How do you play? How do you play better? What does that thing do? What do I need to know? All that and more right here, in the complete Time Warpers guide.
Table of Contents
What the Heck Even is This Game?
What is this game’s genre?
Incremental. There are some FPS elements and a good dose of strategy, but the core gameplay is idle/incremental. That means a lot of waiting around, a lot of doing the same thing, and a lot of numbers getting bigger.
I’ve never played an idle game before. What do I need to know?
Don’t ever be afraid to use the reset/prestige function. In this game it’s called “Time Warp”. While losing everything you’ve done may seem intimidating, you’ll get back to where you were in a tiny fraction of the time. Resetting is the core gameplay of these kinds of incrementals.
Expect to leave the game open a lot even when you’re not playing too. There is some offline gold earnings, but to progress in stages you have to have the game open.
I’ve Played Time Clickers. How is this different?
You have a character that you can move around. The enemies can move too. There are more elements of FPS. The perks for reaching weapon level milestones can be customized and swapped out. The research tree is different, a main focal point being that you don’t have to balance start wave and start gold anymore. There are a few new mechanics as well. All in all this game is somewhat similar overall, so if you didn’t like Time Clickers you probably won’t like Time Warpers either.
How do I Get Started?
The first step is to make your way through the first phase of the tutorial. This phase happens when you first launch a profile, takes place at “zone 0”, and generally covers movement. The rest of the tutorial happens from zones 1-70 over the course of your first two or three runs. You can collect gold from the small crawlers by walking on top of them.
What are Zones?
“Zones” are a measure of progress in the game. Each zone has around 25% more health than the previous one, but the gold reward scales up as well. In order to complete a zone, you first need to defeat 10 waves worth of enemies. Each wave will only spawn once the previous is completed, and once 10 total waves are defeated they will stop spawning in that zone. You cannot enter a zone until the previous zone has been cleared, but once you clear a zone it remains cleared until you time warp.
After zone 0, you buy the pulse pistol (from now on referred to as just “pistol”) and teleport 10,000 years into the future to collect more gold from the crawlers.
There was a cool bit of lore chat between your character and the scientist in the initial beta of the game, but it seems to have been removed. If you’re curious about the story of this game, you are a soldier contracted to mine gold with your scientist buddy. The crawlers are actually mining drones, but there’s no way to get the gold out of them aside from destroying them. After teleporting 10,000 years into the future when the mining drones have finished, it’s revealed that all the mining drones have gone rogue and are hostile. Not exactly the most creative or enthralling plot, but it was something.
I noticed I have health. Can I die? Is that a bad thing?
Yes you can die. Most enemies you’ll see for a while will attack with melee swipes for one damage. Some of the bigger guys hit for two, and some of the later enemies shoot projectiles. Dying doesn’t do anything apart from forcing you to wait out the respawn timer, which is about 5 seconds. After that timer is up you’ll respawn at the previous zone 1/6/11/16 etc. respawn point. Pro tip; you can still spawn the next wave with E while you’re dead, although it won’t spawn automatically. Dying doesn’t incur any penalty outside of some edge cases we’ll get into later.
I’m walking around with one health. Can I heal?
Yes. Stand in the respawn point (the shiny blue things every 5th zone starting with zone 1) to heal.
Can I increase my max health?
No. Enemy damage doesn’t scale either so don’t worry about it.
The First Run
Your first step upon arriving at zone 1 is to kill the crawler. You can’t crush it anymore, you need to shoot it with the pistol. As enemies take damage their model will begin to turn red from the bottom up, reflecting the percentage of max health they have lost. Kill the crawler, collect the gold, upgrade your pistol to kill crawlers faster, repeat until you have cleared all ten waves, move to the next zone, repeat.
Once you level the click weapon to level 10 you will be able to buy a drone. By default the drone hovers near your head and shoots at nearby enemies automatically. If you enter Ghost Mode (by pressing tab or escape) the drone will hunt enemies in the zone instead. The drone costs more than the click weapon, but does more damage to compensate.
Once you reach zone 5, and every zone number ending in 5 thereafter (15, 25, 35, 45, etc.), you will face a horde. A horde is a very large group of enemies resulting in a total health significantly higher than the zone preceding it and even the zone after it. You will have 30 seconds to defeat this horde by default, but this will increase dramatically as you progress. You’ll need to press E to summon the horde. At this point in the game the horde should be a breeze, and once you’ve killed all the enemies you’ll receive a fire rate perk. This is automatically awarded to you after a short delay, you don’t need to pick it up.
What the Heck are Perks?
