New Player Guide

Clash of Clans is a mobile strategy game where you attack other players in order to collect resources to upgrade your village. You can unlock and upgrade additional troops and structures as you progress. This guide is aimed at players just starting out and aims to provide an overview of the game as well as provide some tips and advice to help with early gameplay.

Game Mechanics

There are 3 main game mechanics to understand when starting out:

Attacking

Although it is possible to gain resources for upgrades from your resource collectors, you can gain far more from attacking other players and stealing their resources. In order to do this, you will need to train an attacking army and then search for an opponent. It is possible to skip opponents you are matched with, although each match does incur a small cost of gold.

Defending

Just as every village you attack is another player and take their resources, others players are able to attack your village and take your resources once your shield and guard have run out. In order to help minimise how much they are able to take, you are able to build defences and walls to protect your resource storages. You are able to design a layout to defend your village and stronger layouts can help minimise how much of your resources are taken.

Upgrading

You can increase your offensive and defensive capabilities by upgrading your structures and troops. This can increase your defensive structures damage and HP, the amount of troops you are able to take to a battle, increase the damage and HP of your troops and even unlock new troops.

Once all upgrade are complete or you decide you want to upgrade your Town Hall, you will be able to unlock additional upgrade levels, troops and heroes to use.

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Managing your builders

Upgrading your structures takes time and as well as requiring enough resources for the upgrade cost, it also requires an available builder. Once the upgrade is started, the builder will be busy for the duration of the upgrade and won’t be available to start another upgrade until the current one is complete. You start with 2 builders and it is possible to unlock an additional 3 builders bringing the total to 5.

See the remaining upgrades for your village and plan out your builders with the Clash Ninja Upgrade Tracker:

Clash Ninja - Upgrade Tracker

Save your early gems!

Gems are an additional in game resource that can be used for complete upgrades immediately, purchase resources, boost army production/resource collection or unlock additional builders. Once the initial tutorial is completed, you will start the game with 500 gems (the tutorial will encourage you to use a small number of gems to complete the starting upgrades, however this isn’t compulsory). Although it may be tempting to use these gems to complete some of your early upgrades, it is better to save these gems towards unlocking additional builders. Additional gems can be purchased from the in game store however it is also possible to collect more gems for free through completing achievements, events or removing obstacles from your village.

Do you need to spend real life money?

No, it is possible to fully progress through the game as a free to play (often referred to as F2P) player. There aren’t any premium only upgrades and purchases will only help speed up progression.

Although it may appear that having stronger troops, defences and heroes will make you better at the game, understanding the core strategies can have more of an effect in improving your attacks.

Understanding the troops

Each troop has certain characteristics and behaviours. Understanding the role of each troop can help when selecting which troops to take into battle. Some of the early troops available are:

Troop Description

Barbarian
A lightweight close range troop that will attack the nearest structure or ground based troop. Requires 1 troop space and can be effective in numbers.

Archer
A lightweight ranged troop that will attack the nearest structure. Requires 1 troop space and can attack both ground and air troops and shoot over walls.

Giant
A heavy troop that has a large amount of health points and will attack the nearest defensive structure. Requires 5 troop space and can tank damage for lightweight damage troops.

Goblin
A lightweight close range troop that will attack the nearest resource structure with a damage bonus against them. Requires 1 troop space and can be effective against full resource collectors storages on the edges of a village that are unprotected by area/splash damage defences.

Wall Breaker
A lightweight utility troop with a 40x damage multiplier against walls. Requires 2 troop space and effective when using multiple Wall Breakers to destroy walls to allow your main troops deeper into the village.

Balloon
A medium weight flying troop that will attack the nearest defensive structure requiring 5 troop space. It can only attack ground targets with a slow but damaging attack, and will do a small area of effect damage.

Wizard
A lightweight ranged troop that will attack the nearest structure or defending air troop. Requiring 4 troop space, the Wizard’s high damage attack has splash damage although if both ground and air targets are nearby, damage will only be done to either ground or air, depending on the type of the primary target.

Only 1 barracks needs to be upgraded in order to unlock each new troop, however upgrading additional barracks will reduce the training time of the unlocked troop, so it is worth upgrading each barracks. Keep in mind a barracks cannot be used whilst it is upgrading, so upgrading multiple barracks can affect training times or even prevent you from training troops at all if you upgrade all barracks at the same time.

Upgrading barracks reduces the troop training time
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Understanding the defences

Just like the troops, each defence performs a particular role. Understanding the purpose of each defence will help you when planning your village layout as well as when attacking other players. Some of the early defences are:

Defence Description

Cannon
A medium damage, single target defence that can only attack ground based targets.

Archer Tower
A medium damage, single target defence that can attack both ground and air based targets.

Mortar
A low rate of fire, area defence that can only target ground based targets but knocks back troops when it hits. It is unable to target troops in close proximity to it.

Air Defence
A high damage, single target defence that can only attack air based targets.

Wizard Tower
A low damage, area defence that can target both ground and air based targets. Its splash damage can easily take out groups of lightweight troops.

Air Sweeper
A defence that doesn't do any direct damage but releases a strong gust of air that is able to push air based units back.

