A Beginner's Guide to Cultist Simulator
Not every game hands you the keys to the front entrance. And in Cultist Simulator, the developers want you to look under every rock to find the hidden key they've placed for the entrance.
This challenging game invites players to try a new method and go forward with a different approach to discover success on their own terms. This guide offers some helpful tips for anyone getting stuck in Cultist Simulator or who wants to improve their chances of surviving.
Note: The developers encourage experimentation in this game. Much of the advice shared here may contain spoilers.
Read the Aspects of Your Cards
You'll find these at the lower right-hand side of every card you click on. You should understand what these symbols mean and how they work together with the other Verbs that pop up on your board.
This means spending a lot of time starting your game paused and reading through the aspects attached to your starting deck. Don't be afraid to read as much as you can -- the more you read, the more likely you are to immediately know what cards go together.
Make sure to do this even if you experience a loss. Take a moment to read the aspects of the Verbs you were given, as well as the cards you have on your board. This will give you a better idea of why you lost and how you can correct it for next time.
Know How to Reliably Acquire Resource Cards
The start of the game may seem forgiving by granting you a healthy pool of personal stats, such as Health, Funds, Passion, and Reason cards. These remain difficult resources to gather throughout your playthrough of Cultist Simulator, and you'll consistently find a excuse to keep these items in stock. The best way to keep them around is to know the easiest and quickest ways to acquire them.
- Health - This may prove the toughest resource to acquire. You're going to want to stock up on Vitality cards. You can acquire these by placing Health cards in the Study slot. It will take two Vitality cards to gain another Health, and this can take some time; make sure you do this earlier rather than later. To increase your Health further, you'll need at least four Vitality cards at once to gain another; the same goes for Passion and Reason, for which you'll need Glimmering and Erudition respectively.
- Funds - You'll find this the easiest personal stat to acquire, and you'll have the most of it. You can use your other personal stats, such as Health, Passion, and Reason, to acquire more of it. You replenish this from the Work Verb. You'll want to have a lot of Funds as this stat can help you upgrade your other stats, and it remains a useful tool to advance the game!
- Passion - If you place Passion in the Study Verb, you'll find that you can acquire Glimmering. When you add enough Glimmering (along with funds) to the Study Verb, you can add more Passion to your overall pool. Other cards, such as Fascination, can pop up from studying Glimmering. You can use Fascination with the Sleep Verb, add Dread to it, and acquire more Passion.
- Reason - Much like Passion, you can use a Reason card with Study to acquire Erudition. With Erudition, you can use it with the Study Verb, add a Fund card, and receive an upgrade in Reason. If you draw a Dread card, use it with Sleep and add Contentment to it to increase your Reason pool.
In Cultist Simulator, there's no surefire way to receive a card when you use it with a task. There's always a small risk you're going to receive a negative aspect, but that's a part of the game. If you want the biggest rewards, you have to prepare yourself to handle the risks associated with them.
The Glover and Glover Position
Of all the jobs available to you in the game, the Glover and Glover career can provide you with the most funds. If you plan on going this route, don't get stuck at the junior position. You want to earn more funds and expand your career by earning promotions.
You can earn promotions by adding Reason when you place the Glover and Glover Junior Position into the Work Verb. Because this occupies your Reason card, it's best to do this when you have at least 2 Reason in your pool.
Once you receive your promotion, you'll notice your boss, Mr. Alden, starts demanding you work overtime. He'll continue to demand this from you, and if you don't comply, he'll dock your pay.
To get the most out of this career path, you have to take out Mr. Alden. You can do this by placing a Health or a Follower Card in the Explore slot. This may take several attempts. Eventually, you should receive some hired help to handle Mr. Alden.
When you're ready, place your hired help card in the Talk slot and then add your Job card to it. They should eliminate Mr. Alden. This may take you several attempts as you can fail this opportunity. With Mr. Alden gone, you can continue working as you normally did, and over time, you should gain another promotion.
The Senior Position is not the highest level you achieve at Glover and Glover. Much like how you eliminated Mr. Alden, you can take out one of the seated chairmen of the company in the same fashion. Again, this may take you some time as you can fail this opportunity. Once you've taken out the younger Glover, you'll find yourself with a seat at the Glover and Glover company.
For those just starting out, this is a secure position to play the game.
Avoid Using Health on Work If You Can
By throwing a health card into the Work Verb, you're performing manual labor. You'll find this a great way to make money in the short run, but this doesn't bode well for your long game. Use this option sparingly and only if you have health to spare.
If you're in a pinch, sure, this is a great option if you need a quick burst of funds. But when you do this too much, you run the risk of potentially acquiring the Injury card. You'll have to use funds to turn this Injury card back into a Health card. So, if you were doing this to receive funds in the first place and you drew the Injury card, you're out of luck.
Only use Health in the Work Verb if you have available funds to bail yourself out.
More Followers Always Helps, and How You Use Them
When you're not using your Talk verb for anything in particular, optimize this empty section and try to locate followers. The more you have on your side, the more options you'll have during the mid-to-late game.
It's important you also understand you'll likely find two different types: named followers and Hangers-On. Hangers-On are lower on the power pole compared to named followers, and you can only upgrade them once to the level of Pawn.
You can upgrade named followers three times. They start out as Acquaintances, and you can turn them into Believers, and later, Disciples. A select few can turn into Exalted. This can only happen if they are associated with the core principle of your Cult.
Of the two, use a Hanger-On in a ritual to gain a benefit as they do not matter as much as the named ones. Additionally, if you upgrade a Hanger-on to the level of Pawn, you can use it as a scapegoat when the Suppression Bureau start to catch wind of you.
Because you're reserving your named followers for real tasks, only assign them to tasks you want to get done right. Believers have a 30% chance to succeed, Disciples have a 70% chance, and Exalted have a 100% chance.
Do Not Let Expeditions Use Up All of Your Followers
You have three outcomes when it comes to completing an expedition:
- You succeed (great!)
- You run out of money
- You run out followers
Of the three, running out of followers is the worst because these were the most difficult to acquire, and once you lose them, they're gone. You can earn back money. Not people. If you see your expedition is not going well, the best thing to do is let it run out of money -- do not keep throwing followers at the problem!
If there's something you're still having trouble with, or if you have a particular question, let your voice be heard in the comments below.
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