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SimCity - Top 5 Tips

Published 1 year, 6 months ago by Zach Farley

Hello Mayors,

Welcome to Farlsville and my “City on the Hill”

Today, I have five great tips to make sure your city blossoms from an average location to a place sure to make any magazines “Top 5 Places To Live!” Early in my SimCity career, I built some solid cities, but I felt like I was wasting space or not keeping a tight enough budget. Below are some tips I have discovered in my first 100+ hours of gameplay to make my cities go from good to great!
SimCity 1
1.    Bulldoze Away

While “Dozing” sections of your city can reduce population in the short term, it is essential to making it an efficient city. My early building always tended to get a little sloppy and I found myself waiting too long to correct it. I initially thought the bulldozer tool was more for clearing abandoned buildings or rubble, but it has turned into one of my most used tools. Anytime I have some extra cash, I look to see what areas in my city I can completely revitalize. While it cost me some cash and population in the short term, it always comes back bigger and better. It is NEVER too late to slightly or totally reshape your city. (Read more about SimCity Infrastructure)

Pro Tip
Make sure to replace bus stops on any streets you replace!  


2.    Don’t Fear a Budget in the Red!

Maintaining that utopian city is such a financial burden. I was always turning profit in my industrial or tourist cities, but a pure residential city was too expensive for me early on. I found myself having to sacrifice one of my police/fire/ambulance to keep the budget balanced. I was extremely close, but could never quite line it up (with everything on it was about -500/hr!). I always looked at this as a negative, however with my expo center and trade depot’s turning a huge profit, I had plenty in the reserves to justify a budget in the red since I was still turning a profit.

Pro Tip
Education seems expensive, however it reduces trash and increases recycling which can be extremely valuable to your bottom line!



3.    Search for Overlapping Buildings 

I read in the official SimCity strategy guide that a community college and a university are both important, but don’t really need to be active at the same time. If you start early with a community college (To raise your industrial tech level to 2) but later go with the University (Tech Level 3) you can turn off the community college. I was spending HUGE money on education until I realized I had overlapping programs that could be powered off to save my budget. Make sure those early buildings you planted are still serving their initial purpose! (Read more about SimCity Education)

Pro Tip
The Grade School is great early, but can be sacrificed once you get the High School up and running!



4.    Turn off Extra Modules

Whenever I click into a building that is understaffed (like trash), I almost always max out the trucks right away as I know demand will eventually increase. This can prove expensive later in the game when buildings like water and sewer treatment  are running at large excess. Unless you are selling the extra water/sewer/trash in the region, make sure to power down the excess. The handy meter in the bottom right will tell you how much extra you are producing, and you can turn off the individual modules. If you have placed all 6 possible sewer treatment add-on’s, but can meet demand with 3, simply turn off the 3 to save the hourly cost. Later, as your population increases the demand, you can simply turn it back. By then, you will have more tax revenue and you will have already made the initial investment! (Read more about SimCity City Services)

SimCity 2

Pro Tip
Maxing out your buildings is great, but if you have excess, try selling it to the region to make up for the costs!

5. Balancing Act

The “RCI” (Residential, Commercial, Industry) meter at the bottom of the screen is a great guide to let you know what your city needs. I was always trying to get the meters to line up perfectly, but you can still create an epic city without having everything perfect. I would often overreact to my lack of commercial buildings and accidently squash my Sim residents! Don’t build your city based solely on these zoning guidelines, you can still build a great place to live without everything lining up perfectly. (Read more about SimCity Zoning)
SimCity 3

Pro Tip
Focus on the land value map to really bring some beautiful skyscrapers into your city! Think like NY . . . parks are your friend!


Make sure to check out the official SimCity strategy guide as it has great insight from the developers of the game! Having the digital access is great when you need to quickly look something up after the inevitable disaster strikes your city. This will have you ready to rebuild and become a stronger city than ever!

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