Encountered a bug in A New Era? Can’t figure out how the game works? This guide explains the game mechanics of Pharaoh and (attempts to) answer some of the most common questions encountered by a player.
This FAQ attempts to explain the core game mechanics and offer troubleshooting assistance for some of the problems most commonly encountered in the game. It is not a mission guide which will shepherd you through the game campaign, though I hope the information contained herein will help you when you get stuck on a misson.
Roads and Walker Behavior
Core to the gameplay of Pharaoh: A New Era is the walker system, the fundamentals of which must be comprehended for even the most elementary of missions. Most non-housing buildings will produce walkers, NPCs which spawn from the building and walk around on any nearby roads which have been placed on the map. Walkers provide the services of their parent building to any housing residences which they bypass within at least two grid squares.
In this picture, the water carrier and the fire marshal walking past the two Sturdy Huts provide clean water and fire prevention, respectively, to the huts.
Service buildings, when placed, will show a red square on the nearest valid road, beginning at 12 o’clock and circling counter-clockwise, and a green square, beginning at 1 o’clock and circling clockwise. The red square denotes the building’s despawn destination, which is where random walkers will return when they have finished walking. The green square denotes the building’s spawn point, which is where any walker produced by the building will appear and begin moving.
Broadly, there are two types of service walkers in Pharaoh: random walkers and destination walkers.
Random walkers, as the label implies, spawn and walk randomly along the road. Random walkers will follow a road until it reaches an intersection, then randomly choose one branch of the intersection to continue down. When they reach the end of a road, they will turn around and head back. If they return to a previous intersection, they will attempt to favor a new branch that they have not traveled past; however, this is not guaranteed. Random walkers have a maximum number of grid spaces through which they will move. After reaching this maximum number, they will return to the building which spawned them by the building entrance (denoted by a red square on the ground when the building was placed).
Roadblocks stop random walkers while they are randomly walking, but will NOT stop random walkers from taking the shortest path to return to the despawn destination of the spawn building.
Most walkers which provide services are random walkers, including fire marshals, architects, constables, market distributors, doctors, priests, librarians, scribes, etc.
Destination walkers are NPCs which spawn on the road with a fixed destination in mind. These walkers include immigrants and emigrants, market buyers, cart pushers taking finished products to dropoff points, soldiers mustering to forts, entertainers moving to entertainment venues, etc. Unlike random walkers, a destination walker’s target is a building which is different from the building which spawned it. With the exception of entertainers, destination walkers do NOT provide their host building’s services to any households which they pass. Destination walkers will usually stick to the roads and take the shortest valid path to their destination.
Destination walkers can further be broken down into two categories: Dropoff walkers and Acquisitive walkers.
Destination walkers who are dropping off carry a finished product and are delivering their goods at the nearest valid business, storehouse, or granary which can accept their good. For the building to accept the good, the dropoff walker must have access to the building via a road or ferry, and the building must have room to accept the good. If there is no valid path via road or ferry to the destination, the dropoff walker will not attempt to deliver its good to the destination. All delivery walkers are considered dropoff walkers when bringing finished goods from a business to a storehouse.
In contrast, destination walkers who are getting goods can and will travel offroad. This distinction is important: it is what allows a Storehouse which is set to “Get” to pick up goods from another Storehouse which is not connected to it via a valid road. Deliverymen who are picking up are considered acquisitive walkers and can travel offroad. Immigrants, emigrants, traders, wood and reed gatherers, and mustering soldiers are also capable of moving offroad.
Roadblocks do NOT stop destination walkers.
A useful mental shorthand is to think of service walkers as random until they have moved their maximum wander distance, after which they become destination walkers with their destination as the despawn point of their spawn building.
Q. What does the Unique Walker Range option control?
A. Unique Walker Range toggles the maximum amount of distance that a random walker will travel before it attempts to return to its spawning building in order to despawn. These distances are unique to each kind of service work if Unique Walker Range is enabled.
Q. Can I control which intersection a random walker chooses?
A. Only by using roadblocks, or removing the intersection. For this reason, experienced players of Pharaoh attempt to keep the presence of intersections to a minimum.
Q. Do random walkers still provide the services of their parent building when returning to despawn?
A. Yes. This is central to the “forced walker” concept.
Q. What are forced walkers?
A. Forced walkers take advantage of the fact that random walkers MUST despawn at their parent building on a certain square. If the despawn point loops around an entire housing block from the spawn point of the building, then the random walker will travel around the entire housing block when despawning, offering its services to every house along the way!
In the above picture, the physician from the office will spawn on the green square but is unable to despawn until he has walked around the entire circuit to the red square. This is an incredibly powerful tool which greatly extends the service range of a service building. Most service walkers which spawn from buildings can be looped in this fashion (the Bazaar Distributor is a notable exception under certain circumstances: see Bazaars, Market Goods, and Market Distribution for more information).
Q. Every month I get a Warning that the road is blocked and that Pharaoh’s engineers have cleared out obstructions. How do I make it stop?
A. Your Kingdom Road is either blocked or broken, for a somewhat liberal definition of either. If no valid path is detected from entrance to exit, even if there are no physical buildings obstructing the way, you will still get the message. It can be safely ignored since nothing is being destroyed, the game just doesn’t recognize that the Kingdom Road isn’t being blocked.
Note: you can alter or even remove the Kingdom Road. The game is only checking if the entrance and exit points of the map are not obstructed by something in the way.
Q. How come I can’t lay down Plazas?
A. Plazas can only be placed on roads, and they require the road to be sitting over a desirable piece of ground. When you see the road change from a simple dirt path to a paved brick street, you can lay plaza tiles over the road. Plazas do not degrade even if the desirability of the tile subsequently falls.
Q. One of my walkers has gotten stuck and isn’t moving. How do I fix this?
A. This is a bug. On rare occasions, a walker killed by predators/acts of God will not properly despawn. Delete and rebuild the structure.
Housing, Desirability, and Housing Evolution
Housing is another core of Pharaoh. Your citizens provide the employees for the city’s services, consumers for the city’s goods, and labor for the monuments which will immortalize your legacy in Egypt. They need places to live (Egypt is a civilized nation, after all) and they won’t stand for squalid shacks either, at least not if you want to get anything useful out of them. Your citizens won’t just waltz in and set up wherever they please, either; you have to designate housing plots for them. Housing plots attract immigrants if your city sentiment is high enough. These immigrants enter from the Kingdom Road and will settle into the nearest vacant lot, turning it into a domicile.
Houses consume resources and the better the house, the greater the variety of resources it will consume. Conversely, better housing also provide more housing capacity, translating directly into a bigger labor pool and more lucrative taxation revenues. Your difficulty setting affects how many resources a house will consume as well as the resources/desirability required to evolve it further. Fortunately, the in-game help is very useful here: left-clicking a house will tell you (nearly) everything you want to know about a particular house.
Nobody wants to live near a dump either. Certain buildings and amenities in a city are considered desirable or non-desirable. Desirable buildings enhance the housing value of the homes around them, encouraging wealthier citizens to move in, and non-desirable buildings have the opposite effect. Your Desirability Overlay shows which parts of the city are most and least desired by your citizens, with highly sought after locales in green and undesirable places in red. As a general rule, industrial, entertainment, military, and commercial buildings such as bazaars, storehouses, granaries, workshops, firehouses, docks and shipyards, forts, recruiters, and the like are detrimental to desirability, while religious buildings such as temples and shrines, gardens, plazas, the city palace, and your personal mansion enhance the desirability of nearby locations. Certain levels of housing require a bare minimum of desirability, and scribal housing also increase proximate desirability – who doesn’t want to hobnob with the rich and famous?
