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Forge of Empires Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Maximize the Growth of Your Empire

From the first stirrings of life within the primordial soup, to prehistoric titans and the first human ancestor taking shaky, baby upright steps, humanity has come far. But now the quest begins – can you take your tribe of Stone Age homo sapiens and lead them to create an empire worthy of history?

forge of empires tips

Forge of Empires tasks you with taking care of an empire from the beginning of recorded history to space age colonization and beyond. From your people will come great thinkers, generals, architects, engineers, writers, and so many more – who will all carry your people to glory. Available on iOS and Android platforms, the best way to describe Forge of Empires might be as a watered-down Civilization game.

forge of empires portrait
You can’t expect me to let this opportunity pass, can you?

However, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your empire. Forge of Empires is very much a waiting game, and you’ll need patience and perseverance to advance through the ages. To help you on the road to the future, we’ve compiled a beginner’s guide and some tips to help.

Take note that this guide was made with the early game in mind – we’ll be covering the initial part of the game, aka the Bronze Age, and guide you all the way to the beginnings of the Iron Age. By then, you’ll have a grasp of the basics and what to do to maximize the growth of your empire with the limited resources that are available to you.

So without further ado, let’s delve into our Forge of Empires beginner’s guide!

Constantly Advance Your Technology

Naturally, you’ll have to learn new things to progress from simple mud huts to more stable brick-and-mortar homes. To bring up the research tree, tap the lower left of the screen and tap Research.

forge of empires tree
What he said.

Technologies in Forge of Empires are presented as a tree with linked arrows. To research a technology, you must first learn the secrets of its prerequsite technologies, as indicated by the arrows. Where the arrows join is an indication of what techs are needed to discover another tech.

Unlocking technologies requires the use of Forge Points, gold, materials, and items. Don’t forget to tap Unlock Technology when you’re done pouring resources into a research project.

Forge Points

Forge Points represent the endeavors of your empire’s thinkers, philosophers, architects, inventors, and other great people. These points are the first step in unlocking new technology, and every technology on the tech tree requires you to first invest Forge Points before paying the other costs, such as gold, materials, or items. Conversely, this also means that you can throw Forge Points at tech you don’t have the materials for yet to prevent overflow.

forge of empires tech tree
The first tier of Iron Age techs need material goods, which I sorely lack. At least I can invest Forge Points from the get-go.

Forge Points regenerate slowly on their own, but you can also opt to buy more points with gold or Diamonds. This becomes more expensive the more you do it, so use this option wisely.

Apart from researching technology, Forge Points are also important in the construction of Great Buildings, which we’ll tackle later.

Beelining

forge of empires bee
The small icons under each tech show you what you’ll get – look out for these green square!

Each technology requires a different amount of tech points and gives different things – so it’s always worth checking out what a technology is going to unlock rather than buying techs willy-nilly. To help you make choices in the early game, here are some key early game techs to look out for:

The Wheel and Tools

forge of empires the wheel

These Bronze Age technologies are notable because they give you highly coveted Expansion pieces, giving you more space to build whatever you feel like. The Wheel is notable for being available almost off the bat after you’re tasked to research Spears.

Cultivation

Cultivation not only lets you build the more efficient Fruit Farm materials building, but also allows you to participate in events.

Thatched Houses

Thatched Houses will help you keep apace of your empire’s increasing gold costs. It also opens the Social tab, allowing you to find and add your friends.

Smithery

Smithery is directly available after Thatched Houses, and unlocks the game’s Guilds function. This technology also unlocks the Blacksmith, an efficient 2×2 building that, while it produces less materials than other buildings, is much easier to fit into existing infrastructure.

Slingshots

forge of empires slinger range

Slingshots are another early tech that will be especially important for players who prefer to conquer with the sword. This technology allows you to build a Slinger Range, where you can train rudimentary ranged units. Don’t expect too much from them – but any ranged attack beats no ranged attack.

Stonework and Woodwork

These two technologies reside at the bottom of the Bronze Age tech tree, and are important both in that they unlock the production of actual goods – which you’ll need to produce en masse to tech up. They also gate Craftwork, another technology that rewards you with an expansion. It’s worth noting that you need 2 Marble to unlock Craftwork, which you’ll need to produce at the Marble Mason that Stonework unlocks.

