Into the Breach: Guide to All Squads

5 months ago by Samuel Horti

Make the most out of Into the Breach's dynamically different mechs with our essential primer.

We can’t stop playing Into the Breach, the addictive turn-based strategy game about saving Earth from giant insects. One of the reasons we keep coming back is that its eight squads – which you unlock by spending coins that you’ve earned through achievements – have completely different playstyles that force you to rethink your tactics between each run.

It’s rewarding when a squad immediately clicks, but some have stumped us. We spent hours on failed runs with the Blitzkrieg squad before we worked out how you’re supposed to use them, and even longer wrestling with the intricacies of the Steel Judoka.

If you’re struggling with a particular group, then this guide to all of the game’s squads should set you on the right path. We’ll spend more time on the squads that you’ll unlock first: by the time you can afford to pay for the late-game squads, you’ll have built up enough game knowledge to know what to do instinctively (although we’ve got some tips for using them, too).

Rift Walkers

Mech 1: Combat Mech – a high-damage melee mech with a knockback punch

Mech 2:  Cannon Mech – a versatile mech that can both deal damage and push enemies

Mech 3: Artillery Mech – a ‘glass cannon’ with low health but a useful artillery strike

Tips and advice:

This is the squad you start with, and it’s arguably the most balanced group in the game. All of its mechs can both deal damage and push enemies, which gives you lots of options.

Keep your combat and cannon mechs close to one another so they can combine their attacks, and make sure your artillery mech stays off the front line, in an area of the map where it can move side to side freely.

Both the combat and cannon mechs have 3HP, so they can afford to take some damage. Don’t hesitate to block spawns with them or to push the Vek into them for some extra damage (order your combat mech to punch an enemy into your cannon mech, for example).

If you use all three mechs’ knockback abilities together, you can push enemies by three tiles. Think about how that can benefit you: you can push enemies into water, or line them up so that they’re damaging each other.

What upgrades should you take?

Your first upgrade should be making buildings immune to your artillery mech’s attack. It costs just one reactor core, and it means you’ll be able to fire directly at buildings and push enemies away with ease.

Upgrading the movement of both your combat and cannon mechs is the next priority: both are only able to move three tiles by default, which makes repositioning difficult.

Lastly, upgrade your cannon mech’s damage: with just two reactor cores it’ll deal 2 damage and push enemies into walls for extra.

What should you buy in the store?

Focus on secondary powers for your combat and cannon mechs. They can already deal focused damage, so items that move groups of enemies (such as Explosive Vents) or damage multiple targets (such as the Electric Whip) work well.

Which pilots should you use?

Prospero, the flying pilot, is a great fit for a cannon mech with upgraded movement. Also consider Henry Kwan, who can move through enemies, for your cannon or combat mechs. Silica – who can act twice if it doesn’t move – is a good fit for the artillery mech.

Rusting Hulks

Mech 1: Rocket mech – its primary weapon damages and pushes enemies, while its passive ability increases smoke damage for your whole squad

Mech 2: Jet mech – a mobile mech that can drop smoke on enemies to cancel their attacks

Mech 3: Pulse mech – a crowd control mech that can be upgraded to shield itself and buildings

Tips and advice:

The Rusting Hulks might seem weak at first, but with a few upgrades they’re one of the strongest squads in the game. They require a different mindset: most of your damage will come from smoke you create on the battlefield thanks to the rocket mech’s Storm Generator ability, which will deal damage to any enemies in smoke at the end of a turn.

The rocket mech’s relatively high health mean you can keep it closer to the front lines than most artillery mechs. It’s your primary damage-dealer early on, and creates smoke behind itself when it fires, which is great for shutting down enemies about to kill a building.

The jet mech has low damage but its smoke bomb stops any enemy from attacking: perfect for boss battles. Use the pulse mech to clear space for it, or to push enemies into hazards, such as water.

The key thing to remember is that smoke damage happens at the end of the turn. If you can leave a 1HP enemy in smoke, then they’re dead.

What upgrades should you take?

First, upgrade your rocket mech’s storm generator so that smoke deals 2 damage. With this, you can kill most enemies in a single turn.

Next, you want to focus on the range of your jet’s attack: putting points here will mean it can leap over two enemies, stopping both of their attacks. Then, upgrade your pulse mech so it shields itself, which lets it block spawns or tank damage in front of buildings.

Nice extras include upgrading the movement of your jet and the damage of its base attack.

What should you buy in the store?

Focus on adding secondary, situational attacks to both your pulse and jet mechs, as well as items that place smoke on the battlefield. A Smoke Drop is a good one to have up your sleeve, or something like the Frost Beam to freeze enemies, which is great in desperate situations.

Which pilots should you use?

Camila Vera is the obvious choice because she can attack from within smoke. Stick her in the jet mech and you’re laughing. Adding movement to your pulse mech can be an excellent choice, too: Archimedes and Chen Rong both let you move after attacking.

