How to set up trade routes in Port Royale 4 and get the most out of your trade
As in any other economic game, the idea of trading Port Royale 4 is as simple as possible: buy low, sell high. However, this process covers a lot of variables that you must consider, so let’s start with the basics.
Port Royale 4 Trading Basics
Important . The more you buy a certain type of product, the more expensive it becomes for further purchase. Also, at the very beginning of the game, it is especially important to choose several cities with which you will trade in the future. And this should be done based on their production capabilities.
As soon as you can trade in the city, proceed with filling the holds of the ship with the desired goods. The “Market” tab in the colony window contains all sorts of information that you need. You will learn about the automation process later, but it would be great if you familiarize yourself with it right now.
The market is broken down into logical parts. Above is the location of vital goods. Next are the sections of popular, export goods, craft materials, and so on. And at the bottom is the “Sailors” category.
The fill level of each product is displayed in the form of four bars on the left.
- 0 strips – there is little product, traded at the maximum price.
- 1 line – there are supplies, the price is high, but there is dynamics (changes).
- 2 strips – there are enough goods, the price is stable.
- 3 strips – there are too many products, the price is low.
- 4 stripes – a surplus of goods, so its cost is the lowest.
As you might have guessed, it is best to buy the products with the most stripes and sell them in places where there are fewer stripes. When trying to sell cargo from the ship’s holds, on the right side of the market, you will see the average cost that you paid for the available goods, which will allow you to understand whether it is worth selling a particular item in a particular city for the offered money.
Once you become familiar with the market, you will need to establish trade routes. These are automated convoys that relieve you of manual control and place the ship under the direction of a chosen captain. To create trade routes, you need to click on the map icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Here you can edit existing routes or create new ones. To plot a new route, click on the cities that your trade convoy must visit and they will appear in the list.
Council . Before setting up a trade route, select in advance the convoy to follow. This will save yourself unnecessary movements in the future.
After you select the cities you want (or are still doing it), you can click on each and choose what you would like to sell. The easiest option is to click on the top button labeled “Standard”. As a result, your trade caravan will buy everything that the city produces and sell those goods that are not produced in it, based on the demand in other cities on the current trade route. Repeat all this with each city. Your trade route is practically laid out and set up!
As mentioned above, this is the simplest option, but in fact it may not be the most effective. Suddenly, your holds may be overflowing as goods will not be sold due to constant price movements. You visited one city, the goods in it cost less than at the next point of the trade route. The captain refuses to sell it, but while he gets to the next city, it turns out that the prices have changed, and in the first the same flour costs much more. And so on.
The only way to avoid such situations is to use a large fleet so that the holds cannot overflow and goods can be sold even at later points on the trade route. However, if you want to guarantee to sell all goods and not start the trade route again, you will have to select a different option for each city, tied to the “123” button. In this case, the goods will not be sold based on demand.
If you want to be more actively involved in trading operations or want to transport specific goods, instead, look at each of them, choosing whether it will be bought / sold automatically or you will perform any actions with it manually. When you hover the mouse cursor over the products, you will see if other cities on the trade route have the option of purchasing them cheaper or more expensively. This will help you understand what the next cities may need on the trade route and save yourself the hassle of manually checking and remembering prices.
After setting up a trade route, click on the “Confirm” button, and then – “Assign route” for the selected trade column. If no convoy has been selected, exit the window, click on the convoy and go to the trade route tab. Click on the icon, find the desired route and assign it to the convoy.
Council . Make sure the selected convoy has enough cargo for the current route. You can see the approximate travel statistics in the trade route window. Where the duration of the trip is indicated.
After the completion of the first voyage, the information on the trade route tab will be updated. You will learn about the profit and loss for the flight, you will see the grand total. Both parameters are important because the income from a trade route will never be the same, and sometimes a usually profitable route can suddenly lead to a loss of money.
Winds and waypoints
When setting up a trade route (or by pressing ALT during normal play), you will see the speed and direction of the winds. A ship moving in the direction of the wind will do it faster, and vice versa – slower if forced to follow the wind. Try to keep the trade routes downwind as long as possible. Valuable trades can offset slow upwind movement, though, so analyze the situation carefully.
However, in all cases, avoid areas with potential storms. They are marked with red wind markers. While being caught in a storm does not guarantee damage to ships, it can still happen. When setting up a trade route, click on the dotted line that shows your path. This will create a waypoint. Drag this point across the map to redirect the convoy.
There are several different tasks in cities, but since the guide is about trade, we will only consider the corresponding tasks. Sometimes in the city there may be a shortage of a specific product, and in this case, you can conclude a contract for its supply. They will be marked with a “yellow star” on the map. Hover over it to understand what resources the city needs. Accept the contract, effectively committing to deliver the items you want within a month. Such contracts are incredibly useful sources of profit, as the price of the goods you bring in is usually much higher than in neighboring cities. However, the real profit depends on your fame. But at the beginning of the game each such contract will be almost the best source of profit.
In addition to the tasks described above, additional income can be obtained through colonial goods. And if tasks appear randomly over time, then these goods are available on an ongoing basis. Despite the fact that colonial goods are traded more expensive in almost all places, the city of the governor of the king is willing to pay the highest price for them.
Click on the viceroy’s fame tab to see what products he would like to return back to the country. England is usually interested in cotton, tobacco and cocoa, but has nothing to do with coffee. By selling such goods in the cities of England, you will receive a lot of gold and increase your reputation.
Council . Create separate trade routes for small convoys to deliver these colonial goods on an ongoing basis. The specific profit will vary from month to month, but more importantly, it will always be profit! And you can pump your reputation much faster.