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General Questions

When will Cities: Skylines be released?
March 10th, 2015

Who is developing Cities: Skylines?
Colossal Order is the development studio behind Cities: Skylines. They are also the creators of the amazing Cities in Motion series.

Does Cities: Skylines require an online connection?
The only online requirement is a one-time activation through Steam. After that, the game requires no connection.

Is there a public beta for Cities: Skylines?
No beta. This in no way means that the game is not being rigorously tested.

Where can I pre-order Cities: Skylines?
You can purchase directly from the Paradox Store at: https://www.paradoxplaza.com/cities-skylines

Will I get a Steam code no matter where I buy?
Yes. Cities: Skylines is distributed solely through Steam.

Is Cities: Skylines multiplayer?
No. Cities: Skylines was designed to be the best single player experience possible.

"Honestly I would not expect CSL to head into an online mode in any near future unless there's an unprecedented amount of feedback asking for this after launch, which I really can't see happening. Still it's not impossible, just improbable.
And I agree that more singleplayer gameplay is a lot more valuable than bloating it with a MP mode."
-TotalyMoo (Link)

What languages will Cities: Skylines be released in?
English, French, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Polish.

Is there a sandbox mode?
Colossal Order has created two mods which can be activated from the main menu. These mods will give you unlimited money and/or unlocked buildings. Essentially granting you a sandbox mode.

Will there be a demo?
No, but we have released early access to a few different individuals so that you can see some live gameplay.


How will city maps work in Cities: Skylines?
Cities: Skylines maps cover 25 2x2km grid sections, plus a border of terrain for aesthetic purposes. Of these 25 sections, you can choose up to 9 in which to build your city. These 9 can be selected in any direction, allowing for diverse city sizes.

What’s the largest city size I can have?
In terms of area, 9 square tiles will result in 36km2 of building space.

Can this size be modded?
Yes. With heavy modding, you can unlock this limitation and can use all 25 of the available tiles on a map. This would be 100 km2. We will not be providing technical help for those who wish to make these modifications.

Is my city connected to others?
There is an outside world that will buy/sell resources and goods from your city, as well as send tourists. This outside world is not represented in the game, however.


"The outside world is there to help find a balance for your city. The most optimal situation would be to produce only enough for your city, but when you are trying to find this balance between different zones, instead of the city filling up with goods they just are sold outside for smaller profits to help keep the game going. There is only one city in the game world an that is yours (you can have different saves but the cities are not connected) so the outside world is just the big unknown that will send tourists to your city, sell you what you need and accept goods endlessly. The focus of Cities: Skylines is your very own city so you don't have to worry about any other ones!" - Co_Karoliina (Link)

Can I make my own maps?
Yes. Cities: Skylines will be shipped with a fully built-in map editor where you can make the terrains of your dreams. Furthermore, these maps can easily be shared through Steam.

Can I import grayscale heightmaps to the map editor?
8 and 16 bit grayscale heightmaps are supported at this time (.tiff and .png files).

Will there be terraforming?
You can terraform extensively during the creation of a map. However, during gameplay, no. Some automatic terraforming will take place as you build.

Do maps have natural resources?
Yes. Four types of natural resources can exist on a map: Forest, fertile land, oil, and ore.



What zone types are in Cities: Skylines?
1. Residential
• Low Density​
• High Density​
2. Commercial
• Low Density​
• High Density​
3. Industrial
• Agriculture Specialization​
• Forestry Specialization​
• Mining Specialization​
• Oil Specialization​
4. Offices

What zoning tools are available?
1. Fill

2. Marquee

3. Brush
• Small​
• Large​

What about medium density?
At this time, no medium density zoning is available. You do have other options for control such as no-skyscraper policies and land value.

“Cities: Skylines has low density residential zone which is detached houses evolving to fancy villas and high density residential zone which is apartment buildings that evolve to fancier looking as well. How the areas evolve is based on the land value of the area. The higher the land value the fancier building the residents will build and are willing to pay more taxes. You can increase the land value with city services to allow for the areas to develop or you can choose not to. Also the high density commercial and office zones are available and those fit well in downtown or business districts, for example.

