C21-Online

Page last edited 2017.

Mars, 2013. The game uses the same gfx for a lot of the items so I had trouble telling stuff apart. Thought about drawing them some unique icons but there are hundreds to do.

Old client: These cute acorn-like enemies are mostly harmless, hovering about. I'm the tank on the shelf.

New client: The lost forest of Poyeen. Here you can find big trees which give decent EXP, and also the immense brown trees which will show up randomly and kill all of your stuff. They drop green coins if you can manage to overcome their HP regeneration. Certain days the EXP and coin drops are x1.5, as seen here. This will multiply with other EXP modifiers which you have running. There's even an LGJ part which gives +30%, but it's costly to get.

GUI, From top, left to right:

During Yule 2011, I ran into this special reindeer. The portal lead to a place with a few Santa characters. There are often special events happening during holidays.

About this page

I started playing C21 online back in late 2010 after having found the graphical style of the game quite interesting. I don't understand many things in the game since it's in Japanese, but I wanted to make a page where I talked about my experiences nonetheless.

Since 2010, an English version of the game has come and gone. Most of the screenshots on this page are also a bit dated since the client has been updated. New players might also face a different experience than I did. To the right you can see what the recent client looks like. The inventory is now larger, and you can fit more parts into the garage than you used to.

Introduction

C21-Online is a free to play Action MMORPG with a pay to pwn element which funds it. It differs a bit from MMORPGs in that level isn't very important. You have a whole garage full of robots which you have built or modified yourself, and you can bring up to five robots out on each adventure.

These robots are made out of parts which vary in performance. As you level up the parts also become more powerful, but using great parts is more important than level. The parts will adjust to the level of the robot, which is actually more like an abstract core entity (you can swap out all of the parts and still keep your level).

Like I said, it's an Action MMORPG so your dexterity matters quite a bit. You play in third person mode, or first person. There's some auto aim but being able to aim is still important (or perhaps, what and when to shoot, and from where). Since you can have many weapons equipped on the robots, there's also some strategy in finding the right weapon for the right task. You have long range weapons, area damage weapons, lasers which pierce through multiple enemies, close combat weapons, etc. I have a giant robot bunny which does great damage up close, but it's really only usable on slow large slow bosses like the "Phantom Plock". I also have some small and fast bots which survive by being mobile, while delivering slow but sure persistent damage.

There are two types of currencies in the game (items aside). There's the regular C$ which enemies drop, and then there's the green 'Mt' which you get as a present sometimes when logging in, or as rewards for missions and events. You can also buy Mt each month, but the cost per Mt increases per tens bought. Getting the maximum 50 Mt costs about 751k C$ per month. The easiest way to get Mt is by buying it using real money. 50 Mt is 500 Yen I believe, which should make it about 1:1 to the Swedish Krona. It's a tad expensive I think, but the game has managed to survive despite not having that many active players (it's below ten thousand, I've heard).

Mt can be used to indirectly "twink" your characters by getting them great parts. One way to do that is to buy ingredients for new powerful parts, or get the parts in the "Gacha" (gachapon). It's a type of vending machine which plops out random capsules with items inside. I like this system because it makes each player different. It would be boring if everyone were using the same "ideal" build.

Twinking plays an essential role in the game as it's played cooperatively (PvP is kept somewhat separately). Many items and parts can't be traded (R-rank), but there are some decent ones which can (C-Rank). Friends can help you clear the missions in the Mission Centers, and this unlocks the more powerful parts which are otherwise grayed out in stores. EXP, Drops and C$ can be shared when in a party.

Your four inactive robots generally gain 10% EXP from the active one, but you can take advantage of being able to swap parts around and design bots which are great just for leveling. To progress beyond L30 you need to use the Tuning Mist item on it, which will cost you 2,5 million C$ or 50Mt.


The game itself is fairly straightforward. You can roam around and kill enemies, earning EXP, C$, ingredients and parts. Some enemies drop parts of their body which you can add to your own robots. There's a Mission Center where you (and maybe some friends) can complete various mini levels and earn rewards, and by completing all missions you increase in rank (the icon over your head, not the rank of the robot). PvP events can earn you some rewards as well.

There's a sequel / offshoot called Cosmic Break, more focused on mecha girls and PvP and not PvE.

This is the best MMO that I've played. It has solved many of the problems present in other MMOs like World of Warcraft. It is fun to have multiple, diverse looking "characters" going out together to tackle a task. There is no need to "transmog" parts to avoid that clown look, because you can recolour and retexture. It's very open and creative, and I've wisely played it at a slower pace rather than exhausting it. The randomness assures a degree of player variety.

