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Marvel’s Avengers guide: Five beginner’s tips for Avenger’s Initiative

Diving into the deep end can be pretty daunting

Iron Man and Thor hover near the Golden Gate Bridge in a screenshot from Marvel’s The Avengers game. Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Marvel’s Avengers is two separate games, and you can jump between them both. The first is the campaign, which does a really great job of holding your hand through what you need to do. The second, much larger part of the game is Avengers’ Initiative. This is the game’s co-op, multiplayer, loot-grinding mode, and it can be a little daunting at first.

Whether you’ve already played the campaign, or you’re jumping in with the Avengers’ Initiative, or you’re going between both, we have some tips to help you adjust.

Pick up your daily faction assignments

You can visit Alisande Morales in the Helicarrier for all your SHIELD needs
Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon

To access Marvel’s Avengers’ gear vendors, you have to do some serious grinding each day. Vendors will only sell you powerful goods if you have a high enough reputation with their faction. Getting this rep is easy, as long as you make the time to pick up the bounties.

There are currently two factions in Marvel’s Avengers: SHIELD and the Inhuman Resistance. When you log in every day, you need to visit the coordinators for each faction and pick up all eight of their assignments and their Villain Sector quests (there is no penalty for picking one up and not completing it). If you have these in your inventory, you’ll likely complete them accidentally and level up your factions.

You can find Sarah Garza of the Inhuman Resistance in the Ant Hill, near the character select terminal. SHIELD’s coordinator is Alisande Morales, and you can find her on the Helicarrier, on the second floor of the War Table room.

Go back to play the campaign after you start the Avengers’ Initiative

You can swap back to the campaign in the Operations menu on the War Table
Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon

If you come to the Avengers’ Initiative after the campaign, you aren’t at any disadvantage. But if you’re willing to spoil yourself a bit and jump into the Avengers’ Initiative first, you’ll gain a host of late-game quests in your Objective tab.

Once you boot up Avengers’ Initiative for the first time, you’ll unlock a lot of the late game progression, which means you can complete some Hero-specific quests objectives while you play the campaign.

This is a personal choice, as it does mean spoiling how certain Heroes appear in the game by (temporarily) skipping the story. But if you’re willing to take the hit, it’s definitely the most efficient way to play the campaign.

If you’re not planning on playing the campaign, we recommend that you do to get some of its unique rewards.

Swap up your Heroes with friends

Spread the love among your Avengers
Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon

Marvel’s Avengers does a pretty good job of scaling the difficulty if you’re playing with an under-leveled friend. But sometimes, playing your highest level Hero with your lower level friends isn’t the best option — you can’t play some missions together, if some of your party is too low level.

In Marvel’s Avengers, you can only have one identical Hero per team — no doubling up on Hulk, for example. Missions like the Mega Hives also force you to swap between Heroes on the fly. If you want to play some of Marvel’s Avengers’ hardest content with a variety of different people, you’ll need to diversify your superhero options.

One of the best ways we’ve found to do this is by playing your lower level Heroes alongside your lower level friends. For example, we primarily play as Thor during solo play and switch to Iron Man with our pals. This ensures that we have multiple Heroes to play in a different situations.

Do each Hero’s Iconic mission first

Step 2 of Captain America’s Iconic mission chain involves a few in-combat steps
Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon

Each Hero in Marvel’s Avengers has an Iconic mission chain in the Objective menu. Complete each chain, and you’ll earn some unique loot for that Hero and a special costume. Most of these feature an initial mission centered around that Hero. When you complete that, you’ll get some objectives to do with your Hero in combat — like blocking attacks with Captain America’s shield. Then the chain ends with a second mission that completes the story.

For each of your characters, do part of this quest chain first. Before diving into some of the game’s more complex missions, go through your quest list and complete each Iconic mission chain up until you get to the combat objectives we mentioned earlier. The goal here is to make sure you can progress those objectives whenever you play a new Hero — like when you swap while playing with friends. Tip synergy!

Feel free to complete the final part of each Iconic mission at your leisure. But unlocking the in-combat objectives guarantees that you’ll unlock more missions earlier in the game.

Auto equip gear until Power level 130

Just because you can boost your gear doesn’t mean you should
Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon

One of the biggest questions in Marvel’s Avengers is: When you should upgrade your gear?That’s a little complicated, so let’s go over it.

You can use various resources in Marvel’s Avengers to upgrade each piece of your loot — depending on its rarity. For Epic, Legendary, and Exotic pieces, there are some perks locked behind the first one or two levels of your gear. Leveling up gear costs resources — more depending on the Power level of the piece — but it also unlocks perks and increases the piece’s Power value by one.

Now the questions are: When should you upgrade, and when should you just wait for a replacement piece?

You should almost never upgrade your gear while you level, as it’s a waste of resources that you’ll need later in the game.

Marvel’s Avengers is generous with its loot. As you level up your Hero and increase your Power level (tied to your gear), you’ll replace your pieces of armor very quickly. And while you get resources back for dismantling gear, you won’t recoup your investment on gear you’ve upgraded.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. If you have a piece of Epic or Legendary gear, level it up once or twice to get its perk, as they can help the content go faster. But you shouldn’t level up any piece of gear more than twice until you hit Power level 130.

Currently, gear doesn’t drop any higher than 130, and you’ll need to upgrade all your gear pieces and your Major Artifact all the way to reach the true cap of 150.

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