(the) Gnorp Apologue – High Collection Build

A guide/strategy for getting extremely high Collection rates in Compression 10, as high as 60G+.


I have been experimenting with builds in this game for a while, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I haven’t done as much testing as I’d like, but I’ve seen a few threads asking about late-game builds and figured I’d post the one that I’ve been using.

This is for people who’ve already beaten the game and want to push their Gnorps to the greatest heights possible. I personally have 24 Talent Points/Prestige Points, and am very close to getting the 25th, so you can get pretty high with this.


Talents and their interactions make up the bulk of your damage in (t)GA. This section is just for my thoughts on all of them, and potential interactions and so on.

Motivation: Situationally good, useful for the +5% combo chance only in lategame(10+ Compression), because the higher Combo chance increases the number of hits that Baby Drones make, which end up being a relatively large portion of your damage if you can get enough of them. Don’t take this if A) Your pile stacks by the stash and/or just gets so big that the runners can’t keep up, or B) If you’re using Slammers for Fire Breath. If you don’t have anything else to spend Talent points on, though, this is fine.

Hiking Buddy: Effectively required, as I believe that Mountaineer Buddies also add to Runner scaling with the Mountaineer Inspiration. They might not, and if so then this talent would end up useless and not be taken at higher compression/collection levels because you eventually stop using Mountaineers for their actual function, and only as a way to increase the Capacity of your Runners.

Runner Backstop: Very good if your build ends up with a full pile at some point(and most builds do because Damage outstrips Collection extremely quickly if not managed properly) due to scaling with Mountaineer Inspiration and adding to Zygnorp energy.

Extra Housing: Basically required. More houses = More Gnorps = More damage/collection. You always want to take this once you can.

Bathe In Fire: Makes your Bombers better. Bombers(specifically Bombers hitting the rock) makes all your other main methods of damage/collection better with Timeshift/Pocket Rockets/Timeshift Retainment, so if you’re using a Bomber build and can get fire on the Rock, you should take this.

Popcorn: Actually very good if you want to stack the pile very high very quickly because especially later in Compression/Upgrades many shards end up either at the rock(0-3 Range area) or at the Stash(7-10 Range area), and this moves all fire shards from the Rock to the Stash, allowing for super quick Compression if you can get a lot of fire damage.

Bullet Breath: Seems cool, but is actively bad and detrimental. Does not allow Slammers to set the Rock on fire if taken, and setting the rock on fire, or getting as high a combo as possible, are the only uses for Slammers later in Compression/Collection. This defeats both of those uses, meaning you should never, ever take this except for very early progression when you don’t have better sources of damage available. Does benefit from all the other talents that benefit Gatler bullets/arrows though.

Superhot: Really not good. Makes fire last a shorter amount of time(since it deals a set amount of damage over a certain amount of time, this just shortens the burn time), which is bad because Bathe In Fire is good. Basically never take this. Fire damage isn’t high enough to justify this even with the multiplier.

Gatling Balloon: If you have an extra talent point, it’s not -bad-, but your points are more useful elsewhere. Can be okay for certain builds if you don’t want the Balloon’s arrows to have an effect(*not actually sure they can inherit fire/ice/modern warfare utility, though), but they do benefit from Rocket Arrows if you take it. Which you shouldn’t. If you’re running Modern Warfare, this is actually detrimental as Gatler bullets don’t benefit from Modern Warfare or Rifle damage utility. So if you are not running Modern Warfare or depending on Rifle Gnorps for a damage type, then take this. If you are running Modern Warfare or typed damage on your Riflemen(which you should be if you have the right talent), it’s bad and should never be taken.

The Flow: Just bad. The downside is not worth the increase to the pitiful amount of damage Slammers do. If you could somehow get infinite Combo on your Slammers this might be good because it would keep stacking forever, but the highest you can get right now is 98% which resets the stack eventually. It’s not good.

Bigger Pile: For short Compression runs, this is really bad. For longer compression runs(or for stalling at a certain Compression level, which you want to do for some strategies), this is really good. The +5 Gnorps is very good because they get so expensive to get later(and having extra at the start lets you get up and running faster), and the Passive Reclamation reduction is just a nice bonus. Take it if you’re planning a longer run, or to stall at a certain Compression Level.

Timeshift Delivery: Effectively required for any high-collection builds because of the effect it provides for both Arrows and Runners. Bombers are very, very good. You will almost always take this.

Explosive Exposition: Integral component of Modern Warfare builds. Exceptionally good. You will almost always take this later on.

The Higher The Pile: If you don’t have anywhere else to put a talent point, this is fine. If you do, then don’t take this. Works well with Popcorn builds, though, to get higher piles near the Stash.

