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Nation Building Guide

Kingdom of Royalty

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***Many thanks to Fepereir for letting me work on his fantastic guide here.***

I. Introduction

a. Starting-up Information (for new nations)

b. Religion and Government

c. My Government Positions

II. Trades

III. Technology

a. Tech Deals

IV. Land

V. Infrastructure

a. Infrastructure Purchase Cost

b. Infrastructure Upkeep Cost

c. Infra Jumps

VI. Improvements

a. Basic Improvement Order

b. Improvement Swapping

VII. National Wonders

Update: Thanks to Arkady of Phobos, a infra jump calculator has been added.

Update: The next infra jump after 8,000 occurs at 15,000.

Update: Technology information updated.

Update: National wonders added.

Update: Corrected technology benefits for recent updates (Nov 2007)

Update: Corrections to resources as per recent update

Update: Swapped order of Churches and Intelligence Agencies (thanks Itzan)

Update: Infra Calcualtor .xls includes 15k Infra Jump, which also includes 3 new wonders, Infra Jump calculations now updated to include 15K. Thanks to TheBFG for all of this :)

I. Introduction

I have played this game for over two years now and I’m willing to share this knowledge with the more inexperienced players, this is a simple guide for nation building, to find the information you desire press Ctrl + F (or F3, Firefox people ;-)) to pop up the "Find" function of your browser and type in the name of the section you want (e.g., V. Infrastructure), it should take you to the section.

Before we start remember to keep these things in mind:

+1 Happiness = +$2 income per person. Remember to include improvement income modifiers.

Also remember all references to extra income a day are gross (i.e, an extra $2.00 (+1 Happiness) a day would be an extra $0.56 per citizen in taxes, for a tax rate of 28%).

I’d like to thank Letum and TiMBus, William Bonney, JoshuaR of MFO (Mr Fixit Online), and TheBFG for their help (they’ll know why).

a. Starting up information

So you have just made your nation, it is brand new, and you are wondering what to set all your preferences to. Under normal circumstances you should choose these following:

  • DEFCON 5 - this will maximise your economy.
  • War as an option.
  • Your tax rate should be 28%.

Always buy infrastructure, technology and land in bulk (10/10/20 levels respectively), this now a written rule, you’ll spend more money if you buy uneven amounts, as the price increases as you buy more of them. Keep your soldiers at 20-30% of your total citizens during peace time, there’s no need to pay extra upkeep because of them. If you purchase too many your population will riot!

b. Religion and Government

Unless your citizens desire Revolutionary or Capitalist, your government should be Monarchy. Don't choose the rest.

To find out which religion your people desire, use the religion guide.

c. My Government Positions

Options in "My Government Position" change your population income and happiness. The recommended government positions are, starting from top to bottom, B,A,B,B,B,A,B,A without uranium, and B,B,B,B,B,A,B,A with the uranium resource, there is no point choosing you support nuclear weaponry until you are in the top 5% or have the wonder to do so. Thanks to William Bonney for this!!

II. Trades

Trades are vital for your nation’s growth, without them your nation can’t grow. I’ll talk about each resource, bonuses and the best resource combinations. If you want to play cybernations seriously, then you need good trades, and you need to use all your slots up. Make sure you get your trades sorted early on.

Consider offering young nations money to trade with you if you like their resources, remember you gain +1 happiness point if they are on your same team color.

Below are short descriptions for each resources in themselves, some resources which may be considered bad, are needed for a bonus resource which is good, so don't read too much into the descriptions.


Aluminum - Aluminum is one of the best resources there is, it gives 7% infra cost reduction and is needed for Construction and Beer.

Cattle - Not one of the best, but should be considered in any nation build, population boosters are essential to get improvements.

Coal - Not exactly great, some like it because it’s part of Steel , Automobiles and Fine Jewelry, personally, I don’t use it.

Fish - Best resource there is, right up there with Wheat. Should be included in any trade build.

Furs - Terrible resource, worse than lead.

Gold - Almost as bad as Furs, but it’s good for tech dealers, part of Microchips and Fine Jewelry.

Gems - Good resource, best income booster.

Iron - Good resource, part of Steel and Construction.

Lead - This resource is bad, if you have it, you may have a hard time keeping trades. Lead now, however, reduced the environmental impact from nuclear weapons by 50%. Thus it may be quite useful.

Lumber -Like Iron, it’s a good resource, part of Beer, Construction and Scholars.

