Tropico 4: The Industrialist Guide

Tropico 4

Your Journal can provide you with a lot of details on your Economy, Export, Imports, Unemployment and Housing. In case you need to know how to improve your Economy this is a good way to find out how.

Let us make one thing clear though, certain materials or resources, when available, will bring in more starting money. Gold is a major raw material that can boost your economy at the start. Beef, including smoked beef will also bring about a lot of money. Corn and Fish are not very profitable, but they keep your people fed, and the excess may be sold abroad. If you have the Modern Times DLC you will find that Modern Farms, Fisheries and Ranches essentially eliminate any limitations of standard “farms”, and they can produce multiple goods with extreme ease. As such a single Modern Farm, producing Commercial Crops can keep three Factories running at the same time (Rum, Cigars and Coffee). It cannot get any simpler than that.

From A Single Farm to a Super Power

Let us say you start a Sandbox game, what do you do first? Without even a second thought construct a Garage in your starting village and connect your dock to your other roads. Without these two things you will be completely HELPLESS. Now survey your land. Check what Minerals are available, how you can connect the roads to them, where are the On-Land and Sea Oil Deposits, what type of farmland is available locally. Knowing all these things allows you to plan your initial construction and expansion. If you have gold, iron or bauxite nearby build a mine and connect it with a road. It does not need a Garage nearby because the Mine itself has a Garage for its workers. Having two mines will be a financial stretch but if you have enough spare workers you the costs will quickly turn into a profit.

Your basic income from Farming, Logging and Mining should allow you to expand your village into a town, or even a city, over the course of the next few years. Before you focus on your Industry provide your people with all the basic commodities and services. A Pub/Restaurant, Clinic (with Imported Experts, if necessary), Church and High School. The High School is essential out of all these because it allows you to supply your Factories with workers. Which Factory you build in first order depends on what type of Raw Material you are producing at the time. If you have a number of Logging Camps build a Lumber Mill. If you have Gold try building a Jewelry Factory (assuming you have enough reserve cash to not let your Economy “Crash”). Any Factory needs only High School Educated workers. Oil Wells and Refineries need College graduates. You might not even need a High School to train workers for your Factories, as Immigrants and Tropicans already present on the island could have High School or College Education.

Tropico 4

The Salt Mine has two Ranches nearby producing Beef and Smoked Beef. Highly profitable.

While Education might be covered it is CRUCIAL that your trained staff does not flee or die. Thus the need for a basic Clinic, food supply (or imported food to a Market/Supermarket) and Church (to keep them happy). Pay attention to the needs of your people and fulfill them on the most basic level for now. Do not build anything overly expensive, as you might not have the money to keep it working.

The Key Word is Balance. At first you expand your economy, then your island, and then the economy again. Every building that does not produce a profit will turn a loss (usually), so after building different Education, Government and Housing buildings you may discover there is no money left! To stop that from happening observe your bank account, as soon as you see things fluctuate too much (you keep entering the “red” before a boat arrives) expand your economy. Build anything that will bring about certain profit. You may decide, after building your Lumber Mill, that you can use the Iron nearby and make weapons. Perhaps you will build a few farms to make tobacco or coffee? Even before you build the factories that will make the bulk of the income the farms and mines themselves will provide a small income boost. Do not leave it for the last moment however! The longer you wait the sooner your “Downfall” could come.

Your aim is, always, to maximize profit. If you have the Modern Times DLC you can use absolutely EVERYTHING to turn an ever higher profit, including the people themselves. This will be discussed in our “Modern Economy” Guide however, so keep your hats on, we are still in the factories.

Turning a Profit into a MEGAPROFIT

Making money might seem easy, but what about maximizing your profits? There are ways of achieving that, so that no matter what negative event befalls you you can still turn around and say, “I don’t care!”. A lot of these are only available later on in the game, when you have the schooling or money to get access to them, but you should be well aware of them.

When it comes to the selling of ANY goods you have the Customs Office. With five skilled High School “Officers” this building can increase the price of any Exported Good by up to 20%! The building itself has other uses as well, such as decreasing the costs of imported goods, so while you can Export at a high rate you may choose to import at a lower one as well.


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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