As for the requests for a medium density zone I'm afraid we're not adding it to the game at this time. However there will be a policy available that limits the height of the buildings in a certain district. This will lock the development of the buildings to the wanted level.” – CO_Martsu (Link)

How big can individual lots be zoned?
The current max lot size is 4x4 squares.


How will citizen simulations work?
Every citizen in your city will be simulated. They have persistent homes and jobs, and they will try to find the best travel route to their destinations. Education and land value changes may influence a citizen to change their home or job though.


“Every Cim you see walking on the sidewalk has a name, a home, hopefully a job, and a purpose as to why they are walking somewhere. You can even follow them around to each destination (just try not to be too creepy about it!).” – Azurespecter (Link)

Will citizens change wealth and education levels?
Yes. As appropriate education services become available, citizens will become better educated. If jobs are available that require higher education, citizens will increase in wealth. This leads to citizens upgrading their residences.

Will citizens actually visit stores, service buildings, and parks?
Yes. All functioning buildings can be visiting by your citizens. Service buildings also employ your citizens.

Is there a Rush Hour for traffic?
No. Not at this time. We strive to make the traffic simulations fluid and intelligent, as well as realistic. Unfortunately, creating an hourly-based time scale during a game day is not currently practical.

“On speed 1, I watched a citizen stay at each location for about 1-3 minutes each. I realize it's hard to conceive what that really means for traffic flow, so I'll say this: I personally felt like my town of 9000 people had an ebb and flow to the traffic. It didn't feel like clockwork, nor completely random. I watched some of my intersections get busy, and then wane, and then get jammed again. It's all very entertaining to watch! So my opinion is that CO has done a great job of simulating a lively city, despite not having a "Rush Hour" per say.” – Azurespecter (Link)

Will citizens actually use public transportation?
Yes. Citizens will search for the most efficient transportation route available to them, and that may include a number of transportation types. Certain policies can also further encourage public transportation usage.

How do citizens choose their travel routes?
Citizens will look for the most efficient way to reach their destination. Distance and traffic levels factor into this decision, so your citizens will not always take the most direct route.

What is the max population?
1 million simulated citizens. Each with a home, job, education level, and more!

Can this limit be modified?
Possibly. Currently this limit is in effect in order to keep the game working properly. We hope to give as much freedom as possible to modders, so long as it doesn't break anything.

How do City Services Work?
City Service buildings have an optimal service area, which is determined by road distance (not a radius effect). Although buildings can provide services to areas outside this coverage range, the service may be of poor efficiency.

Each city service has a certain number of vehicles that can be called into service. When a call is received, one service vehicle is sent out to receive that call. If multiple calls come at once, you will see multiple vehicles leave the building at once.

"It's distance by road and not a radius, but it will still be able to act outside of it's "best zone". The green coverage area is more or less if houses are close enough to not burn down, which means more happiness and higher land value. Houses outside this area might still make it but it's not equally guaranteed." - TotalyMoo (Link)

"Vehicles and citizens choose their destination when they go out of a building. So if there's the need for an ambulance, the game basically checks where is the closest available one (buildings have a limited number of vehicles at their disposal, which is tied to the service's budget that you can adjust) and that ambulance takes on the the job. No other ambulances go on the same mission, the one that leaves to pick up the patient marks the job as being handled." -Co_Karoliina (Link)


What types of transit and public transportation networks are in the game?
Cities: Skylines will launch with the following types of transit:
- Pedestrian paths
- Gravel roads
- 2, 4, and 6 lane roads
- One-way road variants
- Highways and on/off ramps
- Train
- Metro
- Airplane
- Ship
- Bus

Colossal Order plans to implement more types of transit in the future.


How does the road tool work?
Cities: Skylines provides the ability to draw roads and other transit networks either straight, curved, or free-form.


Why are airports, seaports, and farms so unrealistically small?
Although we highly value realism, from a development standpoint we decided to concentrate on other aspects of the game first. Other aspects such as the ability to create and share your own fully functional buildings, for example.

Can I make pedestrian paths?
Yes! Pedestrian only paths can be made just like roads. At this time, pedestrian paths cannot be zoned off of, meaning zones must still be connected to a road.

