Industry Idle can be daunting at first, but it’s actually quite easy to get to the start of the mid game or at least towards the end of the early game fast. The early game is absolutely very boring and slow so this guide is going to help power you through the start of the game. The very first thing you should do is find this guide before you started playing, but since that likely hasn’t happened, let’s assume that you’re starting with a fresh city even if you don’t earn much or any swiss bank.
How to Play the Game
The game is an active idle game, meaning that offline earnings are slim and the game encourages active play. What you’re going to want to do is build a supply chain, ala games like Anno or Factorio, except everything is on a flat 2d game board which honestly is very satisfying because you don’t have to worry about conveyor belts or housing placement.
You place buildings onto the various board squares which either produce resources from the ground (which are unlimited) or consume resources from other buildings to produce new types of materials / products. Everything produced can be traded either on your market or the player market (there is a 2 hour hold if you reset your save to an earlier save). You can automatically sell some resources in the Trade Center.
All the buildings you need are in the center of the map by the way. They’re the blue buildings. Trade center is the boat, the atom is research. You spend swiss cash at the first one with the plane. The shopping cart lets you wholesale goods for some early research center points. The government looking building is where you can see market stats, depending on how the market is doing is how many swiss franks you get (+/- 25%).
The headquarters is settings. The bar chart is where you see your stats. The building next to it is where you set policies (you get culture from book publishers and wholesale sells early game which gives you policy points for boosts). Finally the stop sign is where you can set which fuel you’re running (i.e. on some maps batteries or gas are better fuels than petrol).
Building permits are costly and especially for production buildings built on resources, upgrades are far superior to building more of a building. So always strive to do with as few buildings as you need to have.
Until you do several resets you won’t be able to get far due to the cost of building permits. Swiss cash comes when you reset (i.e. choose a new map to play, which can be the same one just resets it) which can be spent for dividers, including the cost of building permits. As building permits get more expensive, it becomes harder building new buildings, which makes scaling your supply chain harder, which is when it’s generally time to reset. Don’t get frustrated on your first few maps.
Step One: Establish Fuel & Power Early
You’ll want a foundation for fuel and power early. You can start on any map that you want to, but “Oslo” is the easiest due to the abundant oil making petrol an easy to consume fuel and lots of gas for gas power. No matter the map you’ll need a fuel and power strategy to start with and don’t be afraid to put the plants super far out. The science is the only thing from the power stations that will need to travel, so you can put it where there is the best resources to align or just out of way.
In the below map you’ll see I’m playing Osaka. I put the power plants around the coal near where my base is (because that’s actually pretty out of the way on the map that generated for me). Nearby I used the lithium mines to make batteries, skipping the battery factory by holding off and using the batteries that you start with.
Step Two: Research the Player Market for Early Game Items
You’ll want to see what’s happening on the player market and look for some low tier items selling high. I can’t give specifics, as this is up to the market at the time, but you can generally assume high need items like Batteries and Books are going to be rather well priced. Look for items you can make really easily with a small supply chain and can scale to make a lot of to cash in fast.
For instance, you start Osaka with 100k batteries, you can sell 50k of those batteries for $1.5 Billion giving you a strong start to not only build your own production line for batteries, which you can keep selling to build out the rest of your board.
Sometimes you’ll see some mid tier items that you can sell for a very good profit. Rockets don’t actually take a lot to build up to on maps that you have Lithium and Gas and often sell for 300k+ on the player market and 100k+ on the map market. Good deals!
As you can see, Batteries and Books, both super easy to make were selling for a lot more than the actual map market. So it’s easy to cash out early game and build out everything you need to get to higher tier materials. So I focused my early game on this map on batteries and books to take advantage of the nice prices in the player market.
Step Three: Produce and Sell the Items on the Player Market
So after you’ve got a good power and fuel economy down, its time to build out your logistics for the items you’ll want to sell on the player market. This just takes patience and a small bit of math to make sure you’re building out the right supply chain and then wait for the map to idle. If everything is in a surplus, it’s safe to leave the game running overnight and come back to sell everything you made overnight.
Do note that the player market can shift, other players can sell / buy out listings before you can, so at the start stick with safe items that you know you can offload on the market.
Shoes were selling really well for me when I first started playing. It wasn’t until I actually built enough shoes to fulfill all the player orders and then was stuck with lots of shoes and no way to offload them that I realized the folly of my mistake. So don’t get focused too much on just cashing in on the player market, but do realize it’s a huge early game boost.
Step Four: Reset when you have 100+ Swiss cash and the market is showing near positive or positive.
So you’ve been playing awhile, done some great trades on the market, probably can’t build anymore buildings because of how expensive they are and it’s time to start a new game. The community advice is to reset around 50 to 80 Swiss cash and just keep repeating (making maps, getting to that milestone, resetting) but I find that’s better to just let your game idle overnight and cash out at a 100 Swiss cash or more so you can buy some of the heavy hitting bonuses like product bonus or get the permit divider and upgrade cost divider.
Step Five: Rinse and Repeat
After you’ve reset, you can choose a new map (including the map you were on) and start over again. The fun is taking everything you learned from your last run and applying it to the next run. Building more efficient supply lines and getting the ability to autosell much more on the map’s trade market.
Don’t stress over the first few resets or at all, as you spend your swiss cash you’ll automatically expand your ability to grow in the game. If you need further help, use the in-game chat to ask the community. The players there were super helpful to me when I started playing and I’m sure they’ll be able to help answer any questions you have. Have fun in idling in Industry Idle!