Welcome to Company of Heroes 2 Game Guide
Company of Heroes 2 (CoH2) is a real-time-strategy (RTS) game set during the Second World War on the Eastern Front. Capturing the intense combat between the invading German Wehrmacht forces and the valiant efforts by the Soviets to defend their homeland, Company of Heroes 2 puts players in control of one of these two armies. Each army has their own unique units, strategies and abilities.
This guide will walk you through the CoH2 multiplayer experience, teaching you the basics of how to play the game so that you can hop online and take on opposing armies.
Company of Heroes 2 has three game modes:
- Campaign: A single player story mode that sees you play as the Soviet Red Army fighting to protect Russia from the invading Wehrmacht.
- Theater of War: A series of missions designed around single player or co-operative gameplay. These missions setup unique battle conditions and challenges to promote different types of gameplay.
- Online & Skirmish: Multiplayer battles against the AI or other players.
- Automatch vs. Players: These are ladder games, where you play a match (1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4) against other human players. The automatch system finds you a player as near your ability level as possible, and as you win you move up our ladder and fight players with greater skills.
- Automatch vs. AI: Join with randomly selected players to face off against the CoH2 AI on a randomly selected map.
- Custom Game: Setup a game with the rules of your choosing, including Annihilation. Invite friends, or have the AI join the game. Pick whichever map you’d like to use, including one of our +1,000 community created Steam Workshop maps. This is the mode most used for tournaments.
In CoH2 there are two ways to win. The most common way to win is to control more Victory Points than your opponent(s), and have their score countdown to zero. If they hold more Victory Points than you then your score will count down, and if it hits zero you’ll lose. The harder way is to destroy all of the buildings in the bases of your enemies. This can be a quicker way of winning, but if you’re able to do this you’re most likely going to be able to hold onto the Victory Points. This way of winning is what is used in Annihilation games.
Like many real-time-strategy games Company of Heroes 2 requires players to capture points on the map to gain resources.
- Standard: These points provide Munitions and Fuel to the player or team that holds them.
- Munitions: These points provide an increased level of Munitions but no Fuel.
- Fuel: These points provide an increased level of Fuel but no Munitions.
Nearly all units, weapons or buildings in the game cost some combination of Manpower, Munitions or Fuel to buy. Holding more of these points than your enemies will provide you with greater resources and allow you to field more and better equipped units.
Manpower is granted to all players automatically starting at +300 Manpower per minute. Capturing resource points or Victory Points requires moving infantry, either on foot or in a half-track. There are two ways to capture points in Company of Heroes 2. You can right-click on the point with your selected infantry or move the infantry into the capture zone surrounding the point. When you have captured the point the sector will turn blue on your mini-map. Enemy controlled sectors will appear red on your mini-map.
Points cannot be captured when there are enemy infantry within the capture zone. While in the capture zone of a point you are still able to perform other actions such as building defenses while the point is captured. It’s possible to queue capture orders on territory points. Hold SHIFT and then right-click on the points in the order you want to capture them.
Resources points must be connected by your own territory to your base. Capturing an unconnected territory will not provide any resources until you capture the territory required to connect your base with that sector. Fuel or munitions caches can be built on top of standard resource points by Combat Engineers or Pioneers. These caches increase the amount of fuel or munitions (depending on type of cache) that point grants you. The caches also make it harder for your enemy to capture that point away from you, as they first will need to destroy the cache.
Units will automatically begin to attack enemies when they are within attack range. However there is more to winning a battle than simply having your troops firing at the enemy. Positioning, cover and range all can affect the outcome of a battle between two units.
Each unit has a range that they’re most effective within. Some units are best up close while others fight better from a distance. A unit equipped with a sub-machine gun will need to get in closer than a unit with a sniper rifle. Some units like Mortars have minimum ranges, meaning that they will not be able to engage with nearby units.
When facing stationary units with defined firing arcs, like machine gun teams, flanking becomes a vital tactic to allow you to move your infantry into range without being pinned and killed. Flanking is maneuvering your units to attack said weapon team from outside of its firing arc. Flanking can also mean moving in position to attack the less protected rear of an armored vehicle. Weapon teams require time to setup before they can engage with their enemies, so flanking around their firing arc will force them to have to re-position, giving your units time to attack.
Company of Heroes 2 adds a more realistic fog of war mechanic that ensures that units can only see what they would see in a real world setting. Line of sight can now be blocked by environmental objects like buildings and units can utilize abilities like smoke canisters to block enemy line of sight. Players are able to take advantage of TrueSight to setup ambushes and keep units hidden until the proper time to reveal them.
