Tropico 4: The Industrialist Guide

Tropico 4

A Salt and Iron Mine. It might not look like much but they will form the foundation of my Economy.

Cigar Factory – If you are blessed with perfect soil for Tobacco then you can produce Cigars. Just like the Cannery, Lumber, and Rum Indsutries, Cigars are among the easiest to produce. You need farms growing Tobacco and the Factory to produce Cigars. By upgrading the Cigar Factory you can produce even more Cigars, becoming the greatest producer of cigars in the world!

Electronics Factory (Modern Times DLC) – This is a mildly expensive Industry for a small Economy. You will need Bauxite and Gold, as such you sacrifice Gold, which can be made into Fine Jewellery, for the sake of Electronics. Before you cross out Electronics out there is one huge benefit with these Factories. You can have up to Five Factories, and each one with a “Clean Room”, which increases the Price of your Electronics by 15%. Thus, having Five Electronics Factories, Importing in Bauxite and Gold, each one with a “Clean Room” Upgrade will bring about hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in profits (perhaps not *that* much, since a lot depends on your game settings, but you get the idea).

Jewelry – If you have Gold you can produce Jewelry. If you do not have Gold you can Import it, but that is VERY expensive. Perhaps not as expensive as Uranium, but it will still drain you if you have a small economy. Gold refined into Jewelry will bring a handsome profit and if you have the Finish Shop Upgrade you will produce Fine Jewelry. You will typically not focus an entire Industry around Gold, since on average you will have a single, or at best of times two Gold mines. A single Jewelry Factory will suffice.

Oil – This might be a bit confusing, especially if you are new to the game. There are two types of buildings. Oil Wells and Oil Refineries. Oil Wells can be buili in-land and they pump Crude Oil. Oil Refineries are built by the coast. If there is Oil near a Refinery, out at sea, an on-sea Oil Well will appear for free and it will deliver Crude Oil to the Refinery. NOW, Refineries is were you produce “Oil”. Oil Wells, both in-land and at sea only recover Crude Oil. Crude Oil offers a bit of money to a fresh economy, but if you want to be super-duper rich you want Refineries with their Oil. Unlike in the case of Oil Wells, Oil Refineries have a set amount of Crude Oil that their Oil Wells (the ones at sea) can produce. More Experienced Oil Refinery workers will only speed up the process of refining Crude Oil into Oil. You may choose to produce Crude Oil from Oil Wells and then sell it, but it would be more beneficial to keep the Crude Oil safe until you full-start your Oil Industry. All of these buildings also need College Graduates, which you might not have early on in the game.

Tropico 4

Your Oil Refinery does not have a Garage of its own, so I build a separate one, just for it. The Profits will outlive the cost of the Refinery and the Garage.

Rum Distillery – Just like Cigars and Lumber, Rum is easy to produce, as you only need a Sugar Farm/Plantation and the Distillery to turn the Sugar into Rum. If you upgrade your factory you can produce Spiced Rum. More Money, no downsides, other than the cost to upgrade your Distillery.

Weapons Factory – If you produce Weapons all the other nations will like you slightly less. Unless you play on a highly unstable Political Setting, or if your Ruler has a lot of negative Political traits you will not lose much in terms of International Aid and trade benefits. All you need is Iron, and you have a number of possible weapons to produce. Each one with slightly different benefits, as well as some harsh downsides. Pistols are the best in terms of “Politics”, because nobody will hate you, Assault Rifles are Avergae, and Mines make both the US and USSR dislike you more.

Renewable vs Non-Renewable

There are, in essence, two paths you can follow. You can either produce goods with Renewable (Farming, Logging and Fishing) or Non-Renewable Resources (Mining and Oil). I would say that the decision on which one is better depends on your planned play-time, as well as available land and resources. If you have a lot of flat and fertile land then Farming would be a major boon. If there is very little fertile land but you have a lot of metals, mining it is.

Now, to be fair, Farming brings very little profit, unless you construct Factories. Having a Gold Mine at the start is enough to fund all of your early expansion, and I have even had glorious beginnings by a dashing investment into an Oil Well. At first you must focus on one type of Industry, especially since your funds will be very limited. Later on your choices expand, but so will your costs. If you invested in Farming Earlier on you may find your cities lack space, or that you cannot expand your industry further because there is no more good farm land. Mines may run out of resources eventually, forcing you to lose some of your profit for Imports. Is there a “good” or “bad” way? No, your only concern is to make sure that you plan for the future. Eventually you may decide to cease any Mining and Farming, instead focusing just on the Production and Sale of ready goods, while importing raw materials. You will still make a lot of money. Before you start Importing en mass focus on what you can produce cheaply, and thus on the spot. Whether you decide to Mine, Farm, Fish or Chop Trees you have plenty of choices.


About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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