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Production Chain Tycoon Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Become a Top Industrial Tycoon

Billowing smoke, the smell of gas, the rhythmic tick-tock of gears, and the soothing lullaby of engines. These are the sights, sounds, and smells that make money, and as a new Production Chain Tycoon, they’ll become familiar to you very soon!

production chain tycoon guide

In Production Chain Tycoon, you take the role of an aspiring industrialist charged with developing a small island chain into a profit-spewing factory complex. You’ll need to learn how to build efficient logistic trains, harness natural resources, and process products while keeping in line with current production limits. Production Chain Tycoon is available on both the Google Play Store and the App Store.

Despite what it may sound like, Production Chain Tycoon is very easy to pick up and play, but for those who want a little extra information to help them get started, this guide is for you!

Resource Management 101

Getting your factory up and running is a functionally simple task, but maximizing it is tough. Here’s the breakdown of what you need to learn to ensure that profits flow from all sides.

Quick Tips:

  • All buildings must be linked to an output repository such as a warehouse or battery.
  • Linking can only happen in an unbroken chain. You cannot link across structures.
  • The more of a structure you have, the more expensive it is to build more of that type. Some structures have a steeper cost curve than others.
  • Place repositories in such a way that multiple production and generation facilities link to them.
  • Later, you’ll need to manage this with cables and pipes for energy and water, respectively. Leave waterfront tiles free for buildings that use or generate these resources.
  • Do not spend coins on removing debris. Tough it out through the ads.
  • You get 100% of your materials back when you sell a building.
  • Some buildings will obsolete earlier ones. Don’t be afraid to sell older buildings to make way for new ones, such as selling stone pits for iron mines.
  • Upgrades are a simple *2 to both upkeep and output. If upkeep is too high, you’ll run into resource deficits, which will slow production to a crawl while possibly sapping your other resources.
  • If your upkeep can’t keep up, consider going for epic upgrades instead of upgrading buildings.
  • Do your quests for extra resources. You can always sell the buildings it asks you to make if you don’t need them yet.
  • If you’re playing actively, always activate the lighthouse for double gains.
  • Keep an eye out for chests in the water as well as merchant offers.
  • The game has AFK gains. You can double them by watching ads or triple them by paying coins. Always double as all it costs is time.

Mise en Place

Virtually every structure in Production Chain Tycoon must be built on a tile feature. Woodcutter’s huts must be built on forests, stone pits must be built on mountains, and so on. It’s not enough to just plop these structures down though. All buildings that produce an output must be linked to a storage; in this case, wood and stone must be ferried down to a warehouse.

production chain tycoon warehouse
Where they’ll rest until they’re ready to be burned.

While this may sound simple, this is the single biggest roadblock to production. This is because warehouses have the following properties:

  • All solid material production facilities must be linked to a warehouse, either by directly being in the north, west, south, or east of the warehouse.
  • If a production facility cannot be linked like this, it must be linked via a road that goes straight to the warehouse.
  • Roads that link to a warehouse cannot pass through any other facilities.
  • The more of a certain building you have, the more expensive it becomes to place more of them.
  • Some structures have steeper increases in costs, such as warehouses.

All this means that you must be very strategic with your warehouse placement.

production chain tycoon warehouse 2
I don’t normally advocate against spaghetti, but this costs money.

A good example of how warehouses gatekeep your production is in this picture. Note how I had to separate both production centers into their own warehouses. But there’s a better way to do this…

Optimal Placement

…and that’s where optimal placement comes in. This term refers to maximizing your tiles, road, and warehouse placement such that you can link up as many production facilities as you can without overspending for warehouses.

Let’s use the previous image, for example. You may have noticed that the production centers have been divided into two sectors.

production chain tycoon warehouse 2a

However, some simple replacement can give us a much larger and more efficient production center while only using a single warehouse. In particular, the charcoal furnace in the middle can be replaced with a warehouse to serve as an output zone for all production facilities.

production chain tycoon warehouse 3
See? So much better.

This is a core lesson you’ll need to master as you continue your journey through Production Chain Tycoon. The better your warehouse placement, the more materials you’ll have to build and upgrade your production facilities, and the faster the money will flow! Metaphorically, of course.

Cables And Fluids, Oh My!

One thing I must emphasize in Production Chain Tycoon is learning the ropes of efficient warehouse, road, and facility placement. Because it gets worse.

production chain tycoon spaghetti
Behold my setup and weep.

Down the line, you’ll gain access to power, which requires its own infrastructure. And as you might suspect, you cannot lay down cables on the same tiles as roads. Fortunately, cables are waterproof so you can lay them down in the water…but this also means that waterfront tiles will need to be reserved almost exclusively by power generators, power consumers, and batteries.

Oh, and that’s not the end of it. The late game in Production Chain Tycoon involves pumping water to structures that need it – meaning that once again, you need to reserve waterfront space. Good luck!