Playing with self-imposed restrictions: using parts that drop in the region to make a robot to re-challenge the region with. Here's my pretty pink ballerina "BloodGutter" near the easy entry of the parallel/dark world.

Links

Clients, servers and updates

Mac version worked like a charm straight out of the zip. I've also tried a windows XP version long ago but the text was garbled because windows is/was not so good with fonts. The game updates (goes down) on Thursdays, Japanese time, 6am I believe. This removes login capsules from the "Present" tab in the item garage, so grab them before that. There are three identical main PvE servers to join and hop between. Sometimes during events, players distribute across the servers to reduce lag. Certain areas of the game are instantiated (private or for groups), like dungeons and the mission center. Years ago, it could be crowded around public areas with good EXP, but now it seems EXP grind has moved to the instantiated areas, because power creep has made the wild a bit obsolete.

Controls

I only know a few vital keys so far:

It can be effective to a SUB attack dash jump to gain altitude, and fire your weapons (possibly an alpha strike) while being a difficult air target. Gliding through the air also counts as standing still which helps to regenerate EN a little.

In C21 you play as robots which you can design and texture yourself. This is one of the starter robots. The stats to the right:

This robot of my own design (I haven't found the proper bat head) has no attacks, but it's fast and I use it for traveling and funz, sometimes. Robots made out of less powerful parts will level up much faster. You can tell by the rank (S is good, B is weak). The robot parts each have different stats which scale with level. A number series like 42 - 90 - 105 indicates the stats for Level 1, 30 and 50.

The robot parts can be seen to the left here, arranged hierarchically. You can rotate, move and zoom the 3D view in the middle with the mouse. Changes don't apply until you Finish. I put the Rookie Badge into a slot (lower left). It's a temporary badge which gives some stat boosts.

Robot construction

The most prominent feature of C21 is the robot customization. A robot is generally built from legs (LG), a torso (BD), arms (AM), a backpack (BS), a head (HD), and a gun and sword held in each hand. However, it's possible to mix the parts up and build all kinds of crazy looking things with multiple arms and bodies and special parts. In a recent update the ability to stack parts was added. Equipping a stack of 10 parts (only acts as one on the robot) will increase EN, HP and Damage by 20% (2% per part).

The parts come in many different sizes and appearances. The 'leg' part doesn't have to be actual legs, it can be tank tracks or a hover knob for example. I currently have a robot with 4 legs, a torso with 4 guns, and a melee (pincer) head. The BS is built in and it has no arms. It's actually a copy of the "Dekamuka" enemy in the game. If you hang around the garage zone you'll see tons of fun designs that people have built.

On top of this, you can change the color scheme in a couple of different editors. There's even a texture editor which shows you the UV-map. If you visit the city (hub) in the starting area where a lot of people hang out, you'll soon get a grasp of the variation that is possible.

You can build robots with great built in weapons, which scale with level, or a robot optimized for handheld weapons. Some parts with built in weapons degrade the arms' handheld limits. The stats seem to be an average of the involved parts. For example, the BD and AMs often define the two handheld limits (射撃能力 and 格闘能力). A level 15 robot with two 50-100-120 AM and a 20-40-50 BD is halfway to the L30 middle stat and would thus have (75+75+30)3 as a handheld stat, but there seem to be some floating point to integer conversions, so the stats might be a bit lower than the actual average. That's how I think it works anyways.

I prefer mobile robots because some enemies can really gang up and lay down inescapable combos on you if you are too fat to get out of there. The Ptera head is a nice early damage dealer, but it does poorly against small and nimble airborne enemies. To deal with those, a nice ranged slightly homing weapon is good. A must have weapon for leveling is something with a stun, push-back and penetration ability. Poyeen's third town in the SouthEast corner sells a 30Mt electric gun which is good for this, but I much prefer the Shuriken used by one of the girl bots in the department store as it does more, wider damage and uses less energy. At higher levels there's better stuff of course.

EXP and C$

It's a good idea to play with friends so you can get to the better parts faster... unless you want to play the game for the journey's sake, which might actually be a good idea. Early on the lost forest of Poyeen is (used to be) decent for leveling, but later you probably want to visit Venev (Venus? A lava planet) where there are red bear mobs on a particular shelf which you can corner and slaughter for thousands of EXP per spawn. However, the best place to gain EXP is to do the emergency missions with a party, or perhaps (writing in 2017) the parallel/dark worlds during EXP multiplier days. Your 4 inactive bots gain 10% of the EXP (of the active one?). In the MC, EXP is always 100% and is given to all 5 bots (600 EXP is actually 3000 total).

