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Halo Wars 2 is a fast-paced strategy game with epic battles set in the Halo universe. Build massive armies of diverse units and use their unique abilities to out-think and out-manoeuvre your opponents.
There's a lot to explore in Halo Wars 2, but don't be intimidated. Start with the Tutorials to learn the basics and then jump into the Campaign to discover the secrets of the Ark with the Spirit of Fire.
When you finish mastering the Campaign, it's time to test what you've learned in Multiplayer. There are different modes to try, including the Versus AI playlist where you team up with other players against AI opponents.
Finally, for an interesting twist on strategy games, jump into Blitz - action-packed battles where you collect and play cards to deploy units. Build decks and keep adapting them to outwit other players.
Unit orders (Move, attack, etc.)
Use unit abilities
Fast camera movement
(Tap) Local units, (Double-Tap) All units
Leader Powers, (Blitz-only) Card Hand
(Tap) Cycle through selected units
Rotate and zoom camera
(Campaign) Objectives, (Multiplayer) Score menu
Xbox Home Menu
Hold for advanced controls
Add units to selection
Remove units from selection
Queue unit orders
Access Control Groups
To use control groups,
Hold a direction button to create a control group with selected units
Tap a direction button to select a control group
Double-tap a direction button to select and focus on a control group
Halo Wars 2 is an action-RTS (real-time strategy) game. In Campaign, Multiplayer and Skirmish, you'll have balance managing your economy, army and leader powers as you take the fight to the enemy. The battle dynamics will frequently change on the fly, so knowing the basics will help you to adapt and react.
The core of the economy in Halo Wars 2 are supply and power. You can gather these by constructing certain buildings in your base or by collecting them from objects in the levels. Supply is required to purchase buildings, train core units, and is the primary cost of most specialist units. Power is used to purchase upgrades for units, buildings and is an addtional cost for certain units. As a general rule, if you have enough supply, you'll always be able to field a competent army and, with enough power, you can make that army more lethal and focus on your strengths.
Though there are two factions in Halo Wars 2, both armies work in similar ways. Most units in Halo Wars 2 have a rock-paper-scissors relationship with each other, i.e., vehicles are effective against infantry, air units are effective against vehicles and infantry are effective against air units. Certain units break these rules - these are counter units, which have an edge against specific unit types, but are dangerously weak against everything else. As a general rule, you should aim to have a good mix of unit types, but beware of what your enemy is using.
Leader Powers are your most powerful weapons in the game. During each campaign mission and multiplayer match, you'll earn leader points. You can spend these in the leader power radial (accessed with the Left Trigger) to unlock active and passive leader powers. Passive powers will provide a constant boost to your armies once unlocked while active powers need to be used from the radial at the expense of supply and/or power resources. Each leader has unique mix of powers, so spend some time exploring each of them - you'll find defensive boosts, healing auras, and even powerful offensive attacks that will wreck havoc on an unsuspecting foe.
If you need to grab every unit quickly, double-tap Right Bumper to select All Units.
Your units will automatically gather nearby resources or attack enemy units.
Keep an eye on your leader points, shown to the top-right of the minimap. If you have any points spare, make sure you spend them.
Leader powers can change the course of a fight. If you unlock active powers, remember to use them from the leader power radial menu.
Units gain veterancy as they fight on the battlefield, making them far more effective than new units. Try to keep them alive and they will return the favor.
Some units and bases can be cloaked. You can see the shimmer of a cloaked enemy, but if you want to attack them, you'll need a detector nearby.
Some units are support units and don't have weapons, but they are important for keeping your units alive.
Read the radial menu descriptions to learn more about units and upgrades.
Every unit has a set of coloured icons in the radial menu or on its Blitz card to indicate what they're strong against. Use these as a rough guide when deciding what to use.
If your opponent is using too many of a single unit type, punish them with a force of counter-units!