Understanding Tower Kingdom - Towers and Toolbar Explained

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    • Understanding Tower Kingdom - Towers and Toolbar Explained

      Knowing your towers well is important to build a good strategy on how to approach game-play.

      Before I start with the towers itself I will quickly explain the Toolbar in the image below.

      There are 3 different categories of Towers used in Tower Kingdom Namely:
      • Attack Towers (found when toolbar 1 is selected)
      • Support Towers (found when toolbar 2 is selected)
      • Dome Towers (found when toolbar 3 is selected)
      In the image above toolbar 1 is selected. This means that we are currently displaying the Attack Towers. Each attack tower differs in range, damage and speed and are basically sub-categorized into 3 groups namely Long, Medium and Short Range. Wood and Stone are used to build the Attack towers and after each wave you will gain enough resources to build a new Tower. The only other tower that also needs Stone and Wood to be built is the Slowdown Support tower. Gold is used to upgrade each tower and gold is gained by killing creatures and at the end of each wave. The Dome Towers as well as the Power Tower use Gold to build it, as well as upgrade it.

      Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each tower will help you to build a more solid strategy. Remember there are many factors to take into account, when building a strategy on how to approach the map you are going to play, and knowing which tower to build and where to upgrade can make a huge difference during game-play. I have literally failed to reach 100 kills during survival mode on some maps, and by just tweaking my strategy succeeded in pushing that up to over 900 kills on the same map (same level, character and equipment). That is why I decided to title this thread "Knowing your towers well is important to build a good strategy on how to approach game-play".

      In the post below I will explain more about the Attack Towers
    • In the post above I mentioned that Attack Towers are sub-categorized into 3 groups namely Long, Medium and Short Range. In each of these groups you will find one tower with a fast firing rate and another with a slow firing rate. The tower's theoretical DPS (Damage per second) within a sub-category group are roughly the same. This means that the Gatling's damage output roughly equals the Cannon's damage output as both are in the Long Range group. It also means that the Gatling's range will be the same as that of the cannon, due to both being in the Long Range group.

      Thus in theory building a Gatling should have the same effect as building a Cannon. Both have the same DPS, the same Range and only the fire rate is different. However in practice the fire rate does make a huge difference which I will go into deeper in the "Putting it all together" post further down in this thread. Keep in mind that all attack towers do use power to fire and thus always keep an eye on your power regeneration vs power drain. If you run out of power your towers will do no damage.

      I will quickly give a breakdown of each group and mention its main advantages and disadvantages.

      Long Range Towers
      The Gatling and Cannon have the longest range of any tower but at the same time the lowest damage output. Many people might make the mistake of thinking that due to the lower damage output these 2 towers are not very effective. However under certain conditions these 2 towers are very effective.
      Fire Rate
      Gatling - Fast firing rate
      Cannon - Slow firing rate
      Long Range - Can cover a very large area and are very useful to stop leaking when positioned properly due to its range.
      Constant DPS - Due to its range there usually is a creature in range, that means it can keep on firing non-stop most of the time.
      Lowest Power Usage - Due to a lower DPS these towers consume the least amount of power.
      Low Damage Output - This means that when creatures are spawning fast and need to be killed quickly they are the least effective towers.

      Medium Range Towers
      The Laser, Gauss and Plasma are medium range towers and have a medium damage output. Thus, it is basically the middle ground between the long range and short range towers on both range and damage. This is almost the jack of all trades group of towers. Usually when I am in doubt of what type of tower I should build I will go with a Medium Range Tower.
      I need to distinguish the Gauss from the other 2 towers in this group. The reason is that it has a longer range than the Laser and Plasma on tower level 1 and 2. On level 3 it has the same range as the other 2 towers in this group but on levels 4 and 5 it has a shorter range. Thus it's an ideal tower to build if one will not be able to upgrade it quickly (especially at the start of a game) but need to cover a slightly further range than the other 2 in this group.
      Fire Rate
      Laser - Fast firing Rate
      Gauss - Semi Fast fire Rate
      Plasma - Slow firing rate
      Long Range - Can cover a very large area and are very useful to stop leaking when positioned properly due to its range.
      Constant DPS - Due to its range there usually is a creature in range that means it can keep on firing non-stop most of the time.
      Low Damage Output - This means that when creatures are spawning fast and needs to be killed quickly it is the least effective towers.

      Short Range Towers
      The Flame and Tesla have the shortest range of all towers in the game, but compensate for that by having a huge amount of damage output. This is basically the tower one needs to ensure that you can dish out as much DPS as possible when there is always a creature in range. Usually it is an ideal end-game tower and the secret of its success is placing it at the right time at the right place to ensure you keep it busy firing.
      Fire Rate
      Flame - Fast firing rate
      Tesla - Slower firing rate
      High DPS - Can dish out a huge amount of damage per second under the right conditions
      Short Range - Due to its short range DPS is wasted if it is standing idle waiting for the next creature
      High Power Usage - Due to its huge amount of DPS these towers are power hungry

      In the post below I will explain more about the Support Towers
    • Support Towers are used to support your damage towers and you need to plan them ahead of time while playing. There are 2 types of support towers at the moment namely the Slowdown and Power Towers. These towers can be placed by switching your selected toolbar to toolbar 2.

