the trail tips

The Trail: A Frontier Journey Ultimate Guide: 29 Tips & Tricks You Need to Know

The Trail: A Frontier Journey is a new Android and iOS game that happens to have been created by the legendary father of “God games,” Peter Molyneux. The game allows you to join other pioneers as you travel across a trail through unknown lands, heading to the town of Eden Falls as you explore, craft and collect items, trade those items, and settle and build. The game features simple one-touch swipe controls, the opportunity to join a town and unlock additional features (sort of an equivalent to joining a guild in an RPG or RTS), and the option to trade with other real-life players. That’s just a quick list of The Trail’s features, as this promises to be an immersive mobile gaming experience that travels a path that hasn’t been taken too often – a game based on pioneer life circa 19th century.

Your travels won’t be easy, and if you’re familiar with your American history, you’ll know that that was also the case way back in the day. But we can at least try to make your journey a little (or a lot) easier. Check out our exclusive The Trail: A Frontier Journey strategy guide, and follow these general tips for a smooth trip and the right strategies for crafting, trading, and more.

1. How To Earn More Money In The Game

While The Trail can be a bit of an open-ended game, it’s also important to make yourself a tidy amount of money in the game. In fact, the early parts of the game will most likely be spent trying to earn more money, as you’ll need some cash to cross rivers, for starters. Prices for crossing a river may start as cheap as $200, but you may eventually have to pay $5,000 in order to make the crossing. You’ll also need money to buy items whenever you want to transact with another human player.

Chits are the game’s currency, and you can earn them by picking up items on your journey, crafting them once you’re at camp, and selling them. We’ll be touching more on crafting later, but the basic principles of business apply here – your crafted items will be more valuable than their raw materials combined. Better-crafted items also sell for more money. Typically, you should be crafting with all your ingredients, and selling them accordingly, unless you’re saving for a specific item that you really need. Extra ingredients definitely have to be sold, even if you’re setting them aside for another project.

2. Try This Cheat For Trading

It won’t be very easy to pull off at first, but you can give it a shot if you want to make the most out of your trading exploits. Should you be at a camp where you have the option to trade, don’t take any actions until you know you’re alone. Once that happens, start the trading mini-game ASAP and trade one item. As you’re the only one around, you will get the better end of the deal, and that means one free item for you. Just don’t set your expectations too high, as the items you’ll usually get wouldn’t be worth it at the end of the day. Still, there’s a small chance you might get a worthwhile item that may help you in future quests.

If you aren’t able to initiate the trading mini-game, you need not worry or panic. Just swipe up so your character makes their way toward the trail. Tap on the Go Back to Campsite button on the lower left corner of your screen, and you should be good.

3. Underachieve In The Trading Game When Against Human Players

The above tip is a great way to get items for free. But if you’re competing against real-life, human players, especially those who have lots of items available for sale, you can sit back, relax, and not think about winning the trading game too much. That mini-game’s purpose, after all, is to help you earn extra cash. Getting items that will actually be of help is more of a bonus than anything else, but you may end up getting rid of more items in the process, so that your inventory is freed up for more stuff from your next trip. Again, you often won’t get anything of consequence when playing the trading mini-game, so it’s nothing to lose sleep over.

4. How To Play The Trading Game Straight (Part 1)

Now if you insist on winning the trading mini-game as often as possible, there are some tips you can try out for yourself. Just be sure you’ve decided on whether to focus on buying or selling, as the trading game can be quite a quick one.

You can start by placing your items on the far left side. Once they’re in the leftmost side of the conveyor, they’ll command a higher price, and other players will have more time to purchase. Take note that other players should buy your items, otherwise they go into the wood chipper and go to waste. Drag any items you accidentally placed on sale into your rucksack; you won’t pay for them anyway. Also, try crafting and equipping items while you’re in a menu; the trading timer stops temporarily while you’re there. It doesn’t matter if it takes quite a while to finish, as the fact that you’re in a menu means the timer won’t run for the meantime.

5. How To Play The Trading Game Straight (Part 2)

If your timer runs out and you’re unable to trade, you can take solace that there may be other campsites where you can trade; go to the map and find a new campsite, as the trading timer always resets once you enter one. It’s theoretically possible to trade at multiple camps as often as you want, and doing so may help you find an important item you’ve been looking for. Also, you should have a good idea of what you need and what the item looks like; do your homework and prepare for the mechanics of the trading game, as item names won’t be shown while you’re trading. You won’t have enough time in most cases to tap-and-hold on items so you can view their details and specifics, so it pays to be prepared, and to be able to match the items with their names and appearances.

