Clash of Clans beginner's guide - how to make a good start
Clash of Clans, by far one of the most popular mobile gaming apps, after seven years since its release in 2012 - it still attracts new players. It doesn’t matter what device you have - it runs on iOS and Android and it’s free to download from both Google Play and Apple App Store. Although we all may already know about most of its mechanics, Clash of Clans being simple and extremely fun to play, will suck you in and never let go. In this Clash of Clans beginners guide, we try to focus on the most important aspects of the game.
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Do you remember the first day at school? New place, new people, thousands of doubts, millions of questions. “Where am I?”, “Who are these people?”, “Will I stay here long?”.
You stay there for a little longer, to gain some new knowledge, somehow still ending up more stupid and confused than you were during your first day.
But this is not the case with Clash of Clans. Yes, you will feel a little bit confused during your first hours of playtime, you’ll keep asking yourself the very same questions, and then you’ll stay in the game for longer than you should.
And in this Clash of Clans guide we’ll lead you through the first days, so you won’t end up stupid and confused ever again.
First hours of gameplay
First 48 hours
You will start at the near-empty village, along with a helpful lady that will guide your newbie face through the tutorial. I suggest listening to her, as she will tell you where you will train your army, how to manage your base and so on. If you ignore her, you might waste some more time searching for this information on the Internet in the near future Although when she suggests using gem, ignore that subject. You don’t have to do it, but if you choose to do so, your tutorial time will extend by a couple of seconds.
Supercell will give you a three-days shield, which means nobody can attack you during that period. The duration of the shield will be shortened if you decide to attack someone in multiplayer mode. It may be tempting to do so, as building timers are short, and you’ll get bored to death while waiting for them to end. However it’s not recommended to attack anyone, as most of the time your army will be too weak to make any significant damage or earn some fine loot, and most of the time - it will be the loss of a huge resource.
Don’t build more than one Gold Storage and Elixir Storage. You will not need more than one in your first week. After 7 days you may want to build another one.
A general piece of advice - always go through the tutorial when playing a game for the first time. It will save you some trouble later on. You do not want to end up not using a certain feature just because you don’t know it exists.
48 - 72 hours
At this point, you should have 24 hours left on your shield. Now you should focus on building your defensive buildings. This is your ‘to be, or not to be’ moment. Placing and upgrading your defenses determines if someone will want to attack you or pass you by.
At this level of play, your main focus should be collecting resources and protecting them. If your opponent is smart enough and he will see good defenses, he’ll leave you at peace. If he’s not smart, he’ll see tempting storages and ‘available loot’, and so he’ll deploy his army on a suicide mission. Free trophies are, well... free.
Post 72 hours
Now you’re on your own. You have your resource buildings raised, as well as defenses. It’s time to play the real game. Now you are free to attack in multiplayer mode, but you will also need to protect yourself.
2. Storages, Laboratory - you want your lab constantly working on something, and you need a lot of storage capacity to make it happen.
3. Clan Castle, Barracks, Army Camps, Spell Factory - ignore Spell Factory, as until Town Hall level 7 spells are borderline useless. Other buildings are important because of their influence on your military strength.
4. Defenses - build new ones right away, upgrade others successfully.
5. Town Hall - No matter the level of your Town Hall, you want to upgrade it last. Basically you’ll be upgrading Town Hall only when there is nothing else to upgrade.
6. Walls - when you have spare Gold and a Builder.
how can you progress faster - Gathering Resources
You can have four types of Clash of Clans resources - Gold Elixir, Dark Elixir, and Gems.
Gold - acquired from Gold Mines and stored in the Gold Storage. It’s used mostly for upgrading defenses and Elixir Buildings,
Elixir - you get it from Elixir Collectors and store it in the Elixir Storage. Used mostly to recruit Elixir troops, for researches in Laboratory and for upgrading other buildings like Barracks, Army Camps and Gold Buildings,
Dark Elixir - used for recruiting and researching Dark Elixir troops. You’re not interested in this one, as it’s available from TH7,
Gems - someone said: ‘You can’t buy everything’. Apparently this person never tried to play Clash of Clans. Gems serve as a premium currency in Clash of Clans, but you may receive a Gem or two for in-game activities, like removing obstacles from your parcel or by completing achievements.
