The Advance Wars wiki last edited by MrSensible on 12/30/16 05:38PM View full history

Overview

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Advance Wars is a tactical turn-based strategy game developed by Intelligent Systems and originally released for Game Boy Advance in 2001. While the game utilizes many of the trappings of modern military combat, Advance Wars also features a colorful cast of characters and a lighter overall tone intended to provide players with a more-approachable version of military strategy.

Although Advance Wars is technically another installment in Nintendo's long-running "Wars" series, it is also the first game in the franchise to be released internationally. However, Advance Wars was never published as a standalone title in Japan. The game's release in Japan and Europe was delayed due to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US; while Advance Wars was published in Europe the next year, it did not receive a Japanese release in any form until 2005 as part of the Game Boy Advance Wars 1+2 compilation.

Story

For Advance Wars' single-player campaign, the player is cast as a military adviser for the country of Orange Star. When Orange Star's territory is invaded by neighboring Blue Moon after a period of relative peace, players must lead Orange Star's army to repel the hostile forces and investigate the reason behind Blue Moon's sudden aggression. Throughout the course of the campaign, the Orange Star army travels across Cosmo Land while fighting against the continent's other four factions.

Gameplay

Advance Wars' basic gameplay consists of two or more Commanding Officers (or COs) taking turns maneuvering their military forces across a grid-based map in order to eliminate all opposing units or capture the enemy CO's Headquarters (HQ). Many of the game's single-player missions have alternate primary objectives such as protecting important units, capturing a certain number of properties or destroying enemy materiel.

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Combat in Advance Wars is balanced using a rock/paper/scissors methodology, wherein each unit type possesses certain strengths and weakness relative to other unit types. For example, Medium Tanks can handily destroy Anti-Air units in direct combat; however, their secondary machine guns are completely ineffective against Bombers, which can eliminate Medium Tanks with ease. Meanwhile, Anti-Air units are poor against Medium Tanks while being incredibly effective against Bombers. By strategically exploiting enemy units' weaknesses, a smaller force of units can triumph over greater numbers.

Capturing new property is critical during most missions. Foot soldiers are able to capture Cities, Bases, Airports, Seaports and HQs. Each owned property grants an additional 1,000 Funds to its respective owner per turn. On maps with production bases, COs can use their available Funds to purchase additional units, as well as to repair and resupply their existing units. Most types of captured property heal two HP to friendly ground units stationed there; Seaports and Airports can repair naval and air units respectively.

Units

A wide array of soldiers, vehicles and various other military units can be commanded and engaged in Advance Wars. All units are initially deployed with ten hit points, which can be depleted by attacks from opposing forces. Different units have varying levels of resistance to certain types of attacks. When a unit's HP reaches zero, it is destroyed and removed from play. Units with less than full health can be combined with other units of the same type; when combined, the new unit's health is equal to the sum of its parents' health, up to a maximum of 10 HP. Additionally, any surplus HP is converted into Funds at a rate of 10% of the unit's base cost per health point.

Ground Units

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Infantry (Inftry): The least expensive unit to deploy. Infantry can capture bases and cross mountains, but their firepower is low.

  • Strong vs: Infantry
  • Weak vs: Vehicles, Copters
  • Cost: 1,000
  • Move: 3(Inftry)
  • Vision: 2
  • Fuel: 99
  • Ammo:∞(MGun)
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Mechanized Infantry (Mech): Upgraded foot soldiers equipped with bazookas. Their firepower comes at the cost of reduced movement.

  • Strong vs: Infantry, Vehicles (Bazooka)
  • Weak vs: Vehicles (M Gun), Copters
  • Cost: 3,000
  • Move: 2(Mech)
  • Vision: 2
  • Fuel: 70
  • Ammo:3(Bzka)
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Recon: Fast-moving scout vehicles with superior vision on Fog of War maps.

  • Strong vs: Infantry
  • Fair vs: T-Copters
  • Weak vs: Vehicles, B-Copters
  • Cost: 4,000
  • Move: 8(Tires)
  • Vision: 5
  • Fuel: 80
  • Ammo:∞(MGun)
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Tank: Versatile and highly maneuverable, Tanks can serve as both front-line and rear guard ground units.

