A quick introduction into the basic concepts and gameplay mechanics of Patron. The purpose is to help you get started, not to explain everything. Please consult the Manual for a more detailed overview. If you prefer an offline version, also check the Manual accessible through the game launcher. You’ll find the Quick start guide in there as well.
For those of you who, like most of us at Overseer when we get our hands on a new game, are impatient to get the game rolling, we’ve assembled a summarized Quick start guide to ease you into the game and explain the basic concepts. Once you cross that line, you’ll have no trouble grasping the more advanced concepts of the gameplay. This short guide follows the in-game guided tutorial, with a few additional tidbits added into the mix. To make it simple to follow, we’re providing the guide as numbered steps.
Moving around the map is of course a necessity. You can do this using the WSAD keyboard buttons or by holding the right mouse button and dragging the mouse. And finally, you can move the cursor to any edge of the screen to move the camera in that direction. If this last bit goes on your nerves, you can turn this off in the options menu.
To zoom the camera in and out, use the mouse wheel.
To rotate the camera, use QE on the keyboard or press and hold the mouse wheel and drag the mouse.
To interact with objects in the game world, click on them with the left mouse button.
Basic Gameplay Concepts
In the very beginning of the game, your Citizens are in desperate need of housing. Citizens who have a place to live in are happier and pay taxes. Taxes are your primary income of Coins. Only one family can occupy a single house and if they have more room and are at least content in your town, they will have children. A good step in the beginning is to build several Tents to provide basic housing.
Nothing in Patron is free. While things don’t necessarily cost Coins, they do require some other resource. Lumber is one of the fundamental construction resources. The fastest way to acquire Lumber is to chop down the trees that are already there on the map. Mark some trees for gathering. Your Workers will cut them down and carry the Lumber to your stockpile.
It is also important to note that nothing in Patron is instantaneous. Everything takes time to carry out. Resources can only be used after they arrive at your stockpile, your warehouses, and depots. Overly long transport routes can cause serious problems. Build Depots (and later warehouses) to create new resource drop-off and pickup locations. Besides the aforementioned bonus, depots and warehouses also increase the overall stockpile maximum size. Resources that exceed this limit will rot away and you will lose them.
Among the basic needs of your Citizens, Food is likely the number one priority. Gathering berries and various other wild fruit is the most inexpensive way of producing food. We suggest you build a Gatherer’s shelter as soon as possible. Keep in mind that this form of food production severely depends on the weather, season and local flora.
Almost all buildings require Citizens to operate them. In the above case, the Gatherer’s shelter requires Gatherers to go out and forage for food. To do this, you should assign Workers to the profession. You can do this either through the info panel of the Gatherer’s shelter, or if you prefer to look at the big picture, through the Jobs board. You can only assign workers to a profession if you have any free Workers. But be careful! The most “basic” of professions, the Worker is perhaps the most important one. Your city cannot function if you don’t have enough Workers. They are the backbone of your entire economy and construction.
And so, we come to production chains. Patron is all about production chains which means transporting resources between various buildings is essential. This work is done by Workers and Carriers, the latter being specialized in such tasks so they do them faster. To make it even easier for them, place roads and connect your buildings. It is not required, but it will make their work faster and make your city look nicer which is always a plus.
Winter will come, as it always does. Remember that your Citizens need to keep warm or they will get sick and eventually die. Your Citizens use Firewood and/or Coal for this purpose. Make sure you have a good supply of either of the resources. If there is Coal available, your Citizens will use that, otherwise they’ll revert to using Firewood. Build a Sawmill to create Firewood from Lumber. Secure a nice stockpile of Lumber so they don’t run out of it and don’t forget to assign Woodcutters!
Great! Your Citizens are warm and have food on their table. Well… some food at least. Let’s fix that a bit. Having enough food is great, but for your Citizens to be healthy and happy, they need more variety in their diet. Let’s give them some meat. Build a Hunting lodge and assign a worker to the Hunter profession. He’ll get working right away, but don’t forget that hunters use Lumber and Iron to create traps and arrows! They can’t hunt without those. Lumber you already know how to obtain. Later you’ll build Forester huts to create a steady flow of Lumber. But what about Iron? Let’s check that out in step 13.
One way to obtain Iron is to gather Iron from exposed metal deposits, like chopping down trees for Lumber. You can find them on the map and mark them for gathering. The same can be done for Stone deposits. The other, more sustainable way, which you’ll get to sooner or later is to build Iron mines in ore-rich areas, which brings us to point 14…
Slightly More Advanced…
When you take care of the basic necessities, you’ll want to expand, grow and advance. Take a look at the various research projects that you can undertake on the Research panel, opened via the button on the top right of the screen. Research costs resources and takes time, but it is well worth it. Before you can build the Iron mine, for example, you’ll have to research it first. The research panel offers a wealth of new buildings, passive bonuses and another key element of Patron: Social policies. Social policies are a more advanced topic, so we won’t delve into it in this quick start guide. We advise to get your feet wet first and then check out the more advanced gameplay concepts.
As noted, before, everything in Patron takes time. And at times, especially if you’re the master of organization, it will seem like there’s not much for you to do. To make it possible to jump ahead a bit, you can use the time controls to speed up, slow down or pause the passage of time, at your discretion.
A key element in growing a sustainable city is to plan in advance and to use whatever info you have. One such fundamental tool can be accessed through the HUD buttons in the top right. One of the options there is to cycle through several overlay view modes. More precisely, you can see where you can find good soil fertility for your farms and orchards or ore-rich ground where to best place ore mines. And lastly, there’s the “grid” overlay which clearly shows where you can construct buildings etc.
We’re at the end of the quick start guide. The basics learned here give you all the tools you need to kickstart your quaint little community. Take care of your Citizens and your town will prosper. Ignore their pleas and you can expect trouble. Good luck, Patron!
Tips & Tricks
Here’s just a few tips to get you started:
- In the beginning, focus on getting your essential production in order: food, firewood or coal, construction materials and housing.
- Social issues and tensions will gradually ramp up, as your Citizens become a more diverse group.
- Do not neglect researching bonuses and social policies. Unlocking new and more advanced buildings is important but try to stick to a balanced approach.
- Your stockpile is global. Don’t worry about a single warehouse or depot going out of storage space. Watch your global inventory space and equally important: optimize the placement of your depots and warehouses, so your Citizens don’t have far to travel.
- Your people will not be happy or healthy eating only meat, or only fish, or only vegetables. Keep your food storage diverse. At least give them options.
- Remember that a single housing unit (tent, house, stone house, two story house) can only be occupied by a single family! It may seem like you have enough room for new residents, but new family will want a house of their own.