Banished Walkthrough

Banished is a city management simulator from Shining Rock Software. In this game, you help a group of exiled settlers build up a society in a harsh, untouched landscape.  Gamezebo’s quick start guide will provide you with some tips and hints that will help you survive the cold winters and harsh conditions.


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Game Introduction – Banished

Banished is a city management simulator from Shining Rock Software. In this game, you help a group of exiled settlers build up a society in a harsh, untouched landscape.  Gamezebo’s quick start guide will provide you with some tips and hints that will help you survive the cold winters and harsh conditions.

Quick Start Guide

Getting Started

  • Banished is available on Steam. You can purchase it by going to the Steam store, adding it to your cart, and going to the checkout (use the “Avalable On” option at the top of this page to get there quickly!).
  • When starting a new game, you can select a new game or play the tutorial. If you play the tutorial, it will run you through the various basics of the game. When each tutorial mission completes, you can select “next” on the top-right of the screen to move on to the next one.
  • To start a new game, select that option from the main menu. Then you can select the parameters for your map including size, difficulty, and whether certain effects (like natural disasters) come into play.

How to Play

  • On its surface, Banished is very straightforward. You build structures and businesses so that your various citizens can operate them and help your civilization spread and survive.
  • The bottom right-hand corner of the screen houses the main controls. Here you can select which buildings to place and open up various menus that show you where your workers are employed.
  • Most structures automatically gather resources like wood, food, and stone over time (as long as a citizen is operating them). At the beginning, and during certain moments of the game, you might also need to gather resources manually. Use gathering option on the bottom toolbar to activate the option, then select the area you’d like to clear to send your workers to it. They will strip the designated area of whatever resource you ordered and return it to your stockpile.

Tips and Tricks

  • Put a Roof Over Your Head — When you start Banished it’s with two structures and a handful of workers. Since neither of those structures are houses, the first thing you should always build is enough residences for those workers. Houses help keep citizens warm, which stops them from freezing to death in the harsh winter seasons. Five is usually enough at the start to hold each family in a standard game.
  • Food is Good — Priority number one in Banished is food. It’s usually the limiting factor in population expansion throughout most games, so having a steady, varied supply is key. I find fishing docks to be the most useful, early harvesting businesses – especially if your city starts next to a lake. The food they provide is constant, as opposed to farms and orchards, and the larger the body of water they’re built on the more they provide over time. If you don’t have a lot of water nearby, gatherers are a good second option.
  • Down to Basics — Once food is under control, you want to start constructing buildings that earn you resources over time. This will set you up to expand and improve your city over time without having to worry about building material later. Get a woodcutter, forester, quarry, and mine up as quickly as possible. You should also create a blacksmith to build more tools so that your workers are always operating at max efficiency.
  • Don’t Slash-and-Burn — When using the clearing tool, be specific. You can tell your citizens to collect every raw material in a given area, but you don’t always want to. It’s useful for clearing trees, stone, and iron around your city area, but always leave a forested area. You need this for gatherers, hunters, and foresters to gather resources. If you just need more stone, you can tell your laborers specifically to gather these resources without touching the trees in a given area.
  • Keep Your Friends Close — Speaking of foresters and the like, don’t put them too far away. You want to have them centralized in wooded areas for peak efficiency, but the farther they are from the main city the longer it takes them to add their resources to the stockpile. Similarly, businesses that require materials from the stockpile (woodcutters, blacksmiths, etc.) should be built in your main town to reduce travel time.
  • Build that Road Again — One way to mitigate travel time between various structures is building roads. Roads make whoever walks on them move more quickly than normal. The standard dirt roads are also free to construct (if you don’t count the build time) so there’s little reason not to build them between heavily trafficked areas. Similarly, you want to build bridges over rivers to new regions fairly early to provide access to their resources.
  • Wait for Trading Posts — Trading posts are one of the most important facilities in Banished. They’re also a massive, long-term investment. Not only do you have to build them, staff them, and fill them with tradable goods (all purchases are handled through bartering), but you then have to wait for a trader to arrive. And there’s no guarantee they will have the seeds or livestock you wanted anyway. Not to mention they can carry plagues with them from far-off lands. It’s best to get your own affairs in order before worrying too much about trading posts.
  • Fill ‘Er Up — Once you do have a trading post, it can serve several useful functions. Yes, you can use it to barter new goods, but it’s also a separate place to house resources. At times your production will start to outpace your consumption. This means your stockpile and bar will start to overflow. Rather than build new ones, using valuable resources on ultimately useless facilities, transfer some of your surplus to the trading post. Doing so will house the goods and allow you to buy new items to expand your production in the long run.
  • Watch your Population — It won’t take long before the buildings you construct outpace the population of your city. You’ll have to start deciding what facility needs more – or fewer – workers. However, new laborers will arrive as children mature into adults, just as you will lose some to old age, starvation, winter cold, etc. Make sure you always staff new workers into buildings as they appear to keep your city at peak efficiency. Building more houses over time will also give new families a place to spread out and live, so build them if you have the opportunity.
  • Build When You Need To — Similar to the last tip, this requires you to watch your population. When you’re building a lot of structures and the extra labor to handle it, move your citizens into the builder occupation. Once those structures are complete, however, they’ll need people to staff them. Don’t be afraid to move all but one of your builders into other occupations. If you’re not building a ton of structures, there’s no point in keeping them there.
  • Consider the Source — If you find yourself running out of things like firewood, don’t just automatically build more woodcutters. If you have a lot of excess stone lying around, you might start replacing wooden homes with stone houses, which use less firewood over time. It’s a bigger investment, but one that pays off in time.


You have completed Gamezebo’s quick start guide for Banished. Be sure to check back often for game updates, staff and user reviews, user tips, forums comments, and much more here at Gamezebo!

Steven "The Future of Games Journalism" Strom plays entirely too much Dota 2. He sometimes plays games when he's not too busy writing about them and their place in our culture, and thinks maybe they're not just a fad after all.