Welcome to our comprehensive progression and battle guide for Cookie Run: Kingdom. This guide assumes you’ve read our beginner’s guide and played a bit of the game, so get to it if you haven’t started! Our Cookie Run: Kingdom progression and battle guide is more about certain specific problems you may run into while playing the game, and how to make sure your economy and team don’t end up soggy and sad.
Similarly to many other kingdom management games such as Lords Mobile and Rise of Kingdoms, you are charged with constructing and taking care of what is essentially a resource gathering town. Cookie Run: Kingdom is rather weird and has a few counter-intuitive problems that you need to watch out for though. Still a very fun game that’s worth playing of course!
So your kingdom is riding high! Profits are up. Your glorious nation is expanding. Your hated foe Licorice Cookie made the mistake of appearing in the gacha. You set him to work mining sugar cubes in a prison camp, but you are a benevolent king. You give the enemy Cookie what he asks for in the Wishing Tree. Licorice smiles even in the sugar mines, simply happy to finally be recognized for his efforts.
Then you decide build a Latte Cafe. Looks like it takes an hour to build a Latte, but hey, now you can upgrade your Castle for more houses!
Suddenly your economy spirals to heck, starvation ravages your kingdom, the trains are late, wishes go unfulfilled. You find your head on a roll cake tree stump with your Cookies and Sugar Gnomes ready to lop it off with a giant kitchen knife!
Thankfully, starvation and royal head removal will never happen. There is no mechanic for your adorable cookie citizens rebelling against you. Don’t panic, the economic recession period that usually comes after a castle upgrade or a new building is normally temporary.
Furthermore, we are here to provide you some tips to avoid a progression-fueled economic meltdown. We also have some more tips for dealing with the rather painful later levels of the game, among other combat oriented things.
1. Progression – Slow And Steady Wins The Race
Progression in Cookie Run: Kingdoms’s Kingdom management mode should not be rushed too harshly. Take some time to stockpile coins and materials even after you’re able to upgrade your castle. If you go too fast, it’ll be that much harder to get out of the economic slowdown that normally comes from a recently upgraded castle or the arrival of a new material to your train queues. Take it slow and steady.
Wishing Tree, Trains And Rarities: The Primary Economy
The way the Wishing Tree and Trains work, they only ask for things you are capable of building. This gets really nasty once you have structures that take an hour or three to build stuff, and that isn’t counting the materials you need to make before that three-hour nightmare. As such, there are certain items you need to avoid upgrading into. If the game asks you for these in your construction or building upgrades, buy them with Crystals instead!
Pillars – Cream, Hearty Rye, Cream Root Beer, Acorn Lamp, Candy Flower, Enchanted Tongs, Sugar Cubes, Cotton Candy, Hot Jelly Stew, Candy Saw, Robust Axe
Bricks – Jelly Burger, Jellyberries, Milk, Blue Jam, Jellybean Latte, Pasta, Roll Cake Wood, Pine Cone Bird, Biscuit Flour, Happy Planter, Biscuit Planter
Compasses – Cupcakes, Toy Clouds, Ginkgo Focaccia, Jellybean, Tempered Pickaxe, Cuckoo Clock, Shiny Glass, Enchanted Stake, Red Jam, Shovels, Tart Jampie, Marbles
Thankfully, with the Seaside Market, you can trade Rarities for other Rarities you lack at a 2-2 basis, albeit slowly since the store restocks at a certain time of day. This means if you have too many of two Rarities but not enough of another (Perhaps you spent all your Compasses upgrading Cookie Houses, or the Trainmaster just loves that look on your face when he brings home stuff you don’t want), then you can eventually even out that number for your other construction projects.
Building Level 2 Is Safe, Level 3 Is Pushing It, Level 4 And You’ve Gone Too Far
Leveling buildings up often comes with a bit of temporary trouble. If the train asks for new materials, you’re often stuck waiting for the build queue to finish. That being said, it helps to upgrade most of the structures you get from Castle Lv6 below to Lv3. Any lower and you might find an imbalance in the rarities your Trains bring home. Any higher and the materials the train will ask for become excessively difficult.
This doesn’t apply to all buildings though, and some aren’t worth upgrading at all. A good way to check if a building is worth upgrading is how much time it takes to make their next unlockable material. If it takes roughly two hours AND requires some materials that are already hard to make to begin with, say “Nope!” and back away from the upgrade button. On the other hand, even if it takes long but only requires simple materials to make, then you can stockpile them given a few days.
