Caution - this section may be out of date.
Early in the game you’ll want to focus on your 3 main resources: Food, Wood, Metal. I did a lot of experimenting when the game was new I would switch my workers around for what I needed at the moment, I tried different ratios of workers in each resource and eventually I realized that all that math and such really didn’t do a whole lot. You’re going to need all of the resources, you may not need that metal right this second but you will… I suggest somewhere between a 1:1:1 ratio and 3:3:2 ratio. As you progress into mid and late game runs this ratio will change, my current ratio is closer to 3:2:5.
How many scientists do I need? Edit
Things may have changed but when I was going through the early stages of the game I bumped my science up to 10 because I didn’t know any better. After a while I realised I could just research and it gave me FAR better output than even 100 scientists could. My best advice is put somewhere between 1 and 5 Trimps into science and research any time you’re not doing something more important. The gain from say Mining is trivial in comparison to how much your Trimps will get you. The gain from researching is significant after you get a few points into Efficiency and will be the primary way to get science throughout the entirety of the game.
Gems are used to purchase higher tier weapon upgrades and Housing. You’ll first need gems for housing when you acquire the Mansion building. Once you get to the mid to late game gems become far more important as the housing you’ll get at zone 50 requires nothing but gems.
Fragments are used to create side maps after zone 6 as well as purchasing high end housing called a Gateway. If you’re not at a point where you can create Gateways fragments aren’t very important other than being able to create maps for equipment q.v. so you won’t most likely need to create extras.
What does the Efficiency upgrade do? Edit
It makes “you” work faster, not your trimps but you. When you click on say Research and it changes to Researching that’s you at work. This upgrade is the key reason you don’t need a ton of scientists early in the game.
While playing the game you slowly unlock equipment through the first few zones in the main map, after you’ve found Greatsword and Breastplate you’ve found all the equipment you’re going to find. From this point on you’ll have to do side maps to acquire new tiers of equipment. You’ll be able to start doing side maps at zone 6. As you get more comfortable with the map system feel free to tinker with the sliders but when you first start your best bet is to slide the difficulty slider to the right as running a map with 165% difficulty is rough. Sliding the Size to the right also helps if you can afford it. I’d suggest running side maps every ODD level (7, 9, 11, etc.) as this will help save some fragments but also get you gear upgrades you’ll need to keep progressing quickly.
Equipment upgrades don’t stick around, when you go from the free equipment that you got in the main maps to the “prestige” equipment you found in those side maps the bonus’ reset to 1, this could cause your HP and DMG to actually decrease if you leveled your gear too high. For this reason you don’t want to level your gear too high as anything you’ve invested is lost when you increase the Tier. The general consensus is new players should try to keep their gear as low as possible while still allowing them to progress quickly through zones. I’d put a high end limit of level 10 but if you can keep it lower that would be even less resources you’re wasting.
The portal is this games “soft reset” or “ascension”.
Your first portal is largely a matter of personal preference, but there are a few things to be aware of before deciding. There is an achievement called Underachiever which you can unlock by reaching z30 without spending more than 60He on a single run. If you portal above z25 or so you're going to have more than that 60He and will probably spend it. The longer you play, and the more helium you get, the more likely it is that you will not be willing to go back to only using 60He just to get an achievement worth 2.5% damage. So it's usually best to go ahead and hit z30 on run 1 when that 2.5% might help you out.
If you don't care about achievements and just want to portal, spend that He, and get on to the next run then its generally accepted that zones 23-27 make for a good time to portal for a good time to benefit ratio.
/u/ Zyanthia ran a second instance of the game where she did not portal at all; after roughly 10 days she was stuck in zone 43 and was unable to progress further. Her net gain was ~300 helium (she did purchase Wormholes or she would have been stuck sooner).
Depending on your play style you may want to portal later than this. A few factors to consider are:
- Helium to time ratio: If it takes you 2 days to get to zone 20 and you got 30 helium you’re getting ~1.25 Helium per hour. If you can get to 23 in another 3 hours you’d have 47 total helium netting 1.74 Helium per hour.
- What time is it: Are you planning on going to bed soon? If so don’t portal, the early game requires a lot of babysitting and it only gets worse as you gain helium. I try my best to only portal when I have a few hours to watch the game and get it up and running (hours may be extreme for you, but try to have at least 30 minutes to get going after a portal).
- Are you bored? This is a game, games are supposed to be fun, if you’re starting to slow down and you don’t feel like waiting feel free to portal it’s your game after all and there’s nothing to stop you from using the portal after you’ve acquired it.
- Did you make it further this run than you did last run? If not, why not?
Caution - This section may or may not be out of date. It is still guaranteed to be helpful, but it may not recommend the optimal setup. For a good automated way to determine perk allocation, paste your save file into the Perky perk optimizer created by Grimy.
Helium is, in short the game's way of buying permanent upgrades called Perks. You’ll get 45 Helium as soon as you defeat the blimp at the end of “Dimension of Anger”, you’ll also gain a base amount every zone you complete thereafter. (If you've already finished your first run you do not need to finish anger first. If it is however your first run you should do anger before you complete zone 21.)
Looting is probably your most important perk in the early game; focus on it because the more looting you have the more helium you’ll gain. If you run to ~23 you should have 47 helium.
If you have more pick something that sounds good and put some points in. (Agility is mostly worthless early on)
These are just my personal suggestions and YMMV. I’d welcome suggestions from other players as well since the game has been updated many times since I first started playing in July.
Bones are accrued at a rate of 1 bone per zone but not more than 1 bone every 45 minutes.
Bones are another limited resource that give you temporary or permanent boosts which can be bought in the Bone Trader. Early game you should focus on getting Imp-orts and avoid using your bones on temporary gains.
Whipimps should be your first purchase; from there I’d suggest getting Tauntimp then Venimp. At this point you have the three main Imp-orts and you can diverge and pick based on your preferences. I didn’t pick up Goblimp and Flutimp until I was well into the late game and was doing 1-80 runs. If you didn’t spend Kreds to get the Imp-orts this should take you a few weeks and at that point you’ll have a better idea of what to spend bones on. Boosting once per run is probably a good choice after you’ve picked up the Imp-orts but others choose to use Golden Maps instead of a boost. I’m starting to consider using the “Buy Portal” now that I’m nearing 100k Helium on it.
To acquire the portal you must first beat zone 20. After beating zone 20 you will receive a special map (similar to The Block, and The Wall which you should have attained at 11 and 15 respectively) called Dimension of Anger after completing this 100 tile map you’ll be given a new button called Portal. Clicking the portal button will allow you to allocate any Helium you’ve acquired but not yet spent as well as choose a challenge if applicable.
When should I do challenges? Edit
You can do them at any time you feel you can complete them, but the only one you can be easily completed on the second run is the Discipline challenge.
For all other challenges, you won't be able to complete them soon after they're unlocked, because they will remove an aspect that would otherwise allow you to play quickly. Instead, you will want to collect additional helium in order to boost your abilities to make them easier. For example, you can spend time preparing and harvest 2400 Helium across normal plays, and follow the user that claimed to complete Science I in 4 hours.
As a general rule, you can spend a few days completing a challenge as soon as they're unlocked, or spend a similar amount of time collecting Helium to complete the challenge more quickly. It's still your call when to do so.