This Honey, I Joined a Cult Guide for Beginners will tell you everything you need to know to get started with this game that's all about starting a hokey new religion and lining your pockets with the cash of your followers.
What is Honey, I Joined a Cult?
Honey, I Joined a Cult is a new management game from Sole Survivor Games. Set in the 1970's, this game is all about starting your very own hokey cult for fun and profit.
Understandably, getting people to believe whatever wacky cult you come up with is the easiest part of the game. The harder part is keeping them around in the long term and realizing your grand plan (which probably involves adding a few extra zeros to the end of your bank account). Let's get to it!
Honey, I Joined a Cult Guide for Beginners - Completing the Tutorial
Your first step in this Honey, I Joined a Cult Guide for Beginners is to complete the in-game tutorial. This will get you started with the basic mechanics of the game and explain them in a way better than I can here.
I'll be building the rest of this guide off of the base you establish at the conclusion of the tutorial. If you're particular about how your buildings are in management games like I am, you can always start a brand-new game and skip the tutorial.
Honey, I Joined a Cult Mechanics You Need to Know
This is a management game and mechanics reign king. Before we get into the walkthrough part of the Honey, I Joined a Cult Guide for Beginners, I'm going to go over the various status and effects that you'll need to understand before you press on.
Honey, I Joined a Cult Resources
There are five key resources in the game (aside from your Cultists and Followers, of course).
- Money - Cold hard cash. This fuels your ability to construct and upgrade the compound.
- Faith - Generated by Cultists. You spend a little Faith every day to maintain your Cultists.
- Influence - Generated by Followers. This is used to engage in Research or use special buffs. Critically, a small portion is spent to run your nighly sermon -- make sure to keep a small pool of Faith in reserve or you won't be able to run your Sermon!
- PR - Good press. Having higher PR lets you attract higher-quality Followers and Cultists.
- Heat - The bad kind of attention. Get too much of this and the feds will shut you down. Heat will slowly decline over time, and you can Research technologies to further reduce Heat.
Understanding Cultist Status
Each of your Cultists (and the leader) have six status bars to maintain. Keeping these topped up is important for maximum efficiency. If any of these bars drop too low, your Cultists could end up leaving, getting injured, or outright dying.
- Hunger - The need to feed. Restored by eating in the Canteen.
- Energy - Cultists need to sleep and regain Energy to get through the day.
- Bladder - You gotta pee sometime! This is restored by using a Toilet in a Bathroom.
- Hygiene - Don't forget to wash your hands! Sinks and Showers restore the Hygiene stat.
- Fun - Even Cultists like to party. This is restored with a Recreational Room -- and you don't have one after you've finished the Tutorial.
- Prestige - This mysterious stat is affected by the "Prestige" value of rooms which is increased by decorating them and using higher-quality furniture. Higher Prestige tends to make Cultists happier, so decorate those rooms!
Cultists also have Moods which are temporary buffs or debuffs that they can pick up based on their experiences. Additionally, Cultists have permanent "Traits" which can affect their abilities. Some Cultists are better than others!
Renovating and Expanding Your Tutorial Base
Next up in this Honey, I Joined a Cult Guide for Beginners is to get started with the game proper. Our first task will be to expand the dorms where our Cultists live to give them a little more breathing room as seen in the above picture. Here are your first steps:
- Assign each of your five Cultists to one of the five available jobs in the Priorities Page: Maintenance Technician, Receptionist, Content One, Preacher, and Researcher.
- Increase the skills of each Cultist to better suit their prioritized role.
- Add a little space to the left of the dorm and add 2 5x5 rooms. Move the Research Room and Maintenance Room into these spaces.
- Double the width of the Bedroom, space out the Beds a bit more, and add a sixth Bed to accommodate all of your current Cultists. Add some Decor if you'd like to increase the room's Prestige.
- Double the width of the Canteen. As with the Bedroom, add some Decor if you'd like.
- Add an empty 11x5 room and 11x3 room above the Bathroom and Bedroom as shown in the above image. Add doors and leave it empty for now.
Now that you've improved on the Tutorial setup a bit, it's time to rectify one of its mistakes -- go into the Research tab and start researching Recreational Room. This room will restore the Fun stat of your Cultists. As soon as it's researched, populate the room with one of each new item you've unlocked, then immediately begin to research Recreational Room Upgrade 1.
An important note: take extreme care not to zero out your Influence resource. You need a little bit (around 30) to run a Sermon every night. Not running a Sermon reduces your Faith income and that could cause problems in the long term. If you don't have enough Influence to Research something, simply wait a day or so for it to build up.
Once Recreational Room Upgrade 1 is complete, add the new pieces of furniture into your Recreational Room and throw in some Decor to make it look nice. Cultists get temporarily "bored" of each object in the Rec Room, so you need variety to ensure that they'll continue to restore their Fun stat every day.
With that done, your next step is to work your way towards Bathroom Upgrade 1 and Bedroom Upgrade 1. Get these done as quickly as you can, and again: take care not to zero out your Influence stat! As these upgrades are finished, replace the crappy furniture in your Bedroom and Bathroom with these shiny new pieces. These will be a benefit to your Cultists in the long term.
You're also going to want to research the Leader's Sanctum to give yourself the option to start working on Divine Inspirations. I decided to build this room behind the Holy Room. I also made the choice to expand my Holy Room to cram more people in there, giving me the opportunity to earn more Money and Influence.
Growing Your Operation
When the basics are finished, your base will look something like the above. What's next? Well, I discovered a problem as I continued to play: eventually, Followers get bored and leave. That generates Heat, and that can prove to be a problem as time goes on.
Once your Cultists are a little happier, you can easily Research the Spirit Chamber. Recruit a Follower to work there and that should stave off the decline of your Followers (and the increase in Heat) for a little while.
After you've Researched the Spirit Chamber, you're going to want to focus on moving towards two particular upgrades: the Kitchen (which can go in the empty room next to the Canteen) and the Infirmary (which can be built on its own nearby). This will improve the food for your Cultists and health them after they get injured (which happens a lot). Along the way, you can add in new Therapy rooms and increase your income.
I've one final tip to close out the Honey, I Joined a Cult Guide for Beginners: don't grow your operation too fast. Take your time, plan carefully, and you'll soon find yourself with legions of Followers (and a pretty fat bank account, too).