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Let’s School Guide: Gameplay Basics & Beginner Tips
Let’s School Guide: Gameplay Basics & Beginner Tips – Game modes, gameplay basics, victory goals, pathing, income, disaster management, efficiency & effectiveness, indoors, outdoors, expansion, and useful tips & tricks!
Before starting your first game you need to familiarize yourself with its modes which as the date of creating this guide, they’re as following:
- Career Mode:
It’s somehow similar to Sandbox Mode, you don’t feel pressured to achieve anything in the game, you’ve lot’s of funds to start with, easy exams for your students, easy to manage your school, and less disasters to occur overall which made make it a good mode for anyone trying this type of games for a first time.
It’s the default difficulty of this game and is somewhat challenging, good one to choose if you’re familiar with management games and trying to familiarize yourself with game mechanics, it’s a bit difficult than easy mode but manageable overall.
Ok, I won’t lie, it’s literally hard mode of this game, you start with lowest cash possible, exams are difficult and hard to pass, hard to satisfy students, sold items refund 40% of their price, and disasters are very common to happen which can ruin your entire game-play if not managed wisely.
- Sandbox Mode:
You start the game with the similar difficulties in Career Mode but the difference here is that you start with infinite amount of money which make this mode more fun for people who are interested in making their dream school faster with facing less consequences since money can beat every obstacle in our lives.
AKA Development Target
These are goals that you tries to meat as headmaster and each one of them has separate set of missions that need to be achieved to earn the victory condition for this run and the choices given are as following:
I want to educate the best of the best (Teaching Victory):
To achieve this goal you’re tasked of having 20 students with a specific start aspiration level, proving to their communities that you’re qualified to host them, being able to provide them with experienced teachers that can teach them their required courses, facilities that enable them to learn those said courses, and finally prove to their communities through their degrees that you’re capable which in turn mean more students of said aspiration to join.
I want students from all over (Population Victory):
To achieve this goal, you’re tasked of having lots of students in your schools which in turn means that said communities have to trust that your institute is capable to host their students and allow them to graduate, it’d mean more classrooms to host these children, more teachers to teach them, and lots of space to be able to host them and similar number of facilities to satisfy their needs to avoid them dropping out of your schools, and the higher you advance in this victory condition, you’ll be required to achieve a specific satisfaction level and maintain it for an entire week which isn’t as easy as it sounds.
I want to build the most beautiful school (Facility Victory):
Compared to the previous goals, this one is a little different, it depends on money owned and not the number of students in your school but the thing is, without students who buy things in your schools and pass their examination, you won’t be able to earn money, so it’s kinda a combination of previous goals focusing on achieving the highest score of each building we’ve through researching better ones and building some wonders which require lots of points related to the wonder we’re trying to get.
Despite what the game make you thinks, you can switch between goals in the same playthough and not just that, you get rewards of every milestone in other victory conditions that you’ve met while seeking your current one, and here is a preview of all their requirements:
When starting the game, the game will show you a prompt to enable tutorial including parts of the manual or skip it and if this your first time playing this game, please, don’t skip it cause it teaches you the rope on how to play the game and I advise you to read everything very well cause they teach you critical information that you won’t even find in this guide cause they’re considered basic knowledge so again, please don’t skip the tutorial.
When pausing the game by pressing “Esc” button on your keyboard, you’ll find “Manual” button which by pressing it will show you useful info that wasn’t even included in the tutorial and further explaining the game mechanic so if you’re searching for something, check there for quick tip related to it.
Let’s say you’ve a question about how to obtain Contribution Points, if you paid attention to Tutorial, you’d have seen the game explaining it for you.
But since you missed it, you can find it again in Manuals under Education Goals.
So please give this manual a chance, it includes photos which make things clear for you to understand and even some of them are animated so whenever you’ve something you don’t understand, check under which category it falls and read topics about it in less than 3 minutes.
In case some info wasn’t covered in game’s tutorial, manual, or even in this guide of mine, you can check Pathea Games discord server and ask fellow players anything you want and you’ll find them friendly and ready to help you figure anything you need in this game.
Indoors, Outdoors, and Expansion
Before making your school, you need to understand there are different type of things you need to put into consideration before choosing your school location, building a facility, or thinking of expanding your current school because there are some limitations to what you can build and where.
