Clash Royale Beginner Guide - from start to three crown
Clash Royale from Finnish developer SuperCell becomes more popular lately than its predecessor Clash of Clans. Due to simple rules, dynamic action, and constant PvP play, it is engaging out of this world. Let's check what you can read in our Clash Royale Beginner Guide.
Table of contents:
What is Clash Royale?
For those of you who don't know it yet and our guide is literally the first-ever source of knowledge on the topic, we'll try to keep it short. Clash Royale is a mobile MOBA - Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. What does it mean?
Multiplayer - it involves more than one player in the gameplay at a time.
Online - it happens via the Internet connection exclusively, so you need your packets flowing in order to play the game.
Battle - we don't have to explain this one.
Arena - the match is played in a specific instance, map, etc.
To put it into perspective, the most popular MOBA games recently are League of Legends and DotA 2, with some of the less notable titles right behind them. The premise of these two games is to destroy the enemies' main building - Nexus and the Ancient, respectively. To do so, you manipulate your player-controlled units and NPCs to get close enough to the target to hit it.
On top of that, Clash Royale contains some elements of progression and leveling, which we will talk about later on.
How to play Clash Royale?
The game begins as soon as you download the app onto your device and create a new account. Then you are taken to a tutorial, which you are dragged through without much interaction. Click here, click there, we don't have many tips for the Tutorial to be candid.
If you pass it (quite frankly, there is no possibility NOT TO pass it), you are in your game UI.
The top three values are Experience, Gold, and Gems.
Reaching certain experience thresholds increases your King's Level. Each subsequent King's Level unlocks some features like an additional deck slot, ability to donate or request cards. It won't affect the gameplay as a whole, but generally, it's better not to leave it behind.
Gold is a basic currency in the game, used mostly to upgrade cards. You can also buy cards from the shop. A player earns it for opening the chests, winning multiplayer battles, or donating cards.
The last one is Gems - Clash Royale's premium currency. You can use Gems to buy whatever you need in Clash Royale. Players use it to speed up the chest opening process, buy cards, unlock deck slots; essentially, if something is locked or unavailable, there is a good chance you can enable it with Gems, which basically means real-world money.
Below these three, you can find your player's name, trophy count, and settings button. There is not much to talk about here. The crowned Earth icon is the news button. Click it to learn what's new in the game, what's planned, what happened, and so on. It's worth checking in if you receive any notification, as sometimes there are events that mean some additional rewards like cards, Gold, chests, or Gems. You have a list next to it. Tapping it opens up a menu. There you can find features like Activity Log, Leaderboards, TV Royale, Training Camp, Tournaments, and Settings. You will not have much use from any of these in the beginning, so we will skip them.
Then you have the Chest icon. It's your rewards center. You can find daily quests there, as well as daily gifts and other features. After pressing the "Claim Reward," you are sent to another rewards center. This time, the rewards are divided between free ones and Pass Royale exclusive ones. You're interested in the former since Pass Royale is a paid feature.
Even lower, there is your current arena. There are 14 arenas currently, each of them provides you with different rewards. The higher the arena, the better the chest. You can progress further by reaching higher trophy levels.
"Battle" and "2 v 2" buttons send you onto the arena to fight with other players. It is the bread and butter of the Clash Royale. Click it whenever you are planning on giving a whopping or receiving one.
You have chest slots below them. For every win on the arena, you receive a chest, that it takes time to open. You have four slots available, meaning that you can have up to four chests opening at the same time.
Finally, at the very bottom of your screen, you have another menu. The first one is the shop where you can purchase Gold, cards, Gems, Pass Royale, etc. The next one is your card menu. Here is where you set up your deck, upgrade cards, and plan your strategy for an upcoming battle. The crossing swords icon is the battle menu. You will spend the most time here if you want to win some games. The fourth icon is the social one. It is where you can join, leave, or create a clan. It is worthwhile to be in a clan, so you may want to give it some attention later on. Lastly, there is the event button. These are unlocked at King Level 5, and usually, it's also worth your while. Up until the very endgame, where you have all your cards maxed, you will have to gather them piece by piece.
That is it for your interface. Let's move along!
