Guide: Orcs Must Die! 3 Tips and Tricks


Chris Harding

Writer and Storywriter


Orcs Must Die! 3 is a challenging blend of tower defence and third-person action. Here are some tips to get you going.

Robot Entertainment’s Orcs Must Die! 3 has finally arrived on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC after spending a year as a Stadia exclusive. It means for the first time in almost a decade, the series is back proper on console. It’s been a long time, then, and it’s understandable if your orc-slaying skills are a little rusty. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make short work of the green menace.

Guide: Orcs Must Die! 3 Tips and Tricks

Traps, traps, traps

It might seem like a no-brainer, but don’t forget about your traps! More specifically, the whole range of traps.

Early on in the game, you’ll only have access to a select few traps and you’ll unlock more as you work your way through the story mode. The number of traps and weapons that you can equip will increase, too.

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What you need to remember is that there’s a trap for every occasion. Don’t get too comfortable with just a few favourite traps. There are loads to use and some are designed for certain maps. For instance, if there’s a map with integrated meat-grinders, get flipping! Even if there isn’t, get flipping anyway. Put your own meat-grinders on the walls and then line up the flip pads to launch the buggers to their miserable doom. Get creative and don’t just stick with the simple spikes and wall arrows combo – even if it is formidable.

Upgrade your traps and weapons to win easier

Near enough every weapon and trap can be upgraded in Orcs Must Die! 3. It’s essential that you spend your hard-earned skulls on some upgrades whenever you get the chance. Otherwise, you’re leaving good damage numbers on the table, mate.

Go to your spellbook and have a look at the traps you have and work on upgrading the basics first. Wall arrows get extra damage, the spikey floor traps get shorter cooldowns, and so on.

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On the weapon side, I recommend the Blunderbus shotgun, simply because it’s easy to use and its secondary fire mode is great for crowd control and getting out of sticky situations. Though, each to their own, and if you get your traps right, you won’t need to put as much stock into your weapons.

But… they’re cool to use and definitely helpful, so it makes sense to upgrade them, either for extra damage, quicker reload times, fast rates of fire, and so on.

Weapon and trap challenges

You know about the basic upgrades, but what about the more advanced ones? The upgrade cards sit in the middle of the screen. These offer bigger buffs to your weapons and traps but first, you’ll need to put in a bit of legwork to unlock them

These upgrades add some special modifiers to your traps and weapons, like adding elemental damage or increasing the damage of the secondary fire. These are essential if you want to get any perfect runs on the story mode levels.

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You’ll notice that on the upgrades page for each Orcs Must Die! 3 weapons and traps, you’ll see a progress bar and a short description. These are the challenges you must complete to unlock the advanced upgrades. They’re typically quite simple tasks that you won’t need to go out of your way to do; most will just happen naturally through the course of play.

How to get more Skulls in Orcs Must Die! 3

Upgrading weapons and traps in Orcs Must Die! 3 is done by spending Skulls – the game’s currency. You’re given Skulls at the end of each level, and the amount you get depends on how quickly you beat the level and how many rift points you have left at the end. You also get a nice bonus depending on which difficulty level you play on. The higher the difficulty, the bigger the bonus.

The best way to get lots of Skulls quickly in Orcs Must Die! 3 is to play through the story mode, then, once you’ve finished and still don’t have every upgrade (you won’t, trust me) go back to your favourite early level in the game. By this point you’ll have plenty of upgrades for your weapons and traps, so you’ll be able to turn up the difficulty and still get a perfect run. This will increase the number of Skulls the game gives you at the end of the round. Rinse and repeat.

Though, I will say that is not my preferred way to do it. Replaying the same level over and over just to get Skulls is a little boring. I prefer to play Endless mode and collect them naturally, but if you want it done quickly, it really is the best way to get Skulls in Orcs Must Die! 3.

Optimise your trap placements for the ultimate “killbox”

When it’s all said and done, the single most important thing is placing your traps in the right place at the right time. Whether you’re trying to figure out how to get to level 25 in Orcs Must Die! 3′ Endless mode, or trying to get the perfect score in a story mission, you need to have the right gear in the right place.

Proper placement is vital, as is proper blocking. Use barriers to block off paths and funnel the monsters into your deadly killboxes. These “killboxes” are sections of the map where you know the orcs will travel through, so you make these as deadly as possible by using as many different traps as possible. Upgraded traps are ideal, but even the most basic versions will bring down the biggest waves if they’re used well.

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Use traps that have elemental effects as well as spreads damage. Upgraded wall arrows can pierce through orcs while the poison trap will spread its goo around. Electric spikes make short work of armoured ogres, too, so mix and match what you’ve got and create the ultimate deathtrap – and don’t forget about the ceiling traps!

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