Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 has been out for less than a month and there are already over 35 characters available. That’s a lot of spandex and emotes to keep track of, especially if you’re trying to keep your whole cast around the same level. That’s not even getting into the upcoming DLC (the first of which drops August 30 and will be adding X-Men Colossus and Cyclops) and Season Pass which will include three more packs of characters.
MUA 3 might be as grueling or gritty as Dark Souls or the Witcher, but it’s still designed by Team Ninja, a company infamous for making challenging games. This one is no exception, and a team of low-level characters, no matter how well-balanced they are, can still get pummeled in later chapters or higher difficulties. Keeping your team at a respectable level is the easiest way to get through unscathed, so we’ve put together six tips to do just that. First, however, it’s time to answer an age-old question:
Is it better to stick with one team, or play as everybody equally?
The adventure kicks off with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and if they’re your favorite Marvel crew, you may be wondering why you’d ever want to switch to anybody else. Or maybe you found a team of high-level characters later in your playthrough and you’ve formed a super-team that’s way more adept at handling baddies than your sadly under-leveled starter teams. Have they seen the last of their useful days?
Of course not! Variety is the spice of life, and swapping teammates in and out is what this game series is all about. It’s not just for the sake of keeping the game fresh, either; certain characters (and character combinations) provide you with very different bonuses and perks than others. Depending on what you’re up against you may find your usual team of four is struggling, even if they are a higher level.
Mastery vs. Strength
In the end, your success is dependent not on how hard your team can hit, but what it is they’re hitting with. If you find you’re not doing enough damage with a team comprised of Hulk, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, and Elektra it might be time to go for a team that’s less strength-heavy. Try something like Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange, Elsa Bloodstone, and Scarlet Witch. You may find that Mastery-based characters (plus the nice 10% Mastery team bonus they get) will make your job way easier.
Likewise, if you find you’re dying really quickly try and up your Resilience (if you’re up against energy or magic) or Durability (if you’re up against bruisers or bullets). In the end it’s combining damage types and defenses, and stacking them with appropriate bonuses and ISO-8 that makes a formidable team. So how do you level this team up?
1. Play Rift Challenges
The best place to level up is Rift Challenges. They’re tough, they’re grindy, and they can be outright frustrating, but the rewards are well worth it. Don’t be afraid to try Rifts that are a little above your level; it may take you a few tries, but you’ll be rewarded extra XP for taking down opponents with a higher level.
We’ve found the best mission for farming XP is the level 25 Rush challenge in the Psi Rift: You’ll deal (and receive!) extra damage as the timer counts down, which means that as long as you’re good at dodging you’ll be able to clean house even if the bad guys have a ton of health.
2. Use XP cubes
The game rewards you with all those XP cubes for a reason – sometimes a character just falls behind, even if you play as them frequently. If you want a character to join you but they’re just too low-level to fight by your side, you might want to spend a few XP cubes on them to get them on par with the rest of you.
Though it may be tempting to hoard your cubes, it’s better that you don’t; less powerful cubes won’t be as useful once your characters hit higher levels.
That’s another reason we like the aforementioned level 25 Ruch Challenge; each time you complete it you’re rewarded with small XP cubes. So really you’re leveling up characters and gaining cubes to be used on leveling further.
3. Return to old ground
If you’re tired of grinding in the Rifts you might still be able to squeeze a few levels out of the game’s campaign. Boss fights and tough encounters will reward a decent amount of XP, and if you missed a hidden box earlier on you can break it on your return trip for some free XP cubes.
Replaying easier missions but cranking up the game’s general difficulty can also be a good way to fine-tune your comfort level.
4. Mix your teammates’ levels
If you’re trying to raise your old characters to match the level of your new high-level characters, intuitively you’ll want to avoid playing with your higher-level characters. Otherwise, they’ll stay at too high a level, right?
XP is not distributed evenly between your high and low characters. Instead, it favors teammates at lower levels. The best way to use this to your advantage is to bring a low-level character with a team of two or three high-level characters. Now take that team to higher-level areas and your weaker characters will reap the benefits of the increased XP that harder enemies grant.
5. Max out the blue section of the Alliance Enhancement tree
This tip will take you a little longer, but it’s one of the most efficient ways to globally speed up how fast all of your characters gain levels. The Alliance Enhancement chart can be a bit daunting at first (SO MANY NODES TO CHOOSE!), but the one you’ll want to complete first is the set of blue nodes on the top left.
When you complete a whole section of the Alliance Enhancement network you’ll gain a global bonus specific to that section. Purchasing all nodes in the blue section will reward a universal +10% XP gain. The earlier you get it, the more it’ll help.
6. Equip XP-boosting ISO-8
Lastly, there are a couple ISO-8 crystals that can help you gain XP quicker. They’re quite rare, but definitely worth farming or looking for if you’re trying to maximize a particular character’s XP gain. Upgrade them and slap two or three on one character and they’ll be cruising in no time.
The most reliable location to get ISO-8 that boosts XP is in the fifth chapter of Asgard. Progress to this point (or start at this checkpoint via the Chapter Select screen) and break down the door that’s guarded by HYDRA soldiers. Clear out the next room and peek behind the big statue of Odin. This box should contain a rare blue XP crystal. You can check out this more detailed video walkthrough if you’re having trouble finding it.
Finally, the level 61 Wakanda Rush and level 65 Wakanda Wave Rift challenges are excellent places to farm XP once you reach higher levels, as well as gain more rare ISO-8 in general. This rift also has a higher frequency of white crystals, which can boost XP further.
Hopefully, this guide helps you level your characters and create a more balanced team. Let us know in the comments below if you found these strategies helpful, and stick with Softonic for more Ultimate Alliance tips and tricks!