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FAQ/Strategy Guide by thecrobar

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 08/04/10

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Use control+F to navigate.

1. Introduction..........................(1TI)
2. Controls..............................(2CT)
3. Gameplay..............................(3GP)
    Economy: How to Make Money...........(EMM)
    People: They Make Money For You......(PMY)
    Infrastructure: Insures Money is Made(IFM)
4. Campaign Guide........................(4GD)
5. Closing...............................(5CL)

Hello, and welcome to my guide for Tropico 3. The purpose of this guide is to
provide a guide for how to play the game along with some tips to get through
some of the harder missions in the game. The guide is organized in to five
sections: you're in the introduction, the controls section lists the game’s
controls, The Gameplay section provides tips for general combat and how stuff
works, and the main guide is the way through the game. The introduction and the
closing section have contact information as well as some other information
about the guide. If you have any questions, you can contact me at


Xbox 360

L.Stick..........Move Cursor
R.Stick..........Move Map/Zoom
LS Click.........Street View
RS Click.........Normal View
R.Trigger........Menu/Angle control (Press face buttons for menus)
L.Trigger........Track Person
L/R Bumper.......Change Category in Menu
X................Select Person/Other Options
Start............Pause Menu

PC Has fully customizable controls, so use whatever you feel like.


Congratulations Presidente! You’ve just taken control of a small island in the
Caribbean sea! As the ultimate ruler of the country you’ll need to control
every aspect of the island: how it makes money, how the government is run, how
it treats its citizens, and how it handles other nations in the world. It
sounds like a lot to handle, and that’s because it is. Hope you’re up for it,
otherwise you can expect a violent uprising and/or a military coup just before
your execution!

A. Economy: How to Make Money (EMM)
To put it bluntly, money is the most important resource in all of Tropico.
Virtually everything in the game will cost you money to do, and establishing a
thriving Economy is the key to keeping the island happy and your pockets lined
with cash. There are three primary ways to make money, each discussed below:

Farming is the most basic means to make money in the game. Farms can provide
food for your people, but the wonderful Caribbean climate will allow you to
grow all sorts of things you can export off of the island. You can grow fruit
in order to can it and sell it by exporting it off the island. You could also
make money by producing a cash crop (Tobacco, Sugar, Coffee) and selling it,
which makes more a profit but can’t feed a worker’s stomach. You can then go
further and build factories to make more money off of your products. Sugar can
be distilled into rum, tobacco can be rolled into Cigars, and Pineapple can be
canned. You can also farm from the oceans with a beach side wharf or raise
cattle. These can feed your people, but also be sold for profit.

The downside of farming is that it requires time to make money. Farms won’t
turn a profit for two years while they plant crops. Even then, farms take up a
lot of space and require large open areas to grow. Crops can also be fickle and
need to grow in certain areas to get the best version.

More often than not your island will have something under the soil that can be
exploited for money. This isn’t set in stone though: resources are random on
every island, so you need to deal with what you’re given. Mines will let you
extract the minerals from the ground and sell them as exports, and oil wells
will do the same for oil. These can be sold as is or converted to more valuable
items with an oil refinery or a jewelry factory, though not all minerals can be
used for these.

Resources are a great way to make money, but there is no guarantee what you
might have in any given map. To add to this mines and oil wells are pretty damn
ugly and will make your island look a bit ugly.

Rich people will always want to get away from their boring city lives, so let
them come to you! By building hotels, along with docks or an airport, tourists
can arrive to spend their money and time on your island. Tourists will want to
explore the majestic wonders of your island, so that means you need to build
them a lot of attractions that they can spend their money on. Beachside
resorts, swimming pools, casinos- you name it. You can up the ante with some
nice hotels and go for rich tourists, charging exorbitant prices for all goods
and services.

Tourism can make money, but only if you’re attracting the right kind of
tourist. Your average tourist will merely break even with you on the island, so
you need to attract the high rollers. This means nice accommodations and high
class entertainment, all on the opposite of the island from all of your ugly
tenements and mines.

I. Buildings...(BDG)
These are the various buildings related to industry and production, with their
ratings a prices. Many buildings can be given upgrades once certain conditions
are met. These will increase any number of factors, and many buildings can have
numerous contributing factors.

Rating- N/A
You can’t function without farms, so they don’t need a rating. As a cash making
venture there are better options out there, but farms are cheap to build and
maintain. They also need a lot of land to function, which is the only major
downpoint. So don’t overbuild in farms.

Takes up a smaller space but produces a lot less food. It provides meat for the
island, and has a lot of possible options for placement. Doesn’t count as a
true farm, but build a couple to improve food quality.

Fisherman’s wharf-$3000
Placed on the coast. It will come with a fleet of boats that venture out to
catch fish. It provides a lot of food for the money, but it can be awkward to
place and usually requires roads to be built if in an out of the way location.

Mines are the easiest and cheapest way to make money early on the game. Unlike
farms they start producing early in the game, and they never need advanced
workers. They’re dependent on how where mineral deposits are: build them near
(not on) the large yellow area for the best effects. Mines are amazing options
of you have minerals, but they get an N/A because minerals sometimes don’t show
up or appear in hard to reach places.

Jewelry Factory- $13,000
These are only good if you’re mining a lot of gold, which is the rarest
resource in the game by far. Even then this doesn’t really make a whole lot
more money than other industry.

Oil Well- $8000
Rating- 4/5
Oil wells are cash cows early in the game, and you should snap oil wells fast.
They need to be built on top of oil deposits. The only problem with oil wells
is that they need educated workers, which you’ll most likely need to hire early
in the game.

