Bad North tips and tricks (and Strategy Guide)

Welcome to this tips and tricks and strategy guide article! You can learn everything you should know about Bad North, and acquire new tactics.

Pre-Game settings

When you start a new campaign, you must choose the game difficulty and toggle the level restarting setting. First of all, let's see the level restarting setting. If you're a beginner, you have to learn the game mechanics and experience with the different troops, so it's recommended to turn it on. The difficulty is on you, first, start with Easy, and as you get better start more difficult campaigns, but be aware, if you start a too difficult one, it can discourage you.

Bad North settings

Upgrading troops

If you have a basic troop, you must choose between archer, infantry and pike. Which is the best? Which should you upgrade first? As Viking archers come early in the game, I personally recommend the infantry. The archers can't hit them, only when they move. If you don't do this, the Viking archers can kill your troops and make you lose the game. If you find yourself without infantry when archers are coming, read the next tip. The next upgrade should be the archer. If you position them correctly and upgrade them early (after the next tip), they can kill the Vikings before they could reach the land (except Vikings with shields). Pikes, to tell you the truth, are not too strong. The biggest disadvantage is that they can't attack when they're moving, and they don't do more damage than infantry does.
You should never have less infantry troops then archers. Especially later, enemies will come from different directions, so it's important to have a least two infantry troop.

Bad North settings

Enemy types

Recruits / Swords

The basic troops, don't be afraid of them, shoot them with archers when on the boat, or kill them with any troop on ground. There's no more to say about them, at the start there are just a few, and after there is no problem with them, if you have archers, they won't even reach the shore.


Archers can shoot from the boat, so place a shield troop in front of them, so you're archers can shoot them, and your other troops can stand near, because the archers are very weak on the shore.

Infantry / Shields

They are the same as a recruit but with a shield. You can't really do anything against them while they are in the boat, but powerful archers can knock them into the sea. When they are fighting they can easily be shot from above.


More powerful infantry. Be aware, because they can be strong if you don't pay enough attention, but pikes are good against them.


They are infantry with a throwing axe, they throw as soon as they can after reaching the shore. The axes are powerful, but they can be handled easily with infantry or pikes, but be aware, only infantry can survive the axe with no damage taken.


Large Vikings with big damage, knockback and health. They can knock back your infantry, but they don't deal damage to them unless they fall in the water. Use pikes and archers to lose the least troops.

Brute Archers

Brutes with giant longbows. They can pierce through enemies and target unshielded troops. Hide your troops until the Brute Archers lock on your infantry, because they won't die, just get stunned. If you do everything correctly, they can be killed without any loss.

Did you know?
Bad North is available for PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation and mobile.

Defense against archers without infantry/shields

If you find yourself in a situation, when you have no infantry and archers are coming, don't panic, if you concentrate enough and position your troops correctly, you can come out of the situation successfully. You have to find the nearest building or cliff edge or anything near the place where the Vikings are going to disembark. Hide your troops behind them. You have to get them out to attack the archers, but the time depends on the distance, and other things, so again, I have to say, start a Campaign with level restart on, and practice. But, if you are lucky, and the archers are going to the house you're hiding behind, you can wait and attack when they are near, avoiding even more damage.

Archer positioning

The first part of this tip is very important. Don't be afraid, if the enemies are not archers, they can't do any damage to your troops until they come to the shore. Put your archers as near as you can, and switch the position with you infantry/pike at the very last moment. But it's not the most efficient way. If there is a high mountain on the island you defend, you should put your archers on the top of that, increasing they range (it's not always a good idea, low level archers may not hit the enemies from high above, move them lower, so they can start shooting later, but they will hit more shots). But what if the mountain is far from the shore or it's only one tile high. What is a tile? In this tips and tricks article, I mean one tile, as a unit. If you click on a troop, you can move it on tiles. And the map is subdivided vertically, too. I mean one tile as one vertical level. So, if the archers are one tile nearer, they can shoot earlier and more accurately, when the enemies are near. But the same happens when they are higher. I'm not the programmer of the game, so I don't know the exact mechanism, but one tile up is nearly on tile closer in range. So, position your archers smartly, but prefer lower positions, because it's more accurate.

