Starting Tips

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Game Basics

How to Win:

In order to become the President of the United States, you will need to focus on winning as many electoral votes as you can. You can have control of the popular vote, but still lose if you’re not able to overcome the electoral goal.

To see where you stand with the Electoral College, examine the map in “Electoral Votes” view. The colors will range from bright purple to grey. The brighter the state, the more electoral votes there are to win.

PRO TIP: A ‘Political Strategy’ map mode is available during the election cycle. When in this mode, states can be toggled ON or OFF which will help you strategize which states are necessary to win.

Getting Started

Step 1: Select a Campaign Length

The game has options for a short (21 weeks), medium (26 weeks), long (41 weeks), or epic (52 weeks) campaign. How in-depth you want to get depends on how long you want to play. Select your length and move onto the next step.

Step 2: Select Your Starting Funds

Here, you can choose to give yourself a boost (or a detriment, whatever floats your boat) to your starting campaign funds. You can choose to start at 50%, 100%, 150%, or 200%.

Step 3: Select Your Difficulty

Finally, you must select how difficult you’d like the game to be. It offers several difficulty levels: Cakewalk, Easy, Simple, Beginner, Normal, Challenging, Tough, Painful, Crippling, and Masochistic. For an added challenge, there are also options for randomizing values such as state populations, wealth, demographics, and issue importance. Choose which one is right for you and move onto the next part!

Step 4: Choose (or Create) your Candidate

There are several candidates from each political party (Democrats and Republicans) to choose from. Each candidate has a set of attributes that are important to pay attention to. They are:

  • Stamina: This determines how many stamina points you have, which allows for more actions per turn.
  • Money: This determines your initial starting funds for your campaign.
  • Fundraising Ability: This determines how much money you can bring in during your fundraising attempts.
  • Charisma: This increases the effectiveness of speeches and advertisements.
  • Appearance: This increases the effectiveness of your interview appearances.
  • Credibility: This increases the effectiveness of your negative ads and decreases the effectiveness of any negative ads your opponent places against you.
  • Experience: This makes it easier to win endorsements by decreasing the cost of political capital for each one.
  • Intelligence: This increases the number and variety of responses available during an interview.

Step 5: Choose your Opponent

Once you’ve chosen your candidate, you must pick someone from the opposite party to run against. In multiplayer mode, you obviously have no control over this, since it depends on who your opponent selects. Otherwise, though, make your selection and move on into the heart of the campaign!

Step 6: Begin your Campaign

Now that you’ve set up the basic game, you can move on into starting to take the country by storm. Below are some very important pieces of information to know when you are forming your basic overall strategy. In all, exploration is key -- good luck and happy campaigning!