The only recommended way of investing Gems is to get Builders, and after you have 5 of them, you may want to buy a Training Potion from time to time, but these should be saved for the end-game. For now - do not use them on anything but Builders.
There are a couple of ways to obtain resources: the polite, the impolite, the semi-polite and the paid way.
Simply you keep building and upgrading your Gold Mines, Elixir Collectors, and Dark Elixir Drills. It will slowly, but steadily, give you some valuables.
It’s boring, even more, boring than searching for the right target, as presented in the next paragraph. Especially that your enemies will not waste their time waiting for their storages to fill up by themselves. You will be a target for many players.
It's called ‘farming’ or ‘raiding’. The Bread and Butter of CoC, the technique in which you train your army, search for a victim to steal his goods, and to bring them right to your storages.
However first farming attempts might slightly differ from advanced strategies.
In the beginning, there is very little to play with. You long for a tiny bit of elixir to train a few Barbarians and maybe two or three Archers, you’re staring at your Elixir Pumps as if it could speed the process up and you can’t wait to deploy your fearsome troops.
Patience, my friend. Patience is the most important thing to see yourself succeeding in CoC. And you’ll need a lot of it in the raids to come.
Before you get your Town Hall to levels between 5 and 7 it’s not really worth it to attack an active base. Basically, at every level of play, it’s better to attack a dead village. You need to achieve a high net income ratio as possible. You don’t want to send 5000 Elixir worth of troops to collect 5100 Elixir. It’s a waste of time.
There are some simple rules to follow when farming:
1. Check the available loot. If it’s less than your troops had cost you, leave it immediately.
2. Search for dead bases. You’ll recognize them by the sight of full collectors and gold mines, with storages that are not filled up with resources. Clash of Clans was downloaded more than 600 mln times, therefore you can be 100% sure there will be some inactive players.
3. In dead bases, defenses are the only thing that you should worry about, as there will always be some. Distract them with Barbarians while your Archers go through the storages.
4. Don’t be afraid to press the “NEXT” button. It will cost you some money, but in general, it will cost you less than a failed attack.
5. One good raid is worth more than a few bad ones.
6. Look for flaws in bases. If you see storages or defenses outside of walls, it might be worth to take a shot at it.
7. Avoid walls. Fully completed wall forces you to expend more troops and resources than you’d want to in a standard situation
8. Avoid Clan Castles. If you see that your potential victim has joined a clan, push NEXT. You don’t know if there are any Clan Castle troops inside, but any risk is already too much. It can be empty or there may be a P.E.K.K.A. inside. And trust me, you don’t want to meet P.E.K.K.A. on your first levels.
9. Don’t worry about trophies. There will be time for pushing trophies soon enough. First, you need to become stronger with farming.
10. Finally, if you feel any - ANY - doubt about attacking a certain village, hit NEXT. According to Murphy’s Law: “If something’s about to go wrong, it will definitely go wrong”. Avoid any sort of ‘what if’... Leave it, even if the loot is really tempting.
you don’t want to attack bases with Town Hall even a level lower than yours because of the loot deduction mechanic. For 1 TH level lower you get 50% loot, for two levels - only 10%!
there are some restrictions on how many resources can be stolen. Attacking storages can get you a maximum of 198k for each resource, so sometimes it’s better to go for exposed Town Hall and Mines/Collectors instead of heavily protected storages,
matchmaking is mostly based on trophies, so trophy pushing maybe not that good early on. Sometimes it’s better to stay low a little bit for the sake of farming,
you don’t need to destroy the entire base, to farm effectively. You may lose all troops and get around 30% damage, but when it comes to loot - it will still be worth it,
using fewer resources to get fewer resources can be surprisingly efficient. If you use 2 Giants and 10 Goblins to get 20k Elixir it will be more effective than looting 100k Elixir with full TH7 army; remember - the time is also a resource. In a time of training a huge army, you can have smaller raids with a small army, which will result in a better overall outcome,
don’t farm with your Laboratory working and all Builders busy. When you’re unable to spend resources, it leaves you exposed and makes you an attractive target for other farmers.
Every 24 hours there is a Star Bonus - for achieving a certain number of stars in multiplayer attacks, you get bonus resources. The bonus depends on the league you're in. A minimum daily activity can pay off big time!
