How to earn resources in Marvel's Midnight Suns

UI screens from Marvel's Midnight Suns
(Image credit: 2K Games)

Marvel's Midnight Suns takes a maximalist approach to its systems—piling on upgrades, crafting, and hero management systems to fill your day with repeat visits to a number of different wings of the abbey. Many of these systems are governed by specific resources that you'll need to collect throughout the world.

When you're selecting a new mission at the Mirror Table, you'll notice a variety of possible rewards—Credits, Essences, Intel Caches and Blueprints, to name just a few. Each of these has a specific main use, and some are more useful than others, especially early on. And running out of a key resource can halt your expansion and upgrade plans until you're able to restock. 

If you're desperately hoping to upgrade your favourite card, or wondering why you can't spar with Iron Man any more, here's a rundown of Midnight Suns' different resources, what they're used for, and what you need to do to earn more.

If you're looking for more general tips, here are 17 things you should know before starting Marvel's Midnight Suns. Or if you just want to know why PC Gamer is currently raving about Firaxis's eccentric superhero strategy, read our Midnight Suns review (opens in new tab).

How to earn Credits

UI screens from Marvel's Midnight Suns

(Image credit: 2K Games)

The main use for Credits is to buy the upgrades you've researched for the Forge, Yard and CENTRAL. The latter research options can get pretty expensive, so it's worth saving up, as the boosts these upgrades provide can be quite powerful. Some systems are entirely tied to new research options, and won't be available until you've spent some cash.

You can also spend credits each day to spar with one of the other heroes, increasing XP, friendship and awarding stat buffs.

Used for:

  • Buying upgrades
  • Daily sparring

Earned from:

  • Missions that list Credits as a reward
  • Possible reward from opening Arcane Chests in the abbey
  • Possible reward from opening red chests during missions
  • Possible reward from interrogating henchmen during missions
  • Collectible orbs that spawn in the Abbey
  • Completing optional mission challenges

How to earn Essence

UI screens from Marvel's Midnight Suns

(Image credit: 2K Games)

As the primary resource for combat cards, Essence comes in three flavours—one for each of the card types in the game. Attack Essence is for attack cards (the ones with the swords); Skill Essence is for skill cards (the ones with the shields); and Heroic Essence is for heroic cards (the ones with an orange number). You'll need a specific amount of the corresponding Essence to upgrade cards of the same type, or to combine with blueprints to craft new versions of those cards. If you've got an overabundance of a particular type of Essence, you can transmute it into a different kind at Agatha's Cauldron.

Used for

  • Upgrading cards at The Yard
  • Crafting cards at The Forge
  • Crafting items at the Item Station

Earned from:

  • Missions that list Essence as a reward
  • Discarding cards from your inventory
  • Studying Artifacts in the Forge
  • Collectible orbs that spawn in the Abbey
  • Created in Agatha's Cauldron
  • Transmuted into other Essence types in Agatha's Cauldron
  • Analysing Artifacts at the Forge

How to earn Blueprints

UI screens from Marvel's Midnight Suns

(Image credit: 2K Games)

Early in the game, you'll research the ability to craft new combat cards at the Forge. To do this, you'll not only need a batch of that card's matching Essence, but a blueprint as well. These are tiered by rarity. Common cards just need a Common Blueprint, rares a Rare Blueprint, and so on. The good news is that you can salvage higher-tier blueprints into lower-tier ones, and combine lower-tier ones with more Essence to craft higher-tier ones. So if you're desperately looking to unlock a specific card, you've got options—even if patience is less costly in the long run.

Used for:

  • Combining with Essence to craft a card

Earned from:

  • Missions that list Blueprints as a reward
  • Possible reward from opening red chests during missions
  • Salvaging higher-tier Blueprints
  • Combining lower-tier Blueprints with Essence
  • Studying Artifacts at the Forge

How to earn Intel

UI screens from Marvel's Midnight Suns

(Image credit: 2K Games)

Intel is used to launch Hero Ops at CENTRAL. You don't complete these missions yourself, but instead assign a member of the team who will then be out of action for your main mission of the day. Once complete, that hero is rewarded with XP and combat abilities.

You'll also need to earn the Hero Ops assignments themselves—and each usually has a time limit in which it must be completed. Luckily, unlocking Hero Ops is also the best way of earning more Intel by completing missions that reward Intel Caches. Decode the caches at CENTRAL, and you'll earn both a selection of Hero Ops, and the resource you need to launch them.

Intel is also used to unlock optional challenges for your main missions—usually requiring you to fulfil a specific condition for an extra reward.

Used for:

  • Launching Hero Ops from CENTRAL
  • Activating optional mission challenges

Earned from:

  • Missions that list Intel Caches as a reward
  • Possible reward from opening Arcane Chests in the abbey
  • Possible reward from opening red chests during missions
  • Possible reward from interrogating henchmen during missions

How to earn Gloss

UI screens from Marvel's Midnight Suns

(Image credit: 2K Games)

Gloss is the customisation currency, used primarily to unlock new outfits for The Hunter and the other Heroes—both daily outfits for wearing around the Abbey, and new colour schemes for the Superhero outfits they don when tangling with Hydra. It's also used to buy new upgrades and customisation options for The Hunter's bedroom. Plus, once you've unlocked the gift shop, you'll be able to buy new gifts with Gloss every day. There's plenty you can spend it on, but, luckily, you'll earn it at a steady rate. Every mission you complete will reward an amount of Gloss based on your performance and difficulty level.

Used for:

  • Customising appearance of The Hunter and the other heroes
  • Upgrading The Hunter's room
  • Buying Gifts

Earned from:

  • The end of every mission, with bonuses based on performance and difficulty
  • Possible reward from opening Arcane Chests in the abbey
  • Gathered as collectible orbs from the Abbey
  • Praising Charlie

How to earn Compliments

Compliments provide a little extra boost to a character's relationship score. If you have some Compliments in stock, just head to another character during the day, and hold the 'F' key to turn on the charm offensive. Don't overthink this one: if you've got some to use, dish them out. Everyone loves to be praised.

Used for:

  • Giving compliments to heroes for a small boost to friendship

Earned from:

  • Completing Research
  • Completing Hero Ops at CENTRAL
  • Leveling up the Training Yard

Where to gather Reagents

UI screens from Marvel's Midnight Suns

(Image credit: 2K Games)

At some point in the first act, you'll gain access to the library, and the bubbling cauldron it contains. Agatha's Cauldron is another crafting (read: brewing) station, with multiple categories of items to create. With it you can make healing items to equip during missions, craft different rarities of gifts, and even create (or transmute) different Essence types.

All of these recipes require Reagents, which are the materials foraged throughout the abbey grounds. As you're exploring the map, solving its various mysteries, be sure to pick up any mushrooms or plants you stumble across. Different areas of the map contain different Reagents, as do different times of day.

Before you can craft an item, you first need to unlock its recipe. These, too, are found while exploring: look out for books or scrolls you can interact with as you wander the grounds.

Used for:

  • Crafting Combat Items
  • Crafting Essences
  • Crafting Gifts
  • Transmuting Essences

Gathered from:

  • Ingredients collected from the Abbey's grounds.

To fully explore the Abbey grounds, you'll need to unlock the various Words of Power. You'll get the first, Open, by following the story. For the second, you'll need to find the Elemental Rods (opens in new tab) hidden around the grounds.

Phil Savage
Editor-in-Chief

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.