My Time at Portia is one of the best farm-sim, life-sim, crafting-sim games out there, and for me personally it’s one of my 10 favorite video games of all time. The world is breathtaking, vibrant, and the fact your progression through the story changes and transforms the area, opens up new areas, and evolves the town itself is just really cool.
Keeping a decent amount of gols (the unit of money in Portia) on hand can be a challenge, and yet there are multiple times in the game where you will be cruising along, expecting an easy upgrade, and then find you’re 5-figures or even 6-figures short of your goal.
Making money in Portia can be a challenge in the early game if you aren’t familiar with your options – and it’s challenging because your limited energy does need to be spent gathering a LOT of resources for your workshop projects. The good news is that there are many ways both in early game, mid game, and late game to produce massive amounts of gols.
Early Game: Mass Produce Talismans
Some items that get mass produced from resources aren’t bad, but that don’t provide that much more of a boost above if you just sold the raw materials. However, talismans are a very different story. Small part wood, stone, and marble, these tend to tell for a very solid amount of money and a good portion more than the sum of the raw materials.
This means that mass producing talismans in the early and mid game is a great way to take low value raw goods and sell the finished item for a much, much higher price, especially during high market days. Just keep crafting them and wait for market prices to shoot above 120% before unloading them on any shop keep who will buy them (which is most of them).
Talismans are one of the earliest ways to get large amounts of money, though the process speeds up once you get at least one pickax upgrade so you can quarry the large stones by Portia’s city walls, which are full of many valuable materials including the all-important marble to make more talismans.
Produce Advanced Fishing Rod & Go Fishing A Lot!
Time slows immensely while fishing, and fish actually go for a pretty good amount. Trying to fish with a basic fishing rod can be frustrating and yields limited results, especially if you are going after anything bigger than the catfish, which is one the least valuable fishes out there. Upgrading the fishing rod lets you catch most basic fish with ease, and if you have a lot of caterpillars you can bring in a crazy number of fish.
Considering time slows to freezes while fishing, it takes almost no time to cast again, and the sheer number of cash some of the fish (especially the gold star ones) bring in makes this a very good use of time compared to money received for the effort.
While in theory you can do this with a basic fishing rod, it’s much harder and you will lose more fish making this less profitable. The advanced fishing rod allows you to straight reel in frog fish and allows you to also do the same with bubble fish as long as you match the first jerk right or left.
But fish mean big money and multiple vendors will pay for your catch, and you can gather a lot of caterpillars naturally while gathering medicinal herbs and you can also buy a large number from Emily and Grandma’s farm, fueling your fishing marathons during the day.
You will need to upgrade your starting crafting bench once to unlock the advanced fishing rod recipe.
Buy the Massage Chair from Paulie Sooner Rather Than Later
The Massage Chair that Paulie sells in his furniture store is the closest thing to an energy cheat code in this game. Even if you are saving up for big purchases, getting this early in the game is huge because even at high energy levels I could easily run out my energy, re-charge to full, then do it again to gather more resources to produce things to sell.
If you have a massage chair you can go all out on early day mining, quarrying, or cutting down trees for much needed wood to fuel everything and instead of going to bed you can pass 2-3 in-game hours the chair and get back to full energy (less in the early game) which means you can basically get 2 days’ worth of work in one day even in the late game.
That chair is a major bonus early game, mid game, and late game so don’t blow it off for too long. It’s worth the big early costs to give yourself that extra leg up by being able to do so much more every single day. Plus it gives you an excuse to stop rushing to enjoy some of the many absolutely brilliant sunsets programmed into this game.
Watch the Market Prices for High Market/Low Market Days
I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took for me to figure this out. Now there are some days you just need to make a purchase, and if it’s an upgrade kit or something needed to finish a commission, make the purchase and go, but in general you want to do your buying of important items like upgrade kits and maybe cotton or power stones (in the VERY early game) on days where the prices are very low.
Then you want to sell when the market percentage is high. Generally above 120% is good, though I have seen markets as high as 135%. A high market price means it’s time to sell everything that isn’t nailed down.
When the market is low, you sell. Anything 90% and down is noticeable for savings but, Pro Tip, usually when the marketplace dips below 100% it does so for several days and it almost always gets down to 70-78% so don’t jump immediately buying on a 90% day.
You also want to keep in mind that you sell at a discounted rate so buying at 90% and selling at 95% will likely net you a loss – you need that gap to make the market arbitrage in Portia work.
The best deals are likely yet to come.
The 1g/2g Exception
One way to continue to ramp up the working gols when you want to sell but the markets stay down for an extended amount of time comes in the mid to late game when you are producing more raw materials than you can possible refine and process. This happens a lot mid to late game when you have the mini-drill and a massage chair.
With this strategy you want raw materials that sell at 2 for one gol, 1 for 1, or 1 for 2 gol. The reason is that the down market days, that percentage penalty to price does NOT apply to mass numbers. So you get the same gold for 999 stone on a 70% market day as a 130% day. Because the markets don’t care about the price of 999 – they do the percentages based on one of the product being sold.
This means you can sell raw materials in large numbers on the cheap market days – which is a great way to stock up on items that are cheap now but will be worth a ton more gols when there’s a high market percentage day. I abuse the crap out of South Block with this strategy.
Examples of these basic 2/1 goal, 1 gol, or 2 gol raw materials include:
- Iron ore
- Copper ore
I don’t include wood, because even late game you need storage for thousands of pieces of wood to power everything, so I NEVER sell wood or hardwood as there is always a use for these.
Abuse the South Block Store (Tiger Eye & Fire Shard)
When you need goal sell 1 gol or 2 gol resources on days where markets are down. Since these resources are worth so little, selling them on a 70% or 80% market day still nets you the same amount as selling them on a high market day. This works especially well once you have the drill from Mint and the Massage Chair from Paulie.
Sell this ore and buy the two extremely valuable gems that Yeye sells at the South Block store (both pictured in the screenshot below):
- Eye of the Tiger
- Fire Stone
The shop restocks these each day, generally 10 of the Eye of the Tiger, and 20 of the Fire Stone. Considering the average prices are in the hundreds, buying these at 80% or 70% value and then selling them back at 130% or 135% when the markets swing the other way is a huge buff to your total amount of gols.
This also leaves some weeks where you’re low on money and really waiting for that upswing but when it happens – it’s Cha-Ching! Major money time!
Since you don’t sell these back immediately after buying, you don’t get the discount penalty that you would otherwise be hit with selling them back same day, which makes this a great strategy to store up for that next house, workshop, or factory upgrade.
Get Daily Commissions – Don’t Stretch!
You want to take a commission every single day. Aside from building up friendships and getting the bonuses that come with them, this is a steady source of income. While the first instinct can be to take the highest grade commission available, you should only do this if:
- You already have the commission materials made back at your workshop
- You know you can immediately make the materials to cash out the commission that day
If you take a commission and then find out you need to make money to upgrade your work station to make the new items, not only are you forced to run around to try to get that commission done, but every single day you’re working on at one, you’re losing out on all the other commissions you could be picking up since you only get one at a time.
It might be worth passing on an A rated commission if it would take you 3 days, and replace it with 3 C level commissions that you could finish each day. The three combined will likely be worth as more money or more than the one single 3-day commission, not to mention the ability to gain social points with multiple characters in the town of Portia.
You Can Double Up on Special Main Quest Commissions
Generally, you can only take one commission at a time, and one per day. But there are some important exceptions and if you are aware of them, you will have the chance to make some serious money in a very short time.
When there are commissions that are related to a main quest like creating the Dee Dee Stops, the Street Lights, the Dee Dees, or other similar commissions that come via Albert or Gale, you can take one of those commissions AND a regular commission at the same time.
In addition to this, when you have those from the city commissions if you finish one in a day, once you get the reward you can immediately take another one. In other words, you can build multiple street lights, or multiple Dee Dee stops all in one day and keep getting paid for them.
That’s a HUGE infusion of cash and good will…and keeps more of those commissions from being grabbed by Higgins because, well, screw Higgins.
Late Game Portia Money Making Strategies
These aren’t late game necessarily because you can’t do them earlier, but there are certain resources that are very important, semi-rare, or crucial for developing tech in the early game that then become very common place by the late game.
So when you hit a certain point, you can start mass selling things you hoarded like your life depended on it in the early game.
Some of these late game making money in Portia tips inlcude:
- Selling Data Discs
- Selling Star Fish
- Selling Artifact Pieces (or even completed artifacts)
- Selling copper coils and springs
- Selling metal bars (other than carbon steel which is always in high demand even late game)
My Time at Portia Money Guide: In Conclusion
Portia is interesting because money actually stays extremely relevant into the mid and late game. Land around your home is super expensive, the house and work station upgrades aren’t cheap, and there are specialty items in the game that are a necessity for a strong solid playthrough…but they don’t come cheap.
I actually like this as it means making money stays relevant instead of quickly ballooning to a giant number that means nothing, this remains a relevant mechanic even deep into the late game for most players.
While some players may find this frustrating, especially if they don’t know what they are doing to keep the cash rolling in, I personally love this fact and over enough time once you get far enough into the game, it’s just a part of the schedule, a part of the gameplay, and shows how well-designed the game is that it doesn’t work as an obtrusive bottleneck for long periods of time but remains relevant until the very end.
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.