The whole game revolves around cards - how to get them, upgrade them, use them. Cards are your soldiers, your army, your offensive, and your defensive potential. You will play around them, defending your crown towers and pushing to destroy the enemy towers.
Cards are used to deploy your units onto the battlefield. Your deck is displayed at the bottom of the arena screen during the battle. You can either click the card and then click the arena to deploy it, or pick it up and drag it onto it. The first option will work better if you need a precise deployment; the second is your go-to if you need to react fast.
The Arena Towers
Also known as Crown Towers. These are your points of interest. If there were no units deployed, these would stop your troops. There are two Princess' Towers and one King's Tower. They will lock onto the first unit that comes into their range and remain on it until the unit dies, breaks aggro, or the Tower is destroyed. Taking Towers down is the main purpose of the game and the only way to win the match.
Before you go to the fight, you need to have your deck prepared. Your first deck will not be world-class, because you still need to gather many cards, collect enough Gold to level them up, and it all takes time. Your first deck will be weak, and you'll have to play with what's on your hand. In time, you'll gather more and more cards, push some levels, earn trophies, Gold, maybe Gems. Your clan will help you, and it is where your journey will take its start. Remember, that one average deck that you're good at is better than the top tier meta deck that you're unfamiliar with.
First, we'd like to point out the difference between "F2P Friendly" and "Paid" Deck. The former is made of cheap, popular cards, mostly commons that you can level up reliably and relatively fast. It's easy to request them, and the upgrade cost is low. Paid deck leans more towards the rarer cards, like Epics and Legendaries. Let's face it, as a free player, you will not have many opportunities to level them up, let alone max them out.
A standard deck consists of a few elements, which we will point out right here:
This setup is not set in stone. In time you will learn the ins and outs of the game, and you'll start to see patterns. You will know that swapping a defensive card for another Runner will give you a potential for high tower damage at the cost of putting your own structures at risk. It will come to you with experience, but for now - stick to the plan.
Of course, if you feel like the setup doesn't work for you all that well, feel free to make adjustments. Every good player started somewhere. Every good deck was someone's adjustment at some point. After all, it's you who plays the game, right?
What differs Clash Royale from other MOBA games is that the battle has a limited timeframe. The longest professional game of League of Legends lasted 94 minutes. For DotA 2, it's a whopping 200 minutes! It's because in these games, the match lasts until one of the teams breaks the base and destroys the main building or surrenders. In Clash Royale, you don't have to destroy the King's Tower to win. The only condition is to deal more damage than your opponent.
Obviously, the main win condition is breaking down the King's Tower. If it doesn't happen, the winner is the one who destroyed more Princess' Towers. If none of these is destroyed, there is overtime, where towers begin to lose HP. Then the winner is determined regardless.
You can deploy your units anywhere on your side of the River, except for popping them directly onto the Towers or user-placed buildings. Your swarm troops dropped onto the enemy unit on your side of the Bridge, have the chance to be spread around it and surround it. It is critical when defending vs. splash damage with swarm troops.
We have to talk about it at least for a while, as it is one of the crucial aspects of attacking Towers and defending your Towers. Aggro is a term used to determine the AI-units incentive to attack the enemy unit or the player. In most MMORPG, there is a factor called Threat, Enmity, or something similar. It's crucial because you want your main tank to hold the aggro and heal him up so that the rest of the team can do damage.
The same goes for Clash Royale, and although you don't have the typical MMORPG division into tank, DPS, and healer, you still want to use the aggro mechanics to your advantage. Whatever deals damage, you have to wait for it to start attacking the tank, which will give you a window of opportunity to send in the damage troops. In Clash Royale, the rule is simple. A unit will attack whatever comes the closest. It is why you need to hold onto your support troops to the very moment when your tanks are aggroed.
Some units can break aggro. The examples of such are Battle Ram, Golem, Ice Golem, Elixir Golem, Lava Hound. Whenever they are popped, it will take some time for their baby units to spawn. During this time, the enemies will retarget. There is also a reset mechanic, which can be crucial sometimes. The most notable examples are Zap, Electro Wizard, Electro Dragon, and Zappies. The unit hit with a stun, will reassess the target.
