Getting Started in CnC Rivals

Whilst I am absolutely no expert at the game, I have been playing a lot and I wanted to give some advice for those who are just joining the game as the beta expands.

Join me after the jump for some tips!

Join an Alliance

An Alliance has the ability to completely alter your early experience in the game and vastly improves your experience later also. An Alliance is a great way to ask for help – keep being stomped by Titans? Someone in your Alliance can suggest a counter.

Don’t forget that you can request cards from your Alliance too, and this really helps level up your units.

Yes, feel free to join We Are Nivmett! We’re an Alliance celebrating one of our favourite developers and are available and willing to assist new players!

Do the Daily Bounties

Every day you are tasked with 5 Bounties. These are usually 3 wins as GDI, 3 wins as Nod, so many kills with a particular GDI and Nod unit, and a generic one like Destroy a Harvester or Win without conceding a missile.

Sometimes these may not even be units you use, and may throw the game for you. Do them anyways. The extra gold and cards will help you level up and promote your army.

Learn Your Counters

Every unit in the game has at least one direct counter, and some units counter multiple enemies. GDI Zone Troopers, for example, deal massive damage to enemy vehicles and are infantry – as such, GDI Titans or Sandstorms, or Nod Rockworms fall quickly, and none of these do much damage to infantry, but they struggle against basic infantry squads who will gun down Zone Troopers quickly.

I’m compiling a list of counters which I’ll put up as a separate post in the future, but you can examine what a unit is good at countering in the unit panels.

You’ll need to build an army around this – early on I found that I was struggling against certain units because I was missing a hard counter. Sure, Missile Infantry deal a lot of damage to a Flame Tank, but the Flame Tank melts the Missile Infantry faster.

Balance Your Army

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the above point, it’s all very well upgrading one or two units to max level, but you’ll eventually come up against someone who counters it. You need to be able to counter their counter.

As an example, early on I kept getting pounded by players with high level Titans, and my Sandstorms and Rockworms couldn’t handle it. Then I added Cyborgs to Nod and Zone Troopers to GDI and suddenly, those Titan spam armies were utterly useless – all they had to counter these was basic infantry, which I could now down with Wolverines, Flame Tanks or even basic Infantry.

It’s also all very well putting four or even five very expensive units in your army, building two harvesters and trying to rush a Tech Lab or Temple of Nod, but with nothing to fight the early-mid game, your opponent has the opportunity to, at the very least, seize that first nuke, just by having more variety early, or by destroying your harvesters and stunting your economy.

Protect Your Harvesters

Its a popular tactic to rush the enemy harvesters early. Nod Attack Bikes are great at this – they’re fast moving and do a lot of damage to harvesters. If that rush can destroy a Harvester quickly, that’s a sudden 100 Tiberium injection to them, and you’re left on basic income with almost nothing to counter.

A single missile squad is all it takes to stop one of those Attack Bike squads. If the enemy cannot destroy the Harvester, they don’t get that Tiberium prize and are likely now behind on their build. Those same Missile Squads can then advance to the enemy Harvester which is likely now unprotected.

Later on, harvesters get into dangerous positions, but it’s not always worth going for them. I’ve watched matches where my opponent is targeting my harvesters, despite that I have 500+ Tiberium in the bank and I’m holding all the missile pads.

Early on, harvesters are a great target for your enemy. Protect them.

Remember the Objective!

Its easy to lose your head in the thick of the battle and focus on swarming an enemy Titan to take it down, whilst the nuke is readying to fire. As an example, there are several times that I’ve sat amazed as one sole remaining infantryman, the last of his squad, holds a pad uncontested whilst my opponent is throwing everything they have at a single Titan that’s right away from everything. I’ve also watched as the enemy walks their Wolverines right past the Flame Troopers melting their base to instead target my Cyborgs pulling down an ultimately inconsequential Titan.

If your base is destroyed, you lose. If that Titan falls but they secure the missile pads, it may cost me the game instead. Don’t forget your win conditions!

In the above photo, my opponent was so determined to kill one squad of bikes with his Rhino units, that he ignores the fact that I am only on one pad. Had he ignored the bikes, he could have taken a pad to contest the nuke, or possibly split his Rhino units and taken two, launching the nuke.

Be Sneaky

Whilst it’s important to remember that defending units start attacking first (meaning of 2 level 5 infantry squads, the one that initiates will lose), rushing to the pads early can be a bad idea.

In the early game, the fog of war is thick, and popping a unit on a pad lights it up and tells your opponent that something is there. If that’s me and I see something stop on a pad on the enemies side right away, I know that’s probably some kind of infantry squad, as if it were a vehicle, chances are more likely it’s coming for my harvesters. Immediately, I know that my harvesters are safe for a while.

Instead, I like to rush a single infantry squad to bear the middle of the map and grab a Harvester. That infantry squad scouts for me and I can then build into an early rush or start pumping more infantry squads to support next to the pads.

9/10 times, the enemy rushes forwards and my infantry are 2-1 to counter engage. Even if it’s something that infantry can’t handle, they tie it up long enough to build a counter and engage with that.

Learn To Micromanage

Micromanagement is a staple of the RTS genre and though CnC Rivals is a distilled version of the game, it is no less important here. Everything is all on one screen and it is vital that you are keeping your eye on every unit on the battlefield – friend and foe.

If you’re attacking enemy units on a missile pad, ensure that you maneuver your units onto the space to contest the lad as soon as the opportunity opens. Make sure that you’re moving your units in efficient paths, don’t let your infantry go wandering off through a Tiberium field as it autopaths to get behind an enemy, when the friendly unit blocking it is near death.

Don’t let your opponent engage one of your units 2:1 simply because you didn’t step forward to block the flank. Don’t let a unit sit doing absolutely nothing – being idle on a pad is one thing, being idle but providing vision is one thing – having a missile squad standing there picking their noses whilst a Predator Tank pounds away at your harvesters one hex over?

Most egregious of all – don’t let one of your units abandon a pad you control or contest purely because the enemy moved, handing them a free nuke. This happens more than you’d imagine.


None of this comes quickly, and the more you play, the more you’ll learn to read the map and guess what your opponents next move is likely to be.

If you’re quick to react, and have the right setup, then you can pull down commanders who have higher level units without much problem.

What tactics do you use in CnC Rivals? Did I miss anything or do you disagree with any of my suggestions? Let me know!


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