At level 10, 25, 50, and 75 each weapon will unlock a perk slot. Perks are slotted into the weapon to boost certain aspects of it, for example this fire rate perk you just collected doubles the fire rate and energy regeneration of your weapon.
Can’t I already shoot as fast as I can click?
Yes, but remember that costs energy. Double energy regeneration will be the part of the perk you care about if it’s on the click weapon, but the fire rate will be the part of the perk that helps the drone and turret. It also increases the fire rate for the click weapon when you hold down LMB.
It Says “Fire Rate x2 and Overall Damage x2”, doesn’t that mean it’s x4 DPS?
No. “Overall damage” isn’t actually applied to the weapon. That’s just an indicator of how much your DPS will increase with said perk. Doubling your fire rate doubles your DPS, but the perk itself does not double your DPS (although the level milestones that unlock the perk come with a healthy damage bump). TL;DR, ignore the “overall damage” part of perks.
What should I equip this perk to?
By default once you obtain it the perk will immediately be slotted into all of your weapons. You don’t need multiple copies of a perk to use it more than once, in fact multiple copies of a perk are pointless outside of a fringe mechanic we’ll get to later. Leave the perk equipped for now, any perk is better than no perk.
The turret is unlocked after killing 275 enemies (this should happen around zone 8). The turret sits in a static spot in each zone and shoots at enemies. Unlike the drone, the turret has a limited turning speed.
Once you reach zone 10 you’ll face a big boss. These guys show up in every zone ending in 0 (10, 20, 30, 40, etc.) and are much larger and much healthier than a normal enemy. Apart from the aesthetics and some things we’ll get to later, hordes and big bosses serve roughly the same purpose. Defeat the big boss and you’ll get a multi-shot perk.
How does this perk work?
Multi-shot is the most complex perk in the game. It allows for some level of configuration, which can be pretty helpful. When you have it equipped the “Multi-shot Settings” portion of the weapon will become available. You’ll need to enter Ghost Mode and mouse over the weapon in question to see this.
There are four different multi-shot settings; Straight, Spread, Cone, and Circle.
Straight just fires all your bullets straight forward. Spread fires them in a horizontal line as if it were a shotgun in a top-down shooter, Cone fires them in a random spread like a shotgun in a 3D shooter, and circle fires one bullet straight forward with the others in an evenly spaced circle around it.
Then the two sliders, “Spread” and “Burst”, control the behavior of the bullets. Spread determines how far apart the bullets are spaced, with higher numbers yielding more space, while Burst determines how fast the bullets are fired. A value of 100 fires every bullet at once, while a value of 0 spaces the shots evenly in the time between the initial click and when the weapon would fire again when held down. Setting multi-shot to straight with 0 spread and 0 burst effectively multiplies your fire rate by 5.
What should I configure it to?
Set the drone to the aforementioned straight zero spread zero burst. The turret and click weapon are up to you. I would personally use anything other than circle.
Once you reach zone 12 be sure to pick up the crit chance perk. You’ll have to actually walk into it this time, but you only need to do it this once. For reference, the default crit multiplier is 10x and the default crit chance is 1%.
When is a critical hit decided?
When you shoot. A projectile is either critical (colored orange) or not (colored blue), which is decided at the time of firing, not the time of impact. Each “click” has a chance of being critical, and if it is then every other projectile created by said click will also be critical. This means every bullet in a multi-shot, and every cluster projectile. This also works in reverse though; non-critical shots won’t generate critical cluster projectiles or other critical shots in the burst.
After beating the horde at zone 15 you’ll get your fourth perk, punch through. Punch through causes your bullets to pierce enemies and terrain. This can be handy in a number of cases, but remember any perk is better than no perk so there’s not much choice now.
Upon reaching zone 17 the scientist will give you a rocket launcher. You’ll need to manually pick this up but once you do it remains unlocked forever. The rocket launcher fires half as fast, but for twice as much damage along with a small AoE. When you pick this up all your weapons will switch to rocket launcher. You’ll need to set them back if you don’t want them to be that way. The rocket consumes more energy per shot, meaning you can’t spam it as much.
Which Should I use?
That depends. On one hand, it’s good to have higher fire rate so misses aren’t as impactful. On the other hand, the rockets have a slow travel time and small AoE. I would switch back to the pistol on everything, but it’s up to you.
After levelling a weapon to level 100 the next step is promotion. Promotion deactivates all perks on the weapon, but gives a massive DPS boost to compensate. This usually ends up increasing your overall DPS but might lower your zone clear speed depending on what perks you had equipped and how high your damage already was. Right now it’s always a good idea though. The perks won’t go away, and when you reach levels 10, 25, 50, and 75 again they will be reactivated.
