Awesomenauts is a MOBA game, first and foremost, and a 2D Brawler second. However, while we can explain strategy, tactics, and even all the way down to how to control your character, there's no accounting for your ability to react, target and survive. Here's the disclaimer: reflexes are a huge part of this game and we cannot teach them, knowledge only takes you so far.
Welcome to our tutorial on Awesomenauts. The game includes a tutorial, which you should play, but we're going to cover that material anyways. Because ours is more awesome.
The Objective – The goal in Awesomenauts' only mode is to destroy the other team's Solar Drill. Depending on the map, each drill is defended by a number of towers. These towers have a lot of health and dish out a lot of damage to the enemy closest to it. Destroying towers is the only way to get to the enemy's Solar Drill. Note that not all towers need to be destroyed in order to attack the solar drill, just the ones directly in front of it.
Your character – Awesomenauts has several heroes with their own unique abilities and upgrades. Different heroes accomplish different things and can be built in many different ways. It's important to understand the capabilities of each character (see below) both for your own use, for supporting your team mates, and for defeating your enemies.
Building your character – There are myriad ways to play each hero as they all have different capabilities. As you level up your actual account (to a max of 45) you unlock new upgrades with which to customize your loadout for each character. These loadouts consist of three upgrades for each ability, three for the basic attack and three general upgrades. Depending on the upgrades you bring into battle, your character's role can change drastically, but here's the gist of each character:
- Froggy G – Froggy G has ample methods for entering a fight. His splash dash makes him invulnerable for a short period of time so he can enter and escape combat effectively. His whirlpool does high damage over time, but he cannot shoot or use other abilities during other than jumping. His basic attack is average, but he has the highest single jump of any character in the game. Froggy G is a staple character who fits into most teams, and is great for general offense.
- Sheriff Lonestar – Sheriff Lonestar's dynamite and bull abilities make him a deadly ranged hero. His dynamite does big damage in an area and are relatively spam-able due to a low cooldown. His bull can be used to either defend locations by pushing enemies away, or disrupt formations by launching enemies toward a tower (or other ambush of some sort). His basic attack makes him a great chaser, but with a fully upgraded bull Lonestar can stonewall an entire team if he must!
- Leon Chameleon – Leon Chameleon does some of the most damage in the game and is kitted out to be an assassin. Leon's tongue pull allows him to snatch the closest enemy hero from quite some distance, even out of the air. His other ability places a clone of him on the battlefield while he wanders around invisibly. While invisible, droids/towers will not target him, but he can still receive damage from any source. Leon's basic attack hits everyone in range for big damage, so watch out for him.
- Clunk – Clunk is the "tank" of Awesomenauts, and is designed to push and defend by getting into the fray. His vacuum bite ability does damage and heals Clunk as well if he successfully hits any enemy or neutral monster. His second ability is a massive explosion which deals incredibly area-of-effect (AoE) damage, but also deals damage to Clunk, which can kill him. His basic attack hurts quite a bit, but is very slow. Instead of a jump, he has a booster, which he can use to steadily rise until it runs out.
- Voltar, the Omniscient – Voltar is typically a supportive role character with most of his functions centered around healing. Since his basic attack is a healing wave, Voltar can spawn drones that shoot enemies, towers, and stop incoming projectiles until they die. His other ability places a healing bot on the ground which heals anything allied (including droids) in an area. Voltar can be played many ways, but usually requires a second character to survive and remain effective.
- Yuri – Yuri is the most difficult hero to play for many reasons. Yuri can drop incredibly powerful mines while floating around with his jetpack (which never runs out of power) but that's the only thing he can do while moving. His second ability activates a field which applies a slow debuff to enemies, but he must stop to turn it on. While active, he can continue to move. Lastly his laser, which he cannot move and use at the same time, does constant damage to anything it touches, but takes a second to build up to max damage. Yuri's jetpack can get turned off mid-use if he gets knocked back or stunned, so be careful! Playing him defensively, offensively, or as a support are all equally viable, but it's Yuri requires a team to take advantage of Yuri's strengths and protects his weaknesses.
- Coco Nebulon – Coco is a mix of a support and a sniper, in a sense. She has a natural speed and agility which allows her to get in and out of combat as necessary, but she's not all that durable. The risk-reward of playing her as a melee-support is quite the game to play, but using her attacks and blaze to hobble the enemy team is key to playing her as an offensive support. She can also be useful from afar, especially on the defensive, with her lightning ball. Using knockback and grossly high damage Coco can wittle the force of an incoming attack to nearly nothing, often resulting in a favorable counter-attack.
