Cities: Skylines FAQ

Cities: Skylines FAQ

Last Updated 28 March 2015


Terrain & Maps

How many maps are there?

There are nine maps included with the game but there are thousands of maps available and you can create your own with the editor.

Nine maps are included. Three for each map climate type

Nine maps are included. Three for each map climate type

How big are the maps?

The map consists of tiles. The maximum city size is 9 map tiles, one map tile is 2km x 2km. Players start with the first one and then unlock more land for their city. Players get to choose the tiles from 25 tiles on the map. The area is all seamless so  pretty huge cities can be developed.

The cities can be 36 square km, and not necessarily in a square. However there is an option to uncouple the limitation and go bigger, dependant on the player’s hardware.

Can you use more of the maps space beyond the 3×3 standard grid?

Yes you can. This can be down with a mod which can open up a total of 25 tiles. Details on how to do this can be read here.

Are their Regions?

No. There is an outside world that buys surplus goods your industries manufacture and that you can buy resources and goods from but you do not see outside of your city.

What type of terrain is there?

Although there are no regions map tiles can have certain attributes such as possibility for an outside connection (seaside harbour, train tracks) and natural resources.

Will there be terraforming?

Terraforming will be in Skylines to a degree, such as the possibility to do something with rivers,  but major changes will be done through the map editor tool where things as mountains can be made and water sources added. You can not change the landscape of an already created map.

Mod makers are experimenting with in-game terraforming and Colossal Order has stated they may look at adding it in the future.

Can external map data (OpenStreetMap, Google Maps) be imported into the game to generate landscape?

In the map editor landscapes can be created that can come pretty close. You may also want to import a real world location from map data which can be done with height maps. You can read how to do that in this guide.



Is there zoning?

Yes.  There is a district tool that allows you to zone your city into different districts with different local policies and specialisations.  The policies will determine what type of industries and businesses open up.

You designate zones as either:

  • Residential
    • High density
    • Low density
  • Commercial
    • High density
    • Low density
  • Workplaces
    • Industry
    • Offices

There are two zone densities to choose from, after which it is up to the player to increase the land value.  Low density zones make places look more like suburbs and high density more like a city centre. Taxes for each zone can be set separately.

Will buildings degrade?

No, but they can burn down or become abandoned. Trees and the ground can die and turn brown if Industrial buildings put out too much pollution decreasing the land value. Remove abandoned or burned out buildings to increase the happiness of neighbouring structures. Abandoned buildings are indicated by a brown house icon above the structure.

 Do the buildings look modern in design?

On initial release buildings will look contemporary (think Dubai) but Colossal Order are looking to add more classical buildings in the future. They are also planning on releasing a European building pack as free DLC.

Buildings created in the editor can be imported into the game.

What sort of information about a building will be available?

  • Building’s level
  • Happiness level
  • Breakdown of inhabitants
    • Uneducated
    • Educated
    • Well educated
    • Highly educated
    • Children
    • Teens
    • Young adults
    • Adults
    • Seniors
A residence level chart.

A residence level chart.

Is there visual representation of wealth/poverty in neighbourhoods?

Yes, but it’s not over the top. There are different level and zones types that allow you to simulate ghettos, suburbs and places where rich people live.

There is a small upgrade time, represented by visual change as the building upgrades.

Can inhabitants evolve, get wealthier, and therefore afford to move to a better dwelling?

The citizens get wealthier and upgrade.

What determines the level of the residential area?

  • Whether the residents are educated or not – Higher levels require great commercial and workplace connections
  • The value of the surrounding neigbourhood – Lower levels have a negative impact on surroundings by generating more garbage.
  • The number of nearby services – Lower levels require fewer city services

Low density housing is favoured by families with young kids and seniors whereas higher density attracts young adults and families with no kids.

What determines the level of the commercial area?

  • The education level of nearby residents
  • Presence of nearby city services

Different levels of commercial areas provide different levels of shops to local residents.  A level 1 commercial area has general stores, whereas a level 3 commercial area will offer designer shops for example.

What determines the level of the industrial area?

  • Land values
  • Education level of nearby residents
  • Pollution produced

Highest level of industrial area will produce the highest level of goods.

