Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is a free-to-play (F2P) turn-based combat game, released on November 24, 2015, for Android and iOS, based in the Star Wars universe. Players unlock and develop characters (toons) and ships from multiple eras, build teams, and participate in battles at locations throughout the galaxy across a variety of modes.
Gameplay consists of RPG-lite battles, pitting your team of up to 5 characters (and a 6th "borrowed" toon in some modes), against CPU-controlled opponents, which can be drawn from either fixed event lists, or from other players' chosen teams. Each toon has their own suite of abilities, designed around their respective character in the Star Wars films and other media. These abilities activate either individual, or group, buffs and debuffs, as well as combat effects and synchronizations with select other characters. Some of these effects are passive and will trigger automatically based on the character, your team, and your opponents.
Characters are unlocked (activated) via character shards, which can be acquired via daily free packs in the Store, using crystals to purchase them, or completing missions in the various game modes. Once activated, a character can be progressed through 7 "grades" and 85 levels, again via the collection of character shards, training droids, and the spending of the in-game currency "credits", which you acquire via participating in the various game modes. The character abilities, mentioned earlier, can be levelled up via "Ability Materials", which can be acquired via gameplay. Omega and Zeta Materials are harder to come by, but provide the most significant increases to character abilities.
One of the positive traits of Galaxy of Heroes is that a F2P player can acquire characters and progress through the game without a paywall to stop them, although those who decide to purchase crystals (or directly spend money) will progress much faster, while the F2P player will need to grind daily to get what they want.
Characters can also be improved via Gear and Mods. Each character has specific Gear requirements, and usually said Gear has to be assembled by accumulating Gear Salvage (shards), although some pieces can be acquired outright if you have enough crystals. Gear itself also has levels, with higher-level gear providing larger bonuses to your character attributes.
Mods were introduced in July 2016, some 7+ months after the launch of the game. Immediately controversial, and quickly scaled back in their impact, Mods are still a very important part of the game. Available to higher-level players, Mods can applied to a character individually, or in predetermined groups to gain bonuses, that directly impact the character attributes. As with Gear, Mods have their own level and rarity, and can be levelled up via in-game credits. For example, Speed Mods are very desirable, as they can impact which characters (or an entire team) "shoots first" in a battle, which can decide the entire outcome. Mods can be acquired via Mod Challenges and Mod Battles, as well as via Events, and purchased with crystals.
Light Side/Dark Side Battles: Use your Light or Dark characters to proceed through multiple levels against AI-controlled teams. In these modes you can borrow a character from one of your Allies to assist your team of five. Completing the Normal mode unlocks a Hard mode, which in turn can provide Character and Ship shards on a daily basis.
Squad Arena: The PvP-light mode, where your squad of five selected characters (Light/Dark, or a mix of both) does battle with squads of other players, though the action on their end is AI-controlled. With victories come ascension on the leaderboard, which in turn affects the amount of Credits, Crystals, and Squad Arena tokens you receive daily.
Cantina Battles: Your five character squad (L/D/mix) versus an AI-controlled squad, with wins bringing Credits, Ability Materials, Sim tickets (so you can automatically run nodes that you have completed successfully in the past), Character shards, and Cantina Battle Tokens (which in turn provide unique Character and Ship shards when accumulated).
Galactic War: A daily run of 12 stages, where your chosen squads of five battle against AI opponents. As your characters are defeated you can subsitute other characters from your collection, or run sets of squads that you have pre-built yourself. Earn Credits, Crystals, Ability Materials and Galactic War Tokens, which provide unique Character and Ship shards).
Challenges: Player squads of five characters (L, D, mix) and participate in special challenges against AI squads that are only available on specific days. Some challenges limit the selection of player squad members, so building an appropriate squad is important. Each challenge provides its own specific rewards, across multiple tier levels, and this is one of the main ways to accumulate Ability Materials, Credits, Training Droids, and specific Equipment Shards in the game. Once you have 3-starred a Tier successfully, you can use Sim Tickets to automate further attempts.
Ships were the first major addition to GoH, debuting on November 22, 2016, and have become a love it/hate it element of the game. Ships are much like characters, in that they can be levelled up to 85, and have 7-stars of grade, and have unique abilities that can be improved. However there are no Mods for ships, rather the level and gear of the characters piloting those ships impacts the overall power and capability of the ship itself. So for example, you would want to boost your Biggs Darklighter character as much as possible, so that he in turn could improve Biggs Darklighter's X-Wing.
