In Advance Wars for GBA, by selecting certain Commanding Officers for certain maps you can play hidden/alternate missions, unlock other COs, alternate game modes etc.

From past time with AW I remember more than two playthroughs were required, but I might be doing it rather randomly.

Is there list of optimal playthroughs of campaign to unlock everything in a minimal number of campaign completions? No need for any strategy/hints, just which COs on which map/mission and optional objectives (if any).

  • Which one? I think there are 4 for GBA... I own at least two for GBA plus the two for DS.
    – Probst
    Apr 20, 2016 at 15:46
  • @Probst there are two for GBA, just "Advance Wars", and "Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising" (and two for DS and another three for GB/GBC), here I mean original GBA one. (gba tag was edited away by someone ;)
    – PTwr
    Apr 20, 2016 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


Only two playthroughs are required, but one of them has to be of the Advance Campaign.

COs only become available in Battle Maps after finishing a campaign in which you completed their unlock requirements, as follows:

  • Grit: Choose Max for Mission 4, "Max Strikes!"
  • Eagle: Complete "Captain Drake", "Naval Clash", "Wings of Victory", and "Battle Mystery" with Sami, all on the same playthrough. An Eagle campaign will also force you to complete the bonus chapter, "Rivals!", after "The Final Battle".
  • Drake: Complete "Captain Drake", "Naval Clash", "Wings of Victory", and "Battle Mystery" with Andy, all on the same playthrough.
  • Kanbei: Complete the campaign -- Kanbei has no special requirements.
  • Sonja: Complete Sonja's missions during the campaign. To access them, you must complete Missions 9, 10 and 11 within certain turn limits:
    • "Kanbei Arrives!" in 8 days
    • "Mighty Kanbei!" in 10 days
    • "Kanbei's Error?" in 12 days
  • Sturm: Purchase all of the previous COs available in Battle Maps.
  • Nell: Complete the Advance Campaign.

So, if you play through the campaign normally and get either Drake or Eagle, then do an Advance Campaign with the other's requirements, you will unlock all the COs in a minimum of missions.

Please note I haven't given any consideration to the relative difficulty of this route. The normal campaign isn't too bad, but for the Advance Campaign I might suggest a turn-by-turn walkthrough such as this.

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