Constructor Plus Beginners Guide (Strategies and Tips)

Constructor Plus Beginners Guide Strategies and Tips
Table of Contents Show
  1. Who is this guide aimed at?
  2. A warning around completing levels and saving
  3. Missions and difficulty
  4. Missions and difficulty -> Missions
  5. Missions and difficulty -> Difficulty
  6. Achievements -> All The Sights
  7. Mission Accomplished
  8. General play style: tips and tricks
  9. General play style: tips and tricks -> 1. Pause often
  10. General play style: tips and tricks -> 2. Man’s best friend 🐶
  11. General play style: tips and tricks -> 3. Sensible public transportation
  12. General play style: tips and tricks -> 4. Man’s other best friend; the repairman 🔧
  13. General play style: tips and tricks -> 5. Build a hospital as soon as you can
  14. General play style: tips and tricks -> 6. The price of building on enemy land
  15. General play style: tips and tricks -> 7. Police: use sparingly, and never run out of cadets 👮‍♂️
  16. General play style: tips and tricks -> 8. Upgrade your kitchens early
  17. General play style: tips and tricks -> 9. Gangsters: what they’ll do for you – for free
  18. General play style: tips and tricks -> 10. Level up your new teams
  19. Mission types
  20. Mission types -> “Get rich quick” missions
  21. Mission types -> “Remove opponents quick” missions
  22. Mission types -> “Defend yourself/upward struggle” missions
  23. Strategies -> 1. Initial setup
  24. Strategies -> 2. Reserving estates
  25. Strategies -> 3. Invasion money farms
  26. Strategies -> 4. Gangster setup
  27. Strategies -> 5. Free enemy deconstruction
  28. Strategies -> 6. Getting gangsters and favours quickly
  29. Strategies -> 7. Unlock all resource types, quickly
  30. Strategies -> 8. Sell EVERYTHING
  31. Thanks to System 3 Software Limited

A collection of strategies and tips to help you breeze through all missions in Constructor Plus.

Who is this guide aimed at?

This guide is aimed at people who are either beginner or intermediate players, looking to complete the game 100% and ultimately gain the “ALL THE SIGHTS” and “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” achievements.

Despite its disarming appearance and aesthetic, Constructor Plus is a deep game, with mechanics at play that are not exactly obvious to new players. As a result, it’s extremely difficult at times.

With this guide, I hope to explain most of the gotchas, so you don’t have to spend hours like myself figuring it out.

A warning around completing levels and saving

I’ve noticed a bug where levels, especially in the “Play Game” menu, can lose their “Mission Complete” status. This appears to be “random” and without reason on the surface of it (but as a Software Developer myself, I know that nothing in IT is truly random).

I’ve also read on the Steam Discussion forums other users reporting the same issue. System 3 appear to be unable to replicate the issue, therefore, I can’t see it being fixed anytime soon.

I found the best way to avoid/mitigate this happening is to complete your level then immediately start the next one. Save immediately (either on a new or existing slot) and then you can quit the game. Your “Mission Complete” status should then be preserved.

Missions and difficulty

Now, I love this game. I’ve played enough hours of it. However, the menu is a mess when it comes to selecting a level and appropriate difficulty. None of it is straight forward, sadly.

Allow me to explain…

Missions and difficulty -> Missions

Levels are spread across two sections in the game; the “Play Game” menu and the “Missions” menu.

Confusingly, levels are labelled as “missions” in both sections and even more confusingly, in both sections, they’re numbered incrementally.

In the “Missions” menu, there are a total of 15 missions numbered 01-15.

In the “Play Game” menu there are a total of 48 missions. These were obviously numbered by a Software Developer, as the first mission is 00, and the final mission is 47.

Therefore, it would be ambiguous to refer to “Mission 3”, as this could be mission 3 in the “Play Game” menu or the “Missions” menu.

For the purposes of this guide, I will refer to “Play Game” levels with the prefix “PGM” (“Play Game Mission”) and “Missions” levels with the prefix “M” (“Mission”).

So, if I refer to level “PGM3”, I’m talking about “Play Game / Mission 3”. Conversely, if I refer to “M12”, I’m talking about “Missions / Mission 12”.

Missions and difficulty -> Difficulty

Unfortunately, difficulty is also not straight forward. This is what I’ve worked out.

For “Play Game” levels, you can select a “difficulty”. This is changed down the right-hand side of the screen (“Easy”, “Normal”, “Hard”). This difficultly option is not available in the “Missions” menu (for whatever reason).