Zenith Guard

Mech 1: Laser Mech – fires a high-damage laser beam that damages multiple targets

Mech 2: Charge Mech – rams into enemies, damaging itself in the process

Mech 3: Defence Mech – can shield buildings and allies and move enemies around

Tips and advice:

The laser mech has one of the most powerful attacks in the game. It can shoot through Vek, dealing 3 damage to enemies it’s directly next to, and one less for each square the beam travels. Positioning is crucial, here: its laser will damage friendly buildings, so place it along open sightlines.

The defence mech can pull enemies around, while the charge mech can knock enemies back. Try to group up around your laser mech, and manipulate enemies to line them up for an attack. Combo attacks together if possible: ramming an enemy into the range of your laser mech means you can deal 5 damage in a single turn.

The charge mech deals damage to itself when it rams into enemies, so shield it beforehand to negate that damage. Plan ahead with your shields, too: if you have a free move, consider shielding an objective building, or any buildings that could be caught by your laser mech’s attack.

What upgrades should you take?

First, upgrade the movement of your laser mech so that you can more easily set up lines of attack. Upgrading damage can also be a good option in the late game (but don’t make it a priority early on – it’s already very powerful).

Next, focus on your defence mech. Upgrading HP is a good option, allowing it to block spawns or finish off enemies by pulling them into you.

Also consider adding HP to your ram mech so that it can take more punishment. Avoid the upgrade that deals +1 damage to both yourself and enemies.

What should you buy in the store?

If possible, swap out the defence mech’s attraction pulse: it’s useful, but can only pull enemies if you have a direct sightline. The Grav Well does the same job, but can fire over buildings, which makes it more versatile. A secondary attack, or something else that moves enemies around (such as the Grappling Hook or the Hermes Engine), can also be a useful addition, allowing it to set up your laser mech for massive damage.

Which pilots should you use?

Putting Abe Isamu in the charge mech is your best bet: his armour negates self-damage when you ram an enemy, which is a huge help.

Alternatively, consider pilots that improve mobility of your laser mech. Prospero, which lets the mech fly, is a good bet, as is Henry Kwan, who can move through enemies.


Mech 1: Lightning Mech – uses a lightning whip that can chain through enemies and, eventually, buildings

Mech 2: Hook Mech – an armoured mech that you should use to set up attacks

Mech 3: Boulder Mech – a low-health, long range mech that has lots of utility

Tips and advice:

When playing Blitzkrieg, you should always be thinking about setting up your lightning mech, whose attack chains through enemies (and friendlies). Setting up a five-enemy chain means you’ll deal 10 damage in a single attack, which is nearly unmatched.

Use the hook mech to move enemies into place for attacks. Its armour means you can use it as a conductor for a lightning chain to reach enemies that are further away. Keep it close to the lightning mech.

The boulder mech is fragile and should always stay away from danger. You want to get as much utility out of its boulders as possible on a single turn. They can kill enemies, push enemies away from buildings or into a lightning chain, or block spawns. Most importantly, they conduct electricity, so use them to link enemies together.

If possible, avoid missions where you’re defending buildings or objects, like the train. The lightning mech deals damage to them.

What upgrades should you take?

Upgrading your lightning mech so its attack no longer damages friendly buildings is the most important one. It means you can play close to your buildings, chaining attacks through them to reach faraway enemies.

Similarly, upgrading the damage of your electric whip is a must. Dealing 3 damage can kill a lot of enemies in one go, and if you can line them up effectively then you’ll bag plenty of multi-kills.

Basically, spend a lot of points on your lightning mech, including in movement: it’ll be the main damage dealer, and your other units should focus on supporting it. Extra HP for the hook mech wouldn’t go amiss.

What should you buy in the store?

Spend your reputation on a secondary, damage-dealing weapon for your hook mech – it’ll massively increase its utility. Something simple like the Phase Cannon or the Janus Cannon can really transform it.

Which pilots should you use?

Again, focus on the lightning mech. Silica is a solid choice: it lets you deal damage, move, then deal damage again. Once you’ve upgraded your electric whip so that it can pass safely through friendly buildings, you’ll find lots of opportunities to attack twice.

Alternatively, placing Harold in your hook mech can be a big help. He pushes enemies when he repairs, which gives you more options for lining up lightning chains.

Steel Judoka

Mech 1: Judo Mech – a sturdy, mobile mech which can chuck enemies over its head

Mech 2: Siege Mech – a low-health artillery mech that pushes enemies around the battlefield

Mech 3: Gravity Mech – a mobile mech that pulls enemies into position.

Tips and advice:

This squad lacks firepower, so finding success relies on you manipulating enemies’ positions. The gravity mech’s Vek Hormones means enemies deal an extra +1 damage to one another, so early on you should focus on lining up enemies to attack each other. All the mechs can move enemies: focus on combining these moves to push enemies away from buildings or into danger (shove them into water if you can).

