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Other than a flashy on screen pop-up and a satisfying fiddle swell, raising your Settlement Level in Manor Lords serves two functions – it unlocks new building options and Development Points. The latter are the currency used to unlock region-wide Development tech tree upgrades and research that grant major boosts to farming, trading, hunting, forestry, mining and armormaking.

In the Early Access build, the development tree is a little limited with many locked off as works in progress. Nevertheless, unlocking upgrades is a vital part of building a thriving fiefdom. We’ll walk you through how to increase Settlement Level and bag Development Points in Manor Lords.

Manor Lords Settlement Level: aerial view of a medieval village with it's name highlighted at the top of the screen in yellow.
Hover over your settlement’s name to view the Settlement Level. Captured by VideoGamer.

Manor Lords Settlement Level explained

Every region of the map has its own distinct Settlement Level, which is essentially a direct reflection of your settlement’s size and how well developed your burgage plots are based on their level. As you raise your Settlement Level, you’ll unlock new buildings you can construct and one Development Point for every level. You can check your current Settlement Level by hovering over the name of your Settlement at the top of the screen.

Manor Lords currently has seven different Settlement Levels, as follows:

  • Settler’s Camp
  • Small Village
  • Medium Village 
  • Large Village
  • Small Town
  • Medium Town
  • Large Town

Manor Lords Settlement Level: lord in red cloak walking in a medieval village. aerial view of a forest with an overlay detailing level upgrade requirements.
Check the Next Settlement Level requirements by hovering over your settlement’s name. Captured by VideoGamer.

Settlement Level upgrade requirements in Manor Lords

You start with a Settler’s Camp, moving on to a Small Village and so on until you reach the Large Town Settlement Level. To reach the next Settlement Level, you’ll need to meet specific burgage plot level requirements. Over to a table to lay these out:

Settlement LevelUpgrade RequirementsBuilding Unlocks
Settler’s CampNone – starting settlement level
Small Village– 5 burgage plots level 1 or higherManor
Medium Village – 5 burgage plots level 1 or higher
– 2 burgage plots level 2 or higher
Large Village– 10 burgage plots level 1 or higher
– 5 burgage plots level 2 or higher
Small Town– 10 burgage plots level 1 or higher
– 7 burgage plots level 2 or higher
– 3 burgage plots level 3 or higher
Medium Town– 10 burgage plots level 1 or higher
– 10 burgage plots level 2 or higher
– 10 burgage plots level 3 or higher
Large Town– 30 burgage plots level 1 or higher
– 20 burgage plots level 2 or higher
– 15 burgage plots level 3 or higher

To level up burgage plots, you’ll need to meet the upgrade requirements for each level. These cover water access, church access and level, tavern access and supply, fuel stall supply, food stall supply, and clothing stall supply. You can find out what these requirements are by tapping the burgage plot you want to upgrade to see a list of food, commodities, and buildings (presented as diamonds) it needs access to before you can push through an upgrade.

You can also hover over each of the specific requirement diamonds to get further details about what’s needed. Diamonds fill up yellow when the requirements are met or stay black if they aren’t. Multiple diamonds mean you’ll need several types of resources. For example, clothing stall supply with two diamonds signals that the burgage plot needs a supply of either Linen, Leather, or Yarn along with a supply of Shoes, Clothes, or Cloaks at a nearby Marketplace.

How to use Development Points in Manor Lords

To spend Development Points in Manor Lords, tap the name of your settlement at the top of the screen to open up the Development skill tree. Click on the tech tree upgrade you want to unlock. Each one costs a Development Point. Note that the tree works on a tiered system, meaning you’ll need to unlock research closest to the center of the tree before you unlock those further out.

Screenshot of a game interface showing a Manor Lords development menu with a "beekeeping" option selected, highlighting an apiary building and related details.
There’s only six Development Points on offer in Early Access so spend them wisely. Captured by VideoGamer.

Note that with Settlement Level capped at Large Town in Early Access, you only have a maximum of six Development Points to play with so choose wisely. Concentrate on spending them based on the primary economy in each of your regions. For example, for a farming region, focus on upgrades like Heavy Plow, Fertilization, Rye Cultivation, and Irrigation to boost crop and ale production. For a region rich in gatherable resources, opt for upgrades like Forest Management, Trapping, and Advanced Skinning. If you’re going all in on Trade, Developments like Better Deals and Trade Logistics greatly reduce import prices. Check out best Developments to unlock guide for a few top choices.

Much like Regional Wealth, Settlement Level, Development Points, and Development research are tied to individual regions rather than the map as a whole. For example, if you have a map with five regions that you’ve claimed and built up into Large Towns, you’ll have six Development Points to spend per region.

About the Author

Tom Bardwell

Tom is guides editor here at VideoGamer.

Manor Lords

  • Release Date: 26 April 2024
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
  • Genre(s): City Builder, Strategy