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Skylanders Swap Force guide: 10 tips to help you ace it

Skylanders Swap Force guide: 10 tips to help you ace it

Hello Portal Masters of Skylanders: Swap Force! Don’t know which characters to buy to complete your game? Got questions about how to level-up your characters, or stuck on the Bonus Missions? Never fear, BoxMash is here to help with all your major Swap Force problems with this helpful tips guide designed for everyone, from those of you playing for the first time who are trying to adjust to the new swapping abilities, and those of you who want a bit more advanced help!

Before we begin, if you are new to the game, check out the trailer below:

Now you are up to speed, it’s time to get down to the good stuff! Enjoy, and Good Luck in your quest Portal Master!

#1 Tips for New Players: Making Your Team


When first playing the game it can be tough trying to decide how to get the most out of it without having to buy all the characters. There are new characters being added to Swap Force all the time, and characters from the older games (Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure and Skylanders: Giants) can also be used in the new game, meaning you have over 100 different characters available to chose from! However, we’ll let you in on a little secret, you don’t need to buy them all to get through it, in fact you only need about 9 characters in total to complete all the game.

There are 8 elements and 8 abilities for the characters, and you also need a Skylanders Giants character to access certain areas. This Giants character can be any element, so make it your favourite one. Why do you need so few characters to complete the whole game? Well, the new Swap Force Skylanders have the ability to mix and match their top and bottom parts to create over 250 new character combinations, each with their unique powers and abilities! Each Swap Force character comes with an element and an ability, and it is important to get one of each element and ability in order to get through all of the sealed off Dual Element Gate areas in Story Mode. Choosing which figures are up to you, however the Starter Pack comes with three Skylanders which covers the Fire, Water and Life Elements, but only the Rocket and Climb powers. The most useful out of these will be Wash Buckler (Water/Climb) and Blast Zone (Rocket/Fire) so you just need to buy 6 more Swap force characters to complete all the elements and abilities.

Here is an example of the figures you could buy to complete your team:

Rattle Shake (Undead/Jump)

Rattle Shake

Magna Charge (Tech/Speed)


Free Ranger (Air/Spin)


Hoot Loop (Magic/Teleport)

Hoot Loop

Stink Bomb (Life/Stealth)


Rubble Rouser (Earth/Dig)


Extra Tip: Still having trouble affording the toys? Why not swap with your friends, or how about asking your parents to buy your toys second hand on Ebay? You can even ask if you can get a toy in return for chores around the house.

#2 Tips for Players Who Have the Older Games


Horray, some good news for all you dedicated Skylanders fans! All your previous Skylanders figures from Spyro’s Adventure and Giants can be used in Swap Force and they even keep their stats when transferring between games, so you don’t have to start over again. This also means that you can bring them to friends houses and even swap figures that have already been raised so you don’t have to buy them all.

#3 How best to Power-Up and Level-Up Skylanders

When you first start up your game with a Skylander, you’ll have two fighting abilities: one launching attack or up-close attack whilst the other is a more powerful attack like charging. As you get further in Swap Force, you’ll have the opportunity to power-up characters by improving the techniques they already have, as well as adding brand new attacks to them. How do you do this? One way to do this is by levelling-up your Skylander and playing with it as much as possible. It’s important to spend plenty of time raising your characters, as the more they grow, the more they will be able to take on bigger opponents, and the longer they will last before they become tired.

Another way to upgrade your character’s moves is by collecting coins. Once you level-up or gain enough coins, you can upgrade your moves using power-pods you find whilst in your game, some of which you may have to repair. The more expensive the power-up, the better the move. However, when choosing which power you want to level up make sure you watch the demonstrations before choosing as this will give you an idea of what the moves do for each character and how you can use them.

Super Tip: Want to level your Skylanders quickly? Make sure to take advantage of the elemental bonus in certain areas by swapping the bottom of your Skylander to that element. You only need to be one half of the element to get the bonus and it will really help you level your team quicker.

#4 Tips For Battling


Getting through each level can be hard when there are so many enemies for you to take on. If you don’t plan your attack well, your Skylanders could faint and you’ll have to start the level again. But don’t worry, we’ve got some great tips for you to help make sure this doesn’t happen.

