With a near-endless selection of activities around Yokohama, the worst thing you can be is broke. Earning lots of yen will enable you to stock up on items and purchase the best equipment. More importantly, however, it will allow you to take advantage of the multitude of minigames, bonding events and restaurants around town.
Thankfully, from chapter 5 onwards you can find yourself rolling in cash. Here are the best ways to make money in Yakuza: Like A Dragon.
- RELATED: Yakuza: Like A Dragon Review
Steer clear of tough battles!
The first tip is something you may learn the hard way if you’re not careful. Losing against some thugs on the street will strip you of half your cash! This can actually be pretty devastating.
You can’t tell if enemies are going to be beyond you from afar, so if they engage you in battle have a quick scan of what levels you’re up against. If they are significantly higher, escape the battle ASAP!
Chinatown is particularly dangerous in the first half of the game, so I’d suggest keeping a look out for thugs and avoiding battles in this area. You can also deposit money at an ATM so you aren’t taking this risk.
Search every vending machine and trash pile
From chapter 3, money can be sought under vending machines. Though you can snag little hauls of 500 yen, this won’t get you very far when it comes to buying equipment or playing minigames over and over.
What you’re really looking for are plates. These can be flogged at Benten Pawn, which is unlocked by completing substory 4, towards the bottom of the map on Misaki Street just around the corner from Can Quests.
Gold plates can be sold for 100,000 yen a pop and Platinum plates can fetch 200,000 yen. In the early chapters of the game, it is well worth keeping your eyes peeled for every opportunity to scavenge these on the streets. This is probably the best way of earning money in the opening chapters.
Rest assured, you won’t have to do this forever. Once you reach chapter five even the proceeds of these plates will be pocket change, but more on that below.
Conquer the business management minigame
This is by far the best way to earn money. The minigame is unlocked in chapter 5, which is still fairly early on.
The proceeds of the multi-million (or billion) yen operation don’t directly go into Ichiban’s pocket. However, every few business periods there are shareholder meetings which reward Ichiban with a personal bonus. The first few are rather paltry, but by the time you’ve climbed the business ladder you can earn 3 million yen per meeting. And at this point, if you’re on top of the business you can breeze through to one of these in ten minutes or less.
Needless to say, this is substantial. In the whole course of the journey from little shop to multi-business empire, you’ll end up with at least 20 million yen. If you ever need more, it’s easy to jump back in and whizz through to the next shareholder meeting for another substantial bonus.
Now, it’s worth noting that this minigame will take a few hours to conquer in full. However, this will basically cover your financial needs for the rest of the game. And on top of this, you’ll enhance your personality stats, learn some useful skills, gain a new party member, and maximise your bond level with them.
Tips for the business management game
The business management minigame is a complex beast with a number of facets that need to be considered simultaneously. There is a tutorial for this within the game, but some general tips that will enable you to beat it are as follows:
- Always prioritise getting as many properties as possible. More slots open up as you reach new achievements. Pick the properties that have the biggest potential to improve – these are the ones with the most yen signs next to them. Think long term! It’s worth hanging on a bit to afford a better property, but not for too long.
- Recruit the SR (super rare) and SSR (super super rare) employees that turn up. They always end up being the best ones that can be improved into great workers by training them sufficiently. But since you can only slot three per property, don’t end up with too many twiddling their thumbs.
- By the same token, wasting huge amounts of cash training N (normal) employees tends to be poor value, other than the employees you are obliged to keep for story purposes
- Always purchase an advert when offered – as long you have the maximum number of properties possible at the point the advert is available, it’ll be worth it
- Steer clear of investments. These never worked out for me, so after about five failures I declined every other one. I never needed them in the end.
- Don’t spend money training your staff unless the expert trainer is running a seminar. This lasts a few periods and occurs fairly regularly. Sometimes it doubles the amount of EXP earned from training, so this is far better value for money. You can loosen up on this tip when you are making serious money later on.
- Promote good employees when they hit their level cap – otherwise you are wasting business periods without them gaining any EXP. Just don’t waste money promoting many poorer N employees
- Do it all in one go. This minigame is unlocked early in the game, but there is nothing stopping you from blasting through it all at once, essentially taking care of all monetary needs thereafter.
- Boost morale regularly – in the early stages, when you only have a small number of properties, you can just boost the employees actually working in these businesses (not that you should employ many more than you need). Once you have a lot of these and are rolling in yen, you can just do this automatically every two business periods.
