Contra, the vintage arcade game series that was first released in the 1980s, has come to mobile with the long-awaited global release of Contra Returns on iOS and Android. Developed by a collaborative effort from Tencent’s TiMi Studio Group and Japan-based Konami, Contra Returns is a side-scrolling action game with gacha aspects and over 200 playable levels that take its players back into the familiar classical world of Contra where players will fight as heroes against an onslaught of alien enemy forces to save the world. In this Contra Returns beginners guide, players will learn about basic strategies, tips, and tricks to get started with the game’s basic mechanics.

Getting Started

Game modes

There are 4 core game modes in Contra Returns. Players can pick and play Team, PVP, Challenge, and Story. The players begin playing the game in Story and eventually get other modes unlocked as they raise their level.


The story mode starts by giving the players a tutorial on the basics. Players learn more about the game as they progress through different levels in the story mode. Each level going forward is progressively more difficult than the previous level. There are quite a few stages for players to complete with each stage consisting of 6 levels. This should not be too difficult to progress at the beginning of the player follows what the game asks and upgrades weapons accordingly.


The game feature is packed with different varieties of modes. The first mode within Challenge that players get access to is the One Life Mode. This is a homage to the old arcade game of the 80s. Then, the players only get one life and have to progress through a comparatively difficult stage with powerful alien enemies.

There is also the Boss Challenge where players only fight Alien Bosses. The Endless Mode is where the player can play and respawn as many times as they want in as many stages as they want. It also contains the Event Mode, Ultimate Tournament, Firearms Master, and Galuga Breakout. Each mode is unlocked at different levels ranging up to Level 40 to unlock the last mode. Players need to patiently go through the Story mode and continue progressing through the levels to get there.


This is a fun mode that is playable after the player reaches Level 12. Inside this feature, there is a Duel mode. Here players can play 1v1 warm-up or hero battlefield matches and even 3v3 Fort battles. The 3v3 Fort battle is unlocked at Level 26 while the others are unlocked earlier. In PVP, there is also a ranked mode that is playable after Level 25. An enjoyable 2v2 Ultra Rapid Fire Fun mode that can be played earlier. The PvP mode is balanced, as in the Firepower or player level does not impact PVP matches.


This is a self-explanatory mode. The team allows players to team up with other players, defeat alien enemies, and get extra rewards in the process. Players can also play with their friends in this mode. Classic Team feature is unlocked first for players is unlocked at Level 37.

Contra Returns Beginners Guide: Tips and Tricks

1. Check the objectives in Story mode levels

There are 3 objectives for each level in the Story stages. These tell the players what they need to do on top of defeating the alien forces and alien boss in the level to get extra rewards. Players must be aware of what the objectives are before starting the level as players need to ensure they achieve 3 stars by completing all 3 objectives. This not only provides more benefits, but it also becomes very useful later on to have levels with 3 stars.

story mode levels
Story mode levels

2. Want to progress to a higher level but stuck? Do raids

This is a follow-up to the previous point. There may come a time when players find themselves stuck on a Level and unable to continue with the Story mode. The next stage will prevent players to participate unless they reach a higher level. This is where the raids come in and why it is important to ensure all 3 objectives are met.

Players have the option to carry out Raids on previously completed stages to progress to the required level. raids can only be completed in stages where the players achieved 3 stars and thus completed all the objectives. Do stay cautious however as raids take up stamina and players may find themselves losing a lot of stamina doing multiple raids to reach the next level.

3. Use the super weapon wisely

With more time that players spend in Contra Returns, they will have access to more features including weapons. One of the cool weapon features is the Superweapon, which is unlocked after completing stages 2-6 in Story mode. At first, players will only be able to play with one Superweapon and use that in fights against aliens. The superweapon will deal much more damage against the aliens compared to the main weapon and sub-weapon as the superweapon is much more powerful.

Contra Returns superweapon
Contra Returns game-play

Players need to ensure they find a suitable time to use the superweapon, as it can only be used once in each stage. Players are recommended to use the superweapon when the Alien boss of the stage appears near the end or when they are really in trouble, and not for moments like when they just started the level. While using the superweapon, the player’s heroes will not be able to defend themselves from incoming attacks, so that is another aspect players need to be careful with.   

For each stage in the Story mode, the game specifies a recommended firepower to the players with which they can judge how difficult it would be for them to complete the mission. Players are recommended to check the required firepower and upgrade their weapons if necessary to ensure their firepower is above the required firepower for the level.

Contra Returns firepower
Contra Returns firepower

The players are suggested to not risk going into stages with low firepower as some of the objectives may require players to finish the stage with 0 revives, which they may struggle with. Players also get a bonus for finishing levels on their first try, and to ensure that they need to make sure their firepower is sufficient.  

5. Know what weapons to upgrade

Players will be given a few lower-grade weapons at the beginning to get them started. It is recommended that players spend as little as possible on these B, C, and D tier weapons. The players will get a free S-tier weapon on their second day of playing the game and are recommended to upgrade that. Players can choose to upgrade B-tier weapons, but they should find one that they feel the most comfortable with and try to make that B-grade weapon more powerful by upgrading instead of upgrading lots of weapons at once.

Players should also choose their strongest weapon as their main weapon, which would be the S tier weapon soon after playing the game and the 2nd strongest weapon as the sub. This can be done after experimenting with what weapons players are most comfortable with.

6. Make sure you get all your rewards and free gifts

There are many places in the game where players have to manually go to get rewards or free bonuses. Players can check the Event Center and Mission in the bottom right to check if they are owed any free rewards. In mission, players can also check for daily tasks to do to get rewards.

Contra Returns reward shop
Rewards’ shop

Players can go shopping and then Item shop to get a free daily supply box. By going daily to the event center and then laboratory, players can get free x50 Stamina 4 times a day from 07:00-18:00 and 18:00-00:00. Players are recommended to check every feature that has a button with a red dot on the button’s top right corner to ensure they check it. It could very well be possible that they have unclaimed rewards and free loot waiting.

7. Play in Arena mode and join Legions

arena feature
Arena feature

Players will get access to the Arena feature soon after starting the game. They are recommended to use up their 5 daily battle attempts for rewards. These are auto battles, but to win, players need to ensure their firepower is higher than their opponent’s. On top of all of that, players can also join legions after spending some time in the game to get stats bonuses and access to boss raids.

8. For in-game battles, follow these tips

When fighting the alien bosses in each stage, henchmen will always try to help their boss out. Focus on the boss before the less strong enemies, killing the main boss means completing the level and all the sidekick aliens die instantly. The mini enemies can also be spared if players are on a tight schedule. Not all the mini enemies need to be killed. Players can avoid them by running or jumping past them, however, the game may not tolerate this all the time.

There is an Auto Aim option in the settings that the game enables players to shoot the enemies with. For some people or veterans, this may be uncomfortable, and they may go to settings to turn off auto-aim. They can also choose to customize how the layout of the screen while fighting for an improved gaming experience. However, auto-aim helps to target the enemy.  

Contra Returns game battles
Contra Returns game battles

Contra Returns is the only Contra game, which features a wide range of game modes such as Team, PVP, Challenge, and Story. In addition, it offers HD graphics, a decent storyline, and exciting story missions. This game is all about dodging enemies, fighting them with various characters and weapons, engaging with the boss, and saving yourself from enemy attacks. In this guide, we have already covered all the basic tips and tricks, that a beginner must know. If you find it harder to progress in-game, visit this Contra Returns beginners guide anytime to get a better understanding.

That’s all for today’s Contra Returns beginners guide. Did you find this Contra Returns Beginners guide helpful? Do let us know in the comments!

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