There isn't one "right" way to be an evil genius, but there are definitely some best practices for being good at being bad. This Evil Genius 2 guide will help you earn money faster, keep minions alive, and complete steps in your ultimate scheme, specific tips that I've accumulated after 55 hours of playtime in Evil Genius 2's tricky campaign.
I've had a lot of fun with Evil Genius 2, but like many games there's a dozen or so important things it doesn't fully explain. To give you the best advice, I'm focusing almost entirely on stuff that you don't learn from the tutorial. If you're completely new to tycoon-style management games I'd recommend starting with the tutorial, but you should know that it takes a long time to complete.
The absolute basics of being a supervillain:
- Build a sprawling base filled with evil stuff
- Research new evil stuff in labs
- Complete the main quest to advance in the campaign, and unlock higher-tier research options
- Complete side quests to unlock items, new minion types, and powerful special henchmen
- Different hero factions will enter your base, sending steadily more deadly do-gooders as you progress
- The ultimate goal: Complete your genius' World Domination scheme
- If your Evil Genius dies, you lose
With that out of the way, here's what you should do first.
Building the wrong stuff can actually guide your lair into a bad situation right off the bat. For example, you actually don't need a vault right away—your base has an inherent capacity of $40,000. Follow this build order for a good start:
Build this stuff first
Build a Power room and put two or three generators in it. You're going to be doing this a lot throughout the campaign, so build this room in a place where it can be expanded.
2 Control Room
It may not look like a moneymaking operation, but this is your economy. Without Radio Repeaters, you can't establish criminal networks on the World Stage. Without criminal networks, you won't earn passive income and larger rewards ($10-20K for early-game schemes). This is an essential first step to getting going. Think of it like ordering drones to mine minerals in StarCraft.
Build three or four Radio Repeaters to start. Scout the territories nearest to your base, and start some schemes that earn cash.
Again, in both cases, try to build these rooms in a place where they can expand to 2X their starting size. Constructing cavernous rooms at the outset is a waste of your money—every room tile costs a bit of money, variable depending on the room type and which type of rock you're excavating. Start small and expand over time.
3 Mess Hall
Now your minions are doing stuff, and doing stuff makes minions tired. The Mess Hall is where minions recharge two of their three batteries, Smarts and Vitality. If a minion's "Smarts" stat dips to 20 and they can't restore it somewhere, they'll go idle, making them pretty much useless. You don't want to find out what happens if their Smarts hit zero.
Minions recharge Vitality and precious Morale when they sleep. These rooms are pretty simple:
- Lockers - Build these back-to-back to conserve space
- Beds - Put a line of 1-tile-wide rock tiles inside your Barracks to maximize where you can place beds
Body bags, as I'll talk about shortly, are a giant pain in the ass. Get this out of the way and drop an Incinerator in your power room, in an accessible location right by the power room door.
Once you're embarking on multiple schemes on the World Stage, you should build a vault to increase how much gold you can hold. Eventually you'll want to move this room to your highest or lowest base floor, as vaults don't require repairs, and you want to make it hard for Rogues (an enemy type that steals money) to walk away with your hard-earned palettes of bouillon.
The opening side stories are all about minion training. Each basic minion type will have to be captured via a simple quest on the World Stage, then returned to a vacant prison cell for interrogation. Uncover their secrets, build a trainer, and then train a few of your own. To do that, you'll need...
- A Prison room
- Prison cell (just one is fine at the outset of the game)
- Interrogation Chair
I recommend training Scientists, Guards, then Technicians and Valets, in that order.
More Evil Genius 2 tips
Which island you pick can matter a lot
Evil Genius 2's three islands have significantly different layouts. Their total buildable area differs, as does the starting floor and the points at which attacking heroes can make their way into the base. I found the second island, based in the North Atlantic, the hardest to build upon and defend.
🚨 Body bags are an absolute plague 🚨
Of all the Evil Genius 2 tips, this might be my most important. For me, body bags caused actual hours of frustration and delay.
Minions who pass body bags (even if they're picking them up for disposal) will lose morale for a short time. A minion passing one body bag might lose about 5 or 6 morale points. No big deal, right?
The problem is, a big fight might produce a dozen, maybe even two dozen body bags. Basic minions are bad fighters, and they'll happily line up against stronger heroes to get beat down. When these bodies pile up, especially in a high-traffic intersection in your base, every minion that passes through will feel the morale-sapping effect of tiptoeing over a carpet of corpses.
In my experience, no amount of morale-restoring base items is enough to offset this. When minions run out of morale, they desert, which tags them to trigger traps, which tend to kill minions and create even more body bags. It's The Circle of Minion Life, and it sucks. But wait, there's more: body bags also confuse Trap sensors, and prevent them from firing again.
How to get rid of body bags:
- Build multiple Incinerators near the places that minions and enemies tend to die in your base. They're cheap and don't take up a ton of space. Build more than you think you'll need.
- Research and stock up on ranged weapons, which will help keep valuable Guard minions out of harm.
- Deadly traps like the laser wall could be killing your minions when enemy agents trigger them. Consider removing these traps from areas with high foot traffic.