Make The Most Out Of Your Infrastructure

All empires require infrastructure. Your people will need places to live, places to work, and facilities to keep them happy.

Residential Buildings

Residential buildings will likely be a large part of your city. These structures provide housing to your subjects, and each one of these buildings provides population, which you’ll need to man your production buildings.

forge of empires house
You mean I can’t just make them sleep on the ground?

As you progress in technology, don’t forget to check if your new residential buildings offer a better gold income over time. Which residential buildings you build will ultimately depend on your playing style. For comparison, here’s the income of three Bronze Age residential buildings.

  • Huts provide 6 gold every 5 minutes, for 72 gold an hour.
  • Stilt Houses provide 11 gold every 15 minutes, for 44 gold per hour.
  • Thatched Houses give 32 gold per hour.

Looking at this, spamming Huts seems to be the way to go. But here’s the catch – resources won’t stack, and you’ll have to collect them every time they’re ready or they’ll be wasted. Which residential buildings you decide to build will be determined by your own play style and schedule.

Production Buildings

forge of empires blacksmith
Recent studies show that 1 in every 3 people in my empire is a blacksmith.

Production buildings form the other half of Forge of Empires’ basic economic equation. These buildings require population to be spent to build them. In turn, they can be ordered to produce items that are converted into materials for building, tech research, or other things.

Note that you have to manually assign a project to each production building – they won’t do anything without orders. At the same time, when you pull up the production panel, the game will automatically switch you between idle production buildings, so you can just keep tapping the same section of screen.

Just like residential buildings, which production buildings you should focus on will depend on your playing style. For comparison, here’s the five minute project yield for some Bronze Age production buildings.

  • Hunters produce trophies, which give 8 materials.
  • Potteries create flagons, giving you 10 materials.
  • Smiths forge horseshoes, giving 6 materials.

On the other hand, compare the space each of these uses: a Blacksmith uses a simple 2×2 space, while Potteries use a 4×3 area.

If patience isn’t one of your virtues (it’s okay, I get it), you can also rush production with Diamonds – which I highly discourage. There are far more important things to spend your Diamonds on.

Premium Buildings

forge of empires premium buildings
Look at how shiny that Domestication Pen is.

There exist far more efficient buildings in each era. These I’ll call premium buildings, and instead of costing gold and materials, these buildings need Diamonds to be built. Be judicious in deciding when to spend on a premium building – you don’t get any Diamonds back if you decide to sell it down the line.

Goods Buildings

forge of empires marble
Somehow producing marble busts without actual marble.

Goods buildings are the next step up from production buildings. Unlike production buildings which produce materials out of nothing, goods buildings take gold, materials, and raw resources (if available) to create tangible, tradable products that you’ll need for advancement.

While you can produce items at goods buildings even without the raw resource, it’s much better if you annex a territory that has that raw material to improve production efficiency.

Expansions

Expansions are among the most important things you should invest in. These are grids of land that you can drag over existing, unavailable areas to unlock them for your use – allowing you to expand your burgeoning empire.

forge of empires expansions
I didn’t know that real estate was a booming industry in the Bronze Age.

While you can purchase Diamond Expansions at any time with Diamonds, Reward Expansions are unlocked for free upon researching certain technologies. These expansions still need to be bought with either gold or Diamonds, however. A third kind of expansion, the Victory Expansion, requires medals to be bought. You can get medals from participating in the PVP Arena or by helping your friends and guildmates complete their Great Buildings.

Roads

forge of empires road
A path! A path! Ni!

Roads serve as a mark of civilization, and less dramatically, tell people where to walk. Most buildings will require that a road be adjacent to them, or else they won’t be built nor will they work. You can check if a building needs a road in its info panel (tap the ? icon when selecting a building).

Great Buildings

forge of empires great buildings
Unique? I think not.

Great Buildings are powerful, expensive wonders that serve to highlight the glory of your empire. On the practical side, they provide unique bonuses, such as greater income or even passive boosts to the rest of your empire’s development.

Unlike regular buildings, Great Buildings must be unlocked piece by piece. This can be done in various ways, such as completing quests or by helping your guildmates. Alternately, you can pay Diamonds to unlock each piece.

