Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Now that you finally got into SimCity, I’m sure you have already tried your hand at being the Mayor. Maybe you were successful, maybe not, either way I have compiled this SimCity tutorial to assist you in getting your city up and running without much trouble. So let’s get to it.
Please note that this is SimCity tutorial to help you get the basics right during the early stages of your city’s development. This tutorial will not focus on city specialization and I will also not be making suggestions with regards to the type of regions you should select as this guide focuses on the core concepts of getting your city up and running no matter the type of region.
The first task you are presented with when building your city is to connect your city to the highway. However, I suggest that you hold-off on that and do some research about your region. The “All Data Maps” tool should be your best friend and will assist you greatly with researching information about your region. This tool is located in the bottom right corner of your city management tool bar.
First of all, select the wind map and take note of the direction in which the wind is blowing. Depending on the direction of the wind, you will get an idea with regards to placing your zones. The rule of thumb here is to try and place your industrial zones where they won’t blow the pollution onto your residential zones. By doing this accurately you are already avoiding some pollution relation matters later in the game.
Please note that direction of the wind will also assist you in determining the placement of your Wind Power Plant as this will be one of the first sources of electricity your city has access to.
Now that you know where to place your industrial zones, you need to find the appropriate location for pumping water into our city. Select the water map. This will show you the locations in your region with abundant sources of water. These are ideal places for your Water Pumps. Try to also place your water pumps as far as possible from the industrial zones, otherwise later in the game these pumps will get polluted and thus, pump out polluted water into your city.
Last but not least, another important aspect to remember is with regards to your commercial zones. To be honest you can place your commercial zones anywhere, but they are most effective when placed between your residential and industrial zones. This way the Sims in your city drive past the commercial zones on their way to and from work.
Now that you have obtained valuable knowledge about your region, you can start by connecting to the highway. Keep in mind that every new city starts with a budget of 50 000.
In the early stages of the game I would suggest the use of dirt roads or low density streets. These roads are fairly cheap and great for large area coverage during the early game. SimCity offers you the freedom to design your city as you please, so let’s place the roads in a way where the commercial zones serve as a buffer between the residential and industrial zones. Don’t forget to keep in mind the direction of the wind during the zoning phase.
Once the roads are in place and you have the basic design of how you want your landscape to look, you should select the zone tool and highlight the areas for each of your 3 zones (A quick way to perform this is by holding the Ctrl key while clicking to place the zones. This will highlight the maximum available area). As soon as you do this, Sims will start flowing into your city. An important note to remember during this stage is to place only a few commercial zones and focus more on residential and industrial areas.
Now that Sims have moved into your city, they require 3 essential utilities:
- Sewage disposal
Each of the 3 above mentioned utilities can be provided at a fairly acceptable price. Other than the water pump, both the Wind Power Plant and the Sewage Outflow Pipe can be placed in the same vicinity as your industrial zones. The Water Pump should be placed on an abundant water source and away from your industrial zone to avoid pollution.
Within a few minutes your city should become functional. You will note that your city will expand rather quickly and the petition for a City Hall will be approved. This is a free building and should be placed as soon as it’s available. The City Hall is upgraded when certain population thresholds are met. You can easily zone more residential areas to increase your population, however, you should also note that an increase in population will increase the demand for jobs (industrial) as well as shops (commercial). So, when zoning additional residential areas, try to expand the other 2 zones as well.
As in every city, facilities such as fire stations, clinics, and police stations have to be made available. These facilities are pretty costly during the early stages, but don’t worry as not all of these have to be built at the same time.
Fire stations should be your primary concern during the start. Once your city is up and running, fires will occur from time and time and need to be put-out in a timely manner. A single fire station should be sufficient enough to prevent early game fires. You can always add more fire trucks to your station to increase response time.
The issue of health should be addressed next by adding a clinic to your city. Crime will need to be addressed last as crime only picks up once the city has grown a certain amount. Also, the police station is the more expensive of the 3 facilities.
You will soon start to notice that the area provided to build your city is quite limited and that your population is becoming stagnant or growing at an extremely slow rate. The simplest way to resolve this issue is by upgrading your roads (shortcut “R”). By doing so, you provide the Sims more room for growth as the city roads can now handle more density. Small houses will start to become apartments and clusters and be able to support more people. Doing the same in your commercial and industrial zones will turn small-time shops into shopping malls and larger factories will also start to appear.
Keeping the above mentioned tips in mind while developing your cities should assist you greatly. These should also help avoid situations where you are required to take-out bonds to support your city.
The key objective of this SimCity tutorial was to assist you in the early stages your city’s development. The tips I have provided are tips which I have now tried multiple times and have assisted me greatly in developing successful cities with happy Sims. These basics are more handy than one would imagine!