Newbie Corner pt 2: Midgame

Part 2: The Middle Bit – 40 – 53

Hopefully by this point, you have a handle on the basics. Nice job!

The good news is that 2 / 3 of the Trifecta is essentially just increasing your standards and doing the same thing with bigger numbers. Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be golden as far as Crafting and Bartering go.

Now that you feel a bit more comfortable with some of the core pieces of ST, you’ll surely have accumulated a small pile of various resources. Please try not to feel too bad if you’ve used any of these in ways that aren’t spelled out here! It’s VERY difficult to put yourself in a compromised situation with this game. As long as you’re playing and using your resources, you WILL make progress. That’s part of why I love it – no matter how you play, you’re always moving forward and that’s awesome.

“What’s the best way to use [X resource]?” (click to expand)

I’m glad you asked! Shop Titans has a large variety of currencies and resource types that are used for all kinds of things. Here are some pointers on what you should be spending your hard-earned stuff on. We’ll speed through the easier ones first.

  • Research Scroll – These are used to unlock (or ‘research’) new blueprints. You’ll use these to progress your item crafting lines. There isn’t really a “wrong” way to use them as long as you’re using them to progress and you’re keeping your crafting lines roughly equal (previously explained with bounties in part 1).
  • Fortune Coins – Earned in the Fortune Zone via the slot machine. You gain tickets to play the slots by performing your daily tasks (remember to keep up with these!) and get tokens based on what you roll. These tokens can be used to purchase some very useful items via the Fortune Shop. Good choices include:
    • Ascension Shards
    • Champion coins
    • Gems
    • Stat seeds
    • Phoenix Feathers / Stamina Potions
    • Quest boosters (If running low)
    • Equipment items (If NOT from a baseline crafted line)
      • Note that you’re usually not going to actually use these – it’s mainly to sell them on the marketplace or add to your collection book
    • Chest Keys (If you’re missing blueprints)
  • Guild Coins – These can be used to refill your resource bins a few times each day with a cooldown. The amount refilled is based on your Merchant level. (Note that you can also get resource refills when worker NPCs visit your shop. This amount is slightly different and is based on a percentage of your max value.
    • Alternatively, another good use of guild coins is to purchase grab bags on the Guild screen for 100 coins each. Grab bags contain many of the same items available in the Fortune Zone – keys, Ascension Shards / Research scrolls, stat seeds, etc. You can also get unique statues of some of the worker NPCs to decorate the exterior of your shop. The color of the grab bag determines the pool of available items as seen in the chart below.
  • Limited Edition – This token allows you to Surcharge an item a second time, allowing you to get even more gold for it! While extremely useful, these items are fairly rare. You should only ever use these on items you sell to King Reinhold. A Limited Edition token doubles the Surcharge, which allows you to gain a whopping 10x the normal item value for anything you sell to The King, compared to 4x for normal customers.
  • On the House – The inverse of the Limited Edition token, this one allows you to double Discount an item. You give away the item for free and get zero gold, BUT you get 10x the normal Discount energy! These are fantastic for helping you to quickly generate energy to Surcharge stuff and dump your stock. You need to be careful to not use these on items that would exceed your maximum Energy, otherwise you’re wasting the token a bit. Keep an eye on how much you gain from a normal Discount to know if you can safely OtH an item for a big boost of energy.

As for the less easy ones:

Gems – This one is first of the complex resources because it’s by far the most important. Gems are ST’s premium currency and they can be used for most things – upgrading equipment, instantly completing a queue, buying an additional quest / hero / craft slot, resource refills, and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you’re not heavily using your credit card, it’s crucial to use these wisely. Using gems to buy a slot (crafting, hero, quest, or market slot) simply unlocks the next slot immediately. You will then need to level into the next next slot if you want to purchase it for gold. Some good uses of gems are:

  • Spend 600 in total – This unlocks the ability to sell items on the Marketplace for gems. If you haven’t spent enough, you will only be able to sell items for gold. This is extremely useful because it helps you generate more gems to spend on more important things.
  • Shop expansions 8 & 9 – These cost 9K gems in total. It’s a huge amount of gems, BUT these allow you to get the largest physical shop size as early as level 60. You can buy expansion 7 at that point for gold and then use gems to immediately unlock the next two. As previously mentioned in part 1, shop expansions are hugely important, so getting a leg up is extremely valuable.
  • Gear upgrades for your heroes. This includes purchasing higher rarity stuff from the Marketplace and upgrading them via the Gem Deal of the Day. I wouldn’t recommend doing this for a pretty long time or for anything below upgrading a T13 item to Legend quality (check the actual gem cost of buying these first!), but it’s something to keep in mind for the future.
  • Opening high tier Chests (preferably through the Gem Deal of the Day). These grant more Ascension Shards and chances at rare recipes.
  • Skill Dice from the Gem Deal of the Day. I can’t stress how important skill dice are, so it’s important to get your hands on as many as possible.
  • Content passes! These are infrequent (usually around holidays) but they have good rewards. It costs 1,500 gems to unlock the premium track and is almost always worth it.
  • You can unlock up to 16 extra furniture slots after you’ve expanded your shop all the way. Just like expansions 8 & 9, these are great value.

