How to gain influence and claim regions in Manor Lords

Manor Lords influence - An army
(Image credit: Slavic Magic)

If you've already established your first town in Manor Lords, you're likely looking to claim a new region and are eyeing that hefty influence price tag it'll cost to get one. Claiming new regions lets you build more villages that'll operate independently of your first. They'll have their own manor, their own church, and even their own resources besides those you kindly send via the pack station.

Amassing influence to get new regions is a significant undertaking, though, and it'll often require you to dip into your treasury to hire mercenaries and construct the settler's camp to colonise the new territory once your claim has been established. Here I'll run through the best ways to get influence, plus how the territory claim system actually works for you and rival lords.

How to get influence

There are three main ways to gain influence in Manor Lords:

  • Build a church and a manor: Constructing and upgrading both a manor and a church will get you a big lump sum of influence. You can only gain this bonus the first time you build each in a town, but it'll get you a good chunk of the way to that 1,000 influence you need to claim a new region. Apparently levelling up your town via building and upgrading burgage plots and enacting policies gives you influence, too, but these seem a little inconsistent in rewarding you it.
  • Set a Tithe: Once you construct a manor you can start sending a percentage of your surplus food to the church each month in exchange for influence. Since the amount you gain is based on surplus, you'll get more influence during the months where you produce the most food. For example, a tithe of 100% in my town during winter gives me eight influence, while the same tithe in the harvest month of September gets me 31. It's slow going, but if you have extra food, you may as well.
  • Defeat brigands: Though the game says that you need to "conquer bandit camps" to earn influence, this isn't strictly true, since destroying unoccupied bandit camps doesn't give you any. What you need to do is defeat the brigands occupying those camps who'll sally out to meet you if you step foot in their region. I'd recommend hiring mercenaries so as not to risk your population, but you can use your militia or retinue. Defeating a band of brigands gets you 120 influence, though I noticed that if you defeat a subsequent unit of brigands occupying a second camp in the same region, this jumps up to 350.

If you don't have enough treasury to hire mercenaries then you can get some through tax with your manor, though note that similar to Tithe, tax is based on the amount of regional wealth earned in your settlement that month. 

Abandoned bandit camps are a fantastic way of earning lots of treasury. Hire the most basic unit of mercenary brigands you can and send them to destroy the unoccupied camp, or muster a small militia or retinue to do the same—you can use regional wealth to purchase weapons if you lack the means to craft them.

A little pop-up will appear when the camp is destroyed, and if you choose to keep the recovered wealth for yourself, you'll get 100-200 treasury—pretty good when a basic brigand unit only costs 15 upkeep a month.

How to claim a region and settle it

Once you have 1,000 influence stockpiled you can claim a region of your choice by zooming out to the map, selecting the area in question, and clicking "Claim with influence". It doesn't have to be right next door to your current region, but if it's already owned, you'll need 2,000 influence instead. 

There's also the "Claim with King's Favor" option, but as far as I can tell, this feature isn't in the early access version yet. When you claim the region, a bar begins to fill in the top left corner—this is the period in which other factions can contest your claim. If that happens, you'll have to gather some troops and meet their army in said region for some good old fashioned skull cracking. Win and you'll get ownership.

The coolest thing about this is it works both ways. If a rival lord claims a region you can contest them, and if you beat their army, you'll get that region without ever having to spend influence—neat, huh? If efficient expansion is your goal, then leaning into amassing treasury for mercenaries is a good idea. You can challenge every contest and hire merc armies to crush your foes, acquiring their claimed regions for cheap. 

Once you have a region, you'll need 250 treasury to build a settler camp. There are options to create a farming village, forest village, or mining village, but in early access these are currently greyed out. You can also invest extra treasury for more starting resources, though this seems a bit extortionate when you can just build a pack station and barter resources from your first settlement.

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.