"Agreed! Although with our current practice that (pedestrian roads + grid) sounds like something we'd patch in for free and not add as a paid DLC." - TotalyMoo (Link)

Can I Make My Own Highways?
Yes. Many maps will have highways already built in order to make starting a city easier. Highways can be destroyed, altered, or created wherever you want.

Are there pre-fabricated interchanges?
Yes. Some will ship with the game, as well as the ability to create and share your own via Steam.

"There will be some ready-made intersections in the game when it ships, but I'm expecting to see lots made by users and shared through Steam Workshop. The road system is very agile and you can make many types of intersections, from small cul-de-sacs you are describing to huge multi highway intersections. The roundabouts work like real ones, they do not have traffic lights. You can also rotate the intersections freely when you place them on the map and the cost is that of the road pieces counted together. Once placed, each piece acts just as a regularly placed road piece would, so you can delete parts, upgrade, downgrade, or add new roads to the intersection. In the start of the development the tool for making the intersections was called "the stamp", telling of how from the start we wanted it to just place road in a pattern and then allow players to modify the result with the normal in-game road tools.

I'm personally very pleased with the editor! Traffic is such a huge part of the game that building large intersections by hand each time you want to add a new suburb can become boring, so ploppable intersections work great. Also creating new intersections is fun and sharing your creations adds a new level to creating them." - Co_Karoliina (Link)

Will there be tunnels?
Not at the game's release. The strong desire for tunnels has been noted by the developers.

"Sorry for taking a while to answer! We are currently looking into tunnels after noticing they are a feature many of you love and wish to be included in the game. Originally we decided to leave out underground roads to make the road tool easier to use. Normally it conforms to terrain, except when dragging road over water, when it automatically builds a bridge. Tunnels might still be a good thing to have, so rest assured we are investigating if they could be added, but I cannot promise anything." - Co_Karoliina (Link)

"I can just pop in to say that we are still thinking about this! No clear decision has been yet made, we do understand why tunnels are often requested. Hang in there, we will do the best we can, I promise!" - Co_Karoliina (Link)

Districts and Policies

What are Districts?
Districts are user-made sections of a city that can be given unique names and policies. This gives players much greater control over their city sectors.

There are no limits to the amount or size of districts.


Can I set policies in my city?
Yes! You can determine policies for particular districts or for your whole city.

Can I set tax rates for my city?
You can adjust the tax rate for each zone type. Policies can further help you adjust tax rates for different districts in your city.


What infoviews are available?
Cities: Skylines features a large amount of infoviews that can help you easily manage your city, find problems, and plan efficiently.

A full list of available infoviews and descriptions can be found in the Dev Diary 9.


Are there disasters in Cities: Skylines?
No. We have decided to focus on the city-building aspects and features of the game. The possibility of disasters being added in at a later time is being considered.

“It's a hot topic, that's for sure. CO recognizes that a lot of players did enjoy disasters in previous city building games. However, let's not forget that Cities: Skylines is a city building game, so if disasters were to be added, it would detract a lot of time and resources that could be spent making the game a better city builder. Make sense? That being said, we certainly would like to add in as many cool features as possible.” – Azurespecter (Link)

Does Cities: Skylines have power, water, and sewer lines?
Yes, to all three!


What content can be created for Cities: Skylines?
We have tools that allow you to create models, buildings, assets, maps, and roads.

How can I share these creations?
Steam Workshop is integrated into the game, allowing for easy sharing of creations. You are still allowed to upload your creations onto other sites if you would like.

Is modding allowed?
Yes. We encourage you to mod and make the game yours! (So long as you aren’t tampering with .exe files)

How do you plan on “supporting” modding?
  1. Cities: Skylines was built to have as many variables exposed as possible, for the primary purpose of modding.
  2. Fully functional modding tools will launch with the game.
  3. Sharing mods and content is highly encouraged, and has been made simple and easy through the use of Steam Workshop.
  4. Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order actively encourage modding, and our community management staff strives to answer all questions with straightforward transparency. We can’t promise that you can modify everything, but we won’t hide the facts from you.
  5. Our developers will continually work with modders to make modding easier and better. It’s not plausible to get it all right the first time, but we love working with modders to open up new possibilities.
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