Constructing a Great Building not only requires a huge amount of resources, but also consumes Forge Points. Thankfully, you can request for help from your guildmates with regards to Forge Points. Don’t worry about mooching – they’ll get medals for helping you out, which they can use to buy Expansions. It’s win-win!

Group Similar Buildings Together

forge of empires blacksmith quarter
And here is the “literally nothing but blacksmiths” quarter.

For your own sanity, I strongly urge you to group similar buildings together. While you can get away with putting buildings anywhere you please (as well as improving your city’s aesthetic), the simple fact remains that you need to tap each building individually to harvest resources. Compounding this is the “gather all” function requiring diamonds. At the very least, the “gather all” button serves as an indicator that you have resources ready for pickup.

By bunching quarters together, you can streamline your resource collection and make life easier for yourself.

Annex Territories On The World Map

Surprisingly, taking territories on the map this time doesn’t draw the ire of other players, as this isn’t a PVP mode!

Why Should I Take Territories?

forge of empires rock
You mean my people live in some kind of horrible, rockless land?

Because if you studied history, that’s what every empire did. But on a gameplay scale, you absolutely should annex territories – not only do you get a one-time bonus for conquering each province of an area, but completely taking over it gives your people access to raw materials that will be vital for crafting goods. These goods, in turn, are vital to progression and can be used to trade with other players!

Apart from these, the bonuses that conquest gives you can serve to boost your early game progress, allowing you to rise up faster from your humble beginnings.

forge of empires annex
Our pointy sticks will do the talking this day!

You can either use your military might or your economic influence to coerce or persuade new provinces to join you. There’s no prize nor judgment for handling it either way – choose whatever method you see fit.

Victory Through The Sword!

If you choose the way of the warrior, be ready to engage in tactical combat.

forge of empires fight
My friends will tell you I am not nice when playing 4X games.

Forge of Empires has a simple yet fun combat system. Units take turns moving on a map via hexes, with the portraits below indicating whose turn it is and who will take the next turns. You don’t need to expend all your move points if you don’t want to – just tap Skip Turn when you’re done moving a unit.

To fight an enemy unit, move your own unit within attack range, then tap on the enemy to initiate combat. Units will take damage, then counterattack. With that in mind, it might be better to finish off wounded enemies rather than try to damage them all at once.

forge of empires fight 2
It’s over! I have the high ground!

Units can also take cover. Different hexes, such as forests, provide a defense bonus to the unit occupying that hex, reducing the damage they take. Other units, such as archers, gain an attack bonus when firing from greater heights. Learn the ins and outs of your units so that you can effectively use the terrain to your advantage.

You can field a maximum of 8 units at a time. If a unit is killed in battle (that is to say, its HP reaches 0), that unit is lost and you’ll need to train a replacement. If, however, they survive, they’ll need some time to heal their wounds. Try to keep your units alive – this saves you both time and resources.

forge of empires infiltration
My spies have stubbed the enemy army’s toes.

You also have the option to infiltrate the enemy army at the deployment screen. This will cost some gold, but will damage all enemy units slightly.

Training Up An Army

forge of empires slingers
Ready for action.

To train an army, you’ll need to make use of various military buildings. By default, each of these buildings can train and house just a few units. By spending gold, materials, and diamonds, you can improve the capacity of each of these barracks, allowing them to train and house up to 5 units at once. This, in turn, makes your military buildings more efficient space-wise.

Different Sword Strokes For Different Hostile Folks

While it’s entirely possible to just focus on building as many barracks for a single unit type then spamming those, that’s not an efficient way to fight. Some units are built to counter other units.

Different units have different stats, and some units are made to counter others. Spearmen, for example, do an extra 3 damage to fast units.

forge of empires army management
Because unsurprisingly, horses don’t like running into pointy walls of doom.

Ranged units, too, play out differently as they can strike foes without fear of reprisal. On the other hand, they suffer terribly if an enemy can quickly close the gap. Thankfully, you can view the enemy’s army composition on the deployment screen, so you can handpick the best units to go on a mission.

By The Wallet!

forge of empires negotation
You want what?

