Marvel's Avengers guide: Beginner tips and tricks

Marvel Avengers Iron Man
Marvel Avengers Iron Man (Image credit: Square Enix)

Marvel's Avengers is what I call a "deceptively complex game." You can get by with button-mashing, but when it comes to leveling up your characters or taking on tougher enemies, you're going to need more skill. There's also a lot in the game that tutorials won't tell you, making Marvel's Avengers a game where you learn as you go.

I've put many hours into the game, and there are a lot of things I wish I knew when I was just starting out, or understood even after a tutorial explained it to me (nobody said this game was perfect). Here are a few tips that can help you, whether you're just starting out or are deep into the Avengers Initiative multiplayer.

Don't worry about Marvel's Avengers jargon but know what it does

Marvel's Avengers Hulk Meter

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

The game is going to throw a lot of odd terms at you, including Intrinsic ability and willpower. It's confusing to keep straight, but these two terms are equatable to stamina and health, respectively. If you remember that, then how certain characters work will become more straightforward.

Each hero has an Intrinsic ability, but some characters' attacks are more impacted by Intrinsic ability than others. Hulk, for example, has a Rage meter, which when activated allows you to deal more damage and replenish health, or willpower. Ms. Marvel has Polymorph, which helps her deal more damage and take no damage from certain attacks.

Each of these is activated with the right trigger. What the game doesn't tell you is that you need to hold down the right trigger for as long as you want to use the ability.

You need to pay attention also to what builds up each character's Intrinsic meter. Iron Man builds his up, for example, by dealing ranged attacks. With the Hulk, using his heavy attack while avoiding damage is your best bet.

Pay attention to combos and skill trees

Marvel's Avengers Skill Tree

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Many have derrided Marvel's Avengers for leaning too much into button-mashing. While players can probably get through certain scenarios by mashing light and heavy attacks ad nauseum, real success comes in strategizing and knowing your character's moveset. The game can be deceptively complicated, which is why focusing on one character and building it up is key.

Each of the characters has their own playstyle, but you can then add specializations as you level them up. For example, when building on Ms. Marvel you can either make her prioritize damage or support for herself and other characters. Iron Man can choose between lasers, rockets, and phasers for ranged attacks. You can even have a Thor that prioritizes ranged attacks with Mjolnir. Then you can supplement your build with gear.

Whichever build you choose, ensure you know then how to use your new abilities. Play around with different combos and see what works in each situation. The HARM Challenges are a great way to practice new combos.

Note the support heroes

Matchmaking in Marvel's Avengers

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

When deciding which hero to play, you'll likely go with your main, but sometimes it helps to make sure you have a balanced team with one of the support heroes. All of the heroes provide a level of support to each other, but only a couple can really boost your team.

Ms. Marvel, for instance, is the only one with a healing ability, which you can upgrade to give large health boosts to your party members. Thor also has an ability on his skill tree which you can use to give your fellow players invulnerability for a limited time. Black Widow can turn everybody invisible with her "Veil of Shadow" ability, which also gives players a damage boost. Finally, Hulk has his Thunderclap Taunt, a specialized version of his ultimate ability that taunts enemies. Considering Hulk is likely your tank, you'll want enemies to focus on him.

Some of the heroes can't open doors

Marvel's Avengers Captain America Door

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Throughout each level there are some cracked doors you can slam open with a heavy attack. They usually have rewards behind them, and sometimes even an Inhuman or SHIELD agent you can save. However, Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow's heavy attacks can't open these areas. You can get around this with Iron Man's Hulkbuster ability, but otherwise you have to rely on your teammates who (hopefully) picked the correct characters.

This is one of the most frustrating elements of the game. While each hero is fairly balanced, some just can't do basic things. Hopefully this will get fixed in future updates.

Take out turrets first

Marvels Avengers Turret

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Enemy prioritization is important in most combat-heavy games, but in Marvel's Avengers a slip-up can be the difference between success and failure. The thing you should always prioritize first though are turrets and other long-range lasers. These are usually mounted on buildings or at arches near doorways.

They're not terribly tough — usually one well-placed ranged attack should take them down — but if you don't do it right away, it can come back to bite you. They can easily interrupt you while you're fighting ground enemies and deal a lot of damage. If you take them out first, you can easily move onto the squishy enemies without worrying about something off-screen messing up your strategy.

Dodge and counter

Marvel's Avengers Hulk Gameplay

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

This is a tip you learn early on in the tutorials during the solo campaign, but they're a key part of gameplay. Dodging, countering, and even parrying is especially important when you're taking on a number of enemies at once, or even when you're dealing with enemies that do a lot of damage.

Dodging is always a solid way to not get hit in the face, but if you dodge at the last possible second, time slows down, which can help you refocus and prepare an attack.

Three kinds of circles will appear over the heads of attacking enemies — blue, yellow, and red. Blue and yellow can be countered with the right trigger on consoles, but red can't be countered, so you need to dodge. If you do it right, you can not only avoid damage but break a combo. It can also deal damage back depending on the character and the skills you've acquired. Look at your skill tree when upgrading to see which abilities allow you to use the dodge and counter system to your advantage.

Lock onto enemies

Anybody who's played a 3D brawler knows that locking on can make fighting large groups a lot easier. By clicking in on the right thumbstick (R3 or RS depending on your console) you can focus on the closest enemy. This also can help reorient your screen, which is helpful when somebody is attacking you out of your field of vision.

Any Marvel's Avengers tips we're missing?

Make note of these tips and you should be able to get through the basics of the game. However, this game is more complicated than you might think, so if there's a tip you've found, leave it in the comments below.

Carli Velocci

Carli contributed gaming content across Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. Her last name also will remind you of a dinosaur. F