Company of Heroes 2 makes use of a cover system, where the amount of damage your units take is affected by their physical surroundings. Walls, bushes, fences, sandbags and even craters can provide cover, lessening the effectiveness of your enemy’s attack on your units. Most cover is directional, meaning it provides a bonus only if the enemy is on the other side and all terrain can be destroyed to remove cover. Large explosions, like artillery shells, will create craters on the battlefield that provide cover. Even vehicles provide cover to adjacent infantry squads as do the remains of destroyed vehicles.
There are three types of cover:
- Heavy Cover: Symbolized by a green shield this provides the most protection for units. Stone fences, vehicle remains, sandbags and buildings provide Heavy Cover.
- Light Cover: Symbolized by a yellow shield this provides minor protection for units. Wooden fences, bushes and craters provide Light Cover.
- Negative Cover: Symbolized by a red shield this provides a defensive penalty. Negative cover occurs when your units are on roads or in rivers.
As mentioned some weapons can pin down your units. This is known as suppression. Suppression is a condition that forces an infantry squad to move slower and is caused by fire from HMGs, vehicle machine guns, mortars and certain strafing runs. A suppressed unit that remains under fire may be pinned, disabling the unit.
- Suppression: Reduced movement speed. Nearby squads have an increased chance of also becoming suppressed.
- Pinned: Units cannot move or attack. Pinned units have an increased resistance to whatever has them pinned for a short time, but will begin to take heavier damage.
In Company of Heroes 2 it’s important to preserve your units. If outmatched it is often better to withdraw or retreat your units than to lose a squad completely. It’s cheaper to reinforce a squad, even one that’s down to its last man, than it is to create a whole new squad. Be sure to keep an eye on your squad strength, and get them out of the fight before you lose them.
Using the “Retreat” command will cause your selected infantry unit to stop what they’re doing and rush back to your base. Retreat will also allow them to break from suppression, allowing them to move. While retreating you will not have any control over your infantry until it arrives back at base.
The weather was a factor on the front lines for all armies, and none was more notorious than the deadly winter of the Eastern Front. Company of Heroes 2 introduces Cold Tech a revolutionary in-game weather system, bringing the challenges of fighting a battle during a blizzard to the series. When fighting on winter maps you will not only have to worry about your opponent, but also contend with the harsh winter for survival.
- Blizzard Effects: Deep snow and ice are recreated while visibility is greatly reduced. Units suffer from the effects of cold much quicker and infantry not near a fire, in your base or garrisoned in a vehicle or building may face a freezing death.
- Deep Snow Effects: Snow slows the movement for all units, the deeper the snow the more the units slow. Deep snow may obscure vision, camouflaging some units. It also erases the tracks left by units crossing the snow. Deep snow can be removed with explosions.
- Ice Effects: On winter maps rivers and lakes will freeze over, allowing for units to cross where they never could before. However ice can be destroyed by explosions from Mortars, artillery, tanks and other attacks. When ice is destroyed any unit in that location sinks into the frigid waters below and is lost.
If a vehicle takes too much damage and is nearing the point of destruction, there’s a chance that the crew will abandon it. This leaves the vehicle empty, and any player can recrew it by sending infantry troops over. A re-crewed vehicle will still be severely damaged, so it’s smart to repair them as much as possible before sending them into battle.
Each unit in Company of Heroes 2 has its own specific role on the field of battle. These roles are described in their description, along with any upgrades or abilities that change its role or allow it to perform another role.
Company of Heroes 2 Unit Roles:
- Support: Increases the effectiveness of other units.
- Mainline: These units are able to adapt to various situations and function in both offensive and defensive roles.
- Assault: Units with high mobility and short ranges, best for offensive pushes and in-close engagements.
- Anti-Garrison: Units that can deal high damage to enemies garrisoned in buildings.
- Anti-Vehicle: Units with heavy weapons that are designed to deal damage to vehicles.
- Fire Support: Slower units with long range meant to backup more mobile units from a distance.
Advanced Tactics & Strategy
Capturing Weapons and Vehicles
Members of infantry squads that have upgraded weapons will often drop these on the ground when they die. Infantry squads with open slots for upgraded weapons can gather these up and arm themselves without having to pay for the weapon upgrade cost. Similarly, as mentioned, abandoned vehicles can be recrewed. The abandoned weapon or vehicle will show how many infantry is required to use it. That number of men will leave your squad, potentially eliminating the squad and replacing it with the weapon team or vehicle. You may then want to reinforce your new weapon team, or begin to repair your new vehicle, to get the most use out of them.
