What do you need help on? Cancel X

Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

Income Strategy FAQ by VixenChik

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 07/10/02

                 =          Pharaoh.
              =======             Build a Kingdom.
            ===========             Rule the Nile.
          ===============            Live Forever.

Pharaoh - Income Strategy FAQ
Version 1.0
Written by Andra B. (vixenchik66@hotmail.com)
GameFAQs username: VixenChik


Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Adjusting the game speed for maximum efficiency
3. Establishing home industry
 a. Resource assessment
 b. Opening trade routes
 c. Industrial city sectors
 d. Exporting goods
4. Importing raw materials/goods to increase industry
 a. Assessing industry capabilities
 b. Import/export price analysis
 c. New trade routes
 d. Expanding your industries
 e. Balance your imports/exports
5. Storage Yards and Docks
6. Taxes, taxes, taxes!
 a. Town Palace and Tax Collectors
 b. Percentage of population registered for taxes
 c. Wages vs. Tax rate
 d. Beautify your city
7. Special Thanks
8. Copyright/credits/etc.


1. Introduction


One of the most significant challenges to new Pharaoh players is the problem of
successfully increasing the financial income in the city. Becoming bankrupt is
not only frustrating, it can keep you from achieving that fantastic "Victory!"
box at the end of a level. Although Pharaoh will grant you additional debens
the first time you run out of money, you can end up in quite a dilemma if that
initial grant runs out and you still find yourself in the hole. It is
impossible to win most scenarios without at least a small prosperity rating,
and your prosperity rating will stay at 0 if your city remains bankrupt.
Additionally, you will not be able to pay the all-important yearly cash tribute
to Pharaoh (which is done automatically at the end of the year by your Overseer
of the Treasury), which will affect your Kingdom rating as well.

How then, can you turn things around and become a financial mastermind?
Everyone knows that there's no satisfaction to be had from using cheat codes.
The good news: with some basic strategic planning and a little practice, you'll
never need to cheat your way to a healthy bank balance.


2. Adjusting the game speed for maximum efficiency


When beginning a new level, the first thing you'll want to do is set the game
speed to its lowest level, which is 10% (this can be done by going to the
"Options" menu, clicking "Game Speed," and setting the speed to 10%).

This affords you a significant amount of time to mentally map out your city and
to begin placement of industries and housing blocks. Slowing down the game
speed allows you to avoid the passing of months and months without progress in
your city. Another important note: By developing the placement of your city
quickly, yet not allowing significant game time to pass, you will avoid pissing
off the Gods, which is very important, particularly in later levels of the

Once your initial industries and housing blocks are set up, change the speed to
whatever you prefer (I usually change it to 80% until the city is really
starting to rock and roll, and then I change it to 100%).


3. Establishing home industry


a. Resource assessment

After you've essentially established food production for your city (which can
be done quickly as the first order of business), it's time to see about making
some money! Assessing your available resources enables you to see how much
money you can make without spending a dime.

Virtually anything can probably be exported (depending on the particular level
you are playing). If you can plant barley farms, you can produce beer for your
townspeople as well as for export. Flax farms enable you to make Linens. Clay
pits for pottery. Different types of stone quarries produce stone blocks. This
is all pretty basic, but the trick is to envision all of your products as
valuable commodities, which they are.

Whatever you can produce from within the city should be your first export. Also
remember that raw materials can be exported as well (such as barley). If you
have 6 barley farms and 4 breweries, you're going to be producing a lot of
extra barley, which you can export if you like.

excess barley, which sells for a low price, can add a chunk to your pocketbook.

b. Opening trade routes

Once you have established which products you can produce, it's time to open
some trade routes so that you can make some money when you actually start
producing goods.

Click on the World Map and look around to see which cities are willing to trade
with you, and what they are willing to trade. Keep in mind that each city will
only trade a set amount each year (i.e., 40 blocks of plain stone per year).
You cannot exceed this amount, though sometimes if you please the Gods, they
will increase the amount of possible trading.

If you plan to produce a large amount of beer (example), and more than one city
is looking to buy beer, then be sure to open both trade routes. This increases
your odds of maximum trading (and maximum income) for that product.

As you're just beginning your industries, be sure to only open trade routes
with cities with whom you will actually be trading. This cuts down on traffic
(which is very important when trading by water).

Note: If a city only trades by water, be sure to build a Dock as soon as

c. Industrial city sectors

Strategic placement of housing blocks and industrial buildings (breweries,
jewelers, etc.) is crucial for creating efficient industries. If you plan to
establish reed gatherers, and, subsequently, papyrus makers, you should always
place these types of building as near to the source of the raw materials (i.e.,
reeds) as possible.