  • Strong vs: Infantry, Vehicles (Cannon)
  • Fair vs: Copters
  • Weak vs: Vehicles (M Gun), Ships, Subs
  • Cost: 7,000
  • Move: 6(Trds)
  • Vision: 3
  • Fuel: 60
  • Ammo:9(Cann)
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Medium Tank (Md Tank): Larger and slower Tanks equipped with the strongest ground-based Cannons in the game.

  • Strong vs: Infantry, Vehicles (Cannon), T-Copters
  • Fair vs: Ships, B-Copters
  • Weak vs: Vehicles (M Gun), Subs
  • Cost: 16,000
  • Move: 5(Trds)
  • Vision: 1
  • Fuel: 50
  • Ammo:8(Cann)
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APC: Transports one foot soldier over long distances. APCs can also resupply other units in the field but carry no weapons.
  • Cost: 5,000
  • Move: 6(Trds)
  • Vision: 1
  • Fuel: 70
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Artillery (Artlry): A cheap Indirect-attack ground unit fitted with treads for extra mobility.

  • Strong vs: Infantry, Vehicles
  • Weak vs: Ships, Subs
  • Cost: 6,000
  • Move: 5(Trds)
  • Vision: 1
  • Fuel: 50
  • Ammo:9(Cann)
  • Range: 2-3
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Rocket Launcher (Rckts): These powerful Indirect attackers are more difficult to position than basic Artillery. Unlike other ground units, Rockets can severely damage naval units.

  • Strong vs: Infantry, Vehicles, Ships, Subs
  • Cost: 15,000
  • Move: 5(Tires)
  • Vision: 1
  • Fuel: 50
  • Ammo:6(Rckts)
  • Range: 3-5
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Anti-Air (A-Air): The aptly-named Anti-Air unit is also highly effective against foot soldiers.

  • Strong vs: Infantry, Copters, Planes
  • Fair vs: Vehicles
  • Weak vs: Md Tanks
  • Cost: 8,000
  • Move: 6(Trds)
  • Vision: 2
  • Fuel: 60
  • Ammo:9(Vulcn)
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Missiles (Mssls): While slower than Anti-Air units, the Indirect-attack Missiles pack a more destructive payload against airborne targets.

  • Strong vs: Copters, Planes
  • Cost: 12,000
  • Move: 4(Tires)
  • Vision: 5
  • Fuel: 50
  • Ammo:6(Mssls)
  • Range: 3-5

Air Units

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Battle Copter (B Cptr): Attack helicopters can fire on nearly every unit type except Fighters and Bombers.

  • Strong vs: Infantry, Vehicles (Missiles), T-Copters
  • Fair vs: Ships, Subs, B-Copters
  • Weak vs: Vehicles (M Gun)
  • Cost: 9,000
  • Move: 6(Cptr)
  • Vision: 3
  • Fuel: 99
  • Ammo:6(Mssls)
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Transport Copter (T Cptr): This unarmed helicopter transports a single foot soldier by air.
  • Cost: 5,000
  • Move: 6(Cptr)
  • Vision: 2
  • Fuel: 99
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Fighter (Fghtr): The final word in air-to-air combat, these screaming-fast jets can obliterate an opposing air force in short order.

  • Strong vs: Copters, Planes
  • Cost: 20,000
  • Move: 9(Plane)
  • Vision: 2
  • Fuel: 99
  • Ammo:9(Mssls)
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Bomber (Bmbr): As a flying assault platform, Bombers all but guarantee air superiority over enemy ground and naval forces.

  • Strong vs: Infantry, Vehicles, Ships, Subs
  • Cost: 22,000
  • Move: 7(Plane)
  • Vision: 2
  • Fuel: 99
  • Ammo:9(Bomb)

Naval Units

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Battleship (B Shp): The game's only Indirect-attack naval unit delivers devastating Cannon fire against sea and land targets.

  • Strong vs: Infantry, Vehicles, Ships, Subs
  • Cost: 28,000
  • Move: 5(Ship)
  • Vision: 2
  • Fuel: 99
  • Ammo:9(Cann)
  • Range: 2-6
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Cruiser (Crsr): These Sub-destroyers are also equipped with deck-mounted Anti-Air guns. Cruisers can carry two Copter units.

