IncGamers Banished Guide

Banished guide

Banished looks like a super complex game on the surface but it’s in fact easier than you’d think once you get to grips with it. I’ve been been getting stuck into the game for a couple of weeks and through trial and error I’ve managed to get a good system in place that kept my citizens alive when starting a new game. Here’s a few tips in this Banished guide that can really help you on a path to success.

Make sure you have the Professions window open at all times (until you have built a Town Hall). Really micromanage the citizens for the first few years.

Build farms right at the start, these are a constant supply of food through the summer and food can be stockpiled over the winter months. This only applies to Medium and below. If startingon Hard then Gathering is a great way to get food going. Just make sure you don’y overlap the yellow circles on the Gathering huts for maximum collection,

Try and keep as many farmers farming as possible. This can be tricky when starting but if you do not assign enough you will lose crops when winter arrives.

Build a fishing and Hunting Lodge. These guys will hunt even in the freezing winter and can augment your food piles during the winter months in the Storage Barn.

Always build a woodcutter and make sure he is always turning over logs. This will prevent your citizens from freezing to death. Again this is an essential starter building. Make sure you tweak the production limit on logs as the population increases and turn him off if you have a large stockpile so cut trees can be used elsewhere.

Tools are essential. Get your blacksmith stockpiling tools in the Storage barn and keep a close eye on the amount stored. Stop production when these are stockpiled and restart when they start to run low.

A Gatherer can boost your food quite impressively. Don’t discount him/her as a food source.

Build  a Town Hall as soon as you can. The sooner you can build this the sooner Nomads will arrive to boost the population. Be warned however, this is a resource hungry building.


A Town Hall is key to quick management

Once you have a Town Hall built, keep the Town Hall window open at all times and stop using the Professions window.

Build a Forrester. He/she will keep planting trees and continue to cut them down. As trees get cut down in massive numbers when starting out, it’s good to keep the same area planted up and growing so citizen don’t have to travel far to chop wood when it’s required.

Build a school once all the essential resource buildings are down. Educated citizens will work more efficiently but it will take longer for them to reach adulthood.

Don’t make citizens walk to far to collect resources and food from Storage Barns.

As soon as you see stone and iron running low on the landscape, plan ahead for that first mine and quarry. This will save your skin later on.

A trading post is your gateway to livestock and exotic seeds. There is no need to build a Pasture until you have this up and running. Once built, watch for arriving traders all the time and trade for livestock before building a pasture. It’s a good idea to stockpile some resources such as firewood or logs in the trading post so there is something to trade with when someone arrives. If a boat arrives with nothing you need, dismiss it quickly.

Should your town run low on resources, reduce the number of goods assigned to the trading port. They will be collected and returned to your storage yard and Storage Barn.

Build a large graveyard. This reduces mourning time of citizens and keeps them happy, Over time graves will degrade and slots will become available so there is less chance of you needing to build an additional graveyard.


Bring out your dead!

Keep a close eye on your student numbers and make sure there is a new house ready for them when they mature to an adult. This will mean they’ll start their own family. We discovered that houses that remain empty for  long periods are not always populated and a new house will see the population increase as young adults move in. We tested this be demolishing the empty houses, using their resources and building new ones.

Spread your town out. A tornado can be disastrous and if key buildings are taken out in one swoop  then the game could be over.  Build an additional Storage Barn well away from the original.

Don’t panic about population numbers and don’t spread yourself too thin. Population numbers don’t zoom up like in other city builders.

These tips should set you on your way to making a great town. Banished is not an easy game to master when starting and perseverance is key. Don’t get frustrated if something goes wrong. Banished is a challenge and once you have the basics down the town should run like clockwork.

If you have any tips feel free to add them in the comments and we’ll try them out.


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  • Elly

    Don’t be afraid to prioritise to get something built or cleared/collected. Sometimes the townsfolk can dally building a new house needed for graduating students or gathering up stone or trees and it’s better to get that job done and out the way asap.

    Use Tools and Reports (F2) > 6th button across (up arrow) and highlight over whatever it is you want to take priority.

  • Elly

    Regarding Gatherers, I usually get a Gathering Hut up asap as it doesn’t rely on any trading (for cattle or seed) and if you’re on hard difficulty you start without any grains so it’s the only avenue to quick food.

  • Nasarius

    I just started a second town to go for the One With Nature (no agriculture) and Isolationist (no trade) achievements. I think it’s actually a bit easier than playing the game normally.

    My first thought was to blanket the entire map with trees, but that doesn’t quite work out because in addition to your forest nodes, you really do need town nodes to make tools, clothes, etc.

    I think it’s best to put only the gatherer, hunter, herbalist, stockpile, and storage barn next to your forester, then put all your houses and production buildings and everything else “in town” around a market. You do want several houses just outside the forester’s radius, though.

  • jeff

    If you need a large area cleared of trees, stone or iron wait until autumn (or until they are done harvesting crops). All the farmers will join the laborers in the project and you will achieve quicker success.

  • Elly

    Is there any point to having a church? My people seem happy without it.

    Is there any point to having lots of different types of crops and orchards. I have one game where it’s mostly wheat with a few walnut groves but they are spaced out and at different ends of town in case of disease.

    Is there any reason to trading for different varieties of seeds?

  • Elly

    I had to stop playing this last night. I think I’m done.

    I’ve built two reasonable towns with production at around 25% above consumption to allow for growth. Enough firewood etc. Then inexplicably all the food is suddenly consumed, and/or all the firewood disappears and the population quickly begin to die of starvation. So quickly the messages quickly scroll by on the alert tab. As well as by starvation kids will be just dying, no reason given just “X the child has died”. Within 10 mins a population of 110 is all dead.

    I’m not a newcomer to this genre and I get that banished has more focus on watching the spreadsheet than other builders. But it’s as if to add difficulty and challenge these invisible ‘disasters’ are thrown at you with no way to stem the destruction. I didn’t expect Banished to fall into the same trap some other builders have.

    Once everyone is dead that’s it. Game over man, game over. You can’t wait for nomads to kickstart your ready-made town.

    Disappointed and annoyed as I Really (yes really with a big R) wanted to enjoy Banished for many months.

    • Katagua

      Just wondering Elly, could it be that you have been trading food resources at your trading post? The moment you traded something away the workers of the trade post will try to replenish it, even if that means everyone will starve.
      I had half my population freeze to death because I found out the problem too late.
      Hope it helps