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There is a single player mode, in which you attack goblin villages. It’s not as easy as it seems, but it’s also a way of obtaining some valuables.
It still requires attacking, but in this mode, you’ll attack ugly goblins instead of bullying some kind, and innocent players.
Of course, we want to smash every other player that is online, but the advantage of Single Player mode is that you can attack while your shield is up. And sometimes you don’t want to waste your shields.
Clash of Clans Premium Shop system
This is the fastest and the laziest way of progressing in Clash of Clans and basically in every other game with a built-in paid mode. You can basically buy a special currency to progress faster. Faster building, training, more attacks per hour, etc. It’s a good way of playing if you know what you are doing, but it’s not advised for inexperienced players.
There are two main types of units - Elixir and Dark Elixir troops. You’re not really interested in Dark Elixir troops, because it’s unlocked at Town Hall level 7, and by the time you get there, you’ll need our guide - Clash of Clans Tips and Tricks.
Note that you will not get back expended troops even if they survive!
Don’t use more troops, than you need. Unless you’re trophy pushing or fighting in Clan Wars, it’s a waste of resources to deploy all troops available if you don’t need to. In the beginning, it’s hard to predict if the enemy base will fall, but it will become easier over with more experience. For example, when running Giants + Goblins, and you see that Giants have already taken care of defenses, there is no point in deploying all Goblins.
It’s useful especially when farming. The more troops you expend, the less net profit you’ll get. 50 elixir for an Archer is not much, but with larger numbers - loss of elixir becomes really noticeable and hurtful at the same time.
Upgrade army buildings
As said before, you want your buildings fully upgraded before you upgrade your Town Hall. Some people tend to rush Town Hall upgrades and it costs them a small fortune. Don’t do that.
The higher you upgrade your Barracks, the more advanced units you’ll be able to train.
In the beginning, when simply farming easy targets, you may not be interested in Giants (250 Elixir at level 1) or Wall Breakers (600 Elixir lvl 1), but farming with Barbarians and Archers only will be much cheaper and faster. This is the basic strategy in terms of farming, which received much love from the community, known as ‘Barch’, and you can add Giants for ‘GiBarch’.
The will also be Dark Elixir Barracks, but as said before about Dark Elixir Drill - it’s none of your concern.
As soon as you collect 25,000 Elixir and upgrade your Town Hall level to 3, you’ll be able to build a Laboratory. It allows you to upgrade your units. You can do it whenever you want if you can afford, but usually, it’s better to have more lvl 1 troops, than less level 2 troops.
First of all there is no reason to deploy all of your troops at once. It took me one meeting with Mortar to understand that simple truth. You can deploy Barbarians first, and as the enemy defenses are focusing on them, you send in your Archers. This way the defenses will shoot at your Barbarians, while your Archers are shooting at the defenses.
Beware! The exact point of deployment is really important. If you drop your Archers a little bit closer to, let’s say’, an Army Camp, they will focus the closest building instead of the one you wanted them to focus. This way your Barbarians tanking all the Cannons in the world will die in vain, with Archers following them into the demise right after.
If you manage to distract and hopefully destroy the defenses, there is not much more to worry about. At this level nobody has TH7, so there is no Barbarian King, not to mention the Archer Queen unlocked at TH9, and you don’t have to bother yourself with Clan Castle troops if you’re avoiding them.
This way we’re getting to another key topic - focus. Different troops will focus on different structures:
closest unit/building - Barbarians, Archers (preferred ‘Any’),
defenses - for example, Giants, Bats or Hog Riders,
resources - Goblins,
Walls - Wall Breakers.
Try not to go into the battle without at least some sort of knowledge of your troops, their focus, and pathing, or you may find yourself really surprised and disappointed.
This article does not cover the topic of trophy pushing strategies, as they exceed the beginner type of stuff. But be sure we’ll create more guides soon enough.
how do you organize your village - Base Layout
This determines what your village looks like. The correct layout is truly invaluable as it can save you some trouble. You need to make your base unattractive for your enemies, make them think there is nothing to fight for in your domain.
There are several types of layouts, like War Base, Trophy Base or Hybrid Base.
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In the very beginning and up until the really reasonable level of play, you should mostly care about your resources.
