The following summary offers a simple guide to the ways in which Kenway can accumulate funds to finance major purchases, with links to advice in other sections of the guide where applicable.
Chests offer respectable sums of money, along with frequent trade items that are instantly turned into additional R. Opening chests also increases your total Synchronization rating. Certain special chests are considered as secret and offer special rewards, such as manuscript pages. Chests appear on the in-game maps once you’ve Synchronized the local Viewpoint. For uncharted chests, you must conquer the local fort to see them displayed on the Caribbean map. Finally, note that there are yet more chests to collect both in caves and shipwrecks (&).
Plundering Ships for Cargo:
Every time you defeat a ship, you can loot the merchandise on board (cargo and/or ammo, plus occasional sums of reales). You obtain the full stock if you take the time to board the ship, and only half of it if you sink the ship and loot the floating supplies. You can identify in advance the merchandise carried in any given ship by examining it through the spyglass. While three of the five cargo types are kept for Jackdaw upgrades, rum and sugar can be sold for a healthy profit. See the Naval Guide section for a selection of cargo grinding tips.
Once collected, Treasure Maps lead to dig sites where Kenway can find substantial sums of reales (usually 3,000 R to 4,000 R) and, on occasion, design plans for Jackdaw upgrades. Earlier in the story, this can partly bankroll expensive Jackdaw upgrades that might otherwise only become practical investments in later Sequences. It’s also a very fun side quest. We cover all Treasure Maps and dig sites in our massive Charts & Collectibles section.
You can access the (online-only) Kenway’s Fleet metagame from the captain’s cabin on the Jackdaw, or via a second screen. Look to the Side Quests chapter for a full guide to this very lucrative metagame.
Convoys are small fleets that you can plunder to receive a reward, 2,000 R, 3,000 R, or 5,000 R depending on the convoy’s difficulty. You can trigger the appearance of a convoy by buying information for 200 R at a local tavern.
There are 10 optional Naval Forts that you can conquer in the Caribbean. Doing so will provide you with welcome rewards: 1,000 R for Level 1/Easy forts, 3,000 R for Level 2/Medium, and 5,000 R Level 3/Hard forts. As an additional benefit, capturing a fort also reveals all icons in that zone of the in-game map (including collectibles in uncharted areas) within the region.
There are various plantations and towns throughout the Caribbean that feature a warehouse. You can plunder these whenever they are full by first stealing a key and then opening the warehouse itself. This will net you small-to-medium quantities of all types of cargo, plus a monetary bonus if you manage to unlock the building without guards ringing an alarm bell. With practice, these can be a great way to turn a quick profit.
Selling Animal Products:
Hunting and harpooning animals enables you to acquire hunting goods that can be used to craft upgrades but, with that function satisfied, subsequent items can be sold directly to general stores and harbormasters.
Templar Hunt Rewards:
You can complete four Templar Hunts, with each story consisting of four individual missions (. Each mission fulfilled will grant a modest sum of reales – leading to a total reward of 3,050 for each complete set of four missions.
Assassin Contract Rewards:
You can obtain cash payments for completing each Assassin Contract. Each contract fulfilled leads to a reward of 1,000 R, plus an additional bonus if you do not trigger open conflict.
Every time you conquer a fort, at least one Naval Contract becomes available there. Completing these naval missions will lead to rewards of 1,200R to 2,400 R, depending on their difficulty.
Catching these fleet-footed individuals by tackling or killing them after a chase leads to a nominal financial reward, as well as generous quantities of ammo. Given the difficulty of the pursuit, this should be regarded as an amusing or challenging diversion – not a practical means of generating income.
Pickpocketing & Looting:
The sum of coins and items you obtain through pickpocketing and looting is always nominal: no more than a handful of coins. However, as most guards relinquish practical items (particularly ammunition) when looted, this enables you to avoid spending your riches on ammunition (and repeated trips to general stores).
In most taverns, you will find opportunities to play the Fanorona, Morris, or Checkers minigames. If you win, you can double a placed wager. This cannot be seen as a reliable way to grind money, however.