If you’re new to the world of Last Shelter Survival, or Pay to Win games like I was, it’s difficult to gauge how much ‘Pay to Win’ plays a part to the overall experience, and just how much it weighs more favorably to those that splash the cash, versus going either purely Free to Play or with small microtransactions mixed in.
I’ve decided to explore the Pay to Win mechanics within Last Shelter, to help new players understand what exactly they are getting into, and a ‘heads up‘ so you can keep these things in mind and any noticeable polarity in strength, power or progression into perspective.
I always advocate playing the game organically, exploring how to best maximise the in-game mechanics to grow, play smarter and enjoy the game. So do check out my raft of guides I’ve spent time creating to help you in your own Last Shelter gameplay. Otherwise, let’s get down to business and attempt to answer that question: How Much Pay to Win is in Last Shelter?
Pay to Win is an expression used where real-life money spent on in-game features, functions or options can influence or give a competitive advantage for players over those that do not spend money. This is seen in the form of micro transactions such as packages, crates, and bundles on many different services or features and is common to mobile games, which relies more heavily on micro transactions in the free-to-play model. We also see this in console gaming too, however is more sensitive for the community due to the price of the game itself and a vocal reaction on balancing mechanics. However, this is more culturally accepted in mobile games due to the initial ‘free’ pricepoint.
Now Pay to Win isn’t always so straight-forward, as it depends on how well it is implemented and balanced out. Some games weigh more heavily to Pay to Win, whereas others provide a more balanced if still slightly favourable to Pay to Win features. That leads me onto Last Shelter and even with a clear distinction of Pay to Win features and the ripple effect into the wider ecosystem, the game still offers a generous amount of channels and methods to play the game organically and still progress very well, if you’re committed to the cause.
Let’s look at where I feel Pay to Win mechanics do make a big difference.
Doomsday and later on Eden make the bulk of what Last Shelter is about – each alliances in states try to take the top spot every season, working for season rewards that set the foundation for the next one. Duels, diplomacy, tiling, deception and trickery all play a part of the wider Doomsday and Eden season than what the concept seems.
This is one of the big ways how P2W packages give a huge lead over F2P, with composite material packs, doomsday investment plan, serums, specialty reset points etc to choose from. While it doesn’t guarantee you a leg over F2P, as a committed F2P that makes all the right steps can prove in outscoring and out-tiling P2W players. But, it certainly skips time to cement themselves enough that over the seasons, the gap widens more and more once a few of these have been bought.
In that sense, there’s no way around it – occupy resource tiles, focusing on your tile mix, upgrading viral plants, processing, and fortresses smartly and then working your way up the tile levels to try and score big. Doomsday and Eden are all about teamplay and more widely the diplomacy of different power levels and shifts to try and be competitive. Forces you can’t control that may play favourably or unfavourably for you that you kind of have to just persevere and suck up. There are certainly bully tactics and spite that you may come across which the Last Shelter developers have tried to reduce, but generally P2W games will always ensure there’s a game between the F2P and P2W players to keep the money flowing and people spending enough to benefit from.
By far, the biggest Pay to Win option are the amount of super tickets people can spend to get the new season heroes fastest and max them out at the start of the season. And while you can amass hero super tickets organically (read my ‘How to Earn Super Tickets Fast‘) and stack them up, you have to be disciplined, committed and very patient.
Cumulative events that aware extra super tickets if you spend during this period, regular super ticket packs etc makes a big difference to the % of getting top seasonal heroes before the majority, whether you spend like a whale, frequently or even just from time to time.
Eventually, F2P or organic players can build their own strength, but the pace of progression and power levels in the same period is going to be a wide margin.
The options are there to purchase resource packages that can help accelerate base growth, but I find these packages aren’t too much of an advantage over organic players. These are very expensive for what they are and unless they’re desperately craving to get ahead of the pack or need that little bit extra to cover for upgrades, everyone will eventually reach base level 25.
If you’re smart, having at least 8 farms in the early stages will really boost your progress organically, and spend recklessly and you may find yourself not as far as you hope while getting out of pocket. It took me roughly 8 months to reach base level 25, only creating farms at B21 and maxing out zone commemoration at B22. Organically and knowing what I do now, you certainly can reach B25 organically in 6 months or earlier, depending on your state strength for winning COZ or alliance members to support you with resources.
So P2W isn’t so much of an advantage with base progression, as long as you’re consistent and smart about it.
BASE / APC SKINS
These are purely P2W skins and are common in many game formats. Previously, base and APC skins would change the look of each one and wouldn’t affect the overall gameplay attributes, purely vanity and visual. The developers however decided to attach specific attribute increases to each and launch them in time limited fashion to keep the exclusivity over time.
So noawadays, you’ll find increases to hero tactical might, research speed, doomsday might and resistance, siege attack and many attributes like that to give P2W players an edge. The numbers general aren’t huge, roughly around the 5% mark, however they can still make a marked difference to edge a battle in what would be closely competitive skirmishes.
