Anno 1404 Wiki
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Introduction[]

The primary way to make money in Anno 1404 is through the taxation of your populace. The goal is to bring in enough tax revenue that you can pay for all your empire's costs such as building maintenance and ships and possibly even have a surplus.

When you first start, your inhabitants will be "poor" peasants but as you provide your inhabitants with better and better goods and services, they will become more and more affluent and therefore be able to pay more taxes. The game is designed in such a fashion that there are break-even points where you can have a certain amount of inhabitants that can afford a certain amount of production. It's best to create enough goods to totally fulfil your population's needs and have a small surplus to trade.

You lose the game if you go too far into debt and have to go bankrupt.

The five tax levels/moods[]

Anno 1404 allows you to set the tax level to five different settings ranging from very low to very high. The tax level is set independently for each island and each civilization level (Peasant, Citizen, Patrician, Noble, Nomad, and Envoy).

The tax rate slider with all five colors.

Very Low/Dark Green/Euphoric[]

This is the farthest left setting and lowest tax. It's the only level that allows houses to upgrade/ascend. A house has to have full occupancy to ascend.

Low/Light Green/Happy[]

Inhabitants will move in to fill the max capacity of each home but houses will be unable to ascend.

Moderate/Yellow/Calm[]

This is the ideal tax rate you should use unless you need houses to ascend or inhabitants move in. No inhabitants will move in at this rate, so if you have the plague, major fires, or other deaths and disasters you should switch to a light green tax level for each civilization level to replace lost population.

High/Orange/Irritated[]

This should only be used as an emergency tax rate if you need money very quickly. People will pay a high amount of gold to you, but they'll move out at a steady rate until all the houses are nearly empty, although their houses will not downgrade.

Very High/Red/Enraged[]

This is the farthest right and highest tax rate at which tenants will move out rapidly. Housing units may also downgrade to the previous, lower civilization level.

Taxation level tips[]

  • A very low dark green tax rate should only be used during times of rapid growth where you need to upgrade housing and want people to fill the housing as fast as possible.
  • A low light green tax rate should be used whenever you want to have people move in but you either have no more accession rights to grant or don't want to grant them. For example, you could have just advanced many envoys resulting in new ascension rights being granted for citizens. So once you upgrade those citizens to patricians you can use a low light green tax rate to let them move in while not losing too much gold from lack of taxes.
  • A normal yellow tax rate should be the level of tax that all populations use that are not growing. It grants you the most tax while not decreasing population.
  • A high orange tax can be used if you need to reduce your population. This can be used strategically if a key Need will be completely depleted and you cannot easily produce more. While this will temporarily increase tax revenue, it will result in less net income over time. You will need to resort to a low light green tax rate after a while to replenish the people who left.
  • A very high red tax rate should only be used in extreme cases. It will make people move out very rapidly but does earn large amounts of gold. Possible uses are for getting the most out of condemned islands instead of just bulldozing the housing (perhaps islands you conquer but don't wish to keep).
  • Be careful with taxing Peasants and Nomads Very High. If they are enraged for too long, their houses will ultimately reach the status of Desolate, the state in which the house is abandoned and is looking decayed. Once in this state, you can get these inhabitants back quickly (demolish houses and build new ones) or slowly (setting tax rates at Low or Very Low).

Managing your tax levels[]

Managing Taxation is relatively simple and only a few general rules are needed:

  1. Taxes should be Yellow if your houses are completely full and you are not trying to ascend to next class. This should be the default taxation for most of the game.
  2. Taxes should be Light Green if you've built new houses are upgraded houses to help fill vacant houses. But as soon as they are full taxes should be yellow again.
  3. Dark Green is used used only for ascension. Manually ascending is quicker than automatic. Once you've ascended as much as you need, set taxes to Light Green to fill the new spaces.
  4. Orange & Red can be used to depopulate your homes quickly if you are going to demolish the homes anyway (say for a relocation) or to purposefully reduce the total population to prevent demand from exceeding the supply of a key Need. While it can in the short term improve income levels in the long term you will make much less.

Click on any marketplace and click on the "Inhabitant Overview" tab and hover over each civilization class. This tells you if your houses are full, or if you need more Alm Houses.

Balance display of income and expenses[]

Balance summary showing tax revenue and four expense types.

Anno 1404 offers only one consolidated statement of income and expenses. It can be accessed by left-clicking on the current income/deficit button. The first number is the entire tax revenue your empire is generating. The next four numbers correspond to the four types of expenses that Anno 1404 tracks: building costs, ship costs, military costs, and beggars. The final number is what determines if you have a surplus shown in green or a deficit shown in red.

