SimCity Tips: Creating The Foundations For Your First City



New to SimCity and not quite sure where to begin? SimCity fan Dan Willis shares some of his all important tips on building your very first city.

New to SimCity and not quite sure where to begin? SimCity fan Dan Willis shares some of his all important tips on building your very first city.

There is a reason why SimCity is one of my favourite video game franchises of all time, and the latest incarnation of the game is no exception. Maxis have once again given us all new ways to tinker with our cities. In this article we’re going to look at how you can build the foundation of your first city without going bankrupt!

Just a small disclaimer before we begin – I am obsessed with grids in SimCity, and you will see this in my writing! Feel free to get creative with the new road tools and make as many circle cities as you want, but you’ll find me sticking to the grid for efficiency!

The first thing you will have to do with any city is connect a road to the highway so that Sims can enter and leave to city. Roads come in different sizes and densities so it’s important to select the correct ones so that you have enough simoleons to spend elsewhere. I recommend dirt roads when starting any new city as these are cheap and allow you to begin building up your city. Bear in mind you’ll be able to upgrade these later.

Connecting a dirt road to the highway

As you can see in the image, the dirt road has been connected to the highway so we can begin placing our essentials such as a power station, a water pump and sewage supply. The reason why we’re doing these first instead of zoning is that it means you’ll definitely have enough money for them, whereas you may not after placing more roads.

A wind power plant is cheap and provides an eco-friendly source of power for small cities – which is perfect for your new city! In addition, the water pump and the sewage outflow pipe are cheap and are great for starting out, even if the sewage outflow is not the cleanest… (but hey, we placed a wind power plant so it’s okay, right?).

Make sure you get the most out of these utilities by remembering the following:

  • Check the wind data layer when placing the wind power station so that it’s in a place where it’ll get plenty of wind.
  • Check the water data layer before placing the water pump – the bluer the ground the more water there is for your city!
  • Place the sewage outflow pipe away from the water source and from where you want to place residential zones. Your Sims won’t appreciate sewage in the water pipes!

The wind energy power station, water pump and sewage outflow pipe.

Now it’s time to begin zoning your residential areas! One of the things you need in a city is Sims, otherwise you’ll have no one living in your city. Like I warned earlier, I love using grids in SimCity. This maximises the city space and ensures that buildings have enough space so they can upgrade later on.

Using dirt roads, a grid has been created and residential lots are starting to appear.

As you can see from the image, the grid layout allows you to have more residential buildings in the area and maximises the space available. In the future, when you upgrade the density of the roads and buildings, they will have enough space to upgrade into apartments and eventually skyscrapers.

Another tip for laying out your city is to place commercial zones in between industrial and residential zones. Buying things makes your Sims happy and having commercial zones in between their workplace and home encourages them to visit and spend simoleons after they’ve earned it.

A commercial zone in between a residential and industrial zone.

So what have we learnt in this Hints & Tips article? We’ve looked at...

  • What types of roads to use to save precious simoleons so you can invest in city services and utilities.
  • To check the data layers before placing down power, water and sewage facilities.
  • Abuse the grid system! You don’t have to do this but I strongly believe that it’s the most effective way to build a city.
  • Where to place your residential, commercial and industrial zones.

I hope these tips set you on correct path so that you can build the city of your dreams – that doesn’t go bankrupt! If you desperately need money for your city, remember that you can turn up taxes or get a loan.

In future articles we’ll be taking a look at upgrading zone density, land value and wealth so you can start expanding your city.

Dan Willis



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