Idle Resources and Units
While playing it’s important to ensure that you are ignoring potential tools at your disposal. Resources that are not spent are not being useful to you. While it’s one thing to save up for a more costly unit, don’t just “float” resources by not spending them. Doing this will prevent you from being able to field the most powerful army possible, gifting your opponent an advantage. Similarly it’s important to keep all your units active while on the field. Leaving a sniper or a machine gun team in position to defend a chokepoint or a resource sector is fine, but having tanks sitting idle in your base isn’t. Each fielded unit should be accomplishing some goal at all times.
- Could this unit be capturing territory?
- Could this unit be defending territory?
- Could this unit be building defenses or repairing damaged vehicles?
- Could this unit be supporting other units?
Teching and Build Orders
Teching refers to increasing your army’s ability to build more expensive and higher rated units. Initially you will be limited to a handful of units including some infantry, engineers and basic light vehicles. Expanding your potential pool of units will require either building new buildings in your base or upgrading you HQ.
Building new buildings and upgrading your HQ both require the expenditure of resources, meaning that you can’t be building on-field units as quickly. This leaves players having to decide when to invest in getting to the next tier of units and when to put those resources into the units already available to them.
Both those paths have their own trade-offs. Spend your money on Teching to get to the next tier of units and you leave your opponent an advantage on the battlefield if they’re investing their resources into units. Wait too long to Tech up to the next tier and your opponent will start rolling out heavy tanks while you’re still relying on infantry, and are unable to respond.
Also note that some tech levels can be skipped. For Soviets it’s possible to build either the Special Rifle Command or the Support Weapon Kampaneya near the start of the game, waiting to build the Tankoviy Battalion Command or the Mechanized Armor Kampaneya later if at all.
A Build Order is a pre-determined order of units that a player plans on building at the start of the game. Most advanced players have a pre-set Build Order in mind when starting the game. If they know their opponent they may tailor this Build Order to who they’ll be fighting, but often it will be a tactic they worked up regardless of who they are facing. At first players will stick to their Build Order regardless of what happens in the game. However by mid-game it’s important to be flexible enough to adjust your tactics to the situation on the field.
Popular players in the Company of Heroes 2 Community will often share their favorite Build Orders in guides, or in their Twitch or YouTube broadcasts of games. Explore the variety of popular options out there to see which one best fits your play style.
Common Tactical Situations
The game’s top players have their own strategies for addressing any situation they may encounter during a game. However we’ve assembled a few ways of dealing with common tactical situations to help you starting off.
Tactical Case: An enemy force capturing territory or in a defensive position without heavy weapons or long range artillery.
Tactical Response: Engage with weapons teams and artillery to attack from distance. Especially if your opponent is not monitoring these units you should be able to devastate them without putting your own forces at risk.
Tactical Case: A well placed sniper is blocking my units’ approach to a vital area of the map.
Tactical Response: While it would be possible to rush the sniper, exchanging units for ground, if your opponent has other units in support of the sniper this may result in heavy casualties for you. Better is to engage from a distance with a Mortar or artillery team. If you have a fast moving vehicle like a Scout Car, Half-track or light tank these could be used to chase away the sniper.
Tactical Case: A Mortar is attacking dug in defenses.
Tactical Response: Adjust the position of your defenses if possible. If they’re in a vital area then you will need to attack the Mortar to get it to move or retreat. Either use your own Mortar team to return fire, or send faster short range units in to attack up close.
Tactical Case: The enemy has dug in defenses that are blocking my movement.
Tactical Response: Snipers and Mortar teams attacking from range are the best response to this early game. If you have vehicles capable of handling infantry then these would work as well. The worst way of addressing this would be to try to overwhelm the position with a frontal infantry assault.
There’s a lot more to Company of Heroes 2 than any single guide could cover. Thanks to regular updates from Relic Entertainment the game is constantly evolving and changing. What strategies work today may not be effective tomorrow. Think of this guide as the first step on your journey of mastering CoH2. There are many guides created by great players in the community that can help you take the next step. Watching top players on Twitch streams or YouTube videos will also provide further insight to how to win.
Like everything else the most important thing is to practice. The more you play the game the more familiar you will be with it. Practice, focus and being willing to risk losing as long as you’re learning and having fun, is what separates good players from the great players.
We hope you have fun, and we look forward to seeing you on the front lines!