Anno 1404 Wiki

The main way of making money in Anno1404 is through the Taxation of your Population. This is what the game teaches the player during the campaign, and is the only type of income displayed on the Balance tab. One of the main challenges a player will face in Anno1404 is maintaining a positive Balance. Nearly every building in the game has a Maintenance cost associated with it, which needs to be offset by Export and Taxation income. Almost all Goods can be exported with a profit margin, and Inhabitants generally bring in more Tax income than the production cost of the Goods they consume. The challenge is in maximising the surplus income to afford expanding and maintaining other costs like Ships and Armies. This page focuses on the balance between Maintenance costs and Tax income. For information about maximising Trade income, see Trade.

Anno 1404-taxationslider

The tax rate slider with all five colors.

Maintenance costs[]

Every building has an associated Maintenance cost, which represents upkeep and resource usage. For most Production buildings the Maintenance cost can be reduced by deactivating the production. Ships and Armies also have Maintenance cost. The Flagship is the only ship that does not have a Maintenance cost. Maintenance cost of ships can be reduced to zero with Items.

Tax load and Satisfaction[]

The Taxation system in Anno1404 is easy to use but hard to explain. This is mostly due to the fact that Tax load and Satisfaction are combined and shown in a single bar. The Satisfaction level of the Inhabitants is determined by the Tax load, but also by how well their Needs are satisfied. In general, lower Tax load leads to higher Satisfaction. If their Needs are poorly satisfied, they will not be able to reach the higher Satisfaction levels, regardless of where you set the Tax load.

  • Euphoria: Euphoric Inhabitants will move into this Building until it is full. Only euphoric Inhabitants can advance to the next Civilisation level.
  • Happiness: Happy Inhabitants will move into this Building until it is full.
  • Calm: Contented Inhabitants will neither move in nor leave.
  • Irritation: Disgruntled Inhabitants will move out of this Building until only a few are left.
  • Rage: Furious Inhabitants will move out of this Building. They will move out until they have lost a Civilisation level or until their anger has subsided.

To streamline the terminology of this page, we will refer to the different Tax loads using the associated Satisfaction level.

Here's a general overview of when to use each Tax load.

  1. Inhabitants only need to be Euphoric if they're ready to advance to the next Civilisation level.
  2. Inhabitants should be Happy when there's houses below maximum capacity.*
  3. Inhabitants should be kept Calm whenever there's no need for a lower Tax load.
  4. Irritation and Rage should only be used to destroy captured Settlements during War.**

*The Inhabitant overview tab in the Marketplace shows the capacity of your houses.
**The Tax load can be set independently for each Island.

There's a few weird interactions that occur as a result of the relationship between Satisfaction level and Tax load.

Satisfaction income drop[]

After settling the first Envoys and Noblemen, they will immediately demand new Consumption Goods that you're not producing yet. Until these new demands are met, their Satisfaction will be limited to Calm and they will pay moderate taxes. If we fully satisfy this Need, the Tax income we receive from them will be higher than we can currently get, even at higher Satisfaction levels. There is, however, a turning point where their Needs are just barely satisfied enough for them to reach Euphoria, but not enough for their Taxation at these levels to increase above what we would get from them when they were Calm. This leads to a sudden drop in Tax income when we first start supplying them the Goods they demand, because their increased Satisfaction allows them to pay less taxes.

Enraged income boost[]

The exact opposite can also occur. When an essential Need is taken away from our Inhabitants, for example when a Marketplace is destroyed, their Satisfaction level is immediately set to Rage. If we're still supplying all their other Needs, this sudden decrease in Satisfaction can actually lead to a large boost in Tax income. This boost is only temporary, however, as Enraged Inhabitants will quickly start moving out. They might also start fires in your City...

Balance display of income and expenses[]

Anno 1404-incomebalance

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.