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Ascension is the upgrading of a residence to a higher tier.

Ascension rights[]

There are four tiers of residences; Pioneer residences, Vassal residences, Merchant residences and Imperial residences. The basics for ascension is that for every ten residences of a certain tier, five can be ascended to a higher tier, with the exception of Imperial residences that has a slightly lower ascension rate averaging 12.5 Merchant residences to five Imperial residences.

In order to reach the goal of 4,000 Imperials (to unlock all types of goods and building upgrades), you'll need at least 87 Imperial residences (each within the radii of influence of all attraction buildings, excluding monuments), leaving you with the following split of residences per tier:

Pioneer 250 Pioneers Vassals 1,500 Vassals Merchants 3,000 Merchants Imperials 4,000 Imperials
Pioneer residence x 32 [1] Vassal residence x 75[2] Merchant residence x 84 [3] Imperial residence x 87
  1. Initially, you need at least 32 residences in order to get enough Pioneers to ascend to Vassals.
  2. You need at least 75 vassal residences in order to get enough Vassals to ascend to Merchants
  3. You need at least 84 merchant residences in order to get enough Merchants to ascend to Imperials

Rights are acquired and based on residences[]

What this means is that once you've earned an ascension right, you can never lose it. It also means that it doesn't really matter how many people you have in your houses.

So while you will need to reach the limits of the different tiers to unlock the ability to ascend to a higher tier, once you've done that it stops looking at your actual residents and simply count the number of residences you have of each tier.

This opens up for some interesting meta gaming when it comes to ascension. For example, you can "slum" your island with empty Pioneer residences simply to gain ascension rights. You can then remove lower tier residences once you've acquired enough ascension rights of a certain tier, even before you've ascended them all.

A note to anyone trying to free up space by removing lower tiers: You will not be able to gain any more rights apart from the ones you already have unless you rebuild all the buildings you removed.

Make sure you've unlocked the rights for the next higher tier before you start removing residences.

Vassal ascension[]

For every ten Pioneer residences you have, five can be ascended to Vassal residences. To reach 250 pioneers (needed to get vassals), you must have at least 32 pioneer residences which have a WellCarpenter's workshop, and Chapel linked to them. Pioneer residences have a minimum occupancy of two pioneers, and a maximum of eight with the three attractions.

PioneerVassals Pioneer residence # of Pioneer residences Vassal residence # of Vassal residences
Residencesx 32 [1] Pioneer residence Pioneer residences x 17 Vassal residence Vassal residences x 15
Residencesx 40 - 49 Pioneer residence Pioneer residences x 20 - 29 Vassal residence Vassal residences x 20
Residencesx 340 [2] Pioneer residence Pioneer residences x 170 Vassal residence Vassal residences x 170
Residencesx 900 [3] Pioneer residence Pioneer residences x 450 Vassal residence Vassal residences x 450
  1. Early on, you must have at least 32 pioneer residences to get enough pioneers to ascend to vassals.
  2. Midgame, it takes 340 Pioneer residences to get enough Vassal and Merchant residences to reach the Imperial-stage.
  3. Endgame, you'll need 450 Vassal residences for further Imperial ascension. This means you need to build as many as 900+ total residences.

Merchant ascension[]

Merchants follow the same ratio as Vassals, for every 10 Vassal residences, you can ascend 5 to become Merchant residences. To reach 1,500 vassals (needed to get merchants), you must have at least 75 vassal residences which have a Well, Carpenter's workshop, Chapel, Barber, Tavern, and a Fire station linked to them. Vassal residences have a minimum occupancy of five vassals, and a maximum of 20 with the six attractions.

VassalsMerchants Vassal residence # of Vassal residences Merchant residence # of Merchant residences
Residencesx 75 [1] Vassal residence Vassal residences x 40 Merchant residence Merchant residences x 35
Residencesx 110 - 119 Vassal residence Vassal residences x 55 - 64 Merchant residence Merchant residences x 55
Residencesx 170 [2] Vassal residence Vassal residences x 85 Merchant residence Merchant residences x 85
Residencesx 450 [3] Vassal residence Vassal residences x 225 Merchant residence Merchant residences x 225
  1. Early on, you must have at least 75 vassal residences to get enough vassals to ascend to merchants.
  2. Midgame it takes 170 Vassal residences to get enough Merchant residences to reach the Imperial-stage.
  3. Endgame, you'll need 450 Vassal residences to be able to ascend the 225 Merchant residences needed for further Imperial ascension.

Imperial ascension[]

Imperials have a different ratio than the other tiers. For every 12.5 Merchant residences you can upgrade five to become Imperial residences, this means that you must first have 13 Merchant residences to get five ascension rights, then an additional 12 Merchant residences to gain the next five ascension rights.

To reach 3,000 merchants (needed to get imperials), you must have at least 84 merchant residences which have a Well, Carpenter's workshop, Chapel, Barber, Tavern, Fire Station, Tournament arena, Debtor's prison, and a Church linked to them. Merchant residences have a minimum occupancy of nine merchants, with a maximum occupancy (at this level) of 36.

MerchantsImperials Merchant residence # of Merchant residences Imperial residence # of Imperial residences
Residencesx 84 [1] Merchant residence Merchant residences x 54 Imperial residence Imperial residences x 30
Residencesx 125 - 129 Merchant residence Merchant residences x 75 - 79 Imperial residence Imperial residences x 50
Residencesx 225 [2] Merchant residence Merchant residences x 135 Imperial residence Imperial residences x 90
  1. Initially, you need at least 84 merchant residences to get enough Merchants to ascend to Imperials.
  2. Endgame, you'll need 225 Merchant residences to be able to ascend the 90 Imperial residences needed for 4,000+ Imperials.
Housing Type of residence Intervals Max residents Time to fill a residence  [1]
Pioneer residence Pioneer residence Pioneers
Vassal residence Vassal residence Vassals
Merchant residence Merchant residence Merchants
Imperial residence Imperial residence Imperials
  1. .

Reaching ascension[]

As your population grows and you get more and more residents of a certain type, their needs will increase. Once a residence has all their needs met, they will be ready for ascension.

In order to ascend, all the needs of a residence has to be filled before they can ascend. This includes all goods and buildings listed in food, drinks, clothing, community, and for the higher tiers property goods.

See needs for more details on the needs of residents.

Buildings / Residents Community Community Services Services Faith Faith Entertainment Entertainment
Pioneers [1] Pioneer residence Pioneers Marketplace Carpenter's workshop Chapel
Vassals [2] Vassal residence Vassals Marketplace Carpenter's workshop Fire station Chapel Tavern
Merchants Merchant residence Merchants Marketplace Carpenter's workshop Fire station Debtor's prison Chapel Church Tavern Tournament arena
Imperials Imperial residence Imperials Marketplace Carpenter's workshop Fire station Debtor's prison Surgery Chapel Church Tavern Tournament arena
  1. .
  2. .

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Other buildings[]

There are many other buildings with tiers too, like Harbourmaster's office (adds a pier slot and a cart), Distribution houses (adds a cart), the Treasury (increases the coin limit), Lighthouse, Piers (additional slots) etc. Unlike residential buildings, these buildings can be upgraded as you pass certain population milestones.

See the Timeline for more details on when certain buildings become available to you.