Offices are the last to unlock in Skylines and doing so will allow players to unlock the highest education establishments and swap their city from industry based office-based.  Not as much tax will be collected but there will be much less pollution to deal with.

What happens when someone moves to your city?

The citizens have their own house and workplace (or school) and they will visit shops and other places in the city.  When young adults start a family they will need a bigger house.

How many speed settings are there?

There are three speed settings and a pause when you can still build things. This is located on the bottom left of the interface and you can see a green bar moving at different speeds depending on what you have set. To change the speed click the arrows next to the green bar.

Is there a third person mode?

No but the camera can be moved rather freely. You can not follow individual citizens.

Since release there has been mods that allow you to play the game in a first person mode.

Is there a climate?

The game will ship with three different climate zones:

  • Northern European
  • Southern European
  • Tropical

There is no weather system within those however such as seasons bringing snowstorms, rain, gales.

Are there disasters?

As of release there are no disasters or randomly generated disaster events. You can however flood a city with a dam.

Is there a Sandbox mode?

Yes. You have unlimited gold but will still need to unlock systems and services to progress through your build and reach the end game content.

Is there  a tutorial?

Yes. There is an in game guide that tries to remind you if there’s something wrong with your city. For example, if there’s an area that has no electricity, if you leave it that way for a few game weeks (a few minutes) the guide will ask if it’s intentional or should you perhaps give the dudes living there some electricity.

There’s also the unlocking, so players can gradually ease into the game, you don’t have to start with all tools and respond to all needs. The unlocking also makes the player set their own pace. A very skilled player unlocks everything very fast, but a less experienced one can take the time to get to know each city service as they unlock and only then proceed to unlock more.


What utilities are there?

  • Water – Pipes placed underground.
  • Electricity.
  • Nuclear power.
  • Wind Farms.
  • Solar Power
  • Sewage – Pipes placed underground.
  • Additional user created assets can augment existing utilities.
The power of the sun.

The power of the sun.

Surplus water and power can not be sold to the outside world. If too much is produced then the budget for that sector can be reduced.

Do I have to place all the pipes?

Yes, you have to make sure all piped are connected to a non-polluted water supply. Pipes carry both water for consumption and remove sewage. One pipe handles both of these and they must be connected to a pumping station and water drain pipe positioned on a river or coast.

Place your water network.

Place your water network.


Through the map editor tool terrain can be altered and water sources can be placed which act like real water.  This system is restricted to the map editor tool because errors could cause a city to flood and the player would have to wait for the water to evaporate.


Buildings fain power by being connected to a power source such as a power station. Pylons can carry electricity over long distances to buildings. Buildings will be powered as long as there is enough power for the whole city and there is a building next to them with power.

Pylons can also be raised off the ground in the same way as roads using the PAGE-UP and PAGE DOWN keys.

Cities: Skylines

Raised Pylons



Service buildings have an operation range that depends on road connections, the budget and the size and type of building.

  • Police – The amount of police cars the station has depends on the budget apportioned to it. Patrol cars leave the station and head to a location where a crime is occurring. While travelling they affect the crime rate of the buildgins around them.  When they have handled a crime they respond to the next call and lower crime rate while travelling there.
  • Hospitals – Hospitals and clinics can be built and in the overlay map the area of influence is highlighted by green lines.
  • Fire service – Fire stations clinics can be built and in the overlay map the area of influence is highlighted by green lines.
  • Refuse – There will be options to destroy refuse with an incinirator. If the refuse system is overburdened buildings start to pile full trash cans on the curb lowering the value of the area. Landfills can become full but can be emptied and the waste is moved to another site. Emptying a landfill site can take quite some time.
  • Schools – Primary, secondary, and universities can be built. This will educate the citizens and encourage more advanced industry.
  • Undertakers – The take the dead and either cremate them at a cematorium or bury the dead at a graveyard.
Fire stations can become very busy.

Fire stations can become very busy.

Do service buildings expand as my requirements increase?

There is no modular expansion of existing buildings, though some upgrade options are available for certain assets such as a cemetary to a crematorium.

