In Empire of Sin, you build your criminal enterprise in a Prohibition-era Chicago through seedy businesses. Here’s our guides on making money via rackets and alcohol production.
Note: For more information, check out our Empire of Sin guides and features hub.
Empire of Sin: Money-making guide – Rackets and alcohol production
Starting and taking over businesses
At the start of your Empire of Sin campaign, your chosen mob boss will only have a couple of rackets (businesses) in Chicago. Eventually, you’ll control more as you progress. You can either do this by purchasing vacant buildings and converting them into a particular business, or by attacking those owned by other factions.
In the case of minor factions, these are thugs or random groups that might be part of a quest. As for major factions, these are the actual AI-controlled mob bosses and syndicate leaders. They progress over time just like you.
You may choose to take over, ransack, smash up, or raze a location. Taking over a location allows you to turn it into a racket. It’s free if it’s the same type of racket as before, but it’ll be costly if you convert it into something else.
A quick way you can easily conquer multiple rackets is by going to war with a major faction. Then, look for their safe house. If the option to attack it is available, go ahead and initiate the battle. Just make sure that your characters are well-prepared. You’ll want a full crew and ideal classes/skills to make things more manageable.
After eliminating that faction’s boss, you’ll take over every racket that faction owns. This can give you control over the entire swathe of a neighborhood, but it’ll increase your threat (making other factions and the police warier of you).
Managing your rackets in Empire of Sin
Next, let’s talk about the types of businesses, also known as rackets, in Empire of Sin:
- Safehouse – This is your main building/HQ in a neighborhood. A crew member can be assigned as a lieutenant to provide boosts.
- Breweries – These produce alcohol (which we’ll discuss in a while).
- Speakeasies – These are bars for customer entertainment.
- Brothels – Well, these also provide entertainment of a different sort.
- Casinos – Can give you loads of cash. But, if someone wins big (which can happen randomly), you could lose a lot of money as well.
- Hotels – You can build one in a neighborhood to further increase the number of patrons.
Most rackets in Empire of Sin have the following upgrades with several levels/tiers:
- Security – Increases the number of guards inside and outside a racket.
- Deflect – Lowers the chance that police will raid the racket. You may also close a racket temporarily (“P” key when a racket’s panel is opened) if police suspicion gets too high. Alternatively, you can engage in a bit of bribery and diplomacy.
Note: You can rush the completion of all upgrade types by paying extra cash.
Still, there are some slight differences. For instance, speakeasies, brothels, and casinos have these two upgrade types in addition to the ones mentioned above:
- Ambiance – Increase the potential income of a racket.
- Word of mouth – Increases the “draw” of the racket, allowing it to bring in more customers.
Note 1: Casinos also have the “Games” upgrade which increases potential income.
Note 2: You can build one hotel in a neighborhood if it’s prosperous enough. This will improve the synergy among your rackets and boost customer visits since they have a fancy place to stay in. Hotels don’t have any upgrades once they’re built.
Lastly, do keep the synergy of rackets in mind. If you go to the “Empire Overview” screen, you’ll see if you’ve activated certain synergies among rackets. This happens when you have multiple rackets of the same type in a neighborhood.
Note: It’s also possible that some boosts appear bugged. For instance, even if you have a hotel in a neighborhood, it won’t show up as active.
Breweries and alcohol production
Since Empire of Sin takes place in Chicago during the Prohibition-era, the illegal trade in alcohol has become quite lucrative. As such, your breweries (and safe houses to a certain extent) will provide the supply of booze.
If you check the “Alcohol Info” tab at the upper-right corner of the HUD, you’ll see all the breweries you own. From here, you can easily access their upgrade panels.
Similar to other rackets in your Empire of Sin campaign, breweries also have the “Security” and “Deflect” upgrades. But, they’ve got some extra ones, too:
- Production – Determines how much alcohol is produced each week. This helps keep the booze flowing when you’ve got a lot of businesses and patrons.
- Alcohol Quality – Allows you to produce higher-quality liquor. This is important if you want to meet the required demand in a neighborhood.
- Storage – Ensures that alcohol that isn’t consumed by the neighborhood doesn’t go to waste.
Likewise, you’ll want to check the “Consumption” tab next to “Alcohol Production.” This shows you the type of alcohol that’s in-demand in a neighborhood. Make sure you meet the requirements to earn more cash.
Lastly, your faction’s safe house in a neighborhood acts a bit like a brewery. However, it only has the “Security,” “Production,” and “Alcohol Quality” upgrades. Think of safe houses as a last resort in case the cops have raided all your breweries and you still need to produce alcohol.