Oil Refinery-$15,000
Rating- 5/5
These have a dual function: they will process crude oil into barrels,
dramatically increasing the price of exported oil, and they will also
automatically collect off-shore oil fields. They should be built as close as
possible to offshore oil fields, which you should take note of at the start of
the game. These easily pay for themselves several times over (one can make
around $200,000 in ten years on an oil rich island.) Extremely lucrative

This produces canned tobacco, pineapple, and fish for export. This really isn’t
worth it: cigar factories can make just as much for cheaper, and farming
pineapple and fish for profit usually isn’t that lucrative. If you have all the
resources it’s great, but otherwise it’s a pass. Canneries will shuffle food
from the people in addition to costing money, which can leave people starving
while you ship out all the island’s food.

Cigar Factory-$10,000
A cheap way to make a lot of money, as long as you have tobacco farms. One of
the best ways to make money earlier in the game, though it’s outpaced by other
industries later in the game. If you don’t have any oil on the island, this is
the next best way to make money. (Or do both and make even more.)

Logging Camp-$1500
Logging destroys fertile land for very little profit and makes less money than
other industries. If you have a lot of trees, farming is a better way to make

Lumber Mill-$5000
Uses logs to make Lumber, which can be exported or...

Furniture Factory-$17,000
...used to make furniture at a factory. Though furniture can be lucrative, the
other aspects just aren’t worth it. It’s the only industry that needs three
buildings to function, which means all sorts of extra work for teamsters and a
higher starting price. The environmentalists will hate you for it too. They
hate other industries too, but those make a lot more money.

Rum Distillery-$22,000
Converts sugar into rum for export, which is very valuable. However, it’s also
quite a bit more than other industries. Still worth it, but others are better
to get first.

These buildings are related to the island’s Tourism industry, and will produce
money based off of how many tourists use them. Many of these can also be used
by Tropicans, but not all of them.

Tourists need somewhere to stay when they’re on the island, otherwise they
won’t even come.

Bungalow- $400
Rating- 1/5
Bungalows are pointless. They provide about the same quality as Hotels, but can
only hold one family. It’s technically cheaper to build a ton of bungalows, but
that means time to build all of them separately which is a much larger hassle
then the few hundred $$$ you’ll save.

Motel- $3000
Rating- 1/5
Pretty much the same story as the Bungalow. These are the “cheap” version of
hotels, but hotels are already cheap to begin with.

Hotel- $5000
Rating- 4/5
The best accommodations for the price, as long as you aren’t looking to attract
the super rich. This provides a lot of rooms for a modes investment, and should
be your only accommodations until you build a power plant.

Beach Villa- $1500
Rating- 2/5
Upgraded Bungalow, with most of the same problems. Jacking up the price can
still bring in some decent cash from wealthy tourists, but the other hotels are
better. Requires electricity.

Luxury Hotel- $8000
Rating- 4/5
The Motel of electronic hotels. It’s the best hotel next to the Skyscraper, and
you can build more than one of them.

Skyscraper Hotel- $12,000
Rating- 5/5
The best hotel in the game, but you can only have one of them on the island.
Offers the best service and ridiculously high prices, and will attract much
richer tourists. If you’re going for a tourism based economy, you need this.

These are what people come to your island to see. Most of these are pretty much
the same thing for different amounts of money. Raising the price and enforcing
dress codes will attract different tourists, as will building more ecological
buildings. Many Tropicans will visit some of these areas as well, and tourists
can also go to some of entertainment buildings for Tropicans.

Tour office- $1800
Souvenir shop- $1300
Beach site- $500
These will attract cheap tourists, but they are also the cheapest buildings to
create and the ones that need the least amount of careful placement. Beach
sites are the best tourist building early on when built in a nice area. And
pools are nice when placed near hotels

Scenic Outlook- $1000
Ethnic Enclave- $10,000
Botanical Garden-$5,000
These buildings will attract the substantially richer eco tourists. They also
require careful placement in areas that are naturally beautiful, much more than
other tourist attractions.

These will attract higher class tourists to your island with high class
entertainment. (Casinos and other electrical entertainment venues do this as
well.) You need these if you want rich people, which is the best way to make
money off of tourism.

These are needed to get tourists to your island, which is obviously a
requirement if you want tourism at all.

Both of these have the same function. Docks will bring in cheap tourists, while
Airports will bring in rich ones. Airports will also bring in more tourists.
Obviously you want to have an airport, and you need one if you’re really going
to make any money off of tourism in the game.

II. Strategies...(STG)

Your economy is the first thing that you need to get up and running when you
start the game. It matters more than everything else on the island. Though not
always advisable, it’s perfectly fine to go into debt the first couple years of
the game in order to start producing a lot of money fast.

When you start the game you should pull up your overlays. These will tell you
what’s on the island. The first thing to check is your mineral deposits.
Minerals are the best way to make money early in the game since they provide
instant profits. They also tend to provide the best money: Iron and Bauxite
mines provide pure cash, but they also have no option for advancement with
Industry. Oil wells and Gold deposits give more money and can be upgraded to
refineries and Jewelry factories to make even more.

The second best option is a couple sugar/tobacco farms with a production
factory for cigars or a distillery for rum. This will take a couple of years to
start turning a profit, but it’s a decent option for some money. You’ll need
high school education (more on that below) for factory jobs, so make a high
school one of your early priorities.

After your economy gets going you’ll most likely have more money that you know
what to deal with. You shouldn’t really change your spending a whole lot
though: 2-3 important buildings a year and some houses is good. You want to
save up some money for the crash. Your economy tends to reach a “break even”
point on a lot of the game’s islands. This happened around the tenth in-game
year: your money flow will slow drastically as the island increases in size,
and you’ll sort of reach a point where you’re making just enough money to run

At this point you should introduce a second industry to your island, one of the
ones you have not yet picked. Farming something is not a good idea if you’re
already farming, you simply need to much space. Building another couple mines
or an oil refinery is a good idea, as it adding a tourist dock and trying to
attract some tourism.

