As you preach to your Followers in Cult Of The Lamb, you’ll unlock Doctrines that let you alter your cultists’ habits and perform powerful Rituals. All have specific applications, and choosing Doctrines that fit your play style will make it much easier to gather resources and become more powerful for your crusades.
Doctrines are divided into five categories, each with four tiers. When a Doctrine is available to unlock, you can choose which category to upgrade, selecting one of the two Doctrines available at the next tier. The order is up to you, and with this guide you’ll know in advance what is waiting for you!
Updated September 6, 2022: We’ve added a handy video guide to this article that breaks down the best Doctrines in Cult of the Lamb.
How To Unlock Doctrines
Each time the Lamb combines three fragments of a Commandment Stone, you can use the Stone from your Temple’s altar to add a new Doctrine to your cult. The easiest way to get Commandment Stone fragments is to nurture the loyalty of your Followers. Frequent blessings and daily sermons will quickly cause them to level up, and each time they do you will be rewarded with some Devotion and a fragment.
If a Follower’s eyes are glowing white while they’re going about their daily tasks, it means they’re ready to level up. Speak to them to collect their fragment.
You can also find Commandment Stone fragments while out on crusade, but these are much rarer. The vast majority of your fragments will come from your Followers.
These Doctrines codify your cult’s funerary practices and views of death and dying. They primarily affect how your Followers will react when one of the Flock passes.
Belief In Sacrifice causes your cult to gain twenty Faith whenever you perform the Sacrifice Of The Flesh Ritual, in addition to the Ritual’s normal bonuses. Followers who do not approve of sacrifices will still cause a small Faith penalty, but the bonus outweighs this loss unless there are several Followers against the practice.
Belief In Afterlife reduces the Faith penalty imposed when a Follower dies from twenty to five. This only affects Followers who die from disease, starvation, exhaustion, or old age.
Overall, Belief In Sacrifice is a stronger choice for most situations. It allows you to grow more powerful by sacrificing Followers without the normal penalty. Frequent sacrifices and other ways of making sure your Followers only die from unnatural causes will keep your Faith under control until you have better ways of recovering it.
Ritual Of Resurrection allows the Lamb to bring a deceased Follower back from the dead. The Ritual is very expensive, with a base cost of 150 Bones. The resurrected Follower will have the same Traits as they had before they died and will be considered to be the same age they were on the date of their death. Sacrificed, Ascended, and eaten followers can be brought back.
Funeral allows you to conduct a memorial service for the recently deceased. Doing so restores twenty Faith, effectively negating the penalty for a Follower’s death.
Ritual Of Resurrection can be useful to keep your population up if you’re conducting frequent sacrifices, but it shouldn’t be used to bring back Elders; they’ll just die again within a few days. Funeral has a bit more utility; even if you have Belief In Afterlife, you can use it for a quick injection of Faith to get a net gain when somebody dies.
Respect Your Elders gives the cult a permanent five Faith for every Elder currently living. The bonus is applied immediately when a Follower enters Old Age and is removed when they die.
The Good Die Young grants ten Faith each time an Elder is sacrificed, murdered, or consumed, but causes the cult to lose twenty Faith if an Elder dies of natural causes.
Elders sent to a higher plane through the Ritual Of Ascension do not grant extra Faith from The Good Die Young.
Elders don’t really do much besides grant a little extra power during sermons. Pick The Good Die Young and send them to The One Who Waits before nature takes its course.
Return To The Earth lets you construct a Natural Burial over Body Pits, converting the corpse buried there into Fertilizer.
Grieve The Fallen lets you build Graves over Body Pits. A Follower passing by a Grave will stop to mourn, giving the cult two points of Faith.
Choosing Grieve The Fallen almost causes the village to become self-sufficient in terms of Faith once a few cultists have shuffled off this mortal coil. Placing them strategically so that Followers will encounter Graves often lets you go on longer crusades without fear of dissent spreading.
Law & Order
These Doctrines establish the Lamb’s right to mete out justice however they see fit.
Punish Sin unlocks the ability to murder a Follower by interacting with them. Doing so incurs a large Faith penalty, unless there are no witnesses. If you’re going to kill a Follower, do so at night while the rest of the cult is asleep.
