Foundation: Patch 1.9 Leveling Trade Routes

Requirements for leveling up a trade route.



Patch 1.9 introduced the feature of leveling trade routes. This guide is to explain the benefits of leveling a trade route and how to trigger a level up.

Trade Route Level Effects

The primary benefit of leveling a trade route is to increase the volume of goods that a merchant can carry.

For example with the basic level 1 trade route the merchant can only carry 12 of each good at a time, while a level 3 trade route allows merchants to carry 108 of each good at a time.

Below are the stats of trade routes up to level 3

Merchant Capacity – base merchant capacity per good without upgrades
Import to Level – quantity of goods you must purchase in a single month to qualify for level up
Export to Level – quantity of goods you must sell in a single month to qualify for level up

How to Level Trade Routes

To qualify for a level-up you must meet both the import and export requirements for that level.

Once the import/export requirements are met, an event will trigger with that neighbor to improve the trade route. You will be given 3 options for leveling the trade route:

  • Trade goods along the trade route with a total net worth within a month (slow, but should be easy if you met requirements for level up)
  • Pay a lump sum of gold to fund the level up
  • Pay for the level up using influence (currency will match the route’s alignment)

Once the event is complete, you will receive notification of the increase trade route level shortly.

I do not know what happens if you refuse or fail the quest.


Note that the required import/export amount at each route level is 2.5 times the merchant’s carrying capacity. This means that you will need to buy and sell at least 3 different goods near max capacity to qualify for a level up.

Under the common path there is the “Bulk Trade Edict” that increases the quantity of trade routes, while lowering prices. This is helpful because with this edict active, you can meet import/export requirements with only 2 good types each.

If you are using trade routes you are likely selling lots of goods already and the import requirement is harder to meet. You really only need to meet the requirements one time so you can stockpile gold, clear a warehouse, and purchase lots of goods at once to qualify for a level up.

Leave a Comment