Learning how to play Pocket Empires is easy, but mastering the game requires practice. When you first start Pocket Empires you'll need to pick a server on which to play. Each server has its own advantages and disadvantages, but if any of your friends play Pocket Empires, you'll probably want to start with their server. They can help you with starting an alliance that you wouldn't have from the get go otherwise.
Next, choose which side you're fighting for, Dragon or Phoenix. There is no real difference between the sides, gameplay wise, so the only real consideration you need to make here is if your friends are playing too. If you want to be able to communicate with your friends you need to belong to the same faction.
Once you've pledged your allegiance and built your game profile, you'll find yourself on a playing field of nine green squares. The first, and most important, order of business in any RTS is resource management. At the top of the screen you'll see a counter for "Food" and "Gold". The larger number is how much you currently have, and the number in smaller text is how much you have incoming per hour. These are the resources you'll need to keep expanding to run your castle. But first, you'll need a castle, right?
Tap on one of the green squares and a menu will pop up giving you the option of building a farm or a castle. It takes an hour, real time, to build one, so it's best you start that first. Choose the accelerate option, which will cost you mana, if you'd like to hurry this stage up.
The menu will show you how much gold and/or food it will cost to build the selected item, as well as how much time. All times are real world time, and will continue even when you are not actively playing the game. Once you have your castle started, it's time to start considering the best way to start gathering more resources.
Building a Strong Foundation
Even at this early stage, your opening moves can weigh heavily on your success later in the game. A few silly mistakes will cost you enormous amounts of time to fix later on. There are many ways to begin, but here is a proven opening strategy. Follow this build order, to start:
- Gold mine: This will need to be upgraded to at least level 5 before progressing outside the city.
- Command Center (wait until the mine is complete): Make sure this is upgraded later, before you build your 2nd city.
- Farm. You'll need a level 3 Farm before the next step. Use the build time to familiarize yourself with the monster types in the Help tab.
- Barracks: Make sure you have a good grasp of troop types that you can make here. The information is available by tapping the building, once built. Access the Recruit tab and begin recruiting spies immediately. Return here often, and build other units as you acquire more resources.
- Blacksmith: This is used for attack and armor upgrades for your troops, buildings, and vehicles.
- Archery Range: This will need to be at least level 5 before progressing outside your city.
- Research Lab: This is the source of all your general upgrades. Leveling this up will lower the cost of building everything, so stay diligent!
It will take time to make your way through this list, so if you believe you have the resources, adding a couple more mines and farms will speed up your progress. You will also want to level up your castle before moving on. Be careful to balance your troop creation with your building creation. At this stage, the buildings take priority, but you want to keep a steady stream of troops being created as well.
Time to Expand
Now that you're set with the basics, it's time to take your troops out to gain some glory, by defeating your local monsters. OK, not so fast. First, you'll need to build up a decently deep bench of troop units. Make sure that you not only have soldier units, but also spies. Spies are your eyes outside your territory and are crucial to planning where and when to expand.
Your fighting troop balance should be about 1/3 melee units, and 2/3 ranged units. You want to do this so that your melee can act as tanks, holding the enemy at a distance, while your ranged burn them down from afar. This will not only allow you more positioning strategy, but also give you a head start if the battle turns and you need to beat a hasty retreat.
Tap on the Map icon to zoom out of your city and have a look at the world around you. Tap on an object, and you'll get a display telling you some basic information about it. The stat we're looking for right now, is how populated it is with monsters. Without sending spies in, you'll only get a non-numerical estimate, as follows:
- Few: 4-8
- Several: 9-16
- Pack: 16-30
- Lots: 30-60
- Horde: 60-130
- Throng: 130-250
- Swarm: 250-500
- Zounds: 500-1,000
- Legions: 1,000-2,000
- Innumerable: 2,000-4,000
- Overwhelming Level1-5: 4,000-130,000
- Overwhelming Level 6-10: 130,000-4,200,000
Find a target that looks like something you can handle and send your spy, or spies, there. The higher your Spycraft level, the more detailed information you'll get back. Click on the City tab to access the Report/Fight icon (circled in red) which will get you get estimated arrival times, and battle status. Once a fight is over, you can get a report on any the unit, which includes damage and gold information. Spies can be used on both monsters and other cities, as well as searching blank parts of the map for what may be there that you can't yet see.
As you continue to build your empire, and expand, you'll start to meet other players, both friendly and enemies. Build alliances with other players in your faction, and treat any enemy encounters like monster encounters.
