A guide explaining every achievement in the game and how to achieve them.
How to Obtain All Achievements
"Play Well" Achievements
I call these "Play Well" achievements because the only advice I can give is to play well. That’s all the game asks you to do, that’s all you need to do.
The following achievements should be accomplished the first time you win a game:
The following achievements might not be achieved, but are still pretty straightforward applications of a basic game mechanic (and I’d be surprised if you won the game without most of them):
The following achievements require actual effort, but are still just playing the game under harsher conditions:
Godlike requires a bit of focus on Authority; Apostate requires spending more Food and Production on the Sanctuary of the Falcon, but otherwise just remembering that you’re trying to get that achievement; the rest just require specific difficulty options. I don’t have any specific advice for any of them, beyond not trying to achieve all of them at once if you’re not an experienced player. After all, you need to win to get those achievements — you don’t need to win well.
That’s not true of the “Wise as an X” achievements (aside from the first ones). To get more points, you can either do well in trials (see below) or play a harder start. I recommend aiming for the former, until you can get gold on all the trials—the harder starts make everything harder, and will take away more points than they give if you aren’t familiar with the game. Other games explain how to get perfect trial scores under the harshest conditions, and it really does take its own guide.
To wrap this section up: Admirer of Forefathers, Follower of Horus, and Follower of Nut just require you to play a lot of games where you honor the three first cults that you have access to. Ancient Businessman is similar; you need to play a lot of games and trade. You need to accumulate a million total resources gained from trade; pump up trade efficiency and beeline Palestine if you’re going for it, but there’s a reason it’s the single least achieved achievement. If you focus on trade, you might get 10,000 resources traded in a single game; I can confirm that ~7k is quite doable, but I haven’t kept that close an eye on this achievement. You should get it after a couple hundred games, probably.
Every Trial has four associated achievements — one for getting a Bronze victory, one for Silver, one for Gold, and one for a special challenge. You get the Bronze and Silver achievements if you get Gold on your first try, so I’m only going to cover the gold requirements and the special challenges.
What medal you get for each trial depends entirely on how quickly you finish the challenge. However, doing the challenge quickly usually requires a certain amount of preparation.
Gold victories give various bonuses, either a significant (for that point in the game) lump sum of resources or a permanent bonus to resource growth. (The Unification trial is obviously an exception, as completing it ends the game.) I highly recommend trying to get as many gold trial victories as you can, whatever challenge you’re going for.
The same is not true for the special challenges. These generally involve you stockpiling and/or spending resources inefficiently. If you’re interested in your final score, consider saving, earning the achievement, and loading before going about the trials normally.
Sanctuary of the Falcon
The trial starts on turn 32, and must be finished by turn 34. Two turns might not seem like much, but you have a few tricks that will help you make things go faster. You can pay Food, Production, or (with Horus-the-Ruler) Authority to complete the shrine one or two turns faster. Knocking more than a dozen turns off of the build time requires a decent stockpile of all three resources, but shouldn’t be difficult (especially since you’re given a free cult invocation alongside the new aspect).
Complete the Sanctuary of the Falcon trial without spending food or production. To clarify, you are allowed to “spend” production by leaving a worker to construct it—you just can’t use the buttons to spend 10 Food/Production and instantly cut a turn off the time. You will need to use Horus’s Builder aspect at least three times, but if you didn’t invoke the cults too much in the first dozen turns they’re available, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Exodus from the Sahara
The trial starts on turn 61, and must be finished by turn 64. Intentionally delaying until turn 64 is probably a good idea—this doesn’t trigger any avoidable negative events, and gives you two free workers. You need to pay 20 food six times, for a total of 120 (assuming you don’t expel anyone). Saving a bit of authority for reforming is also a good idea.
Do not expel anyone during The Exodus from the Sahara trial. You can’t Reform, either; you just need to throw food at the problem until nobody’s starving in the desert. Remember that the amount of food needed to reduce tensions goes down over time, presumably because people starve to death for your convenience.
The Hierakonpolis Chiefdom
The trial starts on turn 87, and must be finished by turn 89. If you’ve been building up your army at all (say, for the quest that specifically commands you to), you should be able to conquer everyone immediately; the largest army I've seen has only been 220 strong, most tribes have less than 150 warriors, and in this game almost any numerical advantage leads to a nigh-unstoppable victory.
The Peaceful Chiefdom
Unite all the tribes peacefully during the first turn of The Hierakonpolis Chiefdom trial. The first peaceful union costs 30 food and production, and the price rises with each union. You need 290 of each in total. Once you get close, keep an eye on your resource production and the number of turns you have left; I used my phone’s calculator to help me keep track of precisely how much I'd have, but you can just eyeball it if you don’t have an eye for perfectionism.
The Great Drought
The trial starts on turn 121, and must be finished by turn 123. You really want to finish this Trial on the first turn anyways, since you get more permanent penalties the longer you delay. You need to spend a combination of Food, Production, and Authority a total of ten times. The cost for each resource goes up each time that resource is used, so it’s cheaper to use a mixture of resources rather than (say) just production. The cost goes down every turn, but don’t be fooled—you shouldn’t wait until the last possible turn if you have any other option.
During The Great drought trial, use only incense to strengthen the Horus. You can’t weaken Seth, either. Build up Authority ahead of time and spend as much as you can here. Doing this on the first turn requires 615 Authority.
The trial starts on turn 151, and must be finished by turn 154. This appears to be the easiest trial to get gold on. You automatically get gold if you wiped out the Seth Tribe earlier, but you shouldn’t have trouble regardless. The invasion force is considerably smaller than almost any defending army you’re going to face. Invest in your army and you should be fine.
Come, We are Waiting for You!