Do Graveyards become full?

Yes, they will become full. They can be emptied  (which takes time) and bodies are taken to a crematorium or graveyard that is not full.


Crematorium taking care of the dead.

Crematorium taking care of the dead.

Do landfills become full?

Yes, they can become full and can be emptied. Garbage can be moved from a ladnfill to an incinerator but it takes time to empty a landfill.

Resources and Industry

Are resources unlimited?

No, resources such as oil will deplete and eventually run out. They can however be imported

Where do I find resources?

Use the resource overlay map to show all resources available on the ground.

How do I utilise resources on the map?

To access resources build an industrial zone over a resource and assign a district to the area by painting over the zone with the district brush tool. Once it’s a district you can assign a specific industry to that industrial zone and micromanage that district with its own specialisation policies.


An industrial district


Is there tourism?

Yes. You can attract tourists to your city if it’s nice and offers places of interest that would attract visitors. These can be buildings that offer tourism value to your city. There also community created assets to help boost tourism.

Is there any future technology?

You can go a little way into the future so there are plausible inventions such as fusion power plants.

Is there agriculture?

Yes. This is a sub category of the Industrial zone.

A small farming district.

A small farming district.

Trade and Commerce

Will there be a means to keep abreast of finances and manage them?

There are data sheets to enable players to control taxes for the each zone and expenses of city services. These can be further tweaks via slider.


Set your taxes.


Is there trading with other cities?

The outside world will buy surplus your city produces and offers goods for your commercial districts and resources for industry.

Is there a Mayor’s Villa or City Hall?


What are the options for city revenue ?

Finances are mainly handled through taxes and budgeting city services.  Zoned areas pay different taxes; Industrial for producing goods, commercial when they sell goods, citizens on their income for example.  Money is also earned through public transport ticket sales.

What is the economy like?

Colossal Order describe it as:

Deep, but manageable. It’s a tricky feature to balance out.


What kinds of transport systems is there?

There will be:

  • Planes
  • Trains – (passenger (residents/tourists) and freight)
  • Metro
  • Buses
  • Roads – Including elevated roads. Custom road pieces can be made with the modding tools to use in game.
Airport in action.

Airport in action.

There will be buildings to serve these services such as airports and harbours. For example a train station can be placed and a complete circuit of track must be created before it will start functioning. Bus routes can also be set out quite easily byu selecting the bus station and creating stops in the overlay map.

Transport is an aspect of the game that is a prime target for an expansion pack.

What sort of transport management systems are there?

  • Bus routes can be set and the vehicles will go to the lines automatically from their depots.
  • You are not required to manage ticket pricing or set schedules. Ticket sales contribute to your cities’ earnings.
  • There are traffic lights with certain types of (larger?) roads.
  • Roundabouts can be placed to automatically manage traffic flow. There are two sizes pre-made in the road menu, large and small. These can be further tweaked using the bulldozer tool or adding additional road junctions.

Can I remove traffic lights?

Yes you can remove them from junctions but you will need the excellent Toggle Traffic Lights mod.

Can there be car-free cities?

Providing excellent public transportation could create a private car-free city?  Goods vehicles will still operate to take goods from industrial to commercial areas. A mod to try is Traffic++ (Zonable Pedestrian paths) to create traffic-free neighbourhoods.

Are there different types of roads?

Yes. There are decorated versions with lower noise pollution for each type, also highways and special highway ramps.  Roads can be laid in curves too and and also free drawn. Roads can also be tweaked with the use of mods.

Can roads expand and not require buildings to be destroyed?

If you upgrade or downgrade an existing road, the zoning is preserved but if the road size changes, buildings are automatically destroyed (only zoned buildings – you can’t automatically destroy a Hospital by mistake) and new ones spawn.

Can roads be named?

No but districts can.

Can we build bridges?

Yes. The bridge graphics will be dependant on the size of road it is built on. Simply change the elevation of the road using the PAGE-UP or PAGE-DOWN key when you have the road tool selected.

Can pedestrians walk anywhere?

Pedestrians will walk on sidewalks and cross streets at crossings. They also use pathways. If you want to force a crossing on a road, read this guide for tips.

