10 Cities: Skylines Tips for Building Cities

The Cities: Skylines tips in this game guide cover how players can build more efficient cities. Is the city you’re building in that game racking up debt? If so, the tips in this Cities: Skylines guide could get your city building on the right track.

10 Cities: Skylines Tips for Building Cities

Cities: Skylines is one of the best city-building simulation games for Windows. It’s a game in which you can build a colossal city. However, building the city of your dreams is easier said than done. If you don’t get your city management right, you could end up bankrupt with a decrepit city in desperate need of serious investment. These Cities: Skyline tips might help you build bigger and better cities.

Don’t Stuff Your City With Too Many Services

Services are crucial to your city. Adding services will raise land values and enable buildings to reach their maximum levels. So, it might be tempting to stuff education, health, police, and fire service buildings here, there, and everywhere in your city.

Cities: Skylines - Official Trailer

However, don’t forget that every service building will increase costs. Filling your city up with an excessive number of services will place considerable strain on your budget. Building more services than your budget can cover could leave you in debt with costs exceeding your city’s turnover.

Thus, it’s important to strike an effective balance when building services. Make good use of Cities: Skylines’ map filter info to help you see the areas of your city where you need to add them. Don’t place services in any areas they aren’t needed much.

Map info for fire services

Map info for fire services

Invest Heavily in Education

If you want your city to prosper, you’ve got to invest a lot in education. A low education level will have a considerable impact on your city’s commerce and industry. Industrial and commercial buildings can close down because of a lack of a sufficiently educated workforce.

It’s also important to build plenty of schools for the sake of land value. Higher residential building levels depend a lot on education. Few of your residential buildings will reach the maximum level when education is inadequate in your city.

So, build plenty of schools and libraries throughout your city to maximize education. You shouldn’t necessarily stop at just building schools. To further enhance education, be prepared to raise your educational budget.

A school

A school

Add Lots of Parks and Plazas to Your City

Land value is important to your city’s economy. Buildings won’t grow to their highest levels in low land value areas. As higher-level buildings provide the most tax revenue, raising land value equates to a more prosperous city.

Adding lots of parks and plazas is one of the best ways to raise the average land value in your city. Place plenty of parks near to and along residential areas. Picnic and tree-lined plazas are an alternative, but they have lower entertainment value than parks and playgrounds.

A small park

A small park

Keep Industry Away From Residential

Pollution reduces land value in Cities: Skylines and causes sickness within your city. So, avoid mixing industrial buildings with residential ones. Set aside areas specifically for industrial buildings where you don’t add any residential blocks. Then fill the spaces around your city’s industrial regions with commercial buildings that keep residential blocks away from the pollution.

An industrial area built away from residential buildings.

An industrial area built away from residential buildings.

Always Place Sewage Outlets Downstream

Sewage pumped out in your city’s river will inevitably cause water pollution. You can considerably reduce water pollution by placing your sewage outlets further downstream. The further downstream your sewage pipes are, the less water they’ll pollute.

Also, NEVER place your city’s water intake pipes downstream from its sewage outlet. Your citizens will be bathing in polluted water if you do. Always make sure you’ve placed your city’s water intake pipes upstream from the sewage ones.

Sewage pipes and water pollution

Sewage pipes and water pollution

Build High-Density Residential and Commercial for Skyscrapers

If you want some big skyscrapers in your city, add high-density residential and commercial buildings when you unlock them. They’ll also need to be in high-land value areas to grow into the highest buildings. Stick lots of parks and services around high-density buildings if you need to raise the land value for them.

High-density residential skyscrapers

High-density residential skyscrapers

Expand Public Transport to Curb Traffic

When your city gets bigger, traffic will become more of an issue. Reducing traffic can be a challenge, but it’s not rocket science. Adding a good rail network and extensive bus routes to your city will curb traffic. It’s easy to add bus routes, but adding railway lines over built-up parts of your city without deleting much can be challenging. So, add railway lines through empty areas first and then build around them.

Spread Out Landfill Sites

Your city is going to need landfill sites, but don’t clump them altogether in the same place. As each landfill site has up to 15 trucks, grouping those sites next to each other in the same area can generate traffic congestion on the surrounding roads. Such traffic can slow down the collection trucks, leading to more frequent garbage pile-ups. So, try to spread out landfill sites around your city to avert potential traffic issues.

A landfill site

A landfill site

Don’t Set Taxes Higher Than 12 Percent

Nine percent is the default tax rate in Cities: Skylines. The 12 percent mark is about the highest you can raise taxes without impacting residential, industrial, and commercial demand levels too much. Citizens will start complaining and maybe even move out if you raise tax beyond that mark. So, it’s best not to raise taxes much higher than 12 percent.

Cost cutting can be a better way to balance the books if your city’s turnover drops uncomfortably close to zero. A marginal 10 percent budget cut for any service will only have a relatively minor impact. However, 10 percent cuts for multiple services can save your city quite a bit of money.

Adding industrial districts with farming, oil, forest, and ore specializations later in the game will reduce your city’s import costs. You can add industrial districts (when unlocked) by pressing the district button shown directly below. Brush over a resource area (shown on the game’s map) to add the district and then select a specialization option for it. Industrial buildings you add to that district will then be specialized ones supplying your city with food, coal, oil, and wood.

The district button

The district button

Turn on the Unlimited Budget Mod

You can make Cities: Skylines much easier by enabling the unlimited budget mod. Selecting that mod gives you an unlimited budget, which effectively amounts to a sandbox game mode. Then you can have fun building a city without any economic constraints.

You can enable that mode by clicking Content Manager > Mods from the game’s title screen. Select the Unlimited Money mod option there. You can also select options for unlimited oil, ore, and soil.

The mod settings in Cities: Skylines

The mod settings in Cities: Skylines

The Cities: Skylines tips above will enhance your city’s prosperity and overall happiness ratings. If you can get the basic city building right in Cities: Skylines, you’re on your way to becoming an accomplished mayor!

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