How to start your own shop in Kenshi

Kenshi - The Basics of Base Building

Kenshi is a very unforgiving game. Getting to the point where you can reliably build and expand your own settlement is a major hassle. As you expand your fledgling empire into the wastes, there are many things you can do to earn Cats and keep the materials flowing. It’s a constant struggle to obtain resources, and you need a way to bring in new supplies. Here are some of the methods you could use.

It’s possible to have a trade caravan that goes around and trades for Cats, but that’s pretty labor-intensive. Having to manage a squad that runs around the game world is a headache most players don’t want. You would also have to send some of your valuable fighters along with the caravan to protect it, leaving your settlement vulnerable.

The other common choice for many players is to send out a hunter team. Take your best warriors and train them like mad. When they’re ready for combat, send them out to capture bounties, like Tora. Bounties not only pay out huge amounts of Cats, but they also have World States attached. it can be pretty useful for creating the kind of work you want to play in. Maybe you want to learn how to take down the Holy Nation or the Shek Kingdom. Use those World State guides to do so. If you’re not able to send out a highly trained squad for bounties, you do have other options. The first thing most people ask is, can you start your own shop in Kenshi?

Should you start your own shop in Kenshi?

Vanilla Kenshi trading is fairly basic. NPCs mostly buy food and alcohol, NOT trade goods or gear. That means you’re very limited in what you can sell. Sure, you could roleplay a bit and place armor stands and other storage items around the shop, but there’s not much point. Also, the amount of Cats NPCs carry is very limited. So for most players the idea of selling excess meat and corn is an OK idea to make a few cats.

One thing you must do if you plan to allow visitors is to check access permissions. When you select a building, look at the public/private setting. Set buildings that you want only certain crews or people to access to private, and set the shop building to public. Also, make sure to set your base access to public as well.

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So to recap:

  • Set your outpost gate to Public and Open
  • Set the building with your Store Counters to Public
  • Place items for sale inside the Counters, with a  focus on food and alcohol

You can open up the FCS and select an NPC to see what they will buy. There are actually some mods that go through the trouble of expanding NPC shopping lists and giving them more Cats. The aim is to make the trading aspect more viable as a way to make money. But if you wanted to do that yourself, you have the option.

Kenshi FCS Shop

Where should I put my shop?

Let’s say you decided to go ahead and open a shop, and want to be a solid trader. There are a few things to consider about placement of both your outpost and the trade counter within it. When you decide where to build your trading infrastructure, always place it nearby to a busy road. Preferably it should be placed in territory that is cleared of nearby threats, and convenient to a big city.

Some players will also setup a trade outpost in a major city by buying and rebuilding a ruined building. The issue with this seems to be that the AI deprioritizes these locations. It appears the AI prefers to send traders to your outposts first. And also having to restock a remote city away from your base reintroduces the problem with managing your own trade caravan. You have to send someone to restock the food and other items when they sell out.

Pricing is another key issue. It would appear that most NPCs only carry about 500 Cats or so at any one time. If your items are priced higher than that, they’re not going to sell. There are many food items you can mass-produce to fall below that line, just don’t expect to make a mountain of Cats.

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