Absolute beginner's guide to TWD

SkywithinSkywithin Member Posts: 22
edited July 22 in Strategy Discussion
I've recently created a second account primarily for guild wars (GW) purpose. It gave me an opportunity to look at the game from a different angle and, to my surprise, this second account became very useful and playable within a few weeks. About a month after I started my clone was successfully participating in GW finishing off bosses and collecting close to 500 stars in weekly challenges. I want to share my experience with players who recently started the game - absolute beginners.

When I started my goals were:
  • Build Council lvl 12 to be able to participate in GW as soon as possible.
  • Get my heroes/survivors level as high as possible as quickly as possible.
  • Be able to complete easy Distance.
  • Be able to provide reasonable help with weekly challenges.
  • Free-to-play (F2P). Don't spend any cash.

Two Bottlenecks

The main bottleneck in the game is tomatoes - resource you need to upgrade buildings. You'll need more and more tomatoes as you upgrade your camp. Tomatoes can be obtained in reasonably good amounts from farms, scavenge missions and the distance. The amount of tomatoes you get from scavenge missions depends on the level of your top hero/survivor. The higher your survivor's level, the more tomatoes you get as a reward and the harder zombies will be in that location. Classic catch 22: you need to train your survivors to be able to complete harder missions, you need more tomatoes to upgrade training grounds and the workshop, but in order to get more tomatoes you need higher level survivors. If you start training your survivors from ground up you'll encounter a second bottleneck - XP. These bottlenecks are like a Gordian knot - you don't need to solve it, you need to cut through it! 

Magic number 9

If you join a guild, the MINIMUM number of heroes/survivors you will have is 9. They will be automatically assigned as defenders for GW even if you are not able to participate in GW yet. You will not be able to delete any survivors if you have only 9 people and if you have less than 9 people you'll be automatically GIVEN entry-level survivors to make up the numbers up to 9 when you join a guild. For example, if you only have 3 survivors and you join a guild you'll find 9 survivors at your disposal. If you leave the guild you can delete whoever you don't like and repeat the process. You'll get random one or two-star survivors of the HIGHEST level survivor that you have remaining even if you are not able to train to that level yet. This means you can delete all your lower-level basic survivors, join the guild and get new basic survivors but with higher level (always 9 survivors/heroes in total). So, how can you possibly get a survivor of a higher level before you can train them to that level? The answer is - main story line. There is a small catch - you'll need an extra survivor slot (without it you won't be able to accept a new survivor). Buy one extra survivor slot for 100 gold and always keep it free.

As you progress though the main story line you'll be given free basic heroes of higher level than you normal survivors. You'll need an extra survivor slot to be able to accept a new survivor. Once you receive a new survivor which has higher level - leave the guild and delete all lower-level survivors and only keep the new guy and Daryl. Join the guild again... voila you have 9 people again all upgraded to higher level (except Daryl or any other heroes you had before). Now you can progress though main story line until you get even higher level basic survivor. Rinse, repeat.

Magic number 13

You can get your crew all the way up to level 13 within a couple of days. In chapter eleven you'll get a survivor level 13 and that's where the magic ends. In chapter twelve you'll get another survivor which will also be level 13, so no point moving any further using this techniques. At this point you should have at least 9 survivors. I'd recommend going for fire power: 3 hunters, 3 shooters and 3 assaults - it will keep your casualties to a minimum which means less time in a hospital. Scouts, bruisers and warriors can wait until later in the game. Keep deleting unwanted survivors until you get the right combination (it may take several attempts). Now you can also safely open Abraham hero which will automatically become level 13.

Building your base

With all these new heroes and survivors hit scavenger missions searching for supplies. Do either normal or hard difficulty - whatever works best for you. You should be getting decent amount of supplies with lvl 13 survivors. In the distance you should be able to progress a long way as well (learn tricks about doing the distance). Always invest all your tomatoes into upgrading farms first thing to get even more tomatoes! This creates a positive feedback loop which helps with the tomato bottleneck. 

Equipping your crew

Once you have the basics covered, upgrade the workshop so you can enhance weapons and armor. Make at least one set for each class prioritizing long-range. That will make completing the distance a breeze as well as scavenger missions on hard difficulty. You'll be outgrowing you equipment pretty fast. Don't invest too heavily into it.

End game

The maximum level your heroes can get to is 28. It takes 3.65M XP just for the last upgrade. If you multiply it by the number of available heroes you'll get a very large number. It will take enormous amount of time to train every single hero to that level. However, you can use a similar technique as described above to postpone opening non-essential heroes when one of your heroes reaches lvl 28. Than you'll skip all training and go straight to level 28 (or whatever the highest level you have available). IMHO: Jerry, Ezekiel, Carol, Gabriel, Sniper Morgan, Dwight, Rick (shooter), Merle and a few others can wait.  

Hoarding radios

Radios are precious. It's the most important resource in the game which can make all the difference!
  • Collect radios until your survivors reach level 13. 
  • I repeat, DO NOT use any radios before your survivors reach level 13. 
  • NEVER make calls which cost 5 or 15 radios.
  • ALWAYS wait for special deals (cost 20, 25 or 40 radios) which guarantee at least 1 hero.
Remember, heroes are 10-33% better than regular survivors of the same level and number of stars both in health and damage. By the end of the game you'll probably only have 1 or 2 regular survivors in each class.