  • Strong vs: Subs, Copters
  • Fair vs: Planes
  • Cost: 18,000
  • Move: 6(Ship)
  • Vision: 3
  • Fuel: 99
  • Ammo:9(Mssls)
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Lander (Lndr): Unarmed boats that can transport two ground units, including Vehicles. Landers must be on Shoals or Seaports in order to load and unload units.
  • Cost: 12,000
  • Move:6(Lndr)
  • Vision: 1
  • Fuel: 99
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Sub: Stealth naval units that can Dive to conceal their position at the cost of increased fuel consumption. While they can still be spotted by adjacent enemy units, only Cruisers or another Sub can fire on a submerged Sub.

  • Strong vs: Ships, Subs
  • Cost: 20,000
  • Move: 5(Sub)
  • Vision: 5
  • Fuel: 60
  • Ammo:6(Torp)

Terrain

Just as important as any unit or structure in the game is the battlefield itself. All units must spend "movement points" to move each turn, and different kinds of terrain have different movement costs that also vary depending upon the type of unit attempting to traverse them. Certain terrain types can also afford strategic advantages while others can penalize to an extent. Because they do not travel across the ground, aircraft are generally exempt from movement restrictions and only spend one move point per space regardless of terrain type; however, they gain no defensive bonuses from terrain either.

TerrainDescriptionMove Cost
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Road: Paved roads are easy to traverse but offer no defensive cover.

  • Defense Rating: 0
  • Inftry:1
  • Mech:1
  • Tires:1
  • Treads:1
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Plain: Grassy plains provide minimal defense. Tire-equipped Vehicles cross Plains more slowly than those with treads.

  • Defense Rating: 1
  • Inftry:1
  • Mech:1
  • Tires:2
  • Treads:1
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Wood: Dense forests are more difficult to navigate than Plains but offer better cover. In Fog of War maps, units hidden in Woods can only be spotted by adjacent ground units or air units.

  • Defense Rating: 2
  • Inftry:1
  • Mech:1
  • Tires:3
  • Treads:2
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Mountain (Mt): Infantry and Mechs can cross Mountains, which provide excellent cover. Foot soldiers also gain +3 vision on mountaintops.

  • Defense Rating: 4
  • Inftry:2
  • Mech:1
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River (Rivr): Only foot soldiers can ford Rivers, but their lack of defensive cover leaves units highly exposed.

  • Defense Rating: 0
  • Inftry:2
  • Mech:1
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Bridge (Brdg): Bridges allow Vehicles to cross Rivers. As with Roads, cover here is basically nonexistent.

  • Defense Rating: 0
  • Inftry:1
  • Mech:1
  • Tires:1
  • Treads:1
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City: Stationed ground units are resupplied and recover 2 HP per turn in friendly Cities. Even enemy-owned or neutral Cities provide good defensive cover.

  • Defense Rating: 3
  • Inftry:1
  • Mech:1
  • Tires:1
  • Treads:1
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Base: Military bases capable of deploying ground units. Like Cities, ground units can heal and resupply at friendly Bases.

  • Defense Rating: 3
  • Inftry:1
  • Mech:1
  • Tires:1
  • Treads:1
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Airport (Arprt): Air units are deployed, resupplied and repaired at allied Airports.

  • Defense Rating: 3
  • Inftry:1
  • Mech:1
  • Tires:1
  • Treads:1
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Seaport (Port): Naval bases feature shipyards that deploy, resupply and repair sea-based units.

  • Defense Rating: 3
  • Inftry:1
  • Mech:1
  • Tires:1
  • Treads:1
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Headquarters (HQ): A heavily-fortified military command post with ground support facilities. Capturing an enemy HQ immediately ends the battle.

  • Defense Rating: 4
  • Inftry:1
  • Mech:1
  • Tires:1
  • Treads:1
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Sea: The domain of naval and air forces, open seas offer transit for boats and little else.

  • Defense Rating: 0
  • Ship:1
  • Sub:1
  • Lander:1
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Shoal: A vital link between naval and ground-based forces. Landers must use Shoals or Seaports to load and unload ground units.

  • Defense Rating: 0
  • Inftry:1
  • Mech:1
  • Tires:1
  • Treads:1
  • Lander:1
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Reef: Rocky reefs give some much-needed defensive cover to naval units, which can also conceal themselves here in Fog of War maps.

