Ubisoft’s Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians is a fun single-player game, but it really comes into its own when you get involved with other players.
This guide covers both PvP multiplayer, where you step into the Arena and take on other humans in 4v4 bouts, and cooperative multiplayer, where you and your fellow Guild members team up to complete Quests.
How to survive the Arena
To play in the Arena, look for the little colosseum island to the left of the main island on the main screen. It has a torch on it.
Tap on this island and you’ll be transported into Elemental Guardians’s PvP mode. Matches here are asynchronous, which means you’re only ever playing against an AI standing in for a human opponent, just as you’re never directly in control — or even aware — when your team is fending off an attack.
Your defense team, like your attack team, consists of four creatures. When you enter the Arena, go to the Defense tab and then tap on the Set button to put this team together from the creatures in your barracks. This is the team that your attackers will come up against when they attack you.
Because you won’t be around to call the shots while your defense team is in battle, it’s tempting to fill it with very powerful creatures. But in reality the principles are the same for defense as they are for attack. Your defense team should represent a balance of abilities, to counter the full spectrum of potential assault moves. This includes elements. You need to have all four on the field, or you’ll have a glaring weakness.
There are two other features to familiarise yourself with before diving into battle. Firstly, there’s the Leagues tab, which takes you to the leaderboard for the league you’re playing in. Each league contains up to 99 other players and lasts a week. Ranking Points are won or lost with every match, and the goal is to finish as high up the leaderboard as possible.
If you end up in the top 10%, you’ll be promoted to the next league for the following week, where you’ll win better rewards (assuming you can cope with the stiffer competition.) Less that than and you’ll be promoted to a different tier within your own league. You can play as many matches as you like during a league, though this obviously won’t help you much if you keep losing.
The other feature is the Log tab. This shows you the last ten Arena battles you’ve fought as a defender, along with the results. The most important element of this tab is the Challenge button, which lets you instantly challenge any opponent who defeated your AI.
Hot tip: Challenging an opponent and jumping into battle costs you a unit of Arena Energy, and so does every other battle you become embroiled in. Arena Energy isn’t the same as standard Energy, and it runs out much more quickly because you can’t carry very much in reserve. Fortunately, you can find Arena Energy in crates, so open up every single one you find.
Once you’ve hit Start, you get to take a look at your prospective opponent. At this point you can choose to skip the match by tapping View Next. You can only do this five time, however, after which you’ll be slapped with a 30 minute cooldown. It’s worth thinking carefully before skipping an opponent, since you can easily end up stuck fighting a much tougher opponent than the ones you rejected.
The gameplay in the Arena is identical to the single-player gameplay on the Shattered Islands, and at the end of every match you’ll find out how many Ranking Points you’ve won and which Rewards you’ve collected. Unless you lose, of course, in which case the game will tell you how much nothing you’ve won and how many Ranking Points you’ve squandered.
Hot tip: A very useful Auto button lets you automate the battle you’re playing. This comes in handy with the outcome of a battle is completely inevitable and you feel you’re just going through the motions.
You can also speed these battles up by tapping the button beside the Auto button twice. Just make sure you keep an eye on the battlefield, as you may want to step in and grab the steering wheel again if you don’t feel the AI is making incorrect choices.
As an awesome sidenote, you can view battles in AR by tapping on the cube icon. This has no practical impact on the gameplay, but it’s an impressive and immersive feature.
How to make friends and create Guilds
Of course, multiplayer gaming isn’t always about crushing your enemies. Sometimes it’s good to cooperate, which is why Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians contains a very simple and intuitive Guild system. This lets you team up with friends and earn rewards that aren’t available to lone wolves.
It’s easy to join a Guild. All you have to do is tap the Search button. You’ll be given a list of groups that need new members, along with a rundown of each relevant Guild’s conditions of entry, its level, and how much you’ll be expected to do.
If joining a Guild doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, perhaps you’d like to create one. This isn’t much more difficult than joining one, and gives you the opportunity to determine who gets to play.
To start a Guild, just hit the Create button. Next you’ll be asked to give your Guild a name, supply a description, and set your all-important conditions of entry. These are:
- Public or Private. A private Guild is one in which everyone who wants to join has to apply and be approved. A public Guild lets anybody join as long as they meet the remaining criteria.
- Minimum Wizard Level. This lets you restrict membership of your Guild to players with a level over 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50.
- Minimum Arena League. Like the Wizard Level setting, Minimum Arena League allows you to restrict access to players who have reached a particular Arena League.
Finally, after you’ve given your Guild a name and description and set the above parameters, you have to pony up 30 Seals. Done? Congratulations: you run a Guild.
There are several good reasons to join or create a Guild. For a start, there’s the sense of community you get from coordinating with other players and helping each other to complete Quests and earn rewards that are only available to players in Guilds.
Then there are the raids that many believe will come to Elemental Guardians at some point in the future. Ubisoft hasn’t actually announced anything, but given the persistence of the rumours we think it’s likely that you’ll be able to raid en masse at some point, so it’s a good idea to get your cooperative ducks in a row beforehand.
And that’s more or less all you need to know to hit the ground running in the multiplayer component of Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians. Check out our beginners’ guide for more tips.