iPhone App: TapDefense Tips and Strategies

I have reviewed a few iPhone apps in my guitar blog but haven’t found too many that made me want recommend them on this site, until now. Downloaded and installed TapDefense a few days ago and I’m addicted. Defending the heavens from the minions of Hell can be quite a job.  Anyway, this post is more of a forum to hopefully get tips from other players. I have searched the web but not much is out there yet on strategy and such and with this game, you need to think carefully before you act.

Here are the few things that I have learned:

  1. Can’t spend all your gold at once.  You need to keep a large enough balance to gain interest for more purchases. 
  2. Don’t buy too much of one thing.  Some of the monsters are immune to certain towers. 
  3. Arrow towers work well in the beginning but tend to lose their effectiveness as you get farther into the game.
  4. Upgraded cannons will inflict damage on a group of monsters. Very helpful unless the monsters are resistant to cannons.
  5. Ice and water combined is a great way to slow down the monster so the other towers can pick them off.  Not as effective if there is a large fast moving group of monsters.
  6. Upgrade and place your towers where they can do twice the work. IE, on corners or in-between the path.
  7. Runs down your battery fast.

With what I know I can approach level 30 on almost all the difficulty levels but then it stops there.  What strategies to you use or suggest to move farther in this game?  My kudos to TapJoy for making a great game and for making it free.

More Tap Defense Tips:

12.7.08: If you have any buildings that you know you won’t want after a level, sell them before the level is finished.  This will give you extra gold to acrue interest.

12.8.08: start out using arrows.  You get the most bang for the buck.  You will then be able to save your gold for the big guns.  Magic is very effective, especially if you upgrade.  After level 33, I believe, the arrows are useless.  When you get to that level, sell them all.  The game will warn you that the arrows are useless.TapDefenseStrategy

12.10.08: I got to level 37 and I took Todd’s Advice in the comments and used a ton of Ice.  Storm towers help as well.  Here’s a pic of my tower configuration.

12.11.08: New tap defense update is out.  Deals with the ever important interest rate bug.

12.15.08:  Got to level 43 today.  The trick for me was to hold off researching any new towers until I upgraded interest twice in a row.  How I was able to hold off was to utilize a lot of arrow My config for level 43.  But it wasn't enough.Level 42 configurationtowers. They are cheap and 4 of them put together is a 24 damage.  I just made sure that the monsters were getting hit at all times on the path.  It’s good to have something work them down.  LVL 3 cannons are great at the start because they inflict a lot of damage and have a splash rating that will inflict damage on nearby monsters.  I didn’t utilize ice until I upgraded interest twice, so that was about level 23 or so.  Then I just fit them in and spaced them out appropriately.  With the interest rate high, I was able to upgrade my ice towers with the interest and not lose too much money.  LVL 2 ice at a minimum toward the end and you need a few LVL 3 ice to really be effective. 
Before you are done with level 33 sell all of the arrow towers that you can.  You will not need them anymore and I replaced my arrow towers with Magic towers.  Almost a 1 to 1 trade. tapdefensetips

12.15.08:  Won the game on easy.  Finally.  The key was to hold off on buying and  build up money, then I bought storms and put them on lvl 3 at the beginning where they could do the most damage.

12.16.08: Just got word that Todd beat the medium level.  He sent a pic. Tap Defense: Todd's winning config Good job Todd!!  Not to be outdone I just finished beating the medium level as well.  I forgot to take a screen shot but I wasn’t as efficient as Todd was with the towers.  As always, storm towers are the key to beat this great iPhone game.

12.24.08:  FINALLY BEAT THE HARD LEVEL!!!!  After a few weeks of frustration and a bit of cussing, I beat the hard level today with 12 angels left.  The key for me was to save money so I started with a ton of level 1 arrows, two by two, up the whole path.  If there was a place that a level 1 arrow could get a hit, I would put one there.  I staggered a few cannons and a whole  bunch of water.  a round levTapDefense Final Config el 11, I was able to get in enough gold to pay for my waterTapDefense Beginning Config and cannon upgrades with interest earned.  I stayed with the formula of upgrading interest twice before researching towers.  Next was ice and put them in between the water and upgraded to level 2 immediately and the level three within a few turns.  Once magic was available, I slowly replaced the arrow towers and got most of my magic to level two.   I put a crap load of storm on this level and upgraded almost all of them to level three.  I didn’t put them all in the same Tap Defense Mastered!area like last time.  I staggered them and had a level three far into the path to get any the other storm towers missed.  This will really come in handy when you deal with the politicians.   I didn’t let one politician get by with that config.  One thing I did do was upgrade and add magic as the politicians died.  Just in case I needed to get something that got by all the other defenses.


28 thoughts on “iPhone App: TapDefense Tips and Strategies

  1. Great Tips Larry…

    One thing I have learned the hard way is that upgrading your towers is more important than just buying them in large quantity. I’m still having trouble getting past level 31.. I probably should save up for the Earthquake and try that. But again, upgrading fewer towers seems to work much better than buying tons of level 1 towers.

