Clash Royale is the newest game from SuperCell, the makers of Clash of Clans and several of our other favorites. Something like the lovechild of Clash of Clans and Blizzard’s Hearthstone, Clash Royale matches up the light-weight real time combat of CoC with the obsessive collecting of Hearthstone. It is fresh, it is polished, and it is set to take over the mobile game scene in 2016. If you are a Clash Royale Beginner (and at this point everyone is), this guide will tell you everything you need to get you started on the basics of Clash-card-combat.
We’ll discuss gameplay mechanics and strategy in the next part of this guide, but before we get there it is important to take in all of the details of the larger “meta” game of Clash Royale. The core meta loop of Royale is to collect cards, improve those cards, build stronger decks, and gain experience. As you run through the training you should find this pretty straightforward, but as training comes to an end the difficulty in improving spikes dramatically in classic F2P style. You may decide to spend a few bucks on the game to make a leap forward, but as most don’t have unlimited funds for virtual card games, in this section will discuss some tips to improve your deck for free.
Not how you thought we’d start off, right? Well in fact, you can buy cards with the “Gold” currency in the “Shop” interface (rightmost tile at the bottom of the main menu). This is a pretty great way to pick up cards you haven’t collected yet, or upgrade the cards you already have. It is fairly cheap to pick up the “Common” cards, so start check into the shop daily to stay on top of the inventory. If you are unsure of whether to make the plunge on a big investment, you can check out the card talk on /r/ClashRoyale, or just leave a comment on this article!
Get the Easy Cheeves
As with Clash of Clans, SuperCell has included achievements with Clash Royale. True to form, those achievements grant IAP gems, which are few and preciousssss…. Several of the achievements, like “Watch a TV Royale Replay” are brain dead simple, so knock those out and get the easy gems. Others, like collecting or donating cards will take a little more effort. Try to keep these achievements in mind when you are only a few points of experience away from leveling up. It might be all you need to get bumped up, which is especially useful in the early game.
Chests are the primary way you get more cards. Are we surprised that Clash Royale has a free chest mechanic? Of course not. In fact, there are two “free” chest mechanics. Firstly, a truly free, capital “F” Free Chest is available every four hours. Drops from this chest are mediocre, but RNG means that it is still worth rolling the dice. A separate Crown Chest is also free once per day, but it requires you to win 10 crowns in multiplayer match ups.
Pro Tip I recommend you opt-in to notifications for Clash Royale, since there are so many timers to deal with. If you do, the app will remind you when free chests are available, and you can pop in, grab your loot, and bail.
Pro Tip Note that the Crown Chest doesn’t track wins, only crowns. This means that a 1 crown draw gets you something, and a 0 crown draw gets you squat. Depending on what arena you are in, it may be worthwhile to play more aggressively to get more crowns on the board until you’ve got your chest for the day. Not also that the chest is on a rolling 24 hour cooldown, so the quicker you redeem it, the quicker you can get it again.
Clash Royale is free to play, so brace yourself for some serious waiting unless you want to drop real coin on the game. Probably the most significant waiting game comes with the unlockable chests you are awarded for winning head to head match ups. After the tutorial, you’ll fill up your 4 chest slots with 1 new chest for each win – ranging in rarity from the common “Silver” chests to the insanely rare “Super Magical Chests”. Silver Chests take 3 hours to open, and more rare chests take longer – up to a full day for Super Magical Chests. What is not so obvious is which chest to open first. In fact, it almost always serves your interest to open the most common chests first. Common chests open faster, and the amount and quantity of loot depends on the arena you are in when you earned the chest. So while that common chest is unlocking, you can be climbing the ranks to a higher arena before you earn another chest. Once you hit a “ceiling” you’ll eventually have to suffer the longer wait times of rarer chest – but at least the rewards are better.
Pro Tip At some point you will want to bite the bullet and unlock rarer chests. Try to start an unlock before you’ll be away from the game for a while (like at bed time) – and you can keep making progress…. even when you sleep.
Warning Contrary to what I originally thought, there is no intrinsic benefit to holding on to rare chests until you get to higher arenas. The rewards of a chest are locked at the time it is earned.
Clash Royale Deck Building is a lengthy topic we will go into more detail on in a future guide, but for starters lets take inventory of the tools at your disposal. First off, you can have up to 3 deck builds at any time, by cycling through the numbered “Battle Deck” buttons at the top of the “Cards” interface. If a build works, copy it, and then as you keep tinkering you can easily switch back if you mess something up. Also note the excellent in-game options for trying out different deck builds. “Training” can be repeated indefinitely, to “comp stomp” an AI opponent with your latest strategies. Once you join a clan you can also initiate a “Friendly Battle”, even against significantly tougher clan mates to get feedback on your deck and technique. Finally, “TV Royale” is a sort of “best of” replay of mostly high level match ups. Early on, you probably won’t get much out of it as many of the cards will be unavailable to you, but watch the basic match ups for cards you have and you will pick up some tricks pretty quickly.
Well that concludes our Clash Royale Beginner’s Guide. Hopefully you found it useful. See anything we left out? Leave a comment and let us know! Stay tuned for more Clash Royale guides coming soon!