Hidden Tesla
A medium damage, single target defence that cannot be seen by the attacker until troops are within range of it or 51% of the village has been destroyed. It can attack both ground and air units.

Understanding early spells

Spells can be used to either boost your troops (through increasing their damage or healing them) or for damaging the structures of the village you are attacking. A number of spells are unlocked throughout the game however most of the early spells will still be a core part of your attacks even at the higher Town Hall levels:

Spell Description

Lightning Spell
This spell triggers a number of bolts of lightning that strike randomly within a 3.5 tile radius. It is most commonly used in conjunction with the Earthquake spell for the ‘Zapquake’ combination for destroying Air Defences.

Healing Spell
The spell heals all troops within an area of 5 tiles. The spell lasts for 12 seconds and heals in pulses every 0.3 seconds so is best deployed on a large group of troops that will be within its area of coverage for the duration.

Rage Spell
This spell substantially boosts troop damage and movement speed within an area of 5 tiles. It is best used on your damage dealing troops when attacking high HP structures.

Poison Spell
This spell poisons enemy troops within a 4 tile radius. The poison effect damages the enemy troops, decreases their movement speed and their attack rate. It is effective when used against defending Clan Castle troops, enemy heroes or skeletons spawned from Skeleton Traps.

Earthquake Spell
This spell damages walls/structures within a 4 tile radius. It is commonly used in conjunction with Lightning Spells to destroy Air Defences. 4 Earthquake Spells can be dropped on the same area to destroy walls. 4 spells will always destroy the walls, regardless of level.

Attacking army compositions

Once you are regularly attacking and have an understanding for what each troop does, you will likely have your own preference for which troops suit your attack style, however initially it’s important to have a balance of tanking troops and damage troops.

For the earlier Town Hall levels up to Town Hall 5, an effective army composition can consist of the following:

30% of your army camp space of Giants
35% Barbarians
35% Archers

Once you start facing Town Halls with higher level walls, adding 6 - 8 Wall Breakers into this composition (instead of a few Barbarians/Archers) will help get your troops deeper into the target village.

The deployment strategy for these is to deploy the giants on one side of the village you are attacking. They will move towards the nearest defensive structure (even if it is behind a wall). Once the Giants have moved into position, you can start to deploy the Barbarians and Archers behind them to help do additional damage. Deploy these in small batches rather than all together as due them having low HP, a trap or area of effect defence can take out a large number of them.

Once you reach Town Hall 5 and have unlocked the Wizard, you can replace some of the Barbarians and Archers with 6 - 10 Wizards and they will become the primary source of DPS with the remaining Barbarians and Archers used for clean up by deploying them on non defensive structures on the edges of a village, such as Builder Huts, resource collectors, Army Camps etc.

Once you have unlocked the level 2 Spell Factory at Town Hall 6, the Heal Spell becomes available and this can be very effective to deploy on your Giants when their HP is getting low in order to heal them and allow them to tank damage for longer whilst your DPS troops continue taking structures out.

How to attack other players and collect resources

When attacking other players, it’s important to ensure that you will profit from the attack. This means ensuring your army cost is less than the quantity of resources you will collect from the attack. The cost of your army can be seen on the training screen. When searching for potential targets to attack, you can see how much loot is available before you deploy any troops to ensure your attacking will be profitable. Ideally you should attack villages that will offer around 2x the cost of your attacking army, although it is possible to find villages that will exceed this ratio. Checking this before you attack will help ensure your attack will be profitable.

If the amount of loot on offer isn’t sufficient, the village can be skipped by pressing ‘Next’. Any troops or spells that aren’t deploy will be available for your next attack, which will reduce the attack cost.

The army cost and resources available from a target village can be seen in game.
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Minimising resources lost when being attacked

In order to try and minimise the resources lost when you are attacked, the following considerations can be made:

Ensure your storages are defended

When designing your village, ensure that your storages are part of the core so that they are defended by your defence structures. Although some attackers will be able to reach your storages, it’s worth making this as difficult as you can by forcing them to fight through your defending structures.

There are a lot of village layouts available for all Town Hall levels to look at for ideas by searching for them online. Keep in mind that at the lower Town Hall levels, it will be very common for your village to be fully destroyed by higher level players, so don’t be too hard on yourself if your layout isn’t holding up against every attack.

Empty your collectors

Ensuring that your structures are emptied prior to your shield running out will also help reduce the amount of resources that you can lose from being attacked. There is a limit for the amount that can be taken from storages and a limit that can be taken from collectors. If the contents of the collectors have recently been transferred to the storages, this will reduce the overall amount that can be taken.

Request defending Clan Castle troops

Once you have joined a clan, it’s possible to receive troops within your Clan Castle. When your village is attacked, there troops will be deployed once the attacking troops are within range of the Clan Castle and will defend your village. This will also help reduce the amount of resources that can be taken if the attacker hasn’t brought suitable troops for tackling defending troops.

What are Clans and should I join one?

