trade island game insight

Trade Island Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Advanced Players

To say the least, we’re really loving Game Insight’s new iOS title, Trade Island. With its realistic economy model combining with a relaxing island backdrop, this is a city (or should we say, island) management game that can challenge you and help you cool down in equal doses. But to further jog your memory on what to expect, this game comes with a “living game world” where your town continues to function even if you’re away from the game, a unique set of non-playing characters, a realistic economy, and various forms of transportation. It’s your job to run the island as its new mayor, to make sure people are happy and coming in, and to make sure that your island is thriving. It’s not going to be easy all the time, but it’s doable.

Previously, we had taken you through the fundamentals of the game in our beginner’s guide. But we’re now going even deeper Into the game’s mechanics and nuances as we now bring you our Trade Island strategy guide for intermediate to advanced players. By this, we mean anyone who’s made it past level 10 to 12, and anyone who’s now dealing with the tougher aspects of running their island and dealing with the many demands of your townspeople. Read on, and we’ll guide you through if you need some help on the more advanced aspects of the game, or anything else we might have missed out on in the first guide!

1. Build A Sawmill

Eventually, you’ll run out of trees to chop down, and while that’s going to be necessary to create space for your buildings, you’ll need a more consistent source of wood going forward. That’s where the Sawmill comes in, and we would recommend building it as soon as it gets unlocked. While chopping down trees will only get you 5 units of wood, Sawmills can produce at least 10 wood for a small contract, with the amount of wood (and the amount of time to create it) going up as you continue upgrading the building. As wood is a very important material for many products in Trade Island, it’s important that you build a Sawmill, even before it becomes one of your quests.

2. Upgrades Often Require Other Products Before Completed

This is something we missed out on in the first guide, but for the benefit of those who haven’t noticed it yet, the upgrades in Trade Island aren’t always as cut-and-dry as requiring some coins and a builder or two. After an upgrade is seemingly completed, the game will oftentimes ask you to provide certain items, such as three buns and a cocktail for your hut upgrades. Before upgrading a building, make sure you are at least preparing these products at the corresponding building, or already have the products on hand! You wouldn’t want to have those upgraded buildings looking all dressed up with nowhere to go, so to say.

3. This Could Be The Best Way To Spend Your Gems

In our beginner’s guide, we had given you some do’s and don’ts when it comes to spending gems. But as we leveled up in Trade Island, we realized that the best use for your gems would be for tools that are required for your City Hall upgrades, or when purchasing new property. The tools you receive when you open up cargo boxes (via the Truck Depot or via trading rewards) are completely random, and some tools are rarer than others, such as the Chainsaw, which you’ll need some of to unlock additional properties. So with that in mind, don’t spend gems on speeding up tasks, and try not to spend them either on emergency supplies of certain materials or products. You’ll want to save them up for rarer tools, as they could be very hard to come by if you aren’t having any luck opening up the cargo boxes!

4. Tips For Increasing Your Population Or Population Cap

Need to upgrade that City Hall so you can unlock those new buildings and other opportunities? In order to do so, you’ll need to meet the population requirements, and that would mean the actual number of people in your island, and not the population cap. We didn’t touch on this too much in the first guide, but we’ll gladly talk you through the things you can do to increase both your population and the maximum number of people that can live in your island.

Increasing your population is simple — build more houses, then upgrade those houses, making sure you’ve got the resources to complete the upgrade once it’s all over and done. The quests will usually be your guide to let you know when you can start buying or upgrading new houses, but one thing remains the same — higher-end houses can house more people, and add more residents following an upgrade. That means you’re better off buying Houses or Cottages rather than Huts if you want to increase your population quickly.

As for the population cap, it would mainly depend on the vehicles, as well as certain buildings. For example, buying a new Bus, Taxi, or Moped can add a bit to your population cap, but buying a Hot Dog Cart, Ice Cream Cart, or a Tribez Donuts store could do much more to increase the maximum number of people who can live on your island. Decorations such as flower beds, benches, and stone paths can also add to your population cap, though you won’t get as much of an increase as you would if you bought a new vehicle or opened any one of the aforementioned establishments and others.

