Advance Wars (game)

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Advance Wars
AW NACover.jpg
The game's North American boxart
Basic info
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
System: Game Boy Advance
North America: "E" for Everyone
Europe: 11+
Australia: N/A
Japan: N/A
Release Dates
North America: September 10, 2001
Europe: January 11, 2002
April 3, 2014 (Wii U Virtual Console)
Australia: N/A
Japan: November 25, 2004*
April 3, 2014 (Japanese Wii U Virtual Console)*
Advance Wars Guide on StrategyWiki

Advance Wars is the title of first installment of the Advance Wars series to be released outside of Japan. In it, the player is an adviser employed by Orange Star as war rages across Cosmo Land. It is the predecessor to Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising.

In Japan, the game was released only as part of a compilation called Game Boy Wars Advance 1+2. Advance Wars was previously scheduled for release in Japan as Game Boy Wars Advance (Japanese: ゲームボーイウォーズアドバンス) on October 12, 2001, but was cancelled.[1] There are multiple regional differences between the Japanese and English versions.

Advance Wars was re-released for the Wii U Virtual Console in Europe on April 3, 2014, at a price of £6.49.[2] Previously, it was announced in the Japanese version of the February 2014 Nintendo Direct that Game Boy Wars Advance 1+2 (a compilation of Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising) was to be one of thirteen Game Boy Advance games to be released on the Japanese Wii U Virtual Console on the same date.[3]

Game modes[edit]

These are the game modes in Advance Wars.

Field Training[edit]

Field Training is the tutorial mode of the game. In it the player is taught basic gameplay in a series of small scale maps, each with its own theme. It is an obligatory mode before the player can access Campaign, War Room, Stats, and Design Maps. It also serves as an introduction to the plot of the Campaign mode.

In this mode, Olaf of Blue Moon has invaded Orange Star and it is up to the player, in the role of an advisor, and Nell, his or her instructor in the arts of war to hold Olaf at bay.


The Campaign is the main mode of the game. It is where the plot unfolds and where the player can unlock new COs by meeting certain criteria, as well as earn Advance Wars Coins, the currency used in Battle Maps. There are over 30 missions in this mode, though the player will only play up to 22 of them in one run. If the player wishes to access them all he or she will have to clear it thrice.

After the success in Field Training there are still Blue Moon forces in Orange Star. However, Nell can't leave the capital so the player is introduced to Andy, a new Orange Star CO. Later joined by Max and Sami they try to put an end to the war, fighting through several countries and meeting several new COs before they finally succeed in doing so.

There is also a secondary campaign, Advanced Campaign. This campaign is the 'Hard Mode' of the game. It is the same as the regular campaign with the exception of difficulty having increased. In return, the player will always receive full marks for their Power and Technique ranks.

War Room[edit]

War Room is the second mode in which the player can earn Advance Wars Coins, but no new COs or maps can be unlocked. Generally speaking, War Room missions have the player at a disadvantage compared to the opponent which is AI controlled. All War Room missions in the first Advance Wars game have clear weather and start without units. There are 20 missions in this mode, only two of which feature Orange Star COs as opponents.

Vs. Mode[edit]

The game's title screen

Vs. Mode is the fourth battle mode of Advance Wars. In it there is a selection of maps that the player can play on, though several of these have to be bought in Battle Maps before being accessible. War Room maps can be used in this mode, as well as Special, Versus, 3 player, 4 player, and pre-deployed, but not Campaign Maps. It is also possible to play on maps created by the player in the Design Maps mode.


Stats is the mode where your achievements are kept track of. It has two sub modes; Records and Rank.

  • In Records you can look up your five best scores on each War Room mission as well as the CO you have achieved these scores with.
  • In the Rank mode you can look up your current Advisor Rank, as well as previous ones you have surpassed and your Campaign Rank.

Battle Maps[edit]

Battle Maps is the mode where you can buy new maps, COs and miscellaneous items as you have unlocked these. The currency used is Advance Wars Coins, which can be earned in Campaign and War Room to a maximum of twelve for one mission. The owner of the Battle Maps is Hachi, a former Orange Star CO. It is unlocked after having earned your first Advance Wars coins.

