Beginner’s Guide to Puzzle and Dragons (Part 2)

If you’re just getting started with Puzzle and Dragons, there’s a lot to learn. In this guide, we’ll be covering the FAQ’s and giving you a screen-by-screen tutorial to getting started. I’ll share all my tips, tricks, and other assorted strategies as we go.

Back in part 1, we covered checking your monster’s stats, leveling them up, forming teams, and a bunch of other important stuff. Here in part 2 we’re going to cover exploring dungeons and combat!

The Dungeons Menu

pad-dungeon-menu

When you go to the Dungeons menu, you’ll be presented with a list of the dungeons you’ve unlocked. There are two dungeon lists, one is the “Normal” list and the other is the “Special” list. You can switch between them by tapping in the upper right corner. The Special dungeons are for higher level monsters and players with high Rank, so if you’re just getting started I’d suggest ignoring these for now, and stick to the Normal dungeons.

More Normal dungeons unlock as you clear the ones you have access to, so you could kind of consider these to be the “campaign” mode of the game. Each dungeon has multiple floors. Each attempt at a floor costs some of your Stamina. Stamina regenerates over time, at a rate of 1 point every 10 minutes. You can also fill it immediately by using a Magic Stone on the Shop menu. Ranking up also immediately refills your Stamina.

Once you select a floor, you’ll need to select a monster team. Then, you’ll be given the option of taking one of your friends’ monsters along with your team. This is one of the two ways you earn Pal Points, so it pays to take someone off your Friends’ List who has logged in recently for 10 points. The amount of time you have to use a friend’s monster depends on the difference between your Ranks – the closer you and your friend’s ranks are, the longer you have to use their monster.

pad-dungeon-friends

You could also take a random player’s monster for a smaller bonus of 5 Pal Points, if you don’t have friends yet, or they haven’t logged in recently.

Enemies & Your Team

Whew. Having navigated the menus, finally we arrive at the dungeon proper. The top half of the screen shows the current enemy team at the top, and then your team just under that:

pad-dungeon-top

In the upper left is the Gold you’ve found so far in this dungeon floor. The top right shows the number of monster eggs you’ve collected.

Below that, you’ll see the enemies you’re currently fighting. Each monster will attack periodically, with the counter going down each time you move an orb on the puzzle board. The game shows a “In X” message over each monster to tell you how long it will be before that monster attacks again.

One important thing to note is that you can tap an enemy to target your attacks. This is pretty important when you’re fighting a big group, as it’s better to eliminate a monster completely than injure all the monsters randomly. Monsters attack at full strength, regardless of their HP.

Below the enemy team is your team. If any of your monsters have Skills, when these Skills are ready their portrait will start to flash and raise up a bit. If you hold your finger on the monster, you’ll see their skill, and if you tap them you can use it if you wish. Using a skill does not count as a “move” for the monster attack counters.

Just below your team is your HP bar. As enemies attack, they’ll deplete this, and you can restore it with your team’s Recovery (RCV) stat by matching the heart orbs together.

Each floor has multiple monster battles. You’ve got to get all the way through all the battles on the floor in order to clear it. If you lose all your HP before the battles are over, you’ll get a game over! You can continue if you pay a Magic Stone, but otherwise you’ll be kicked out of the dungeon and lose anything you gained to that point.

The Puzzle Board

The bottom half of the screen shows the puzzle board:

pad-dungeon-puzzle

The puzzle board has magic orbs for each of the elements, plus heart squares for recovering HP. You want to match three or more of the same color orbs together in order to do damage and heal yourself.

Unlike games like Bejeweled and Candy Crush Saga, you can move orbs more than one square at a time. Also, you can move orbs even if they don’t match although I suggest you generally try to make a match on every move.

Matching more than three at a time has additional benefits. If you match 4 orbs in a row, you’ll get a damage boost, and at 5 in a row, your attack will hit all the monsters instead of just one.

Combos are extremely important, as they add a boost to all the matches made in the combo. The more matches you can make with a single move, the better off you are.

The other unique thing about moving orbs is that you don’t have to move in just one direction. You can pick up and move an orb any way you want around the board, and other orbs will shift position to make room for it. This leads to many interesting combo opportunities. The only limitation is that once you pick up an orb, a timer starts. Once that timer runs out, the orb will fall wherever it is at the moment. However, you can take as long as you wish to plan your next move.

Orb Combos for Fun and Profit

For instance, consider the screenshot of the puzzle board above.

  • One easy move to make is to take the Light Orb in the 4th column and swap it with the Dark Orb to the left in the 3rd column. This creates a match of 3 Light Orbs. This is the standard way you match in games like Bejeweled or Candy Crush Saga.
  • Since you can move orbs as far as you want though, you could also take one of the Water Orbs in the third column and move it up to make a match of 4 water orbs. A 4 of a kind is better than a 3 of a kind, so that’s an improvement.
  • However, since you can move orbs in any direction, you could make several combos here. One is to take the Dark Orb in the third column, and move it to the right 2, and then up 2. This moves the Light Orb and makes a 3-in-a-row Light Orb match, plus when you put the Dark Orb between the other two, you get another match.

You can make some pretty crazy combos by considering how the other orbs move when you move one orb around the board. You can move it in any direction, in any number of spaces. You just have to make sure you finish your move before the timer runs out!

Shiny, Shiny Loot!

