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Trade Island Beginner’s Guide: 13 Tips & Tricks You Need to Know

Are you ready to become a rich tycoon on a tropical island, while serving as its mayor? That is the premise of Game Insight’s new iOS title, Trade Island. The game invites you to experience something that’s as close as it gets to living and running a real city, and that would include meeting unique characters who will teach you how to do your duties on the island, earning profits and dealing with the ever-changing business climate, and buying new forms of transportation. It’s a beautiful island setting in this game, rich in palm trees and vintage accents, and as far as city management games go, that does help add to the relaxing vibe in comparison to other titles in the category.

However, things could get hectic at times in your island. Running an island could become overwhelming at some points, and this game happens to boast of some deceptive depth. You want to run your island the right way, but how do you go about doing that? You don’t need to fret for much longer, as we’ve got a Trade Island strategy guide for you, designed specifically for beginner players. This guide should serve you well as you progress from level to level in the early stages, so read on if there’s any aspect of the game that isn’t too clear to you, or if you need some help in getting things done faster!

1. Complete The Quests

In Trade Island, the quests come fast and furious. You’ll find the list of quests on the left side of your screen, and as you’ll notice, new quests come in almost immediately after you complete one. It may seem hectic at first, but you should make sure to work on those quests as often as possible. First off, the quests are there to guide you through the natural progression of the game, and to ensure that your island is bering run smoothly. Most importantly, quests are the best way to get more materials, premium currency, and XP. Don’t let the frequent flow of quests overwhelm you too much — as long as you’re completing them, you’re on the right track!

2. The Story Quests Are Usually On Top, And You Should Complete Them Too

Typically, there isn’t any specific order for following and completing the quests in Trade Island. But you may have noticed that the quests on top of the list are usually the ones that have something to do with the main storyline of the game. Through these quests, you will learn more about the game’s story, meet new characters, and earn better rewards than the ones you could get when performing the standard quests. Just bear in mind that you will need certain materials in order to be able to perform the story quests — the tradeoff here is that you don’t need to do anything else after you provide the materials, at least as far as we’ve seen so far. Sure, you’ll have to wait a bit as the characters “explore,” but it’s going to be completely worth it in the end!

3. Build More Houses To Increase Population

On the upper left corner of your screen, you’ll see the maximum population your island currently has, as well as the number of residents that are currently on your island. In order to attract more people, you’ll need to build houses, though you can only build so many of them, depending on your level and the amount of free space on the island — we might as well warn you right now that your island could end up getting pretty crowded once you reach a certain level! Having more residents will result in more things to do in Trade Island, but you will at least be able to fulfill wishes faster — we’ll be explaining that in a couple of tips, so read on.

4. Chop Down Trees And Clear Obstacles

You will need wood to complete certain tasks, including upgrading your facilities and making coffee at the Sweet Shop, believe it or not. (We still don’t understand how wood ties in to making coffee, but just roll with it.) And you’ll also need space to place your new buildings and houses. The game doesn’t explain it in the tutorial stage, but if you click on a tree, a plant, or a piece of wood, you can have your builders get rid of obstacles, which makes way for the new buildings you need to set up, as well as roads and decorations that may be required by certain quests.

5. About Wishes And Wish Fulfillment

Wishes are another mechanic that the game doesn’t explain in the tutorial stage. One of the early quests would be to fulfill at least one wish via the Sweet Shop, and we ended up ordering numerous coffees and iced teas that, for some time, didn’t have any use. But you don’t need to make unnecessary orders — just be on the lookout for residents that have an icon in their thought balloon representing coffee, bread, a taxicab, or what have you; these represent your residents’ wishes, and you can fulfill them simply by tapping on the thought/speech balloon. That instantly fulfills the wish, and doing so won’t just go toward any quests that may involve wishes. Fulfill enough wishes and you may get a box full of rewards — it may be diamonds, materials, or coins, but these boxes appear every several wishes or so, giving you incentive to tap on those thought balloons and make your people happy!

6. Fulfill Those Trade Orders

The game isn’t called Trade Island for nothing, and one of the quickest ways to earn more coins and XP is to fulfill trade orders. You can access this by clicking on the store-like icon on the bottom right corner of your screen. After this, you’ll then see a list of townspeople, including the game’s main NPCs, and a list of items they may be requesting. For example, Aurora may be asking for a candy and lunch, while one of your builders may be requesting coffee and some wood. Simply click on the check button to fulfill the orders and get a ton of coins and XP in return — it’s usually a ton, but sometimes, you won’t get too much of either. Still, if you complete enough orders, you’ll get Trade Cargo boxes, which contain some valuable tools, with the quality of the tools improving as you move up in tier and complete more orders.

As a bonus tip, the trash can button allows you to get rid of one of your pending orders, and replace it with a new one, which should become available in a few minutes. If you feel you won’t be receiving enough in return, or if the requests are too much for you to handle, just trash the orders and replace them with a new one — the game won’t penalize you for it!

