City services help promote a safe and healthy community, where Sims can thrive…and feel they’re getting a good return on the taxes they’re paying. But city services are an all-expense, non-profit venture, requiring a great deal of fiscal discipline to avoid overextending services and bankrupting the city. Like all things in SimCity, start small and expand coverage of services as needed while keeping hourly operational costs within the constraints of the city’s budget.

I just built a Fire Station. Why is my city still burning?

SimCity Fire Station

Don’t wait until a fire breaks out to build your first Fire Station. After a Fire Station is plopped, it sits empty until it can be properly staffed, just like any building. Firefighters are hired from your city’s population, so make sure you’ve zoned some residential areas nearby. If the jobs go unfilled, the Fire Station attempts to lure employees from neighboring cities. The Fire Station can only respond to fires once it has an adequate number of employees under its roof. So build a Fire Station as soon as your city can afford it. At the very least, ask a neighboring city to volunteer a fire truck to your city until you can provide your own fire coverage. Once you have a Fire Station, equip it with a Fire Alarm module to reduce response time. The addition of an extra Fire Station Garage may be necessary to increase coverage, adding one more fire truck to your fleet.

Why are my Sims getting sick?

SimCity - Getting Sick

Germs cause sickness and are produced by both air and ground pollution. If Sims live (or work) downwind from a polluting factory or power plant, they have a greater chance of being exposed to sickness-causing germs. Ground pollution is usually the result of uncollected garbage or backed-up sewage. Access the data maps for Germs, Air Pollution, and Ground Pollution to identify the affected areas of your city and make an effort to address problems pertaining to pollution. If garbage is not being collected, plop a Garbage Dump and additional Garbage Truck Garage modules. Add another Sewage Outflow Pipe if backed-up sewage is a problem. Air pollution is a bit more difficult to address. For best results, pay close attention to the wind direction before zoning residential and commercial zones, ensuring all airborne pollutants are carried away from these areas. (For more on zoning, click here.) When all else fails, place more parks in your city. Parks help absorb both air and ground pollution. Untreated sickness may lead to injuries, and injuries lead to death.

I have a Hospital, but Sims keep dying!

SimCity - Hospital

Sims die as the result of untreated injuries. Sims injured on the job, at home, or on the streets have a limited life span. As soon as they become injured, the clock starts ticking as they await the arrival of an ambulance. An ambulance must reach the injured Sim and stabilize them before transporting them back to a Clinic or Hospital for treatment. So if Sims are dying, it’s most likely due to slow response time on behalf of your ambulance fleet. Add more Ambulance Bay modules to your Clinic or Hospital to increase coverage. Also, address any traffic problems that may be delaying ambulances. If an ambulance is stuck in gridlock traffic conditions, chances are it won’t reach the injured Sim in time to save them.

Criminals are overtaking my city! How do I arrest them?

SimCity - Criminals

Patrol cars dispatched from Police Stations and Police Precincts only respond to crimes in progress. This gives them a limited amount of time to reach the crime scene and pursue the criminal before they return home. Once home, the criminal is safe, and won’t be arrested. However, if you add the Detective Wing module to a Police Precinct, the included detective car can investigate unsolved crimes and arrest suspects at their homes, hopefully before they can commit another crime. The Detective Wing is also required to catch embezzling and tax evading white collar criminals. To prevent a rise in crime, maintain a police presence throughout your city, particularly if you have any casinos. A strong police presence suppresses crime, deterring criminals from carrying out their dastardly deeds. Add more Patrol Car Lot modules to your Police Station or Police Precinct to increase coverage.

What’s the benefit of volunteering my city’s vehicles to other cities?

SimCity - Vehicles

Every vehicle you volunteer to another city (in Region View) collects a fee for each service it provides. For example, if one of you ambulances treats an injured Sim in a neighboring city, your city is paid a fee for this service. The same goes for volunteering patrol cars, fire trucks, garbage trucks, recycling trucks, and other vehicles. While the city providing the service receives a fee, the city receiving the service pays nothing. Plus, any volunteered vehicle can still service your city without a loss of local coverage. So it’s a win-win situation for everyone!

For more information on building a strong infrastructure, click here.


Do you have more questions? Post them below! For more information on roads, utilities, and mass transit, check out the SimCity: Prima Official Game Guide, available now.