International Trade Routes
With the addition of Touc’s Trade Harbor and the recent nerfs to material construction difficulty (Many 2 hour non-bulk materials had their build times shaved to 1 hour 30 minutes and their crafting costs lessened and switched around), there is now a much bigger incentive to upgrading your Castle and leveling up your buildings.
With Touc’s Trade Harbor, you’ll need to get higher tier materials eventually to fill his trade ship more effectively. In particular, anything marked Special Cargo for the day fills out twice as much ship space, but the game can pick any material to be this, even those you have no access to at the moment.
More space filled gets you more Rainbow Shells, which can be traded for Soulstones, Toppings, Cookie Cutters, and most importantly, Sea Fairy Cookie’s Soulstones. One would usually want Sea Fairy on a team since they are an absolute powerhouse in PVP, and very deadly in lategame PVE. That or because the player thinks they’re cute or wants them for bragging rights.
Of course, every building upgrade makes it tougher to get the trains running, so be ready to lose some Crystals adding build slots to particularly difficult buildings. You’re generally better off bulking up on one hour materials (or 2 hour materials that require simpler ingredients, like Butter which only takes Milk and Sugar Cubes) than upgrading to a six-hour material if you want to fill the boat, so your economy won’t melt down trying to fill the trains!
Bean Production Overdrive
Buildings that only ask for coins to make materials are always worth leveling up. Often, the build times for bulk construction options do not stack up to their lv1 counterparts.
As an example, let’s take the Jellybean Farm. It takes one minute to make 3 Jellybeans with the lv1 construction option. It takes 11 minutes and 53 seconds (given a few Tick Tock Clock Tower upgrades) to make 9 jellybeans with the lv2 construction option.
Evidently, this math is terrible! It should take only 3 minutes to make 9 Jellybeans right? Well, the lv2 construction option only takes up one queue space for 9 beans, which makes it and the lv3 upgrade very useful for one thing: Stockpiling while you’re away.
You aren’t likely to restart the factory exactly 4 minutes after starting a Jellybean Farm. You might be distracted, or go into a set of battles that take longer than 4 minutes. In that case, you might as well go for the lv2 and lv3 bulk options. Coming home to a ton of beans is always a happy moment.
2. Some Additional Notes
Here are some more general tips less tied to progressing the game and more towards managing your kingdom in general. Sometimes, a king must be tough on his subjects and deny their wishes. After all, the trains need to go first, since the trainmaster is an unreasonable fellow.
Meanwhile, your cookies really shouldn’t be eating flowers and glass anyway. Instead, they should be eating those XP Star Jellies coming out of those fancy new houses you just built!
The cookies in the Wishing Tree can thankfully be told to go away if you notice them asking for annoyingly difficult materials. If all your cookies start asking you for the same time consuming material in the Wishing Tree, don’t be afraid to deny them until only one is asking for the material in question.
If the materials they ask for are the kind that takes an hour or so each to make, and you don’t have the stuff you need to make those materials, then deny them. If these cookies start asking for high tier stuff that the trains are also asking for at the moment, deny them even if you can give it to them. 10 minutes for an easier order is less painful than 3 hours to fill a difficult order.
Trains Take First Priority
Unlike Wishes, you cannot simply deny a Train that asks for something painful like Lattes, Biscuit Planters or Candy Flowers. If such is the case, the trains always get first priority for difficult to obtain materials.
The trains must be kept running at all times. If you spend the time making pots then flowers for your Cookies when your train is asking for them, that train will sit for that long doing nothing. Meanwhile, it only takes 10 minutes for a denied wish to be replaced, usually with something more reasonable.
The Great Crystal Economic Bailout Plan
So you built that Toy Store, constructed the Cotton Candy Farm. You’re in that part of the game where things get a bit time consuming. The cookies are standing outside the castle with dinner forks, birthday candles and angry slogans waiting for their lattes, root beers, and toy clouds.
Fear not, the game gives you crystals that you really shouldn’t just toss endlessly into the gacha anyway. Proper use of them can mitigate your supply problem. You likely have structures that take roughly an hour to make a single unit of material.
Upgrade their queue slots once or twice with crystals. That way, you can start stockpiling such materials in your sleep and offline times. In a day or two you should have a surplus of materials and get the trains running again.
Keep Stock Of Your Stockpile
You only have limited inventory space. After a certain level, the game starts asking for an utterly exorbitant amount of gems to upgrade your storage warehouse. This is NOT worth the gems spent. If you notice certain materials taking up too much space, don’t be afraid to sell them, or better yet use them to make higher tier materials.
