Obstacles are trees, logs, rocks, and other foliage that is randomly placed in your village. You start with about 40 obstacles around your village. You can remove them if you have an available Builder and a small amount of Gold or Elixir.
Stone (Small 1)
Stone (Small 2)
Stone (Small 3)
Stone (Small 4)
Halloween Decorated Obstacles
Halloween Mushroom (2012)
Halloween Mushroom (2013-Present)
Halloween Trunk (1)
Halloween Trunk (2)
Halloween Trunk (Fallen)
Halloween Tree (Medium)
Halloween Tree (Large)
Halloween Headstone (2014)
Halloween Cauldron (2015)
Scary Pumpkin (2016)
Halloween Obstacle (2017)
Witch's Hat (2018)
Spooky Tree (2019)
Winter Decorated Obstacles
Winter Trunk (1)
Winter Trunk (2)
Winter Trunk (Fallen)
Winter Tree (Small)
Winter Tree (Medium)
Winter Tree (Large 2012)
Winter Tree (Large 2013)
X-Mas Tree (2012)
X-Mas Tree (2013)
X-Mas Tree (2014)
X-Mas Tree (2015)
X-Mas Tree (2016)
X-Mas Tree (2017)
X-Mas Tree (2018)
X-Mas Tree (2019)
Builder Base Obstacles
Tall Grass (1)
Tall Grass (2)
Stone (Small 1)
Stone (Small 2)
Old Barbarian Statue
Other Special Event Obstacles
5th Anniversary Cake (2017)
Fireworks Stash (CNY 2018)
Fortune Tree (CNY 2018)
6th Anniversary Cake (2018)
Glowy Lantern (CNY 2019)
7th Birthday Surprise (2019)
Glowy Lantern (CNY 2020)
Obstacles are structures that obstruct the placement of a village's Buildings.
While a player can still build villages without being hindered by obstacles (by building around them or choosing a relatively clear location), it is significantly harder to do so at higher levels. To free up space for buildings to be placed, the player must either remove the obstacles with a Builder or relocate it elsewhere with a Shovel of Obstacles.
Each obstacle that is removed can contain anywhere from 0 to 6 Gems.
There are three cycles governing the number of Gems you receive by removing obstacles in your Home Village and Builder Base. All three cycles are identical to each other, occur concurrently, and are independent of each other, meaning that clearing an obstacle advances only one of the below cycles and has no effect on the position of the other two cycles. These cycles repeat as follows: 6, 0, 4, 5, 1, 3, 2, 0, 0, 5, 1, 0, 3, 4, 0, 0, 5, 0, 1, 0.
The first cycle governs the number of Gems you receive from an obstacle in your Home Village. It advances when you remove an obstacle in the Home Village.
The second cycle governs the number of Gems you receive from the original obstacles in the Builder Base (i.e. the obstacles that are spawned when you first enter the Builder Base). It advances when you remove such an obstacle in the Builder Base.
The third cycle governs the number of Gems you receive from spawned obstacles in the Builder Base (i.e. obstacles that spawned sometime after you enter the Builder Base). It advances when you remove such an obstacle in the Builder Base.
On average, each obstacle cleared has 2 Gems. This pattern does not include the 25 Gems held from the Gem Box, or the holiday-themed Obstacles like the various Halloween Obstacles (2014-2016) which have Elixir; the X-Mas Trees (2012-2016) have Gold instead.
The most gems you can get from an average obstacle is 6.
Vegetation respawns at a rate of one item per eight hours, except if all the spaces in your village are totally filled. Furthermore, an obstacle will only spawn if there is a 1-tile buffer zone between the spaces in which it will spawn and another building or obstacle.
Rocks do not respawn once they are removed.
You can't place buildings on obstacles (unless it is Tall Grass).
Since vegetation respawns and removing one may have Gems, removing vegetation regularly can be an unlimited (although sometimes slow) source of Gems.
If you accidentally set a Builder to remove an obstacle, you can cancel it if the button is tapped before the Builder is finished.
Canceling the removal of an obstacle will refund you 100% of the resources spent, compared to the 50% refund on all other upgrades.
Your village can have a maximum of 45 obstacles at one time. Gem Box or holiday-themed obstacles do not count toward this limit.
Tombstones do not spawn if a troop dies on a building or trap, even if it's destroyed or unarmed.
