Marvel: Contest of Champions has a serious draw, bringing in fans of Marvel and fighting games alike. With plenty of ways to play, social aspects, and more marvel characters than you can shake a stick at, it's easy to see why it's so popular. It's easily addictive, and has enough bells and whistles to keep you coming back for more.

While this game is, at it's core, a fighting game, there is definitely more to it than just button mashing and hoping for a good outcome in the end. There is definitely some strategy involved, especially when leveling up your characters, or choosing which quest to pursue next. With all of that in mind, we've put together some handy tips and tricks to help you save the galaxy.

1. ISO-8 is vital

ISO-8 isn't unlimited

ISO-8 is easily one of the most important parts of this game because it's necessary to level up your roster of champions. You'll collect it by opening crystals, playing quests, and getting completion awards for fully exploring a map or completing a chapter in Story Quest mode. Think of ISO-8 as experience for your champions, each module of ISO-8 gives them experience to the next level. This starts with Tier 1 ISO-8 which will only give you a small amount of experience, and soon ramps up to Tier 2 and Tier 3 ISO-8.

You'll need a certain amount of ISO-8 to rank your champions up, and the upgrade screen will let you know exactly how close you are. In addition to normal ISO-8, you'll also find class ISO-8 which is color coded. While you can use a class ISO-8 with any champion, using it on a champion of the same class will get you a bonus and count for far more than it says it does. You'll need to be careful though, depending on how you play the game it can be easy to run short on ISO-8. You'll need it to upgrade each character level by level, so keeping a careful eye and devising a strategy is in your best interests.

2. Claim your crystals

Crystals

Crystals give you in-game items that you'll need to move forward, or depending on the type of crystal, new heroes for your roster. The easy way to acquire ISO-8, catalysts and new characters for your roster is by remembering to claim your crystals each day. You get a free daily crystal, as well as a free crystal every 4 hours. You'll also find crystals by completing quests, playing in the battle arena, or purchasing them outright. Your crystals get you the bonuses you need to keep moving forward, as well as being the easiest way of acquiring new characters.

When you claim a crystal, you'll see a spinning wheel under the crystal. Tapping the screen will stop the wheel, and show you your prize. Most commonly you'll find Tier 1 and Tier 2 ISO-8, which you'll need to level up your heroes. With your daily crystal, you have a good chance to grab up a 2 star hero to add to your roster as well. If you miss out on these crystals, they'll wait until you unlock them. The only catch is with the free crystal every 4 hours, and it won't create a new crystal until you turn in the one waiting for you.

3. Keep track of supplies

Keep an eye on your supplies

When it comes time to upgrade your champions, or purchase a new crystal you'll need to use in game items to do it. Some items like crystals can be outright bought with in-game currency you earned by doing quests, or using specific crystal shards. Other items you'll find during your quests and immediately add to your inventory are health potions, revive potions, and gold. While keeping an eye on all of your supplies is definitely a good idea, you'll want to pay special attention to your gold and units in particular.

Units are the in-game currency for Marvel:Contest of Champions, and they are earned by playing and completing various quests. You'll use units to buy booster packs, crystals, and health or revive potions. Most often you'll get units by completing quests, but accumulating them takes a while, so don't spend them rashly. Gold is used when upgrading champions, or buying into Alliance quests, and you can get more by playing through quests. You'll receive gold after every battle, and for every step you move forward on a map. In your first few levels, you don't need to worry too much since you should be set up fairly well. However, after you really get rolling you'll find yourself grinding through quests just to grab enough gold to rank up your champions.

4. Level up Heroes

Roster of champions

Marvel: Contest of Heroes is a fighting game at it's base. You play through using a variety of heroes from six different categories. Each one has their own special abilities, along with class perks and weaknesses. When dealing with enemies of multiple types, you'll want to have a strong and balanced team. This means heroes that have been leveled up and are ready to face the enemies that await you.

It isn't enough just to have a single team of heroes who are all quite powerful. You'll want to have multiple heroes from across the range of hero types, especially since larger characters like the Hulk or Rhino move noticeably slower than Gamora or Scarlet Witch. Having a diverse stable will make sure that you can take on anything that the game throws at you, without using up your entire inventory in the process. Collecting heroes that have worked together, like the Guardians of the Galaxy, will give you bigger synergy boosts as you play as well.

5. Fight smart

Fight smart

In many fighting games of yore, you could manage to get away with furiously button mashing, and then win the match. While you can tap at roughly the speed of light in Marvel: Contest of Champions, it doesn't necessarily mean that you win. With heroes that have special abilities like bleed damage from Wolverine, or the ability to hit you from across the screen, a degree of strategy is required.

Get to know the characters that you are fighting with. There are multiple styles of fighting depending on who your champion is, smaller champions move faster but may not deal the kind of devastating damage you were hoping to inflict on your foes. After you know who you like fighting with, get acquainted with their special abilities and what kind of status effects they can cause — or nullify. You're going to want to remember to block too, a block is your best friend, and on occasion your only hope so don't ignore it.

6. Find an Alliance

Alliance

Alliances are made up of other players who are all fighting together, you help each other with difficult foes as well as taking on specific quests. Your Alliance is your friend. Sure, you can avoid joining an Alliance, but they can be of a huge help in game. Aiding your Alliance will give you points toward specific crystals, open up a new set of quests, and let you ask for help when you're down on your luck. You can join an Alliance, or create your own, and you also have the ability to leave an Alliance at any time.

There are specific quests that you can go through that will aid your Alliance, and allow other members to run through these quests with you. Additionally smaller quests spawn every few days in your Alliance home. These smaller quests involve doing things like ranking up your heroes, or just playing the game in general. You can ask your Alliance for help once a day, and it's easy to help other members so you can grab those sweet Alliance crystal shards.

7. Grind your heart out

Grind all the maps

While you can easily skip along through Marvel: Contest of Champions by purchasing in-game items using real money, it's never really necessary. Well, so long as you are willing to grind your way through levels, and replay them to grab up all the ISO-8 and gold you can get your hands on. Every quest map has multiple paths you can follow, some easy, others are more difficult.

The game will actually reward you for grinding to level up your characters. When you completely explore each map you'll get completion rewards like high-level ISO-8 or catalysts. By grinding you can ensure that your characters will be able to take on the baddies of each level as they get more difficult, as well as continuously replenishing your stock to keep upgrading your roster.

8. Check your stash

ISO-8

As you complete chapters, or fully explore a map, you'll be gifted with all sorts of goodies to be used on your champions. This includes everything from high tier ISO-8, to the catalysts you need to rank up, to revive or health potions. However if your inventory is already full, or close to full, don't panic. Your stash is where all the loot you fought so hard for goes, when you don't have room in your inventory.

The stash screen can be found by going to 'My Champions' and tapping on the small metal and green box on the right side of the screen. Here is where you will find all the rewards, catalysts, ISO-8 and items that won't currently fit into your inventory. They don't hang out indefinitely, so your best bet is to visit your stash after you finish upgrading your heroes and refill your inventory to capacity. This is also where rewards immediately go, so checking it on a daily basis even if you don't have any ISO-8 waiting for you is a solid game plan.