Taking over the world can be a tough task. In our Evil Genius 2 Guide for Beginners, we'll break down the basics of the game and give you some tips to improve your chances of conquering the planet!
What is Evil Genius 2?
Evil Genius 2: World Domination is the latest dungeon management game developed and published by Rebellion. It serves as a direct sequel to 2004's Evil Genius, bringing a number of improvements to its predecessor in both graphics and gameplay.
As a dungeon management game, you won't have control over most of your in-game units. Instead, you'll be able to move your Evil Genius (whoever he or she may be) and your Henchmen. That's it — your Minions will move around on their own.
It's certainly not an easy game to figure out at first glance. Our Evil Genius 2 Guide for Beginners is here to help! Read on for tips on getting started and some great tricks that will make your experience a heck of a lot easier.
Getting Started with Evil Genius 2
Regardless of who you select as your Evil Genius, you'll start with a sum of Gold, an Island with pretty much nothing on it, and a handful of Minions. It's time to get started building. Stick to the basics at first — here's what a starting base looks like for me:
You won't have enough Gold to buy this right away. However, you should start building anyway — you can sell off the junk items in your Cover Operation (the Casino) to raise some additional funds. Selling the items from the Casino on the first island scored me an extra $25,000 and change!
After the basics are built, your next step in this Evil Genius 2 Guide for Beginners is to set up Criminal Networks in one or two regions of the world. Keep them both within the same color region on the map. Once that's done, send out your minions on a couple of $10,000 Schemes to raise some more Gold.
Be sure to put your Minions on Heat-reducing Schemes (the purple ones) if your Heat starts to get too high. Alternatively, you can destroy a Criminal Network and then rebuild it to erase your Heat. It uses up some Minions and takes a bit of time, but it's much faster than waiting for a Heat-reduction Scheme to finish.
As you work on earning more Gold, it's time to plan out the next stage of building:
The addition of an Inner Sanctum and Vault will advance part of the first Main Objective while also giving you a higher capacity to store Gold. The Inner Sanctum also allows your Evil Genius to restore their stats. (You can skip building the Conference Table until you have your first Henchman, but you should reserve some space for it nonetheless.) Now is the part of this Evil Genius 2 guide where you move on to doing Side Stories.
"Side Stories" are quests that cannot be canceled once you start. You're given four at the beginning; each of these will unlock the more advanced Minion types in the game. You're going to have to do these one at a time to get more specialized Minions.
These missions follow a simple formula:
- Capture a new Minion type on the World Stage.
- Lock the Minion away in a Holding cell in your Prison.
- Interrogate the Minion at an Interrogation Chair in your Prison.
- Build a training device for the new Minion type.
- Train a new Minion.
That means it's time to expand again!
In this case, the Prison is small — it only has room for three Holding Cells. The Training Room, however, has room to expand. You're going to quickly have four new Minion types and you'll need room for their training apparatuses.
Click on the Holding Cell and then click on the "Escort Prisoner" button. Right-click on the Interrogation Chair and you'll be able to construct a trainer for a new minion type. Build that trainer in the Training Room, train up a new Minion type, and enjoy all of the extra goodies you unlock.
It's around this point of our Evil Genius 2 guide that you might start hurting for cash. Don't forget to check your Optional Objectives periodically to see if you've earned some more Gold — it can really help in the early game.
Continue with your first set of objectives, unlocking more Minions as you go. These Minions will also unlock some new rooms, but it might be a good idea to wait before building anything new until you've acquired all of the new Minion types and saved up some Gold.
Here's what my base looked like after the four of the Minion Side Stories:
It might not be pretty, but it lets me take care of the basics. Critically, many of these rooms offer opportunities for expansion — note how the Barracks and the Power Station have grown compared to the beginning of the Evil Genius 2 Guide for Beginners.
This should be enough to get you started. Going forward, you'll end up fighting Super Agents, gaining a Superweapon, and fending off the Forces of Justice. It's only the beginning!
Which Genius Should I Play in Evil Genius 2?
There are a total of four Evil geniuses to select from. There is no correct choice for this part of the Evil Genius 2 Guide for Beginners — it's all about what kind of playstyle you want to go for.
Maximilian is a good choice for people new to the game. He can earn Gold more easily and he starts with some extra Workers. As for his abilities, they largely focus on making Minions work or train faster.
Red Ivan (Muscle Expert)
Red Ivan is all about combat. His Minions pack a heftier punch and so does he — especially when he whips out his rocket launcher "Old School."
Zalika (Science Expert)
Zalika has a heavier focus on Science. She has the game-changing ability to extinguish all fires and repair objects in her immediate area, and she also gets a pretty neat passive that speeds up Research.
Emma (Deception Expert)
Emma is a former spymaster and it shows — she has a slower Heat generation than any of the other Evil Geniuses. She also boasts the ability to boost the eyesight of her Minions, allowing them to more easily notice infiltrating enemies.
Protect Your Evil Genius!
There's one final, important thing to note: if your Evil Genius dies, you lose the game. You absolutely must protect him or her at all costs. It's a good idea to build several Inner Sanctums throughout your base so that your Evil Genius can quickly and conveniently restore their health at a desk or conference table.
