Brawl Stars' frantic and fun combat system makes the game easy to pick up and play, but difficult to master. Each character has different abilities, stats, and weapons that give way to endless strategy possibilities; however, some strategies will make you a much better brawler overall, regardless of which character you like to play.
Brawl Stars has four main game modes: Smash & Grab, Heist, Showdown, and Bounty, each with a different objective. I'll give you some handy tips and tricks for each mode to make you the best brawler you can be!
NOTE: Brawl Stars is currently undergoing a soft launch and is only available in the Canadian App Store; we'll update you as soon as you can play it in other countries.
Smash & Grab
In this game mode, each team is tasked with grabbing crystals from the center of the map while battling the opposing team. When a player dies, they will drop all of the crystals they have onto the battlefield. The first team to collect 10 crystals and hold onto them for the 16-second countdown wins the match. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you hold on to those pesky crystals!
Use obstacles to your advantage
When you're playing Smash & Grab, you'll notice there are various obstacles scattered across the battlefield. If you're smart about the way you play, you can use these objects to your advantage.
Most characters cannot shoot through rocks, barrels, mushrooms, and the other objects, making them perfect for ducking behind for cover. If an enemy is chasing you, try running around these obstacles to put a little cover between your brawler and incoming fire.
Cover doesn't protect you from everything. It's important to remember that some brawlers' special abilities can break through these obstacles and still hurt you, so be careful when you see that yellow ring around your enemies.
Don't take on tank brawlers alone
Brawlers that have a lot of Hit Points are hard to take down, especially if you're trying to do it alone.
When you see an opponent using a tank character — like El Primo and Bull — it's best to wait for backup from your teammates. This will not only ensure your survival, but it'll also stop the tanks from picking off brawlers with lower HP.
When your team has 10 or more crystal, run away!
You can call this a coward's move all you want, but if you care about winning, it's one of the best strategies.
Once your team has 10 or more crystals, and the 16-second countdown to victory begins, head to the bottom of the stage where your team spawns. This forces the opponents to go on an all-out offensive and consolidates your firepower into one place.
Not only will it take more time for the other team to reach you, thus killing off precious seconds on the countdown, but if you do die, your teammates will be close by to pick up any crystals you may have dropped. Plus, you're right near your spawn point, so getting back in the fight will happen more quickly.
Protect the character with the most crystals
It may seem a little counterproductive to throw yourself in front of enemy fire, but if your team is close to winning, you need to protect your teammate with the most crystals.
Throw yourself at the enemy, doing as much damage as possible, while putting space between your opponent and your crystal-carrying teammate.
Even if you die in the process and the countdown stops, crystals are the golden ticket in Smash & Grab; you're going to want to give up as few as possible.
Go after the enemy with the most crystals
If you find yourself in a position where the enemy has initiated the victory countdown, you'll need to kill your opponents strategically.
Go after the brawler that has the most crystals; that way if you kill them, they will drop their spoils, and you can grab them, turning the tide of the match.
This strategy works best if you work together and attack the same target.
Poco is the only brawler in the game that can heal his allies while simultaneously attacking his enemies. This unique talent makes him extremely good at keeping crystal carriers alive.
If you notice the enemy team is using a Poco, kill him as quickly as possible every time you see him. This will prevent the enemy team from healing its wounds so quickly and give your team a better chance of finishing it off.
Run away and heal
Unless you or one of your teammates has selected Poco as their brawler, the only way to heal damage is by not taking enemy fire for a few seconds.
If you find yourself running low on health, try to escape combat and allow your brawler the chance to heal. Remember, you can use obstacles to your advantage and even hide in tall grass!
In Heist, you'll either be on the defending or attacking team. The defending team is responsible for preventing the attacking team from breaking open the safe that guards all their crystals.
Each match of Heist only lasts 2.5 minutes; if the safe is still standing by the end of the countdown, the defending team will be victorious. If not, the attacking team will win.
Here are some tips to make sure your team claims victory!
Use your special ability on the safe
When you're the attacking team in Heist, it's important to do as much damage to that safe as you possibly can.
I know it may seem hard to save your special abilities when there are perfectly good enemy brawlers attacking you, but special abilities are typically quite powerful. Opening that safe is the only objective in Heist; your best attacks should be used against it.
Blow up the TNT crates
You'll notice the safe isn't completely unprotected; there's a fence providing cover around it. Like most obstacles in the game, you'll be unable to penetrate the fence with a normal attack; however, the TNT crates will blow up said fence if you cause them to explode.
Attack the TNT crates early and demolish that fence, so your team can attack the safe from all angles.
Alternatively, if you're the defending team, try to prevent your opponents from shooting those explosive crates!
Try using long-range brawlers
The battlefield in Heist is less cluttered and finding hiding places is a lot harder. With your opponents out in the open, brawlers with long-range weapons excel.
Try playing with characters like Ricochet, Brock, and Colt to take advantage of the open battlefield. Damaging enemies before they can get close enough to attack you will just make them easier to mow down.
The only game mode that isn't 3v3, Showdown, is a 10-player free-for-all where the last brawler standing wins!
Travel around the map cautiously as everyone is out to kill you and you won't respawn! Be on the lookout for barrels, as they contain power-ups that will give you an edge over your opponents.
The longer you last in a Showdown, the better the rewards you'll get at the end of the match. Can you survive until the end? These tips and tricks will help you do it!
Break open charge crates
In Showdown, you'll come across charge crates that have a big white lightning bolt painting on the side. Inside these crates is a special potion that will increase your character's stats, making them better at brawling. The more potions you have, the stronger your character becomes. Get as many of these potions as you can early on!
Pro tip: When you defeat an enemy, any potions they have will drop, and you can pick them up!
Seek out weaker characters
While you're out and about collecting potions to increase your strength, look for characters that have fewer potions than you.
By attacking weaker characters, you'll make yourself even stronger by stealing their potions, and you'll have the upper hand.
Let the others fight it out
Once again, this may seem like a cowardly move, but it can be quite effective.
Find a patch of tall grass and stay put. If you don't move in tall grass, enemies won't know you're there. You can let the other brawlers battle it out to thin the herd.
Then, when you're ready, spring out from the bushes and launch an offensive on an unsuspecting character.
Bounty is a good ol' team-on-team deathmatch. Collect stars for your team by defeating opponents, but try not to get picked off yourself. The team with the most stars at the end of the match will claim victory! Read on ahead, and I'll give you some tips on how to collect the most stars and secure a win for your team.
Tank brawlers excel in Bounty
Playing characters like Bull and El Primo gives you a slight edge in Bounty.
They're harder to kill because they have so many Hit Points and that means the opponent's team will be getting stars more slowly. I have had plenty of success in Bounty on teams that consist of at least one tank brawler.
Lots of tips from Smash & Grab will work in Bounty
These two game modes have a lot in common, and plenty of the advice I laid out for being successful in Smash & Grab will serve you just fine in Bounty.
Go back and read my Smash & Grab tips and tricks and start using obstacles to your advantage, killing Poco quickly, and avoiding taking on tank characters by yourself.
Do you have any tips?
Share your experience and knowledge with the iMore community! Let us know your tip and tricks in the comments below.
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
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