Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

I guess I’m going to try this game again. Last time I got stuck on the Kingpin. I’m confused by ISOs and rifts and synergies and upgrades but maybe it will all make sense this time!

Okay, I’m trying to do the first rift, the Doctor Octopus one, where the Synergy attacks are the only ones that do damage. So I have two questions:

  1. How can I tell which of my attacks do the most Stagger damage? I assume I should rely on attacks that don’t use EP, because I want to save those for Synergy damage when he’s downed, right?

  2. How can I figure out which of my attacks are compatible with other characters for Synergy attacks? Do I need to look on Reddit, or is there something in the game UI that shows me my team synergies?

  3. Can someone explain what the L+R attack does, and how I know when I can trigger it? I just end up spamming L+R every now and then, and sometimes it pops up with all the characters and there’s a massive attack. Is it just a massive synergy attack with all four characters?

The cool thing about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is that all this stuff is documented in the game. I don’t mean that as a RTFM comment, but as a point of praise. You don’t have to go to reddit or ask here, although someone who’s played lately might be able to answer readily. But the details you’re asking about stagger damage, synergies, and EX attacks are all explained in the documentation. It’s in the options menu under “tips” or something misleading like that.


Cap: pretty tough and can hold his own when I’m not playing him.
Crystal: decent aoe and ranged attacks. Flies
Psylocke: read she was strong melee if a bit fragile. I seem to be doing fine with her
Ghost Rider: Read he has good aoe and something else. Don’t even remember, but he is my default ‘oh god, I’m getting killed, I need to do something now’ character.

At this point all are over 40 and I killed of MODAK pretty easily, like you said. Ass-face snipers were my toughest adversary in Wakanda, but once I did @kerzain said and made bee-line for them they weren’t nearly as bad.

Now I want more new costumes, but they’re all hidden behind stuff I feel I’m not powerful enough to take on. :(

Thanks Tom! I know I need to go through all that, so I’ll set aside some time today. But it’s so tempting to just jump in and play the game!

So after all my complaining about stagger damage and synergy attacks, I figured out the difference between synergy and Ultimate Alliance attacks, and then I beat Doc Ock in the Trials for the first time! I just watched the stagger bar pretty closely, knocked him down with Cap’s shield as much as possible, and then hit him hard once he was down. And once I was past that, I used the same techniques to get past Kingpin for the first time!

I need some sort of randomizer to force me to try new characters.

I totally started as a button masher at this game. Then as I got characters I liked, I started checking their attacks and how to, you know, actually do them. Then I’d kinda focus on one or two while still doing a lot of button mashing, then slowly get muscle memory built up an start branching out into new moves and/or combos. I’m still pretty sucky at most of the more elaborate combo stuff and still do plenty of button mashing, but you can certainly get along doing so while still building up the skills to really play your characters well.

Also, some bosses are more boss than others. Kingpin and Doc Oc were horrible to get thru. But others I can pretty much get thru with minimal aggravation. Even MODOK who I had been worried about was fairly easy. It took a while, but I wasn’t ever too close to any of my heroes dying.

This game never goes on sale I guess. I keep thinking about getting it, but then don’t. I am on another Marvel kick thanks to Marvel United, so the temptation is there again. I am guessing the DLC pack is worth it as it is even MOAR Marvel toys in the toy box?

I get into grooves where I play this for a week solid and then put it down for a while. I think all the little dlc toys and doodads are great and worth it. Fomo is a real thing.

Especially the new gameplay modes. You will want the DLC if you like the game.


I watched a range of positive and negative review videos today, but I remember @tomchick digging this one a fair bit. I am thinking it might be a fun little TV or portable way to enjoy the wide range of characters found in movies and other properties nowadays. Plus it would be without having to learn fighting combos for a Marvel Vs Capcom game or continuing to deal with the GAAS model of Marvel Avengers. And I think I recall enjoying some old Marvel based online ARPG that was super grindy, but got me to tinker with a slew of characters. I can’t remember the name, but I think I liked it for a while off and on. Yeah. I think I should pick this one up. Time to stop waiting for a sale and just get it. And its DLC too apparently.

So I am not sure if I am just old, or if the grind is super real in this game.

I started fairly recently and have gotten to Kingpin. However, he is kicking my butt. I went from never losing a fight to barely able to get to the 2/3 mark where he starts sending out the infinity stone beams of death. I started to pay attention to attack patterns and suddenly have found a need for the dodge button and the pillars, but still, he eats my team alive. It doesn’t seem to matter who I bring, although to be honest I am mostly picking for flavor than actual team composition still as I don’t understand a lot of the stats yet. Most of my characters are level 6 to 9ish with a few in the 10 to 11 range. I see the zone is rated for 12, but I don’t have any level 12 heroes. Maybe I am supposed to grind the Raft before taking on Kingpin? I have been saving XP drops for catching up underleveled heroes, maybe I should be feeding them to my best ones? I don’t even know who I like yet.

Basically, I seem to have hit a pretty hefty wall early(?) on. Is this normal? I am playing on “mighty”, but it seems like difficulty is rewarded in MUA. The “normal” setting seemed to be aiming at total newbs to ARPGs which I would not consider myself. But maybe I am just too old for this $*&@.