If you’re not feeling bloodthirsty, or would prefer a peaceful annexation option, you can also buy out a territory. This will require you to produce and offer items as tribute – items that you could be using to trade with other players or furthering your own empire. However, if you’re vastly outmatched by your enemy, or don’t have a dedicated military infrastructure, this can be a viable option to gain more land.

Scouting

forge of empires scout
“And Alexander wept, for he had no more gold with which to scout neighboring provinces and would have to wait another hour.”

After completely taking over a province, adjacent areas will become unlocked. Howeer, you’ll need to pay gold to scout these territories before you can take any action against it. This is cheap at the start but gets pricier down the line, and also costs more time. There’s also a cooldown associated with scouting, which costs Diamonds if you want to bypass it.

Find Sources Of Free Stuff

If you’ve been playing a while, you’ll realize how quickly your resources deplete. Every empire has growing pains, and one of the first problems you need to solve as its leader is how to secure a stable resource base. Apart from your people working to produce gold and materials, there’s also a bunch of things you can do to gather more resources.

Incidents

forge of empires incidents
This wasn’t here before…

Incidents are popups that appear in your city map from time to time. They usually appear as conspicuous objects, ranging from ruins to rafts and treasure chests. They also tend to light up if they appear on your current screen. These incidents provide some free resources, which are always welcome.

Story Quests

Forge of Empires’ story quests provide you a healthy infusion of valuable early game resources to help you accelerate your development. At the same time, they’re a great way to ease yourself into the game’s mechanics, especially as you unlock more core functions through the ages!

forge of empires ragu silvertongue
This smarmy fellow serves as your chief advisor.

Story Quests come in both mandatory and optional flavors. Check the upper left of your screen to see what quests are available to you. It’s worth noting that some Story Quests aren’t retroactive: for example, if your quest is to research a technology or build a spearman, it won’t count if you perform the action beforehand. Since that’s the case, it may be wise to complete the quests as quickly as possible to save you time and resources.

Join in Events

forge of empires event
Hail stranger. Your garb is strange to me. What lands do you hail from?

Once you research the Cultivation technology, you’ll gain access to Forge of Empires’ events. These events hand out numerous rewards just for participating, so I highly suggest rushing Cultivation just so you can start using events as an alternative source of income!

Work With Other Players

By working together with other players, your empire can both help and be helped on its path to greatness.

Guild

forge of empires aid
Charity is its own reward, probably.

Joining a guild is one of the easiest ways to interact with other players. Guilds let players experience new content, such as guild expeditions and allow contribution to Great Buildings.

forge of empires flowers
The flowers are now motivated.

By joining a guild, you’ll gain access to the Aid function, which lets you motivate and polish your guildmates’ buildings. Motivation and polish are temporary buffs that increase the production or happiness boost of a specific building. At the same time, aiding your allies gives you some gold, as well as a chance to gain Great Building blueprint pieces.

forge of empires guild trade
Me no smart. Me not know what iron is.

Guilds also come with their own dedicated chat channel, where you can trade more easily with your guildmates and lets you bypass the Market entirely. This provides a faster, and oftentimes more reliable network for trading your stuff.

The Tavern and Tavern Silver

forge of empires tavern silver
Ale? Mead? Wine? We got dirty water in mud cups.

The Tavern serves as Forge of Empires’ friend points hub. By adding players as friends, you can visit each others’ taverns and leave some Tavern Silver. In turn, you can use Tavern Silver to buy items from the Tavern Shop.

For the antisocial – don’t worry. You don’t actually need to interact with other players to get Tavern Silver. Just tap your friends, then the Tavern button. If you randomly send out friend requests, chances are other people know what you’re doing; because it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, they’ll be likely to accept!

Register Your Account

In any game where you’re enjoying yourself, you should take security seriously. Forge of Empires further incentivizes this by giving you a one-time 50 Diamond boost when you link your account.

The Wheel Turns

forge of empires reward

The wheel turns slowly – but it turns. Just as your empire marches slowly through the murky, primitive ages, your progress will move surely to a brighter, more glorious tomorrow. That ends our beginner’s guide for Forge of Empires. If you have any comments, suggestions, or have something you’d like to share with new players that you wish you knew when you started, let us know in the comment area!