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Manor Lords

Best Developments to Unlock

Craig Robinson

Manor Lords’ developments are the settlement’s research tree, offering players special perks or unlocks for their settlements. As you progress your settlement levels and upgrade your town, you’ll unlock development points, which you can spend on the research tree and unlock developments with. There are quite a few in the game as of the 0.7 early access patch. And, as you guessed it, some are significantly better than others. Here’s a closer look at the best developments to spend your points on. You can find them in lists in the associated headers, with deeper explanations as to why we love them so much.

Best Developments You Should Unlock For Your Settlements

In terms of the generally best Developments in Manor Lords, these are the ones that stand out the most:

  • Bakeries
  • Trade Logistics
  • Better Deals
  • Fertilization
  • Ox Plowing

Bakeries is an incredibly strong end node research. This enables you to make the bakery extension at a burgage plot. Its speciality is that it is twice as efficient as a communal oven meaning you get a lot more bread out of flour. While this doesn’t sound too great, it means that a burgage plot with two families in it become bakers. This removes the need to have two slow workers at a Communal Oven, and they’ll efficiently feed your population for you with as little as 200-300 wheat grown a year. Bakeries are an absolute must for settlements intending to go over that 300 population mark and even become mega cities reaching for those 1000 pop fun goals. You can then later send excess food to new settlements you make and maybe money selling them at trading posts. All in all it’s very efficient for everything.

Keep in mind that the Bakery development is pretty deep in the farming research tree. However, don’t worry about it, as the technologies that give your fertilization (fenced up) and ox plowing are also generally pretty good no matter the settlement’s focus.

(1 of 2) Bakeries are easily the best development in Manor Lords for managing food supply among all developments available.

Bakeries are easily the best development in Manor Lords for managing food supply among all developments available. (left), Fertilization using sheep when fields are set to fallow is easily one of the best developments in Manor Lords for crop production quality and efficiency. (right)


This leads us nicely to Fertilization. Getting this development will allow you to put sheep to the pasture on fields you fallow at the cost of a few planks to upgrade to each field. This is very good, as fallow fields otherwise are pretty slow in regenerating fertilization. Again, if you plan on sustaining a population with homegrown crops for food and industries, you’ll need lots of farms. Improving fertilization rates through this method is incredibly good for the health of aspiring large and self-sufficient towns.

The other farming tech we recommend is Ox Plowing. Ox plowing is one of the first farming technologies you can unlock. When you build a farmhouse, you can go to its advanced tab, and take an Oxen from your livestock list and exclusively use it to aid with plowing and harvesting crops. This increases the rates you can get growing, and quicker supply your settlement with freshly grown crops. The better you are at those, the better your crops grown and supplied to your pop will be.

Trade Technologies

Now we move onto trade technologies with Trade Logistics. This tech reduces all trade route costs to 25 Regional Wealth. We didn’t get this in our first playthrough, but, we wish we did. As by the large town settlement level, we were paying onwards of 300-600 per trade route we needed. Having those as 25 means we’d have much more money to invest in the stocks we wanted to import.

Now the other trade technology that you want is Better Deals. Better Deals (BD) is directly after Trade Logistics, which is another reason you need that tech. BD’s effect is that it reduces the price of everything at trading hubs by 10. This means crops that cost 12 actually cost 2, and those luxury items that range between 16/18 now cost 6/8 each. Yeah, this is incredibly good. If you need quick commodities to placate your approval rating, they are now much more affordable. The other benefit is you now have one of the best ways to make money and goods in the game by buying base materials and turning them into goods yourself, for marketplace or exporting at trading hubs.

Situationally Good Developments

There are many more developments available to grab in the game. However, you only really want these if you want to specialize in a certain type of good. These are the following technologies that are situationally good:

  • Forest Management
  • Deep Mines
  • Armour Smithing - all tiers

Forest Management doubles the sizes of all wild berries grown in that region you get the development. For the most part, it’s pretty terrible if you only have the 64 population wild berry deposits. However, if you have a rich deposit of wild berries in that region, they get even richer. This is great for supplying berries to distant settlements in your empire, producing lots of herbs to heal your people, and making dyes. The Herb upgrade at forager huts is perhaps the best bit of this tech as small berry sites will not produce enough herbs each year at large towns to keep your population healthy, forcing you to import them or colonize a large berry region.

The Forest Management development is good in certain situations, making it great for large dye manufacturing and herb production to heal your people.

Deep Mines is another double-up on raw, limited resources. We recommend doing this in iron deposit regions, especially if they have high iron yields. This makes it perfect for tool and weapon-making artisans, alongside armorsmith artisans, less reliant on the imports and being a self-sufficient town for war industries. It’s okay for clay deposits for roof tiles for very large burgage plot level 3 towns. However, its not a big deal.

Armor Smithing and all of its tiers are great for iron-heavy regions. Getting these upgrades allows you to make better body armor armaments for your armies, making them incredibly great conquerors as they can take more damage. This grants you access to mail and plate armor eventually, which are significantly better than those gambeson wearers you typically find with shields. If you want to take over regions and win military-based playthroughs, this tech is incredibly great for those modes and settlements with lots of iron in their midst.

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Guide Information
  • Guide Release
    10 April 2024
  • Last Updated
    7 May 2024
    Version History
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Manor Lords is a medieval strategy game with a blend of colony management, survival and real time combat that places players in the role of a lord overseeing a growing settlement in the feudal era. Developed by Slavic Magic, the blend of city-building, resource management, and real-time strategy elements give many players new and familiar to the strategy genre and its sub genres something new and interest to tackle. Players are tasked with constructing and expanding their medieval settlement, managing resources such as food, wood, and stone, and overseeing the welfare of their population, all the while making sure their settlements can say afloat amidst warfare, disasters and player mis management. To help you along the way, we have detailed guides on the following:

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