Mafia Wars on FaceBook is an incredibly popular game with over 4 million players on average logging in every day. Mafia Wars can be very addicting, and a lot of fun if you get your friends to play with you and build a really strong Mafia family. This article presents some tips for new players just starting out to get off on the right foot to level quickly in Mafia Wars.
Creating your Mafia Wars character is the first step. Give your character a fun, memorable name. You'll have to choose between three character types: Mogul, Maniac and Fearless. You'll want to choose Maniac because recovering Energy in Mafia Wars is crucial in leveling quickly. Money will come later, and you can always heal your character, so Mogul and Fearless are kind of redundant.
If you already have friends playing Mafia Wars on FaceBook, make sure you add them to your Mafia. You can also invite other friends to play. The main reason for having a large mafia is that you will have better players (those who are higher level) fighting with you on Player vs. Player (PVP) fights and you'll have more opportunities to help and get help from your Mafia team. Some larger Mafia families will actually "pimp" their friends in an effort to get more people to add them as FaceBook friends to be added to their Mafia. Only do this if you are okay with strangers joining your FaceBook page. Keep in mind too, you can add new FaceBook friends, add them to your mafia and then remove them from your FaceBook friends list. They will remain in your Mafia Wars family.
On the main Mafia Wars page, you will find yourself in New York, ready to start your virtual career in crime. Take a look at the top of the page. You'll see from left to right, your Cash, Health, Energy and Stamina. Let's look at these one at a time:
Cash (and Bank)
Your Cash will show how much money you have on hand. These funds can be used to purchase weapons, armor and vehicles, as well as to buy properties for residual income. Other players can steal your cash! If you want to protect your assets, put your money in the bank (click the Go to Bank) link next to your Cash. You will lose 10% of your cash when you deposit it, but it is free to withdraw later. You may think, "I don't want to lose 10% of my cash!" but remember losing ten percent is way better than losing it all if someone decides to attack you repeatedly! More on this later.
Your health shows your current health and your maximum health, i.e. 43/50 would mean you'd lost 7 health in a fight. You can heal yourself by clicking "The Hospital" under your health. This can be pricey at first, but later in the game, you'll have so much money, you won't even blink when you heal. You can purchase healing from your cash OR if you've banked your cash, it will come directly out of your bank.
Energy is the most important thing in Mafia Wars. How much energy you have determines how many jobs you can do to earn money, experience and loot. The more energy you have, the more quickly you will level.
Your Stamina shows how many times you can attack, rob or collect on a bounty. This can be an important number depending upon how much PVP fighting you wish to do.
The only other section of note on that top bar is your experience meter. It lets you know how close you are to your next level and what your current level is.
When you start playing, you will allocate points to the following categories in your profile. Here is an example of my profile's stats at level 115 (go to your Profile to see this information):
Attack: 124 Increase your attack to do more damage and win more fights.
Defense: 295 Increase your defense to repel more attacks.
Health: 133 Increase your max health to survive intense fights.
Energy: 397 Increase your max energy to do more jobs.
Stamina: 16 Increase your stamina to fight more often.
Requires 2 skill points to increase.
The only sections you really need to put a lot of emphasis on are your Defense and your Energy. You can add more to your Attack as well if you're doing a lot of PVP, but both Attack and Defense can be increased with weapons, armor, vehicles and loot, so they aren't quite as important as Energy. Health is surprisingly unimportant. Sure, you will die quicker if you get attacked, but as stated before, healing is pretty easy, and lost experience points don't amount to much compared to what you'll earn with higher Energy numbers. Increase that Energy! You'll also notice that increasing Stamina requires TWO skill points to go up one Stamina point. Again, you'll only want to increase this if you really get into PVP. In the beginning, don't go crazy putting points into Stamina. Every time you level, your Health, Energy and Stamina will refill completely.
Okay, you're ready to get your feet wet and do some jobs. On the Jobs tab, you'll see that you start out as a Street Thug. Jobs under Street Thug take few energy points, and give you few experience points. That's okay though, because the early levels don't take much to advance. To do a job, simply click the "Do Job" button. But wait! Some of the jobs require certain weapons to complete! If you don't get have the weapons, the items will show in red next to the job. Click the item and if you have the cash (it can't be in the bank!) buy the item so you can do the job. At first, most of your money will be going to buying the equipment you need to do higher-level jobs. Do jobs until your energy runs out. In later levels, you'll want to calculate your energy so you don't end up with too little energy to do anything, but a little energy that essentially just sits there until you accumulate more. Try to use it all every time you do jobs.
