The 'Wealth' Ambition

So, I have been playing Sunless Sea for a while now. After initially struggling with keeping my captain from getting killed, I finally managed to get a hang of the game thanks to many of the ‘How to make money in the early game’ guilds that are posted here.

While I am managing to make some a tidy profit via port reports and the occasional coffee run to the surface (managed to upgrade my lodging to a townhouse, upgraded my ship to the one that cost 3000 Echos, and maintain a steady balance of around 1000-2000 Echos), considering that for me to meet the victory condition for my ambition, I will need at lease 10000 Echos to purchase a mansion (even more with the retirement fund), I just don’t see myself being able to meet the requirements anytime soon.

I have seen on this forum as well as some review sites about how some players managed to win on the ‘Wealth’ Ambition after just a few hours of play. Can anyone please explain to me how exactly do you do that?

And while we are on the subject, any good advice for how a mid-game character can make some decent money if neither the Salt Lions nor Polythreme are anywhere near London in your particular map spawn? [color=rgb(194, 194, 194)] [/color]

This is probably going to be patched out soon, but the current best money making method, no contest, is to get take as many empty mirror-catch boxes to the surface as your ship can carry, fill em up, take em to the isle of cats, sell them, rebuy however many you can in the khanate with the money you made, and repeat. I made 35,000 echos no problem this way.

taking them to the Blind Bruiser is more reliable

Personally, I’ve been doing a lot of trading. What I like about is that I can plan my trade routes around what islands I want to visit for quest purposes. There’s an excellent guide here. Basically, no matter where you want to go it’s usually possible to find a profitable trade route for that trip. I have a Merchant Cruiser, so I can make a good deal of money from trading, but generally any ship with a hold larger than the base ship will give you some opportunity for profit, especially on the more lucrative trade routes.

Another mid-level strategy is to set up your spy networks in Port Carnelian and Khan’s Heart and use them to get Vital Intelligence, which you can sell for a profit as well as Admiralty favors.

Lastly, if you haven’t already completed the Island of Cats quest path, that would be very helpful. Once you’ve done that, you can buy red honey and sell it to the Brass Embassy for a great profit. Just make sure you don’t get caught by the Ministry of Decency!

Combining trade, vital intelligence, and red honey smuggling on each trip enables you to earn a nice income while still facilitating travel so that you can explore and quest.

Do stuff for the merchant venturer (is that his name? I can never remember). A lot of his stuff pays 500-1000.
Tomb Colonist tours. Even if you lose a couple, you’ll still be making 1000+ (if you need the zee ztories, etc to reset it, go kill stuff for hunting trophies and take them to godfall). If you nail it, you’ll get an extra judgement egg worth 600 more. PLus, all the things you collect on the tour will potentially add another 3-500.
Neathbow stuff gets you one captivating treasure per (which is 1000 to sell if you don’t make it into an heirloom).
Depending on your map setup, shipping claymen and people from mangrove college can be remarkably lucrative, in combination with other activities.
Depending on how tooled-up you are, you can endlessly kill Mt Nomad, for a pretty hefty reward which more than covers the loss of hull.
If Mt Nomad is too scary, fluke cores are extremely profitable.
edited by SporksAreGoodForYou on 2/18/2015

Yeah, sunlight is by far the best cash cow, nothing else compares to the sheer speed. There are some (much slower!) options.

First, quest ones! If you haven’t finished the Principles of Coral quest or the Neathbow quest, those are really good cash. Especially if you take the scintillack from the Principles to sell in Varchas, though this does take a while refreshing SAY to actually sell all of it. SO MUCH SCINTILLACK. The Merchant Venturer requests are also generally profitable, although less predictable, and often involve things you can’t buy directly with Echoes (Muterzalt)

