'Ni No Kuni II' Kingdom Building Guide: The Best Research, Upgrades and Citizen Recruitment Strategies

After Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom's opening, which sees King Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum and Roland escaping the coup and overthrow of Ding Dong Dell, it doesn't take long before Evan has some territory of his own. In between chasing Doloran around the world and looking for signatories to his Declaration of Interdependence, King Evan has to build Evermore, his own kingdom.

Kingdom building is one of the more in-depth gameplay modes in Ni No Kuni II, maybe second only to combat. Once Evermore is established, it will be to players' advantage to check in about every half hour.

King Evan standing outside of his kingdom of Evermore. Bandai Namco Entertainment / Level-5

Evan doesn't need to be seated on his throne to manage his kingdom. Just press the triangle button anywhere in town and you'll enter the Kingdom Building interface.

Your Kingdom's Economy

Kingdom building works on a separate currency called Kingsguilders, or KG. Kingsguilders purchase the buildings, the upgrades and pay for the research that happens in your facilities. They accrue in your kingdom's coffers at a rate that increases as your kingdom's economy grows. It's important to check in on Evan's kingdom often, even if it's just to collect from your kingdom's coffers (once full, Evan's coffers stop filling up).

You can also get Kingsguilders by walking around and helping out your citizen's with their paltry complaints. (Why they want their king to chop wood, we will never know.)

In addition to Coffers, there are also Evermore's Stores, a menu that aggregates your share of the kingdom's material output, including crops from your farms and fish from your markets. Like Coffers, Evermore's Stores can fill up and stop producing, so make a point to collect often. There are two options: to take all items or sell all items. Selling doesn't net you much, so it's worth just keeping everything for yourself, especially because lots of those items will prove useful in crafting and improving weapons, armor and spells, or feeding Higgledies.

Level up fish markets, farms and lumberyards to get higher quality items. Bandai Namco Entertainment / Level-5

Evermore's Building Boom

To build, simply look around the map for build sites, meet the requirements (usually a cost in Kingsguilders) and buy the facility. It spawns immediately, but is far from useful upon construction. That will take personnel and some leveling up.

Once Evermore is well established, your decisions about research priorities and facilities to level will be more obvious, based on your current objective. But generally, to level your overall kingdom as quickly as possible, it's best to build a lot of facilities, even if you don't have a use for them yet. More important than any specific facility is improving the overall status of your kingdom by levelling up the kingdom itself. This typically requires having a certain number of citizens and building a certain number of facilities (plus a coffer-load of Kingsguilders), so keep an eye on your progress and level up Evermore and its coffers as soon as possible. This will increase the flow of Kingsguilders into the Evermore economy and offer new facilities and research options by expanding the boundaries of Evan's kingdom's walls.

Coffers determine how fast money comes into your kingdom. Bandai Namco Entertainment / Level-5

The Scientific Method (Of Waiting)

To make a facility useful, add personnel. These are citizens you'll pick up while adventuring who agree to join Evan's kingdom of Evermore. Each has an IQ rating in War, Ingenuity, Spritecraft and Conjury that could make them more or less suited to a specific facility. But really it doesn't take much micromanaging; opening the Personnel menu for a facility will quickly reveal "Suitable" candidates for the job. More personnel and higher IQ will allow you to unlock upgrades and complete research more quickly.

Read Evermore citizen profiles to see where they'd fit best into your kingdom. Bandai Namco Entertainment / Level-5

The research available at facilities is determined partly by what your personnel can unlock and partly by the facility's level. Levelling facilities can get expensive fast, so it's a good idea to only do it when there's specific research you're hoping to access.

Because research can take a long time—30 real-time minutes isn't uncommon—it's always preferable to have a fully-staffed facility doing the work. If you have citizens to spare, assign them to the facility before beginning important research, even if their skills don't really match up. It's more important to fill those slots and get the work done.

The Best People

While the usefulness of new citizens to Evermore depends mostly on their IQ and which facility best suits their skills, there are attribute requirements for certain types of research. That means you might need a very specific person to take on certain types of research. For example, using the Symphonium, a facility for listening to the Ni No Kuni II soundtrack, requires a citizen with the "Perfect Pitch" designation. I've only found one. Which means using the Symphonium at all requires fulfilling Nereus' conditions in Hydropolis and signing him up for Evermore.

Meet my bud Nereus. He's a good singer. Bandai Namco Entertainment / Level-5

Recruiting new citizens to Evermore takes up a major chunk of the available sidequests in Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. Return to each major city after conquering its Kingmaker and the map will be covered in little exclamation marks, each one a potential new citizen of Evermore. Once all of the low-hanging fruit have been recruited, check Leafbook, the in-game social network, or Swift Solutions.

You can take on 12 Swift Solutions quests at a time. Bandai Namco Entertainment / Level-5

There's a Swift Solutions stand in every city, where you can take on micro-quests, usually forking over a handful of items or beating a few enemies, in exchange for a special currency called Tokens of Gratitude. Those tokens can be spent scouting out new citizens, who will be added to your map.

The Best Research

Options for new research and facilities can become very overwhelming, very fast. There's way more to do in Evermore than you're likely to get to in a normal campaign playthrough. But here's some stuff worth focusing on immediately, beyond the obvious research into improved weapons, armor and Higgledies.

Brisk Stroll - This is a game changer, which you can research at the Explorer's Guild. Brisk Stroll increases movement speed in overworld maps, which will not only help you get around, but will allow you to outrun pursuing enemies.

Better Construction Efficiency - Lowers building cost by 20 percent. Research this at the Institute of Innovation right away to save piles of Kingsguilders in the meantime.

Cook Great Higgledies for Less - This is another excellent discount if you ever hope to "cook up" the most powerful Higgledies. Visit the Higglery to research.

Specific Spell Dev.: Spirit Medium - Researched at the Evermore Spellworks, Spirit Medium may not sound so useful at first, but you'll run into more and more ghosts later in the game and deeper into your exploration. Talking to them is worthwhile.

Specific Spell Dev.: Spring Lock - Also researched at the Evermore Spellworks, Spring Lock unlocks all those blue treasure chests sprinkled around the world.

As Evermore expands, Evan will be able to build more powerful and stranger facilities, like the Sage's Salon, Hyper Hubble-Bubblery, Multi-Dimensional Lab and Kingmaker's Cathedral. The amount of construction, upgrading and research can feel almost endless, stretching for hours after you've beaten the main campaign. But in between all the juggling of research, Kingsguilders and new construction, it's also always worthwhile to take a walk around your kingdom to chat up and help out your citizenry. After all, you built this for them.