Tropico 5: Getting the People to Love You

Gaining support for your revolution can be easy in Tropico as long as you keep 20 different things in mind!

When I first started Tropico 5, one of the main facets of the game eluded me. While the game wants you to build support for your revolution against the king, it doesn’t really give you a great idea on how to do it. Sure, it tells you to build a building or two for popular opinion, but after that there is no good explanation on how to keep the ball rolling.

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Entertainment

When you start the game, you only have a few options on entertainment. You have the trusty tavern. It’s great for low wealth citizens which will be most of your people early on. Second is the Opera House which will be great for your high wealth citizens, mostly the college educated that you will need to hire from foreign shores.

Housing

You need to give the people homes. There isn’t a warning that tells you that most of your people are going homeless, you just have to look for yourself. If you notice an abundance of shacks across the island, you need to build some houses. Keep in mind that you need houses for your rich and your poor alike. Mansions and Country Homes will both be necessary. Fortunately, you don’t need many Mansions. They can be expensive, so be reluctant to drop several quickly.

Religion

The only religion building available in the Colonial Era is the Catholic Mission. It gives your citizens a chance to practice religion on the island and keeps them peaceful. The Mission also gives you an excellent chance to mix a building right into your houses. The Mission has a Manager position you can use for a Landlord. The Landlord increases the housing quality of all nearby residences which will be another small addition towards your increasing popularity. 

Food

You will need to build several ranches and Plantations as part of your plan to make money for the island. Crops such as Corn, Cattle, and Milk will all be used for local consumption unless you choose otherwise. The more food the citizens have the fatter they will be and the less likely they are to revolt. Trust me, it’s Tropico logic! A Grocery is also a service building that delivers food to the locals, giving them another reason to love you.

Edicts

There are four edicts that you will have access to early on that can build your popularity. These are best saved when it’s getting close to your mandate running out; Right to Arms, Extra Rations, Mardi Gras, and Tax Cut. The Right to Arms increases the people’s idea that they have Liberty on your island. Extra Rations feeds your people even more food than you were already giving them. Mardi Gras increases the entertainment value of all your entertainment buildings, but also increases the crime rate on the island. The Tax Cut is geared toward your wealthier citizens, but will do the job just as well as the other three at getting more popularity.

Listening to your Advisors

You have one advisor, Evita, who is constantly looking out for the Revolutionary cause on your island. Her requests will vary from building forts and Guard Towers to building Libraries. Each time you complete a quest for her, you get the option to import Revolutionary citizens to your island. Usually following a few quests for Lord Oakmont will give you the option to increase Revolutionary support by making the King out to be the bad guy.

Removing the Royalists or Changing Their Minds

You can bribe your Tropicans to love you if you seem to have no other recourse. It will usually gain 10-20 popularity with the person you bribe. Problem is, some pesky citizens are just plain more difficult to bribe and will cost you more. You should be able to find  a Tropican that only costs you $1,000 to bribe and has an approval rating in 40-50 range. Don’t waste bribes on citizens below that level. Their approval of you won’t go high enough in one bribe and they get more expensive each time you try.

You do have the option of simply removing the Tropicans that don’t support you. This should be a last ditch effort. You can banish them, which will usually pay back the expense of the banish order by taking the possessions from the family you just kicked out of your country. Second, you can just kill them. Either one of these options will get you some popular opinion, but might come back to haunt you as your people will become outraged at the open use of these techniques to eliminate your opposition.

Finally

Just because you can declare independence at 51% popularity doesn’t mean you should. As long as you have extra time on your mandate, you have time to increase your popularity more. If you increase it high enough, it will start to reduce the debt your country will have to take on to leave the empire. In order to gain popularity, you must focus on all of the above tactics. If you do, there will be no end to how quickly your popularity can grow. Once you reach the 70% zone, it will become a little harder to convince the remaining citizens, so I don’t recommend trying hard to push past that number.

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Tropico 5: Getting the People to Love You
Gaining support for your revolution can be easy in Tropico as long as you keep 20 different things in mind!

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Landon Sommer
While I do play some of the greats like Civilization and X-com, consider me your Tabletop guru here at gameskinny. Want to know about a tabletop game? Just ask!