If you’ve done all that and sunlight farming feels too cheesy or gets nerfed, there are several decent trrade route options for mid-late game, all of which are best done in the merchant ship:
-taking Coffee to sell in Vienna (best if you have a ship with a big hold, buy the coffee in Port Carnelian, refuel in Iron Republic, resupply in Naples for best profit. NOT profitable if you’re taking less than like 10 coffee per trip, or buying expensive fuel, because of the big fixed cost of going up top). This dries up eventually, and you can’t sell coffee up top any more. Until it does, though, big ships can easily net 4k echoes per trip, and that’s including the fuel/supply/terror-reduction costs.
-buy Wine in London; sell wine in Port Carnelian and buy coffee; trade coffee for Parabola-Linen in Irem; sell Parabola-linen in London and repeat. This has the advantage of actually sending you all over the map, so it involves more actually playing the game, you can do other things at the same trip, and less cheesy grind; also not going topside means less annoyance from the big fixed cost of surface trips (especially for smaller ships)
It has the disadvantage of sending you all over the map, so it takes far longer, and you’ll need hold space for everything else on your huge journey. You will of course want to stop in every port along the way for reports, to defray your travel costs. Ideally you’ll be able to fit in strategic information comissions at some point on the route.
You can make it slightly more profitable (and a shorter route) if you’ve unlocked certain things in the Empire of Hands, and can bring the wine directly there instead of Port Carnelian.

There’s also spy work (via the Diplomat and her spies, unlocked the first time you give Vital Info to the Admiral). But I’m not 100% sure if the rewards of that (lots of Vital Info, if you have plenty of Veils) actually outweigh the costs of building up and keeping up your networks. Also requires SAY, so it’s something best done as stops in a longer trip.

Two things:

  1. Is there anything to do in Vienna other than make money or raise Anarchist supremacy? The former sounds so dreadfully dull that I have utterly been put off going there; the latter sounds more storyish, but isn’t something my captain would want to do.

  2. I wouldn’t consider it a ~cash cow~ or steady profit of any kind, but if you simply make a habit of stopping by ports that have spy networks, you can just reset the Opportunity if it’s not worth it (though that also takes SAY). I dunno if the Khanate’s the same way, but Port Carnelian has a chance of not decreasing your Network after you tap it for intel, which is really nice.

Also, if you send everything to her, the New Sequence might disappear the Admiral, taking away the slower, steadier way of getting Vital Intelligence and also marking you as a terrible human being because the Admiral’s commissions and favour probably are a primary reason you’re still alive and not adrift at zee and he’s a cool guy. You monster.


They both have that chance. Ironically, it’s when you get a rare success (and some bonus reward besides just Vital Intelligence) that you lose a point of Network.

For those doing the coffee route there is a cheaper way to get it. Wine from London to the Empire of Hands, trade it for coffee. Even if you don’t want to run it to Vienna (or have closed that option) you can trade it for Parabola Linen at Irem and sell that at Apis Meet.

I’ve completed the wealth ambition without having to grind sunlight.
I just started to kill every lifeberg I came across (they are worth like 100-300 echoes each, with the chance of a bonus magnificient treasure), built the memento mori and killed Mt. Nomad a few times. Then I completed the first curator and the principles quest, sold everything I had (ship and memento mori included) and retiered to a civilized life of luxury.
edited by Everett on 2/18/2015

I’m pretty sure I get zee-ztories from Port Carnelian even when I don’t lose a point of Network.

Hi everyone,

If you buy the mansion with the Wealth ambition, do you automatically win the game? Or do you also have to amass a certain amount of Echoes as a ‘retirement fund’? How many Echoes is that?

I’d like to keep playing after I get the mansion, but since I’ve chosen this ambition I’m not sure if that’s possible?


You need a substantial quantity of echoes as well, 30,000 if I remember correctly, and you can choose to retire when you want with the Wealth ambition. So you can take your time to finish other stories or get your stats up to carry on to your next captain.

Just thought i’d say… there is a menace tied to sunlight smuggling called “Yearning, Burning.” It increases whenever you go to the surface or fill a mirror-box by a random amount. Your crew also has a chance to randomly open your boxes (if you don’t turn them into prisoners you risk salt’s curse!), but the real problem is after 15-30 boxes YOU will start popping them open. This actually gives you wounds… which could potentially kill you if you already have a couple. If you persist in grabbing more boxes from the surface, the rate at which you pop them open increases dramatically. Several more boxes and you’ll be opening them in rapid fire succession, quickly killing yourself.

This menace -might- drop when you rest at your lodgings at a -slow- pace. You should more or less think of it like running coffee to the surface or other story-based echo sources: one that dries up eventually. You’ll still make thousands of echoes (minus what you paid for the boxes), but if you try to ramp up too much you’ll eventually be left with several empty boxes. If you have the tireless mechanic, I suppose you could round up clay-men and fill the boxes with dream-snakes. That option seems repeatable, and you can directly sell them in Khan’s shadow.