As houses evolve, they begin to take up more space. The first ten levels of housing (from Crude Hut to Spacious Apartment) can occupy a 1×1 block; however, to evolve further, the house needs to have a 2×2 space, then a 3×3 space, and finally the pinnacle of Egyptian home ownership, the estate, requires 4×4 space. Houses also need to be within two tiles of a road to receive the benefit of any service walker moving past the road. For an excellent detailed breakdown of requirements for housing, please see the Pharaoh Heaven Housing Chart.
As long as houses have the necessary goods and services to gentrify or maintain a current standard of living, they will evolve into better quality housing. Conversely, loss of access to key services or goods will cause the house to devolve and, if it has more tenants than capacity for the people they house, they will begin to evict people from the premises. Houses can shrink if they devolve. Fortunately, housing devolution, unlike evolution, is not an immediate effect; the game gives you a fairly significant grace period following loss of goods, services, or desirability before any housing devolution occurs.
Q. I’ve gotten my housing to a certain level, what do I need to evolve it further?
A. Left-click on the house and it should tell you what you need. Usually you will need to provide a new service or a new good. Occasionally you will also need to improve the general desirability of the locale.
Q. What is scribal housing and what makes it different from regular housing?
A. Regular housing provides workers to your city. Scribal housing, which denotes housing for the aristocratic upper class of your city, does not – these people are too good and educated for manual labor, after all! Once a house evolves up from Fancy Residence or worse to Common Manor or better, it ceases to be a regular house and becomes a scribal house. The inhabitants of a scribal house are withdrawn from the labor pool, but in return they pay much, much higher taxes. (Note: this occurs only if the Workers Population setting is set to “Age Simulation”. If it is set to Fixed Worker Ratio, scribal inhabitants remain in the labor pool.)
Quick visual shorthand: any house which is 2×2 in space or below is a regular house. Any house which is 3×3 or 4v4 in space is a scribal house.
Q. Once I have manors, the city starts complaining about slums and city sentiment plummets until people leave my city. What is happening and how do I stop it?
A. This is a bug. City sentiment is negatively effected when part of your city is living the high life while others are begging in the streets and barely making ends meet. In terms of game mechanics, this means that if part of your housing is aristocratic (manors or better), city sentiment will suffer if too many houses are slum-level (Crude or Sturdy Hut). If your city has no huts, or very few huts, city sentiment is not supposed to be negatively effected. However, the lookup table for maluses to city sentiment from housing inequality is incorrect, so having ANY scribal housing in your city causes negative city sentiment. See DorM’s second Steam thread post for details.
To counteract this, you will need to compensate by raising your city sentiment by other means, either by lowering taxes, raising wages, or cozying up to Bast.
Q. I’ve put down housing plots but nobody is immigrating into my city!
A. Check your city sentiment, either from the Chief Overseer or the Overseer of the Granaries. If city sentiment is too negative, nobody wants to come to your city. The Overseer of the Granaries also shows how much housing space your city has vacant.
Q. Once my houses evolve into manors, people stop moving into them even though there is vacant room. What is happening and how do I fix it?
A. This is a bug. The root cause of the bug is that when housing expands in size, having someone already on the way to the house can cause the house’s behavior to lock into waiting state (the new citizen is moving into the house, but since the housing plot changed size, the game doesn’t recognize that the citizen has finished moving into the house and thus fails to send more citizens in once the current citizen has arrived).
There are several workarounds. You can save the game and reload, which sometimes fixes the issue. You can force the manor to devolve in order to reset the house behavior. You can also wait until all existing housing spaces in your Fancy Residence are full before letting it expand into a Common Manor, and likewise waiting until your Stately Manor is completely full before letting it expand into a Modest Estate, which lets the new house “know” that it can receive more dwellers. The issue sometimes also fixes itself over time, although this is not consistent. Some players have also reported that scribal-housing immigrants are “pickier” than your usual working-class immigrant, so you’ll need to make your city more attractive by lowering tax rates and raising wages to attract them.
Bazaars, Market Goods, and Market Distribution Logistics
In Pharaoh: A New Era, goods are distributed by your bazaar ladies to your houses. Your storehouses can be bursting with jewelry and beer, your granaries overflowing with food, but without a bazaar your citizens will live in ramshackle huts and starve amid plenty. The bazaar sends out two types of walkers: a Bazaar Buyer (which is a destination walker) and a Bazaar Distributor (which is a random walker).
The Bazaar Buyer is dispatched whenever the Bazaar is set to buy a good, that good becomes available in a Granary or Storage Yard connected to the Bazaar by a length of road, and the Bazaar is not already saturated with that good. By clicking on the Bazaar, you can fine-tune exactly which goods and items a Bazaar is permitted to buy or not buy. The Bazaar Buyer is treated as a Dropoff destination walker for the purposes of pathfinding.
Once the Bazaar has food or items to sell, the Bazaar Distributor spawns as a random walker from the Bazaar and begins to hawk her goods to any house she passes on the road. If the Bazaar runs out of goods to sell, the Bazaar Distributor is recalled and returns to the Bazaar.
The Bazaar Buyer (left) and the Bazaar Distributor (right) are visually distinct. The Buyer has a basket on her head, the Distributor does not. Note also the children following the Buyer; each child represents 100 units of the item that the Buyer has just acquired.
Important Note: The Bazaar Distributor is unique among random walkers in how she returns to the Bazaar. The Bazaar Distributor will only return to the red despawn square of the Bazaar if she reaches her maximum walker path length. If she returns because she is recalled (i.e., the Bazaar has run out of goods to sell), she will instead return to the green spawn square of the Bazaar to vanish. This is very important for forced walker blocks, and when the Bazaar Distributor is out selling both food and items. Since food is sold out much more quickly than items, a Bazaar Distributor who sells both will often stay out and continue to walk long after she has run out of food to sell. A recall order will override a despawn return.
Q. How far will the Bazaar Buyer travel to set goods out of storage?
A. Across the entire map, if she has a path. They are very determined ladies.
Q. My Bazaar isn’t sending Buyers to get more items even though it doesn’t have any more of the item, and yes, it’s set to sell it.
A. This can happen for several reasons. If your Overseer of Commerce has been set to Stockpile a resource, the Bazaar will not attempt to acquire it. If your Buyers are still out, the Bazaar can’t send more out until at least one has returned. (The Bazaar can send out a maximum of two Buyers: one for food, and one for items.) Lastly, the Bazaar won’t buy an item if less than 200 units are in storage. 100 units is not worth the effort, apparently.
Q. My bazaar is looking a little high-class …
A. It makes a difference! A bazaar in an area with high desirability looks fancier. More importantly, a fancy Bazaar will send out two Bazaar Distributors instead of just one! In the picture below, a regular Bazaar (left) and a fancy Bazaar (right) are separated by a Temple of Ra.
Q. How come half my housing block has food and half doesn’t?
A. Your houses near the market are hogging all the food. For example: if a house has 400 food capacity and a Bazaar Distributor walks past with 300 food in the market, the house will get all of the food and leave none for subsequent houses further down the block. Have no fear: food capacity of houses is far in excess of food consumption, so as long as your Bazaar has access to a steady supply of food, eventually the food will reach everyone in the housing block.
Q. My Bazaars keep distributing items they don’t have and the stock number goes into the negatives!
A. This is a bug. Your markets act like they still have the item – this tends to happen most often with luxury items that you sold once and then told the market to stop buying. Amusingly enough, telling the Bazaar to dump the item resets the stock to zero and then it drops negative again.
