Greetings, and welcome to War Commander! War Commander is a big game with lots of stuff going on and lots of stuff to do. Since we want you to master every aspect of the game, this is the first in a series of articles that will show you the basics of the game. You do not have to read these articles before playing the game, but once you've finished the tutorial missions in the game, we recommend you take a look at the information we've prepared for you here. It will save you the time and trouble of figuring out the game basics for yourself.
We begin our series with a detailed look at the game's HUD. "HUD" is cool-sounding military jargon for "Heads-Up Display." So, as you might have guessed, your HUD consists of a number of on-screen elements you can use to control your game.
Here's what the basic game screen looks like when your game loads:
It's not very exciting right now, but that's because we've started a brand-new base for these walk-throughs. (Don't worry...that base will get way cooler very quickly, and so will yours!) Now, take a look at the corners of the image. Those items in the corners are the components of your HUD, and they have lots of different functions.
We haven't taught you how to play just yet. The game will walk you through some basics, and we'll take it from there in Part 2 of this series, but most players find it useful to understand the game's interface first, so let's go over those HUD functions one-by-one. (Don't cause yourself any stress trying to memorize this stuff. You'll eventually have it all committed to memory, but in the meantime, you can refer back to the article any time you need to do so!)
Let's start in the upper left corner. You'll be referring to this section a lot, and it contains a lot of useful information. We'll go item-by-item...
Profile Picture: You can use one of our default images, or you can upload your own (subject to community standards).
Alliance Manager: Players can band together in alliances to participate in a different kind of cooperative gameplay. Here's where you'll access that part of your game (once you're ready).
Nickname and Base Level: You can choose your own nickname (you can change it later if you want to). Your base level measures your progress through the game. Early on you'll level up pretty quickly, but that slows down over time as your base grows more powerful.
Current Infamy score: This is where your Infamy is displayed. You will earn Infamy through player-versus-player combat. (That's a topic for another time.)
Current Honor score: This space is usually empty, but during certain types of event, you can earn (and lose) Honor. Your current Honor score will display here, but only during events in which Honor is earned and lost.
Resources: Resources are materials that you will collect during gameplay, then use to build and upgrade your units and structures. The top number is the amount of Metal you have currently; the bottom number is your Oil reserve. Oil and Metal are produced in your base by specific buildings (more on that topic in this article), by looting them from rival players' bases, or by conquering and controlling resource deposits. (HINT: You can also earn a little Metal from debris around your base: keep your eyes open for ruined cars and other junk!)
Thorium: Thorium is the third major resource in the game, though it's much rarer than Oil or Metal and is harder to come by. Thorium can be produced in your base with a Thorium Mine, looted from rival players' bases, and earned from defeating certain in-game targets.
Power Generation/Consumption: The two values in this space show how much Power you are currently using (the first value) and how much Power you are currently producing (the second value). Power is generated by Power Plants. If your Power consumption exceeds your Power generation, then your base won't function to its fullest, so try to make sure you're producing more power than you're using!
It's pretty easy to tell when you're using more Power than you're producing and need to build more Power Plants. In those situations, the Power section of your HUD will look like this (though your numbers will vary, of course):
Gold: Gold is an in-game currency that can be used to purchase upgrades, repair units, and many other things. Gold must be purchased in the game using real money, but is not required for play! (Gold speeds things up, but the game is absolutely free; you do not have to buy gold to play successfully!) If you have any gold, it will be displayed here.
Buying Gold and Resources: Speaking of buying gold, you can do so using the little plus sign next to your gold balance. You can buy Oil and Metal, too--just click on those plus signs!
Active Special Ops: Special Ops (Spec Ops for short) are special game effects that last a limited time; you can purchase these effects in-game, then activate them later for maximum advantage. Any Spec Ops that you have activated currently will show up here; the rest of the time, those spaces will be empty.
Active Boosts: Boosts are also special game effects that can be purchased to grant advantages for a limited time. You can click on this icon to see what boosts are available and what they do; this is also where you'll purchase those boosts.