Marble - It’s a -10% infra cost reduction, I don’t need to say more. Part of Construction.

Oil - It’s not that good, sure it gets you Asphalt and Microchips, but there are better resources.

Pigs - Used to be crap, it’s good now, it’s a pop booster, and it’s part of Fast Food.

Rubber - Not a very good resource if you don’t have Oil and Construction.

Silver - Good income booster.

Spices - Not very good on it’s own, consider getting Fast Food

Sugar - It’s good, try to get Fast Food with it.

Uranium - This one is tough, trade for it when you have at least 10 tech, if it’s one of your nation’s starting resources you’ll have trouble keeping trades. Get 30 Tech if you have this resource (see Technology chapter).

Water - Good but not necessary, Beer is the deciding factor to get it.

Wheat - See Fish.

Wine - It’s like Silver, but Affluent Population instead of Jewels.

Bonus Resources:

Affluent Population - Can be advantagous to go for it to get increased population to get extra improvements. Consider temporalily getting this resource and buying extra improvements.

Asphalt - It’s good, but not all nations will find it useful, only worth it if you have Steel as well.

Automobiles - Gets you a nice happiness boost, but some of the resources you need to get it are not worth it.

Beer - Great, it requires good resources anyways, so it’s win/win.

Construction - Best bonus resource, but it’s not like Fish or Wheat, you are not forced to have it.

Fast Food - Not too shabby, you should consider if you have any of the required resources.

Fine Jewelry - Quite a useful bonus resource, but if you have two of the needed resources, you might as well get it.

Microchips - Good for tech dealers, not very good besides that, Lead is the problem.

Radiation Cleanup - No nation should aim for it, don’t bother.

Scholars - Might as well get it if you have Lead.

Steel - Good, nothing special, can be quite useful if you are purchasing a lot of Navy. Coal and Iron are decent resources (which you need to get Steel).

Trade Combos

Never aim to get as many bonus resources as you can, it’s not worth it at ALL. I’ll give some different setups with some tips.

Trade Set I.

With Harbor: [Aluminum] [Cattle] [Fish] [Gems] [iron] [Lumber] [Marble] [Pigs] [spices] [sugar] [Water] [Wheat]

Bonus Resources: [Fast Food] [ Beer] [Construction]

No Harbor: [Aluminum] [Cattle] [Fish] [Gems] [iron] [Lumber] [Marble] [sugar] [Water] [Wheat]

Bonus Resources: [Construction] [beer]

Option 1

Option 2

This is my and feperirs personal favourite, it gives a good base income boost, reasonable infra cost/upkeep reduction and max population boost. If you don’t have one of the resources, Gems can be replaced, if you have none of them, consider another combo.

Trade Set II.

With Harbor: [Aluminum] [Cattle] [Coal] [Fish] [iron] [Lumber] [Marble] [Oil] [Rubber] [sugar] [Water] [Wheat]

Bonus Resources: [steel] [Automobiles] [beer] [Construction] [Asphalt]

Option 1

This is usually for larger nations, as it’s infra reduction heavy, if you have a small nation, but you have Oil and/or Rubber, this might be the only way to go.

Trade Set III.

With Harbor: [Cattle] [Fish] [Gems] [Gold] [Furs] [Pigs] [silver] [spices] [sugar] [Water] [Wheat] [Wine]

Bonus Resources: [Fast Food]

No Harbor: [Cattle] [Fish] [Gems] [Pigs] [silver] [spices] [sugar] [Water] [Wheat] [Wine]

Bonus Resources: [Fast Food]

Option 1

Option 2

This one is good for bank nations and people who want to save up money for infra jumps, you can switch Furs and Gold for anything else, I suggest it to be Uranium, Lumber or Iron, Lumber and Iron are important if you have a nation with a lot of infra. But don’t buy infrastructure with this, you’ll end up losing money.

Trade Set IV.

With Harbor: [Aluminum] [Coal] [Fish] [Furs] [Gems] [Gold] [iron] [Lumber] [silver] [Wheat] [Wine] [Water]

Bonus Resources: [beer] [steel] [Fine Jewelry] [Affluent Population]

Option 1

This trade setup provided by Gen. Chaos, is made for those who have Furs and one of the other resources. It's a good income booster and gives a moderate reduction for infrastructure cost/upkeep.

III. Technology

Technology now influences war outcomes upto an infinite amount, the 300 level cap has been removed. When your technology cost surpasses $30,000 per level, you should start buying from other nations (see below). Try to buy 0.51 tech when you start making enough money for it in one day.