- Teaching Building:
Teaching Building is the building foundation of your school where all facilities of your school will be placed inside of it or even on top of it, it goes by a 2×2 square space, at the beginning you start with Chinese Wooden Structure and as you advance in your research, you can unlock up to Steel Structure which is fireproof and has the highest earthquake resistance of all buildings, also, any facility that requires you to be placed indoors will have to be put inside your Teaching Building of your school,
- Indoor Facilities:
Indoor Facilities takes the space within your school Teaching Building, they follow a 1×1 square space to be placed and expand instead of 2×2 square space like Teaching Building and they inherit the original stats of the type of Teaching Building they’re within such as Fire Resistance and Earthquake Resistance but please note, you can only move a facility within a Teaching Building to another Teaching Building of the same type for now, so you can’t move a classroom built in a Chinese Wooden Structure to a Concrete Structure as an example.
It’s the space that is outside of your school building site, it directly touches the external layout of your school and follow its own set of rules where specific buildings can only be put on top of it.
Outdoor facilities are facilities that can only be place outside of school building and they require that no roof should be in top of them but the trick is, they can be build above the school itself since school roof itself is considered to be Outdoors so you can put a playground, a bicycle shed, a helipad, and more on your school roof without concerning yourself with available land you currently have.
Car Parking Lot:
Car Parking Lot is the only exception to your outdoor facilities, unlike them, it can’t be built over your school roof or even on any random outdoor space on your school grounds, instead, it need to placed on the edge of your school outside of any building to work since let’s be clear, it’s gonna be hard to move a bus on top of your school that contain kids compared to bicycles or even a helicopter.
You might think the given space to you is so limited to build your dream school but surprisingly, you can expand your school easily by buying neighboring grounds to it which merge both grounds to one bigger land that you’re allowed to build your school on.
Pathing is the most important mechanic in the game, you won’t find clear data about it from game’s tutorial or in game’s manual which gonna be hard for people trying to build their first school and have no idea why are they failing.
Usually, people start to learn about this mechanic after 6 hrs at least spent in the game up to 12 hrs, you just see your school that you’ve improved and remodeled, having facilities enough to cover all students needs but despite that, somehow you’re getting negative satisfaction which somehow doesn’t make sense.
So let’s explain what Pathing is,
Pathing is the distance required for a student or a teacher to reach from point A to point B to satisfy his needs “before” break period ends.
So the mistake that happens is, people remodel their school and include a Cafeteria near school entrance as an example while the student in question is in 3rd floor, that student is hungry so when his break period comes, he goes to Cafeteria but before he reaches it, queuing to purchase food, and actually eating it, the bell range and he had to go back to his classroom again.
As you see, despite owning the building required to satisfy the need for food, the students wasn’t able to get food in time to satisfy his needs which cause the negative satisfaction so the solution is always to have enough toilets, cafeterias, and entertainment near classrooms so that students and teachers are able to satisfy their needs.
Your first source of income in the game, you need to research and build them right away cause they’re what you gonna use to pay the school’s upkeep for the first schooling season, it’s to be replaced later with Cafeteria but till you research it, make sure to have it as close to the gate with enough tables and chairs so all students can buy food from it with ease.
Contribution Points are points earned for successfully teaching students about their subject of aspiration, they’re required in building wonder and in some other trades but their main usage in the first year of the game is to be a secondary source of income, you teach students, you collect contribution points which allow you to get money for meeting the requirements, combined with Food Tent or Cafeteria, you’d be able to build your school without the need to borrow any money.
Passing Exams is the 3rd way of earning income in this game, every year, if your students passed their exams, you’ll receive money from these students and they will stay with you for another year, it grants a huge sum of money but require to be fast in researching related courses and building required learning facilities in order for your students to pass their exams.
Cafeteria is your main source of income in this game, they replace Food Tent in the game, can be placed inside buildings, and also the main building to provide food for students, and they work similar to Food Tent but you need multiple of them near your students classrooms.
Later you can upgrade Cafeteria to earn more income from more expensive meals but the main factor is to sell healthy expensive food instead of junk food to make your students become thin and healthy to gain a speed boost while walking in your school, otherwise they become fat and slow which gonna harm your progress in the game due to being unable to meet their need in time causing law satisfaction.
School Store is another way of earning money in school, it’s not as effective as Cafeteria but it can sell items that improve students learning which helps in earning more contribution points and succeeding in exams to gain money, still it’s good to have at least one in your school near your main gate.
Desert Shop despite looking bad in early game is an amazing source of income due to selling items that can increase students hunger in addition that some high start aspiration students are sweets addicts that can buy ice cream that costs $500 which is expensive compared to most items that you can sell in the game, it’s definitely to worth at least one in your game near your main school gate as well and/or to classroom of students who are addict to sweets.
Campus Arcade despite being a small way to generate income, it’s main use is to provide entertainment for students who are further away from Playground allowing them to have their need satisfied till you unlock Elevators later in game but still, they generate some income.
