Biohack here. I recently made a video about AFK processing and in that video I discussed how making trade crates is one way to improve the money you can make doing AFK processing. I was originally planning on making a video and guide for it but I wasn’t really happy with how it came out. Instead I’m going to write a simple FAQ to answer the most popular questions. This way I can update it easily when changes to the game occur and it should be more accessible than a long video. Let’s begin.
Should I get Master 2 trade
The first thing you should understand about trading is that by itself it is essentially worthless. NPC->NPC trading is absolutely terrible in terms of money per hour, and it isn’t until master 5 (but really master 10) when you unlock margoria trade items that trading alone is a viable form of income. Instead trade is used to improve the value of other things. In particular those are pirate grinding, active fishing, and of course AFK processing. If you aren’t doing any of these three activities getting master 2 trade will be a major waste of time and money and you will be able to get very little, if any, value out of it.
I’m a new player. How do I know if it’s a good idea for me to level trading?
Obviously that’s a personal decision based on how you like to play the game. However if you are looking to be efficient and make money so that you can compete in end game PvP and PvE I wouldn’t suggest prioritizing trading until all your weapons and armor are at least TRI and you have best in slot accessories to duo/pri (or the lower tier accessory equivalent). It’s far more important for you to improve your grind efficiency than it is for you to min/max with trading. I would also highly encourage you prioritize getting up to the soft cap of ~255 CP and investing in as many timber, ore, and grain nodes as you can get. These will bring you in a good chunk of money every day for very little effort even if you just sell everything on the market.
If you are intending to use trading for crate workshops I would also suggest you have enough money that you can comfortably float 500M-1B in crates without gimping your character. This is because moving trade crates efficiently requires that you operate in bulk and if you don’t have the resources to to do that you are probably better off selling your materials on the market instead of spending a bunch of time moving crates around in small stacks.
What is so important about master 2 trading?
The reason master 2 trading is so important is that at master 2, after completing this quest, and its prerequisites, you will be able to talk to an NPC at the sharing node in valencia. For 100 energy this NPC will give you a buff that lasts 1 hour and provides a 1.5x multiplier for trade items brought from outside the desert and sold in valencia city. However since the distance, bargain, supply, and desert bonus stack multiplicatively this effect is actually much greater than just the 50% bonus. To see how much items will sell for with and without this buff check out famme’s excellent calculator.
My friend told me he makes 200M a week doing crate workshops. Is this true?
There are very few people in the world that can bring in something like 200M purely from trade. What you friend is almost certainly doing is running a worker empire, processing materials, turning them into trade crates, and then making the classic mistake of labeling this entire system as “trading”. The reality is they probably make something like 50M a week from worker empires, 130M a week from AFK processing, and 20M a week from trading. Don’t feel like you have to do all three. It’s perfectly fine to stick to only worker empire, or processing. The only benefit of doing all 3 is not having to pay the tax when you sell your goods to the NPC instead listing them on the market. Treat them each independently. By the way the tax comes out to 15.5% with a value pack.
Can I make crates for money without master 2 trade?
Absolutely not. I realize there are so called “guides” that suggest you do this, however the meta has shifted significantly since that guide was written. What was a bad guide 9 months utterly terrible today. Just to give you an example you can sell the materials to make a calpheon crate for ~190K silver on the market. After tax that is ~160.5K. If you make a calpheon crate in trent and sell it in arehaza with professional 5 trade you will get ~130K for it after you take out the BSP and beer. Meaning at the end of the day you have 30,000 less silver in your bank for every crate you make instead of selling the plywood. Following the information in that “guide” will lose you well over a billion silver before you hit master 2 trading.
So if I shouldn’t sell valuable crates without master 2 how do I level trading?
There is no magic secret to leveling trade. It takes time. There are two good options for leveling trading. Active trading and making junk crates and most people do some combination of both.
For active trading there are two options. The lazy way and the faster way. The lazy way is simple. You buy a noble wagon and you just loop back and forth from the velia and heidel trade NPCS selling your trade goods to one before filling your wagon again and going back to the other. When the NPCS don’t have any more items you hop channels and keep going.