There are two types of units in terms of focus - buildings-focused troops and the rest. The former will ignore other units and only lock onto the buildings, whether it's a building placed by the enemy or his Crown Tower. The latter, on the other hand, will go after the closest enemy in range and attack them until one of them dies. Then, the surviving unit will chase after another closest troop. Buildings-focused troops will not lock onto units. It is essential when defending, as you will need to place a building in their path to distract them or kill them before they reach the Tower.
Then you have units that can attack both air and ground (mostly ranged and flying ones) and melee units unable to target air ones. It's also vital, as you will not distract Barbarians or the Prince with a Balloon.
Crowd Control will break aggro and reset the attack timer. The latter is the time that the unit needs in order to perform an attack. For example, Minions will attack fast, but the likes of P.E.K.K.A. or Sparky will need more time to deal damage. If you manage to stun them or freeze them, they will have to start over.
One of the terms you will be hearing and reading a lot is a positive or negative Elixir trade. What does it mean? It's straightforward.
Each player has a 10-Elixir pool. Each card has a fixed Elixir cost from 1 Elixir like Skeletons or Heal, even to 9 Elixir for Three Musketeers. After the deployment, the Elixir starts to "regenerate." You need a certain amount of Elixir to deploy specific troops, it's obvious.
The trade happens when you react, or you force your opponent to respond with a card.
At lower ladder levels, it doesn't mean a lot. You will push mindlessly, hoping for your enemy to make a mistake and grant you a win just as your opponent will push. However, sooner or later, you will start to see some patterns, solutions, reactions that do or don't work. Every deployment will be measured and calculated, destined to give you an advantage.
Let's put it into perspective. Your enemy drops a 3-Elixir Giant. You react, sending in 1-Elixir Skeletons, that slowly but surely whittle the Giant down. Skeletons cost 2 Elixir less than Giant, but they can overpower him. You end up with a positive +2 Elixir trade. Let's say that your opponent sent 3-Elixir Archers to support the Giant, and you quickly took them out with 3-Elixir Arrows. It is a neutral Elixir trade, but you are still ahead because of the earlier +2 trade.
Later into your game, you will start noticing opportunities to punish with a positive Elixir trade.
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There is absolutely no reason not to join the clan.
Oftentimes in games like this, people fall into the belief that they are not yet good enough to be a part of a clan. It is not true. As long as you have cards and you are willing to trade them, you will make a fine addition to a clan. Thinking that you are not good enough because you are not that proficient on the arena or you have small trophy count makes sense if you are planning on reaching the top of the ladder or going pro. However, no one expects a beginner player to go pro right away. Being a professional at anything from casual services through real-life sports up until the esports is not a thing that takes a few days. Of course, some genius prodigies have an unparalleled talent, who make progress insanely fast, but these are an exception. Usually, gaining proficiency takes a lot of time, practice, and overall commitment.
In most clans in games like this, it is the activity that matters more than skill and experience. A clan with twenty average but active members will do better than a clan with forty members, where only ten are playing.
Cards don't have levels. It means that even if you are a total newbie, your donations are worth as much as those of the top clan mate. Many clans will measure its members' activity by the number of cards donated, so it's something that you shouldn't neglect. Of course, no one forces you to donate the cards that you are gathering yourself for your deck, but don't say that you're gathering everything. As you know from the "Cards upgrading" paragraph, maxing out every card in the game will take a lot of time or money. Or both. Every seven hours, you can post a request. It gives you a total of three requests throughout the day. Make sure to use all of them. Without a clan, you're on your own. You will not dump the cards that you don't need, and you won't be donated the cards that you require. It's pure waste.
It is another way of getting additional resources, like cards and Gold. Whenever you can get resources, go for it. To take part in Clan Wars, your King's Level must be at least 8. It should not take you more than a month of average, regular playing.
