Clash of Clans Upgrade Guide

Few things perplex Clash of Clans players as much as this eternal question: “What should I upgrade next?” In this entry in our ongoing series of guides for Clash of Clans, I’ll go over my strategies for what to upgrade and in what order.

So first, let’s cover the basics. Before you’re about Town Hall level 6, strategy doesn’t matter so much. The early phase of the game is really hard to mess up and you’ll make quick progress through it. You can still learn something from reading this, and I do still suggest you max everything out the way I lay this out, but the rubber doesn’t really meet the road until Town Hall 6.

The strategies in this guide are really intended for people at Town Hall 6 through about Town Hall 8. Past this point, hopefully you’ve already learned all of this. If you’re Town Hall 9 or 10 and haven’t mastered upgrading, that’s fine, but if you’re an upgrade pro by that point this guide is probably going to be too basic.

That out of the way, let’s talk strategy.

Town Hall Last

This is a big one, so I’ve put it first and given it it’s own section. Leave your Town Hall upgrade for last. Upgrading your Town Hall before you’re ready is the #1 way you will screw up your base.

Clash of Clans Upgrade Guide: Walls & Town Hall

The reason for this is the loot modifiers for attacking and defending depend on your relative Town Hall levels. This means that it is harder to get loot from lower level bases, and higher level attackers will get steal less loot when they attack you. This slows the whole game down, since you can’t gain resources from raiding and you’re constantly losing more than you would when people raid you.

So, if you upgrade your Town Hall to 9 or 10 quickly, without upgrading your defenses, your loot is ripe for the taking. I’ve seen very high level Town Hall bases with horribly undereleveled troops and walls, and these guys are easy targets. Don’t be that guy/gal! Leave your Town Hall for last!

General Upgrade Strategies

Try to stagger your upgrades a bit. For instance, don’t send all your builders to build things that take a week. Now you’ve got a week’s worth of resources from raids and collectors that will be sitting in your base, waiting for someone to come steal it. It’s better to upgrade some faster things while you’re upgrading slower things, so that you can spend your resources over time and prevent massive storage buildups.

Plus, if you’ve got several builders coming free at the same time, chances are you’re going to need a massive amount of resources in order to put them all back to work.

Clash of Clans Upgrade Guide: Staggered Upgrades

At the higher levels, everything is going to take forever, but I’d still suggest trying to keep your builders freeing up at different times. Traps in particular are great for this – even at the higher levels, they don’t take that long to build and upgrade, so you can use them to stagger your upgrade timers a bit.

Specific Upgrades to Prioritize

The Laboratory upgrade is generally a no-brainer. You need troop upgrades, and upgrading the Laboratory is the way to get them. Most troops and spells in Clash of Clans are extremely weak until they’re fully upgraded.

Clash of Clans Upgrade Guide: Laboratory

When it comes to lab upgrades, upgrade what you use, first. If you run a lot of Giants, upgrade your Giants. I think you should try to keep everything upgraded, though. New strategies and rebalancing patches are constantly arriving, so being flexible with your troops will make your life a lot easier.

You should also keep at least one Barracks (and Dark Barracks, where appropriate) at the highest level possible. Here again, if you can’t build a troop, you can’t upgrade it. Upgrading the Barracks also increases the cap on the number of troops you can train, which can be useful for filling your camps or for the “elixir bank” trick.

The Spell Factory is similar to the Barracks in that it unlocks spells that can be upgraded. Upgrading it also gives you more spells to use in battle, so that’s a big plus as well. Definitely grab this if you can.

Clash of Clans Upgrade Guide: Camps

If you can upgrade your Camps, this is certainly something you should prioritize. Upgrades only add 5 troop slots, but it stacks up and in some raids, every troop counts.

Lower-Priority Upgrades

There are some things that I would leave for last, right before upgrading your Town Hall. These upgrades are still important, but I don’t think they’re as important as the ones we’ve mentioned already.

I suggest putting off upgrading your Barracks past the first, unless you’re using those units in your normal strategies. For instance, chances are that early in Town Hall 8 you won’t be running PEKKAs much. No point in prioritizing those upgrades until you are. Plus, you’ve got a while to wait on any Laboratory upgrades, so being able to build lots of weak PEKKAs quickly is probably not that great of an idea.

If you aren’t in a clan, you certainly should put off upgrading the Clan Castle. Even if you are, upgrading it past 20 slots is not a high priority upgrade. Getting to 20 lets you put a dragon in there if you so choose, but 25 doesn’t really open that many more strategic options, in my opinion.

Collectors are one thing I’d consider carefully. Collector resources are dwarfed by resources from raids. They also make you a juicy target for raids, especially if you let them fill up. Having them around is good, but I wouldn’t put priority on upgrading them when other things are available to take your resources and builders.

Defenses in Part 2!

“What about defenses??” I hear you saying. Well, that’s such a big topic that it is getting its own page. Click on to read my defense upgrading strategies!

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This article is part of our Clash of Clans MEGAGUIDE!click here to see all our CoC articles!

  • agent86ix

    Once you hit TH7 or so, you really should focus on other upgrades before your TH. Having a higher TH level puts more of your loot at risk, so it makes upgrades take that much longer.

  • PurelyConservative

    The higher your TH the less loot you get from lower THs, it is better to max out at each TH level before leveling you TH. I laugh at people that rush to TH9 or TH10 but have really low level defenses and walls. All you are is an easy target, and you have a very hard time keeping your loot.

  • agent86ix

    Have you read our tips for avoiding raids guide? There’s a lot of useful info in there.

    The core reason not to upgrade your Town Hall early is simple – the higher your Town Hall level, the more loot people can take from your base. If your Town Hall is lower level than your attackers, they get less loot from you. That’s a fact!

    Thus, people who are dropping trophies and fighting lower level Town Halls are at a disadvantage. They’re still going to raid you from time to time, and you can’t stop them completely. But, upgrading your Town Hall before you’re ready for it just makes this problem WORSE.

    Take the time to upgrade your base, and you’ll be much better off.

    If you sink cash into your walls and your defenses, they’ll get less loot from you. If you sink cash into your Town Hall, they will get MORE.

  • Mgggb

    The elixir collectors and gold mines are absolutely the first thing I upgrade. They might not produce a lot at higher levels relative to raiding potential, but so what? Their benefit is that they are passive income. Empty them before you go to bed and when you wake up max collectors and mines will have over 30k each. That’s roughly an extra 500k per day that you otherwise would not have that you had to do nothing to get. Over the course of weeks, months, and years it adds up. Coc is a long term game, so it only makes sense to play it with a long term plan. At town hall 8, if you raid no more than once a day, you will still be able to keep 2-4 builders at constant work.

    Also, your point that collectors become a target in raids so they shouldn’t be upgraded is ridiculous. I’d rather get raided and keep some of it than to not get raided but have nothing. Besides, you won’t get raided every time if you have a farming base and remember to empty them a few times a day. Plus, consider that it is collectors that produce all of the gold and elixir in the game.

    As far as upgrading defences go, it’s just a matter of preference. I prefer to upgrade the least expensive buildings first because it keeps my gold storages low. I can upgrade more of them and by the time I get to the more expensive upgrades I already have much more done to protect them.