First, really think about when the best time is to use a particular Skylander. Use a weaker Skylander for easier enemies or easier parts of the level, and save your stronger Skylanders for challenging enemies and boss battles. If the worst comes to the worst, don’t be afraid to swap out your Skylander when its health is low. A defeated Skylander can’t be used for the rest of the stage, so it’s best to pull them out until you can find health. A handy tip for healing your Skylanders quicker is to look for an Element Gate that matches its type. If you open an Element Gate, all Skylanders of that type will slowly heal while inside, so it’s good to just sit in there for a bit and let your characters heal.

When battling, learn to prioritise your enemies, by taking down those which give you the most trouble first, then go for those you can’t avoid.

Finally, remember if your team are low level, you don’t have to fight everything. Just concentrate on getting through the level,  and then you can return to the level at a later stage to defeat all of the enemies.

#5 How to Complete Everything


So you’ve finished the Story Mode and are feeling delighted with yourself. Well you can stop celebrating right now, because only 41% of the game is the story, the other 59% is all about completing everything in game. There are heaps of collectibles that you need to make sure you get, like 147 hats to collect in the game, 48 legendary treasures, 32 soul gems, not to mention treasure chests and charms. Even if you have finished every level, you still have to go back to get areas you may have missed, claim collectibles you didn’t get first time round, and perfect your skills so that you get three stars on each level.

You also have to fully upgrade each Skylander so they are up to the best standard and have them reach level 20, and make sure you complete each of the Skylander’s individual quests in order to take them from standard to bronze to silver to gold. Each arena and bonus mission needs to be completed to three stars. Getting stars allows you to increase your Portal Master level to the 80s, and certain items can only be purchased when you get to the higher Portal Master levels!

Phew, that’s a lot for you checklist, so make sure you don’t miss anything.

#6 Making the Most of Collectibles

One thing that there’s not a shortage of in Swap Force is Collectibles, and although it is not necessary to collect these items in order to complete the main story-line, it is important to get them if you want to complete the whole game. They are also great additions to your loot and will be able to help you in your journey. But where can you find them? They are hidden on each level, so your best bet is to make sure you really explore each level fully. Look for small hidden areas, cornered off rooms, caves, and different level areas, as they often appear out of reach at first, so you must look for a solution to get to them. If you find the hidden collectibles on a level it will help you earn a bonus star at the end of the stage, compared to just earning one for completing the mission.

Collecting Level Stars increase your Portal Master Ranking making you more powerful, and the more stars you get, the more you’ll unlock later on.  Swap Force also has a lot of bonus missions and mini-games that you can take part in, which open up a number of items that you can add to your collection. Here’s our tips for the most important collectibles:


Hats: There are 147 hats in total to find in the game. They may look like just a cool accessory, but they are actually really important for increasing one or more of your characters skills quite a bit, such as armour, speed, elemental power and critical hit. You’ll run across shops where you can turn in your money and buy hats for your character. Also keep in mind that various areas offer different hats. No two shops will offer the same kind of stuff. So, if you see a hat you want, don’t hang around: add it to your collection and try it out! We recommend getting the Gaucho Hat, which offers +10 Armor, +10 Elemental Power, +10 Maximum Health. You can get this hat by completing a shifting course inside a Dual Air/Tech Element Gate in level Iron Jaw Gulch.

Soul Gems: Soul Gems are really important because they unlock new abilities for Skylanders. There is one Soul Gem to find for each new character in the game (old characters had Soul Gems in the other games). So that means in Skylanders Swap Force there are a total of 32 Soul Gems to find. Once this power is unlocked it will become available to buy through the Power-Pod. Struggling to find the Soul Gems for your Starter Characters? We have their locations just for you.

Wash Buckler’s Soul Gem is in the level: Twisty Tunnels. You must take a left before the first set of mines on Hazardous Highway and follow down the short path where the Soul Gem will be.

For Blast Zone’s Soul Gem you must go to the level: Fantasm Forest, where you can find his Soul Gem very early on. At the level start, you’ll pass a burning gate, and just a few steps later, you’ll turn on a water pump and acquire water balloons. In order to reach Blast Zone’s Soul Gem you must bring a water balloon back to the burning gate to clear the way, then follow the platforms beyond to reach it.

Ledgendary treas

Legendary Treasures: These take the place of Heroic Challenges in Skylanders Swap Force. Scattered around Woodburrow you will find a number of pedestals with various numbers on them. These numbers represent your Portal Master Rank. As you increase your rank you will unlock these pedestals and be able to place Legendary Treasures on them. Once a Legendary Treasure is placed on the pedestal, it will give its power to all of your Skylanders. There are 48 Legendary Treasures to collect.

Bonus Mission Map: This will let you play bonus missions, fun little events involving grabbing items or beating up the bad guys. There’s at least one Bonus Mission Map to unlock in every level, so finding them all can be tough.

#7 Getting Money


In-game money is important for upgrading the Skylander’s powers, and we can all get impatient whilst trying to save up enough for that cool new move. You needn’t worry though, because there are plenty of ways to get money in-game. There is at least one treasure chest per level, you can collect scattered coins, and even complete plenty of bonus missions for extra money. But if you still can’t wait here’s two awesome tips.

If you have the Tower of Time Adventure Pack, the Sky Diamond Magic Item is a power-up that can help you to get lots of money. To do this you need to head to Woodburrow and use the power-up whilst punching the Training Attack Dummies. The trick here is to play with a friend using two Skylanders in order to get more money points.

Another way to get loads of money is to take advantage of a glitch in the game. When you unlock the chests in the chieftess’ hut at Woodburrow, they are refilled every day. You must open the chests and take the money, then go to the “Level Select” screen, and enter a level. Once the level begins, open the menu again, and return to Woodburrow. When you enter the town again, the chests will be refilled and you can get even more money! (and you can repeat this as much as you need.)


#8 Easier ways to get 3-Star ratings for Bonus Missions


As you explore through the game, you’ll find Bonus mission maps. After a few chapters, Eon will appear and allow you to play the Bonus Missions. Bonus Missions are great to get more money and more stars in your game, and come in two forms: battle levels where you must kill all the enemies, or speed missions where you must try to finish the level faster than your time limit.

There are a number of important tips to remember to help you get three stars in these missions. First, to easily get a higher score for bonus missions, start one on Hard difficulty or – if you have it -Nightmare difficulty. Wait until the mission has actually started and then lower the difficulty back to Easy. This is great because you will now be able to play with easy level baddies whilst still having the longer time limit from starting at a higher difficulty level. This really helps to gain extra stars and also to clear bonus stages with high time bonuses. When in the mission, remember to avoid using battle items, as you will not get any points for enemies defeated when using magic power ups. And remember to keep your eye on the goal – don’t get easily distracted, don’t fight enemies you don’t need to, and ignore the hazards. Taking an elemental gate is a waste of time, as is treasure hunting, save that stuff for score attack and story mode. With the Skylanders themselves, swap out wounded Skylanders quickly to prevent losing them and being thrown down to a 1x multiplier. Also remember to really think about which Skylanders to use. Remember to use a fast Skylander in order to get a good time bonus. We recommend Magna Charge for the time missions because he’s really fast and his magnets pull the clock power-ups to you!

#9  Two Player Mode


This game is so much fun by yourself, but what makes it even better is playing with a friend! A good tip for those of you struggling to collect all the characters is that you don’t actually need Swap Force characters to defeat the game if you have someone else to play with. Instead of having one character, you can use two different characters by playing with your friend in Story Mode to access all the Dual Element Gates.

One great way of testing your characters battle tactics is also playing with your friends in Arena Mode. The best thing you can do to dominate Arena Mode is practice and get to know your characters skills and weaknesses. Don’t forget to skill up your Skylander of choice in the single player mode, then invite friends over to do battle!

#10 How to Save Your Progress!


If you are new to Skylanders or not, it is important to remember how to save your game. The main thing to remember is that you can’t save in the middle of a chapter, so you must finish the chapter you are on or your progress will be lost. Most consoles now will automatically save after your finish the level, however if you want to do it manually to make sure, after the chapter is finished you must pause the game and then select Main Menu and save for the game to save your progress. Then you can safely turn off the game.
 When you want to start your adventure again, make sure not to continue by going to chapter select. Instead you need to talk to a character in Woodburrow such as Captain Flynn, Chieftess or Tessa. This should continue on your story where you left it last time.


Now you’ve read all that, you are officially a Skylanders: Swap Force expert and can go brag to your friends. If you have any questions we didn’t answer though, feel free to message us over Twitter or in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help you! For more great Skylanders content, check out our The 10 Coolest and Fiercest Skylanders Bosses and Meet Every Skylanders: Swap Force Character!

Skylanders: Swap Force is available now on 3DS, PS3, PS4 Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.


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