Clan Wars last two days. The first day is the Collection Day. During this period, your clan makes an effort to collect as many Clan Cards as possible, to build the War Deck. The more Clan Cards you collect, the better the potential deck you can build. On this day, you get three battles. You will find various challenges and game modes that will change after you play it. Every battle earns cards, but wins earn the most of them, so do your best. Also, the Arena that you're at influences the number of cards you get. If you restrained yourself from climbing higher, it might be the time to go up, if only for a moment. Different challenges require different decks. If you're not sure, feel free to ask your clanmates, or search the Internet.
As the Collection Day ends, the War Day begins. Every player has one battle to play with your ultimate goal to win. It is important to build the best possible deck with Clan Cards that you collected. Most likely, asking your clan's best player will be the most reasonable option. Remember, that the cards in War Deck can't have higher levels that your own cards. If, for some reason, you were waiting with upgrading some of them, now may be the time. Before going to the battle, try and test your deck in a Friendly Battle. Who knows, maybe someone will give you a hint in the clutch moment?
The rewards depend on your Clan League and the highest-ranked Clan War that you participated in the current season. After the War is ended, you receive a War Chest that contains valuable prizes, mostly random.
Clash Royale progression
Experience is what determines your King's Level. You will not receive experience for battling only. You can gain exp for upgrading cards, donating them, and completing quests and events. The experience obtained for donating cards is based on their rarity - 1 Common gives 1 XP, Rare gives 10.
Leveling your King involves some benefits:
- level 2 - additional Quest slot,
- level 3 - unlocks third Quest slot and the ability to exchange cards with your clan,
- level 4 - you can change your name; the first time is free,
- level 5 - you get fourth Shop slot; some of the Special Event Challenges are playable now,
- level 7 - it is when you have fifth Shop slot enabled,
- level 8 - you receive two additional deck slots, access to Clan Wars, trading cards, and full access to the Tournaments,
- level 9 - all Shop slots are unlocked, it is also the max level in Challenges, commonly referred to as the "Tournament Standard,"
- level 13 - it's the max level. Any excessive experience that would have been awarded is converted into Star Points.
On top of that, your arena towers gain more HP with each level.
How to upgrade cards in Clash Royale?
There are two requirements for you in order to level up a card. You need to have the required number of cards as well as enough Gold. You will not move further if you're short of any of those. There is not much philosophy in collecting both of these resources, as it is the most grindy part of the game. No hidden tips and tricks, no secret strategies that will make you get more. Also, keep in mind that there is a daily limit on collecting Gold for battles and daily card exchange limit. We're sorry, but there is no way around it if you want to keep your account balance intact.
The tips we can give you is to focus.
First, don't try to upgrade all cards. It's humanly impossible to do it in a reasonable time. Instead, focus on cards that you use the most. If your favorite win condition is the Hog Rider, you should be requesting it in your clan, and leveling it gradually.
Second, do not look up to pros and streamers who have all cards maxed and use different decks. They have money and sponsorships that you don't have, and you will not have it, at least for some time.
Third, it is easier to gather and upgrade Common and Rare cards, than Epics and Legendaries. A popular belief that higher tier cards are inherently better than lower ones is not the case here. Each card has its purpose and utility. It doesn't mean that Miner, just by being a Legendary will do fine in every scenario, since he can be taken down by a Common Minion Horde with ease. Commons are Rares will "gather themselves," especially on the initial levels. Also, you'll be better off with high-level Common cards than with low-level legendaries.
Keep in mind that there are different levels for each tier to upgrade. Common cards are upgraded from level 1 to 13. Rare cards begin from level 3, Epic cards start from level 6, with Legendaries' initial level being 9th. Although each tier has a different number of levels to upgrade, the total cost is similar. What's more, you need to take accessibility into account.
How to get more Star Points?
Once you reach max levels with your cards, and King Level 13, you are eligible to collect Star Points. These are awarded if you keep exchanging or buying cards that you have maxed.
If you have started your adventure with Clash Royale just recently, Star Levels are not your interest.
Clash Royale tips
Here we list a few tips that we wish we'd knew as we began our journey through the arenas. Read them and play accordingly, and you should climb the ladder in no time.
Don't deploy troops onto the Bridge
There are some Bridge Spam strategies, but outside of that, there is not much sense in deploying your troops directly onto the Bridge. The reason behind it is that if you drop your card behind the King's Tower, by the time the unit reaches the Bridge, there will already be some Elixir produced.
