Resources, Raiding, Defenses - Beginner Guide for Clash of Clans - Clash of Clans

Resources, Raiding, Defenses - Beginner Guide for Clash of Clans - Clash of Clans

Resources, Raiding, Defenses - Beginner Guide for Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans Resources: Beginner’s Guide

Clash of Clans is a juggernaut of portable gaming, but if you’re late to the party (like me) you may have trouble understanding it at first. I found the Clash of Clans tutorial to be lacking, so I wrote down all the Clash of Clans tips and tricks I could think of. In part one of my Clash of Clans beginner’s guide, I’ll cover the early game – what to build and what to prioritize in your first few days of play.

Builders and Gems

Gems are the premium currency in Clash of Clans. I’m starting my beginner’s guide to Clash of Clans here with Gems for an important reason – free ones are in limited supply, and if you plan to play without paying much money, it’s very important that you conserve them.

In general, Gems can be used to speed up the timers on almost anything. They’re the ultimate “I don’t want to wait – I want it NOW” button. That said, speeding things up with gems in the early game is generally a waste. You should be saving them to purchase more Builders.

*Clash of Clans Tip * The “guide” lady will want you to spend your gems to rush things early in the tutorial. You don’t have to do this, and you can instead just wait out the timers to save your gems.

Builders are an important thing to understand as a beginner in Clash of Clans. In order to build or upgrade buildings, you need free builders. The game gives you 2, and more cost Gems – lots of Gems.


You’ll earn some free gems by clearing items from your base (ie, the rocks, logs, trees, etc will sometimes drop gems when cleared), and from earning Achievements. It takes a while to save up enough for a third builder, but it’s well worth the investment.

Clash of Clans Tip Clearing rocks and trees quickly becomes a cheap thing to do, and it’s an easy way to get gems for builders. They slowly respawn in your base up to a limit. Make sure you clear them when you can! (Thanks again to phibbus for this suggestion!)

Initial Resources

When you first start Clash of Clans, your first priority is building up your resource production capability. There are two major early-game resources in Clash of Clans. They are:

Gold, which can be used to build defensive structures and upgrade your Elixir production facilities Elixir, which is used to build units, do research, and upgrade Gold production facilities

There are two types of resource-related buildings. One is actually responsible for producing the resource, and the other just exists to store it. The production buildings for gold and elixir are the Gold Mine and Elixir Collector, respectively. The Gold Storage and Elixir Storage buildings store their respective resources, naturally.

As you can see, you’re going to need a lot of both resource. Thus, you should focus on building as many of these buildings as you can, and upgrade them early and often. You’re able to build multiple of each of these, so I’d suggest building new ones whenever the option is available.


Upgrading is an important part of Clash of Clans, so it gets its own section in our beginner’s guide. Each building can be upgraded to make it generally “better” at whatever it is that it does.

In the very early game, you’re going to want to focus on building and then upgrading your Elixir and Gold production and storage buildings. Upgraded production buildings will produce faster and hold more before they’re full. When they’re full, they stop producing until you tap on them so it’s important that they hold as much as possible. Upgraded storage buildings just… store more. Not particularly exciting, but still, a very good thing. There are a lot of things in the game that cost a very high amount of Elixir and Gold, and until you can store at least that much, you’re never going to be able to buy them.

Here are some other tips for prioritizing upgrades:

  • How frequently can you check your town in Clash of Clans? If you’re not going to check the game for a few hours owing to sleep, work, school, etc, try to upgrade buildings that take a while to maximize your downtime.
  • What resources do you have too much of? Resources are safest when they’re spent. Try to build and upgrade things that use up your resources, so they’re not available to be stolen.
  • Focus on the low-level buildings first. These have the most to gain, and will be offline for the shortest period of time.

Pro Tip Leave your town hall upgrades for last. You don’t need to upgrade every last wall segment, but at least max out your barracks and your resource collection/storage facilities. Having a low-level Town Hall makes you less of an attractive target for high-level raiders, as the amount of resources they can steal is limited by your low Town Hall level.

Other Things to Consider

Scattered around your Clash of Clans base are various obstacles that can be removed. Some of these are small and only require a small amount of Gold or Elixir to banish. When you’ve got some time to actually sit with the game and play, and a free builder, you might want to concentrate on a small area and remove a few of these. This will make sure you have a nice-sized “clear area” to work with later when you’re designing your defenses. There are a limited number of wall pieces to work with at first, and there’s no point in walling in logs, mushrooms, or tiny rocks.

But… What About Defenses and Troops?

For the first couple of days, you’re protected by a shield – you can’t be attacked until you first attack someone else or this initial shield runs out. My suggestion would be to “turtle” for these first few days and build up a war chest to fight with.

If you’ve got some short military projects you want to undertake and an excess of a particular resource, it might make sense to do a few things for your defense or offense. However, some time and effort involved in your resources now will pay big dividends later. You can leave your defenses to the last day of your initial shield and still be just fine.