7. Collect Tax Money From Your Houses

As the mayor of Trade Island, you will naturally be able to collect taxes from your people, and the more houses you have on your island, the more tax you can receive. Always be looking out for the coins that appear on top of houses; depending on the type of house, you could get a varying amount of coins, with higher-quality houses yielding more coins, yet requiring more time to wait in between collection. Taxes won’t earn you as much coins as trading would, but those coins could add up, and you will need those coins to build new structures, upgrade existing ones, and perform several other tasks in the game.

8. Upgrade Your Buildings Regularly

Like in any other city management game, upgrades are necessary if you want your island to be befitting of your current player level. Oftentimes, the quests will tell you what you need to upgrade, and that should make things much easier for you as you decide which buildings should be upgraded before the others. But there are three buildings where the upgrades are arguably more important than they are on others.

The first two buildings are your warehouses — the Resource Warehouse, which is where you keep your food, and the Product Warehouse, which is where the items from the Sweet Shop, Bakery, etc., as well as your tools (more on them later) go. Eventually you’ll need more space to hold all that good stuff, so make sure you’re planning ahead on make some upgrades on those warehouses at some point in the game.

Finally, the City Hall is meant to be ground zero for all activities in your island — you are the new mayor of Trade Island, after all. As the game says, upgrading the City Hall will “unlock more opportunities and develop the city,” but to be more specific, an upgraded City Hall allows you to hire more builders/workers and unlock certain buildings, provided you meet the population cap requirements. It’s going to take a lot of materials, a lot of people, and a lot of time to perform even the first upgrade on the City Hall, but again, it’s going to be worth it once everything is said and done.

9. How And How Not To Use Your Diamonds

Diamonds are the game’s premium currency, and the game will oftentimes prompt you to use them, sometimes to expedite certain tasks, sometimes to buy materials that you don’t currently have. We would definitely advise you NOT to use diamonds on the former. Like in other management games of its kind, patience is a virtue in Trade Island, which means it’s ultimately better for you to sit back and wait rather than spend some diamonds to rush production. But since the quests will require more of you (to say little of the quests becoming more plentiful) as you go on, with the trade orders becoming more complex as well, it’s a good idea to spend some diamonds every now and then on materials. Don’t fall into the temptation of using them to rush tasks — we’ve noticed that diamonds do get harder to come by due to the lack of an ad video option in the game! (Though we certainly hope the game’s developers will add such a feature in upcoming updates.)

10. How To Get More Food

We’d go out of our way and say food is a form of currency in Trade Island. You’ll need food for upgrades, for removing obstacles, and for creating new buildings, and strangely enough, the top way to get more food is through the orange trees. Harvesting oranges from the trees gets you 30 units of food each, and it’s quite fitting, as the harvesting process takes an even 30 minutes in real-time. Additionally, harvesting at the plantation by taking out contracts could get you 5 units or 20 units, depending on the size of the contract.

We’ve also seen food as a reward for removing obstacles and completing quests, though you won’t get as much food as you would by harvesting oranges or taking out plantation contracts.

11. Get More Tools With The Truck Depot

The Truck Depot is unlocked once you reach level 8, and it’s going to take quite a lot to bring it back up to speed. But once you have it unlocked, you can perform truck deliveries where you would be asked to deliver certain items in exchange for tools, which can be obtained via quest completion, but in even greater quantity via deliveries. What do these tools do, and why are they important in the game?

Tools, simply put, are used mainly to remove obstacles and upgrade the aforementioned warehouses. When it comes to the warehouse upgrades, tools will literally be the only things you need, so don’t overlook those truck deliveries. More people means more requests, more requests means more things to store in your Resources and Products Warehouses.

12. Clearing Out Boxes Gets You Even More Goodies

See those boxes littered around the island? Be sure you’re sending some of your workers to clear them out, because doing so will get you even more rewards — usually, this would come in the form of coffee, coins, and wood. As we’ll explain in the tip below, wood is a very important commodity in the game, and it won’t be easy to get more of it.

13. How To Get More Wood

We’ve probably saved one of the more pressing concerns in the game for last, and that’s the oft-encountered problem of acquiring more wood. Surprisingly, wood is a required material when making products such as pizza and bread, and you’ll often find yourself in short supply of it. As far as we’ve observed in the game, the best way to get more wood is to chop down trees, as we mentioned above. You can, however, get wood in random ways, such as quest completion, by opening/clearing out boxes, or removing some of the smaller obstacles in the game. Try removing the fences that you may see in some parts of the island — that’s a good way to add to your wood totals in a pinch!


Tuesday 11th of October 2022

? How to get Up on levels..I seem to be stuff on 20?


Thursday 5th of May 2022

How do we get a silk farm?


Saturday 12th of March 2022

how do you move on from the cave/castle?


Friday 23rd of July 2021

how do we get more workers

Marty Nelson

Wednesday 25th of December 2019

Can you do anything other than pick the gift box, when visiting a friends island? I to help them with construction or harvest.