A while back, I wrote a guide which provided basic tips and tricks for Planet Coaster, and now I’m back with a guide that will show you the best and easiest ways to make money in the game. Money is only really an issue early on, as once your park starts filling up you’ll be rolling in it, but mess up at the beginning and you’ll be hitting ESC and restart.
What better way to start the guide than with the entrance fee. You’ll want to keep entrance to your park free early on as you’ll only have a few rides, but once your park is starting to fill up with guests and rides you’ll want to start charging. Start small and increase the price gradually until people start to complain that it’s too expensive, at which point you should reduce it slightly and leave it at that—probably indefinitely—but if you ever get complaints about it being too expensive then reduce the price – you’ll lose more money by people not coming in than you would gain by keeping the price too high. Early on you’ll be making enough money from rides and shops, which takes me on to point two.
Manage ride prices
There’s a lot of people that will build a ride and leave the ride price at the default price, but don’t be this guy as you’ll be losing money. This is especially true at the start of the game. You should manage the ride prices the same way you do the park entrance fee i.e. increase them until someone complains and then reduce it slightly. At the start of the game while your entry fee is free your rides should cost a little more to ride, but when you get to the point where you can charge for entrance you should also reduce the price of your rides. This way, guests will be happier and they will still spend the money in the park either on food or goods.
You can also charge more for rides with lots of decoration/scenery around the queue lines, so whenever you place a ride always pay attention to how attractive the queue looks, as not only will it allow you to increase the price but it will also entice guests to ride it.
A final point on rides and ride prices is that you’ll most likely have one or two rides which are your most popular by a fair margin. For these rides, you’ll want to increase the queue size and always have a high ride queue decoration score, as it will mean guests don’t get bored when in the queue. You should also make use of the queue skip pass and sell it for a reasonable price, but make sure the price isn’t too low as too many people will buy it and guests will complain.
Listen to your guests
I’ve just mentioned twice that you should listen to your guests but I want to mention it again. If any of your guests say something is good value, be it a ride or a shop, always increase the price slightly. Remember that it’s just an AI, it doesn’t have feelings, so don’t try to be the Robin Hood of the theme park business. Be a shroud businessman (or woman) and watch the money roll in.
Manage your staff
Hiring too many staff can quickly mean a negative cash flow, so make sure you need the staff before you hire them and make sure you manage them correctly. By this I mean allocating jobs to the staff members; for example, the janitor’s job is cleaning primarily, but this entails lots of things from emptying bins to sweeping the floors, and it’s much more efficient to give each member of staff specific roles. I usually split staff members into two teams (as your park gets larger you might want to split off into 3 or more teams), with each team performing different tasks. The teams I have for mechanics and janitors are below:
- Janitors: I split the janitors into two teams, one team will do Bins, Vomit and Toilets and the other team will do Litter, Benches and Clean Facilities. Once your park grows you can split janitors into three teams with one team only doing litter and vomit, no matter how many bins you put in your park litter always seems to be an issue and guests like high octaine rides even if they throw up…
- Mechanics: I also split mechanics into two teams one team will do Inspections, Refurbishments and Breakdowns and the other team will do Vandalisms, Vending Machines Inspections and Vending Machines Breakdowns. Even when you have a large park there’s no need to split mechanics further, I’ve never had a problem running just the two teams.
The other staff members don’t need any managing, other than their salary and training of course. Some people don’t increase the salary of staff and let them leave then re-hire them, but personally, that doesn’t work well for me and won’t work for you as your park grows either, as you’ll constantly be in the staff menus. I generally prefer to pay them what they want (unless it’s a stupid amount) and train my staff members so they’re more efficient. This may not be the most cash friendly way to do it but it’s the least boring way, and by the time you’re training staff and stuff you should have plenty of money anyway.
Select a target audience
When first starting off you should select a target audience. By this, I mean is your park going to be family friendly or is it going to cater more to thrill seekers? The reason this is important is that when it comes to marketing you can only market to one at a time (unless you have a bucket load of money), so by specialising in one demographic you can market to people that will be interested in the rides you have without wasting budget by splitting your marketing.
With regards to which is most profitible, I’m tempted to say that thrill seekers are, but building rides for thrill seekers is also more expensive than building family rides, which means you will have fewer rides when you start. I personally started with thrill seekers, but I didn’t build any coasters until I had a solid cash flow; instead, I opted for the ‘Rides’ such as ‘The Cube’ which was and always will be one of my most popular rides.
- Manage restaurants: It’s easy to place restaurants and forget about them, but periodically go and check on them to see how many tables are free. If the restaurant is full most of the time it’s time to build another. It’s also a good idea to dot them around the park rather than have them all in one place.
- Remember ATM’s: ATM machines allow guests to take out more money (obviously) so having them around your park is a must if you want to milk your guests of all their hard-earned moolah. You should make sure you have them around the places that guests spend the most money too, like shops and restaurants.
- Coasters =s money: The title of the game is Planet Coaster, so it goes without saying that roller coasters are important. As soon as you have a good amount of money coming in (or possibly at the very start) build a roller coaster – one popular coaster can shadow every other ride in your park in terms of revenue.
Check out my other Planet Coaster guide which provides you with all the best beginner tips and tricks!