Marvel Heroics: How to get the most for free in Marvel Heroes

One of the questions that I received after my debut Marvel Heroes column was, “Can you explain how to play this game for free?” And sure, I could’ve been snarky and replied, “You just boot up the game and play without spending money on it,” but then I realized that this was asked by one of my friends who is twice my muscle mass and I should probably not tick him off.

Actually, it’s a good question. Players going into Marvel Heroes for the first time are often understandably wary about the ins and outs of its business model, all the while nervously twitching in anticipation of the moment when the game decides to slap down a pay wall or shove a guilt trip down their throats for not coughing up cash. The truth is that this game is remarkably generous in what it gives for free and rarely if ever pressures you to buy. I spend money on this game because I want to, not because I have to.

But if you wanted to play 100% for free and get the most out of it? There’s a guide for that too, and it’s after the break!

1. Patience and the long game

First things first: Marvel Heroes doesn’t sell power, and it doesn’t even really sell advancement (XP boosts aside). Most of the money that this game makes is through selling characters, team-ups, pets, and costumes. Acquiring as many of those as possible is a goal for many players, one that is accessible by paying, playing, or both. Choosing not to drop a penny on the game will require some patience as you settle in for the long game, but it’s totally feasible.

Gazillion gives you a nice start in the game. Right off the bat, you’ll get to select one hero join your roster as an “unlocked” level 60 (the game allows you to play all characters to level 10 to get a feel for them). On day 2, you’ll be gifted an incredible sum of 400 eternity splinters, which is one of the rarest currencies in the game (more on that later). With those splinters, you can purchase one additional hero at 400 splinters or two heroes for 200 splinters apiece. So by the dawn of day two, you could have three full characters in your roster to level — that’s not a bad start!

2. Giveaways

Marvel Heroes is well-known among its playerbase as a game that genuinely seems to love giving you free stuff. You’ll want to keep your eyes out for the freebies, such as this month’s second anniversary giveaways or various promo codes that you can apply to your account. Orcz keeps an up-to-date list of these codes, and I’ve verified that they work.

Of course, the biggest source of presents is the daily login rewards. Get into the habit of logging in at least for one minute every day to click on the gift icon (occasionally there’s more than one if there’s an ongoing event). You’ll accumulate a lot of great stuff through this, including more splinters, a free pet on day 100, a free team-up on day 200, and a free random hero token on day 300.

3. Achievements

The achievement system is relatively new to Marvel Heroes, but is well worth checking out for its rewards. Many achievements will gift you goodie chests, which are always welcome. However, there are a handful of categories that go the extra step with premium rewards such as costumes, team-ups, ultimate upgrade tokens, and pets. Those are worth scoping out as long-term goals. I know they’re on my radar right now.

4. Free fortune cards

Fortune cards are Marvel Heroes’ version of lockboxes, although they don’t drop in the game; they are simply sold in the store. I’ve never been super-tempted to buy any of them (they’re $1 each), but for some people they’re desirable because they have costumes and other “chase” items that are impossible to get anywhere else.

However, did you know that Marvel Heroes will give you free fortune cards? One of the vendors, Clea, will sell you cards from the first series for 10 cube shards apiece. These shards are not hard to get — running terminals is a good way to snag them daily — and the cards are usually good for boost potions. Once in a while you’ll get a costume too; I think I got a Wolverine one a while back.

5. Prestige and story bonuses

Speaking of costumes, I’d say they’re probably the hardest to get in the game for free. Once in a blue moon one will drop, but most of the time you’ll need to pay or just accept your default outfit. However, you do have a path to getting more costumes by playing through the prestige system.

Prestiging is a topic for a future column, but the short version is that it entails voluntarily going back to level 1 on a hero in exchange for a few extra rewards (like a name color change or the ability to buy an Iron Buddy pet). One of the rewards is a copy of your basic costume, which might seem silly until you realize that you can take three identical copies of a costume and exchange them at the crafter for a new (random) costume.

I’d also encourage you to clean out your story mode on all three difficulty levels. Not only do you get power points and other permanent stat boosts, but there are some nice freebies here, including fortune cards and potions. Free is free, right?

6. Eternity splinters

If you’re really looking for the free in Marvel Heroes, eternity splinters will soon become your world entire.

It used to be that Marvel Heroes would make hero tokens random drops, but players didn’t like the “random” part of that so much, so Gazillion went back to the drawing board and decided to introduce eternity splinters instead. Now, every eight minutes or so of combat gameplay, you’ll see a pink splinter (and occasionally more than one) drop. Save up enough splinters, and you’ll be able to buy any of the heroes and team-ups you desire.

Most heroes are 400 splinters each, although there are some that are 200 and some that are 600. That’s a lot of saving up to do, particularly if you want to collect all 48 heroes. One strategy is to buy random hero tokens for 175 splinters apiece, particularly if your roster isn’t very large. Any hero you get will be worth more than what you paid for it, although you do run the risk of getting a less-desirable hero or a repeat (in which case you get a token to upgrade that hero’s ultimate ability). I bought two in a row and got Hawkeye both times, so now I prefer to pay more and be assured of what I’m getting.

There are ways to speed up your eternity splinter acquisition. One is through boosts (splinter boosts are particularly rare; I’ve seen only one from a Christmas event). However, the main way is to increase your special item find (SIF) stat, either through gear or boosts. The more SIF you have, the higher your chances of getting a splinter drop on a kill.

