Last Updated on Samuel Franklinby
For The King Strategy Guide – Tips For Winningy
Read our detailed For The King strategy guide ideal for the beginner or advanced player seeking tips on their way to winning in the difficult roguelike strategy adventure ahead.
Like many in the roguelike genre For The King is not an easy experience and even includes a disclaimer on game load to ensure players understand the difficulty level that they can expect. It is not a game players are expected to beat on the first or even tenth attempt with many mechanics to learn and plenty of randomisation weighing down your progress. With this guide, tips and included strategy players will be able to move the odds into their favour across all of the available campaigns. Having personally beat all the campaigns on the hardest difficulty with many hours invested to do so I’ll share the most important tactics to improve your adventure.
This strategy game guide is not intended as a step by step companion or playthrough of each campaign. Instead it introduces you to important concepts and strategies that you can apply in broad situations so you can be confident in your decision making regardless of the situation. While this guide will be invaluable for beginners to For The King those looking to optimise their runs as advanced players or complete the Master difficulty can also expect to learn some new tactics.
This guide will cover the following topics in detail:
- Campaigns: The key differences between the campaigns, the specific challenges that are present in each and any applicable campaign specific tips.
- Difficulty: How the different difficultly levels impacts your For The King strategy and the mechanics linked to your difficulty choice.
- Characters: How to effectively use your characters from selection to team composition and optimal usage in movement and combat. This section also touches on the different statistics of characters and the uses of them.
- Resource management: Why management of all resources (health, experience, focus, gold and consumables) is vital to your victory and how to manage them appropriately.
- For The King tips: General tips and tricks for various situations that can increase your chance of success.
While reading these sections I recommend that any terms you are unfamiliar with in this guide that you consult either the in game encyclopedia that IronOak Games have made accessible through the options menu (help) or the For The King wiki.
For The King Campaign Guide
The campaigns (game modes or adventure) in For The King each bring their own slightly different spin to the core gameplay and can definitely have an impact on your overall strategy and level of difficultly you can inherently expect. Each of the campaigns provide a different challenge and while it isn’t the easiest of the campaigns the core For The King campaign is often a good place to start due to the straightforward story and the way it introduces mechanics to players. The campaigns in For The King are as follows:
For The King
Intended as the core campaign of the franchise this campaign sees players adventuring across the land to avenge the fallen king and solving the mystery through locations such as the Forgotten Cellar. Chaos is the primary mechanic you’ll need to overcome and forces players to keep a consistent pace throughout which can be difficult given a number of steep jumps in difficulty for objectives during the campaign where your adventure will often end. The diversity of the biomes you face is also one of the highest that can introduce a large pool of enemies and additional mechanics to learn.
The best strategy to use in this campaign is highly efficient movement balanced with constant experience gain from enemy encounters. The decent number of sea caves in the ocean areas can assist with this while providing a decent amount of lore to spend in the lore store and advance your account progression along with the powerful pearls within them for the final boss fight which is a significant challenge as it is multiple back to back battles.
The Frost Adventure campaign is easier in some regards as there is no chaos like mechanic that pushes players forward at a fast pace which allows you to slowly move throughout the world and build up your strength without pressure. The balance to this though is the freezing weather players encounter that means you will not gain health at the end of your turn and actually take damage (up to 5 in end game) when exposed to the cold elements. Players also have limited access to towns as they are lower in number and first need to be freed from enemy sieges before being accessed.
With the above in mind the best strategy for Frost Adventure is to maximise your time spent in the earlier game levels to bolster your strength and then propel you through the late game quickly. If you’re struggling to secure a victory in any campaign then the Frost Adventure can remove some time pressure and give you an opportunity to slow down the pace of For The King. Before attempting Frost Adventure though I recommend you unlock the useful Inferno gear set from completing floors in the Hildebrant’s Cellar as it provides a large amount of health regeneration to offset the cold weather health loss.
Into The Deep
The perfect campaign if you are a For The King fan of sailing that introduces some new enemy types, encounters and the wet status that removes immunities. While Into The Deep replaces chaos with a flood mechanic it is vastly more relaxed especially when you factor in the faster movement offered by boats as you can move your entire party at once. This campaign also gives you flexible objectives with the water temples scattered around the map and an optional challenge on your path to your main goal, the Kraken God. This final battle is also one of the few in For The King that is not multi stage so the final fight can be easier than those you’ve experienced in other campaigns.