B. People: They Make Money for you...(PMY)

While money is nice, you need people to make it for you. The citizens of
Tropico are willing to work for you, but they have their own needs and desires
that need to be met. Pay them too little or repress them a little too much and
you could have an uprising on your hands. As a general

People have a host of needs to be met. Making them happy will make you happy,
since they’ll work harder and make more money for the island:

The most basic thing people need to do is eat. Otherwise they starve to death.
To increase your people’s food satisfaction you need to provide them with some
variety in their diet: they can survive off of corn, but no one wants to eat
that all the time. Build a couple of ranches, a fisherman’s wharf, and a fruit
farm and their food score will sky rocket. Building a market or issuing the
“Food for the People” edict (see below) will increase it even further. As a
general rule you’ll want one food producing building for every 50 people on the

People need places to live. If you don’t provide them they’ll make them
themselves, but they don’t want to live inside shacks. People want good
housing: the more expensive it is, the better the quality of life. They also
want their homes to be in appropriate areas: living in close quarters or next
to a factory will lower their happiness.

Staying alive is a good thing, and you need healthcare on your island in order
to accomplish that. The only way to increase the health score is to build
clinics and hospitals. Hospitals are much better, but are more expensive and
need electricity to work. This should be an early priority: people will start
dying without proper healthcare in a few years. If possible, build clinics in
multiple areas of the island to ensure people don’t have to walk far.

Religion is an important factor in the lives of Tropicans. They need churches
to forgive them of their sins and have a solid moral ground. A church should be
an early priority, with a Cathedral built in the first ten years of the game.
Religious satisfaction is also important: these churches need to be staffed by
a full contingent of priests and be near housing in order to make faith a quick
endeavor. Religion is, generally speaking, one of the hardest categories to get
good at making.

After a hard day of back breaking labor, people need to unwind. They do this
through entertainment: restaurants, gambling, sports, etc. Though entertainment
is not an extremely high priority, people will get depressed if they don’t have
anything to spend their money on. Build a few restaurants in residential areas
to satisfy this, and eventually move up to higher class buildings and

As much as people love and adore you, some basic human privileges are always a
nice thing. Liberty determines how many freedoms and opportunities your
citizens have to advance. Schools and colleges let your people learn and grow,
as well as letting them take better jobs to make more money. Liberty is also
governed by the press: have a newspaper or TV station and you’ll be on the way
to freedom.

Crime Safety:
Getting shot is a bad thing, and no one wants to live in the bad part of town.
People want nice, safe areas to raise their families in. Build a police station
to increase the safety rate. You can also build an armory and an army base.
These lower the liberty in the area, but no one’s going to rob a person when
there’s a base across the street.

Environmental Beauty:
Look at an empty concrete lot. Ugly isn’t it? People don’t want their island
looking like a dystopic wasteland. They want pretty trees and lakes, not oil
wells and factories. Take care in how you place your buildings and place some
decorations to spice up the look of the island.

Job Satisfaction:
If you hate your job, you won’t be very happy. People will be satisfied with
their jobs by a couple factors, but the largest one is pay. Pay people enough
and you’ll find they’re a lot happier. You can also upgrade their working
conditions with nicer accommodations or reduce the time of their workday, but
that depends on the building. Try to keep this high, as a high satisfaction
will greatly increase the amount of goods produced.

A. Buildings...(HOZ)
These buildings are all related to satisfying the needs of your people.

I. Housing
Rating- 2/5
Islanders build them for free. They’re ugly and people hate them, but they’re
free. As a special note: they get destroyed if you build too close to them
without letting you know, so keep an eye out. The easiest way to get people to
move out of shacks is to build nicer homes on top of them.

Shanty- $250
Rating- 1/5
Completely pointless, don’t even use these.

Bunkhouse- $500
Rating- 3/5
Cheap, holds three families, is a lot better than a shack. Use these for cheap
housing before upgrading to apartment blocks

Tenement- $4000
Rating- 2/5
It costs almost as much as the Apartment block, which is a way better building.
Mostly pointless.

Apartment Block- $5000
Your best option for large scale housing in the game, and probably the best
housing unit overall. Before you start building these, try as hard as possible
to get the USSR Development Aid Edict, which reduces the price by half. This
makes it one of the most useful buildings in the game.

Country House-$1000
Pointless really.

Rating- 3/5
Decent enough house that most people on the island will enjoy. Place them near
advanced factories early in the game if you hire experts: it will give them
incentive to stay working there.

Mansion (Needs PP)-$4000
Rating- N/A
In the vast Majority of the games you’ll never get to the point where these are
feasible to build. The main reason for building these is to satiate angry
Capitalists, they aren’t useful as general housing. Utterly worthless as actual
housing, don’t even both with them unless you need to increase your housing
score or appease factions.

Condominiums (needs PP)-$6000
Rating- 4/5
See Mansion. Same thing on a larger scale, only useful. If you need to increase
people’s housing score, this is the best way to do it. If you have enough
electricity, these are a great way to satisfy people on a large scale.

II. Services
These Buildings are related to satisfying the needs of your people, and you
should have one in each category for every 50 or so people. Eg: for every 50
people you need one entertainment building, one church, one clinic, etc. Each
of these buildings also has a second level, which offers more satisfaction. For
those one building can cover around 75 people EG: Two hospitals will do the
work of three clinics. With 150 people you’d need three clinics or two
hospitals. A Hospital and two clinics can adequately cover 175 people. High
quality service (level 2 buildings) are better in the long run, but a lot more
expensive short term.

So the formula for service success is:
Level 1=50 people, low quality service
Level 2=75 People, high quality service

These buildings provide entertainment for Tropicans in different ways. Many of
these can also be used to entertain tourists, and some of the tourist buildsing
can provide entertainment for islanders.