Ship combat is managed by one of three Fleet Commanders each that command a capital ship for one of three factions - Admiral Ackbar (Rebel Alliance), Grand Moff Tarkin (Galactic Empire) and Mace Windu (Galactic Republic).
Some view ships as a distraction to an already-demanding game, but ships have also been tied to Zeta Materials somewhat, so having a capable fleet can also benefit your characters. Ships can participate in Ship Challenges (battles to acquire materials for your ships and upgrade your capital ships), and Fleet Arena, which is similar to Squad Arena, but you are earning daily ship tokens and upgrade materials. Ships also have their own dedicated store, which uses the aforementioned ship tokens to purchase ship shards, as well as select character shards, character gear, and the infamous Zeta ability materials.
Territory Battles are the next big addition to GoH, and are expected to arrive any day now. The developer describes Territory Battles as "an epic, multi-phase battle, pitting the entire collection of characters and ships of every guild member against a progressively challenging, living battlefield." Progression is shared equally across the Guild, with the key being total Guild participation, and each Guild Member having as many characters unlocked, levelled, and equipped to participate. New modes, such as Platoon Missions, will unlock special abilities (ie. the Ion Cannon) to assist in the overall campaign. The initial Territory Battles will take place on Hoth, and several new characters (Captain Han Solo, Rebel Office Leia Organa, and Hermit Yoda) will be introduced with this game mode.
Like other games of this genre, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes features many events. Most events require specific Characters, or at least Characters related to a certain faction to participate. These events have different Rewards depending on their Type. There are those events which happen on a weekly basis, which are aimed at giving you an oportunity to enhance your characters with some extra resources. Then there are more rare events which reward you with special characters.
These “Legendary Events” are themed around the specific characters and require you to own Characters related to them. Two examples are the “Grand master's Training” as well as “The Emperor's Demise” which give you an opportunity to collect Grand master Yoda and Emperor Palpatine respectively. As the name implies, Yoda's event sees your Jedi squad undertake his training and as a reward you can unlock him yourself. Meanwhile in Palpatine's event you have to take a team of Rebels and kill the Emperor, to unlock him yourself. For these events you get rewards equivalent to your squad's Star Rating, for example a full squad of 6-star Jedi is required to earn enough shards for a 6-star Yoda. These characters unlock at 5-stars.
There are currently two more of these events, which are not on a regular schedule: acquiring Admiral Thrawn using a Phoenix team from Star Wars Rebels, and lastly an event centered around R2-D2 for which you need Empire Characters.
Sometimes new characters also get “marquee events”, in which you are introduced to these new characters by using an upgraded version yourself, with some advice given during the battles. If you fully complete a marquee event you usually can unlock the character at a low star level to get you started with them.
Lastly a new type of event was recently introduced, “The Hero's Journey', which lets you replay some events from Episode 4, and through it lets you unlock “Commander Luke Skywalker”, aka Cloud City Luke. For this event you need to own the protagonists of A New Hope, as it will be your own Characters in the main roles.
As mentioned earlier, Guilds are required to participate in territory battles, but they play a large role themselves. Your Guild will be your own central community with a guild wide chat and announcement board. Guilds consist of at max 50 members. The members can help each other out through the “gear exchange” which means that if you only lack those last 3 pieces of gear to the next gear level, you can ask your fellow guild mates to send you some pieces on a 24 hour timer. A large part of Guild gameplay is cooperating to take down Raid Bosses. Furthermore just being part of a Guild, and completing daily Guild Challenges will earn you Guild Tokens which can be spent to unlock special Characters, as well as buying some pieces of Gear.
Raids are the current main challenge for Guilds to complete. There are currently 2 Raids in the Game, each consisting of 4 different Phases. Completing a Raid will earn you rare Gear, as well as Gear exclusive to that Raid. Completing a Raid on the highest difficulty will also earn you shards for Raid exclusive characters. The two current Raids are fighting the Rancor from Jabba's Palace through which you can earn Han Solo shards, and Taking down a separatist AAT Tank, which will give you shards for General Kenobi.
We have an active Guild "NeoGAFFI Sticks". We welcome anyone but it would be appreciated if you are active and follow our rules, which are both in the guild description, as well as in the headline of our chat. Just leave us a message here in the OT if you want to join up.
*special thanks to Xypher in the creation of this OT*