On planet Vulture you can make C$ fast if you bring about 6-8 friends and trap the big birds with stun weapons in a pit. On Shaokku the Delgons drop valuable gems which can be traded. There was a strange x13 C$ bonus one day and I used a 300% booster on that and made 13 million in short order, doing Gigas and Geo Deep.

Presents

Look for the buttons with katakana spelling something like puresento in the garage. There's one on the robot page, one on the items page and one on the parts and badges page. Unload these things into your inventories, but keep in mind that the present bots are loans (you lose them). Some items marked with a clock will disappear, but sometimes the clock just means they will disappear after use. EXP orbs are active for 30-180 minutes then disappear (also, you can only have one active at a time). Login capsules (purple dogu head handbags) you must spend before 7 days in the Gacha. I didn't know about them and wasted years of them. On the other hand you don't get nice stuff there anyways, except for maybe the +10 and +25 chance laboratory circuits. The bots are not that useful, but I got a big fox which can do nice roll-attack damage. Login capsules can also be spent in the Premium Zone (?) accessed via the secondary MC entry. Sometimes they can be spent to buy 5 or 12Mt in the gacha screens.

Settings

I can't read much here. I'm guessing that you can adjust music volume, bind keys, fiddle with graphic options, etc. Hover mode is set here too, and HUD on/offs.

Story

I can't read much of the Story, but the game appears to be set 1000 years into the future, in the era of the Cosmic Renaissance. The "Angel Legion" fights the "Evil Legion". The game has an intro which you can rewatch from the login screen.

I don't know how big the robots are or if there are any humans alive. Sadly, the game is a bit sterile. I can appreciate the clean style - it's quite delicious - but the levels are repetitive and kind of dead. I'd really like to see some scale reference and landmarks to liven the place up a bit. Drew stuff:

Dekamuka scale

Anyways, since I can't read the story, I thought it would be fun to come up with my own, so here it is.

Centuries into the future, the Human Empire had just established their 15th and, as it turned out, final extrasolar colony. On the newly discovered alien world an artifact was found which lead to an amazing breakthrough in computing. New types of intelligent machines created were to help manage the colonies and improve the human condition. Months passed and the new machines grew more powerful at an exponential rate. Their motives were soon beyond comprehension. One day, they all burrowed into the core of their host worlds, and then transformed the surface into a shell so hard that it could survive being submerged into the center of the sun.

On the surface of these post singularity planets, simple machines of unknown function had been left to wander aimlessly. What happened to mankind itself is a mystery, but to this day, human structures keep appearing on the surface. Some believe it's a form of mausoleum that is maintained out of sentimentality... if a singularity can feel such a thing.

As time went by, some of the machines roaming the surface of the Earth found their own purpose. By modifying themselves and evolving, they also developed a darker side. One group believed in enforcing structure and oneness, suppressing the individuality which is normally an inherent emergent property of a robot's mind core. The group of robots who opposed this agenda called themselves 'Legion of Angels', and they called their adversaries the 'Legion of Evil'. In truth though, it is only the Legion of Evil which is Legion.

It was the Legion of Evil which found the old warp pathways between the Earth colonies. Eventually they found a way to force-reprogram mind cores, and this lead to the eradication of most 'aberrants'. Now, the Legion of Angels are fighting a losing battle to maintain their individuality. Meanwhile, the Legion of Evil is finding new ways to spread, using warp technology.

This new era of robotic life and strife is known as the 'Cosmic Renaissance'.

So, this story of mine attempts to explain why the terrain is so hard and looks kind of artificial, why some structures regenerate, why there are no humans, why the bad guys are clones, and how they can teleport in.

Cities

Soaring high above the busy streets with my Dekamuka. It doesn't have a BS (backpack) part, but I suppose it might be built in.

The cities have a bunch of useful buildings which you can enter. Out in the streets, people advertise their goods. At least that's what I think they're doing. The kanji for goods is one of the few that I can recognize.

You can travel to different planets using the star port which is clearly marked on the map that you can bring up with M. The map has to be explored as you can't see all of the connections initially.

The NPC's with a (?) emote are offering fetch-quests and such. At Poyeen's MC tehre is now a smattering of them. Doing dungeons often gives you Mt and some Robonium (a crystal that gives EXP when consumed). Another small NPC will trade you the robot at its side (and sometimes a tuning mist) for some very common Poyeen drops. I believe it ordered a surplus and wants to get rid off them.

Hovering over three NPCs which offer day-sensitive quests, usually to complete a particular dungeon for some reward.

ADF central entry portal/gate in the background. It's a sort of hub with connections to various planets.

