THE KING OF FIGHTERS has come a long way since its arcade days. The popular beat-‘em-up series has just been given a shiny new mobile instalment for the whole world to enjoy: THE KING OF FIGHTERS ALLSTAR. A collaboration between SNK and Netmarble, this latest KOF game brings together characters from throughout the franchise for more urban fisticuffs.

To help you brush up on your bare-knuckle tactics, we’ve put together five useful THE KING OF FIGHTERS ALLSTAR tips.

Save your rubies

Those shiny red rubies you collect in-game are your means of summoning new fighters. Every 100 rubies you save can be exchanged for one summon. However, if you hold out until you’ve gathered 900 rubies, you can purchase a ‘Summon x10’ – that means 10 fighters for the cost of nine. If you want a dependable source of extra rubies, make sure you complete at least six daily missions a day for a 50-ruby bonus. You should also aim to get three stars on all campaign battles for more bonus rubies.

Choose your party carefully

How THE KING OF FIGHTERS ALLSTAR fighters relate to each other directly impacts their prowess in brawls, so you should be clever when picking your team. Forming a party entirely comprising fighters of the same edition of KOF, nationality, sex, or other shared characteristics will give your stats a Team Relation boost. You can refer to the game’s dedicated Team Relation menu to help you. Similarly, when choosing a Striker to attach to one of your main fighters, keep an eye out for the chain link symbol denoting a special relationship between two characters – Fighter Links grant handy Relation Effect bonuses.

Show your colours

You might have spotted that fighters come with a colour affiliation: red, green, blue, yellow and purple. Those aren’t their favourite colours, but rather classes which each have weaknesses and strengths. You’ll notice enemies also have colours. Colours in THE KING OF FIGHTERS ALLSTAR work in a rock-paper-scissors relationship: purple is best against blue, worst against yellow; blue is best against red, worst against purple; red is best against green, worst against blue; green is best against yellow, worst against red; and yellow is best against purple, worst against green. That means choosing fighters that are all one colour risks making the whole team vulnerable to enemies of a certain colour. It’s a better tactic to assemble a multi-coloured team, so you can tag in fighters with a colour advantage when needed.

Unlock your fighting skills

All fighters in THE KING OF FIGHTERS ALLSTAR begin with two skills equipped. That’s enough to get you through the early stages, but when the difficult curve starts to bite, you’ll want to upgrade. Fight your way through Power-Up Dungeons to obtain core growth materials – these can then be used to upgrade your fighters’ cores and gain new skills. You can take the edge off the grind by using Auto-Clear tickets, which instantly clears a dungeon and brings in the rewards. However, each fighter’s final skill can only be unlocked with the Special Card specifically associated with that character. You can get your hands on these cards by exchanging rubies for a Battle Card Summon box.

Easily compete or co-op with friends

KOF: ALLSTAR makes it easy to rope your mates into the fun – whether you want to prove who’s the superior fighter in a PvP match, or strengthen your IRL team bond by taking on enemies side-by-side. The Casual PvP mode lets you fight each other in real-time matchups, generating an exclusive room and access code for you and your friend to use. Meanwhile, the Evolution Dungeon and Core Dungeon gives you the chance to team up with two other players against waves of thugs.

Why not put our tips to the test? THE KING OF FIGHTERS ALLSTAR is available for free on iOS and Android now.