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How to Trade in Anno 1800 (Ultimate Guide)

How to Trade in Anno 1800 (Ultimate Guide)

Anno 1800 has a lot to offer in terms of gameplay and whatnot, but one thing that can send players spiraling is trade. You can play the game without trade, but you might not want to do that. Trading will make your game more interesting. Not to mention that it’ll put your company in a better position and is essential for a flourishing economy. 

Anno 1800 offers two methods of trading, Active and Passive Trading. Active Trading requires you to seek out traders and the goods they’re seeking. Passive Trading is pretty much simple as you need to put your items up for sale and hope for the best.

Today’s guide will give you an in-depth breakdown of how to trade and the different types of trading in Anno 1800.

Are DLCs Worth it in Anno 1800?

Different Types Of Trading

There are two types of trading in the game. 

  • Active Trading
  • Passive Trading

Active Trading

Anno 1800 Active Trading

With Active Trading, as the name implies, you have to actively seek out traders and the kind of goods they’re looking for. Active Trading is the only option with which you can trade items and ships. Not to mention that it’s an easy way to rack up points with pirates and AI opponents. 

You can check out a character’s trading post to see what goods and items they want. 

Goods In Active Trading

When it comes to Active Trading with pirates and Neutral traders, they have permanent offers meaning they’ll always sell a specific set of goods, which are restocked at a constant rate.

At the same time, both these parties will be open to buying anything from you at regular prices but traders also have special requests for which they’ll pay more money so keep a look out for those. 

Moreover, you can unlock certain requests and offers as you advance through the game. You’ll also be able to increase your restock rates as you play through the game. These rates also vary with the trading post restocks difficulty setting. 

As far as active trading with other human players and AI opponents is concerned, it’s not as predictable. They can sell and request any kind of goods they want and have no fixed restock rates.  



You can actively trade ships but it’s not that simple. Buying ships is not just about money. You need a good number of influence points. When a character has a ship available for sale, you’ll see it near the trader’s harbor with a coin symbol above it.

If you want to sell one of your ships you’ll first have to move to the trader’s trading post. Then go to the ship’s menu and click on the coin symbol. You’ll be asked if you want to sell your ship. Click Accept and you’re good to go. 

To see more variety in the ships your traders are offering, you’ll have to buy the ship they’re selling first. Only then will a new ship spawn in its place. 

How To Establish A Trade Route?

Anno 1800 Trade Route

If you don’t want to dive into the hassles of manual trading, you can set up trade routes. With trade routes set up, the trading will continue without any interference from you.  

Before you do any kind of trading, you need to play the game to the point where you can interact with other islands. Sir Archibald Blake and Eli Bleakworth are good starting points for beginner trading. 

Here are the steps to establishing a trade route:

1. You’ll see a trade route icon in the bottom left. Once you select it, you’ll see a create Route Option. Press that and then Trade Route. You can also select a free ship on the map and press the right icon on the unit card.

2. The next step is to select the islands you want to visit. If you select just your islands, you’ll be creating an internal trade route. However, if you select your island and another foreign trader, you’ll have a proper trade. 

3. Now, you need to select a free ship for the trade.

4. Once you have your ship and trade route, it’s time to load the cargo onto your vessel. 

5. After you’ve ironed out the details, press Accept, and you’re done. Your ship will keep moving your selected cargo along the chosen route as long as no player interferes. 

If, for some reason, your ship is unable to unload at your selected dock, then don’t worry. It’s probably because the trading post has reached its maximum storage capacity. Just upgrade your port or build more depots, and you’ll be good to go. 

On that note, you can create more complex trade routes. You’ll need a bigger ship, though. A bigger ship means more cargo. You’ll also need more trade partners. But to get more trade partners, you need some stellar diplomacy skills since the NPCs in the aren’t the most welcoming. So, make sure you work on those. 

Passive Trading

Another way to trade is through Passive Trading. You simply have to put your item on sale, and that should take care of things. To do so, follow the steps given below:

1. Choose your trading post. 

2. Next, select the goods you want to trade.

3. Then, press the sell option and set the island’s minimum stock. 

Once you’ve done everything, trading ships will stop by and pick up any excess goods that you have. The number of times ships of neutral traders stops by the island depends on what level you’re at in the game. Remember that any goods you buy or sell to traders will be removed from their global storage and won’t be available for active trading. 