Gold! This the most ubiquitous resource in the game. It’s not quite as important to spend this wisely since you’ll accumulate literal billions of it over your time playing, but you’ll still want to spend it wisely early on when your pockets are a bit lighter.

  • Invest in yourself and your shop first. This is the core of how you can continue to make money later. Buy any new slots as soon as they become available with gold and always use it to make sure you have something upgrading.
  • Next, make sure your heroes have what they need. Good equipment can make even suboptimal heroes do their job OK, and you don’t need to break the bank to do it. A few smart gear upgrades and a couple key pieces here or there will go an extremely long way. You’ll also want to make sure you hire new heroes as soon as you get a new slot. More detail on what you’re looking for in your heroes will be covered shortly.
  • If your shop is looking OK, your heroes are all set, and you don’t have any major expenses coming up, use your gold to help your guild via investments. Your investment ticks will be much cheaper when you’re still new, meaning you can sink a lot of ticks in a single town building without needing to spend too much gold. These are important because town buildings help the entire guild. This is a great way for newer players to contribute since your ticks will be pretty cheap, relatively speaking.
    • Ideally, try to prioritize your guild’s currently active Guild Choice here. GC is one chosen building that’s cheaper to invest in. Your ticks will cost 10% less gold, but your personal Investment stat will consider the full amount of those ticks – not the amount of gold your actually spent.
    • Major note: Your Investments are tied to YOU, not the guild. If you change guilds, your investments will come along for the ride to the new guild.

Ascension Shards – These are extremely useful because they let you “upgrade” a blueprint / craftable item. Every craftable item can be upgraded with these three times, and those ascensions / upgrades will have different effects based on the item itself. Usually, these will make crafting the item in the future easier by reducing resource cost or increasing multicraft chance – stuff like that.

Ascension Shards have a second effect – each individual crafting line has their own upgrade track. You can progress this by ascending more items in that line. These rewards range from quick bonuses of gold / gems / Champion coins to extremely powerful passive bonuses that affect the entire item line as a whole.

The important part is that it doesn’t matter how many Ascension Shards you use – it matters how many times you ascend an individual item. For example, a Shirt (T1 Clothes) costs 5 Ascension Shards for each milestone. Witch’s Outfit (T6 Clothes) costs 25 Ascension Shards per milestone. Both items will give you three points towards the Ascension track, but one item costs 5x more than the other! This means that you’ll want to prioritize Ascending lower tier items to get the most out of your Shards to progress your Ascension track.

For more detail, please check out our dedicated article on Ascension Shards. This page includes some of the more common things to spend your Shards on, as well as explaining why.

Talent Show

Starting at Merchant level 42, you gain access to the Talent Tree. This is a mechanic that lets you specialize in one of the Trifecta aspects of the game. Each time you level up, you get one talent point that can be allocated in any of the trees. Importantly, you cannot get everything. This system is designed to let you focus more on the aspects of the game that you enjoy the most.

There isn’t a single right or wrong answer with the talent trees. All three are very strong and pretty equal in relative power. It really is down to personal preference which one you go with. As a general overview:

  • Bartering is the most straightforward. It’s pretty AFK friendly and it has helpful bonuses to everything you do on the shop screen. You can sell items for more gold, NPC workers bring you more stuff, and you can even manipulate His Royal Highness King Reinhold a little.
  • Crafting is phenomenal if you like churning out items. It’s also fantastic if you want to aim for filling out the Collection Book down the line. More inventory space, increased resource capacity & regen, higher Quality Multiproc chances on all items, and the ability to Energy rush Fusions are all great draws here.
  • Questing improves the loot your heroes come home with after you send them out. This tree gives you more equipment & component items from quests, better quest drops overall, reduced quest / rest time, a second Titan Soul each month, and the ability to hire heroes at level 10 (fantastic for helping push your roster forward!).

Roster Improvement

Speaking of pushing your roster forward, part 1 stressed that you really don’t need to worry that much about your heroes in the early game. Merchant level 40 or so is the point where you can start thinking about transitioning to a better roster. Start by identifying and phasing out your “absolute trash” heroes.

This is a more generous bar than you would expect at this point. Any hero who answers “yes” to the question “Do I have two skills that compliment my role?” can stick around for a bit longer. Even if they’re weak options like Smite, Cleave, Backstab, or Magic Darts, simply having skills that allow the hero do their job make a big difference.