Remember that if you have the Uranium resource then for every level of tech you have you receive +$0.15 per citizen extra up to a maximum of 30tech, a total of $4.50. You must have selected that your government favours nuclear technology for the use of nuclear power plants but does not support nuclear weapons to receive the bonus.

These are the important "milestones" of tech purchasing:

  • 10 levels - Aircraft and tank requirement and major happiness boost (+5)
  • 15 levels - Enables you to purchase cruise missiles and have the radiation cleanup resources
  • 200 levels - You don’t get more anymore happiness out of it (total of 9 happiness gained)
  • 500 levels - You can purchase level 9 aircraft.

Technology is also helpful to decrease infrastructure upkeep costs, smaller nations won’t benefit as much from this as stronger ones will, though. It also gives a bonus to the literacy rate, as literacy rate is hardly used, you may ignore this feature.

A good tech : infra ratio is 1 : 10

a. Tech Deals

Tech Deals can benefit both older and young nations, when you reach around 150 technology levels, you should consider purchasing it from other nations who are willing to do a tech deal in the Gameplay Sales Thread, make sure you post in this thread. I suggest you sell 50 levels at a price of $1.5 million, or around $3 million for 100 technology (tech has inflated a lot recently). You’ll get a profit of at least $400,000 per 50 technology. Be a good seller, and they may offer you another tech deal. Don’t try to fool anyone and steal their money, it’s bad for you, and they will pay someone to punish you.

IV. Land

Land isn’t like technology and infra, it’s pretty much useless, the only real benefits are: 1. Happiness bonus (not really a bonus, you just don’t lose one point) if population density is below 70; 2. it gives a small population boost when bought, around 1 citizen for every 2 miles of land; 3. Small war advantage

I suggest that small nations (<1000 infra) keep the population density below 30, and that larger nations disregard population density, especially if you have Water. You can buy it from time to time, but there’s a time that land is so expensive for what it does that it’s better to buy technology or infrastructure in it’s place.

V. Infrastructure

Infrastructure is the most important thing in the game; it’s your source of income as it gives citizens and Improvements, always try to buy it.

These are the formulas (thanks again, Letum):

a. Infrastructure Purchase Cost:

  • 0-19.99 = 500
  • 20-99.99 = 12 X Infra Level + 500
  • 100-199.99 = 15 X Infra Level + 500
  • 200-999.99 = 20 X Infra Level + 500
  • 1000-2999.99 = 25 X Infra Level + 500
  • 3000-3999.99 = 30 X Infra Level + 500
  • 4000-4999.99 = 40 X Infra Level + 500
  • 5000-7999.99 = 60 X Infra Level + 500
  • 8000-14999.99 = 70 X Infra Level + 500
  • 15000-????? = 80 X Infra Level + 500

Here's a graph (by Amnesiasoft):

Graph (by Amnesiasoft): (Click Here)

To calculate infrastructure cost reduction multiply your infra cost by:

0.94 for lumber, 0.95 for iron, 0.93 for aluminum, 0.9 for marble, 0.96 for coal, 0.98 for steel, 0.97 for rubber, 0.95 for construction, 0.92 for interstate system and 0.95 for government (Monarchy, Capitalist, Dictatorship, Federal, Republic and Revolutionary)

For factories pick one of the following), 0.92 for 1, 0.84 for 2, 0.76 for 3, 0.68 for 4 and 0.6 for 5.

Ex: At 1000 infra, on level costs 25500, but he has lumber, marble and 2 factories.

25500*0.94*0.9*0.86 = 18552.78

The cost is $18552.78 per level.

b. Infrastructure Upkeep Cost:

  • 20-99.99 = 0.04 X Infra Level + 20
  • 100-199.99 = 0.05 X Infra Level + 20
  • 200-299.99 = 0.06 X Infra Level + 20
  • 300-499.99 = 0.07 X Infra Level + 20
  • 500-699.99 = 0.08 X Infra Level + 20
  • 700-999.99 = 0.09 X Infra Level + 20
  • 1000-1999.99 = 0.11 X Infra Level + 20
  • 2000-2999.99 = 0.13 X Infra Level + 20
  • 3000-3999.99 = 0.15 X Infra Level + 20
  • 4000-4999.99 = 0.17 X Infra Level + 20
  • 5000-7999.99 = 0.1725 X Infra Level + 20
  • 8000-14999.99 = 0.175 X Infra Level + 20
  • 15000-????? = 0.1755 X Infra Level + 20

Graph (by Amnesiasoft):

Graph (by Amnesiasoft): (Click Here)

The upkeep reduction works the same way as the cost, multiply by:

0.9 for iron, 0.92 for lumber, 0.97 for uranium, 0.95 for asphalt and 0.92 for interstate system.