Try to delay your target just as everyone is going to bed for the evening. Stop to give them a blessing or just hold them in the interact menu until the rest of your Followers are asleep, then strike. This avoids the Faith penalty from disturbing a Follower’s sleep!
Praise Virtue lets you conduct the Ritual Of Ascension. Doing so sends a Follower to their eternal reward, removing them from the village while increasing the Faith and Loyalty of everyone who remains.
Both options give you a means of eliminating cultists who are more trouble than they’re worth. Murdering a Follower means you’ll have to get rid of the body, but that can be a good thing if you want to make use of Graves or Natural Burial. The Ritual Of Ascension is much cleaner and arguably has better effects, but has a cooldown and costs Bones.
Ritualistic Fight Pit lets you perform a ritual wherein two Followers fight to the death. Doing so increases the cult’s Faith. You can choose to spare the loser of the fight; they’ll survive, but you won’t gain as much Faith from the Ritual.
Wedding lets the Lamb marry one of their Followers. Doing so grants the cult thirty Faith, and you can Smooch your spouse(s) once daily to give them extra Loyalty. Each time you perform this Ritual, the amount of Faith gained is reduced by five for each living spouse the Lamb already has. If you marry more than six Followers, subsequent Weddings will actually cause you to lose Faith!
Weddings are a more reliably source of Faith, and don’t cost a Follower. Ritualistic Fight Pit gives you another means of disposing of troublesome cultists, but it’s unreliable and frankly, if you need to bump off so many Followers you might need to change your approach.
Belief In Original Sin reduces the Faith penalty for jailing a loyal Follower (i.e., one who is not currently a Dissenter).
Absolution grants the cult ten Faith each sunrise as long as no Followers are in prison at the time.
If you have a Dissenter in jail overnight, let them out just before dawn then throw them back in the stocks after the Absolution bonus triggers.
There’s no reason to jail Followers who aren’t Dissenting, so Absolution is the way to go at this tier.
Loyalty Enforcer lets you designate a Follower to wear a fancy hat and increase the Loyalty of everyone they interact with.
Tax Enforcer lets you designate a Follower to collect Coins from everyone they interact with, which you can subsequently take from the collector.
This tier is a matter of preference, though we recommend choosing the Loyalty Enforcer. By the time you’re at this level the amount of money the Tax Enforcer collects is fairly trivial. You could, however, rush this tier early in the game to get an outsize income from taxes while you’re still in Darkwood or Anura.
These Doctrines determine how much cultists are expected to own, and how much of their earthly belongings they should render unto the Lamb.
Extort Tithes lets you get a free Coin from each Follower each day by interacting with them.
Bribe Follower lets you give a Follower three Coins to boost their Loyalty, once per Follower per day.
Both options are better in the early game, as they become very time-consuming once your cult has grown past half a dozen Followers. Extort Tithes is a good choice for your very first Doctrine, as the extra cash can be the difference between getting a new building right away or having to wait until your next crusade.
Materialism grants a Faith boost whenever a Follower’s sleeping quarters are upgraded (from Sleeping Bag to Shelter or from Shelter to Grand Shelter).
False Idols increases the Faith bonus gained from completing a Decoration.
Decorations take up space and resources, so the pragmatic approach is to choose Materialism since you’ll be building and upgrading Shelters throughout the campaign.
Alms For The Poor enables a Ritual that allows the Lamb to spend Coins and increase the cult’s Faith and the Loyalty of all Followers.
Ritual Of Enrichment allows the Lamb to spend Faith to force the Flock to give them a large amount of Coins.
A decent-sized cult of even modest Loyalty produces a huge amount of cash with the Ritual Of Enrichment. Use it before your daily sermon to recoup the lost Faith and watch the donation box fill with gold!
Sacral Architecture increases the Faith bonus from finishing construction on a building.
Devotees increases the Faith bonus from preaching a sermon.
Sacral Architecture combos amazingly with Work & Worship Doctrines like The Glory Of Construction, but in terms of everyday use Devotees is a stronger pick. Quite simply, you’ll be giving sermons every day which is not necessarily the case with buildings.
Sustenance Doctrines codify what your Followers should and should not eat to remain pure in body and spirit.
Ritual Fast lets you conduct a Ritual that ensures your Followers do not need to eat for three days. During that time they will not eat unless instructed to do so, and cannot suffer from Starvation.
Feasting Ritual increases the cult’s Faith and fills everyone’s stomachs.
Both options help you deal with hunger if you’re low on ingredients for food. The Feasting Ritual also serves as a way to recover lost Faith after taking an unpopular action, while the Ritual Fast enables you to go on longer crusades without having to return home to feed the Flock.
Cannibal Trait grants five Faith every time someone eats a meal made from Follower Meat.
Grass Eater Trait negates all penalties from Followers eating Grassy Gruel.
This tier is no contest – Grass is the game’s most abundant resource; by negating all the penalties associated with eating it, you can permanently solve your cult’s food issues. For this reason, Grass Eater is arguably one of the best Doctrines in the game.
Ritual Of The Harvest causes all seeds planted in the village to instantly mature, letting you harvest their bounty right away.
Ritual Of Sea’s Bounty increases the number and rarity of fish you can catch at Pilgrim’s Passage, making it easier to introduce fish to your Flock’s diet.
Ritual Of The Harvest is more efficient overall, since it lets you sow and harvest large quantities of crops all at once. If you’re trying to unlock everything in the game, however, the Ritual Of Sea’s Bounty makes it much easier to complete the Fisherman’s quest, since you’re more likely to catch the rare fish required.
Substances Encouraged causes the Brainwashing Ritual to increase the cult’s Faith by twenty in addition to its normal effects.
Belief In Prohibitionism makes Followers work and pray ten percent faster at all times, but increases the likelihood that they will get sick after the Brainwashing Ritual wears off if it’s used.
Since Substances Encouraged grants its bonus when the Ritual is enacted, it isn’t actually that useful – after all the Brainwashing Ritual locks Faith at maximum, so the extra twenty is effectively wasted. The Brainwashing Ritual isn’t that great to begin with, so choose Belief In Prohibitionism for a blanket efficiency boost and leave the mushrooms to Sozo.
Work & Worship
These Doctrines affect your Followers’ efficiency when it comes to gathering resources and generating Devotion.
Faithful Trait: All Followers generate Devotion fifteen percent faster than they normally would, boosting your overall income.
Industrious Trait: All Followers gather resources and carry out tasks fifteen percent faster than they normally would.
This Doctrine is a matter of player preference; Faithful is the better choice in the long term, as it lets you unlock advanced buildings faster, but Industrious ensures that you can construct those buildings once they’re available.
Inspire Followers: Replaces the Bless action with Inspire, which generates more Faith and Loyalty.
Intimidate Followers: Replaces the Bless action with Intimidate, which generates less Faith and Loyalty but makes the affected Follower work ten percent faster for two days.
It takes a lot of Intimidation to keep the full bonus across your entire cult, so browbeating the faithful is probably more time-consuming than it’s worth. Inspiring Followers causes them to level up faster, which in turn means more combat power for the Lamb.
The Glory Of Construction unlocks a Ritual that immediately completes all buildings under construction in the village.
Ritual Of Enlightenment increases the Devotion generated by the Shrine and Tabernacles for three days.
It’s hard to imagine a situation in Cult Of The Lamb where you need several buildings to go up instantly; as long as you have a handful of Followers assigned to building, any projects you start will complete in a timely manner. Choose Ritual Of Enlightenment to speed up your progress on the Divine Inspiration tree.
Glory Through Toil unlocks a Ritual that allows Followers to work for three days straight without sleeping or becoming Exhausted.
Holy Day unlocks a Ritual that causes Followers to stop working and praying for one day, gaining eighty Faith for the cult.
If you’re in a situation where you need eighty Faith, something has gone seriously wrong. Even that large amount isn’t worth giving up a day’s production. Pick Glory Through Toil even if you don’t intend to use it frequently; it will help you get the resources you need for late-game buildings.
Next: Cult Of The Lamb: Best Buildings