Clash of Clans is a free-to-play title created by developer Supercell - a start-up studio that was formed by ex-members of Sumea, Remedy, and Sulake.
The game centres around building, maintaining, and expanding a small fantasy village, as well as repelling attacks from goblins, and setting off on adventures in search of enemy settlements to destroy.
We thought you might need a helping hand to get yourself off the ground. That's why we've created this guide. Be sure to check it out before you grab your sword and sprint blindly into battle.
There are three (yes, three) different forms of currency in Clash of Clans, so you'll have to be constantly keeping your eye on your wallet (or the top-right corner of your device's screen).
The first of these currencies is Gold Coins, which you'll earn in abundance from resource gatherers, completing quests and missions, and a variety of other outlets.
Gold Coins can spent upgrading specific buildings, paying your workers to clear obstacles, purchasing decorations, and fortifying your village with defensive contraptions.
The second form of currency is Elixir. This pink substance is earned from resource gatherers but can also be stolen from the numerous goblin settlements that you raze to the ground.
You'll likely spend it training your many troops, upgrading the buildings that aren't covered by gold coins, and constructing storage buildings for your varied resources.
Finally, there are Green Gems, which we'd class as the game's premium currency. You can grab these through in-app purchases and special in-game promotions, and trade them in for coins and Elixir.
They can also be spent to instantly complete construction projects and other time-consuming tasks, as well as on special buildings.
During your time with Clash of Clans, you'll find yourself regularly partaking in the fine act of construction. You can't expand a village without buildings, after all.
Buildings fall under three different categories: resources, which includes contraptions that mine and store valuable resources like Gold Coins and Elixir; army, which is made up of a Barracks and other military-themed outposts; and defences, which contains everything you need to defend your village from attacks.
Resource buildings - particularly those that store your commodities - are extremely important as they increase the maximum amount of currency that you can hold at any one time.
With that in mind, you'll want to upgrade your Gold storage and Elixir storage buildings to at least level two fairly early on in your adventure. If you don't, many of the Gold Coins and Elixir you earn from your first couple of battles will simply be lost.
By the end of Clash of Clans's compulsory tutorial, your village should be packed with two Builder's Huts, but you may want to construct a third in order to increase the number of buildings that you can erect simultaneously.
Unlike in most free-to-play build-'em-ups, you don't unlock new items (besides decorations) in Clash of Clans by collecting experience points (XP) and leveling-up. Instead, you unlock new content by upgrading specific buildings.
Upgrading your Town Hall to level four, for example, will unlock the game's Air Defense and Spring Trap items for your village. So, be sure to upgrade it at least a couple of times early on.
Don't forget to upgrade your Barracks, either: a new troop type is unlocked every time you do so. As you unlock newer, larger, and more powerful troops, you'll also have to upgrade (or purchase additional) Army Camps.
These camps house your brave warriors post-training and pre-battle, so you don't want to run out of room.
Slice and dice
Battles in Clash of Clans aren't a walk in the park and you will find yourself lying dead in a ditch (well, okay, not literally) if you don't plan your attacks properly.
Firstly, don't attempt to enter more than the first few battles if you haven't upgraded your Barracks and unlocked additional unit types. You'll likely end up in that ditch we mentioned above.
Secondly, don't recruit and train any units for a battle until you've scoped out your upcoming battlefield. You can select a battle on the game's map, take a look at the environment, and return to your village before the action kicks off without receiving a penalty.
When performing reconnaissance on your opponents, be sure to look for weak points in their defences.
As you can see in the screenshot below, the goblin settlement in question can either be attacked from the front or the rear. The rear only has a single cannon defending it, so coming in from the back is the best path to take in this scenario.
It's important to remember that you'll lose every troop you send into a battle post-victory, regardless of whether or not they perished in the midst of a bloody brawl. In other words, don't send every single troop you have at your disposal into battle if you don't need to, it's a waste, and you'll have to spend more Elixir to repopulate your army.
Although you can't control your troops directly (or even point them in the right direction) during a battle, you can still have some say over what targets they attack first.
Simply place your troops as close to the structure you want razing first as possible and your warriors will generally target it first.
Defend to the hilt
If you play Clash of Clans for more than three days, your village will start to be routinely attacked by goblin raiders, who'll happily destroy your picturesque settlement if it's not properly protected.
Walls, while relatively expensive, will slow down invading opponents, which makes them invaluable. Be sure to place them around your most valuable buildings.
You'll also get cannons, which are great against ground units, and Archer Towers, which are good at combating air units. Bear in mind, however, that you can only purchase a very limited number of each, so it's imperative that you place them where they can defend almost all of your constructions.
If you don't fancy battling at all, simply purchase a Shield from Clash of Clans's in-game store using some of your Green Gems. It will prevent all attacks for either one, two, or seven days.