Gas trick

Normally, a unit spends 1 gas per 1 MP. The gas trick can be used to make almost any >2 MP movement cost only 2 gas!

To be more specific, the gas trick allows a unit to spend only 2 gas for any non-straight path greater than 2 tiles, or for any straight path greater than 1 tile but at 2 less maximum MP. A 1-tile diagonal approach is needed.

   xxxxxxx        O = B-Copter (6 MP)
  xxxxxxxxx       x = Gas trick possible
 xxxxNNNxxxx      N = Gas trick not possible

How to do it:

  • Select a unit.
  • Draw a path to 1 diagonal tile away from the destination. You may do this with the d-pad or by dragging the stylus.
  • Tap on the destination tile with the stylus, then confirm the final action. If the path didn’t redraw itself, the gas trick should happen.


You can also reach the destination tile by executing one frame-perfect diagonal movement action with the d-pad, but this isn’t recommended as it’s easier to mess up.

The gas trick is actually in every single Advance Wars game. As AW1 and AW2 don’t have stylus control, the frame-perfect d-pad diagonal movement action must be used.

As the approach to the destination must come in from 1 diagonal tile, a straight line path is only possible if the path is 2 MP less than a unit’s maximum MP. Therefore, a fighter (which has 9 MP) can use the gas trick to move 9 tiles in any non-straight path, or 7 tiles in a straight path.

Competitive multiplayer impact

The gas trick is an allowed technique in competitive PvP (player vs. player) because it takes slightly additional time to execute than just regularly moving a unit. PvP uses a turn timer, and if there are many units to control, a player may skip the gas trick if time is at a premium.

For land units, the gas trick is almost never used. There are always plenty of cities in which to supply your land units. But for air units, especially COUs and planes, the gas trick is very important. Air units have a gas upkeep of 2 for copters, and 5 for planes. In addition, air units typically dance around the map and constantly re-position themselves. Air units cannot be supplied by cities. All of this means that players will typically use the gas trick for all of their air units, or at least the key ones. When done repeatedly, air units usually won’t need to be supplied. This allows players to save the money that would’ve been used on a rig, and spend it on something else.

For example, let’s take the t-copter. Without the gas trick, the t-copter will use 8 gas per day (6 MP + 2 upkeep) as it shuttles mechs back and forth. All air units (except seaplane) have 99 gas. This means the t-copter can normally do 12 full movements before it runs out of gas, or shuttle 6 mechs from a base. But with the gas trick, the t-copter will use 4 gas per day, and be able to shuttle 12 mechs because gas consumption has been halved.

The duster is the most important unit when it comes to using the gas trick, due to its high movement, plane gas upkeep, and tendency to switch between fronts. Each day, it uses up to 13 gas: 8 MP + 5 upkeep. With the gas trick, the duster will instead use 7 gas per day and survive for at least 14 days if it uses all MP each day. As PvP games last up to 30 days, doubling the practical gas capacity of the duster is absolutely crucial.

PvP damage chart

Click the image to get the high-resolution static chart, or click the download link to get the morphing chart.

The PvP damage chart simplifies the full base damage chart, resulting in greater readability:

  • Units are sorted by PvP frequency: This makes more sense than grouping all the land units together by cost, then all the air units together by cost. The most common matchups are at the top-left area of the chart.  The core unit triangle matchups are in the dotted box. Transport units are at the right area of the chart for readability purposes.
  • No sea: Sea units (and the seaplane) are removed. They’re not part of the metagame.
  • Out-of-ammo secondary fire values are not included: Backup fire almost never happens in a PvP game. If your mech runs out of ammo, then it uses the bike damage values. Every other offensive unit has 5 or 6 ammo. If a unit runs out of ammo, then you should really retreat it to a city (if it’s a land unit), or join with a fresh unit. I’ve had maybe one or two games out of thousands where backup fire mattered. Consult the full base damage chart if you really need the values.

The morphing damage chart is an Excel file that lets you change the ATK+, DEF+, and HP values. ATK+ and DEF+ assume that 100 is added to any value, so input 30 if you want 130A or 130D. Install the fonts for best results. The chart’s calculations are game accurate, and will correctly calculate the rounding exception.

Advance Wars 4 (AwDoR) Balance Patch by Gippy

Base Game: Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (U)
Release Date: 3rd May 2020
Version 1.1: Download (XDELTA Format)
Short Description: This patch does 3 things:

  • Balance the COs. As well, all English information screens are re-worded to reflect the stat changes.
  • Adds a turn timer of approximately 5 minutes. (The exact timer is 4:58.65 due to coding quirkiness.) This should be plenty of time for remote desktop play.
  • Cracks Nintendo’s SSL authentication protection, allowing the game to connect to altwfc servers. Note that there still isn’t an emulator that can reliably do wi-fi play for everyone, thus this is currently only good for those with DS flashcarts.
Continue reading

Multiplayer Information

General Multiplayer

These articles cover the basics and are applicable to any version of the game.

Getting Started

  • Introduction
  • Glossary of Short Terms
  • Naming Philosophy

AW4 mechanics

AW3 to AW4 differences

  • Mechanics and unit changes
  • DEF shift
  • Base damage changes

Competitive Multiplayer

These articles are more in-depth, but more importantly, they assume that players are using the AW4 Balance Patch. This changes the statistics of the commanding officers (COs) and assumes various game settings. As of May 2020, all online competitive play uses the AW4 Balance Patch.

The World of Intelligent Defense

  • Introduction & How to find games
  • Standard game settings
  • Why are sea units not played?
  • It’s not just about winning
  • Myths and assumptions debunked


Brenner3110/130 all+3 HP all
Caulder1130/130 all, +1 HP/day (costs funds)None
Gage2140/130 indirect, 110/110 other+2 indirect range
Greyfield3140/120 tech, 110/110 otherSupply all units (incl. materials)
Forsythe5120/130 allNone
Isabella2120/110 all+2 MP all, +2 indirect range
Lin1130/130 land, 110/110 air+2 vision land, hidden tiles revealed
Penny3120/120 allWeather change for 3 days
Tabitha0170/160 all (190/180 COU)8 HP 2-radius nuke (cost bias)
Tasha1160/140 air, 110/110 land+2 MP air
Waylon2130/160 air, 110/110 land+270D air
Will2130/110 direct land, 110/110 other+2 MP direct land


  • Soldiers (infantry, bike, mech)
  • Core (antiair, tank, copter, artillery)
  • Tech (mdtank, wartank, rockets, bomber, duster)
  • Niche (recon, flare, antitank, missiles, fighter)
  • Transport (t-copter, rig)


  • Cost efficiency
  • Direct-fire folly
  • First turn advantage
  • Hard and soft counters
  • Indirect clusters and lines
  • Material advantage
  • Tech units
  • The 1HKO
  • Unit count


  • Banking
  • Capturing
  • Chip damage
  • City support
  • CO units
  • Double teaming
  • Forced leveling
  • Joining
  • Mopping up
  • Offensive COU push
  • Parallel formation
  • Shielding
  • Turtling
  • Wall busting
  • Zone advantage
  • Zone management