Labor Camps' effects add up like the Factories'. Multiply by 0.9 for 1, by 0.8 for 2, 0.7 for 3, 0.6 for 4, 0.5 for 5. Remember to pick only one of them to add in the formula.

Tech also reduces your infra upkeep, to calculate the discount use (2 * Technology Level) / Nation Strength = x). 1-x = The number you should use to multiply.

c. Infra Jumps

Infra jumps are those times that a nation breaks an infrastructure upkeep cost barrier; the most important ones are the 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 infra marks. An easy way of making an infra jump is get a $20 donation once you are at x999 infrastructure, that way you will jump 200 infrastructure which is enough in most/all cases.

The links below should give you a rough estimate of what you should save up to make a jump.

Arkady of Phobos' (updated by TheBFG) Infra Jump Calculator Spreadsheet (link)

Mr Fixit's Infra Jump Calculator (link)

  • * 1000 infra jump:
    This jump is by far the worst percentage wise, it’s a 22.2% infra upkeep cost increase, translating it into real numbers (using a Trade set I setup), your 88,000 bill will go up to 104,000 with a measly .01 infra purchased. It’s a total loss of 16,000 in income. To calculate how much money you will need to "make the jump” use the formula (provided by Cheesejaguar)
    (x)(Population Gain per level of infra)(net income per citizen) - ( (999.99+x)(New Upkeep)-(999.99)(Old Upkeep) ) = 0
    And you solve for 0.
    x is the amount of infra you need.
    New upkeep = ((999.99+x)*0.11+20)*infra upkeep reducers
    Old upkeep = (999.99*0.09+20)*infra reducers
    Calculate how much x infra costs. To do that, divide x by 2 and add that to 999.99 and apply the cost formula to 999.99+(x/2).
    * 2000 infra jump:
    This jump raises your infra upkeep bill by 18.2%. Use the same formula as the 1,000 jump, but don’t forget to replace 999.99 by 1999.99.
    * 3000 infra jump:
    This jump increases your infra upkeep bill by 15.4%. Use the same formula as the previous jumps, just replace the infra purchase cost multiplier (25 to 30) and the infra level to 2999.99.
    * 4000 infra jump:
    This one increases the infra bill by 13.3%. Use the same formula as the previous jump, just replace the infra purchase cost multiplier (30 to 40) and the infra level to 3999.99.
    * 5000 infra jump:
    The last infra jump increases your infra bill by 3%. Use the same formula as the previous jump, just replace the infra purchase cost multiplier (40 to 60) and the infra level to 4999.99.
    The next major jump occurs at 15,000 infra. Please let me know if you get there :-)
    An alternative/different formula (if you can't get your head round the one above) is.. (Thanks to Aeroflech)
    X equals:
    (Amount of Infra Before Jump*(New Upkeep - Old Upkeep))
    ((Pop. Per Infra Level * Income per Citizen.) - New Upkeep)

VI. Improvements

Improvements are important to keep up with your infra bills and infra purchase cost increases. You’ll be allowed to buy one for every 1000 taxpaying citizens you have. Thanks to Deathangel for information on Labour Camps.

a. Basic Improvement Order

A. Harbor, *Bank, Stadium, Stadium, Bank, Stadium, Bank, Stadium, Bank, Stadium, Bank, Factory, Factory, Factory, Factory, Factory, School, School, School, University, University, Foreign Ministry, School, School, Clinic, Clinic, Hospital, Labor Camp, Labor Camp, Labor Camp, Labor Camp, Labor Camp, Police Headquarters, Police Headquarters, Police Headquarters, Police Headquarters, Police Headquarters, Clinic, Clinic, Clinic, Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Agency, Church, Church, Church, Church, Church. **Border Walls

B. Harbor, *Bank, Factory, Factory, Factory, Factory, Factory, Bank, Bank, Stadium, Stadium, Bank, Bank, Stadium, Stadium, Stadium, Clinic, Clinic, Hospital, School, School, School, University, University, Foreign Ministry, School, School, Labor Camp, Labor Camp, Labor Camp, Labor Camp, Labor Camp, Police Headquarters, Police Headquarters, Police Headquarters, Police Headquarters, Police Headquarters, Clinic, Clinic, Clinic, Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Agency, Church, Church, Church, Church, Church. **Border Walls

*Get a Stadium if the citizens are making less than $85 of gross income.