6. Don’t Sell Your Raw Materials In Most Cases

Your raw materials can be used for crafting purposes, even if they may often seem like surplus in your inventory. As such, do not sell those materials unless you’re almost completely out of space and you can’t use them properly during the next trip. Make the most out of your current stash of materials, craft new items, and sell those items so you can earn more money.

7. Clothes Make The Man – Pioneer Edition

Clothing plays an important role in The Trail, and your character will get several articles of clothing to wear. The catch here is that each of these items loses durability progressively as you walk, with the rate of depreciation depending on how slowly or how quickly you walk. Keep a very close eye on the durability rating of each clothing item; if they’re looking worn out or close to it, switch to another piece of clothing. As your clothing loses durability, you’ll find it harder and harder to pick up rewards.

8. What Types Of Clothing Wear Out The Fastest?

We’ve noticed that your hat and your moccasins are the clothing items that depreciate faster than others. After that, your shirt and your pants have just about average durability, and it all ends with the bag, which is your most durable item of all. The trading mini-game could be a good way for you to find replacement clothes, but other than that, it pays to be ready at all times with something to replace your worn-out duds with.

As a bonus tip, you can craft your own clothing items, and if you do, we suggest that you use premium materials to ensure that the clothing lasts the long haul. Better product means a longer lifespan for your clothing items; keep this in mind when crafting, and switch materials if needed so you can make the best possible clothes.

9. Watch Ad Videos To Get Rewards

The billboard guy will be your gateway to those all-important ad videos, but there’s a small (albeit useful) twist to the rewards you’ll get when watching those clips. Head to the billboard guy and watch a video, and once you’re done, you may likely get a valuable quest item. Otherwise, you may get something else that might not sound useful, but may serve a purpose later on in the game. Make sure you look at the billboard first, as that’s going to show you exactly what you should be expecting after watching the ad.

10. Remember That Your Inventory Is Limited

This is one of those tips that essentially doubles as a stern warning. Your inventory in this game is limited, and that may come back to haunt you if you keep randomly crafting new clothes, doing so even after you’ve equipped new items on your character. New items, for the most part, last for at least two trips, and that means you shouldn’t be too worried about making replacement if you’ve just equipped the new items. Also refrain from picking up random items; this isn’t one of those games where you can keep picking up items like throwing stuff at a wall and hoping something sticks. It’s important that you go on trips with a plan in mind, instead of always doing things at random.

Running out of space has some unpleasant consequences; you may lose all your items in inventory, and you may also get docked one Stamina unit (the hearts) if you let that inventory overflow.

11. Manage Things Carefully And Precisely

We’re still on the topic of storage space here, and we need not let you know once again that your space is limited. Sure, it will improve over time as you make progress and get farther on in your journey, but the space will still be limited. There are ways, however, for you to work around things, starting by remembering the items you need to craft – as a rule of thumb, start with clothing, followed by tools and weapons. Also remember the items that could allow you to earn profit quickly. You can also refer regularly to the crafting menu if you’re unable to remember the recipe for a certain item.

12. Sometimes, Raccoons Can Be Your Best Friend

Well, not really your best-best friend, but raccoons, despite their unsavory reputation in the real world, may actually be on your side in The Trail. Of course, there are the bad ones; you shouldn’t have much trouble identifying those raccoons that steal items from you and troll you by making sure it’s an important item. But there are some hidden raccoons that would gift you with useful items. Pull on a raccoon’s tail if you see one, and if it’s a friendly one, you’ll end up with a new quest item in many cases.

13. What Quests Should You Be Prioritizing?

The game comes with multiple quest trees or paths for you to follows. And with that in mind, you should be going for the quests that take less time and effort to complete. That’s a good general rule, but there are also some quests that may have some long-term value. These quests are known as Explorer quests, and they give you free items that you can use in your journey. All items collected for a quest will go toward the completion of that quest, and while that’s a simple principle, it’s something you should always remember. Make sure you’ve got a reliable pair of moccasins if you’re going on a quest that involves them, and a lot of food if you’re going on a food quest.