The only viable scenario that you can send your troops onto the Bridge is a direct counter to the enemy's move. Let's say that they dropped a Sparky, and you can respond by surrounding it with a Skeleton Army, or deploy Skellies in the back and wait for the electric Cannon to do damage. The choice is simple. However, don't do it as long as you can avoid it.
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Don't hit the King's Tower
At least don't do it prematurely. The King is asleep throughout the battle, but if you make him angry, he will pull out his giant cannon to shoot at you. However, he will remain dormant until you hit him. Why would you hit him then? It's giving your opponent a free advantage, an additional defensive building on the arena.
What you need to be careful with, is splash damage spells and units. We mean the likes of Hunter, Firecracker, Fireball, Arrows, Earthquake, and so on. Generally, the premise of splash damage is to hit multiple units at the same time, and you should aim for it as long as one of these units is not the King Tower. At the beginning of your climb, you may find a hard time avoiding the King's Tower, but in time you'll learn things, and you'll have a feeling of each spell radius.
At the higher level, players will try to bait you into hitting the King's Tower unwillingly. Although, if you reach that level yourself, you should be well aware of it.
The King's Tower should be your focus only if you have a real chance of taking it down. Sometimes your opponent will make a mistake that will open up a clear path for his base. Use it. Capitalizing on others' mistakes will be the key to victory many times. Outside of it, however, stick to the plan. Remember, that as long as you take a tower down, and you manage to protect your own towers, you're victorious.
Train your enemy
Sounds funny, huh? It's a viable tactic in such games.
A regular encounter in Clash Royale takes some time. It can last a couple of seconds or a few minutes. Two people face each other. Each one has a preset deck and an intention. A game plan.
At higher levels, it's not only about realizing your gameplan. It's about recognizing your opponent's intention and countering it. For example, you are set for a Hog Rider win condition, and you make your adversary believe, that you will stick to it, you can suddenly drop a Lumberjack in the opposite lane and threaten both Princess Towers.
It is the core of almost every bait deck. You pretend to go one way, to change the plan in a second, and go with something else, leaving your rival with his pants down.
Don't be too greedy on your deck
Stacking the deck with Rares, Epics, and Legendaries will not always work. Sure, the rarer the card, the more unique properties it will have, but it's not always what you need. First, it will be tough to level them up without paying real money. Second, usually, they're more expensive than Commons. It means that you'd lose with full Legendary deck against a full Common deck if you simply can't drop a card, cause you can't afford it.
Don't waste your cards during the battle
Elixir management plays a key part in succeeding in Clash Royale. If you dump a 5 Elixir card and lose it for free, you make a mistake. Also, using splash damage spells only to hit one unit or building is a big no-no. Splash damage is meant to hit multiple targets. Hitting just one lowers its potential and makes your move highly cost-inefficient. In some cases, you can Fireball a Tower if you can secure it that way, but it is the only instance. Even if you are using the infamous Rocket cycle deck and you only defend to hit the Tower with a Rocket every once in a while, you should aim it to hit troops as well.
Don't upgrade every single card
Simply, you won't make it. If your day doesn't last 48 hours, you're not a Time Lord, or you have less than a few billions of dollars on your account, you will never afford it. Or at least it will take you a very long time. Also, there is no point in putting any points into the Battle Ram if you barely use it in your everyday deck.
Learn from your mistakes
Last but not least, it's our favorite tip because it works in every multiplayer game. Watching your enemies countering your cards. Exposing the flaws of your "perfect" deck will be a great lesson that you will not learn elsewhere. Every top deck and its counter was invented by someone, and popularized by someone else.
We're more than confident that you will meet many players who will get the better of you on your way to the top. Even at the very top, you will be bested from time to time, no doubt. It is the beauty of the game - there is no player to win 100% of his matches. Your job as a player is to notice good plays and mark them.
Why play Clash Royale?
It is the critical question that you have to answer yourself. Sure, the game gives a ton of fun, but sooner or later, you will have to determine why do you play it. Do you want to be the best? Do you want to max out the account and sell it? Do you enjoy the social aspect of the game, and you simply love your clan? Or maybe you just want a time killer? These are four primary purposes to play the game.
