About Counter Side
CounterSide is a side-scroller tower defense hero collector. What a mouthful. The purpose of this game is to deploy your heroes and destroy the enemy base, while avoiding the destruction of yours. Basic gameplay mechanics will not be explained here, as you will very quickly pick them up when you are playing the game. Do keep in mind the combat diagram advantages for easier stage clears if you're ever struggling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this game Free to Play friendly?
Yes, as long as you do not compete in Ranked Arenas (competitive PVP) or Danger Close (competitive PVE). In fact, you can still reach top ranks in competitive modes as a F2P, which is a testament to how well the game is balanced (although this will prove difficult for new players joining an older server). Thankfully, the rewards difference between the top and bottom ranks is really small and Ranked PVP in this game is all about bragging rights.
Furthermore, the game also has a Strategy PVP mode where you just pick one of three opponents and the game plays on auto (you can also manual if you prefer) - you get the same currency to use in the shop from both Ranked and Strategy PVP modes.
The devs are also quite generous, as there is usually an event or login calendar running that gives tons of free stuff.
Can I use emulator to play the game?
Yes, but the game has a PC client for both SEA and Global.
For SEA you can download it from the official site.
For Global, just search for Counter Side in Steam.
How do the rates look like?
On a normal banner, there’s a 3.5% chance to get a unit of the highest rarity - SSR - in the game. Of that, 1% is for the current uprated employee on the banner and 2.5% to get any SSR employee from the general pool.
Reaching pity is quite easy and you only need 150 pulls to get the featured unit. 150 sounds like a lot, but you get a minimum of 10 pulls per week from dailies/weeklies, with a lot more tickets coming from other content like dives, daily shop, events, etc. There is also only one featured SSR per banner, and no such thing as a 50/50 chance for the uprated employee (unlike a certain open world 3D gacha game) so there are no horrors here with pitying someone you don't want. However, you should be aware that pity does not carry over to the next banner. Hence, it is advised to only roll when you are able to hit pity, to avoid wasting pity count.
On an awakened banner, where you can get Awakened Employees (basically UR rarity from other games) the chance is the same as for normal banners - 3.5% overall and 1% to get the awakened employee. However, compared to normal banners, the pity is saved and isn't lost when the current awakened banner ends. This means that if you're unlucky and have to pity every time, you can get an awakened employee roughly every 2-3 months.
Check our Awakened Employee guide if you want to know more about them.
Does the game have auto-battle or skip tickets?
Both are available. A large majority of the game’s content can be cleared on auto if your team is set up correctly.
After you clear a stage with 3 stars, you will unlock a “Skip” option that will allow you to instantly clear a stage without actually playing it, while still giving you max rewards. You can also stack multiple tries on the “Skip”, allowing you to essentially farm everything you need with just 1 button click and a few seconds of waiting.
Still, there are some modes that can't be skipped, but they are in the minority - you can do all dailies / farming stages with skip.
Is this a main or a side game?
The game is going to be a main game until you unlock and catch up with all your characters and resources, and then it becomes a solid side game with plenty of events and added content over time. The main focus would be the fun live PVP, or the competitive PVE game mode called Danger Close, if you enjoy something more competitive.
How long does it take to do all the dailies?
About 15-30 minutes, ever since the Skip/Stack option was added. If you include dives, it may go up to an hour.
Generally, your dailies should look like this:
- Claim finished dispatches and send out new dispatch missions for more rewards
- Do daily free Simulations
- Use your Strategy PVP tickets.
- Use Eternium to clear supply ops/challenge/substream stages for resources such as character shards, info, tuning binaries, etc.
- Use leftover Eternium for events or regular resource farming.
Stamina is called “Eternium”. When you first start playing, you will level up like crazy, and every time you do, you will receive thousands of Eternium. As such, after you settle on an account, you should never use the Get All button in Mail. Never. Whenever you run low on Eternium, just open a single mail reward and keep playing.
During events, you should prioritise farming event stages instead, because not only do they give more exp/gold per Eternium spend, but also the event shop is full of goodies!
Quartz is the premium currency in the game. Even if the game showers you with it, you should never pull on normal banners using Quartz (it costs 1.5k to do a 10-pull). Why? Because the game gives you enough Employment Contracts (summon tickets) and you should summon using them instead. Quartz are better used for Black Tickets, as you can buy 220 Black Tickets every week for 2.75k Quartz, which equals to 11 pulls on an awakened banner.
You may also choose to refresh the daily shop 5 times a day - each refresh costs 15 Quartz for a total of 75 total Quartz - to try to get Employment Contracts, as well as other valuable materials like limit breaking cubes, skill books and ship upgrade materials. Be aware that the items in the shop cost a lot of credits, so you might want to wait a week or so before you start refreshing it.