Granaries, Storage Yards, and Item Transportation
Your Granaries and Storage Yards store the goods produced by your city. Each Granary/Yard has space for exactly 3200 items, in “spaces” of 400 each. That is, each blank space can accommodate 400 items, and items cannot be mixed and matched (e.g., you can’t have 200 Figs and 200 Grain in the same space – they will be separated into different slots). Your city can produce four distinct types of goods: food, raw ingredients, finished basic items, and luxury items.
- Food is self-explanatory. Produced on your farms or imported from traders, it can be stored in both Granaries and Storage Yards. Granaries, in fact, only store food. Food can be consumed by your populace or exported. For more information, see Food.
- Raw ingredients such as clay, straw, flax, barley, uncut gems, wood, and copper are produced from your farms or your industries, or purchased from traders. These items are generally not consumed directly; rather, they are processed by various shops which transform them into other items. For more information, see Industry. These items can only be stored in Yards.
- Finished basic items are processed from raw ingredients in shops or imported from abroad. Basic items include Pottery, Beer, Linen (Basic Goods used by housing), Paint and Lamps (used in Monument Construction), military products, etc. – in short, items which need to be constructed in shops before they can be used. These items are also stored in Yards.
- Luxury Items include Jewelry, Ebony, Ivory, Wine, and so on, and are used exclusively as trade goods, burial goods, or to provide your Scribal-level housing with the necessary quality to evolve. These items tend to be very exotic and expensive, most of them unavailable except via trade, and they too may only be stored in Yards.
Pharaoh: A New Era allows you to exercise fine granular control of your storage on a case-by-case basis. Granaries and Storage Yards have five commands available per resource:
- The Accept command tells the storage building it is allowed to receive cart pushers bringing that good into the building. You can click the colored circle on the right of the command slot to designate how much of storage that item is allowed to fill: the entire building, 3/4ths, half, or a quarter.
- The Get command also allows the item to be stored. Additionally, the building will send out up to two cart pushers to actively get the item from any other accessible storage building in your city which is not also set to the Get command. Cart pushers getting items count as acquisitive destination walkers and can go off-road. Important Note: If the cart pushers are out getting goods, they’re not available to deliver goods stored in the building to workshops which might need them.
- Accept None is fairly self-explanatory. Cart pushers from farms or workshops are no longer allowed to drop items off at the storage site.
- Empty will send out the storage building’s cart pushers with up to 400 of the item to any storage which is set to Get or Accept that item. Unlike Getters, they will not leave the road. If there is no valid destination, the cart pushers will idle with the item outside of the storage building, so some space is still freed up.
- The big X discards all of the item stored in the building and changes the storage command to Accept None. The game is nice enough to ask if you’re sure before it tosses everything.
Troubleshooting and Frequently Asked Questions: Granaries, Storage Yards, and Item Transportation
Q. What’s the practical difference between Granaries and Storage Yards?
A. Besides taking up different amounts of space and labor, Granaries can only store food while Yards can store all in-game items. Granaries are not accessible to traders, who will only trade items which are stored in Yards.
In the original Pharaoh game, Bazaar traders would not buy food from the Yards unless they were imported. This restriction has been lifted for Pharaoh: A New Era.
Q. My cart pushers are stuck somewhere. What do?
A. Determine why they’re stuck. Cart pushers get stuck for a variety of reasons, but the most common one is that their destination can’t accept their goods and there is no alternate storage, or they have no valid path to get where they want to go.
Q. Where do items get dropped off at Granaries and Yards?
A. Items are dropped off at the green spawn square, not the red despawn square. This applies to both drop-offs and carryouts. The red despawn square is used for the labor-seeking walker spawned, which is only used if Global Labor Pool is not enabled.
Food: Hunting, Agriculture, and the Nile
Without food, your city won’t go very far. At the hut level your people supply their own food by foraging in the countryside but to go any higher they want to eat something befitting a civilized nation. You, of course, are responsible for keeping their bellies filled.
There are four main sources of food in Pharaoh: A New Era: hunting, fishing, farming (and ranching), and imports.
- Hunting is the simplest and usually the fastest. If your map has game, the Hunter’s Lodge is available under the Food and Farming tab. The Hunter’s Lodge sends out up to three hunters who will stalk the nearest game animal and bring game meat back to the lodge, where it is processed and sent to the nearest available Granary or Storage Yard. Game herds do not become exhausted. Look for antelope or birds on the map.
- Fishing requires you to build fishing wharves on the shore of a body of water with schools of fish. Schools of fish are shown on the map by fish leaping out of the water. Once a fishing wharf is constructed and connected to a road, the nearest available shipyard will initiate ship construction. When the fishing ship is finished, it reports in at the wharf and then goes off to fish at the nearest school. Like game herds, schools of fish are inexhaustible.
- Importing is fairly self-explanatory as well. Open a trade route and set your Overseer of Commerce to begin importing food. For some information, see the Trade category. Note that only Storage Yards can receive imports.
- Farming requires the majority of your effort and attention and is usually the mainstay of your food stocks, befitting Egypt’s historical role as the breadbasket of the Near East. In Pharaoh, there are two types of large-scale agriculture:
- Floodplain farming requires you to place the farm on a valid square on the banks of the Nile. The Nile overflows its banks every year, leaving behind a rich alluvial deposit ideal for farming, and these areas on the map are marked by deep brown soil. To supply workers for a floodplain farm, the farm must have road access to a Work Camp. As long as the Nile isn’t flooding, Work Camps will send peasants to labor at any farm which isn’t being cultivated. Once the Nile begins to flood, the harvest is collected and brought to the nearest available storage.
- Meadow farming takes place on regular land marked by patches of flowers. Meadow farms tend to have far less fertility than the rich floodplains, but provide a steady source of food which isn’t at the mercy of the Nile’s whims. Like floodplain farms, meadow farms need road access and can be irrigated. Depending on the type of food being farmed, meadow farms will collect their harvests either once or twice a year and deposit the products in the nearest available storage.
- Ranching is done by constructing cattle ranches, which act like industrial workshops. They take in straw and product Meat (not the same as Game Meat) in a 1:1 ratio.
The Nilometer can be accessed by clicking the triangular tab directly beneath the year bar and the city name in the upper middle of the UI. In this example, a Perfect inundation occurred from July through August. The Inundation can be as brief as two months or as long as four – plan accordingly!
Q. What kind of animals can I hunt?
A. Ostriches, birds, and antelope. Crocodiles, hyenas, and hippos are considered predators and cannot be hunted.
Q. How do I irrigate my farms?
A. Floodplain farms can be irrigated by placing irrigation ditches from the Food and Farming panel directly on the floodplain, from the edge of the water. As long as at least one irrigation ditch tile with water access is touching a side of the farm, that farm is considered irrigated.
Meadow farms require Water Lifts to elevate water to the plain. Water Lifts can be placed either on a two-segment section directly on the edge of the water, or on a two-segment edge between the floodplain soil and regular land. If the Water Lift is placed on the edge of the floodplain, you will need to connect the lift to the water by some irrigation ditches in the floodplain.
Q. What does fertility measure, and how does irrigation affect it?
A. By left-clicking on a farm, the information pane will show if the farm is irrigated or not, and what its current measure of fertility is. Fertility acts as a multiplier on the effort that your workers put in on the farm; e.g., a farm with 50% fertility produces crops at half the rate of a farm with 99% fertility, if both have equal numbers of workers.
In Pharaoh: A New Era, Irrigation increases the fertility level of the farm by a fixed amount, usually around 40-50%. This is different from the original Pharaoh, where the amount of irrigation fertility bonus depended on how much of the farm’s sides were touching the irrigation ditches. This MAY be a bug. Irrigation is especially useful for meadow farming where farms tend to have fairly low fertility.
