5 Life Lessons I Learned From ‘Forge of Empires’

Michael Medlen

Online gaming, while childish to outsiders, can be a positive influence in our lives. Forge of Empires is such a game. The world-building strategy game teaches crucial life lessons relevant to people of all ages. These lessons not only make us better gamers but better people as well.

Here are five life lessons I find beneficial to my personal growth.

Patience Is Key

Forge of Empires screenshot

The key to success in Forge of Empires is patience. Or rather, how one handles waiting for rewards. Part of the draw of the game is the fact that it is free. While this technically is true, it’s also deceptive.

Players have the ability to use “diamonds” to speed up things such as constructing buildings or researching technology. While you can spend money on these diamonds, the reality is you don’t have to. Instead, you can just wait for currency, supplies, and forge points to replenish during their respective growth cycles.

This can be seen in my own life when I want new things, such as an Xbox One. Instead of rushing and spending all my hard-earned cash on a game system, I’ve learned to wait and save slowly to get what I want. That way, I don’t blow a week’s paycheck, or worse, rent money on something that can wait until I’m financially stable.

Loyalty Is Rewarded

Forge of Empires guild screenshot

Another important in-game strategy is to become a member of a guild and stay loyal to it. There are hundreds of guilds to choose from in Forge of Empires. Each has unique characteristics, but all rely on teamwork to help finish goals and quests.

Picking and sticking with a single group is a good way to building useful alliances. By doing so, you can find partners willing to help you grow as you continue to build.

This obviously translates to the real world, as staying loyal to my friends has truly paid off. When I needed help moving furniture to a new apartment, it was these friends who helped me. Over the years, they have always lent a helping hand when needed.

Weather the Storm

Forge of Empires buildings screenshot

Perseverance, or the ability to weather the storm,  is an often neglected trait. When resources are scarce or there are delays in in-game era or age progression, it is this ability that will see you through.

Quitting is tempting during these difficult stretches, especially when you run out of gold to purchase new technologies or construct new buildings. Those who endure and overcome these tough times are rewarded with an improved player ranking.

I know in my own life that simply sticking through hard times has paid off. For example, I spent four months in a homeless shelter during the worst year of my life. I weathered that storm, and, a year later, I was living in a fully furnished apartment.

Long-Term Planning Ensures Success

Forge of Empires level screenshot

The ultimate goal of Forge of Empires is to develop a kingdom that is self-sufficient and able to provide for itself. The early ages of the game are pretty straightforward and effortless. It does, however, become difficult as land space and available resources become scarce.

Because of this, long-term planning for your own success is vital. Doing so, allows you to grow in stature and rank as well as progress through the later ages and eras. This lesson can be applied in the real world as well when planning for college or a wedding. The key is to make plans and stick to them.

Do What You’re Told

Forge of Empires request screenshot

There is nothing more important to your success as a player than following directions, such as completing tasks from “elders.” Yes, it may feel mundane to do what they tell you, but obedience results in rewards — like diamonds or precious goods.

It’s like being told to listen to your parents or teacher. Doing what you are told yields positive results like good grades.

Over the last year, Forge of Empires has helped me become a better person. To a casual observer, online strategy games may seem rather simple and straightforward. However, they are full of life lessons that can help us grow.

Michael Medlen
A devoted student of Mad Men and X-Men. When not busy trying to get Sarah Michelle Geller's attention I can be found in art museums and public libraries.