In this campaign opting for a team that has strong talent secondary stats to help your movement is likely to deliver the best results. In addition you can use the additional time due to the slow flood mechanic to maximise your character levels, items and consumable to make the final fight a simple battle.
Designed as an infinite dungeon for players to test their combat abilities the cellar is a simplified offering as it removes overworld movement entirely. Instead players will fight a random scourge at the end of each dungeon level along with trap encounters to overcome. With less mechanics the cellar can be a straightforward challenge and also worth doing as it unlocks useful lore store items previously noted (Inferno gear).
For strategy Hildebrant’s Cellar success relies heavily on your team composition and players that favour combat characters that have high speed are likely to do well. It’s not uncommon to use duplicates in this mode either as you have less pressure from diverse events to counter with the Hunter being a popular selection of the community.
A campaign that uses similar mechanics to the main For The King campaign but simplifies the story by having players chase down 5 hidden dungeons and clearing them of evil. This means your strategy needs to have an even stronger on careful character movement as not only do you need to stay ahead of chaos while gaining levels, you’ll need to uncover the hidden the dungeon tiles. With revealing hexes as a goal in this mode your characters can often be split which creates its own problems for combat.
To add further difficultly to this mode players will start in one of three random biomes that requires significant adjustment to your early game and makes certain attempts significantly tougher. The strategy to counter this is similar to the core campaign with no time wasting, using speed focused characters to help movement and taking as many favourable fights as possible to not fall behind in levels.
Uniquely designed as a competitive mode this For The King adventure is designed for players to use un co-operative means to become victorious. With the goal to be the first individual character to earn 100 gold and return it to the vault of Fergus its a character eat character challenge for you and your friends for bragging rights and unique lore store cosmetics.
This game mode uses a unique small landlocked world while also providing players endless lives. To prevent your opponent from being first players can use a range of creative strategies that leverage game mechanic understanding. This includes activating fights for your team that are unwinnable before running away, pulling them into a dungeon, taking all the good items and manipulating last hits on enemies to claim the coin drops for yourself.
Serving as A For The King DLC this adventure challenges players to explore the lost world that hides ancient secrets. With the DLC adding a large number of new enemies, biomes and 2 new game characters it significantly alters the experience. Replacing chaos with planetary alignment this campaign features familiar challenges around moving quickly while managing your limited resources that means the Lost Civilisation winning strategy is similar to the main campaign.
For The King Difficulty Guide
All of the campaigns offer three difficulty levels that change your potential for success and ultimately give you more room to make mistakes and still recover an attempt. The three difficultly levels from easiest to hardest in For The King are Apprentice, Journeyman and Master which impact the following in game mechanics (note that some of these can be modified via the house rules option to create a custom game difficulty).
- Lore Payout: Ranging from 60% to 100% and 150% this impacts the amount of lore that you earn through a campaign to spend in the lore store. For those that regularly play on higher difficulties you’ll quickly be swimming in lore points to spend on unlocks to make it easier.
- Chaos (or similar) Frequency: At higher difficulties the number of turns between increases in chaos, flood or other timed mechanic is significantly faster changing from as many as 8 turns although down to 4. This has an impact on how long players can accumulate gold and experience in an area or give them some capacity to explore for useful locations.
- Life Pool: One of the hardest things about Master difficulty is the 0 life pool that means you need to rely on event sources for any revivals of your team. With the larger life pools on lower difficulties players can make death resulting mistakes without it completely nullifying a For The King run.
- Economy Inflation: All core campaigns are subject to inflation which is the increase in cost of items from stores over the length of the game, usually after a key milestone or set number of turns have taken place.
- Enemy Health: While this might seem minor due to the 90% on Apprentice and 110% on Master it can actually add up over the course of an entire campaign needing an extra or attack from time to time that means your characters will take slightly more damage over the long run.
- End Turn Health Gain: A mechanic not actually driven by your choice of difficulty and instead tied to the campaign you select but still appears on the difficulty summary screen.