5. Expect A Lot Of Furniture Orders Once Your City Hall Is At Level 3

We did mention a few times that upgrading your City Hall could lead to some additional opportunities. And while we are sorry to burst your bubble, those opportunities do include having to fulfill more furniture orders, and opening up a Furniture Store for you to make chairs and tables. Once your City Hall is at level 3, you’ll need to create the Furniture Store as soon as possible, as your Trade Orders will, more often than not, include a table and/or chair, instead of the usual food and drinks. That too applies to the Truck Depot, as you’ll also need to supply some furniture so that the truck can go out and bring you some tools. Of course, this also means having to upgrade your warehouses — you’ll need more wood to make that furniture (which would also necessitate building a second Sawmill), and more space to hold those chairs and tables!

6. For That Matter, Expect More Complex Orders At The Market Over Time

It’s one thing to deal with more varied orders by way of the stuff you can produce at the Furniture Store, but you will also have to take note that it’s just one of the many buildings that you can unlock in the game. You also have the Music Store, Sporting Goods Store, Gardening Store, and Electronics Store, and these will all be available once your City Hall is at level 7. Admittedly, we’re still a ways to go before we get there, but these buildings are all available in the fourth tab, the same one that includes the Sweet Shop, Bakery, and Furniture Store. These buildings all produce products that you can trade at the Market or send off on the trucks at the Depot, so you can expect your orders to be much, much more complex as you get farther into the game.

7. Take Double Orders

Looking to complete those 20 orders faster so you could get some “Precious” (i.e. rarer) cargo? If so, then you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for some double orders. You’ll recognize these orders by the stars showing a “+2” instead of the usual “+1,” and while these would usually be more complex than the usual orders, they will sometimes be very quick and easy to pull off. Completing these orders, as you may surmise, would count as two orders, but take note that they only make up about a quarter of the orders at the very most! That means that they’re fairly rare, but if you come across them, don’t hesitate to take them so that you can reach your order goals faster.

8. Sell Items From The Warehouses To Free Up Space

Oftentimes, things can get so hectic in Trade Island that you’ll be dealing with trade orders on one end, truck orders on another, and various points of production — the Plantation, the Bakery, the Sweet Shop, the Furniture Store, you name it. All that turnover could result in warehouses that are overflowing with materials and products, and you won’t be able to add more stuff in there unless you free up some space, or upgrade. But as we’ve said many times before, warehouse upgrades require a certain combination, or “recipe” of tools — what if you don’t have them yet?

If that’s the case, you can always sell items by clicking on them, choosing how many of each item you want to sell, then hitting the Sell button. You will get some coins in return, with the price increasing as the products get rarer/take more time to produce, and more importantly, you’ll be freeing up some much-needed space in a pinch. Be careful, though, as you may end up selling something that you’ll be needing after all! That’s one risk you always have to take into account when selling items at the Resource or Product Warehouse.

9. You Can Also Pay Gems To Open Boxes For Wish Granting

Remember what we told you about granting the wishes of your island’s residents? It’s very important that you’re always granting wishes on a regular basis, because you could end up receiving a box of goodies after every several wishes. (Sometimes it’s just five wishes, sometimes it’s as many as 20, or even 30, based on our count.) These boxes will often require a gem payment to open, and we would recommend that as another good way to spend your gems, especially in the later stages of the game. It’s going to be a win-win situation for you — the boxes can come with some tools inside, though they may also come with even more gems than the amount you paid! Based on our experience, it’s not uncommon to get 12 gems when you pay 5 to open these boxes — an easy profit of 7 gems, if you’re keeping count!

10. About Premium Items

Most of the buildings, decorations, and vehicles available in the in-game store can be purchased with coins. That’s obviously a good thing, as you now know that gems are better used for tool purchases in certain circumstances, opening boxes for wish granting, and for the occasional emergency product/material purchase. But there are some items that can only be purchased with gems. Should you save up your gems to buy them at a later time?

Basing on what we’ve seen so far, we would not recommend doing this at all. First, the cost of buying a new Orange Orchard or a Swing, for instance, is 75 gems. Secondly, when it comes to the Orange Orchard, you should be fine with the three that you have for the majority of the game. You may want to save up for a new one once you’ve unlocked a good number of territories on the Trade Island map, but in most cases, you’re much better off holding on to your 75 gems.

The game also comes with several vehicles that can cost you several hundred gems, even a thousand — these are the flashy, ‘50s/‘60s-style rides you may have seen in the iOS game description. Allowing your people to drive these classic throwbacks may be all well and good in principle, but you need to make sure that you’ve got way more than just the price of those cars in gems! There are many other ways to make your island’s citizens happy, after all.

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