Defiance New Player?s Guide?by Lexinator
I have been playing Defiance since launch, and while I am not yet close to the 5000 EGO cap, I think my experience can help others avoid the mistakes I made. Having completed the entire game, and participated in many PvP matches, as well as co-op missions (instances) ? I can safely say that I rather enjoyed it.
Praise aside ? the lack of a good tutorial and documentation require that you do a lot of reading to get the most out of Defiance. I hope this guide can be a repository of knowledge that limits the time required to master the game.
Have a question not covered here? Ask in the comments below.
About the game
First of all let me tell you what Defiance is all about. It is not Borderlands in an MMO setting. If you are looking for massive amounts of different loot with varied stats, this is not the game for you. Simply put Defiance is a massive sandbox with missions, challenges, and random events sprinkled throughout.
There is a main story, but you don?t have to follow it. You are actually quite free to roam (or drive) around and do whatever you want. The fastest way to ?level? up your EGO is actually by completing certain off the road challenges (Hotshot Moonshine Shack comes to mind). These challenges net you a sick amount of XP in mere seconds. The example I used above gives about 2K for a minute of work, while story missions give much less while consuming a lot more time.
Since Defiance is a sandbox, ALL enemies in the game can be tackled at any time. The only thing that improves is their AI, tactics, and weapon use.
Leveling up also works a bit different in Defiance. Your weapon skills level up the more you use a certain weapon ? and this improves multiple stats such as damage, recoil, etc. In general MOST SIMILAR weapons in Defiance have approximately the same stats. What I mean by this is if you find a level 1 Sniper Rifle, it WILL have very similar stats to a level 500 Sniper Rifle (depending on rarity of course). However, the level 500 one will have more mod slots with which you can fine tune it to your personal preference. It will also most likely have set bonuses that work in hand with your abilities.
This brings us to the EGO grid. Here you can chose between the 4 EGO powers and their supporting perks. NOTE: YOU HAVE TO EQUIP your power AND the appropriate perks. They will not just ?work? once you unlock them. Since the tutorial doesn?t really tell you this, a lot of people decided that perks are bugged or not working? This is not the case. They have to be equipped.
The four EGO powers are:
Blur ? Gives you a movement boost, increases dodge chance, AND most importantly buffs up your melee attack to the point of ridiculous. I have one shot players with this power and a good weapon (moded for melee). Great fun to run toward someone and smack them in the face so hard that they explode. Also pretty fun to avoid grenade spam (which is heavily used in PvP).
Cloak ? Makes you invisible. Kind of like stealth in other games. Your next shot will decloak you and increase your damage (think backastab in other games). This works really well with shotguns, since they fire multiple pellets EVERY pellet will get a damage increase bonus from your first shot, meaning that whatever you shoot out of cloak will most likely die. Also comes in handy for sneaking past enemies. Another benefit of cloak is that it starts charging your shield as SOON as you use it.
Decoy ? An incredibly underused power, and it?s really too bad because it creates a holographic clone that runs forward and starts shooting/distracts your enemies ? BUT that?s not all! The best part of this ability, and one that I don?t see anyone using is that at the press of a button you can SWITCH PLACES with your clone. That?s right. Send your decoy into an enemy player cluster ? it will of course be ignored, then once it runs behind them, switch and grenade away. You just won. It also works wonders against enemy NPC?s, that go out of their way to attack it. To swap places with your decoy, simply hit the EGO power button again.
Overcharge ? Just damage. Pure damage. This ability increases your damage output and instantly reloads your gun when activated. It also eliminates recoil. Really not much to say about this. If you want to deal the most damage while giving up survivability or any other options, this is the choice for you (although Cloak has a higher initial burst).
There are also plenty of perks around the EGO grid. Each one can be leveled multiple times (just like the EGO power itself), and each one does something different like improve your damage from behind, or increase your EGO power duration, etc.
Spending a point on a perk, unlocks all perks within one square of it. Here is a handy little EGO calculator to mess around with.
Default PC Controls
Here are the default PC and Mouse controlls (they can be re-mapped at any time).