Clash of Clans Defenses: A Beginner’s Guide

Once you’ve got your resources figured out, it’s time to start building defenses. Most defensive structures cost Gold, so hopefully you’ve been stocking up. If your Elixir is plentiful at this point, you might want to jump ahead a bit and start planning your offensive structures in parallel.

Your First Defenses – Cannons, Archer Towers, and the Mortar


By Clash of Clans Town Hall level 3, you’re going to have three defensive structures at your disposal – the cannon, the archer tower, and your first mortar.

  • The archer tower is the weakest, but the longest range and most versatile. It can hit air units (although at this level, you probably won’t see many or any of these) as well as ground units.
  • The cannon is more of an all-around ground defense. It has decent range and decent damage.
  • The mortar is ground only, but it does splash damage so it is very useful against groups of powerful enemies. The downside is that it has an inner radius where it cannot fire!

Pro Tip When you’re upgrading a defensive structure, it’s not going to participate in defending your base. Therefore, do this when you’re shielded, or plan to have other defenses covering the holes your “offline” defense is leaving.

There are also traps, like bombs and spring plates, to consider. At the early levels, they’re kind of expensive and there are so few of them that it can be difficult to employ them properly. As you level up and gain expertise in planning your defenses, keep them in mind for choke points and difficult-to-protect areas.

You don’t have to choose which defenses to build – you’re going to want to build them all. The strategy lies in placement, which we’ll talk about alongside the other defensive structure – walls.

Walls for Fun and Profit

Once you’ve built something worth defending, and you’ve built something to defend it with, it’s time to shift everything around until your base is properly covered. This is where walls come in.

Pro Tip Walls require a builder, but they take no time to build. Thus, it’s a good idea to plop down a bunch of them all at once so you can task your builder quickly afterwards. You can always put them in a “holding area” in some unused corner of your base until you’re ready to move them to where they belong.

Pro Tip You can move walls a row at a time by tapping one, and then tapping the “Select Row” button – this allows you to shift multiple walls at once, and it’s a real time saver.

There are a limited number of walls that can be built, so it is important to prioritize what will go behind them. Here are some things you might want to think about:

  • Resource storage buildings hold massive amounts of resources, and 33% of these resources are at risk when you’re raided.
  • Resource collector buildings (Elixir Collectors and Gold Mines) store resources until they’re tapped, and 50% of the stored resources are at risk when you’re raided. Thus, they are a good one to protect.
  • Your defenses have a small amount of HP, and placing them behind walls will keep them alive and fighting longer.

Update It used to be that the Town Hall was a low-priority building that really belonged outside your walls. However, in the December 2015 Update SuperCell made protecting your Town Hall a much higher priority. I wouldn’t rate it as a building that belongs in the center of your base, but it definitely belongs inside your walls now!

Pro Tip The safest place for your resources? Spent. You can spend excess gold to upgrade walls, and excess elixir can be used to buy units. In the case of buying units, you can “overtrain” at the barracks, and then later cancel those units in order to get the elixir back.

Organization Within Your Walls

So you’ve grouped up your Town Hall, your defensive structures, and your resource collectors/storage together, and placed them behind the walls. How should you organize everything? Here are a few tips:

  • Try to make sure you’ve got defenses that can hit Archers standing away from your structures. Your own Archer Towers are good for this.
  • Make sure Mortars have covering fire, so that if there’s some unit within their “dead zone” they are being hit by something else.
  • Keep your most valuable storage facilities as close to the center as you can, so they get hit late and with a smaller amount of the enemy force.


When other players attack, they have to drop troops into your base. They can’t drop troops onto your buildings, and furthermore most buildings (with the notable exception of decorations) have a one-square “keep out” zone where troops can’t be dropped either. When you move a building, for just a second you’ll see this as a white-ish outline around your buildings. If you’re walling in an area, make sure there’s no way to drop troops inside of it!

Pro Tip At Clash of Clans Town Hall level 4, you’ll be able to use “Village Edit Mode” by tapping the little hand icon towards the bottom right of the screen. This will let you move buildings into a “holding zone” so that you can effectively swap buildings around. It’s a real time saver!

Pro Tip You can use buildings to block areas instead of using walls, but some troop types will bee-line towards specific building types, which reduces the effectiveness of this strategy. For instance, Goblins will run right past most buildings to hit those that give loot. Similarly, Giants will ignore most buildings to concentrate on defensive structures.

What Happens During an Attack?

If your Clash of Clans base is attacked, another player will be able to drop troops into it. They will attempt to secure your resources and trash your base. Any defensive structures you have built will try to repel them. There are a few things you should know, however.

