This is a basic explanation of the game provided by Sheepy (and may have been revised by other users) intended for new players trying to get a quick overview of how the game works. Many alliances will have a more up to date guide than this and may offer additional assistance, so it is highly recommended you join an established alliance.
So you've just created your nation, you're looking at your nation page, now what? Here's the basic breakdown.
- Main article: City
Your nation is a collection of cities which you have control over. There's a City page that does somewhat more in depth than what this guide is going to cover right now. You may view your cities using the Sidebar Menu to the Cities page within the game. So you know that cities make up your nation, what makes up cities?
- Main article: Infrastructure
What's infrastructure? By definition, it's the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, and power supplies) needed for the operation of a society. Infrastructure directly increases your population by 100 per level. You can think of it as a positive population factor.
- Main article: Land
Land is how much room is available within your city. You need to be careful not to let it be too low, not much land and a lot of infrastructure will give you a high population density. Too high of population density means your citizens are congested and very prone to disease.
- Main article: Improvements
Improvements are special additions to cities with various effects. You can purchase one improvement for every 50 infrastructure you have in your city. Some improvements require your city to have power, which is supplied via Power Plants, a type of improvement. Just starting out resource extraction improvements are your best bet. You can produce those without power and sell them on the market to bring in extra money and grow your nation.
- Main article: Population
Toying around with infrastructure and land will make it pretty clear that your population can vary wildly. As mentioned before, infrastructure is a positive population factor. There are a few other factors that come into play.
As your city gets older, the population will slowly grow each day regardless of infrastructure. This is another positive population factor. The age of a city increases its population by a percentage.
- Main article: Crime
Crime is a negative population factor. The higher your crime rate, the more people are subtracted from your "positive" population value. Crime is based upon the average income and population of your city. Average income is low, your crime rate will be higher, and an increase in population will increase your overall crime rate. Crime is something that only medium to large sized nations will need to worry about, as a new nation it's negligible.
- Main article: Disease
Disease is a very important negative population factor. Disease is caused primarily by having a high population density. If you buy a lot of Infrastructure you might see your disease rate go up to 100% and see your population drop to 10. Simply buying some land will decrease the population density and end your disease problem. Larger nations may purchase hospital improvements to lower disease in a city.
- Main article: Pollution
Pollution Index measures how polluted your city is. Pollution is caused by most improvements. Each pollution point increases your disease rate by 0.05%. Recycling centers and Subways reduce your pollution index.
- Main article: Commerce
While this shouldn't be important to new nations, this guide will touch on it briefly. There are commerce improvements like Banks which increase your commerce level and thus your average income within the city. This will help drop the crime rate and bring in more tax revenue.
The range of average income available in the game goes from $2.50-$7.50. This value is per day, however you get income from your citizens every 2 hours automatically. By default your average income will be $2.50. Increasing average income is something intended primarily for larger nations, as a new nation it will cost less to start by mining resources and selling them to larger nations in demand of them.
Trade is a major international activity. There are 6 continents in the game and each has 3 out of 6 varying resources. Learn more about resources by visiting the Resources page.
Early on, it is recommended that you check out the market and see what resources are in demand and their prices are. Investing in production of a resource that is in demand at a good price will bring in extra income which will help you grow.
For the first 14 days after your nation is created no one will be able to declare war on you. You will, however, be able to declare wars on other players. Declaring war on an enemy will end your 14 day protection. For this reason, it is not recommended that you do this, and take the extra time to boost your nation to a point where you can buy a basic military.
You will only be able to declare on nations that are 67% higher than you in score or 34% below you. This will prevent you, a brand new nation, from fighting a "world power" sized nation.
Even though you will only be facing opponents of your size, if any, it is advised you keep some soldiers on hand to protect yourself if necessary. If you get caught off guard without any military protection it will be easy for an opposing nation to begin to destroy infrastructure in your cities while stealing money and resources.
Barracks are basic improvements that will allow you to maintain up to 3,000 soldiers. You will be able to enlist up to 1/3 of your maximum per day, so if you have one barracks you would be able to produce 1,000 soldiers per day until you reached 3,000 soldiers. It is recommended that sometime on your 3rd day of playing you take some money and invest in a power plant in your capital city and get a barracks. Then train 1,000 troops that day and keep them standing by in case someone attempts to attack you.
Alliances are player created and lead organizations of nations that work together for mutual cooperation. They usually have a leader to represent them and use their own off-site forums to organize. You may receive recruitment messages from one or more alliances inviting you to join them. Additionally, there is an Alliance Recruitment Subforum that contains threads from different alliances with information about them and why you should be interested in joining. Most alliances offer protection from attackers, better trading opportunities (such as better rates), financial aid, and most likely a better starting guide than this one.
Here are a few more things to be aware of that don't necessarily fit into any of the other topics so far.
The game forums are an excellent source of additional knowledge and discussion. There's a Game Discussion forum where you can ask about things you're not sure about. If you find anything wrong with the game, there's a Tech Support forum as well. Additionally, if you have any good ideas there's a Game Suggestions forum too, along with much more. Take a look at the forums and see if there's anything you're interested on there.