Defense Derby – Ultimate Game Guide

Shahzaib Manzoor

After over a month of pre-registration, RisingWings highly anticipated tower defense game, Defense Derby, got a global release on August 3.

Players can now download the game for free on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store

On the face of it, Defense Derby is a tower defense game where players deploy warriors to defend a castle from various monsters.

However, Krafton Inc and RisingWings have put in certain mechanics in their new tower defense title. While keeping the action intact, Defense Derby re-energizes the strategic side.

Betting Royal, Unit Synergy, Bingo Formations- Defense Derby brings tons of new and exciting flavors to the age-old tower defense recipe.

Along with an overview of the game, this guide includes some tips, tricks, and strategies.

Use these to lay the foundations and build an impenetrable castle!

Defense Derby Gameplay Overview

Much like other tower defense games, Defense Derby is all about defending a Castle from various monsters. Players must create a formidable deck of the best Hero and Units to defeat deadly monsters before they breach the Castle.

Players can deploy one Hero and up to 8 Units on a 3×3 grid. The Hero is the centerpiece, while the Units surround the Hero and protect the Castle. 

This is the basic gameplay of Defense Derby. 

However, switching game modes flips the gameplay and mechanics. 

Don’t worry, though.

This Defense Derby guide will tell you everything you should know about the new mechanics and how to deal with it. Moreover, right after this guide, you’ll find some tips and tricks to help you succeed in Defense Derby. 

So, let’s get started.  

Defense Derby Game Modes – Blitz, Derby, & Adventure

Defense Derby has 2 main game modes. First is Derby, which is the PvP mode. Second is Blitz, which is the Stage Mode, i.e., PvE.

Apart from these two, there is an Adventure mode, basically the challenge mode.

Here’s a detailed look at all three game modes of Defense Derby.

Blitz – PvE Stage Mode

Blitz is the PvE mode of Defense Derby.

In Blitz, players must create a deck of 9 warriors and arrange them on a 3×3 grid. Consisting of one Hero and eight Units, this deck must fend off waves of monster attacks and stop them from breaching the Castle.

Monsters get progressively stronger as players progress through the stages. That’s why players must level up their Hero and their Units to increase the overall power of their deck.

For every stage, the game recommends a power level. That’s the minimum that you’ll need to clear that Blitz stage. 

Read on to find out how you can increase the power level of your deck.

Derby – PvP Matches

Defense Derby has a 4-player PvP mode. 

Unlike other tower defense games that put players in 1v1 death matches, Defense Derby pits four players against one another. Every player must defend their Castle from waves of monsters.

Last one standing wins!

Like the Blitz mode, players deploy their Units on a 3×3 grid. But, in PvP mode, players don’t get to start with a full grid. Instead, they get to scout and buy a Unit after surviving every wave. 

This is the new mechanism of Defense Derby.

Read a detailed guide on the Betting Royale mechanism in the next section.

Adventure – Challenge Mode

Aside from the two primary modes, Defense Derby also has a challenge mode called Adventure. In this mode, there are four further game modes that players can try for a different experience altogether. 

  1. Friendly Derby: Taking after Destiny Child, Defense Derby also has a co-op PvP mode. Players can create their servers and enjoy Defense Derby with their friends.
  2. You Can’t Pick That Unit: The name tells play here. In this game mode, players can ban up to 2 Units of each other. The banned Units get replaced by random Units, which can be better or worse for your deck.
  3. Dry Wastelands: Also called the Valley of Trials, Dry Wasteland is another challenge mode with certain restrictions. Players can directly combat the strongest monsters but only use Units from select Factions. 
  4. Guardian’s Temple: Another arena within Defense Derby, Guardian’s Temple is currently a work in progress. With the full launch complete, it’s only a matter of days before we get our first look at Guardian’s Temple. 

When it becomes available, this guide will be updated accordingly.

With the game modes overview complete, let’s take a closer look at our Heroes and Units. After all, they are the ones bringing all the action.

Defense Derby Heroes, Units, & The Auxiliary Mechanics!

There are two types of fighters in Defense Derby- Heroes and Units. But before we dive deep into the Heroes and Units, let’s take a look at the various Factions that the game uses to classify the Heroes and Units of Defense Derby.

There are three Factions in Defense Derby; Human, Beast, and Spirit.

When on the battlefield, Heroes and Units of similar Factions come together to form synergies and increase their overall power levels. 

Heroes are the stronger beings in Defense Derby. Players can only use one Hero per deck. They have special abilities that can bail you out of tricky situations, plus they have unlimited attack range.

On the other hand, Units are less powerful fighters and range from Melee to Ranged attack types. However, unlike Heroes, Units can move around the deck mid-battle. 

When creating a deck, a Hero takes the center place, and the other eight positions on the deck are for the Units.

Aside from Factions, Heroes and Units can also be classified by their Attack Type.

Also check out our Defense Derby Tier List. You’ll get a good idea of which Heroes and Units to build upon. 

There are two main types: Physical and Magic.

Due to this vast range of fighters that has NINE Heroes and 40+ Units, there is no one-size-fits-all build in Defense Derby.

Depending on the Heroes and Units available, you must create a deck that suits your play style. While you’re creating that perfect build, do not overlook the auxiliary system of Defense Derby.