Upon reaching zone 32 you’ll be able to pick up a plasma rifle. Just like with the rocket launcher you’ll have to do this manually and all weapons will be switched to using the plasma rifle. The plasma rifle shoots three times as fast as the pistol, for 1/3rd of the damage, and its projectiles are slightly faster than the rocket launcher.
Wrapping Up Your First Run
Every 5th zone you clear for the first time, you’ll receive a perk. Every time afterwards (including subsequent time warps) will only give you a small chance at obtaining the perk. The perks are scripted up through zone 70, after which you’ll receive a random perk.
What perks should I use?
That’s a good question. It all depends on what weapon you want to prioritize, what gun and what role you want the other weapons to fill. Right now it’s hard to go wrong, just remember that punch through and bounce conflict with each other, and that cluster creates projectiles on every impact, meaning it synergizes with bounce and punch through. I would avoid crit multiplier, but crit chance can be good.
Okay, but what perks should I use?
If you want to adopt the meta already, configure your drone to use the pistol with multi-shot, fire rate, damage, and punch through (in that order). Until you unlock perk stacking this will give you the best results. I would configure the click weapon in the same way, except using the plasma rifle instead. As for the turret, set it to rocket launcher with laser guidance, fire rate, splash, and cluster (again, in that order). That will be a solid pick for your first run, but things might change as you go along.
Once you reach zone 50 you’ll see that the big boss is a bit bigger than normal, and they have a blue cube embedded in them. That is a time cube (or more accurately, time cubes, plural). Every zone 50 big boss will give you time cubes the first time you kill them in that run, and every other big boss has a chance (starting at 25%) to also give time cubes the first time you kill them that run. It might be a bit of a struggle, but you should be able to dispatch the zone 50 big boss without too much farming. Once you do this, you will receive 10 time cubes.
The scientist will tell you to keep going to zone 70, but you should time warp right now to cash in on your cubes. You could keep going if you want, but you’ll make much more progress by time warping as soon as you clear zone 50 and get the time cubes.
Time Cube Research
Each time cube contributes an (additive) 10% dps boost once you time warp, meaning the 10 you just got will double your damage. You can also invest in the research tree to further increase your power. As the game says, spent time cubes still contribute a bonus. Time cubes won’t contribute a bonus on the run you obtain them.
Right off the bat you’ll want at least one level in gold find to double your gold, and one level in each weapon damage to double your damage. That will leave you with six more, and a total of 4x damage and 2x gold find.
What’s the best way to spend time cubes?
You can’t really go wrong here. I would avoid the active ability energies and powers. I also wouldn’t worry about time cube drop rate for now. Everything else is out of your cost range this time. Probably your best bet is to put the remaining cubes into gold find or drone damage.
I messed up my research, what can I do about it?
Any time you just performed a time warp you can sell your researches for 100% refunds by right-clicking them. This will automatically change the research menu to sell mode, so remember that the prices you see are the sell prices, not the buy prices for the next level of the research. You can also toggle between buy and sell mode using the buttons in the top left.
Once you’re done spending cubes, start a new timeline with the button in the top left corner.
Your Second Run
You’ll start back at zone 1, with nothing but your click weapon. You’ll keep all your perks, achievements, and time cubes, but everything else is gone. Right away you’ll notice you’ve gotten a new mission, relating to butterflies. This is the second reason you Time Warp right away; these butterflies are very important to collect.
Occasionally a rainbow butterfly will appear by your turret. This butterfly will give you 1 minutes worth of your best gold per second in that run when you collect it. If you don’t collect it fast enough (about 30 seconds) it will fly away again.
Every zone has one red butterfly in it. Most are visible from the main path, but some are cleverly hidden in hard-to-find locations. You can collect a butterfly by touching it with your character, or with the free-cam (press space while in ghost mode), or by shooting it.
Every set of ten zones has one blue butterfly in it. This blue butterfly is far more important. It can be anywhere from zone 1 to 10 in each set, but the position is not randomized. According to the scientist, you can always see the blue butterfly from the main path, and while not entirely true, it’s a good rule of thumb to follow. The first blue butterfly is in zone 3 and should be obvious.
Once you’ve found the blue butterfly you need to take it to the horde zone in that set of ten (so if you find it at zone 38 you need to take it back to 35) and then defeat that horde if it hasn’t been defeated already for a time cube reward. These rewards hover at about one third of the big boss rewards for nearby zones, but you can collect this reward every run, giving you a massive boost to time cube income.
