What is Run An Empire?
Run An Empire is an empire-building game that you can play in the real world. It’s free-to-play and available worldwide on both the Apple and Android stores.
The game places you in charge of a small tribe, starting in prehistoric times. Your job is to build a massive, futuristic empire that will stand the test of time!
To do this you must conquer nearby lands on foot, build cities and structures across your empire, explore forests and ruins for hidden rewards, battle neighbors for castles, collect resources, unlock technologies and dispense commands to your subjects.
What am I supposed to do Next?
(Hint: If you’re ever unsure for inspiration, check out the Advisors tab - the blue speech bubble on the left of the map screen - for a selection of quests.)
Run An Empire is quite an open game, so you’ll often have a choice on what to focus on.
The core objective is to advance your empire from ancient technologies to modern times and beyond. To unlock new technologies you need to earn XP (“eXperience Points”). The greatest source of XP is from completing Request Notices at your Requests Board. These notices will give you XP (and coins) in exchange for resources, which you can produce and collect from your production buildings (see “How do I get resources?” for more info).
Another important objective of the game is to build the biggest empire. You can capture new territory by activating the app whenever you go walking, running or cycling somewhere. The bigger your empire, the more in-game rewards you’ll unlock and the faster you’ll progress.
Once you get far enough in the game, you’ll also be able to battle your neighbors for control of nearby castles. Winning these castle battles will unlock massive rewards for your empire.
Do you have a regular running or walking route, like commuting or walking the dog? Track those journeys daily in order to increase the population of your empire. Every time you visit a hex you already own, more people will join your empire.
If you’re not able to go out and collect resources or capture hexes, there’s still plenty more to do. You can visit your lodge and talk with your subjects, or visit the Stone Circle to unlock mystery rewards.
What Are Hexes, and how do I capture them?
We have covered the world in a layer of hexagonal tiles, which we call “hexes”. They are about 0.5km across. You can build a structure in a hex, or find a forest, ruin, rocky ground or village within it.
To capture a hex you need to enter or encircle it whilst tracking your activity. To do this, tap the “Start” button before beginning your activity, and “hold to finish” when you’re done. You can also capture (or otherwise interact with) a hex you’re already in, by tapping the “Start” button, then “this hex”.
Am I allowed to walk/ jog/ drive/ ride my bike?
Any kind of journey is encouraged in Run An Empire, as long as you move under your own momentum. That means you can walk, run, jog, ride a bike or wheelchair, rollerblade, ski, row … whatever you like! But driving, public transport (and yes, even horse riding) is considered “cheating” in the game.
How do I get resources?
Resources (wild boar, wool, wheat etc) have all sorts of uses across your empire. To get hold of them, the first step is to start making them with your production structures.
Many resources are free to make, like Wild Boar from your Hunting Camp. Other resources require some input “ingredients” first. For example, the Sheep Pen needs wheat in order to make wool (your sheep need feeding, after all).
As you progress through the game you’ll unlock powerful new production structures - like mines, weapon smiths and factories.
To start production, find a structure on your map, tap on it, then drag your desired resource from the options available into an empty slot. You’ll see a countdown, telling you when the resource will be ready. (If you want, you can speed up this countdown by spending “gems”. Gems are a premium currency in the game, meaning you can buy more of them in the in-game shop.)
Once production is completed, you’ll see a bubble with your waiting resource floating above the structure. This means you can now tap the resource to collect it!
How do I unlock new technologies?
New technologies help you advance in the game because they unlock new production structures, warriors and game features - like Castle Battles.
To unlock a technology, you’ll need to collect enough XP (Experience Points). You can get XP by capturing new locations, completing Advisor Quests, or interacting with some of your subjects, but the most effective way is by completing Request Notices from the Request Board.
The Request Board can be built in your empire after your first real-world activity. By tapping on it, you’ll see a number of Request Tickets. These are like mini-missions set by your people, who need certain resources to help with their lives. If you have the resources needed, you can complete the Notice Request and collect a reward - a combination of coins and XP.
To find out how to get the resources you need, see “How Do I Get Resources?”
How do I increase my population?
Increasing your population increases the amount of coins (in taxes) that you get from settlements. It also helps you unlock rewards, as displayed on the Population Size Reward Track. These rewards include gems, coins and the ability to build more settlements - which can become massive cities.
To increase your population, revisit areas of your empire by walking/running/riding through them. You’ll get additional population for every owned hex you enter or encircle. This works well for any daily or common activity - like exercise, walking the dog, commuting or going out for lunch.
If you hit your maximum population, you’ll need to upgrade an existing settlement or build a new one - if the option is available. To upgrade a settlement requires 3 kinds of specialists: guard, bureaucrats and engineers. (Hint: There are lots of ways of finding these specialists, but visiting friendly villages is especially effective.)
How do I Capture a Castle?
To capture a castle, you must first obtain enough XP to unlock the technology Military Training, so that you can build a barracks.
To battle for a castle, you simply enter the corresponding hex whilst running, walking or riding. With each visit you’ll automatically deploy a warrior, which has a Power Score.
There’s no limit to the amount of warriors you can deploy to a castle, and you can’t run out of them. However there is a cooldown between each castle-capturing activity you embark upon.
The player with the highest total Power Score is the owner of that castle.
A barracks will also let you upgrade the Power Score of your warriors - useful when battling more advanced local players.
How do I sync with Strava?
You can sync Strava with Run An Empire, which allows you to log your activity in the app and then import it into Run An Empire. To do this, go to the Settings menu, select “Sync With Strava” and follow the instructions.
If you’re having problems syncing with Strava first make sure your run has successfully uploaded in Strava before opening Run An Empire to import it. It can take up to five minutes for your run to come through.
If you are having trouble syncing, please try any of the following:
Log out and back in to Run An Empire
Try unlinking and re-linking Strava with Run An Empire
Try uninstalling and reinstalling Run An Empire and repeat the above (make sure you’ve created an account before uninstalling Run An Empire, or you may lose progress data)
Do I need to keep my screen unlocked whilst moving around?
After you’ve tapped “Start”, Run An Empire can track your activity in the background, so you don’t need to keep your screen on whilst recording your movement. You can put your phone in your pocket, bag or armband and get on with enjoying your activity!