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Cities: Skylines Guide and Tips – Part 2

Posted on 18 Mar 2015 by Arazmus.
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Cities: Skylines

In the first SkylinesCity guide most of the fundamentals were covered, but as the week has gone on, there are a few more tips and tricks that may make life a little easier. Mods have certainly helped add functionality to the game this week but you still need to get the basics right to get the most from the game. Read on for a few more tips, perhaps there’s something you missed…

Based on testing, parks appear to not create land value but will help in buildings upgrading which will have a knock-on effect.

If you want to change a zone type. Save your self the hassle of demolishing buildings first. Just de-zone it with the de-zone tool and all current buildings will demolish. Now apply the new zone type.

Power lines can be raised like roads which can be handy for getting around obstacles already placed. Use PAGE-UP and PAGE-DOWN keys.

Cities: Skylines

When bulldozing a specific object, you can hold the mouse button down and them move it to another object of the same type to also bulldose that. Should the mouse touch another object of a different type it will not be deleted. Simply put, if you hold the mouse button on an object, it will carry out the same action on the same type of object and only affect that type. Great for upgrading roads too.

It could be an idea to rebind your F4 key in case you hit it by accident. It loads a quick save and all current progress could be lost. Bind it to somewhere well away from main hotkey commands. F1 is quicksave but hitting that is not quite so drastic.

Be careful of mods because some can corrupt a save, this can be a problem if you have a save with a particular asset loaded and then you remove that assets and try and reload. Make multiple saves of the same city if you need to.

Mods are great but there are now literally thousands of assets and quite a few mods too. By all means test them out but try them in a city you are not that bothered about then keep the ones you want use in your “real” city, That way you will end up with a cities: Skylines version that’s more likely to meet your expectations.

Activating mods does disable achievements as you may know. You can however us this mod to enable them with mods active. Ironic I know.

Some players have experienced the lack of workers in industrial zones outside of the bulk of the city. It was thought that perhaps workers are to educated so they won’t take the jobs. What appears to be happening is that workers are just taking jobs closer to home so plan carefully to make sure there’s enough workers nearby industrial zones.

Make sure you use the Cargo train station and harbours when you can to ease congestions on the roads, keep your industry close by these. It’s not always easy but worth trying.

Placing a Hadron Collider will boost education levels to max across the whole city and all buildings will upgrade increasing the population so make sure your city can handle this.

Use pedestrian paths alongside roads in Industrial zones to stop delivery trucks blocking the main road and stopping traffic flow. Place paths on the inside of the main road and vehicles can then turn into a side road to deliver.

Cities: Skylines


Use your districts to ban heavy traffic which will force large vehicles to use another route into industrial zones which you will have course planned in advance 🙂

Place dams on narrow stretches of river, this should generate more power. Look at the river flow and see what looks best for power generation.

I’ve seen comments from people wondering why their dams are not working. Chances are there’s not enough cash in the city funds to keep it running. It needs 3200 just to keep going every cycle.

A handy tip which I find quite interesting is the creation of a busway which was posted by King of Zoot. More and more cities are creating dedicated bus routes these days and this is a nice concept where you seperate a road system from your main network and attach a bus station and fire station to the route to allow a buses to move on this network without other traffic getting in the way. It will take some planning but it’s a nice concept.

Highway off ramps can cause massive congestion backlogs. To help fight this, build a six lane road at the end where the off ramp meets the entrance to the city. This filters the cars into the multiple lanes helping prevent a backlog of traffic behind them coming off the off ramp. Even better. upgrade them to six lanes.

Cities: Skylines

A simple tip, which seems obvious but not everyone can be bothered to do this, use the map editor to layout your major rail and road network connections in advance before you start the map. Save the map changes and load it up. This saves you working with major road and rail routes when you start the city. It’s especially useful to get train tracks down which will costs nothing but time.

Finally, and I know many readers will already know these, but just in case, this what unlocks at each point in the game. This is assuming you’re playing the game without everything unlocked already.

Population City Type Unlocks
500 Little Hamlet Elementary School, Medical Clinic, Landfill Site Taxes, Loans, Garbage, Healthcare, Education
1000 Worthy Village Police Station, Fire House, Districts, Policies, Second Loan, Industry Specializations, Services Policies, Unique Buildings, Forestry Specialization, Agriculture Specialisation  [2Km Square unlock]
1500 Tiny Town High School Decoration, Level 2 Unique Buildings, Pet Ban, Smoking Ban, Parks and Recreation
2600 Boom Town Bus Depot, Advanced Wind Turbine, Cemetery, Transport, Level 3 Unique Buildings, Recycle, Recreational Use, Ore Industry Specialisation [2Km Square unlock]
5500 Busy Town City Planning Policies, Level 4 Unique Buildings, Free Public Transport, Heavy Traffic Ban, Oil Industry Specialisation
7500 Big Town Metro Station, University, Incineration Plant, Taxation Policies, Level 5 Unique Buildings, Education Boost, Tax Raise, Tax Relief, High Density Residential Zone, High Density Commercial Zone, Office Zone [2Km Square unlock]
11000 Small City Train Station, Cargo Train Terminal, Hydro Power Plant Level 6 Unique Buildings,  Small Business Enthusiast, Big Business Benefactor, Industrial Space Planning, High Tech Housing, Highrise Ban
20000 Grand City Solar Power Plant, Final loan option.
32000 Capital City Cargo Harbor [2Km Square unlock]
44000 Colossal City Nuclear Power Plant [2Km Square unlock]
65000 Metropolis Airport [2Km Square unlock]
80000 Megalopolis Monuments [2Km Square unlock]

If you missed part one of these guides and tips you can read that here. Also feel free to add any that may have been missed in this forum thread.


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  • Byronic Fate

    what is a ‘knock-on’ effect?