Left button ? Shoot
Scroll ? Cycle weapons
Right button ? Aim mode
Movement ? Camera
Esc ? Menu
1 ? Special/EGO
2 ? Weapon 1
3 ? Weapon 2
Q ? Cycle weapons
E ? Action
R ? Reload
W ? Up
A ? Left
S ? Down
D ? Right
F ? Melee
G ? Grenade
K ? EGO Grid
L ? Loadouts
LShift ? Sprint
C ? Crouch
V ? Vehicle
Spacebar ? Jump (or context menu within another menu), or engages the afterburners while in a vehicle.
Alt ? Roll
U ? Quick chat
Y ? Quick menu
M and F3 ? Map
Start ? Menu
Back ? Map
Left joystick ? Movement
Right Joystick ? Camera
Left bumper ? Special
Right Bumper ? Grenade
Y ? Cycle weapons
X ? Action
X ? Reload
B ? Melee
A ? Jump
Press in Left Joystick ? Sprint
Press in Right Joystick ? Crouch
Double tap B ? Roll
D-Pad up ? Vehicle
D-Pad Right ? Quick menu
Hints and Tips
1 ? Breaking down and modifying gear:
For some reason this was not at all explained in the tutorial and a lot of high level players still don?t know how to do it because of the nightmare like UI.
To break down your gear, hit L and scroll over to the Salvage Matrix. Once there, pick a piece of equipment and break it down into Ark Resources (used to buy lockboxes).
NOTE: Ark Resources are NOT the same as Scrip. Scrip is used to buy gear, while Ark Resources are used to buy Lockboxes. Think of Scrip as gold and Ark Resources as DKP.
To modify it, select Attach, Remove, or Add Mods. The rest is pretty self explanatory.
NOTE: You can?t break down items you have equipped, so don?t worry.
2 ? Very important Arkfall tip: One of the Arkfalls requires that you destroy the giant pulsing crystal. DO NOT kill the little Skitterlings that are helping you by munching on it and exposing weaknesses. Same thing with the Mutant Demomen. Let them place their barrels and blow them up.
3 ? There is fast travel in the game. Open up your map and find blue icons. Double clicking on one instantly transforms you to that location.
4 ? You have multiple Loadouts ? USE THEM. You start the game with two. Equip different weapon types in each so you don?t run out of ammo in Arkfalls/PVP. To switch between them, hit L and pick the one you want. You can even have different EGO powers/perks to compliment your other weapon set.
5 ? LMG?s, SMG?s, and AR?s ALL use the same ammo type. Seriously don?t carry a Light Machine Gun as a primary with an Assault Rifle as a secondary ? you look like a fool and are always out of ammo.
6 ? Make your own waypoints with the right mouse button. Open the map, and right click anywhere. Very handy!
7 ? ALT is roll and Spacebar is jump. Get to love these buttons. If you are on fire rolling twice extinguishes it faster! Also works on other effects like sludge.
8 ? Elemental types on weapons:
Electrical ? Stuns targeted enemy and nearby enemies for a short period. The burst of electrical activity will also short out the HUD provided by the EGO for this duration.
Incendiary ? Lights targeted enemy aflame, harming them for a short period of time.
Biological ? Attaches biological compounds to a target, slowing them down and causing them to do less damage for a short period of time.
Radiation ? Irradiates the target, weakening their armor and causing them to take more damage from attacks for a short period of time.
Syphon ? Steals health from the target and transfers it back to the shooter.
9 ? VEHICLE KILLS give you NO LOOT, just XP. So be careful when doing this in Arkfalls or on bosses. In fact, do NOT use vehicles in Arkfalls period.
10 ? Melee is viable. Out of ammo? Press F to slam your weapon into someone?s face.
11 ? Don?t blindly shoot at enemies. Lots of them have clear weaknesses and resistances. Exploit this and save yourself the trouble of spamming chat for help with ?an OP mob that you just can?t take down?.
12 ? Enter brings up chat. Type something in and press Enter again to say it.
13 ? When in the map or character menu you can access the intel menu which lists pursuits, lore, etc. Have a look at it, it?s well worth it.
14 ? Vehicles have skill levels as well. Raising them makes vehicles handle better. To do this simply drive. Really, you shouldn?t be running ANYWHERE in Defiance.
15 ? At EGO level 250 the Contracts tab opens up, allowing you to increase your Reputation with factions and get uber loot. Access this tab by hitting ESC, pressing Spacebar and selecting ?GOALS?.
16 ? If you see a crawling player you can revive them by running up and interacting with the body.