  • For Fighters, you’re looking for two skills with Defense, HP, or Evasion. These guys are your tanks so you want them to be able to take a punch.
  • Rogues and Spellcasters are your primary attacking classes. You want two skills with Attack, Crit stats, or weapon skills. Rogues specifically also want Evasion.

If you want to start dipping your toes into the pool of hero improvement, we have a ton of information here on STC that can help. A good place to start would be the TL,DR Heroes page. This has a bunch of tools, an excellent summary guide by Chimbambu, our sample roster designed to give you a strong starting point, gear lists, and general ratings on how good skills are for each class. That last one is important, but don’t take it as gospel. Use it as a guide to give you an idea of roughly how good each skill is for each class. Remember – your bar is much lower so even skills we have rated poorly are fine as long as they synergize with the class’s role!

If you want even MORE words about the hero side of ST, our Heroic Information page is another excellent resource with further links to let you choose your own adventure through our library.


To close out this guide, here are a bunch of assorted FAQs and general tips. These are in no particular order.

  • What is the point of the Basement?
    • Unlocked at Merchant level 40, the Basement is a curious mechanic with a simple purpose. It allows you to store items to keep them out of the way. Furniture items (your counter, trunks, racks, and resource bins) all take up inventory slots that are affected by your shop size, but they also take up physical space on the floor. Using the basement allows you to keep the passive benefits of having your furniture without needing to worry about where to fit them.
    • Resource bins and trunks are great options to stow in the basement. They can take up a lot of space and it doesn’t matter where they physically are in the shop.
    • Racks can be placed in the basement as well! You’ll retain the extra max Energy and inventory bonus, but you won’t be able to display items for customers on them.
  • Can I upgrade furniture in the basement?
    • You can! From the basement menu, tap the item you want to upgrade, then tap the ( i ) icon in the upper left of that window.
  • My racks always feel like they’re empty. How do I keep these full?
    • The easiest option is to simply put the game down for a few minutes. This allows your heroes to complete quests and your crafting queue to finish.
    • Second option is to spam craft lower tier items. You can churn T1 and T2 items out very quickly and can easily fill up on discount fodder.
    • If you have Polonia unlocked as a Champion, use her! Her leaderskill is extremely powerful for generating items. Send her out with three low damage Fighters to keep her safe and make sure she returns with all 20 items. The item count is partially dependent on how long the battle lasts so you don’t want to blitz through it.
    • Otherwise, you can find cheap stuff to sell on the Marketplace.
  • How do I level Sondra?
    • If you have Mundra as a premium worker AND your Sondra is level 17 or higher, craft a ton of Lesser Moonstones and fuse them to Superior.
    • If you do NOT have Mundra or your Sondra is below 17, there isn’t really a shortcut. Dedicate a slot or two in your crafting queue to fusing stuff and make sure you’re constantly fusing at least something.
  • Is there an optimal shop layout?
    • Not really. Make sure that customers can reach all the racks you want them to reach and try not to have long tight corridors. I like to keep any path two tiles wide so customers can walk past each other and include periodic spaces between racks so they don’t need to go too far.
  • How many racks / bins should I have?
    • Up to you! There isn’t a universal correct answer for this one. If you can craft everything you want, then you don’t need to touch your bins. If you’re struggling to craft things, then either grab another bin or focus on upgrading the ones you have.

General Tips

  • Keep an eye on the post date of any information you find about this game online. A lot of older advice for ST was fine at the time but is poor and very outdated these days. We try to keep things pretty current on this site and usually include a “Last Updated” date so you can have an idea of how current it is.
  • Customers do not need to physically touch an item on a rack in order to request it. They only need to touch the rack itself. This is useful because it lets you shove a Table in a corner for example. Customers won’t be able to move to two sides of it, but they can still ask you for items as long as one tile on the rack is exposed. You can use this to make a denser shop.
    • King Reinhold is an exception here. He does NOT need to reach a rack. You can exploit this by keeping all of your “king bait” items in a separate rack away from customers so you don’t need to keep swatting them away from stuff you’re saving for him.
  • Ignore the wiki, unfortunately. Wikis for a lot of games can be pretty useful, but the ST one is quite underwhelming. Most of the information on there is either outdated or stuff you can read directly ingame. The little bit that doesn’t fit into either of those categories is usually covered far better in other places.
  • This is a game first and foremost. If you find yourself getting frustrated, don’t be afraid to put it down for a bit or try something goofy! Meta stuff exists for a reason, but it can get stale.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! I know I made plenty of dumb goofs when I was still learning. Heck, a lot of items in this very guide series are here specifically because I tripped up on them myself. This game is deceptively complex for a silly little shopkeeper simulation about selling fantasy items to an endless conga line of mindless NPCs in the name of capitalism.

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