Guide to Atlas for Newer Players
Guide to Competitive Ryme Play
Welcome to Atlas!
So you want to learn Atlas? This is a guide intended for players new to the game or who are looking for a deeper understanding of the systems and strategies that go into playing Atlas with other people. It’s written as a blueprint for learning basic game concepts, exploring the 4 factions, and eventually joining online multiplayer games.
I won’t be covering the basics of unit controls or similar concepts that are covered in the tutorial. In fact, it’s recommended that you go through the tutorial first, since it covers several fundamentals - then come back to this point and start reading.
Introduction to the Game
Atlas is best described as a hybrid RTS/MOBA game. You and your two allies will be building up and controlling armies of units and then using them to attempt to destroy a variety of towers and production buildings that make up the opposing team’s base. Your opponents will, of course, be doing the same!
You will start the game by selecting a HERO unit. This hero has a number of unique functions, including:
- Leading and supporting your armies
- Gathering resources
- Gaining levels through combat and unlocking powerful Ultimate Abilities
Your army is composed of UNITS which you select from a unique pool or “deck” of possible options. There are four possible “decks” which represent four unique FACTIONS in the game. Each hero belongs to one of the four factions:
(Click for Faction Guides)
...and must select his or her units from that faction’s deck.
Your team consists of 3 players, each with a unique hero and army. Over the course of the game, each player will:
- Build UNITS and UPGRADE abilities
- Generate RESOURCES to help pay for units and upgrades
- Fight BATTLES and gain levels on their hero
- Defeat NEUTRAL “CREEP” CAMPS on the map to collect additional resources (represented by green dots on the minimap)
- Capture TITAN SHRINES in the center of the map to spawn powerful siege units
Equidistant from both teams are three “shrines” at the top-left, center, and bottom-right sections of the map. These represent “OBJECTIVES” that help teams win the game. In Atlas, these objectives are called “Titans” and they are used to help destroy the opponent’s base.
At a certain point in the game, these “center shrines” will activate and begin spitting out gems. This is visible on the minimap – myriad red and blue orbs will begin appearing around the shrines. Teams may now collect these gems with their hero units in order to “activate” a titan. Gems give a small amount of resources and take some time to collect, and opponents may destroy enemy gems before the collection finishes.
Titans are the basic Path to Victory
- The first team to collect 10 gems spawns a Titan, a powerful siege unit that will aid in destroying the enemy base
- The Titan becomes more powerful the longer the game goes on
- Powerful Titans may require the entire team effort to stop them from destroying an entire base!
Destroying Bases and Winning
The game ends when a team’s Nexus has been destroyed – but even breaking the surrounding buildings can give the attacking team a lot of resources – and can weaken the Nexus (in the case of destroying Shield Batteries) or make it harder to warp in new units and heal (in the case of destroying Warp Spires). So destroy buildings when you can!
Eventually, the Titans will get too strong and a team will gain enough of an advantage that one side will win the game. Final stands in Atlas can last for a long time and feature many heroic opportunities to turn the game around, so don’t give up or rest on your laurels until the end!
Resources in Atlas
BioShards (or simply “Shards”)
Objectives in Atlas: Camps and Titans
“Objective” is a broad concept that describes a thing you and your team can do to gain strength or advance the game toward a victory that doesn’t involve directly fighting your opponents.
Taking objectives is an excellent way to build a lead and is often very low-risk. When you claim an objective for your team, you don’t just get rewards – you deny them to the opponent as well!
Two Types of Objectives
How to Use Objectives
It is often correct to follow up on your team winning a battle by running off to grab all the contested Creep Camps. This is a safe and powerful way to build a lead, as it will be difficult for the enemy to ambush you after you just destroyed their army!
Titans gain importance the longer the game goes on. Late in the game, it might take an entire team to bring down a Titan before it destroys an entire base.
When you spawn a Titan, stop and consider whether you should follow the Titan into the enemy’s base to mount an attack, or if you should use the Titan as a distraction to go complete other objectives. Often the enemy must expend so much effort defeating a Titan that you can go clear out the contested Creep Camps, or even go claim a second Titan with little resistance!
Smart use of objectives throughout the game is key to victory. You can win a game where you lose most of the battles if you take the most objectives!
Battles and Victory
Battles in Atlas can be fast and furious affairs. Some basic tactics to keep in mind:
Unit Special Abilities
Like in many MOBAs, winning in Atlas can happen fairly naturally after building a large enough advantage: eventually Titans get too powerful, and your army becomes too strong for your opponents to hold back after having been defeated time and time again.
