Torn game. New player levelling guide

It is a text based games. So one is expected to do a lot of reading, imagination to be really hooked to the game. If you are OK with the time and lack of graphics, create an account. No point if this is not your thing.
First 14 days:
1. Login Everyday: Even though the game has no overt daily login benefits, it is always better to login.
2. Finish George’s mission as fast as possible. The cash, energy and mission points he gives are useful to give you a headstart.
3. Once you have saved your first thousand bucks, go to bits and bobs (eastside under city) and buy 100 bricks, or 100 beer bottles. Or go to sweet sally and buy 100 lollipops. Sell them in the item market for a 100x profit. Everyday you can repeat and make 50k
4. Be nice to people. It is a community game, so build relationships in the game (without disclosing your real identity)
5. Don’t spend money in equipment, housing. Join a faction that gives free housing, energy and morphine. You don’t loose by negotiating and politely requesting. This way, you can free up your cashflow a lot, which helps you to level faster.
6. Focus on happiness. One of the only reason to move to premium housing is to get access to higher happiness. It will make your returns on gym higher and will free up your energy greatly. If happiness is low, steal some boxes of mints from the sweet shop or chew some lollipops.
7. For the first 14 days, you cannot be mugged by bigger players. But other new players can mug you. So be nice and in the chat ask for help. More likely than not someone will take you under your wing. Also it makes trading easier.
8. Crimes: The highest paid crimes for a newbie is shoplifting for a big box of chocolates. Costs 4 nerves, relatively easy and gives you 3k in items market. Try to steal 1000 chocolates before venturing into other crimes. (that’s 3million in trade plus a merit point)
9. On the job: join the army. There is no merit to join grocer or casino. The moment you reach level 3, switch over to a company. At first don’t go for company with high stars. (most of those will not want a low stat employee and even ask you to pay for training). Go for a new company with one star, but ask for a 10-50k a day salary. (they need you because without employees the company popularity cannot increase) Use this money to buy stuff. Stick to a high paying job (with trainings) till you get at least 2k in one of your work stats (intelligence, endurance or manual labor)
10. All the education courses in torn takes 7 years (without bonuses) so plan accordingly. Understand your objectives and choose education accordingly. Few options are:
a. If you want to get into quick buck. Register for basic biology and then skip immediately to intravenous operations. This will take 3 weeks, but will allow you to sell blood ~3 pouches an hour for 40k each (empty bags cost 10k though) but it is a decent way to make money. Also later on if you want to focus on combat, ability to use blood bags will allow you to buy health and come back to combat faster.
b. If you are in for the long haul, focus on general education. The gains in the course is low, but once you complete the last tier (which take a few months) you will get a 10% bonus on stat gains via education which is pretty cool.
c. Other courses worth considering are combat and self defense which improves your ability to fight and defend (which cannot be understated)
d. Another strategy is to determine which of the three stats you want to focus (intelligence, endurance or manual labor) and opt for courses that gives highest stat gain per day. This way you can improve your job stats faster, get promoted and unlock the benefits of company/city jobs fastest.
11. Gym: Spend as much time in gym as possible. Upgrade gym membership when they are available and try to keep your happiness close to max. If you don’t torn will become a brutal place and you will be mugged/hospitalized multiple times a day.
12. During mugging, you lose only part of the money in your wallet, so better spend or stash it. Saving money is also critical. There are a couple of options you can do:
a. Piggy bank. This is a one time offer. You can deposit, but the piggybank disappears when you make a withdrawal (in my opinion it is a waste of mission points, but your choice)
b. Bank: Unfortunately the banking service is terrible. Which means that you can make only one deposit and cannot access the fund for the whole week (minimum duration of deposit)
c. Item purchase. I find that to be the best way. Buy items in bulk and hoard it (bricks, beer, lollipops, candies can be sold easily) selling them on item market will cost you 3% so try to trade as much as possible.
d. Points: Sooner or later you realize that all you money is going to go towards points. So better start stocking up early.
e. Share market: Best strategy is to save about 1.5million, buy 25 points with it and then buy stocks to save the money. But remember share prices fluctuate and it sometimes takes a whole day before you can sell your shares. The good thing is that you cannot be trade mugged (the buyer mugs you to get his money back) as your money will be stored as cashier checks for 24 hours.
f. Faction bank. Some factions encourage it, but you can be duped as well.
13. Using merits:
a. My strategy is to use all the points towards education. This will help you unlock the other passive benefits from completing courses early and also helps progressing in your job. Hence a cascade of benefits.
b. Once you have maxed out the points for education and finished your education. Spend 250 points and reset the merits. This way you get the points back for deploying into improving your stats.
c. Other approach is to apply for level 1-2 of each merit. The cost of points increase exponentially as we specialize on the merit. Hence this is not a bad strategy to follow.
14. Earning merits: there is a merit or badge for pretty much everything. The badges have a progress bar, so you can tweak your actions to earn them fast as well. Each badge/medal will give you one merit point which can help you. Remember you can buy some points, but they are expensive and there is a limit as well (1/2 of your level) so use them wisely.
15. Few easy ways to earn points include:
a. Donation of 100k to church
b. Praying at church everyday for couple of weeks
c. Assisting in a fight (sync up with a player to coordinate) the person who does not make the final blow will get the badge and merit point.
d. Stalemate. Essentially two low level players keep on punching each other, but missing and getting a slatemate bonus merit point.
16. Levelling: Although game allows you to hold off leveling, there is little merit to hold it off till you attain level 15 (when you can travel, hunt and do a host of other interesting thing). Post that it is a choice.
17. Losses: As a new player you will be given a lot of offers like:
a. Attack a higher level player and get 50-250k for losses. Remember each attack costs 25 energy which takes 75 minutes to regenerate. So even though it is a cool way to earn a lot, it will take the focus away from gym training
b. Liking a post for a fee. (bumping for forum thread). Extra cash is always good to have. Plus you can make friends along the way.
Remember torn is like real life. Some people are generous, some are transactional and some are plain mean. Based on your nature and actions, you attract the kind that suits you. This game is supposed to be played for years together, hence trying to race to the top will only cause you to crash and burn.

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