Feature Article

Iron Man In Marvel's Avengers Guide: Tips & Best Abilities To Get First

Iron Man plays pretty significantly different than the rest of the Avengers, so we take a closer look at how to play to his strengths.

Marvel's Avengers is now available, letting you step into the shoes of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. To help you get the most out of your favorite superhero, we've compiled character guides. In this edition, we look at the billionaire inventor with a heart of gold (and electromagnets), Iron Man.

Iron Man Hero Summary

While many of the heroes in Marvel's Avengers are burly brawlers, only a few specialize in long-distance attacks. Iron Man is the glass cannon of the crew. He has much better mobility options than some other characters due to his flight abilities, but he's also more vulnerable to being swarmed by enemies in a melee situation. For that reason, it's best to keep your distance as Iron Man and use his wide array of high-tech tools to fulfill their specialized functions.

Iron Man is arguably the character best-equipped for long-range engagement. While Black Widow has her pistols, and Cap and Thor can throw projectiles, those characters are more based on stealth and brute strength, respectively. By comparison, Iron Man is a swiss army knife of ranged attack options, especially once you start investing upgrade points.

The Unibeam special is a versatile tool for close- and long-range encounters.
The Unibeam special is a versatile tool for close- and long-range encounters.

Iron Man: General Tips

Keep your distance. While Iron Man has dodge and counters like all the heroes, he can easily become overwhelmed. Whenever possible, sprint away from direct conflict and let loose with ranged attack options, then go in for the kill when you've softened up the enemy forces.

Find the right tool for the job. Once you start unlocking them in his skill tree, Iron Man has a variety of different long-distance tools: repulsor blast, rockets, and lasers. Each one has a slightly different function, especially as you start unlocking sub-types like the mini-rockets. Get comfortable with each and be prepared to swap on the fly multiple times in the course of a single encounter.

Use rockets to break shield-blocks. For most of the melee-focused characters, you can get around a shielded enemy by vaulting over them or with a sufficiently powerful strike. But when fighting at range, Iron Man doesn't really have those options. What he does have, though, is the splash damage from his rockets. Aim your rocket blast at a shielded enemy's feet to stagger them and drop their shield, and then let loose with attacks as usual.

The Unibeam is super-versatile. One of Iron Man's special abilities is also one of his most iconic, the Unibeam. It's essentially a laser-like repulsor blast that comes out of his chest. It's also one of the most versatile attacks you have, perfect for clearing an escape if you're overwhelmed by enemies or doing some heavy damage from afar.

Medic! Iron Man is one of the most mobile characters, making him among the best to quickly jaunt around some of the larger open-world maps. In multiplayer, that makes him perfect for reviving fallen allies, since he can swoop in, hold the line for a few seconds while resurrecting another Avenger, and then fly away.

Playing the sniper. Iron Man is also a great support character for keeping teammates safe to begin with, by hovering above the battle and picking off enemies from afar and reigning rockets down on swarms.

Hulkbust your way out of jams. Iron Man's ultimate, the Hulkbuster, is the exact opposite of his usual playstyle. It's a slow, lumbering fortress with incredible melee strength. Don't go and waste all that power against a few scrawny mobs. Save it for when you're starting to get overtaken by enemies and can't get away, or when you need to go toe-to-toe with an equally large threat.

Iron Man is one of the best ranged characters, perfect for support.
Iron Man is one of the best ranged characters, perfect for support.

Best Abilities To Get First

If you want to build your Iron Man to be more hearty in melee combat, invest in Primary Melee abilities and Defense Specialty abilities. Pouring a few points into this early on will make him roughly a match for other more melee-focused characters, at least as a starting point, and then you can build him out from there.

If you'd rather lean into his natural strengths as a ranged fighter, however, you can mostly leave the Melee abilities alone, though you may still want to put a few points into Defense just to be safe. The Energy Barrier and Thruster Dodge are both good investments that will come in handy whether you're making a melee or ranged build.

To make Iron Man a veritable swiss army knife of different ranged abilities, pour your points into the Laser and Rockets Primary abilities, before circling back to upgrading your base Repulsor Primary. The Mini Rockets ability is good for tagging multiple enemies, or one enemy multiple times, and it effectively breaks their block and leaves them vulnerable to more damage. You can further upgrade it with Smart Rockets to give it a seeker ability. Under the Laser menu, Photon Samurai lets you stun a swarm of enemies much more effectively than your other melee attacks can, giving you time for follow-up strikes or to fly off and create distance. Finally, under the Repulsor menu, the Hand Cannon and Power Pulse abilities give you a big boost to your standard melee power attack.

Ultimately it seems likely that reaching level 50 will let you unlock all of Iron Man's skill tree in every branch, so in the long run you won't need to make these kinds of trade-offs. For building your character at the beginning, though, think carefully about your own playstyle and how you want to use Iron Man's suite of abilities.

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Steve Watts

Steve Watts has loved video games since that magical day he first saw Super Mario Bros. at his cousin's house. He's been writing about games as a passion project since creating his own GeoCities page, and has been reporting, reviewing, and interviewing in a professional capacity for 14 years. He is GameSpot's preeminent expert on Hearthstone, a title no one is particularly fighting him for, but he'll claim it anyway.

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