Starting Guide for HAWK: Freedom Squadron

A full beginner’s guide for an old-school shoot’em up mobile game including instructions to start, basics of the gameplay and equipment

What do we get if we take some old arcade scroll shooters, mix them with Platypus and add a little bit of modern mobile gaming? The answer is HAWK: Freedom Squadron. It’s a fun and highly dynamic game with loads of content like different planes, locations, weapons and whatnot. Of course, given time, you can get familiar with all of the stuff by yourself, but this guide can help you enter the game a lot more comfortably.

Setup and Launch

The app is free on iOS (8.0 or higher) and Android (4.0 or higher). You’ll also need a stable Internet connection to use help from other players as well as challenge them.


After a brief history lesson (saving the world, fighting against a dark lord) and an astonishingly simple level you’ll be sent to the game’s main menu. That would be «Hangar» by default.

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The glass containers with green goo in them are Verdium, which serves as the fuel for your tech. It serves the role of energy points, which are used every time you complete a mission. Verdium can be obtained for free once in a while and can be bought for Crystals, but only three times a day.

Golden Coins serve as the main currency of the game. You can earn them by successfully completing missions or exchange Crystals for them. There are much more ways to spend gold, however. The bulk of your budget will be spent on ship upgrades, the rest – on new parts, planes, brobot upgrades and container keys.

Crystals are the second game currency. They are used to continue failed missions, Elite container keys, in-game shop purchases and other stuff that is not obligatory but is always welcome. Crystals can be bought for real life cash and earned by completing missions and tasks.

  • 2. Profile. Tapping this icon will get you to Profile menu where you can change your nickname and avatar. New avatars will be unlocked as you buy new planes. You can also look up at your passive and active abilities determined by the equipment you are using.
  • 3. Friends. To get access to benefits of the co-op features of the game, you’ll need a Facebook friend to install the game to his device.
  • 4. Mail. This menu will show you system and activity notifications. If you’ve got unread mail, you’ll have a red dot on the icon.
  • 5. Options. Here you can disable sound and notifications as well as connect your Facebook account, solve any technical issues and find more interesting games to play.
  • 6. Daily Reward. Enter this menu every day to get free resources and equipment. Each consecutive day will make the reward heftier.
  • 7. Promos. At the moment, the game logo icon offers you a 30-day premium. With premium you’ll get benefits in form of resources, additional abilities and discounts.
  • 8. Containers. HAWK gives players the opportunity to open containers with new parts – basic and elite – for free. You’ll need to wait 24 hours to open another basic container and a couple days more for each elite container. Those wishing to get more containers with less waiting can spend Coins or Crystals to do so.
  • 9. Leaderboards. As you progress, competitive modes will be unlocked in the game, letting you challenge other players. Leaderboards of those modes can be found here.
  • 10. Events. From time to time, certain events occur in the game. Those can be, for example, discounts for certain goods or increased bonuses for different activities. Ongoing and upcoming events and their duration can be found in this menu.
  • 11. Hangar. The default menu. It is portrayed at a runway for your plane. If you tap the plane, you’ll open the engineering menu, where you can upgrade your current plane, look up its stats and abilities and buy new planes. You’ll have to save up a substantial amount of cash for that though. Not only you can upgrade your plane, you can also evolve it. Evolve cards can be obtained after completing certain missions or in a shop.

«Devices» tab will show you the devices installed on your plane. The higher the part level is, the better the bonuses it gives. To make it easy, there’s an «Equip best» button that automatically installs new equipment to its slots. Pay attention to the special abilities, however, as sometimes a weaker device will be better because of them. You can make good use of the old devices, too, as by combining four of them in a Black Box you might get something far more expensive and useful.

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There are also two small slots under your plane in the Hangar. Those are Brobots – small supporting planes. They’ll accompany you in battle and provide additional firepower. Brobots are unlocked gradually, one after another and new models become available given time. Every brobot is upgraded separately through its own menu. Aside from the money, you’ll also need experience to make upgrades. Experience is earned in missions.

Still, the main element in the hangar is not the plane, but the big «PLAY» button. It unveils a map with locations that you’ll explore stage after stage. The map includes different types of missions and additional modes (those are on the side buttons). In the beginning it’s reasonable to complete missions on the lowest difficulty. «One star» mode only requires you to reach the end of the mission safe and sound. Medium and hard difficulties will be tougher and will have additional objectives for you to complete. The gameplay is pretty simple – most of the time your plane bravely flies forward and you are only required to steer it with your finger. Dodge enemy projectiles and destroy as many targets as you can - that way you maximize the gold earned afterwards.

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If you were unable to reach the end and caught a bullet, you can respawn at the very place you died at. You’d have to pay some crystals, of course, so if you’re not going to spend much cash on the game, it’s not worth it. Before the flight you will be offered to buy additional abilities – empowered attacks that can be activated several times a mission. Sometimes the enemies will drop bonuses as well. Those can be, for example, shields or crates with loot. Try collecting them is you can, but don’t put yourself at risk too much. To complete difficult missions you can use support from other players – that can help you complete the hardest spots more easily.

  • 12. Tasks. This menu contains two tabs: Daily and Progress. You’ll be rewarded with some amount of currencies for completing certain tasks so be sure to visit the Tasks menu and collect the rewards of yours.
  • 13. Shop. The shop contains two tabs: BRO-shop, the currency for which you’ll be earning in Squad mode (unlocked after mission 30) and Contraband. Both shops’ stock will is renewed constantly so grab the best goods before they disappear.
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John Davis