10. Going “half-in” on chromium cards
Basically, there are two ways to get and power up characters in the game: buying chromium card packs, or farming shards in various ways (missions, shipments, etc.) Of course, you can do both. Chromium cards offer the lure of instant gratification: you can open a pack and instantly receive an entire character. You can also get shards to level them up very quickly. There are also characters that are only available in chromium packs (Old Ben, Leia, Aayla Secura, Lando and others) and some that are so slow to farm that they are only practicel to get from these packs (Ewok Elder, etc.)
But there are two serious issues with chromium cards.
First, they are random. People who have good luck with these packs race to the forums with excitement and tell everyone what great stuff they got. But you are just as likely to get shards for Royal Guard and Ugnaught as you are for Old Ben or Count Dooku. Probably more likely, in fact, because there are fewer great characters than mediocre or bad ones. It is entirely possible that you spend $20 and get junk. It is entirely possible that you spend another $20 and AGAIN get junk.
You must remember this and be prepared for it. Chromium packs are gambling. They are designed to appeal to those who like to gamble, and even to those who do so impulsively.
Second, the chromium-only characters can be unlocked quickly and easily, but can only be leveled up by getting more shards from chromium packs. So you might get lucky on your first pack and unlock, say, Princess Leia. But she starts at 2 stars. If you want her any higher, you need to keep buying packs. Some characters, like Vader or Barriss Offee, are viable at 4 stars. But most are not when competing against farmed characters that are 6 or 7 stars.
The really big spenders (“whales”) get around this problem easily: they just buy TONS of packs. There are people who have bought so many packs they not only have gotten all (or nearly all) of the characters to 7 stars, they have over 1,000 extra shards on top for some of them! But doing this requires spending literally thousands of dollars.
If you are willing to do that, great. But if you only spend, say, $100 or $200 on packs, what is most likely to happen is that you will end up with a bunch of shards for characters you don’t want, a couple of characters you like but can’t farm, and shards for characters you could have gotten in a few days by farming. And then you will feel frustrated.
The bottom line is this: if you are going to go the chromium route, be prepared to go “all in” by spending at least $1,000, and possibly double that. If you aren’t willing to spend this much, do not buy chromium packs. You don’t need them — I have never purchased one and I do fine. You’re better off using any small amounts of spending on bundles or crystals for energy recharges.
The forums are filled with people lamenting that they spent $100, $200 or more and ended up with nothing useful. In the days before writing this guide I’ve seen more than one person say they spent $500 or more and didn’t end up with what they considered a viable team. Don’t become a statistic.
11. Spending money on the game before you are sure you like it
Wait at least 3 days, preferably a week, before you buy anything in the game. For some people the excitement wears off quickly. There are people I know who spent north of $1,000 on this game in the first week and I haven’t seen them since.
12. Deciding to spend money but skipping character bundles
As you level up you will be offered a variety of character bundles. If you’ve decided not to spend on the game, then ignore them. If you do want to spend on the game, many of these are an excellent value and should be considered. They are also time-limited and so far, CG has not said they plan to rotate them back for established players. Besides, they are most useful when you are new.
Brief reviews of each:
- Dark side pack: Practically free and a no-brainer, even if you don’t get Dooku.
- Heroine pack: IMO this is worth it for Barriss alone, who is an immense help in the early levels and even at end game in Galactic War. Asajj is also a fun character, though currently bugged. The other two are currently a bit underpowered, but this may change.
- Droid pack: An excellent value for a team that is very viable for low-spenders even at end game. I wish I had bought this one.
- Jedi pack: This is a weak value right now because Mace Windu is severely underpowered. That could change, and should because he is an iconic character. But it might not. It’s a gamble if you try this one. The Jedi Knight Guardian is humdrum; the Consular is very good, but easily farmed, though 70 shards gives you a nice head start.
- Force Awakens pack: This one I would skip unless you plan to spend a lot. Everything in there can be farmed, some of it quite quickly, and it is expensive. Others will disagree with this, but if you apply those crystals to Cantina refreshes you can get Kylo very quickly. If you want Kylo and Poe immediately, then buy this pack.
