In Patrician IV, the player takes on the role of a young merchant in the area of the Baltic and North Sea during the late Middle Ages, the zenith of the Hanseatic League and its naval trading empire.

Starting from meager beginnings as a small stall trader, players must use every skill at their disposal to rise through the merchant ranks and become the most powerful merchant in Europe. The authentic supply and demand-based trading system allows players to grow their business and head out to the high seas to form trading routes with other Hanseatic cities negotiating better prices for the buying and selling of goods.