**With the new environent penality in place, Border Walls now have a more advantageous part to play than what they used to. My advice is this: When you next come to collect taxes, before you do, write down the current tax collection amount, then, buy 1 Border Wall, if it goes up, buy another Border Wall, if it does not, delete it, keep doing this until you have reached the optimal amount of Border Walls. Do not assume it will either be 0 or 5, because it won't be.

Which order is best is still debated by many experienced players, if you receive a lot of aid (through tech deals, for example) then order B is recommended. I reccomend order A under most circumstances myself. What is for sure though, make sure you buy banks before schools, and stadiums before police headquarters, if it requires you to have to save up for a few more days, it is worth it.

Keep in mind that the citizen boost from clinics and hospitals also allows you to get the next improvement faster.

b. Improvement Swapping

Some of you may not have heard of this wonderful little strategy, when your infra bills reach roughly $500,000, you can replace 5 improvements with 5 Labor Camps, they will decrease your infra bills by about 45%, make sure that you have enough money for 5 days of bills and enough money to re-buy 5 of the improvements you destroyed . 5 days later, pay your bills, destroy your Labor Camps, buy the Improvements you replaced and collect 5 days worth of income. There you go, you saved about $800,000.

When you have all the worthwhile improvements, get rid of your Labor Camps to collect and buy them again to pay bills, once every 2 or more days, be careful, you can’t stay more than 2 days without paying bills, otherwise you won’t be able to buy Labor Camps, resulting in loss of money.

This is only recommended for serious players, as it requires more effort than usual.

VII. National Wonders

As nations have got stronger on cybernations, National Wonders have been added on to give players something new to invest in. They are similar to improvements, they cannot be destroyed in war, however unlike improvements, they cost a lot more and only one can be purchased every month.

Wonders start at $26,000,000 up to $150,000,000, and they cost $5000 a day to maintain.

Generally at around 4000 infrastructure it is worthwhile to buy a wonder. Sooner rather than later, as once you pass 5000 infrastructure, things become slow. To work out if it is worth it consider the extra money gained from spending the money on infrastructure, compared to the extra money gained a day purchasing the wonder, there are a few other factors that influence it, but it will give you a rough estimate as to whether it is remotely worth it. Err on the side of the wonder in most cases, as remember you can only purchase one every 30 days, even when you will be making enough to purchase one every 10 days. The social security system and stock market are considered to be the best wonders to purchase first.

More stuff to be added later, I hope you guys liked this....

Please give credit to Feperir who wrote this guide and Royalty who has updated it if you decide to use it elsewhere.

Edited by Kingdom of Royalty
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So they do.. but I liked the nation building guide on here, and I think it's useful for any nations starting out. It also saves many people posting "which improvement should i get next" in the long run :)

Its not exactly hard to decide is it. till you get to Clinics and schools it should be easy.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Furs - Terrible resource, worse than lead.

Gold -Almost as bad as Furs, but it's good for tech dealers, part of Microchips and Fine Jewelry.

Gems - Good resource, best income booster.

Iron - Good resource, part of Steel and Construction.

Lead - This resource is bad, if you have it, my condolences, you'll have a hard time keeping trades.

Spot the difference.. I have updated a few things actually such as infra jumps, technology relation to uranium, and improvements... :)

Edited by Kingdom of Royalty
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  • 3 weeks later...

It is Ferepirs guide, if you read at the top of the post I have made it clear it's his :) I also PM'd him beforehand and he said I could post it on here as he had no intentions of doing it himself.. I have updated a few sections on it, and corrected mistakes, I would like to work more on it.. feel free to make suggestions..

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a small contribution.

A plug in formula for infra jumps.

x equals:

(amount of infra before jump*(new upkeep - old upkeep))

((pop. per infra lvl. * income per cit.) - new upkeep)

Edit: this is basically a rearrangement of Cheesejaguar's formula.

Edited by Aeroflech
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An alternative/different formula (if you can't get your head round the one above) is.. (Thanks to Aeroflech)

X equals:

(Amount of Infra Before Jump*(New Upkeep - Old Upkeep))

((Pop. Per Infra Level * Income per Citizen.) - New Upkeep)

You should really underline the numerator.

Edited by Aeroflech
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