Clearing Junk

Our need for more factory space is in direct conflict with the amount of junk lying around on each island.

production chain tycoon junk
Islands sold as-is.

This debris can be removed either instantly by paying a large sum of coins or slowly by watching multiple ads. Do not spend coins on removing trash as you’ll want those for buying epic upgrades.

Out with the Old, In with the New

While setting up logistic networks can be tiresome, here’s something that’s sure to make your gears go: demolishing structures gives you a 100% refund. Yup, you heard me right. This means that not only can you experiment with different road/cable/pipe setups, but you can also replace obsolete structures more easily.

production chain tycoon sell
Tap on the eraser on the lower panel to enter sell mode.

Obsolescence happens when a resource reaches the end of its useful lifespan. The best way to explain this concept is the stone resource – beyond building and upgrading woodcutter’s huts and charcoal kilns, stone doesn’t have much of a resource in the mid to late game. And because you need to place resource generators on top of terrain features, you’ll eventually get to the point where you may want to consider selling off some of your infrastructure to make way for resources you do need.

production chain tycoon obsolescence
Why have two buildings when you can make the final product in one?

Some processing facilities also become obsolete as you unlock new buildings. Carpenters, for example, cut timber into planks, a process that requires both a woodcutter’s hut and a carpenter. But it’s far more efficient to just place a Lumbermill that accepts energy and outputs planks directly!

There’s no hard and fast rule for replacing structures with better ones as it will depend largely on your playstyle. But always remember that there’s no penalty for destroying buildings!

Upgrades And Income

It’s nice to watch your buildings accumulate resources. But if you’re going to stick to the strategy of “throw as many things on the map as possible”, you’ll run out of space quickly. That’s where upgrading comes in.

production chain tycoon upgrade
Tap the building in question, then tap the up arrow button on the lower right.

When a building is upgraded, it doubles all its values – both output and upkeep. This formula means that it’s generally a better idea to keep upgrading a single building rather than having multiple low-level ones (though that’s also a viable strategy).

As upgrading is so easy to do, it’s incredibly easy to run into the problem of red text, which indicates that you have negative income in that resource. If a resource dwindles to zero, you’ll run into a deficit which will grind your production to a halt. Don’t be afraid to sell a building and re-upgrade it one level at a time to fix a deficit; the deficit means that production is likely running in the single digits anyway.

production chain tycoon overview
We may have a problem.

Because of the predictable nature of building upgrades (again, that’s *2 to all its numbers) it’s easy to see if you’re going to run into a deficit if you upgrade. Just do some quick mental math, or failing that, use a calculator.

Epic Upgrades

Upgrading your structures is all well and good, but it can get demanding. When you’re constantly seeing the dreaded DEFICIT text in your resources, it can get tiresome having to run around upgrading supply chains just to get back into the black. But a far better way of getting extra performance out of your machines without increasing their upkeep is via epic upgrades.

production chain tycoon epic upgrade
So that’s what the coins are for!

These upgrades can be purchased by tapping the up arrow on the bottom panel. These upgrades cost coins but provide a 5% increase in output per level at no additional upkeep cost. You’re also forbidden from buying epic upgrades on structures you don’t have yet.


Production Chain Tycoon features quests to help players along the intended progression path while paying them.

production chain tycoon quests
Then blow them up afterward.

Quests are important as they’re a great source of coins, which you want for epic upgrades. And if you don’t need the structures a quest asks of you, you can always sell them after completing the quest!

Doubling Your Profit

The lighthouse near your first island isn’t just for show.

production chain tycoon lighthouse
Do as I say, not as I do.

This beacon is a powerful support tool that, when activated, doubles your income for 20 minutes. That’s an incredible bonus, so keep your lighthouse running whenever you’re playing actively. And, as a bonus, watching ads at the lighthouse eventually pays out with some coins.

Chests and Ships

While you’re actively playing, keep a look out for treasure chests in the water, which will give you a quick burst of resources.

production chain tycoon boat
Can’t refuse? Is that a challenge?

You should also keep an eye out for passing merchant ships. These offer even more resources than waterlogged chests (expect to see millions of resources and coins), but you’ll need to watch an ad to redeem these prizes.

AFK Gains

Yes, this game has AFK gains. No self-respecting capitalist would ever let their machines rest, after all!

production chain tycoon afk
Go for it.

You have the option to double your AFK gains by watching ads (do this) or tripling those gains by paying 20 coins (do not do this unless you’re actively buying coins). Try not to run on a deficit before going AFK for long periods of time as this is a multiplicative boost.

Let The Money Flow!

All good industrialists know how to optimize, manage, and control the flow of production to maximize profits, and now – hopefully – you know the ropes of Production Chain Tycoon enough to build your own industrial megaplex.

production chain tycoon end
I control the materials and I will do whatever I want with them.

That about sums up all you need to know in Production Chain Tycoon, and I hope I was able to enlighten you on how to squeeze the most out of your factory. If you have any suggestions or tips of your own to share, make yourself heard in the comment area below!