Q. How does the annual Inundation affect floodplain farms and their fertility?
A. Floodplain farm fertility is currently bugged. In original Pharaoh, floodplain farms lost a high degree of fertility each year and their fertility was renewed by the Inundation; specifically, the more of the water that covered a farm, the more its fertility was renewed. Currently in Pharaoh: A New Era, floodplain farms do not gain or lose any fertility from farming or the Inundation. (Incidentally, this represents a severe nerf to Osiris.)
Q. Why bother with low fertility meadow grain farming?
A. Grain farms output two products: grain and straw. Unlike grain, straw output is fixed per farm: each harvest, a grain farm will ALWAYS produce exactly 100 units of straw irrespective of any factors such as fertility, time of cultivation, etc.
This means if your city is straw hungry (cough BRICKS cough), meadow farming with its biannual harvests tends to be more efficient than floodplain farming when it comes to straw outputs. Even if your farms produce pitiful quantities of grain, you will still receive full straw quotas.
Q. How come I can run irrigation ditches under roads but I can’t build roads over ditches?
A. This is a bug. In original Pharaoh this could be done in either order. In Pharaoh: a New Era, if you want to build a road over a ditch, you’ll need to either build the road first before digging the ditch or delete the ditch, build the road, and then replace the ditch.
Q. The flood came in but nobody drowned.
A. This is a bug. Currently in Pharaoh: A New Era it seems that some destination walkers, such as cart pushers and laborers, do not drown in flooded waters. Most random walkers do seem to drown properly.
Industry and Workshops
Food is all well and good, but once people’s immediate needs are satisfied they start to crave the finer things in life such as pottery for toiletries, beer for memory alteration, and linen for blankets. If you want aristocrats to settle in your city, you will also need to provide luxuries such as jewelry, ivory, wine, or revenge. City industry also allows you to turn raw ingredients into valuable export goods which you will need to keep your city financially solvent.
The Production tab contains most of your industrial buildings. Raw materials allow you to mine, quarry, or chop raw ingredients which can be stored in Storage Yards or sent to workshops which will turn them into finished products. Most workshops require only labor and a single raw ingredient to operate, although some items need two ingredients (none require more than two). Note that there is no hard and fast rule for the ratio of raw ingredient buildings to finished product workshops: a single Reed Gatherer can easily supply five Papyrus Makers with reeds to spare, for example, while you need around three Clay Pits for every four Potters.
Bazaars can buy Pottery, Beer, and Linen (the Basic Goods category) and all Luxury Goods. Some raw ingredients and finished products are also used by various service buildings (such as Wood being used by Bowyers, Shipyards, and Chariot Makers, or Papyrus being used by Scribal Schools and Libraries). In general, finished products sell much more profitably than raw materials for export purposes.
Q. Where can I place raw material buildings?
A. Woodcutter camps and reed gatherers can be placed anywhere, but require workers to travel to the nearest tree or marsh.
Clay pits must be within a few tiles of either water or floodplain soil.
Gem, limestone, granite, sandstone, and plain stone quarries must be adjacent to an expose rocky surface.
Copper mines and gold mines can only be placed adjacent to an ore vein (marked by speckles of gold in the rock).
For flax and barley farms, see the Food section.
Q. What are the delivery priorities for raw material outputs?
A. When a raw material camp finishes production, it first tries to send its cart pusher to the nearest workshop in need of the material. If it does not find a valid path to a workshop, it then attempts to send to the nearest storage with space. Failing that, the cart pusher idles outside of the camp.
Q. How much raw material can a workshop hold?
A. Most workshops max out at 200 units of raw material. If a workshop has 200 units of raw material, such as a Potter with 200 units of clay, it will not “ask” for more from Clay Pits or Storage Yards.
Similar to raw material camps, workshops will attempt to send their outputs to the nearest valid storage. For weapons and chariots the recruiter is prioritized over Storage Yards.
Q. What do I do with raw gold?
A. Gold mines are uniquely different from all other raw resources. Gold mines drop off their resources at the city palace exclusively where they are instantly converted to debens, at the rate of 100 debens per load.
Trade and Requests
No city truly stands alone. To thrive as a city (and let’s be honest, most of the time even to barely survive) you’ll need to establish trade routes with other cites, fulfill the requests they make of you, dispatch your armies to get them out of trouble that they got themselves into, and supply them with lucrative exports. Don’t think you’ll get to call the shots when you become Pharaoh, either; you’re still at the mercy of the kingdom’s wants and needs.
You can open the Worldmap from the left-hand menu to see which cities are willing to trade with you. Nearly all of the time, you’ll need to pay to open a trade route with them. The Worldmap also specifies if the trade route is by land or by water. Land traders will enter your map at the entrance tile of the Kingdom Road and leave by the exit tile. River and sea traders enter along the Nile river and can either sail further on or leave by the way they arrived; it’s map specific, but all land and sea traders on a given map will arrive and depart along the same way.
Occasionally the various cities will make requests of you for goods, debens, or military assistance. Fulfilling these requests raises your Kingdom Rating and (depending on the map) may make more trade routes available. You may also face extortion attempts from enemies on the map; giving them what they demand might stave off invasion, but your Kingdom Rating will fall as a consequence. If you can’t produce the requested items on your own, you may have to import the raw material or the finished product from a trade partner!
“Our long and dangerous trek here was for nothing! This city won’t trade.
Q. How come traders just breeze through my city without buying anything?
A. There are several reasons why this might happen. If your Overseer of Commerce has not been authorized to export a good, the trader will not attempt to buy that good. If the trader has nothing to buy, he will simply pass through. If you suspect this is the case, click on the trader and check the status bars – if they’re traveling to a Storage Yard, you can click on the icon to see his destination.
A second possibility is that your Trade Partner has already filled its yearly trade quota. On the Worldmap, you can select a city to see what and how much it’s willing to trade. Once you’ve sold enough to max out a Buy or Sell category, the trader will not trade any more of that good for the year. You’ll have to wait for a new trader to arrive next year for quotas to reset.
If you have goods stored up but your Storage Yard has no labor, the trader will not attempt to buy from that Yard.
Lastly, the game engine checks for exportable goods and a path to those goods when a Trade Caravan or Trade Ship spawn on the edge of the map. If no export goods are present when the trader appears on the map, the trader will not buy anything out of storage even if goods arrive while the trader is traveling to the Storage Yard. In other words, all trade goods are allocated the instant that the trader appears.
Q. Do traders have a maximum number of goods they can trade?
A. Land caravans and trade ships can buy and sell a maximum of 1600 units per trip.
Q. Is it possible to import and export a good at the same time?
A. No. These are mutually exclusive, at least from moment to moment.
Q. Can I export a good for more than I paid for it?
A. Usually you cannot export a good for more than it costs to import. Unlike real life, there’s no profit for the middleman. However, Ra’s blessing which multiplies export proceeds by 1.5x allows certain goods to be resold for profit.
Q. When exactly do I pay or receive debens for my trade?
A. For land caravans, your debens are deducted or credited when the trader arrives at the Storage Yards and the goods change hands. For trade ships, your debens change when cart pushers start trucking items from the dock, or arrive at the dock bearing the exported item.
Q. How come trade ships keep piling up at a single dock even though I have multiple docks capable of trading an item?
A. This is (possibly) a bug. Trade ships check for the nearest available dock which can handle the item they want to trade when they spawn on the map. If the dock is currently servicing another ship, the trade ship should automatically check for another available dock upon arriving, but this doesn’t happen (which may be intentional). You can alleviate this somewhat by setting each dock to service different items, and of course by shortening the distance dockworkers need to travel from dock to Storage Yard.