Hoarding gold

Gold is precious. Hoarding gold is good. Don't waste it on healing or speeding up upgrades. Use it to buy unique weapons on black market.

Hoarding reinforcement tokens

Reinforcement tokens are precious. Hoarding tokens is good. Only upgrade unique legendary-level weapons with special abilities/infused traits which you can only buy for gold or GW points.

Hoarding re-roll tokens

Re-roll tokens are precious. Hoarding tokens is good. Only re-roll traits on heroes. Learn about re-rolls before you do it.

Rookie mistakes

  • Opening heroes too early. Don't open any heroes before lvl 13. When you do - open only essential heroes.
  • Investing in low-level survivors. Before lvl 13 you should be able to delete a survivor without any remorse. Don't upgrade them higher than 2 stars.
  • Having too many melee survivors. Seriously, you'll hardly ever use scouts or bruisers early in the game.
  • Investing into survivors with useless traits. Learn about traits and which classes require which traits. Don't upgrade survivors if they don't have the right traits from the start.
  • Re-rolling multiple survivor traits. If you need to re-roll multiple traits on a survivor - it's not worth it. Just get a new survivor.
  • Calling for survivors using 5 or 15 radios, especially too early in the game. You want heroes - not regular survivors. 
  • Wasting reinforcements tokens on low-level equipment. Keep tokens for unique weapons only. Don't upgrade weapons you can get from normal crates.
  • Having heroes/survivors of various levels. Try to keep your whole team on the same level. 
  • Crafting blue/gold badges before Craftsman lvl 2. Crafting is not random. Read on the forum how to properly craft badges using a map.

Core heroes (open asap)

  • Abraham / Princess
  • Survivalist Rick
  • Glenn (scout)
  • Beta 
  • Morgan (bruiser)
  • Sasha
  • Hilltop Maggie / Yumiko

Heroes not so useful (don't open until the end)

  • Beth
  • Carol
  • Gabriel
  • Ezekiel
  • Jerry
  • Dwight
  • Sniper Morgan
  • Merle


Here's my account just a month after I started. I was able to participate only one week in GW. I was finishing off bosses while the rest of the team was clearing zombies for me. By the end of the season I surly will get that Decimator from the guild shop :)

I've completed the easy distance with only 5 characters dead and collected almost 500 stars in the challenge. 



  • hunter_xhunter_x Member Posts: 368
    I've done pretty much the same
    Things to consider is :smile: 
    • Unlock Glenn for more tomatoes
    • Unlock maggie for XP
    • Unlock Governor for better xp, tomatoes value when opening crates
    • Collect more trade goods
  • ghost_pepperghost_pepper Member Posts: 640
    edited May 18
    In lower levels, open glenn immediately for tomatoes. Put him in lead. Ranged do the work.

    Opening maggie for her xp bonus or governor for his scavange run boost and chest rarity improvement, they're actually a bad idea lower down. Someone did the math here once. The amount of scavange runs required for their bonuses to pay for themselves and then some greatly exceeds what is required to jump levels. It starts to get much closer between levels 19-21 depending upon certain criteria if i remember correctly. There was a graph.
  • SkywithinSkywithin Member Posts: 22
    hunter_x said:
    • Unlock Glenn for more tomatoes
    I agree, early in the game Glenn is the ONLY scout needed. He has very useful leader trait that makes some missions easy to complete. In general scouts and bruisers are more for advanced players on missions with recommended survivor level (RSL) +8 and higher.
  • ChimeraChimera Member Posts: 15
    IMO, The game changes as your progress towards max level.

    The farming team should be: Glenn leads, Maggie kills, (Shooter or Assault) assists. Maggie is the highest earning tomato and XP character of all, when led by Glenn and given armor with the 'training gear' trait. Make her strong in the early to mid-game.

    The game changes when your objective is to defeat the highest level zombies possible. Bruisers w/top tier Damage Resistance and Scouts w/Top Tier damage dealing become important. Maggie becomes unimportant. Glenn remains situationally helpful by being able to open two containers in one turn. Guild wars becomes important. JayZ's strategy guide and videos become extremely helpful.
  • HampaHampa Member Posts: 14
    edited June 22
    • 1) "ALWAYS wait for special deals which guarantee at least 1 hero."   for example...?

    2) What do u use gold for?
  • SkywithinSkywithin Member Posts: 22
    Hampa said:
    • 1) "ALWAYS wait for special deals which guarantee at least 1 hero."   for example...?

    2) What do u use gold for?
    From time-to-time there will be special deals which cost 25 or 40 radios. Usually, you'll get much better return on those deals.

    I use gold to buy good weapons on black market. 
  • HampaHampa Member Posts: 14
    Skywithin said:
    Hampa said:
    • 1) "ALWAYS wait for special deals which guarantee at least 1 hero."   for example...?

    2) What do u use gold for?
    From time-to-time there will be special deals which cost 25 or 40 radios. Usually, you'll get much better return on those deals.

    I use gold to buy good weapons on black market. 
    Nice, i got Morgan and Sasha in this event, should i open them? I just reached lvl 13.
  • SkywithinSkywithin Member Posts: 22
    Yes, both excellent heroes 
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