Rating- 3/5
You get what you pay for. Ugly and detracts from the island’s atmosphere, but a
few edicts are only possible with one of these so they’re a necessity.

The best value for your money for entertainment at the island, at least for
your people. Extremely cheap and surprisingly satisfying for the low cost, but
there are better options available.

Gourmet Restaurant-$3,000
Provides a good bit of entertainment, but takes a lot of resources to create
and keep going compared to a regular restaurant. This is mostly for tourists on
the island, not your citizens.

Childhood Museum-$2,000
Different than other entertainment buildings, this has an option of
contributing to your Swiss bank or even brainwashing the people of Tropico.
It’s a useful building, but not necessary.

Rating- 5/5
The best entertainment building in the game. You can make a lot of money off of
this with the right settings. It’s best to build at least two: a low class one
for your people and cheap tourists, and a high class one to cater to the rich
and privileged.

Night Club-$4,000
There’s much better options out there for entertainment, but this does let you
issue a great edict when built.

It’s okay. A decent entertainment option, but not fantastic.

Movie Theater-$3000
Rating- 4/5
The cheapest form of “high quality” entertainment on the island and a great way
to please capitalists early on. Provides a ton of different options for what it
shows, so you might want to build a few of them.

Sports complex-$25,000
Rating- 4/5
The most expensive building in the game, but it will get used a ton by tourists
and Tropicans alike. It opens up a great new edict as well. The only negative
is that it isn’t really considered a “high class” building, and that it’s
extremely large and difficult to place.

High School-$8,000
Rating- N/A
No question: you need a school if your game is more than 10 years long. High
schools educate citizens, allowing them to take more complex jobs at factories
and other buildings. This makes you a lot more money, and it means they get a
hgiher job quality. Raises liberty.

Colleges are the next level above High schools, offering education for the
highest level jobs on the island. This building is needed if you have oil
refineries or other high class buildings, which is most likely going to happen
in games longer than 10-15 years. In that case they're mandatory, but if you
don't need college workers they're pointless.

This building is the basic healthcare facility, and should be an early priority
in order to have your citizens not die from the flu.

Hospitals are a step up from Clinics, and should be the first building you make
as soon as you have electricity. They improve healthcare by quite a bit and
offer some interesting options based on how your island is running.

While not necessary to build, Marketplaces greatly increase the quality of food
and transport goods all across the island insread of forcing people to visit
farms themselves to pick them up. You should build one early on.

Extremely important in Tropico, churches will offer people religious salvation
for a relatively low cost. They're needed to improve happiness and increase the
religious satisfaction of the people.

A much larger church, Tropicans will get angry if you don;t build one of these
a few years after the church is built, which pretty much means you need at
least one of them.

TV station-$15,000
These all have the same basic function: they increase liberty on the island.
They also have a side effect of offering you a wealth of different bonuses for
the island and the immediate are: issuing coupons provides revenue, airing
propaganda makes people love you, etc. These buildings are useful, but none of
them are completely necessary and are often hard to fully staff. They often
provide access to special edicts which can increase tourism profits greatly, so
keep that in mind if you want a tourist based economy.

Each citizen on the island is a member of one of the various factions. Factions
can best be seen as different ideas about how to run the country: different
policies will have a different effect on each factions, and they are often
mutually exclusive. While different factions need different things to be happy,
the easiest way to please them is to simply have a high quality of life. If
people live in good houses, make a lot of money, and don’t have to worry about
medicine or food then they’ll be a lot more positive.

Capitalists like money more than all of the other factions, and their primary
concern is how the economy is going. Capitalists are pleased when the economy
is growing, a lot more than anything else. They also want high class
entertainment and enjoy economic disparity (skilled workers get paid
substantially more.) The easiest way to please them is to have a good economy:
do so and you have a guaranteed score of 60-70. Are opposed to the communists

Communists put the people first. Communists are concerned with the happiness of
the people on the island first and foremost. They want good food supplies, good
healthcare, and above all good housing quality. This is a relatively easy
faction to please, since all three of those tenets are important to improving
the quality of life and production on the island. The only possible difficulty
is in their desire for low economic disparity, which the capitalists love the
opposite of. This means giving the similar wages to all workers, which can make
skilled jobs hard to fill.

The learned citizens of Tropico make up the intellectual faction. Well
educated, these people want the rest of Tropico to live up to their standards.
Intellectuals want schools and high liberty to express themselves in your
government. They're mostly easy to please since they tend to like things that
you're going to need anyway on the island. The big things intellectuals don;t
like are what they see as corrupt actions: unlike the rest of the island,
Intellectuals are going to realize when you try to pull a fast one with unfair
elections or shady bribe tactics.

God is the most important thing for these Tropicans. Their unique combination
of traits makes them a difficult group to please: the religious will demand a
church early in the game and a cathedral not long after. They also want a high
religious satisfaction (keeping your churches full of priests and having enough
of them, and what they consider to be a moral island. For the religious, a
moral island is an island without vice: no booze, cigars, or immoral
entertainment. This group is notoriously hard to please, so it's best to just
resign the fact that you won;t make them happy until later in any given game.

The Environmentalists really care about nature on your island. They want the
island to look beautiful and be free of any harmful industries: they hate
logging with a passion, and aren't a whole lot nicer to oil wells or mines.
However, they are still an easy group to please: build some random decorations
and a botanical garden and they'll be perfectly happy. There are also edicts
that reduce your pollution, which will really get them on your side.

Your island's security is the main concern of the militarists. They want to the
island to be free of rebels, with a nice upstanding army to make sure that
nothing goes wrong even if there isn't a single rebel army. They also want
soldiers to be paid a fair wage and have decent accommodations, otherwise they
might start getting uppity and revolt. Overall a relatively easy faction to
please since, much like the intellectuals, most of the things they want should
be done anyway.