      Slowdown Tower
      The slowdown tower's sole purpose is to slow the creatures down within its range. When placing the tower you will notice that a blue dome forms above the slowdown tower. That means that any creature which enters the slowdown tower's dome area will be slowed down for the duration the creatures spend within the dome. When the creature exits the dome it will resume to move at its normal movement speed.

      In the image below you can see the blueish dome covered by the slowdown tower.

      Power Tower
      All attack towers use power from your power pool. The power pool is displayed at the bottom right of the screen. To the left of the power pool your Power Status will be displayed. This gives you an indication of what your Total Power is, how fast your power is recharging and how fast your power is draining. If your Power Drain exceeds your Recharge rate you will start noticing that power is drained from your Power Pool. The rate of power draining from the power pool depends on how much your Power Drain exceeds your Recharge Rate.

      Important: You can build your power towers anywhere on the grid. It doesn't have to be near any other towers. I usually build mine where I know I won't build any other towers so that it doesn't get in the way.

      The image below should help you to understand how to control your power during game-play

      In the post below I will explain more about the Dome Towers
    • Building your Dome is probably the most important item you will build and upgrade during game-play. Learning to position and master your dome often be the deciding factor between defeat or success. I highly recommend that you have your grid switched on when placing your dome as this will give you a good indication of which towers will be built inside or outside the dome area. Keep in mind that the Main Dome itself can not be upgraded BUT every Support Tower has 5 stages of upgrade and when fully upgraded you will have an extremely powerful dome.

      Why is the dome so important?
      Every attack tower that is built inside the dome will get boosted by the dome support towers. If all support towers are built, your dome will slow the creatures down, apply damage over time, increase the range, damage and fire rate of every attack tower inside the dome area. Think for it a second, you upgrade the Damage Boost Support tower of the dome and its as if you upgraded every attack tower inside the dome area. Add onto that the individual tower upgrades and your attack towers will dish out a lot more damage.

      It is important to note that in order to build your dome you must first build the main Dome Tower. Make sure you have 5 open tower placement slots open around the Main Dome. The reason for that is that the Dome Support towers MUST border your Main Dome. Thus a typical dome construction looks like the dome in the image below. Note in the image that all dome support towers are bordering the main Dome Tower.

      Typical Dome Construction Layout.

      Dome Slowdown Support Tower
      This support tower is the most powerful slowdown tower in the game. All creatures entering the Main Dome will be slowed down for the duration of the time they spend in the dome. The slowdown is very powerful especially as during latter stages of a map creatures are moving very fast.

      Dome Damage Over Time Support Tower
      This support tower will apply damage over time to every creature inside the Main Dome once every second and works at its best when combined with a Dome Slowdown Support Tower. It starts at 1% damage over time every second on level 1 and on level 5 it will apply 2% damage over time. This might not sound like a lot but take the following into consideration.

      After each wave a creatures health increases and during the latter stages creatures usually have a lot of health. The damage over time is applied to the full starting health value of a creature. If a creature has a starting health of 100,000 it means that every second 2,000 damage will be applied to every creature. Thus if the slowdown tower is fully upgraded to maximize the duration in which a creature spends within the dome area, and you are doing 2% damage every second to say 7 creatures every second, it means you are effectively doing around 14,000 damage a second. No tower can come close to match that damage output.

      Dome Damage Boost Tower
      This tower boosts the damage of every attack tower that is built within your dome. It starts with a 5% damage boost on level 1 and finishes with a 25% damage boost on level 5. This effectively means that for every 4 towers (if damage boost is on lvl 5) you basically added a full extra tower's damage to your arsenal.

      Dome Fire Rate Boost Tower
      This tower boosts the fire rate of every attack tower that is built within your dome. It starts with a 5% fire rate boost on level 1 and finishes with a 25% fire rate boost on level 5. Keep in mind that a faster fire rate means extra damage and roughly equals a damage boost. Indirectly it means that for every 4 towers (if fire rate boost is on lvl 5) you basically added a full extra tower's damage to your arsenal. Combine that with the Damage Boost Tower mentioned above and you effectively are adding 50% extra damage to every tower within your dome.

