Everything in Tropico 6 costs money. Buildings, trade, and even edicts require at least some cash from El Presidente. Players must balance creating their desired government with improving their political relations with other factions. With all this on their plate, it can be understandable if new players accidentally end up a few dollars short when purchasing the latest Plantation on their island.

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Making money in Tropico 6 requires a bit of strategy, perhaps even more so than most other parts of the game or previous games. Knowing what policies to enact, structures to build, and industries to invest in can mean the difference between a broke nation and a thriving one.

Updated on November 22, 2021 by Jason Van Duine: While earning as much money as possible may be the highest priority for some players, everything in Tropico 6 comes at a price. Certain policies may result in some extra cash, but may also result in unhappy citizens and plummeting approval ratings within factions. Buildings can bring in profit, but they're going to cost a bit to be built in the first place. These tips will earn players money, sure. But players should also be aware of the costs and effects of these tips and decide which ones will be the most beneficial for their own playthrough of Tropico 6.

5 Carefully Select Edicts & Policies

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Screenshot of edicts in Modern Times in Tropico 6

Choosing the moral and political standings of Tropico isn't just the first step towards an independent nation; it can also be the first step towards a rich one. Players will first need to build libraries and colleges on Tropico in order to research edicts and constitutional amendments. Unfortunately, this means spending $3,600 per library and $12,000 per college. Sometimes one has to spend money to make money. Players can also govern in a way that helps Tropica get rich.

Profitable Edicts

As far as edicts go, Church Fee, Penal Colony, and No Free Lunch are among the most profitable. Combined, players can make up to $306 every month on these edicts alone.

  • Church Fee: Citizens must pay $1, $2, or $3 to go to church, depending on the player's rank. This will reduce the effectiveness of religious buildings by 15%, 12%, or 10%, also depending on the player's rank. Later on in the game, this will increase the approval rating among Capitalists but decrease the approval rating among Religious citizens. This edict costs $1,500.
  • Penal Colony: Increases immigration by 50%, 55%, or 60%, depending on the player's rank. There will be a 300% increase in the chance of each immigrant being a criminal. While this increases immigration, it will decrease safety. Players will receive $100, $150, or $300 per month while the edict is active, also depending on the player's rank. This edict is free.
  • No Free Lunch: Requires all citizens to pay the state for their meals. This edict will provide $1, $2, or $3 for citizens to pay for food, depending on the player's rank. This will improve the approval rating among Capitalists but decrease the approval rating among Communists and Religious citizens. This edict costs $500.

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Economy-Boosting Edicts

Other edicts may not result in an immediate monetary reward, but instead boost Tropico's economy, which may help in the long run.

  • Employee of the Monts: Employees will work for an extra shift. This greatly improves productivity. This edict costs $350, $250, or $225 per month, depending on the player's rank.
  • Advanced Boat Services: Increases the speed and capacity of boats by 5%, 10%, or 12%, depending on the player's rank. This can help with trade among other things. Upkeep of ports is increased by 50% Once players get to the Modern era, Speedway works as the vehicle equivalent to Advanced Boat Services. This edict costs $2,500.
  • Tax Haven: Increases the efficiencies of offices, both in Tropico and offshore, by 15%, 20%, or 25%, depending on the player's rank. This also decreases the standing of superpowers by 15%, 12%, or 10%, also depending on the player's rank. This edict costs $10,000.
  • Caribbean Trade Pact: This edict creates 3 trade routes with minor countries. It increases Caribbean happiness by 25% as well as the approval rating among Capitalists. It also has a cooldown of 3 years. This edict costs $15,000.
  • Industrialization: Players can cut down the costs of industrial buildings by 50%, though it only lasts for 2 years and has a cooldown of 4. This edict costs $10,000

Policies

Players looking to profit the most from Tropico should also focus on their constitution, especially in regard to the policies below.

  • A Life's Work: is the best labor policy, as it forces citizens to start work as early as 14 years old with no retirement. With this policy, life expectancy decreases by 5 years, job satisfaction drops by 2, and the immigration rate reduces by 10%
  • Economy First: An obvious pick for ecology; it increases the productivity of industrial buildings by 10%. Pollution is increased by 50%.
  • Media Independence: Sponsored Content works best at boosting the economy. Commerical-orientated media will have a +100% liberty penalty and profit.
  • Global Market Economy: With International Trade Partners, profit from trade routes increases by 5%. Any items that aren't from trade routes have their prices reduced by 10%.
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4 Choose The Right Buildings

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Buildings in Tropico 6

As with all Tropico games, players will be filling their island with a ton of buildings, so it's best to know which ones will provide the most profit. Avoid building Shacks, since citizens who live in Shacks don't have to pay rent. Bunkhouses are a better idea; it's the cheapest building that can fit the most people who pay rent. Don't get too carried away, however. If Bunkhouses are set to overcrowd, then the rent becomes 0. Players should also set the efficiency as low as possible so they don't drain the economy. Finally, build Bunkhouses as close to work facilities as possible. That way, workers will spend little time traveling to and from work.