You'll see that as you do jobs, there is a Job Mastery bar that fills up. Once a job is mastered, the bar will turn blue. Don't do that job anymore until the rest of the jobs are also mastered. Once you complete every job's mastery on level 1, you can start on level 2 job mastery. Once 2 is complete, you can complete level 3 job mastery and then you will have mastered that level. Don't waste your energy doing jobs you've already mastered!
Energy Packs may be sent to you from other members of your mafia. If this happens, you will be notified on your Home page. Energy packs fill your energy points + 25%! Do not use an energy pack if you already have energy left. Do not use an energy pack if you are just about to level. Try to use an Energy Pack when you are out of energy and will be able to use 125% of your energy to get to the next level so your energy refills. You don't want to waste energy by using a pack and then only using a few points before you level. If you are close to the next level, hold off on using your energy pack. Keep in mind; you can only use an energy pack once every 24 hours. The 24-hour period begins from the time you use your energy pack.
When you start, you will be given 25 reward points to use with The Godfather. You can best use these points to refill your energy to level more quickly. If you don't have a lot of friends playing you can also increase your Mafia size with phantom players. DO NOT be a total loser and spend real money buying more Godfather points. Yes, you can get cool items, yes what you can buy is helpful, but NO, this game is not worth spending actual cash on. Just don't do it! You'll earn more points as you complete the third tier of each job title. Use them as you earn them!
Fighting in Mafia Wars will also earn you experience and possibly cash, but only if you win! To position yourself to win in a fight, keep in mind that only up to 501 members of your mafia can assist you in a fight. At first, you're likely to have a much smaller Mafia anyway. Let's say you have 25 people in your Mafia Wars family. When you fight, they will use your best 25 weapons and your best 25 armor. Make sure you have the best armor and weapons you can afford to supply all of your Mafia members in a fight. As your mafia grows, make sure you keep upgrading your weapons and armor and increasing the number to match your Mafia family membership. When you fight, only fight other players whose Mafias are close in size to yours or smaller. A 25 member Mafia won't stand much of a chance against a 225 member Mafia.
The robbing feature in Mafia Wars allows you to attack other players' properties. As you destroy their properties, you will steal money from them, which can really fill your bank quickly. The rule of thumb when fighting or robbing is to only attack each player once to avoid being put on a hit list. I've never been a sportsmanlike player though - attack them until they drop, I say!
Taking Hit List jobs is really something for higher-level players. Basically, if a player is ticked at another player, they can put a hit out on them and offer a bounty for a higher-level player to take down their opponent. Good times.
When you have a little nest egg built, you may want to consider buying some property. I highly recommend sticking to buying Mafia Mike's, because they can't be damaged or robbed, which can be costly with other properties. Unfortunately, how many Mafia Mike's you can buy depends on how many members you have in your Mafia. Max out these properties as your Mafia grows. You can certainly buy other properties, but eventually, when your jobs are making you a fortune, you can sell them off to avoid paying for them when other players give them a beat down. To build a business, simply buy the land (at the top) that corresponds to the building, and then buy the building. Keep an eye on your upkeep versus income and make sure you're in the black.
Collections and Vault
You will earn loot when you do some jobs (look for a little money bag in the job description - hover to see what might potentially drop). This loot can be collected to give you bonuses to your stats and once filled, boosts that can be used to give you a temporary advantage in the game. Create a wishlist of items you need and post it to FaceBook so your friends can help you out.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are a BUNCH of occasions when Mafia Wars will give you an opportunity to post something to your wall. Be very selective about what you post so your friends don't end up hiding you to avoid seeing all of your Mafia War updates. Here are some guidelines:
Jobs you need help with (this option is sometimes given after you've done a job)
Your Wish List (once per day maximum)
Your Milestone Levels (50, 100, 200, etc.)
DO NOT POST:
Gifts you send
That you played the daily lottery
When you ice someone in a fight
Anything that doesn't convey useful information to your other Mafia Wars friends.
Cuba is for levels 35 and up. As of September, 2009, Moscow is still in the making and will offer additional levels for players to explore. Please keep an eye out for my subsequent articles about these areas.
That's it! Have fun, enjoy yourself and welcome to The Family!