  • Defense Rating: 1
  • Ship:2
  • Sub:2
  • Lander:2

Fog of War

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Fog of War is a battle situation wherein visibility across the map is obscured and limited to an individual unit's range of vision. Ground units can remain hidden when moved into woodland areas. Mountain terrain can afford infantry units a high degree of cover while increasing their visual range, and naval units can hide among Reefs. This can make unit movement tricky, since heading directly into any tiles occupied by hidden enemy units will cause a player's unit to be "trapped" and forfeit their ability to attack until their next turn. Air units are also very valuable in Fog of War due to their high degree of mobility, as well as their ability to see enemy units hiding in Woods and Reefs; however, they are just as vulnerable to enemy traps as naval and ground units.

Nations & COs

Players choose a CO at the beginning of most missions. All COs have unique strengths, weakness and special attributes that affect the battlefield and their units in different ways. Each CO also has a unique "CO Power" that can be used once its respective power meter has been filled during battle; this is accomplished by dealing and receiving damage. Once activated, CO Powers remain in effect until the beginning of the CO's next turn.

Orange Star

The player's faction for the entirety of the single-player campaign. It is led by Nell, who also serves as the player's mentor during the tutorial. Orange Star and its military forces are loosely based on those of the United States. This nation is known as "Red Star" in the Japanese release, but its name was changed during localization to avoid any unintentional reference to communism.

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Andy: Orange Star's mechanical prodigy is a naive but well-rounded CO with no real strengths or weaknesses.

  • Hyper Repair: Restores 2 HP to all friendly units and grants a 10% bonus to their offense and defense.
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Max: A brutish CO with a flair for straightforward combat, all of Max's non-infantry Direct units enjoy a 50% firepower bonus. He despises "sneaky" tactics, reducing his Indirect units' attack range by one space and their firepower by 10%.

  • Max Force: All non-infantry Direct units gain an additional 25% firepower, 10% defense and +1 movement range. Transports may also move an additional space. Indirect and infantry units gain 10% firepower and defense.
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Sami: A seasoned commando, Sami's Infantry and Mech units gain an extra 20% damage and 10% defense; additionally, she can capture bases at 150% speed. Sami's transport units also gain an extra movement space. Unfortunately, her non-infantry units suffer a 10% firepower penalty.

  • Double Time: All Infantry and Mech units gain 30% firepower, 20% defense and +1 movement range, and their movement cost across any terrain is reduced to one per space. Non-infantry units receive an extra 10% firepower and defense.
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Nell: A level-headed leader born under a "lucky star" that boosts her units' hidden Luck statistic by 5%, potentially increasing their firepower slightly.

  • Lucky Star: Increases Nell's Luck to 60%, giving her units a chance to deal significantly higher damage and boosting their standard offense and defense by 10%.

Blue Moon

The first opposing nation fought during the single-player campaign. It is led by Olaf, an arrogant CO who has attacked Orange Star for mysterious reasons. Blue Moon and its military forces are loosely based on those of the former Soviet Union.

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Olaf: The pompous commander-in-chief of Blue Moon with a history of tactical blunders. Olaf nevertheless excels at winter combat: his units can move unhindered across snowy terrain. However, rainy weather reduces Olaf's movement more severely than that of other COs.

  • Blizzard: Covers the map with snow until Olaf's next turn and boosts his units' offense and defense by 10%.
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Grit: A laid-back sharpshooter and ranged combat expert, Grit's Indirect units gain +1 attack range. Because of this specialization, his Direct combat units' firepower is 20% weaker than normal.

  • Snipe Attack: Further increases Indirect units' attack range by another two spaces, as well as boosting their firepower by 60% and defense by 10%. Direct units' firepower and defense increases by 10%.

Yellow Comet

An island country positioned just to the east of Cosmo Land's mainland. It is led by Kanbei, a proud, self-styled samurai CO. Yellow Comet and its military forces are loosely based on those of Japan.

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Kanbei: A hot-blooded emperor who demands superior combat skills from his forces, increasing all units' offensive and defensive capabilities by 20%. Kanbei's elite troops also command higher salaries, increasing his deployment costs for all units by 20%.