At lower levels of play trophy pushing or Clan Wars doesn’t really matter. It’s like comparing a school fight to international conflict. Actually, the lower you are, the better, because the matchmaking will give you weaker opponents, and after all collecting and protecting resources is all we care about at this point. Post Town Hall level 7 is when you want to participate, at the time when clans clash.
This means you want your storages to be super safe. Storages are more important than Mines and Collectors because they can store more resources and you do not have the ability to empty them with one click. It’s absolutely crucial to have them protected by the Wall.
You want to have your defenses - Mortars, Archer Towers, Air Defenses and Cannons inside the base protected with the Wall.
Archer Towers can hit both ground and air units, which makes them very powerful. Due to their range, they are exceptional perimeter defenses. Although they’re shooting fast, they are still a one-target defense. They will take down a single unit relatively fast, but they do fall off when your screen is swarming with Goblins.
Place your Mortar in the middle of the base, as it has a blind spot - it will attack ground units only between 4 and 11 tiles from it. You can use this blind spot in attacks. Send your fast melee units to quickly approach the Mortar. They should take it down without any issues.
You don’t want to stack your defenses in one place, as a single Balloon attack can tear them down with ease.
It depends on your goals. If you’re trophy pushing or participating in Clan Wars you want to keep your Town Hall heavily protected, since taking it down is a minimum of a one star win. In Clan Wars preventing the enemy from getting this one star might be game-changing.
Since during farming we do not care about winning or losing, you can leave your Town Hall outside the Wall.
As you join the Clan, you’ll have help from clanmates - troops, resources and maybe some tips and tricks. Since you decided to begin your clan adventure, you want to have your Clan Castle centralized, as Clan Castle troops can decide the outcome of a battle.
Walls are forcing your enemy into investing more resources into the attack. Some foes will even ignore your village when they see the Wall.
You will have all of your buildings up after the enemy attack. Which means that some of them will not need any protection whatsoever. These are Barracks, Army Camps, Lab, Builders Hut and Spell Factory.
Also placing them smart by the outer side of Walls, will force enemies to spawn a little further than they’d probably like to.
Do not build next to the side or corner! Ever!
This isn’t real life and surroundings do not provide protection.
Correct usage of the Wall is vital. You should split your village into smaller compartments, with every part protected by the Wall. Depending on your strategy, you either sacrifice resources to defend Town Hall or the other way around.
Usually, at the beginners path, you want to collect resources and farm at the cost of trophies, so the answer is simple.
Other Clash of Clans tips
Plan out your building upgrades.
Always try to use your Gold and Elixir before going to sleep. During approximately 8 hours of a night time, there may be plenty of potential risks. It saves you both time and resources, as the best way of protecting valuables is to spend them.
No need to rush through the Single Player. Sometimes it’s better to wait a little bit in order to lose fewer resources. For example, if the goblin base is filled with ground defense only, wait for Town Hall 4, upgrade Barracks to level 6 to train your Balloons and pass the mission without losing a single troop.
Practice scenarios are also a great way of getting resources. Just remember to upgrade your storages to make enough room for incoming wealth!
Upgrading a building temporarily shuts it down, so, for example, Gold Mine will not produce Gold, but most importantly defenses will not defend. Try to upgrade them when you have a shield enabled.
Goblins are quick enough to trigger Bombs, and not get hit by them.
Walls require participation of a Builder to build/upgrade, but you can upgrade them instantly.
When you finally get attacked, you’ll receive a notification in Battle Log. You can use the ‘REVENGE’ button to spy on your enemy. This is also useful later on in Clan Wars.
Always watch replays in Battle Log, especially the ones that you have lost These will show you the flaws of your defense or suggest an offensive strategy.
Learn from your mistakes. One of the worst habits in games is constantly making the same mistake over and over again. Learning your lesson is how you get good at Clash of Clans.
Last but not least - some of these tips and tricks are unique for Clash of Clans, but some are universal and you may use them in another SuperCell production - Boom Beach. The most important is the activity. A few days of inactivity may be enough to experience a scenario in which you find out that your storages have been emptied. Also, try to have fun. When you’re feeling that you are not having fun anymore - drop it and stop wasting time.
These are some basic advice from pro players and my own experience. Do you have any other point of view? Or maybe you have a question? We’ll gladly read it.
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