While Dune: Spice Wars is still in early access, it’s proving to be a deep and diplomatic experience. Based on the stories by Frank Herbert, this real-time strategy game allows up to four players to engage in battle across the unforgiving landscape of Arrakis. Although the sand-covered world is barren, developer Shiro Games has managed to craft a compelling 4X multiplayer sim.
Join up with a friend and battle two vs. two, or take on the challenge alone against three other players, each vying for control. With elements to consider, like economy, politics, spies, and military conflict, there are multiple paths to victory. However, against cunning opponents, you must form a cohesive plan or face inevitable defeat.
9 Identify Each Faction’s Strength
In a multiplayer game of Dune: Spice Wars, four of the available five factions can be present, and it’s important to know what each group is capable of during a match. For example, Fremen excels at rapid expansion and can end the game quickly if not countered.
The Harkonnen faction has a knack for maintaining pressure against enemies and wearing down opponents over time. The Corrino faction can make a solid initial attack, enabling the construction of resources close to other player’s territory.
8 Don’t Focus On Only The Aggressors
One of the issues that you can face is one opponent continually attacking and rebuilding armies, which causes the majority of attention to be placed on the aggressive player and not on the others. While the player is busy rebuffing the attacks of one aggressive enemy, other factions can quietly gain ground, build, and ultimately win.
Just because a faction isn’t actively engaged in battle, doesn’t mean a more subtle strategy isn’t in play. Resist the urge to expend all resources against one opponent and be mindful of those players counting on distraction, and it’s recommended to anticipate enemy moves by trying to put yourself in their position.
7 Never Completely Trust A Truce
While deals can be made between factions, many mistakenly believe that these truces are ironclad. On the contrary, opponents can turn around and attack knowing a player’s guard is down following a peace agreement.
Pay particular attention to adjacent factions, as this backstabbing strategy works well against neighboring players. One of the exciting aspects of multiplayer games is the unpredictable nature of real human opponents, whereas non-human enemies might show easily defined patterns.
6 Don’t Expand Too Quickly
One of the tendencies of new players is to try to take over as many villages as possible right out of the gate. However, it works better to slow expansion and upgrade the villages fully before attempting to conquer additional areas, as the game typically favors fewer villages that have been enhanced.
Consider adding elements like weapon batteries, and ensuring there aren’t open slots waiting to be filled in the militia. By upgrading each village, you can provide protection and create additional resources, and the balance between building and conquering new areas will determine whether you win or lose.
5 Don’t Neglect Espionage
While a significant component of Dune: Spice Wars involves military action, you can also manage spy agents. These agents are great for uncovering enemy intelligence, which in turn benefits the faction.
One of the fruits of spy labor is the ability to use intel on new missions to help the faction and inhibit the enemy. The goal is to raise the infiltration level through continued agent activity, eventually leading to the ability to assassinate enemy leaders.
4 Identify Opportunities For An Alliance
While every player’s goal is to win, sometimes it pays to join forces with another player against an enemy (however shaky that alliance is). One of the paths to victory in Dune: Spice Wars is to gain 50,000 hegemony, and while there are more exciting strategies, they can be effective.
You should watch out for opponents amassing hegemony, and consider teaming up with other factions to help bring them down. It’s in everyone’s best interest to focus attacks on a player accumulating hegemony until the offending faction must change course.
3 Relationships Are Complicated
Some new players can get caught up in the past and refuse to cooperate with another faction, but even if one particular faction previously attacked or attempted to sabotage you, it doesn’t mean you can’t still work together. Don’t let tempers flare and become intent on payback; instead, think strategically and calculate.
Remember the ancient proverb, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” as constantly switching loyalties is one of the most dynamic aspects of multiplayer mode in Dune: Spice Wars. Try to continually evaluate what relationships benefit your faction and how to leverage them to your advantage.
2 Gauge Every Faction’s Threat Level
Some enemies will be more dangerous than others, and it’s crucial to identify the most significant threat. Those with a robust military, abundant resources, and hostile tendencies are often a barrier to victory for multiple players, and if you’re up against a formidable foe, you must formulate a plan for success.
One way to challenge a high-threat level faction is indirectly. For example, you can seek out and assist other factions that have minimal resources and military power, and a power shift can occur by trading and gifting less powerful players resources in exchange for ganging up on the highest threat cooperatively.
1 Don’t Project Weakness
Players can demonstrate a lack of experience and become targets of other factions. For example, if a new player threatens to attack one or more of the other factions, there better be evidence this is possible.
When getting attacked, you shouldn’t be desperately calling for assistance from others. Some savvy players might take the opportunity to team up and take you out while you’re in a vulnerable state.
Next: Dune: Spice Wars – The Best Military Units