Five years after its release, Tap Titans 2 remains one of the more popular games in the incremental/idle/clicker genre. It has the basic flow and features you’d expect from an idle RPG, but it leans more toward classic idle-game elements like those in Cookie Clicker or Clicker Heroes than toward the RPG features you see in, say, AFK Arena.
As of September 2021 (v5.9), Tap Titans 2 is well reviewed (currently 4.6 stars on Google Play) and still being actively updated. With so many free and inexpensive games in this space, though, the best way to figure out if TT2 is for you is probably to just download it and take it for a spin.
When I’m trying out a new game, I like to try and get to the midgame as quickly as possible. Obviously, the very idea of a “midgame” is at least a bit subjective, but for me it’s the part where all the big features are unlocked, I feel like I have a decent understanding of the game’s core mechanics, and I can see what choices the game presents to me as a player. There’s been some debate over the years as to how “midgame” should be defined in TT2 specifically, whether in terms of max stage or artifacts collected. I ended up making it my goal to reach max stage 5000, and I collected just over 30 artifacts along the way. By this point I felt I had a good sense of what I could expect from TT2.
Because the game has been around for so long, a lot of the TT2 guides and resources go back a few years. Some, such as lemmingllama’s guides on Reddit, are still up-to-date enough to serve as a good starting point. A lot of the other existing content revolves around optimizing mid- to late-game play and assumes you are already familiar with the game. Here, I’d instead like to focus on getting to a point where you can decide whether you like TT2 enough to shoot for the endgame.
Okay, so how long does it take to reach max stage 5000?
I did it in about a week and a half (11 days according to in-game stats), with about an hour a day of active play and a few daily check-ins to nudge the inactive progression.
What did you do during the active time?
For the first 1000 stages or so I was just learning the game, clicking through tutorial achievements and unlocking new heroes. There wasn’t really any conscious strategy to this part, but it went by super fast.
After that, I tried to get about 250 levels in a day, though from what I said above you can tell that I exceeded this most days. Basically, my active time consisted of one or two big daily “pushes” to increase max stage. During those, I would pop Coordinated Offensive (a Warlord skill that boosts passive damage) whenever it appeared and keep casting War Cry (another damage multiplier) and Hand of Midas (gold multiplier) as often as I had the mana to do so. This process is about as “active” as you’d expect for an idle game, i.e., the sort of thing you could do while watching Twitch but not while taking notes in class. After the daily push, I went back to farming (a largely passive / AFK process) to unlock and level up artifacts.
This is one of those cash shop games, right? Did you buy anything? Did you watch a lot of ads?
I didn’t pay for anything in the cash shop. Sometimes the game offers bonuses (like “Activate All Spells” or damage multipliers) if you watch an ad. I did this very sparingly—essentially, just to top up Mega Boost (a damage multiplier) during active play and to reactivate spells when I was pushing to a new max stage and ran out of mana. So getting to max stage 5000 in fairly short order doesn’t require watching a ton of ads. My impression is that TT2 is about middle-of-the-pack in this respect: I’ve played some free mobile games with significantly more ads and others with significantly less.
Now let’s look at the nuts and bolts. The game does a good job of introducing the different mechanics overall, so I’m just going to explain the choices I made in each area.
There are all sorts of optimizations you can make, but basically your skills, equipment, etc. are based on what you want to be your main source of damage. I wanted to focus on hero and Clan Ship damage because these are largely passive. Thus, I ended up sinking all my points into the Warlord skill tree. This gave me a reasonably powerful Clan Ship for clearing (or outright skipping) lower levels fast, with enough hero damage to push a few hundred stages at a time when I wanted to. The Clan Ship does require joining a clan, but that’s not generally a big commitment in TT2.
The specific skills I prioritized were:
- Master Commander: Multiplicative bonus to hero damage. Required to get the skill tree started.
- Aerial Assault: Increases Clan Ship damage and lets it “splash” through more enemies.
- Coordinated Offensive: This is the “active”/”push” part of the recipe. Basically, you can trigger a free skill that significantly increases your hero damage for a short while. The cooldown is short; you can more or less spam this when actively playing.
- Astral Awakening: This provides another tappable hero damage bonus that reappears pretty often (useful for pushing) and lets your Clan Ship skip some enemies altogether when it does splash damage (good for farming).
