Crusaders are non-playable characters that passively deal damage to enemies (with the exception of The Bush Whacker and his alternates). Each Crusader can be unlocked after the previous Crusader has been leveled at least once or the gold required for his/her first level has been acquired. Alternate crusaders can only be unlocked by completing special events or with specific recruitment missions.
You can purchase levels for your Crusaders by spending gold. Leveling increases base DPS, health, and unlocks upgrades. Crusader levels are maxed at 5,000, unless you buy specific talents or some special abilities such as RoboQueen's equipment.
Every Crusader has upgrades that can be purchased once their gold and level thresholds have been met. All crusaders have one or more particular upgrades that are unique and special. These special upgrades either boost the DPS of other Crusaders, their own DPS by 200% or more, unlocks an ability, heals other Crusaders, or increases gold income.
For every 5 hours a hero is in the active formation they gain one experience point (exp), which increases their base dps by 100%. Time is counted even while the game is off. All experience points are lost when the current world is reset.
Each crusader can have up to three items equipped at any time. Each item grants various buffs, including increased self DPS, increased group DPS, ability cooldowns, increased gold found, and increased ability effect. The rarity of gear affects the strength of the buff. Equipment is equipped as soon as it is found in silver or jeweled chest, the highest rarity of each item is used. With talents crusaders with all 3 equipment slots filled do 20% to 1000% more DPS.
Enchantment Points increases the Crusaders base DPS by 25% (increasable by talents).
They are gained from EP type missions, and are required to increase the success chance of "High Level" missions.
For DPS calculation crusaders also benefit from 30% of the enchantment points from alternate crusaders in the same bench slot.
All enchantment points are retained when the world is reset. Note: Before the crafting system was added, Enchantment Points used to be gained when disenchanting a duplicate piece of equipment. Now disenchanting equipment produces crafting materials instead.