You will also need Quartz to expand your employee,ship and gear inventories, but only do that when you really need it.
Check out our other guide to get all the information you need to reroll a great starter account.
Early game tips
First thing you should do is go to your inventory and activate the buff ticket which gives you a 20% credit discount on salary negotiation (the place where you level up employees) and 20% more credits and company EXP from mission completion for the next 10 days.
Your main focus should be progressing in PVE, always aiming towards higher EXP/credit output stages. Start by clearing Episodes till you finish EP5 and unlock the Enterprise ship recipe. Pour all your resources into it, because that is one of the best overall ships in the game. Once that is done, start progressing into harder stages for even more credits, while also unlocking important farming stages for resources such as tuning binaries and info.
Follow and complete the Company missions (Small Firm is the first one) - you will get a lot of materials and resources by completing them.
How many characters will I need to level and how should I spend my resources levelling them? You should start by prioritising at least 8 characters; This could be made out of 1 Defender, 1 Striker and a few backliners. These 8 will later help you form future teams, especially for Dives where you will be needing 4 different teams.
If you followed the Reroll Guide, Gaeun + Nanahara Chifuyu + Evelyn will carry you through the whole campaign.
You should be aware that characters do not innately earn EXP from clearing stages. You have to manually level them using credits and appraisals. It should already be obvious, but focus only on levelling essential/good units to help with clearing stages easily.
Also don't ignore lower rarity employees. In CounterSide there are a lot of hidden gems in SR, R and even N rarity. Here are some great lower rarity employees:
Check out the Tier List to find other great low-rarity employees.
My inventory is full of low tier units, what do I do?
Use dupes of these units for tactical updates. Every unit in the game requires 6 dupes to reach their max tactical update level.
For the remaining R/N rarity dupes, you can trash them for ownerless business cards (a shop currency) and credits.
Do be aware that some lower rarity employees (and lower rated in the tier list) can be Rearmed - this makes them way stronger than the base version. Check out our rearmament guide to learn more.
Early on, go to character stats and see how well their skills scale, and equip them with the desired 2 piece bonus. The stats and tier don't matter early on as much as the 2/4 piece bonus. There are 4 pieces of gear you can equip and each unit style (Mech/Soldier/Counter) uses their own gear. 4th accessory slot unlocks after you get the character to 6 star awakening.
What gear parts should I craft early on?
You can choose to craft regular T5 gear in the workshop once you have the option unlocked. However, it is also advisable to save gear materials until you are able to craft better gears, like Shadow Palace gear.
What to do with crappy gear?
You should feed them into certain T6 unique gears like Maze, Gordias, Hummingbird and Exclusive Equipment. When they are fully maxed out, you will gain the option to upgrade them to T7 gears.
You can also use them to upgrade natural T7 gears from Raids or Dimension Trimming to unlock “latent” substats.
What about tuning the gear?
Both tuning (blue) and set (gold) binaries should be saved only for T6 unique gears (Maze, Gordias, Hummingbird, Sincere, Courageous, Exclusive Equipment etc) or T7 unique gears. Do not waste them on the fodder gears you get when you first start playing.
Trust me, you don't want to waste it on the crappy gear you will get when you start playing the game.
How to build a good team?
Overall for early game progression, you should use a balanced team that has every role in it. This way you won't be stuck on stages where for example Ranger employees have issues beating enemies due to Role disadvantage. Here's a sample early game team that you should be able to use after rerolling:
Always deploy a Defender + Striker duo first, together they will hold the frontline and start killing enemies at the same time. Next drop a Ranger and Supporter (but watch out, not all supporters are healers - Evelyn, Claudia, Chinatsu, Arius and Yang Harim are the units you want to use in that spot).
After the initial four, you can fill the rest of the spots with a variety of damage dealers - more Rangers, Striker or Snipers.
Why exactly this order? Because when you let auto-battle handle the stuff, it will deploy the employee in top-left corner first, and the one in bottom-right corner last.
Try to keep the average cost below 3.5, because while the more expensive employees are usually stronger, it will hard to deploy them all due to the limited Resource Deployment you get - the recharge is pretty slow.
Also the employee you will set as a Leader will get his deployment cost lowered by 1. Use this to your advantage.
What about ships?
Check my other guide to get all the information you will need about early game ships.
Limit Breaking employees
Core cubes are used to Limit break your character to Lvl 100, while fusion cubes/fragments are used to level employees past Lvl 100 (to a max of Lvl 110) depending on rarity.
Red cubes are used to Limit Break Counters, Green cubes are for Mechs, and Blue cubes are for Soldiers. The red cubes are the most valuable, as you will be using mostly counters when starting the game. Hence, you should pick them from cube selector tickets which you get as rewards.
Limit break characters in moderation. It is recommended to limit break only your highly used characters when first starting out.
Levelling your employees’ Skills is very important, because a lot of them reach their full potential only when their skills are maxed. For example, Kyle Wong gains a second wall on his special skill, massively increasing the range of the skill and its CC.
Levelling the skills from level 1 to 3 requires normal Skill Books and Info, and for the last 2 levels, you will need Special Skill Books instead. You can get both from Simulations.
For most employees, you should level their Passive skill first, then Special, then Ultimate. Leave the Basic for the last.
Simulation is the place where you will get all the things you need to Level up, Limit Break and Skill Train your employees. You have 2 daily attempts at each Simulation, and while you can buy more tickets with Quartz for more tries, this is not recommended as Quartz is limited and should be used for buying Awakened character summoning tickets in the future.
You can also get additional Simulation Training Permits from office branch dispatch rewards. These permits can be used to obtain additional tries at whichever Simulation dungeon you wish.
You should try to clear the highest level of the simulations as soon as you can, because the amount of stuff you get (Cores, Skill Books and Exp Books) varies between them.
There are two ways you can farm shards to unlock some characters in the game:
In Substream, the farming is limited, as you can only do it 3 times a day per character. Some substreams also have a small chance to reward you with a full character drop.
Request > Talent Recruitment
For Talent Recruitment, there is no daily limit to entries and you are only limited by Eternium. Still, there are better ways to spend it in the early game, but if you really want someone here, getting one copy isn't that bad.
Soon after finishing the tutorial, you will unlock the World Map, where you will be able to send out dispatch missions that return with various resources for you when they are done.
If you are constantly playing the game or have it running in the background, you should fish for Blue Tickets/Quartz/Simulation Training Permits. How to do it? Simply send out your minions on the shortest missions till you receive a 4/8h mission that rewards you with Tickets/Quartz/Simulation Training Permits.
At the start of the game, you will only have one branch and you will open further ones by increasing your account level.
- 1 Branch - unlocked via tutorial
- 2 Branch - account level 15
- 3 Branch - account level 30
- 4 Branch - account level 45
- 5 Branch - account level 60
- 6 Branch - account level 75
You can skip the account level requirement by using Quartz, but this is not advised unless you are a whale. While you can easily reach account level 30 in your first day, the leveling process slows down after that. Here are the Quartz unlock prices for the two most expensive branches:
- 5 Branch - 8k Quartz
- 6 Branch - 12.5k Quartz
Casual F2P players should wait to level 60 to unlock 5th branch for gold and then the 6th for Quartz . The reason is that it takes around 3 months to level to 60, but around a year/year and a half to get to 75. If you're a hardcore player that does the fishing method, you should unlock 5th and 6th branch with Quartz at level 45.
You will also be able to access raids and dives from World Map. Individual guides to both are linked below:
Counter Side has 2 types of PVP modes:
- Strategy PVP - battles against defence teams made by other players. Enemy teams are deployed on auto, while you can choose to play in either auto or manual.
- Ranked PVP - where you fight in real time against an opponent with similar rank. Here, both your skill and gear matters a lot.
Ranked PVP also has bans and boosts towards certain units, depending on their use. That keeps the real time arena fresh and interesting (bans only apply to players ranked Silver and above, while boosts apply to all ranks).
You do not have to play Ranked PVP each day to clear your gauntlet currency; you can clear all of them via Strategy PVP. What's also important is that both modes reward you with the same currency, so you're not losing anything if you do not play Ranked PVP.
If you are interested in trying Ranked PVP, check out this guide:
You should never buy Admin Coins (the premium currency) directly. Instead if you decide to spend, buy the 30 days AC pack (you get 1100 AC instantly and then 70 AC per day over 30 days = 3200 AC in total) for 13$. This drastically lowers the prices of Battle Pass (2100 AC so around 8$) and skins.
There's also a lot of packs that have similar AC/$ ratio to the 30 days pack and here's a sheet that reviews most of the offers. It was created for SEA and while it wasn't updated in some time, the early game offers were the same in other regions, so you can still use it safely.
Here's another guide dedicated to spenders:
Here's a great sheet created by Ark that shows how much Resources you can earn per month as a F2P/spender player: monthly income guide. It was created for SEA, but Global should be the same resource gain wise, so you can still use it safely.
The information is in the sheet, but here's how much resources you can earn each month:
- 8.5-16.5k Quartz
- 90-150 Blue Tickets (used to pull on normal banners)
- 1200-1400 Black Tickets (used to pull on awakened banners; each pull is 20 tickets)
- 340-460 Tuning Binaries
- 110-150 Set Bins
- 90-100 Special Schematics
- 35-40 Fusion Cores