Subset Games’ Into The Breach is more immediately understandable and accessible than the studio’s previous game, FTL, but dig deeper and there’s a lot to wrap your head around before achieving mastery. Luckily we’re here to help you fend off the ferocious kaiju assaults with some handy tips we’ve learned during our own battles.
1. Start on easy – get a feel for the game and start getting some unlocks on easy before moving up to normal.
2. Use the environment, including the enemies. If there’s any single tip that you should be thinking about all the time, this is it. Success in Into the Breach demands smart use of everything on the grid. Push enemies into each other or into mountains (and other obstacles) to damage them. Move them into positions where their line of fire won’t cause damage. Hide your artillery units behind obstacles to keep their health up. Push and pull bad guys into water, fire, smoke, and acid. And like in Chess, controlling the center of the board is often key to controlling the entire map.
3.Keep the grid (buildings) alive and protected all else. While more advanced strategies will sometimes allow for some grid damage along the way, the grid is the one thing that carries over between matches, and its depletion is an immediate game over effect. In the beginning, make it your goal that buildings should never take damage – even if that means one of your mechs needs to take the hit instead.
4. Understand what every enemy is doing in its turn before you take any actions. If you’re not clear on what an enemy will do, hover the mouse over that unit and hold CTRL on your keyboard for an in-depth look at the enemy’s powers and current telegraphed attack.
5. Target specific achievements on any given playthrough. By focusing on 2 to 4 specific tasks in your run, you can maximize your chance to be able to unlock additional mech squads, which in turn unlocks more achievements (the ones from that squad) which you can pursue.
6. When in doubt, move first. Once your mech attacks, its turn is over, but you can always move and then undo your most recent move. You can also move multiple units first, and then act with all or some of them. It’s often valuable to move one unit, attack with another, and then go back and attack with the first.
7. Synergize mech squad abilities. Most mech squads are in formation with each other for a reason. Take the time to consider how each mech in your group can help the other ones in your group. For instance, if one mech transforms smoke into a damage effect, make sure and utilize the other mechs that can place smoke in a meaningful way.
8. Balance your reactor core usage. We often find that mech-specific weapon upgrades can be powerful tools, but in some cases added health can also be a lifesaver. Consider your playstyle carefully with each new squad you try out, and see where your weaknesses are based on how you’re struggling – focus your upgrades on shoring up those weaknesses.
9. Focus on psions, but not at the expense of the grid or multi-kills. Having a psion (of any variety) remain on the board for very long is a bad idea. But some of the enemy AI setups clearly use the psions to bait you away from more important priorities, especially at the start of the battle. If killing the psion holds you back from other essential priorities, it’s okay to hold off for a turn and complete other tasks, like saving a building, or chaining a multi-kill.
10. Don’t freak out if you lose an optional objective. There will be plenty of opportunities to get those stars.
11. On more difficult missions your pilots and mechs are expendable. Your grid damage isn’t, Use corpses to form a barrier if you must.
12. If a bubble is around a building, that means that build can take a single hit before damage is dealt.
13. Early on, when you have a choice to get a new pilot from an end-of-island reward, take the pilot. Not only is there an achievement for getting several of the pilots into your team, but their unique abilities also offer increased flexibility to your squad as subsequent playthroughs begin.
14. Sometimes a time pod will fall onto the battlefield. Be sure to send one of your units to grab it before a monster destroys it. They contain useful upgrades and items. Where possible try to combine your pick-up with a useful action that unit can complete on the pod’s space.
15. There’s benefits to getting energy even if you have a full grid – this will allow you to go “above cap” and raise your percent chance to resist losing energy on a hit. However, those small percentage bonuses are icing on the cake, and accrue very slowly. Don’t sacrifice a shot at other meaningful upgrades to push your percentage just a single point higher.
16. Aim for the perfect turn. Frequently, if you examine all the potential routes, there are ways to complete a perfect turn, in which no grid damage is taken or bonus objectives lost and even no mechs take damage. Watch for these opportunities, and take the time to examine all the potential moves in front of you before acting. Think laterally to understand the board not as it is, but rather how it will be after certain moves take place. Take advantage of the attack order tooltip to understand when things will happen in what order. Note that environmental damage will often occur first before enemies act, so don’t waste time on a kill that fire, earthquake, or other effect will do for you. Use your mech for other needs on the board instead, with the knowledge that the enemy may be killed with or without your help by environmental effects.
17. Remember that battles are won not by killing everything, but by keeping everything at bay until the countdown ends. That should always factor into your approach to a fight; killing everything is often impossible, but keeping everything safe often is possible.
18. Once you complete an island once, you can start on that island in your next playthrough. Keep that in mind if you find yourself faring better in certain environments.
19. It’s easy to forget that you can heal your mechs during battle instead of attacking or using a special ability. Be sure to click that wrench and then the mech if you need to heal up.
20. Don’t focus too much on damage. Placement disruption is the name of the game in Into The Breach. It’s often better to pay attention to where your foes are and then push them away from buildings and other vital structures.
21. You can often trick enemies into attacking one another or sitting on top of a spawn spot.
22. You get one chance to reset a turn per battle if you mess up big time. Don’t waste it.
23.In the second phase of the final battle, you must protect a bomb from damage. Note that if your bomb is destroyed, another one will be supplied, but that means more turns that you need to survive. As such, try to keep your first bomb alive if possible, but don’t hit a different game over state (like grid depletion or all your mechs being destroyed) in the name of preserving the bomb.