During the bleak final days of the Dark Flour War, a terrible era when the black ashes of burnt cookie crumbs filled the air, the great hero Pure Vanilla Cookie and his friends sealed the evil Dark Enchantress Cookie away. But at what cost! The Pure Vanilla Kingdom vanished with them all. Thousands of years have passed. History faded into legend, and legend faded into myth.
Now a courageous little cookie, GingerBrave, has escaped the Witch’s oven. Now he finds himself in charge of restoring an old castle to its former glory. He will meet friends along the way, see the land, and halt a sinister plan by a remnant army of cake monsters, lead by a mysterious hooded foe. They don’t stay mysterious for long.
This is Cookie Run: Kingdom, a freshly baked game from the Cookie Run franchise, cooked up by the talented people at Devsisters Corp. The game is a fantastic dash through a beautifully creative, funny, and sometimes bittersweet world.
Cookie Run: Kingdom plays far differently from either of its predecessors, Cookie Run: Ovenbreak and Cookie Wars. Rather than a side-scrolling platform runner or an army building mini-strategy war game, Cookie Run Kingdoms mixes a kingdom-building resource-management game with a deceptively simple RPG. You make and run a burgeoning kingdom, and you pick a squad of five cookies to run through levels and beat up everyone and everything that gets in their way.
Read this comprehensively delicious Cookie Run: Kingdom beginner’s guide to start building a strong kingdom, and lead your squad of brave cookies to their glorious, well-deserved victory.
1. The Basics Of Battle: Freshly Baked In The Fires Of War
The first thing you’ll see past Cookie Run: Kingdom’s title screen and after the beginning cutscene is a rather grim tutorial level. The five heroic cookies of legend, commanded by Pure Vanilla Cookie, fighting cake monsters through a dark corridor littered with their crumbled, dying brethren.
At the bottom of the screen are buttons with the faces of each cookie in your squad. Pressing each button activates the corresponding cookie’s special skill, which have cooldown timers.
After an awesome looking bossfight that ends badly for everyone involved, the game moves several eons into the future. You’re now using your first actual starter cookie, GingerBrave. Now there is another tutorial after this about building a kingdom, but first let us expound on the basics of combat.
2. Cookie Types: Many, Many Flavors, All Bad For The Enemy’s Teeth
When assembling a team of cookies, you will notice that each cookie has a pair of classifications. Their position in your battle line (Rear, Middle, Front), and the way they fight (Bomber, Ranger, Support, Healer, Ambush, Magic, Charger, Defense). While none of these classifications are hard and fast rules, they give you what to expect out of a class.
Bombers like the ominously cheerful Cherry Cookie have skills that often deal immediate area-of-effect damage or cause some form of debuff.
For Cherry Cookie in particular, she throws a giant cherry bomb. The bomb is powerful enough to stun an entire wave for a couple of seconds, and when timed extremely well, can halt some dangerous attacks.
Rangers like the wholegrain gunslinging Rye Cookie tend to do high DPS and have skills that often increase their own DPS, single out a specific target for death, or both.
Rye Cookie in particular fires her dual pistols at the toughest target in a wave, then proceeds to rapid fire for a couple of seconds.
Support cookies like the calmly musical Clover Cookie give the team buffs with their skill, and have some form of ranged attack.
Clover Cookie, as an example, sings on their lute. This provides a gradual heal for the whole team and cleaning them of any debuffs.
Healer cookies like the adorably annoying Custard Cookie III lack a basic attack. Instead they heal friendly cookies, and have a skill that, well, heals cookies more and may or may not give a buff. There is a lot of overlap between them and Support cookies.
Ambush cookies include those like the spicy Chili Pepper Cookie, your first Epic from the gacha tutorial. Their skill often involves attacking the enemy’s rear line, while avoiding any nasty attacks happening in the front line. Although sometimes, they can just bombard the enemy from the air like the squishable Pancake Cookie, still avoiding enemy attacks in the process.
Magic cookies like the smugly superior Espresso Cookie sling magic at range. Their skills are often attacks that deal area damage over time.
Sometimes their skills even mess with the enemy formation, like Espresso Cookie’s coffee grinder vortex of doom. The coffee vortex sucks enemies into it, leaving them open for attacks with a smaller area of effect.
Chargers like the foul-tempered Purple Yam Cookie are often front line melee fighters who may or may not have lots of HP (Gingerbrave skews toward being a glass cannon with his low HP pool while Muscle Cookie has a weaker skill but better HP). They often have a skill that pushes the enemy front line away from your cookies, sometimes right into the enemy rear line.