Did you know?
Some items (e.g. Bomb) can damage your own troops.

Replenishing - reviving your troops

If nearly all of your troops died in a squad, you can restore it and get your 9 troops back; it's just time. Click on your troop and click replenish and select a house. The rest of your troops will go there and after a while 9 (or more if you have Ring of Command) brand new soldiers will come out. (The time depends on the difficulty)

Fleeing from lost islands

If you lost most of your troops and you don't have time to replenish, you don't want to just wait and see your commanders dead. Your commanders can escape from the island if there are enough boats, but you won't get any gold from that island.

Slow motion

If you are confused, or just have to think a little bit about the situation, just press and hold space. The game instantly switches to slow motion, so you have time.

Did you know?
The archer commander is a swordsman and can melee attack.

Upgrade troop level, or skill

When you have enough gold, you can upgrade your troops. Skills:

  • Infantry: Plunge
  • Pikes: Pike Charge
  • Archers: Volley
But should you get a skill, or just upgrade the troops? Actually, all skills do the same; destroy nearly every enemies on a selected tile. You probably want a skill like this in your army, don't you? But is it really that important? The answer is yes, but not that much. What does it mean? Only a few. If you have one or two troops with skills, that's enough, a higher level archer can do more, because if they don't reach the shore, you don't need to use any skills, do you? Archer's Volley skill is the best from many points of view. First of all, they don't move while doing it. With the other troops, if you miss something, your troops can go to a different location. Secondly, you can shoot the volley anywhere on the map, while the other troops' skills can't do that. So, you got some skills, but what now, what should you upgrade? Definitely the troops and not the skills, it's way more important. It increases the health, damage and accuracy, while the skills can kill nearly every enemy on the lowest level. So, you don't have to get a skill for all your troops. If you do, archers' Volley is the best, and troop upgrades are more important, then skill upgrades.

Did you know?
You can use the Plunge skill diagonally.

Cheats, command line, and hacks

Sadly, there are no command lines or cheats in Bad North, but you can find lot of useful keys (like Space: slow motion) in the settings, some of them can give you a some advantage.

More islands in one round

On some islands, there are local commanders. They join your army, so you get more and more commanders, more than you could use on one island. So, go for more islands in one round, but be careful, never go to an island with less than three commanders. Island get harder as you go further, so two commanders probably won't be enough. You must also pay attention for your troops' types; don't take four archers to an island!

The line you mind, more gold you find

There are numbered dashed lines on the map. Every time you start a new round, it will switch to the next one, getting closer and closer to the right. You can't defend the islands left to the line, but there might be some gold there. So always attack the leftmost island, so you don't miss any gold. But if you are sure, that you're going to lose an island, lose the one with the least gold. How do you see how many gold an island contains? A small squares on the "minimap" is 1 gold, a rectangle is 2, and a large square is 3 golds. There are also islands with checkpoints, the "temples" on these islands don't give you gold, but you can reload your campaign at any time from this place.

Bad North official Wiki

There is no official Bad North Wiki, but there are unofficial ones:

Fandom Wiki

Loading screen tips

  • Your Militia are basic troops that can be upgraded
  • Archers are vulnerable in melee
  • Your Pikes can't fight while moving
  • Troops with shields can block arrows
  • The large viking brutes pack a punch - be careful where you face them
  • Pay attention: all units have their strengths and weaknesses
  • Adapt your strategy to the shape of each island
  • If your commanders fall in battle, they will be lost forever
  • You can flee an island on an empty ship if the battle seems lost
  • Replenish squads in houses to bring them back to full strength
  • Ships can stun your troops if they are too close to the beach
  • Shields can only block one threat at a time
  • Stunned enemies are vulnerable

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