Hirelings mine gold automatically, providing gold every second, and are the main source of gold throughout the game. At the beginning of the game only Large Ants can be purchased, and more unlock as you collect gold, with later hirelings also requiring other resources to unlock. The initial version of Mine Defense contained only nine hirelings, and four more have been added through updates.

Hireling Base Cost Production Unlock Conditions
Large Ant10 Gold0.2 GoldN/A
Woodpecker150 Gold1 Gold75 Gold
Bloodhound1K Gold5 Gold500 Gold
Sandshrew7.5K Gold50 Gold5K Gold
Goblin50K Gold250 Gold25K Gold
Miner200K Gold1K Gold100K Gold
Rock Golem1M Gold5K Gold500K Gold
Bagger 28815M Gold50K Gold7.5M Gold
Titan of Earth1B Gold2.5M Gold500M Gold
World Eater750B Gold1B Gold300B Gold
Hive Queen100T Gold50 Ants50T Gold and 80 Ants
Wyvern2.5B Mana10Qa Gold1B Total Mana
Neurochrysalis500M Large Ants30B Mana30 Alchemists and 20T Total Mana
Dragon Hunter100 Flax, 1K Adamantium, 25De gold0.001 DragonscaleBuild Fletcher

Hireling upgrades (Edit)

Hirelings get a series of upgrades that increase their productivity. In addition, each hireling aside from Large Ants and Neurochrysalises have an upgrade that allows for the alchemical transmutation of the hirelings from gems by Alchemists. The tables below show the amount of each type of hireling required to unlock each upgrade; the alchemical transmutation upgrades are denoted by bold text. Large Ants and Hive Queens have a slightly different update schedule and have been separated into their own table. The 1.00 update added an alchemy recipe to convert sandshrew into gold to make the hive queen transmutation upgrade, Diamond-Spiked Eggs, more easily obtainable.

Hireling 10 hired 25 hired 50 hired 100 hired 150 hired 200 hired 10K hired 1M hired
Large Ant Enlarged Pincers - Fire Ants For The Queen - - Colonization Who's Pathetic Now?
Hive Queen Ventral Sacs Bulbosity Enhancement Larval Acceleration Unnatural Virility Hive Mentality Diamond-Spiked Eggs - -

The rest of the hirelings receive upgrades at 10, 50, 100, 150, and 200 hired.

Hireling 10 hired 50 hired 100 hired 150 hired 200 hired
Woodpecker Feeding Frenzy Curved Beaks Nature's Power Drill Ironbeaks Jeweled Beak
Bloodhound Sharpened Senses Reduced Slobber Nightmare Hounds Cerberus Jeweled Eyes
Sandshrew Cute Overload Fury Swipes Sandslash Earthquake Bedazzled Pokeballs
Goblin Midas Touch Gringotts Employee Azog Blinding Greed Gleaming Eyes
Miner Overtime Dual Pickaxes Herobrine Blur of Picks Crystal Axes
Rock Golem Runite Ore Drop Extra Pointy Mountain Men Carbonado Cores Crystalline Hands
Bagger 288 13500 Sehr gut! German Engineering Unreasonable Force Diamond-Studded Treads
Titan of Earth Gaia's Training Hyperion Commander Kronus Masters of Old Diamond Hearts
World Eater Rotating Jaw Aerodynamic Plating Diamond Enforced Teeth Apophis Crystal Shard Eyes
Wyvern Reinforced Claws Crystal Vision Rhenium Heart Truth Exceeding Legend Mythical Power
Neurochrysalis Neurological Compounding Full Assimilation Metamorphosis,
Neurological Enlightenment *
- -
Dragon Hunter Archery Courses Adamantium Tipped Arrows Homing Darts,
Human Fusion**
- -

  • *Neurological Enlightenment also requires 100K mage tower research to unlock.
  • **Human Fusion also requires raising a youngling dragon to unlock.

Several hirelings also get resource bonus upgrades after hiring one million of that type of hireling.

Hireling Bonus 1M hired
(production change)
Rock Golem Coal Dirty Hands (production rate * 1.5)
Titan of Earth Stone Rock Out (production rate * 2)
Bagger 288 Dirt Diesel Engines (production rate * 1.5)
Wyvern Iron Iron Affinity (production rate * 1.5)
Wyvern Adamantium Adamantium Affinity (wyverns / 10M / sec)
Neurochrysalis Flax Flax Affinity (neurochrysalises / 20M / sec)*

  • *Mana Man multiplies Flax Affinity rate by 1.5

1.00 Upgrades(Edit)

Hirelings (aside from large ants and the newly added dragon hunter) received upgrades in the 1.00 update for hiring 1B and 1T of each type. Several of the upgrades provide new symbiotic resource relationships detailed below.

To make it easier to prioritize your upgrade order, the following table shows each hireling type's 1B upgrade with its description.

