11 Quick Tips for Starting Out in Rival Kingdoms

Rival Kingdoms is an exciting new game in the Mobile Real Time Strategy genre. It bears a lot of similarities to some of the perenial favorites at first glance. However, once you get deeper into the gameplay you will find that this is a truly unique experience. There are many factors that make this game stand out from the crowd.

Tip #1. Get to Stronghold 4 and join a Kingdom

This game is all about the kingdoms, its called Rival Kingdoms is it not? So there is no reason to wait, upgrade that Stronghold as fast as you can and find yourself a kingdom to join. Beyond the obvious social reasons there are several tangible benefits of being in a kingdom:
  • The Kingdom Portal: This is a building that lets your friends donate troops to you! These are used in offense and can be the difference between a win and a loss in a close kingdom raid or getting that next streak!
  • Kingdom Roles: Lets face it, there is only one role everyone wants and that is Raider. The Raider position gets a bonus on gold for their attacks. This ranges from an extra 10% to an extra 25% for high level kingdoms. If you have stones to burn then Raider is what you want! This position should be rotated around to the people who are online. If you are in a good kingdom raider should be available to everyone and the Lords/King should be making sure the spot is always put to good use.
  • Wars: There is no better feeling than demolishing another kingdom in war. Except maybe collecting the sweet sweet ring reward at the end of a season. Wars are a great way to build up your ring supply.
  • Donations: Donating to the kingdom projects and donating troops to your fellow clan mates gives you loyalty points which can be used to purchase the loyalty chest. The loyalty chest has a few ancients as well as diamonds. So well worth it.

Tip #2. Finish the single player and get Foreveil

Dragon ancients can be used in battle like any other ancient but they can also be assigned to the dragon roost and used as another troop in attack. Getting your first dragon is going to open up a lot of offensive power so don't delay and finish the single player map as soon as possible. Beyond being useful in the roost Foreveil is also a very strong ancient. His 3rd spell "Midwinter" will freeze nearly an entire village. This is huge in beating a tough opponent. When I need to win a tough war raid Foreveil is generally who I turn to. A dragon is your best friend on offense. You can control them every 30 seconds or so which provides a huge offensive advantage. Here are some dragon strategies everyone should know:
  • Farm Mana: If someone leaves a lot of buildings outside of the range of defenses you can use your dragon to take them out and accumulate mana. The more mana you have before you have to drop any troops the better. Especially for those ancients with strong 2nd and 3rd spells.
  • Castle Snipe: For tough bases where everything is well guarded keep your dragon for last. Against many base designs you can clear a section of skywatchers and watchtowers so that the dragon can take out the stronghold. Avoid skywatchers they are kryptonite to your dragon. One hit from a skywatcher can nearly kill your dragon on its own. Two hits and it is dead. Spell towers for the most part don't do much damage to dragons, don't be afraid of dropping your dragon to take out the Stronghold when one is within range. The one exception is very high leveled ancients, a level 40 cursed touch is going to kill your dragon.

Tip #3. Enter the Personal Tournament Always

The Personal Tournament can be tough to win until you are the highest level Stronghold in the grouping. However, that doesn't matter! Coming in second still gets you a respectable amount of rings and rings are insanely important. Once you hit Stronghold 10 and above the cost in rings to upgrade is going to escalate and building up a reserve of rings from day one is going to help you in the long run. The other great thing about personal tournaments is that it gives you 5 battle stones for free! So always enter the personal tournament, the worst that happens is you get 5 free attacks and make some gold and rings through matchmaking. There are really two strategies for personal tournaments:
  • Start Early in Your Streak: If you aren't consistently getting long streaks then it is better to start the tournament early in your streaks if not on streak 0. The idea is to achieve the highest streak where you can win 10 battles in a row.
  • Start on Streak 13: At streak 13 or so the number of rings you win per battle peaks, if you can consistently get a 23+ streak you should only start your personal tournament on streak 13 so you can ensure you get the maximum number of rings possible. My rooms are almost always won by a SH15 who gets a perfect 170 (10 wins at 17 rings per win)
Note: Ties in personal tournaments for first place are not awared to all the tying parties. Rather it seems that the tie is given to the invidual who hit the score the fastest. So if we both hit 170 and win the room but I finished my 10 attacks in 3 minutes and you in 10, I would be in first place and you would be in second place.