Once you’ve collected a butterfly in a given zone in stays collected even through time warps, and you don’t need to deposit a blue butterfly in the same run you first collect it, so if you can’t be bothered to walk back to the horde zone and turn it in don’t worry, you’ll start getting the reward next run.
Red butterflies add a 1% boost to rainbow butterfly gold (additive), and every ten of them you collect in a world turns into one gold butterfly, which gives you a lot of gold when you enter (not clear) zone 100.
How much should I worry about butterflies?
My advice; worry about the red ones for the first 100 zones only, but always try and find every blue butterfly.
This run should easily take you up to zone 70 and beyond, but once you reach zone 70 and unlock the hoverbike you should time warp again.
Time Cube Research 2: Modifier Boogaloo
By zone 70 you should have around 60 more time cubes. At this point you might want to start putting one level into everything to unlock all the research, but I would recommend only doing that for the bottom left research (labelled “progression”). If you have time cubes left over, spend them on start wave until your start wave is at most 41. This will minimize the time you spend getting to the point where bosses start dropping time cubes. Apart from that, pump more into gold and damage. You won’t be able to claim blue butterfly rewards or big boss drops from zones before your start zone, but it won’t end up making a big difference because you’ll be limited by carry capacity rather than damage for a vast majority of your gameplay.
Before you start a new timeline, you have a decision to make; do you want to play actively or passively? And by that I mean “do you want to focus on the game or do something else while the game is running?” If you answered the latter, just start a new timeline. If you want to focus on the game, you want to activate some modifiers first.
You can toggle on and off modifiers via the button to the right of the time warp button. In order to turn on any modifiers, you must first turn on the “disable hoverbike” modifier. Active modifiers multiply your time cubes by the listed amount (stacking additively with other modifiers). Turn on everything other than permadeath for a 3.25x multiplier.
From Run Three Onwards…
At this point you should be able to easily reach and clear zone 100, which will send you to the next planet for the next set of 100 zones. Once you reach zone 100 you’ll start seeing flying enemies. These guys can be hard to hit and attack with a laser they shoot from their undersides, although they seem to have a very hard time actually damaging you. If you fall off the map here you’ll just get teleported back to your highest respawn point.
After you activate your modifiers, your runs will fall into a little bit of a pattern; Go until you hit capacity, time warp, upgrade your capacity, spend as much as you can in everything else, repeat.
What is carry capacity?
Carry capacity is a limit on how many time cubes you can have “pending” at a time. This was implemented as a response to players joining multiplayer worlds and getting “carried” far beyond their original progression wall by a stronger player. Your carry capacity starts at 100, and can be increased through research. Each level costs 50% of your carry capacity and doubles the capacity (multiplicative), meaning the cost also doubles every time. Once you hit capacity, your movement (along with the hoverbike) is slowed by about 95%, and your jump height is reduced by a similar amount. You can still progress, but it will be agonizingly slow if you don’t use a strafing technique we’ll cover later.
In my opinion carry capacity is a stupid mechanic and should be removed, but that almost certainly won’t happen.
“Upgrade as much as you can” is too broad. What should I focus on?
Start wave, wave reduction, start gold offset, drone dps, gold, time cube amount, then a little into time cube chance. Leftovers can go towards autobuy and other QoL stuff. Also be sure to pick up the first level of perk stacking at some point.
After you get perk stacking change your drone perks to multi-shot, fire rate, fire rate, and multi-shot. This will maximize your wave clear speed through one simple loophole; the drone pivots instantly to face a new target when the old one dies. This means that the drone’s fire rate is effectively your kill rate. The turret turns too slow to use this, and your own aim cannot possibly keep up. Because of this, switch your click weapon and turret to use two teamwork and two gold find perks. Be sure to use the pulse pistol for the hitscan projectiles, the other weapons are effectively moot at this point.
Wave reduction has a lot of numbers. How does it work?
Basically, the top row shows you at what range of 10 zones the waves per zone requirement is reduced by one (usually to nine), and the bottom line shows you the range of 10 zones where the waves per zone requirement is reduced to one. You’ll probably be ending up starting your runs at three or four waves per zone if you’re levelling it and start zone.
By this point you should be free to level your start zone as much as you can. Levelling start zone is always a good idea, it may cause you to lose out on time cube rewards, but it dramatically increases your time cubes per minute.
Every 200 zones perks will start dropping one rarity higher. This increases their power. Any weapons with that perk equipped will automatically upgrade to the new rarity.
Zone 500 and Weapon Cubes
Once you reach zone 500 the zones will start to loop. You’ll go through the same areas, with the same butterfly locations, but with different enemy concentrations. If you’ve collected every butterfly up until now you’ll also unlock the butterfly magnet. Be sure to give it a moment to attract the butterfly to you before moving on.
This is also where you’ll unlock weapon cubes. The zone 500 big boss, and every 500th zone therafter, will always drop weapon cubes. Weapon cubes are green. Like time cubes, weapon cubes have a base 25% chance to be dropped by a big boss in zones after 500.
Unlike time cubes, weapon cubes can be spent any time. You don’t need to time warp in order to spend them. You can access the weapon cube research tree with the button right next to the time warp button. Switch between the time cube and weapon cube trees using the buttons to the right of all the other config buttons in the top left.
And what do I spend these on?
You should have gotten four if you reached zone 500 with mutators active. Get 1 level in weapon cube chance to unlock weapon cube amount, get one level in that to unlock wave reduction, then put as much as you can afford into wave reduction. Each level of weapon cube wave reduction adds 100 zones to the amount reduced, and the cost scales super slowly, meaning you can effectively reduce your waves per zone to one for the rest of the game.
Aside from that, a healthy investment in start zone, drone damage, gold find, and autobuy will be your best options. Ignore Air Strike and Dimension Shift. Like, forever. They don’t become useful for a very very long time.
Same old same old. The remaining major milestones are reaching zone 2000 with all butterflies collected to max out the butterfly magnets, doing stuff with cards, and some other completionist things. Keep pumping up your researches until you can get to zone 10,000, A.K.A. the end of the game.
How the heck do cards work?
Every time you buy the special promotion upgrade at level 500/1500/2500/etc. for each weapon, you get the ability to draw one card. This is stored for the remainder of the run so don’t worry about losing it. All drawn cards will reset on time warp however.
The card menu gives you a choice between three cards, chosen at random. You can never get two of the same card offered to you at a time. Cards offered but not picked can show up again later. There are four of each kind of card, from ace to 2 all the way up to 10 and the “face” cards, Jack, Queen, King. Standard playing card stuff. The suit of the card does not matter. The number on the card is representative of the card’s effect, which is also displayed under it. There are cards for buffing each weapon’s damage (x4), each gun’s damage (x3), and global damage or gold (x2), along with crit chance, heart drop, and of course the kings, which give a 10,000x damage boost if you collect all four.
What should I prioritize?
Drone dps, then pulse pistol damage, then global damage or gold, then crit rate and multiplier, then everything else. The cards stack multiplicatively with each other.
What about kings? 10,000x DPS is good, right?
Technically it’s x10 dps per king, but only if you have all four. Yeah it’s good, but it’s also hard to get. You have to be offered a king four times, and every time you draw a king the chance to be offered a king goes down, because you’ve removed it from the card pool. It’s generally not a good idea to go for kings unless you get offered your first one when you still have about 12 draws remaining. Fewer than that and you won’t have any reasonable chance of getting all four.
I got bad draws, should I time warp and try again?
No. Cards are powerful, but not powerful enough to warrant ending a run. Get as many time cubes as you can.
What the heck is “heart drop”?
That gives bosses a chance to drop a heart when killed for the first time, which will restore one health to you. It’s really only valuable when you have healing disabled, and even then only when you also have permadeath enabled.
Any Other Tips?
Yes actually; if you want to go idle and re-enable your hoverbike, make sure you turn off all the other (non-“disable hoverbike”) modifiers first, otherwise the game bugs out and your hoverbike becomes a hoverbrick.
What do the enemy colors mean?
Enemies come in three standard colors, which are reflected in the glowing parts of their model; yellow, white, and red. Zone HP and gold is spread unevenly between these types, with red having the most, yellow the least, and white in the middle. Waves can also spawn as rainbow, which gives them the health of a yellow enemy but the gold reward of a red enemy, which effectively multiplies zone gold by 10 and reduces zone health by 90%.
When should I use the converter?
Whenever you feel like. There’s no loss involved, but there’s no particular benefit either way. I would say one weapon cube is worth more than 20 time cubes, but that’s my opinion.
What does that yellowish bar do?
When the dull yellow bar fills up you enter “OVERPOWERED”. You do this by increasing your damage far above the zone’s total HP. While overpowered, the bar will fill up a second time (again, by increasing your damage above zone hp). Every time a wave spawns, every enemy will be struck with almost instant damage based on your overpowered percentage; the overpowered percentage applied to the zone’s total hp (so if you’re 10% overpowered then 10% of zone hp), spread evenly across all enemies. This means that most white and yellow enemies will instantly die, leaving only the reds. It also means rainbow waves will instantly be killed as long as you’re above 10%. Overpowered also has the side effect of increasing your movement speed by the listed amount.