In this Noble Fates Guide for Beginners, I'll tell you what you need to know to get started with this challenging colony sim survival game from Xobermon.
What is Noble Fates?
Noble Fates is a colony sim with some larger elements at play. At first glance, it seems an awful lot like Going Medieval and similar games, but there are also deeper, richer systems at work here, too.
You take on the role of a demigod who has the power to alter the fates of man. Unfortunately, you haven't had the best of luck -- your last champion lies dead in a cave. Fortunately, a party of adventurers happens upon you and you'll have the chance to start anew.
Let me be absolutely clear: if you're not familiar with colony sims, you're going to have a rough start with Noble Fates. There's an in-game tutorial to help you get started, but many of the mechanics aren't immediately intuitive (especially since it's launching in Steam Early Access).
Noble Fates Guide for Beginners - Getting Started
Your journey begins as your divine self rests upon the corpse of your previous (and long-dead) champon. A party of four adventurers discovers the corpse -- and the crown that sits upon it. It's up to you to make your first choice.
Choosing Your Leader - And Your Nobles
The very first meaningful thing you'll have to do is select your Leader. There are a total of four people, each of whom has different skills and alignments. This won't be an easy choice: whoever you decide to pick will choose two of the other members as their Nobles; the fourth member of the group will not support you as a Leader and leave the party. It is here where you have a choice:
- Let them leave.
- Let them leave, but keep their supplies
- Restrain them and take them prisoner.
- Execute them.
Each of the decisions will have consequences on their opinion of you. Personally, I tend to let them leave and keep their supplies, but an Evil-aligned Leader may decide to imprison or execute them instead. It's up to you to make your choice (and ultimately live with it).
Opinion and Likes vs. Dislikes
A central part of the game is the Opinion that others have of you. Make poor decisions or upset them and they won't be as fond of you, potentially causing them to desert. Rival factions who dislike you may decide to attack. Heck, one of your allies who no longer cares for you may turn on you right as an enemy attack begins.
It's evident that you'll need to keep them happy, so how do you do it? Your Leader can converse with your people in order to earn a more favorable Opinion, but it's easier to keep three central points in mind:
- Take care of their basic needs such as food and shelter.
- Accommodate their requests, where possible.
- Take them off of jobs they dislike (and assign them jobs they love, where possible).
How to Reroll Your Starting Characters in Noble Fates
Let's say that you don't like your starting group of characters for whatever reason. Yes. you can reroll a new group of adventurers -- but it's a bit janky.
Sadly, the only way you can reroll for a group of new adventurers is to quit the game and restart. You'll have to sit through the splash screens, the loading, and the opening cutscenes. You can choose who you want from there.
Whatever you decide, you'll eventually have your three chosen starting characters. You can then choose from a randomly-generated list of names for your faction and dive into the game.
Should You Take the 'Guided Experience?'
Once the game actually begins, you will receive a response asking whether or not you would like to use the "Guided Experience." This is, in effect, a tutorial and will restrict the mechanics available to you in the early game, but it will also make some things easier for the beginning.
Noble Fates Beginner's Guide - Your First Few Years
Once you've begun the game, your Leader and your two Nobles will be idling around the woods. It's time to get to work and kick off this Noble Fates Guide for Beginners proper.
Save the Game Before You Start Playing
Although Noble Fates has a lot in common with Going Medieval, it's lacking the really cool autosave feature of that game which automatically saves a game you've just started. Make a save now -- it's easier to start over with a group you're happy with rather than spend time trying to reroll a new one.
Choose a Building Location and Set Up Stockpiles
Your next step is to find a location to build. It's easiest to look for a patch of relatively flat land to minimize the need for digging. Around a 10x20 space should be good enough for the early game; you can always flatten more land later as needed.
Once you've found a good spot, set up two Stockpiles. One Stockpile should be set up for everything except Corpses. The other Stockpile should be a little ways away and be set up to only hold Corpses. This will allow you to shuffle the dead out of the way until you get proper Graves set up.
Chop Down at Least 500 Wood
Hold Shift and start left-clicking on trees; you'll see an estimate of the total Wood you'll earn start to grow on the bottom of the screen. Select enough trees until you have just over 500 Wood; you can then press "E" to designate the group to be cut and your people will get to work.
Build Your First Building
Your next step in this Noble Fates Guide for Beginners is to erect your first building. The tutorial recommends a 4x4 building, but I think you should start with something that is 6 x 10 at the minimum (or similarly sized.
Whatever you decide, erect it as quickly as possible -- you're going to want to start providing creature comforts (and save storage for your items) as quickly as you can.