Stuff like Wood, Jellybeans and Sugar Cubes are best kept at around 100-300 units. Red and Blue Jams (Jellybean Jam and Sweet Jelly Jam are their actual names, but Red and Blue are easier to remember) at around 20-30. Tools should be kept at around 30 each when possible, but this is difficult. Toy Birds at around 40 or so. Materials with long construction times should be stockpiled as hard as you can, especially at night.
Prettiness Over Efficiency? Use The Arrows
So you don’t want to follow our advice in the previous article to build all the factories next to each other. It looks ugly! I want my Jampie Diner in this spot, and surround it in chairs! I need that space for a massive pile of Sugar Gnomes! That’s no problem. There are a pair of rather hard to notice arrows on the side when you select a building. Just use those to switch from building to building not just to manufacture, but also collect materials.
Once you’ve researched Easy Goods Collection in the Sugar Gnome Laboratory though, you’ll never have to deal with this problem again and just use the arrows to manufacture. That upgrade allows one-tap collection of all materials. You’re gonna have an axe shortage for a day or so getting it though!
Between upgrading Cookie Houses, your Castle LV, upgrading Landmarks and expanding your territory, upgrading your Houses is the most useful way to spend Rarities. Each upgrade doubles the current maximum amount of Star Jellies they can produce, so even upgrading one is a big boost worthy of their rarity cost. After that, upgrading your Castle is second priority, for one simple reason. A higher level castle means more houses, and allows you to upgrade them further.
As for expanding territory, you only really need to do that if you’re running low on space to build structures, which honestly rarely happens. Or maybe you just want a more spacious, pretty kingdom, which is fair. Everyone wants a pretty kingdom. Upgrading your Landmarks is definitely dead last. The boost is pretty tiny for its cost, and only the stat building Landmarks have any appreciable power ups when upgraded.
A Rapid Climb Through Horror And Loot
This has less to do with your kingdom than the other tips, but it doesn’t quite fit the next section since those have to do more with combat tactics than planning a trip. Specifically, a trip through the Tower of Sweet Chaos. The keys for the Tower of Sweet Chaos recharge very slowly, so it’s usually best to climb several floors at once, once a week.
Certain tower floors split into two battles. It’s tempting to finish them both now, but you’re better off rushing past them to get to the chest floors with the fancy loot and high key prices. That way, you can open the chests immediately rather than run into them and have no keys to open them with, and get stuck waiting. You can come back to the floor splits you missed if you run into a level your cookies aren’t strong enough to get through yet.
3. When At War, Time Your Attacks And Stop Using Auto!
After fixing your Kingdom’s woes, you’ll find yourself back in the battlefield. Continued from our previous article, here are some additional tips for Cookie Run: Kingdom’s combat. Most of these essentially boil down to “Time your attacks properly!”, but this is a more detailed explanation telling you how to time your attacks. Maybe a few victories can distract your cookies while you stockpile to end the Cotton Candy crisis!
Know Your Cookie’s Skill Target Priorities
Certain cookies aim for certain targets based on how much HP they have, or whether or not they’re in front or the back. Always wait for your target to get in the right spot before attacking them with cookies like Vampire. There are few worse feelings than seeing Vampire or Adventurer cookie aiming their high power attacks at a weak, unimportant target.
Delay Your Attacks When Expecting A Stun Or Interrupt
If you see a charger type enemy come rushing in, hold your fire! A stun wasting your Cookie’s skill and sending them into cooldown is a wonderful way to suffer a total party kill. Either let them take the hit, or get your front Cookies to knock them out of the way with their knockback skill. Afterwards, you can nuke them while they wind up for their next stun, which normally takes a while.
Delay Your Barrage Against Enemies That Get Stronger As Their HP Gets Lower
I’m looking at you, Level 7-25. Certain enemies like the red background Nightmare-ridden Librarian (a miniboss not to be confused with the much easier to kill Nightmare Archivist boss) get more powerful as their HP decreases. You do not want to antagonize them by unleashing your damage dealer cookies’ skills too early. It might knock them to ¼ HP. They’ll wipe the floor with your party in a measly two seconds if that happens.
If you come across such dangerous enemies, use only your Front Cookies, Healers or Supports to wipe that enemy’s buddies while keeping your damage dealers alive. Then wait for a bit as your cookies soften the main target with their normal attacks.
Once the enemy is at about 2/3 HP or generally low enough that you can immediately kill them with a single skill barrage, throw everything you’ve got at them! That way, they don’t have time to take advantage of their extreme low HP power up.
