Super Robot Wars 30 is getting a release in the West. Yep, we’re just as surprised as you are. But we’re also super excited. The 30-years-strong game series is bringing us more cool mecha and mecha-adjacent titles than ever. Its die-hard fans are ready to roll… but what about newcomers?
If you caught the trailer and are interested, but don’t know the game series, we’ve got you covered. There are a lot of moving parts — squads, missions, upgrades, and the like — but here’s what you need to know to start. You’ll be leading battles like a big hero before you know it!
You don’t need to know every show… but it doesn’t hurt.
The Super Robot Wars franchise is full of fierce fighting robots from anime past and present. If you’re a mecha expert, you might know most (or even all) of the shows repped in a game. But odds are there’ll be at least one title — likely more — that’s completely new to you. And that won’t hinder your gameplay at all.
The games’ stories tend to focus up on original robots and heroes (one of whom will be your avatar in the game). Mecha from other series appear due to dimensional rifts or other timeline disturbances… and so do their respective plot points and enemies. You’ll actually end up playing through the stories of many of the anime featured. If you don’t know them? No problem. You’ll learn more about them as you play, and you don’t need any foreknowledge to make good use of your units. If anything, Super Robot Wars will give you lots of new shows to watch.
However, sometimes knowledge of the show gives you an extra boost. Units that are allied in their series may have a combo attack in the game, for example. Or you may be able to guess if it’s worth your while to attempt to negotiate an enemy over to your team.
Think the stage is over? It isn’t.
The Super Robot Wars games are not short. Expect anywhere from 50 to 60 tactical stages with multiple waves, with visual novel scenes in between. That means lots of play time, which is great… but it also means it’s easy to get faked out and use up all your power before the real fight begins.
It’s best to always assume that a second wave is on the way, if not a third. Those later waves also come with bigger, story-relevant baddies. The good news? Allies often drop in during those later waves, too. So even if you burn through a lot of special abilities and energy early, there’s still potential help on the way.
Robots and pilots can be upgraded and customized.
As with any game, Super Robot Wars gives you experience and money for completing missions. There are even more chances for that now with the addition of side and bonus quests. But don’t forget to use those points!
Your pilots will level up as they fight, but you can modify and upgrade their special abilities, too. Similarly, you can upgrade your robots and ships. Between increasing their stats and adding extra parts, you can customize your robots into perfectly balanced fighting machines. (Or you could play like the writer: spend all your time maxing out Mazinger Z and GaoGaiGar and hope for the best.)
Don’t forget to take your lesser-used pilots out for a spin sometimes, too — you never know when that Gundam pilot who’s 40 levels below everyone else will be an obligatory character in a scenario.
Super Robot Wars 30 comes out this October.