Nationalists want Tropico to come first before anything else. This means
fostering a Tropican workforce and limiting immigration: they don't want no
smelly foreigners in the country/ Nationalists also want a limit on foreign
involvement, and hate it when you get too friendly with the US or the USSR. You
can try to keep them happy, but that tends to be pretty hard due to their
xenophobia. Mostly they should just be ignored, as they tend to get a lot
happier with some money in the bank.

C. Infrastructure...(IFM)

So not you've managed to get an economy up and running and the people on your
island don't want to kill you, what is there to do? Well, as a nation there are
always things to do. You need to manage your relations with other countries as
well as the various factions on the island to ensure you stay in power. You'll
need to react to various world events and navigate through elections to stay in

Elections are one of the most basic things that happen on the island. Every 5
years or so the citizens will want elections for a new ruler. You'll be given
the option to allow them and make a speech, not make any speech and allow them,
or outlaw them. Making a speech will sway people to your cause: you can promise
to improve the island over the next couple of years, and people might be swayed
to vote for you. However, if you don't fulfill these promises the people will
get angry. If you decide not to hold elections at all they might revolt against

However, this is not the end of the story. More enterprising presidents will
make sure that they can win elections with a little fraud. Intellectuals will
see through this and you'll lose a lot of respect, but you'll most likely win
the election. Even so, it's pretty hard to lose an election unless you're
wildly hated among the people of your island. As long as you have a happiness
above 45% and make a decent speech, you should come in way ahead of your

The aspect of diplomacy involves monitoring your relationships with other
countries in the world, mostly the US and the USSR. You need to keep your
relations with these countries as high as possible: each one will give you
specific bonuses depending on your relationship with them. The most obvious one
is development aid: each year you'll receive some money from each country
depending on how much they like you. The more they like you, the more money you
get. This is very important in the early years of the game, and will make up a
substantial amount of your early income.

Maintaining a decent relationship with both nations is easy: they ascribe to
the same views as the Capitalists and the Communists respectively. Americans
want you to make a lot of money and give them concessions, while the Soviets
want you to provide good healthcare and housing for the people of the island.
If the respective factions are happy, then the countries will most likely be
happy as well.

Another factor when dealing with foreign powers is random events. Every so
often something will happen and you'll need to make a decision. This could be
internal only or external, and any number of factors are possible. An assassin
could try to kill you for instance: you could blame a foreign power, declare
martial law, or do nothing. Having a secret police will often give you
additional options for these situations.

This covers the three main ways you can lose the game: lose an election, get
overthrown by rebels/citizens, or piss off a foreign power enough to get them
to invade you.

A. Buildings...(DPZ)
There are two kinds of buildings related to infrastructure: those that run the
island and those thatgive you different abilities related to foreign powers.

Roads are needed to connect your buildings on the island. They are cheap and
extremely important, and major buildings should be connected to roads so
teamsters can access them easier. It's virtually impossible to do well without

Teamster’s Office-$2000
Teamsters move goods around your island. This mostly means they'll move goods
to the dock in order for them to be exported, but they'll also move food to
markets and do some other odd jobs around the island. You will always have a
teamster’s office built at the start of the game, and building another one
doesn't really seem to have a whole lot of an effect on how efficient movement

Construction Office-$2000
Rating-I hate them with a burning passion.
To put it nicely, Construction workers are the most annoying citizens on the
island. Construction workers will construct buildings on the island, but
they're pretty lazy about doing it. Like the Teamsters, you'll get one of these
buildings for free at the start of each game. Even more frustrating, these guys
don't seem to increase their working speed if you build more offices. The best
strategy is to up their pay a bit and only have a few buildings awaiting
construction at once.

You get one for free at the start of the game, and that should be the only one
you'll ever need. It's possible to build a second one, but I've never done it
and don't really see a reason to unless the one you get is in a bad spot to
export things from. You literally cannot make any real money without one of
these, so you need to have one at all times.

Garages will allow the people on the island to use cars, which lets them move a
lot faster on roads. While this sounds great, garages work more as a taxi
service than as a storage facility: citizens take a one way ride and get off at
their jobs, which means they still have to walk half way. Build garages in
pairs when possible to make up for this.

Power Planet-$17,000
Huge, hard to place, expensive, pollutes the environment, and needs a lot of
people to function properly. Power plants are annoying, but they're the only
way to gain electricity for the island. If you want electricity you need to
have one. You might think this means you need one all the time, but you really
don't. If your game is going to be under 20 years it's perfectly possible to
survive without one. Electric substations are a subset of this: they'll
increase the area electricity can cover and are otherwise useless on their own.

These buildings are related to maintaining the flow of the government on the

Immigration Office-$2500
Rating- 4/5
A useful little building that will let you dictate the type and amount of
immigrants that come to your island. You can open them to everyone, which can
get you 20+ immigrants per boat, cut it off completely, or try to attract
educated people to the island. They're useful buildings to have, but not
necessary to the running of the island.

Diplomatic ministry-$5000
Diplomatic ministries are pointless by themselves. You don't really need the
building for anything, you want the stuff that comes along with it. The only
major thing they do is open up the foreign policy edicts, which are extremely
useful. Try to build one early on to gain access to foreign policy edicts,
which are some of the best in the game and can save you a lot of money.

Banks offer you a couple of different options for how to handle money. None of
them are really all that important: you can decrease building costs a small
amount, make money off tourists, or get some cash in your Swedish account.
While nice, the bank is pretty much one of your last priorities.

Police Station-$5000
Police Stations dramatically lower the crime rate in any given area, making it
much safer and friendly to tourists and citizens alike. That seems really good,
but a lot of the time crime rates don't get high enough for them to really
matter a whole lot. Building better buildings will do just the same a serves a
double purpose, but the police station isn't that much so it's a good quick fix.

