Zynga’s Mafia Wars has quickly become one of the most popular games on Facebook. The social networking game, which can also be found on MySpace and iPhone, can also be time consuming and addicting. Before starting your Mafia, take the time to learn about the game and discover strategies and hints in this Beginner’s Guide, to ensure that you have the best Mafia out there.
Getting Started: The first step to creating your mafia is building a character. After selecting a name, you will be asked to choose from three different character types: Maniac, Mogul, and Fearless. As a Maniac, you will regenerate energy faster than any other character, which will allow you to progress through the various levels quickly. As a Mogul, your character will collect the most money of all character types, but your progression through the levels will be slower. The Fearless character type will win more fights, but it also has an attractive added bonus that neither Maniac or Mogul can offer.
As a Fearless character, you are eligible to be assigned to the Wheelman position of your other mafia members’ “Top Mafia” which I will explain later. If assigned to the Wheelman position, you will be eligible to conduct certain jobs without any energy consumption. As you read further in the guide, this will make more sense to you. Overall, your preference in character selection should be made depending on the type of game you want to play. While Mogul is attractive to many because of large sums of money, it could be argued that Maniac and Fearless are the better choices because they will allow you to progress through the game at a quicker pace, thus also allowing you to earn more money faster. The decision is up to you.
Your Mafia: One of the most important keys to the game is assembling a mafia. As a player, you can have as many mafia members as you would like, but the game only counts 501 members for any given task. Your mafia will consist of other Facebook friends who have the application, as well as any “hired guns” that you can earn throughout the game. When reviewing your Mafia members, you should appoint five members to the Top Mafia positions. Each position will benefit from certain character traits, such as jobs completed, fights won, etc. As your mafia continues to improve, the bonuses that they provide as Top Mafia members will also increase. If you have several active Mafia Wars players in your mafia, be sure to check regularly to see which players will give you the greatest bonuses.
The Levels: Currently, Mafia Wars has different levels located in New York, Cuba, and Moscow. New York is where you will start the game, while Cuba and Moscow will unlock after to reach level 35 and 70 respectively. Within each city are certain job tiers. Each job tier has several jobs which cost energy, but reward experience. In order to perform these jobs, you must have the requisites displayed by the icons next to each job. To progress through the game, you must complete each tier three times before advancing. Each level will also become increasingly harder to complete, requiring more energy to complete.
Status Bar: At the top of your Mafia Wars screen, you will see status icons. From left to right, you will see Cash, Health, Energy, Stamina, and Experience. Cash is the current amount of money that you have earned and has not been deposited in the bank. Each time you deposit money into the bank, you will lose a 10% cut, however your money can also be stolen from you by other mafias if it is not deposited. Your health indicates your current health levels in the game. When attacking other mafias or being attacked, your health will decrease. Should your health reach zero points, you will lose six experience points, which are tallied in your attempt to progress to the next level. Your health meter can be refilled on occasion by paying a doctor out of your funds. Your energy meter regenerates every five minutes, or three-and-a-half minutes if you are a Maniac character. When your energy runs out, you will not be able to complete any more jobs until it has regenerated. The exception to this rule is that every 23 hours, your character can accept and Energy Pack, which is sent by another member of your mafia. Energy packs regenerate your energy meter to 125% of its normal capacity, but will not regenerate new energy unless it is depleted to under the 100% capacity. Another way to earn experience, aside from completing jobs is to fight other mafias. Your stamina bar will allow you to fight another mafia once for every stamina point you have. Fighting is another way to earn valuable loot and weapons without having to purchase them using your cash. Finally, the Experience meter is very important. Every time you fill the experience meter, your character will “level” meaning, that your character will have all energy, health, and stamina replaced to full status. To ensure that you do not waste energy, never use an energy pack when you are nearing the end of a level, as you will wind up at 100% health every time you level, thus losing any unused energy.
Skill Points: Much like your character choices, utilizing skill points depend on how you want to play the game. Every time you master a job, you will earn one skill point. You will earn five skill points every time you advance a level. These skill points can be used to increase your attack skills, defense skills, health, energy, or stamina meters. If you are looking to advance through the game as quickly as possible, you may want to place all of your skills points into energy. However, while you will be advancing quickly, you will also be vulnerable to attackers and have a weak character. Increasing your health meter will allow you to take more damage during fights, while stamina will allow you to fight more frequently.
Cuba and Moscow Strategy and Tips: Because this is a beginner’s guide, I will not spend much time on Cuba and Moscow. However, if you are just starting the game, you may want to consider this advice. As soon as you are eligible to travel to Cuba, it would be beneficial to start your businesses. Starting businesses will allow you to accrue money and consumables, which will be necessary once you finally reach Cuba. The same advice can be said for Moscow as well. Keep in mind that each location has a unique currency, thus funds cannot be transferred from location to location. Also, keep in mind that the businesses in Cuba and Moscow cap out at 24 hours, meaning that you must collect the money from each business every 24 hours before you can earn any more.
There a few other basic things you should know before starting Mafia Wars:
Collection items: Collection items are earned through various jobs as you progress through the game. Each collection item belongs to a category which contains seven items. Once all seven items are collected, they can be “vaulted” to receive a bonus to your skills. After initially vaulting the items, you can continue to collect items and cash them in for boosts, which are single-use enhancements to various tasks in the game.
Godfather Points: Godfather points are earned every time you advance two levels throughout the game. These points can be cashed in for various skills, mafia members, crates containing hidden loot, and other items. Points can also be purchased for real money, using Zynga’s payment options, or can be rewarded for participating in selected promotional offers. Although occasionally successful, I have found for the most part that the promotional offers do not reward any points. One other source of earning Godfather points is by playing the Daily Chance lottery game. Every day that you sign into Mafia Wars, you will have a chance to play a lottery ticket. Once a week, lottery numbers are drawn that can result in winning loot, consumable items, or Godfather points. If you make sure to play Mafia Wars six days a week, you can cash in your receipts, to have a chance at winning up to five Godfather points each week. Look for Mafia Wars to continue to make more incentives for logging into your account on a daily basis.
Hopefully this guide will get you off to a good start on Mafia Wars, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. This game is addicting!