There are many doubts, misconceptions and misunderstandings about how the loot system works. I hope with this article, you can learn everything you need to know about the loot system and how to best take advantage of this. This is very basic knowledge of the game but it is never talked about in any tutorials within the game, you need external sources like this to fully understand the system.
I’ll be talking in terms of loot lost because that is the pertinent aspect, regarding loot gain and farming, you don’t need to understand anything as you can just see how much loot you are going to get when you raid.
Basically, the amount of loot loss depends on the amount you have in storages, collectors, treasury, followed by your TH level and the enemy TH level.
First misconception that I want to address early is, there is no such thing as a loot bonus for lower TH levels hitting higher TH levels. A TH8 steals just as much loot from a TH10 as another TH10. So a TH8 can get maximum 400k from a TH10, while a TH10 can also get a maximum of 400k from a TH10. This is a misconception people tell me when they refuse my rushing advice, they think that they will lose more loot from lower TH levels when they upgrade Town halls but this is simply a long-standing myth. Just remember that there is no such thing as a loot bonus
Loot loss = (Loss from storage + loss from collectors) * loot penalty + loss from treasury
This above is the formula to calculate how much loot you lose per defense, now I’ll explain each factor individually.
First thing you must know is that the Town Hall is a storage by itself, breaking it yields as much as a gold/elixir storage and 20% of your DE. If you are offered 400k/400k/3k from a TH10, 80k/80k/600 will come from the Town Hall
Loss from storage. You lose a percentage of of loot from each of your storages and TH. It percentage of loot you lose from storages actually decrease as you move up in TH levels, this makes saving up small amounts better at higher TH levels. Here’s the table:
|Town Hall Level||% loss||Maximum loss||Loot cap||Loss per storage|
I will not be covering TH1-4, just know what you still lose only 20% of your available loot at that level.
The loot cap is the amount of loot it takes (in your storage) to offer maximum amount of loot. You will not lose more loot beyond that amount. At TH9, you lose the exact same amount of gold/elixir whether you have 2.5mil in your storage or you have 7.5mil, you will still lose only 350k maximum.
Here’s misconception number two, people think that you lose more loot if you have too much loot in your storages. This question is very common when players receive their season bank loot. You cannot lose more loot than the loot cap from your storages. However, you can lose more loot if you have any extra in the collectors and treasury.
Loss per storage is calculated from Maximum loss divided by number of storages. At TH8, you have 3 gold storages and 1 TH, your gold is dispersed equally among all 4 structures, so you can lose a maximum of 75k per storage.
As you can see, your loot cap and maximum loot loss increases as you go up in TH level, but your % loss decreases. This means that you can safely storage more loot before you lose the same amount of loot as the TH level below you.
DE works slightly differently:
|Town Hall Level||% loss||Maximum loss||Loot cap|
The gist is still the same as gold/elixir so I won’t explain further. Remember that 20% of your DE loss comes from the Town Hall, you only lose 80% from your DE storage.
Now, on to collectors. Destroying collectors will give 50% of the loot it contains. Compare that with the 10-16% from storages and you see why I always recommend collector farming. There is also no “loot cap” for collectors, so a flat 50% of collector loot will be stolen. If you had 40k in each of your collector, an attacker will gain 20k from each collector they manage to destroy on top of whatever you lost from storages. So remember to always tap on your collectors before you leave the game so that you minimise losses from this source.
The third misconception that many players have is that you will lose more loot because you are rushed. In reality, you are capped at 450k losses at TH12 and you cannot lose more loot than a maxer. While theoretically having weaker defenses mean enemies may get the 450k more easily, this only means a marginal loss compared to a maxer. For example, a maxer may lose 200-300k per defense, but as a rusher you are only losing 450k which is a small amount to pay for speedier progress. In reality though, defenses don’t really matter in terms of losing loot. My rushed base usually loses around 200-400k per defense so why bother upgrading them?
