Clash of Clans is popular because it's built to be simple enough for kids to play, with minimal yet consistent time requirements that leave you checking in on your village frequently. It's fun, if a little addictive, especially when you get friends together to join a clan and start wars as a group.

While most elements of the game are fairly straighforward, there's a couple of things you need to know if you want to quickly climb the ranks and prove that you are the best among your friends. With that in mind, we've assembled a couple of tips that will give you an edge over your opponents no matter what level you are currently at.

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1. Build as many resource collectors and storage units as possible

Clash of Clans Elixir

Clash of Clans is a resource-based strategy game, and like all good resource-based strategy games you need to quickly establish as many resource collectors as possible in order to get anywhere. Building an army and attacking other villages is a ton of fun, but every minute you spend waiting for resources is a minute you're not burning someone's village to the ground, so focus on resource collection first and do it right.

Make sure you build the maximum number of Gold and Elixir collectors allowed by your Town Hall, and level those collectors up as frequently as possible. The same goes for your resource storage collectors, especially if you want to level up your Town Hall quickly. You need to be able to store resources in vast quantities to afford Town Hall upgrades, and especially in the early stages of the game this is very important.

2. Know your resource cycles

Clash of Clans Gold

Your Gold and Elixir are produced at a constant, predictable rate. To optimize the number of times you are checking in on your clan, take a look at the information tab for your resource generators. You'll see the rate that each system produces Gold or Elixir, and the total amount of that resource each system can hold before you need to dump that resource into their storage containers. It's quick math, just divide the rate per hour by the total and the answer is how many hours you have until that collector is full.

If your resource collectors are all the same level, you can even set alarms on your phone to remind you to check every couple of hours. This ensures you aren't losing time where your collectors are full, and you'll be able to grow your village much faster.

3. Don't let your opponent spawn inside your village

Clash of Clans Perimeter

Leveling up your Town Hall gives you access to a whole new range of things, and that almost always means it's time to build yourself a bigger base. If you've decided to build your walls out bigger than you need so there's room for expansion inside your village, you've probably noticed that the enemy will sometimes spawn inside your base and start wreaking havok. Fixing this is easy, as you just move the walls or fill in the space behind the walls, but it's important to remember that any gap inside your village will leave an opening for your opponent to exploit.

To create a zero-gap base, move any building and pay attention to the white space that appears when you set the building down. As long as there are no gaps in that white space inside your base, your opponent will have to spawn from the outside and fight in to get to your village. This is also why you see people put buildings outside of their walls, as it increases the distance the enemy soldier has to travel in order to reach the base and leaves those soldiers open to be weakened by your defenses.

4. Don't work against your shields

Clash of Clans Shield

Clash of Clans allows users to purchase shield time, which makes it so other players can't attack you. It's a nice idea as features go, but there's another way to get shields and while it's a little less dignified you don't have to pay in-game currency to get it. After you've taken a beating, the game throws up a shield for set amounts of time to aid in the recovery effort. Both kinds of shield go away if you decide to launch an attack on another player, and if you were just 100% wiped out by another player you probably don't want to do that.

Pay attention to your shield time, and use that to adjust your village so you are able to defend better next time.

5. Gems are hidden all around your base

Clash of Clans Obstacles

It doesn't take long for you to outgrow whatever little patch of land you choose to settle in on your map in Clash of Clans, and that means you have to spend some resources clearing the landscape a bit. For lower level folk it's something of an expensive undertaking, but it must be done. Each map starts with 40 random obstacles on the map, with a couple of obstacles that respawn occasionally. As an incentive, clearing your map will earn your village both Gems and experience, so even if you've cleared everything you need to grow your village it doesn't hurt to knock a few more boulders and trees out of the way while you're waiting for something to upgrade.

You will also occasionally come across holiday themed obstacles as well as Gem boxes. These aren't the same as your regular obstacles, as the holiday gear will net you Gold and the Gem box will net you 25 Gems. Eventually, you'll reach milestone achievements for clearing 10, 50, and 100 obstacles. These achievements will earn you even more Gems, so keep clearing.

6. Play the single player missions

Clash of Clans Single player Even when your shields are up, you can use your horde to attack Goblin villages in single player mode. While there are no trophies to be won for destroying a Goblin village, if you are smart about your attacks and don't just dump 100 warriors on the field it's not a bad way to make some quick cash in the game. You can also use the single player missions to unlock achievements, which earns you small amounts of Gems each time.

While Goblin villages are never designed the way human players set up their villages, due to the differences in building types and access to way more walls than humans have access to, these missions are a decent way to learn the best ways to take out defense turrets. Plus, you can replay the same mission over and over to try out new tactics, though you don't get any payout the second time.

7. Make your Mortar the hardest thing to get to

Clash of Clans Mortar Whether your opponent is spamming your village with warriors or there's a handful of giants smashing your walls, Mortar turrets are your best friend if you use them right. Every turret has a clear advantage and disadvantage, but the Mortar's ability to deal area damage is a huge deal for everyone. Unfortunately, as is often the case with Mortars, there's a minimum range they can shoot to avoid dealing damage to itself.

You need to put your Mortar in a place that defends as much of your village as possible, but in order to keep it safe you need to make that location difficult to get to. Use whatever you think is best, including walls, traps, and even other defense turrets. The longer you can keep the enemy in that white ring, the greater your chances of success will be.

8. Always ask your clan for help

Clash of Clans Request Troops Your Clan Castle is a lot more than just a shining beacon that lets everyone know you are part of a team. It's also an outpost for soldiers from your other clansmen, and if you have troops in that clan castle they will spring to life and attack enemies that have come to lay waste to your village. Unfortunately, you can't just train troops and send them to your clan castle. You have to request troops from your clansmen, and whatever they provide you with is what you get.

Talk to your fellow clanners and form a plan for what troops get sent where. The number of troops you can hold depends on what level your Clan Castle is, so be sure to level up and make sure everyone in your clan requests troops as frequently as possible.