In Clash of Clans, gems are a special currency that can be used to purchase nearly anything a player could want in the game: faster unit production, instant building completion, and even more resources. However, players only receive a small number of gems each week (earned by clearing plants and gem boxes from their base. If players want more gems, then they must pay real money.
Given that gems are not unlimited nor free, players need to take care to spend them in the most efficient way possible. This guide will focus on that exact topic.
The #1 Use for Gems: Builder’s Huts
Without a doubt, the best use for your first few thousand gems will be Builder’s Huts. Each Builder’s Hut provides the player with one additional “Builder”, which can then be used to build and upgrade structures for the player’s base. Each structure under construction or being upgraded requires a builder. The more Builder’s Huts you have, the more buildings you can upgrade or build at the same time. Each additional builder significantly improves your upgrade speed.
Builder’s Huts can only be bought with gems. There is a limit of 5 total huts, and each hut becomes more expensive than the previous hut. Here are the costs:
- Builder Hut #1: No Cost
- Builder Hut #2: 250 Gems
- Builder Hut #3: 500 Gems
- Builder Hut #4: 1000 Gems
- Builder Hut #5: 2000 Gems
If you want to buy gems to speed along your upgrades, be sure you are using them on Builder’s Huts. If you do not want to spend money, rest assured – you can eventually unlock all 5 builder slots by completing achievements and saving gems from debris clearing.
Best Use for Gems After Builder’s Huts
Even if you never buy gems, eventually you will be able to collect the 3,250 additional gems required to unlock all 5 Builder’s Huts (each new account starts with 500 free gems). Whether you buy gems at this point or begin to acquire them for free by clearing debris, gem boxes, and unlocking new achievements, it is important to understand how to best spend these gems to advance your base.
All gem-spending activities are not created equal. Some are clearly much better than others. I believe the most efficient means for increasing speeding along base upgrades results in boosting the Barracks. Boosting each Barracks only costs 10 gems and lasts for 2 hours. This effect causes the Barracks to produce units at 4 times the normal speed. If you boost 2-4 Barracks (depending on army composition), you can practically raid non-stop for 2 hours, netting 2x-4x the loot you normally would from farming for that length of time without the boost.
With a boosted Barracks, it is often most efficient to just use fast-producing armies so that you can raid non-stop for 2 hours. Creating Barbarian and Archer armies works great for this purpose. With 1-2 boosted Barracks, you can literally raid every 5 minutes and skip around for bases with full collectors. While not great for Dark Elixir farming, you can farm well over 1,000,000 Gold and Elixir per hour in this manner.
If you have a lot of gems and do not care so much about the gems as you do maximizing returns, it may be useful to also boost the Spell Factory or even your Heroes. I do not think that boosting these buildings is nearly as efficient as boosting the Barracks, but it can be useful for coring deep into enemy bases in search of Dark Elixir or trophies (at the very high level).
Moderately Efficient Gem Usage Strategies
While not quite as efficient as the boost mechanism, using gems to instantly complete units via the Barracks is not terribly expensive. This is useful if you do not have 2 hours to play and need instant resources. Rather than buying resources directly, you can instantly complete a few raids worth of armies and raid for the last bit of resources you need to start a crucial upgrade or building.
If you want a passive way to use gems effectively, consider boosting your Dark Elixir Drills. This tends to be fairly expensive (20 gems for a level 4 drill), but a high-level drill under the effect of a boost will produce a large amount of Dark Elixir. Boosting the Dark Elixir Drill is much cheaper than trying to buy Dark Elixir directly via gems. Boosting gold mines and elixir collectors is generally a waste of gems as it costs too many gems for how much gold and elixir you get in return. You will end up with a much larger return by using those gems to produce units and then raiding for loot rather than by boosting gold mines and elixir collectors.
Consider this: it costs 11 gems to boost a level 11 Gold Mine for 24 hours. This will result in 72,000 extra gold collected over 24 hours (some of which will be inevitably lost in a raid). Meanwhile, a single boosted Barracks could result in several extra raids over a 2 hour period, which could easily add 500,000 gold to a player’s coffers. In comparison, it costs 20 gems to boost a level 4 Dark Elixir Drill for 24 hours. This will result in an extra 1,440 Dark Elixir gathered over 24 hours (some of which will be inevitably lost to raiding). Boosting two Barracks will likely result in more Dark Elixir gain than this in the hands of a skilled player, but probably not much more than would be earned by boosting the drill.
Using gems to finish a building’s completion is usually a waste. The only exception is if there is less than 30 minutes left on the building’s timer, you are ready to go to sleep at night, and you have enough resources to start another upgrade. It is worth spending a handful of gems to ensure that your builder does not go inactive for the next 8+ hours while you are asleep or away from the game.
The Absolute Worst Use for Gems
The worst use for gems is the purchase of resources of any type. In order to decrease the power of real-life money in Clash of Clans, purchasing resources costs an exorbitant amount of gems – expect to spend hundreds of gems for a measly amount of resources that could be achieved in just 1-2 raids.
If you need instant resources, it is much more efficient to simply use the “Complete Now” feature on the Barracks. You can build a fully maxed army in no time for just 5-30 gems (depending on level and unit choice) and then go on a raid. You can do this 2-3 times in a row and get a large amount of resources in a short period of time without needing to spend 500+ gems.