Coins are the main currency of Anno 1800. It is one of the most important resources, required to construct almost all buildings, to buy goods, ships, items and used for several other purposes. Coins can be obtained in multiple ways such as fulfilling needs of the population, trading with other human or computer players, holding shares of other players' islands, completing quests etc. It is possible to go bankrupt if the amount of coins in player's possession decreases to -5000 . Therefore it is crucial to keep earning enough coins to avoid bankruptcy and to be able to afford all necessary expenses.
Earning and spending coins
There are two types of ways of how the amount of coins can be earned or spent:
- Instant changes by a specific amount at once
- Overtime changes - amount of coins changes constantly at a rate indicated by the player's balance
Amount of coins can change instantly in the following ways:
- Constructing and renovating buildings which cost coins
- Completing quests
- Trading with goods, ships and items
- Refreshing what items a character has to offer at their harbour
- Gifting and receiving money from other players and characters
- Paying or receiving money for diplomatic agreements and ultimatums
- Buying and selling shares
- Starting preparations for a World's Fair exhibition
- Demolishing and relocating buildings if specific game settings were selected upon starting the game
- Income from fulfilling residents' needs - generally the most important source of income
- Income from visitors
- Shares ownership
- Maintenance costs of buildings and ships
- Upkeep of charter routes
- Royal taxes
- Newspaper propaganda
Positive and negative balance may result in a newspaper publishing news about it, either increasing or decreasing population's happiness by 5.
Monitoring the financial situation
The current amount of coins and balance are displayed in the top left part of the screen. When the balance reaches more than 10 thousand or 1 million coins per minute, the value is shortened and shown with "K" or "M" letters indicating thousands or millions, respectively. The amount of coins is also displayed in millions ("M") if it is higher than 1 million coins. Hovering over any of those parts of the interface reveals more accurate values.
Additionally, hovering over the balance value displays a simple breakdown of all factors that contribute towards the global balance, such as income from each population tier, maintenance costs etc. When the camera is located above one of the player's islands, it also shows the balance value from that specific island alone.
A much more detailed breakdown of the balance is available in the finance tab of the statistics menu, which can be opened for example by clicking on the balance in tope left corner. It lists all individual balance factors and makes it easier to manage the entire economy and figure out how to improve it.
Coins limit and bankruptcy
It is possible to go bankrupt if the amount of coins goes down to -5000 . At this point the player might still get a second chance as Archibald Blake can gift 25000 for free. However, after reaching -5000 again the player will go bankrupt. Bankruptcy means losing the game and it should be avoided at all cost.
There is also a maximum coin cap a player can reach, which is equal to 1000 milion (1 billion) coins. It is impossible to have more coins at a time, any coins gained at that point are wasted.
Maintaining positive balance and improving economy
Resource management is one of the most important aspects of Anno 1800. Lack of coins, as the crucial resource, can lead to losing the game. Therefore it is crucial for the player to keep an eye on their economy: amount of coins and balance. While more experienced players can still do well with negative balance, it is generally recommended to keep it positive. There are multiple things every player may do in order to increase their balance and improve the overall economy:
Fulfill more needs of the population. Almost all basic and luxury needs increase income when they are fulfilled. Income from them is usually the main positive factor of player's balance. Every need is different with regards to how much profit it provides in comparison to expenses necessary to fulfill it. Some needs may bring substantial profits, while others might actually cost more money than income they bring. For a breakdown of the profitability of population's needs, see: Profitability of Consumer Goods.
Do not build more than you need. Building 10 fisheries while only 1 is enough to satisfy current population is usually just a waste of money. Statistics menu and its production tab is a great tool which helps to establish how much production of each good is required to satisfy current needs. Having only as many buildings as necessary to match production and demand can be a key to healthy economy. Establishing the production of goods is also a bad idea when the demand is too low. For example after upgrading to engineers and having only a few engineer residences, providing them with glasses is going to be much more expensive than the profits it may bring. It makes sense to establish the production of new goods only once the demand is reasonably high.
Improve existing ships and buildings, if possible, before constructing new ones. Almost all ships and buildings have specific maintenance costs, while having limited effectiveness and utility. Improving them via various means can result in needing less buildings and less ships, which ultimately decreases the amount of coins spent on them. Ships can be improved by influence bonuses and items, while building can be improved by items, electricity etc. Place as many relevant buildings within the range of power plants as possible and use items and other effects to improve the functionality of the buildings.
Buy cheap goods instead of producing them. Depending on the player's progress, available items etc., purchasing some goods may cost less than their production. A perfect example are Steel Beams. They can be bought from Sir Archibald Blake for 146 per ton, while their production (without items and electricity) costs 222.5 coins per ton per minute. Therefore early on into the game it is better for player's balance to buy steel beams instead of setting up the entire production chain. Only once electricity and strong items are available does it become more profitable to produce steel beams.
Sell goods, ships and items that you do not need. Trade can be a significant source of extra coins, especially in case of low balance or sudden need of coins that are just not there. Sell those commodities that you have an excess of for quick bursts of extra coins. Some players like to dedicate some space, workforce and resources to produce goods solely for trading purposes. Goods such as Soap, Fur Coats, Advanced Weapons, Steam Motors or Steam Carriages can be sold for many more coins than necessary for their production. For a list of trading prices of goods, see: Trade.
Build public moorings and increase attractiveness of your islands. Visitors can pay a lot of money if an island is reasonably attractive. Constructing a public mooring on every island with enough attractiveness is going to turn this investment into a long-term profit. Every island receives attractiveness points in the nature category for all the untouched empty tiles of the islands so even newly claimed islands with a public mooring on them might bring some profits.