14. Workaround For The Eden Falls Issue

This has been one of the number one complaints gamers have had since The Trail was released. Some players have observed that there’s no home to purchase once they reach Eden Falls. But if that happens, you can go to the map, open it, go to the last campfire site, then return to Eden Falls with a house available for you. Buy that property, though if you can’t find anything that interests you at the moment, just repeat the above process as often as you need to.

15. What Item Should You Craft If You’ve Got No Choice?

The answer to that question would be a hat. Hats might not seem like much, but they provide additional stamina units/hearts. Those hearts would be necessary to help you last longer in your journey without passing out, and while it is possible to eat to regain those hearts, hats could be game-changers, and allow you to make it from one camp or another, while preventing you from eating too many ingredients to ensure your survival. As a bonus tip, it always pays to have an extra hat; once again, hats mean hearts, and hearts mean stamina.

16. Use Your Axes To Cut Wood, But Quest First If The Wood Is Too Hard

Axes are used in the game to cut wood, though there are some pieces of wood that you wouldn’t be able to cut right away. For example, birchwood wouldn’t be the easiest type of wood to cut, and you might have to complete a quest first so that you can find a recipe to craft a higher-quality, more effective axe. Build the strongest possible axe once you’ve gotten the recipe and found the required items, and use that more powerful axe to cut down the stronger type of wood with little to no problem.

17. Don’t Carry Too Many Items

Keep a close eye out on the color of your hearts. If they’re green, then you’re fine. If they’re turning orange or red, then you might be in trouble, and you might be carrying too many items on you. (Pro-tip – your bag does the same in most cases!) Check the weight of items by tapping-and-holding down and checking the info box; weight will be found in the leftmost area. The higher the number and darker the weight, the heavier the item is.

What happens if you’re over-encumbered? Well, you’ll pay for it by watching your stamina drain considerably faster, thus forcing you to keep on eating to stay awake on the journey. Don’t hesitate to drop certain items, rather than risk trouble by dealing with fast stamina drain. If you’re all out of stamina, your character will faint, and you may have to pay two favors to revive your character immediately. You should also wait and hope against hope that other human players don’t prey on your items; even if it takes less than ten seconds for characters to be brought back to life, players can easily swoop and steal your stuff during the revival process.

18. Know The Outlines

When looking at the items you find while on your journeys, you’ll notice that each of them have color-coded outlines. Blue outlines, for starters, let you know that the item can be used in one of the crafting recipes you’ve unlocked. Red outlines represent items included in your current quest, and if you pick up such an item, it’ll go to Koko the Bird, but not into your bag. White items refer to edible items, though they may also be used in available crafting recipes but still have a white outline due to their being edible. Items with no outline don’t have any current use, but may come in handy if you find a new crafting recipe.

19. Consider Item Availability Before Questing Any Further

When it comes to questing in The Trail, you probably won’t have any problems early on. Beatrice’s quests, for instance, include items that are easy to find in the early stages of the game, though they get progressively harder as you complete more of them. You may also take on a quest that has items you cannot use just yet; think of those items you can find beyond Eden Falls, but not use until you go beyond that location.

Yes, you can get any kind of items far more easily if you trade for them or if you watch ad videos. But it’s a wiser idea to choose a quest that has items found on the Trail.

20. More General Tips On Questing

The game allows you to quit a quest at any time; just tap-and-hold on Koko the Bird, and hit the red “X” button found inside his info box. That will make the bird fly away, and you will be able to access all the quest items that had been placed in his bag. As a reminder, quest items gathered automatically go to Koko, and you won’t be able to access those items while you’re still questing. That means you cannot use them for crafting for the time being. But if you want to start crafting, you can tap-and-hold on Koko and hit the “X” as we showed you above, craft whatever has to be crafted and choose a new quest at the next campsite. Just take note, however, that quitting a quest downgrades all the items you had entrusted to Koko, knocking them down to level 1.

21. How To Grab Far-Away Items

Your character, despite not having any unusual powers, is capable of grabbing far-away items. And that includes items that you probably wouldn’t be able to reach in a real-world situation. Grab an item, or even an outline, from a distance, but be patient while doing so; you may have to hold on your screen for about a second or so, then drag in order to pick the item up. Keep on dragging the item, especially if it’s a smaller object that you can’t quite see.