Q. Why do traders keep complaining about my city refusing to trade, even after they’ve done business?
A. This is a bug, Either the correct voice lines are not accessible or they aren’t set to properly trigger.
Q. Are some trade/reinforcement requests supposed to be impossible to fulfill?
A. Yes. If it seems completely unreasonable, it probably is. On Dunqul Oasis, for example, there’s no possible way to fulfill the first request, which is just a story pretext for closing down a trade route.
Gods and Religion
The ancient Egyptians included thousands of divinities in their rich mythology; fortunately for us, we’re only concerned with five of them. Your relationship with the gods is purely utilitarian – I scratch your back, you scratch mine. Keep them happy and they will shower you with blessings. Neglect them and they will make their displeasure known! Thankfully it’s usually not hard to stay in their good graces so long as you don’t forget them entirely.
The Big Five are:
- Ra – Falcon-headed God of the Kingdom, Royalty, Trade, and popularity-at-large. When appeased and honored, he will raise your Kingdom rating, inspire your partners to trade more, and multiply your export value by 1.5x. When neglected or disrespected, he will tank your Kingdom rating and squeeze your trade routes.
- Osiris – God of Agriculture, Flooding, and the Underworld. Blessings from Osiris can double floodplain farm output or increase the quality of the yearly Inundation, while failing to honor him results can result in the Inundation failing entirely or the destruction of a floodplain farm.
- Ptah – God of Industry, Craft, and finding coins in your couch. Make him mad, and you might just find your Storage Yards or workshops spontaneously combusting. Conversely, Good-Guy Ptah can also randomly fill your Yards with raw materials/finished goods or suddenly end material shortages in your industries, thus also making him the inventor of NFTs.
- Seth – God of Destruction, Conflict, and Armies. In Seth’s presence it is important to behave in a submissive and breedable manner so that he smites enemies invading your city and protects your soldiers abroad. Fail to do so, and your forts and ships could mysteriously disappear with their occupants.
- Bast – Goddess of Hearth, Home, Happiness, and cats (not necessarily in that order). An incorrigible party girl, happy Bast will throw parties for you that elevate your standing in front of all the other gods or ensure that your homes and bazaars fill to the max with goods. But hell hath no fury like a woman scorned; beware plague in your houses and your city being set on fire when she’s mad.
On every map, you have a patron deity. Your patron deity is marked with an Eye of Wadjet by your Overseer of the Temples. In practice, a patron deity feels entitled to more of your effort than the other gods, so you’d best lavish extra attention on him (or her)! Your relationship with the gods also affects city sentiment somewhat. If the citizens dread the wrath of the gods, city sentiment will plummet. It is also necessary for your citizens to have temple access if you want their houses to evolve into anything worthwhile.
To appease the gods, you must build temples and shrines to them, and you may also hold festivals in honor of one god or another. Temples occupy a 3×3 block and require workers while shrines occupy a 1×1 space and require no workers (but still must be built within two spaces of a road to count). You may prepare for and hold one festival at a time. Since festivals require two months to prepare, they can’t be spammed.
Q. What are the moods of the gods?
A. The gods’ moods range from “Benevolent” (best) to “Enraged” (run for your life). You can get a rough idea of the god’s mood by examining his or her portrait in a temple popup or the Overseer of the Temples. The redder the portrait, the angrier they are.
Q. How exactly do temples and shrines work?
A. As a rule, the bigger your population, the more you need. If you have less religious coverage than the total population of your city, the gods disapprove (you’re not paying enough attention to them, after all) and grow increasingly upset with you.
A Shrine covers 150 population for your patron god, and 300 population for local gods.
A temple covers 375 population for your patron god, and 750 population for local gods.
The grand temple complex covers 8000 population to whichever deity it is dedicated towards, whether patron god or no.
Q. What are those ankhs or lightning bolts next to the gods?
A. In the Overseer of the Temples, you can see the accumulated ankhs or lightning bolts on the left of the deity’s portrait. Ankhs represent benedictions, lightning bolts represent malisons. If the mood is Congenial or better, you have a chance to accumulate ankhs. If the mood is Resentful or worse, you can start accumulating lightning bolts. The more ankhs or lightning bolts you accumulate, the more likely the god will bestow a blessing or inflict a curse. A blessing or a curse wipes the slate clean and moves the god’s mood more towards Apathetic.
Q. How do festivals affect the gods?
A. A festival, whether thrown by you or by Bast, improves the mood of the god. You do not need to have a Festival Square built in order to throw a festival for a god, contrary to what the in-game help states.
Q. I want a specific blessing from a specific god, how do I get it?
A. I haven’t figured out how, and it might not be deterministic (they’re the gods after all, not you!). Blessings and curses always occur at the start of the month if they occur at all.
Q. How do temple complexes work?
A. You can only build a single temple complex per map, although if you delete the current one you can build another. The temple complex spawns priests similar to regular temples. Building the altar and the oracle will further empower the temple’s priests and map-wide effects. A temple complex also greatly boosts proximate desirability. The in-game help for the Temple Complexes explains the exact effects granted per god.
Q. Which goods and workshops are affected by Ptah’s blessing?
A. Ptah singles out a Storage Yard with spare space and fills as much as it can store with extra goods. This blessing can affect pottery, linen, jewelry, gems, clay, or flax. He will only fill the Storage Yard as much as you let him (for example, if a Storage Yard is set to accept a maximum of 800 flax and has 100, 700 flax will be added). If more than one good is stored in the Storage Yard, only one good is filled.
For his minor blessing, any Jeweler, Weaver, or Shipyard with workers and less than 200 units of raw material is instantly filled to 200 units of raw material. Combined, his blessings allow you to sometimes bypass the need for a supply chain altogether; as long as you can put down a Jeweler and set a Storage Yard to export only over 100 Jewels, for example, there is always a chance you could wake up to find another 3100 units of Jewelry in your yard.
Q. How do Bast’s blessings work?
A. When Bast throws a party, you get the benefit of a festival to all other gods except her with no prep time or cost, which improves the moods of the other gods. This can only occur if you aren’t planning a festival of your own.
Her major blessing tops off your bazaars and houses of any goods which they already have and are currently using. Bazaars receive 700 units of every food and good which they are currently selling and still have in stock. Likewise, houses are instantly maxed to capacity of any food or good they are currently consuming. This does not affect food or goods that are wanted but not being used.
Services (Health, Maintenance, Taxation, Entertainment, Education)
Although ancient Egypt was primarily an agrarian economy, it boasted sophisticated administrative and economic capabilities which brought a wide variety of services to much of its population. To succeed, you will need to do the same for your city. Service buildings send out random walkers who bestow the services offered by the parent building to any household that they pass by. These services are:
- Water – The most basic and vital ingredient of civilization, without which your city stays at slum level no matter how many luxuries you might flaunt. Wells provide basic levels of water to nearby houses, but for clean water you’ll want the services of a water carrier from a Water Supply. Like the Bazaar, the Water Supply will take on a fancier colonnade if established in an area with high desirability, enabling it to send out two water carriers at a time.
- Maintenance – The Firehouse sends out Fire Marshals which prevent city fires, the Architect prevents city buildings from collapsing, and the Police Station dispatches constables who keep crime in check. Although strictly speaking they are not required for housing evolution, you’ll find your city falling apart quickly without these essential workers keeping your infrastructure intact.
