How to get more families in Manor Lords

Manor Lords families - A town from above
(Image credit: Slavic Magic)

Trying to get new families in Manor Lords is a bit of a puzzling process. Usually in a game like this, you just let nature take its course and watch as your new town expands on its own. Manor Lords' population mechanics are a bit trickier, however; perhaps because the number of available workers and soldiers is the game's main hurdle to overcome. 

If it was too easy to gain population, you'd immediately be able to take advantage of every resource and steamroll the map with a tide of militia. Instead, you have to slowly build up your town and decide what to prioritise. Population is the most precious resource and that makes throwing your subjects into battle feel more significant. So, here's how to get new families and family members in Manor Lords and grow your village.

Manor Lords families: How to grow your population

It's worth noting that population in Manor Lords consists of two elements; families and family members. The first is important because a family can occupy a production building, whether that's chopping firewood, hunting animals, or farming. If it's the right type of building, they'll also create their own stall to distribute those goods at the marketplace.

Family members, on the other hand, represent your actual population number. Big fast-growing families means more workers in each assigned family, but more importantly, potential soldiers for your militia when bandits and hostile barons come-a-calling. There are two primary factors that determine population growth: approval and available burgage plots—these are the houses that your subjects live in.

Here's what approval numbers mean for population growth:

  • 100-75: High approval and high population growth. 
  • 74-50: Neutral approval and low population growth.
  • 49-25: Low approval and no population growth.
  • 24-0: Low approval and negative population growth.

If you have at least 50 approval and an empty burgage plot, a new family will arrive in your village at the start of each month. You'll also get a message saying that new family members have joined your existing families, expanding your overall population. You can view your overall number of families and available homes on the top left of the upper panel. High approval means you get two families per month instead of just one.

The easiest way to maintain high approval is to provide a variety of goods on your marketplace, whether food or clothing. Building a church and tavern will also go a long way to making your subjects happy, though you'll need to provide ale for the latter to function. 

If you're struggling with food variety, hunting wild animals and foraging berries will provide some, and you can also purchase chicken coops or vegetable gardens in big burgage plots to provide a passive yield of those foods. Researching the apiary or apple orchard also lets you build those for honey and apples.

Clothing wise, having a tannery turn hides into leather provides those for the marketplace, but if you convert a level two burgage plot into a cobbler's shop as well, the family there will create shoes from that leather, giving you two easily accessible clothing types for one resource. Lastly, make sure to staff your granary and storehouse with families, since they'll set up market stalls providing all available items.

Sean Martin
Guides Writer

Sean's first PC games were Full Throttle and Total Annihilation and his taste has stayed much the same since. When not scouring games for secrets or bashing his head against puzzles, you'll find him revisiting old Total War campaigns, agonizing over his Destiny 2 fit, or still trying to finish the Horus Heresy. Sean has also written for EDGE, Eurogamer, PCGamesN, Wireframe, EGMNOW, and Inverse.