Notes: Any increase to the multiplier is good; if you’re using Directors(which are important for Modern Warfare builds) you will basically always take this.

Future To The Back: Makes Riflemen bullets arrows, which benefit from all arrow talents, and are (generally) better than normal bullets. Would be much better if Gatler bullets could use Fire/Ice/Modern Warfare once turned into arrows. Also makes Modern Warfare Gnorps shoot twice as it turns their bullets to arrow-grenades. Mandatory on those builds.

Project: Constellation: If the only thing this did was make Rockets set off Weakspots, it would still be mandatory for Modern Warfare builds. The other portions just make it better. You want Rockets to hit in a small window, because sometimes that window lines up with both Acid and Ice, both of which multiply damage. Very, very, very good. Damn near mandatory later on.

Supershatter: The only reason you want Ice is for the damage multiplier. This removes the damage multiplier. Don’t take this.

Rocket Gatler: Only useful if you’re using Gatlers(which are bad), or the ‘balloon shoots gatler bullets’ talent. Don’t take this otherwise.

Frostfire: If you’re using Bathe In Fire, this is mandatory(because you really, really, really want Ice on the Rock as much as possible), if you aren’t then it’s basically useless because Fire damage is bad and you won’t be taking it.

Infinite Reverberation: If Hulks were any good, this would be great, but they’re bad, so it isn’t.

Return to Sender: If you’re having trouble keeping up with arrow speed, this can be good, but if you’re using Timeshift Delivery then it’s pretty useless because you’ll rapidly end up with more arrows then the archers can fire.

Descent of the King: If you’re using the King, then this is mandatory. If you aren’t, don’t take it. The +8 multiplier is extremely good, but the King is only situationally useful.

Deals: Gives you +6 Gnorps, so it’s good. Also shoots two arrows at once, which is also good. Makes Modern Warfare Gnorps with Future To The Back shoot twice. It becomes mandatory in builds that include both of those.

Reclamation Mitigation: Reclamation steals from your overall damage, which can be bad based on your build. But if the pile stays low, the rock reclaims less, making this less useful. Not very good, wouldn’t take it unless you’re just swimming in talent points.

Combo Power: Integral to builds that incorporate Combo to generate more hits for Baby Drones. Kinda useless otherwise because Slammer damage is bad.

Arrows’ Last Hurrah: Good earlygame when arrows are a large portion of your damage. Not as good later. In my current run it’s the lowest source of damage. Probably not worth the talent point for late-game builds.

Don’t Eat That: Good if you’re using Zygnorps and Drones, which most late game builds do. If you aren’t using both Zygnorps and Drones, don’t take this.

Talents Section 2: Electric Boogaloo

This section hit the character limit in the first portion, so it’s just continued here.

Operation: Pocket Rocket: If you’re using Timeshift Delivery(which you should) and Pocket Rockets(which you should), this is incredible.

Agitated Zybe: Literally never don’t take this.

Gnorpcalibur: Unleashed: Never don’t take this. Once you unlock the Shrine, take this ALWAYS.

Drone.Target = Far || Drone.Target = Close: Never found a situation where I wanted to use this. Drones collect from the highest part of the pile by default. Don’t think it’s worth a point.

Vulnerability Empowerment: Good if using Vulnerability(which you should), but only for the Returns All Shards portion as Vuln damage quickly falls off since it doesn’t scale. If your build never reaches reclamation, then it becomes useless.

Modern Warfare: With Explosive Exposition and Gnorpcalibur: Unleashed, this becomes one of the single-most valuable talents in the game. Exceptionally good.

Drone Capacity: Many late-game builds incorporate Baby Drones on Compression 10. This gives you x2 Baby Drones. This also gives Drones x2 Capacity, which is just generally helpful. The Descent speed nerf sucks though.

My Current Build: Motivation, Hiking Buddy, Extra Housing, Bathe In Fire, Popcorn, Bigger Pile, Timeshift Delivery, Explosive Exposition, The Higher The Pile, Notes, Future To The Back, Project: Constellation, Frostfire, Deals, Reclamation Mitigation, Combo Power, Arrows’ Last Hurrah, Don’t Eat That, Operation: Pocket Rocket, Agitated Zybe, Gnorpcalibur: Unleashed, Vulnerability Empowerment, Modern Warfare, Drone Capacity.

Disclaimer: It’s entirely possible that I have gotten a talent wrong or misunderstood an interaction, so do please feel free to let me know if this is the case. You can also just argue the case for a specific talent you like, do feel free to tell me Superhot is good if you think so or something. ;p

How It Works + Talent Priority

How it works: Modern Warfare makes Rifle Gnorps shoot Grenades. Grenades reduce the Weakspot cooldown. Weakspots do concentrated damage during Rocket barrages, which can stack due to Acid/Ice damage multipliers. Gnorpcalibur then converts all this concentrated damage into absurdly high amounts of damage. More or less any other way to increase damage adds to Gnorpcalibur’s damage. Accord: Power makes damage sources that don’t benefit from Multiplier(i.e. Rockets) benefit from 13% of the multiplier. Which is good!