- Entertainment – The Juggler’s Booth sends out jugglers, the Conservatory sends out musicians, and the Dance School tends out terpsichoreans. Unlike all other service workers, these entertainment workers are destination walkers rather than random walkers: they will head to the nearest unoccupied entertainment plaza and begin performances there. After this, the entertainment plaza spawns a random walker corresponding to the show being performed. Uniquely, both the destination walker and the random walker will offer entertainment services to homes that they pass. Later on you’ll be able to build Senet Houses and Zoos, which offer city-wide coverage as long as their material requirements are fulfilled.
- Health – The Apothecary fights malaria, the Physician fights disease, and the Mortuary also fights disease and offers embalming services as long as it is supplied with linen. Either a Physician or a Mortuary are required to evolve beyond Spacious Homesteads, and you’ll require the services of both to progress past Spacious Manors. Note: The Apothecary is only required on maps with reeds. Maps without marshland do not host the mosquitoes which give rise to malaria.
- Taxation – The Tax Collector enables you to collect taxes from housing and can only be built if a City Palace is established, and it holds some of your debens. Likewise, the Courthouse is required to evolve past Spacious Apartment and also helps keep order in the city.
- Education – Scribal Schools and Libraries, as long as they are supplied with Papyrus, provide education to your workforce and are needed to evolve past Common Residence (either one) or Elegant Manor (access to both), as well as boosting your Culture rating.
In addition to these services, your city sets the pay which businesses are required to offer their workers. By default this amount is 30 debens per month per 10 workers. Workers are conscious of job opportunities elsewhere. If you offer wages lower than the Kingdom average, city sentiment will drop. Conversely, higher wages raise city sentiment and make your city more attractive to prospective immigrants.
Q. Why can’t I place performance venues down?
A. Performance venues are intended to be placed on T-intersections, so they must be built over existing roads.
Q. My citizens are dying of disease/plague/malaria, what do?
A. Make sure your houses all have adequate coverage from physicans/apothecaries to fight disease/malaria, respectively. Unlike the original Pharaoh, plague-stricken houses in Pharaoh: A New Era will not spawn diseased walkers that spread the plague, they’ll simply all die out in two months’ time. Plague, in contrast, breaks out if overall city health is low. If coverage is adequate and overall city health is good and plague is still springing up, check if Bast is upset with you.
Q. Why are my citizens upset about the default 9% tax rate?
A. Your citizens can also be upset about unequal taxation. If only part of your city is being taxed, the citizens being taxed grow resentful that they’re bearing the costs while others are living scot-free and city sentiment drops. This becomes most severe if half the city is taxed and the other half isn’t. To ameliorate this situation, make sure either everyone is being taxed or nobody is being taxed, and you can also lighten the tax burden.
Q. How come it seems tax income is pitiful?
A. Tax income is dwarfed by both gold mine income and export receipts until you reach scribal-level housing (Manors or better). This is intended. If you’re desperate, you can increase the tax rate (all the way to 99%!).
Q. Criminals and tomb robbers keep spawning and robbing me!
A. If police coverage is inadequate, houses will eventually spawn criminals. These criminals make their way to the nearest tax collector’s office, Courthouse, or City Palace, and will steal a portion of your city’s debens (or yours, if your personal residence is targeted) if not stopped in time. Likewise, Tomb Robbers spawn if city sentiment is low and law enforcement coverage is uneven. Tomb Robbers target monuments and will attempt to steal some of your delivered burial provisions; if they succeed, your Kingdom Rating drops and you will need to replace the stolen goods.
Q. Scribal school coverage is inadequate because the number of children in my city keeps increasing, even if my total population shrinks!
A. This is a bug. Children are added to the city as replacements for seniors who age and die out, and also come in with immigrants; however, when they reach 20 years of age they are supposed to enter the workforce and cease using educational resources. As of this writing they do not, meaning nobody in Egypt leaves school – not even in the afterlife. Because of this, the number of children requiring educational services only goes up, it never goes down.
Fortunately, your culture rating can be salvaged. You can build more schools; even if papyrus is not delivered to them, they will still count for citywide service coverage as long as they have access to labor.
Q. When do I need or not need an apothecary?
A. The Apothecary’s services are only required on maps with marshland (i.e., reeds). Because of this, the Apothecary’s presence or absence does not affect Cultural Rating.
Military and Warfare
While the Egyptians were a notoriously unwarlike people to the point that Ramses the Great famously complained about his subjects, sometimes trouble comes knocking on your door. In Pharaoh: A New Era your army and navy are generally used defensively; you won’t be waging wars of aggression in your city, and military service abroad will be initiated by others with you only sending your forces out at the behest of others.
To establish your armed forces, you need to place a Military Recruiter. Only one can exist at a time and the Military Recruiter will automatically train soldiers in response to demand from your city’s towers and forts, with no input from you and no drain on your population. If you build an Academy, your battalions will begin with one star of experience instead of none. Your battalions will also gain a star of experience for each battle they participate in, win or lose, unless the battalion is completely annihilated.
You can make three types of battalions: infantry, archer, and chariot. In Pharaoh: A New Era military battles are now resolved by autocalculation instead of being fought out on the city map, meaning preparation becomes the entirety of the battle. Battalions are established by placing down their respective fort on the map. Forts do not require labor, maintenance, or road access, and since they devastate local desirability it is best to place them far away from your city proper. Once trained by the Recruiter, a soldier will report to the proper fort.
Archers can be trained without any extra materials. To train infantry, copper-forged weapons must be fashioned at the Weaponsmith and to train chariot-riders you must have a Chariot Works producing Chariots from wood and copper. Archers and infantry can be further equipped with Composite Bows and Hide Shields, respectively.
Q. Are battles really entirely autocalculated now?
A. Yes. Pharaoh: A New Era developers have promised they will revisit this later. (Personally I hope for a Kohan-like company system and combat engine.)
Q. What are walls, towers, and gates good for now?
A. Walls are entirely decorative now. Towers, if manned, increase your defensive autocalculation weight. Gates can serve as (large and expensive) roadblocks, since they stop random walkers.
Q. There’s a request for assistance with a distant battle but I can’t send my army out?
A. This usually happens if your soldiers have to travel by water (your Overseer will specify) and you have no transports. A single transport can carry up to two battalions of reinforcements to a distant battle.
Q. Why can’t I build Chariot forts?
A. Chariot forts are not available until the New Kingdom in the Pharaoh campaign, reflecting their rise to prominence at this point of time in history, and not all forts are available in all combat missions.
Q. Why isn’t my recruiter sending soldiers to a fort?
A. While forts don’t require road access or labor, a valid path must still exist from recruiter to fort. If a fort is isolated on an island with no ferries, for example, then the recruiter will not “see” the fort and fails to produce any soldiers for it.
Q. What happens if I lose a battle?
A. If you lose a distant battle, your forces return reduced in strength (unless you have the Seth minor blessing) and your Kingdom rating might suffer or a trade route close (or fail to open). If you lose a battle in your home city, your enemies will steal some debens and destroy some of your deben-storing buildings, such as your City Palace, Courthouses, Tax Collectors or your personal mansion. If you lose a battle and your city is already in debt, you lose the level altogether.
By far your biggest challenge in Pharaoh: A New Era is erecting the huge monuments which stand as a testament to your ability to handle logistics. Even the smallest can be a formidable task, requiring the marshaling of an entire city’s resources and the pooled labor of much of your workforce. Generally, the monuments require you to either prepare a bunch of resources beforehand before you can even initiate construction (mausoleums, obelisks, and the Sun Temple), or carefully prepare the ground and then build the monument up one brick at a time (mastabas, pyramids, and royal burial tombs). The exception is the Sphinx, which only requires the services of the Carpenter’s and Stonemason’s guilds. Generally you should allocate significant amounts of time and resources to Monument Construction and nearly all of them will require you to establish trade routes to import the building materials or Burial Goods that you cannot produce domestically.
