Reigns is a new kingdom management game by DevolverDigital for the Android and iOS mobile platforms, though in terms of mechanics, it is also a card game. But unlike a lot of the TCGs we’ve covered in the recent past, this isn’t a trading card game in the truest sense. It also happens to be wittier and lighter in terms of content than those games, though the business of running your own kingdom is no laughing matter. You can reign on your throne as a benevolent or malevolent medieval monarch of the modern age, and you can impose your will on your kingdom simply by swiping left or right. You’ll have to handle requests from your advisors and allies, from peasants, and of course, from your enemies as well, and you will also have to maintain the delicate balance of power between your kingdom’s factions. Take note, though, that all your decisions have ramifications; some of them may be good, while others may be bad ones that may put your reign at risk.
That’s just part of what this game is about, as you will be encountering challenges with each passing year of your reign. You could have a long reign if you make the right decisions, but if you make the wrong choices and run into unforeseen surprise events, your rule may be a short and unremarkable one. So read on, as this Reigns strategy guide will show you what you need to do if you want to rule your kingdom the right way.
1. Basic Decision-Making Is Usually Like Tinder
Interacting with the game to make decisions is done by swiping left or right – that’s right, much like you would in the dating app Tinder. And in a similar way, swiping right means you’re making an affirmative decision, while swiping left refers to the negative. It’s not always that way – there may be some exceptions – but generally speaking, right means positive and left means negative. Also keep in mind that you won’t get immediate feedback on your results. Once you’re done, you can drag the panel left or right (doesn’t matter) so you can see the response. You can also view the reply you will be making, as well as a rough projection of how the four factions will react to that reply; do this by tapping and dragging without letting go of your screen.
2. Know Each Faction
What’s there to learn about each faction or category? The Church, of course, is symbolized by a cross, and their influence would hold sway when it comes to issues about religion, science, and witchcraft. The Army is symbolized by a sword, and you’ll notice that sword icon pointing up or down, representing their approval or disapproval of your decisions on war, adding new soldiers, or punishing existing ones. The People are symbolized by a stick figure, and you’ll want to check that category to see how happy or unhappy your constituents are. Things that influence your People include quality of life, ongoing wars, and whether your taxes are low or high.
Last, but not the least, the Treasury, is symbolized by a dollar sign, and all financial decisions will have some sort of ramification on the Treasury; the same applies to any other actions that would need the government to be involved, such as scientific research, approving new buildings, or sending troops off to battle.
3. What Are Lasting Effects?
Lasting effects show up on your screen as icons on the bottom right, and may help you in several ways. For example, they could cause different levels to go up and down by themselves over time, or they could reduce the chances of famine, plague, and other significant events that could affect your people negatively. You can have a maximum of four lasting effects active at the same time, and acquiring a new one would remove one of your older effects. There are also some effects that will lose their efficacy over a period of time.
4. Every Swipe Changes Satisfaction Levels
Now that you know what the categories or factions are, you should know that almost all the swipes you make on the screen will have some sort of impact on the satisfaction of each faction. What may be good for the People may not be good for the Church, and something that pleases the Army might not please the Treasury. Or vice versa. Additionally, your decisions could affect the state of your budget/wealth. As a reminded, drag your finger across the screen but don’t let it go if you want to check a preview of potential impacts of decisions on each faction. Bigger dots mean bigger potential changes, while smaller ones represent ones that may not be too significant.
5. Sometimes, It’s All About Common Sense
When determining the potential impact of your decisions on each faction, it will sometimes be all about common sense. Dots next to the Church and Treasury, for instance, may require you to build more churches. Choosing Yes in such a case may appease the Church, while drawing some money from the Treasury and compromising their happiness a bit. For another example, you may be asked if you want to draft more able bodies for the Army, with the dots corresponding to your Subjects and Army; a “Yes” decision may please the Army, but displease your Subjects.
6. Your Decisions May Have An Impact For Quite A While
Be careful when making decisions in your kingdom, as they may turn out to be bad ones, and they may have a lasting impact. They may last for years, and it may even take centuries for your poor decisions to be undone. One classic example of this would be starting a Crusade, as you would only be able to end it when the game asks you if you want to end it or not. It may go on from one reign to another, just as long as the game doesn’t prompt you.
7. Don’t Have Each Faction Completely Maxed Out Or Emptied
You should take care not to max out or completely empty any of the four factions. Having Treasury all filled up, for example, may result in you choking on your food and dying at a banquet. (Think King Joffrey in Game of Thrones, ideally without the poison.) Conversely, emptying out Subjects by taxing them too much will have you forced out of the throne. Too much of a good thing is not good at all, so make sure you’re trying to maintain some sort of equilibrium across factions.
8. Other Miscellaneous Tips For Decision-Making
Talking about miscellaneous tips for making the right decisions, you may be asked if you want to add special characters to your court. This would add to the cards in your deck and may add to the decisions you have to make – that’s where the trading card game/deck-building comes into play.
You can throw parties during your reign, and while that will obviously cost you some money, you’ll see an across-the-board increase in all levels.
Additionally, you may have the option to marry a princess, or you may be asked if you want to broker a peace treaty. That’s going to raise all your levels slightly, much like throwing parties could.
9. Exploring The Dungeon
The game may also ask you if you want to enter the dungeon, and that’s the only time you’ll be able to do so. This is completely optional, though once again, you’ll have to wait for another chance to enter the dungeon if you change your mind in the future.
What happens when you enter the dungeon? Be careful when you decide to do this, as your levels will begin to gradually decline. You’ll need to be sure your levels are at a healthy level before you commit to exploring the dungeon, because if you’re gone for too long and your levels are too low, your kingdom will degenerate into a state of disorder.
But why would you want to go dungeon crawling in the first place? Well, there’s a chance you can discover some good stuff while you’re in there, such as a treasure chest. There are a lot of doors you’ll have to enter, and when entering a door, you’ve got to expect the unexpected. You should also be on the lookout for keys, as you’ll need a set of keys once you find the exit, so you can get out of the dungeon and get back to running your kingdom before things go haywire.
Be careful for enemies that may lurk within the dungeon. Fighting them, though, is all about logic. Attack enemies once they’re vulnerable, defend if they’re on the offensive, and try to be as elusive as possible without getting too close to the edge of your screen. Your goal here, after all, is to push the enemy out of bounds in order to win the battle.