17 ? Cover and movement. This is a shooter after all and cover + movement are very important. Hide behind boxes, walls, etc. Don?t just stand there and get shot. A headshot on you will most likely kill you, so standing still while shooting is not the brightest idea ever.
18 ? Be sure to equip your perks after you unlocked them. I can?t stress this enough. They WILL NOT work unless equipped.
19 ? Crouching increasing your accuracy. So does aiming (RMB). If you both crouch AND aim it stacks.
20 ? USE OR LOSE your Keycodes! (shield icon things). They are capped and are used to buy lockbockes. If you are at the max and complete something that rewards them (Arkfall), they will GO TO WASTE. So don?t ?save? your keys till later EGO levels. Buy those lockboxes!
Events and Arkfalls
What makes Defiance stand out even more are all the dynamic events. You can literally be driving around and find a random ?event? that will have you defend a few miners from ambushing Hellbugs or be charged with setting up a forward base and booting up turrets, etc.
Then there are huge events called Arkfalls. They range from minor ones that can be done by one person, all the way to multi stage ones that are tackled by DOZENS of players.
By participating in them, you get special currency that can be used to purchase lockboxes, which have a chance at great loot. You also sometimes get a (gear) reward based on how well you performed.
To spot Arkfalls, open up your map and look for red dropship looking things. Get there and start blasting!
Note: Please help others during Arkfalls. If you see someone crawling on the ground, run up and revive them. Also do NOT use vehicles to kill enemies as it prevents loot and ammo drops, as well as bugs/resets enemies.
I have been PvPing a lot lately, and I mean a lot. I tried out all powers and settled on Blur + Infector/Shotgun combo ? which really is quite possibly the most OP build in the game ATM. I may switch out of this because after you learn how to use Blur to it?s full potential (with the proper perks) the Infector + Shotgun combo becomes unstoppable (and not too fun to play).
NOTE: This build is getting nerfed in an upcoming patch, so thankfully I will be forced to try and find another one.
Moving on to the tips:
1. DO NOT STAND STILL. Seriously. This is a shooter. Why do I see so many people standing while they shoot?
Jump (Spacebar), roll (Alt), and MOVE (WASD). Don?t stand there firing.
2. Shotguns and Grenades/Launchers. Both of these weapons are capable of inflicting ridiculous damage. Grenade launchers from far away,
3. DO NOT use a frag grenade. Seriously. In PvP you should be using the sludge/slow (Bio), the fire/dot (Pyro), or the blind (Flash) grenade.
4. Pay attention to your environment. I have no issue spotting moving cloakers. After a few games you won?t either.
5. This is a team based game. Please don?t run into a group of enemies with guns blazing. Please?
6. Unit you settle on your final PvP loadout, you should probably carry a BMG so you can heal yourself and others. This comes in very handy against people running around with Infectors. Just don?t stand still while you try to heal.
Q: What are bits?
A: Bits are the in-game shop currency.
Q: How bad is the in-game shop? Is Defiance Pay to Win?
A: Far from it. Right now the bit shop contains only cosmetic items, HOWEVER bits also allow you to purchase Lockboxes (which can also be bought with in-game currency).
Q: What platforms is Defiance available on?
A: PC, Xbox 360, and the Playstation 3.
Q: Is there cross platform play?
A: Sadly no. Each platform has their own dedicated servers.
This means: There is no cross platform play!
Q: Do starting classes matter?
A: No. They simply give you a unique outfit and a specific starting weapon, as well as some unique hairstyle choices that are limited to only that class. That is the ONLY differences between ?classes?.
Q: But I hear that only certain classes can use their own weapon synergies. Is this true?
A: No. It is blatantly false. Trion (STUPIDLY) named some synergies the SAME as the starting classes. I have no idea why this was done as it only seems to confuse people.
Let me say this again, in all caps now: ANY ORIGIN (class) CAN USE (and benefit from) ANY WEAPON SYNERGY.
Q: How do I buy new gear?
A: Either buy Lockboxes or go to the giant vendor machines around rest areas and buy things there.
Q: Where is the auction house?
A: It?s not in game.
Q: Is there storage in the game? Banks?
A: No. You have to either keep items in your inventory or sell/break them down.
Q: Can I trade with other players?
A: Yes. Have them stand next to you and use the context menu to invite them to trade.
