Although most of what was originally written in the Buying Packs guide below is still true, there has been a major shift to making features only available for paying players. Initially this was only Gift Mode and Full Auto Mode, but over time this has been extended with things like The Vault and the Daily Bonus Club. In additions there are now regularly events that can only be won by spending money and there are also Reward Crates that can only be opened by spending money. With the introduction of Commander XP Levels 51-55 a new concept Commissions was also introduced, which are only available by buying packs and required to upgrade your commander to level 51 and higher. Battle Marks are another new feature only available via buying a pack. In addition the requirements for the Research Files is very high in the new Research Trees, which are hard to come by outside of buying packs.
It is good to keep these things in mind, if you are going to decide to buy some packs, try to make the most out of it by getting as much out of it as possible, and unlocking as much as possible. On the other hand, it is also good to keep in mind the way this game works. Basically spending money on it only gives you a temporary benefit and to keep competing on a high level you will need to keep spending. Good to keep that in mind before you start splashing out hundreds of dollars.
Although the game is free to play and almost all features are available to non-spenders, spending money will fast track the growth of your account and will give you a large competitive advantage over non spenders.
When you start playing this game you have access to 5 USD packs, once you buy one or two of those you will have the possibility to 25 USD packs and once you buy those you will go to 100 USD packs. There are some exceptions, but in general you will not see cheaper packs anymore.
In Mobile Strike we have already seen a pattern that was common in Game of War as well: new features cost more than existing features. If we for example look at new special event gear or the new Research Trees, you will see that requirements are higher compared to what was already available. If you pay attention to packs you will notice that newer packs also contain more and more.
This is the way the game works, you get more and more goodies for your USDs, but you can do less and less with all these goodies. When spending money you should be aware about this. Very likely in a couple of years it is easy for players to unlock tier 4 troops with little or no spending while now you have to spend hundreds USD to do it within a reasonable amount of time.
There are certain features only available in packs: Gift Mode and Full Auto Mode. Gift mode allows you to gift items (not from your own inventory, but that you have to buy for gold) to alliance members. Full Auto Mode can be used in the Shooting Range and gives a higher payout and it crucial if you want to compete in the Shooting Range infernos.
There are certain items that are hard to get without buying packs. For these often winning the right Inferno Challenges can be a good alternative, but you have to pick the right ones and possibly win many to get what you want.
Materials are hard to acquire in Mobile Strike and you need many (1024 lvl 1 materials to combine 1 lvlv 6 material) to manufacture gear. Packs often contain materials and crates that contain materials.
In Mobile Strike other special items are introduced which make it harder for non or low spenders to complete everything as well. At this moment the Manufacturing and Advanced Traps Research Trees require the general Research Files and tree specific Research Files.
This is not a game you can just throw money at, you have to know what you are doing and play smart as well.
One pitfall is starting to use gold and speed ups too early on to speed up research, construction and troop training. You should only do this once you have very good Research, Construction and Training Speed boosts, otherwise you spend too much money. Another mistake people make is to use their gold, speed ups and resources for training troops without focusing on research and having a good combat gear, often resulting in troops being killed and the player not having anything to show for all the money he spent.
Another pitfall is starting to manufacture gear without knowing how to do this well or what boosts to focus on (see our guide on manufacturing permanent gear). It is easy to waste valuable materials if you do not know what you are doing.
These are just a few examples, in general you just still have to play very smart. Spending money helps, but spending money alone does not make you a top player.
If you plan to only buy one or two small packs, make it count. Full Auto mode is at times available in 5 USD packs (I have not seen Gift mode in a 5 USD pack) and since your free turn in the shooting range can be switched to Full Auto mode, it is something that will benefit you as long as you play. Having more commander skill points early on in the game can help growth, for example by maxing out Research and Construction I and II, because of this a pack with commander XP is also a popular choice early on.
If you are going to spend, be aware of how this game works, as not to get frustrated down the line. If you spend only a little bit, monitor the packs on offer for a while and make your purchase count. Even if you spend a lot, be smart about how you play, you still want to get the most out of the money you spend.
Contributed by: GamesGuide on May 4, 2016