- Widen the areas where fights take place, allowing more minions to participate and contribute damage.
Basic minions arrive automatically, but you can buy them much faster
Papa, where do minions come from? Every 60 seconds, two more minions will automatically hit your helipad and join your cause. These new recruits cost nothing. But if you've lost a big fight, or shipped off a couple dozen minions to complete schemes on the World Stage, you might find your stations shorthanded, and work not getting done as quickly as you'd like. Open the minion menu in the lower-left and smash that "Hire Now" button to buy new minions, five per $10,000.
This is one of the best ways to spend excess gold throughout the campaign. If your vaults are at 100 percent capacity, spend freely and watch a clown car of minions spill out of the next helicopter.
The best first henchman: Jubei (Side story: "The Swordsman")
Jubei is an effing legend. He can spend morale to teleport, an insanely useful ability for reacting to enemy incursions quickly, dealing with investigators before they get too deep into your base, or even for getting Jubei himself out of harm's way. It will take a surprisingly long time to earn a second henchman, so a combat-focused henchman is probably the best choice, especially if you're playing the Emily, who's the least-capable fighter of the four evil geniuses.
Don't ignore decor
As base items unlock over time, you'll also see some functional accessories, not just decorative ones, available in each room's build menu. Items like air conditioners and printer stations can help workers stay at their stations longer, or slow morale drain. These are particularly good in places where minions spend a lot of time in one position, like Control Rooms and cafeterias. Place them generously, but avoid creating bad pathfinding routes in the process.
How to unlock higher-tier research options
Although the sandbox mode unlocks everything from the outset, it takes a surprisingly long time to hit the 3rd and 4th-tier research options in the campaign, so much so that you'll probably have nothing for your scientists to do in the middle of your campaign. Don't panic.
Eventually you'll open up a campaign mission that asks you to unlock three new minion types. This will be (probably hours) after you unlock the Socialite and Mercenary. The Biologist is the minion you're looking for. Kidnapping one of these guys on the World Stage, interrogating them, and building the corresponding trainer will unlock some new laboratory stations, equipment that leads to higher-tier research.
Capturing > Killing
Believe me, I know it feels great to gun down the good guys snooping around your base. But capturing them is more beneficial.
Dead enemies turn into body bags, and body bags harm your minions. Captured enemies, on the other hand, can be converted into valuable resources: intel, or brand new, brainwashed minions who will get right to work in your lair. The higher level the enemy, the higher-quality minion it'll be converted to by brainwashing. The only downside of capturing is that it takes some time and attention to manually assign prisoners to interrogation stations.
You can mix room types
Although different rock types will limit how much you can physically expand, Evil Genius 2 gives you a surprising amount of freedom in constructing your base. Rooms don't need walls or doors at all, and you can paint one type of room tile inside another. Try putting an Armory and Guard's Table inside your prison, so guards can keep a close eye on captees. Plop a Mess Hall inside a Staff Room and shorten the distance between restorative areas.
How to trap good
Honestly, I've struggled to find perfect trap compositions so far in Evil Genius 2. But here are some tips that Rebellion sent to me directly:
- Once an Agent is caught by one Trap in a network, they are vulnerable to every other Trap you’ve combined with it. So while a highly skilled Agent may be able to disarm your Fan Trap, if you catch them out with a different Trap first the Fan Trap can then sweep in and move them into other Traps they might have otherwise avoided.
- Pinball bumpers are excellent at splitting up large groups of agents—as are boxing gloves. Early game traps provide a lot of utility when you start using them as the glue between end-game traps.
- The Slippery Floor on its own will provide a small delay to any agent who triggers it. Combo it with a Trap that will move them and you'll find you need less movement-type Traps in the long run.
Smother vulnerable areas with fire extinguishers
Most base items have a "durability" lifebar that ticks down over time. If you don't have enough technician minions, or your base items are far away, they could degrade, catch fire, and eventually destroy themselves. Fire spreads quickly, and nearby minions (and henchmen) can catch fire too. Some enemy agents who specialize in demolition will also start fires in your lair.
Soften the harm and spread of fire by dropping four or five fire extinguishers outside of Power and Control rooms, which are the most vulnerable to destruction.
Bury your valuables
Put rooms that don't need regular access far away from the main level of your base, higher or lower depending on which map you're on. Vaults and dedicated "Locker Rooms" are good examples of this. Minions don't really need to visit these areas, so placing them far away is a good way of limiting minion travel time around your base.
Use Security Zones to deal with threats
At some point you'll probably get tired of manually tagging each agent that enters your base for capture. The good news is there's an automated solution: researching the "Intruder Protocol" track in the Minions tab of the research menu unlocks a system that commands minions to react to threats in that area. Finding the security zones menu nested within the Systems Menu (TV icon), click the security zone, then click the area of the base you want to apply it to. Use doors to create discrete areas in your base.
Heroes will leave stuff in your base
Elite enemy agents will leave behind some surprises that are easy to miss as they snoop around. I don't know what they all do, but you probably don't want something labeled a "Listening Device" sitting in your room filled with gold bars. Click on these items and order minions to destroy them.
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Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.