As you build more buildings, ships, and military units and structures your costs will go up and you must increase your tax income or risk going into a deficit. Opening the Balance display is helpful to quickly determine the major cause of financial problems. In the screenshot to the right, you can see the tax revenue is just above the building costs but the -1,070 ship costs push the balance into a deficit.

Enraged inhabitants large income boost phenomenon[]

A curious phenomenon occurs when an essential need becomes inadequately satisfied. The affected civilization class's mood meter turns entirely red, and rightly so since a crucial need is lacking. Being furious, your people will start to riot and move out. It would make sense that at this point the tax revenue would drop to zero since enraged, rioting, inhabitants aren't likely to continue paying taxes. However, the exact opposite happens and the tax rate is automatically maxed to the very far right of the meter, which can often double or triple your budget surplus or take you from losing money to suddenly making a large sum.

For instance, with 40 full noble houses with every need very well satisfied at a calm tax load of yellow, you make around 8,400 gold. If you disallow all drinks to the Nobles or simply run out of drinks in your warehouse, when the drink need reaches inadequately satisfied around 25% to 30%, the tax rate jumps to the far right and you start making roughly 12,000 gold. This 12,000 will steadily decrease since at a red enraged mood level nobles will move out quickly and downgrade to patricians.

If you resupply whatever good was lacking, the tax rate will return to whatever you had set it too previously. So if you aren't aware of this phenomenon, you can be confused as to why your income can keep fluctuating wildly between a large deficit and large surplus or a small surplus and large surplus.

It could be argued that this game mechanic is broken and unintended. It represents the implausible idea that if the inhabitants are going to be enraged anyway, you might as well massively tax them. As said before, it's unlikely enraged inhabitants would agree to pay any tax, let alone a massive tax as they are moving out. Regardless, this is how the game works and is something to be aware of.

If you ever notice your income wildly fluctuating, this almost certainly means you are low on several necessary goods and your inhabitants keep going between enraged and calm/happy/euphoric. This most often happens when you have an inefficient trade route established that is supplying these goods. So what happens is your people keep running out of a good but then when a trade ship finally arrives they temporarily move from enraged to calm, but quickly return to enraged as they consume the small supply the trade ship delivered.

Also note it's possible to use this phenomenon to your advantage if you are desperate for money and don't mind losing some inhabitants. This is most useful when an AI player is demanding money or they'll go to war and you know you can't win militarily. Just immediately demolish an essential needs building (or deny access to a good, although this doesn't instantly infuriate your people) and watch your income temporarily soar. After doing this, be sure to rebuild or resupply the need and set your tax level to light or dark green so the lost inhabitants will move back in.

Taxation Income[]

The taxes the population will pay depends mostly on the goods you give them and the number of inhabitants of the current civilization level on the island they live on. For example: If you give peasants cider, they will pay more taxes,but if a certain amount of peasants is passed, each peasant will pay less taxes until a minimum. There is a number for each civilization level that defines the population of each as Small or ExtraLarge[1]. They will pay maximum taxes until Small is passed, and pay minimum taxes after ExtraLarge is achieved. The taxes income from each civilization level will decline linear between Small and ExtraLarge. The following numbers are the results from experimenting with the population and needs, and are rounded.

Peasants[]

The population of Peasants are considered Small until 300 and ExtraLarge at 900.

Under 300 Peasants Above 900 Peasants
Euphoric +0.81 Gold/Peasant Euphoric +0.40 Gold/Peasant
Happy +0.90 Gold/Peasant Happy +0.45 Gold/Peasant
Calm +1.20 Gold/Peasant Calm +0.60 Gold/Peasant
Irritated +1.68 Gold/Peasant Irritated +0.85 Gold/Peasant
Enraged +2.00 Gold/Peasant Enraged +1.00 Gold/Peasant
Additional with 100% Cider Additional with 100% Cider
Euphoric +0.37 Gold/Peasant Euphoric +0.20 Gold/Peasant
Happy +0.56 Gold/Peasant Happy +0.28 Gold/Peasant
Calm +0.60 Gold/Peasant Calm +0.30 Gold/Peasant
Irritated +0.30 Gold/Peasant Irritated +0.15 Gold/Peasant
Enraged *Can't be enraged* Enraged *Can't be enraged*

Diagram with the income for peasants. The taxes are set to calm. The orange one shows the tax income per peasant with 100% cider.

Citizens[]

The population of Citizens are considered Small until 600 and ExtraLarge at 2000.

