Cities: Skylines is a Sim City style simulator, but better in every way. The game is quite complex and true to reality, requiring the player to be aware of many things at the same time, which can intimidate those more novices.
With that in mind, here are 8 essential tips for you to start your city the right way in Cities: Skylines. Check out!
1. Separate industrial zones from residential zones
One of the first notions you need to have in Cities: Skylines is: you don't mix industrial buildings with residential or commercial centers (these last two can be close, without any problem). Many beginner players decide to put everything together in one place thinking that it will speed up the city's progress. Wrong.
As a general rule, place residential areas away from buildings that supply energy, from the water and sewage collection system. These three services are among the first things you define in the game. After building them, adopt their locations as a reference and start the residential and commercial centers away from them.
The main reasons for this separation is that the buildings that supply the city generate noise and pollution, in addition to requiring the traffic of cargo vehicles in the vicinity (which move more slowly and delay the movement of the inhabitants).
2. Avoid building intersections and prioritize roundabouts
As your city grows, it is inevitable that the number of streets will increase and traffic will become denser. Over time you will notice that having many intersections is detrimental to the flow of your city, as vehicles need to stop and wait very often.
To avoid this problem later on, try to prioritize the construction of roundabouts over large intersections. They are the best way to keep traffic flowing smoothly, as vehicles don't have to stop and wait.
Keep in mind that the goal is not to end all intersections. They will still exist in greater numbers than the roundabouts, but try to visualize the most suitable locations for each one. Among the main situations are:
- In the connection between streets and roads;
- Access to commercial or industrial areas where domestic vehicles share the road with cargo vehicles;
- Any place where the tracks spread in three or more directions.
Keep your crosses apart
To complement the tip, avoid building intersections too close to each other. This will cause traffic to stop very often. Remember that congestion causes noise pollution, devaluing the area and increasing the dissatisfaction of residents, who may decide to leave the city.
3. Build more walkways and fewer crosswalks
This tip is very simple but very useful for beginners who tend to build what is cheaper, without thinking too much about the future. Whenever money allows, build walkways instead of crosswalks. This will relieve traffic, especially on arterial streets and shopping centers, as cars will not have to stop for pedestrians to cross.
Another convenient location for walkways is close to public transport stops, where there is always a good flow of pedestrians.
Traffic is one of the aspects of Cities: Skylines that change the most as your city expands. It is important that you plan in advance the streets, intersections, roundabouts, walkways and everything related to traffic. That way you avoid wasting money by making many changes.
4. Re-build buildings instead of destroying them
In Cities: Skylines you can simply relocate buildings. This is a much cheaper option than destroying the first and building a second elsewhere. The function is extremely useful for remodeling your city, especially when you need to make upgrades on tracks, making them wider (something that will happen very often).
5. Identify the traffic-creating structures
There are several factors that contribute to the formation of congestion in Cities: Skylines, and the sooner you identify them, the better. In this sense, know that the game is so true to reality that you don't have to memorize a list, but just think logically.
Hospitals, schools, buildings, airports, train stations, ports and public transport stops are the main structures that you need to pay attention to. If you think about it, each of them has their own reasons for drowning traffic, be it passenger embarkation and disembarkation, material loading or unloading, etc.
For the most central structures like schools and hospitals, be sure to build them on arterial streets, as wide as possible. Those responsible for bringing people to the city such as airports and ports, the best option is to build them in more isolated places and make sure to connect it to the center with public transport. That way people who leave or arrive in the city will not need to use cars.
6. Use pause sparingly
If you are new to Cities: Skylines, you will probably spend a lot of time with the game paused while you edit your city. This is normal. However, it is important that you get used to running your city as quickly as possible without pausing the game. That's because, whenever you pause, you stop generating resources and stop making money.
Whenever you edit without pausing, be careful only when modifying streets and roads or the supply of light, water and sewage. If changes are not made correctly, or if they take too long, they can cause serious complications in your city.
7. Free public transport is worth it!
Incredibly, providing free public transportation is advantageous for you in the long run. That's because, the profit from the tickets is always little and it doesn't make that much difference. On the other hand, when public transport is free, the number of inhabitants who stop using cars is very large, which ends up greatly reducing congestion and the degree of pollution (two factors that are difficult to deal with in the game).
However, make sure that the journey with public transport is quick. If it takes too long, the inhabitants will still use a car and the free ticket is useless. This also applies to cases where only one commute (round trip) to work is fast and the other is slow.
8. Enjoy the game to the fullest: install mods
Cities: Skylines is linked to the Steam Workshop, where you can find numerous options for mods (modifications) for the game. For those who don't know, mods are small files that, when inserted in the game folder, change the experience in several ways.
There are mods for every taste in Cities: Skylines. There are so many (SO MANY) that it is even difficult to name just a few. As an example, it has mods to help with traffic management, to install real world buildings (like IKEA), to add new street options, to synchronize game time with real time, etc. Check the Steam Office and customize your game. Worth it.
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