Schemes are your primary source of Gold in Evil Genius 2, but it’s easy to over-extend and bankrupt your devious operations if you get too greedy. There are a few keys to successfully running Schemes, and they involve both managing your Minions and your Heat. So long as you keep a watchful eye on the World Map you should be pull in the big bucks with ease.
Keep your Heat low and spend your Minions wisely to successfully run Schemes in Evil Genius 2.
Once you unlock access to the world map (AKA “Global Operations”) you will be able to setup Criminal Networks in areas you’ve scouted. The build a Criminal Network you first need to build a Control Room in your lair, and fill it with Radio Repeaters. Each will provide you with 1 Broadcast Strength, and you need 1 Broadcast Strength to scout a new region. You will gain access to better items and research that’ll provide more Broadcast Strength later on, but for now focus on establishing a few Tier 1 Criminal Networks.
Once a Criminal Network has been established in your Global Operations you will notice two Scheme icons in the area: Purple and Yellow. You will gain access to others as you upgrade your Criminal Networks, but for now let’s break down these basic ones, since understanding how to run these starter Schemes is key to your success later down the road.
The core concept of Schemes is simple: Criminal Operations will gather “Heat” over time, which will trigger the Forces of Justice to investigate you, and will eventually shut down your Criminal Operation in the area for a short time. You want to keep Heat low, yet each Scheme will generate a set amount of Heat over time (the better the rewards, the more Heat acquired).
Yellow Schemes are your basic money makers. Some last twenty minutes and rewards 20,000+ Gold, others are far shorter for smaller rewards at the cost of needing more Minions to run. That’s right: Minions sent on Schemes do not return. Any Minion you send out to complete a Scheme – regardless of the type of Scheme – is a cost you must factor into your selection of Schemes.
So you have both Heat and Minions to worry about if you want to run successful Schemes in Evil Genius 2. There are a couple of tricks here that’ll make your life as an Evil Genius easier. First, Purple Schemes are how you reduce Heat in a given area of your Global Operations. This will either take some time and cost Minions, or will resolve within seconds at the cost of Gold. You need to use these if your Heat is within 20% of your Criminal Network’s cap (which is 50 to start).
Obviously the Gold option seems ideal – it doesn’t cost you any Minions after all – but you need to keep in mind that you’ll be spending Gold on everything: from upgrading your lair, to investing in Research, to recruiting Minions when you need to rapidly replenish their ranks. The Gold option is ideal when you are flush with Gold and not actively building, but early on you’ll want to prioritize the Minion options.
Since you’ll be consuming Minions left and right to run your Schemes you need to first focus on increasing your cap of available Minions. That means expanding your Barracks and building more Lockers to increase your Minion cap. You can also research increases to the cap, but Lockers are the fastest way to expand your ranks early on. Don’t go too crazy – more Minions means more recovery rooms in the long-term – but try and get your Minion cap to 100 before you start running Schemes all over the Global Operations map.
Once you have 100 Minions start running 3 to 4 Schemes at a time, and prioritize those with the best rewards available. Yes, these will generate more Heat, but there’s a simple reason for this recommendation: you can pivot to a new Scheme at any time. The Minions will be lost, but you’re going to lose them no matter what.
Rewards from Schemes act like Heat – they’re accumulated over the duration of the Scheme. So, drop your Heat to zero, start the Scheme, then either divert to a Heat reducing Scheme if your Heat is nearing the cap, or immediately start a Heat dropping Scheme once the more lucrative one ends.
If you follow this logic you’ll get into the habits of A.) always checking your Heat, B.) only using Minions when you have enough to throw away, and C.) using purple Schemes to reduce your Heat before it becomes a problem. Develop these habits and you will always run successful Schemes in Evil Genius 2.
Evil Genius 2 is available March 30th on PC.