Explanation of this Tropico 5 guide

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Congratulations on your independence from the crown. Viva el Presidente!  Your money making options have increased vastly. Let’s compare all of them! In this Tropico 5 guide I will explain how to make money in the World War era.

Income per worker: People are an important resource in Tropico 5! You will always have a limited workforce, especially educated workers. Unfortunately each inhabitant requires you to invest in safety, healthcare, food, housing,etc. So the bigger your population gets, the bigger your expenditures to keep them happy. Therefore you better make sure that your workers are earning the most money they can!

ROI: The ROI stands for Return on Investment. Meaning the time it takes to earn back your initial investment. For example, if you spend 10.000 and receive 1000 each month it would take 10 months to cover your expenses. After the 10th month you start creating value.



The World War era is all about industries. Penultimo will provide access to the Cigar Factory, Textile Mill and Rum distillery. All of these buildings are operated by high school educated workers. So do not forget to construct a high school!

After extensive research you will be able to construct two additional industries; the Steel mill and Jewelry workshop. The Jewelry workshop requires college workers.

   tropico 5 world war era industrie overview graph

All new industries are a big step up from the Lumber Mill.

  • The Cigar factory is not that interesting. It requires 14 workers and has low profit per worker.
  • The Textile Mill is cheap and has a has a good Return on Investment rate. I really recommend it.
  • The Rum distilery provides more income per worker but takes longer to become profitable.
  • The steel mill is absolutely amazing. It is 450% more effective than the Lumber mill and pays for itself in 6 months. Just remember that it needs both Iron and Coal to operate. El Presidente will have to construct mines or build two docks to import the resources.
  • The Jewelry workshop is your stepping stone to the next era. Keep in mind that it operates on expensive gold. Imagine having 5000 gold stored and having it destroyed by those pesky rebels…. Importing gold might not be the smartest move!

At the start of the World War you basically have to chose between the Textile Mill and Rum distellry. The best choice depends on your economy. The Textile mill is cheap and provides a job for 12 workers (18 with upgrades). Therefore it is recommended for islands with a large workforce that are short on cash. The Rum distillery is the opposite; it requires 8 workers, costs $3300 dollars more and takes longer to ROI. Therefore in Tropico 5 the Rum distillery is best used if you have a lot of cash but are low on workers.


Who said plantations were a smart investment??? I bet it was Penultimo, he never has a clue what he is talking about…

Plantations are almost exactly the same as in  the Colonial Era.  But the Cotton price has increased from $1100 to $1300 making it even better. Keep in mind that the crop farms are now inputs for the industries.

  • Sugar is used in the Rum distillery
  •  Tobacco is used in the Cigar Factory
  • Cotton and Wool are used in the Textile Mill.

tropico5 world war era plantations

You should try to lower your dependency on plantations. The industries provide much more income. Just stop with crops like tobacco, coffee and cocoa. You could keep Sugar and Cotton to provide your new industries with cheap input. But remember that you can always import the resources from a trade route.


Penultimo has informed me that a lot has changed in the World War era. People start to like meat and milk so their prices have each increased by $100 dollars. For some reason only known to Miss Pineapple the price of wool has dropped $50.


Pig farms are still the best money makers. Their income per worker competes with the gold mine and cigar factories (!). The Llama ranch has dropped below the Cattle ranch and should generally be avoided. If you are short on cash and have high unemployment then constructing some pig or cattle ranches is a nice boost to your economy.

Raw resources

Mines are unchanged from the Colonial era. You are however more likely to encounter Coal, which you should avoid. If you need coal just import it using a free ship.





The new industries can provide plenty of wealth. Educate your workers and employ them in factories instead of plantations. If you want to grow quickly then start with the Textile Mill. If you have plenty of cash from the Colonial era then go for the Rum Distillery. Research technologies and construct a Steel Mill. Once you have a college you can construct a Jewelry factory. Iron mines are still viable and can actually mean you do not have to build an additional dock to import it. But I cannot repeat this enough; free up workforce by reducing the number of plantations. El Presidente will need the illiterate Tropicans as teamsters. If you have high unemployment you could construct 3-4 ranches.

If you have any additional questions feel free to post them in the comments.