Indie roguelike base defense and mining game Dome Keeper is an easy-to-pick-up, hard-to-put-down, and even hard-to-master game where you’re tasked with protecting your Dome from alien attackers while also harvesting materials to keep it in fighting shape. This all has to be managed until you can excavate the relic (or get a high score in Prestige Mode). In short, there is a lot going on.
While getting started is easy, you’ll find that you’ll be thwarted more often than not as the weight of the alien hordes eventually becomes too much. However, we have some tips that separate the green space cadets from the grizzled mining veterans, making sure you’re armed with the info you need to be a master Dome Keeper.
6/6 Center Your Laser Between Waves
A simple trick, but one that can save you some early damage, allowing you to save your precious Cobalt for later. When done using the Laser Dome, return it to the center position, facing straight up between waves. This will save you some time when you need to move it into position, especially when you don’t have any points invested in movement speed, since the direction enemies come from is random.
This works to a lesser extent with the Sword Dome, but is less likely to benefit you since its movement upgrades are tied to its power and even if you have the sword on the wrong side, it can still ramp up its speed and hit enemies in melee for big damage.
5/6 Skip Unnecessary Buys
An important aspect of the game is the economy. Your resources, while plentiful, also take plenty of time to acquire, so you’ll want to make the most of what you have and try to avoid wasting resources on things you don’t need.
While you’ll want the Hostile Threat Meter, so you can manage your time better, and you need the Health Meter to be able to heal your Dome, you probably don’t need the Cycle Counter or the Inventory, which will save you four Iron pretty early on. Some gadgets are worth prioritizing, however.
You probably don’t need the Health upgrades either, since they are only really useful in the rare situations where you have plenty of Cobalt and are getting hammered terribly during the enemy attack waves. With a cost of six and 14 Iron for the first and second upgrades, buying them – or choosing not to – is a tactical decision.
4/6 Move Resources Without Carrying Them
Because of how the physics work in Dome Keeper, you can move extra resources without actually having to carry them, meaning they don’t slow you down in the process. This works best in situations where you have lots of long and straight horizontal shafts as well as the Lift gadget.
When you’re carrying resources, they still have collision. This means that if you put stray resources in between your resources and the resources you’re carrying, you can drag the stray resources along. This works especially well if you fly at the same level as the stray resources.
If you have a Lift, you can drag all your loot to it and have the orbs carry them up. Also, you can use the same trick to carry extra material up the Lift, especially if you keep the shaft of the Lift at one block wide throughout most of its length.
3/6 Use repellent
Of the starting gadgets: Shield, Repellent, and Orchard, Repellent is by far the best. The Shield is decent, especially if you’re learning the basics of the game since it gives you a renewable buffer of health, but once you know how to play, Repellant outperforms the other gadgets, especially the underpowered Orchard.
In addition to buying you precious time down in the mines, it has potent combat capabilities that can’t be beaten. The Debilitating Mist ability is powerful, giving you all the time you need to pick off your enemies, but the Wither ability, which you can unlock and use instead of the default combat ability makes some waves of attack trivial.
Wither takes a percentage chunk of health out of every onscreen enemy, but it really shows its worth when you max it out, since not only does it take away a full half of their hit points, but also continuously damages them, usually killing weaker enemies outright. There’s even a hit stun on the damage, so enemies are slowed down like you have Debilitating Mist anyway.
2/6 Make Sure You Keep A Lift Or Teleporter
Mining down to the depths and bringing materials back up to empower your equipment is a core part of the Dome Keeper experience. With that in mind, it’s best to do so efficiently, unless you want to fall behind and end up underneath a pile of shattered dome pieces.
So, it’s a good idea to pick either a Lift or Teleporter up whenever you can, and then keep them between (non-Prestige) runs, so you can continue to make use of them. They’re both extremely helpful, with the Lift being useful from the get-go and the Teleporter requiring some upgrades and then paying dividends later on.
1/6 The Minecraft Strip Mine Method
Minecraft and Dome Keeper have little in common save for one thing: the mining. Since they have that in common, you can borrow a technique from the former that will ensure that your resource gathering will be uniform and efficient.
Simply dig a shaft straight down underneath your dome and at every third block down, dig as far to the left and right as you can, harvesting what materials you can along the way. This is especially effective with the lift, since you can drop stuff off at the main shaft, let the orbs pick them up, and continue your work down the sides.
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