If you do spend money…

Whether or not you spend money on Marvel Heroes is your business. I’m not here pushing you one way or the other. But I did want to end this column by giving you one last piece of advice that I learned over time.

If you’re tight with your money and want to pay just a little, I would say the most important thing you could buy is more stash (bank) space for your account. Inventory space is in short supply in Marvel Heroes, and until or unless the rumored splinter-purchasable stash space comes, money is the only way to get more.

And because costumes are much harder to come by than heroes, team-ups, and pets, I consider it money well-spent to buy an outfit that I particularly enjoy.

I’ll turn it over now to the comments section. What advice would you give to players looking to enjoy the game for free?

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53 Comments on "Marvel Heroics: How to get the most for free in Marvel Heroes"

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IanMacDonald2
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IanMacDonald2

Is there a Massively OP supergroup? It’d be one I’d like to join, if only to tell Bree, Justin and the gang what a good job they’re doing every other day…

flatline4400
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flatline4400

wild_abyss Lol… I got Magnus as one of my 400splinter random heroes… wasnt sure about him at first.  He’s pretty squishy… but that voice acting!  So delightfully pompous lol, have really grown to love him.

Bionicall
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Bionicall

Linaea After the latest patch, I have to change my statement about Bullseye in Chapter 4. No longer rewards a fortune card. Now awards a matrix of unbinding.

mysecretid
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mysecretid

Reesracer 
Amusingly, I once saw a post on the internet where the guy was raging about Marvel Heroes’ handling of storage — “Gazillion are evil and money-grubbing, and it’s all a conspiracy to push players into spending money … rage rage rage, froth froth froth” …
Until another poster calmly pointed out that you really don’t need to keep all the dropped stuff to play the game and survive, and to have fun doing so — that crafting, and hoarding runes, and all that is a choice.Not something which will break your game, or your fun …
Rage Man shut up pretty quickly after that. :-)

mysecretid
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mysecretid

Kass40 
Marvel Heroes and The Secret World pretty typify what you describe, at least for me.
They get more of my money, because I never feel like they’re conniving to squeeze money out of me.

mysecretid
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mysecretid

wild_abyss 
Yeah. I got burned on that also.
For new players: if you decide to spend money, purchase game cash directly through your Gazillion game account.
Steam prices are higher (probably because they factor in their “Steam cut”) and, last time I checked, Steam didn’t offer the full range of individually-priced heroes and costumes, like Gazillion does.
Cheers,

BKone
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BKone

Just a heads-up, this weekend they give out an Ironman team-up. I think it’s one the best leveling pet. Don’t miss it.

wild_abyss
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wild_abyss

Yup, “accidentally” spent $60 getting Loki/Thor/Purple Mags costume. I wish I hadn’t gone through Steam, though. Because MH prices G according to USD and Steam now charges me CAD, I ended up having to buy $60 of wallet cash IN THREE PURCHASES (I thought $55 was enough, it was not) to get enough to the buy packs I wanted. Basically, it would have been so much easier to just use my credit card directly instead of going through Steam.

MyCatIam
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MyCatIam

Really good tips.  
My advices for you and your wallet:
If you know that you have some kind of compulsive hoarding: DO NOT TOUCH THIS GAME;If you are willing to invest more in this game I advice you to simply buy 3 more general stashes and, 2 crafting material stashes for a total of 2100 G. Keep 1 general stash for really good artifacts;
Keep 3 general stashes for uniques and relics and others items like portals;
You will have 1 crafting material stash to keep runes and, 1 crafting stash to keep the crafting elements;Always keep really good artifacts: Even if the numbers on the artifact are bad just keep it. You will be able to reroll the numbers later at the crafter. And if you do not think to use it then you could simply trade it. This post lists all worthy artifacts to keep:
http://forums.marvelheroes.com/discussion/135118/list-of-artifacts-runes-insigs-current-prices-and-trading-courtesy-updated-26th-may-2015/p1 Always keep unique items: Uniques are used as a currency at the crafter in exange for a stack of a random relic OR 500k credit chests (later is very less important);Use credits to roll costume affixes: normally I only roll for critical damage rating on all of my heroes and it work;
Only unlock the heroe you really like: What is matter in this game is the fun that YOU get. And do not worry much if you think your heroe sucks a bit; all heroes get their review and get tweaked at some point;Remember RNG (Random number generator) and Trade: the core of this game is RNG… remember RNG. So if you are too eager to progress than I suggest you too trade with other players. Do not underestimate trading, it could avoid you alot of “rage quit” situation because of the RNG (awww evil RNG);Heroe build: Check this website: http://marvelheroes.info if you want to know on what item to focus on for your heroe. It will be easier for you to sort worthy items from the worthless.

I bought the Mega Pack MK III that unlocks 43 heroes with their respective stashes. Plus, I bought 15 “general” stashes and 2 “crafting material” stashes. Most of my stashes contain crappy items. And most of the heroes stashes contain only epic insignias with mostly bad affixes lol. So my advice is hold on your self and focus only on what you want. Avoid the “pokemon” minding because at the end it’s not fun (at least for me).

wild_abyss
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wild_abyss

Bionicall wild_abyss “I am the master of magnetism! I am power incarnate!” Yes, it puts me in a better mood just playing him. I might shell out for the costume, though, since I’m enjoying it so much and would rather have it while I’m getting into the game than months down the line.