This guide is written from the perspective of the “Easy” difficulty – and trust me, it’s no walk in the park, even on Easy difficulty. This should still enable you to 100% the game from an achievement perspective. You can read about this later in the introduction.

If you look at the levels across both the “Play Game” and “Missions” menus, each one has a star/asterisk “rating” ranging from 1 to 5 stars. These also indicate difficulty and are generally good indicators of how challenging a level will be.

Achievements -> All The Sights

To obtain this achievement, you need to complete levels PGM00-PGM41.

The achievement states:

Complete all the quick start games at normal difficulty or above

This is not quite true. At the time of writing this guide, I completed the “Play Game” missions with the “Easy” difficulty selected, and the achievement popped for me.

So, whether System 3 intended this or not is a different story all together – so if an update is pushed out, this may well be changed. This is my disclaimer, you have been warned!

Mission Accomplished

To obtain this achievement, you need to complete levels PGM00-PGM44, as well as M01-M15.

For some strange reason, you do not need to do PGM45-PGM47.

General play style: tips and tricks

This section contains a list of general tips and tricks to employ with every level you play. I consider them essential in completing the game with relative ease. They’re also listed in terms of importance, with #1 being the most important.

This list may be updated in the future if I remember something that I’ve missed out.

General play style: tips and tricks -> 1. Pause often

You can pause the game by pressing “P” on the keyboard. You can un-pause by pressing the same key. Seems simple, right?

As soon as a game starts… pause! Survey the map – take a look at rival companies and how they’re set up. You can perform multiple actions whilst paused and you can do pretty much anything, whether that is creating an order for an undesirable or increasing your overdraft with the Bank Manager.

Get in the habit of pausing whenever a tenant complains, whenever a property is being taken over or whenever a building or person is under attack. This will let you assess the situation and respond accordingly without rushing.

I also like to pause as soon as a house is completed – I can then move in the right tenants, set their rent level/breeding directives, upgrade their rooms, order the right gadgets, etc. This can all be done whilst time stands still, then as you un-pause, your builders will get to work and your tenants will head off to the gadget factory.

Constructor can be extremely overwhelming with a million things going on at once. It’s devilish like that and I imagine it puts many players off initially. Pausing often gives you breathing room.

So, again, I stress the most important tip: pause all the time, and only un-pause when ready. If I could give past-me in 1999 one tip when playing the original Constructor, it would be this one.

General play style: tips and tricks -> 2. Man’s best friend 🐶

The second most important tip – place kennels at the immediate entrance to all of your buildings – no exceptions (well, there is one – Level 3 Tenants/Nerds only like picket fences, and then complain that their dog escapes with a picket fence – so you may need to risk not guarding a property with Nerds inside with a kennel).

Your company HQ should be the first building you place a Kennel for. This will prevent rival Thief undesirables from stealing your money.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

Make sure to build your houses with enough room and in positions so that the immediate entrance can always be covered by a kennel.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

Have you built a house with not enough room for one? A common mistake: don’t bulldoze the plan – complete the house and sell it, let the Housing Authority demolish it and try again. That way you get your money back.

A map may intentionally place your company HQ on a map without sufficient room for a kennel, such as in M14. In these cases, there’s not much you can do. If undesirables are making your life hell, set up a police patrol on the estate with your company HQ. You can even have the police guard the entrance to your company HQ. Constructor is all about removing as many distractions as possible, so you can focus on growing your company.

If you’re playing a map with pre-built houses/factories, I’d generally suggest selling the homes and demolishing everything else, and then re-building. This may seem wasteful on the surface of it, but the kennel is extremely effective against the Constructor Plus AI – doing this will allow you to focus on other things, and blocks almost every undesirable (except The Ghost and potentially The Clown, although regarding the latter, the AI doesn’t tend to employ the ‘distract dog’ ability, in my experience).

Employing this simple rule makes notoriously difficult levels such as M14 (aka “Nigel’s Gambit”) a breeze.

General play style: tips and tricks -> 3. Sensible public transportation

This may seem obvious, but it’s something easily overlooked. Place subway entrances closest to the entrances of your buildings, and obtain maximum coverage. Try to ensure there’s always a subway entrance nearby to any building.

A general rule of thumb I employ is to place subway entrances on the corners of estates only. Make sure that all the entrances on your estate face one direction only (if possible).

You can only place one subway entrance per estate, but occasionally you’ll get one “for free”, from the Housing Authority. It’ll be a grey, and placed by the Housing Authority builders upon purchase of an estate. Take this into account when planning – any player can use Housing Authority subway entrances.

