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.
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.
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.
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.
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!