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Widelands FAQ - Playing

To get help with technical problems see: WidelandsFaqTechnical , Forum Technical Help

Which is the best way to start playing Widelands?

After having installed the game (see DownloadPage , WidelandsFaqTechnical you may start playing the Tutorial to learn the game basics.
In the Campaigns (Single player --> Campaigns) you get to know the economy of the tribes. See also the economy networks at (Barbarianspage, Empirepage, Atlanteanspage, Barbarian economy network, Empire economy network, Atlantean economy).
The function of buttons and other basic information is on Gamehelpbasicinterface (the wiki).

One ware is missing in my warehouse. Why?

This may have several reasons:

  • You are not producing this ware: To see which building produces this ware, lookup the ware in the ware help (fifth button from the right in the in-game menu: or see the economy network of the tribe you are playing (Barbarian economy network, Empire economy network, Atlantean economy). Note that some more complex wares are only produced by "enhanced" buildings.
  • You are not producing enough of this ware: This may be because you do not have enough of the buildings producing this ware (very frequently with lumberjacks and foresters). Another possibility is that the producing building is not efficient. See also question A producing building doesn't work. Why?
    A third possibility is a setting in the economy options . There you can adjust the target quantities of the economy's wares. If you know that you will soon need lots of rations, you can increase the target quantity in the economy options. If you have more than one economy (separate networks of roads), each will have its own distinct set of economy options.
  • You have this ware, but it's not in a warehouse/HQ: If you see the ware in your stock, but not in a warehouse, it lies in a building (which will process it) or is currently being transported.

A worker is missing from a building. Why?

This may have two reasons:

  • A tool is missing for the worker: All workers are 'produced' when the necessary wares are in a warehouse (including the headquarters and ports) and there is a request for this worker. For example, a barbarian builder is created when there is a request (a construction- or dismantlesite without a worker) and there is a hammer in a warehouse. If a worker needs several tools, all of them have to be present in the same warehouse. People are always available in unlimited numbers in all warehouses, but tools are wares that need to be produced in a toolsmithy, blacksmithy, metal workshop or stone workshop (depending on the tribe). Training sites for soldiers need trainers, who need weapons from the tribe's weapon smith and may need some armor from the armorsmith. You can look up the required workers, tools and tool producers in the Encyclopedia. Once you know what is needed, you can make sure you have a producer for the required tool, and it has the required resources to make the tool. You may want to set target quantities of the other tools to 0 to prioritise the missing tool. After the tool is created, it has to arrive to a warehouse, where the new worker will be then created.
  • An experienced worker is needed: Some enhanced buildings need experienced workers. The workers can usually get the required experience in the basic version of the building, so you should make sure that the existing worker is already at the higher level before you upgrade a building. This can also be found in the Encyclopedia. Many enhanced buildings need more than one workers, but not all of them need to be experienced. If you upgrade several buildings of the same type at once, the first one to complete may take all experienced workers from the others. In this case you have to send one of the experienced workers away from the first building. Or you may have a basic building where the worker already has the required experience, so you can send him/her away too.

How do I get more soldiers?

Soldiers are different from other workers: They are created in a barracks building (Widelands build20 and newer). Barbarians soldiers need an axe, Empire soldiers a wooden lance and a helmet, Atlanteans a light trident and a tabard, and Frisians a short swords and a fur garment. When those wares are present in a barracks, soldiers will be recruited if needed.

A producing building doesn't work. Why?

Again, there are several possible reasons:

  • The building may not have enough of the required wares. You see the required wares in the window of the building (left-click on the entrance of the building).
    For hunters, fishermen, woodcutters/lumberjacks and quarries, the wares exist on the map itself, although fish are not visible. If a fisher runs out of fish, you have to re-build a fisher near other water sources. Atlanteans can prevent this by building a fish breeder.
  • The stock in your warehouses has already reached the economy's target. The target number of a ware is determined in the economy options .
  • You have not enough place around the building. This is only important for some buildings, which use the space around them to plant trees, corn, blackroot, thatch reed: Forester, farm, blackroot farm, fernery.

My construction site is not starting or completing. Why?

The construction site has to be linked to the road network and must have a builder present. When the construction site does not finish then, the most probable reason is that it is missing wares. You can see the missing wares when you left-click on the construction site. When there are several construction sites or producing buildings lacking one ware, you can favour some of them using the priority buttons in the constructionsite's window, so they get the ware more likely than the not-favoured construction sites or buildings.

My roads are congested with too many wares.

It may happen that you have hot spots or long, un-flagged roads where transportation is not as fast as you wish. There are several ways to improve this: Build some Warehouses (or Ports) to store wares to avoid long-distant transports. Take care that you have a flag every two coordinates on the map, if feasible. Build multiple roads to the same destination (this helps against accidental splitting of economies, too). Breed Oxen (Barbarian), Donkeys (Empire) or Horses (Atlantians). On some maps ships may be faster than land transport. An expert will place buildings along a road in a logical order to minimize transportation costs. For example: Barbarians: place some farms around a warehouse with wells, breweries and bakeries. Warehouses should, in general, be surrounded by processing buildings like wood hardeners, mills etc. Take care that your HQ and warehouses have enough roads - five is preferable but sometimes it can be only three, but there should not be less. Take into account that some buildings do not need roads at all, once they are in full operation: forester, ranger, fish breeder and game keeper.

Can I play with Widelands with my friends or other people?

