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5 pitfalls to watch out for in Illuvium Zero

Illuvium Zero season 1 dropped this week.

The long-awaited new season of Illuvium Zero is out. The city-builder-style game is the resource engine for the IIluvium ecosystem and one of three interconnected blockchain games the Australia-based project is building at the same. Polemos’ Mogglin has played the new build and below he shares five things he would avoid doing.

1. Starting with the wrong land

All lands in Illuvium Zero are different, but there are some you probably want to avoid if you are going hard for blueprints. 

Before you even start, you could be making things harder on yourself if you don’t consider the type of resources on a particular plot of land and where those resources are located on that land.

Scanners become less efficient if they are too close to a resource node, so if your land has its resources concentrated on one side, this could help you get ahead in scanning. 

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Scanners also have an impact on each other, however and, according to Polemos’ course on Zero, getting a large amount of scanners at a lower tier – even taking into account their lower efficiency – is more effective than having only a couple of upgraded scanners spread out.

If you have a higher-tier plot of land, having a wide variety of resources is better because using extractors to mine resources is more efficient than using a converter to transform resources you have already mined. It also saves on space. Converters are five tiles bigger than the four-tile extractor.

I can’t tell you which lands exactly are the best and I definitely don’t know what will be best for the future as this is just the beta and changes to the mechanics and statistics in balancing could completely change the meta. You’ll just have to consider the options as best you can.

llluvium land comes in six tiers, from free-to-play to Tier 5 with an Arena landmark

2. Running out of elements 

You only have a set amount of resources at the start, and as you need to use them to produce more of the element resources yourself, you will need to manage your resource use carefully. You will need the extra resources to build and upgrade your land. 

If for some reason you do run out of resources, the game has a mechanic in place so you’re not completely stuck. The Nexus (the nerve-center of your city) offers an airdrop that can be called in to give you some of the three element resources. 

This gives you the resources (increasing amounts as you upgrade the Nexus) after it finishes and takes one day to complete, or 17 hours 27 minutes if you have paths surrounding it. You don’t want to be waiting around for this. 

If you mess up very early, you can reset your plot and start again as it is possible to remake the first buildings pretty quickly.

3. Running a big upgrade when you’re farming 

You may want to push forward with progression, which could mean upgrading something like your Nexus, which takes a long time to complete. 

But if you are going to be sitting on the game for a while, farming and filling up your storage, a much better approach could be to upgrade all your smaller buildings while you are in the game. 

Once all your smaller buildings are upgraded to their maximum or your storage is full, there is no need to be sitting in on the game, and you can run the big upgrades while you are away.

4. Covering your entire plot with paths

I saw some people do this in season 0. They covered their entire plot with paths and then cut holes to make spaces for their buildings.

This guaranteed all buildings got the maximum buff from their proximity to the paths, but overall, it is a bad idea. It will cost you a lot of time in the form of forgone speed-up credits because you have prevented trees from growing on the covered land.

Trees grow on the land and when you use your drone to remove them, you are rewarded with credits that, when used, can reduce the time needed for building, upgrading and harvesting by up to 1 hour 59 minutes for the first credit, and an extra hour off for every subsequent credit you use on that job. 

These trees grow back, and if you have covered your entire plot with paths, they can’t. This slows you down your ability to capitalize on speed-up credits enormously. 

I reduced my paths by creating one big circuit to upgrade my different storage plants, moving the next target upgrade inside the paths in turn.

5. Accidentally using speed up credits

I have played city-builders before and I know it’s always good to fully understand how any speed-ups work and use them correctly, which often means saving them for the longer jobs in the game.

But in this season of Illuvium: Zero, you only have one drone for all your building and upgrading. At the start of the game, resource collections are very fast and you find yourself clicking away at things at speed, as you collect what you have gathered, and build and upgrade.

If the drone is busy, you will be offered the option to use your credits to finish the job. But if you forgot or were not paying close enough attention and clicking through fast, you can end up spending a credit to complete a very short job. This is wasteful. It can also happen after the drone has completed its job but you have forgotten to click on the “complete” icon above the building.

Mozart only has four arms. Don’t forget when they are already in use.


Mogglin is one of Polemos' game experts and a member of the core Content team.