Newspaper, Radio, and TV buildings are also a great way to help bring in profit. Radio can reach nearly every home, but TV can only reach homes powered by electricity. Banks and Offices help bring in profit as well. Since each citizens' happiness is inevitably going to decline, it can also be helpful to build entertainment, preferably taverns. Just be sure to build them as close to the Bunkhouses as possible, to save time.

  • Bunkhouses cost $1,200. The size is 2x2. They can be built starting in the Colonial era.
  • Newspaper buildings cost $1,800. The size is 3x2. They can start being built in the Colonial era.
  • Radio Stations cost $600 for a blueprint and $2,400 to build. The size is 3x2. They can start being built in the World Wars era.
  • TV Stations cost $2,050 for a blueprint and $8,200 to build. The size is 2x2. They can start being built in the Cold War era.
  • Banks cost $3,750 for a blueprint and $15,000 to build. The size is 5x2. They can start being built in the World Wars era.
  • Offices cost $4,500 for a blueprint and $9,000 to build. The size is 3x2. They can start being built in Modern Times.
  • Taverns cost $1,200. The size is 2x1. They can start being built in the Colonial era.

3 Utilize The Pirate Cove

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Pirate Cove in Tropico 6

Speaking of buildings, one of the most important in Tropico 6 is the Pirate Cove. The Pirate Cove allows pirates to go on raids for Tropico, which can bring in a ton of cash for the island. Therefore, it's recommended that players build a Pirate Cove as soon as possible.

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Heists allow pirates to steal specific landmarks. The first landmark players should steal is the Registan of Samarkand, which will give all the current citizens, regardless of age, a high school education. This way, more citizens can immediately enter the workforce. (Of course, players should still build a high school for future citizens.)

Later on, look out for the Ahu Akivi Moai Heads. These will increase the speed of boats, which makes trade and raids go faster.

The Pirate Cove can also rescue people, which will increase the population and by extent boost the economy. Players can go on treasure hunts, while raids will bring in gold and other valuable and profitable goods.

The Pirate Cove costs $4,000.

2 Know The Ins & Outs Of Trade

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List of trade options in Tropico 6

Trading goods for money is a great way to increase the income in Tropico 6. Where players can trade depends on their relations with political factions. Many of the previous tips may not go over well with certain factions, so players may want to pick and choose which ones to follow. It should also be noted that the stronger political relation a player has to a specific faction, the higher the profit will be from trade with that faction.

In the beginning, players should settle for short-term trade contracts. Despite the low immediate income, these will improve political relations and ultimately help in the long run. Certain buildings can also help with trade:

  • The Customs Office will help augment better trade prices. They cost $2,250 for a blueprint and $9,000 to build. The size is 2x3. They can start being built in the World Wars era.
  • Embassies can help speed the relations between Tropico and other factions. They cost $1,250 for a blueprint and $5,000 to be built. The size is 4x2. They can start being built in the World Wars era.
  • Docks can help increase the flow of goods to and from Tropico. They cost $9,000 to build. The size is 6x15. They can start being built in the Colonial era.

While many items will sell in Tropico, the most profitable are weapons, cars, boats, and gold. While building industries for these can be helpful, it may also be a good idea to buy and resell. Long-term contracts can help get these items below their base rate. Players can then resell them at a higher price through a second contract. Trading in Tropico 6 is a slow process, but one that can pay off eventually.

1 Understand Profitable Industries

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A plantation being built in Tropico 6

If players can't find goods to sell, they might as well make them. New industries are added through each era, so more profitable ones are added over time. Profitable goods stay equally profitable throughout all eras. For example, profitable industries in the Colonial era will be just as profitable in the Modern era.

In the Colonial era, the Boat, Rum, and Cigar industries will earn the most. Boats require quite a bit to build, however. They need multiple Logging Camps, at least one Lumber Mill, and one Shipyard. Meanwhile, Distilleries and Plantations are needed for Rum and Cigars, respectively. Creameries, used for milk and cheese, are also useful.

Textile Mills become especially profitable in the World Wars era. In the Modern era, Car, Jewelry, Weapon, Plastic, and Electronic industries become available, which are among the most profitable in the game.

Gold is also a valuable good. Players can use Mines to find their own gold, which can then be sold at a high price. While gold can be found anywhere, there is an increased chance of finding gold on a volcanic island.

  • Logging Camps cost $750. The size is 3x2.
  • Lumber Mills cost $5,600. The size is 3x4.
  • Distilleries cost $9,600. The size is 4x2.
  • Plantations cost $1,500. The size can range from 3x5 to 6x9.
  • Creameries cost $2,625 for a blueprint and $10,500 to build. The size is 4x4.
  • Textile Mills cost $2,625 for a blueprint and $10,500 to build. The size is 5x3.
  • Vehicle Factories cost $5,500 for a blueprint and $22,000 to build. The size is 6x3.
  • Jewelry Workshops cost $2,000 for a blueprint and $8,000 to build. The size is 3x2.
  • Weapons Factories cost $4,500 for a blueprint and $18,000 to build. The size is 5x4.
  • Plastics Plants cost $2,625 for a blueprint and $10,500 to build. The size is 4x3.
  • Electronics Factories cost $12,500 for a blueprint and $25,000 to build. The size is 4x3.
  • Mines cost $1,200. The size is 3x4.

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