Yes, you can. If the AI (computer player) is too boring, you can play with other people in a network or via the Internet. See the information in the Gamehelpmultiplayer and the WidelandsFaqTechnical .
You can play against other players or the AI or play together in a team. When you play in a team, there is the possibility to share the kingdom. It's also possible to join a game as a spectator, so you can see all players and use the in-game chat, but not interact in the game. Playing in a team, shared kingdom or spectator modes are options to choose before starting the game.

What do symbols over the soldier's head mean?

The symbols denote the soldier's levels. There are four categories. The more red points in the small square, the higher the level in this category. If the background of the square is white, the maximum level in this category is reached. For more information see Soldierlevels.

I don't have enough place for my buildings. How can I expand my territory?

Just place a military building (e.g. sentry, blockhouse, guardhouse, small tower...) near your frontier and connect the construction site to your road network. When the building is finished, soldiers start to move from your headquarter to the military building. As soon as there is at least one soldier in the building, it conquers an area and therefore expands your territory, unless an opponent already holds this territory. The size of the conquered area differs from building size and type.

Why should I send a geologist?

To know which resources you may find before building a mine (or well - but in this case, it is not implemented).
You can order a geologist by left-clicking on an existing flag (which is connected to the economy with a road) and choosing the button at the right: ' Send geologist to explore site'. An old scientist then comes and investigates your terrain. When he finds water or other resources in the earth, he informs you with a message (message box) and a little sign on the point he found the resource. It is especially important to explore the terrain before building a mine. The colour of the sign means: blue = water, red = iron, black = coal, yellow = gold, white = granite (Barbarians), marble (Empire), crystal (Atlanteans)

Why doesn't the geologist explore the places I want?

The geologist explores at most 15 spots randomly in a region of 5 nodes around the base flag. (fewer if there is too little free ground in the area) This can be as low as only 1/6 of the area if all of it is unblocked and the same type as the base, so in most cases you should send 2 or even 3 geologists if you have them. You can also limit where they can explore by placing flags and building roads where you don't want them to search.

What does some resource / a lot of resource mean?

The maximum resource amounts are mineral-specific. For ores and fish it's 20, for water 50. "Some" means up to half of the maximum, "a lot of" means more than half of the maximum. For building mines this means that you can get 1 to 10 pieces of the mineral from each node in the working area with "some" ore, and 11 to 20 pieces from each node with "a lot of" ore.

What does it mean that a deep mine can exploit more resources?

The encyclopedia help texts of the mines contain notes on how much of the available minerals they can extract. When we say that a mine takes up to X% of the resources, this percentage refers to the resource amount initially present at a node, not the resource's maximum amount.

How to use the message box = news?

Open the message box by left-clicking on the in-game menu on the icon on the very right or with the keyboard shortcut N.
Here you get your news: new finished military buildings, findings of geologists, news of the tutorial/ campaign/ scenario, status information (for some win conditions). If the localizing button (in the top right corner) is active, you can directly jump to the region affected by the message by clicking the localizing button. To archive your messages, select them (checkbox at the beginning of the line) and click on the button with the red cross or use the keyboard shortcut Del.

Where can I see my wares or other statistics?

You get a list of your wares (first tab) and workers (second tab) in the statistics (in-game menu: second button from the left) in the stock. It displays the number of wares and workers currently in your economy (first + second tab) or in all your warehouses (third + fourth tab). Note that wares existing in your economy are not necessarily available: They might be stored in a production building (e.g. gold in a helmsmithy).
Here you also find other statistics such as general (land, military force....), wares and building stats. Another presentation of your wares and workers is the menu of the headquarter or of a warehouse. This window presents only the wares and workers which are currently in the building.

I forgot where I placed some building / I want to find unproductive buildings

As part of the statistics there are details on your buildings. Since Build 19 this has been improved and can be opened with the 'B' shortcut. There you can locate all your buildings, grouped by sizes. So you can find low productive farms, unfinished buildings, or where you may enhance them. You can also find out which buildings have not been built, yet.

How can I start a battle with another tribe?

Build military structures on the contested border to position more soldiers near the field of conflict. Click on any opponent's military structure and select the number of soldiers to engage with, then start the attack. Note that the defender may send more soldiers from other structures you can't see yet.
See also Gamehelpmilitaryandwarfare

Which buildings can be attacked?

In Widelands all buildings that do conquer some land are defined as attackable. For the moment being these buildings are: all military buildings, all headquarters and all ports.

I can't attack another tribe's military building. Why?

When you opponent has a non-finished military building (construction site) or a military building without soldiers, you can't attack them. The area around a non-finished or non-occupied military building is not conquered, so you can conquer this area by building own military buildings in the region.
You can't attack military buildings of tribes with which you play in one team (set in the playing options before starting the game).
If you can open the attack dialogue, but there are 0 soldiers to attack, build military buildings in the near and build soldiers to occupy these buildings. (See question How do I get more soldiers (or other workers?) )

Why should I enhance a building?

Enhanced buildings are more effective:

  • enhanced mines are deeper and have a bigger work area, so they can be productive when the normal mine finds no more resources
  • enhanced military buildings can house more soldiers and/or have a bigger conquered area

However, some enhanced production buildings need experienced workers to occupy it. See Barbarian economy network, Empire economy network, Atlantean economy. You should only enhance these buildings when you have the worker for the enhanced building. You see the worker when you left-click on the entrance of the building and chose the tab 'list' (icon with three little figures). How to get an experienced worker: a miner has to work for some time in a mine to become a chief miner or a master miner and therefore get qualified to work in an enhanced mine. You see the progress of a worker's experience in the window of the building in the tab 'list'.

Tagged with: game, help