Hello, Mayors! Balance Designer Ross Treyz here. In this blog post, I will talk about how to build a successful trade region that will allow you make a ton of profit buying/selling goods such as coal, oil, and ore, to more expensive products like computers and TVs. In addition to this, I’ll also give you some tips on how to maximize these profits using the Global Market, turning you into the ultimate trade tycoon.
Region, Not City
If you want to play the trade game, you are going to need to dedicate a city to it. If you want to manipulate Global Market prices, however, the best way to do it is to build many cities, or even an entire region dedicated to trade. This will allow you to buy and sell a volume of goods that will have a much greater effect on the Global Market.
For my trade region, I chose Viridian Woods. There are many trade-focused city sites in Viridian Woods and it’s one of the only sixteen city regions. Choosing Viridian woods will allow me to build cities for each Global Market good on the Global Market and still have some left over to provide services to the other cities.
Diversify Your Goods
It’s very important to be able to produce different goods. Every time you play, you want to be able to choose the best good available. If you have a city which focuses on each kind of good, when you start playing, you can check the prices on the Global Market and then play the city which is focused on the good with the best price at that time.
If Global Market prices are high, it means that it will be very expensive to fill up your trade lots, but it also means that a lot of people are buying that good so it can be difficult to manipulate the price. This is also true for a good that is low in price, which means that a lot of people are selling that good. In that case it will also be difficult to manipulate the price. The best good to choose is the one close to its “Base Price.” This will be closest to the middle of its maximum and minimum prices. This good will either have very few people buying and selling it, or the amount of people buying and selling are very close to the same, so you will be able to change that balance.
This is where setting up whole cities to focus on trading a single good comes in handy. When you fill up a city with Trade Ports all focused on a single good, you can buy and sell in a volume that can have a powerful effect on the Global Market price. It’s important to use Trade Ports because they can hold more goods as well as import and export them faster with the rail and boat modules.
Before you have access to the all-powerful Trade Ports, you will be using tons of Trade Depots. When using Trade Depots, traffic is the most important factor affecting the speed at which you can import or export goods. This is especially true if you have only one city entrance. Make sure to place your Trade Depots with easy access to your regional highway so that the Global Market trucks don’t get bogged down in local traffic once they are inside your city.
You may also consider limiting your city to medium density before you have access to the Trade Port. The heavy traffic from high density buildings can clog up your local streets which will block your import/export trucks.
In my region, I used the flat city sites as my trade hubs and the cities with varied terrain features to provide power, water, and service vehicles, as well as take away the sewage of the trade cities. I divide the cities like this because I find it easier to fit more Trade Ports into a flat city site.
In Viridian Woods the city sites are divided like this:
Bamberg Basin, Hoehnburg Shores, Matisse Plains, Rousseau Flats, Gaugin Valley, Wessex Bend, Yorkshire Cliffs, Travia Knoll, Giovanni Woods, and Figaro Forest.
Monet Plateau, Burghausen Hills, Lancaster Pointe, Tudor Isle, Tosca Cliffs, and Straussburg Isles.
All in the Timing
Once you have your good picked, you want to import until all of your Trade Ports are filled up, and then watch the price of the good. Buying loads of that good should have some effect on the price when the server does the calculation. You should see the price rise. Once the price changes, it won’t change again for another hour (real world hour, not in-game hour). Now is the time to sell everything that you just bought. This will cause the price to drop when it next calculates, which will make it a good time to buy. That’s how to manipulate the Global Market: buy low, sell high!
Some Quick Tips
– in any trade city, I will build one trade depot that has storage lots for goods that city currently isn’t focused on. This gives me an easy way to check the Global Market price on the other goods without having to load up a different city.
Turn Off When Not in Use
– Trade Ports are expensive to run, especially a lot of them. Each Trade Port can cost you 1,375 Simoleons an hour. When you aren’t actively importing or exporting, turn your Trade Ports off.
– in order to get your first module on your Trade HQ, build a bunch of trade ports (around nine). Then, import until all your Trade Depots are filled, and then wait until midnight. After midnight, immediately start exporting all your goods, you should get a Trade HQ upgrade. This will help you unlock the all-important Trade Port storage lots for the higher end goods. Also keep in mind that the recycling plant will unlock the storage lots on the Trade Depot for the goods that are produced from recyclables.
Doing Things Differently
Trade can be a fun focus for a region, but it doesn’t have to be the only thing that you do in a region. One interesting thing that you can do is create cities to buy and sell goods and another to craft them. This will create a scenario where you can truly maximize your profits by buying materials at a low price, crafting them, and then selling the results at a high price. All you need to do is keep an eye on the prices of the different goods. You could set this up with a friend where one of you plays the trade game and the other runs the crafting cities.
One last thing, as I said before, the best way to manipulate Global Market prices is by buying and selling in large volumes. Imagine what a group of players, all working together, and all running trade regions could accomplish.