Those who play the Docklands DLC will be familiar with the Export/Import mechanic in the game. It’s a type of passive trading that allows you to specialize in certain goods for import and export goods. 

Neutral trader, Captain Tobias is the one who oversees these exchanges. He designates one ship from his fleet of many to each of your docklands. Much like you need trading routes for trading, you need export/import contracts for exchanging goods. You can do this in your docklands. 

At first, you have the option of creating one contract at a time but you can increase that number as you build more export office modules. As far as goods are concerned, you can trade only certain types in the beginning but as you play the game, more goods will be unlocked for import/export. 

What To Do If You Lose Your Ship?

Let’s say you somehow ended up with zero ships. Don’t worry; it’s not the end of the world. You can still trade. For starters, you can establish charter routes. Keep in mind that with charter routes, you’ll only be able to move goods between your islands. Foreign islands will be off-limits. 

All you have to do is choose the specific cargo you want to move, the required quantity, as well as the pick-up harbor and the pick-off destination. A neutral AI ship will take care of the rest. You’ll, of course, be charged money for it. 

Who Can You Trade With?

You can always trade with neutral traders, thanks to a permanent agreement. However, when it comes to pirates and AI opponents, you’ll need a trade agreement first that you can work out via diplomacy.


Items in Anno 1800

As far as trading items is concerned, you can only do that with pirates, neutral traders, and Dr. Hugo Mercier. You can’t trade with other human players in the game. Each character has a specific set of items they can trade. They can’t offer all of them for trade at a time but you can increase the number of offered items as you level up in the game. 

Every trader’s offered items change every five minutes but if you roll the dice you can do it before the time limit. Keep in mind that rerolling costs money and the price increases every time you roll. For Old Nate, the prices increase by 500 coins, and with neutral traders, it increases by 5000 coins. However, pirates are the most expensive of the bunch with prices increasing by 10000 coins at a time. 

Harbor Activity Items

Harbor Activity Items is kinda pretty much a golden hour for players in the game. Some harbourmaster’s office items can apply a harbor activity effect on your trading posts. With this effect in place, you can get specific goods without opening your wallet.

This opportunity presents itself whenever a ship stops by your island for passive trading. An extra good is picked at random depending on the item.

Here is a list of items and the details of their effects. Keep in mind that the effect is different for different items.    

Item NameEffects
BruiserHarbor Activity: +10%
You can gain 5t of Grain, Potatoes, Hops, Grapes, and Red Peppers.
ScammerHarbor Activity: +15%
You can tax 500 coins.
Savvy Customs OfficerHarbor Activity: +20%
You can gain 5t of Dynamite, Weapons, Sails, and Advanced Weapons.
Taxman TimHarbor Activity: +25%
You can gain 5t of Weapons and Advanced Weapons. 
Hogarth the Harbourmaster, Veteran of TrelawneyHarbor Activity: +30%
Loading Speed: +100%
You can gain 5t of Gold, Cotton, Fabric, Rum, Coffee, and Chocolate. 
Khadija Tsegaye, Angereb’s Market MasterHarbor Activity: +30%
Loading Speed: +30%
You can gain 5t of Tapestries, Clay Pipes, Lanterns, Ceramics, and Illuminated Script.
Lady Banes, Proponent of ProtectionismHarbor Activity: +30%
You can gain 5t of Canned Food, Bread, Goulash, Chocolate, Sausages, Tortillas, Beer, Fried Plantains, Rum, Champagne, Coffee, and Schnapps. 
Share LockdownWill lock the shares of your island
Will of SteelResidents of the islands will not lose happiness in case of island wars


All in all, trading in Anno 1800 is a piece of cake. You can either take up active trading or passive trading. Just follow the steps to establish a trading route and seek out new traders to form trading agreements with, and you’ll be good to go.

You can also make use of export/import and take advantage of the Harbour Activity Items. You’ll learn to get the hang of it as you make your way through the game. Happy trading!