Q: Is thee a cap (limit) on Scrip or Ark Resources (Salvage)?
A: No there is not. The only ?resource? limit is the one on the keys that are used to purchase Lockboxes.
Q: The XP bar under my weapon is maxed out. What does that do?
A: It gives your weapon a random new bonus (often a completely useless one) and will STOP giving you experience toward its weapon skill. That means that if you want your character to progress and get stronger you NEED to find a new weapon of the same type (unless your skill is already maxed out that is).
SIde note: According to Sekuiya, Trion also patched in a way for you to reset it back to 0 via weapon modification.
Q: Are there any promo codes for the game?
A: Yes. Follow this https://defiancepc.trionworlds.com/commerce/voucher/redeem-voucher-flow and log into your account. Then use the following codes:
? 6YH6-N26K-W2N6-PKTM-R99J ? This PC ONLY code will increase your ?Runners? skill by 1.
Q: Why isn?t my vehicle moving?
A: You got in on the passenger side. Exit and enter the driver?s side.
Q: How do I unlock the other EGO powers?
A: Work up to it by picking the correct Perks. You need to unlock a Perk adjacent to it to open up the EGO power.
Q: How do I increase my HP?
A: Through the Fortitude Perk. Trion also said that you gain a minor HP increase at certain EGO levels, however this was said during beta ? after which the HP system changed entirely. So the only 100% sure fire way I know of increasing your HP is the Fortitude Perk.
Q: My inventory was full and my quest reward disappeared?
A: No it went into your claim box. Just open that and claim it.
Q: How do I claim my pre-order stuff? What about stuff that went into my claim box?
A: Same way. Hit ?P? or ?F5? Click on ?Claim Items?.
Q: Why can?t I sell or salvage item X?
A: You have it equipped in one of your loadouts. Equip something else and now you can.
Q: How long is the game?
A: It took me 57 hours to finish everything. This means ALL missions including co-op (think dungeons in WoW), and all Data Recorders. I did a few PvP matches and participated in some Arkfalls during those hours as well. A close friend rushed through the story and all missions in 41 hours, but he didn?t even stop by to do a single Arkfall, PvP match, or co-op instance, and missed most Data Recorders.
Q: What is the Defiance endgame?
A: PvP, Arkfalls, and Contracts. Honestly it?s not much at the moment and I am a bit disappointed. However the PvP and Arkfalls are both exceptionally fun. You can also run all the random events and repeatable missions to try and get gold medals (VERY DIFFICULT, and I still don?t have it on most of them).
Q: Is any new content coming?
A: YES! Trion said time and time again that they have ?dozens of hours worth of content? coming when the show launches and that they can?t release it before that happens due to how the game interacts with the show. There is a HUGE patch scheduled to hit on the day the show releases, and another one that will come after the first four episodes air.
Trion has a good track record with Rift, so I am going to trust them on this.
Q: How do I get an X colored vehicle? Weapon X? Shield X? Grenade X? XX X?
A: Check the ?Special? sales all vendor?s have. You may find something there. These change on an hourly basis. So keep checking.
There are also secret vendors not shown on the map. Check them often as certain items/vehicle colors are ONLY available from them and as a LIMITED time offer.
Q: How can i get a Cerberus?
A: That vehicle is available only in PvP and certain missions.
Q: What does Bloom mean on a weapon?
A: How fast your crosshair expands (blooms) when you fire it. The lower this is on a weapon, the more accurate it is with continuous firing.
Q: What does Trigger Effect mean on a weapon?
A: Chance of the element activating when you shoot. The higher, the better.
Q: What does Fallout Dmg mean on a weapon?
A: The range at which your weapon damage decreases. The higher this value is, the better.
Q: How can I watch the show for free on Amazon?
A: If you buy the game from Amazon before the 15?th, you will not only get a $10 discount (making it $49.99), but it also includes a $20 credit toward the purchase of the show Defiance when it becomes available to buy/stream there. This effectively makes the first season ?free?.
Q: How do I boost my reputation?
A:?at EGO 250, you unlock Contracts, which can be found in the same option as your Pursuits. Doing these contracts increases your reputation with that faction.
There are?daily?and weekly contracts, from participating in arkfalls to simply killing 100 raiders.
Q: What?s the loot color order for rarity?
A:?White > Green > Blue > Purple > Orange
Q: What are the differences between each level of Lockboxes?
