How to manage popularity in Stronghold: Warlords

I want to be popular.

Screenshot by Gamepur

The key to running a successful military in Stronghold: Warlords is managing your popularity. If you don’t keep your people happy, they’ll quickly start to leave. You can’t just increase taxes fivefold without giving them anything in return. Here, we’ve collected a few early game tips to help you as you’re learning the ins and outs of Stronghold: Warlords.

The simplest way to increase popularity is to bring down your tax rate. However, if you’re not generating taxes, you won’t have money to build new buildings and units. Your next option is to increase your people’s rice rations. This is a solid stopgap for the early game, but you’ll also need rice to build most of your structures.

Thankfully, you have a few other ways to build up popularity without hurting your production. The first the game makes available to you is building better housing. If you’re trying to squeeze every last cent out of your population, it’s best to save up rice and build fine houses or better.

The best option in the early game is unlocked in the third mission. There, you’re finally able to build vegetable farms. These take a bit longer to get up and running, but you can quickly start using them for the bulk of your food. They aren’t used to build other structures, so you can make vegetables the staple of your villagers’ diet. This lets you save all of that glorious rice for constructing new buildings.

As you progress, you’ll unlock even better food options, but, just like your real-life diet, mastering the staples is the key to success.