By left-clicking on the monument, you can find out which goods or services the monument currently lacks to progress further. In general, guild members of the Stonemason and Bricklayer guilds who arrive on the monument site will notify the game of the material which they currently need. The game searches for the nearest storage site which has the material, then requests the nearest available Work Camp to dispatch a laborer to bring the construction material to the site for the builder to consume. Unlike all other get requests in the game, monument construction materials are moved by workers sent from a Work Camp instead of the storage site’s cart pusher. Conversely, members of the Carpenter’s and Artisan’s Guilds will need to receive their construction material (wood or paint) first before proceeding to the monument site.
As the most complex system in the game, monuments are more prone to breaking than any other part of the game.
Q. My workers are arriving at the site of the monument and then disappear.
A. This is a bug. More precisely this is a visual glitch caused by the game incorrectly placing the worker behind the topmost layer of the monument being worked. If you use the Flatten toggle (default key F), the worker should appear on the monument construction site.
Q. Why aren’t laborers bringing construction materials to the monument site?
A. First, ensure that the proper workers which request the materials are actually at the site. If the bricklayers or stonemasons who are supposed to be working on the monument haven’t shown up yet, the Work Camps don’t know that they’re supposed to dispatch construction materials to the build site.
Next, ensure that the storage site, the construction site, and the Work Camp all have valid paths. If they’re not connected by roads or active ferries, a communication breakdown has occurred.
If you are floodplain farming, farms on the floodplain have priority for labor from the Work Camps. This means there will be a predictable interruption in the flow of building materials after the Inundation.
Furthermore, ensure that resources are not under a stockpile order from your Overseer of Commerce. If your mastaba needs bricks and the Overseer of Commerce has been set to stockpile bricks, they will simply accumulate in the Storage Yards without being used.
After that, it is possible that material conveyance was requested from a Work Camp located all the way across the map. When materials are requested, the game locates the nearest storage with the requested material, then requests the nearest available Work Camp to send a laborer. “Available” is a key word here. If closer Work Camps have already sent out laborers on other assignments, the game has no choice but to wait until one of them becomes available, or request a worker from further away. If construction materials arrive intermittently with long delays, this may be the culprit.
Lastly, they may simply be bugged. If construction materials are assigned to a laborer that was stuck (for example, if a Work Camp was deleted while the laborer was halfway), then the system hasn’t released those materials for use yet. You can delete and re-establish your Guilds and Work Camps, or Save and Load the game. In extreme circumstances, you may have to delete your Monument altogether and restart from scratch.
Q. My pyramid has stopped building when the course reached the top of the screen.
A. This is a bug. If the top of your pyramid extends beyond the top edge of the map and screen, then you will need to delete your pyramid and site it elsewhere. This happens because the construction workers need to walk to the course being laid before they can request materials, but since the current course extends offmap they cannot reach it.
Q. My pyramid gets stuck after two courses/layers.
A. You probably lack a Carpenter’s guild with wood. Pyramids require the services of a Carpenter’s guild in order to build the ramps which enable higher courses to be accessed.
Q. Why can’t I place my Monument site even when I have all the materials?
A. All monument sites require, in addition to any initial material requirements and the site itself, a single space where workers access the site. This is denoted by a wooden-looking grid square on the edge of the monument. For the monument placement to be valid, this square must not fall on a tile covered by anything which isn’t a road. (For validity purposes, plazas do NOT count – you need to delete the plaza atop the road.)
For the more general case where you can’t place any building on a patch that appears to be empty, see the Miscellaneous troubleshooting section.
Q. I placed another monument site down while my workers were halfway through the first one, and now one of them is stuck.
A. This is a quirk of the game engine. The game engine prioritizes monuments which are built on the upper corner of the map, then moving down from left to right. If both monuments require the same materials and labor, the monument which is closer to the “origin” coordinate of the map gets prioritized even if it is further behind in progress than the other monument. It is recommended that you do not build more than one monument at one time, especially since construction may not resume on the second monument once the first is finished, which is a definite bug. If you must, it is recommended that the labor and resources needed by the second monument should be completely isolated from any valid roads or ferries from the first – this prevents cross-contamination.
Q. I saved and loaded the game, and now monument construction has stopped/restarted working.
A. This is a bug, and one doozy of a bug. It is recommended that you do not save/load during monument construction.
Q. Why can’t I site the Pyramid Complex monuments?
A. The Pyramid Complex and Grand Pyramid Complex need access to the edge of the water for religious reasons. While not shown in the build outline, the Complexes have a causeway extending out from the east edge which is two tiles wide, and must reach a straight edge of the nearest body of water also two tiles wide. If anything obstructs collision between the edge of the Pyramid Complex and the water, the Complex cannot be sited.
Q. Which materials and services are required by which monuments?
A. The in-game help has an overview of each monument which will give you a broad outline. For specifics, consult the Construction Foreman of the individual monument.
Q. My monument is finished, but I still don’t have all of the Monument rating points.
A. You are almost certainly missing Burial Goods. See the Monument Overseer.
Most maps require you to fulfill certain rating requirements before you win the level. These numbers run from 0 to 100 and they all start at 0, except Kingdom which starts at 50 (for neutral). There are four ratings that you can check from the Ratings Overseer:
- Your Culture rating reflects the social and cultural achievements of your city. Far more demanding in Pharaoh: A New Era than in original Pharaoh due to the increased stringency with which the requirements of the game are updated and enforced. The possible Culture rating you can achieve in a map is usually hard capped by the type of buildings you can build. Entertainment, health, religion, and education coverage all contribute to Culture rating.
- Prosperity measures how wealthy, employed, and profitable your city is. The three main determinants of Prosperity are the Unemployment rate (lower is better), the amount of yearly money your city generates (making money is better than running a deficit), and the quality of housing in your city (slums detract from Prosperity, while scribal-level housing makes it soar).
- Monument rating evaluates the number and quantity of Monuments in your city. This is not affected by Temple Complexes or beautification amenities such as gardens and statues. As long as you complete the Monument and dispatch all the burial goods, your Monument rating will be the exact number needed to complete the map.
- The Kingdom rating represents your city’s political standing and reputation within Egypt as a whole. It rises and falls depending on how well and how promptly you meet requests from Pharaoh or other cities, your relationship to Ra, or how assiduously you bribe the people of Egypt.
Q. My Ratings Overseer is no longer tell me how to improve my Cultural Rating, but I still don’t fulfill the Culture Rating requirement for the map.
A. This can be an annoyingly common issue when you’re trying to eke out those last few Culture points you need to win the map. The biggest culprits tend to come from coverage: Cultural service buildings (performance plazas, temples, school, libraries, Senet houses, and Zoos) have a maximum capacity of population they can accommodate, after which you will simply need to construct more of the building. They are also not interchangeable – if your Overseer of Diversions tells you that your Juggler Stand coverage is lacking, overproducing Senet Houses won’t compensate.
Cultural buildings are considered to be providing coverage when they have labor. However, there is an additional catch when it comes to entertainment buildings: they do not contribute to your cultural rating unless they have shows (in the case of performance venues) or goods (for Zoos and Senet Houses), which was not the case in original Pharaoh. Note that this restriction does NOT apply to Scribal Schools and Libraries, which provide citywide coverage and culture even if they do not have papyrus.
Health services also contribute to your cultural rating. Health coverage is measured by the number of households which have a service walker moving past, not a fixed ratio of buildings to city population as with entertainment and education.
Lastly, religious services offered by temples also affect citywide coverage. If you have too many people for your existing religious facilities, then similarly to education and entertainment you’ll need to build more temples and shrines.
