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How to increase your population in Manor Lords

A humble village in Manor Lords.
Slavic Magic

People are your most important resource in Manor Lords. Without a growing population, you won’t be able to effectively build new structures, staff your buildings, and have people ready to fight any battles.

While you are in charge of almost all aspects of your growing kingdom, you can’t force new people to join your village if they don’t want to. Your grand plans for the perfect kingdom will be thwarted before they even begin if you can’t figure out how to increase your population to help build that dream. There are two main factors you need to understand to grow a population, but one is a bit less clear.

How to grow your population

A menu detailing the population of a town in Manor Lords.
Slavic Magic

The first and most obvious cap to your population is how many burgage plots you have. You start out with a few homeless citizens, but new families aren’t too interested in joining a village if they will have nowhere to sleep. You can build up multiple plots, or upgrade existing burgages to allow for more people to live in them. Also, other buildings like churches and the Manor allow families to live in them as well.

However, even if you have an entire neighborhood of new homes waiting for people to move in, no one will if your approval rating is too low. This is notated by a percentage marker on the bar at the top of the screen. If you have a rating of 24% or below, you will lose one population every month. If it’s between 25% and 49%, there will be no change, 50% to 74% will add one person per month, and 75% to 100% will add two people per month. So long as you’re above 50% and there is space for them, your population will steadily grow.

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The best developments to get first in Manor Lords
A town in a valley in Manor Lords.

It feels a little bit like cheating in Manor Lords, but the development upgrades you can get can do some powerful things to improve your settlement. However, to balance things out, the development points you need to unlock these enhancements are given out very sparingly. In fact, you won't get even close to the amount needed to unlock everything on the sphere grid. To make matters even more stressful, there's no way to undo a choice you make, so any point spent in error is locked in until you start a new game. There's none that can make your game harder, but if you pick one that offers no benefit to your current settlement or goals, it might as well be a negative in terms of the opportunity cost. For the best experience, here are the developments you should invest in first.
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Before you can spend any development points in Manor Lords, you have to earn them. This is a slightly obfuscated system that you may not fully understand if you're not paying close attention, but it does make sense once you know what's going on. Development points are tied to you reaching new settlement levels. You can incrementally grow to a small village, a medium village, a large village, a small town, a medium town, and -- finally -- a large town. Each one requires a larger number of burgage plots and for you to upgrade more of them to higher levels. In any one settlement, you can earn six development points.
Best developments to get first

The development tree is broken down into four segments: farming, trade, gathering, and industry. Here are some of the best ones you can unlock early.
Heavy Plow
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Charcoal Burning
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Deep Mining
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Sheepbreeding
Speaking of getting an unending source of materials and money, Sheepbreeding makes something that you would expect to happen, but by default does not, actually occur. If you have a sheep farm, those sheep will be completely uninterested in mating and having more sheep babies. Snag this development to let nature take its course and get yourself an infinite supply of sheep for materials and to trade for quite a high price.
Better Deals
And while you're trading, unlock better deals to keep from getting ripped off. There's a tariff on anything you import in Manor Lords of 10 regional wealth, but this perk waives that annoying fee. Since you never quite know what resources you will have and what you will need to import to build your next structure or upgrade, importing is essential for reaching the late game. The earlier you invest in this, the more you'll save in the long run.

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Melinoe fighting under a full moon in Hades 2.

You can't have a game where you play as a witch without a massive cauldron. Hades 2 places one front and center in the Crossroads, but it isn't just there for decorative purposes. Melinoë can use this big boiling pot of green liquid to bring new features into the game, whether it be between runs or during them, in exchange for various materials like Silver. You will only start out with a few Incantations, but doing more runs and getting further toward your goal of killing Chronos will gradually unlock more to create. There are far more than you might expect for an early access game. Here are all the Incantations and their recipes.
Every Incantation, effect, and recipe
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Incantation name

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Art for Nemesis in hades 2.

Silver is one of the most important resources you can find in Hades 2. Unlike most others that drop after clearing a room, this precious metal must be mined from deposits around the map, leading to the question of how you can gather it. You may come across a glowing stone with the "Collect?" prompt, only to be told you cannot gather it without a special tool. That tool is none other than the Crescent Pick, but unlocking it is a bit obscure. It won't take you many runs to get what you need, so just follow our lead so you can start collecting Silver to make new weapons with.
How to mine Silver

Silver deposits will pop up around the environment as you navigate the randomly generated rooms, so you will need to keep an eye out for these glowing silver rocks. To gather that sweet material, you first need to unlock and acquire the Crescent Pick, which takes two steps.

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