Sounds like you’re identified the issue. :) Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 isn’t the splashy brawler you might think you’re playing. I recommend reading the manual, which is in the pause screen under a misleading name like “Tips”. If you don’t understand the whole stagger system, you’re not going to get very far, especially when it comes to bosses.

That said, grinding can be a perfectly cromulent solution, too.


Ok, thanks for the… tip. =) I did dive through the tips section to get a grasp of block, dodge, specials, and assist specials which came up during combat as quick pop ups that went away too fast. However, outside of making a balanced team, I was not looking at what exactly the blue stat does over the purple one or whatever outside of the obvious ones (strength, health, defense, etc.). Maybe I need to boost MAS to fight Kingpin or whatever. The combination of assist specials is dizzying.

I will say the camera is kind of a pain in the rear. I tried both classic and heroic along with trying the lock on or lock off selector. It is all too often that I can’t even see my character as a whole lot of confusion happens as I get a really good look at a wall or something. It reminds me of fighting the camera in Bloodborne.

Any advice on who to work on early? Or do I just mix it up all the time (like I have been doing). I was mostly doing an Avenger heavy, MCU team. I am looking at the team synergies as my guidance which lead me to a Groot/Rocket, Thor, Ironman, and Captain America combo. Should I be side-stepping into the rift thingys? One was smack in the middle of my Red Hand mission, but it warned me about losing progress if I entered it so I kept going.

Also, the intro title cards for the characters is really awesome. I love reading their description, especially the second half of most of them.

Overall, it sounds like I need to learn the game more. Which is good as I was worried it was going to be a grind-fest. I also think my fears that this will be a short game are not going to play out at all. I think MUA3 and Sunless Skies will make for great companions on work trip coming up.

It really is, and eventually, it’s a lot of fun to set up different combos and see how those specials come together. I still remember what a delight it was once I figured out how to routinely fling fire tornados out into the mob of bad guys. But you shouldn’t have to worry about that too much early on. In fact, you’re going to need to get a bunch of folks leveled up before you get much latitude to mess around with the combos.

Honestly, I don’t think there are any wrong choices. The only early pushback you’re going to get is from the learning curve, and most of that is wrapping your head around the stagger bar system. It’s the foundation for combat, and it’s not very well explained if you don’t go looking for the information.

One tip I will throw out there, which took me a while to figure out and which I wish I’d figured out earlier: swap heroes to use up their mana and especially their EX attacks! I think most folks play with a “main” in their party, but as you use up your main’s mana reserve, swap to another hero to pop off some special attacks. And feel free to bop around to burn off the accumulated EX attacks. It still pays to focus on one character as you learn his/her abilities, but be willing to jump around just to use up the other character’s resources.

Those aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive! :) There’s plenty of grinding down the road, but you shouldn’t need to grind around many (any?) of the boss battles the first time through at the default difficulty.


I will be looking for the stagger bar tips when I next boot up the game for sure. I feel like I am missing something. Up until this point I thought it was just hit them to make the purple bar go down, then unleash specials when it hits zero for more damage as the enemy is stunned. I am thinking there is a lot more to it as I just watched a playthrough video where the guy seemed to be stunning the enemies all the freaking time.

I was starting to get a sense of this. Yes, I generally have been focused on one character as I learn their moves, but I then realized the other characters are full of special attack (energy? mana?) bar. Thus I have started to swap out to burn blue bar more evenly. I burn stored up extra EX attacks by doing two or more at once when a tough baddie gets stunned. That might be a bad strategy though.

This game has been on my radar for a VERY long time, but I was always waiting for a sale. Your peaking in on this topic each time it surfaces has done a lot of subtle push to get me to buy the game at full price finally.

And I am glad I did. I am quite pleased with the game so far. At first it felt simple. Then hard and grindy. Now, I am thinking there is a lot of meat to chew through (yes with some grind to go with it). Which I am glad for.

And on a personal note, besides the work trip, I think having a nice portable Marvel game that has legs has a lot of value to me. Marvel has recently become a big deal in the house as my fiance’s girls, out of nowhere, have gravitated towards the MCU movies on Disney+. This shared interest is a godsend in a difficult mixed family situation that is near the polar opposite of the Kiddo years. It has even bore wonderful downstream fruit as one of the girls is finally finding joy in board games with Marvel United; that has been super special to enjoy together. These factors have me pretty excited to dink around in spurts with a digital Ironman, Groot, or Venom in a more meaningful way than a soulless mobile money sink. So a special thanks to you Tom for your help and continuous stewardship of this forum topic.

I’m excited to say that this is on rare sale during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. It’s still pretty expensive for a game going on 3 years old, but as it never seems to really get deeply discounted, I finally pulled the trigger.

It’s downloading the to Switch now. I plan on going back and reading through this thread while I wait!

I believe this is the first eShop discount on this game ever, at least on the Au/Eu store. :P

On e shop?

Yup. The Canadian one, at least.

Snagged yesterday but tied up making my yearly photo book.