Q. What are the exact numbers for coverage?
A. For entertainment, a Booth (jugglers) covers 400 population, a Bandstand (musicians) covers 700, a Pavilion (dancers) covers 1200, a Senet House covers 5000, and a Zoo covers 7500. Remember that a Pavilion also includes a Bandstand and a Booth.
For religion, a shrine to a particular god covers 300 population and a temple covers 750. For your patron god, halve these numbers. A temple complex covers 8000 population, patron or no.
For education, a Library serves 2400 population. Scribal Schools, which serve only children, cover 300 children apiece. (Note: Scribal Schools are bugged. For more information, consult the Services FAQ.)
Q. What are the Cultural Rating hard caps?
A. Without certain buildings, you simply can’t exceed various Culture Rating thresholds.
To surpass a 10 Culture rating, you must have Jugglers.
To surpass 15, musicians.
To surpass 20, dancers and dentists.
To surpass 25, physicians.
To surpass 40, Mortuaries.
To surpass 55, Senet Houses.
To surpass 65, Libraries.
To surpass 75, Zoos.
Q. How do I boost Prosperity Rating?
A. In short, make more money than you spend. Keep unemployment and labor shortages reasonable (less than 10% either way if possible) and improve the quality of your city’s houses.
Q. My Kingdom Rating slips because of “inability to provide tribute”. Why?
A. This is a bug. In original Pharaoh, when governing a city you were required to provide a yearly tribute to Egypt. This does not seem to have been implemented in Pharaoh: A New Era, and it is not known if it actually affects your rating or is merely a leftover.
Q. How come my Kingdom Rating drops a little year by year?
A. If you don’t provide gifts to Egypt or fulfill any requests for goods or reinforcements, your rating will slightly slip year by year. Out of sight, out of mind.
Q. How come my Kingdom Rating drops even though I’m not overpaying myself a monthly salary?
A. This is a bug which may strike when you’re Pharaoh yourself. Simply demote your salary by one rank.
Q. How do gifts to Egypt affect my Kingdom Rating?
A. Modest, Generous, and Lavish gifts increase your Kingdom Rating. Further gifts within 12 months have diminishing returns. Gifts cost a proportion of your total personal savings, and cost a minimum of 20, 100, and 200 debens respectively.
Everything else that didn’t fit cleanly in the other categories gets dropped here!
Q. My game occasionally begins to pause at the beginning of every month, and the key bound to pause/unpause becomes unusable.
A. This is a bug, which is caused whenever the game fails to properly trigger a military invasion of your city. If the game cannot trigger the autobattler, it attempts to do so again at the start of every subsequent month. During autobattles the ability to pause/unpause your city’s progress with the hotkey is suspended, but since the battle simulation never actually launches the game continues as before. This problem seems to be caused whenever the game cannot place all of the combatants into the autobattler, which usually happens if you have more than six military warship wharves in your city (in the original Pharaoh, you were limited to six; here you can have up to ten).
Solution: delete Warship Wharves one by one until the battle triggers and resolves properly. If deleting Warship Wharves doesn’t work, starting deleting forts until the battle triggers and resolves properly.
Q. My ferries don’t seem to work properly, or only allow certain travelers through.
A. Ferries are coded as active only when they are connected to roads and draw labor. Immigrants and emigrants can use even inactive ferries. Destination walkers and traders need the ferry to be active before they can use it. Random walkers will not use ferries. If the ferry still isn’t working, delete and replace.
Q. Why don’t my constables/soldiers deal with predators?
A. This is a bug. Constables and soldiers (and towers) are supposed to fight predators, but currently they ignore said predators. While more of a minor annoyance than anything else, a predator killing off a key monument worker or laborer can potentially grind the entire pyramid construction process to a halt, so feel free to disable predators from the Options menu.
Q. Why can’t I place a building on a piece of ground with nothing blocking it?
A. This is a bug, and it is related to the bug above. You’ll find that when predators spawn on a map, even if their graphics move around the map (and kill people!), they are still considered to be occupying the square where they spawned. If you’re unsure, you can left-click on the empty-looking square and see if the in-game box for a predator appears. If it does, an invisible predator is occupying the tile. Currently the only workaround is to disable predators on maps (Save/Load does not appear to remove them).
Q. I’m in debt, how come it keeps spiraling out of control?
A. This is (most likely) a bug. In the original Pharaoh, you needed to pay 25% interest on your debt yearly to service it. In Pharaoh: a New Era, this interest is monthly, meaning it can snowball disastrously with frightening speed. Stay out of debt, gov’ner!
Q. Under Recruitment, what is the difference between Recruiters and Global Labor Pool?
A. Recruiters was the system used by the original Pharaoh game. If using Recruiters, buildings which require labor to function will send out a Recruiter to search for labor, and only have access to the city’s labor pool if they pass within two squares of a non-scribal house. Global Labor Pool removes recruiters from spawning and ensures that a building always has access to labor.
Q. Under Workers Population, what is the difference between Fixed Worker Ratio and Age Simulation?
A. Age Simulation was the system used by the original Pharaoh game. The game will calculate how old workers are (when they immigrate to your city, they are 25 years old) and determine if they are in the labor pool. Only men work outside the home, from when they are 20 (leaving school) to when they are 50 (retirement). If Fixed Worker Ratio is chosen, your labor pool is always fixed at 40% of your total population and is no longer affected by scribal housing. This can help prevent the “Demographic Time Bomb.”
Q. Demographic Time Bomb?
A. If your city isn’t receiving steady immigration, maps that last over 30 in-game years can see a huge chunk of your workforce suddenly age out of working age, which dramatically shrinks your labor pool. This can be countered by switching to Fixed Worker Ratio, or by “flushing” your city by cutting off water access until all the houses devolve, then evolving them back up so that new immigrants replace your evicted retirees.
Q. That seems highly unethical.
A. It is.
Q. How do I donate money to my city?
A. Your Political Overseer has the option for you to make a generous contribution from your personal savings to your city. Even though the Egyptians didn’t know John Maynard Keynes, using the proceeds of a previous city to prime the pump for your next assignment can be a very effective way of defraying initial expenses.
Q. My personal savings are gone!
A. Your savings only carry over within the same campaign. When you finish, say, the Old Kingdom campaign and move onto the Middle Kingdom, your family’s savings are reset to 0 due to the political turbulence engulfing Egypt.
Warning: This can also affect your saved games, in which case it appears to be a genuine bug.
Q. I got an achievement I wasn’t supposed to get.
A. This can happen if the achievement is improperly implemented. For example, when Pharaoh: A New Era first launched, players would get the achievement “Blessing of the Gods” from merely pressing the A key!
Q. How do I allocate worker priority from the Overseer of Workers?
A. The higher the number, the greater the priority. Higher priority categories draw the workers they need from all categories below them. Within the category, you can also set priorities on the subcategories which will reallocate all the workers contained within the category to the specific buildings. It is suggested that critical categories such as Administration, Agriculture and Health be prioritized.
Q. I told my Overseer of Commerce to deactivate a good and he did, but the building still draws labor.
A. This is a bug. Mothballed industries should not be drawing from the labor pool.
Q. How do I rotate my map?
A. Map rotation was not implemented in Pharaoh: A New Era.
Q. Is there an in-game minimap?
A. No(t yet).
Q. What are the cheat codes for this game and how do I use them?
A. Please see this post.
Q. I am stuck on a certain mission.
A. While this isn’t a mission guide, the vast majority of mission issues tend to come from either genuine bugs or overlooking a mechanic, so hopefully this guide can still help you.