Tip #4. Be Flexible - Use the right Ancient for the Job

I'm a creature of habit in these types of games, I tend to find a combo that works and settle on it. That works in other games because I can hit next until I find a target that matches my attack strategy. You can survive doing that in Rival Kingdoms but it isn't the best idea. Without an ability to search for a base that suits your strategy you need to be able to adapt your strategy to the base you get, especially at higher streaks when the bases start to get real tough. Each ancient has strengths and weaknesses, some have strong 1st spells that you can spam for 5 mana a piece whereas others aren't good until you save up 15 mana for that third spell. Assess the base you are attacking, can you easily build up the mana you need to drop that powerful third spell? If not perhaps pick one of your ancients with a strong first spell. Some ancients I would classify as good for farming, these are ancients that have a first spell that you can drop for significant damage to a single building. With these ancients I rush the Stronghold to maintain my streak and then pick off the gold using the dragon (if I didn't need to use it to snipe the Stronghold) or that first spell. Some examples of these ancients are: Sulric - Rain of Fire, Lyris - Lightning Bolt, Nyrax - Raise Undead (the undead guys can do well at taking out a gold storage), Emberclaw - Ignite, Viscaria - Toxic Nova.

Tip #5. You don't need to Max your Stronghold

In other games there is a compelling reason to max all of your buildings and troops before upgrading to the next level. This is usually because a loot penalty is imposed against lower level players. Typically this means it is more profitable to grind out each level as your earning potential decreases as you level up. This is not the case in Rival Kingdoms. This is an offensive game pure and simple. You will attack much more often than you defend and the balance is highly in favor of offense. Even with a maxed base you will often lose on defense this is because higher Strongholds are given lower Strongholds to fight at low streaks. So concentrate on upgrading your offense. Make sure you are upgrading your portals, your barracks, and the troops that you use (most likely wardens and paladins). If you have finished your offensive upgrades move to the next Stronghold. I don't advice completely neglecting defense, you should upgrade that as well. However, the point I want to make is that you shouldn't sit at a Stronghold and make sure your walls are fully upgraded. Here are a few other reasons:
  • More Rings: The higher your Stronghold the more rings you get per battle. The longer you are a higher Stronghold the more rings you will have. This will be important once you hit Stronghold 10 and above when ring costs get HIGH.
  • Help Your Kingdom: You are way more useful in war when you upgrade your Stronghold and unlock more portal troops. Kingdom raids only use the 10 strongest bases for defense but on offense the number of participants can be much higher.
  • More Gold: Getting matched with higher Strongholds gets you more gold. The quicker you move up the quicker you start attacking people who have nice sums of gold for you to steal.
With regards to defense make sure you upgrade your key structures and you should be just fine. Concentrate on the portals, blacksmith, ancient shrine, catapults, spell towers, and skywatchers.

Tip #6. Don't max your Conduits

Conduits get expensive to reload. You are going to want to charge, extend that charge, and then overcharge them. If you max your conduits that is going to get very expensive and the extra benefit has diminishing returns. The cost to charge increases by a magnitude of 5 going from level 4 to level 5. From level 5 to level 6 it doubles and doubles once more at level 7. However, the benefit of those upgrades is minimal. Again, this is an offensive game. Is the extra speed from the upgrade going to help you defense? Yes, probably. Is it going to be the difference between winning a defense and losing one? No, probably not. You are better off spending your gold elsewhere.

