it will take you to the alliance help page, and you can send help to all all alliance members at the click of a button.
Regular visits to the Alliance Technology Center to donate resources for the growth of your alliance are also among the regular duties you must perform. Unlike most strategy games where there are hard limits on daily contributions, Puzzles & Survival allows you to keep donating after a short recovery period.
Be sure to check your alliance window whenever the indicators come up, as there are various activities you can participate in as an alliance member. Once you feel that you will stay with the alliance for a long time, you should decide to move your base to alliance territory.
Complete quests and get extra rewards
The speed at which you can generate and collect resources depends largely on the effort you put into multitasking and strategizing about upgrades and ventures. Because the resources you need are constantly growing with each new level your base encounters, you will constantly need more than just the resources you obtain through your own efforts.
As we mentioned earlier, completing chapter tasks and following a chain of quests can bring you a ton of extra resources. Beyond that, however, Puzzles & Survival offers more quests that will bring you even more rewards. You can easily view all available quests using the icon in the lower left corner of the screen, and the recommended quest is just a small fraction of the main quests you can complete.
All quests are divided into main quests and daily quests. The third tab displays the points you earn for each daily quest you complete, and, along with the points of each alliance member, can earn rewards for you and your guild mates. Both types of quests relate to the normal activities you must do during the game, and can serve as your guide as well as help you explore areas you may have missed.
The main quests serve as milestones that show your overall level of progress in various aspects of the game. Some goals on the list naturally take time to achieve, and in some cases they unlock higher-level goals after you complete the current one. On the other hand, daily quest objectives are much easier to complete because these objectives are more related to the most basic actions that you need to perform as per your routine.
Instead of just visiting the quest menu whenever there’s an indicator on it, make it a habit to check the quest list to make sure that every goal within reach will be achieved, as the extra resources you can get from this will make a big difference.
Expend your stamina in the outside world
Puzzles & Survival actually includes an energy and stamina system to limit some of your actions. You need energy to get through the campaign stages, while stamina is expended whenever your troops are stationed outside of your camp. Since you are likely busy managing your base and multitasking to the limit to ensure an effective level of growth and progress, you may be forgetting about the adventures and explorations waiting to be discovered on the world map.
Although you can generate resources at your base, protect it from the outside world, and search for threats and potential targets are all part of the regular activities you must perform in Puzzles & Survival. One of the first activities you’ll be introduced to is taking down non-player characters scattered around the map. These NPCs have very prominent levels attached to their icon, and you must first go to the lowest levels before moving on to the next.
Various resource points are also available on the world map, where you can deploy your troops to gather as many basic materials as they can carry. Over time, the supplies at these resource points are replenished. Note that even if you have peace shields, your troops are vulnerable to attack once they leave your base.
Fighting a zombie lair is much harder than fighting other NPC enemies. Attacking them is best done in conjunction with your alliance, and you should take your chances in time when many other alliance members are online and available. The zombie lair can provide a large amount of antiserum, so one successful raid on it will help you level up your heroes to some degree.
Prepare your defenses before attacking
It may happen that your world shields run out before you’re ready to engage. One thing that is constant in all strategy RPGs is that player bases without shields are attractive targets for active players on all sides. Some events can provide you with items that can replenish your shields for a short period of time, and you can also buy them for diamonds.
While you may already be itching to test your strength against another player’s camp defense, be sure to make the necessary preparations before you start skirmishing. Always assume that if you attack a player, especially an alliance member, you will almost certainly receive a backlash.
There may be inactive players around your camp who may also seem like easy prey. Make a habit of not judging based on your base level, as players with a lower level camp can also demonstrate great military power and even defeat you.
Within your base, you need to make sure that your current stockpile level is sufficient to hold all of your basic resources. Anything beyond what you can store in the warehouse can and will be looted by another player if he defeats your base. Be sure to use heroes as defenders of your walls.
Hopefully you have already moved close to where the other alliance members are before you start planning your attack against the other player. Regardless of the level of your target camp, always send a scout ahead, as the camp may have much more power than you expect. Likewise, make sure your attack is worth it, given the amount of resources you can steal from the camp.
Check your bag
If you still manage to spend free time in your camp while you’re waiting for turns to complete, chances are good that you’ll be busy spending energy on the campaign, stamina on the warlike, or both. With many features and icons to look out for, you will probably forget to check the resources you have accumulated in your bag.
For the most part, you will probably only consume basic resources and speed up when you need it immediately. There are some items in your inventory that you probably didn’t even know you had. However, many of these items are best used sooner rather than later, and some may change your plans and strategy once you find out what that item does.
First, there are consumables that instantly give you commander experience. If you click on your avatar in the upper left corner of the screen, you can find information about the commander, which includes a talent page where you allocate points to continually improve the economic or military aspects of your base. By earning commander experience and reaching new commander levels, you can earn more talent points. Thus, you must consume instant commander experience items in your inventory as soon as you find them.
Some events and quest rewards also include rare or expensive buffs that can help you. Examples of these are items that re-activate your world shield or transport you to another location. Because of the many rewards you can earn from various sources, you can skip these items as you acquire them. Be sure to take some time to look through your bag and read descriptions of unfamiliar items you encounter, as you can better plan and strategize by knowing more about the items at your disposal.
Check for valid codes
The developer periodically pleases players with codes, the entry of which in the game rewards all sorts of rewards. We, in turn, regularly check and publish valid codes on a special page on our website. There you can find all valid codes for the game Puzzles & Survival for March 2023.
This concludes our beginner’s guide to Puzzles & Survival. There are other features in the game that you can explore beyond what we have discussed, but we are sure that the tips and strategies we have shared in our guide will be enough to give you an idea of how to handle any problem that comes your way in Puzzles & Survival.