Priority of Talent Points: Modern Warfare, Future To The Back, Explosive Exposition, Timeshift Delivery, Operation: Pocket Rocket, Project: Constellation, Agitated Zybe, Gnorpcalibur: Unleashed, Frostfire, Combo Power, more or less everything else as you can afford it. Popcorn, Hiking Buddy(especially if it doesn’t increase Runner capacity), Reclamation Mitigation, Arrows’ Last Hurrah, Drone Capacity are all much lower priority.

Where to Spend Your Zybellium

Slam Club: Fire Breath if you’re using Slammers to put fire on the Rock. Nowhere if you aren’t. Slammers don’t do enough damage without an infinite Combo to make Combo Power worth it.

Gun v Rock: Nowhere. Gatlers are bad.

Gnorp Propulsion Lab: Timeshift Impact requires at least one point put in it to make Timeshift Delivery function. Pocket Rockets makes more rockets, which means more damage, which means Gnorpcalibur is better. Pocket Rockets can be dropped situationally. More ranks in Timeshift Impact are good if you can fit them based on build.

Archery Range: Nowhere. If you can’t unlock Modern Warfare yet, Rocket Arrows increases damage decently but isn’t useful otherwise. Zybellium Arrows are comparable to Ice, which doesn’t cost two Zybellium. If Zybellium arrows only cost 1 then they might be worth picking up, but your Zybe are better spent elsewhere for 2 cost.

Rock Analysis Lab: Nowhere. Reclamation Nullification isn’t worth the Zybellium.

Cocoa Cafe: Only buy King of the Pile if you’re planning on using Descent of the King. The King works against you otherwise.

House of Shards: The Garden is mandatory due to Acid and Directors.

The Shard Stash: Additional Housing is mandatory. Should be one of, if not the first, place you spend a Zybellium.

The Express: Teleportation is extremely good with Timeshift builds. Don’t buy it if you aren’t using Timeshift, though.

Robotics: If you’re using Baby Drones/Drone Capacity, Adaptive Learning can be good, but is almost always the very last Zybellium I spend, if I even buy it. Dirty Thrusters isn’t worth even considering for a Zybe.

The YX1-AB: Vulnerability is good for certain builds. If it multiplied damage instead of increasing range, though, it would be better.

The Shrine: Can’t spend Zybellium here.

The Garden: Flower Power is effectively mandatory.

Academy: You want at least 3 Zygnorps, if not more, depending on build. They have the highest collection rate in the game outside of specific builds/situations.

My personal spending: On Compression 9 I have spent: Fire Breath, Timeshift Impact x2, Pocket Rockets, The Garden, Additional Housing, Teleportation, Vulnerability, Flower Power, and Zygnorp x3. I plan to spend the last Zybellium on Adaptive Learning once I push to Compression 10.

Where to Spend Your Gnorps + Inspirations

Slam Club: Buy 10 of them, Meditation if you’re using Motivation, set their Inspiration to Drones, buy Fire Breath if you’re using them for Frostfire/Bathe in Fire. If you’re using a Fire Breath build, set the inspiration to Runners because the Drone one won’t provide any benefits(since Fire Breath automatically cuts off the combo at 7 and 80% is enough to keep the rock on fire). If you’re having bad luck and using Combo Power it can make Drone Inspiration good for making sure they get to 7 hits on the combo.

Gun V. Rock: Modern Warfare if you have it, don’t buy Gatlers unless there’s literally nothing else to spend Zybe on, Grenade Launcher is required for Modern Warfare builds(and just generally ‘fine’ on most builds for a bit of extra damage that only costs money +1 Gnorp), and Floral Residue just makes your Riflemen better because they don’t walk as far between reloads. You want as many Riflegnorps as you can get, but they’re incredibly expensive, so just buy them as you can.

Gnorp Propulsion Lab: You want as many Bombers as you can get your grubby little hands on. Some builds go for 300+ depending on how long the run lasts. Vuln Inspiration is good if you don’t have Project: Constellation yet, and useless after you do. Zygnorp Inspiration is the best one if you have 3 of them(which you should). If you don’t have Zygnorps, or don’t have 3, Mountaineer is a good extra source of damage and should be used over Vuln Inspiration.

Archery Range: Buy Fire and Ice arrows, set them to fire Ice Arrows, and then forget that this building exists.

Rock Analysis Lab: Buy everything except Reclamation Nullification.

