A Comprehensive Guide on how to get started as a potential new Splinterlands player
This post will help you get started in the game. Let's get you ready for battles!
What is Splinterlands?
Splinterlands is a digital, collectible card game built on blockchain technology. It is similar in concept to games like Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone where you build up a collection of cards, which all have various different stats and abilities, and use them to battle other players in skill-based matches. By using blockchain technology, players can buy, sell, and trade their digital assets freely, just as if they were physical cards, and all transactions are recorded publicly and immutably.
In this guide, we will be going through the following topics, so that if you are entirely new, you will be able to understand more about the game and start to battle your way to the top!
- What do I need to play Splinterlands?
- Is it Free to play Splinterlands?
- How do I play Splinterlands?
- What to do next?
What do I need to play Splinterlands?
You need the following:
- A computer and internet connection
- A Hive account and Hive KeyChain (The steps on how to get a Hive account and Hive Keychain will not form part of this guide)
Is it Free to play Splinterlands?
Yes, can be played initially free-to-play. This is key for new players who want to familiarize themselves with the game and play a couple of battles.
However, if you want to unlock the daily quests, seasonal rewards, unlock cards, buy/sell on the market and ability to earn DEC currency, then an initial $10 investment is required to purchase the summoners handbook.
Note: Always do your own research before you put your money into the game. Games should be treated as games first and not as investment vehicles. Remember any form of cryptocurrency is volatile.
How do I play Splinterlands?
This is really the most important part of the post, so I will break it down into a few sections.
Splinterlands has six different elements which are also called splinters. The six Splinterlands splinters are Fire, Water, Earth, Life, Death, Dragon. Each Splinterlands card belongs to an individual splinter. When you go into battle, you can only use one splinter, i.e. cards in that battle must be either all Fire cards, all Water cards, all Earth cards, all Life cards, all Death cards, or all Dragon cards. You cannot shuffle Fire and Water cards within a team. However, if you use a Dragon Summoner, you can use Dragon cards as well as the splinter you have chosen for the battle.
Types of Cards
Splinterlands offers two types of cards, namely: Summoner and Monster. Each time you battle a ranked battle, you will select your cards which forms part of your deck. Your deck will consist of one Summoner and up to 6 Monsters. The Summoner Card has abilities which affect the Monster cards.
Your Summoner Card has powers which affect the whole monster team. Healthy Summoner Cards can increase monster health and fight monsters. Your Summoner has this effect on the game only, so you won't be seeing your Summoner in combat. For example, Tyrus Paladium, the Life splinter Summoner can provide all friendly monsters +1 armor (highlighted below) in the battle.
Monster and Summoner cards cost mana to use in a battle. Each battle you play in Splinterlands will have a randomized mana cost, and this will influence how you create your team. We will expand on this later when we get to your first battle.
Different forms of attack
The stats values represent the physical power, speed, toughness and health of the character. The physical power indicates how much damage your Monster will do per turn to an enemy Monster. There are 3 main types of attacks: Melee, Ranged, and Magic. Melee attacks from position 1 on the battlefield. Ranged Monsters attack from the back row of the battlefield (position 2-6). Magic represents the best possible attack as they can attack from any position. Magic attacks ignore enemy Monster armor and directly attack enemy Monster's health. There are rulesets which affect the battle and affect where Monsters can attack from (more on this later).
The speed stat determines the order the Monsters attack in. Some abilities (speed) make Monsters harder to hit.
Armor and Health
Monsters cannot lose health until it loses its armor. If a monster has 4 health and 2 armor and is hit by an attack of 4 damage, it will destroy the armor of the Monster. The health of the Monster can be seen below the shield. The more health a Monster has, the longer it can stay in the battle.
The rarity of the card is displayed in the middle icon. There are 4 different card rarities in Splinterlands: common (grey), rare (blue), epic (purple) and legendary (gold).
The experience stat indicates the level of experience of the card. You level up cards by combining duplicates Monster or Summoner cards. As you level up your card, different abilities can be unlocked, more health/damage/armor gained. For example, if I wanted to level Tyrus Paladium, the Life splinter Summoner to level 3, I would need to combine 5 level 1 cards.
Most Monsters will have different abilities. The abilities are listed at the bottom of each card. You can hover over the abilities to see the name of each ability on your Monster or Summoners card. Head over to the Splinterlands gameplay page for an overview of all the different abilities currently in the game: https://splinterlands.com/?p=gameplay
Your first battle
With the knowledge gained from the previous section, you should be now ready for your first battle. Go to the Battle page and click the "RANKED" button. The battle engine will now search for a battle for you to compete in.
Once a suitable match has been found, you will be presented with the following pop-up:
The three key things to take note of is the mana cap, playable splinters and the rulesets. The mana cap will determine which Monsters can be brought into the battle. The playable splinters are the splinters we are allowed to use in the battle, e.g. in this battle, the Death splinter is unavailable to be used. Finally, the rules (or rulesets) are special rules introduced for the battle, e.g. the Even Stevens ruleset only allows Monsters with even mana cost can be used in the battle.
Click "MAKE TEAM" to progress to create a team page. General things to be aware while deciding to make a team:
- Choosing a summoner and making a team all depends on your playstyle, i.e. do you want to focus on Melee attack damage or instead Range attack damage?
- You will need to factor in the rulesets and mana cap, e.g. if the mana cap is 13, you will only be able to select a Summoner and Monsters up to a mana cost of 13 in total.
- Understand how the Monsters will be lined up on the battlefield. For example, if you have a range character on position 2 and your tank monster in position 1 dies, all monsters will move up a position, and this means now that your range monster will not be able to attack.
Once you are happy with your deck selection, click "BATTLE" and see how your first battle plays out. Once the battle page and all the monsters and summoners have assumed their positions, click "RUMBLE!". Battling in Splinterlands is very quick, and battles usually last a minute. It is essential to be watching your battles so you can analyse whether your strategy, Monster and Summoner selection worked. Battling requires lots of patience and experimentation to carve out a winning strategy.
DEC & Rewards
If you were successful in your battle, you would have won DEC, and your rating would have increased. Dark Energy Crystal (DEC) is the Splinterlands currency that you can earn while battling. DEC allows you to buy new monster cards or upgrade existing cards. The rating affects the league that you are competing in. All new players start out in the Bronze league, but as you start getting better and winning battles, you will progress up the leagues. The higher the league, the better the end of season awards you will receive.
Each player has an Energy Capture Rate (ECR) which you can find that at the top right corner of the game near the Profile page. Mostly, when you catch your percentage goes down marginally, with the next fight, you gain less DEC. The ECR rate does gradually recover throughout the day.
The most critical next steps are to focus on completing your daily quests (presuming you have bought the summoner pack to unlock it). Every day, a new daily quest is presented to all players, e.g. win 5 battles with the Fire splinter. Depending on which league you are in, completing the daily quests will reward you with a certain number of reward chests. The rewards vary from DEC, potions, packs and cards.
Hopefully that at this point, you now have an understanding of how the game works. If you enjoy reading my Splinterlands content (7 reasons why you should be playing Splinterlands), please support me by signing up to playing Splinterlands through my affiliate link: https://splinterlands.com?ref=mercurial9.
Thank you for reading and hope you have a good rest of the day!
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