This is a good way to open the enemy wave for a big splash damage attack from anyone with area-of-effect skills. This also protects cookies from melee enemies. Purple Yam does this by spinning his heavy mace around like a tornado and moving forward, violently pushing the enemy wave away.
Defense cookies like Knight Cookie are also front line melee fighters, but focus on keeping their crumblier, less sturdy teammates alive. A good number of them have taunts, or can heal at least themselves with their skill while dealing damage to the enemy.
Failing that, they’re often just harder to chew on than Chargers of the same tier. This can spell the difference between a failed mission, and a last-ditch clutch victory. Knight Cookie in particular slaps the enemy away with his lance, and taunts the enemy. This causes the enemy wave to focus all their attacks on him.
You create a team with five cookies. Cookies arrange themselves automatically. In a situation where you pick no front cookies, whoever is tankiest and a mid will move forward to take the job. Between picking a cohesive squad with skills that play well with each other, or a high stat beatstick of nothing but all the epics you recently got from a lucky gacha roll, the former is superior.
A squad of five epics is no good if all of them happen to be soft, chewy midliners with no healer or frontliner. Especially after a Ginkgoblin Charger armored car plasters them flat on the road.
3. Balanced Teams, And The Lesson Of Your Starter Squad
You are allowed to edit your squad before every battle. When making a squad, you must make a balanced team that will perform well in most situations. You should also have few cookies in reserve to be swapped in and out in case of weird encounters.
A reliable formation normally consists of cookies whose abilities play off each other, cover each others’ weaknesses, or are in general planned to win fights in a premeditated way. Their tiers and overall stats play a secondary, but still important role.
An example you should familiarize yourself with is the starter squad that is handed to you early on: GingerBrave and Strawberry Cookie in front, Wizard and Chili Pepper Cookie in mid, and Custard Cookie III as the squad healer out back.
While this squad may drop off in effectiveness after Chapter 2, being mostly Commons, their abilities cover each others’ weaknesses well.
GingerBrave and Chili Pepper Cookie are your main killers in the Starter Squad. GingerBrave punches the hardy melee enemy frontline into the chewy enemy rearline.
This opens them up to Chili Pepper Cookie, whose skill backstabs everyone that is in contact with the rearmost enemy line. This combo cleanly wipes a lot of early battles.
Strawberry Cookie and Wizard Cookie are there for extra damage. Wizard in particular has an AOE attack that moves forward in a line, useful against deep yet narrow enemy formations. This covers for GingerBrave and Chili Pepper, who together are stronger against wide yet shallow formations. As for Strawberry, time her spin attack to hit as many targets as possible.
Custard Cookie III is a pretty good healer in general, as his heal skill comes with a shield. Timing his shield correctly, preferably at the start of a wave, can prevent crippling damage from an initial enemy strike. If it’s on cooldown though, it might be better to call in everyone you can.
Of course, you will eventually have to replace GingerBrave, Strawberry and Wizard from your main squad with stronger cookies, but it pays to know how to use them in case the Gacha is unkind for extended periods of time. And when you do replace them, replace them with cookies that can fit roles you need in your squad.
4. Assembling Your Team: Rolling In The Gacha
As with team-building character-collecting games like Azur Lane, Arknights and Guardian Tales, you get your cookies by rolling in the Gacha section. You pay for the gacha with crystals. While you can buy crystals with real cash, the game is merciful enough to let you earn crystals, sometimes in generous amounts.
You can earn Crystals as rewards through finishing levels and worlds, doing quests, at random from the Fountain of Abundance, and from daily activities. Sometimes, the developers at Devsisters just decide to be kind, and will hand you 3000 or so Crystals (Enough for ten rolls!) or other items for no other reason than the game reaching some sort of milestone on the Google Play Store. For this, you have to check your mail.
While the crystal rewards are generous, the gacha drop rate is less so. It’s nowhere near bad enough to cripple a free player though. Thankfully, all those irritating Soulstones that litter the cookie gacha can be accumulated. Once you get enough of a cookie’s Soulstones, you can unlock them through your Cookies tab.
5. Maintaining Your Squad, And Commanding Them
In Cookie Run: Kingdom, strengthening your squad can be a daunting task. First, you open up your Cookies tab. Then you have to figure out whether any new cookies can do their job. Should you spend resources leveling them up? Is this cookie worth leveling to get you out of that level you’re stuck in? Who gets the best toppings? Here are a few tips to keep things less difficult, and to help you learn about new cookies.
A New Cookie?
When getting a new cookie, it is very tempting to dump all your Star Jellies on them, and level them up in a single go.
That’s a good way to run out of Star Jellies fast, so read their skill descriptions first. If you think they can fill a role you need, feed them the jellies.