Both Community Events and Map Explorations can generate some cash as well but they’re random and can’t be considered as a stable source of income unfortunately.
Despite the game considering disasters just as fires and earthquakes, some other stuff can be considered personal disasters and if not solved in time, they can ruin your entire play-through requiring you to reload a previous save file to avoid, and they’re as following:
Literally not joking, you’re going to have lots of bins laying around covering every piece of the floor but despite that, you’ll realize that your whole school is covered in garbage, pathing is ruined and students can’t satisfy their needs, and you’re losing satisfaction so fast and there is major dropout wave of students from your school, so you need to manage these wisely by doing the following:
Cleaning Supplies come into 3 different levels, each share the same functuality but provide better cleaning range, students that will come near them will clean the nearby location on their own which free a slot in Morning Sessions but they require to be mounted around the school and makes it a nightmare when moving rooms from a location to another.
Clean Up Morning Sessions;
When having garbage pins nearby, students won’t necessary use them to clean school ground, so you tell the homeroom teachers to order students to clean up the school, which despite taking a spot from other sessions that boost learning, it helps in not losing the students themselves from your school or affecting their learning experience in a negative way.
Literally an endgame solution to all your cleaning problems, it doesn’t waste a time of student, can clear a large range, and all on its own, just place and forget dirt accumulating ever again.
Management Status is an insane hassle to manage from early game and becomes more difficult in endgame, with every facility you create, it’ll require someone to manage it in your school and you manually assign every building to one of your manager, changing them to a better suited managers, and assign perfect Management Modules for them depending on types of buildings they manage. Possible solutions are as following:
Your first decent assistant gonna be Ms. Lin, from here, you try to have lots of teachers with management capabilities and build Management Offices for them in order to assist you in managing your school and always prioritize teachers with highest possible Training Proficiency over Management Proficiency, train their Management Proficiency instead to have the highest amount possible cause they’re a long term investment.
Don’t take Drake’s Deal;
Actually, take them in, pause admission, then kick every one of them after each student reach 3 demerits for achievement, and its all due to how insanely hard to manage them, they put much preasure on management, changing Managing Status to Abnormal levels, cause you to need better suited managers, fast, and in a short notice, so just ignore them and move with your life unless you like the challenge… or torture.
Fire are more of a nuisance than a disaster but if escalated, it can gives a huge negative satisfaction, destroy buildings, and worse, so you need to manage them as fast as possible in order to prevent fire from spreading by doing as following:
Usually the first fire gonna start in your Food Tent, you’ll need to have those buckets nearby and distributed around your school ground, teachers go to the buckets, fill them with water, then go to the fire and tries to put down, it takes many attempts but it’s faster when the equipment are near the location of the fire itself.
Fire Alarms warn students in the vicinity to clear out the location and call the fire department, I’ve no idea how they work since I never needed them but supposidly that’s what they do.
Some might consider this as a useless course but students won’t do as you expect them to do in disasters so having students take this once in their school term earlier will teach them how to escape from fire and call authorities and teachers in time, reducing all the damages to students’ health requiring almost no need to use hospitals but when upgrading your building, this course become almost useless since no fires while start ever again.
Automatically put down the fire near them but also have another use which is increasing a facility’s score since there is no limit to how much you can put inside one facility.
By the time of making this guide they’re disabled temporary but when they were live, they were an absolute nightmare, they upscale in difficulty the more you advance in the game to a moment that I lost an entire school to a 6.2 earthquake which really had me reload a previous save and upgrade my entire school building, and to deal with them, that’s what you should do:
I wish I was joking but earlier, you might not have enough money to upgrade your teaching building and it’ll be so costly that an earthquake will cause you serious damages and the worst problem is you not knowing what it destroyed if you’ve a bigger school, so the easiest solution is to just reload an old save.
Since earthquakes scale in power till they reach up to 8.2 (highest I’ve experienced), you need to improve your building so better have a budget for this after securing a stable source of income, it’s a worthy upgrade and the better the building, the better the resistant to the earthquake allowing for less or almost no damages at all.
Unlike Fire Drill special course, Earth Quake drill is crucial, it literally teach students to how to react when an earthquake occur, they go take cover, and instead of having 250 students requiring medical attention, you’ll see around 35 students needing help instead, so it saves you empty places and personnel to build clinics and reduce the negative satisfaction that the students suffer.
Efficiency & Effectiveness
Efficiency and Effectiveness are terms we study in Business Management where efficiency means to meet the goal set regardless of resources and time spent while effectiveness means to reach the same said goals and objectives with the least amount of resources and time spent but in this game.