22. How Does ‘Complete For Two Favors’ Work?

Yes, we’ve got yet another tip that involves crafting, as we once again prove why it is the most important mechanic in the game. For this one, you’ll have to remember that pop-up that gives you the option to “Complete for 2 Favors.” You won’t see it all the time, but it appears fairly often; tapping on the button allows you to get all the required items for any recipe in question, with all the items of five-star rarity. Obviously, that means you can craft an extremely high quality take on an item, though the catch here is that Favors are, in themselves, the game’s premium currency. Also, there isn’t any option for gamers to pay in-game currency for Favors; you’re going to have to pay real-life money for them.

Due to the power of this option, it is highly recommended that you save it for those recipes where none of the items are in your possession. We also should warn you not to hit the button by accident; you won’t be prompted for confirmation, and your two favors will be gone automatically, with no hope of getting them back.

23. You Can Stack Items With The Military Bag

Once you craft the military bag, that item’s going to pay for itself, so to say. That’s because the military bag lets you stack items, which is a great way to optimize and maximize space. For example, you can take four twigs that would otherwise eat up a lot of space, and merge them into one.

Stacking is an easy process. Place two items beside each other, letting them touch and making sure there aren’t any stray items in between. That will automatically merge those items, though you may need to move the items a bit if the merge doesn’t go through right away. If you’ve tried twice but can’t quite get it right, there’s a good chance your bag’s level might be too low for item-stacking.

As a bonus tip, stacked items will weigh the same as they would if they were individual items combined. For example, six items that combine for 12 pounds if taken individually would still weigh 12 pounds if they were stacked.

24. Stacking Can Help You Craft

Stacking does come with one other key advantage aside from space optimization – it automatically arranges all your items in order of rarity, from the lowest star rating to the highest. Better yet, you don’t have to unstack if you’re in the process of crafting a recipe; if you drag a stack onto the recipe, the rarest version of the item you’re using will go into the recipe. And if you need multiple items of the same kind, the recipe will include the rarest/highest star ratings automatically, say, the top two, top three, and so on. All this allows you to craft better items without having to look up star rating all of the time.

25. Sometimes, You’ll Just Have To Unstack

Stacking has its advantages, but you always have the option to un-stack them. Sometimes it happens by itself, such as the times you may need to use an item in a crafting recipe, or the times you need to sell it. This can be very inconvenient when you’re trading the complete stack; you’ll have to drag each item repeatedly onto the conveyor belt. But you can also choose the “Freeform”” option from the crafting recipe list, if you want to store a stack in a chest. After choosing Freeform, drag your stack onto the blueprint, then drag the items into your bag.

26. More Tips For Managing Your Bag

It’s easy to place items into your bag – just let gravity do the trick so that the items drop into your bag. But if you’re in dire need of space, there is a workaround to it all. Simply drag the items all the way inside, and place the bag down forcefully so that you can squeeze more space out of it. Empty space forms at times, when items drop into your bag, and when you drag items down, the items will go straight into the empty spaces. As for removing items from your bag, you can use the bottom or side walls, as well as the top. This can help by preventing items from accidentally falling out from the top, which isn’t by any stretch, a very ideal situation.

27. House Type And Job Are Not That Important

Once you’ve already made it to a settlement and buy a new home, you will then have to make yourself “gainfully employed” by choosing your job. But you don’t have to worry about having to play mini-games while working an in-game job; the “job” is responsible for determining your item mill and the items you need to upgrade it, and nothing more. For example, you may choose “Carpenter” in order to get carpentry stuff for your house, or “Tanner” if you’d rather create leather items.

28. How Much Do You Need Saved Up Before Settling Down?

The game will charge you an even $1,000 to buy a house. So does that mean you can go ahead and spend that thousand bucks on a home just yet, once you’ve accumulated that much money? No, it doesn’t – aside from setting aside $1,000 for your home, you may want to spend $4,500 so you can get yourself a “private chest.” That chest allows you to store more items at home, while denying other players of access. Shared shelving is another alternative, and a much cheaper one at $300, but the caveat there is that other players would be able to take items when they drop by your home. Having a private chest costs 15 times as much, but it will always remain locked unless you unlock it; it may also help you add to your stash of items in preparation for upcoming quests.

29. Use The Mills To Create Upgraded Items

ant to create molding, or possibly some woven cloth? You can utilize the mills found in your neighbors’ homes at the settlement, any time when you feel limited by your chosen profession and need other types of crafting items. As you want to keep crafting on your way to Eden Falls, it’s much better that you leverage the capabilities of your neighbors’ mills, instead of sticking to your items alone.


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