People in the world of Altered Carbon make their living in just about every field imaginable. The society is highly stratified with little movement between classes. Most people are lucky to wear a second sleeve of decent quality.

Ads are everywhere. Sophisticated AIs scan people and deliver full 3D personalized and unavoidable ads. People can purchase ad blocker subscriptions for their ONIs (optical neural interface - a device that replaces cell phones) but not everyone bothers.


To keep things simple, we imagine the relative cost of everyday items is the same as in our world. Credits replace dollars or Euros and is the single currency across the Protectorate. Most people pay for things via a DNA scan linked to a bank account, though hard currency in the form of polymer notes is still used in some places, most notably on the lowest levels of the city.

A cup of coffee costs between 2-3 credits. A haircut costs between 30-80 credits. You can assume those and other day-to-day items cost the same, and professions pay roughly what they do in our world.

There are a few things that aren't so easily quantified. To help, here is a chart in credits:

Sleeve (50+, health problems or has a disease or disability) 2,000 - 5,000
Sleeve (middle-aged, decent health, no enhancements) 10,000 - 15,000
Sleeve (premium, young, possible cosmetic enhancements) 15,000 - 45,000
Sleeve (ultra premium, young, attractive, top-line enhancements) 46,000 - 150,000
Sleeve lease (monthly) 2% - 5% of sleeve value. 250 credits per month storage fee
Synth (basic, inhuman) 8,000 - 15,000
Synth (mid-level, more human) 16,000 - 50,000
Synth (top of the line, shapeshifting) 300,000 +
A clone 400,000 + storage fees
Needlecast backup (meth only) 2.5 million initial set-up, 50,000 per backup (daily)
Neurachem (consumer-grade, boosts one attribute) 7,000 - 13,000
Neurachem (military-grade, boosts one attribute) 15,000 - 25,000
Neurachem (hacked, boosts one attribute, comes with side effects) 3,000 - 15,000
Cybernetic limb 5,000 - 45,000
Ground vehicle 5,000 - 15,000
Flying car 7,000 - 125,000
ONI 50 - 300
ONI ad blocker (monthly subscription 35