Hireling 1B hired Description
Woodpecker Woody See, Woody Do Automatically click the mine once per 1B woodpeckers (up to 20)
Bloodhound Getting Hungry Each bloodhound eats 1 ant/tick, increasing alchemical yield by log(ants eaten) / 20
Sandshrew Armor Sharing Each wall fortification increases sandshrew earning by 1B
Goblin Seed of Rebellion Goblins earn an extra sqrt(total damage done to wall by goblins) * 10 gold per goblin per tick
Miner Miner Blindness Reduction Miners have a chance to find (# miners)0.2 * 748576 gems (gem calculated using Gaussian curve with 4 (normal gem) mean, 1.5 standard deviation)
Rock Golem Strange Transformation 0.05 percent chance each tick (~1 per 33 minutes 20 seconds) to convert a rock golem into a mage
Bagger 288 Dig Smarter, Not Harder Baggers produce 1 coal per 100K baggers per tick
Titan of Earth Symbiosis Earth titans produce 1B more gold per population in your habitation
World Eater Makes Sense World eaters now produce 8K dirt per world eater per tick
Hive Queen Ever Advancing Hive queen spawn rate increases by (# ants)1/5
Wyvern Ten Thousand Foot View One percent more likely to find buried treasure per tick
Neurochrysalis Mental Energies Alchemists convert dirt to mana 15 times more efficiently

This table shows each hireling type's 1T upgrade.

Hireling 1T hired Description
Woodpecker Putting in Work Each woodpecker contributes 1M times as much to Communal Effort's pickaxe strength increase
Bloodhound Hound's Best Friend Ants eaten by bloodhounds increase alchemical yield twice as much
Sandshrew Amplificatory Armor Each wall fortification increases mage damage by 2%
Goblin Traitorous Goblins Your goblins have a chance to rebel and attack, dropping extra gold and dragonscale upon their deaths
Miner Expert Consulting Quarry finds are improved for every miner you have. Chance to find perfect gems is reduced by log(# miners) / 4 (up to 15 total) and added to chance to find alchemists. The number of gems found is multiplied by the same number.
Rock Golem Myth and Machine Baggers' dirt production is multiplied by (# rock golems)0.4 / 4
Bagger 288 Machine and Myth Rock golems' stone production is multiplied by (# baggers)0.4 / 4
Titan of Earth Academic Symbiosis Earth titans produce 100B more gold per scholar in your university
World Eater Energy of Earth Amount of adamantium found in smelting pit increases by (2 * # dirt alchemized to mana)1/2
Hive Queen Extreme Mutation Hive queens have a 10 percent chance to produce sqrt(total # of non-ant hirelings) of a random hireling (excluding ants and dragon hunters)
Wyvern Big Cousins Dragon level up cost is reduced by 2 percent
Neurochrysalis Collective Knowledge University multiplies essence gain multiplier by (# scholars)0.33 / 200

Symbiosis (Edit)

Many types of hirelings gain symbiotic relationships with a separate hireling type through upgrades. In other words, one type of hireling receives a bonus amount of gold per second for every hireling hired of the other type. Some receive multiple bonuses. The following chart lists each of the symbiotic relationships, the rate of increase, and the upgrade required to gain the relationship.

Hireling Bonus per Amount Upgrade
Large Ant Sandshrew 0.05 Existing Tunnel Systems
Large Ant Rock Golem 3 Gentle Giants
Large Ant Bagger 288 5000 Everything is Tunnels
Woodpecker Titan of Earth 3500 Affinity With Nature
Bloodhound Goblin 1 Underdogs*
Sandshrew Miner 4 Friends With Rare Candies
Sandshrew Rock Golem 25B Not Just A Boulder
Goblin Trap 10K Trap Aficionado
Goblin Trap 1B Trap Master
Goblin Bloodhound 1 Underdogs*
Miner Bagger 288 1K Mechanized Industry
Miner Wyvern 500B Dragonborn
World Eater Large Ant 25K Internal Army

  • Note: Underdogs provides a reciprocal bonus to both bloodhounds and goblins.

Bloodhounds and wyverns also gain upgrades that boost their production based on non-hireling resources. These symbiotic relationships use different formulas instead of the simple base increase per hireling used by those in the table above.

Hireling Resource Formula Requirement
Bloodhound Craftsman (C) C4 Man's Best Friend upgrade purchased
Wyvern Wyvern-Mount level (L) 1 + L + (L/3)2 Wyvern-Mount constructed

Many of the 1.00 upgrades provide symbiotic relationships that allow hirelings to produce resources.

Upgrade Hireling Requirement Resource Formula
Dig Smarter, Not Harder 1B baggers Coal 1 coal per 100K baggers per tick
Myth and Machine 1T bagger 288s Dirt Bagger dirt production * log(# rock golems) / 4 per tick
Machine and Myth 1T rock golems Stone Rock golem stone production * log(# baggers) / 4 per tick
Symbiosis 1B earth titans Gold 1B gold per population in the habitation per tick
Academic Symbiosis 1T earth titans Gold 1B gold per scholar in the university per tick
Makes Sense 1B world eaters Dirt 8K dirt per world eater per tick
Energy of Earth 1T world eaters Adamantium Heavy Smelting smelting pit adamantium gain + log(# dirt alchemized to mana) * 2
Ever Advancing 1B hive queens Ants Hive queen spawn rate increased by (# ants)0.2
Extreme Mutation 1T hive queens Random hireling 10% chance to produce sqrt(total # non-ant hirelings) of random hireling (excluding ants and dragon hunters)
Collective Knowledge 1T neurochrysalises Essence Essence multiplier + (# scholars)0.33 / 100