- Starting Items: Easier difficulties provide players some basic starting equipment from extra gold to herbs and equipped items. This can significantly assist players with the early uphill battle of For The King and shouldn’t be underestimated for its impact.
- Stat Bonus: Stats are fundamental to the various random events and combat which makes the Apprentice bonus of +5 the most powerful boost of the lowest difficulty as you’ll deal more damage and have better event results across the board.
- Max Focus Bonus: Another boost only available on Apprentice the +1 to maximum focus across your characters like the stat bonus above guarantees better results in combat and events. The +1 is highly deceptive as it sounds small on paper but given the number of times you’ll refresh focus throughout a campaign can end up being worth multitudes more.
For The King Character Movement & Combat Guide
Choosing the correct characters for each campaign is a significant first step to success in For The King. To help with this we’ve written a specific For The King classes guide to help you select team composition and the characters for your adventure given the large amount of detail to cover that goes well beyond this beginners guide.
With your team selected though there are some important tips and tricks to using them to maximum effectiveness in overworld map movement, events and combat.
- Stay Together: Keeping your team together at all times is an important default approach to movement when in the overworld. This allows you to always bring a full party to each combat encounter which can be both initiated by the player or from an unexpected ambush and ultimately means less health lost and that you have the right character for the job in range of any event you find.
- Play To Your Strengths: For The King does not reward jack of all trades gameplay, players will want to ensure that characters play to their strengths. This means using your strongest strength character for that strength check event to maximise your odds and focus their gear to reach the maximum possible statistic of 95. Players can even store statistic boosting items and equip them before events to maximise chance for success.
- Abuse Your Skills: Each character has their own unique skill that is a significant part of their power and require playstyle adjustment. The Trapper for example can ambush enemies with one less stat roll which means you’ll want to lead with them to initiate any combat for example.
- Offense Over Defence: For The King rewards aggression in combat more than most games and can take a while for players to adjust and realise just how strong this strategy is. Players should always be looking to attack on their turns and prioritise removing enemies before their next attack as your goal should always be to limit enemy attacks through damage or disables. Using the example below as I cannot kill the Timberwolf before their attack I’ll instead attack the Beastman as using my characters two attacks I will be able to kill him and prevent his attack entirely.
Every character has several statistics that have different uses during a For The King campaign and others that are acquired through equipment progression. The details and uses of each stat are as follows and need to be considered when designing your team:
- Strength: Primarily used for melee weapons this stat also plays a role in bashing down doors, destroying chaos structures and various item events.
- Vitality: Impacts on the maximum health of character and used in events that impact your health for both restoration and taking it away.
- Intelligence: Used for magical weapons intelligence is often called on for the various puzzle events that reward items or experience.
- Awareness: Empowers bows and polearm attack chance while also being a vital statistic in ambush and sneak attempts that make a strong Awareness character a mandated slot.
- Talent: Used for musical weapons the Talent stat is also useful in disabling traps you encounter and travelling the ocean.
- Speed: Speed is a vital stat in the For The King and often favoured given its impact on overworld movement distance, how often you attack in combat and your success at fleeing.
- Luck: All characters have the same 50 Luck points but this can be significantly increased through items. Luck is vital in games of chance that often have significant rewards so hoarding Luck items to equip before such events is a powerful strategy.
- Armour: Mitigates any physical damage taken and is increased throughout your adventure with equipment. Each point in armour reduces corresponding damage taken by 1 and if your armour value is higher than the total attack damage you’ll block the attack entirely. Armour items usually provide bonuses to Strength at the cost of speed.
- Resistance: Similar to armour but for magical damage with items that boost resistance generally having bonuses to Intelligence.
- Evasion: Reflects the percentage chance of a character to dodge both physical and magical attacks and is primarily boosted by items that provide Speed and Awareness.
For The King Resource Management
While For The King is sold as a roguelike strategy game the secret to victory comes down to careful and optimised resource management. So what exactly are the resources you need to manage and how do you go about it in practice? In this section your entire perspective of For The King will change and your odds of victory vastly improve as a result.
- Health: The most important of all the resources of For The King, every decision that you make should be about protecting and preserving the amount of health that your characters have. This is because there are very few free healing options in For The King so every health point is less gold you’ll have to spend on boosting your power to the level that you need for the later game stages. In order to protect health you’ll want to focus on fast combat to reduce the number of enemy attacks and where possible always fight with a number advantage that can often mean the enemy doesn’t even get an attack opportunity. Ambush in particular is your friend here as when you successfully ambush an enemy none of the nearby enemies are brought into the fight.
