Computer Tycoon: Pricing, Costs, Expansion (Tips for Beginners)

Basic tips and rules to well start the game and succeed.


Introduction & Shortcuts
Welcome to my basics tips.
I’ve compiled them over 9 game playthroughs. After the 4th try, holding to the tips below allowed me to win every single game and not go bankrupt even once.

Those were tested on easy-normal-hard difficulty levels. On game ver.

Shortcuts used:
PC = Personal Computer, HC = Home Computer, HH = Handheld device, portable = laptop,
RP = research points, PP = production points, DPP = desired production points, LP = logistics points

Buildings & Expansion
1) Get as much of new markets as fast as possible. Start from filthy rich and move your way down the poverty line. If you can choose from several markets in the same category then go for the more populated one. Do not spend your LP on getting resellers cut’s, prioritize new markets as rich as possible and the most populous.

2) At the beginning get 2-3 populus filthy rich/rich markets (USA-Japan-Germany is my preference on historical map). With that you will have decent size high profit market. If you have more PP than DPP expand into logistics, otherwise into factories.

3) Try to expand to always meet the DPP with PP. (only exception is when you’re like 1 month after new hardware generation premiere when world goes nuts over the new tech). And remember that when you over expand you can turn some factories down in site management screen with sliders. This will greatly reduce your upkeep while you wait for this new uber GPU (works on other buildings too but PP demand fluctuate a lot where LP and RP do not).

4) Early in game keep ratio of 2 research sites to 4-5 production sites. Research IS VERY expensive in early game (in term of $ costs, not RP) so do not over stretch. If you can chose bulling 4 research buildings in “poverty regions” that will give you 4 RP for 1k $ each instead of 1 research bulling (upgrade) in filthy rich region but with 1,5k $ on each RP point then OBVIOUSLY build it in poorer regions.

5) The same as above goes for choosing between upgrading a building or getting new site with factory/logistic (think how much points you need and how you can get them as cheap as possible).

6) DO NOT neglect to build offices! they really do well reduce building maintenance for respected site. (Warning: lvl 5 office should be build only if you have at least lvl5 factory or research lab in this site, otherwise your max is lvl 4)

7) When you sell your products to better chunk of the world, then consider building marketing centers’. They reduce small amount of the global marketing costs but THEY DO STACK globally. Ex. 25 buildings with 4 % discount give you cost free marketing campaigns.

Tech build and Research
8) You have to stay on top of generation tech race. By generation I mean best CPU-GPU-HDD trio (performance – features – capacity). Every time you have 2 new products of those 3, then it’s new generation for you. Parts generally cost the same but generation differences are HUGE ex. 109 $486 have 46 performance vs $116 Plent 125 performance.

9) Get to PC’s as fast as you can. From now on you can live only of selling parts without even going into full build assembly. (Research all techs with dark blue background)

10) When you got PC’s. you can sell parts of PC’s on their own. Do it! You can win the game selling only PC parts without ever making a new build. With each new hardware generation don’t archive automatically the old parts (archive whole PC builds but not the parts). Keep them on the market just sell them on different prices. I always leaved 3 gens of parts on market and with price ratios (below) they were making money all the time.

11) Early in game when you do not have big tech advance over competition use 2 tiers of systems:
a. TI – hi-end, all tech you can put in – just mind the production $ costs value
b. Eco – basically new tech, but without “nice to have” things (like heatsinks, hyperthreading etc.) made more on “bang for the buck” logic

12) Later on, in game competitors will significantly lag behind in tech so there is no need for TI tier, build only eco systems.

13) You can make cross-category (hardware) parts. Use it. It saves time a lot. I designed mostly 2 variants of each part, with which I covered all products I’ve used for respective generation. (PC TI & HC, PC Eco & portable), IMHO HH are broken right now.

Here are my “golden ratios” but first small theoretical introduction:
In every hardware build, in pricing tab you have “default” price for this item. (“Average budget”) This is your starting point for all the ratios. Ex. 4000 $ for PC, 200 $ for OS, 200$ for PSU.
The other thing you need to take into account is cost of the item (“Average cost” for whole build and “equals” for parts)

With that in mind I use 3 Gen’s VS 2 Tiers’ matrix where:

Production cost for Ti Tier have to be below 0,25 of it’s default selling price
For Eco it’s below 0,1875.
Ex.: for CPU with average (default) sell price of 400 $, Ti part cost have to be below 100 $ and Eco part below 75 $ (PC build default sell price – 4000 $, Ti cost <1000$, Eco <750$)

They are like this, because by default “poverty” group clients are discounted for 75 % (you can change that manually every time but the rule still applies) so 400 $ part in filthy rich country is sold for 100$ in poverty countries. Cost of production is the same in all countries so for you not to go bankrupt, you have to sell that part for more than 4x of the cost. (for ECO parts it’s lower because will go into below “default” price, but that in a minute.)

A single part with -3$ profit in poverty region can basically bankrupt your company in later game (when you’re selling to all markets – whole world, and most of them are in poverty regions). You will have “only” -3$ on a single product, but will have like 100 M sales of this single product.
It’s the effect of scale.
In such case you can adjust the discount by clicking on “Discount %” value and correcting it, but remember it’s done only for this single product.

In the beginning of game when you have only “Home Computers” you can try the ECO-TI dual versioning, most time it works as long as you have upper hand in tech. (use the same cost/sale ratios)

This is cost side of production but now for the sale pricing part:

– For whole builds my sweet-spots are
Eco PC -> 3K – 4K $ (check competitors pricing)
TI PC -> 8K $
HC -> 3K – 4K $ (3K-4K Eco & 8K Ti for versioning in early game)
Portable -> 5K $

– For parts :
TI –> 2x – 1,5x – 1x of “default” price (newest gen – middle gen – oldest gen)
Eco – > 1,5x – 1x – 0,75x of “default” price (newest gen – middle gen – oldest gen)

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