Rebellious goblins (Edit)

With the Traitorous Goblins upgrade, one of your hireling goblins has a 1% chance (10% with Teenage Rebellion) to rebel and attack you each second (provided there is room to attack on the main screen). If it does, the newly attacking goblin on the main screen will be a different color, signifying that it is a rebel goblin, and will have 500 times the hit points and 50 times the strength of a normal goblin invader. Rebel goblins drop 1000 times the gold of a normal goblin and drop between 10 and 30 dragonscale. Three goblins will join your hireling ranks upon the death of a rebel goblin. If you have Teenage Rebellion, you also gain between 100 and 300 additional dragonscale and 2 of one of the four elemental essences, chosen at random. Note that the spirit essence multiplier affects the gold, dragonscale, hireling, and essence gained from killing the rebel, making rebels a fairly substantial source of essence early in the dragon-rearing section of the game.

Update info (Edit)

  • Version 1.00 - 13/12/2014
    • Added dragonhunters
    • Added a sandshrew to gold recipe to help with the hive queen grind
    • Hive Queen prices scale a bit slower
    • Added stretch upgrades
    • Slightly slowed down gem rate from goblins sacrificed
  • Version 0.991 - 27/09/2014
    • Added an upgrade that increases the goblin cost of the smelting pit (it will make sense, don't worry)
    • Added wyvern upgrade Adamantium Affinity
  • Version 0.99 - 20/09/2014
    • Neurochyrsalises can now be alchemized
    • Hireling hover text now shows the total production of that hireling
  • Version 0.97 - 06/09/2014
    • The initial bagger upgrade for acquiring dirt is now cheaper
  • Version 0.951 - 23/08/2014
    • Added an upgrade for 100 neurochrysalises
    • Added a powerful goblin/bloodhound upgrade
  • Version 0.95 - 16/08/2014
    • Neurochrysalis boost to mages is not as strong
  • Version 0.94 - 09/08/2014
    • Added a third yield upgrade for alchemists, and the alchemist screen now shows yield upgrades in the ratio column
  • Version 0.93 - 02/08/2014
    • Added an upgrade at 200 Wyverns
    • Slight increase in Hive Queen gem cost
  • Version 0.92 - 25/07/2014
    • Ant prices now grow exponentially always (so they will show infinity)
    • Transmutation now also occurs if you have 100% of the amount, instead of the current efficiency (i.e. 330%)
    • Added a new hireling to boost mana gain and two upgrades to go with it
    • Reduced world eater and hive queen alchemy prices
    • Added a cross upgrade between baggers and ants
    • Alt click now works the same way as ctrl click
    • Added upgrades increasing alchemical yield (without increasing cost)
  • Version 0.91 - 19/07/2014
    • Made Internal Army far less powerful
    • World Eaters and Hive Queen recipes are more expensive, and other recipes have been tweaked
    • Holding ctrl allows you to move 10 mages or alchemists at once, or buy 10 hirelings at once
    • Rounded gem and hireling values, because people were getting annoyed at seeing 103.4 ants and so on
    • Added alchemist upgrades that increase potential (and therefore speed up transmutation)
    • Wyvern transmutation is now possible, but at a very high price
  • Version 0.90 - 12/07/2014
    • Added a new tier of imbuement upgrades
    • Added alchemists lairs
    • Added alchemy recipes that are unlocked over time
    • Wyverns are slightly cheaper
    • Added upgrades at 200 for every hireling except Wyverns
    • Slightly nerfed the bloodhound upgrade - early on it was pretty broken
  • Version 0.89 - 05/07/2014
    • Bloodhound upgrade to deal with how awful they were after the first 10 minutes
  • Version 0.87 - 27/06/2014
    • Upgrades for 150 of each hireling
    • Batch imbuement - you can imbue 5, 10, 25, or max levels at a time
    • Two new symbiosis upgrades
    • A new late game hireling
  • Version 0.85 - 21/06/2014
    • Red mage upgrade now only requires mage level to be 80% or higher, and doesn't require spiders
    • Queens now have an extra upgrade available
    • Added higher level imbuement upgrades
  • Version 0.82 - 14/06/2014
    • Added a new red upgrade available after wizards have spent half an hour at maximum power, assuming spiders are unlocked already (check the power level in the mages tab)
    • Wizards can now increase the power of hirelings at the price of mana (after the new red upgrade is bought)
  • Version 0.80 - 07/06/2014
    • Switched to a more advanced tooltip system and added a tooltip to the oracle
  • Version 0.72 - 17/05/2014
    • New menu buttons
    • Buttons gray out when not affordable
    • New hireling buttons (easier to see how many you have)
    • Added lots of late game content (hint - if you have fewer than 1000 ants, you don't have everything, but don't try to buy them all yourself!)
  • Version 0.68 - 10/05/2014
    • Added world eaters
  • Version 0.55 - 27/04/2014
    • Hireling tooltips now display gold per second