Pharaoh: A New Era is a deep city-builder with complex mechanics set in ancient Egypt. If you’re having trouble and failing every mission, this guide will cover everything you need to know to get started with the game.
Pharaoh A New Era Starter Guide
Each mission in the game will have mission objectives that players must complete to earn a victory. To reach those objectives, players will have to plan out their starting location and city, set up Housing to invite migration, and build the proper buildings and constructions, all while balancing a complex economy with exports and imports.
Choosing a Starting Location
Players should narrow down starting locations based on three key factors: food supply, Production, and water access. Set your starting point in an area with relatively close access to all three things so that settlers don’t need to travel far and Housing has access to the necessary materials (including water) to upgrade.
Food is best cultivated near water in brown Flood Plains or flower-covered grass, called Meadows. Use Irrigation Systems to further improve your food production. Some maps won’t have any serviceable land for growing crops; in this case, construct Hunter’s Lodges or Fishing Wharfs to provide your settlement with a food source.
Take a look at the mission Objectives by selecting the icon on the left side of the screen to get a better idea of what you’ll need to do to advance.
Select the Production icon on the right side of the screen to see which Production buildings are available to you. Each map will have a different Production building available, so it’s important to plan out what you want to export at the beginning of each mission so that you don’t build unnecessary buildings.
Setting Up Housing and Required Services
Before you can start Production, you’ll need to construct Housing so that residents can move in and fulfill the jobs around the city. Click the housing icon on the right side of the screen, then build your Housing 2×2 squares deep, as upgraded Housing will need the extra space. In the later game, players will need to leave even more extra space to accommodate Housing upgrades.
In addition to Housing, players must set up necessary services in each Housing area, or residences may collapse or burn down in the case of fires. Players should construct a grid format using streets so that each Housing unit has access to the necessary services. Larger areas may require two or more of the same building for adequate coverage.
Starting buildings should include the following:
- Village Palace
- Storage Yards
- Tax Collector
- Police Station
Each region of your settlement that contains Housing should have these required services. Once the services are built, use the Overlay options on the left side of the screen to see what your city needs. See our guide on Overlays to learn more.
Religion & Entertainment
Once you’ve set down the basic requirements for your settlement, you’ll need to introduce Religion in the form of Shrines, Temples, and Temple Complexes. Look at the Overseer of the Temples on the left side of the screen to see the status of the deity’s view toward you.
If you anger a god (by not building the required buildings), they will cause damage to your settlement that can set you back. Make sure to balance each Religion on each mission, and if you satisfy their needs, they can actually provide buffs like increased inundation. You can also hold a Festival to boost their moods, but for that, you’ll need a Festival Square.
Likewise, you’ll need to build Entertainment facilities, or your homes won’t progress, which can hurt your Culture Rating. Training Centers train the entertainers, while stages increase the entertainment in the area. To learn more about this aspect, see our in-depth guide on Entertainment.
Players should work on creating their Production chains while setting up other necessary services and Housing to earn the in-game currency, debens. To set up Production, create buildings to mine or gather the raw material and Production buildings to manufacture the finished goods. For example, in the case of Papyrus, players need to construct Reed Gatherers and Papyrus Makers to produce the goods.
From here, players will need to Trade with a nearby settlement that Buys the good. The more successful the trade is, the more you can trade with that settlement. To learn more about Importing and Exporting goods, see our guide on how to trade.
Imports and Exports are also tied to a key Rating you’ll need to achieve to win each mission, your Prosperity Rating. To keep a high rating, players should export more than they import.
Players can also make debens through taxation by constructing Tax Offices and a Village Palace. Though not impressive initially, as Housing upgrades over time, you’ll gain more funds through taxation.
Monuments are a common Mission Objective players will need to complete to advance to the next level. These can be found at the bottom of the Objectives screen and will include things like Pyramids and Sphinxes. Players will need a lot of human labor and buildings like Work Camps, Carpenters’ Guilds, and Stonemasons’ Guilds, as well as whatever materials are required to construct it.
Here are a few guides for key monuments in the game:
- How to Build a Pyramid
- How to Build a Stepped Pyramid Complex
- How to Build a Medium Bent Pyramid
- How to Build a Sun Temple
Performing the Balancing Act
In conclusion, success in Pharaoh: A New Era involves combining city Services, trade, and good decision-making. Players must maintain and then reach certain levels for their Culture, Kingdom, and Prosperity Rating, as well as any Monuments that require construction.
You’ll also need to keep up with society-wide wages and make sure that you’re staying competitive in the ancient Egyptian economy. Fulfilling requests from neighboring cities is also important to keep your Kingdom Rating high, so don’t neglect your allies!
Visit our Pharaoh: A New Era Guides Section to see all our guides for the game.