Knowing when to upgrade to upgrade your Town Hall to the next level can be a difficult decision to make. Some players will insist that everything should be maxed whereas others will suggest play how you want to play and upgrade when you’re bored or fancy new troops/heroes etc.
There isn’t a right or wrong answer, but there are a few considerations at each Town Hall level to help you make a decision you don’t later regret.
What type of player are you?
Understanding what type of player you are and knowing what your end goal is:
First time player
If you are a first time player (you are playing your first Clash of Clans account), the advice below will apply to you and will hopefully provide helpful guidance. Rushing too much will possibly affect your enjoyment due to not having required troop and hero upgrades unlocked/completed to help with looting or participating in wars. It’s also important to learn the basic strategies earlier on to give you time to perfect them before moving to the higher levels.
Played some time ago and then took a break? Depending on how long you’ve been away, there may have been various changes and new additions. Bring yourself up to speed by seeing what has changed:
You may also find this guide helpful when making a decision on when you should upgrade your Town Hall.
Existing player creating an additional village
If you’re an active player and are creating an additional account, chances are you are familiar with the current state of the game and the key strategies. Depending on the your goals, rushing your new account will have less of an impact on you as you are aware of the troops you use and/or don’t use so the guidance below may be of some help, but you will know what you are looking to achieve with your new village.
If you are a completionist, you will likely want to fully upgrade every building, troop, hero and wall piece before progressing to the next level. This approach will ensure everything is upgraded equally, although may result in periods of idle builders and/or laboratory whilst the last upgrades are completed, especially walls.
If you wish to take the most efficient upgrade path, you’ll want to ensure your builders and laboratory are always busy. If you reach a point where you have completed all building and wall upgrades and your storages are full of Gold and Elixir whilst waiting for hero and laboratory upgrades to complete, it is likely more efficient to upgrade your Town Hall and complete the remaining upgrades whilst ensuring no resources go to waste.
Keep in mind that if you rush too quickly without having a number of core upgrades completed (such as farming troops and spells unlocked/upgraded, army camps upgraded and basic hero levels completed), you will find it more difficult when farming for resources due to there being reductions to available loot when attacking Town Hall levels that are lower than your own. It’s not impossible to recover from this, but having your farming troops suitably upgraded will make looting easier when upgrading.
Overwhelmed by the number of available upgrades? Plan out your upgrades using the Clash Ninja Upgrade Tracker:
Town Hall Level
Select your current Town Hall level to upgrade. Keep in mind that since the Summer 2018 update introducing Town Hall 12, all structures need to have been built (but not fully upgraded) in order to upgrade to the next Town Hall level.
Town Hall 2
Town Hall 3
Town Hall 4
Town Hall 5
Town Hall 6
Town Hall 7
Town Hall 8
Town Hall 9
Town Hall 10
Town Hall 11
Town Hall 12
Town Hall 13
Town Hall 2 to 6
The time it takes to fully build, upgrade and unlock troops at the earlier Town Hall levels is relatively short, so it is worth maxing out these earlier levels. The only exception to this would be walls if you have everything else upgraded, as it will be easier to complete these once you are able to get more loot from each attack at higher levels.
- Complete structures upgrades
- Complete laboratory upgrades
- Upgrade your walls as high as you can whilst completing the other upgrades
Town Hall 7
Town Hall 7 is where upgrades start to get a bit more expensive and take longer. Town Hall 7 unlocks the Dark Elixir storage allowing you to loot Dark Elixir for unlocking the Barbarian King and Dark Troops (Minion and Hog Rider). Continue to focus on upgrading your village and try and upgrade your walls with spare Gold. Dark Elixir can be a bit scarce when looting as a TH7, so although you will need to have rebuilt Barbarian King Altar, it doesn’t matter too much if you haven’t upgraded him to level 5 before you complete the other upgrades.
- Complete building upgrades
- Build Barbarian King Altar although if he isn’t level 5, don’t worry.