A: The higher the level of the Lockbox, the better the gear contained inside (according to Trion).
Quotes from Trion regarding Lockboxes:
?The chances for legendary items is much much smaller on the tier 3 lockbox vs the tier 4 (less than 1%), so if you found one grats! Lucky you!
Tier 4 has a much better chance of getting epics and a slightly increased chance of getting legendaries.?
From my personal experience, Tier 3 seems to be the best Lockbox to buy. I have purchased dozens upon dozens of T2 Lockboxes (I stopped keeping track after 40) and never got an orange item. On my 12?th and 19?th T3 Lockbox I obtained my first and second orange piece of gear.
T4 looks to be a waste.?Granted I only opened 20 of them but I found just 1 orange item! I did get a lot of purple gear though.
Considering their ridiculous cost, I see no benefit to T4 over T3. In fact I see no reason to get any Lockbox other than the Tier 3 one.
Q: Do Lockboxes have diminishing returns if bought within a certain time frame?
A: According to Trion they do not. According to my research they do not either, since twice I got Orange after Orange within 1 or 2 Lockboxes of each other.
Q: Is loot shared or individual?
A: Loot is dropped JUST for you. So don?t feel bad about trying to get as much of it as possible.
Note: If a monster or an Arkfall gives you a loot reward ? everyone will get their own, but they will be located in the same place. Countless times I saw a green item drop for me while a purple or orange dropped for a buddy (or vice versa).
Q: How do I unlock more perk slots?
A: They are unlocked through leveling, and become available at the following EGO levels: 20, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000.
Q: Help! Trion says I hacked and suspended/banned me, but I didn?t! Can you help?
A: Mistakes happen, and it?s better to be safe than sorry, so try to taking the following actions:
When you get the notification that you have been banned or suspended, it will tell you to contact [email protected] Do this and document the e-mail.
In 24-48 hours, if you still do not get a response, contact them through their live chat. Make sure to document this as well.
If all that fails as well, you can try giving them a call at (650)631-9800, and leave a message requesting your request be looked at again. Once again, keep track of this call. Simply record it.
Your final step would be to write them. Letters should be addressed here:
Trion Worlds Inc
303 Twin Dolphin Dr., Ste 500
Redwood City, CA 94065
Synergies and weapon modding
The beautiful thing about synergies is that they work like Voltron. The more you can hook up, the better it gets.
Example: If you have just the base Assassin tag (unmodded and freshly bought/found) on your weapon you only get +2 to your critical multiplier. If you mod it with two more Assassin synergies ? you will not only get + 4 critical multiplier, but also deal more damage on your next shot after a critical kill.
NOTE: The item you are modding has to already have a base synergy on it in order for the bonus to apply.
Example: If you have a gun with the Brutal synergy, you can?t just mod it with the Assassin synergy. You have to keep going with Brutal or nothing at all.
There are also Synergies that do not require mods. Just equip two weapons with the same synergy (1 main and 1 secondary) for the effect to kick in. The ones that do this have a , and only a  under their name.
Example: Hard-Boiled. Wielding two guns that have Hard-Boiled will give you the +2% refresh self-revive on a kill synergy.
This is the current list of Synergies in the game and their descriptions.
: +2% Crit Mult
: +4% Crit Mult
: +5% DMG on next shot after critical kill (Expires after 10 sec)
: +10% DMG on next shot after critical kill (Expires after 10 sec)
 +5% Melee DMG
 +10% Melee DMG
 +5% Reload on Melee Kill
 +10% Reload on Melee Kill
 +3% Fire Rate
 +6% Fire Rate
 +10% nano-effect chance for 2 sec after full reload
 +20% nano-effect chance for 2 sec after full reload
Synergy: EGO Precision
 +10% Accuracy
 +20% Accuracy
 +3% active EGO ability duration on critical kill
 +6% active EGO ability duration on critical kill
 +2% refresh self-revive on a kill
 Take 5% less damage while reloading
 +5% nano-effect chance on a kill
 +5% nano-effect chance on a critical hit
 +5% damage from last shot in clip
 1% ammo regen/10 sec
 2% ammo regen/10 sec
 +5% DMG on next shot after melee kill (expires after 10 sec)
 +10% DMG on next shot after melee kill (expires after 10 sec)
 +5% Reload
 +10% Reload
 +50% Reload on self-revive
 +100% Reload on self-revive
Synergy: Rolling Thunder
 +5% Mag
 +10% Mag
 +10% Hip Accuracy
 +20% Hip Accuracy
 +5% Movement Accuracy
 +10% Movement Accuracy
 +10% Accuracy and -10% Recoil at low health
 +20% Accuracy and -20% Recoil at low health
 Fully reload weapons after reviving another player
 +1% item drop chance
 +2% item drop chance
 +10% nano-effect chance against out-of-combat targets
 +20% nano-effect chance against out-of-combat targets
 +5% Range
 +10% Range
 +5% EGO ability refresh on critical kill
 +10% EGO ability refresh on critical kill
 +2% damage to targets with full health and shields
 +10% rate-of-fire after a full reload
 +10% DMG to vehicles
For some reason this was not at all explained in the tutorial and a lot of high level players still don?t know how to do it because of the nightmare like UI.