13. Making impulse crystal pack purchases instead of planning them out
The best deals on crystals are the larger packs. If you plan to stay for the long haul, and you want to buy crystals to accelerate gameplay, you’re better off spending $99 once and using the crystals over time than buying lots of smaller packs. Of course some people don’t have the discipline to do this and will just spend them faster. Do what makes sense for you.
If you only want to spend a small amount, get the 21-day crystal subscription. It is the best value, and because things increase in price when you do them too often the same day, having them spread out isn’t a bad thing. It will also prevent you from overspending.
14. Not buying shipment gear
There are various “shipments” in the game: Cantina, Squad Arena and Galactic War shipments for character shards, and “regular” ones accessed through the “Shipments” icon on the main menu. Every 6 hours a selection of gear will appear here. Buy everything. This will help you towards achievements, and help you gear up characters. It does cost credits, but a tiny amount in the grand scheme of things (it costs 1,000,000 credits to promote a character from 6* to 7*, after a couple of weeks you aren’t going to care that you spent 2,300 on a shipment). The only exception would be for low-level items you already know you have a lot of. Always buy higher-level ones, you will be glad later on.
15. Not doing challenges
Every day you have two challenges you can do, except Sunday when all six are available. Do all of them: they give valuable rewards and are quick and relatively easy, except at the start. Ask on the forums for help if you need it.
16. Investing too much in starter characters
You will get a few starter characters free, some of which you will only end up using for a few levels. Invest resources into them slowly over time, as you find them necessary to complete content. I don’t remember what characters everyone starts with. I do know that Jedi Consular and Chewbacca see use for a long time, and I think IG-86 is a starter also, and is very good (but easy to farm). Characters such as Royal Guard, Clone Sergeant and Ewok Scout are, at least for now, underpowered, and rarely seen above level 40.
17. Investing in characters before researching them and trying to level too many characters at once
Strengthening characters requires raising their level (which requires training droids and credits), gearing them up (which requires equipment and a few credits) and increasing their star rating (which requires shards and credits). You also have to increase their abilities, though this is independent of level and star rating. Maxing out a new character is a major investment, even for an established player. Make sure not to work on too many at once, or you will perpetually be behind the power curve, and frustrated as you are always low on credits and droids.
Use the sites I linked above and thoroughly research characters before investing in them. I wasted hundreds of shards on characters early on because 1 or 2 people told me they were great, and it turned out either they were wrong, or the characters only were great because of other characters I didn’t have.
18. Jumping on the bandwagon
The nature of this sort of game is that certain team build ideas get popular and then very popular and everyone starts chasing the “meta”, only to find two weeks later that it has changed. Avoid this if possible. Make a plan for a team you find fun and interesting and stick with it as much as possible. Try to hold some resources in reserve for when things change, but don’t alter your plan every week or you will drive yourself insane.
19. Being impatient
Freemium games like this one are deliberately designed with “time gates” for two reasons. First, to slow you down so you don’t progress too quickly, get bored and leave. Second, to tempt you to spend money to bypass the time gates. They are psychologically designed to prey on your impatience. That’s why everything is limited in some way, but with the option of bypassing the limits by spending crystals.
Some spending of crystals makes sense, like I mentioned before. But giving in to impatience too much can quickly cause you to rack up a big bill in this game. Even though it might seem like it takes “forever” to unlock new characters or gain levels, things actually move pretty quickly in this game. The more patient you are, the better value you will get for what you spend.
20. Getting frustrated and giving up
We’ve all been there… it’s exciting at the start, you play a lot, you are constantly leveling, you get new goodies, and then the high wears off, the honeymoon ends, and it’s just not as fun any more. And some aspects of the game get frustrating, such as bad luck with farming shards or getting stuck in GW. Try not to let it get to you, take a break if you need to, and maybe come back to it later. The game is still young and there’s a lot more yet to be added to it.
Do you have more ideas for this guide? Please feel free to leave a comment below and we will frequently update this guide for Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.