Roadwolf's portal for his random thoughts and ponderings

Cities: Skylines - A Guide to a realistic city


Cities: Skylines is a game I have had a lot of fun playing. It appeals to my desire to create, and also do some micro managing if I so desire.

I have had a lot of fun building realistic cities with this game. But I have found some questionable strategies out there about how the perfect city should be built. Indeed, there are unrealistic methods to make the happiest, most populated, and highest value city around, but you get a city that is so clumped together that it just looks like cookie cutter blobs. Where is the challenge?

Me, I like to watch things grow organically, before my eyes! So let us take a step back and ask ourselves how cities develop in the real world. Cities like New York and Toronto... And indeed Paris, France, have not always been there. They, like all cities, grow over time. Typically a city begins as a crossroad, where trade begins to occur. A trader from point A, ventures to the crossroad and meets a trader from point B. They do business, and return to their points of origin. This eventually caused the need for services to develop, and markets to spring up near these meeting points. Which then gave rise to great cities.

To grow a city organically, you must think along these lines. First of all, the best method for a most realistic outcome would be to use a few mods right away in Cities: Skylines, and start the game with all tiles unlocked. is a mod I use to allow all 25 tiles to be purchasable. Once installed, you will need to activate this mod in the Content Manager menu of the game itself, under the category Mods. I also install the following mod to make the tiles free to purchase: Those two mods, plus the default "Unlock All - Progression Milestones" activated, will allow you to purchase the whole map for free right at the beginning of the game.

Now that those are activated, you enter a new game, and begin by purchasing all the 25 tiles. Then, I typically bulldoze or delete all highways and roads, except for a tiny bit where they enter the edges of the map. I then connect them all with single dirt country roads. The dirt roads cost less to maintain, and can handle the initial traffic of a new city, just fine. Keep in mind, we are starting from scratch here. Why would a barren patch of land have a whole highway network already built? That is a waste of taxpayers money...

Ah yes. So you have to kind of act like a politician when your planning this. Sure you could build massive underground tunnel systems and highway projects to solve some congestion. But.... while the game doesn't really charge you quite as much as it would cost to build such solutions, imagine what such things would cost in the real world? Could your city of 40,000 inhabitants, really afford a underground highway network? Always look for the cheapest realistic way to solve problems.

It might often take me a few tries to solve a problem however. I see this, and explain this as advanced study modeling... And imagine that only the final / best solution was the one which actually was put in place. Anyhow, let us examine a game I started this way, and view the progress of it...

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