Are there tunnels?

Not yet, but Colossal Order have said they are looking to add them in a future update.


What types of parks and green areas are ther?

  • Ponds
  • Trees
  • Streams
  • Waterfalls
  • Different types of trees
  • Mountain textures
  • Parks
  • Monuments
  • Statues
  • Plazas

Some of these decoration objects can be placed freely, without any limitations. For example the inside area of a city block can be filled with a beautification if there is some space left.

Add beautification features.

Add beautification features.

Can you use the beautification tools outside of parks?

Yes. You can  decorate space between buildings, place trees and props.


Is there modding capabilities?

Yes. There are specially designed tools such as a map editor, building editor, 3d asset importer  and beautification tool. Creations can be shared with other players via Steam Workshop and also highlighted by submitting them to this very site.

Although Unity isn’t open source some of the actual code will be available and mods such as ModTools can really help in creating mods.

Will I be able to create my own road pieces with the modding tools?

Yes, this can be done in the in-game editor.

Can we import Cities in Motion 2 maps into Cities Skylines?

It’s unlikely.

Can we mod gated communities?

This will be possible with some wall / gate assets, policies.

Are there any resources to help me learn how to mod?

Yes there are. Try these…

Where can I find the best mods?

Here at SkylinesCity we add all the best mods to the site. You can find all chosen files via these links…


Is Cities: Skylines online only?

No, Cities Skylines is offline. The city management calculations can be done locally on your PC so there is no requirement to play online.

How will latency and pc strain be reduced when playing on larger maps?

The game is optimised to run on the recommended hardware for maximum city size. The city size limiter and be uncoupled via your own settings.

What 3D model filetypes are supported?


What impacts more on framerate; map size or number of agents?

The number of objects visible on screen is the heaviest on framerate.  Skylines is optimised on the recommended hardware for the max city size (36km2).

What engine does Skylines use?

It uses Unity, like Cities in Motion 2 but they have rewritten and improved features.

What are the PC System Requirements?


    • OS: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8 
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual core 
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM 
    • Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce 8800, 512 MB RAM or ATI Radeon HD 3850, 512 MB RAM 
    • DirectX: Version 9.0 
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection 
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space


    • OS: Microsoft Windows 7/8 (64-bit) 
    • Processor: 3 GHz Quad core 
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM 
    • Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce GTX460, 1 GB RAM or AMD Radeon HD 6850, 1 GB RAM 
    • DirectX: Version 9.0 
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection 
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space

 What are the Mac System Requirements?


    • OS: OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.3 
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual core 
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM 
    • Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce 8800, 512 MB RAM or ATI Radeon HD 3850, 512 MB RAM 
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection 
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space


    • OS: OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.3 or later 
    • Processor: 3 GHz Quad core 
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM 
    • Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce GTX460, 1 GB RAM or AMD Radeon HD 6850, 1 GB RAM 
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection 
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space

What are the Linux System Requirements


    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual core 
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM 
    • Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce 8800, 512 MB RAM or ATI Radeon HD 3850, 512 MB RAM 
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection 
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space


    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 
    • Processor: 3 GHz Quad core 
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM 
    • Graphics: nVIDIA GeForce 8800, 512 MB RAM or ATI Radeon HD 3850, 512 MB RAM 
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection 
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space


Release & Beyond

When was the game released ?

March 10 2015.

How much does it cost?

Around $29.99

What languages are available for has Cities: Skylines?

English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Polish and they will try to do Japanese and Chinese. It depends on how big the game gets.

Will there be DLC?

Paradox are looking at releasing major expansion packs and large patches full of free stuff and some minor DLC.

Is there Oculus Rift Support.

No, but if they can come up with a good way to support it they will consider it.

Is there anything that has been confirmed as NOT being in Cities on initial release?

  • Night time but it’s likely to appear as a DLC (maybe free)
  • Weather system
  • Trams
  • Bicycles
  • Events

This does not mean they will not appear as a mod, DLC or in a future expansion pack.

Can I contribute to this FAQ?

We would love you contribute and you can do so my adding anything you think is missing in the comments below and it will be added.