Mindustry is an interesting mix of sandbox and real-time strategy. The variety of things you can do in game are enormous, but sometimes you’ll just want to hop on the campaign and gun everything down. Originally developed in 2017 for the GDL Metal Monstrosity jam, it has grown from a tower defence game into a diverse playground for PVPers, schematic maker, mod creators and more.
With the new update comes a new planet to crush, though there are a few limitations on Erekir. Unlike its older cousin Serpulo with its 272 sectors, Erekir only has 17 accesable sectors albeit high quality and polished. This lack of exploration takes away some of the fun of exploring the planet though in return it brings a more refined experience. It is focused on real time strategy over tower defence. Depending on how you played Serpulo, the new planet might not be for you.
However, if you have finished it and are looking for new challenges, you may want to look into “challenge runs”: these are playthroughs of the planet with certain rules and restrictions. With the amount of freedom Mindustry offers players, there are a lot of easily winnable maps out there, but challenge runs may make a lot of existing maps more interesting or fun to play through. Here are five that’ll make you feel alive again.
1. No Loadouts & Presets
This may seem quite unfair at first, but it’s how some people normally play! For those who don’t know, loadouts are pre-set resources you can bring with you into the next sector while presets are schematics you launch with to surround your core. These only apply on Serpulo, but you can also try this on Erekir by scrapping your starting resources, and deconstructing your buildings. Most maps on Serpulo aren’t balanced around these with the possible exception of the dreaded Planetary Launch Terminal. This makes every sector more of a threat initially, and can make the early game more involved than spamming schematics for a few minutes. On Erekir however, you may find it difficult to start from scratch due to the overall increase in difficulty. It’s quite an interesting way to play, and definitely something this writer found fun.
2. Turretless (Serpulo)
Serpulo turretless is something that you normally wouldn’t think about. The tower defence planet without towers. Seems crazy right? A YouTuber called GooglyGoo already did this run: you can find the link to it here. The basis of the run is to beat Serpulo without turrets though units are still allowed! The early sectors in the run are more interesting than the later ones, due to playing out quite differently than you’d first expect.
3. Turretless (Erekir)
Erekir turretless is quite a different experience to the base game, as turrets in this planet are more diverse and better at defence than units for most of the early game (and even some of the late game.) Due to the removal of logic on the planet, you are forced to learn and use the RTS controls, which can be fun. Quite a few strategies can be employed to make the run easier such as ozone bombing (dropping liquid containers with ozone on enemies: example can be found here) and using the core as a shield against attacks. It may be turretless, but your units can be real powerhouses when used in the right way.
4. No Schemes & Logic
Have you ever gotten tired of spamming pre-set schematics with complete automation? Schemeless and Logicless will fix that (or make you really appreciate what they bring to the game!) The main challenge of this run is that you’ll want to think on the fly and won’t have pre-set builds with optimal ratios. Late game will see you handling multiple different resources with no delivery flares. The upside of this run is that it makes everything more difficult if you’re looking for a challenging campaign.
5. Deathless Run
This nightmare turns disposable suicide units and conveyors into quite the challenge to protect. Deathless runs are ones in which you must prevent any unit/building on your team from dying by any means other than deconstruction/despawning. Yes, this includes your core unit! This can be a very difficult one to tackle, and some sectors can feel impossible, but remember that you have lots of tools at your disposal: you can see if something from your team has died via this mod.
Overall, there are a lot of possible challenge runs, but these are some of the more obvious and simple ones out there (in concept anyways.). With the amount of freedom Mindustry gives you, experimenting with different ways of playing the game will be fun, but hopefully you don’t throw your device out the window after attempting them!