Prisons are basically pointless. The goal of prisons is to reeducate people
after the become subversives, but the whole point of the game is to make people
naturally happy. To add to that, imprisoning people requires you to monitor
individual citizens which is a huge pain. If you get to the point where you
need a prison, you need reforms other than a place to throw malcontents.

Guard Station-$1500
Guard stations increase the safety of a given area and make your response time
to rebel be a lot faster. On most islands these will never be needed, since a
military base and a garage increase happiness of soldiers a lot more and do the
same. The garage lets them move a lot faster that the rebels, which sort of
makes this building pointless.

Armories are where soldiers are trained by generals to defend the island. The
whole relationship between these buildings is a bit conplicated, so let me
explain it in detail:

Soldiers need to be high school educated. Anyone who is can be a soldier. They
can be recruited through your mansion (this is where SOLDIERS are trained.
Armories and Bases are where GENERALS work). It's important to pay soldiers a
lot so they don't revolt, so make sure you pay them a little more than other
workers on average. Armories train soldiers and make them more effective. Army
bases do the same, but they also provide nice houses for soldiers and their
families. Armories will also increase the skill of soldiers.

Army Base-$10000
Makes soldiers really happy and trains them at the same time. You'll want one
of these at some point: it makes soldiers really happy, as well as the
militarists. Build an armory first, but make sure to plan for one of these down
the line.

Improves your environmental score. Easy to place, but doesn't really do a whole
lot unless there's a tone of them

Improves safety but lowers liberty. Could be useful, but I've never been in a
situation where they were needed.

B. Edicts...(EDZ)
Edicts are special commands that can be enacted during the game. They can have
a really wide range of effects, and there are four categories:


Social Security- $500, X amount per month
Provides 2/3 of the normal wage for all unemployed workers. This greatly
increases the happiness of citizens all over the island and is extremely cheap.

Food for the People-$500
Rating- 3/5
Doubles the food people eat and dramatically raises the happiness on the
island. This is a really great edict that you should aim to have on at all
times. However, you need a lot of food in order to keep this running. Make sure
you have a few farms and enough food.

Bans alcohol. Increases religious respect and instantly closes down all
buildings associated with alcohol. Moronic if you're producing rum, and not
really that smart in any other situation. This also raises crime due to illegal

Literacy Program-$500, $100 annually
Increases the rate students learn and workers gain experience. Cheap, and
speeds up the whole education process. You need a high school, but you should
have one anyway.

Contraception ban-$500
You need a church and a good standing with the religious. The intellectuals
will lose respect with you and the population will increase. This can be good
if you're trying to raise the nationalists respect without getting immigrants
in or trying to raise the respect of the religious, but it's not a huge

Anti-Litter Ordinance-$500
Reduces Pollution but lowers liberty. Can either be good or bad depending on
your situation.

Sensitivty Training $500, $200 annually
Needs a college. This doesn't have any negatives to it, but it takes a bit of
resources to get.

Raises the target family's happiness. Needs a bank to work and it doesn't do a
whole lot overall. Might be worth it, but I never use it.

Wiretapping-$200 monthly
Raises the effect of your secret police. You basically need this in order to
make your secret police work at all, since they hover at around 50% without it.
Slightly  expensive ($2400 yearly)

Same Sec Marriage-$500
This requires a high liberty score. It allows same sex couples to marry, which
has the side effect of increasing happiness and immigration. The religious
don;t like it though, which is the only real problem.

Foreign Policy:
These edicts can only be issued if you have a Diplomatic Ministry. Most of
these are just the same thing with one country or the other. You can only issue
one of these every 24 months, and you should do one as soon as possible since
most of them are great. There's no point in sitting on them.

Praise US/USSR-$500
Raises respect with one nation and lowers the respect with the other one. Not
really all that effective, but it could save you if someone tries to invade
when you have abysmal relations.

US/USSR Development Aid-$2000
The main reasons you want a diplomatic ministry are so you can have these ASAP.
These reduce the cost of certain buildings by 50%. Us Aide reduces the cost of
Airports and Power planets by half (Saving around $10,000), while USSR lowers
the cost of Apartments and tenements by 50%. Both are really useful, so try as
hard as possible to get both of them as soon as you can.

Trade Mission-$1000
Requires an airport. Sends a delegation the US/USSR, which returns a few months
later with a random bonus. I've never seen this come out bad, but there are
other foreign policy decisions you should make first. The positives mostly
consist of getting random buildings for free or getting some money.

This is sort of an odd one in that it can either be completely useless or
great. This builds a US/USSR military base on the island, which prevents
invasion from the other faction and gives you $2000 a year. This also lowers
the respect of the nationalists permanently. If you're facing invasion from
someone this is a game-saver, but otherwise it's sort of pointless and

Nuclear Testing-Free
Gives you $10,000 in exchange for testing a nuclear weapon on the island. This
lowers the respect of environmentalists permanently. If you desperately,
desperately need the money then you might take this. Otherwise it's not enough
to really be worth it, since any good export haul should beat that.

Humanitarian Aide-Free
Lowers the respect of nationalists, but provides free food and medical care for
five years. This is a great addition to the island, especially early on the in
the game. It isn't a solution, but taking this early in the game can let you
focus on getting your economy working and preventing the people from starving.


Building permit- $5000
Rating- N/A
This increases building costs by %20, and depostis $%10 of that into your swiss
account. This is the main way to make money for the Swiss

Tax Cut- Random
This will cost a lot of money, but greatly raises the respect of all citizens
for three years. This is great to use if you're going to lose an election, but
you can't keep this up constantly due to the high cost unless you're absolutely
raking in the dough.