The faster way is to get an elephant with the skills quick run and joyride (sprint and instant accel equivalents). If your elephant doesn’t learn these skills you can use a horse skill reset coupon to try and get them. The downside of this is that the elephant will move very slowly if you just use auto path so if you are using this method you will have to actively move your elephant. If you choose this option you can find a couple of good trade routes here.
The laziest way to get master 2 trading. Is by making so called “junk” or “trash” crates. Basically these crates are any crate made from unprocessed material, i.e. ore, timber, fruit, herbs, etc… However leveling trading this way can be a bit expensive. Nobody knows exactly how many junk crates you need at every level and the rates have changed since I did it, however I have heard from reliable sources that if you are using most of the possible life xp boosts you need ~50,000 from low apprentice, ~35,000 from professional 5, and ~22,000 from artisan 2. For a full list of possible life xp buffs check out this section (click show trash crate method).
Using this method is very expensive. The only way to get that much material is to purchase it off the market, in addition you also have to consider the cost of the black stone powder and beer. If you use lead, a popular junk crate item, you’re looking at ~6,000 silver for lead ~3,000 silver for BSP and ~600 silver for beer. At professional 5 a crate made in trent and sold in arehaza will sell for something like 4100 silver. Since you spent ~9600 silver to make each crate you are looking at losing ~5500 silver per crate. This means if you start at apprentice you are looking at spending 275M, at pro 5 ~192.5M and at art 2 ~121M. Obviously the higher you get your trade level manually the less money you need to spend. But remember, time has value and if you spend your time doing trading manually instead of making money you will probably miss out on more money than making the junk crates. It’s up to you to figure out what’s best for your own playstyle.
Where should I make my crates?
You should make your crates in trent. This is because trent offers the farthest possible distance bonus from valencia/arehaza. However your crate workshop doesn’t have to actually be located in trent as the location of the crate is based on the origin of the worker not the workshop.
I’m going to suggest the following setup, all the lodging listed increases the number of slots in trent even though the houses are in the surrounding areas not trent itself:
No 5. Lodging - 2 slots
No 2. Wood workbench.
No 1. Required connection. Doesn’t matter.
No 3. Mineral Workbench
LongLeaf Tree Forest:
First floor wood workbench.
Second floor lodging - 2 slots.
No 1. Lodging - 1 slot
No 2. Wood workbench.
No 3. Require connection. Doesn’t matter.
No. 4. Mineral Workbench.
This setup leaves you with 6 slots and 5 workbenches, 3 wood and 2 metal, if you put decent workers on all these locations 99% of players will not be able to keep the work benches active, even if they process 24⁄7. You just simply won’t be able to get enough materials. In fact you can probably get rid of the Behr nodes entirely and still be fine.
Which workers should I get?
The best worker is an artisan human with 112.5 workspeed and +3 crates, however this is very difficult to get.
The second best worker is an artisan goblin with +3 crates.
If you are doing metal/ore crates the best worker, after a +3 giant, is called bravant and is the equivalent of a professional goblin however he has the unique ability that gives him +2 metal/ore crates (doesn’t stack with other crate skills). For more on bravant again refer to this section.
What kind of crates should I make?
Whatever materials your workers can get you. All of the crates can be viable. If you want to min max to figure out which one will bring you the most money per hour of processing you’ll have to do the math. I will say that just because a crate sells for the most money doesn’t mean it’s the best crate. A crate that makes 3x more profit isn’t any better than a crate who’s materials you can process 3x as fast.
How do I get blackstone powder?
Mostly crushing crystals. See this section.
Can I make my crates in epheria?