- Most importantly – Nail the shareholder meetings
Now, the all-important shareholder meetings also happen to be the most complicated element of business. This has a huge bearing on the company share price, and your performance also determines Ichiban’s individual bonus – which what you’re here for.
These come around after every four business periods, and bombard you with an overwhelming amount of numbers. This warrants its own post, so a guide of everything you need to know to beat them every time can be found below.
Collect all of the cats… and take pictures of all Kappa statues
Part-time hero quests will earn some decent rewards, but generally not life-changing lump sums of money.
This is with the exception of a couple of quests in particular, one of which is a cat-collection venture that entails traipsing around the streets to spot 9 lost kitties. This will net you a million yen, with a further million for finding a tenth cat.
Another part-time hero quest that snags a hefty monetary award in the sum of 2 million yen is the kappa statues. It’s a bit of a pain to run around town doing these quests (especially if you want to save the 730 yen taxi fare) but it’s worth it. Press up on the D-pad to take pictures.
The map below will show where all ten statues are situated along with the cats. This will hopefully help you mop a lot of them up in one long round trip. Between both quests, you’ll be 4 million yen better off.
(Cats are denoted with red circles and ‘C’; Kappas are denoted with green circles and ‘K’. Please note the 10th cat in the top right is not available until the other nine are found and reported).
Gamble at the casino
In chapter 4, Ichiban and friends can gain access to a casino, which has the potential to earn you serious cash.
This requires your style personality stat to be at least level 4. Style is actually one of the easiest things to level up because you can buy numerous items that boost it. Of course, this costs money in itself.
Venture to Chinatown, and there is a man standing outside the toilets near Breakwater Drive. Provided your Style is at level 4, he’ll inform you of a secret door in the toilets which leads to a swanky casino. Blackjack and Poker are available here, where you can win and trade chips for valuable Platinum Plates.
Now, obviously any gambling comes with a risk. If you actually want to reliably earn money this way without the possibility of ending up broke, you’re going to need to swallow your pride and reload your save file when you lose.
This isn’t exactly my favourite method of earning money, but I’m not here to judge.
Fight in the arena (Chapter 12 onwards)
With no spoilers, I’ll mention that a battle arena is available from a certain point in chapter 12. There are 30 floors with a battle on each.
The money from this probably isn’t necessary once you have conquered the business world but the amount earned is not to be sniffed at. The final few battles earn 200,000 yen a pop, with the exception of the final battle which scoops a cool million.
Also, by winning battle 26 with the requisite conditions you gain an Electric Whip, which can be flogged for another million yen in the pawn shop. You can win one of these over and over, so by starting from floor 26 repeatedly you can scoop nearly three million yen for just five battles. Or you can just keep repeating battle 26 alone, though you’d miss out on some serious EXP in battle 28.
This is a good time and place to grind, so it’s a nice bonus to top up your wallet at the same time. If you don’t fancy managing the business anymore, this is probably the second-best way to earn money at this point in the game.
What are the best things to spend money on?
Money can buy you just about everything you need around Yokohama. The best uses for the wads of cash you’ve accumulated are as follows:
- You will actually need 3 million yen to progress the story in chapter 12
- Some of the best weapons are available for around a million yen each from the underground dealer, who can be found by completing substory 36 in chapter 9 (you will need level 4 confidence to buy the weapons and level 7 to actually complete the substory)
- Personality stats can be greatly improved by taking the exams at Ounabara Vocational School, and these are generally 50,000 yen each (which you’ll have to pay again if you fail!)
- Bond levels can easily be boosted by taking the lads to hostess clubs. Getting the most out of these costs money, but is considerably quicker than fighting battles and actually nets a personality stat boost by picking all hostesses
- Gifts can be bought in Hamakita Park, which are needed to advance certain relationships
- Buy everything on the menu whenever you dine out – this will occasionally trigger additional dialogue, improve your bonds and unlock stat boosts
- Levelling up the Romance workshop costs 22,200,000 yen (yes, over 22 million!!). Frankly, this isn’t worth it for gameplay benefits but is unfortunately needed to maximise the relationship with Sumire and complete all substories
- Poundmates don’t come cheap, especially some of the ones unlocked in the latter part of the game
- Minigames – these are generally affordable but it’s nice to have as many tries as you want without stressing about your wallet
Hopefully the above tips will help you earn the yen needed to enjoy everything Yakuza: Like A Dragon has to offer.
To reiterate, the main thing to focus on is the business management game, single-handedly covering the expenses needed to unlock all of the excellent content in Yokohama and beyond.