Community Blog: A Guide for New Commanders

08/12/2014 by NightBirdDS

Community Blog: A Guide for New Commanders
Hello! Welcome to my first guest post on the Hidden Path Blog. I've been a long time member of the community, and it's a real pleasure to be posting here today. I'm going to take you through the basic steps to achieve a Gold Medal score, including assessing the map and tactical situation, formulating a solid strategy, and then implementing it. Once the game releases, I'll be doing my own blow-by-blow video playthroughs. This is just a quick guide.

Let's get underway!

Looking Things Over
The first thing you should do is get a lay of the land. Where do the aliens enter from? Where is your Core Housing? Examine the aliens escape route. A nice plus in Defense Grid is the Path Line, which will illustrate the route the aliens will take to the cores. Unfortunately, the path doesn't show their egress, and while this is trivial on maps where the entrance and exit are the same, maps with separate entrances and exits will require more foresight and planning. Once you know where everything is, you can move on to the next stage: building an initial defense.

Build It, and They Come
Now that we have our basic intelligence established, it's time to act. Start building a defense starting near your cores and working outwards. Just follow your gut and watch what happens. Experiment with different towers and observe their effects against the various alien types. Don't worry about losing cores... yet. Right now, the important thing is getting a feel for how your towers act. Understanding your towers is the most important skill. We'll focus on efficiency later.

The aliens will haul tail towards your cores via the shortest way possible. Your initial defenses will get less effective as the alien waves roll in. This brings us to the next important element in creating a good defense grid: pathing.

The Road Less Traveled
Pathing is crucial. You'll want to route the aliens in such a method that optimizes the time they spend in range of your towers. If you can set up a route that leads them past the same towers multiple times, so much the better. Just remember: aliens will always take the shortest path, so make sure you don't accidentally leave a shorter alternate route. If they circumvent your grid entirely, it can ruin your whole day!

Replay, Refine, Repeat
Don't fear failure; every attempt is a learning experience. Get used to the way towers behave. Understand how pathing works. Now, turn that knowledge into an actual, viable strategy. We started off by building near the Core Housing, but that may not always be the best way to start. Use Boost Towers to restrict the aliens' movement, then lay your offensive towers. Play a few waves; if you don't like the way things are progressing, use the Checkpoint Feature (the backspace button) to wind back the tape and try again. Examine different combinations of towers and routes. Don't be afraid to try new builds and test out new strategies. You'll be striking fear into the hearts of the alien hordes in no time!

I hope this basic guide has helped you get into Defense Grid 2. The hectic pace can seem overwhelming, but the key is to not panic go one step at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is the optimal strategy. Take your time, experiment, and above all, don't get frustrated. Remember, Commander: there's nothing the aliens like more than getting under a rookie's skin. If you'd like to read more of my work, you can find me at

Now, where's that raspberry pie?

Posted in Defense Grid, Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: Defense Grid, DG2