Tombstones can spawn in both the Home Village and the Builder Base.
Tombstones in the Builder Base are only visible during an attack. They disappear after the battle.
A normal Tombstone is occasionally visible on Loot Carts.
When first entering the Builder Base, several tombstones are present on the base and can be removed after completing the tutorial. They yield 20 Builder Elixir each and do not need Builder Hall 3 or the Master Builder to be removed.
The Gem Box is a mysterious box containing 25 gems.
When the Gem Box was added it was quickly deleted due to a few glitches relating to how many Gems it gives. The Gem Box was added back into the game on April 9, 2014, the update that added Clan Wars.
You can only have 1 Gem Box at any time. Clearing the Gem Box costs 1,000 Elixir. It takes 30 seconds to clear one, and the removal of one will yield 25 gems. The gem box is rare, but in the April 2014 update, their spawn rate was increased.
Builder Base Obstacles
You must have a Builder Hall level 3 in order to remove obstacles in the Builder Base.
Obstacles in the Builder Base respawn in a similar fashion to Obstacles in the Home Village. While trees and other types of vegetation will respawn over time if the obstacle limit isn't reached, rocks and stones will not respawn.
Many obstacles are common to both the Home Village and Builder Base.
The Tall Grass is the only Builder Base Obstacle that doesn't require a free Master Builder to remove, and will never yield Gems. You can either remove it with 50 or for free by placing a building on it, and the removal will be instantaneous. The latter method can be done without a Builder Hall level 3.
Removing the Tall Grass with 50 counts towards the Nice and Tidy Achievement and the Gardening Exercise Clan Quest, but placing a building on it for free won't count.
In Village Edit Mode, Tall Grass can be removed using Elixir, but cannot be removed by placing buildings on top of it.
The Old Barbarian Statue will spawn Tall Grasses by its side. The same goes for the Ancient Barbarian Statue decoration. If neither of these is present, any remaining Tall Grass can still spawn beside nearby Tall Grass, but if all the Tall Grass are cleared too, then Tall Grass will not respawn until the Ancient Barbarian Statue is bought.
*Can be removed for free by placing a building on top of it; see above for more details.
**Tall Grass only respawns if at least one of the following is present: other neighboring Tall Grass, the Old Barbarian Statue obstacle, or the Ancient Barbarian Statue decoration.
These obstacles only appear for a limited time, and are usually created to commemorate holidays. After the period in which they spawn ends, players can continue to keep these obstacles.
Note that all special obstacles (and the Gem Box) ignore the one-tile buffer zone rule that governs where normal vegetation can spawn. They can spawn in any 2x2 empty space within your village, though they tend toward spawning close to the outer edges of the field.
X-Mas Trees are a prominent special obstacle, with different versions of them appearing in every winter period since the game's launch.
The first X-Mas Tree was added in 2012, and appears as a small tree with flashing colorful ornaments. It initially gave 30,000 Gold when cleared, which was then increased to 50,000. On 3 January 2013, Supercell indicated on the forums that people will get to keep their trees even after the winter theme is gone. The tree also appears in the Gold Rush level of the Single Player Campaign.
The 2013 X-Mas Tree appears as a small tree with golden garlands, a golden spike ball on top, and two skulls at the bottom of the tree. The tree also appears in the Gobbotown level of the Single Player Campaign.
This X-Mas Tree gives 75,000 Gold when cleared, a figure that has been retained for all subsequent X-Mas Trees.
The 2014 tree is similar looking to the 2012 one, but is adorned with tinsel, candy canes as well as colored ornaments and flashing lights. During the period of winter 2014, the tree randomly spawned wrapped presents worth 5,000 Elixir each when cleared. The tree also appears in the Fool's Gold level of the Single Player Campaign.
The 2015 X-Mas tree appears like black metal tree with golden chains, spikes and spiky ball on top. There also lays sword next to it. When zoomed, you can see sparks coming out.
The 2016 X-Mas tree has red-orange ribbons wrapped around it, with a white top.
The 2017 X-Mas tree is almost completely white, with a blue-white gem on top.
The 2018 X-Mas tree has blue ornaments with a conducting rod at its tip.
Special Halloween obstacles have spawned every Halloween period since 2014.