Learn more about how to play Pocket Empires on page 2, including some great cheats and tips.
Reputation is not very important when you first start the game, but as you progress you will want to accelerate its accumulation. To not handicap yourself later, you want to make the right steps from the beginning. Reputation is gained by defeating monsters and winning against players on the PVP battlegrounds. Whenever you accrue a certain amount of rep, you'll gain a Rank. There are ten levels to achieve:
- Civilian – 0 rep
- Knight – 1,000 rep
- Baronet – 4,000 rep
- Baron/Baroness – 14,000 rep
- Viscount/Viscountess – 64,000 rep
- Count/Countess – 256,000 rep
- Marquess/Marchioness – 1,024,000 rep
- Duke/Duchess – 4,096,000 – rep
- King/Queen – 16,384,000 rep
- Emperor/Empress – 65,536,000 rep
Each time you gain a rank, you will be able to establish another city, and gain bonuses to your mana, attack, defense, and speed. You will also be awarded a gift box, which can be found in your items folder. There are no easy Pocket Empires cheats to achieve a rank more quickly — the best way to speed along your reputation gains is by maintaining a strong, growing army.
It may seem tempting to build up an enormous base of troops right away, but this will hurt the growth of your economy; your economy is the base on which your empire stands. Before really building your army, make sure that your castle is at least level 3, you have at least 2 farms and 2 mines. One farm should be at least level 7, and one mine at least level 5. For each castle upgrade from this point on, you should add another farm until you have a minimum of 6. Now you'll have a vibrant enough economy to build a proper fighting force.
If you don't already have 3 archery ranges, build them. A base army for raiding should consist of 5 hussars, 5 militia, and an equal ration of axe-men. Once you have at least this much, you can start raiding. Use your axe-men as a meat shield, letting them take the most damage. You'll run through them quickly, but will need to replace your more expensive units much less often. This is why you'll need those 3 archery ranges. Keep your axe-men in steady supply. The wonderful thing about raiding is that it lets you support a larger fighting force. You should be able to "pay" your troops exclusively with raid loot. Each raid should be able to carry back enough food to last them about 4 hours, or longer with carry upgrades. Axe-men are also able to bring back 1.67 times more than their bowmen counterparts, when you account for cost and upkeep expenses — this will allow you to continue to grow your army.
Playing the Market and Gathering Gems
Playing Pocket Empires well isn't simply a matter of winning battles. Mastering the game's economy is just as, if not more, important than defeating your enemies. Long term, you'll need to know how to make the most of your marketplace activities. Gems are the game's currency for purchasing items in the Empire Store, and in the market place. The simplest way to gain gems is by building gem mines. This will provide a steady source of gems. But, to really get rich in this great Android game you'll need to learn how to play the market. The Empire Store is where you'll be buying items, such as potions, and you'll want to keep a close eye on prices there. Familiarize yourself with prices at the Empire Store, and keep an eye on them. It's a quick reference for the state of your server's economy, and will let you know what the "retail" price of items is currently. The goal is to never pay retail, by making use of the marketplace.
Every city has a marketplace outside its walls where you can sell, buy, and trade with other players, called the Stock Market. Prices fluctuate constantly, so check in often. Try to buy items when they're trending cheaper, so you can resell on the Stock Market later. You can also trade troops with players, so keep that in mind when you need a quick influx of soldiers. When selling, try to undercut the competition by 10-15% to ensure your items are purchased first. Second, using the information you collected from the Empire Store, look for good deals. Make use of the stock tracking tool for a visual guide to pricing trends.
Cheats, Tips, and Tricks
- Maximize your research to cut your mana cost for items.
- In the Lord tab, in items, open your civilian pack. Select "Use" on any resource upgrades and the build management option. This will optimize your starting speed.
- Join in your faction's chat discussions. Experienced players will not only be able to guide you and answer questions, but striking up a friendship could result in making an alliance.
- Sign up for the email service. The game rewards you with gems for doing so!
- One of the best Pocket Empires cheats to get extra gems is to go to the Pocket Empires application and rate it five stars. When you started your account you should have been given a referral code. Leave this code in the comments section, stating that the user will receive 100 free gems as well when they register with it. This cheat is allowed by the game's producers, so long as you rephrase your comment each time. Don't just spam their page.
- Source: Author's personal experience of playing the game.
- Screenshots taken by author on HTC Inspire 4G.