Cocoa Cafe: Try to put this building as close to the rock as possible to reduce travel time. Buy 25-30 Mountaineers, upgrade their Digging Width(why not), set their Inspiration to Hulk, and then forget that this building exists. Only buy King of the Pile if you’re using Descent of the King. Don’t spend Gnorps upgrading Improved Digging, they’re more valuable elsewhere and the upgrades get incredibly expensive.

The Stash: You’ll need everything.

The Express: You want as many runners as possible. Set their inspiration to Mountaineers(the other two are bad). Get their capacity as high as you can, max out speed, only buy one level of GEET. Get Breaktime when you’re ready to move on from Compression 1(I use Compression 1 to set up the run for later and buy most of the buildings/upgrades I’ll need for later so I don’t have to remember later on). Delivery Rush is basically mandatory, as is Teleportation if you’re using Timeshift(which you should).

G.E.E.T. Note: If you’re pushing to higher compression/capacity levels, 10% GEET is literally all you will ever need. Buying any more of it is just wasting Gnorps.

Drone: You essentially only ‘need’ to buy Drones on Compression 9, which is where you stall until you get bored of buying Drones. You want as many Baby Drones as possible for Compression 10. Terathrusters just makes your Drones better. Rocket Inspiration makes them faster, and consume more shards(which you want if you have Don’t Eat That). Their collection rate just isn’t high enough to justify buying them before Compression 9. And they’re okay in Compression 10, especially if your damage outstrips your collection(which it will).

The YX1-AB: You have to be extremely careful buying upgrades here. It is extremely easy to buy too many and make stalling on Compression 9 impossible. After Compression 10, though, buy as many as possible.

The Shrine: Spending potentially 20 Gnorps here is painful. You can make an argument for dropping Reversal to spare 4 Gnorps. Overdrive and Power must absolutely be bought, and Overdrive is your single-largest damage source in the game.

The Garden: Buy Flower Power, turn off Hulks, buy Amplified Observation and Enriched Puke, and then forget that the building exists.

The Academy: Set inspiration to runners(argument could be made for Drones in Compression 9/10 depending on how many you have), buy Drone and Mountaineer Attunement(as far as I’m aware, they work passively even if the inspiration is set to Runners). Buy 3-4, they’re the highest collection source in the game.

The Strat

Now that I’ve explained everything else, here is my general strategy. Use Compression 1 to plan and do setup. It’s extremely easy to push yourself over Compression if you aren’t careful, make sure to buy lots of runners/capacity upgrades(drones help too if they don’t get too expensive) so that you don’t do this accidentally. Get most of the run set up. Buy 10 Slammers, 25-30 Mountaineers, as many runners as you can, at least 10-20 Bombers, etc. Make sure you have Zybellium Agitator bought before you move on, it’s the single-most important thing to buy in Compression 1. Buy Breaktime when you’re ready to move on.

Compression 2-9: Just get to Comp 9 as fast as possible, but make sure to keep up with buying Runners and Capacity upgrades. Your damage will outstrip your collection extremely quickly, which can make it so that you can’t get your pile under control in Compression 9 and won’t be able to stall, so be careful. Can be a balancing act because you want to progress quickly enough that the Zybellium Agitator doesn’t run out its timer, but you also don’t want to rush headlong into Compression 9 with 10x Damage vs Collection.

Compression 9: You will be spending the bulk of the game here unless you’re doing an exceptionally long run. You want to stall here and buy as many drones as you can stomach waiting for. The most I’ve ever personally bought is 30, and I know at least one other person using this strat bought all the way to 36. I don’t think I could justify the time cost to go all the way to 40, but I want to try one day.

Manage your collection/damage rates, make sure that your damage never outstrips your Collection too much because it’s extremely easy to push yourself over into Compression if you aren’t careful, which means you don’t have as many Baby Drones for 10.

Compression 10: Once you’ve bought as many Drones as you can stomach waiting for, buy YX1-AB rocket upgrades until they push you into 10. Upgrade any and everything that you can, buy as many bombers and runners as you can, push your collection rate as high as possible. Reset when you get bored/progress takes too long.

If getting to Compression 10 is difficult, switch your Bombers from Zygnorp Inspiration to Mountaineer and prioritize buying Bombers over Runners. Set your Mountaineers to rest(They aren’t doing much but if you’re stuck then they aren’t helping anyway). You could also set your Runners to rest, but I’ve been told that doing so removes the Capacity buff from Break Time. I haven’t tested this myself, yet, but maybe it was/is a bug.

If you’re having trouble stabilizing and stalling in Compression 9, you can shut off the YX1-AB building to keep your damage lower than Collection until you recover.

All done!

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3012 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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