Planets

I've only been to a few planets so far. You can find the spaceport easily on the world map. I don't know if beginners can go everywhere as the game is now. I think it might cost them Mt to go to late game planets without having unlocked them by ranking up. Watch your spaceport and portals/gates for the following Katakana:

There are more which are harder to get to. Check the Japanese wiki. Here are a few:

Garage

Here you can manage your 5 robots, add/remove parts, or scratch build new robots. The tabs (numbered) are useful for sorting stuff.

I'm keeping some health regen stuff in my field inventory to the right. Some inventory tabs might be locked for various reasons (your 7 'noob' days are up, or you're doing a mission which doesn't allow inventory use). Parts are dropped by enemies in [?] boxes. I collect Dekamuka parts out of compulsion.

The Garage is where you keep your robots and items. Zones with a Garage (and other buildings) are always void of enemies. Well, not always. I've seen stores in a dungeon.

Important buttons lower right panel (robot garage):

Robot screen: Similar to the Pokémon games, you have a couple of robots which you can switch between anywhere, though there's a time delay. Unused robots are kept in the garage. I didn't understand this at first, but it appears that you get a whole bunch of robots when you start, on top of the robot that you got when you signed up.

Editing a robot (e.g. changing an arm) might change its level, as the weaker parts are leveled more easily because they are ranked lower. Also, you will lose EXP when swapping out parts, unless you buy a certain item in the global shop (basket icon). The robots are leveled individually, just like Pokémon. I think of the robots more as cores with parts attached. High level robots in lower lever areas will earn a lower % of EXP, as indicated in the main HUD next to the mini map.

Item screen: The cyan capsules are health, and the yellow are energy. Moving and shooting might cost energy. Your energy will recharge on its own (depending on part stats and level), but sometimes when things get intense, you risk running low (and freeze in the middle of a battle).

The hexagonal items are gates which allow you to return to the city or leave a dungeon (teal and purple). Some gates bring you to other planets. The black one leads to Dasd I think.The green items are ingredients. Robot parts are also stored here in the lower area, over the trash can. Well, they were in this old client. They have a separate screen in the new client.

The drop down arrow over the inventory is for sorting. The small text field might be for batch transfer.

Paint store

This is the texture editor. Turning on the UV map helps a lot when editing. The UV maps are often very simple and pixel art very angular, beveled (no antialiasing). I've edited the chest a bit here. I believe their texture artists often do a bunch of random bevel stuff then drag the UVmaps around until they find a cool fit. Sort of like a texture atlas. Eyes and chest lights are sometimes (but not here) a separate polygon shape which is set to fullbright rendering.

There are several ways to paint your robot. The first option in the main menu lets you paint the robot quickly with the three default color schemes of the planet you're on. The second option lets you paint the robot by parts, which is what you'll be doing the most. The third is the most interesting, as it brings up the texture editor. The textures are actually attached to the robot and not the individual parts. If you try to put the edited part on another robot then the part will use the default texture.

The textures are palletized, so changing a color will affect the whole texture. There are 3 color scheme colors with automatic 3 color ramps. Then there are 3 dark grays for general mech bits, and 3 other colors. You can edit the RGB values for these colors. They're useful for static, non-color scheme areas like faces, greeble, lights and logos. Then there's a final, near black gray which you can't edit other than copy pasting chunks of it.

The texture editor screen had a lot of buttons. At the top left we have four load/save buttons. Before I go into these I must mention that the textures seem to be stored in sets for the robot core, and not the actual parts. So, the first column saves/loads the entire set of textures into a file, and the second column saves/loads a PNG of the current actively edited texture. This can be edited in another program, but the colors must match the ones in the game. Then there are undo and redo buttons, and copy-paste buttons (and what might be a special copy-paste undo). The drawing icons (right side) should be self-explanatory.

The dropdown list is important because it's where you select which part to edit. You can't edit handheld weapons though.

It will cost you 5,000 credits to retexture a bot, unless you get a certain 30 day item in the shop. This item just costs 10,000 C$ I believe so you should get it if you do a lot of editing. Oh! If you are on Venev where there is no paint shop, you can change server to the Robo GP arena, which brings you to a small town with a paint shop... store.. shop.. which is it?

My "StalfosRide" with a custom chest skull and banner. In some cases like this the UV map has overlaps and stretches, which puts tricky restrictions on what can be done.

Laboratory

The enemies sometimes drop things like armor blocks, oil, sand, debris, thorns. However, most things made in the laboratory often require much more rare ingredients. To get these you must either buy them, trade for them, get them from boss runs, or events. Cosmic coins you get from every 50 Mt spent, I've heard. I've only been able to make a few parts ever. The bear badges pretty good and easy to make (you need to get a green shiny crystal from the fortress on Poyeen, and a bear HD, best gotten on Venev as they rarely drop on Poyeen). Many ingredients use the same icon, so I can't tell what I have or not, or where to find it.