Efficiency is when you build a classroom with all basic requirements for it and adding some optional stuff that boost score rating or environment, and making them in a way that’s more of design appealing to you then call it a day. Yes, you’ll achieve the goal of having place for students to learn, you’ve the teachers and courses assigned, and despite how good looking it is for you, there are lots of wasted potential that could’ve helped you build less number of classrooms as an example but I understand it’s a personal preference.
Effectiveness is when building a classroom, you build all required stuff of the highest effect you’ve in hand, then adding requiring stuff such as lunch box hanger, garbage can, and AC, stuff that affect student satisfaction directly while also adding the highest items that grant highest environment or building score, requiring the least amount of space possible which despite seeming restricting, it’s the design of the perfect income saving school facility, the design of the school itself is up to you.
So maximizing everything while using least space is always better, right?
- Actually, no. Your object is to have the best of what your current income support, forcing you to maximize everything could cost you a fortune in term of items’ costs allowing you to skip more important investments. It’s better to focus on having the facility with minimal requirement at the beginning and leaving it as it is for now till you’ve a better income, you build the best design of a facility, and copy-paste it multiple times maximizing gains.
- Another think to put into consideration, highest aspiration students will care about the environment and building score for their quality of learning and satisfaction while low aspiration has lower needs which make them adaptable to anything you build so you’d better stick with maximized facilities for high aspiration students to avoid having dropouts or failing students and go carefree with other types of students.
Tips & Tricks
- Sakura Valley is a flat land ideal for making large single builds, Peony Springs is an island plot suited for multiple smaller builds.
- Play the tutorial at least once! Can’t go wrong with knowing the basics.
- Read the manual by click on the “?” Icon.
- When starting a new game, it’s best to pause the game first.
- Pressing the Tab key will hide your walls.
- The various “junk” around your school can have stars, this will help boost your school level.
- Your starting students are chosen from a predetermined pool. They range from poor to rich but also in quantity.
- You can invest in your starting community by clicking the notepad on the bottom right of its UI.
- Playing on normal or hard difficulty: demolishing will only refund 80% and 40% respectively. Try not to sell objects only to buy them again, it’s better to move existing objects instead.
- Your headmaster (Your player) does not need a salary.
- Do not delete the well or outhouse in your early game, as they are a source of water and toilets. Subsequently: The well will give you an achievement after some time
- Your teacher’s “training” level is their maximum stat potential gained while training, If it surpasses this, the training will become long and resource consuming.
- You can upgrade or downgrade a building’s material by building over them.
- After discovering other rival schools, they will attempt to invest in other communities, This will make you lose influence causing less students to enroll in your school.
- Dispatch students will continue studying and fulfill their needs automatically.
- You can buy more land by clicking on the signs outside your build area.
- After researching school reform I you can use the dispatch map to explore regions. But did you know you can drag to see even more regions? These are unlocked through more school reforms.
- Students and teachers forming friendships will increase overall satisfaction levels.
- The Management level of a teacher can increase the maximum capacity of researchers, students in classes, and the amount of management points in department management.
- You can build sports facilities on top of buildings.
- Loans are surprisingly forgiving. Don’t be afraid to take some.
- You can place objects on the same tile if there’s a object attached to a wall.
- Elite teachers can be hired from the job market, or by trading them from rival schools.
- Security Rooms when staffed will stop delinquency events and confiscate contraband.
- Students with “Righteous” traits can stop delinquency events.
- Explosive Temper and Naughty are hard to manage, be careful not to admit too many of them that would exceed the class’s maximum management capacity.
- Classroom exclusive objects can give a small boost to teaching.
- Morning Classes that is unlocked through research can give boosts to a specific subject.
- The Teaching Policy that is unlocked with School Reform III will automatically recruit students to their designated classrooms, do note that this will also automatically set their schedules to suit their subject needs.
- Basic monuments will work as tier 2 special classes, Advance Monuments will work like tier 3 special classes but can be used by 3 classrooms at the same time.
- Computer room will work as Tier 1 Special classes and can be used by any subjects, however you may only build one of them.
- Speeches can give buffs for the rest of the day, you can only do them once every week so use them wisely.
- Lounge room is a good way to increase a classroom’s friendship.
- Clean Up morning classes makes student clean everything nearby their classrooms first.
- Trash bins prevent trash from accumulating, brooms and cleaning closet cleans up trash that is already present faster.
- Lights tend to be cheaper than windows in terms of lighting.
- Stairs take time to climb, use elevators for multi-story buildings.