    Thanks for the tip on keeping some gold to earn interest! Great app, I am addicted too because of you.. thanks a lot, lol

  2. Ok, so I made it to level 34 as well.. final score 1883. My tip for getting this far is lot’s of Ice Towers. I had a level 2 or higher Ice tower at every corner and then some. I also didn’t use the Earthquake again- So I will go that route next. I had a ton of money saved up and then in the last 3-4 levels it seems to disappear very quickly 🙁 If anyone has some other tips please post them!!

  3. Ok.. so I’m back on the blog again. But guess what? I beat it! (On easy only). Ends up being 43 levels and total score for me of 3707. LOTS of Ice towers, magic towers and some cannons.. and In the last level I had to sell and move everything north to keep attacking. No earthquake used at all! Ok, I can return to my normal life again now….

  4. Thanks! That is a good idea of selling your stuff and moving it North. I never though of doing that mid-game.

  5. Beat it on medium first try! What I’m finding is that it’s all about the Ice Towers. No Water, no quake. Lots of level 2 and 3 Ice towers, level 2 magic and level 3 cannons behind the ice. I skimped by and saved up until in the mid or high level 20’s before starting to pile them on heavy. Once you get around a 1000 gold or so the interest is enough to build plenty without losing your gold. I used your earlier tip about selling towers you don’t need towards the end of the level, so you get some use out of them, but get the gold towards interest.

  6. So I have died twice on level 43 / Hard. I’m hoping the new update to 1.1 that fixes the interest rate issue will help with this. Again, I piled on the Ice Towers like crazy! I didn’t have the funds to build as many storm towers as would be nice. I think having 2 or more level 3 storm towers makes a huge difference but it’s very expensive. My strategy would be to hit them hard with Ice right at the start, and then have some storm towers working down their HP while they are moving slow, follow by more ice along the path and lvl 2 magic towers and some lvl 3 cannons.

  7. @Todd. Just updated and it’s nice getting the interest you are supposed to get. The trade off is that you can’t resell things for as much money as before. I don’t know how much this will affect my strategy since I didn’t try to make money by selling stuff.

  8. You know, I got the update but now I’m having more trouble?? It feels like they have changed something else.. I’m having a hard enough time with easy now. Have you noticed this? Seems enemies have more HP or something?

  9. I think you are correct. The gameplay is definitely harder now. I can barely get to level 34. After that I’m SOL. One thing that I have noticed is that you have to upgrade interest first and then research new towers later. That helps because you will need a ton of money.
    I have had luck putting a storm tower at the beginning to take that 5 percent, at least, from the monsters.

  10. I don’t think you can. It seems to me like you have a set set level of halos for the game. It seems to me that you get a halo after each devil challenge. The one exception is the last three or so levels where you are constantly fighting the devil. I did see that once you succeed at level 42, you get 3 halos. This would be a good reason not to research the earthquake until that last level.
    I’m thinking that part of the spirit of the game is to plan and allocate your halos appropriately. Some will want to research new towers immediately and others, like myself, will want to research interest so they can buy resources and upgrade in later levels.
    Here’s when you get the Halos:
    After level 7: qty1
    After level 10: qty 1
    After level 14: qty 1
    After level 21: qty 1
    After level 25: qty 1
    After level 28: qty 1
    After level 33: qty 1
    After level 35: qty 1
    After level 42: qty 2

  11. I have the most trouble with the early stages which in the long run destroys me around the levels 29-31. What tower do you buy in the early stages and how often do you upgrade larry?

  12. In the early stages, I’ll have about 2/3 water towers and 1 or 2 cannons, the rest will be arrows. I don’t upgrade all of my arrow towers because you will have to sell them after level 33. When I upgrade I weigh my options: how much good will it do me and will upgrading an arrow tower to lvl two be better than buying 3 lvl one towers. The answer is usually no. I’ll string a ton of lvl one towers and stack them two by two to shave off the life of the monsters.
    My priorities of upgrading goes to the cannons and water. Those I can use throughout the game. I always have a lvl 3 cannon near the entrance to start off and using the water does slow everything down. Like I said in the tips above, I upgrade interest twice before researching a new tower. Of course the first new tower I research is the ice tower, because it slows everything down. With that said, after a while I can go two or three turns without spending a dime and racking up money. Once I get into level 20 and so on, I spend my interest on towers and upgrades.
    BTW, level 3 towers are not a wast but you need more than one. I would rather have two level 2 magic towers than 1 level 3 and so on.
    Utilize the whole path and make sure to build towers where it has two roads in between. It does double the work then. @todd any thoughts?

  13. Nice tips. I think the game really isn’t that hard once you realise you need to increase your interest rate before you research new towers.

  14. well i just beat the game (easy) with only 3 monsters in heaven. i started with a ton of lvl 1 arrows with a few cannons…threw in a few water towers and they held. at 1 point i had 18 lvl 1 towers. i managed to get the 25% interest rate and threw a bunch of lvl 2 cannons. saved up a lot of money and researched two storm towers. i had so much money at 1 point i researched and upgraded a lvl 3 earthquake and it was a done deal since…a little shout out to Larry, thanks for the tips man!