Tip #7. Only Donate Soldiers

You are probably used to donating the most useful troop that you can in other games. This is because the economics of it are pretty well in favor of sharing with your clan mates. At this point only soldiers cost a reasonable amount of gold to donate. Wardens cost 5 times the amount of gold as soldiers which is exhorbitant. Mages cost rings which is a complete non-starter. If you donate mages, which would be the most advanced troop to donate, you will quickly deplete your ring supply and you are going to get stuck with nothing but your Stronghold left to upgrade and no rings to do it with. This may sound selfish but think of it this way, I mentioned earlier that you are most useful to your kingdom when you have a strong offense. To get a strong offense you need to be able to progress your Stronghold and it is going to take a lot of rings and gold to do that. Until such time that the ring economy relaxes a bit, guard your precious rings from friend and foe alike! Rival Kingdoms is constantly changing and the cost of donations may get rebalanced. If ever wardens become economically feasible to donate they will be the premier donation choice.

Tip #8. Get to Stronghold 12 as soon as you can

At Stronghold 12 you will have 5 troop portals with 8 troops a piece. This gives you enough offensive firepower to take on most any base especially with the help of your kingdom portal and some bonus troops. Consistently killing the opponents king is the best gift you can give your kingdom. As mentioned earlier this doesn't mean you neglect all defenses and non offensive structures it just means that you shouldn't kill time obsessively upgrading each and every upgradeable building and troop before you pull the trigger on the next Stronghold.

Tip #9. Hoard Rings

I've mentioned this in many other places but rings are the most important resource in this game once you get to around Stronghold 10 and above. Make sure you are following all the other tips here and saving up. Here is how you can get rings:
  • Multiplayer battles: Each multi-player win gives you some rings, the higher your streak the more rings you get. Also the higher your Stronghold the more rings per win you get.
  • Kingdom Leagues: Winning your Kingdom Raid league will get you a nice ring payout. This can be as much as 600 rings if you win Axe league. Make sure your kingdom is at constant war. Also make sure you don't leave your kingdom during a league doing so will make you ineligible to get the ring payout at the end.
  • Personal Tournament: Just follow tip #3 and enter the personal tournament all the time. If you win you get 125 rings if you are in first place, 65 rings for 2nd through 14th, 25 rings for 15th through 29th, 15 for 30th through 39th, and 5 rings for 40th through 50th. Remember; even if you don't win you get 5 battle stones which will get you some rings and gold as well!

Tip #10. Finish the campaign each weekday

The daily campaing on weekdays can be downright evil in its diffuclty sometimes. However the elemental campaigns have two major benefits:
  • The chance to win the ancient of that element. These ancients are only available through the elemental chests awarded after the third battle so this is literally your only option for getting them. Just don't expect to get them any time soon, presently the drop rate for these ancients is seemingly close to 0.
  • A bonus of 3 mana for all your ancients of that element. This is a major help in attacking since free mana always makes your attack go smoother. At a minimum you should be completing the campaign on the day for the element whose ancient you use the most. I know I look forward to Ice (for Birna) and Nature (for Erasmus).

Tip #11. Don't give away Mana

This is my last tip because I see defense as a bit of a lost cause. Since this game only lets you deploy a few sets of troops your first thought might be to spread your gold and mana giving buildings around the corners of your base hoping that the enemy can't attack each individually and still mount a solid enough attack to take out your stronghold. This just doesn't work (except maybe at very early stronghold levels). Make sure your portals, ancient shirne, and kingdom portal are tucked in close to your defenses. Don't let someone use their dragon to build up a mass of mana. Also don't bunch your portals together, keep them spread out (yet defended) so there isn't a side of your base that is going to fill your attacker up to the brim with mana. The base designs that work the best seem to be the ones with the fewest compartments. It may seem counterintuitive to lump everything together but it seems to work. The more compartments you have the more spread out your defenses are and the easier it is for someone to take out a small portion of your base for a quick win.