When first playing Mafia Wars, you start in New York and there is a chance to choose which Mafia characteristic you would like, these come in three forms mogul which make money faster, maniacs who recovery energy faster and fearless who regain health quickly.
Since the game is entirely based around energy for doing jobs to build cash reserves and for fast experience gaining to level up quicker. The best one to choose when starting out would be the Maniacs characteristic for quicker energy gain which will greatly help increasing your Level early on.
Mafia Size is important for future jobs and in begging for weapons and gaining important items. The very best way to build Mafia Size is to visit the groups section in Facebook and search for Mafia Wars groups, there are several groups to help increase your Mafia Size by simply joining and placing a polite "add me, please" message on the groups wall will help grow your Mafia Size to help in future development.
When you first start out you are in New York the jobs are very scarce and some require certain weapons to be bought from the inventory section to actually do the jobs so gaining some cash at first to buy weapons is important, there are two ways to do this either start fights which helps build your bank balance and experience for levelling (will need a Mafia family of 10 or more for better chance of winning and will need to spend cash to regain health at the hospital), do the job increaser method i.e. do the mugging job till you have enough to buy crow bar, do corner store hold up till you got enough cash to buy.45 calibre pistol and so on this again builds your bank balance and experience points for levelling.
Any cash you don't spend always put it in the bank this will prevent enemy Mafia wars members fighting you in fights and taking your hard earned cash from you.
Once you open more jobs, then switch to doing the jobs that give the most experience points for the least job energy spent. In the early stages of levelling you will find that with this method you can advanced up levels very quickly indeed.
In the early stages it is best to spend your hard earned cash from jobs in the inventory on weapons, body armour, vehicles and now animals, this helps to increase the defence and attack attributes of your whole Mafia family and enables you to take on gangs that have more family members than you in fights taking more cash and experience and dealing bigger damage to them, be careful what equipment you buy at the start because the better equipment cost money to upkeep.
Also its best to invest cash in upgrading your properties this gives you income every three hours which will greatly help with your buying of weapons and counter-balancing the cost of upkeep for weapons you own, in the early stages your cash is very low, so its best to save up money doing jobs and upgrade the low-end properties to begin with. The best properties to upgrade at the beginning are the 'Flophouse' and 'Pawnshop' this will give your cash earning a nice boost.
CHOP SHOP AND WEAPONS DEPOT
The Chop Shop and Weapons Depot are a nice new feature added by Zynga and is great for building and obtaining new weapons and vehicles. At the beginning you will need to ask your Mafia to supply the necessary parts to actually build the Chop Shop and Weapons Depot, the quickness in doing this is dependent on your Mafia Size and also how generous your Mafia is.
Once built you need to obtain car parts and weapons parts to successfully build new weapons or vehicles and these can be obtained via doing jobs, asking your Mafia and also through robbing Weapon Depots and Chop Shops. You can also upgrade the Chop Shop and Weapons Depot which will unlock more advanced weapons and vehicles for you to build, you can again obtain the necessary parts through doing certain jobs, asking friends and robbing.
LEVELLING AND PROFILE POINTS
Every time you level up your Mafia wars character attributes refill fully and you gain 5 profile points to strengthen the statistics of your Mafia wars character, you can add points to the six different attributes, Attack, Defence, Health, Energy, Stamina and Influence. At the beginning it is recommended to spend all the 5 profile points from levelling on the energy attribute to help you perform more jobs each level therefore gaining cash and experience to help levelling quicker.
Also you will notice when levelling more jobs become available for each level stage you are at e.g. between levels 1-4 only street thug jobs are available and 5-8 associate jobs and so on, In each job section each job has a blue levelling bar (three levels in total), once the blue bar is full that job level is reached and your are awarded a profile point. The best way to spend the points from completed jobs levels is on either strengthening your attack or defence attributes, this will help in fights and also when you are being attacked in defence.
As you play through Mafia Wars you will see that many jobs and achievements will give you valuable profile points, experience, weapons, items and most important the cash to buy available weapons and equipment to strengthen your Mafia family.
Now Godfather Points are very useful, you will notice at the beginning that you will have some Godfather points to spend, well the best way to spend these points is to fully replenish your energy bar when exhausted which costs 10 Godfather points, the other items are just little luxuries which you may or may not want to purchase at a later date.
Notice you will gain 1 Godfather point for every two levels you gain, just save these up to 10 points and replenish your energy for faster levelling capabilities.
Every 23 hours you are usually sent an energy pack from your Mafia Family this will replenish the energy bar and add 25% to your energy attribute and is best to use when you have exhausted all your energy and stamina and still need 200 or more experience points in order to level up.
COLLECTIONS & VAULTS ALSO BEGGING
In the Mafia Wars game is Collections and Vault which is in the inventory section, this is another great way to gain energy advantages and again more items are available to collect as you continue to level up. In this area you will find various items to collect and vault which give you various benefits for example collecting and vaulting the diamond flush collection for the first time will give you 1 energy point and if you were to collect and re-vault again you would gain tripwires to help in defence, you can gain these items through loot that are found at jobs or if you've built a sizeable Mafia family then you can send item request out and hopefully your kind Mafia family will send them to you for free.
Note at the beginning it is best to try and vault collections that give you job energy loss discounts such as the heart flush collection this will give you +5 health the first time you vault and -3 job energy costs when you re-vault the collection, Others to look out for later on are the club flush collection, the cigars collection, the rings collection and the great horses collection. Others will become available to you once you have access to the Cuba and Moscow scenarios.
FREE DAILY CHANCE
Every day there is a Free Daily Chance ticket for you to choose 6 numbers and enter into a lottery to win Free godfather points and useful loots items and the lottery is drawn every 7 days. There is also a Daily Chance progress bar which gives you the opportunity to earn a free prize, this has six levels and each day you dont claim a prize and fill out a Daily Chance ticket this bar goes up by one with better free prizes to be won at each level,
The best way to use this excellent freebie is to not claim a free prize until the bar is at level 6 or the bar is completely full, once it is click the claim item button and you will be rewarded upto 5 godfather points absolutely free, so its very wise to do the Free Daily Chance ticket every day or you will lose out on valuable free godfather points and also the chance of winning some useful prizes.
Robbing is a feature that has recently returned to Mafia Wars and allows you to use Stamina points to rob opponents properties for extra cash, items and more importantly experience points. This is a great feature to help with levelling up and gaining weapon and vehicle parts, but is only really useful if you successfully rob the properties, or you are just wasting your time and stamina points for little gain. It is best to get your Attack stats to at least double your current Level before embarking on Robbing.
Fighting is a feature where you can gain extra cash and experience points for taking on an opponent and their Mafia Family in a straight fight, this can be a very useful feature especially if you can win the fight but is not as good as robbing and consumes health points with each fight which will need healing at the hospital which costs money. The best way to win in fights early on is to pick on opponents with a smaller Mafia size to increase your chance of winning.
Crime spree is another new feature for gaining some free weapons daily and is often overlooked by many Mafia Wars players, this is found under the profile tab. The object of this feature is to send requests up to 40 of your friends daily asking to help with your Crime Spree, dependant on how loyal your family they will either hinder or help you with your crime spree.
With each family member who helps you with your Crime Spree you gain a useful weapon plus the main level meter fills up a fraction, each time a family member hinders you the main level meter empties. If the main level meter fills to 100% your receive a special weapon and advance one level.