      Dome Range Boost Tower

      This tower boosts the range of every attack tower that is built within your dome. It starts with a 5% range boost on level 1 and finishes with a 25% range boost on level 5. This is extremely important as it effectively increases your DPS of the towers. Why do I say that? If you have a tower that is doing say 500 DPS, and every second that tower is idle (due to no creature in range) you are losing 500 DPS. This means that although the tower is capable of doing 500 DPS it is not really doing 500 DPS. That's one of the reasons why at certain times/locations a low damage long range tower can out damage a high damage tower.

      By boosting the range of the attack tower, you are now keeping creatures in range and thus eliminating downtime. This increases the tower's effective DPS to its maximum. There are literally times on some maps where I upgrade my range boost before I actually upgrade my damage boost. In addition by having an increased range some towers can cover areas where before it was impossible.

      For example: I might play a map where I have a stopper tower (goalkeeper) for the sole purpose of preventing creatures slipping through. This usually means that the tower will have a lot of downtime sitting idle, waiting for a creature to slip through. However, if the tower is built on the edge of a dome and I maximize the range on a long range tower, that tower can effectively almost cover your total dome area right to the front where the action is. This means my stopper tower now doesn't sit idle and I get the full DPS out of it every second of the game.

      In the post below I will explain more about putting it all together
    • When people start a new game on a new map one might wonder where to start. It's almost like playing a chess game where every tower you build, and every upgrade you do results in a move towards the end game results. This is especially true during survival mode where you can not break down towers in-between waves and restructure your game plan. I have mentioned above in one of the posts that I have at times struggled to do 100 kills in survival and then just by changing a few things around I could end up with over 900 kills with the exact same equipment, map level etc.

      Each tower in the game has a purpose and there is not one attack tower that is better than another. Many might argue with me here, but let me explain why I am saying that. It all depends on the current situation where you work towards a certain goal/objective and the best way to explain this is to give you some examples.

      Expert Mode Example:
      I am trying to do a map on expert with 50 waves. That is extremely difficult to do on the same level as your character or even a level below your character even with good equipment. There are 2 problems. Firstly I need to stop the waves, 50 of them, without letting 10 creatures through. Secondly I need to stop the boss on each 5th wave and on wave 45 and 50 it becomes difficult. Now some would say the Tesla or Fire is the way to go with their extremely high damage output. That is true for stopping the normal creatures in the wave as they can be kept busy. However it's almost impossible to stop the boss if you use too many short range high damage attack towers.

      Now if I use a lot of long range towers I can do continuous damage to the boss from all over that makes it literally easy to kill even on wave 50. However while using a lot of long range towers makes it easy to kill off the boss it means I might never get to the stage where the boss spawns due to not being able to kill the normal creatures in the wave quick enough and letting 10 creature through before I can make use of my long range towers.

      Thus I need to balance it out. I need to mix up my towers to get a good balance between killing all the creatures that spawn in each wave and to be able to kill the boss as well. Learning the right combination takes time in general but by understanding the pro's and con's of each tower one will quickly be able to adapt/change strategy to achieve that. It is important to note that a strategy that works on one map will be totally different to the strategy used on another map.

      Survival Mode Example:
      I completed the map on expert with 50 waves, but cant beat another players high score in survival using the same strategy. The reason for that is that while my strategy worked beautifully on normal expert mode, survival works differently. Thus one would maybe think, there is no boss with a continuous stream of creeps, why not just go for high damage towers all the way. But remember I mentioned playing TK is like playing a chess game.

      The creatures are spawning at point A and try to reach point B. The quicker they push through to point B the lower your kill count will be. Thus the secret is to keep them back as long as possible, stopping them from pushing through too fast. The mistake many players might make is thinking that in the start it really doesn't matter. The creatures spawn rate is slower. The creatures movement speed is lower and just start building the high powered Tesla's or Fire's and when it matters they are in place. While that might give you a good high score it probably won't give you the top scores.

      The reason is you must maximize the actual DPS right from the start to be able to get to that top spot on the leader board. This means that you can not afford to sit with idle towers. Think about it. There is a stage where the creatures switch into overdrive gradually and you have to really battle to keep them from reaching point B. Now if that happens, when I was happily keeping them away say 30 creature yards from point B I will not be able to reach the same kill count as the person that made sure there are no idle towers and kept them away say 45 yards from point B. They will drive through quicker from 30 yards than from 45 yards guaranteed, as there comes a stage that even a full set of Tesla's won't hold them back.

      Now this is where gradually replacing towers comes in very handy. At the start there is no way that a bunch of short range towers will be as effective as a mixed set of towers. However towards the end you will almost need a full set of short range, high damage towers. This means you will probably seldom finish up with the same towers you started with, as the situation gradually changes over time during survival mode, and as it changes you change your towers as needed. This is especially true where creatures have a split in their path.