  15. I beat it on Medium again finally (1st time since the update). I sent Larry a screenshot of my setup at the end. Every tower I had was level 3. Once I got up around 2000 gold, the interest was high I could build level 3 towers every round… It seems you get a break in the mid and upper level 20’s.. then it gets tough again, then around the mid 30’s you get another break to start saving gold. I didn’t research any towers other than ice, until I had gotten two Interest Rate upgrades. The Storm towers make all the difference (just like Ice). They cost a lot, but in the last few levels they are a must!

  16. I start with only arrow towers. First level I only need 2 and 3 maybe 4 for the next level. I will put arrow towers up all over the map but be careful not to spend too much money. Use the bare minimum you can. Also leave empty spaces where you wish to use cannon, magic, ice, water and storm towers.
    Use the first 4 halos to research interest. Then I researched Ice, Magic and Storm in that order.
    I eventually put some cannon towers near the front and this is the only place i use them so that it blasts the enemies with splash damage and weakens them for the rest of the map. at level 4 or 5 I will use 1 tower then add another every level or so as long as I dont use too much money. By the end of the game I had 7 or 8 level 3 cannon towers and they were on the far right at the very front and they were double stacked for efficiency, so they were all right at the front and weakening the enemy.
    Then add some water towers to slow down the enemy. I didn’t use any water towers for a while, but I spread them out as well. Before level 33 ended I sold all of my arrow towers and used Magic towers in their place.
    Near the end of the game I set up my towers like this: At the beginning of the level I had about 7 Cannon towers, Ice towers along with water and Storm towers to weaken the enemies. Then I had Magic towers all over the map to finish off the enemies. A few ice and water were spread out to keep them slowed down. I had all of my cannon towers upgraded to level 3, as well as the ice, water and Storm towers. The magic towers were level 2 and 1 or 2 might have been level 3. I didn’t have any towers at the top of the level and a few near the upper middle portion. The entire lower level was full.
    Remember to not use too much of your money. Once you get to a certain point, you can build and upgrade towers using less money than the interest you are bringing in. For example if you are bringing in 200 gold from interest, do not use more than that 200 to upgrade and build towers. You will accumulate money faster and in larger amounts when you can do this.
    I have beaten Easy like this regularly and without difficulty but I have not tried it on Medium yet.

  17. One way to build up gold really fast (kinda a pain) is to use only fully upgraded arrow towers for the first 20 levels or so…if you notice it costs 107 gold to get a fully upgraded arrow tower and 108 gold to sell them… I try to keep with just 3 upgraded arrow towers and try to sell them before the level is over… another advantage of this is that if something manages to get past your towers, simply sell one of them and relocate it to start the barrage again farther down the map… earthquake tower ftw, 2400 gold to get it fully upgraded to cover almost half the screen and deal 2k damage, every 4 seconds!!

  18. @darren: what version of tapdefense are you playing with? I don’t think your tip applies to version 1.1.1. I just tried and a Level 3 arrow tower only sells for 59 gold now. Good tip though. I wish I didn’t upgrade if that is the case.

  19. Interesting.. though I agree, this sounds pre- 1.1.1 🙁 They really kicked it up a notch with the update. Anyone making any progress on hard?? I can’t beat it, usually don’t make it past level 34…. I have been trying some different tactics, but nothing is making a real noticeable difference.

  20. Beat it on hard as well!!! thanks to Larry for some tips about using lots of lvl 1 arrow towers, made all the difference! Then did two interest upgrades in a row- before it was over I had around 20,000 gold just before lvl 43. Spent most of it and the politicians didn’t make it past the first turn! Final score just under 14,000. My advice is to use Larry’s tips, it worked for me.

  21. You should try the earthquake tower. It’s easy to win with it on easy and medium (haven’t try the hard) Just place it in a good spot – it has great range after upgrades, takes 2×2 square and you can only build one. Just get some money using lvl 1 only towers and leveling up interest. Then buy earthquake tower and some water towers (replace them with ice towers later) to slow them dow. Also learn the timing when to trigger it, but it’s easy. You have to upgrade earthquake tower to lvl 3 to win so don’t spend all your money on upgrades too early.

  22. I’ve beat all levels repeatedly, but what about the most recent update with five different challanges besides the classic version; any tips on how to beat each one of them.

  23. Absolutely destroyed medium level.


    I ended up with $74,184 on level 43, and a score of 24,125.

    I realised if you want a ton of money and want to cruise through the last 10 levels, then you have to make some sacrifices and lose some lives, in order to keep interest high. I ended up with 11 lives.

    Thanks Todd for the screen shot as guide, and Larry for the tips. Until level 33 I had arrow towers literally everywhere where they could do some damage, and didn’t upgrade any of them. By then I had saved up so much money I could build all of my ice/storm/magic towers on level 3 and whooped the remaining levels.


    Gonna try hard now =)

  24. storm tower should be placed as early as possible….the later you put it, the less HP monsters will have for it to dig a % out of. On basic maps, I place 2 storm towers in that first nook at the beginning. if u can get 2 fully upgraded storms there, and 2 fully upgraded magic towers strategically placed for maximum range, you should be good. i’ve beaten the game on hard without ever building an arrow or cannon tower. only use magic, ice, water, and storm

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