DE drills work the same except that they yield 75% of DE when destroyed. A maxed lvl7 drill has 2400 capacity and breaking one will give 1800 DE if it is full. 3 of them will give 5400 DE, which is much more than 3.5k which you can gain from a TH11, not to mention that a dead base is so much easier to raid. So just stick to collector farming to get your DE instead of going into bases.
The third source of loss you can sustain is from the Treasury found in your clan castle. 3% of whatever in your Treasury can be looted and lost. If you are above the loot cap of your storages, it is highly recommended to take it out and put it into your storages. Do note that treasury loot is not affected by loot penalty, so a TH11 attacking a TH9 can still gain 3% of the treasury loot without penalty
Misconception number 4, treasury is the safest place to store loot. Definitely not. You cannot lose more loot after you reach loot cap, unless the loot is not in storages, ie. in your treasury. So if you lose 400k from storages, you can lose an additional 3% of your treasury on top of your 400k loss.
Loot penalty. There exists a penalty for a higher TH level attacking a lower TH level. If you attack the same TH level or above, there is no penalty. Attacking a town hall below you incurs a 20% penalty so you only get 80% of the normal amount of loot. Attacking 2 town halls below incurs a 50% penalty, 3 town halls and it becomes a 75% penalty. The penalty is already factored in when you see the base, so you don’t need to do any additional calculations.
Misconception number 5, upgrading THs makes my farming slower because of “loot penalty”. I will also address this in a separate topic, but here’s a gist. If loot penalty really occurs the way you think it does, why does my TH7 only get 200k per raid while my TH10 can easily rack up 400-500k per raid? I get twice as much loot in TH10 as I did in TH7 despite any “penalty”.
Let’s summarise by giving a few scenarios:
A TH9 has 1.5mil in storages, none in collectors and none in treasury. A TH8 attacks the TH9 and takes 3 gold storages and 2 elixir storages.
Loss = 1.5mil * 0.14 * 60% of gold or 40% of elixir
= 126k gold and 84k elixir lost (no extra loot was given to the TH8 for attacking a TH9)
A TH9 has 2.8mil in storages, none in collectors and none in treasury. A TH10 attacks the TH9 and take 4 gold storages, 3 elixir storages and the Town hall
Loss = Capped loot (350k) * 0.8 loot penalty * 100% of gold or 80% of elixir
= 280k gold and 224k elixir lost
A TH10 has 4.5mil in storages and 45k DE, there is 20k in each collector and 1k in each DE drill, none in treasury. Another TH10 attacks this player and gets 100% destruction.
Loss of gold elixir = Capped loot (400k) + (7 collectors)*(20k)(50%)
= 470k gold, 470k elixir lost
Loss of DE = 45k * 4% + (3 drills)*(1k)(75%)
= 1800 DE lost from storage + 2250 DE lost from collectors = 4.05k total DE lost
A TH11 has 7mil in storages and 140k DE, there is no loot in collectors but has 1.2mil gold/elixir in treasury and 10k DE. A TH11 attacks this player and gets 100% destruction.
Loss of gold elixir = Capped loot + (1.2mil)*(0.03)
= 450k + 36k from treasury = 486k total loss
Loss of DE = Capped loot + (10k)*(3%)
= 3.5k + 300 = 3800 total DE loss
If the player in case 4 collected the treasury loot, they will only lose 450k gold/elixir and 3.5k DE instead of almost 500/500/4k. Unless your loot will overflow if you collect treasury, always collect your treasury loot whenever you are close to the loot cap.
Advanced player tip: sometimes you want some extra loot in the treasury because it allows you to have more loot available. For instance, I can farm 12mil/12mil easily. If I have 3mil/3mil in treasury, I may not want to claim it so that I will have 15/15mil to spend afterwards. If I prematurely collected the treasury loot, I will only have 12/12mil available with 0 in treasury. This means more losses from defense, but overall more loot in walls or upgrades.