  • Morale Boost: Increases all units' firepower and defense by an additional 20%.
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Sonja: As Yellow Comet's head tactician, Kanbei's daughter is a master of military intelligence. Her units' HP is hidden from enemy forces and she boasts +1 vision range in Fog of War maps. Sadly, Sonja also suffers from -5% Luck, which occasionally reduces her units' firepower slightly.

  • Enhanced Vision: Further extends all units' vision range in Fog of War by another space and reveals any hidden enemy units within this range, regardless of cover. Friendly units gain 10% to firepower and defense.

Green Earth

A large country bordering Blue Moon to the south. It is led by Eagle, a cocky pilot CO. Green Earth and its military forces are loosely based on those of several European countries, particularly the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

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Eagle: The charismatic leader of Green Earth is unmatched in the skies, granting his air units a 10% boost in firepower, 10% better defense and superior fuel efficiency. Eagle's lack of seafaring experience translates to a 20% reduction in his naval units' firepower.

  • Lightning Strike: Allows Eagle's non-infantry units that have already moved to act again on the same turn, at the cost of 20% reduced firepower and 30% less defense.
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Drake: An easygoing sea captain whose nautical know-how gives his naval units 20% additional defense and +1 movement range. Flight is not Drake's forte, and this is reflected in a 20% penalty to his air units' firepower. Rainy weather tends to follow him into battle, which reduces his enemies' vision by 1 and slows ground unit movement.

  • Tsunami: All enemy units take one damage and lose half their fuel; affected units always retain at least 1 HP. All units' firepower and defense increases by 10%.

Black Hole

A mysterious alien-like faction led by Sturm, an imposing CO who wears a strange mask. Black Hole and its military forces appear to be based on a futuristic version of Nazi Germany.

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Sturm: The shadowy mastermind behind the Black Hole invasion of Cosmo Land. His advanced units are exempt from all terrain movement penalties except snow. Sturm is notably more aggressive as an AI-controlled CO during the single-player campaign; his units' statistics shift from offensively-oriented to defensive when he is used in multiplayer.

  • Meteor Strike: Deals eight damage (four in multiplayer) to any units, including Sturm's, within a randomly-selected attack radius; affected units always retain at least 1 HP. Also increases friendly units' firepower and defense.

Modes

Advance Wars features several modes of play. On a copy of the game with no prior save data, only the Field Training, Link Mode and Vs. Mode options are initially available from the main menu. New Advance Wars players must first register their name and complete Field Training to unlock the other modes.

Field Training

Orange Star's Nell acts as a mentor to the player character during Field Training, which serves as Advance Wars' tutorial. Each training mission focuses on a different aspect of playing the game, from basic unit movement to advanced battle strategies. Veteran players may skip the majority of Field Training by only finishing the "Fog of War" training mission, which unlocks the Campaign and several additional main menu options. Completing all thirteen available Field Training missions unlocks a secret fourteenth mission, "Special Intel".

  • Mission 1: Troop Orders
  • Mission 2: Terrain Intel
  • Mission 3: Base Capture
  • Mission 4: Unit Repair
  • Mission 5: APC ABCs
  • Mission 6: Tank Ops
  • Mission 7: Copter Tactics
  • Mission 8: Air Assault
  • Mission 9: Air Defense
  • Mission 10: Dogfights
  • Mission 11: Naval Forces
  • Mission 12: Climate Status
  • Mission 13: Fog of War
  • Mission 14: Special Intel

Campaign

The single-player campaign is story-driven and introduces players to Advance Wars' diverse cast of characters. All COs encountered during the Campaign can eventually be unlocked for use in the War Room and multiplayer modes by meeting certain requirements. Completing the normal Campaign once unlocks a more difficult "Advance Campaign" for purchase in Battle Maps.

Some Campaign missions allow players to choose between multiple Orange Star COs. In certain missions with selectable COs, the choice of CO determines the map's layout and any pre-deployed units' starting locations.