I always create entire sections of my city that are entirely devoted to
industry. They are, in effect, the "slums" of the city. Housing blocks must be
placed near to the industries in order to provide sufficient worker access, yet
industrial buildings have a negative effect on the desirability of
neighborhoods. Not to worry. Slums are okay - in fact, they're pretty
necessary. You can build a lovely Beverly Hills area in another section of your
map, away from the industry so that your spoiled, snobbish city inhabitants
don't have to even acknowledge the existence of your slums. Note: You'll want
to provide the people in your "low-rent" housing districts with food, or city
health will worsen. Make sure you instruct bazaar buyers in these areas to ONLY
buy food, otherwise, you'll be providing your ghetto workers with pottery,
beer, etc., which they don't need, and which is a waste of expensive materials.
Don't feel mean, they're only imaginary people. ;)

See the Storage Yard section of this FAQ for some important tips, which will
help you keep your industries running efficiently.

d. Exporting goods

At last! It's time to make some money after all of your hard work (or rather,
the hard work of your citizens).

You won't want to export all of your beer, linen, etc., or else the
fancy-schmancy areas of your city will suffer and the houses will not evolve.
It is always a good idea to keep a nice stock of beer, pottery and linens (and
eventually, luxury goods) in your Storage Yards for your wealthy citizens. The
amount you choose to keep will vary based on the size of your city (and the
size of your well-to-do neighborhoods).

Visit your Overseer of Commerce and click on whichever products you will be
exporting. It is always wise to manually set the import amount (rather than
letting the Overseer do it automatically). This gives you more control over
product management and increases efficiency not only in exporting, but also in
basic management of your city.

Instruct the Overseer of Commerce to "export when over XXXX" amount. This will
ensure that you have a steady supply for your own residents, but will be
exporting the excess goods. You'll be surprised how fast the money starts
rolling in!


4. Importing raw materials/goods to increase industry


a. Assessing industry capabilities

Congratulations! You've got your first industries established, and now it's
time to see just how much more income you can make.

Check to see which additional industries you can build (on your regular menus).
If, for example, you're already producing beer and papyrus, you might want to
check to see if you're able to build potters, jewelers, etc. (even if you
cannot build clay pits or gemstone mines).

Let's say that you would like to create potters and weavers, but you don't have
the raw materials. Not a problem! You can almost always import the raw
materials that you'll need to make a finished product.

b. Import/export price analysis

Visit your Overseer of Commerce and click "Show Prices." You will see that
while it may cost you over a hundred debens to import a single shipment of
pottery, it costs almost nothing to import clay. You will also notice, being
the shrewd businessperson that you are, that selling pottery could turn quite a

The math is simple: If it costs 20 debens to import clay (just an example), and
pottery can be exported at a price of 160 debens, that's a 140 deben profit in
your favor.

Now that you've decided which new industries you'd like to create, and have
examined the profit margins, it's time to open up some new trade routes and
make some more cash.

c. New trade routes

If, for example, you've decided to create pottery and linen, visit the World
Map once again and look for cities which sell clay and flax, the items you will
need to create your finished products (Note: One of the cities with which
you've already opened a trade route may be selling these goods). Open these new
trade routes, and then visit your Overseer of Commerce once again.

Make sure that you instruct the Overseer to import plenty of raw materials for
your industry. This can be done by manually clicking the "Import to maintain
XXXX" amount box. If you're not importing enough, your industries will stagnate
from time to time without materials. You'll want to import enough materials to
keep a pretty steady supply in your Storage Yards. This way, you can keep up a
consistent production schedule in your industries and produce enough goods to
keep your citizens happy, yet have enough surplus goods to export and turn a
nice profit.

Instruct the Overseer to export the goods you'll be making, and then go ahead
and set up your new industries.

d. Expanding your industries

Time to capitalize on those cheap raw materials and turn them into cash-making
bundles of opportunity!

You'll want to set up some new industrial housing blocks to accommodate your
new industries, and, as before, set up your industries next to these new

e. Balance your imports/exports

The cash amount of your exports should ALWAYS be greater than the cash amount
of your imports. Once you get some successful industries rolling, you'll see a
tremendous difference between the two. You can compare the figures by visiting
your Overseer of the Treasury and checking his list of income/expenses, where
the "Imports Cost" figure and the "Exports Earn" figures are clearly marked.

If a few "years" have gone by and your import cost is exceeding the earnings of
your exports, check with the Overseer of Commerce. You may be importing an
excessive amount of materials, or you may have forgotten to instruct the
Overseer to export something (it happens). Additionally, make sure that you
have not set one of your imports or exports to "Stockpiling," as nothing that
is being stockpiled can be used or traded.


