Tribal Wars: A Browser-Based RTS-MMO Unto Itself

For those of us who like the fast-paced action of dealing with challenges as they happen, RTS games have some serious draw. From the classic Age of Empires to Star Craft II, most of us have our favorites.

Then, there’s the open-ended market of MMOs to which enterprising companies can always branch out. InnoGames GmbH, a German game developer and publisher, has something going for them with a browser-based game that’s a mash up of an RTS and an MMO — their F2P and P2P game, Tribal Wars.

Read on for the details of the game mechanics and how Tribal Wars implements PvP .

As most aged RTS gamers know, just about every game has some sort of resource system and handicap. In Tribal Wars, you have clay, iron and wood, along with a population limit that your “farm” (convenient, I know) controls.

In the games mentioned above, you have research capabilities to either produce or move your resources faster, and become more powerful.

When you first start out in Tribal Wars, everything but your farm and resource centers (Timber Camp, Clay Pit, and Iron Mine) are level 1. You click on your Village Headquarters to see a list of everything that you can build or upgrade.  Upgrading or building requires resources and villagers (which increases your population permanently). The higher the level of the building, the longer it takes to upgrade, and the more the resources needed to complete the project.

Now, not at all unlike the unpop popular Zynga game, FarmVille, timing is a very limiting aspect in Tribal Wars. With FarmVille, you place an item that you want to build on your farm, and the character moves to that spot and builds it. You plant seeds, and then you wait the given time needed before you can return to harvest them. Travian Games implements a similar mechanic for the construction process:

When the game says it takes you a certain duration to complete a construction assignment, it means that it takes that amount of time in real life. This leaves a lot of down time — especially at the early moments of your village. After leveling up a bit you are productive, but you only need to check your villages maybe once or twice a day.

What is the point of upgrading your buildings? Well, for starters, it intimidates other players because of the game’s system of points. For each building you complete and upgrade, you are awarded points. Generally, the higher your points, the greater your number of high-level buildings and hopefully, the more troops you have to defend it.

Which brings us to the PvP aspect of the game. This game is survival of the fittest, combined with a bit of diplomacy. Since I currently am allied with the #1 Tribe on the server, for example, I never get attacked. Players can produce troops and cavalry from their barracks and stables. And you have a few options for each.


  1. Spear Fighter – Basic infantry that is excellent against mounted enemies.
  2. Swordsman – Medium infantry that is a balanced fighter against everything.
  3. Axeman – Advanced infantry that is excellent against other infantry.


  1. Scouts – Neutral troops that are extremely swift across the map that can “scout” out your enemies’ village information such as troops stationed and building levels.
  2. Light Cavalry – Balanced troops that do fair damage to everyone but Spear Fighters.
  3. Heavy Cavalry – Extreme, slow-moving “tanks.” Hardest bastards to kill – hope to god you have luck on your side.

If I go much further than that, I may spoil the game a bit. So I’ll leave it at that. Sparked your interest? If so, head over to Tribal Wars and sign up. You can find me on World 27, and my user profile is DeathLord272.


  1. i used to play this like 2 years ago
    was really into it, made 5 big towns and some smaller(made them all from abandoned villages), joined nice tribe we had a lot of fun expanding and defending
    and then after like 4 months of playing… in about 3 days we were destroyed by some bigger tribe
    never played it again

  2. @ Despo

    That’s the only drawback in my opinion of the game. No matter how big you get, you can still be taken out by someone bigger.

    Although, the developers have stated that they will be implementing a new setting feature on all worlds that you can turn off noble-ing. This is disable the ability for anyone to send a nobleman to attack you, but in turn disables your ability to noble other villages as well.

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