Clash of Clans is one of the biggest mobile games ever, but it has developed a reputation as being pay-to-win. So the question remains: is Clash of Clans pay-to-win?
Clash of Clans is pay-to-win as the advantages you get from real money purchases will rapidly speed up progress, your army and many more aspects. While it is possible for a free player to eventually catch up, it will take years of play to do this.
Let’s look at the pay-to-win mechanics of Clash of Clans, how much money you’ll need to fully max out Clash of Clans and whether it’s still worth playing Clash of Clans or whether it’s too far gone.
Is Clash of Clans Pay-to-Win Kind of Game?
Clash of Clans is a pay-to-win (P2W) game although it is not true that its impossible to win at it if you’re a free player.
Real money can be used to purchase gems in-game, which will allow the player to progress significantly faster.
Further, gold passes and special packs are important resources for the game including advancing building tiers, army levels and other important aspects that a free-to-play (F2P) player can’t possibly compete with, even if they play all day.
The game still requires skill in troop placement, army composition and hero choice, so while it may not be as bad as other P2W games, the clear advantages a paid or premium player gets over a F2P player means it still deserves the title of pay to win.
Without pumping money into the game, the timers and delays added mean you can’t do anything until this time has passed, which you can skip immediately if you put money into it.
A battle pass gives crucial rewards like a builder increasing their build speed significantly, or a bigger season bank.
Completing challenges is a way to get these rewards, but instead of completing challenges, you can just use purchased gems to zip through this rather than spending hours doing it. Gems can also be used to progress the Gold Pass to the next tier.
An active player with a gold pass will max out their town hall, the main building which acts as a bottleneck for pretty much everything else in the game, to a high level in a significantly shorter amount of time than a F2P player.
The gold pass provides various rewards and perks when the player completes certain in-game tasks.
The ingame store has a variety of items purchasable by gems that have a variety of special offers and packs in the store, including heroes and more bonuses and benefits such as power-ups, boosts, resources and quick finish of upgrades.
Nothing is available in the store or purchasable using real money that is going to give players what could be termed a statistical advantage, such as heroes or items that can’t be earned by being a free player and putting time into the game.
So while it is not impossible for a F2P player to get similar setups to a paid player, they are going to need to put in significantly more time and a lot of that time will be waiting for certain buildings or upgrades to finish, which can take days or weeks.
Normally you have to raid which means training and using troops, which itself can take a very long time. Raids then give you resources needed to purchase different troops, buildings and other vital parts of your base.
A P2W player doesn’t need to raid, as they can instantly train and troops they need and just buy the resources that you otherwise would need to raid for, meaning you save a significant amount of time by purchasing these instead from the store.
How Much Would It Cost to Completely Max Out Clash of Clans?
There are many aspects of the game that can be maxed out including builders, gold, elixir, dark elixir, builder potions and upgrades.
Keep in mind that upgrading walls will use 10% more gold than all the upgrades combined from Town Hall level one to Town Hall level 14.
The total gold for getting your Town Hall to the maximum of level 14 comes to around 4,616,897,500. This can be achieved with about 1,308,249 gems.
Next, you’ll also need to factor in the total elixir cost to max out Clash of Clans heroes and buildings to level 14. This is going to take around 991,948,900 gold, meaning 281,203 gems.
Wall upgrades will cost around 5,618,216,250 gold to get to level 14, meaning around 1,591,951 gems.
So a quick recap, you’ll need 20,141,123 Gems to max out Clash of Clans.
This is measured via elixir, dark elixir and gold needed for building upgrades, elixir building upgrades, laboratory elixir, wall upgrades, dark elixir hero upgrades, spells and pets via dark elixir.
On top of that, you’ll need to budget 7200 days to upgrade each building and finally 1876 days worth of laboratory time via gems, meaning 20,141,123 gems at a total of around $143,857.
Is Clash of Clans Worth Playing in 2022?
While the game was heavily criticized for leaning too heavily into the freemium business model, it has certainly changed so that a F2P player can do a lot better by playing the game in a smart way.
For premium players, if you sink a bit of money into the game and learn how the internal game works, you can easily rise up the leaderboards and have a lot of fun.
New features such as clan games, clan war leagues, the season pass, special events, and other special deals, if used correctly, will help you speed up the progress of your base and associated items and upgrades by using magic items that don’t require real money.
The game does feel more P2W as you gain more prestige levels, however, you’re unlikely to really notice this until your Town Hall is around level 12 or 13.
If you want to get to Legend League or higher, the reality is that you will need to be putting a few dollars into the game, as there is nothing for it to buy to purchase the shields and use gems on your armies.
There are actions that you can take to get the most out of the game whether as a F2P or P2W player.
The first is the base layout. Look up how to arrange a base properly as this has massive flow on effects for everything else. Some of these are simple, as a mobile screen is not very large, so you want similar buildings in areas that can all fit on the same screen.
No amount of gems can fix a bad base layout, so it’s worth looking up the most recent guides and copying a base layout, and also research as to why a given design is better than another.
Effectively using the rewards given in the game by participating in events and getting a mass amount of loot is key to progressing in this game.
You’ll also want to learn attacking skills, as even with one of the most expensive setups in the game that hundreds of dollars of real money has been pumped into, one would not be able to attack 3-star bases effectively, making it a massive waste of time and resources.