And this is locked behind a paywall, with a gambling chance added to it, so like with super tickets, you buy these specific decor packs that go up in price every time you buy, before maxing at $100 USD with more décor fragments inside. There’s no way around it for F2P to narrow the game and is simply another hurdle to overcome.
Probably the hardest to rank MVP for Clash of Zones are gathering day and hero day. These have P2W options that contribute to COZ scores that even if you’re stacked or timed gathering to perfection, can still get outranked due to a few things: VIP Point packages and Super tickets.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Super Tickets were the most bought packs in last SHelter, because the random lottery and even gambling of sorts for those new season heroes are enough cravings to spend huge money. While VIP Point packs have a limitation of the day, there are regular VIP Packs you can buy without limit, similar to Super Tickets which is much worse in value and the absolute money you have to spend on them.
Besides those two with Research Tech Day coming in third, the ability to hit MVP for P2W and F2P is fairly even.
The essential element of researching tech, you’ll find there’s a swing of inventory as you progress in Last Shelter. Before maxing zone commemoration, you’ll also run out of these and then after that, you’ll generally have a nice inventory of courage medals until all the tech you do requires courage medals, and then it’s just a constant need for clash of zone to resupply you with them.
These can be the stopping blocks for zone commemoration, and T9 troops, which will slow down your progress, especially when you get to the latter stages of T9 tech, in which case you’ll have to wait 3 or 4 days for clash of zone rewards to cover the last few upgrades.
Courage medals are slightly on the expensive side, but still within reach that people would want to unlock T9 troops fast will do, or need to cover that last upgrade to hit 9 boxes on research day. Because once you run out of courage medals, you literally cannot go further unless you buy diamonds (which aren’t multiplied for COZ) or have yet to max parts tech which use energy cores.
Simply said, buying courage medal packs will put you higher up the research ladder if you organically cannot, provided you have resources for it. The difference isn’t much besides a timing thing.
Now parts is relatively balanced, but certainly favours those who decide to spend on part packages. From time to time, the game offers either a full set of legendary trailblazer parts (gathering) for $100 USD, A full set of epic parts for phantom, ranger and dreadnought for $50 USD or each legendary part for phantom, ranger or dreadnought for $100 USD.
Parts do make a big difference and those who decide to spend on these early on, even if they aren’t full gold sets will still make a difference in battle over those without. And making parts is long, tedious and diamond consuming. If you focus on Parts Factory level upgrades, energy core tech and use diamond speedups, you can certainly craft faster than the rest without spending on these packages.
However, the odd person who buys several legendary parts to make a set will have an upper hand, and the even more odd person that decides to buy 4 sets of these to combine into a gold will be set for the rest of the game. Now, we’re talking $1000’s USD and this certainly is a method to waste away those $$$ to get the upper hand.
So overall, as long as you focus on parts early on, continue to craft, use speedup challenges and save those energy cores, without gambling too often, an organic player certainly can stand toe to toe with P2W. And there’s no real time difference between a P2W and F2P besides the 1% that splashes.
Cheap to buy and as infinite as a digital wallet allows, the ability to buy wrenches is a very big differentiator when it comes to Doomsday or Eden tiling and war durability. You can take up to 10 tiles per APC, equating to 40 in total and requiring roughly 8 hours (if APC research tech is maxed) to recover. But bases can tile as long as they want, buying wrenches especially in war to continue participating and win an edge in tiling or war.
Good alliances will use farm durability to save the more trivial parts of war, keeping their bases for crunch time. But if they are strong states, strong alliances, use farms AND buy wrenches, then it can get pretty raw. I’ve head super state tile another, with alliances working to hold them off for a total of 18 hours.
If you want to reach the top, outpower or outlast them.. or why not both. This is quite a big Pay to Win gap to overcome and can resort to difficult doomsday seasons if you’re in a tough bracket with several super states or spending state alliances. Just is what it is.
Overall, P2W options in Last Shelter are rife and in certain areas create a signficant gap between spenders and free to play or minimal spending players. That is evident mostly in hero possibilities and Doomsday / Eden. Saying that by simply playing smart organic players can progress very well and compete above the average standard into the upper threshold, provided you have the patience, discipline, and tenacity to stay committed.
Pure F2P will generally be behind the curve and need to dampen aspirations to be a ‘strong’ base with maxed heroes and compete at the highest levels if they don’t plan to spend. But the game can equally be enjoyable and even more so when you get heroes on a free ticket or doomsday rewards are favourable to top combinations in the game. There’s a place for everyone, however the power flex, politics, and obsession for greater power can cause less than enjoyable moments. As long as you’re in an alliance that has a balanced of players (F2P, P2W, and in between), or a culture of people you enjoy gaming with, then Last Shelter can still be a good experience overall.
I’m going to share my final review on Last Shelter after a few more seasons and experience of Eden, before dropping my view on once you reach the endgame. But I hope with all of these P2W in mind, you get a heads-up on the nature of the game and whether it’s a good idea to play and with expectations in mind!
LAST SHELTER SURVIVAL
Plenty of Pay to Win options that put spenders ahead of the Free to Play gamers. However, the game does a good job for players to organically grow without feeling like they hit a paywall barrier to do so.