Let’s be frank. As much as I can say I’m enjoying Marvel’s Avengers as a video game-ass video game, it has big problems. Problems that range from bugs and glitches, to weird endgame content and worst of all busted matchmaking. While Crystal Dynamics works on fixing the matchmaking, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with the AI in squad-based missions. And the AI doesn’t always seem that useful. Fortunately, you actually have a lot of control over your four-person team makeup, which means you can leverage what’s available to you to form a decent team.

Marvel’s Avengers AI Team Guide

You can’t expect the AI to be running all cylinders, especially in a game like Marvel’s Avengers. It can get pretty tough pretty quickly, and relies heavily on things like your response time and ability to react to your surroundings. Combining that with AI control and you’re going to see your bumbling teammates make silly mistakes. But that’s okay, because you’re going to be the tip of the spear anyway. But if you’re trying to get the most out of your brainless homies, there are a few things you can keep in mind to make your squad more… squaddy.

First of all, you have to change your frame of mind when thinking about what Marvel’s Avengers is. On the surface it’s a brawler with light RPG elements that wants to look and feel like a Destiny competitor, but with way more punching. That works when you’re playing by yourself, and even sometimes if you manage to get a hold of other human players. But if you’re going it alone in multi-person missions, you’re going to have to start thinking like you’re playing a MMO. If you boil the characters down to “roles,” then you’ll be able to assemble with the AI more effectively.

Related: Can You Skip the Campaign in Marvel’s Avengers?

If you look at the Avengers in terms of “roles,” you can split your team into categories. Black Widow and Iron Man are your DPS fighters, your glass cannons who can do the murder good, but also get murdered good. Hulk and Thor don’t do as much damage as their squishier counterparts, but are capable of absorbing much more punishment. These are your tanks, your crowd control, your anchors. Hulk especially, since he has self-healing abilities built into his powers. Finally, Captain America and Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel are, arguably, support. There aren’t clear healer roles in this game, but both Cap and Kamala are capable of riding out long combat sections, while focusing best on single targets. They’re very tank-like, but also good at getting up close, and perfect for managing aggro in boss fights or elite encounters.

If you’re building a team, you want to try as much balance as you can. Make sure your AI pals fit into each slot, and then you can double up with whomever you want to play as. Cap and Kamala are great for the player role, but you can certainly “specialize” more with a Hulk or Widow if you want to do the really fun stuff. As long as your teammates are geared up and not under-leveled (yeah, solo play involves grinding everyone, sorry!) you’ll be able to weather most storms.

Now if you want to go from survivable to destructive, you’re going to have to pay extra attention to your gear. Each Avenger actually specializes in different kinds of “elemental” damage. Hulk, as an obvious example, gets lots of opportunities revolving around Gamma damage. If you can figure out what your favorite heroes can do and focus on gear that amplifies those powers, you can get a ton of different kinds of colored damage popping off everywhere in crowded fights. Even if your AI buddies are flopping around a bit and choosing funky targets, it won’t matter if they’re applying status effects or special damage consistently.

Ultimately cruising around the endgame content with an AI team is not ideal, and definitely not what Marvel’s Avengers is built for. But in these early times, while it’s hard to even link up with one other player in matchmaking, you might have to swallow your pride and beef up the AI.

Have you been experimenting with single-player team builds while you wait for the next patch to roll out for Marvel’s Avengers? Do you have a favorite squad and gear loadout that’s getting you through your Challenge Cards? Let us know over at the Prima Games Facebook and Twitter channels!