Mafia Wars Hitlist Strategy

Hitlist riding is a really good way to gain a lot of experience for fighter characters without spending stamina or energy. To successfully ride a hitlist you need to get at least 7 experience before you die, netting you 1 free experience. The maximum net amount of exp you can get for a successful ride is 44. That means 50 max exp, minus 6 from the desired (more about that later) and inevitable death.


The type of character that will benefit most from getting hitlisted, is a heavy defense biased fighter. Sure an all around balanced character will also benefit as long as you have sufficient defense to win most fights while on the hitlist. If you have mostly skills in energy (you are an energy account) then hitlist isn’t for you and you should check out leveling strategies for energy accounts.

A checklist for what you are going to need:

  • At least 501 sized mafia, with best defensive equipment possible. The easiest way to get very high defense as of this moment is 501 private jets, 501 camouflage body armors and 501 cane knives. These items are second rate (but still good) which means people will gift them away and their trade worth is low.
  • At least 300 defense skill. Given 501 mafia with at least the gear I mentioned, 300 defense skill will already give you rides where you net exp. Beyond this point, anyone hitlisting you is actually doing you a favor! They are using their stamina to give you free exp, how nice of them.
  • At least 240 health but do not exceed 300 health. The optimal amount of health is the amount where you can take an amount of hits enough for the 50 exp maximum and then die instantly. This is somewhere between 240 and 300. I personally have 246. Yes, you want to die as soon as you have gotten the max exp from a ride. The reason is that you can only be on one hitlist at a time, and the only way to get out is either dying or waiting 2 hours. If you die right away, you can get hitlisted for another 50 exp right away and so on. So you can get a lot more exp than 50 per 2 hours, you just have to die.
  • Street Thug title. This title attracts the most noobs and low level people on the hitlist, thus netting you the most exp.
  • Someone to hitlist you. This can be a friend of yours, someone from your mafia, someone you pissed off or another account of yours. You want at least a $800,000 bounty on your head. Low level people who still need NY cash might not even care if they are losing, as long as they get a chance to get nice chunk of money from a kill. So if the hitlist is full of people hitlisted for $8,000 you will attract the most low level players for sure.

How to ride the hitlist efficiently

First make sure that the one who hitlists you is on a hitlist server that doesn’t have lag and isn’t overpopulated. If you get placed on an overpopulated hitlist, it is very likely you will be stuck there for 2 hours with minimal exp. The hitlister determines on which hitlist you will be placed on, so they should check the situation from Fight -> Hitlist tab.

Now, when you are placed on hitlist, the first instinct for most people is probably to use the hospital. DON’T. You should have enough health to sustain hits for maximum experience without using the hospital. The reason is that if you use the hospital, you will linger on the hitlist too long getting hits for 0 exp and in worst case risk getting stuck on the hitlist. And if you die soon after using hospital, you can’t heal and get relisted because the hospital has a 60 second cooldown which will hurt your exp gains in the end. So only use hospital after you are dead and are ready to be hitlisted again.

Dominate Mafia Wars
Do not take it personally when someone stronger whacks you on the hitlist in seconds and you lose 6 exp. Even with 1900 defense, this happens to me occasionally. The most important thing is the overall net exp. If it seems that the overall net exp gains on multiple hitlist rides are negative, build up your defense before trying again. Don’t ever hitlist anyone that is stronger than you, you will just hand them over free exp and make your Mafia Wars profile link appear all over their newsfeed for their convenience if they want to harass you again.

That should pretty much cover it. If you’ve ever wondered how some characters have such a high fights won stat, it is because they are constantly riding the hitlist and making other people work their fights won stat.

Continue reading the Mafia Wars Strategy Guide