To break down your gear, hit L and scroll over to the Salvage Matrix. Once there, pick a piece of equipment and break it down into Ark Resources.
NOTE: Ark Resources are NOT the same as Scrip. Scrip is used to buy gear, while Ark Resources are used to buy keys, which in turn are used to buy Lockboxes. Think of Scrip as gold and Ark Resources as DKP.
To modify an item, select Attach, Remove, Add, or Recover Mod.
Selecting Attach Mod is pretty self explanatory. Scroll down to the mod you want to attach and click.
If you chose the Remove Mod option ALL mods in that weapon will be destroyed. You can?t pick the mod you want gone.
Choosing to add Mod slots to an item will add a random mod slot to it. This can be done until your item has a maximum of four mod slots.
Picking Recover Mod gives you back all the mods you put into your item, BUT it will destroy the item itself in the process.
NOTE: You can?t break down items you have equipped, so don?t worry.
Some of these options also only appear after a certain EGO level is reached.
Chuck Goodrich has a very good tip regarding Ark resources. If you have plenty of Scrip and not enough Ark resource to buy a Lockbox, simply buy gear from the vendors and salvage/break it down!
Breaking down a white item gets you 250 Ark resources.
Breaking down a green item gets you 500 Ark resources.
Breaking down a blue item gets you 750 Ark resources.
Breaking down a purple item gets you 1000 Ark resources.
Breaking down a orange item gets you 1250 Ark resources.
SPOILERS ? Boss help ? SPOILERS
There are two stages to this fight.
During the first you have to survive while shooting the tanks on the back of the little pyromaniacs rushing you (be sure not to kill them).
When they run into Joe?s area, they cause an explosion and his shield goes down for a moment. Unload on him during this time ? but you only have a few seconds to do this.
After you do this enough times, he jumps down and unleashes hell on you. This begins stage two.
During this stage, you simply have to avoid Joe?s attacks by rolling when he charges (circle strafing also works well), and unload whatever weapon you have into him.
Don?t forget to use the little stacks of ammo all around the arena!
I found this fight a lot easier than Jackleg Joe, but a bit more fun because of all the movement required to complete it. I honestly have no idea why people are having so many issues with him.
Nim is a three stage fight.
Stage one involves avoiding and unloading (they all do, but this stage in particular since there is nothing to hide behind). A homing weapon (Infector), or a healing weapon (BMG) make this a lot easier. A sticky weapon (detonator) makes it even easier yet, as you can plant your explosives on/around him and then detonate them for insane damage.
I did this stage with a shotgun and Blur as my EGO power of choice, with a detonating weapon as my secondary. I simply strafed around him and unloaded, as well as waiting for him to charge me and become vulnerable. His fireballs aren?t really a threat in this stage. Just roll away.
Stage two is a bit easier. Shoot his clones (or don?t, since Nim is the only one that will be jumping), and you will eventually hit him. Pillar dance to avoid the knives and take easy pot shots every chance you get.
Stage three is the easiest yet. Avoid the glowing spots to not take damage when he raises those pillars and don?t hide behind them because he can and will make them explode. Shoot him when you can and avoid the fireballs (that he can now spam three times in a row) by pillar dancing.
Note: As with Joe, there are ammo caches laying around the Arena. Use them when you run out of ammo.
As I said, Nim is an easier fight than Joe. Also don?t forget about your grenade for boss fights! They are extremely handy.