In Impossible Creatures, creatures may employ different methods of attacking their enemies. There are three main kinds; melee, ranged and artillery attacks. The three attack types are connected in a counter system in that each one has an advantage against one of the other two, and a disadvantage against the last.
Creatures with melee attacks attack their foes at close quarters using their limbs. Many abilities influence close combat, such as Charge Attack, Horns and Poison. The amount of damage a melee creatures inflicts with each strike is represented by a single figure, but this total can be made of individual weaker attacks from different limbs. For example, if a creature can attack with its front legs and head, the attacks are added together into one figure. One must note that melee creatures cannot use their attacks on flying enemies.
Melee creatures are weak against enemies with ranged attacks because of their ability to attack first, and are strong against artillery foes; due to the artillery attacks dealing damage in an area, they will end up hurting their allies once the melee creature closes the distance.
Creatures with this type of attack can damage their enemies from a distance. All ranged attacks are on an animal's head, as the attack itself is used with the likes of tongues, quills and spat venom. The only exception to this is the Alien's lightning attack, which is on its tail. Direct ranged attacks deal 50% less damage to buildings (except the Bramble Fence) and Henchmen, but 40% more to flying enemies.
Ranged attackers are vulnerable to the area damage of artillery units as they tend to group closely together when left to their own devices in battle, and strong against melee enemies because they can begin attacking before their foes even reach them. Ranged creatures will always have a melee attack, but will not use it unless its target is within close quarters.
This is a unique type of ranged attack that delivers damage in a cone-shaped area, allowing a creature to attack multiple enemies. It will also slow down an enemy by 5% unless it has High Endurance and this effect can stack up to 25%. However, Sonic Attack's damage is reduced by 75% against Henchmen and cannot damage buildings at all. Soundbeam Towers attack in a similar way, but not in a cone-shaped area.
Artillery attacks travel slowly through the air in an arc and when they hit the ground or a target, they deal damage in a radius around the point of impact. This makes artillery units highly effective against closely-packed enemies or structures, but a player must use them carefully as they will deal 50% of their full damage to friendly units. Artillery deals 80% less damage to Henchmen, but unlike direct ranged attacks they suffer no reductions when attacking buildings. They can also be upgraded to deal piercing damage to enemies.
Artillery creatures are disadvantaged against melee creatures. If their target closes the distance, they will continue attacking it and inadvertently harm the ally it is attacking. However, they are strong against ranged units who often form closely-packed groups and are vulnerable to their area damage. Like direct ranged units, artillery creatures will always have a melee attack that they will only use when a foe has closed the distance.
Piercing attacks deal a special type of damage that reduces an enemy's defense by 35%. This makes it most effective against foes with high defense, but less effective against those with low defense. It is dealt by melee creatures with the Horns ability, the Porcupine's quill attacks and upgraded artillery.