Manor Lords – Beginner’s Guide

Guide for New Players

Manor Lords is a strategy city-building game in which you play as a lord sent by the king to govern a land of great peril and promise. The game features in-depth city-building, real-time tactical battles, and complex economic and social simulations. You must balance resource management, supply and demand, trade, warfare, and take advantage of the seasons to survive through winter.

Will you prove yourself worthy of this honor? Or will you perish at the hands of bandits, and traitorous rival Lords?

This guide will help you understand the basics of the game, from its User Interface to basic operations. It culminates in an overview of how to survive your first year. Your kingdom awaits.

User Interface

Understanding these top-level elements of Manor Lords is essential to effectively governing. Note that the top bar User Interface provides information tied to the region you are currently in.

  1. Population Overview – A glance at various factors affecting a region’s population.
    • A) Unassigned Families – Families that do not have a specific job assignment. These families are necessary for construction and for guiding oxen in timber transport.
    • B) Assigned Families – Families that have been assigned jobs. These families will have a primary worker, with other members supporting the primary worker.
    • C) Living Space – How many families the current Region can support, increased by building or expanding Burgage Plots.
    • D) Total Population – Your total Region population, broken down by different family levels.
    • E) Approval – Controls overall Population Growth and the morale of your militia when rallied from the region. Higher approval increases the rate of families joining your settlement as long as there is space.
    • F) Public Order – Governs the chance of crime, with low public order permanently turning citizens to banditry.
  2. Regional Wealth – The amount of money villagers own from the current region. It can be used to import goods, upgrade artisan spaces, or transfer to your personal treasury via a tax policy.
  3. Livestock – The total space for stable and pasture livestock, with an indication of unassigned livestock in parentheses. Anyone can use unassigned livestock for resource transportation.
  4. Supplies – The months before your food and fuel supplies run out. Specific workplaces require fuel, and home fuel consumption doubles during winter.
  5. Settlement Menu & Notifications – Hovering over your settlement name will bring up a tooltip of the current settlement level and the requirements to level up. Each level provides you with a Development Point that you can use to specialize your town and make it more efficient. Selecting the settlement name will bring up a menu to use Development Points, enact Policies, and set Production limits.
  6. Total vs Surplus Goods – Total goods show all goods in the region, while surplus shows you what stock remains after resources have been reserved. Imagine you have 5 planks, and place a building that costs 5 planks to build. Your total stock remains 5, but your surplus becomes 0 since the planks are now reserved for construction.
  7. Goods Categories – A range of goods filtered into categories. Hover over each category to see a breakdown of each good.
  8. Personal Overview – A glance at your personal stats.
    • A) Legacy – This provides information about yourself, such as personal details, new/active/completed opportunities, etc.
    • B) Visit Mode – Toggle third-person mode and walk around your settlement.
    • C) Treasury – Your personal money can be used for diplomacy, hiring retinues or mercenaries, and settling a new region.
    • D) Annual Royal Tax – Amount of tax money owed to your king.
    • E) Influence – Necessary for diplomacy and pressing claims. Influence is gained by raising the settlement level, enacting policies, conquering bandit camps, and upgrading your churches and manors.
    • F) Kings Favor – Favor can be used for diplomatic purposes, including pressing and refuting claims.
  9. Seasons & Time – Seasons are deeply connected to your people’s lives and affect different jobs. Hovering over the season icon will give a tooltip explaining when seasons occur and their effect on food and agriculture. Time can be paused or accelerated based on your gameplay style. By default, pressing X accelerates time, while pressing Z decelerates, with the maximum speed currently at x16.
  10. Game Tools – A set of buttons to build and manage your settlement. These buttons all have hotkeys for faster interaction.
    • A) Roads – construct roads to connect your settlement buildings. Villagers will follow these roads as they travel, depending on their job.
    • B) Construction – This brings up all your construction options across several building types. Hovering over any building will bring up construction costs and any requirements to unlock it.
    • C) Army – Shows any retinues you have created, including militia, retinues, and mercenaries.
    • D) Map – This button brings you to the region map, which gives you visibility over all regions, their ownership, and any resources.
    • E) Help – The help menu defines various mechanics and terminology throughout the game.
    • F) Settings – Customize your game to your needs, from graphics and audio to hotkeys and accessibility.


In Manor Lords, families need Food and Fuel resources. Every Burgage Plot consumes 1 Food and 1 Fuel resource per month.