There's a circuit in the department shop which increases the chances of success. Some recipes only have a 75% chance of working, and if it doesn't you lose the stuff and money, except for the items marked with "Safety". By using a +25% circuit with that 75%, you can be sure to get it. Some holidays you get a +20% chance bonus in there too, because they globally activate the Premium Lab item which you'd normally get in the Department store.

Also, you can tweak your handheld weapons in various ways at the laboratory. A reset circuit can be used to reset the tweaks if you aren't happy. It's vaguely similar to socketing in Diablo II. Not sure if the low level tweaks are worth the increased EN cost.

Dungeons and portals

This is the dungeon entry just outside the main city. The party menu can be seen to the left. Remember to pack some stuff to keep you safe.

Each planet has a zone (or several?) with a dungeon that you can enter. In many of the dungeons you have to collect gems (keys) to unlock doors. You might have to wait for enemies to respawn if a certain (e.g. red) gem drop is too rare. At the end of each zone or floor is a teleport pad, on which you must gather your party so you all gate together. Sometimes there are ways for players left behind to catch up though. The level of instantiation varies a bit apparently.

At the end of the dungeon is a big boss. You get to choose one out of three treasure chests. Often, you get some health packs, and a robot part. The first planet has a very easy dungeon which you can take on with a few friends at level 5-10 or so, if you've done something with your bot.

Using a cheap HP regen pill inside dungeons seems like a good idea, because you'll do a lot of fighting and walking, and it's nice to not have to worry too much about the health bar. Later you'll find parts which does both EN and HP regen. I sometimes use an expensive HP pill on the boss. The boss will drop more rare stuff. Dying in a dungeon will forfeit any drops or XP gains that you've accumulated there, but dying elsewhere has little effect other than the C$ cost of resurrection, it seems.

Be sure to bring an escape dungeon portal in case the dungeon is too hard for you. Escape portals look like a stargate with a blue swirl in it. It will bring you back to the closest Garage. There's also a purple portal, but it's used in the field. The various colored portals will take you to different planets (you can sort of tell where the lead by their color), so you won't always have to go by shuttle.

On top of these, the item store on Poyeen sells portals marked with difficulty levels. These will bring you to a place called Gigas I think. I don't know what to do there. (Edit: Boss drops a lot of C$) The EXP is not that great for the amount of HP the enemies have, and there are no fun part drops that I've seen. Easy difficulty is still rather difficult for a a mediocre L20 bot. A purple portal will bring you back from that place, but it can be bought there.

Mission Center

The Mission Center is clearly marked on the world map. By completing all of the missions in each "MC" you gain rank which unlocks certain things in stores and destinations in the spaceport. Many missions have special objectives, such as escort, save an NPC, defend the radars, kill all of the enemies with a triangle on the minimap HUD, kill a boss, run to a place. Some missions can only be played alone, but most can be coop'ed with high level friends (who will be able to see you in the mission list once you're inside the little mission prep-room). Also, you may have noticed that your robots has a point value. There might be a point limit for some missions, preventing you from using your best robot.

Once you have made your way to Godway and talked to a "?" guy there, you can unlock the Elite missions. These have to be played in order at each planet's MC. They are all pretty easy. I only had to replay the radar defence mission. Once those are finished, you go back to Godway, talk to the guy again and he unlocks the path to a secret laboratory where you can buy the (expensive) Tuning Mist which allows you to go over L30, and you get a gold star. Edit: tuning mists are now pretty common.

More on building robots and combat

My reskinned giant fox sits perched atop one of the oriental buildings at Gaster. It's actually made out of a single part, and you can't give it any weapons or extra stuff.

The basic froglander is easy to level up. It maxes to L30 at a mere 88,000 EXP (compared to a million for other bots). There's a better frog bot in the robot store hidden in the south-east village though. I'm using a knife here only because I have to. I find that they are too short and often fail to connect. Air-dash knife damage is 150. Normally the knife does only 75. I like using frogs to challenge my skill and see how far I can take them.

I use this medium sized bot a lot. HD Starbeams for ranged trickle damage, a Brickgale BS mostly for HP regen, and a shuriken thing for weak mobs. Equipping two and throwing them in succession only results in a 10% damage increase unfortunately. Also, upgrading the weapon's damage in the lab is not really worth it since the EN drain skyrockets. Simply getting a better weapon is preferable to upgrading. However, some weapons can be upgraded to be homing, and that's very useful in a third person shooter with quite a bit of lag.

These new LG, made in the lab from the regular human LGs, support more weight which is good since this bot has a heavy Yule tree spear and pirate cannon BS. I don't normally use spears, but this one has a special behavior and high damage. I've retexured the face and BS.

Gold version parts have slightly higher stats. I got these from the 8th anniversary event in the Mission Center. The sign-post BDs greatly degrade the performance of this robot, but they are fun to texture.

Robot construction was rather confusing for me early on because the robot parts have lots of stats, many written in Kanji (mentioned above). Since a robot is made out of many parts (commonly LeG, BoDy, ArMs, HeaD and BackpackS), the stats somehow come together to form an average for the robot. There are some restrictions to consider, like providing parts with enough walk strength, fly strength, energy recharge. The arm parts can hold weapons, but weak arms can't hold advanced weapons. Some parts have built in weapons, but there are synergy concerns here, as the can degrade the stats of other parts, or be degraded themselves.

The parts are independent from the level, which is stored in what I imagine is an abstract robot core. As you add or change parts, they automatically adjust to the level of the core according to their stat level tables. For example, the damage from a built in beam might gradually go up 40 - 100 - 120 for level 1 - 30 - 50 respectively. An arm might be weak at level 1 but grows powerful at level 30. Another arm might be pretty good at level 1 but doesn't get much better.

The parts are ranked C or R, 1 to 5. The lowest part rank for parts might be C-1, but apparently this doesn't necessarily mean that the part sucks. I've found that it's very difficult to compare part performance. Some parts are only good (or great) in certain situations. R parts can't be traded between players.

There are four kanji at the top left side of a part's stat window. Robots made out of matching parts receive a melee EN use bonus, air bonus, shooting EN use bonus or healing bonus. How much can be seen in the EXT tab to the right.

It seems like all of the robots and weapons which are easily available to beginners are pretty poor in performance, though a skilled player can still do some nice damage with them. Swords deliver pretty good damage if you run or fly with them as you strike. Air-dashing/boosting (double tap) while striking seems to double the damage. When doing melee, it's good to zoom out with the mouse wheel to get a better view of the enemies in relation to you. Some swords do a little halting downward chop in the air and work better if you dash sideways to strike. Of course, you do have to get close to the enemies with melee weapons, but with a fast bot you'll still be hard to hit, and close combat attacks tend to stun enemies a little, allowing you to "kick them while they're down", so to speak. Spears, clubs, maces and hammers I find less useful since they halt you, leaving you vulnerable.

The early guns are pretty hard to aim with but are useful for doing trickle damage when closing in, or for finishing weak peripheral enemies off while you are engaged elsewhere. Early on you might want to use the machine guns, which are good for medium range circle strafing combat. Do try to get a hang of sword dash attacking. I really enjoy it now, especially coupled with a breakable shield (easily found in Pold City robo store). Makes for great knight role playing.

Larger robots have more HP and can carry larger weapons, but I've had more more success with smaller more agile robot designs as avoiding damage seems preferable to "tanking". High level players use special legs and backpacks to make their large robots fast, but a beginner doesn't have these parts. Tanking might work against lone enemies, but groups tend to stun you repeatedly until you die. My best bots are the ones which deliver damage while denying enemies the chance either by stunning them or avoiding them. The giant fox which you get in the login capusle Gacha (L3) is pretty great at both. It has a fast roll attack which deals a lot of area damage.

My only "get up in their face" robot is the giant bunny, also from the Gacha. It's a real glass cannon and a gamble to use, but once it deals its damage it's over in seconds even for high HP bosses. When fighting in a party, it works great to have the teammates stun and push enemies into a corner where bunny sits and nukes everything. I also have an archer bot which deals relatively low damage but inflicts "slow", which makes the rest of a party a little safer from bosses.

Screenshots can be taken from the front by shifting to the other FPS mode in the settings and mousewheel-clicking near the edge of the screen, then dragging the view around, then hitting F12. Edit: It's better to use the ZXCVB keys for camera control now.

Old bird Skatan in 2017. I found a nice shock rifle for it, which, while dealing decent damage also helps to keep enemies nicely impotent at the right distance for perhaps other more powerful attacks, such as an alpha strike.

Department store

There's a little icon at the top of the screen which looks like a customer basket. This is yet another store, but it works differently. First, there's a capsule game of some sort that you can play. It works like those capsule machines for kids, where you put in some coins and get a random item, probably not the one that you wanted.

The second option appears to be a regular store of some sort. During the new-year holidays, it seems robots can be bought here at a 50% discount. Everything in here costs Mt. To save up Mt, you can do Missions, and buy your monthly limit of Mt from the regular Item Store. I usually get 30Mt (150,000 C$) buy if you have the dough you can go up to 50. (Edit, I now do...)