Top tip: If the Housing Authority hasn’t finished placing down the pavements at the time of your planning (or quite simply, no one owns the estate yet, but you still want to place down a subway entrance), pause the game, and select the subway entrance from the gadget menu. Hover over each corner of the estate. If it’s red (i.e. you can’t place a subway entrance on that spot), then the Housing Authority plan to build one there when the estate is purchased by someone. The Housing Authority subway entrances are always on corners of estates.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

Properly planning your subway entrance network will allow your teams to get from Job A to Job B quickly.

Additionally, before taking down a rival company, set up an extensive network of subway entrances in rival territory – you don’t need to own an estate to place your own subway entrance there – in fact, as mentioned previously, the estate can be unowned.

Gangsters can use the subway, unlike other undesirables, and just as setting up a good network of subway entrances in your own estates makes life easy for your teams to build, setting up a good network of subway entrances in your enemy estates makes life easy for your gangsters to destroy.

General play style: tips and tricks -> 4. Man’s other best friend; the repairman 🔧

Whether this is true in real life (quite possibly it is!), it’s certainly true in Constructor Plus.

Breed builders early on in game, I usually have 3 Level 1/Slob tenants breeding builders with top level bedrooms. Initially at least, you’re going to need repairmen on each estate, until you build the Steel Yard, and get the toolbox gadget. The toolbox gadget allows your tenants to repair their own property, and is great for estates with houses on them and nothing else.

There is an upper limit to the number of repairmen you can create, but it’s pretty big, so don’t worry about this early-game.

You will still need repairmen, however. All other buildings, everything from factories to skyscrapers, as well as undesirables need repairmen. So make sure you have a healthy supply, or your buildings will be burning down all over the place. 🔥

You can easily view if an estate has an “active” repairman. Pause the game, and go to the Housing Authority map, and select an estate you own. It will say how many repairmen are active. You generally only need one, even on large estates like you get in the jungle and space maps.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

So if houses start to burn all of a sudden, pause the game and use the Housing Authority map to figure out why!

General play style: tips and tricks -> 5. Build a hospital as soon as you can

Doesn’t require much explanation; as soon as you can afford it, build a hospital.

In the dystopian Constructor universe, your foremen and builders don’t get rights to annual leave (which is great for you – they don’t even get paid, even!), but they do get tired and decrease in health as they work. When your units decrease in health, they become physically slow. This is very annoying. A quick spell in the hospital will sort this.

Additionally, the “run to hospital” button is also extremely useful for all non-undesirable characters. If clicked, they’ll run to hospital fast compared to if directed manually with a move order (even if their health is low and they’re slow because of it).

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

I also like to station my Gangsters in the hospital, rather than the company HQ. This ensures they’re in peak physical shape if you need them (such as if that blasted Nigel Plasterboard tries to take over one of your buildings 🤓).

General play style: tips and tricks -> 6. The price of building on enemy land

Thinking of building on rival-owned land? True, there’s nothing stopping you – but you pay significantly more to do so (sometimes double).

Avoid doing this early-game, until you can afford to build the Angler Building (skyscraper). This will allow you to build on enemy estates for free.

TODO: Screenshot of Angler Building benefits

Alternatively, if there’s a set of estates you know you’re going to want to build on, and you want to reserve them early-game, there is a way to do it. See Strategy #2 (“reserving estates”) towards the end of this guide.

General play style: tips and tricks -> 7. Police: use sparingly, and never run out of cadets 👮‍♂️

As a rule of thumb, do not have permanent police patrols set up.

If you follow Tip #2 (“man’s best friend”), you won’t need permanent police patrols present – the majority of undesirables are thwarted by the kennel.

There are a few exceptions to this rule: The Clown (who has an ability to distract a dog – the AI generally does not make use of this ability), The Hippy (who can picket homes, causing misery for the resident – The Hippy never actually enters the property bounds, so the kennel will not be activated in this situation) and The Ghost (the police are useless against this guy, for obvious reasons – I tend to try to take out the haunted houses with gangsters, if possible, or if gangsters are not available, use foremen to take them over and The Hippy to distract units and allow you to do so).

So, generally, the only undesirable action that will avoid kennel is The Hippy picketing your homes. In this case, simply pause, set up a patrol, wait for the police to cage him, then unset the patrol. This will massively conserve on your cadets usage, and allow you to have less Level 2 tenants producing cadets. I generally only ever have one Level 2/Punk tenant producing cadets with a fully upgraded bedroom.

