Travian is a free, massive multiplayer online war game in the style of the Roman Empire that you play in your web browser or on a mobile phone.
Travian can seem complicated to new players so here are some basic suggestions and strategies to get you started:
- Read the instructions.
The game moves slowly at first, so use the time to learn more by reading the manual provided by Travian. This will pay dividends later when you don’t have to learn a costly lesson by experience. You can also search the forums to answer questions you still have after reading the manual. There are forums devoted to the game in general and to your specific server. You can read and search them without registering but you must register to post questions or offer suggestions.
Before you ask a question in the forum, be sure to use the search feature to see if it has already been asked.
- Choose the right server.
There are millions of players playing the browser game on more than 150 servers in over 30 languages. It is fun to interact with people from other places but make sure to choose a server that uses a language you can read and write well. A new game begins on each server only once every year or so. A new player will find it easier to have fun on a server where the game has just started instead of going up against larger players. The home page gives information about the next server to start and when you can register.
For more advanced players, there are also “speed servers” which are roughly three times as fast as the normal servers and require much more frequent attention.
- Pick the best tribe for you.
The majority of players choose to be Romans, who have a good balance between offense and defense and can build structures and resource fields at the same time. Teutons are good for more aggressive players who like to survive by using cheap troops to raid other villages. Gauls have some defensive advantages such as trappers and bigger crannies so this tribe may be better for younger players or those joining an established game.
Teutons may seem to have an initial advantage but in the later stages of the game, Romans have the benefit of more efficient use of wheat.
- Build resources first.
It is tempting to fill up your village with buildings when you start out but it is much more important to build resource fields as an investment in the future. Not only do structures cost resources, they use wheat every hour for maintenance. As a new villager, after you raise one of each of the four types of resource fields (wheat, clay, wood, and iron) to level one, you will get a delivery of additional resources brought by merchants from your homeland.
Use your gift of resources to build additional resource fields.
- Beginner’s protection doesn’t last forever.
Your welcome message will tell you how long your immunity from other players’ attacks will last–the minimum is three days, but it will be longer if the game has been running for a while. Travian may seem to start out slow, but if there are established players or Teutons near you, expect to be attacked as soon as your beginner’s protection expires. You can prepare by building crannies to protect your resources. If you are a Gaul, you can also build trappers to catch your enemies.
A Teuton can still take 1/3 of the resources that a cranny holds.
- Farm or be farmed.
Travian is a war game. You can’t be very successful without taking resources by raiding or attacking other villages. The player taking resources is a farmer and the village he is taking them from is the farm. The main difference between an attack and a raid is that all the troops of one side or the other will die in an attack while in a raid, both sides might have survivors. It is much safer to raid or attack an inactive village, one that is not growing and that the owner has abandoned.
If you attack or raid another village with one troop, it will die even if there are no troops in the village, so always send at least two troops.
- Let’s make a deal.
Once you build a marketplace, you can exchange resources with other players to get rid of resources you don’t want for ones you need or simply to make a profit. You can choose trades that other people have listed or post your own. Pay attention to the time it will take to for the merchants to travel if you don’t want to have them tied up for too long. Trading can be confusing at first, so double check what you are sending and receiving before you choose “accept offer”. There is no confirmation screen and once you accept a deal, you can’t cancel it.
The time you see listed is one-way, not round-trip.
- Make friends.
After you build an embassy, you can join an alliance. You want to be in the strongest alliance that will accept you. Most alliances will not take you if you are being farmed because it shows that you are a weak player and it makes the alliance look weak as well. Join an alliance based in your area so that you can help each other out with trades and reinforcements, but not one with a lot of members so close that you are competing against each other for resources when farming. You may find that some players will not attack you because you are in an alliance but there may be others who attack you because they are at war with your alliance or because their alliance is much stronger.
A strong, growing alliance is likely to have active members from each of the tribes–Romans, Teutons, and Gauls.
- Travian Plus.
Every player gets a small amount of gold to spend on extra resource production or other advantages. Although it is tempting, don’t spend it right away unless you plan to buy or earn more. Because it increases your base production by a percentage, save it to use when your resource fields have reached levels where the additional quantity of resources will be meaningful.
Save some gold to use in an emergency, such as to keep your troops from starving if your wheat fields are destroyed by another player.
- Have fun and don’t take it personally.
Travian is a war game so you will be attacked and lose troops and even have your buildings and resource fields destroyed and it’s all just part of the fun. If your village is being farmed by another player, you can ask them to stop, but be polite. You can be banned by an administrator for using rude language in messages. Remember that the other player doesn’t have anything against you personally; he doesn’t even know you. He just wants to take resources or eliminate the competition. Unless you are the number one player in your Travian world, there will always be someone stronger than you are.
If you find that your are overwhelmed and not having any fun at all, you can delete your village and start over on another server. The most important thing is to have fun!