I strongly suggest you do NOT make your crates in epheria. The reason is that although the distance is only 5% between trent and epheria the actual effect this has on your profit is much larger. If you take the plywood for a calpheon crate and sell it on the market for ~190K that means 160.5K silver you have after tax. If you make your crate in trent you will get ~195K at master 2 after you take out the cost of BSP and beer. This means your profit per crate is ~30.5K. If you make that crate in epheria you will only be able to sell that crate for ~190K after bsp and beer. This means every crate made in epheria loses you 5k silver vs what you would have got in trent. In other words you are losing ~16% of your profit by doing epheria instead of trent. You’re investing a good bit of CP, time, and effort into making crates, you shouldn’t take the hit for no reason. (If you don’t have enough CP to connect to trent you probably shouldn’t be making crates anyway, go back to selling your plywood until you get your CP up to the soft cap around 255).
How do I move my crates to valencia/arehaza?
The absolute best way to move your crates is to over stack a horse and have the leader of your guild summon you using the skill command to gather. You can stack up to 7157 of most crates on a horse and if you are riding the horse when you accept the summon you will be able to bring it with you (you can’t use the summon with crates in your inventory).
If that isn’t an option for you overstacking a horse up to 7157 crates and then using a fast alt (preferably below 50 so it can’t be pked) like a musa and whistling the horse behind you is a good option. If you have the cash shop horse whistle you can run 500 meters away from your horse and then use the whistle to teleport your horse to your location. You can also ride your horse manually however this will be slower.
Alternatively you can over stack your horse and over stack your fishing boat and afk sail from epheria to ancando. However as of 4.13.17 it is currently bugged and your boat will get stuck in the sky on your way.
Can I use the transport function to move my crates?
No, I highly suggest you do NOT use the transport function for trade crates. This is because each crate doesn’t stack and will cost you over 4,000 silver to ship. Just as we saw when we talked about doing crates in epheria this a massive cut into the profit of crates vs selling plywood. Another way to look at it is moving 7157 crates would cost you over 28million silver. If you are willing to run from trent->valencia/arehaza for 28 million silver you shouldn’t use the transport function.
I watched a streamer who had thousands and thousands of crates. How do they get the materials for that?
They bought processed materials on the market
Should I buy processed materials on the market?
No. If you even have to ask that question you don’t possess the knowledge and setup to pull it off. It took me 9 months, billions of silver of silver, and hundreds if not thousands of hours to get my trade empire to the state it’s in today. I’m sure mickin and fix spent similar amounts of time and effort on theirs. It may not have been true before the static crate change but as of today I guarantee if you try and buy materials without knowing what you’re doing you’ll just end up broke and frustrated. Even for me, as a master 15 trader, there are far better ways I could be making money than what I’m doing now, I do it anyway because I want to be the first guru trader.
Should I buy unprocessed materials off the market?
You should set up your worker empire to gather materials for you. Getting to the soft cap of 255 CP is relatively straight forward, prioritize that. For everything else you need to do the math. All the information you need to know to figure it out you can find here. The long and short of it is that you will always make money buying timber and ore as the market place literally will not sell you materials at prices where this isn’t true, however to know what’s best you’ll have to do the math.
I’m a just looking for some easy passive income. Should I make trade crates?
Every player in the game should set up a worker empire to gather materials. It’s fairly easy to get up to ~255 CP and once you do it will be a good chunk of money that comes in every day with very little effort. Every player should, if at all possible, try and do something to bring in money while AFK, whether it be fishing or processing. Ultimately you can make a bit more money by combining worker gathering, processing, and crate workshops, however the difference is far smaller than most people think. It’s perfectly fine to set up a worker empire, afk fish and sell your materials, it’s also fine to take your materials, process them and sell the products on the market, and as you’ve seen here you can also make those materials into trade crates to squeeze out even more. However, at the end of the day the amount of time you spend actively playing the game will matter far more than how much you min/max this setup for passive income. I suggest you prioritize having fun. If all this trading feels like a chore to you, don’t do it, trust me there are plenty of super geared players who don’t touch life skills at all, and there are others like me who would be very happy to buy your materials. On the other hand if this sort of things appeals to you, go for it! It can be a very nice supplement to your daily income. Remember, it’s a game. Have fun. Do what you enjoy.
Where can I find you if i have more questions?
I stream at twitch.tv/biohacktv, I also hang out on reddit and am happy to answer questions there. If it’s a popular one I’ll add it to the list.