There is one exception to this rule, and that is if you’re setting up an “invasion money farm” (Strategy #3). In this situation, you do need to set up a permanent police patrol on the enemy estate at lowest efficiency. This is simply there to prevent the rival AI from deploying their own police patrol to that estate.

General play style: tips and tricks -> 8. Upgrade your kitchens early

As mentioned previously, Constructor Plus is 10 times easier the less concurrent distractions you have at any one time – this is another one of those “less distraction” tips.

If you upgrade a house’s kitchen to the top level, you can benefit from the “auto replace tenant” feature.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

Quite simply, when the tenant dies, if there is a replacement tenant available, they move in – not leaving the house vacant and open to cockroach/Hippy infestation. Very useful.

The only problem is, upgrading to the top-level kitchen is quite expensive (as is upgrading any room), and varies depending on house. Thankfully, the cheaper the house, the less expensive the upgrades are.

Consider upgrading the kitchens of all homes as soon as you have the money to do so, and setting the auto-replace mode on.

You won’t want to do this really early on in a game – generally look at doing this early-mid game. The more houses you accumulate, the more importance this has, as you really don’t want to be micro-managing tenants in existing housing mid-late game.

General play style: tips and tricks -> 9. Gangsters: what they’ll do for you – for free

Contrary to what the game tutorials/Boycie suggests, there are things that the gangsters will do for you – for freewithout favours. 👌 And they say there’s no such thing as a free meal, right?

Understanding this early on really does make things easy:

  1. Gangsters will kill dogs for free
  2. Gangsters will destroy buildings for free (regardless of whether there is people inside it or not)

Taking over a house? Send in your gangsters to kill the dog beforehand, then send in the foremen.

Want to get rid of that pesky rival repairman? Send in your boys to destroy each house on the estate he’s repairing in-turn. The repairman won’t leave the estate, even if you destroy all the houses. He’ll even go down with the last house (such a dedicated employee 😢).

Just don’t kill an enemy character directly. This will cost you a favour.

Blowing up a house with an enemy repairman in it, or with an enemy gangster in the garden – on the other hand – will cost you nothing.

General play style: tips and tricks -> 10. Level up your new teams

A small one, but easy to overlook. Your teams gain experience (or “building efficiency”) the more they build. This means freshly put together teams are really slow.

You can view a team’s efficiency by clicking on the foreman and clicking the “team” button.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

It’s at the bottom, as a percentage. The best value you can get is 100%.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

You can tell which teams are old/senior, and which are new/junior, in the unit selection screen.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

The foremen have easy-to-miss numbers next to them. The higher the number, the newer the foreman.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

Put new teams on building work as a priority.

Putting new teams to work in say, the gadget factory does not increase their building efficiency – although the productivity of said factory is influenced by building efficiency!

Therefore – always put your “senior” teams to work in the factories and put your newbies onto building. It may take a while to get them up to scratch, but once they level up, they’ll be as quick as the older teams.

Mission types

In this section, I outline the 3 different “types” of mission I have identified. This is not official or an in-game classification, rather, something I have come up with whilst playing through the game.

Missions can be either one “type”, or multiple/hybrid types, but generally, the missions with a star rating of less than 5 tend to be just one. 5 star missions can sometimes be 2.

This section describes what strategies to employ for each mission type. When I refer to a “strategy”, refer to the “Strategies” section later in this guide. I’ve done this so that I’m not repeating myself constantly 🤓

Mission types -> “Get rich quick” missions

“Get rich quick” missions generally require you to generate a (sometimes huge) sum of money within a (sometimes small) time period.

The main example in this category is PGM14 aka “Chump Change”. I regard this as one of the most difficult levels in the game, even though the game regards this a “4 star” mission. It’s fiendishly difficult.

The generally accepted solution is to use the System 3 Sculpture, as well as the other “retail” buildings.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

Even the official Constructor Plus “play guide” (PDF)[] recommends this.

Essentially, for every visit made to the System 3 Sculpture by residents (regardless of tenant level), the Housing Authoroty pays you $5k. The skyscrapers and special parks will do similar, although generally they pay out less.

The casinos are different – the amount they pay out depends on the casino and the level of tenant. The Constructor Plus play guide linked above explains this in detail.

Tenants will visit these structures that are either on the same estate, or on estates adjacent to their own, and occasionally do it throughout their lifetime.