The judo mech should be on the front line, using his armour to negate enemy attacks. By tossing an enemy over his head, he can move them two tiles. Bear that in mind when trying to get enemies to attack one another, and make sure you check the enemy attack order before you act. Keep your siege mech back, and your gravity mech at mid-range.

What upgrades should you take?

Your first core should go into your siege mech, negating damage against buildings. It’s a great way to defend your grid. Next, add more movement to the judo and gravity mechs.

Also consider upgrading the damage on your siege mech. Dealing 2 damage to the four squares next to your attack is a big deal. If you end up keeping the Vek Hormones (more on that in a second), then try to upgrade it so that enemies do +2 damage to each other.

What should you buy in the store?

Ideally, you want to move Vek Hormones to your siege mech and buy a secondary attack for your gravity mech. Teleporter is one of the strongest items in the game, so grab it if you can, or add a fire or frost beam. The judo mech could do with a secondary weapon, too: look for a straightforward, high damage option such as Titan Fist. And don’t worry too much about selling Vek Hormones if the right weapons come up.

Which pilots should you use?

There’s no must-have pilot, here, but you have lots of options. Henry Kwan can help the judo mech get into better positions, while Camila Vera will help it escape webbing, which is very handy. Chen Rong, Archimedes, and Propsero are also good bets: basically, anything that adds mobility.

Flame Behemoths

Mech 1: Flame Mech – a flamethrower mech that only damages enemies if they’re on fire, but spreads flames. Passive ability makes the squad immune to fire.

Mech 2: Meteor Mech – a ranged artillery unit that lights tiles on fire

Mech 3: Swap mech – a flying mech that can swap tiles with a nearby enemy

Tips and advice:

The Flame Behemoths deal little direct damage: it’s all about lighting strategic tiles on fire. Enemies will burn for 1 damage at the start of the next turn. Use the flame and meteor mechs to create fire around spawn points (enemies will spawn on fire), and around buildings. Your job is to delay attacks so that the fire can get to work.

The swap mech is very strong and should be your main damage dealer early on. It can fly, so hover over water or other hazards and swap with an enemy for an instant kill.

Don’t waste your attacks, either: an enemy with 2HP that’s not set up to damage a building can be left alone. They’ll take 1 damage before their next attack, and then 1 at the start of the turn after that.

What upgrades should you take?

Upgrade both your swap mech’s teleport range and your flamethrower’s range as soon as you can. Then, you want to focus on movement and boosting your meteor mech’s damage to make it a viable DPS. Movement boosts help, too.

What should you buy in the store?

Focus on secondary, damage-dealing weapons. It’s especially useful for the flame mech and the meteor mech early on, when your squad’s damage output is low. A secondary weapon for your swap mech, such as fire beam, is a good backup.

Which pilots should you use?

Focus on adding extra movement to your flame or swap mechs. Henry Kwan, Lily Reed and Archimedes fit the bill.

Frozen Titans

Mech 1: Aegis Mech – a high mobility mech with a shield bash that deals damage and flips enemy attack direction

Mech 2: Mirror Mech – a mech that fires projectiles in two directions

Mech 3: Ice mech – freezes enemies and itself

Tips and advice:

The Ice mech is the star of the show here. If you put pilot Bethany Jones into it then it’s virtually unstoppable. Her shield stops it from freezing, and it won’t get depleted, so you can fly around immobilising every enemy on the map.

Use the mirror mech along clear sightlines to make sure you don’t damage buildings. If you’re not using Bethany, the mirror mech can unfreeze the ice mech.

What upgrades should you take?

Focus on movement for your ice mech and damage upgrades for the mirror mech.

What should you buy in the store?

Secondary damage-dealers for the aegis and mirror mechs are paramount, because their primary weapons are situational.

Which pilots should you use?

Bethany. Always Bethany.

Hazardous mechs

Mech 1: Leap Mech – jumps into the air, damaging itself and any tiles it lands next to

Mech 2: Unstable Mech – high damage output, but also hurts and pushes itself backwards

Mech 3: Nano Mech – fires acid, and its passive abulity grants health to any mech that kills an enemy

Tips and advice:

The nano mech is the cornerstone of this squad. Its Viscera Nanobots will heal any mech that deals a killing blow, even if the mech dies in the process. And your mechs will die, because they deal self-damage. So, don’t be afraid to die if it means taking two or three enemies with you. Use the unstable mech’s knockback to create chaos.

What upgrades should you take?

Focus on upgrading your nano mech’s healing: bringing mechs back to life with 2HP when they make a kill can save your run. Next, upgrade the damage and HP of your other mechs.

What should you buy in the store?

Secondary damage-dealers for the leap and unstable mechs provide more options, and let you avoid the self-damage of their standard weapons. A healing Repair Drop can also be a huge help.

Which pilots should you use?

Abe Isamu’s armour will negate your mech’s self-damage. If you can’t pick him, Bethany’s shield will have a similar effect (although it only blocks self-damage once).

What's your favorite Into the Breach squad loadout? Let us know in the comments below.