Hey, there, player! So you've just started your nation, huh. Well, you've come to the right place! This is NJ's Helpful Guide to Getting Your Nation Started! In this guide, we will go over how to set up your nation uniquely, how to get plugged in to your community, how to form your nation through issues, how to set up your roleplaying presence, and much more! If you have any questions that are not answered here, feel free to telegram me at New Jaedonstan or message me on Discord at Lies Kryos#1734.
So, once you have set up your nation, it is time to start working on making your nation interesting, unique, and just for you! It all starts with your nation name:
Nation Name: Your nation name should be something sensible and unique. It can either have to do with your roleplay plans for your nation or just something creative you have come up with. Your nation's name should be at least six to twelve characters long and no more than twenty. You should avoid random numbers and letters; that might exempt you from people's recruitment telegrams. It is a good idea to keep your nation name logical and reasonable. Also, keep in mind inappropriate names will result in your nation being banned from the site by the moderators, so keep that in mind!
Pro Tip: Remember to keep your password secret and secure. It is also a good idea to link in your email, for added security.
Pro Tip: If you want your nation's full name to be "The Protectorate of Totally Sensible Nation Name", then input "Totally Sensible Nation Name" and select the "Protectorate" title. You will be able to change that title to something custom after reaching 500 million population.
Nation Flag: Your nation's flag is the greatest and first symbol that people will recognize your nation by. It should be the first thing that anyone sees after your nation name and it should represent your nation accordingly. Without getting into all the super nerdy flag stuff, there are a few ground rules for flags:
Keep it simple
Use meaningful symbolism
Use 2-3 basic colors
Avoid lettering or complicated seals
Be distinctive or related
Make sure your flag is distinct and creative. People will be looking out for it and will remember your nation. Another thing you will need to remember is that your national flag is subject to the site rules about flags, including the rules about inappropriate content and offensive material. Remember, NS is a game open to kids as young as 13; keep the content child friendly or face the mighty wrath of the moderators!
Pro Tip: If you want some extra flair, you can add the ripple effect! It doesn't work well on all flags, however, so keep that in mind.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind you will only be able to customize your flag after you have created your nation.
Pro Tip: Try to avoid platforms like MSPaint, and instead, look for platforms like paint.net or GIMP for your flag and map needs.
Customizable Feilds: Your nation, when you set it up and in your settings, has options for your customizable fields. There are seven customizable fields; three are unlocked by having a high enough population. The first four fields are customizable at the start.
Your National Motto should be something interesting and relevant. If you have a national language, try picking something from that language. Alternatively, Latin is always a great language to translate a phrase into. You can always just use something generic, yet relevant, like "Unity, Justice, Peace" or "Freedom and Equality" or "Death or Liberty".
Your Currency should be something related to your nation or its history. You should avoid using something generic like the "dollar", "pound", "mark", or other such real-world currency. It would be smart to take a language and find a word you like that means something you want and use that instead. You can also make up your own word, which I have done.
Your National Animal should be something that you can tie into your nation's history or emblem in the future. Raptor birds are always good, as well as historically positive or strong animals, like lions or horses. Or, be like Scotland, and just use a fictional animal, like the unicorn.
Finally, your demonym should be something that doesn't make your citizens sound horrible. If your nation's name is "New Jaedosntan", "New Jaedonstanian" doesn't sound very good. However, "Jaedonstonian" sounds much cleaner and realistic.
Pro Tip: As with the flag, all of your customizable fields are subject to the decency and content rules. Make sure you are following those.
Alright, so now you have set up your nation with a unique name, a creative flag, and fully customized fields. Now you are looking around the place you are. You are most likely within one of the GCRs (Game Created Regions): the Pacific, the North Pacific, the East Pacific, the South Pacific, or the West Pacific. These regions are huge, usually having thousands of nations. These places are complex, demanding, and difficult to get plugged into. They require you to join the World Assembly, endorse their delegate of choice, and apply for citizenship. I would suggest, instead, finding a smaller, quieter region to get involved in, one without all those strings attached. I will not be covering how to get plugged into a GCR in this guide.
First Steps: There are a few things you need to start with before moving out of your feeder region and into a UCR (User Created Region).
1. First, you will need to find a region that you want to move into. If you go to this page, you will be able to browse all regions. You will need to find a region that is not passworded because you will be unable to get into those. You will also want to find a region that is active, has RMB (Regional Message Board) posts from at least the past day, has an active delegate or founder, and has more than one regional official. These are the places you will be able to fit in and grow.
2. Once you have found a prospective region, you will want to take a look at their WFE (World Factbook Entry) on their region page. It should have a collection of their regional officials, a small amount of information about the region, links to helpful documents, and pinned dispatches. It sounds like a lot, but don't worry. You can look at it on your own time.
3. If you have determined you want to move to the region you have chosen, scroll down until you see the red "Move [your nation name] to [region name]!" Hit that button and it will instantly move your nation to that region.
Introducting Yourself and Familiarization: Now that you have arrived in your new home, it is a good idea to head over to the RMB of your region and say hello.