Primary Squad Priority
Strengthen the active members in your squad first. Eventually, you will not just move past the Starter Squad, but also create a primary team that consistently wins most battles.
That primary team should get first pick for any Toppings, Skill Powders and Star Jellies. Meanwhile, reserve Cookies you know are effective get second pick.
Do Not Underestimate The Starter Squad
Don’t be afraid to spend toppings and Star Jellies on the Starter Squad in the first two or so chapters. If the gacha is unkind, they’re all you have. The best way to earn crystals is through completing worlds, and finishing levels in three-star. This means you have no choice but to fight even if all you have is the Starter Squad, so you might as well make the most of them.
Learning Through Battle
Do not hesitate to go into the Arena. Go and fight against other kingdoms’ squads, particularly those who have Cookies you don’t own. Once the auto battle starts, watch the enemy team carefully.
Even if you lose, this gives you better insight on an unknown cookie’s abilities than just reading their skill descriptions. Besides, you get a big stipend of crystals at the end of an Arena season, so it’s all worth it.
This also goes for normal levels. Watch how certain monsters fight so you can bring the appropriate cookies to counter and kill them.
Tasty Topping Arrangements
Toppings like Chocolate Chips are equippable items that give your Cookie a stat buff. Give your cookies toppings that correspond to their strengths, and keep them upgraded. Again, prioritize your primary squad when you do this.
Sometimes you will find that you have accumulated several upgraded toppings, but they’re scattered across multiple cookies. You can pay coins to unequip them, then give them to a Cookie who might do better with them.
Soulstones: Sick Of Them Until You’re Not
Soulstones are the bane of any player rolling in the gacha. That said, even these things are worth collecting. If you have enough soulstones for a cookie you do not own, you can use them to unlock a cookie directly. If you do own the cookie, then you can use them to promote the cookie by one star level. This gives the cookie a sizeable overall stat boost.
Assume Direct Command
Unless you’re in an Arena battle where Auto-AI is mandatory, turn Auto-AI off! The Auto-AI is frankly brain-dead when it comes to timing skills. It will spam them blindly and endlessly, often resulting in your cookies’ skills being on cooldown when they need them the most.
Say, when a massive enemy gunline of Ginkgoblin Marksmen and Hunters all appear in the back of the enemy formation. You don’t want to wait ten seconds for Chili Pepper Cookie’s backstab in such a situation.
Treasures: Some Weird And Powerful Artifacts
The Treasure gacha opens after you find a treasure chest on the World Map early on. Treasures can provide buffs to the entire party, or act like a small extra ability when equipped.
While Treasures are worth spending crystals on, another way to get them would be to buy Treasure gacha tickets from the Mileage shop. You can get Mileage points from the Cookie gacha, so early on you will mostly be spending your crystals on cookies. These tickets are a great way to make the most out of bad rolls.
Sweet, Lucrative Payback
Revisit levels you have not beaten with three stars once your squad is sufficiently powerful. Getting all the stars in a world is one of the fastest ways you have of earning crystals, which you need to go into the gacha and roll for more cookies. Bullying low level enemies is also a great way to relax.
6. The Basics Of Cooking Up Your Kingdom
No monarch can rule without their kingdom. On top of your list is restoring this old, ruined biscuitstone castle to its sweet, tasty former glory. In Cookie Run: Kingdom’s building tutorial, you start off asking the local sugar gnomes to construct some houses for your subjects. As the game progresses, you will receive quests to construct production buildings as a guide towards expanding your little castle town into a right and proper nation.
The act of constructing buildings is simple. Go into your Build tab. Select one of the available buildings, then pay some coins (or crystals for certain landmark structures, you can find these in the Decor tab) to place down some scaffolding.
Once you’ve picked a spot, you pay its resource cost to start building it. You wait a while, and the building is completed. With a glowing green check mark on top, you tap the building to declare it open for business. During and after building, you can drag it elsewhere in case you change your mind about its location. Moving a building costs nothing at all.
7. Civilian Affairs: Keeping The Bakeries Running
As with any kingdom, yours cannot run on the might of the sword alone. You must make your kingdom rich and prosperous, a happy place worth fighting for. In Cookie Run: Kingdom, you must spend a lot of time maintaining your abode. Here are some tips to running your Kingdom effectively.
Efficient Use Of Your Agri-Industrial Sector
When producing base materials like jellybeans, sugar cubes and roll cake logs, the smaller portions will make the same amount of materials faster and for the same total coin cost. The downside to this is that smaller portions take up more queue slots.