In other words, I more or less ignored the middle branch of the skill tree and focused on skills that would either make the Clan Ship more powerful or increase hero damage directly. There’s also some finessing you can do by, e.g., adding a few Sorcerer points into a Warlord build, but I wanted to keep things simple.
I honestly didn’t pay much attention to equipment. I just picked the things that would increase Clan Ship damage, hero damage, or gold the most given whatever else I had going on. The one thing I did find helpful was to keep a different helmet around for each hero class (Ranger, Warrior, Mage). When pushing, I would switch my helmet (and thus my class damage bonus) to match the class of whichever hero was doing the most damage. This helped me get a few more stages out of each push.
Artifacts are items that persist between prestiges (resets of your stage, analogous to “ascensions” in some other games). They apply various bonuses to your damage, gold, spell costs, and so forth. The order you unlock them in is largely random, though you are guaranteed to get some of the most important ones (e.g., Book of Shadows) relatively early on.
This is another area where I adopted more of a broad heuristic than a strict strategy. The linchpin of the artifact progression is Book of Shadows, which applies a multiplier to your relics gained (those being the currency you spend to buy and level up artifacts). Prior to getting Book of Shadows, I split my relics about 50/50 between new unlocks and level-ups; once I got BoS, I spent about half my relics leveling it up and casually divvied up the rest between other unlocks and level-ups.
Apart from Book of Shadows, the artifacts I found most useful were:
- S-rank: all the ones I unlocked. I got Stone of the Valrunes (+ gold per skill activated), Boots of Hermes (chance to spawn a boss that lets you skip stages), and Ring of Calisto (% boost to equipment bonuses). I would have leveled any other S-rank artifact except Heart of Storms, which boosts pet damage.
- A-rank: any that boost War Cry or Hand of Midas, equipment effects, gold, or hero damage of any kind.
- B-rank: Arcana Cloak (− War Cry cost), Influential Elixir (+ Clan Ship damage), Titan Spear (− Hand of Midas cost), Phantom Timepiece (+ active skill duration), Hourglass of the Impatient (− active skill cooldown), Mystical Beans of Senzu (mana refund).
- C-rank: Aegis (+ War Cry duration), Ring of Fealty (+ Hand of Midas duration), Durendal Sword (+ non-boss damage), Oberon Pendant (chance to spawn an enemy that partly refills mana).
I ignored the following because they didn’t really synergize with my Warlord / Clan Ship build:
- Anything that gives only pet bonuses.
- Anything that improves spells other than Hand of Midas or War Cry.
Six spells are available by default. Of these, I used War Cry and Hand of Midas when pushing (synchronizing them with Coordinated Offensive) but didn’t bother casting the others. I did, however, level up all six spells when possible to wring a little more usefulness out of “Activate All Spells” fairies whenever they appeared.
Perks are temporary boosts given out either for watching ads (Mega Boost is a flat damage multiplier that lasts 4 hours), as daily freebies, or in exchange for diamonds (the game’s premium currency, which is given out pretty generously for achievements, events, etc.) My perk strategy was to:
- Keep Mega Boost maxed whenever actively pushing.
- Keep Make It Rain up more or less constantly. This gives a lump sum of gold when cast but, more importantly, auto-levels your heroes. Like most perks, it costs 100 diamonds and last 12 hours per cast.
- Go ham with the perks when I reached stage 4500 or so. The bump provided by Doom (progressive damage increase, esp. useful on bosses) and Adrenaline Rush (another damage multiplier), combined with the spells and skills described above and a couple Mana Potions, easily brought me over the top.
Well, that’s the rundown. There are a million little tweaks you could apply to the above to make it more efficient, but to me this is a pretty simple way to get started with TT2 without having to familiarize yourself with all the skill trees, artifact options, or equipment choices.
Overall, it should be pretty simple to reach max stage 5000 if you …
- Join a clan—any clan—ASAP to unlock the Clan Ship.
- Sink points into Warlord for fast low-level farming and decent push potential.
- Prioritize Artifacts that boost hero damage, gold, stage skip, and mana.
- Cast War Cry and Hand of Midas to boost Coordinated Offensive when pushing.
- Use Make It Rain at all times and Mega Boost during active play.
- Make a final push for 5000 with Doom, Adrenaline Rush, and a few Mana Potions.
… and from there you can decide if it’s worth it to stick around, clear stage 8000, and unlock Alchemist. ?