- Complete most laboratory upgrades for the troops you use and spells (especially Heal and Rage). If you are unable to farm enough Dark Elixir for the Dark Troop upgrades, these can wait.
- Ensure you are familiar with funneling your ground troops. This method will become more important for attacking as a Town Hall 8.
Town Hall 8
Town Hall 8 builds on Town Hall 7, introducing an additional 5 levels for the Barbarian King and Dark Spells. Farming strategies used at Town Hall 7 will still work at Town Hall 8. Dark Elixir is easier to acquire with the second Dark Elixir Drill and more Dark Elixir available when looting. The availability of Dark Elixir will allow you to catch up on Dark Troops and Barbarian King levels you were unable to upgrade at Town Hall 7 whilst working on the new upgrades available at Town Hall 8. It is quite common to have a lot of excess Elixir when working on the last upgrades, so although this may be frustrating, it is worth continuing to farm Gold and Dark Elixir to complete the last few Gold based upgrades.
- Complete structure upgrades
- Complete most laboratory upgrades for the troop you use and spells. It is worth fully upgrading the Hog Rider as he is a strong war troop at both Town Hall 8 and 9. Upgrading the Valkyrie is also worthwhile as she is also a strong ground troop, especially at higher Town Hall levels. Make sure you upgrade Barbarians, the researched level affects the troops the Barbarian King spawns.
- Upgrade the Barbarian King to level 10. Unlocking the Archer Queen at Town Hall 9 will consume a lot of Dark Elixir to upgrade, so already having your Barbarian King to 10 will help focus on the early levels of the Archer Queen.
- If you have been participating in wars with Dragons, practice some ground attacks such as GoHo. Dragon attacks are less effective at Town Hall 9, so being familiar with a strong ground attack will prepare you for war at TH9. LavaLoon is a strong air attack at Town Hall 9, but will require some time to unlock troops and upgrade them, so having a ground army to use will ensure you aren’t out of action too long.
- Try not to neglect your walls. If you are able to get them fully upgraded to level 8, great, but try and ensure all are level 7 and you are a good way through level 8.
- It is common to have a lot of spare Elixir towards the end of Town Hall 8. Once you reach Town Hall 9 and are upgrading walls to level 9, you can use any spare Elixir on walls but don’t upgrade to Town Hall 9 just because of having a lot of spare Elixir. Finish the other upgrades that require Gold.
Town Hall 9
Town Hall 9 steps things up a notch with the addition of a second hero, unlocking a large number of new hero levels (up to 30 for both the Barbarian King and Archer Queen) and two new wall levels. Both of these are resource intensive. Using an effective farming army for gathering Dark Elixir will be key to avoid your heroes being neglected. A number of new troops are unlocked, opening up some new army compositions and tactics.
- Complete building upgrades
- Complete the laboratory upgrades for the troops you use and spells. If you don’t use air attacks, the Lightning and Earthquake spells don’t need to be upgraded. Ensure you upgrade the Healer, she is important for Queen Walks and plays a key part in a number of strategies at Town Hall 9 and above. Make sure you upgrade Barbarians and Archers, the researched level affects the troops the Barbarian King and Archer Queen spawn with their abilities.
- Upgrade your heroes to a minimum of level 20 each, although ideally aim for level 25+.
- Aim to upgrade your walls to at least level 9. Each upgrade at the higher Town Hall levels adds a substantial amount of HP, which will help with defending.
- Practice the Queen Walk. It is a very powerful tactic that can be used very effectively for farming and war attacks once you learn how to apply it. Check out our Queen Walk guide to learn more.
Town Hall 10
Town Hall 10 continues what Town Hall 9 started with additional hero levels. Farming techniques for Dark Elixir will still work at Town Hall 10, although with Miners now available, they are effective troops for farming Dark Elixir. Both Miners and Bowlers are effective war army troops.
- Work on upgrading all structures. If you have fully upgraded all of your walls and are looting resources faster than your builders can use them, it will likely be more efficient to upgrade your Town Hall and complete the remaining upgrades then.