Look for the 30 day limit items at the right. Here's what I think they do:


Navigating the map

You'll see two map icons bottom right (old client). The best way to find your way across the world is to simply check the relative position of the zones on the world map, then find an 'in' icon in that direction on the mini map, because they're always placed in a direction which makes sense, somewhat.

You might need to find a tree or elevated shelf to jump (fly) from to reach some places (since your maximum flight altitude is limited early on). Later, you can build a robot which can cheat its way up some edges. Simply stand on an elevated edge, fall down a bit then double dash upwards, right before making a single swipe with a close combat weapon, then let your robot simply drift up the edge without doing anything and the momentum will carry it over. Only works with certain robots and weapons.

The fastest way to travel is to dash or fly dash. If you want, you can make a special fast traveling robot that you use just to get around. Remember that after having switched to a new robot, you can not switch again for a while. The fastest way to get around (between worlds) is using gates (or the ADF once it has been opened up). Sometimes other players will throw down gates, an during some events (around holidays), special gates might appear. Walk into these on your own peril. I was once teleported to this really high level area where I promptly died. If you see several high level players enter, you can follow with a fast bot, and simply survive the event chamber by dodging whilst others do the work.

The Starport will take you to different planets (later you will rely more on gates though). You can buy tickets with friends and travel in the same ship. It's nice and makes the game feel more real.

Places to grind

Grinding on the pig men legions just East of the city under the main city. To the left the create party menu can be seen. It's important to stock up on health packs.

Killing some red bears on Venev. The bears can be pushed into the corner by various knock-back weapons.

Platypus at Pusha, I think. They have a pretty high EXP yield (60?) given their low HP. At this particular place the mobs are too scattered about though.

Winning the Emergency Mission gives me 15 000 EXP per robot slot because I have a +100% crystal active.

A good way to grind early on is to join a party in the "lost forest". I call it that because it's not marked on the map. You'll have to ask someone to guide you there the first few times, because it's sort of hard to find. It's down left (South-West).

I think the only place someone BM'ed me was in the lost forest. It was probably because I didn't understand the unwritten party rule. When you're already in an (abandoned) party you can't join another, which means EXP sharing is less efficient, beacause in a party you get more than your share of EXP. Afaik, when competing for EXP/kills, you get your quota (decided by damage inflicted). Anyways, people were yelling at me to get out. Now I know they meant for me to get "out" of my old party so their invite could go through. Party is shorthanded PT. If you find some nice folks there they will always invite you to the party if you sit immobile on a shelf for a while. Otherwise you can say something like... PTni iretekudasai, perhaps.

An easier place to grind on your own is South-East, just outside the Lantana village (below main city) there are some pig men which spawn in groups.

Later, I recommend getting a nice person to level you up at Venev though. Between the city and MC you'll find a cliff shelf where a pack of doomed, high EXP enemies will spawn. The shelf is often occupied daytime in Japan, especially on x1.5 EXP days. Here people prefer to grind alone (unlike in Poyeen's forest), because several players can make a mess, attracting the pteras or bumping enemies in unfortunate directions.

I push the bears into the corner with a shuriken thing which came with one of the girl bots (300-400 damage, passes through enemies with a stunning knockback), but you can also find a 30Mt stun gun (in the South East village on Poyeen) which works too. It's best not to leave the shelf often, or someone else might grab it (sometimes they do anyways). I keep the player list window open so I can see if there are any speculators.

I have some robot parts which are great at level 1, allowing me wield the shuriken right away. When done leveling, then I swap in the parts of the robot I actually wanted to build (i.e. something which couldn't deal with the Venev fauna). I've gotten 6.1x EXP here with a combination of events and badges and crystals. The red bears give 104 at 1x and the others 50 and 35. Two groups of four spawn and the trick is to time it so they all spawn at once or things will get messy and you'll die in seconds. A weak robot reaches L30 at <100,000 EXP and the better ones at a million.

The big fox is pretty good at steamrolling pig mobs at Gaster, but I think the Venev EXP is better.

On Vulture, higher level players can get fantastic C$ drops from the birds in a special cave. You need to be a team of maybe 6 people (less and the birds spawn in too low numbers) bringing stun and high damage weapons. The 30Mt electric fuzzyball gun and a giant bunny is a good combination. Stay in the cave and don't attract the big blue bird. The BS and wing axe which drops (often) are both pretty nice to keep as presents for new players.