Clans are a group of players, similar to guilds in other games. A clan can have up to 50 members and has an experience level that determines the level of the clan with the clan level determining the available clan perks. In order to be able to join a clan, you must have repaired your Clan Castle, which is in a ruined state when you initially start the game.

Clan Perks

As well as being able to chat with your clan mates, there are a number of perks to being part of a clan:

Receive troops in your Clan Castle

When part of a clan, you can request additional troops for your Clan Castle and depending on the level donated to you, can be a higher than you are able to train yourself or even troops that you haven’t unlocked yet (assuming you have sufficient troop space in your Clan Castle). These troops can be used when attacking other players or can be used to defend your village when you are attacked.

Using there troops when farming can be a massive boost to your offensive power as you are able to take a small number of troops that are a higher level than are available to your Town Hall level.

When requesting troops, you can add a message to ask for specific troops

Depending on the level of the clan, the following donation perks are available:

  • The donation request wait time (20 mins as standard) can be reduced to 15 mins or 10 minutes.
  • Donated troops can receive a level boost upon donation to a clan mate of 1 or 2 levels
  • The donor can receive a partial refund of the troop cost upon donation of 20%, 35% or 50%.

The donation level boost is particularly useful in allowing lower level Town Halls to donate troops that have the same level as higher Town Halls.

Participate in Clan Games

Clan Games are an event where points are awarded for completing challenges and are available once you reach Town Hall 6. Each challenge awards a different number of points based on complexity, time limit and if the challenge type reward is boosted based on the theme of the current Clan Games. There are multiple reward tiers that are unlocked as the clan reaches each of the point thresholds.

Once Clan Games are over, you can select an item from each tier your clan met the requirements for.

There is a limit for how many points each player can contribute to the clan total, so having as many people in the clan as possible participate will help access the higher tier rewards. Once the Clan Games have ended, it’s possible to select a reward from each of the tiers your clan unlocked and are normally a combination of resources and magic items.

Participate in Clan Wars & Clan War Leagues (CWL)

Being part of a clan allows you to take part in Clan Wars and Clan War Leagues.

Starting a Clan War

Clan Wars allow your clan to take a number of players to be matched against another clan of similar strength to battle. Each player is able to attack 2 of the opponent's villages and the clan that has scored the most stars overall (in the case of the tie, then the most damage overall) is declared the winner. Each player within the winning clan receives the full war loot amount and the losing clan receives a reduced amount of war loot.

Clan War Leagues is a 7 day tournament that puts 8 clans against each other. Rather than using a matchmaking system like Clan Wars, this is based on the league that the clans are part of. Similar to Clan Wars, resources can be received based on the outcome of each war day, however at the end of the tournament you will also receive League Medals that can be used to purchase Magic Items to help progress your village.

Depending on the level of your clan, the following perks can be available:

  • Additional Treasury storage of 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% or 50%.
  • Additional war loot bonus of 10%, 15%, 20% or 25%.
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How to find a clan

There are a number of wars to find a clan to join. Before looking for a clan, it may be worth considering what type of clan you are looking for to ensure there is a good fit. Some general clan types (but by no means a definitive list) are as follows:

  • Casual/Farming Clan - Players focused on farming and upgrading their villages
  • War - A clan focused on war participation and may have certain requirements to join.
  • Trophy Pushing - A clan focused on high trophy counts each season, usually higher level Town Halls only.

Ensure you check if the clan you wish to join has the same interests as you and/or you meet any requirements to ensure you don’t waste your time or their time by applying to join. When you are starting out as a new player, a casual/farming clan may be most suitable for you so you can progress at your own pace, receive troops for farming and ask questions along the way.

Global Chat

Possibly the quickest way to find a clan in game is to ask in Global chat, although a lot of these clans will either be new clans trying to pad out their numbers or have a high turnover of players. That isn’t to say that you won’t find a good clan for you, but it is a bit more of a scattershot approach.

The Global Chat Tab

Clan Search

This is another in game option that can be found by tapping on your experience level and then selecting the Clans tab. You can search for clans and filter the results to help narrow down the results. You can also see the clan description for more details on each of these clans to see if they would be a good match for you.

Clan Search

Official Clash of Clans Forums

Out of game, there is the official Clash of Clans forums and there is a recruitment section where you can either look through advertisements for clans actively recruiting or post your village details and what you are looking for and let them approach you:

Due to it being a forum, it’s possible for people to post a lot more details about what they are looking for as well as additional details on the recruitment process. Some of the higher end clans like to chat with potential recruits prior to joining using chat tools such as Discord. Others may have a feeder clan where new players join a sister clan initially and are then migrate to the main clan.

r/ClashOfClansRecruit on Reddit

Similar to the official Clash of Clans forums, the r/ClashOfClansRecuit subreddit is another out of game option for recruitment. Here clans post with details on what they can offer as well as players looking for clans so you can see which clans sound like they match your play style and what you are looking for.

There are also a number of clans that are in the Reddit Clan System who are part of the Reddit community. A lot of the clans that are part of the Reddit Clan System have specialisms such as wars with certain Town Hall levels and/or participating in community tournaments or that are more social clan. Full details can be found on their Wiki:

Read more - Reddit Clan System