- Passageways are like shortcuts. Use them on important places like cafeteria, classrooms, and various transport facilities like bike sheds and car parking.
- Cats will interact with students, and teachers, and will sit on various objects when they’re doing nothing.
- Headmaster Mode can be access on the lower right part of your GUI.
- You can only build and go up to 8 floors maximum.
- Communities have a maximum cap on students who can enroll per week.
- Coal burners, and food tent are objects that constantly catch on fire.
- Room levels can boost efficiency. A level 3 management department will give you more management capacity. A Level 5 classrooms will boost teaching efficiency.
- Communities in the dispatch map are randomized. Same goes for the rival schools.
- Trade with Rival schools to get modules, building objects and Elite Teachers.
- Pause admissions if you don’t want to get receive students from a specific community.
- Contribution Points are more valuable than money when trading with other schools.
- If your student have more than 3 demerits, you may expel them.
- Custom Blocks are your go to object for detailing your school. They are unlocked at school reform 2 in Corporate Culture. They also cost 1G each.
- Teachers will ask for salary depending on the school level and base stats. They are more likely to ask for a pay raise the longer they are in the school.
- The cost of investing in a community will increase each time. Try not to invest all in one single day, as rival schools will also try to invest.
- Contribution points with a thumbs up on them will provide a bigger boost compared to money or contribution points without them.
- Full marks are better than passing grades. They give extra rewards too. Try to focus on getting your students to full marks to reap those rewards.
- Only school level 0 will allow you to get money from building facilities.
- You don’t have to immediately rank up your school. You can “store” some of the points you earned to rank up multiple times.
- After getting School Reform 1, dispatch your grade 2 class instead of your grade 1 this will allow them to beat most map encounters in the first region.
- Unless you’re playing on easy mode, use as much space as possible in the starting buildings, as building new structures is more expensive.
- Roofs in the early game are overrated, if you want to make extra money at the start, just sell your roof.
- Items can be bought/traded after discovering shops in the dispatch map. These items can be very powerful if used correctly.
An example item would be the books that allow your students to gain knowledge. Use this to maximize your students who can’t reach their study needs in time.
- Emergency drills such as Fire drills and earthquake drills are permanent. Meaning you only need to do them once per classroom. Ideally you should do them after the 3rd day when you get no more student admissions but if you are playing on hard difficulty, I suggest doing it twice, on the first day and the end of the third day.
- Sell the snow mans.
- Other than losing out on a few points, there is no “maximum” size for rooms or facilities. Which means you can make the worlds largest toilet, cafeteria, or parking lot.
- You don’t need to make multiple needs facilities if you centralized. This will lessen the management load.
- Your first 3 starting teachers have the lowest salary. Keep them as service staff such as Food tent, Cafeteria, Infirmary, and Security. You may also fire them however.
- Rival schools will invest in communities to gain influence on them. If you invest against them, they will lose they’re influence and have a chance to closed down.
However! Make sure that you trade with them first or else you’ll lose out on the items and teachers you can get.
- Alternatively you can also NOT invest in those communities and make them stay for as long as you want.
- You can make tiny rooms with no consequences as long as you meet the necessary objects. Use this to your advantage if you’re running out of cash.
- Some landmarks in the dispatch map will give you rewards for completing them, if you need some extra cash, I recommend going to those landmarks. Each landmark also gives an item at least once.
- Teachers that work as homeroom teachers will gain management certificates overtime. When building a new management department use the teachers from the classrooms Instead of recruiting a new one with the required certificate.
- School stores are a good way to earn early game money, changing what the store sells for each season will increase the likely hood of students and teachers purchasing from it.
- Benches can increase friendships which will increase satisfaction, I suggest placing some around the school as they will make people happy.
- Answering the spirit of the well correctly will: Give two students in grade 1 that have passing grades.
- Arcades give the most money/purchase in the entire game. Place your arcade in the middle of path where students will likely go through to increase the chances of them using it. It also has the benefits of satisfying entertainment.
- The last day of any week will always be an exam day, you can expect most of your students to already have passing grades. Use it for community volunteering as they give you 1000G Each.
- You can remove a pillar/roofs that is supported by another pillar. You can remove the pillar below it to make a floating pillar/roof. Personally I use it to make hanging roofs.
I’ll include how to achieve all guides in the easiest way possible but reason why I’m delaying this section for later is due to some things that we need to confirm after release, such as if it is possible to achieve all 3 victories in a single run, what cause students to make snowmen, and also, what triggers the well achievement, so that’s why I’m waiting in this part to collect enough data and post how to collect multiple achievements in a single run.
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