The best way to complete a “get rich quick” mission is to pack as many Level 1 houses onto estates surrounding 1 “island” estate, which contains the System 3 Sculpture, as well as many skyscrapers you can cram on it. Level one housing is small, the tenants generally will only need a kennel and trees, and nothing else in the grounds of their building.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

This obviously requires some planning as you start the mission. Employ Strategy #2 (“Reserving estates”) to reserve your “island” for your System 3 sculpture as well as all the surrounding estates, such as in the example above.

Next, employ Strategy #3 (“invasion money farms”) to create some initial seed capital, although as you build up your Level 1 residents, you should start to earn enough in rent to keep building. The trick will be bringing in enough money early game so that you can upgrade these Level 1 houses with top-tier kitchens, a must if you’re going to be building tens of Level 1 housing.

You need to be building constantly, so make use of every second available by pausing, deciding what to do, and un-pausing.

As soon as you’re able to afford it, employ Strategy #7 (“unlock all resource types, quickly”) to get the Steel Yard and unlock the System 3 Sculpture. Get this built as soon as you can to start building up your cash, as early as you can. This will enable you to employ Strategy #3 less often, and let you focus on building.

Once your System 3 Sculpture island and satellite estates are complete, you should really start to rake in the money.

It still won’t be enough, however – continue to invest; start to create more “islands” and satellite estates around the map, but instead of the System 3 Sculpture (you can only build one), build the top level casino as well as other ‘retail’ type buildings/skyscrapers, and build Level 5 housing on the satellite estates.

Maximise rents on all housing, as much as you can, as you go along. It seems obvious, but I usually use tenant happiness as a gauge for this – and set the rent as high as I can to keep the tenant at 20%-25% happiness.

If you get towards the end of the level, and you’re just short of enough money to win the level (I have been here), in the final month or two, save the game and execute Strategy #8 (“sell everything”).

This should be enough to get you through some of the toughest “get rich quick” missions.

Mission types -> “Remove opponents quick” missions

“Remove opponents quick” missions require you to remove the other rival player(s) within a (sometimes small) time period.

The main example in this category is PGM29 aka “Rumble in the Jungle”, aptly given 5 stars by the developers. You are required to destroy the other teams in under 10 years. It’s a tricky level. Gangsters are the way to go on this one.

Employ Strategy #1 (“initial setup”). There’s usually no time for Strategy 3 (“invasion money farms”), but set one up if time allows. Execute Strategy #6 (“getting gangsters and favours quickly”). Produce about 5 gangsters to generate enough favours for Strategy #4 (“gangster setup”).

It’s also probably essential that you have a hospital too – if you’re getting low on money, consider an overdraft with the bank.

Then get to work on Strategy #4 (“gangster setup”) to get 3 gangsters with shotguns. This is pretty much the optimal setup for most levels – you can have more, but you really don’t need more than 3, and at a push you can go with 2 gangsters with shotguns instead.

Finally, employ Strategy #5 (“free enemy deconstruction”) on each rival in turn – only ever focus on one company at a time. This will save you time and not give the rival any time to recover.

Mission types -> “Defend yourself/upward struggle” missions

This mission type often involves scripted events and neutral undesirables bombarding you as soon as the mission starts. A good example of this would be M12 aka “Outta Gas”. You can’t destroy the undesirable’s abode to prevent further attacks (as they often do not belong to any team), so you have no choice but to defend yourself.

This one is simple, really. Immediately start with Strategy #1 (“initial setup”). Make sure your kennels are in place as soon as you can. As soon as this happens, you’re good.

As soon as you can, use Strategy #3 (“invasion money farms”) and take some of the rivals cash to start building up, slowly and steadily.

That’s about it!

Strategies -> 1. Initial setup

This is a simple “level setup” that I tend to follow for every Constructor Plus mission. It enables the use of kennels and subway entrances. It also enables you to execute Strategy #3 (“invasion money farms”) as Hippy Communes and Pawn Shops require concrete to build.

As soon as your level starts, set up an empty estate with a wood yard. In most cases, you may wish/need to sell everything you start with to raise some cash. Demolish any existing factories, especially if you can’t fit a kennel in-front of the entrance. They’re fairly cheap, so don’t worry about being a little wasteful – you’re ultimately investing in time/attention saving.

If it’s available, build a concrete yard on the same estate (remembering to leave plenty of room for a kennel in front of the entrance). If it’s not available, build three Level 1 houses in turn, and sell them immediately to the Housing Authority – the concrete yard should be available now. Build a gadget factory on the same estate. Optionally leave room for an additional factory in the future, if your estate is a large parcel of land.

Another top tip: be generous with your resource production building’s grounds – sheds can be placed in the grounds of these buildings to up your capacity. However, always place your kennel first. Any sheds you can fit in are a bonus, but not required.