When you are actively playing, make materials with smaller portions, then use the big bulk construction options for when you’re about to go offline. Waking up to a big bulky payout is always satisfying, but the small portions are more time-efficient when you’re up and playing directly.
It may be tempting to just save crystals only for the cookie gacha, but this isn’t always the best course of action. In any other game, spending crystals on anything other than the gacha would be considered a noob trap. Not in Cookie Run: Kingdoms. With the many ways to earn crystals, using a couple hundred of them to extend the production queue for very specific structures can be helpful. In particular, mining sugar cubes early on for the construction of tools in the Smithy can be a long grind.
You don’t get a second Sugar Quarry until your castle is level 5, so you might as well spend crystals on getting an extra one or two queue slots. Don’t spend all your crystals though, you still need to collect as many cookies as you can, as fast as you can!
Skilled Labor Ain’t Cheap, But It’s Worth It
Another good crystal purchase would be an extra gnome house. You can only have three maximum unless you buy a Gnome House Package anyway.
You might as well buy that third house allowed to you with crystals. You’ll need all the extra hands you can get.
A Symbol Of Power: Landmarks
Found under the Decor section of your Build tab, Landmarks are large, opulent, highly expensive structures. They give a small buff either to your kingdom’s production or increase your cookies’ combat stats in a certain way.
Some of these Landmarks cost a massive amount of coins and a certain amount of rare materials you can only get from granting Wishing Tree wishes to cookies, or sending materials out on your train station. Others simply cost a large amount of crystals (hovering around 2500-4000 depending on the structure, for reference the price of a single gacha cookie roll is 300 crystals) and ten seconds of your time.
While getting a coin based Landmark is always a good idea, we only suggest constructing a crystal-based Landmark once you have a solid team. Such a Landmark is a big crystal investment, and you still need to get more cookies.
Aerial Adventures: The Balloon Dock
Eventually, you will unlock the Balloon Dock. Fly it out with your strongest cookies. Putting powerful, high tier cookies in the balloon increases the chance for a Super Success, which doubles the coin and Kingdom EXP reward, and adds more toppings to the drop pool.
While you will be unable to assign them to production buildings (you should be assigning your lower level or tier cookies there anyway), you CAN still use them for combat and general adventuring, even though they’re supposedly busy in a hot air balloon.
A Starry Residential Zone
You will need a massive amount of Star Jellies to keep your cookies leveled to par with their adventures. Your primary method of getting these are your Cookie Houses, which produce them automatically.
Build Cookie Houses whenever possible, and upgrade them all to at least level 5 as soon as you can. A large residential area makes for a strong combat team. Having a large stockpile of Star Jellies also makes it easier to immediately level and introduce new members to your squad.
Fountain Of Abundance
This is another structure that you must upgrade as fast as you can. It fills with random rewards over time.
It provides everything from valuable materials and Star Jellies, to small numbers of crystals and large amounts of coins. Check on this fountain everytime you log in.
A Benevolent Monarch Is A Rich Monarch
Your primary method of getting coins is the Tree of Wishes. Granting wishes by giving resources to your Cookies gives you coins and kingdom EXP. Cookies asking for higher tier items give exponentially larger rewards.
Getting 10, 15, then 20 wishes done in a day also gets you rare materials like Aurora Bricks, Compasses and Pillars. You need these Aurora materials to expand your territory, upgrade your castle level and upgrade buildings later on.
Stop Eating Saws You Little…!
It may be tempting to refresh a cookie’s Wishing Tree wish when they ask for sugar cubes, saws and pickaxes. These are fairly slow to produce and are needed to upgrade buildings and clear terrain. Even after they become obsolete, they still require the same materials to make as other more expensive tools like shovels. The cookies don’t pay you enough to make up for it either.
Unfortunately, you have to wait 10 minutes for a new wish to replace the one you refreshed. Between a bunch of possible wishes, prioritize the ones asking for sugar cubes and tools (other than axes) last. Unless they also ask for a lot of jam, bread and other high-payout materials.
Organized City Planning
For maximum efficiency, you must organize your buildings. It doesn’t have to be complicated; Place buildings that use each others’ resources next to each other.
That way, you can easily tap your Sugar Quarry, then your Lumberjack’s Lodge, then the Smithy. Moving around the map wastes a surprising amount of time, so keeping production structures next to each other is handy.
Your duties may seem overwhelming, monarch. To restore a crumbled civilization from the flour up is no easy feat. We hope these tidbits of knowledge will aid you in bringing these cookies and their ruined nation back to greatness. If you have some of your own tips and advice to share for Cookie Run: Kingdom, do not hesitate to share them with us in the comment section!