      In this example screenshot above one can clearly see how every attack tower on the map is 100% active even though the path is splitting. The creature, that has just been killed, is just starting to fall and every single tower has already acquired their new target and are dealing damage. In this situation the selected tower is much more powerful than a high DPS Tesla or Fire Tower. This means my towers on the left will still be able to assist my towers on the right during the early stages of the survival which in turn will help me to keep the creatures back as far as possible from point B for a longer time.

      You will also notice that due to my placement of the dome I achieved 2 things. Firstly I balanced both my right and left sides to ensure I don't have a weak area for when the creatures get too powerful to cover a weaker area. The 2nd thing I opted for was to cover the front spots towards the spawn points by placing the Main Dome Tower in the front row. This ensures that I can keep the creatures as far as possible away from the end portals.

      However I do sometimes place the dome on the back row which means I need to change strategy as the 2 towers on each end in the front won't be boosted by my dome. When I do that I use the following build.

      In the above image you will notice the range of my selected stopper tower (which I opted for in this game). It covers the complete left side and right onto both end portals. In this position the cannon is extremely powerful even though its a low damage tower. I chose the cannon over the Gatling due to its slow fire rate. Due to using the long range Cannon and trying to get it into action at an early stage is why I gave a lot of attention to maximizing the Dome Range Support and Slowdown Towers first.

      You will notice the one creature is down and that the cannons have just fired at the one running. Due to its very slow rate of fire it will be ready to fire its next shot roughly when the next spawned creature enters their firing range, which effectively means that it almost doesn't have any downtime. Notice in the screenshot that the creature is about to leave the firing range of the cannon. If I used the Gatling instead of the Cannon it would have meant that the Gatling had a lot of downtime (waiting for the next creep) and thus a lot lower actual DPS than the Cannon.

      Now in which situation would one then make use of the Gatling instead of the Cannon. That is when the creeps are immediately in range of the long range tower when one is killed OR when a creature leaves the firing range of the Gatling the next one is already in range. Then why don't I just stick with the Cannons all the way? Why do I then need the Gatling? Think about the following. If I have a cannon firing one shot every 2 seconds with a DPS of 500 it means that the shot fired applies 1000 damage (2 sec x 500DPS) to the creature. If the creature only had 450 health left I just wasted 550 damage. Thus if the Gatling hits for roughly say 38 damage every 0.15 seconds the most damage the will go to waste when the creep has only 1 health left is 37 damage.

      The above image was taken at the exact second that the creep on the right died and thus all towers are busy re-aiming to the alive creatures. You will notice that I have my Gatling selected and that a creature is always in range the second one dies. Thus in this situation the Gatling is better than a Cannon due to no huge DPS loss if a creature gets shot by the Gatling which has only low health.
      This is the reason why I usually plan my towers (of all ranges) carefully when choosing between slow and fast firing rates. It is also the reason why I choose to change towers during the course of the game as the situation changes.

      In the above screenshot you will also notice that there are 2 creatures that are killed. The spawn rate is increasing, there are more towers to kill creatures faster and the situation is busy starting to change ever so slightly. It shouldn't take long before I can swap out the 2 Gauss Towers, that are left of the Dome Slowdown and right of the Dome Damage Over Time towers, with High DPS Tesla or Fire towers. It is still slightly too early as one can see that the creature that is alive will be out of range of a Short range tower.

      When swapping out towers I always do it the second that I can build a new tower. I first build the new tower and quickly upgrade it. Then I immediately destroy the tower I want to swap out and build the new replacement tower. This way I don't lose any DPS which can cause the creatures to drive further forward while swapping towers. If I swap a tower out when not building a new tower I usually notice the creatures drive forward a little more and that means I have lost a creep or two in kill count at the end of the day. In this situation when I need to replace both the Gauss Towers, I will build a new tower and immediately replace and upgrade both, one after the other.

      Power Example
      Now quickly to the power management side of things. I always try to keep my Recharge rate higher than my Power Drain. However when I have a large Power Pool I might instead upgrade my towers first as DPS is extremely important and keep one eye on how fast it is dropping and gauge how much time I have left for the Power Pool to deplete. If it is a longish time I will keep upgrading towers even if I am draining knowing that I have enough time to fix it in the future. This is easier to manage on the higher levels as one has a huge Pool of Power usually when playing on higher levels.

      Say I have a Power Pool of 100,000 power then my Recharge Rate will be 5,000. Say my Power Drain is 6,000. That means that I will drain 1,000 Power per second from my Power Pool. This means I have 100 seconds before I will run out of power. From gut feel I know if I upgrade the next few towers I should maybe drain at 1,200 which will mean I still have around a minute at least to upgrade my Power Pool. I also know that when I build a Power Tower or upgrade a Power Tower that it will temporarily boost my Power Pool. Thus I might do the attack tower upgrades first before doing my Power upgrades. It can however be a dangerous game, but it can result in a few more kills especially when one applies it at the beginning of the game when towers are few and DPS is much needed.