Under 600 Citizens Above 3000 Citizens
Euphoric +0.95 Gold/Citizens Euphoric +0.72 Gold/Citizens
Happy +1.09 Gold/Citizens Happy +0.83 Gold/Citizens
Calm +1.26 Gold/Citizens Calm +0.96 Gold/Citizens
Irritated +1.53 Gold/Citizens Irritated +1.17 Gold/Citizens
Enraged +1.89 Gold/Citizens Enraged +1.44 Gold/Citizens
Additional with 100% linen garments Additional with 100% linen garments
Euphoric +0.22 Gold/Citizens Euphoric +0.17 Gold/Citizens
Happy +0.22 Gold/Citizens Happy +0.17 Gold/Citizens
Calm +0.24 Gold/Citizens Calm +0.18 Gold/Citizens
Irritated +0.19 Gold/Citizens Irritated +0.14 Gold/Citizens
Enraged +0.00 Gold/Citizens Enraged +0.00 Gold/Citizens

Patricians[]

The population of Patricians are considered Small until 1500 and ExtraLarge at 4000.

Noblemen[]

The population of Noblemen are considered Small until 1000 and ExtraLarge at 4000.

Nomads[]

The population of Nomads are considered Small until 750 and ExtraLarge at 2100.

Under 750 Nomads Above 2100 Nomads
Euphoric +0.42 Gold/Citizens Euphoric +0.30 Gold/Citizens
Happy +0.50 Gold/Citizens Happy +0.35 Gold/Citizens
Calm +0.61 Gold/Citizens Calm +0.43 Gold/Citizens
Irritated +0.74 Gold/Citizens Irritated +0.52 Gold/Citizens
Enraged +0.90 Gold/Citizens Enraged +0.63 Gold/Citizens
Additional with 100% milk Additional with 100% milk
Euphoric +0.14 Gold/Citizens Euphoric +0.09 Gold/Citizens
Happy +0.16 Gold/Citizens Happy +0.12 Gold/Citizens
Calm +0.13 Gold/Citizens Calm +0.09 Gold/Citizens
Irritated +0.10 Gold/Citizens Irritated +0.07 Gold/Citizens
Enraged +0.00 Gold/Citizens Enraged +0.00 Gold/Citizens
Additional with 100% carpets Additional with 100% carpets
Euphoric +0.14 Gold/Citizens Euphoric +0.10 Gold/Citizens
Happy +0.08 Gold/Citizens Happy +0.05 Gold/Citizens
Calm +0.07 Gold/Citizens Calm +0.05 Gold/Citizens
Irritated +0.06 Gold/Citizens Irritated +0.04 Gold/Citizens
Enraged +0.00 Gold/Citizens Enraged +0.00 Gold/Citizens

Envoys[]

The population of Envoys are considered Small until 2050 and ExtraLarge at 7950.

Under 1040 Envoys Above 7950 Envoys
Additional with 100% coffee Additional with 100% coffee
Euphoric +0.53 Gold/Envoy Euphoric null
Happy +0.60 Gold/Envoy Happy null
Calm +0.74 Gold/Envoy Calm null
Irritated +0.96 Gold/Envoy Irritated null
Enraged +1.20 Gold/Envoy Enraged null
Under 2600 Envoys Above 7950 Envoys
Additional with 100% pearl necklaces Additional with 100% pearl necklaces
Euphoric +0.26 Gold/Envoy Euphoric null
Happy +0.30 Gold/Envoy Happy null
Calm +0.38 Gold/Envoy Calm null
Irritated +0.48 Gold/Envoy Irritated null
Enraged +0.60 Gold/Envoy Enraged null
Under 4360 Envoys Above 7950 Envoys
Additional with 100% perfume Additional with 100% perfume
Euphoric +0.12 Gold/Envoy Euphoric null
Happy +0.13 Gold/Envoy Happy null
Calm +0.16 Gold/Envoy Calm null
Irritated +0.21 Gold/Envoy Irritated null
Enraged +0.26 Gold/Envoy Enraged null
Above 4360 Envoys Above 7950 Envoys
Additional with 100% marzipan Additional with 100% marzipan
Euphoric +0.08 Gold/Envoy Euphoric null
Happy +0.09 Gold/Envoy Happy null
Calm +0.11 Gold/Envoy Calm null
Irritated +0.14 Gold/Envoy Irritated null
Enraged +0.18 Gold/Envoy Enraged null
SUM Above 4360 Envoys SUM Above 7950 Envoys
Euphoric 0.99 Gold/Envoy Euphoric null
Happy 1.12 Gold/Envoy Happy null
Calm 1.39 Gold/Envoy Calm null
Irritated 1.79 Gold/Envoy Irritated null
Enraged 2.24 Gold/Envoy Enraged null

Beggars[]

The population of Beggars on the street are considered ExtraLarge at 2500.


Notes[]

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