Realm Grinder beginner's guide

Realm Grinder is so much more than a throwaway clicker or idle game. Perhaps it started that way when it first released as a Flash game, but it's grown into something much, much deeper. With so many systems, currencies, and watermarks for progression, just getting started can be overwhelming, and the short in-game tutorial barely scratches the surface. This guide picks up after that tutorial, which introduces you to the game's first mechanics.

Read on for tips to orient you during your first runs as a ruler, and an overview of the systems you'll encounter as you progress deeper into Realm Grinder. 

Slang primer

As a basic guide, we’ve tried to keep the acronyms to a minimum. However, these are some of the most common terms you’ll see used anywhere information on Realm Grinder is shared.

  • Run: Refers to each ruler you take on. Abdicating starts a new run.
  • Faction: The group you choose to align with during a run (fairies, elves, angels, goblins, undead, demons, etc) 
  • R[#]: Reincarnation is the second soft reset available (abdicating being the first). R0 refers to your first time playing the game. R1 is after you’ve reincarnated for the first time.
  • FC: Faction Coins 
  • RE: Royal Exchange 
  • M/S: Mana per second 
  • RP: Research Point 
  • RS: Research Slot 

Sample every faction

There are several guides explaining the optimal way to start Realm Grinder by gaining trophies and gems at the most efficient rate. I decided to put off that level of micro-management until doing a complete reset of my game. Playing anything for the first time is usually more enjoyable if you figure things out with a couple gentle nudges in the right direction. In the spirit of experimentation, try every faction once.

The tooltips for each faction treaty give you an idea of what each one excels at, but it’s easiest to tell which you prefer by playing them all once.

The Undead faction has specific bonuses for being offline. 

Choose the right faction for the job

After you’ve sampled the vanilla flavors (the six starter factions are referred to as the “vanilla” factions) start thinking about the best tool for the task at hand. If you’re about to spend eight hours away from your PC, setting up an Undead faction run will return better production the longer you’re offline.

If you have 30 or more minutes to spend sitting in front of your screen, the Elf faction rewards you for spending time clicking. Even later in the game, certain factions are better for clearing different hurdles. If you forget what each faction specializes in, a brief overview sits in the tooltip for each treaty. Check it before deciding what to go with for the run.

The Royal Exchange screen keeps track of the times you’ve traded Faction coins 

Mind your faction coins

Faction coins are found during your normal gold production, either by assistants in your passive production or while clicking. Each of the six vanilla factions have their own coins. In each run, you’ll use faction coins for your chosen alignment to unlock each of the three tiers of upgrades specific to the faction and the Heritage bonus for each. The expansion factions you unlock later require a combination of multiple vanilla factions’ coins to unlock upgrades and heritages. The Titan faction, for instance, uses faction coins from Fairies and Goblins to unlock its upgrades and heritage.

You’ll also use Faction Coins for Royal Exchanges. Each faction’s coins can be traded in the Royal Exchange menu for increased gold production. Be sure not to shell out too many Faction Coins for exchanges before getting the three faction upgrades and, ideally, each of the heritages you’ve unlocked. By default, the game warns you when you’re about to spend your chosen faction’s coins for an exchange. You can turn off the warnings in the settings menu, but take care!

Abdicate often (enough)

Abdicating is the first method of soft-reset that you’ll encounter. By abdicating, you give up all buildings and upgrades you’ve bought in the current run along with your gold. What you earn by abdicating are gems, the second type of currency in the game. Every gem you own increases your overall gold production by three percent.

It’s a small bonus when you’ve just abdicated for the first time, but grows exponentially with each abdication, as does your gold production in each run. You’ll retain gems even after abdicating, meaning your gold production will increase proportionate to the gems you’ve amassed. Although it can be hard to sign over your land and assets the first time, each one gets easier when you realize you’re investing in the next run.

There’s no best time to abdicate. It largely depends on what your goals are and what faction you’re playing. My personal rule of thumb was to abdicate when the reward for doing so was twice the number of gems I already owned. If I had 20 million gems, I’d expect to abdicate once the reward hit 40 million. Don’t shy away from abdicating if you aren’t thrilled with the run you’re on or if your gold production seems to have stagnated despite buying more buildings and upgrades.

It’s worth throwing in the towel early in some situations, too. For example, if you're 20 minutes away from turning off your PC for the night, you could abdicate and set up an Evil faction run, knowing that their offline bonuses are better. 

Secret trophies are often rewarded for strange accomplishments.

Seek out secret trophies

Trophies are one of the few earned items that persist across both kinds of soft reset. They become more important later in the game when the number you’ve collected influences other upgrades, but there are many you can snag early. Building trophies are earned at every hundred of each type of building you manage to purchase. You’ll get a trophy for building 100 farms, 200, etc.incrementally by passing hundreds of each type of building in each run. The Magic and Miscellaneous categories are similarly transparent. You’ll get them all in time.

The secret trophies are often less obvious but more interesting. Some you’ll get without actively attempting to. The “Leet” trophy is awarded for having 1337 coins at any given time, meaning it will fall into your lap during your first run. Others, like “Building Hater,” which requires you to earn 100,000 coins without building anything, take a bit more planning. Most all of them give an upgrade which can be bought during all subsequent runs. The secret trophies all have a name in the tooltip but don’t list their requirements. If you’re looking for a cheat sheet, this post on the Kongregate forums is a good resource. 

Appreciate automatic casting

After you produce a total of 60,000 mana (across all abdications) you will unlock Automatic Casting. The first tier of auto-casting allows you to set one spell to cast every time you regenerate enough mana to use it. It’s extremely useful if you plan to let your game run in the background while doing other things instead of babysitting your realm.

Don’t forget, having a spell set to auto-cast will halve your mana produced per second and spells will not be cast while you’re offline. At higher tiers of total mana generated you’ll unlock more advanced automatic casting upgrades that reduce the mana regen penalties and allow you to prioritize which spells to cast and set contingencies.

At specific expedition numbers, you’ll be given artifacts, some of which begin unlocking secret factions. 


After earning one billion (1B) gems, you’ll unlock the ability to send excavation expeditions (say that five times fast) at increasingly expensive gold prices. Excavations can unearth faction coins, and, if you’re lucky, artifacts and rubies, the third game currency. Like buildings, excavations cost more each time you buy them. Don’t be like me and get lured into buying them often hoping to find artifacts.

There are guaranteed artifact rewards at various excavation attempts up to number 30. After that point, the next guaranteed find is at 200 excavations. Instead, save excavating for times when you really need a faction coin boost. Use them sparingly because their prices can only be reset by Reincarnating or by spending precious rubies.


Reincarnation is the second soft reset available in Realm Grinder. It becomes available once you reach one octillion (1Oc) gems. Yes, gems, not coins. It sounds insurmountable when you first start, but gets more feasible as your gold and gem production both increase exponentially. Reincarnating will reset your gold, gems, and excavations. You’ll keep your trophies, unlocked upgrades, heritages, rubies, and artifacts. You’ll also be given an upgrade called Reincarnation Power, which has various bonuses depending on the total number of times you’ve reincarnated. As you progress, the amount of time it takes you to move on to another Reincarnation will shorten, just like the time between abdications. 

Challenge yourself

Challenges are unlocked after reincarnating twice (R2). Similar to how secret trophies work, challenges have a name and clue listed in each tooltip but the exact requirements for completing them are not given. The Realm Grinder wiki has a handy list of challenge requirements listed by either faction or tier. Completing challenges rewards perks any time you play a run aligned with the related faction. 

On the next page: a quick guide to Realm Grinder's Research system.

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.