Fending Off Your First Attacks
While you're building, you are likely to be attacked by a single enemy. Do not try to fight this enemy one-on-one. Instead, hold Shift and left-click on the three character portraits at the top of the screen to select them all. Next, press T to designate them as soldiers. Send them at the enemy and defeat them, then press T again to return them to normal.
A short while later, you'll also start to encounter the other kind of Demigod -- specifically, the evil kind. Aside from rival factions, you'll also have to worry about dealing with Demons. Fun!
There are arguably reasons to spare an enemy -- returning them alive to their host nation may be good for diplomacy. Perhaps you can convince or intimidate them to join you. As far as I can tell, there are no such good outcomes for Demons. Kill them immediately.
Move Stockpiles and Furnish Your Building
After you've constructed your first building, you're going to want to dedicate a substantial portion of the interior space (at least a 6x6 area) to your new Stockpile for all goods. Delete the old one once it's set up and your people will start moving things over.
You're also going to want to furnish your building. Set it up with the following:
- 5 Straw Beds (Eventually Upgraded to Wooden Beds)
- 2 Small Wooden Tables
- 8 Stools (4 for each Table)
- 1 Crafting Bench
- 1 Butcher's Table
Why the extras? Well, occasionally you'll be visited by people from other factions. They'll stay several days and they'll appreciate a place to sleep. You may also have opportunities for more people to join you. Either way, it's best to be prepared for a few guests.
Plant Crops and Hunt
You're going to need to save up food for the coming Winter. Make sure to plant as much Corn as you can; if possible, trade with other visitors to get even more Corn Seeds.
Don't forget that Hunting is an option, too. You'll need a Butcher's Table to make use of the meat and you might not kill much of anything without crafting a Bow or two first. Killing one or two Deer or Boars, however, can feed you for quite some time -- it's definitely worth it.
Trading and Diplomacy
You will occasionally be visited by other people and you'll have the opportunity to trade with them. You can also improve their Opinion of you through dialogue if you so desire.
Craft Weapons, Armor, and Improved Defenses
Your final main goal for the early game is to improve the defenses of your building however you can and craft melee weapons, ranged weapons, and armor for your people -- especially your Leader.
Thus far, you've likely only had small skirmishes. A time may come when the enemy shows up in force and you're outnumbered two to one. You don't want to be in shabby Cloth Tunics carrying half-broken Stone Axes if you can prevent it.
Jobs and Scheduling Your Workers
As we wind down our Noble Fates Guide for Beginners, we'll be taking a moment to address Scheduling and assigning Jobs.
How to Schedule Your Workers
You should assign each of your workers adequate time to rest and eat; refer to the above image for a layout that works well in the early game. As with all things, tweak it to suit your needs; I eventually decided to add a second period for Eating just in case anyone was hungry.
How to Assign Jobs (and Keep Your People Happy
Assigning Jobs is a little trickier. Noble Fates uses a ranking system where each job is ordered by priority. One of your people will try to do the #1 rank job first, then they'll move on to #2, then #3, and so on.
You can also leave spaces black and they will never do that job. It is essential that you avoid assigning Disliked or Hated jobs to people -- refer to the colored numbers next to the ranking square to gauge how they feel about jobs (and how good they are at them, too).
Prestige and Assigning Belongings
A key concept of Noble Fates is Prestige. This, too, is key to keeping your people happy -- and ensuring that your Leader gets the respect they deserve.
How Prestige Works
Prestige is a measure of how stylish and wealthy your characters are. Hook them up with some quality equipment and Prestige goes up. Each character has a desired Prestige score called Ambition which you can see on the Belongings screen; you'll keep them happy by keeping it high.
How (and Why) to Assign Belongings
Belongings are exactly what it says on the tin: the personal property of each of your people. There's a dedicated screen for this and you'll want to make sure to equip everyone as best as you can. You can also assign them Beds and even give them Coins to increase this score.
How to Unlock More Buildings and Objects in Noble Fates
There's one question that is not immediately obvious -- how do you increase your skills and unlock more buildings and objects in Noble Fates?
Noble Fates uses a "learn by doing" skill system. Your Farmers will become better by Farming, your Nurses will become better by Nursing, and so on. As they improve, they'll unlock new objects and building pieces.
Bear in mind that only those with the requisite skill levels will be able to build certain objects. Make sure to protect your most skilled people as best you can. You won't just lose a life -- you'll lose all of the knowledge they had, too.
Preparing For Winter and the Journey Forward
That's it for our Noble Fates Guide for Beginners. So, what do you do now?
If I'm being honest, you're probably going to fail. You're going to die a lot. Your people will revolt. You'll get overrun by Demons. There are a lot of moving parts to this game and you're not going to fully understand it in just an hour or two.
You will, however, be equipped with a basic understanding of the mechanics. Going forward, it's up to you to make your kingdom work. Good luck!