Manor Lords: How to trade and make money

Manor Lords
(Image credit: Windows Central)

Once you get past the early stages of developing your towns in Manor Lords, focusing on trading quickly becomes one of the strongest strategies you can employ. Not only is it possible to make tons of money by selling surplus crafting materials or valuable specialized goods, but you can also buy resources that you wouldn't be able to get in your region otherwise. Both will greatly help you make your city thrive, so trading should be one of your main priorities as you progress.

Figuring out how to trade can be a little confusing, but don't worry if you're not sure what to do. The below guide fully covers the trading mechanic and goes over everything you need to know, including how to set up trading, choose whether you'd like to import or export items, play the market, speed trades up, and more.

How to trade in Manor Lords

A Trading Post in Manor Lords. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Before you can do any trading in Manor Lords, you'll need to build a Trading Post and connect it to one of your city's roads. To construct it, you'll need 4 Timber, though you should have way more than that by the time you're ready to start trading.

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Once your peasants build the Trading Post, assign some families to it, select it, and move over to the Trade tab to start setting up trades. You have the option to engage in both Minor and Major Trades for Construction materials, Crops, Food, Crafting Materials, Commodities, and Military gear; note that Major Trades require establishing Trade Routes so that merchants regularly visit your settlement. The Regional Wealth cost of Trade Routes varies, though you can limit it to 25 per route by getting the Trade Logistics upgrade.

Trading is done with Regional Wealth (not Treasury, which you get from implementing a tax policy at your Manor that converts Regional Wealth into personal money), and for each resource in Manor Lords, you have three options: Importing (buying), Exporting (selling), and Full Trading (both). The amount you import or export is determined by your Desired Surplus, which represents how much of a good you want to have after completing trades. If you wanted to sell all the Warbows you have a fletcher making, for example, you'd set your Desired Surplus to 0. If you have extra stable space at a Hitching Post/Small Stable, you can order a horse from the Trading Post that your workers can use to speed trades up.

This is the menu you'll be using to conduct your trades in Manor Lords. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Trades are affected by the state of the market, which changes based on global supply. Oversupplied items will sell for less (one green down arrow) or may not even be available to export at all (two red down arrows). Keep this in mind when choosing which resources to sell, and try to diversify the goods you're producing so your profits isn't dependent on a single type of item. In my main city, for example, I'm routinely selling Gambesons, Warbows, Small Shields, Large Shields, and Helmets.

One last thing: all imports have a tariff cost of 10 Regional Wealth, which can make it tough to make money if you're buying resources off the market. However, the Better Deals skill eliminates this tariff completely, making it the best skill in the game and an overpowered one at that. I strongly recommend unlocking it in any town you'll be doing lots of trading in.

Manor Lords is finally here, and it's fantastic. Without a doubt, it's one of the best PC games of 2024 so far, and as I wrote in my review, a must-play for anyone who enjoys city-builders. It's on sale until May 10 for 25% off, and it's also playable through PC Game Pass (and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, by extension).

Manor Lords (PC) |$29.99 at GOG

Manor Lords (PC) | $39.99 $29.99 at GOG

Greg Styczeń's highly anticipated city-builder Manor Lords is finally here, and it's just as amazing as everyone was hoping it'd be. I'm not even a huge fan of the genre, but it's absolutely hooked me with its addictive gameplay loops, and I'm confident you're going to love it, too.

See at: Microsoft Store | CDKeys (Steam) | Steam

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.