The Halloween Headstone spawned in 2014. It appears similar to a normal tombstone, but with an octagonal engraving on the tombstone and a Skeleton's hand coming out of the ground. The obstacle appears to have inspired the design of the Tombstone card in Clash Royale.
The Halloween Cauldron spawned in 2015 and appears as a cauldron with elixir-colored liquid inside it.
The Scary Pumpkin spawned in 2016 and appears as a pumpkin split in half with a zigzag cut that is meant to resemble sharp teeth, and a pink interior. The pumpkin opens and closes its "mouth" from time to time.
The somewhat simply-named Halloween Obstacle spawned in 2017 and appears as the skull of a Baby Dragon.
The Witch's Hat spawned in 2018 and appears as a purple hat that resembles the hats that witches are associated with in popular culture.
Another obstacle with the name of "Halloween Obstacle" spawned for the 2019 Halloween. It was later renamed to "Spooky Tree". It appears to be a black crooked tree that has a crow on it.
There's a special kind of Army Camp in the Goblin Gauntlet mission in the Single Player Campaign that only consists of a camp fire with different surroundings that the one in the Army Camp, which is only 2x2. You can notice this by the other obstacles that are next to the camp fire. You can also drop troops over it since it is considered as an obstacle.
A video of X-Mas Tree (2012) being chopped down and the reward: Video
A few Chinese New Year obstacles were introduced since 2018:
Both the Fireworks Stash and Fortune Tree were added in the 2018 CNY period.
The Glowy Lantern was added for the 2019 CNY period. Notably, it is the first Builder Base special obstacle.
A special obstacle celebrating the anniversary of Clash of Clans' global release appeared every August since 2017.
During the 5th anniversary of Clash of Clans (August 2017), Supercell introduced the 5th Anniversary Cake. It costs 25,000 Elixir to destroy, but you get a reward of 75,000 Elixir. A similar 6th Anniversary Cake was added around the 6th anniversary period of the game (August 2018).
The 7th Birthday Surprise was added for the 7th anniversary period. It costs 7,777 Elixir to remove, but yields 77,777 Elixir in return. It initially appears as a present, but when tapped on opens up to reveal a party balloon inside.
The Spike-y Cactus was released in celebration of Supercell's highly anticipated game, Brawl Stars. It resembles the Brawler Spike.
The rainbow effect on the Gem Box might be a reference to the saying "There's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow." However, in this case, the pot of gold is a pot of gems.
If no gems are purchased, earned through achievements or spent on various purposes, 1623 obstacles (not including gem boxes) are needed to clear to buy the 3rd, 4th and 5th Builder Huts which cost 3500 gems in total, which roughly translates to 528 days (counting from the first obstacle removed and assuming that the village always contain less than 45 obstacles, in order for new obstacles to spawn).
In very early versions of the game, an odd looking stone was able to appear in a newly created village. It became unobtainable soon after the game's release, and only a few players are known to still have it. A few examples of players who still have this stone: (#Y98CJG, #PULPLU, #LLJUOO, #C2VY8G, #UPYJ, #8J88U, #V9CC8).
This stone made a new appearance in the 23rd October 2018 update, in the new Single Player Campaign maps "High Pressure" and "Burning Sensation."
Aside from the Gem Box, the Spike-y Cactus and Glowy Lantern are the only obstacles that give a different resource than used to remove it.
The Glowy Lantern is currently the only special event obstacle to spawn in the Builder Base.
On 13 December 2019, Clash of Clans Community Manager Darian made this Reddit post with a graph, seen on the right, with data on the number of players who had an X-Mas Tree from each year.
Tapping this icon removes this obstacle using Gold, if you have enough Gold and a free Builder. This icon only appears if the obstacle is in the Home Village and requires Gold to remove.
Tapping this icon removes this obstacle using Elixir, if you have enough Elixir and a free Builder. This icon only appears if the obstacle is in the Home Village and requires Elixir to remove.
Tapping this icon removes this obstacle using Gold, if you have enough Gold and a free Master Builder. This icon only appears if the obstacle is in the Builder Base and requires Gold to remove.
Tapping this icon removes this obstacle using Elixir, if you have enough Elixir and a free Master Builder. This icon only appears if the obstacle is in the Builder Base and requires Elixir to remove.
Tapping this icon, which is displayed while the selected obstacle is being removed, cancels the removal of this obstacle and refunds the full cost.