- Complete the laboratory upgrades for the troops you use and spells. If you use ground based attacks, it is worth upgrading Bowlers, Valkyries and Miners as these are strong troops at TH10 and above. If you use air based attacks, fully upgrading the Haste spell can help with these attacks.
- Upgrade your heroes to a minimum of level 30 each, although ideally aim for level 40.
- Aim to have your walls to at least level 10 although you should try and have most upgraded to 11 as the HP increase is substantial.
Town Hall 11
Town Hall 11 introduces a new Hero, the Grand Warden. Unlike the other heroes, he is upgraded with Elixir which will help you to continue to upgrade the Barbarian King and Archer Queen concurrently. It is worth upgrading the Warden to level 5 as soon as you can due to his ability being especially useful when attacking villages with an Eagle Artillery.
- Upgrade most of your structures. If you are in a clan that requires a Town Hall 12 player for Siege Machine donation and you have fully upgraded your key structures at TH11 such as Eagle Artillery, Inferno Towers, X-Bows, Army Camps and Clan Castle, then the remaining upgrades can wait.
- Complete the laboratory upgrades for the troop and spells you use. By this stage, you will know which troops you like to use and which you don’t.
- Aim to max your heroes, especially your Grand Warden as Elixir is required for that and the troop health increase from the aura can be a large offense boost. For the Barbarian King and Archer Queen, consider at least level 45.
Town Hall 12
Town Hall 12 introduces Siege Machines, however you will have been able to use them from Town Hall 10 when donated to you, so you should be familiar with them. The Giga Tesla can be upgraded to level 5 and once fully upgraded, becomes a very strong defence due to the high damage explosion upon destruction. The Giga Tesla much be upgraded to level 5 before the option to upgrade to Town Hall 13 is available, so it is a required upgrade. The heros receive additional levels with the Grand Warden becoming considerably stronger between levels 20 and 40 (90% troop HP boost vs 50%).
- Upgrade the Giga Tesla to level 5. It is a powerful defence and a requirement for Town Hall 13.
- If you are the only Town Hall 12 in your clan (or one of a small number), build and upgrade the Workshop to allow Siege Machines to be trained and donated. If your clan is level 10, you can donate level 1 Wall Wreckers, Battle Blimps and Stone Slammers and they will be upgraded to their maximum level with the donation upgrade. If there are a sufficient number of other players with Town Hall 12 in your clan, you can continue to use donated Siege Machines from them.
- Upgrade your heroes, especially the Grand Warden as the troop bonuses increase substantially between levels 20 and 40, boosting your offensive strength.
- Complete the laboratory upgrades for the troop and spells you use. Commonly used troops at Town Hall 12 are Balloons, P.E.K.K.As, Ice Golems, Witches and Bowlers although most Town Hall 11 army compositions will work at Town Hall 12.
- Upgrade the core defences, such as Eagle Artillery, Inferno Towers and X-Bows.
Town Hall 13
Town Hall 13 introduces a new Hero, the Royal Champion. She is upgraded with Dark Elixir and her favourite targets are defences. She also has the ability to jump over walls, similar to the Grand Warden. She is a powerful hero and it is worth prioritising upgrading her to level 20 before upgrading the Barbarian King or Archer Queen as she can offer a decent boost to your attacking strength. Town Hall 13 also introduces the Scattershot, a powerful area of effect defence, of which two can be constructed. There isn’t any further Town Hall upgrades yet, so you can catch up on any upgrades that haven’t been completed at previous Town Hall levels and work through the new ones available at Town Hall 13 and work on wall upgrades.
There is no right or wrong answer for when is best for you to upgrade as only you fully understand your playstyle and goals. Some people will advise rushing to unlock certain items earlier, others will tell you rushing anything is the worst decision that can be made, however following the advice in this guide will provide a structured upgrade path. Play how you want to play and enjoy!
Plan out your upgrades using the Clash Ninja Upgrade Tracker: