Hint #1 - Don't Table Your Settings
Before playing, be sure to adjust the settings to your own comfort level. If you're left handed, make that change. Even more importantly, though: a very large percentage of gamers - especially beginners - will find it helpful to change the display to the lower screen. The ability to tap an enemy to shoot it (assuming the touch screen is set to firing) is much easier for inexperienced players than having the display on the upper screen and using the lower screen as a directional targeter.
Hint #2 - Become A Behavioral Specialist
Each of the enemies have different behavoral patterns. Learn them and know them. Wanderers win around aimlessly. Snakes will weave their way toward you. Spinners and Grunts will head directly at you. Spinners, when shot, will usually split into Tiny Spinners. Weavers will head at you, but will run if you shoot at (or near) them. Gravity Wells will try to suck you in. If a Gravity Wrell sucks in enough enemies it'll start shooting out Protons. Protons will aim for the spot you were at when they started moving and, if you're no longer there, will pick out the next spot. Mayflys will buzz around you. Repulsors will rotate until they see you and then head right for you at a high rate of speed and can only be shot from behind, from the sides, or from the front when it's right up on you. Learn and remember behaviors and you'll more easily avoid being hit and you're more likely to hit them instead.
Hint #3 - Separate Movement & Weapons' Fire
Remember that your ship can fire in any direction and the direction your ship is moving has no bearing on the shooting direction. From personal observation, some people have a tendency to stop moving when firing and others have a tendency to always move in the direction they're shooting in. Remember that you can move in any direction while shooting in any direction.
Hint #4 - Multiplayer Co-op: Prearrange Your Strategy
Before beginning the game, it's best to decide how the two of you want to play it. Are each of you going to roam 1/2 the screen (top/bottom or left/right)? Are you going to sit back to back in the center and play defensively? Are you each going to pretend the other doesn't exist? Whatever you want to do, decide before the game begins and everything will go much more smoothly.
Hint #5 - Multiplayer Simultaneous: Focus On Your Game First
Focus on your own game - your enemies, your attacks, and your fight patterns - before you focus on sending defeated legions at your opponent. If you have enemies bearning down on you and you're thinking about sending waves of defeated enemies at your opponent, it takes less than one second of lapsed focus for you to lose your ship.
Hint #6 - Multiplayer Versus: The Element Of Surprise
As the guest (and the player on offense), the element of surprise is the key to successfully destroying the host three times to win the game. There are some restriction, of course. You can't drop an enemy into the lap of your opponent and kill them that way, for (hopefully) obvious reasons. As the guest, you can, however, see and utilize the entire screen, while the host cannot. If you want to have a better chance of success, try dropping the slowest-moving enemies as close as you can and the faster moving enemies in a location off their screen (where they can't see them and react to them as quickly).
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