Which Henchmen Should I Pick in Evil Genius 2?
One of your earliest Main Objectives is to get your first Henchmen. You're warned (and rightly so) that you can only have one Henchman to begin with. You can choose from four, but one stands out above the rest.
Before we get into that, here are the stats and abilities of the four Henchmen you can choose from:
"The Swordsman" – Jubei (Muscle)
- Vitality – 175
- Smarts – 150
- Morale – 150
Jubi can use his "Flow" ability to deal extra damage with each successive hit of his sword. That said, his "Windwalk" ability is much more useful — it allows him to teleport anywhere in your base.
"Your Computer" — Iris (Science)
- Vitality – 200
- Smarts – 150
- Morale – 150
Your computer Iris is given form with a deadly, robotic body. She can use "Security Network Link" to serve as a mobile Security Camera, but her "Reroute Power" ability is even better: it reduces the amount of damage she takes and rapidly regenerates her health.
"The Fan" – Janet Bombe (Science)
- Vitality – 100
- Smarts – 150
- Morale – 150
Janet Bombe is less about direct combat and more about manipulating the situation to her advantage. She can use her "Remote Detonation" ability to turn an Agent's own weapons against them, or she can simply use her "Scramble Evidence" ability to remove "a large amount of an Investigator's Suspicion."
"The Son" – Eli Barracuda Jnr. (Muscle)
- Vitality – 200
- Smarts – 150
- Morale – 150
Eli can use his "Silver Tongue" ability to regenerate his stats and reduce an enemy's Resolve. And if things go south, he can always whip out his "Silver Revolver" and get up to six high-damage shots.
Which Henchmen Should I Pick?
Jubei is, in my opinion, the best choice out of the four Henchmen listed in the Evil Genius 2 Guide for Beginners. The reason why comes down to his special ability "Windwalk."
Windwalk allows Jubei to teleport anywhere on the map. This makes him an excellent choice for rapidly responding to absolutely any problem within your base. Each of the game's Henchmen has their own useful abilities, but Windwalk is so amazingly useful that it's difficult to make a good argument for taking anyone else as your first Henchmen.
Don't worry too much about this choice; you'll be able to get more Henchmen later in the game. You're going to be stuck with your first one for a while, though, so you may as well pick the most useful one — and that's Jubei.
Evil Genius 2 Tips & Tricks for New Players
Rounding out our Evil Genius 2 Guide for Beginners is a few things I've picked up in the course of beating the game. It's complex and can prove to be quite the challenge, especially for people new to the genre; hopefully, these Evil Genius 2 tips will make things easier on you.
Evil Genius 2 is a Long Game
If the size of this Evil Genius 2 guide doesn't make it clear, know this: it's going to require a hefty time investment to complete even one of the campaigns. I think you could probably beat the game in 20 or 30 hours at the fastest, but you should probably expect 40–60 hours to be more of the norm.
That 40–60 hour estimate is just to beat the main story, mind. If you plan on doing all of the Side Stories, you could be looking at adding another 10–20 hours (or even more!) to your playtime.
Focus on One Region at a Time
I first started my game by building one Criminal Network in each of the five regions. This was a huge mistake for several reasons, but it largely comes down to Super Agents.
There are a total of six Super Agents in the game. Each region has its own and there's a sixth Super Agent (John Steele) who travels around the entire map. Super Agents will not bother you if you don't have any Criminal Networks in their region, so focusing on expanding an entire region first is a good starting strategy. That means, at most, that you'll only have to deal with that region's Super Agent and John Steele every now and again.
Don't Start a New Side Story Without Doing Research
"Side Stories" are essentially chains of objectives that can score you some Loot or some extra Cash. There's one thing you should know before you start one: make sure you're not researching anything.
You see, some of these Side Stories require you to do Research to complete an objective. You can cancel Research — but why waste the money? Make sure you're not Researching anything before you begin, just in case.
Don't Build Big Rooms — Spread Out Your Assets
You might think it's a good idea to build one big room for Power generation, another big room for your Gold, and so on. I would argue that it's better to split things up into many smaller rooms.
Fire is a major concern. It can spread from item to item very quickly and your Minions might not be able to put it out in time. Your best-case scenario is that you only lose a few items, but a raging inferno in your Power Station could turn out the lights for a few long time. This also matters when you consider Saboteurs and Super Agents are quite happy to destroy your stuff with explosives. My end-game base doesn't have one Power Station — it has ten, spread across three floors.
You should do the same for your Vaults, too. Rogues can and will steal your Gold and you really don't want to make it easy for them. Keeping a Vault to $50,000–$100,000 in capacity can help minimize the damage they can do when they try to steal your valuables.
...But Mixing Room Types Isn't A Bad Idea
Unlike many dungeon management games, Evil Genius 2 does not require you to have walls around your room. That means that you could, for example, combine a Staff Room and a Break Room to give your Minions convenient access to many different kinds of stat-restoring items.
One of the best implementations I've found is for the Prison. I put in a few tiles of Power Station so I could build an Incinerator, saving my Minions from having to walk to another room to dispose of dead bodies. I also built some Inner Sanctum tiles smack in the middle of my Holding Cells for one simple reason: it lets me station a Henchman there to serve as a jail guard.
Always Build More Than You Need
Redundancy is one of the most important things I can highlight in this Evil Genius 2 guide — you don't want to rely on only one thing when it's possible. Objects in your rooms can get destroyed, Minions can get killed, and Criminal Networks can get locked down.
Take the Power Station as an example: each of my Power Stations generates 400 Power through a total of 10 Fusion Generators. I have well over 400 extra Power in my base. Even if one of these rooms were entirely wiped out, I'd still have enough Power to keep everything running. Don't rely on any one thing too much and try to have backups if you can!
Super Agents Can Teleport Into Your Base
Some Super Agents will just outright cheat. Symmetry and Agent X can both teleport into your base, bypassing any defenses you have at the entrance. Symmetry favors appearing in or near your Vaults, and Agent X will appear in a benign room somewhere in your base such as a Break Room, Barracks, or Training Room.
Hearing an alert for any of the other four Super Agents means that they're coming through the front door. In the case of Symmetry and Agent X, however, it's prudent to pause the game and start looking around your base to see where they've popped up.
Super Agents Generate Extra Heat on the World Map
One of the less obvious mechanics about Super Agents is that they'll increase your Heat on the World Map much faster. If you're running one of the slower Heat reduction Schemes, it won't be enough to stop this increase (much less reduce your Heat).
What this means is that your only option to reduce Heat from a Super Agent on the World Stage is to use the more expensive option that costs cash and, in higher tiers, the more valuable "Intel" resource. This is also another good reason to eliminate Super Agents through their Side Stories as soon as you can.
Can You Kill Super Agents in Evil Genius 2?
Yes, you can kill Super Agents, but it's not easy — you'll have to complete a series of Side Stories to get the job done. Some of these Side Stories are locked until you reach certain milestones in the Main Story, too, so don't expect to rid yourself of Super Agents until you're well into the mid-game.
That said, it's absolutely worth it to do these Side Story chains. Removing the threat of Super Agents makes it easier to run Criminal Networks in their home countries. You'll only have to deal with regular soldiers from that point forward! You'll also save yourself from having to fight them in the final battle — the one Super Agent I killed in my campaign was notably absent from a mission where all Super Agents attack your base.
Dead Bodies Drain Morale
The more ruthless players might not care to capture enemies. That's certainly understandable — you are trying to take over the world, after all. Your Minions, however, are going to be much less happy with the situation.
"Morale" is one of the core stats of your Minions. If it drops to zero, that Minion will desert you and attempt to run away. Unfortunately, you can't do anything to clean up corpses faster other than making sure that there are plenty of Incinerators available and any devices that could buff Minion Morale so desertions are less likely.
You Can Reroll Schemes on the World Map
I'm not 100% on this, but I'm pretty sure that there are only so many "slots" for Schemes in each zone on the World Stage. Schemes also typically last for a few minutes at a time before disappearing and being replaced by something else — but you don't have to wait.
Every Scheme has a cost. Typically, this cost will be the loss of a few Minions, some Gold, or some Intel. However, some Schemes only cost Minions and you don't lose those Minions until they actually leave the Helipad. That means you can start one of those Schemes and immediately cancel it with no consequences. That section of the World Stage will then generate a new set of Schemes — and giving you a better chance of getting the one you want.
The Evil Genius 2 Maximum Minion Limit is Surprisingly Low
The Evil Genius 2 maximum Minion count is 300 Minions. That's it. You can build more Lockers, you can do more Research, it won't matter — it's hard-capped at 300 Minions total.
This gives you an idea of how you could spread things out with your Muscle, Deception, and Science Minions. You're going to need all three types (and don't forget about Workers, too!), so figure out a plan for how you want to divide your forces and set the limits for each Minion type accordingly.
Loot Side Stories Can Give You Useful Items
Loot Side Stories will typically reward you with a single item. Some of these items just look cool, but others have actual, practical uses that make them a worthwhile addition to your base.
Take the "Hubbard Ice" Loot from the Side Story "Too Darn Hot" as an example — it prevents any fires from starting in a radius around the placed item. Loot doesn't just look cool — it can also improve your base.
Intel is the Most Valuable Resource
"Intel" doesn't matter until you're starting the mid-game of Evil Genius 2. After that, however, you will quickly find that it is probably your most important resource.
Intel is generated in one of two ways: you either have a Minion generate it using a Computer Console or Computer Array; alternatively, you can get it by interrogating Agents at the Interrogation Chair. It's required for upgrading Criminal Networks, but you'll soon find that it's also required to launch some Schemes — especially the ones that earn you Gold. Worst of all, you can only have a maximum of 99 Intel and there isn't a way to increase this cap.
The only solution to this problem is to ensure a steady flow of Intel. Interrogating Agents can give you some, but this is an unreliable source. Make sure you have enough Computer Consoles and/or Computer Arrays for your Minions and spend your Intel regularly so you don't hit the cap.