The best Clash Royale Player
It's easier to tell than do. The very first thing you need is talent. Without talent, you will never be the best, no matter how hard you practice. Sad but true. You can look at professional athletes. If they work hard, train a lot, and commit to achieving the goal of being the GOAT eventually, but they lack talent, they can be role players on their team, at best. They will have some success, but they will not reach the top of the world. It's got to be in your genes. Those who had talent in all sports ever created have defined the way the game is played. Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods, Aleksandr Karelin, you name it. The difference between the gifted player is that he doesn't have to follow some else's achievements. It's him who's followed by others.
The next thing that you will need is commitment. If you are not certain whether you wish to spend the majority of your day playing Clash Royale, testing new decks, combinations, strategies, and tweaks, then it's not for you. Korean esports players are going as far as to play for twelve hours a day as a practice. And after the practice, they play some more. You can forget your normal life. Clash Royale is your life, girlfriend, home, and family. There are no half-measures.
Then you'll probably need an investment. Pass Royale is an absolute must. Without it, there is no way that you max out your cards fast enough to be relative. Maybe you'll max one deck fully, but what happens if meta changes? You're done. You'll need the next few months to catch up or buy your way up. There is no way around, we're sorry. Top players in the world are gifted the max accounts or have them sponsored. You need to get to the top of the ladder to even think about such a thing.
Once you have the talent, the will to do anything, and a strong, maxed deck, you can begin to climb the ladder until you are noticed. It is the final step of your career. Then, once you're noticed, you're golden.
Max the account and sell it
We're not going to lie. Maxing an account in Clash Royale takes time. A lot of time. There are more than enough people willing to buy a high-level account instead of grinding it for years. And thus, there are also people willing to provide for them. If you are one of the latter, you will need a lot of patience and commitment. The best way is to have multiple Clash Royale accounts via SuperCell ID. Maxing one account is a waste of time. In extreme cases, you can have your accounts create a clan to speed the process up. Leveling free account will be time-consuming and boring like education, but who knows, maybe one day you will earn good money for your hard work? From what we know, fully maxed accounts reach the price of a whopping $1,500!
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The social aspect of Clash Royale
There is not much to it. If you simply enjoy playing with people, participating in Clan Wars and events, if you like to talk to strangers in the game, you will have fun regardless. The social aspect of team online games where you have a guild, a clan, or whatever it's called is something that keeps players engaged for a long time. Aside from the game being a full-time job, it is probably the strongest attachment factor. Many people stay in the game despite changes just to go for a raid once in a week, talk to guildmates, interact. For countless individuals, their online social life is deeper than their real life. Some people find their love in the game!
However, the thing you should keep in mind is that sooner or later, your clan may become inactive. It can be heartbreaking to play with people, get along with them, and one day realize that they're not there anymore. That they were last online a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. If you're really attached, it feels like losing a friend. Remember that it will be way harder to reach someone on the Internet than in real life, where you can always visit that person.
This guide for a beginner in Clash Royale is over. For more knowledge, you should try one of our specified guides that you may find on this site. Clash Royale is quite complex as for the merely mobile game. There are plenty of strategies, baits, various decks, win conditions. The meta changes and you should follow it to become the best Clash Royale player of all time. It will not be hard, but our Beginner's Guide should make your start a lot easier.
How do you play Clash Royale for beginners?
If you just started, pay attention to the Tutorial. All the basic knowledge is there for you. The goal of the game is simple - score more Crowns than your enemy. It means that you have to both attack and defend well. The proficiency will come with time, though.
What is the best strategy for Clash Royale?
In the beginning, you will not have many cards to work with, and you will have to play around it. Recognize your win condition, build your deck to support it, execute your tactic flawlessly, and accept defeat when you get countered.
How do I win Clash Royale every time?
You don't. Sometimes you will face players with a lot stronger deck than yours. Sometimes their deck will straight up counter your win conditions and defense cards. It happens. The question is - how to minimize the loss ratio? And the answer is deck building. The game is decided before the battle even begins.