Empire of Sin Tips and Tricks Guide: Alcohol, Money, and Gangsters

This Empire of Sin tips and tricks guide goes everything you need to about starting a criminal empire, from distilling alcohol to promoting gangsters.

So you're ready to rule the dirty streets in Empire of Sin? Doing so takes some serious effort and includes understanding all sorts of mechanics, from distilling alcohol and making money to hiring gangsters and hailing taxis. There are a lot of intricacies to the new turn-based strategy game from Romero Games, and it's tutorial only briefly touches on some of the topics below — for others, it completely skips them! 

Here's everything you need to know to get your criminal up and running on the right foot. 

How to Make Money: The Basics

Obviously, there are lots of ways to make money in the world of Empire Of Sin. Here are some of the main ways you can get into the black early.

Take Over Rackets 

The easiest way to earn a steady income in Empire Of Sin is with rackets. Look for abandoned buildings early, then bring your crew in and take out any resistance. You'll be able to start your own illicit business once everything's cleared out.

If you've got strong units and want a major influx of money, start a war with a rival gang and tackle their safehouse. This results in a major battle but if you win, you will take control of all of their rackets!

Upgrade Your Rackets

Your different money-making rackets have a few different upgrades available that increase their profit. Improving Ambiance will increase how much money customers spend at a specific racket, and Word of Mouth increases how many customers will visit. Games is a casino-specific upgrade that will also increase income.

Complete Quests

Especially early on, completing various Empire of Sin quests will usually give you an income boost and will also put you on an easy path towards getting your businesses humming. Check for quests you can complete quickly and knock them out.

Ransack Conquered Rackets

If you already have enough rackets in a certain neighborhood, you can usually score a good amount of cash and loot by choosing the ransack option  after taking over another racket. It will take a little time to ransack a racket, but you'll usually get some good stuff out of it, including money.

Make Sure You Have Enough Booze

All those rackets don't mean anything if you aren't keeping customers well-lubricated. Navigate to your Alcohol Production menu to make sure you are producing enough alcohol for your businesses. Less alcohol means lower profits! 

Pay Attention to Alcohol Quality

Alcohol is the core of your economy in Empire of Sin. We already talked about making sure you have high enough alcohol production, but there's another aspect you need to keep an eye on: alcohol quality.

Certain neighborhoods want different types of alcohol. In general, they'll buy what you're selling, but optimizing is the key to big profits. Open the Alcohol menu, and navigate to the Consumption tab. You can hover over the different rackets in order to see what type of alcohol patrons are drinking versus what they'd prefer to be drinking.

In order to make the most money, you'll need to upgrade your distilleries until they're making the type of alcohol that people want. Keep in mind that preferences can change as rackets change hands and world events occur. Keep on top of your alcohol production to keep your empire on top.

What are Synergies?

Synergies are combinations of rackets in each neighborhood. If you create a synergy, every racket involved will receive a small bonus to revenue. A racket can only count towards one synergy at a time, and you can view synergies through the Neighborhood tab of the Empire Overview screen.

The synergies are:

  • Straight  Own one of each type of racket - +10%
  • Full House  Three of one racket and two of another - +7.5%
  • Three of a Kind  Three of the same type of racket - +5.0%
  • Five of a King  Five of the same type of racket - +12.5%
  • Two Pair  Two of two different kinds - +2.5%

You can increase those synergy bonuses if you build a hotel in a neighborhood. You can only build a hotel if you already have an active synergy, however. You can see if there's a hotel in a neighborhood on the same page you can view your synergies: the Neighborhood tab of the Empire Overview screen.

What is Suspicion?

As your rackets start making more money and you get involved in more violent acts, you'll start to draw the attention of the police. There are a few ways to keep them from stopping your attempts to take over Chicago.

The most basic way to keep the cops at bay is to upgrade the Deflect ability of your rackets. Each time you upgrade Deflect, it decreases the chance of a police raid. Keep in mind that this stat applies to each individual racket, so protect your biggest money-makers first!

You can also engage directly with the Chicago PD. Open the Diplomacy tab and click through the different factions. One will be the fuzz. If you go to the Actions tab of this menu, you will have a few different actions that will keep the police off your back for a while. They all cost a pretty penny, so do it before they start turning the screws on your rackets!

What is Notoriety?

Notoriety is how big of a threat you're considered in the Chicago criminal underworld. Nearly every nefarious deed you commit  taking over rackets, killing rivals, etc. — will change your notoriety.

You can check your notoriety and any effects on it through your boss' character page. Earning more notoriety has several effects:

  • New Hires — More notoriety means stronger (and more expensive) crew members will be available to recruit.
  • New Roles — Certain notoriety thresholds mean you can promote members of your gang into roles like Underboss.
  • Cheaper Upgrades — Higher notoriety means less expensive upgrades.
  • Less Trusted  Increases in notoriety mean threat level increases. The police and rival gangs will trust you less as you become more well-known for being nasty.

How to Hire New Gangsters

Hiring new gangsters is a pretty simple process. Just open the Black Book, and you'll see a list of potential teammates. The number below their name is how high your notoriety score must be to recruit them, and the other icon indicates their role. If you hover over a gangster, it will show a series of lines connecting them to other units, showing potential conflicts of interest or positive connections.

To hire them, simply click on your new recruit, and hit the Hire button.

How to Promote Your Mobsters

One of the best perks of increasing your notoriety is that you can assign different roles to your team. There are a few different roles to consider, all offering their own bonuses. To promote a unit, it has to be made, meaning that unit has killed someone under your banner. Head to your Black Book, then to your Promotion tab to perform these actions.


Lieutenants are useful because they can guard your safehouses in neighborhoods where your boss isn't stationed. Just approach the desk in the safehouse and interact with it; you'll be able to assign a lieutenant from there.


Once you hit 100 notoriety, you can choose a made mobster to become an advisor. Advisors provide a loyalty bonus to your other units, making them extremely useful. You can only have one Advisor, so choose wisely!


Once you hit 500 notoriety, you can assign an underboss. They'll manage business at your primary safehouse and decrease the wages paid to all your units based on their leadership skill. This will save you a ton of money. Like an Advisor, you can only have one Underboss.

How to Use Taxis for Fast Travel

There are a lot of neighborhoods ripe for the picking in Empire of Sin, and the only way to get to them is by using the taxi. To use this fast travel system to head to a new neighborhood, zoom out until you reach the city map screen, then zoom in on the neighborhood you want to move to. You'll see a few taxi icons that will zip your team there.

You can also use it within a neighborhood by right-clicking a location to bring up a circular menu of options, then clicking the taxi icon.

That should be about everything you need to make a good go at Empire of Sin. Check out our game page for more!


Jordan has been gaming and geeking since he was a wee lad. He is a freelance writer and content creator, contributing to AMC Theatres, SVG, Looper, and Feast Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter for article updates and Instagram for (mostly) pictures of food and animals.

Published Dec. 15th 2020

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