  • For the most part, your army will not participate. Anyone in the Army Camp will just not even be there when a raid occurs.
  • If buildings are destroyed by the enemy, they aren’t really destroyed. They’re just disabled and/or raided for the duration of the attack.
  • Traps that are triggered are used up until they are reset. If a bomb goes off, that’s it, that bomb’s toast until you log in later and pay more gold to reset it.
  • Troops in your Clan Castle can be used in your defense. Thus, it is a good idea to find a clan that will provide you with troops!
Learning From Your Mistakes

Chances are pretty good that, even if you do a good job planning your defenses, you’re still going to get attacked and lose occasionally. Learn from this!

For a short time after each attack, you can view a replay of that attack by tapping the “Envelope” icon towards the lower left of the screen. This will bring up a screen with three tabs – the leftmost one is the “Defense Log”. Each defense log entry will let you replay what happened during that attack on your base.


Pro Tip Remember where the defense log is – later we’ll come back to this when we’re on the offense to find easy targets for revenge!

When viewing this list of replays, look for times when you lost a lot of resources, especially when the destruction percentage is low or the army size is low. Obviously, someone with an overwhelming army is going to destroy you, but you don’t want to leave holes that would let some sneaky so-and-so make off with your phat lewt without working hard for it.

Once you’ve seen where you’re weak, try to reorganize your defenses to prevent against it in the future. Perhaps you can move some of your defensive structures closer to your outer walls, or move mortars further in. Maybe there’s a hole or weak spot in your walls where people are getting in. These replays are the perfect way to see how your defense could be improved.

Clash of Clans Raiding: A Beginner’s Guide

In our Clash of Clans guide to raiding, we’ll cover strategies for getting the most out of your troops when you’re on the offensive. This is the third part to our Clash of Clans beginner’s guide series! Now that we’ve covered basic resource management and defensive strategies in Clash of Clans, it’s time to turn the tables and get out there and steal other people’s junk!

Raising an Army

Once you’ve built the Barracks, you can train units. Units you train are sent to your Army Camps. The more Army Camps you have, and the more they are upgraded, the more units you can have for a single raid.

The Barracks has its own training queue that is separate from the Army Camp capacity. Thus, you can queue up units to train even after you’ve hit your maximum in the Army Camp. This has two benefits:

  • Any Elixir you spend filling your Barracks training queues is off-limits for attackers. It’s a safe place to store resources!
  • If you are off raiding and you use up troops, any queued units that were blocked because your Army Camps were full will begin to train. Thus, having several Barracks with queued units means you can reduce the time you have to wait between raids.
Learning to Raid

The first thing you should do when learning how to effectively raid is play the Clash of Clans single player campaign. The point of the campaign is to teach you how to raid effectively. If you haven’t started it, play it a bit! There’s no need to 3-star everything early on, as your resources are probably going to be limited. Once you’ve stolen the resources and gotten one star on a particular level, I’d suggest moving on to the next one.

Once you’ve picked a single-player level or attacked someone, it’s time to deploy your troops. Once you pick a troop type, just tap or hold anywhere to deploy. What you deploy when and where makes a big difference, though. Here are some Clash of Clans raiding tips to get you started:

  • Defenses will tend to pick a single unit and attack it until it is destroyed. Thus, drop some “tank” units like Giants first, and then you can deploy the weaker Archers behind them.
  • Watch out for traps – if there’s an obvious hole in a wall, for instance, chances are there’s something lurking there. Send a single unit in to trigger the trap, and then you can send in your main force behind it.
  • Like I mentioned in the guide to defenses, some units will prioritize a particular type of structure. Goblins, for instance, are crazy for loot. If you can make a hole for them, they will single-mindedly loot everything in sight, which is good for your final resource totals!

Pro Tip It’s tempting to just dump all your troops on the enemy and watch them lay waste, but remember that there’s a maximum amount of loot you can get from any particular attack or single player level. Any troops you deploy are used up, whether they survive or not. Think about how much loot you’re raiding versus the cost of the troops to deploy!

Picking Targets

Our resident Clash of Clans raiding expert EBongo said in his Top 10 best kept secrets in Clash of Clans article that “Revenge is a dish best served often.” So true! Check your “Defense Log” and see who has attacked you – these guys are ripe for the picking.

There’s a few ways you can use the info in your Defense Log to your advantage:

  • If you see someone just dropped a single, cheap troop on your base, they looked at your defense and said “lol, nope” so they yielded to you immediately. They lost trophies by not paying the gold cost to skip, though. Thus, they’re probably farming for resources and are phat with the lewt of many easy victories.
  • If they lost to you even though they made an effort, chances are they’re not particularly good at the game, so they’re probably going to be easier to raid.
  • If you see just a single hero attacked and the battle was over quickly, chances are they yielded to drop trophies and get into a lower rank for easier resource raiding. These guys are probably heavily fortified.
  • The Defense Log also shows if they’re in a clan – being in a clan gives you the chance for extra defensive troops.
  • When attempting revenge, you have longer to plan your assault, so you can make a more informed decision about how to assault.

The tl;dr is that revenge gives you many advantages when raiding, so use them!

If you need more help with raiding in Clash of Clans, we have a number of useful resources.

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