1. You will be able to access the RMB by either clicking on the region name in the left sidebar and scroll down on the region page or by hovering over the region name in your sidebar and selecting "Message Board". Here, you can post messages to the rest of the region. Remember, like all other public things, your content is subject to the site rules, so keep them in mind. A big thing is to not spam or post multiple messages on an RMB if you can help it.
2. Once you have introduced yourself on the RMB, you should go back to the region WFE and look for any sort of "Government", "Rules", or similar link or document. It would be wise to go read that and make sure that you are knowledgable about all rules and regulations, especially those concerning residents. This will help you from getting in trouble with the regional authority.
Pro Tip: I would suggest just using your common sense. Don't post inappropriate content, don't be annoying or spammy, and keep from saying stupid things. This will help you from being disliked or even ostracized from your community. In addition, it has the effect of not coming back to bite you in the future.
3. An additional step (depending on the region) will be to apply for citizenship, sign up for the forum, and/or join the Discord server. Applying for citizenship will usually allow you to access certain benefits like voting and running for government positions. The forum and Discord are also great places to get to know people and conduct business, as well as roleplay, which we will discuss soon. Some regions rely on their forum or Discord for regional interaction, as well as government business, so I would strongly suggest that you sign up ASAP.
Alright, so now you have set up your nation and have gotten plugged into the community. Great! Now a choice faces you; three paths stretch in front of your feet, each one of them as good as the other. The three paths represent three choices you have for your life in NationStates. Those three choices are as follows: rigorously level up your roleplay skills, become a guru of gameplay, or enhance your political prowess in your regional government. We will cover each of these in the next three topics below: Roleplay, Gameplay, and Regional Politics
Region Suggestion: A highly active region. Has both map and alternate communication platform (Discord, forum, etc.). Rules and resources for RP.
So, you want to get started in roleplay? Cool! Roleplay (RP) is one of my favorite things about NationStates. I love getting detailed and creating a story with other players. It really is a lot of fun, so if you're ready to hop into the world of roleplay, let's go!
1. Roleplay begins with just an idea. In order for you to start with your idea, you should look at your nation and decide what you want to do for your roleplay identity. Is your nation communist or capitalist? Democratic or authoritarian? What are its structure and demographics? Some of the simplest answers will do. You can get as detailed as you like. "Season to taste" is a good phrase. Once you have come up with your basic idea and what you want your nation to look like, time to start writing it down.
Pro Tip: Your roleplay nation does not have to be the same as your NationStates nation. Your stats and government and even name can be different. This lets you be entirely independent and in control of your roleplay content. Be creative!
2. Once you have come up with your idea, it's time to write it down. For your first go, I would suggest outlining your history and government. Once you have done that, you can add more and more detail until you have a full story. Then you can post your entire work in a factbook. A factbook is a dispatch specifically about your nation and various parts of it. I would suggest creating an "Overview" first, using some of the following helpful templates: Ponderosa's Guide, Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth's Template, Vers's Template, Soleanna's Template Collection, etc. You can also take a look at my factbook, which is an application of Ponderosa's template, as well as some of my own modifications.
Pro Tip: Though it seems complicated, don't worry too much about it. You can write a simple history dispatch and be set. I would just suggest you get some groundwork before joining RPs
3. Most regions will have some sort of map, especially if they are into RP. This is a great resource. You should try and find a place that you can set up your nation how you like, but also attempt to find a place next to other nations. This will help in your future of RPing.
Pro Tip: If you really want to try and find a productive place to be on the map, look ahead in the roleplays and find someone who is active and good at roleplaying. Find an open spot next to one of those people; it will tremendously improve your RP experience.
4. Now it is time to start looking at roleplays. You'll want to find, first, where the most roleplay happens and where you can best keep track of them. Once you have found where that is, look around at the existing roleplays. I would suggest finding one that you can get involved in quickly and readily. I would also warn to find one that is not super complicated or involved. Your first RP should be a no-pressure affair with little serious impact on your nation.
Pro Tip: I would suggest not getting involved in a war for your first roleplay. Try and find something other than that; diplomatic roleplays are a great start. Establish strong roots before you start causing ripples.
5. I won't get in too deep with roleplay guides here, but I would strongly suggest that you adhere to the technology era that your chosen region is in. Your technology and nation should be comparable to all other nations in the region, as far as roleplay goes. Avoid Godmodding (playing God) at all costs. Be reasonable and realistic, if possible. Remember, the original poster/GM is trying to make a story, just like you. Don't make it a pain for them to do so. Also, check your region's roleplay guides, rules, and resources.
Region Suggestion: Region size doesn't matter. Activity should be moderate, but not required. Should have some sort of alternate communication platform for comparing stats and answers to issues. Should have a strong WA presence and active delegate.
Gameplay, the base of NationStates, is a fun and engaging part of NationStates, especially for those who like to run a nation simulator. There are a few steps and paths you can take within gameplay.
Joining the World Assembly: You are in luck! I have a separate guide to the World Assembly called NJ's Helpful Guide to World Assembly Membership, Endorsements, and Much More!. Joining the World Assembly is a pillar of gameplay, and you will want to do that if you are planning on being fruitful.
