Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom (opens in new tab) is like an elephant wearing a tiny top hat, as huge as it is adorable. Even with the game's gentle learning curve, it's easy to lag behind on one of the most valuable distractions, Kingdom Management mode. Here are the five Ni no Kuni 2 tips, including how to maximise your management returns, that I wish I'd known before I pulled on my royal cape and combed my royal bangs.
Upgrade your kingdom's coffers as soon as you can
Sure, you want your new kingdom to be a place of unity and joy, but it turns out money can buy happiness. Happiness and barracks and farms and guard stations. Make sure your priority number one in the kingdom is levelling up your kingdom, and then increasing the size of its coffers. The coffers fill while you're away, and every time they fill up and you're not there to collect - because you got distracted trying to help a crazy hot sea queen, say - you're just throwing money down the giant RPG toilet.
Follow your head, not your heart, when you're building
Sure, the idea of having your own Evermore fish market is fun and makes for plenty of pun opportunities, but building the right properties early on in Kingdom Management mode will give you a head start. The game will nudge you towards the Higgledy Higglery and the Evermore Outfitters, but you'll want to get the spellworks and barracks right after. Keep diverting your dollars to upgrading and researching these as often as you can to make sure your armor, weapons, Higgledy crew, spells and army are at the top of their game.
Treat your Higgledies right
They may be super cute, but your Higgledies are more than just emotional support animals. Work on nurturing a core team and they'll become an essential part of your battle squad, especially when you're faced with bigger foes. Luckily the training process is pain free, and just involves building the Higglery in the early days of Evermore. The game will steer you towards installing Aunt Martha and constructing the Higglery, you just need to check in to it on the regular to feed your Higgledy squad their favorite foods like wild mushrooms and dollops of cream. Related: How do I apply to be reincarnated as a Higgledy?
Start building your skirmish army early
Here's a lesson then I learned by watching lots of tiny soldiers die - those skirmish missions that start appearing on the map aren't just there for decoration. Eventually you'll hit a point in the main story where your tiny army is key to your ability to carry on, and it's not fun if you haven't paid any attention to your Military Might score since the first tutorial battles. You don't have to spend hours on it, but do some of the lower level stuff as you find it, build the barracks in the kingdom and keep them well staffed and upgraded, and you'll save yourself a lot of lions led by donkey angst.
Oh, and yes, you have to pick up every twinkle
Once you've been traversing the map for a while you might get a little tired of going out of your way to pick up another mystery glinting item, but you need it. The more the play the more people you'll need who'll want random items as part of quests, the more Higgledies you'll be able to summon from the special shrines dotted around the world (unmarked, so it's a real ovary-ache to remember where they are while you go off to find the a particular mushroom) and then to level up the little blighters. Yes, your thumbs are tired and you promised to smite a tainted creature, but they extra few steps towards the twinkle will pay off in end.