Design Maps[edit]

Design Maps is the mode where the player can create his or her own custom maps and save them. Up to three of these maps can be saved, which you can play on in Vs. Mode and Link Mode, or even trade them with others in Link Mode.

Link Mode[edit]

Link Mode is the mode where the player can connect his or her copy of Advance Wars to up to three other Game Boy Advances. There are three possibilities.

To use Multi-Pak each linked Game Boy Advance needs to have its own copy of Advance Wars inserted. This mode is the same as Vs. Mode, only each player has his or her own copy of the game.

To use Single-Pak only one linked Game Boy Advance needs to have a copy of Advance Wars inserted. This mode is the same as Vs. Mode, only each player has his or her own screen so there is no need to pass the Game Boy Advance after each turn. All battles will take place in Fog of War, and victory must be won by rout.

To be able to trade maps each linked Game Boy Advance needs to have its own copy of Advance Wars inserted.


These are the units available in Advance Wars:

Unit Type Cost Move Range Fuel Vision
Infantry-small.png Infantry Infantry 1000 3 1 99 2
Mech-small.png Mech Infantry 3000 2 1 70 2
Recon-small.png Recon Vehicle 4000 8 1 80 5
Tank-small.png Tank Vehicle 7000 6 1 70 3
Medium Tank-small.png Medium Tank Vehicle 16000 5 1 50 1
APC-small.png APC Vehicle 5000 6 --- 70 1

Artillery-smallold.png Artillery Vehicle 6000 5 2-3 99 1
Rocket-smallold.png Rocket Vehicle 15000 5 3-5 50 1
Anti-Air-small.png Anti-Air Vehicle 8000 6 1 60 2

Missiles-smallold.png Missiles Vehicle 12000 4 3-5 50 5
Lander-smallold.png Lander Ship 12000 6 --- 99 1
Cruiser-smallold.png Cruiser Ship 18000 6 1 99 3
Submarine-smallold.png Submarine Submarine 20000 5 1 60 5
Battleship-smallold.png Battleship Ship 28000 5 2-6 99 2
B Copter-smallold.png B Copter Copter 9000 6 1 99 3
T Copter-smallold.png T Copter Copter 5000 6 --- 99 2
Fighter-smallold.png Fighter Plane 28000 9 1 99 2
Bomber-smallold.png Bomber Plane 22000 7 1 99 2
A colored background indicates a unit that was introduced in this game.

Commanding Officers[edit]

These are the Commanding Officers available in Advance Wars:

CO Country CO Power CO Meter Hit Miss
Andy-smallAW1.png Andy Orange Star Hyper Repair 30,000 Mechanics Waking up early
Max-smallAW1.png Max Orange Star Max Force 30,000 Weight Training Studying
Sami-smallAW1.png Sami Orange Star Double Time 25,000 Chocolate Cowards
Nell-smallAW1.png Nell Orange Star Lucky Star 30,000 Wilful students Olaf
Olaf-smallAW1.png Olaf Blue Moon Blizzard 30,000 Warm boots Rain clouds
Grit-smallAW1.png Grit Blue Moon Snipe Attack 30,000 Cats Rats
Eagle-smallAW1.png Eagle Green Earth Lightning Strike 50,000 Lucky Goggles Swimming
Drake-smallAW1.png Drake Green Earth Tsunami 40,000 The sea Heights
Kanbei-smallAW1.png Kanbei Yellow Comet Morale Boost 50,000 Sonja Computers
Sonja-smallAW1.png Sonja Yellow Comet Enhanced Vision 30,000 Computers Bugs
Sturm-smallAW1.png Sturm Black Hole Meteor Strike 50,000 ??? ???
A colored background indicates a CO that was introduced in this game.


See also[edit]

Famicom Wars*: Famicom WarsSuper Famicom Wars
Game Boy Wars*: Game Boy WarsGame Boy Wars 2Game Boy Wars 3Game Boy Wars TURBO
Advance Wars: Advance Wars*Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising*Game Boy Wars Advance 1+2*Advance Wars: Dual Strike*Advance Wars: Days of Ruin*
Battalion Wars*: Battalion WarsBattalion Wars 2
Cancelled games: 64 Wars