Cities - Skylines (PC) beginners guide

Cities - Skylines is a game in which you will be appointed mayor of a virtual city. When building your free hand city, it is very easy to make a mistake. So your town occupies a good start and can flourish we have listed some tips and tricks for you here. These of course are not mandatory, but have proven to be very useful for us.

Before the first stone: Proper planning

Perhaps you know that already: You've decided to build without great plan, your city is growing strongly and suddenly it looks your city as if just a bunch of Huns marched through.

This is essential to plan properly. At the beginning of the game you can use the button below "Areas" to view the map. Here you can "plan ahead" so not suddenly turns up a river that makes you a spanner in the new residential area.

Absolutely needed: water

One of the important things that your city requires a good supply of fresh water and a sewage system. Let us dedicate ourselves to the care of your citizens with drinking water. For this you have several options:

1. Water Towers

Water towers are more expensive to build than a pumping station and free maintenance in much the same. But they also deliver only half. Your advantage: They depend neither on roads or a river in the vicinity; you can build as anywhere. With water towers so you also protect the river: Too many pumping stations can empty the riverbed.

2. Pump Station

The pumping station has the advantage that it is cheaper to build and bring twice as much power against the water towers. However, it is absolutely depend on a river. Too many pumps can even empty the river. Nevertheless, leave some space in your first pumping station to extend later. Your city is supposed to finally grow strongly and soon certainly more demand for drinking water. Note: Never build a sewage station downstream, why do we explain here. It is best wastewater far back forward again below the current is.

Now You just have your road network with water supply lines. How far enough you can see the construction of the water tubes (blue areas).

What also comes in must go again: Sewage

Since you have your city now supplied with drinking water must of course take care that the waste water also disappears. Only one solution is given at the beginning of the game. However, we list the sake of completeness also another possibility.

1. Waste water pipe

The sewer pipe does nothing more than to lead your waste water back into the river. Not very pleasant, but first you have no other choice. Note: Always build the sewer pipes downstream of the flow. In no case shall the waste water flow past your drinking water pumps. You can imagine why safe (in short: your citizens drink the contaminated water and get sick or die).

2. Water Treatment Plant

The treatment plant you cannot build at the beginning of the game, but later becomes important. Unlike sewage pipes, the system cleans wastewater and makes 85% cleaner, before it is passed back into the river.

Extra tip: Respect for wastewater forward to leading not too much in the same place back into the river. To narrow river this may lead to flooding (with sewage, well yum!).

Roads to Happiness? The Road

The road in Cities - Skyline works very intuitively. For each type street there is a help tool.

First, you must connect your town naturally to the overall transport network. Pay attention to the fact that you linked both access and exit with your road network. Naturally enough only times the small road to begin with. But let's place in the "input" for an industrial park.

Full Power: Your Power Supply

The median age is over: Time for a decent power supply of your citizens.

Here you are at the game begins basically two ways: Wind turbines and coal power plants.

1. The Coal Power Plant

The coal-fired power plant is more than three times more expensive than a wind turbine. Of course, a power plant produces five times as much energy, but also has disadvantages: It contaminates the environment, will cost more in the construction and maintenance. But: The benefit / cost ratio still speaks for the coal plant. Apart from pollution ...

2. Wind Turbines

Wind turbines are much cheaper than coal power plants and obviously cost much less individually. But they are subject to wind Mechanics: The wind does not blow much the same everywhere. So, try to build wind turbines in the dark blue areas. And naturally think of your citizens: Wind turbines are noisy, so reduce the quality of life in the immediate vicinity (yes, as in real life, because the plants will also not have at his house ...)

Power Lines: Power lines are only necessary when the current from one zone to another. Do you recognize this in blue areas in the build menu.

Construction Zones

When the game starts you have three zones include Light residential area (residential area), light industrial area (shopping center, offices) and light industrial area (factories). Below the Construction menu you see the way in a bar chart on what your town has an urgent requirement.

First build the green residential area. As soon as there are the first houses the necessity of industrial estates and industrial areas increase.

Build this also, but beware: industrial areas have a high volume of traffic on trucks. This, of course, interferes with the flow of traffic and residents. Therefore, never build industrial areas next to residential areas, prefer a little out of the best in the vicinity of the highway.

Money problems?

Now your town should run all by themselves first. But probably you have now spent so much money that you are running out of money (or at least your expenses are higher than income).

Look in your electricity field. Probably you can slightly lower the performance of the power plants (and of course the output). Thus you should be in the plus again soon.

Your city is growing and thriving ...

Have 500 citizens settled in your town, you get put options, some new (construction). These are listed below:
  • Taxes and credits
  • Pollution and noise
  • Waste management and landfill
  • Health system and hospital
  • Education and Elementary Schools
Pollution and noise

Open the pollution-Info window. Here you can see the current level of pollution, the havoc your city. Especially industrial areas, landfills, sewage pipes and power plants you should keep an eye on this.

In the noise-Info window you can see where it's loud in your city. You should put emphasis here on business parks and industrial and optionally further isolated the commercial area of your residential areas.

Waste Management and Landfill

Now you have the option to build a landfill. But this of course dirty the floor. Build it far away from your residential areas (but of course close enough so that it can reach the garbage disposal).

Health care and Hospitals

The clinic should be located in the vicinity of your citizens, of course: So, in order to reach all your citizens in the center of the residential area is the best.

Education and Elementary Schools

Of course apply to the primary school the same as for the clinic: It is for your citizens there.

In 1000 citizens!

If necessary, is now building more residential areas. We want namely, that our city grows to 1,000 residents, so we unlock the following new features:

  • The map in which you can build your increases
  • Districts
  • Policies (energy, water, smoke detectors distribution), 
  • Secondary Loan, industry specializations (forestry, agriculture)
  • Fire Station, Police Station 
  • Natural Resources
Then we focus on the new features!

Fire Station and Police Station

The fire station works just like the elementary school and makes your citizens happy when it is in sight: So off to the residential area!

The police station is not as urgent - because there will be no crime in your city. But later, it is of course very useful.


The policies regulate different areas in your town. For example, they reduce some costs for the power consumption or water consumption. Use these policies, but also pays attention to the consequences.


Districts are specialized areas of your city. This is especially useful if for example, industrial plants, oil deposits or agriculture industry built over fertile land. Put specialize industry solely to that region, which increases the output. If your district is not specialized then you can establish a mixed industrial.

Of course you can also use different districts, for example, summarize the residential area to a district. You allow district including various tax rates or improved economic opportunities.

Or do you just use the district to highlight areas and to designate your city.

Natural Resources

In the natural resources window you can see which natural resources (oh ...), the country offers you. This you can then of course use to your advantage. Fertile land is ideal prerequisite for an agricultural industry and so on.

1,600 Citizens - Small Town

Have you reached 1600 citizens you get new features: 
  •     Decoration and Parks
  •     New Policies (pet ban, no smoking)
  •     High School


The school works just like the primary school - place in the residential area makes the citizens happy.


Parks you can set to increase the comfort factor of your city. Therefore, use many parks in your neighborhoods, so that your people can relax there.

2,800 Citizens - Will Always Die

In 2800 citizens get your other options. Important here is primarily the cemetery:

Your first citizens die soon and you want this so certainly buried properly. Set up the cemetery not far away from residential areas.


We have explained here only the basic features that are absolutely necessary.