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Empire: Total War - Campaign & General Discussion
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Empire: Total War Heaven » Forums » Empire: Total War - Campaign & General Discussion » How can you make a lot of money?
Topic Subject:How can you make a lot of money?
posted 08-18-13 05:30 PM EDT (US)         
Hello. I started the campaign a few days ago and I am playing as the Ottoman Empire. Already I am close to bankruptcy. I have opened trade relations with several countries but after 1 turn there was no income. How do I make more money??
posted 08-24-13 09:18 PM EDT (US)     1 / 2       
The short answer is that there is no short answer. If there were an easy technique for making lots of money, Empire: Total War would not be challenging. The aphorism that you have to spend money to make money is perfectly applicable to Empire: Total War.

A slightly longer answer is that there are three basic paths to increasing your revenue: internal development, trade, and taking wealth from others.

The musket is for fixing and softening the enemy. The bayonet is for destroying him.
Francis Marion
posted 08-28-13 05:30 PM EDT (US)     2 / 2       
To build upon what Webstral has already stated, consider the following basic tips on how to improve your economic situation:

1. Adjust the starting Ministers in your Cabinet in order to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. This alone can make a significant difference to your beginning cash flow. Try to make it a habit at the start of every turn to review your Cabinet and make any possible upgrades, whether through re-assigning Ministers to different posts or through firing poor Ministers and replacing them with others.

2. Trade with as many nations as possible. Land trade between nations is a much safer venture than is sea trade, as one need not worry about Pirates raiding trade routes or about third parties blockading the ports of your trading partners and cutting off all revenue. However, there are far fewer land trade opportunities than sea trade opportunities - prioritize land trade opportunities, but take advantage of both.

3. Send trade ships to the various trade theatres for quick cash in the form of commodities. If properly planned, this is the single largest form of income available to any player in the early game. Seeking the commodities found in the trade theatres is a worthwhile endeavour, yet one full of inherent risk. Beware of Pirate fleets, as well as the fleets of any nations with which you are at war. They will make quick work of any trade fleets you dispatch to the trade theatres which are devoid of warships, completely ruining the significant investment you incurred by recruiting said trade fleet.

4. Adjust the tax rate of your various regions. Higher taxes will bring in more wealth, but will result in much slower population growth and in higher unhappiness of the populace. Generally, it is more beneficial to keep taxes low in order to speed economic development through population increase than it is to obtain higher tax revenues in the short term. However, in a pinch, taxes can be raised for a year or two in order to see you through a tight spell.

5. Review all of your starting land and naval units. If you identify any units for which you have no immediate use, disband them. The reduced upkeep will often make a big difference in the early game, when one is attempting to make significant investments in economic development.

6. Increase the level of economic development of your nation by researching farming, industrial, or enlightenment technologies. These techs will grant some small economic bonus upon completing research of the technology, and will also grant you access to improved economic buildings. Analyze your starting regions and calculate whether towns which begin the game as churches, schools, or happiness structures would be more helpful as economic structures. The Ottoman Empire in particular has quite a few towns in which I would recommend constructing different buildings upon start of the game. You can also consider upgrading your governance structures, which can significantly boost your tax ability over the course of any campaign.

7. Target some regions outside your control which either have a high town wealth at the beginning of the game, possess critical ports for sea trade, or which are rich in resources or economic development opportunities. Conquering these regions will expand your tax base and add to your treasury. Be careful to not over-expand, as the additional cost of any required garrisons or field armies for protection of newly acquired regions can actually make new conquests somewhat counter-productive economically.

For more detailed advice on how to improve your economy, consult these excellent strategy guides: Trade and Taxes Explained and Calculating the Cost: Commodities on Islands. Best of luck!
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