Picking a Faction and Neutral Units
There are 4 factions in Atlas, each with unique strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s take a look at each of the factions below... but first, a word on Neutral Units!
Red is the faction of fire, explosions, sudden bursts of speed, and adaptability. Red has powerful but fragile ranged troops, spellcasters capable of devastating an entire enemy army at once, and support units capable of making the entire army run and attack at tremendous speeds. Red is versatile and can support a team in many ways. It deals a lot of damage very fast.
Red has few clear weaknesses, though its units tend to be fairly low on HP. Red’s spellcasters are powerful, but expensive, and if they are killed early in a fight Red can have trouble because its units don’t tend to live very long.
Suggested Red units to start out:
White is the faction of range, mobility, and vision, and sustained damage. They are weak in a direct fight but strong firing from a distance, hiding behind allies and shelling the opponent with continuous fire.
White has few melee options and no real tanks. It focuses more on controlling the battlefield with slows and blasts of wind than on AOE nukes. White’s goal is to stay mobile while sniping important targets from far away. If the opponent gets too close, it must either rely on an ally or use special abilities to force the opponent back, because its units are more fragile than those of any other faction.
Suggested White units to start out:
Blue is the faction of water, cold, slow movement, and sustainability. Blue armies are tough and resilient and are extremely difficult to dislodge from a position. Blue is the faction most suited to being on the front line of a battle.
Blue has lots of utility but does not deal much damage. Most of Blue’s abilities slow the enemy or bolster their team’s defenses. They can make a fight last forever, but they aren’t great at ending it.
Suggested Blue units to start out:
Green is the faction of earth, sudden growth (of deadly plants), and strength. Green has powerful and resilient melee troops that can heal themselves and robots that can plant fast-growing saplings which act as mobile turrets. Green can even make giant acidic slimes capable of dissolving entire armies at once… if they can catch them.
Green is strongest when it can “set up”, as several of its units involve planting “towers” that fire at the enemy repeatedly.
Suggested Green units to start out:
Advanced Game Concepts
So you've played a few games against the bots and you're ready to take the next step - whether it's playing PvP games with other humans or just learning more about Atlas. Here are some game concepts you'll want to familiarize yourself with:
Upgrades fall into two categories: Unique (unit-specific) Upgrades, and General Upgrades which affect your entire army.
Find time to sneak in important upgrades! Even a basic troop that suddenly can shoot 25% farther has skyrocketed in value!
You may have noticed that only a certain number of units can be built at once. This can be a problem when trying to rebuild an army after a lost battle or bloody skirmish. Luckily, there are ways to improve your production capacity to speed up building and upgrading units!
Using wards to get vision of the map is a huge part of any MOBA, and Atlas is no different.
How to Use Wards
When you have Good Ward Coverage
When you have Bad Ward Coverage
...the opposite is true! All these things are easier on the opponent, and you must play closer to your own base until you can either win a big fight or somehow establish vision on the map (with Sentinels, for example)
Advanced Concepts Pt. 2
Which Units to Kill?
Atlas is different than other MOBAs or RTS games. Units have slightly different values, and some common wisdom doesn't necessarily apply here:
Splitting up vs. Sticking Together
Don't Be the Hero - Do what your team expects you to do
Advanced Concepts Part 3
Stutter stepping is the act of quickly moving your army for brief moments between shots. It is done primarily with ranged units, generally using the following technique:
The goal is to time the movement so it consumes roughly the same amount of time that your units' ranged attack cooldown takes. If done right, your units will fire right when you execute the hold/attack command.
Why bother stutter stepping?
Stutter stepping gives a number of significant advantages in a fight, whether attacking or retreating.
Learn to stutter step!
It's one of the simplest micro tricks that will have a big impact on your win%!
Added "Advanced Game Concepts". There are a ton more things I could cover in this section but I started with a few everyone needs to know and can pick up quickly. I'd love to hear some suggestions on more things to cover in this section as well because there's so much that could potentially go here.
this thread is so rad! great job @tedster !
Thanks, @Archibob =]
Adding more Advanced Game Concepts, continuing to flesh out readability with links and a few graphics and such. Would be nice to include some more visuals but I don't want to take any screenshots or introduce any new .jpegs to the wild until the NDA relaxes.
Updates to Advanced Game Concepts with a focus on Teamwork and When To Stick Together!
Added section on stutter stepping to advanced game concepts
This is great! :D :D :D
<3 Thanks! I'll keep the posts coming as stuff surfaces in my brain.
Solid thread tedster, thanks for the read. ^^
<3 <3 Sorry i had to run earlier, was late and RL called. Hope you had fun even if we got murdered!