Contrary to economy-centric city management sims like SimCity and Cities: Skylines, Limbic Entertainment's Tropico series has an equal focus on the management of the people as well as the trade. Tropico 6 gives players the ability to expand their reach to multiple islands. This brings in new transportation mechanics and allows one to take advantage of different kinds of islands. Volcanic islands have gold deposits that can help you throughout the game while islands with waterfalls are perfect for tourists. The best aspect of Tropico, however, is its tongue-in-cheek humour which subtly satirises modern stereotypes surrounding politics and people. It is quite amusing to check up on random citizens' thoughts when they leave the Tavern.
If you want an irrefutable rule over Tropico and Caribbean trade and keep your treasury filled, follow these simple tips to get you through to your first million.
Signing trade deals and fulfilling them is a key component to success in the Caribbean. Initially, you won't have to worry about the Food Happiness of the people. Build a couple of Sugar plantations for each Distillery and start making big cash out of Rum exports. Cloth and Cigars sell like hot cakes during the World War era. Boats and Furniture are available later and can fetch huge profits. The Fashion Company and Juicery can be very profitable in the Modern Era.
2: Don't be afraid of pissing off a superpower
After you have gained independence from The Crown, choose between the Allies or the Axis. You can blame either during your election speeches. This will give the citizens a target to point to and will improve your relations with the other foreign power. You could maintain cordial relations with both, but since the Wars must end eventually, there's no harm in going all out. During later eras, maintain good relations with at least one superpower to ensure profitable trade.
3: Use Edicts often
You want to make people live near their workplace and be able to commute quickly. Certain edicts like Tax Cut, State Loan and Free Wheels are helpful in gaining approval, quick money and expediting commute. When there's little time for elections and you need a boost, use the Audience edict to get the three factions with the lowest approval to give you tasks. Completing those tasks could give you the edge you need. Employee Of The Month makes people work double shifts and it has a minimal running cost.
4: More docks = More shipments = More money
The Docks are your only way of transporting excess goods out of Tropico and receiving much-needed goods. More docks mean more money flowing in. Mind that unless you sign specific trade contracts for Imports, you won't be losing money through Docks. Construct a Docks on the coast opposite to the one you start with and double your trade. Remember to have lots of Teamsters to transport goods for refinement and export. As a rule of thumb, have one Teamster office for two factories.
5: Research constitution policies first
There will be several faction leaders who will ask you to change certain parts of the constitution. It is best to research the constitution topics as soon as you have the chance. That way you can set the constitution you like and change it when you're asked. Note that while the policy choices explicitly state the statistical changes, there are secondary changes in people's behaviour that can be triggered by certain policies. Certain policies will get you profits while others will have non-monetary benefits.
6: State Loans
Keep your eye on the treasury during the Cold War era and you will notice large shipments coming in and larger expenses being made to run Tropico. Banks are a sham in Tropico 6, but if you find yourself in a tough spot and need just a little higher credit limit, upgrade the Bank to get a 5,000-buck extension. Banks also have a Slush Funds mode if you want your Swiss Bank account with a bit more oomph.
From the very start, you will be able to build a Pirate Cove and send pirates on treasure hunts, loots and rescue missions. By the time you make a Spy Academy, you will be accumulating excessive Raid points. The best thing about Raid missions is that they won't cost you money. Send teams from all raid facilities to do different jobs for you and watch as the number of educated citizens increases, the treasury fills, superpowers are suppressed, and blueprints get unlocked.
8: Care for Employees
As the glorious El Presidente, you should know that people are the heart of Tropico. People like to stay near their workplace. People also like to be paid well. In the later stages of the game, if you have built a solid economy, you can raise the budget for workplaces to the maximum. This would improve people's economic status so they can move out of Bunkhouses and into Apartments. Make houses where you see shacks, because people build shacks near their workplace.
9: Do Wonders!
You'll be doing wonders with Tropico 6, I am sure. You will only be able to construct one Wonder in each era, so choose wisely. The Registan of Samarkand gives all visitors a High School education so it's a useful Wonder to have initially. Use your best judgement and "borrow" the Wonders that can boost the economy the most. With Wonders, you can also boost tourist visits. Ensure you have accommodation and entertainment at an exclusive spot for tourists, or they leave bad ratings.
10: Have faith
Faith in oneself is important. Faith is also good when you want to suppress rebellious thoughts and slash the crime rates. Use the different factions and manipulate the people using the Radio Tower, TV Station and Newspaper to augment them to factions that you like. Work with the new factions as they come up and you will have a highly diverse industry. Use the diverse industry to make more money and fire up more propaganda. Rinse. Repeat.
The mechanics of Tropico are easy to understand. Once you have your toes dipped in Tropican soil, you'll find yourself quickly enveloped in brewing rebellion, growing contempt from foreign powers and never-ending demands of various faction leaders.