5. Storage Yards and Docks


Storage Yard placement is far more important than you might think. When
developing your industries, you should always have a couple of Storage Yards
directly next to your Potters, Weavers, etc. that are dedicated specifically to
these industries. Setting the commands for your Storage Yards is extremely

For example, if you have a city industry section devoted to making pottery,
linen and beer, you will want to have 2 or 3 Storage Yards next to the Potters,
Weavers and Breweries. The Storage Yards should be instructed to accept NOTHING
except for clay, flax and barley. Additionally, NONE of your other Storage
Yards should accept these raw materials. This ensures that when you import or
produce any of the raw materials, they will go directly to the Storage Yards
nearest your industries, for prompt delivery to the appropriate building.

Additionally, the Storage Yards nearest your ritzy neighborhoods should be set
to accept your finer goods (such as beer and pottery). This enables the bazaar
workers in the fancier part of town to have quick access to the goods, which
will allow your rich citizens to have a steady supply of fine goods (their
houses will quickly devolve if they receive an erratic supply).

Storage Yards located next to your Docks should be set to accept all goods that
you are exporting. This ensures that traders who come by water will have
quicker access to the goods they are buying.

If you are doing a lot of trading by water, it is a good idea to have more than
one Dock. On levels with a lot of water trading, I usually set up 2 or 3 in
order to cut down on Dock traffic and expedite the trading process.

Sometimes it will be necessary to place your Dock on the opposite side of the
river from where you are manufacturing your goods. Be sure to place ferry
landings (or bridges, if applicable) as close to your industrial areas as
possible, so that the goods you are exporting will be taken to the Storage
Yards near your Docks as soon as possible.


6. Taxes, taxes, taxes!


a. Town Palace and Tax Collectors

As soon as possible, make sure to build your Town Palace. You cannot build Tax
Collectors without one, and Tax Collectors are a surprisingly easy way to make
a lot of money every "year."

Tax Collectors should be placed near every housing block. Don't neglect to put
Tax Collectors in your slums - even though the tax income will be smaller from
these areas, it is still important to make sure that the majority of your
citizens are registered for taxes.

b. Percentage of population registered for taxes

At the very minimum, at least 80% of the population in your city should be
registered for taxes. You can check to see what percentage of the population is
registered for taxes by visiting your Overseer of Commerce. Near the top of the
"page," the Overseer will list how much money has been collected so far that
year, what percentage of the population is registered for taxes, and how much
money has been uncollected for that year.

If you find that a large number of people in your city are not paying taxes,
visit the Overlay menu, go to Administration, and click "Taxes." You will be
able to scroll around the map and identify (by placing your mouse over the
different pillars) which houses are unregistered for taxes, and you can then
place new Tax Collectors where they are needed.

c. Wages vs. tax rate

The tax rate in the game is typically set at 9%. I always bump it up to 10%,
and I never have any complaints from my citizens about unfair taxation (and I
have yet to see a Boston Tea Party at one of my Docks!). You can change the tax
rate by visiting the Overseer of the Workers and manually changing it (it is
located at the bottom of the "page").

The wages that you pay your workers should always equal the rate that the
Kingdom pays (this is also found at the bottom of the "page" when visiting the
Overseer of the Workers).

Typically, with a tax rate of 10% and with the majority of your citizens
registered for taxes, you will notice (by visiting the Overseer of the Treasury
and reading his list) that you are collecting more in taxes than you are paying
out in wages. This hardly seems fair to your hard-working citizens, but they
don't seem to mind, and it looks so nice on your treasury list!

d. Beautify your city

Ah, the fun stuff. Take some time in your ritzy neighborhoods to really spruce
things up for the local rich folk. Gardens, statues, plazas (a must), lots of
entertainment, fine goods, plenty of access to religion - the works!

It doesn't just make the neighborhoods look nice, it helps to achieve another
notch of capitalistic gain for you: the nicer the neighborhood, the more you
will collect in taxes. It can make a pretty significant difference, so get
creative and beautify those top-notch neighborhoods.

By this time, you ought to have more money than you know what to do with, so
have fun!


7. Special Thanks


-Pistikus, my best friend, a would-be slayer of dragons, who took time out of
obsessively writing his Scooby Doo Walkthrough to check out my little Pharaoh
FAQ, and who thinks my ridiculous ASCII pyramid is top-notch.
-My ex-boyfriend, for making me feel like I was a crappy Pharaoh player and
that his skills were far superior to my own, so that I was able to realize -
quite recently in fact - that I, too, am a strategic genius and have totally
mastered this game. Huh.
-TJ, Curt, TGA, Omni, Silver, Omega and the rest of the crew from RPFF * S *,
for being fun and playing Naked Crisco Twister on random Saturday nights.


8. Copyright/Credits/Etc.


The copyright to this FAQ belongs to GameFAQs user VixenChik (Andra B.). All
material contained herein was written solely by the lovely Miss Andra B.,
belongs to her, and shall not be used without her express permission. Thank you

The copyright to "Pharaoh" (1999) belongs to Sierra On-Line Inc.

View in: