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Tropico 6: Gameplay Basics

Tropico 6 Gameplay Basics

This guide tries to describe basics of Tropico 6. Most of the old players already new this things, but I hope it will be useful for newcomers.

Other Tropico 6 Guides:

Transport and city planning

Tropicans can effectively walk on foot in a circle with 9 squares radius (area of one metro station):

So on ideal flat map you can build a square districts of 20×20 size (or maybe 25×25). Place houses, grocery and church in the center; production buildings on the sides and not-so-visited buildings (like garbage dump or embassies) in the corners. During then World wars era centers of the districts may be connected with buses and since Cold War buses will be replaced with metro stations.

Alternative way is to build parkings and use “Right to wheels” edict.

Each tropican can use a small boat to get to the port another island.

There are few kinds of ports in Tropico:

  • landing and tourist port accept only small boats
  • main port and teamster port can also be used by teamsters and builders

Driving boat is faster than walking, so on some maps you can build districts on different islands and citizens will easily get there without buses.


The same currency is used for external trading and on the islands.

Everything produced on the island will be moved to the port (if it’s not required in some other building). By default everything that appears in the port when the ship arrives will be exported. You can disable this behavior by removing tick in the product list:

Here “Logs” are disabled from export. For this product port becomes a kind of warehouse where logs may stored and used.

Also there are trade contracts:

  • export ones just increase price of the product. Bonus depends on superpower relationships and is up to 25%
  • import actually allows importing goods. For example, you can have Rum Distillery without sugar plantations; just use the contract.

Trade contracts have three possible amounts:

  • small is suitable for quests like “Fulfill trade contract with crown”
  • medium
  • large is like “forever”; you sign it if it is really good deal and should not be changed

Reexport is possible: you can sign one contract for import below base price, and the goods will be exported giving you profit out of nothing.

Amount of products imported per one ship visit depends on era. Ship brings 500 units at one time in colonial era, 1000 units in WW etc.

There is no need to have more than one port (comparing to Tropico 5 where a few ports were required). But you can build additional ones if you want ships to appear more often.

El Presidente and government buildings

There is one and only El Presidente (or La Presidenta) on the island.

El Presidente can give election speeches promising tropicans something

El Presidente can visit buildings; it costs some money and boosts building productivity. Also this mechanics is used in various quests.

You can build a “Ministry: building and appoint five ministers: foreign affairs, interior, education, economy and military. Each minister brings some kind of bonus, but the upkeep of the ministry is about $300 per month so make sure you can afford it.

Other government buildings include:

  • immigration office can control (or prohibit) immigration
  • courthouse handles bad effects related to arresting people
  • customs office

Tropicans and their needs

There are three levels of education:

  • uneducated
  • high school
  • college

Each building has a minimum required level of education for its workers. A person with higher education level can work on lower position but not vice versa.

Also there are five levels of wealth:

  • broke (mostly for unemployed people)
  • poor
  • well-off
  • rich
  • filthy rich (mostly criminals)

Wealth level for a person is calculated for whole family including children (see also “Child allowances” edict), so people with the same wage may be assigned to different levels. However usually a wage of $11-$25 makes tropican well-off and people with lower wages are poor.

Residential buildings have a minimum wealth requirement. For example, Apartment is for well-off people so poor and broken can’t live there.

Service buildings (entertainment, medical and churches) also have a minimum wealth requirement.

Each person has following needs (happiness):

  • health care – access to medical buildings
  • food. By default each tropican can go to any plantation or ranch and take food for free. However he will be much happier to take various kinds of food in the grocery
  • entertainment – access to entertainment buildings. Note, the Tavern satisfies this need and not a “food” need
  • crime safety
  • job quality
  • liberty is a bit tricky. It’s reduced by military buildings and police stations; and increased by media. But some people (like communists) on the island do not like high liberty and want it to get lowered.

Buildings, teamsters, electricity

Every building has following parameters:

  • amount of workers. Note, usually it’s fine that only one or two of the workers are present at the factory and others wander elsewhere. Just make sure they can get to work easily and satisfy their basic needs.
  • minimum education level for workers.
  • budget is the easiest way to change productivity of the building

You can fire worker right-clicking his face in the building. Right click on empty icon closes vacancy (and all vacancies to the right) so the building will operate with reduced workforce.

Left click on empty vacancy asks to import worker with required education level from abroad. It costs money and this person will arrive on next ship. Also if there is not enough people on the island you can try to perform “Rescue” raid in Pirate Cove.

Service buildings additionally have

  • amount of serviced clients (depends on total amount of workers)
  • service quality – that’s how they satisfy people needs

Also there are some terms related to production buildings:

  • efficiency is amount of time needed for one worker to produce one item.
  • consumption rate (for factories) is amount of resources needed to create one unit of product
  • pollution

Various edicts, building upgrades, modes etc usually change one of this parameters.

Storage limits in the building can hint the consumption rate. For example:

  • Lumber mill stores 4960 logs and 9900 planks
  • Boat factory stores 9900 planks and 1280 boats
  • Rum distillery stores 6960 sugar and 3584 rum

And it looks close to consumption: one log per 2 planks, two sugar for one rum, 7-8 planks for one boat.

Production speed (efficiency) is different for different kinds of products. For example, boats have the highest price per 1000 units. But it will take a lot of time produce 1k boats and maybe you’ll get same amount of money with other products.

Teamsters deliver goods from one building to another (or to the port). There is no clear formula to determine how much teamsters you need. The best advice is to check output storage in few production buildings; if the store too much goods then you need additional teamster office.

Some buildings require electricity to operate. Just build some power plant and it will supply electricity to any building in some radius. You can extend the coverage with electrical substations if needed.


<To be implemented>

Tourists are similar to tropicans except they don’t have to work. They use transport in same way as tropicans and they have a wealth level for accessing entertainment buildings.

Broker and Swiss money

El Presidente has a personal Swiss Bank account; money related to this account are often referred as “S$”

Ways to get S$:

  • as a reward for some quests
  • as a reward for “Broker” quests. Broker will give you opportunities from time to time. By default only one quest can be processed at a time; but it’s possible to unlock additional slots for this kind of tasks
  • after “Building permit” edict. In current implementation it’s really bad way because it increases building cost at 18-20% and only 1-3% of the sum reaches the account. If average building cost is $2k you’ll get only S$20 but the economy will get ruined
  • appoint “Broker candidate” in the Ministry and he will give you S$100 per month.
  • use special mode of the Bank building

Broker can provide various services in exchange of Swiss money: negotiating protests, technologies and knowledge generation, improving relationships with superpowers or local political fractions.

Written by beardog

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