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Clash Royale has already been soft-launched in 8 countries ahead of its proper, global release in March. While we’ve previously examined how the game differs from Clash of Clans, this time we’re going to take a look at how the game’s free to play model works. Expect chests, cards and gems!

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Clash Royale is a card-based real-time strategy game (RTS), in which your goal is to destroy your opponent’s towers. Taking down their main tower essentially secures a victory for you. You must build a deck of cards, and then use those cards as appropriate to counter your opponent, and take down their deck. That all sounds like a strange cross between Hearthstone and a MOBA, doesn’t it?

The key to winning in Clash Royale is to have levelled up cards: that’s right, cards have stats and levels, and they can be improved by collecting duplicates and coins. Cards can also be Rare or Epic, which drop a lot more rarely than normal cards (as you’d expect). Collecting and upgrading cards is the very core essence of the game.

You receive Free Chests in the game, of which you can have two at a time. They must be collected for the next free chest countdown timer to begin, so you’re forced to keep coming back to check the free chests. Next, there are the Crown Chests, which you can get after winning 10 crowns in multiplayer battles, and which appear only once every 24 hours.

Finally, there are the treasure chests, which you win in battle, and which can be purchased using gems. Interestingly, you have a limited number of chest slots, and the treasure chests take a while to open. Adding two and two together, you need to pace yourself as you play, or you risk running out of chest slots, and lose rewards.

The game also features currency in the form of gold and gems. Gold can be earned by donating cards to clan members and by opening chests, while gems are slowly earned through chests or completing achievements. Most notably, gems can be bought as in-app purchases, and can be used to buy gold or chests.

What do you think of Clash Royale’s free to play model? Are you going to play Clash Royale when it comes out next month? Let us know in the comments below!

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