Pollution Standards- $500
Rating- 5/5
Raises factory costs and reduces pollution. A great way to get the
environmentalists happier on an ugly island.

Industry AD Campaign- $8000
Rating 3/5
Requires 2 factories and a TV station. Raises the price of factory goods for
three years. Costs a lot of money, and you need to have a factory based economy
for it to do anything,

Tourism Ad Campaign- $5000
Pan Caribbean Games-$7500
Mardi Gras-$3000
Spring Break Package-$4000
Geographic Special-$7000
Overall rating-4/5
These all do essentially the same thing: raise tourism and entertainment in
exchange for lowering something else. For all of the, you'll need a specific
building and and tourist accommodations. Each one will attract a specific type
of tourist depending on which you pick (young for spring break, eco-tourist for
geographic special) so pick the correct one for your economy. Ot just pikc them
all, they aren't exclusive. These are needed if you're going for a lot of
tourism, but otherwise they're mostly not that important.

Domestic Edicts:
In addition to building requirements, many of these edicts require good
standing with one of the island's factions.

Early Elections- $20000
Rating- N/A
Have elections one year from the announcement. I honestly don't see a use for
this since you'll be prompted to have elections in most games anyway.

Requires a Cathedral. Why you would need this is a mystery: everyone becomes
super religious, and the number of protests and uprisings drops along with
tourism and liberty. It will increase rebel activity. The only real point of
this is that the religious faction becomes a lot larger, which could make it
easier to please them if they weren't the hardest group in the game to please

Book BBQ-$500
Requires a church. Halves the intellectual factual and lowers new intellectuals
joining. Students gain experience 50% slower. Again, this is sort of completely

Martial Law-$5000
No elections, No crime, No economy, final destination. This Edict lowers crime,
production, tourism, and liberty. It also has the side effect of pissing
everyone off a whole lot. Elections are not allowed with martial law, so if
you're going to lose this might be okay to activate in order to stay in power.
There is no other reason to use this.

Secret Police-$4000
Requires a police station. This sets up a secret police in one of your
buildings, which will allow you to make “covert” choices regarding events.
These are usually the best choices to make, but they have about a 50/50 chance
of actually working. They're useful, but they're risky.

Military Modernization- $100/soldier (I think...it's a bit random.)
Requires an Army base. This is a cheap way to have a better military and gain
some respect with the militarists. Go for once you have the cash.

Uneducated people join the military, but fight a lot worse. To add to this,
people hate this and rebels will incerease. There's no real reason to go for
this unless your island is overrun by rebels.

Papal Visit-$10,000
Requires a cathedral and a good standing with the religious. This increases the
respect of everyone and increases the quality of the church. It's expensive,
but you should keep this active as much as possible to help appease the
religious faction.

Off to Florida-$500
Sends all prisoners to Florida and really pisses off the US. Considering that
prisons are mostly useless, that sort of makes this mostly useless by default.
This Edict is basically just paying money to piss off the US.

Rebels will return to their normal lives, but only if happiness has increased
considerably since they became rebels. This can be useful to issue 10-15 years
after the game starts and your economy is up and running, since happiness will
have most likely improved.

4. The Guide...(4GD)
There are three kinds of game types in Tropico:

These missions sort of act like an extended tutorial for the game's mechanics.
Each one focuses on one aspect of running your island and getting you used to
how the game works. Games have a couple of a different methods for victory:
some seek to have you complete a specific goal, like exporting a certain amount
of Iron or attracting enough tourists. Other missions focus on staying in power
on an island for a certain amount of time: you'll need to deal with various
factors on the island during this time, and mishandling them could oust you
from power.

For the most part these can be completed by following the guidelines as they're
written in the above sections. Though the levels have specific goals, they're
ultimately all about setting up a stable economy and assuring that the people
on your island don't want to kill you. That's enough, with some minor tweaking
to complete almost all of the missions in the game. The main “rogue element” of
the missions are the choices you'll be forced to take during them, which are
exclusive to each mission. There is really no “wrong” way to handle these, but
certain choices will often change ones later on in the game. (Piss off the
communists and they won't help you, etc.)

Providing a point by point way to win each mission is pointless, since the
method to beat them is usually extremely obvious. The hard part about the
missions is to avoid going into debt to a debilitating degree, which halts
production. This is occasionally possible to do in missions that can be won
quickly, but for most missions you should avoid going into debt at all costs
after year five or so.

Here's a few general rules:

-Ignore whatever the game says to do at the start and try to get an economy
going ASAP, either with farming/factories or mining.

-Ignore Tourism unless the island mentions that it would be important or gives
you bonuses for Tourism.

-For longer missions getting a school/college up and running early should be a
high priority. Hire workers from abroad if you have to in order to run it.

-Similarly, get a diplomatic ministry and an immigration office early on for
long games.

-Save often. Saving every year might be a little overkill, but saving every 2-3
can let you restart from a close point if an earthquake destroys an important
building like a factory or a power plant.

-Check the overlays and the happiness for the people often. Raising pay is the
best way to increase happiness on the cheap, and it's always important to make
sure your buildings are being used.

-If a building is not being used, STAFF IT ASAP. It will simply burn money in
your pocket otherwise.

-Perhaps most importantly, but the hardest to judge: unless something seems
like a good idea in your current situation, don't do what the game says. The
game will often propose business plans and ideas that sound good, but aren't
really worth it or good in the end.

For example, a pop-up might say that the island would be a great place to make
some rum. However, you don't have any sugar farms built and there isn't a whole
lot of arable land for farms. Go ahead and ignore that.

-Learn to build roads. It will often seem like you can't build a road along a
certain path or trail, but it's almost always possible with some careful
planning. Your best bet is usually to make a small section in the middle of a
hill, then attach road to either end to complete it.

-Have a foreign policy edict active as much as you can.

