Life in the wastes in Kenshi isn’t easy. And even in the post-post-apocalypse that is this game’s setting, there’s a lot to worry about. One of the chief concerns is one of money. You will need a lot of money in Kenshi to keep your faction going. Getting the cash, called Cats, is not easy unless you know what to do. That’s where this guide comes in, as we’re going to give you a few basic tips to get started and make easy cash in this adventure video game.
How to Make Easy Money in Kenshi
A lot of guides will point to mining as an easy way to make cash, but there’s a few things to consider with that. Your starting location, and the overall path you take through the game, will be key. When you first start the game depending on what game mode you choose you’ll begin in different places. Wanderer (the default gameplay mode) starts you out in The Hub which is a hop-skip and a jump away from Squin. This is great if you don’t mind the monotony of mining to get going in Kenshi.
If you’re just starting out, making cash will be all about how close you are to basic resources. Both Squin and Sho-Battai are excellent starter locations with nearby Copper you can mine for easy resources. This will both allow you to get some easy Strength stats, and also get your hands on a bit of early money. Mining can be dangerous work, though, as random bandits will often ambush miners not paying attention. Always have someone watching your back while you mine to be safe. Also, don’t carry too much Copper or other heavy items at one time, feel free to drop heavy stuff in a stack and come back for it once the coast is clear.
If combat is more your thing, there’s a very minimal risk method to making Cats: let the guards do all of the fighting. You will just need to bait some targets for them to kill. Say you’re out mining and some raiders try to attack, you could easily let them chase you back to town and let the guards take them out. This is also a good time to get some free hits in, practicing your melee skills. Once the enemies are down, loot their weapons and gear for free Cats.
Methods for the trader
Crafting, farming and trading are also viable options. These often require a bit of extra work. One of the things to keep in mind is that cross-region trading is a thing in Kenshi. When you take an item from its source region to a different place, you get a markup on its sale price. For example, let’s talk about Cactus Rum: You can grow it in the Arid starter zones, then sell it in the Swamp for a +25% markup; from there, buy Sake and Hashish in the Swamp to sell in Flats Lagoon and Mourn; the Sake will have a +25% markup and the Hashish will have a +500% markup.
Going over the prep, you will absolutely need a few pack animals, some backpacks, and a fighter or two. Recruiting this stuff can be expensive, so it’s advisable to mine or scrounge loot from corpses to afford your basic starting gear. Once you’ve got your initial capital, start trading or crafting to make your millions. You can even open your own shop and sell to wandering traders if you like. Cactus Rum is a great option for beginners to work with. Cacti can only be grown in Arid climates which usually means this is the first alcohol you are able to produce since most noob zones are in Arid environments. You need Cactus and Water to make this work. Running a route of taking Cactus Rum to Shark and then back through the swamps to Flats Lagoon with Hashish or other valuable trade goods.
Sake is another option, made from Riceweed. This is meant for a later-game option, as it’s a lot more difficult to grow. The plant will only grow in the Swamp biomes, meaning you have to deal with the likes of Blood Spiders to get your crop going.
Other Methods for Money in Kenshi
There are also plenty of bounties that can be claimed to help your crew earn some Cats. Going after bandits like the Dust King once your crew is trained up a bit can be some easy money.
Another option is to build up your faction. The process will be slow and laborious, but can make you a mint if you do it right. A very easy way to get this done is just sit by and wait. You can easily wait behind your walls and farm food and water while you wait for raiders to come. You could plant some Skeleton guards on a couple of gun turrets, letting them gun down attacking raiders—looting the corpses left over. This is best done with a base designed around turret defenses. Basically, put your gate inside a U-shaped wall entrance and line both sides with turret gunners.
Getting too invested in the base building aspects before you have the cash and resources to support it is a lot tougher than it sounds, so spend some time recruiting and training your faction first. Just buy a house once you have the cash, and plop down a few basic bits of infrastructure for research and training to get going. I usually set up a squad within the Hub and dedicate them to training basic stats while being protected by the Ninja guards. This way, I can have a dedicated researcher and a few fighters practicing at all times.
You may also really want to check out our full guide on the basics of base building in Kenshi if you decide to go this route. We’ve got more guides for you as well. Maybe you want to learn how to take down the Holy Nation or the Shek Kingdom. Use those World State guides to do so.