Paragon Pioneers - Idle Anno-like for mobile and (soon) Steam

We’ve been discussing Paragon Pioneers for a few weeks in the incremental clicker thread. There’s been enough interest and discussion about the game that I thought it was worth making a dedicated thread for it, especially since it’s coming to Steam soon.

This is a top 5 mobile game for me. IMO, the best idle game ever. And the idle format turns out to be perfectly suited to how production games work. Set up a supply chain or a trade route, then check back in a few hours later to see how it’s going. The game is deep, long, with a slick attractive UI and no IAPs, microtransactions, ads or anything else. There’s a free demo and a one-time $4 purchase for the full (mobile) game. Worth checking out!

What exactly is an idle game?

Aha, you should check out the Incremental thread for examples! Essentially an idle game is a game that features some sort of mechanic that requires/rewards letting the game “idle” for some time. Sometimes that means leaving the game running. Sometimes the game will calculate your idle gains when you return to it.

Often the idling is used as a gate to encourage monetization schemes (where you pay to mitigate the wait), but there are many 100% free games where it’s just an intrinsic part of the playstyle. They might also feature a blend of “active” and “idle” playstyles and part of the puzzle of the game (e.g. in Antimatter Dimensions or Grimoire Idle or Prestige Tree or etc etc etc) is trying to figure out which playstyle is appropriate at any particular phase of the gameplay.

In Paragon Pioneers, shipping goods between islands takes real-time hours, as does combat, and production of goods is slow enough that it takes hours as well. You typically rearrange your buildings, set up a trade route, tweak a production chain, then just let the game run for a few hours and check back to see how things are going.

As soon as I wrote my question I saw the thread! Thanks for taking the time for an explanation.

Shoot, I hate when Discourse somehow un-watches a thread. I’ll have to catch up. Glad you posted this separately. This little game is quite soothing so far on iOS.

I’ve been playing Paragon Pioneers for Android and it is rapidly becoming one of my favorite idlers ever, maybe one of my favorite mobile games ever.

It’s a city building/production game where you have to conquer and colonize new islands in order to produce products that make your villagers happy. The game is very attractive, the interface is slick, and the pace is the perfect mix of idle and active for me. It costs $4 upfront but with no ads or IAPs and you can play completely offline. Well worth the cost IMO. There’s a demo you can check out for free.

So I need linseed now to make linen and rope, and it feels like I’ve hit a wall. Like, if this was F2P, this is the resource they’d be urging me to buy with gems, or whatever.

Am I doing something wrong or is it just painfully slow to farm linseed?

Also, when looking at people’s needs, it’s either a thing they need to be in proximity to, or a resource they’ll consume. Like if I’m reading this right, my pioneers need 0.8 fish/minute, and my colonists need 3 fish/minute. Am I reading that right?

But no where when looking at those resources in my inventory or the building gathering them do I see the rate they’re being harvested, unless I’m supposed to be doing the math myself. Is there no view anywhere that indicates what total fish (or whatever resource) production rates are across my island?

If you click on the building in the build screen, it shows the production time assuming 100% ingredient availability.

For availability that depends on location, like fish on the coast, any overlap with another producer means the overlapped location is not available to either one, so you need to space them out.

The % ingredient availability, I believe, represents the chance that production will succeed each production cycle. So if you have only 3 coast sites next to a fishery, you’ll only have a 75% chance to get a fish every 1:20, but more than 100% does not give you extra fish.

You have to calculate your production, but you can see total number of buildings of each type on that island in the build screen, and I find it most helpful to view the island storage, click on each product, and see the trend, which gives you an idea what you’re short on. (Tip: you’ll need lots of schnapps and linen.)

The game is really all about managing space. You can’t recover your spending if you destroy a building (though there may be a way to do this much later in the game), but your ingredient sites also never run out, so a mistake/rearrangement usually just costs some time. You have infinite resources, will never be attacked, and don’t have resources become obsolete. It’s all about space and time.

I have 8 fully populated linseed farms on my original island. It takes up the most space. Eventually I’ll need even more on some satellite island.

It’s also important to realize it’s definitely an idle game. Crop production, exploration, shipping, and trade and big battles all take real-time hours. Set them up and do something else. It’s been great while traveling.

You can? I can’t find it.

It’s the little brown number in the corner of the building icon.

It’s also an option you have to enable in settngs, not on by default.

Oh, I must have done that and no realized it. Sorry :P

Haha, I have no idea how I missed that setting. Thanks!

Is there somewhere you can see the production rate of a good? I can see demand, and stock, but not aggregate supply.

I asked the same thing a few posts back, and the short answer is no, Matt had a longer answer of how to work it out for yourself.

I’m up to five islands now, and I guess the meaningful part is five cartography and two favor.

As @WhollySchmidt said, not really. The graphs that show up when you click on each item in the island storage screen are your best guide to trends. If your colonists are unhappy, you can click the happy face on the upper right to see why. Maybe there’s no linen, so you can click on linen in the island storage and see that it trends downward to zero quickly every time a shipment arrives, so you clearly need to ship more linen.

The only penalty for going to zero on need is you won’t get the benefit of the population type (pioneers won’t make militias, colonists won’t make taxes, etc.) And the penalty for going to zero on a luxury is just a reduction in the benefit (a colonist with no linens but full schnapps will only produce 50% of the taxes that a fully satisfied colonist will.) So it’s not a huge deal to have a production shortage and you have all the time you need to fix it.

I’m just now starting to produce merchant luxuries. I have 7 islands and am in the process of conquering my first size 16 island and slowly replacing my size 12 ones. My fleet of 13 ships is tied up in half a dozen trade routes that gain complexity as I play. And I’m slowly reorganizing my original island more logically. As I said above, you never run out of resources, so you don’t have to worry about efficiency. The game is about managing storage, space, and time, not about building efficient production chains.


  • Your villagers are best located in a cluster around a central well and other area-based buildings. I originally spread them out along the coast and had to move them.
  • You can plant trees in grassy areas. It only puts one tree down, but if you have that space covered by a forester, it’ll add another tree. Three tree spots are only there in original placement and can’t be recovered if they’re destroyed. Lumberjacks only need 12 trees to be fully utilized, so you can create a forest wherever you need it.
  • Don’t forget you can upgrade your Kontor (original building on each island) to get additional item storage. It’s something you should do as soon as you land on a new island, in addition to getting wood production started. Likewise, a garrison adds additional troop storage.
  • I like to seek out mountain-less islands for crops so I have more room, but it does mean you have to ship a lot of stone. Sometimes having a mountain for local stone production is worth it.

Yeah, I’ve been using the graphs, or more realistically just noticing when.the stock is zero, but that doesn’t help me know how many buildings I need to place to get back to equilibrium.

Yeah, you can click on the villagers in the Population screen and it’ll show how many items/minute they’re using, then click on the buildings in the build screen to see how many minutes it takes to produce. My 135 colonists use 0.8 linens per minute total. A Linen Weaver produces 1 linen every 2 minutes from 2 linseeds. So I need 2 of those and they’ll use 4 linseeds every 2 minutes. Linseed farms produce 1 linseed every 2 minutes, so I’ll need 4 farms and the farms each have to be fully planted with 8 linseed fields around them. (Linseed fields produce linseed every 15m55s, and so 8 of them harvested one every 2 minutes is perfect.)