Answering Issues: Answering issues is the core of gameplay. Issues arrive at a set amount of time, about six hours each. Each issue will have at least two options but usually will have more. The average number is between four and five. Generally, issues will have a presented problem and several opinions that you can choose from. Below we will discuss some of the best ways to guide your issue choices:
Always think beyond just the appearance of the choice. When you accept someone's suggestion, you are accepting their entire viewpoint. This will affect your stats accordingly.
It is best to focus on one stat you want to improve at a time. If you choose viewpoints to support your economy, that will boost your economy, etc.
Beware that certain issues may have important information. Three issues, in particular, will establish your custom capital city, leader, and religion. Those issues will be marked by a "Special Edition" on the upper right-hand corner.
Issues can be dismissed. There is a button at the bottom of the page that allows you to dismiss an issue you feel your country would not have or that you do not want to answer.
Issues can sometimes change your political leaning and classification.
There are also certain types of issues; five, to be exact. They are:
1. General issues, which are just your average, run-of-the-mill issues... as much as issues can be, that is.
2. Population issues, which are ones that are unlocked after reaching a certain population count. These can be dismissed but will come back later and unlock the ability to have a custom capital city, leader name, and religion.
3. Unique issues are issues that are once-in-a-lifetime occurrences. There is a specific set of rules or prerequisites to achieve these issues. There is a related discussion on the forum at the Guide to Easter Egg Issues.
4. Issue-based issues, which sounds like an oxymoron, are those that only appear after another issue is answered. This includes those issues that are part of a series.
5. Statistic issues are issues that require you to have a certain statistic at a certain level to appear. These can either help you recover from a series of bad choices or make your issues even worse.
Each type is interesting and can be used to craft the best or worst nation in the world. Good luck, gamplayers!
Region Suggestion: Very active region. Mid to large population. Regional political systems a must, for obvious reasons.
Regional politics are about as close as you can get to the real world in this game as possible. Most regions will have some sort of regional political system. This will vary from the imperialists at The Land of Kings and Emperors to the corporate structure of Lands End to the democratic haven of my very own Conch Kingdom. Each region will have a unique process for getting involved in government, especially depending on the type. I will cover a few basic steps on how to get into your region's government, based on a very wide generalization. This is not a cover-all.
Democratic: Democracies are the easiest, so we will start with them. It should be relatively easy to step into a democratic region quickly. All you have to do is wait around until elections and begin a campaign for a position. If you are in a region like Conch Kingdom, it might even be easier than that, just because we always have open positions that need filling. However, there are some tips that I have for getting involved in a democratic region's government:
Stay out of the government for at least one whole term when you arrive in the region. A lot of people will run in the elections the instant that they show up. However, you are placing both yourself and your region at a disadvantage. You should be spending at least one month studying the region, its people, and its government before just hopping in. I would also suggest you look back at some of the happenings in the past, just so you understand where the region is coming from.
Do your utmost to not make a fool of yourself. If you follow the rules, respect other people, don't constantly get into fights and arguments, etc., people are going to respect you much more.
Start small. You don't need to run for the highest position on your first try. I would suggest that you at least hold one smaller position before attempting to become the region's most powerful elected official.
Do things in the community. A great way to gain supporters is to be active in the community, roleplays, and recruitment. This shows your dedication to the region.
Make allies and friends. This can be hard in a game that is hosted entirely online, but if you are welcoming and friendly, you can gain serious support from many of the members of your region.
There you have it for democratic regions. Most of those tips will stay the same throughout the rest of the guide, here, but there are some other specific ones.
Pro Tip: Do not engage in regional politics that include a legislature or other such body. It's a waste of your time, trust me.
Authoritarian: Authoritarian governments are pretty simple, as well, but harder to get involved in. They usually require that you have some skill and that there is an opening for you.
It will take a while for you to build up your skill as a member of your region and a player of the game, but a great way to do this is to find small roles and jobs that you can do. Just like the democratic government, experience is preferred.
You will most likely have to wait around for an opening in the government, but if your region is large enough, there is always a role that you could fill. Larger regions tend to have a much larger government. Be on the lookout for advertisements and requests for government help.
Try and make friends, but especially with the people already in the government. If you can become friends with those in power, your chances of becoming part of the government increase greatly.
As with the democratic pointers, try and keep yourself from looking like an idiot. Stay away from sensitive topics, don't argue a lot with people, and don't make stupid comments. Adhere to the rules of the region strictly.
Keep at it! Perseverance is sometimes difficult in this game, but if you stick at it, someday you could find yourself as the top guy.
Those are the two basic forms of government within the game. It is usually conducive only to those two types; other types, especially representative democracies and socialist forms of government, are just impractical and generally only used in roleplaying settings.
Well, that about wraps it up, guys and gals! As I said above, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of things I left out, please contact me. Upvotes appreciated if you found this guide helpful!
Created by New Jaedonstan. Do not replicate, in whole or in part, without express permission. If you have found this dispatch to be helpful and informational, please consider upvoting and sharing with your friends!