Kalypso Media's Tropico 6 is not an easy game. The political simulation game has multiple mechanics that need to be understood, right down to their nuances. Although the game was released in 2019, Tropico 6 has recently been added to Microsoft's Game Pass. As more and more players get introduced to the simulation mayhem that the game can be, they will also come to understand that being "El Presidente" of the Caribbean republic of Tropico isn't a cakewalk.
Tropico 6 takes the "management" in "management games" very seriously, and will punish players if they aren't careful enough. If players want to continue governing their people as benevolent leaders, having high approval is an obligation. However, understanding the approval mechanic of the game takes a bit of practice. Fortunately for players though, here's a list of the best tips to keep the public happy.
Understand How Approval Ratings Work
Approval ratings determine how the players will keep themselves in power. If the approval rating is high, a democratically elected government can form that will legitimize the workings of the players. However, if the approval rating is low, the only way for players to maintain their seat as "El Presidente" would be to become totalitarian dictators.
Strategy games of this nature involve the player ensuring that they provide their citizens with the basics such as food, healthcare, housing, and employment. Fulfilling these four basic needs would allow the player to garner a steady approval rating. If they want to increase their approval rating, they have to provide more variety in food, different types of housing, and free healthcare.
Pay Teamsters Well
Teamsters form an integral part of the player's in-game government. They are responsible for the smooth functioning of the import and export of goods and providing supplies to different stores and factories. It is a good idea to have a lot of Teamsters on the side of the government.
Players should ideally be paying the Teamsters on the higher end of the scale, as happy Teamsters would mean a proper rate of growth for the republic's industries. Moreover, Teamster offices should be near to the industries they are working in. An even better option would be to have at least one Teamster office for each factory, as this will decrease the travel time, leading to more time for generating money.
Consider Buildings For Places Of Worship
As with every strategy game of this nature, keeping the people happy also involves ensuring that they have ample space and a safe environment to practice their faith(s). Players cannot expect that most of their citizens in Tropico 6 will not be drawn towards some belief or faith, and run an agnostic or atheistic country. Of course, they can enforce this through an authoritarian regime, but this will remove the question of approval ratings altogether.
If players want to increase their approval rating, they have to show that their government is tolerant and welcoming to different religious and spiritual beliefs. The cheapest religious building that they can start with is a Church. From there, they can add more buildings and spaces when the economy allows it. This could create a rift between factions, though. So, players will have to be tactful in the way they approach this.
Allies Need To Be Kept Happy
This is a rather indirect way to win the approval of the citizens of Tropico. However, it will increase the approval rating if done correctly. Once the player reaches the Modern Era in Tropico 6, neighboring nations will start to either form alliances with each other or they will have tense relations. The burden of diplomacy falls on the player's nation, to try and avoid chances of war between two nations. They also have to maintain a proper balance between appeasement and authority, as any form of weakness can be seen as a sign by a nation to invade the island.
If the player's standing with the neighboring nations is quite good, then the chances of offshoring industries and offices to those countries (and vice versa), will increase. This, in turn, will open new job prospects and forms of income for the people of Tropico. Prosperity, and thus approval ratings, can increase magnificently. A good start would be to have Consulates for each country.
Use The Media
The media is an important tool for propagating the political and religious beliefs that the player's government is in support of. Whether the system favors a Communist or neoliberal leaning, the factions that populate the island must also have a majority following towards the regime's ideology.
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If the opposition factions win over the populace with their ideologies, then a Revolution could take place and overthrow the player's government. To keep a Revolution at bay, players must use the media to make the population lean towards whatever ideology the government is promulgating. If players build educational institutions to foster learning, they must also monitor these institutions for a good balance of free-thinking and majoritarian politics.
Promises Before Elections
There is a surefire way to ensure that players have a winning chance at elections. After all, Tropico 6 doesn't hold the player's hand from the very outset. It's one of those games that teaches them through a steep learning curve. More often than not, approval ratings dip because the player has no idea how to keep their ratings afloat in a game mechanic that has multiple important factors.
However, if the player needs to increase their approval rating by the time the next election comes around, they should check what the people are unhappy about. Based on this, they need to make promises to the people, during the election run, about fixing what's bothering the populace. Although it is a temporary fix (at best), it gives players a fighting chance to keep their government in power.
Do Not Lower Wages
It takes a while for players in Tropico 6 to start building a solid economy. However, one thing that players must not do once they have a stabilized economy is lowering wages of Teamsters and workers in general. Paying wages at the higher end of workers other than Teamsters is also recommended. In fact, pay the maximum wage possible for each worker in different industries.
Higher wages would keep the people happy, and increase the approval rating. If the people are happy at their jobs, their efficiency increases, thereby winning back the money spent in payment of wages. This is a productivity hack and can keep the approval rating at the better end of the spectrum for longer periods.