Whew, that was a lot of information for one little corner of the screen! Luckily the upper right corner is a bit simpler. Most of these icons are pretty straightforward. This is where you will turn the game's music and sound off and on, where you'll toggle the full-screen function, and where you can zoom in or out. You can also hide the user interfaces of the HUD (in case you need to see more of the action!), see what's new in the game, and access your game settings. This section is also where the save icon lives. (When it's red, your game is in the process of saving.)
This corner is also where you'll find the Attack Log. Just click the Attack Log button and you will bring up a record of attacks directed against you. This will tell you who hit you, how hard, and gives you the chance to track them down and get revenge! (This graphic is edited; normally you'll see the attacker's profile pic, nickname, and base level.)
Let's direct our attention to the bottom right of the screen. This part of the HUD will look a little different, depending on whether you are in your base (see below)...
...or outside your base, viewing the World Map (which you can view by clicking the World Map button in the previous screenshot).
When you're in your base, this section of the HUD can be used to build and manage platoons (groups of units you'll deploy into battle), construct and upgrade buildings, and purchase items from the Gear Store, where you can get new units, technology, upgrades, and other goodies. (The Platoons and Buildings buttons in this section of the HUD duplicate some of the features in the next section of the HUD as well, so we'll talk about those functions later.) And of course, the World Map button takes you to the World Map, where you'll find all your targets!
Once you're on the World Map, this part of the HUD allows you to easily relocate your base using the Find Base button (handy when you're looking around the map for the perfect target and forgot where you were...) and go back into your base using the Enter Base button.
The next portion is the Missions section...
You may or may not ever use this section. Missions are game scenarios that can help you learn your way through some of the game's basics, and they usually come with a modest reward. Hover your cursor over each mission to see what reward can be earned. Each missions has a "Reject" button that lets you replace it with a different mission opportunity...
...but it takes some time for the new mission to load. Here's what it looks like while a new mission is being prepped.
If you're impatient and want to see the new mission right away, you can spend gold to make that happen, but be careful--players sometimes do so on accident and spend gold they didn't mean to spend! Don't click the "Refresh" button in the following screenshot unless you're ready to do a mission and don't mind spending some gold to access it right now. Notice that hovering your mouse over this space will show you how long it will be until the mission refreshes, but again, be careful not to click "Refresh" on accident!
Some players find missions are helpful when they're starting out in the game. The rewards definitely come in handy when you're just getting started and really need the extra resources.
The final space in this corner is for your active Event buffs. When you activate a bonus for Events, it will appear in this spot. (Again, a topic for another day.)
At last, we come to the lower left corner of the HUD! This space is pretty simple: here's where you'll find the sector chat and a collapsible menu that lets you easily access your buildings.
The chat can be toggled on and off using the button in the corner of the chat widget...
...and by clicking the arrow next to the Buildings tab...
...you will bring up a list of what buildings you're already built, along with the Worker function, which lets you build new structures. There's not a lot in this list because this is a new base, but we'll fill it up as we advance through the game. Clicking on any of these buildings (OK, technically "Defenses" is a category, not a single structure) brings up the features menu for that building; it's the same set of options you'd find if you clicked on the building itself. You can access your buildings' feature whichever way you prefer.
When you are viewing the World Map, which is where you'll find all your targets, the HUD looks a little bit different...
Notice you can't see your resources anymore, and there are a few different features on the screen. Where your resources are shown while you're in your base, on the World Map you instead get a drop-down that allow you to see what (if any) platoons you have currently deployed on the map and another drop-down that shows you what resource deposits you control and how much longer they will last. (Our new training base doesn't have any of that stuff yet, but here's where we'll see it when we do!)
In the lower left, we have the chat window again--nothing different about it--but you'll also see that tab for the Recon Satellite. This is your best tool for looking around the World Map quickly.
When you click on Recon Satellite, it brings up several search tools you can use to seek out targets of that specific type. We won't bother going into detail on this topic now, since we've already given you so much to think about, but here's what it will look like.
...and there you have it--the entire War Commander HUD in detail. Context is everything and we haven't given you much context for this information yet, but that's OK. We've got plenty more articles to walk you through actual gameplay, and you can always refer back to this one when you can't find a specific function or feature. (Bookmark it!)
And now, on to Part 2!
(And if you're looking for Part 3 or Part 4, we've got you covered.)