- Derpl Zork – Derpl is a tank, make no mistake, but he's not the tank that Clunk is. Where Clunk moves forward in front of everyone, Derpl Zork simply stamps a defensible location behind or between everyone else. His turret form outputs horrendous damage and makes approach difficult. When his traps are combined with pulls, grabs and the massive damage output of other characters Derpl can lockdown an entire lane. That said, Derpl can't survive on his own, his cats aren't powerful enough to save him, and the lack of mobility resulting from his turret makes him an easy target. So, tank or not, he needs his team mates, and with them he can be pretty darn scary.
Solar (Currency) – In Awesomenauts, money is incredibly important because there is no experience; only cash. Your hero's "level" is the sum of its acquired money divided by 100 and rounded down. I.e. if you've acquired 354 solar so far into one particular game, you are level 3. Leveling has no inherent benefits, only spending money on upgrades affects your character.
Acquiring solar – Solar is obtained in many ways, mostly involving killing things.
- Dropping down from the launch ship can net up to a maximum of 40 solar if you can fly down the right path. Each map has the same pattern every time, but red and blue sides have mirrored paths.
- Silver solar cubes scattered around the map always spawn in the same spot and are worth 1 solar each. They respawn quickly, and can add up in a short amount of time.
- Enemy droids drop 5 solar; if you deal the killing blow, the money goes straight to you, elsewise it is dropped on the floor. Super minions (the one with big bazookas) and towers are worth 25 solar each.
- Killing neutral monsters in the jungle nets you an additional 4 solar per kill.
- The Solar Boss specific to the Ribbit IV level is worth 30 solar, but is very difficult to kill at early levels.
- Killing an enemy hero nets your whole team 25 solar, regardless of whether or not they helped. The player who did the killing gains an additional 25 solar. If a turret or droid kills a player, the 25 solar bonus is dropped on the floor and is fair game for either team.
There's a lot to do in Awesomenauts, so we've made a nifty chart of things to be perpetually aware of:
When you're pushing…
- It's important to be dealing damage to a tower whenever possible.
- Watch the map for ganks (or ambushes), if everyone dies while attacking the enemy base your base will take more damage in retaliation.
- Clear out the enemy's neutral monsters so you can get the health before they do.
- Use AoE attacks to hit heroes hiding behind the tower.
- Be conscious of the enemy's heroes; can they hold you in place, heal themselves, or deal massive AoE damage to you?
- Kill droids on the way to the enemy, don't just run at it.
When they're pushing…
- Don't run out to their base by yourself if all three of them are hitting your tower, or even two of them without good reason.
- Use AoE and knockback to buy time if your team mates are respawning.
- Kill enemy droids first and foremost; if they're dead, the tower will shoot the enemy heroes.
- Be mindful of Voltar's healing bots, Leon's clones and Lonestar's bull, they can all be used to tank the tower.
- Above all, don't die. It gives them money, you can't defend your base, it's all bad. If you're on low health go heal up, or return to base, which ever is faster, but don't throw yourself into the enemy team's wallet.
When you're fighting…
- There's no random damage, everything always hurts the same (unless it's upgraded), take that into account during prolonged fights.
- Even if you have more health than your opponent, always grab health pickups when fighting near them so your enemy doesn't get them.
- When you use your basic attack, you slow down (Note: Leon is not affected by this), so don't chase and fire if you're already out of range.
- Sometimes the best way to escape is through the middle of the map.
- Jumping counts for something, it may be annoying, but it's a good way to confuse your enemies.
- When jumping down to a tower from above, players must always land just in front of their tower; at this moment, they are still vulnerable for a split second.
- There's no reason not to help your team mates out, if they get a kill you get money still.
When you're dead…
- You can shop while you wait if your respawn timer is over 5 seconds, so do this. Sometimes you'll need the cash from deploying though, so sometimes you have to wait regardless.
- Pressing Back brings up the scoreboard. Here any and all items purchased by ANY player (including enemies) can be viewed. If you just got destroyed, you should see what upgrades your killer has.
- Observe your level compared to your enemies and team mates, if you're behind on levels it's time to play defense. "Farm" (or focus on killing) enemy droids and pick up all stray solar you see. If there's an empty lane, go there rather than wasting time being ineffective elsewhere.
- Consider your build; if you keep getting caught, it might be time to buy boots, more health, or reduce cooldowns on escape skills.