Into the Breach Tips Guide

Into the Breach Tips Guide

Into the Breach is one of my favorite games of all time, and I’d contend it’s one of the best and most elegantly designed games in its genre — maybe even in any genre. It’s also a tough game to get a grasp of since it is a tactics puzzler that constantly overwhelms the player with far more enemies than they can reasonably defeat. A little patience, as well as an emphasis on defensive thinking over gung-ho offense, goes a long way.

After a few thousand hours with the game, I can offer a few tried and true strategies to keep in mind for success in any campaign. Here are my general Into The Breach tips for all players, whether you just grabbed the game on mobile or you’re dipping back in after years to check out the Advanced Edition.

If you’re looking for more, check out our Into the Breach tag for news, guides, and more coverage!

Into the Breach Tip 1: Read the UI, Move Around Before Committing, and Go Slow

Into the Breach will always seek to outnumber you with enemies, but the game will also give you perfect information about what is going on and what will happen next.

There’s no fog of war, no random chances to hit or miss (there is a tiny chance with buildings specifically, but it is always very small), and there are very clear UI indicators of every danger on the board. Anything targeted shows a red “zebra” pattern for danger, and arrow or dot icons will show whether it’s a ballistic hit, a direct shot, or a melee attack.

It will also show precisely which enemy is firing what, so you can immediately see where each danger is coming from. Enemies are always locked into their actions, so you can move them around and make them attack one another.

Into the breach tips update

Pressing the “show order” option (done by pressing the right stick on the Nintendo Switch, TK on PC) will also show you the exact order of operations for the board — what (and when) environmental hazards will be present, when fire damage will hit, and the exact order the enemy bugs will fire in. 

Use this to your advantage: punch or otherwise move an enemy to a place where it will fire on another bug first, killing it before it can do damage. Know when an enemy will expire from fire damage so that you don’t need to worry about it, even if it has an attack lined up. Know when an enemy bug will get squished, drowned, or punched out of the sky thanks to an environmental hazard or bomb.

Take your time, and importantly, play with your pieces — you can move and undo your mechs’ moves infinitely until you commit to firing something, just to see what will happen. Oh, and use the show order switch often — this has saved me more times than I can count.

Into the Breach Tip 2: Play Defense First

Into the breach tips defense

In Into the Breach, you will always be overwhelmed. You’ll only have three mechs (and occasionally control over a support unit), and you’ll routinely face waves twice (or more) your number.

Think about playing defense first — what’s at risk? Go through a mental checklist and look for those “alert” symbols on your field. Are any buildings in danger? Do you have units you should protect as an extra objective (for example, in the “protect the robots” and “don’t kill the volatile Vek” scenarios)?

Are your units in immediate danger, or could they be soon after a Vek attacks something or an environmental hazard rolls through? Protect and play defense first, in every turn, and only then think about purely offensive maneuvers once you have those bases covered.

Into the Breach Tip 3: Identify “Life Threats”

I had a really hard time with Into the Breach during my first few hours, until I started to understand the defensive mindset — and then I started applying some of my emergency medical knowledge and logic to the puzzles.

It’s not enough just to have a defensive mindset; to really get good at the game, you have to correctly assess the priority of the threats in front of you. As an EMT, I’m trained to first look for “life threats” in an emergency scenario: problems involving the ABCs of a patient’s Airway, Breathing, and Circulation before moving down the list to more minor problems and injuries. In other words, you treat the big bleed before you care about the little cuts.

into the breach desert

Doing this in Into the Breach means looking for the biggest threats: like the Vek, who are primed to bring down multiple buildings in one blow, or strong enemies that can trap your mechs and kill them in one hit. It might even mean a weak enemy in a position to blow out one of your secondary objectives or put the fatal blow of damage on one of your units. 

Whatever it is, find the “life threats” first, mitigate those immediately, and then move down the list to the minor issues. You only have three moves and three chances to use a power in each turn, so practice working on your priorities. Remember, you can always see where enemies are aiming, and you can always interact with the UI that shows the order of actions.