Defense Derby Card Growth – Talents, Altar, Artifacts, & Army

When used correctly, the support mechanism of Defense Derby can help you boost your deck for PvP and PvE battles. Using the various secondary systems, players can permanently improve the stats of their favorite Heroes and Units.

This, in turn, will make you a formidable foe, especially in the PvP mode.

Here’s a closer look at the four secondary systems in Defense Derby that players should exploit to the fullest.


Complete various side missions to gain Artifacts. Then, identify these artifacts to unlock a unique buff for your deck.

There are sixteen Artifacts in Defense Derby right now. From buffing Hero and Unit stats to debuffing monsters, these Artifacts can be handy tools for steady progress through PvE.


Clearing Blitz stages in Defense Derby rewards Talent Points. These Talent Points are for the Talents system that can permanently boost Faction Combo and Battle Combo stats.

Talents can also debuff some Monsters, but the primary buff is for the Human, Beast, and Spirit Combo stats.


Understanding and using the Army system is important to create an effective winning combo in PvP battles.

With the right Units acting as the Leader of your Army, you can mount a powerful defense for your Castle. The Army system also indicates the best slots for every Unit on the 3×3 grid. 

As you progress through the PvE mode, new Army slots get unlocked, and you can expand your army. 


This has become quite a common feature in modern-day gacha games.

Players can dismantle a high-level card and get back the resources that were used to increase its level. These resources can then be used to level up a different card. 

Players can also directly transfer the level of one card to another. 

Now that you know about the primary and secondary mechanism of Defense Derby, let’s take a closer look at the next big thing of the tower defense genre- Betting Royale.

Defense Derby Betting Royal Guide – How Does It Work?

In the 4-player PvP mode called the Derby, players start every match with a Hero and up to 2 Units. As the match progresses, players can scout new Units and add them to their deck.

This is called the Scouting Stage and it happens after players clear a wave of monster attacks.

Players get 10 seconds to scout a Unit available and bid on it using Debry Chips. The player with the highest bid gets the Unit. 

That’s the whole shebang of the Betting Royale mechanism. 

However, the Units up for grabs aren’t always the best fit for your deck. Moreover, you have to be mindful of the Derby Chips you bid. Players only get a limited amount of Derby Chips for every match. 

You’ll find plenty of helpful tips about the Betting Royale in the tips and tricks section of this guide.

Defense Derby Tips and Tricks To Win PvP Battles & Destroy PvE!

Whether you play PvP or PvE, Defense Derby is all about defending your Castle from vicious monsters.

Your Heroes and Units will only do so much. In the end, it all depends on which Units you use, how you deploy them, and use the Special Attacks of your Hero.

While you’ll eventually learn all these things through trial and error, it’s always best to have an idea of what is possible and what’s not.

So, here are some tips and tricks that will help improve your Defense Derby gameplay. 

1. Complete Guide Missions

More and more mobile video games are doing this now, and I think it’s a great way to introduce beginners to the different mechanics of the game.

When you play Defense Derby for the first time, instead of giving nonchalant tutorials, the game assigns Guide Missions to the players. These missions help players understand the what and how of Defense Derby.

As a bonus, players also get rewards for completing the missions.

So, the first tip to improve your understanding of Defense Derby is to make sure you complete every Guide Mission that comes your way. 

2. Be Smart In Betting Royale

Betting Royale is a new mechanism for many players. It will take some getting used to before you can develop proper strategies for the Scouting Stage and the Betting Royale. A few tips to get you started are:

  • Do not bid on every card.
  • Bid on Units that complement your Hero.
  • Keep an eye on your Derby Chips. You only get a limited amount.
  • The “Average offer” is not always the best offer. You’ll mostly end up betting too high.

In short, you must have a clear strategy and try to figure out the tactics of other players.

3. Move Your Units Around

While the Hero is fixed in the center of your deck, Units can move around and change positions. This is another Defense Derby exclusive feature and should be used to the fullest, especially in PvP. 

When monsters get out of range of a certain Unit, move them to a different position on the grid to get them back in action.

However, there is a movement cool down for every Unit. 

4. Play Every Mode Available

Defense Derby has tons of game modes. The good thing is that every mode returns glorious rewards regardless of whether you win or lose.

Aside from the rewards, the experience you gain from playing the different modes is invaluable.

On the other hand, limiting yourself to Derby matches or Blitz mode will limit your deck’s growth, and eventually, you’ll be losing every match.

5. Use The Auxiliary Systems

Leveling up Hero and Unit cards directly is the quickest way to increase your deck’s power level. However, sometimes there isn’t enough Gold and Elixir to do so. In that case, look to the auxiliary system to improve your deck.

Research Talents, build your Army, identify Artifacts, and sacrifice older Units at the Altar to level up new ones.

Although not reinventing, Defense Derby is definitely changing the tower defense genre for the good. The new mechanisms coming in have made it a lot more engaging, demanding the players to be a lot more active.

With this Defense Derby ultimate game guide, you’ll surely develop a better understanding of the game and get to enjoy it to the fullest.

If you have any more questions about any feature, system, or mechanics of Defense Derby, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Also, take a look at other exciting Android games that have come out this week.

1 comment
  1. where can I find a definition guide…there are a lot of terms in game I don’t understand like the Amazon gives 30% to merged units? what is a merged unit..there are several terms I have no idea what they mean and to be good I need to know…why are there no tutorials on these terms anywhere?

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