Fuel consumption in the Winter is doubled. Additionally, some workplaces consume 1 Fuel per month as well.

Supplies in the region panel above shows how many months are left until supplies run out.


  • Spring (Mar-May): Frequent raining, seasonal deposits regrow.
  • Summer (Jun-Aug): Crops grow. Possible droughts.
  • Autumn (Sep-Nov): Harvesting, plowing and sowing crops.
  • Winter (Dec-Feb): Seasonal resources are gone. Fuel consumption is doubled and lack of Fuel resources might cause freezing. Sheep shearing forbidden.

Harvest Tips

The default harvest time is in September. If you want to harvest earlier, you can use the Force Harvest button when your field is at least 15% grown.

It’s a good idea to burn your fields on Halloween, October 31st, regardless of growth percentage. If your crop isn’t fully sown by December 1st, it won’t survive the winter and you’ll have a dead start in March.

Remember, you can’t select a new crop or change the crop selection until October 1st, unless you burn the field.

In summary: when in doubt, burn the field. Harvest begins September 1st, and if you’re not done by October 31st, burn the field. Without planting by December 1st, there won’t be any winter growth. Farmers only work from March to November.

Approval and Public Order

Approval depends on the market resources variety and church level. How severely will the lack of any affect Approval depends on the new game settings.

Depending on Approval, the number of families will change each month. Population can only increase if there is Living Space available.

ApprovalMonthly population change

Public Order prevents population from committing crimes or turning to banditry. If it is not at 100% there is always a chance of that happening.


To enact Policies, you need to raise your Administration Level by building administrative buildings, like the Manor. At the moment only two policies are available, both at Administration Level 1:

  • Hunting Grounds: Wild Animals on Rich Deposits breed twice as fast, as the cost of 50% reduced yields from Crops.
  • Strict Fasting: Citizens skip every 5th meal. Reduces Food consumption, decreases Approval.

Some Starter Tips

  • Concentrate on foundation first, dont expand population too quickly
  • Start trading the dyes right away which are easiest to make and export. Dont waste ur starting cash on anything but a trade route for dye, eventually when you can man it with a trader u can make some nice extra cash that can help you buy oxes, animals etc.
  • Its pretty easy from there if you go slow and steady.
  • I realize the trick is not to over-expand your population without having the means to accommodate them first. The thing I realize is that this game does not force you to expand, there is no real penalty in choosing to stay where you are for a year or two until you have enough families to expand.
  • Build wells around for fire and dont go past 15 families without having 3 farms fields rotating because you might run out of food with just berries and hunting alone for sure.
  • Also dont forget u can spend the cash from trading on professions for ur homes, they can save ur economy and add so much extra goods for a low low price.

Starter Step-by-Step Guide

Start by picking Chill mode to avoid enemies and learn the game easily.

  • Hit Pause, go to Construction (C), choose “Farming” then “Field”. Use your mouse wheel to scroll and find the best farming spots (green areas are best).
  • In a green area, plot multiple fields; aim for 0.5 to 1.0 Morgen each, side by side.
  • Start with 3 fields but feel free to make more if you like.
  • Use crop rotation for 3 fields:
1st field: Wheat, Wheat, Fallow
2nd field: Fallow, Wheat, Wheat
3rd field: Wheat, Fallow, Wheat
Other fields can stay on Fallow.
  • Build a Farm House close by and assign 3 families to work fast.
  • Under Construction, select “Logging Camp” in the Gathering section near wood and assign a family.
  • Add a Granary and Storehouse for storage, assign families to gather supplies, then remove them once done.
  • Build a Hunting Camp and a Forager Hut near resources like meat and berries.
  • When the fields are ready, deselect the families. No need for farmers until next September.
  • Shift the labor to Forager and Hunting Camps, keep 1 family free for more building.
  • Build 6 houses spread out over 1.5 Morgen each, with room for extra houses and a vegetable patch.
  • Start with a small budget to buy vegetable patches; manage the size for optimal yield.
  • Build extra housing and work areas as needed.
  • By late August, prep for September by reallocating families to farm work.
  • After farming, assign them to a Windmill and Communal Oven.
  • Expand with a Tannery and Sawpit, eventually setting up stalls for food, fuel, and clothing.
  • Build a church when you have 20 wood planks.
  • Upgrade houses to level 2 for passive income.
  • Choose perks like “Forest Management” for extra resources; pick what suits your game strategy.
Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13569 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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