Cookies Are Nearsighted
Usually, when an enemy with a particularly large sprite or a huge enemy formation appears, the screen zooms out. Cookies other than Onion Cookie (Their crying hits the entire screen!) can’t “see” all the way to the edge of a zoomed out screen. This causes shenanigans like Vampire Cookie hitting the middle of the enemy formation simply because the rear is out of his sight range.
When this happens, wait for the enemy to get in their positions so you can be absolutely sure your cookies hit their targets. Or if you want to be extra spicy, you can use this to your advantage by hitting a target before their rear support arrives into position to protect them!
Economy Of Force
You might be tempted to dump all your skills on that small wave of three weak mooks in front of you. Don’t do that. Overkill, while immensely fun and cathartic, is a great way to get your cookies killed in the next wave.
If you think it only takes one or two skills, or even just one skill from your Front cookie to cripple an enemy wave, use just that. You don’t want Espresso or Vampire Cookie to get caught in cooldown while a huge wave of mooks or an enemy summoner appears in the next wave.
Dual Front Is The Meta, Not A Hard Rule
In some missions (Again, looking at you, 7-25!), you need more hurt than a two front team can dish out. Especially in missions where the final wave is extremely dangerous but the rest of the mission is relatively easy, it may be more effective to bring a single front team and take up the empty slot with an additional damage dealer.
This is especially viable with Licorice on your team since he is an all rounder, but it can also work with cookies like Vampire and Rye. After all, the point of bringing a second tank or a support is to survive the main bulk of the level. If the deadly part is only towards the end, then bring more firepower to end that part quickly!
When Faced With Kamikazes, Bring Dual Healers
In Chapters 5, 6 and 8, enemies that explode themselves in your face are a common threat. Rarely is a single wave able to kill your tank, but it often leaves them vulnerable to the next. Since these guys already explode themselves, it may do you well to replace one of your damage dealers with another healer. Not a support. A proper, honest to Vanilla healer!
That way, they can heal your front and mid fast enough to recover most damage from kamikaze waves. It also helps to bring instant knockback cookies like Princess, Dark Choco and especially Licorice with his AOE lightning bolt and mook squad to smack the kamikazes away right as they’re about to explode.
If your AOE guy is so strong he can just kill them outright though, great! Kamikazes like Somnapules and Poison Mushrooms don’t explode when your cookies kill them.
Hidden Hostile Cookies? Assume Espresso
After a player reaches a certain PVP rank, they can opt to hide several cookies in their defense team. If the enemy’s defense lineup shows hidden cookies and you don’t see Espresso Cookie, it would be safe to assume he or a similar cookie (AOE damage dealers like Latte or Black Raisin, or worse, Sea Fairy, but they are markedly less common) is there. Espresso, Latte and Black Raisin are all available via Gacha Mileage, so most players have at least one of them. They are also incredibly deadly, so most players want to use them. If you go into the Arena, always expect him. If he isn’t there, great! You can steamroll them provided they aren’t grossly overleveled compared to you.
This goes both ways. If you have Espresso in your defense team, don’t bother hiding him. He’s the most obvious cookie pick so there is no point. Instead, hide cookies that reveal your specific strategy.
If you’re using Vampire Cookie, hide him so the enemy doesn’t know you’re carrying a healer-seeking missile. Licorice is a good pick to hide as he is also a very powerful cookie, but less common than Espresso. Most players with weaker teams will immediately back off if they see a one star Licorice, and you don’t want that to happen! Pomegrenate Cookie is also a good one to hide in case your Espresso isn’t as strong as others. That 20% ATK Buff can make the difference in a fight, but also in an enemy’s choice on whether to attack or not.
If you’re running a Gingerbrave-Cherry-Tiger Lily stun squad, hide Tiger Lily and Cherry Cookie if you can. It’s one of the most obvious (but devastating) ploys, but if the attacker is particularly stupid they might take one look at Gingerbrave and decide your team is weak. Then they get stunned to death and you laugh looking at the Defense screen!
The only time you should hide Espresso is if he’s at 4 stars above. People will still expect Espresso, but seeing a high star level Espresso is usually enough to deter enemies from attacking you. You want them to attack you so your defense team can kill them and take some Medals. Hiding a 4 or 5 star Espresso means they just expect a normal vortex as opposed to a global thermonuclear party-wiping vortex!
And this is the end of our progression and battle guide for Cookie Run: Kingdom. We hope this helps to keep your cookies happy and your economy intact. If you have more tips or strategies for the game, feel free to share them with us in the comment section!