-Use a custom character every single time, and alter your stats to fit the
game. Your bonuses should always reflect what you want to make money on (if you
can't tell what's on the island from the description, enter into it and check
the overlays. Then return to the main menu and start with a new game.)

-The best minuses to take are cheapskate and gambler/womanizer. Womanizer
lowers respect of a relatively small number of people, while cheapskate
actually gives you a bonus by reducing the cost of buildings. Gambler is only
an issue early in the game, but after your economy is running it should barely
have an effect.

-Play the game at full speed. The games take a while to play anyway, and
there's no reason to play on the slow mode unless you're trying to look at a
single person. Playing the game at slow or medium would take hours and hours

-Keep your people happy. After you have an economy, this should be your main
goal for the rest of the game.

Tips for specific missions
These tips are for completing specific missions in the main game. More can be
added when people request them. The ones included now are for what are
generally seen as the “hard” missions.

Viva Tropico
This is the most asked about mission, so I'm putting this first. You need an
overall happiness of 65 to win this mission. The way to get this is to try for
it all in one go: there are two events that raise happiness by 10 points, take
both of them. Realistically these will not raise your happiness by 10 (it will
increase that much and then lower by a few points instantly), so you need to
get your happiness as high as possible before that occurs.

Take bonuses that raise your respect with various factions, it doesn't matter
what they are. Religious should definitely be one though, as should
nationalist. Take negatives that increase bonuses too: you don't want to care
about the US or the USSR in this scenario, so screw them. Once the game starts,
build a few tobacco/sugar farms. (Ignore the oil deposits, an in game event
leaves them dry a few years in.) Once they start making money, build a factory
to capitalize on them. Then build a school and a college, as well as a
immigration office. Set the immigration policy to open, but cap it off once it
gets to 150 people total. You should be able to win the game before you get
that many though.

Try to build a diplomatic ministry early on to get the development aide
bonuses. You really want a power plant bonus, and you should try and build one
as soon as possible. (Even if you go into debt.) This will allow you to start
replacing the poor housing with Mansions ans condominiums, which will sharply
increase the happiness and housing quality. It will also let you go into the
second generation of electric buildings- hospitals, casinos, night clubs, etc.

Around this point you should build a fisherman’s wharf and a ranch. This will
increase food quality. Finally, build a police office. From this point on,
build as many positive buildings as you can- cathedrals to appease the
religious, a botanical garden for the environmentalists, etc.

Save the game every year. The happiness bonus occurs around 15 years in, and
you're waiting for that. Once you know when it occurs (sorry, I forgot what
year) reload the game from the previous year. Issue every single positive edict
you can (regardless of going into debt), then increase every citizen's pay to
the absolute maximum. This should, when combined with the bonus, increase your
happiness by about 15 points in a single year. If your happiness was at 50,
which should have easily been possible in the time given, you should win the

Industry titan
The game presents this island to you as a genuine challenge: export prices for
the base version of everything are lowered by %50 so you need industry to
succeed. This is an incredibly easy mission: you should be using industry to
make money anyway. 10 years into this game you’ll be making more money that you
know what to do with and can issue building orders faster than people can
construct them.

Start the game by switching your two farms to tobacco. Build a couple more
farms in the “good” area for growing tobacco, as well as a couple of corn farms
to supple food to your citizens. Next build a mine on top of the gold deposit
out on the small peninsula and build a road to it.

As soon as you have enough money, build a cigar factory and pay the employees
there a lot of money. Build one even if you have to go into debt. This thing
can make insane amounts of money, and will be one of your main sources of
income. After that build a Jewelry factory to process the gold you collect, and
then an oil refinery on the beach near the docks. You’ll now be making three
different industrial items.  At this point you'll be rolling in cash for the
rest of the game. Make your people happy and wait out the clock.

The Great Game
You'll need to pick between two goals here: make $600,000 on exports or get a
happiness rating of 60. You have to pick one to succeed, but getting both at
the same time isn't all that hard. Money is the easier option since you're
going to have to make money to please people anyway, so go with that if you're
having a hard time choosing.

Build a road network to the island's different mining sites along with
mines/oil wells on each one. From here build an oil well as soon as possible on
the coast near the the oil deposits. After year 5 or so, keep a lot of money in
the bank at all times: a lot of the random events can cost a lot of money to
deal with. You can also build some sugar farms and a distillery in the middle
of the island.

Those combined are enough to export all the goods needed far earlier than the
end of the time line. Focus on making your people happy for the rest of the
game as you made huge wads of cash.

I could provide information on challenges, but that would defeat the purpose.
The goal of challenges is to make it through a scenario, much like campaign
mode. However, these are a lot more competitive and designed with the idea of
finding out ways to get the highest score on the online leaderboards. Tackle
these after you've conquered the campaign, and think of them as puzzles instead
of open ended games.

Sandbox mode
Sandbox mode allows to st up the parameters for any given game and play it out.
You can choose which island to play on (or use a randomized one), pick your
avatar, and start out. You can also choose god mode for this section, which
gives you a ton of money to start with and all manner of positive bonuses for
the game. Play this mode according to the gameplay section a few sections above.

5. Closing...(5CL)
This guide is my property, and you are only being allowed to use it. As such,
I must insist that you not use this guide for any personal gain or profit off
of it in any way. You are free to use this guide as you see fit as long as it
comes within those confines: you may print it, make a hat out of the pages, or
create some pleasant origami. I don't care as long as I maintain ownership of
this guide. Do not distribute it without my permission, but if you would like
it on your website feel free to contact me at wcrobars@hotmail.com and I will
more than likely allow it. I hope this guide has been useful, and I thank you
for reading it.

This guide, like all of my guides, is dedicated to cats.

Copyright Woody Crobar, August 4 2010.

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