- Experience: While reading the above you might think that avoiding any fight is a viable strategy it will actually hurt you more in the long run as you need to acquire enough experience throughout the game to reach higher levels and beat the final bosses. If you are a For The King player that consistently starts off well but sees a rapid decline in mid to late game your issue is likely not acquiring enough experience, gold and items early on to propel you forward. Using the ambush strategy noted above can significantly help in achieving this along with a general approach of never failing to take any other 3v1 that presents itself and using the optional dungeons that spawn.
- Focus: Managing your focus given its guaranteed stat roll power is another key resource presented in For The King. While equipping items with the refocus ability that you find can significantly help in this regard you’ll generally want to be saving your focus for the events with the largest negative impact if failed. While some of this requires game knowledge acquired over time events that end in death or significant damage taken are obvious candidates for focus usage. Additionally in combat if using a focus point or two means guaranteeing a kill and stopping a deadly attack then it’s also worthwhile.
- Gold: Gold is the spoils of all your combat and exploration elements and is another vital resource that needs careful management. If you follow the tips for the resources above then you’ll likely conserve gold naturally as you’ll be spending less on healing and focus replenishment while acquiring more gold from taking additional fights. With your gold reserves in a good place though you’ll want to carefully spend them for maximum benefit. As a general rule this means always prioritising new weapons over all else and spending gold on the biggest leaps in power rather than buying multiple small jumps along the way. With the threat of inflation buying items earlier on and when available is also an important tip as opposed to hoarding gold.
- Consumables: The final key resource is managing your consumable inventory and saving the strongest items when you are in desperate need rather than using them haphazardly during your adventure. For example if your poisoned but expect to heal in a few turns then save your vital Panax herb for a battle where you actually need it. Ensuring your split consumables across your team is also vital in this regard just encase a character dies or is not in a particular battle.
For The King General Tips & Tricks
Below are a broad range of For The King tips to round out this game guide which don’t fit into other categories but are key pillars of any strategy. Like the rest of this article you’ll find a mix of beginner tips and more advanced tactics that are not immediately obvious.
- Effectively using dungeons and ships can quickly gather your party from being spread out across a biome.
- You should always be planning multiple moves ahead of your current situation. Where do you want to be in 2 turns? 5 turns? And how do you plan to get there?
- Exploring all game hexes can significantly improve the number of useful events you encounter and ensure you find all the important locations (e.g. Sanctums). While keeping your party close is important, you should move them across different hexes to fully explore them while staying in range.
- Prioritise pipe upgrades above all equipment opportunities. If relying on party heal in your team setup you can focus on the party healer as this is what decides the healing amount.
- Always check towns for quests but only accept a quest if you can complete it within the next 20 turns required. Chaos limiting quests should always be prioritised.
- While an item might have slightly higher damage an item that uses less stat rolls and has an effect on a perfect attack can often prove more valuable.
- If you are using a breakable weapon always have a backup for that character as using your fists is a very ineffective attack.
- Scholar’s Wart can double as a healing item when used strategically before, during or after a fight to allow a character to level up.
- Tinder pouches can be used multiple times when placed in the overworld and can be useful when placed near multiple objectives allowing you to heal and refresh your focus in between these major battles.
- Always use your average character level as a guide on whether you are ready for a dungeon or next objective. You should always aim to avoid attempting a fight higher than your current level and absolutely never take a fight that is 2 levels higher than your characters.
- Avoid certain enemies when in the overworld, there are a number of imbalanced enemies that have deadly side effects or hit significantly harder than most.
- Always use your focus before activating a Sanctum or Hero Monument Statue as both of these refill your focus to the maximum.
- Focusing gold multiplier equipment on a single character and giving them all the gold from battles find gear can significantly increase your gold income.
- Enemies that steal gold can be useful and abused to increase your total gold gained significantly if you kill them before they flee the fight. If your gold is stolen and you kill the thief and then collect your stolen gold after the battle it is multiplied by your gold find meaning you’ll receive more gold than the amount stolen.