Invest heavily in army growth. You can see how many soldiers you’ll have to face ahead of time; don’t counter-attack until you have enough. If you’re doing well, it shouldn’t take much preparation beyond keeping workers in the barracks. The only reason I don’t advise doing this in a typical run is that I try to wipe out the Seth tribe well before the invasion (The fact that your army is more than four times zero soldiers is irrelevant to the Achievement Gods).
The trial starts on turn 181, and must be finished by turn 184. You don’t need to destroy all eight rebel groups; six is enough. This is good, because two of them (one at each end of the Nile) have 6,000 troops. If you’ve been paying any attention to your armies at all, you can probably defeat the middle six without much issue; with a bit of military investment and a timely invocation of Seth, you can crush the two big ones as well.
During The Civil war trial, reduce the rebellion forces below 20 using bribery and concessions. It means 20%. You need to use these options a total of 32 times in order to reduce the rebels’ strength enough to earn this achievement. Bribery and concessions start costing 80 production and 50 authority, respectively; the price goes up by 20% each time you use it. If you do each 16 times, it would cost 7,160 production and 4,475 authority. You'll need to stockpile a lot of resources.
Unification, The Last Trial
The Unification of Egypt is just another trial, as far as the game is concerned.
The trial starts on turn 204, and must be finished by turn 207. There are five requirements in total, but only three are obstacles worth noting here: Building Memphis (the new capital), uniting the pantheon, and celebrating the unification.
In short: Don’t buy workers after the Civil War, be miserly with your Culture once you buy all strictly-needed discoveries, and build everything you can before unification starts. That last point is easier than it sounds; I try to have someone building something whenever I can, but my recent (successful) attempt at getting the Apostate and Unpretentious achievements at the same time taught me that it's fine to have long stretches of not building anything.
Make at least 20 reforms during The Unification of Egypt trial. The first reform costs 300 authority; each reform thereafter costs 20% more. By my calculations, 20 reforms cost roughly 55,400 authority in total...which you need to earn during the normal duration of the game, since you can’t pass reforms in the post-game. You should earn as much as you can from normal sources, and definitely pick up every percent-based boost you can find, but most of that authority will need to be gained from raids.
(No, I don’t know how you steal another tribe’s authority. Maybe you grab their crown jewels to show how much better you are than them?)
If you find a few tribes off the Nile which give authority when raided, you might have a chance. Raid them every chance you get (note that you maximize raiding returns by waiting ~10 turns between raids, and that this time includes the time taken to set up raids) and pray to Horus that you won’t torpedo your proto-state in pursuit of authority. Keep in mind that, even in the endgame, you’ll still be getting only one or two thousand authority per raid. Earlier, the rewards are in the hundreds. This will take a lot of raids.
Maybe there’s a better way to get 55,000 authority by the end of the game, but I haven’t found it. Good luck, Pharaoh.
I considered splitting these last five achievements into groups, but there just aren't enough to bother with that kind of categorization. Some of these barely need guides in the first place.
Unite peacefully at least 20 tribes before the end the game. You’ll need to go out of your way to find tribes for this; the Hierakonpolis/Nile tribes only number about a dozen (and some won’t be unitable). You will need a lot of production to do this, obviously, so grab production bonuses (especially long-term percentile ones) whenever possible (Food will be a bit less important, since you’ll be buying workers with production and won’t be attacking often).
Keep track of how many tribes you’ve united, and how many are available to be united. Some red tribes can be allied with an extra gift (and gifts are cheap), so be sure to check whether peace has a chance before raiding/subduing someone.
If you don’t quite have enough (which seems likely), keep in mind that un-supressed rebels in the Civil War event will turn into Horus Tribes. Some of these will be permanently hostile, but some (including the big one at the southern end of the Nile) can be gifted into friendliness. Remember, you just need to unite 20 tribes—you don’t have to win.
The abstract “tribes” that only exist in the Hierakonpolis Chiefdom trial don’t count. Exterminate them as you desire.
Unite with the tribe during the Wedding Event. This event can show up early in the game, before you expand into greater Egypt; I don’t know if it can fire with Nile/savannah/desert tribes on the greater Egypt map, but I don’t think so. You probably need to have discovered a friendly tribe for it to fire, but once you get the event you just need to accumulate food, so it should be easy to finish. Unless you were diplomatically uniting with them and forget/didn't bother to stop.
You can achieve this after the normal end of the game. That’s true of many achievements, but this one is impractical to achieve otherwise. (Also, fun fact: There are 101 places to put workers on the map, not counting the building slot. Or at least, that’s what I counted—bad resources might eliminate some of the poorer spots, for all I know).
Conquer Ombos before it captures Hammamat region. Ombos is the Seth tribe’s land. You need to quickly build up a substantial military force to conquer Seth in time; Seth will easily match an Egypt with only moderate military investment.
Rush Primitive Army and park a dozen workers in the barracks ASAP; once you form the Hierakonpolis chiefdom, check Seth’s military strength. If it’s significantly lower than yours, subdue (assuming you have the food to pull it off); otherwise, raid and repeat. (Remember, raids reduce the enemy tribe’s strength).
As an aside, I recommend conquering the Seth tribe early if possible. Tribes are always sitting on good land (by choice, I imagine), so wiping the Seths out nets you a good workplace in addition to letting you ignore a couple of future problems (and auto-gild one trial).
Conquer all tribes on the city map before the creation of Hierakonpolis chiefdom. I believe the achievement only checks that the city map has been cleared of tribes; if true, you can peacefully unite with some tribes. Either way, you’ll want to get started ASAP. Rush Primitive Military once you get the quest for it, build for the barracks as quickly as you can, spare some production for uniting peacefully with friendly tribes, and play well. This isn’t too tricky.
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