Before you start zoning, take a moment to ask yourself a few basic questions pertaining to your city’s infrastructure.  Where will your city get power and water? How will you dispose of sewage and garbage? As mayor, you need to address these issues soon after connecting your city to the regional highway. And since most utilities lower land value and spread pollution, it’s a good idea to establish your utility infrastructure before you set aside land for houses, shops, and factories.

What road should I use to make a connection to the regional highway?

SimCity Road

Always use an avenue when connecting to the regional highway. Avenues are wide thoroughfares equipped with stoplights, making them ideal for handling heavy traffic. For starters, begin with the Medium Density Avenue. This is the cheapest of the avenues but is still capable of accommodating all the cars, trucks, and buses moving in and out of your city. Later on, the Medium Density Avenue can be upgraded with the Road Selector tool, turning it into a High Density Avenue or High Density Streetcar Avenue. Let the avenue flow into your city before encountering the first intersection. Placing intersections close to the highway connection can lead to traffic back-ups on the regional highway, particularly during the morning and evening commutes.

Which power plant is the best?

SimCity Power Plant

It really depends on the situation and your needs. When first starting a city, the Wind Power Plant is by far the cheapest, making it an excellent choice. But also pay close attention to your city’s resources. If your city has large deposits of coal or oil, consider building a Coal or Oil Power Plant, fueling each with locally extracted resources. The Solar Power Plant is mostly a vanity piece, taking up a lot of space while providing a small amount of clean power. If you’re serious about power production, go for the Nuclear Power Plant. But you’ll need to supply an educated workforce to keep the plant operating at a safe level. So make sure you have enough Community College or University-educated Sims available to prevent a meltdown at the facility. Click on the Nuclear Power Plant to determine whether its functioning at a “safe” or “unsafe” level.

I just upgraded my City Hall. Which department should I add?

SimCity City Hall

Before you add any department module to your City Hall, take inventory of which departments have already been built in the region. All departments are shared among the cities in the region. So if a neighboring city has already built a Department of Education, there’s no need to build another one. But if you’re starting a new region, with no existing departments, take your city’s needs into consideration. The Department of Utilities is a good first choice because it unlocks access to the Water Pumping Station, Sewage Treatment Plant, and Recycling Center. These facilities are useful for promoting a clean and healthy city.

My roads are jammed with cars! Help!

SimCity Traffic Jam

Gridlock can cause total paralysis, preventing Sims from getting to work, interrupting supply chains, and delaying emergency vehicles. To improve traffic flow, start by upgrading your affected roads. The High Density Street and all avenues are equipped with stoplights, allowing for steadier flow. Also, while laying out your initial road network, try to minimize intersections. The new curvy roads are a great way to keep traffic moving; consider elliptical or circular layouts. But even careful design and the upgrading of roads may not be enough. So work to get cars off the street through the promotion of mass transit alternatives such as buses and streetcars. Or if you have commuters traveling in and out of your city, rely on trains, boats, and planes to keep cars off the regional highway.

Learn the lingo for SimCity. Read the full article 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.