Immediately start producing subway entrances and kennels. Set up your subway entrance network, and put kennels in front of the HQ entrance, wood and concrete yards and gadget factory. Now build trees and computers.

You’re now all set to take on most mission types.

Strategies -> 2. Reserving estates

The Housing Authority will prevent you from buying vast swathes of estates without building anything on them.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

There is a method around this, and it’s extremely useful if you want to “reserve” a block of estates early on in the game so you can make good use of the System 3 Sculpture or casino buildings.

Follow these instructions:

  1. Pause the game.
  2. Select the cheapest house available to you at the time, and fill your existing land with a large building plan.
  3. Buy the next estate you desire.
  4. Still want more estates? Go to 2.

This will result in you having super cheap building plans covering all the estates you want to own – congrats, the estates are yours! The Housing Authority would be fuming if they were paying attention.

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

Now come on, don’t be wasteful and simply demolish those building plans – send teams in, build them up, and sell them immediately to the Housing Authority to get some money back. They’ll then come along and clear your land for use at your leisure. 🤓

Strategies -> 3. Invasion money farms

Probably my favourite strategy, as the AI (at least, in “easy” mode! I can’t comment on other difficulty levels) isn’t smart enough to defend against it – it works every time.

As the name suggests, an “invasion money farm” (as I’ve termed it) allows you to continually draw cash from rival players. If employing this strategy, it’s wise not to take over their buildings and sell them for cash – their success is your success – the more buildings they own and the more rent they make, the more rent you can steal. Parasitic, I know.

Don’t worry about the rival team getting too big; if you have a big time limit and eventually need to remove them, Strategy #5 (“free enemy deconstruction”) can easily do this.

You need to employ this strategy usually very early game. As soon as a level starts, select an estate right next to your rival’s estate with their company HQ on it.


Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

Buy it. If your land usage is low, and the Housing Authority are being ♥♥♥♥♥, use Strategy #2 (“reserving estates”) to get around that.

Perform Strategy #1 (“initial setup”), to get a concrete yard, kennels and all that good stuff.

On your new estate, build a Commune and a Pawn Shop. If you have room for Level 1 housing as well, go for it. Make use of all the space – this is what I usually do. Make sure there’s a repairman in there, and that your buildings are guarded with kennels.

And for the bare minimum of this strategy… you’re good to go.

This part is optional early game, but as soon as you can, create a Police HQ, and set up a patrol on the estate of your rival with their company HQ (set to the minimum efficiency to save on cadets – get at least one Level 2/Punk producing cadets with a top level bedroom as soon as you can, if you haven’t already, though). This will make life easy for the actual money-making aspect; your owncrooked cops wont arrest your undesirables. Importantly, your rival wont be able to set up a patrol on the same estate. 👿

Rinse and repeat this strategy for all your rivals.

Now everything is set up, to the actual farming aspect:

Get The Hippy to start a rave right outside their company HQ. Line up your Thief with the ‘steal from HQ’ job, and have him just wait on the pavement outside (when selecting the job, the cursor will either be green, amber or red – amber means you can move the undesirable without performing their action). Any gangsters guarding inside will come out to party. No one can resist the pounding beats of The Hippy ☮

The only potential problem is any kennels in the enemy HQ. If your Thief is bitten, he’ll run back to his Pawn Shop, and you’ll have cool down time to wait through in order to use the “steal from HQ” ability again. So instead, send in one of your own gangsters, or even one of your builders to lure out Fido, who’ll then join in The Hippy’s rave.

Now the HQ is unguarded, send in your Thief to steal their cash unhindered, and once he is clear and on his way back to the Pawn Shop, send The Hippy back to his Commune.

You can repeat this over and over and generate some serious sums of cash needed for higher level buildings. It can be extremely useful for Strategy #7 (“unlock all resource types, quickly”), which is a rather expensive strategy. It’s also handy for getting some skyscrapers up early game, such as the Angler Building.

Strategies -> 4. Gangster setup

The optimum gangster hit squad is as follows: 3 gangsters, armed with shotguns. This will be more than enough to prepare you for Strategy #5 (“free enemy deconstruction”).

It requires a few favours, however. Either produce excess gangsters (creating a gangster creates a number of additional free favours), or get a favour farm going with some Level 3/Nerd tenants in houses with top level bedrooms all producing favours. You will need 12 favours in total, but it would be good to have a few more in case one of your boys kills a player unit by mistake. So probably aim for about 18 favours.