  • Mission 1: It's War! - The Campaign's opening mission features Andy, the first playable Orange Star CO, as he sorties against Olaf's invasion force.
  • Mission 2: Gunfighter! - Andy faces off against Blue Moon's second CO, an Indirect-attack expert named Grit.
  • Mission 3: Air Ace! - The nation of Green Earth launches a surprise attack against Orange Star, igniting a rivalry between Andy and ace pilot CO Eagle.
  • Mission 4: Max Strikes! - Players must choose between Andy and Max at the start of Mission 4; their choice also determines which of two branching paths will be followed for the next several missions. If Andy is selected, he and Olaf begin their first rematch in a coastal region, allowing for battles on both land and sea. If Max is chosen instead, his introduction to the Campaign features Max's powerful Direct attackers clashing against Olaf's ground and naval units.
  • Mission 5-A: Max's Folly? - Max charges into enemy artillery fire to prevent Grit from capturing an important Orange Star HQ.
  • Mission 5-M: Sniper!
  • Mission 6-A: Olaf's Navy! - A powerful Blue Moon fleet can't prevent Orange Star's army from striking inland towards Olaf's HQ, which is defended only by token ground forces. Winning by rout leads to Mission 7-A, whereas capturing Olaf's HQ skips straight to Mission 8.
  • Mission 6-M: Blizzard Battle!
  • Mission 7-A: Olaf's Sea Strike!
  • Mission 7-M: History Lesson!
  • Mission 8: Sami's Debut!
  • Mission 9: Kanbei Arrives!
  • Mission 10: Mighty Kanbei!
  • Mission 11: Kanbei's Error?
  • Mission 12: Divide and Capture!
  • Mission 13: Sami Marches On!
  • Mission 14: Sonja's Goal!
  • Mission 15: Captain Drake!
  • Mission 16: Naval Clash!
  • Mission 17: Wings of Victory!
  • Mission 18: Battle Mystery!
  • Mission 19: Andy Times Two!
  • Mission 20: Enigma!
  • Mission 21: The Final Battle! - The nations of Cosmo Land rally against the bulk of Sturm's forces in a massive assault in which the player commands three different COs and their armies at once. Andy is always the centrally-headquartered CO; his two partner COs on either side are determined by meeting certain criteria during prior Campaign missions.
    • Left Side
      • Max: Choose Andy for Mission 4: Max Strikes!
      • Olaf: Destroy all enemy units in Mission 6-A: Olaf's Navy. Meeting Olaf's requirements overrides Max.
      • Grit: Choose Max for Mission 4: Max Strikes!
    • Right Side
      • Drake: Choose Andy for Missions 15, 16, 17 and 18.
      • Kanbei: Achieve victory within eight days on Mission 9, within ten days on Mission 10, and within twelve days on Mission 11. Meeting Kanbei's requirements overrides Drake.
      • Eagle: Choose Sami for Missions 15, 16, 17 and 18. Meeting Eagle's requirements overrides Kanbei.
      • Sami: Failure to meet any of the above criteria results in Sami acting as the right-hand CO.
  • Mission 22: Rivals!

War Room

A set of twenty single-player maps separate from Advance Wars' main Campaign.

Stats

Players can review their War Room scores and overall Campaign ranking here. The player's Campaign rank increases as they earn Coins by successfully completing missions. These ranks are based on various animals, with six grades per animal: Gray, Opal, Jade, Ebon, Rose and Gold.

  • Ranks 96 - 91: Rat
  • Ranks 90 - 85: Hen
  • Ranks 84 - 79: Hare
  • Ranks 78 - 73: Cat
  • Ranks 72 - 67: Dog
  • Ranks 66 - 61: Ape
  • Ranks 60 - 55: Ram
  • Ranks 54 - 49: Topi

Battle Maps

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Former Orange Star commander Hachi operates his own shop, selling new maps and new playable COs that have been unlocked through the Campaign in exchange for Coins. Players earn Coins by completing individual Campaign or War Room missions; higher mission Ranks earn the player a greater number of Coins.

Design Maps

Advance Wars includes a map creation tool to allow players to create and play their own custom maps.

Link Mode

A mode in which two to four players can connect their separate Game Boy Advance consoles via Link Cables for multiplayer battles. It can be played either with multiple copies of Advance Wars, or with a single cartridge sharing its game data across multiple consoles.

Vs. Mode

An alternate multiplayer mode allowing two to four players to take turns battling hotseat-style using a single Game Boy Advance.

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