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Clash Royale: Beginner Guide, Tips, and Strategy

It’s crazy to think that it’s already been over 7 years since Clash Royale released, and a lot has changed in that time. Whether you’re brand new to the game or are a returning player, this beginner guide will highlight some of the most important strategy tips you’ll need to know for Clash Royale in 2023.

We’ll start off with a brief overview of how the game’s standard mode works, then we’ll move onto other game modes, card types and rarities, how to get cards and make a deck, clans, and event/tournaments! Let’s get started with how to play Clash Royale.

How to Play Clash Royale

How to Play Clash Royale - Tips
Image: Supercell via HGG / Brett Moss

Clash Royale is a fairly simple game. It’s essentially a 1v1 tower defense game, but with more of an emphasis on combat than base-building.

In a standard Battle (the game mode for which is often referred to as “ladder”, due to the trophies system), your objective is to score more Crowns than your opponent. You can earn Crowns by taking out enemy towers (1 for each, 3 total).

You can play safe and try to take one of their smaller towers, then defend until time runs out for a 1-0 victory. Alternatively, you can push their King Tower (the one in the back) for the instant 3 Crown victory. Either way, it doesn’t matter as long as you get the win.

Learning how to master the various decks and playstyles of Clash Royale simply takes time, but it shouldn’t be too hard to get the hang of with some tips. Make sure to leave some of your elixir up at all times to defend against your opponents’ pushes, and take advantage of their failed pushes to counter with your own.

Saving spells like Arrows or Fireball to deal with swarms of lower-HP troops is a great idea, as is utilizing buildings to prevent dangerous units like Balloons or Royal Giants from stealing a tower.

The best way to learn is by playing, but first, make sure you know what game modes you have access to. In addition to the standard Battle mode, there are a bunch of other options to choose from. Let’s take a look at those in the next section.

Game Modes in Clash Royale

We’ve already discussed the standard Battle mode, but Clash Royale has a lot of different modes to try out. Some of them are designed just to be fun, while others are used for major tournaments. Here are some of the most popular alternative game modes!

Path of Legends (Ranked)

Games in the Path of Legends mode are exactly the same as standard battles. The only difference is the ranking system used. Where the standard ladder mode uses a trophy-based system, Path of Legends has a scaling ranking system that resets each month. There isn’t much different here, but you can expect tougher competition and more intense matches.

2v2 Battles

2v2 Battles
Image: Supercell via HGG / Brett Moss

2v2 Battles in Clash Royale are extremely fun. They work the same as standard battles, except there are two of you. You’ll have to work together with your teammate to counter pushes and take out towers.

A team that cooperates well can easily counter their opponents’ pushes, where uncoordinated teams might waste tons of elixir and allow easy counter pushes. It’s all about team coordination in 2v2 battles, which is why they’re so fun.

Draft Battle

Draft battles are the most common non-standard game mode, and they’re often used for events and tournaments.

In draft battles, you’ll pick your cards from a limited selection. In one version, you’ll be shown two cards and have to pick one of them. This continues until you have selected eight cards, attempting to make the best of what you’re offered. Your opponent will get the chance to do the same thing, so you’re always on even ground.

In some versions, you pick all eight of your cards yourself. But in some, you pick four and get the four your opponent didn’t want. The variation in draft battles is one of the reasons they’re so popular.

Touchdown

Touchdown is one of few game modes which doesn’t involve towers. In fact, there’s nothing on the field at all during Touchdown. All you have to do to win is get one of your units into your opponent’s backline. The hard part, though, is preventing your opponent from doing the same to you.

Since you don’t have towers, you’ll have to defend every push manually. Buildings are great in Touchdown, as are charging units. Units that only target buildings are also really useful since they’ll charge forward infinitely (unless an opponent plays a building). It’s a chaotic game mode intended for fun, so try not to take it too seriously.

Heist

Heist
Image: Supercell via HGG / Brett Moss

Heist is another non-tower game mode, but it’s closer to a normal game that Touchdown is. In Heist, each player has a vault on their side that they have to defend. The vault has no natural defenses, so you’ll have to play carefully to defend it.

Just like in Touchdown, building-targeting and charging units stand out in this mode. Heist matches usually don’t last too long, so build your deck around that explosive potential.

Bonus Elixir Modes

There are a lot of modes that involve bonus elixir, and they’re all fairly similar. Double elixir mode functions mostly like a normal match, but by the time you ramp up to 7x elixir or one of the other super modes, it gets crazy.

Usually, these modes are meant to be fun to play, so play whatever seems fun to you. This is especially true in the variations that give an excessive amount of bonus elixir. Just make sure to take advantage of your wealth of elixir by playing a lot of high-cost units.

Card Rarities and Types

Cards in Clash Royale come in various types at different rarities. Here’s a simple rundown of the different types of cards, then we’ll look at the levels of rarity.