Around the 20th-21st there are Emergency Missions (bosses) in the Mission Centers. These give a lot of EXP, but if you have a bad robot you need to be in a party. I've learned how to solo them with my XL bunny which can deal with the Easy and Medium bosses very quickly. There are 4 one hour long mission sessions per day and each session gives me up to 500 000 EXP per robot slot (each slot gets the same amount of EXP). Nowadays I save my EXP orbs for these missions. Grinding for EXP elsewhere is a waste of time. If you play the Medium difficulty mission you have a chance to get a nice BS (ASG iirc), maybe a Beam Axe (around 700 damage).

The EXP for the Emergency Missions was eventually lowered, and I grew bored of them. EXP is more fun to get in the parallel/dark worlds where there are also part and upgrade material drops.

Raids and events

Halloween event with Skatan (Edit: very old version, but my main bot at the time). A few groups spawn, consisting of two ghosts, some bats and a pumpkin reaper. I couldn't deal with it alone when this screenshot was taken. The events give decent EXP and sometimes special parts.

I don't know the proper terminology here. Sometimes when you wander about you'll see a warning message and some new enemies will appear. These enemy "raids" are announced in the info bar/log. You can see which zone it takes place in by reading the katakana in brackets.

Poyeen's events are mostly not that hard. Events on other planets might kill you quickly. They vary greatly in difficulty and you can be caught off-guard with no HP/EN regens at hand. Sometimes an enormous, high HP tree or beehive will appear. Once destroyed, a portal will open. Inside you will find only your prolonged but inevitable death.

Sometimes there are special events, like a big boss fight, or seasonal events where the raids are different. Check the japanese page for more info on the current going-ons. You may find that some days the EXP is x1.5. This usually ends at 4AM.

That chat icon bottom left

If you see a little message flashing there it's probably someone who wants to friend you or have you in their party (PT). You can also make friend requests and parties. There's a dropdown list with a number of options:

Other notable interface buttons:

Each name will have an x, o or (o) in front of it. This indicates that a player is offline, online, online and in same zone. Name in green... moderator/creator?

There's probably a button for setting 'message in yellow that hovers over your head'. There's an item in the regular item shops which looks like a little boo ghost. It will enable you to use emoticons or something.

So how are people in the game?

I haven't been very chatty, but the people who can speak English seem to be quite friendly. I would wager that xenophobes inherently don't know any English. The same might be true for the kids who often act like jerks online. Since I can't read Japanese very well, this situation really works out for the best!

I've befriended a couple of people, one of which was actually my age (i.e. 2-3 times older than most people in the game). They were indeed quite friendly, and gave me a bunch of stuff and helped me to understand the interface. You might not make any friends in the main city, it's just too busy there. You really need friends to make it through the Mission Center stuff.

PvP and such

There are some zones in the game where the rules are different. The main city has a 4 team just-for-fun battle arena adjacent to it. Then there's another zone North-East which I dare not enter (I don't like PvP much). There's also a special server or two just for PvP. Outside of PvP, the only methods of griefing is bumping each other around, and higher level players might kill whatever the noobs are grinding on. EXP and drops from kills are divided up according to the amount of damage inflicted, so you can't steal kills by being the last guy to deal damage.

Time limit check

That square 8 after the 3 means 'days', I think.

This is some kind of reminder / counter for temporary effects / items. The Rookie Badge appears to be temporary (7 days) because it has a little clock on it. (Put in in one of the two slots on the robot edit screen.) There are also items looking like pills which gives temporary boosts (measured in minutes). Then there are crystal orbs and hourglasses which might give you EXP/C$/Drop bonus for 30 mins or more. You can access the time limit check from the garage. It's useful for telling if you have something timing out soon so you can use it before it expires. The EXP orbs and hourglasses do have a clock on the icon, but they do not disappear from your inventory unless used.

The first week that you play a lot of services in the game are free, like painting, robot assembly, and you will not lose EXP when changing robot parts. Later, changing parts (other than held weapons) might lower your EXP by quite a bit. Like mentioned before, get the item in the Department store to prevent this loss.

There is a monthly of limit on buying Mt (green currency). You can buy Mt in the item store, gold coin on gold background, green arrow. The more you buy, the more expensive it gets.

Some inventory tabs might be disabled (after the rookie badge has passed) until you 'buy something' which enables them. Be careful not getting items locked on them.

Logging out

To log out of the game you should use the door icon upper left. The first option will send you to the server (Channel? Dimension?) screen, allowing you to change server. The second will exit the game. The third is cancel. Servers might be down on Thursdays 6:00-13:00 (jp time) due to weekly maintenance. C21SNS, advertised on the homepage, is some kind of social site you can log into.


Concept art and fan-art by Arne Niklas Jansson. No infringement intended.