If you have set up any “invasion money farms” (Strategy #3), steal any rival’s latest rent, but leave the Hippy doing his rave-thing.

Look out for any delivery men or rival tenants caught up in the party. Tenants are easy to miss, and not player controllable.

These guys usually look like this:

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook

Your newly minted gangsters will have a knife (or a pistol, depending on whether you have the Capitol retail building up), which is pretty crap to be honest.

The shotgun is really the best weapon, from a “value for money” perspective; the laser gun is good, but worth the money? Probably not. If you have buckets of cash, then go for it. I usually like to have in my “gang of 3” one gangster with the laser gun – this weapon is a little slow, but it packs more damage. Shotguns are quicker, though, so don’t get rid of them completely.

Your individual gangster can buy a shotgun when he’s killed 4 people (and thus, spent 4 favours). I believe this changes based on the difficulty selected, but this guide is written from the perspective of “easy” mode.

Go through your 3 gangsters in turn, and kill 4 tenants or delivery men. They don’t fight back, and you can rack up the kills easily. Killing enemy tenants also has the added benefit of making their properties vacant for a bit.

If in doubt/you have forgotten how many people a gangster has killed, check the gangster’s weapon selection screen to see how many kills you need before you can get the shotgun.

Buy the shotgun for each one. You’re all good to go, Vincenzo Calzone! The boss will be pleased.

Strategies -> 5. Free enemy deconstruction

It’s entirely possible to destroy a rival without spending any favours (not entirely true, just almost – I’ll come onto this later). You essentially employ “indirect killing” as a method.

So you’re at that point and you’re ready to take out the opposition?

Before we do, firstly let’s address why we don’t just try to rush the company HQ with gangsters as a first port of call. Even a large number of them.

If the rival has gangsters, you’ll likely be slaughtered. If the rival doesn’t, the AI will send all units to the company HQ to defend – all teams, and all repairmen. Repairmen and foremen pack a punch, and will give your gangsters a hard time. Your gangsters will of course fight back, and kill plenty of enemy units.

Good news right? Wrong. Not only do they get damaged, but this will cost you a fortune in favours. And if you run out of them, the gangsters bugger off and wait until you pay them some more.

The trick is to remove all of their units, especially gangsters and repairmen, but it’s important to destroy their building teams as well.

Before I explain how to deconstruct a rival operation, destroying a building has a pattern all of its own with this method.

Method of destroying a rival building

  1. Move your squad of 3 in the grounds of the target building.
  2. If the building you’re destroying has a kennel take out the dog. This is free, and doesn’t cost you a favour, and if you’ve followed Strategy #4 (“gangster setup”) shotguns will swiftly send them to doggy heaven. New dogs will not spawn from the kennel unless you leave the grounds of the guarded building after killing the dog. As long as one of your characters remain, the dog will not respawn.
  3. If your target company has any gangsters, attack the building with one of your gangsters. This will obviously delay the destruction of the building and take longer, but this is what we want.
  4. Select all of your gangsters, at the ready.
  5. The rival AI will typically send a single gangster to investigate, especially if it’s a key building (i.e. Police HQ, Mob HQ, wood yard/factroy, etc). This is what you want. Do not kill him by attacking him directly, as this will cost you a favour.
  6. When he arrives, have all 3 gangsters speed up the destruction of the building. One of your gangsters may get into a fight with the investigating gangster (or even the repairman inside). Do not worry if this happens, you’ll have at least one gangster still attacking the building.
  7. When the gangster(s) attacking the building start to run, send your squad out of there through the use of the “run to hospital” button. This will make them run for it, even if they’re low on health and slow.
  8. The building should blow up 💥, destroying the gangster in the grounds of the building. If there’s an enemy repairman inside as well, he’ll also be taken out.
  9. When all the rival’s gangsters are taken out with this method, and you have taken out their Mob HQ, rather than using the ‘attack and lure’ method, simply use all 3 gangsters to attack the building.

This goes without saying but, between destroying buildings, if any of your gangsters get into the “red health zone”, send them to hospital to recover.

With the above building destruction method in mind, you can now take out the whole rival operation. You will find their gangsters (if they have any) are picked out one by one, and the below method will ensure all their repairmen are destroyed.