Once you’ve cleared all the battles in a dungeon level, you’ll get a screen summarizing your victory:

pad-dungeon-clear

Here, you’ll get a chance to review the experience and gold you gained, and you’ll get to see the new monsters you collected, if any. If you’ve got a new monster for the first time, you’ll get a little informational screen about that monster’s stats. All your new monsters will be added to the monster box.

At this point, if your monster box is full, you’ll have to go and remove some monsters from it, or add capacity. Fusing is always a good choice, if you’ve got the gold. Otherwise, you might want to sell some monsters and fuse the rest with the gold you made. If you just can’t bear to part with any of them, spending one Magic Stone will increase your monster box’s capacity by 5.

Go Forth and Puzzle!

That’s it for the beginner’s guide! Hopefully I’ve covered all the essentials so that you can make sense of Puzzle and Dragons and get your puzzling-and-dragoning on. If you’ve got questions, leave a comment. I’ll probably be posting some more in-depth stuff about the game as you guys show interest.

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  • Diane

    How do I make +1 monsters .

    • https://plus.google.com/u/1/106821154503898033506/ agent86

      Monsters have to be caught (or earned through the egg machines) with + modifiers. You can then use those monsters in Power-Up Fusion in order to transfer the +1 to another monster. You can read up on Power-Up Fusion at our Power-Up Fusion guide!

  • Santiago

    Hey,do you know why some enemy monsters have super high defence, and i can only take one hit point per monster? I dont know if you just need to chip at the life away or if im not suppose to use an element. thanks!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/1/106821154503898033506/ agent86

      Yeah, there are some guys with super high defense. If you use the correct element, you can do more damage. Also, having a higher level (or just all-around better) party helps. Often, though, you can chip away at these guys – they don’t have much in the way of HP, to be honest.

  • monty carlo

    Im just wondering how you get better monsters I seen people with lv 30 at rank 10 still a lil lost on thAt

    • https://plus.google.com/u/1/106821154503898033506/ agent86

      Sometimes when you play the Rare Egg machine, you’ll end up with a monster that starts out at level 30 instead of level 1. The notes for the Rare Egg machine will often say this. It’s pretty common during Godfests, for instance.

      Since you get one free pull on the Rare Egg machine when you start, you’ve got a chance of one of your starting monsters just being level 30 randomly. It’s a pretty cool bonus, and it’s one of the reasons that sometimes new players will re-roll their accounts over and over again during Godfest, just to get a chance at a really powerful/rare starter.

      • monty carlo

        So basically depends on luck getting a new monster

  • Gregory

    I thought you are suppose to get one free stone I havent received any for a couple days now

    • https://plus.google.com/u/1/106821154503898033506/ agent86

      Your first few consecutive days will earn you free stones (if I recall…) and occasionally GungHo gives out a free stone per day for logging in, tied to certain events. It’s pretty frequent, but it’s not 100% of the time, unfortunately. Just check your mail every day, and you ought to end up with a few before too much longer!

      • EBongo

        Just to add to agent86ix’s comment, there are also milestone awards for long consecutive log ins. I believe I got one at 30 days, and I know I got ten at 100 days. Something to look forward to, if you are interested in the long haul. You also get one for each dungeon you completely clear, even temporary dungeons like the “Alert – Dragons” kind. This means it’s sometimes worth clearing them, even if you aren’t that interested in what they give you.

  • johnson

    I hear alot About godfest now what exactly is it and when does it hAppin?

    • https://plus.google.com/u/1/106821154503898033506/ agent86

      Godfest is an event, and it’s at GungHo’s discretion as to when it starts and ends. For the US edition of the game, the next one (as of this writing, 10/11/2013) is tomorrow.

      During a Godfest, more powerful monsters drop, so pros like to save up their Magic Stones to use during one of these. It’s widely believed to be the best time to use the Rare Egg Machine.

  • John

    Is there any way to make a particular color of orb show up more frequently eg. For mono color teams?

    • agent86ix

      Not that I’m aware of, as far as I know you’re at the mercy of the random number generator.

      There’s a couple of notes for mono teams that might be helpful though. One is that even though you don’t get any direct damage from matching other colors, you still do get a damage multiplier. Thus, matching many “wrong” colors can still be beneficial. Second, often times you’ve got the enemy team on the ropes, and perhaps they’re not able to attack you for a few moves. It’s smart to clear out the “wrong” colors in this case, so that you start the next fight with a big damage move that can clear out some of the harder enemies.

    • EBongo

      My experience matches agent86ix’s. I would note that many monsters have abilities like “attack stance” and “guard stance” which change orbs in play to different colors. It is possible to chain these together to change many of the orbs on screen to the same color.

  • Jonathon Barton

    agent86ix – perhaps you can edit the guide to include a basic “crazy combo” move to illustrate the biggest difference from Bejeweled and CCS. * Select the water orb in the 6th column. * Move it 3 left, so it makes a three-match, but we’re not done yet! * Move it 3 down, this pushes the other two water orbs up to be positioned under the row of water orbs in the second row. * Move it 2 right, to clear the right-most water orb in the second row. * Move it 4 up, to the first row. * Move it 2 left, so it’s over the “space” in the water orbs in the second row. * Move it 1 down, to complete one row of 4, and one column of 3!

    Alternately, you could “loop through the hole” twice, and then place the water orb on the end, for a row of 5, which gives you a “area attack”!