Clash Royale has three major types of cards:

  • Troops: the standard combat units (Knight, Prince, Balloon, etc.)
  • Spells: cards that have a one-time effect anywhere in the arena (Fireball, Freeze, Arrows, etc.)
  • Buildings: static buildings that sit on the battlefield and can distract troops that only target towers/buildings (Furnace, X-Bow, Tesla, etc.)

The rarities are as follows:

  • Common: these can be found everywhere, but despite their low rarity can still be very impactful
  • Rare: not actually all that rare, but just as important as everything else
  • Epic: tend to be more impactful than lower tiers, as well as more difficult to come across
  • Legendary: for lower and mid-level players, these are the rarest cards that usually have unique and identifiable qualities.
  • Champions: the rarest cards in the game, exclusive to high arenas and with unique activatable abilities.

How to Get Cards in Clash Royale

How to Get More Cards in Clash Royale - Tips
Image: Supercell via HGG / Brett Moss

You might be wondering how to get more cards in Clash Royale, and luckily there are several ways.

To get cards without paying real money, you can open Chests (acquired through playing Battles), participate in events/challenges, and use in-game currency in the shop. You can also request and donate cards in your clan, but we’ll discuss that more in the “Clans” section down below.

If you’re willing to spend real money, Clash Royale (unsurprisingly) has plenty of opportunities for that too. Just navigate over to the shop and it won’t be too hard to find plenty of offers that will get you cards quickly.

How to Make a Clash Royale Deck

How to make a good Clash Royale deck - tips
Image: Supercell via HGG / Brett Moss

There are many, many ways to make a Clash Royale deck. In this section we’ll look at the basics that a standard deck should have, but be aware that not all meta decks follow the “standards.”

To get an idea of what the meta in your arena is, look at the TV Royale section on the home screen. Just click on the “more” button on the top right, just below where your Gems balance is. In TV Royale, you can watch featured matches from various arenas. It’s a great way to get some deck ideas, and you can even copy decks directly from there if you want.

Here are the basics of what a good Clash Royale deck should have:

  • Win Con – your main source of tower damage (Ex: Hog Rider, X-Bow, Royal Giant)
  • Tank – a unit whose main purpose is to soak up damage and sometimes target buildings (Ex: Giant, Lava Hound, Giant Skeleton)
  • Support – a unit that backs up either your tank or win con, or a unit that has a specific function like wave clear or shock resets (Ex: Princess, Electro Wizard/Dragon, Witch)
  • Cheap Spell – a way to cheaply and effectively deal with swarms or specific enemies (Ex: Zap, The Log, Snowball)
  • Expensive Spell – has a dramatic effect on the game, often used during major pushes or defenses (Ex: Freeze, Lightning, Fireball)
  • Building – distracts units that target only buildings/towers and also provides a specific effect like tank destruction or swarm support (Ex: Inferno Tower, Furnace, Cannon)
  • Misc Troops – cheaper troops around 3 or 4 elixir that usually function as support or distraction units (Ex: Knight, Hunter, Musketeer)

For some decks, you might want a bit more support than buildings and spells. For others, you might end up with more spells than troops. It really just depends on what win con you choose and how you want to play. Defensive players might want two buildings to keep their towers safe, while some people might only need aggressive troops and Zap.

Feel free to mix and match and experiment with your decks, especially in challenges or events where you don’t lose trophies/ranks.

Clans

Trading cards in a clan.
Image: Supercell via HGG / Brett Moss

The Clash Royale clan system can be complicated, especially for newer players, so here’s some tips to make the most of it. To start out, you’ll want to join a clan for the rewards. Even if your clan doesn’t actively participate much in Clan Wars and Battles, it’s still worth joining one for the occasional rewards.

You also get the ability to trade and donate cards to other players. This alone is a great reason to join a clan, and there are even some clans that don’t do wars at all, but just focus on donating/trading cards.

If you’re interested in participating in Clan Battles, make sure to join a clan that actively does them. Most will mention in their profile/bio how seriously they take Clan Wars. If you’re really a hardcore Clan Wars player, you’ll be able to get some excellent rewards. But if you prefer not to do them every day, you’ll want to make sure to join a more casual clan so you don’t get kicked.

Events and Tournaments

Events and tournaments offer great rewards in Clash Royale - tips
Image: Supercell via HGG / Brett Moss

There’s pretty much always some event going on in Clash Royale. These events are usually centered around a special game mode, with varying levels of difficulty and rewards.

For example, a standard event might just be something like “Double Draft Challenge”, which would require players to play a specific game mode (in this case Draft) for rewards based on how many wins they get. Sometimes there are more “serious” tournaments like the 20-Wins Challenge, but most are very beginner friendly.

Events, tournaments, and similar challenges are a great source of easy rewards. From beginners to fully maxed players, the rewards from these events are always worth the little amount of effort they usually require.

Join the High Ground!

And that’s it for our tips and beginner guide to Clash Royale! We hope these help you find success in defeating your foes!

Let us know in the comments below if there’s any tip we left out that you think we should include. And don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more gaming guides and articles like this!

Happy gaming!

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