Method of destroying a rival’s operation

  1. Set up a police patrol on the enemy estate containing their police HQ. Set the efficiency to the lowest. You basically want to prevent the AI from sending out any police for the next couple of steps. Save the game.
  2. Destroy the police HQ. If they send out police that arrest your gangsters, re-load. Once the cop shop is destroyed, you don’t have to worry about police arresting your gangsters. Lovely breathing room.
  3. Un-set your police patrol and save the game.
  4. Take out their Mob HQ. They can’t produce any new gangsters now.
  5. Take out their resource producer buildings in turn (Wood, Concrete, Brick, Steel), as well as the gadget factory.
  6. The rival AI will now likely start building a new wood yard, as without wood, they can’t build anything new. Keep a keen eye on them. They’ll likely send all their teams in to get it up and running ASAP.
  7. Position your hit squad outside the new, uncompleted wood yard. Wait for them to complete and…
  8. Destroy the new wood yard as quickly as possible! Wave goodbye to their work teams. 👿
  9. Now get to work on destroying all of their estates, building by building. The goal here is to kill all repairmen and remaining gangsters, as outlined in the method of destroying a rival building. Destroy everything but the rival company HQ. Watch as everything explodes, and be careful about your gangsters getting caught up in the explosions. Save often, so if they do go up with a building, you can reload.
  10. By the time you get here, the rival may have 1 or 2 teams left over, and maybe one or two repairmen. Target the company HQ and if your gangsters get into fights, allow them to continue with them. This may use up some favours, but don’t worry – the trick is to not let them have time to recover.
  11. Once the rival HQ is destroyed, congratulations – send your squad to the hospital for an IV, a cup of tea and a biscuit. A perfect combination. ☕

Strategies -> 6. Getting gangsters and favours quickly

A gangster is created in your HQ with 6 workers. When you create a gangster, you get some favours for free (in easy mode, at least). Usually more than enough to employ Strategy #4 (“gangster setup”).

You will need 8 Level 1 tenants in total (“Slob” type). They all need top level bedrooms, minimum (but if you can afford to upgrade their kitchens all the way too, this will help).

Build the first house, have them breeding Level 1 tenants. Build the rest, all producing workers.

New workers will be smashing your company’s HQ door down in nobody’s time. Who said it’s a candidates market currently? 🤓

You can now easily squish 6 of them together into a gangster. Once you’ve created about 5, you should be good for Strategy #4 (“gangster setup”). 3 for your “hit squad”, and the other two to generate favours. These guys can either come along for the ride with your shotgun guys, or simply leave them in the hospital.

When you have the gangsters you need, either leave the tenants producing workers and create some repairmen/new teams, or simply set them to paying rent.

Strategies -> 7. Unlock all resource types, quickly

This strategy exploits the progression path for resource types. It has one downside though – it’s rather expensive to do. It’s best employed in tandem with Strategy #3 (“invasion money farms”).

It’s really simple. If you build 3 houses of a particular level, you unlock the next resource type. So, build 3 Level 1 houses, and you get the concrete yard. Build 3 Level 2 houses, and you unlock the brick yard, etc.

You don’t have to give the buildings a resident.

So build 3 houses, quickly, to unlock the next resource type – sell them immediately to the Housing Authority to get back your money – build the next resource yard. Rinse and repeat until you’ve unlocked every resource type.

Strategies -> 8. Sell EVERYTHING

This seems like an obvious strategy, but it’s easy to forget – if you’re just short of cash for winning a particular level, in your final month or two – pause the game, and sell every house you own. This is usually enough to tip you over the edge.

Properties go up in value from the moment they’re created. You can see this value by going into any property (and you can see it increase as well).

Bartholomew's Constructor Plus Playbook
There’s no going back from this strategy, obviously. It’s an end-game strategy. Save your game before – although if you’re going to fail a mission anyway, why not give it a go to see?

Thanks to System 3 Software Limited

This section is dedicated to thanking the guys at System 3 Software Limited for a thoroughly enjoyable reboot of one of my favourite childhood games and time sinks.

I picked up the original Constructor in 1999 from now no longer with us computer shop in Loughborough, UK – I dread to think about the hours I put in playing it.

My parents loved the endless belching and foreman sound bites coming from my room. “You wot eh?!” became something my parents would often parrot – coping mechanisms, I imagine.

If anyone thinks this game is hard; try playing the original! Brutal! I’m impressed with the way the difficulty has been balanced, and of course, the addition of the late, great John Challis just completes the charm of this wonderful reboot.

If 90’s BBC comedy (Only Fools and Horses, Bottom, Red Dwarf) had a baby with early RTS/city builder games, Constructor would be the offspring. I love how horrendously British it is 🤓 I imagine the humour confuses our cousins across the pond greatly.

Now, I can’t believe I spent all that time playing the game, let alone writing a guide on it.

I think it’s time for a tea break…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *