Cities: Skylines

We'll be getting most of this game out of the way by building one city up to 100k. Then there will be a few extra buildings to unlock using that city. We'll then be starting out one or two smaller cities for some minor leftover achievements.

  • General hints and tips: some basic game info and a few super low effort achievements
  • City Overview: a general description of how the city is going to be set up. You can skip over this if you are following the whole walkthrough as it is all covered there in more detail.
  • Main City: 0-7.5k: initial set up of the city up until 7,500k population when you unlock incinerators and the time pressure is mostly taken off
  • Main City: 7.5k-30k: getting your two half grids into a mostly final form as you unlock most of the service buildings and the high density zones.
  • Main City: Expansion: unlocking new map tiles, terraforming, and expanding your first grids to their final size
  • Main City: 30k+: filling in zones on your first two grids, creating 3 more grids, and growing your population up to nearly 200k.
  • Unlocking Buildings: finishing the remaining unlockable buildings
  • Main City: Monuments & Misc: building all the monuments and unlocking a few remaining achievements that they make possible
  • One-Off/Other: an achievement best done in a separate city, and a bunch of idling
  • Snowfall DLC: achievements from the Snowfall DLC
  • Natural Disasters DLC: achievements from the Natural Disasters DLC
  • Mass Transit DLC: achievements from the Mass Transit DLC

Zones

  • Residential: this is where people live, it comes in high and low density version. It is sensitive to (and should be kept away from) pollution and noise.
  • Commercial: this is where people shop, it also comes in high and low density. High density produces a lot of noise and should be kept 4 cells away from residential.
  • Industrial: people work here. It produces pollution and noise and should be kept 8 cells away from residential. It also produces a lot of traffic.
  • Office: another place for people to work with high education. Great buffer zone as it doesn't produce pollution or noise but can tolerate it. Low traffic.

Your zones can level up, producing more money, and housing, employing more people. For zones to level up they need a high property value and your city needs to have space for all pupils in your educational system. Services include medical, police, fire, deathcare, education (elementary/high school/university), leisure, and radio (DLC). As you place each building you will see the coverage area it provides (it will show green roads on the map). You also need to have enough capacity for all three education levels.

Services

  • Power: you'll use (in order of unlocking) turbines, advanced turbines, solar, then nuclear. These can be off in the boonies and you can run wires to your city.
  • Water/Sewer: like electricity, these can be far from your city, and your pumps should be upstream of your water treatment plants, because you don't want people drinking that
  • Garbage: you get dumps initially but these eventually fill up. Later you get incinerators which burn the trash to get rid of it permanently. These need to be relatively close to your city, so the trucks can get there quickly, but they produce pollution, so you don't want them too close to residential areas.
  • Deathcare: you get cemeteries initially, and like dumps they fill up. Later you get crematoriums which don't fill up. These don't create pollution so they can be placed inside the city. (In fact they improve nearby property values.)

Traffic

Your main enemy will be traffic. Once you get past the beginning, money shouldn't really be an issue, but you can easily end up crippling your city by having poorly planned out highway access, which can bring everything grinding to a halt. The primary tactic this guide uses is simply spreading traffic out. There are lots of ways to get from one place to another. Highway ramps are every couple of blocks, so not too many cars are trying to use the same place.

You can also use mass transit. There are a lot of options, but the ones I use in the guide are buses, trams (which you need DLC for, but you can substitute more busses), and metro (subway). This will help keep people out of their cars and reduce the traffic load.

Misc

When placing items you can often change the camera angle up/down to move something by a small amount.

There are a few "gimme" achievements that we can get super easily. So start a new city on the diamond coast map and then pause it.

First hold down Y and select the "City Info" option. Then go to the chirper tab and hit Y to change his outfit. Pick the winter hat:

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This will give you:

Does My Bum Look Big In This?

Change Chirper look

Does My Bum Look Big In This?
1 guide

It's Wintertime!

Change Chirper to a winter look

It's Wintertime!
1 guide

Now back out, hold down Y again, and go to "Info Views". Looking at all of these will give you:

Well Informed

Have a look at all the different info-view panels

Well Informed
3 guides

Some of them have multiple sections: Outside Connections, Education, Road Maintenance, Health and Leisure. You do not need to visit each subsection for the achievement.

But some of the DLC seems to interfere with is, so if it doesn't unlock for you, try temporarily deleting all the DLC, then load the game back in and look through each available info panel again.

I'll cover some of the most important ones here that will be useful when building your city, but you don't need to know all of this just to get the achievements.

  • Electricity: Shows coverage of your electric grid, power plants, current consumption/production
  • Water: Shows your current water network, and consumption/production of fresh water and sewage
  • Crime: Shows police coverage, jail usage, and crime rate
  • Health: Shows medical coverage, health, and sick citizens
  • Population: shows number of citizens, job information, and age breakdown as well as birth/death rates
  • Noise Pollution: shows the noisy areas of city, you want to keep this away from residential
  • Transport: shows your mass transit usage, you can drill down into details for individual routes, passengers, etc.
  • Pollution: Shows ground and water pollution, again, keep it away from residential areas
  • Land Value: Buildings need high land value to upgrade to higher levels.
  • Traffic: Shows you where your roads have issues
  • Garbage: Shows garbage coverage as well as status of dumps and incinerators
  • Levels: this shows you how much of each zone type has upgraded and also displays building levels on the map.
  • Fire Safety: shows fire coverage and risks of fire in each building
  • Education: shows capacity and number of potential students for each education level as well as the overall percentage of your population at each education level.
  • Leisure: shows current leisure level of each building.
  • Road Maintenance: shows coverage of road maintenance service and which roads have their speed "boosted" due to being well maintained

Now create a small bit of road, inspect it, and rename it "Steve" for:

Nomen Est Omen

Name a road.

Nomen Est Omen
1 guide

It's Called Steve

Name a road "Steve"

It's Called Steve
1 guide

Repeat 99 more times (you can call it something shorter to save time) for:

Centurion

Name 100 roads.

Centurion
3 guides

Now, select a citizen with the inspector tool, then select "toggle traffic routes view" for:

Reporting!

Check the route of a citizen.

Reporting!
1 guide

Resources


This city plan is based on the guide posted by blackether, which is a great reference (and he goes a bit more into the reasons behind some of the choices):


http://imgur.com/a/LuzAc


http://imgur.com/a/U2LF8


http://imgur.com/a/K8FjH


http://imgur.com/a/0UKPe



The main differences between blackether's guide and this one:



  • I try to be a bit more explicit about where to place services, roads, etc.

  • I am much more aggressive about terraforming so that the grids can all be set up the same way. Less thought required that way, though it does make for a more boring city.

  • I think the split level highway allows a much more effective ramp setup that allows higher traffic throughput. It also runs the highway around all sides of the grid, and has a larger number of on/off ramps. This spreads traffic on/off the highway out a lot more, so it doesn't all have to flow through a few ramps.

  • Including all zone types in each grid section helps reduce the need for inter-grid traffic. Keeping high traffic areas like industry on the outside of the grid helps minimize traffic issues.


This is another guide (suggested by II Loadsman), focused on traffic, one of the most complex parts of the game: https://imgur.com/a/z1rM1


This guide is a more complex (and realistic) setup of streets than I use, but I didn't really have any issues (other than boredom) with the all 2 lane road and highways setup.


City Overview


All of this is covered in the detailed city building section, this is just to give a general overview if you want to apply this to another map. Feel free to skip this and just go through the detailed guide with pictures.


I'm going to give a high level overview of the city layout. You'll be making several rectangular grids. It will be made up of rectangular blocks, 2 blocks wide and 1 block high. Maximum size I recommend is 11 double blocks wide (E/W), and 16 single blocks high (N/S). It's easiest for mass transit setup if the height is a multiple of 4 and the width is odd. Each grid will be connected to the adjoining grids by streets two and a half blocks long. On the E/W sides these connecting streets will be every other block starting at the 2nd block (one in from the edge). On the N/S sides they will be in the middle of each long block. Even if there isn't an adjoining grid, you will still run the 2.5 block connecting streets out, and just connect the far ends with a road. This is to facilitate highway access.


In the middle of each set of connecting streets there will be two highways (the walkthrough details how to get everything lined up nicely) centered, with 4 cells between their centers (the centers are nine cells from each edge). One highway is above ground one is underground. This makes it easy to connect the on/off ramps in a compact way. When placing the segments, it is important that you draw it in short pieces, stopping (the thickest part of the highway where the rounded end stops) 3 cells out from each cross street, as this controls where the pylons are so they wont get in your way. Once the highway is in place, you'll be drawing a small 3 cell 2 lane 1 way street out from both sides of the middle of each cross street section. One side goes towards the highways, one away. From each stub, draw two ramps, one up to the elevated highway, and one down to the undergound one. They should be angled so that cars will be making a gentle turn onto the highway (approx 45 degrees) rather than a sharp one.


Sometimes if the ground is sloped it will not line up properly, and the full walkthrough talks about how to work around this. You can also try leveling out the ground a bit before building the roads (if you level things afterwards, you need to delete and redraw the roads so they follow the new ground level). Its most important that it be level in the direction of the cross streets. That means you want the contour lines to be parallel to the cross streets.


Your highway intersections will be either simple corners, 3 way Ts or cloverleafs depending on what roads are joining together. Details are again found in the city building guide. Generally speaking you want each grid wrapped in highways and to feed the outside highway connections into the highways surrounding your grids.


For services, you need pumps upstream (look at the arrows when placing to see flow direction) and treatment plants downstream. Water lines need to be run between those two and to cover your grid areas. For power you will be using wind, advanced wind, solar, and nuclear, depending on what you've unlocked. Most of your services will be clustered in one block areas. They can cover about 4-5 blocks, so I place them in the 3rd block in E/W and the 5th in N/S. In a 11 double x 16 single grid, that means you will have 4 service blocks, one a bit in from each corner. Each service block has a police station, fire station, medical center, high school, elementary school, metro station, crematorium, and small radio mast (DLC). You may need additional elementary schools or high schools which can be scattered around evenly. A university can cover each full size grid from the center. The 4 corners or along the E/W edges are good spaces for incinerators (or dumps before you unlock incinerators). You can also build road maintenance buildings (DLC) for each grid section. Dog parks can be placed along each edge (details in walkhrough) and a few in the center, to get the leisure levels high. You can stick an additional subway stop in the middle (E/W) of each existing pair.


One set of Subway lines go in a straight line E/W through all of your grids. Another set does the same through all the N/S ones.


Tram(DLC, buses otherwise) lines run E/W. For a tram you will need to convert the streets to include tram tracks. These lines start 1 block down and one over from the NW corner of your westernmost grid, all the way to 1 block down and over from the NE corner of the easternmost. Then it travels south two blocks, before traveling back E and two back N to form a loop. Then you will create another loop two blocks south of that, repeating until you get to the edge. The cross streets between grids used by these routes should be converted to one way. E for the 1st, then alternating. The route goes clockwise around the loop, and stops should be placed on the far end of each E/W block (in the direction of travel). You'll also need to make sure all of your tram loops have a connection so trams can get to all the routes. You can just connect the sides of each loop. You also need to put in a tram depot (you only need one for the entire map) and connect it to your loops.


The bus routes start at 1 block in and over from the SW corner. Stops go on every other block while heading north, then go 1 block east, then back south, placing stops on every other block so each block will alternate having a stop on the E or W side. The next set will start to the E, with a 1 block gap between it and the last one. You should build a bus depot on the outskirts of each grid.


You will probably also need a prison somewhere on the map.


For the actual zoning of each grid you want to aim for about 10% industrial. Industrial should be along the E/W edges, and commercial should be next closest, then office, with residential in the center. You should maintain a space of 8 cells between industrial and residential, and 4 cells between commercial and residential. Other than that mostly follow the demand indicators, but be aware residential responds more slowly as it takes time for people to move in. It's also helpful to be more aggressive with the residential so unemployment isn't too low and people will be willing to take jobs even if they are below there education level.

Starting Out

This won’t get you the best city ever, but it will be pretty straightforward and fairly foolproof. I’m using the map Diamond Coast, but the general plan will work decently on any of them, the shape and layout of your grid will just be different. For starters go into the options and turn off random disasters, dynamic weather, and the day/night cycle. For our purposes we are going to call North the direction the highway access is in. To start, draw a 2 lane road one block S from the highway. You will see a slightly highlighted line when you are at one full block, it should cost 400.

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This will unlock a few extra road types, for now switch to the 1-way 2-lane road. From the end of your 1st road draw a road 4 cells east. It should cost 160 and may not quite match up with the highway (at least on this map). Then draw a road from the end of that up N to the highway. Finally hold down Y to bring up your road building options and pick “upgrade” and you can change that 1st road you placed to a 1 way road. This looks a bit wonky now but will be important down the road when we need better highway access and we can fix it then. Some of the screenshots up until we upgrade out highway access might not look exactly like this as they are from an earlier attempt at this city before I realized that these roads need to be a smidgeon closer together for everything to work out nicely.

It is very very SUPER important that the two N/S one way roads have two grid cells between them and not three. I realize the pictures don't properly reflect this until the next page when we are upgrading those roads into highways. If you have them 3 squares apart the ramp system I show you isn't going to work, it will complain about stuff being too sleep. So when you are building the center section you should have (from W to E):

  1. A square with 8x8 cells in the interior, one way roads on the N and S sides (1st two east, next two west, etc), a two way road on the west side, and a southbound one way road on the east side.
  2. A square with 8x2 cells in the interior, the same roads on the N and S sides, a southbound one way road on the west side (this road is shared with the 1st square) and a northbound one way road on the east side.
  3. Another square with 8x8 cells in the interior, the same roads on the N and S sides, a northbound one way road on the west side (shared with the 2nd square) and a two way road on the east side.

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Starting from the corners of your little U shaped road, repeat the process 3 more times, (S 1 block, E ½ block, N 1 block). Then from each of your 8 intersections draw roads going out one block east and west. You will need to change to the swap road direction tool to fix the directions on the one way streets (it defaults to the direction you drew them in). You want 2 blocks E bound and then 2 block W bound. (We are doing this so later on it can integrate with our trolley/bus and highway access ramps.)

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Now switch to ordinary 2-way roads. Connect the ends of your 8 E/W roads together, then build 2 block by 1 block squares (2 blocks E/W, 1 block N/S). Make 3 sets of these on each side.

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Next, go to the beach area in the SW. Place a Water Pumping Station as far as you can to the north, and a Water Drain Pipe as far as you can to the South. Connect the two with a pipe, then carry the pipe up N from the pumping station. (It’s simplest to go straight north as you will want to cover this area with water service anyway in the future.) You want to stop right around the 2nd E/W road and then lay pipe E to the E edge of your street grid. Then lay another E/W pipe along the 4th street. You need all of your zoneable areas (with the little squares) to be covered in the bluish background that indicates water service is available.

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Finally, place a Wind Turbine near you Water drain, and run a power line from the blue area around it, up to the water pumps (make sure it crosses the blue area around the pump) and then from there along your northernmost road. That blue area is the “local” electric grid, power will flow within that area without having to build wired. Try to place the wires just north of the road, you may have to manually place a tower right before the highway and continue with a new section to get across the highway.

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Now it’s time to paint a few districts and FINALLY unpause and start making some money. Your district painting tool should default to “fill” mode, which is what you want for now. The blocks closest to the highway should be industrial, the next ones out light commercial, and then finally light residential.

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You can unpause now (and turn the speed up if you want). People should start moving in. Depending on what buildings they build where, the local electric grid might not extend to your poles, so you can build short extensions to meet up with it. If you have to build one inside you blocks it will block buildings there, so you will want to remove the pole later once the local grid has expanded to allow it. You probably ended up with about $2,500 after all your construction and you will likely dip into the negative for a bit. Just give it a little time and your finances will turn around and you will start making a profit. I bottomed out around -$450. If for some reason you are offered a bailout DO NOT ACCEPT it as that will void achievements.

You will get:

Pioneer

Create your very first city

Pioneer
1 guide

Milestone: 500

You should shortly hit the 500 population milestone which comes with a chunk of money as well as access to taxes, garbage, healthcare and education. You are most likely low on power at the moment, so build another turbine down by the 1st one, and keep doing that as needed. The next urgent need is garbage. Extend your roads one block south, maintaining the same one way pattern in the middle blocks of 2 blocks E bound followed by 2 blocks W bound. Place the dump in one of your industrial columns, as close to the highway side as possible. We'll eventually get rid of it, once we have incinerators.

Residential is the only zone where you have to worry about pollution levels (noise or ground). That is why we have the buffer of commercial between it and the loud, polluting industrial zone (and the dump for that matter).

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You should also raise your taxes to 11% for all three zoning types that are currently unlocked. Zone additional blocks according to your demand (the three bars in the lower right). Green corresponds to residential, blue to commercial, and yellow to industrial/office. Expand your grid as much as you have room for to the E&W before you expand further S. Try to get in the habit of not zoning residential too rapidly. (This can cause problems later as all the people who move in will be the same age and will die around the same time, which can overwhelm your cemeteries. If you stick to zoning 2 or 3 blocks and then waiting an in game week that is a lot safer.)

Milestone: 1,000

Somewhere around here you should hit 1000 people and unlock police, fire, and the ability to create districts.

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It is to your advantage to have the largest size buildings (4x4) as much as possible in your zones, so it is best to keep your service buildings as compact as possible. Fire, medical, police and elementary schools all have a relatively similar range that they will provide service to on the map. So what I like to do is put them all on one block. A good place is the 4th block down and 3rd away from the highway (your 1st residential column). Place your police and medical against the side closest to the highway, making sure the police station is against the N/S road so it fills the entire side with the medical center. You can then place an elementary school next to the medical center and a fire house next to the police, which won’t quite fill it as nicely. (We could make them more compact, but we will be replacing the fire house with a larger fire station down the road and this keeps you from having to shuffle everything around.) Total cost for your services block should be 44,000. Feel free to forge ahead for now, as these are not absolutely vital yet, but you can also feel free to let the game run for half an hour and rake in some cash and get them out of the way.

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You can get an easy (if slightly tedious) achievement by choosing the inspector tool, hovering over a police stations, and pressing A, then B, then A, then B, then A... 50 times:

Frenetic Player

Open on a police building 100 times in a row

Frenetic Player
1 guide

Most likely some of your commercial and industrial buildings will be grumpy about not having enough workers or even abandoned, but that will clear up once demand equalizes a bit.

Milestone: 1,600

You should hit 1,600 soon, which will unlock parks (and these will let you clean up some of the electrical wires, but we’re going to hold off on that). For now, I would keep earning money and slowly expanding your city, fill your space from east to west but don’t go over 7 blocks high for now. As you expand to the E you may need to slightly extend your water lines to cover your new territory.

Milestone: 2,600

The next milestone is 2600 population, important things are unlocked here, mass transit, specifically buses and trams (if you have the snowfall DLC), a couple useful policies you can enacy, and you can finally make cemeteries, highways, and advanced wind turbines. Going forward, all your turbines should be advanced (place them on the water in the far SW corner of your square and run a power line to the shore). If you’d like you can gradually remove your old turbines by deleting one every time you add an advanced one. (Advanced are worth about 2.5 regular turbines). This will also unlock:

Power at Your Fingertips

Unlock all city services

Power at Your Fingertips
1 guide

We will eventually have a major project upgrading our highway but first we are going to push ahead a bit more. There are only two finite resources we will have to deal with, one is dump space, and the other (less pressing) is cemetery space. Once we replace those with incinerators and crematoriums we can leave the game running all night if we want and as long as you didn’t have any problems when you left, you will just come back to lots and lots of money.
I do think it’s worth pausing here and getting those four service buildings (fire/police/school/medical) built on each side if you haven't already. That will keep your property values and taxes high. You should also build a cemetery. I recommend stashing it in one of the commercial blocks as they probably have lower demand then residential and industrial. (Unlike the dump, it raises land values, so feel free to place it on the side closer to the residential. However, like the dump, this will be temporary). I would also turn on the Parks and Recreation policy (no downside, although we have yet to build any parks), and Recreational use (slight increase to Police budget, but totally worth it).
As you continue to expand your city south, you may find that a ratio of 3:1:1 (residential:commercial:industrial) is not working out. You can build commercial in the industrial column freely, or in the residential, but if you need extra industrial, don’t fill the whole block. You want to keep around an 8 cell buffer between the industrial and residential sections. The easiest way to do that is to use the "select" painting tool, which lets you draw rectangular areas by holding down the button. You can also de-zone areas with the X button, or by specifically selecting the de-zone district type. You can then apply a new zone type and the old buildings will come down and new ones will be built. Be aware though, that if using the fill tool, re-zoning will treat areas with no buildings separately from those with building yet to be removed (buildings stay up for a few days sometimes after de-zoning). For that reason you may be better off pausing or using the select tool if you will be de/rezoning whole blocks.

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As you get close to 5,000 and the next milestone you will likely need to add another water pump and drain. You can check on your status by selecting one of those items as if you were going to place it.

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This screenshot is just to show the status display, you obviously can't place a water pump here, place them right next to your others of the same type and be sure to connect it to your existing pipe network.

Milestone: 5,000

The city at 5k:

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The most important thing this unlocks is the free public transport policy. It won’t do anything ATM but you may as well turn it on now for later. You should also max out your funding for mass transit (at least buses, trams, and subways). The other useful item is the two lane roads with trees. Build any future roads as tree roads for higher property values, we will go back and upgrade our existing roads in a bit.
Not much to do yet, so push on to 7,500k by extending your grid and keeping an eye on your electricity and water supplies. Depending on how quickly you’ve been progressing, your dump may be getting near full. Add another one on the opposite side from your first and further south, since your city has expanded since then.

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If one does fill up you will probably be fine. If you have the Natural Disasters DLC, there is a way to cheat, and remove the full dump quickly (normally you have to empty it out before removing it). Go to the disasters section and target a collapse disaster at the dump. Once it collapses you can freely bulldoze it. The same holds true for cemetaries.

If you are doing this on your own, or on a different map, or just don't want to follow this plan rigidly, the eventual size of your grid zones can be smaller or larger depending on the limitations of your area. A good upper limit is 16 single blocks tall and 11 double blocks wide. That will let you service them with four service areas, one in each quadrant. There is no harm in having some overlap if your grid is smaller, but it will be slightly less efficient. For mass transit purposes, it is handy to have the N/S height be a multiple of 4, and the E/W an odd number. We’ll dive into that soon enough.

Milestone: 7,500


The city at 7.5k:


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Now that you’ve hit 7500k we’ve unlocked some very important things: the metro, high density zoning, and incineration plants. Also some less important things that we will want here and there: university, prison, and radio towers (if you have the natural disasters DLC).


The 1st order of business is the incineration plants. I recommend placing two along each of the top blocks of the two industrial columns. You should go ahead and extend your grid one block north, at least for the section closest to the highway, so you don’t need to move them later. When you place the road, it may try to snap to line up with the highway exit rather than your existing grid. If it does, hold Y then press LS and turn off snapping to “road guidelines”.


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You'll need to cover the incinerators with your water service and you may need to bulldoze some wires to place them. Also place another one (you will likely need five total at this point), along the central road area, towards the south end. At this point you can either use the Collapse trick to remove your dumps, or set them on empty mode and then bulldoze them once they empty out on their own. Bear in mind in this picture shows the northern incinerators before I had built that extra block north, learn from my mistakes!


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We now have a long laundry list of things that need to be taken care of that we have been neglecting while we raced to get incinerators. Lets take care of the big ones first.
If you’ve looked at the traffic view at all, you likely have some significant issues near your highway access. I would plan on having at least $100k on hand to deal with this so you can take care of it all at once. If you don’t have enough, just let the game run for a bit until you do. This solution is a little pricey, but after this point, money is not going to be your main enemy, traffic will be. First off, save (because mistakes here can be expensive) and then pause the game. We are going to start by ripping up almost all of your N/S one way roads. We will leave the ones on the 3rd & 4th block in place for the moment as placeholders. You will also be removing every other cross street. You can hold the A button down and move the cursor around to delete each block if you would like.


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One half of the highway will be elevated, and the other half underground. This costs a bit more, but VASTLY simplifies the on/off ramps. To change the elevation, press up or down on the D-pad while placing the road. Unfortunately the existing highway is spaced a little too far apart (hence the little slant in our initial hookup, so rather than building our highways starting at the external connector, we will build them off of those 2 N/S roads you left behind. Draw a highway N from the western of the two middle roads and have it go up one step in elevation. Keep it as short as you can. Do the same on the eastern road, except have it go down a step. Don’t worry about the directions of any of these for now, we will clean that up at the end.


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Next, draw a flat section of highway north from each of these, the elevated one should stay elevated and the underground one should stay underground. You want this 1st segment to run exactly to the 3rd cell out from your cross street (more on this in a moment). The thickest part of the road (where it stops being rounded) should be on that third cell line.


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Now place another segment on each just past your cross street, and then connect it to the main highway. It’s important to place the segment past the street before you try to connect them because otherwise the cross street will interfere with it.


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Go ahead and delete those two smaller one way roads you used as guides for the highways, as well as the ramp sections going up and down. After that we'll start drawing the highway going south.


The highways are supported by pylons, and we need to control where they are so they aren’t blocking roads or causing problems with our ramps, so we will be drawing it in small segments rather than letting the game place them automatically. Each segment should start and end precisely three cells out from the cross streets. Your first section (where you removed the up and down ramps) may be a bit off, but we will clean that up later if we need to.


There will be shorter sections crossing the road, then slightly longer ones in between the roads. Once you reach the end of your grid bring it back to ground level in the shortest space you can. One side may be a little shorter than the other, so extend them so they both end at the same place and then connect them with a small stretch of highway.


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Next, go back through and fix the direction on the side that is incorrect (you need to match the directions on the external highway access. For the ramps, we will start with two lane highways. You may not have these (they are part of the Mass Transit DLC). If you don’t, a regular 2 lane 1 way road is adequate. Either way, in each of the gaps on each side, you want a 3 cell long road (cost will be 200/160 depending on type) going in the same direction as the old one way road (it doesn’t really matter which as long as you are alternating the direction of each set of stubs). Both roads on each block should be going the same way.
Next build the highway ramps. You will create two from each road stub, one going to the elevated highway, and one to the underground. The roads should be angled so cars aren’t making sharp turns getting onto the highway, so if you are getting on the S bound road, the on ramp should angle S, if you are getting off the S bound road, the off ramp should angle N (relative to the stub). You'll save a few steps if you draw the on ramps from the "on" stub to the highway and the off ramps from the highway to the "off" stub.


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You may have to shift things around a bit to find the place it will let you connect, but usually it will let you do so around the 2nd-4th cell line in from each side. If you placed the pylons as suggested earlier, you should be able to hook it onto those (they will show as little circles when you are placing the roads). If it just won’t behave make sure you don’t have a pylon stuck in the middle of the square. If you do, you may need to redo that section of highway to make it work. (That means delete the sections on each side of the pylon, and then draw new ones. Stop each segment where you want a pylon to go.) Once you’ve placed the ramps you may need to fix the direction of the off ramps, depending on where you started drawing each ramp. Once you are all done it should look something like this:


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Don’t forget to reconnect any power lines that got inadvertently bulldozed during the road work. If needed, you can elevate power lines the same way you do roads.
You are probably running low on cash now, so unpause the game and watch most of the red spots disappear from the traffic view.
We’ll also be upgrading every road to either a tree lined street, or a tram car street (if you don’t have the snowbound DLC then you can’t do that, you’ll be using extra bus lines instead). Each one way cross street should be changed to a two lane street with tram tracks, and those should extend out to one block from the edge of your grid. Connect the ends of each pair of tracks with a N/S section:


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If your city is 10 blocks tall at the moment, you will end up with three loops of track. All the roads that don't have tracks should be upgraded to tree lined streets.


Now finish extending each half of your grid one block north (if you didn’t do the whole block before). You may need to move/redo some power lines. Instead of just replacing them, lets kill two birds with one stone. Parks (of which dog parks give the best bang for your buck) make people happy and have a decent local power grid coming out of them. So place one alongside your industrial zones at the 3rd and 8th blocks.


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You can now build a short elevated power line bridging one park to the other:


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This will carry power from one half to the other. With that done, you can remove all of your now unneeded power lines along the north side of your city. You can also remove most of them going up the west side and just connect into your local grid at the SW corner of your city.


Next, we’re going to add to and clean up our services a bit. If you followed my example you services are on the highway side of the 5th block down (formerly the 4th) and 3 blocks in. We’re going to be adding high schools, fire stations, and metro stations and getting rid of the old fire houses (if you built it as I suggested earlier it will fit in decently with everything else). That will cost about $100k for each side, so save your pennies and then get started. Delete the Fire house and the fire station should slot in quite nicely, then place the high school in the NW corner, facing the shorter road, so a 2 block gap is left below it, then place the metro station there in the SW corner (and you want the track running E/W). If you have the Natural Disasters DLC you can throw a small radio mast in here as well.


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Your police stations should have been keeping your crime rate low enough that you will unlock this (already or very soon):


Safe City

Keep the crime rate under 10% for 4 years straight

Safe City
1 guide


Once that’s squared away on both sides, we’re going to set up our mass transit network. We’ll be putting up a bus and tram depot, connecting our two metro stops, and adding in routes. You’ll need about $85k for that, but you can do them one at a time, and save up money for the next as you are placing routes. Connect the two metro stations with a tunnel. You will have to take it down two steps before your underground highway, cross over it, and then come back up. Once you’ve done that, change to the create a route tool. Click on one station, then the other, then back to the first to complete the route.


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For the trams, you need to connect the depot to your existing track network, and you will also need to make sure your 3 loops are connected. The depot is noisy, so you don’t want it by your residential blocks, so we’ll place it right below the industrial, on the 1st block off the highway. First, we’ll convert that street to include tracks all the way up to our northernmost loop. It can be a bit fiddly to get it lined up, but you should be able to place it so it feeds directly into that street. (You may need to run another row of water pipe to service the depot.)


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We’ll be making a route along each of our track loops. The trams are a bit long, so we don’t want stops right after a corner, and we want them to be traveling a nice simple clockwise loop. We’ll start on the east side of the NW block of the loop, then place stops every long block, skipping the highway block. Make sure you place the stops on the right side (the inside of the loop), if they aren’t you will see the line curving around like crazy. You can use X to delete the last stop, or hover over a stop and press X to delete it. You can also hover over the line and click/drag to add a new stop. When you get to the end and are heading back W, the stops should be on the W side of the block.


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Repeat this for each other loop.


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If you don’t have access to trams, you can service the same routes with buses, they will just be a little slower and carry less people.
The placement of the bus depot is a bit simpler and just connects to the road, so I just put it by the incinerators up North.


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Our bus lines will handle N/S traffic. Just like the trams they will be simple clockwise loops, stopping one block from the edge of your grid. We’ll have one loop going N on the 2nd road from the W of each grid and S on the 3rd. The other loop will go N on the 4th and S on the 5th. Don’t bother with stops on the E/W grid, just drop a stop every other block while going N/S. They should end up staggered, so if a block doesn’t have a stop going N, it has one going S.
Here is one bus route (rotated so it fits better)


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And here is the whole mass transit network


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You’ve probably noticed your revenues increasing dramatically (I was making $13k/wk up from 2-3k before placing the mass transit). The transit increased your property values and let a lot of your buildings level up.


If available (I think it’s DLC), you can place a road maintenance building (under the road category) along the outskirts of your city, this will keep your roads in tip top shape and let cars travel faster on them.


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Finally it’s time to rezone using some of the new zones you unlocked a little while ago. Going forward you will have four zones you use: high density residential, high density commercial, industrial, and office. Office and Industrial both satisfy the yellow bar. In most ways, office is betterL less traffic, less noise, no pollution. But if you don’t have any local industry, your commercial areas will need to import their goods, and that only works up to a certain amount. A good target is a bit under 10% (of your total zoned area) as industrial. High density commercial brings in a lot of money, but unlike its low density counterpart, it is rather noisy. So you need a small buffer (4 cells) of offices in between it and residential. If you are doing an 11x16 grid, the columns closest to the highway can be industrial every other block, with the remainder commercial. The third column in can be all office. The column between them can be either commercial or office depending on your demand. If you are doing an 11 column grid, that will leave you with 5 columns for residential in the middle. If your commercial demand is too high for that setup to work, you can use the majority of the office column as commercial as long as you keep the 4 cells closest to residential as office space. If you need more office, you can stick that in the middle with residential if needed.


Start out by raising your taxes on the new zone types to 11%.


When rezoning our existing space you don’t want to move too rapidly (to avoid the death waves I talked about way back when), so I would do one 5 block row in one side of your grid at a time. I would pause briefly while doing each row then unpause when done so disappearing buildings don’t make your job harder. De-zone the three residential blocks, and rezone the outer 2 as high density residential, and then inner one as office. Then de-zone the low density commercial and change it to high density commercial or office depending on which demand is higher. De-zone every other industrial block and change to high density commercial. You can also zone that new top row we added a little while back while you are at it. Here are the top 2 rows on the west side re-zoned:


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It will drive your population up and down as you do this as you are essentially kicking people out and then getting new people in. Keep going down the city, rezoning the rows, but leave enough time between each row that your residential areas are at least 90% built up.
While you are doing this, we will add another block on the south side (this should be the 12 N/S block). This will let us expand our service infrastructure as the south side has pretty poor coverage. At the moment, we’ll just be adding a single row of streets to each grid’s south edge. (We won’t connect the two halves on this block yet.) You could technically move the tram depot somewhere else and then move it back, but at this point $40k should be meaningless to you. You’ll make that back in about a minute. So you can just sell it, and then put it back in place when you are ready. (You may need to run a temporary power line to it in its new position.) Make sure the N/S street on that one block leading to the depot has tram tracks on it. On the center block, do the same setup you did up north. Police station and medical center along one N/S road. High school and metro station one N/S road, police and medical on the other, and Fire station and elementary next to police/medical. Connect the two metro stations you just built, but also connect each one to the station N of it. For now, it’s simplest to delete your old route and make one single route that goes to all four stations in a loop. Once the grids are bigger we’ll go back to the N/S, E/W routes. It’s also about time to put in some universities. Placing them 8 blocks down and on the outermost blocks will give you good coverage now that will also serve you once you grow out these grids. This (and your two new service blocks), takes a chunk out of your income, but it will bounce back in short order as the buildings rapidly level up and your population grows.


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Shortly after placing these, your first graduate will give you:


Climbing the Social Ladder

Have a Citizen educated to level 3 from 0

Climbing the Social Ladder
1 guide


You will also need to grow out your bus lines slightly, to reach your new block, just go to the route tool and hover over a bus route (on the south end) until it says “press A to drag line or add a stop”.


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Just drag it down a block (continuing your pattern of alternating sides) and you are done.


Continue upgrading your zones and you should hit your next milestone soon enough. Don’t worry too much if your office zones are slow to fill up. You are probably a little short on people at the moment. As I said you can take a little out of that central office column and use that as residential if you want, or just wait until you expand the grids and take care of it then. I did that on this block as an example:


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It will get smoother once you are in pure expansion mode, since you aren’t having to rework your older districts to make use of new options. You set them up, then just wait for people to move in. Keep an eye on your cemetery as well. You need to get to 16k population to unlock crematoriums and you may not make it by the time your original cemetery fills up. (Mine was at 1800/3000 at this point). If you need to, just create another cemetery (probably in the middle column on the opposite side from your first one). Don’t sweat the positioning too much as it won’t be there long.


Milestone: 10,000


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The key things here are three new policies: Industrial Space Planning, Big Business Benefactor, and High Tech Housing. I would turn on all 3. They should give you a nice boost to your income.


This is a good place to make a save and digress a bit. There are two achievements that require having at least 10k population: Higher Education and Earthloving City. Higher Education will be much easier later on once you have the monuments unlocked. Earthloving city you can do now. De-zone all of your industrial and change it to office. Your ground pollution should slowly drop down. Your only source of pollution now should be your incinerators. Once it stops lowering from the industrial leaving, if it isn’t low enough (just needs to be below 1%, doesn’t need to be actually zero), you can demolish your incinerators. There should be enough of a time lag before garbage starts piling up that your pollution will drop enough. Your water pollution should be zero assuming you placed your pumps and drains where I indicated. Then you get:


Earthloving City

No water or ground pollution in a city of over 10,000 residents

Earthloving City
3 guides


Go ahead and reload your old save and carry on.


Milestone: 16,000


You should definitely be making $15,000 per week by now, giving you:


Rolling in Dough

Earn 15,000 per week

Rolling in Dough


Afterwards, reload your save and forge on, rezoning your city. You should hit 16k population somewhere in this process, unlocking the crematorium and the water treatment plant. If you laid your service blocks out as I did, you should have just enough room for a crematorium between the high school and elementary school.


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4 crematoriums may be overkill, but they raise property values, so it still helps, and will come in handy if you do have a death wave down the road. Your cemetaries are now obsolete and can be emptied (or collapsed) and then bulldozed. You can also replace your sewer drains with water treatment plants. They take up a bit more room, but will handle more waste and don’t pollute the water quite as much.


Milestone: 20,000


You’ll probably also hit 20k shortly after this, unlocking the solar power plants. We won’t use these quite yet, but we’ll be revamping our power and water infrastructure after we finish re-zoning our city. You may need to add in a new incinerator along the way if your garbage production gets too high. You can also drop your taxes a bit to 10% across the board to encourage people to move in a bit quicker.


Milestone: 30,000


By the time I was done I had hit 30k and my zones looked like this:


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Yours may not look exactly the same, but I would keep the outer two columns on each side as all high density residential, the middle as either office or residential with 4 cells of office on the inside edge, the 2nd column from the highway as a mix of office and commercial as dictated by demand, and the innermost columns as alternating industrial and commercial.
Your education is probably way over capacity at the moment, so lets fix that up real quick and then work on our water and power. High schools and universities were ok for me at this point, but for elementary schools I was at 1650/1200 at this point (short by 450). Each building provides 300, so I added one on each side near the outside edge right next to the university, in between the two existing schools.


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Grid Setup

This section will focus on expanding our two partial grids to their full size and setting up the infrastructure. (You may notice the population is all over the place in some of the screenshots. I had to figure out some locations after I had already zoned out most of the area.)

Save your city in a separate slot here, so we can come back to it later (before you've bought any extra tiles). It’s finally time to expand your territory! For now, we’re going to buy the areas to the E, W, S and SE of your starting square. Like so:

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This will unlock:

SIMulated Town

Purchase a new map tile for the first time

SIMulated Town
1 guide

We want to expand our eastern grid to here (road placed as a guide):

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That is 12 small blocks (or 6 double blocks) for your city, plus another 2 and a half blocks to allow for a highway around the outskirts.
You should give yourself a guideline for extending the grid south. In that direction, it will be going 4 blocks for the city, and another 2.5 for the highway (total cost should be 2560 if using basic 2 lane roads).

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But oh no, there is a river in the way! Time to do some terraforming. First we will cut a new channel. Start right about where the river meets the zone edge and use the shift terrain tool under landscaping to dig. Max out the strength and size of the area you are effecting and go straight south, dig in a spot until the digging process slows down. After a little bit you will run out of soil holding capacity:

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Before we dump that dirt, you need a new temporary source of water. Water towers are much less efficient than pumps, but they can be built away from the water (which is about to move). So for now build some (twice as many as you have pumps), near the west edge of the city and hook them into your network.

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Now you can start gradually filling in the land you want your city on. For this, use the “level terrain” tool. Hit X on the area you want to match the height of, then use A as you move the cursor to bring other terrain to that same level. You’ll notice every ten contour lines are thicker. I would start with the thick line slightly above the water level as your base level:

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While filling in the water, don’t try to go too quickly or do it while the game is paused. The displaced water can go all over the city. Work from the existing shoreline out. By the time I used up that first load of soil I had something like this:

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Go back to digging your river channel, alternating between building up and digging out as needed. After 2 cycles:

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After 3 digging cycles, the channel was complete!

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To finish diverting the river, you’ll need to buy the tile north of this one next. (You need it later anyway.)

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Pick the high point of your river bank with the leveling tool:

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Then wall off the old river channel. It doesn’t need to be super wide, so you can change the size to the minimum. In my case that was enough to do the trick. If not, you can raise it up a little higher until it stops the water pouring into the old channel.

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Now you can finish filling in the old river bed (don’t forget to reset your elevation). You’ll end up lowering some of the old West bank but that’s just fine:

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You can extend a road out from your southern boundary to give you a marker as you finish filling in (make sure you repair your power line if you cut it though).

FYI, you’ll need to get rid of your old water pumps as you do this. When you run out of soil there is a large mountain in the SE that you can dig up for extra dirt. To save yourself having to redo work later on (we'll eventually extend our city into the mountain area a bit), this is a good level to lower it to:

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Once the river bed is all filled in it will take a little while for the water to all drain off. While that happens, you may want to make the slope a little more gradual near the old E bank. The simplest way is to use the leveling tool, and take each major contour line and move it a bit W of where it originally was, moving each one a bit further apart than the last. It will do weird things when you change it right next to a road, but once you delete/redo the roads, the hills/valleys will disappear. Do your leveling on the low side of the contour line you are mimicking, so you don’t undo the work you just did a minute ago.
First line before/after:

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After 2nd line:

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You may want to delete the road out here now so you can see what you are doing. You may also want to delete (AND REDO) your power line

And after the 4th:

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Now take the soften terrain tool and go over the steeper areas (where lines are close together) and it will spread them out a bit. Anywhere your soil is brown and rocky like this it needs some softening:

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It’s also worth paying attention to the areas your N/S highway will be placed if you continue it. I ran into some issues later connecting ramps because the ground wasn’t level. It's easier to level the ground now, than to mess with it later when it is built up. The river bed could also use some attention in this regard so that the south edge where we will be putting the highway (all the way around the outside of the grid) is relatively level in the N/S direction, and doesn’t slope down too steeply from E/W. It will save you time in the long run as you won’t have to mess around with highway connections as much.
Now that we’re done with our terraforming, we can set up our new water supply. Place them right below the bridge. Connect them to your existing water network and drop a turbine by them just to make it simpler for now. As you expand these you should be going from upstream to downstream. As your city gets bigger it will significantly lower the level of the river downstream of your pumps, by building new ones downstream you avoid having to constantly move them.

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We’re going to build out both grids to their final size now. You may want to do some minor leveling on the right side to get rid of this hill but you don’t really have to:

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Pause the game (and save too). We’ll focus on the inner grids first, and then set up the highways. Go ahead and get rid of your temporary roads and pumping area. You want to extend your grids on the north edge out by six long blocks east and west with tree lined roads (cost 7200). Make sure you maintain that 90 degree angle, it can be easy to get out of the line as the distance within which it snaps to that is pretty small on a road that long. Then you want to go S 4 blocks on the 2 southern corners of each grid next to the highway (cost 2400). Going 22 blocks is a bit hard to do accurately, so it’s easier this way. Then go out East and west from the new corners you just created. You want to go out another six long blocks (7200) just like you did on the north side, and then you can connect the two ends (9600).

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Now you just need to fill it all in. I recommend starting with the second interior E/W road, stopping every 2 blocks to do 1 block of N/S street. This way you have easy reference points but don’t have to draw as many segments as you would if you did all the E/W roads first. When doing the E/W streets don’t forget to do tram roads (if you have the DLC and are using trams for transit) on the 2nd,4th, etc roads (matching your existing core) for all but the outermost blocks. I did the 2nd E/W road firsty so you don’t have to switch back and forth between tracks and regular roads constantly. Partway through this first block:

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Draw your remaining N/S roads and then fill in all the E/W roads. If you are using trams, connect the ends of each loop (e.g. streets 2-4, 6-8, etc) by upgrading those roads to track roads. You’ll also need to connect the ends of your old tracks (which stopped one block from the edge) the same way and switch the ends of the old loops back to normal tree roads. You’ll also need to temporarily delete your tram depot while doing the E grid. Don’t worry about maintaining the internal N/S track road you had before on the 2nd block in from the highway, you can change that back to tree road.
The western grid complete:

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Once you complete both grids, connect the roads that will become through streets, following the same pattern as in the original city, every other block, alternating directions. If you see any rocks left in your grids at this point you may as well bulldoze them now.

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Both grids done:

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Next we’ll be working on the ring road. On every other block on the E&W sides (except the corners) you’ll be drawing tree roads out a block and a half (1440). It’s easiest to do the two on the ends and connect them, then fill in the interior roads.

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For the N/S sides, the roads will be in the middle of each block. The easiest way is probably to gauge the 1st one by eye (or put a temporary road splitting the block inside the grid). Then draw two blocks of the exterior road at a time, connecting back to the grid with a N/S road after each section.

With all the exterior roads in place:

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Now we are going to extend our highway around each section of the city. I’m not going to go into the same level as detail as I did the first time, since we will be doing the same thing as when we first set up highway access. On each of the 4 exterior road sections, draw a pair of 2 lane roads in the center, 2 cells apart and parallel to the edge of the grid. One should go up one level and the other down (both in as short a distance as possible. I would recommend doing the high road on the outside. Having it further away from your grid gives you more space for buildings alongside your grid.

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From each road, draw a highway towards the corner, but stop as soon as you get into the last square of outer road. Remember to draw one segment at a time, stopping three cells out from each cross street.

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Delete your 2 lane ramps and the first section you drew of each highway (because the pylons are in the wrong place for that 1st section). Then draw highways to the other corner, stopping once you get into the last square.

With all 4 sections done:

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Now we need to connect the four new sections of highway. There will be 1 dead end, 2 corners, 1 T, and 1 connection to the main highway.

The dead end goes in the NW. Just bring the highway over the last road section, then take both sections to ground level and do a little loop at the end.

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For the curved sections, bring it over the road same as before, then switch to the curved road tool. With this tool you need to click twice, 1st to set the starting path of the road, then to set where it should curve to. The first click should be straight out until you see the intersection line from the other road. You want the end of the road to be right over that intersection line for the first click. (Unlike the picture you should do the underground road on the inside of the curve first.)

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The second click goes on the other section of highway to connect it and you end up like this after you have done both:

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The T is a little more involved. We’re going to use the prefab cloverleaf intersection. We don’t really need a 4-way intersection yet, but there is no real downside except a bit more cost. We will want to continue building south eventually so this way we don’t need to replace it later. As you can see, it’s a little large:

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We’ll need to clear a few roads out temporarily so it will fit. We’ll be taking out the last block of N/S cross streets permanently, and the E/W cross street temporarily. We’ll also be cutting the corner blocks in half.

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Try placing it again. Be sure to rotate it so that the elevated section runs E/W, and it is aligned as well as possible with the 3 highway sections.

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After placing it, delete the 8 highway sections on the ends of the cloverleaf.

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The south end we will just connect the two highways together for now. The other three sides we will be raising or lowering in as short a distance as possible to match the highways we are connecting to.

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Then connect them to the existing highways:

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Unfortunately, we still need to get the tram road over the cloverleaf. Start by running segments (of 1-way 2-lane road with tram tracks) from the corners of the block, elevating them one level, and ending them in the small gaps in the cloverleaf.

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Then connect the two segments with a straight piece. If you want to, you can give the same treatment to the other two sides (but with regular roads) but they’re not really important. It’s not pretty but it will get the job done.

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Connecting to the highway by the bridge is relatively easy. We’ll be messing with this area more later, but for now just delete enough of the highway after the bridge that you can drop a T intersection in, and connect it to your highway as well as the exterior one.

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Make sure all of your highways are going in the right direction, it's generally pretty easy to tell because you will see the "dead end" icon anywhere two one way roads are going into one another. One place they might not show up is right at the edges of intersections. Since there is technically somewhere for the traffic to go (the on/off ramps), it won't show the dead end, even if the two highway segments are going the wrong way.

Now it's time to go around and create all your ramps on the 4 new sides as well as the new blocks in the middle. You will use the same process as the first time around though, so I won’t go into detail. I did have a little trouble with the connections by the new cloverleaf we put in at the south end. The ground was sloping down there so steeply that the elevated highway was too low to clear the down ramp going under it. You can try (from simplest to most annoying):
• Shorten the stubs to 2 cells or remove them entirely. (If you do this you may also need to do the longer ramps in two steps, one that goes up/down in as short a distance as possible, and a second that connects to the highway. If you try to do it in one step, it will start out flat and then go up/down and you will have the same problem as you did before.)
• You can move the pylons back a tad (to two cells from the through streets) so you have more room for the ramps. (If this is by the highway junction, you can probably also push the end of the cloverleaf back a cell or two by deleting the highway segment and part of the outer ramp and redoing it.)
• You can play around with leveling the ground out a bit in that area, but will need to delete and recreate the highway/ roads around it so they are at the new ground level.
• If you just can’t get it to work, do what you can. You should be able to get 3 out of four ramps working most likely.

You most likely disconnected your power during all the road work, so run some temporary lines so that you can unpause the game. Then we’ll head over to the old river bed.

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If you still have a little water here like I did, level it out a bit so you can run the top road west two and a half blocks. Be careful not to destroy your river wall unless you want it pouring down on your city. Give the water a minute to clear out.

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Now we can switch to the solar power plants we unlocked a little while ago. 3 will probably be more than enough for your current power needs, but you can easily expand to 4 or more by just building another road going out two cross streets down.

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Connect them into your city by running a wire along the north edge of your city. After that you can get rid of all your old wind plants. You can either run a power line up to your water pumps, or leave that one wind plant in place. Now is also a good time to move our sewer drains to the south. We’ll build water treatment plants down here (they each provide 160k of draining, so I needed 3 at this point).

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You should probably just drop another wind turbine here to avoid having to run power lines that you’ll need to avoid/replace later. Be sure to connect it to your water system before you get rid of the old drains. When deleting the old power lines (and water pipe if you want) that were running out to the drains, you can hold down the A button and move the cursor around and it will delete any of that item that you hover over but leave other types of things intact.

Next, we’ll add in our new service blocks. They’ll be the same as the original ones, police station and medical on one edge, elementary and fire station next to them; high school and metro station on the other edge, and a crematorium in the middle. If you have the natural disasters DLC you can tuck a small radio tower in right behind the crematorium where no one is going to build anyway. More happiness!

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Since you now have 8 fire stations, you will unlock:

Fire Watch

Have 5 Fire Stations

Fire Watch
1 guide

While we're at it lets take a minute to save the game, buy 5 police headquarters, then reload it, giving you:

The Safest Town

Have 5 Police Headquarters

The Safest Town
1 guide

I’d recommend shifting the universities (and elementary schools next to them) one block further from the central highway so they are in the dead center column. We’re also going to place metro stations in that central column, in line with the existing stations. I put mine centered E/W in the block but that is mostly for aesthetics. Extend the E/W tunnels to connect to the new stations and add additional N/S tunnels between each new pair of stations.

Now we will expand all of your mass transit routes. First, delete your subway route. Create two E/W routes, one for the northern stations, one for the southern. Hit all stops going east, then all stops coming back west and complete the route where you started it. Create 6 N/S routes, one between each pair of stations, that just go from the N station to the S and back.

The tram routes should already be going around your full loop (as long as you deleted the old N/S connecting streets). Just go to each block to add the new stops. But… we never put our tram station back in, so let’s do that near the SW corner, a couple blocks up from the edge (and convert some roads to track roads to connect it to our loops). You’ll also want to connect the gaps between the track loops along the west edge.

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After you've added the stops at the end of each E/W block (relative to the direction of travel), you'll also need to set up the totally new loop in the S the same way.

Your four existing bus lines can be expanded one stop at a time, until you hit the next to the last block. As before, alternate which side of the long block the stop is on as you go south. Here is the south end of one of the routes:

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You’ll also set up 3 new bus routes on each grid. Now is a good time to move your existing bus depot and build a second one. You want to have one on the outside E/W edge of each grid (roughly in the middle). If you have access to the road maintenance buildings, I would get a second one and move your old one so you have one near each bus depot.

This should give you enough transit lines (10 bus, 4 tram, 8 subway) to get:

City in Motion

Have 20 transport lines

City in Motion
1 guide

Now that the mass transit is squared away, just a few minor things left before we start expanding our zones.
For water, just extend your pipes E&W to cover your entire area (including the outer edges.)

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Then run some power lines down the west side to power your bus and tram depots. Drop a temporary windmill for the E depot.

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We’re going to sprinkle some dog parks around the city to keep everyone happy. Along the N/S highway (in between the two city grids), I placed one on the west side at block 2, on the E at block 4, W at 6, etc..

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On the outer N/S edges they can’t benefit from parks on the other side of the road so we’ll space them a bit closer (every 3 blocks at blocks 1,4,7,10,13,16).

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For the E/W edges, space them every 3 small blocks or 1 and a half long blocks. We’ll rearrange them a bit when we add in additional grids.

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On the inside of the grid, you can place one adjacent to each service block, on the inner side (relative to E/W) of the blocks. Then place one 2 blocks away from the university in each direction. That's 8 total on the interior.

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Zoning the Grids

Now that everything is in place we start building out the city. Overall the plan is the columns are (from left to right):

• 50/50 Industrial/Commercial
• Office/Commercial Mix (depending on demand)
• Office
• Residential/Office Mix
• 3 columns of Residential
• Residential/Office Mix
• Office
• Office/Commercial Mix (depending on demand)
• 50/50 Industrial/Commercial

Before any other zones, I would build out the 4 sets of 3 residential blocks going east and west to your new services blocks. Then you can go ahead and expand those rows to the edges with office, commercial, and industrial. Fill in the rows 1,3,5-7,9,11 that are assigned to specific zone types gradually. Once those are filled in, start on the mixed rows depending on what’s needed.
One extra thing to keep in mind while zoning. Your industrial zones need uneducated workers, at least until they level up to level 2/3. You probably have very few of those, due to your excellent educational system. So you will need to make sure that there is enough unemployment that people with higher education will go ahead and fill those jobs because they can't get anything better. You can see your current unemployment rate in the population info pane (you want something in the 5-10% range). The simplest way to get there is just be much more aggressive with residential zoning than the other types. If there is any residential demand at all that is what you should be going after.
Keep an eye on your water, sewer, and electrical capacity, and expand them as needed. You may also need to add some additional incinerators. The four corners of each grid are great places for them. However, you also need to fill up 5 dumps for an achievement and 7 cemeteries to unlock buildings. So before getting more incinerators, I would place some dumps. I did 4 along the top edge, mostly next to incinerator plants, and the 5th on the west edge of the city. Being next to incinerators will enable you to empty them fairly quickly if you can’t use the collapse trick. You may want to turn off your incinerators so there is more garbage for the dumps. Start with all of them off and turn them back on one at a time as needed if the dumps can’t keep up on their own. An easy way to tell if they are having trouble coping is if they are using all their trucks. If they are slightly under full utilization that is ideal. You should also max out the garbage budget to increase the trucks per dump so they can fill up faster.

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I placed the cemeteries around the center of each of the 6 outer edges, and an extra one near the center of the north side. Just like with the dumps, you will probably need to turn some of your crematoriums off if you want the cemeteries to see any use. See above for details, same idea, except the budget to increase is medical. DO NOT follow this picture explicitly as the one nearest the center will interfere with the coming highway upgrade, shifting both in the NW one block W is a better setup.

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Instead, when placing them try to center them on the N/S roads like the picture below, so they don’t interfere with the cross streets we are going to build in a while. Also avoid placing them in the blocks closest to the corners so they don't mess with the highways.

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Its probably about time to stick a prison over on the west side by the power plants.

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We definitely are going to need to add more schools for all these new people, but holding off for now will help with making sure your industrial areas can actually get enough uneducated workers. We’ll take care of it once our grid is full and we can see what we need.

Milestone: 42,000, 60,000 & 75,000

You’ll sail past 42k population at some point pretty early on in this process. This unlocks the last normal power plant, the nuclear plant. It provides 4x the power of a solar plant, but costs about 25% more in upkeep per MW. Electricity is a pretty small part of your budget so you can definitely absorb it if you want. If you do, you can also turn on the day/night cycle and start making progress towards the 1001 nights achievement.

You’ll also be unlocking 60k and 75k during this process which will unlock the last tiles. 75k also unlocks monuments, giving you:

Heavenly City

Unlock Monuments

Heavenly City
1 guide

But we need to unlock some more buildings before we can build those. The last two map tiles mean we can finish our ring road, and start building out our next 2 grids. This will give you something to do during the downtime as these two grids fill in. (I took this picture a bit further along so you can see the northern grids partially completed.) We will also unlock the tile up north, giving us room to adjust the highway and giving us access to the external rail connector later on.

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You'll also get:

SIMulated City

Have an area the size of nine map tiles

SIMulated City
1 guide

I just wanted to point out here you don’t really NEED these northern grids filled up to hit 100k, you can most likely hit it with the two southern grids. These northern quadrants will mostly be needed to fulfill the requirements for unlocking two buildings.

By now you should be able to estimate the size you will need for your grids, or you can drag a road up there from the corners of your exterior roads to serve as a marker. Its about 21 blocks (12,600 cost with tree roads), but it’s not worth actually placing roads for real right now as there is too much stuff in the way. You can go drag out to the right distance than cancel and drop a tiny piece of road out there as your marker for the eventual corners. First, we need to deal with the lake. Get ready to level terrain. Pick a place on the bank as your starting elevation and wall off the area we will be draining (the little piece of road is my marker for the NE corner of new grid). Also place a couple of pumps and a windmill (land based) to power them:

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Now, run a water line ALL the way down to the bay in the SE. Run your water line along the E edge. You don’t want to connect it to the main city network. On the edge of that bay place 10 fresh water outlets along the edge. Next to them place another windmill, and connect the outlets to your new water pipe.

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They will start pumping out water and draining that lake up north. You can dig a deeper pit in the lake right by your drains and fill in the other land as it drains so the pumps continue to have water to work with:

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It should only take a few minutes to get it all drained out. Once it is, you can delete the pumps and drains and start leveling everything out. It’s up to you how aggressively you want to level things. You can make everything totally flat, or just try to smooth things out a little like when we terraced the old river bed. For me it was easier to just not have to think and flatten the whole thing. Either way you will likely have a surplus of dirt, so you can build the mountain up in the SE to get rid of it. (If you create one high peak with the raise ground tool, then the leveling tool will dump soil extremely fast if you use the peak as your reference level.) Your garbage dumps are probably going to fill up while you do this, so keep an eye on them. Turn old incinerators back on or build new ones as needed so you don’t get overwhelmed by trash. I eventually placed incinerators on each grid corner in addition to the two along the central road. Once all five dumps are full you get:

Professional Dumper

Fill five landfill sites

Professional Dumper
1 guide

After that, you can switch them to emptying or collapse them, then bulldoze them once done. (You can also set your garbage budget back to normal now.

When you are ready to level, this is a decent level to use:

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Don’t get too close to your existing grid because you will need some room to change the elevation more gradually so it can meet your existing city (just like you did in the river bed). Pay particular attention to the 1st 3 blocks north of the city (where the highway ring will be going). You want that level as possible in the N/S direction. The simplest way to achieve that is to take the height at your existing road every wide block or so, and level out the area directly north of that block to that level. Repeat as you go along the edge of the city. When you are done the 1st few blocks should have contour lines running primarily N/S rather than curving around or going E/W.

The area all leveled out, 20 minutes and $5 million later:

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And a very strange mesa:

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Now it’s time to trash the old highways, so you’ll want to pause for this. I would just delete everything out to the zone borders with the exception of the bridge (delete that highway back to the edge of the bridge).

A clean slate:

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Now you may want to go back and clear out any weird hills or pits in your flat area, clear up any steep areas, but try to maintain the contour lines mostly N/S in those 1st few blocks where we will be connecting into the new highways. Now build out your grid. Go north 2.5 blocks ($1440 tree road) from the 4 N corners of your old grid then connect them.

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Then on the E/W/Center go 1 block N and 2.5 E/W. Then go 2 blocks N and 2.5 E/W. Repeat that a total of 7 times. After that go 1 more block N.

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Connect the two pairs of blocks sticking out top to complete the outlines of you two new grids.

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We don’t need to fill in the insides at the moment, but let’s complete our outer ring of 2 lane roads, so connect, the ones on the E/W side, then work on the ones along the N and between the old and new grids. Remember these should start one short block in from the grid edges, so you’ll be deleting the 1st roads you did connecting them. I don’t bother with making the cross streets on the outer edges one way, or the ones going N/S, but it does make sense for the E/W ones between the two northern grids so they can run trams/buses in the future, so you may as well upgrade them to one way streets or one way track streets (alternating directions).
You’ll build out these highways the same way as when we did the beltway around the two southern blocks, so I’ll just focus on the highway intersections and a couple minor differences.
The six new highway interchanges will be as follows:
NW: cloverleaf, handling the two beltways sections and the two external highways. You don’t have to cut off the corners of the grid like we did for the southern one, since there won’t be additional grids to the N or W we can shift it a tiny bit to the NW to make room.

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N: T, handling the 3 beltway sections. I had to delete the ramp going over on the right side to make it work with the tram tracks and have it start up about a cell later so there would be space for the tram tracks to go over.

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NE: T Handling 2 beltway sections and the external road.

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W: cloverleaf handling 3 beltways and the highway off the bridge. Again this can shift a little to the W so you don’t have to shave the corners of the grid. I had to gentle the slope a bit to make the climb to the bridge.

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Center: cloverleaf handling 4 beltways. Just like the S cloverleaf you’ll need to remove half blocks to let the cloverleaf fit easily, and make sure the elevated section is E/W. Then create the slight detours for the tram/bus roads.

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E: T handling 3 beltways. The slope here made me place it a bit off center, you could also try re-leveling the ground.

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Other differences:
For, the central E/W highway, make sure the underground one is the S one, otherwise you may run into issues with your temporary cemeteries.

Once all your highways are connected you can unpause the game and start building on/off ramps.

Your cemeteries may block a few, but they could be getting close to full so check in on them. If one or two are way ahead of the others, you can set them on emptying mode for a few minutes to ship some off to the other locations. Once they are all filled (at the same time), you can turn your crematoriums back on and start emptying them (or just collapse them) and get them out of the way so you can finish any highway connections they were blocking along the middle.

Hopefully by now your grids are getting full or close to full, so lets add some schools. I was around 90k population when I finished zoning my grid, and needed about 6000 desks in elementary schools (and was only at 3000). I added one near the center of each exterior edge (4 per grid, 8 total). I also added some 3 blocks N and S of each university, for a total of 12 new schools.

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I was also a bit short on high schools, so I placed 3 on the outsides of each grid.

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Your universities should be fine though. Now that your schools have enough capacity, your buildings should start upgrading and your population should shoot up a little, even without zoning anything new.

If you are at 90k population at this point, you won’t need many more blocks of residential, 15-20 should do the trick easily, but we’re also going to try to take care of one of the more annoying building unlocks with our two northern grids: the Eiffel tower. It requires 30,000 cells of industrial buildings. Each full column is about 2,300. And you have about 2, if each of your 4 columns is 50% industrial. That means you need about 13 more columns.

Now its time to go ahead and fill in your grids up top. You can pause it or not, depending on whether your city is still growing or all filled up. I won’t go into detail on most of these as almost everything is the same as the first section:

  • Streets
  • Track Streets: Don’t forget to connect the loops along one end. You also need to connect the north and south grids along that same end, you’ll have to jog to the side half a block since the cross streets don’t line up.
  • Highway ramps
  • Service blocks
  • Dog parks: don’t forget you to rearrange the parks on the N side of the original grids. You can do something like you did in between the two original grids, every other short block on alternating side.
  • CS49
  • Road maintenance depots
  • Incinerators
  • University
  • Mass Transit network: Don’t forget to stick bus depots on the edge of new grids.
  • Electrical: You are probably already tied into the grid due to your incinerators in the corners, But I would recommend running power around the outside of each grid, so all 8 incinerators and the parks have power, that will also make sure you have power to start building pretty much anywhere in the grids. I would recommend building the wires at least one cell back from the road though, because that could interfere with placing building there later. (The game won't think there is road space available, because the power lines block the zoning cells from showing up.) You will probably want to elevate them at least one step to clear highway on ramps. And you don't have to cross over the parks fully but you can if you want. (You can also just use shorter segments connecting the edges of each blue area to each other). Look out for any of the the little yellow plug icons, that means your power line isn't actually connected to a local grid.
  • Water

Here are those two grids with all the infrastructure in place:

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Your cemeteries are probably full by now, so empty/collapse/bulldoze them and turn your crematoriums back on (and reset your medical budget).

Now, we need to shift our grids away from offices to primarily industry.

We'll make a few changes to accommodate this:

  • Turn off Industrial Space Planning policy
  • Turn in Back to Work policy
  • Lower your education funding to the minimum
  • Lower your industrial taxes to the minimum
  • Build your 5th grid
  • Build freight harbors
  • Build freight train stations
  • Zone your new grids on an industrial based template
  • Re-zone your existing grids on the industrial based template

Take care of the tax/policy changes first. Then start gradually re-zoning your existing grids and expanding zoning in your new grids. Since you are zoning/rezoning gradually (you are doing it gradually, right??), you can build out the fifth (and thankfully final) grid as well as the freight connectors while you do this.

Your zone plan by column will be:

  • 1 & 11: 100% industrial
  • 2 & 10: 50/50 industrial and high density commercial (this means the odd numbered blocks from N to S should be one type, the evens the other type)
  • 3 & 9: 100% high density commercial.
  • 4/8: 4 the outer 4 small grid cells should be low density commercial, the remainder residential (this is so your residential neighborhoods aren't right next to the noise/pollution of the industrial/high density commercial). I realize this may be a little confusing, but you can see it in action in the bottom picture on this page. In that picture you've unlocked office zones, but you can see how the outer 4 grid cells of those blocks are zoned differently as a buffer for the residential area.
  • 5-7: 100% residential

Your population will likely stagnate a bit even if you go slowly. I was stuck around 140k for quite a while until I completed rezoning my existing areas. Of course you will hit 100k pretty early in this process giving you:

Metropolis

Have a population of 100,000 in your city

Metropolis
1 guide

The new grid is going to be the same as all the others. The only difference is there will be no connections on tram/bus going E/W, since it is the only grid down there. Highway intersections will be the cloverleaf in the NW, T in the NE and two corners in the S. Once you complete it you should have 49 transit routes (25 bus routes, 12 tram routes, and 12 subway routes). That is one short of an achievement, so just stick in an extra temporary bus route or two until you get:

City in Motion 2

Have 50 transport lines

City in Motion 2
1 guide

And while we are distracted anyway, save the game, buy 14 more prisons, and get:

Prison Break

Have 15 Prisons in the city

Prison Break
1 guide

The reload your save, finish up anything left to do on this newest grid, and start zoning it just like the other new areas.

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I placed two harbors along the shore, both have a one way road entering on the side with the large white warehouse, and a one way road exiting on the other side. The one way roads go straight into highway access ramps facing the same direction.

Overview:

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West Harbor:

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East Harbor:

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I placed two train stations along the northern grids (this is the main reason we purchased that last map cell way up north, to give us external rail access). The connection is similar to the freight harbors, except you want trucks entering on the side with the shipping containers and exiting on the side with the building. I also set them a block back from the external roads. I ran tracks (2-way ones) south from the external connection, down to my western station, then over to my eastern station, looped back around, and took it back up to the external connection again.

Overview:

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West Station:

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East Station:

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I finally hit the 30k squares of industrial right around 175k population. The last major project now is getting up to 15k elementary students. The easiest way to do that is really just continue as you are and keep growing your population. If you want you can transition back to your old office based zoning. It will give you a bit more income and grow your population faster in the long run, but there will be a slowdown as you transition. If/when you change back, remember to turn off industrial space planning and raise your industrial taxes back to normal. But leave the education funding low and back to work policy on for now. If you do decide to rezone, this is what I did:

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I just did one entire grid at a time. It takes time for it to normalize, but I was super tired of all the gradual zoning at this point, and it's only the rapid residential zoning that can cause the death wave issues anyway.

Whichever way you go, keep an eye on your elementary school stats, once your eligibility is a bit over 15k (16k is probably safe), save your game. For me this happened around 190k population. Then turn your education funding to maximum, and change your "Back to Work" policy to "Education Boost". Kids should gradually start filling up your schools, eventually unlocking the Arc de Triomphe.

There are 45 buildings you need to unlock. There are 12 that are specific to european maps that you can skip. You can also skip any DLC specific buildings. Building unlocks are saved on your profile, they are not specific to any particular city or save game. You can even unlock them while using the unlimited money option. (It will void achievements in that city, but it will still unlock the buildings.)

Automatic

These buildings should all be completed already from what you have done so far

  • Stadium: City produces a total of 1,000 units of goods.
  • Statue of Liberty: City produces a total of 5,000 units of goods.
  • Fountain of Life and Death: Requires one full lifetime spent in a city.
  • Science Center: Requires 5,000 full lifespans lived in the city.
  • Brandenburg Gate: 10,000 full lifespans lived in the city.
  • Plaza of the Dead: Requires 3 full Cemeteries.
  • Grand Central Terminal: Fill 7 instances of Cemetery.
  • Statue of Wealth: Requires $500,000.
  • Transport Tower: Requires 1,000 weekly passengers.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Park: Requires 10,000 squares of residential zone.
  • Tax Office: Requires electricity production of 1,000 MW.
  • Colossal Order Offices: Requires education at $20,000/week for 10 weeks.
  • Business Park: Requires 20,000 squares of commercial zone.
  • Official Park: Requires 10,000 squares of office zone.
  • Expo Center: Requires 2,000 tourists.
  • Aquarium: Requires 5,000 children in elementary schools.
  • MAM Modern Art Museum: Requires 50% of population highly educated.
  • Arc de Triomphe: 15,000 children in elementary schools.
  • Statue of Industry: Requires 10,000 squares of industrial zone.
  • Eiffel Tower: 30,000 squares of industrial zone built.

Save/Reload

These will either mess up your city or waste money, so save your game, accomplish a few, then reload, the buildings will stay unlocked.

  • Purchasing: For these you just need to buy certain things and place them in your city, super easy if you have enough money (which you should). Just build whatever is needed, make sure it has power/water/etc and that it registers the building as complete before going back to your previous save files.
    • Luxury Hotel: Construct International Airport.
    • Zoo: Construct Fishing Pier and Riding Stable.
    • Grand Mall: Requires Airport.
    • Sea and Sky Scraper: Requires Cargo Harbor and Passenger Harbor.
    • Theater of Wonders: Requires 3 Universities.
    • Servicing Services Office: Requires 300 city service buildings. (Build a bunch of water towers in the boonies.)
    • High Interest Tower: Requires you to have $2,000 in debt (Not technically purchasing, but just take out the largest loan, then pay it back.)
    • Grand Library: Requires 7 Universities for 10 weeks. (Build 7 universities and wait 10 weeks)
  • Specialized Zoning: These require specialized zoning, create a district over the appropriate base zone type then switch it to the appropriate type. You will need to wait a while in game for the zone to actually populate enough. Since each column is 2,300, I would have your zones cover at least 4 columns of the appropriate type to speed things along. It is fine if they cover other unrelated base zone type.
    • Casino: 5,000 squares of leisure specialization built. This also unlocks:
    • Driving Range: 5,000 squares of tourism specialization built. This also unlocks:
      • Leisure Suites

        Have 1000 squares of leisure specialized commercial zone

        Leisure Suites
        1 guide
    • Opera House: Requires extraction of a total of 3,000 units of natural resources. (For this one, go to the Natural Resources info view and find some forest land. There should be plenty around your South and north grids. Change the industry there to forestry specialization and wait a little bit.)
  • Other: These are generally a little more disruptive, you can probably do more than one at a time, unless their requirements conflict.
    • Fantastic Fountain: 500 people transported using taxi. (Build a taxi depot near each grid and wait a while.)
    • Mall of Moderation: Requires average garbage piling per building of at least 25. (Turn off all your incinerators and dumps and wait.)
    • Posh Mall: Requires all tax rates at most 4% for 20 weeks. (Cut your taxes to 4% across the board and wait for 20 weeks. You should be fine as long as you have a few million. You can even run out of money, just keep refusing the bailout.)
    • Court House: Requires crime rate over 50% for 5 weeks. (Shut off all the police stations and wait. You may want to keep this run going longer to get Tough City. Once you get the court house unlocked you can ease off a little, as the achievement only requires 40%. Take a look at that section of the walkthrough for details.
    • Oppression Office: Requires unemployment over 50% for 5 weeks. (Max out commercial, office and industrial taxes, then wait. If this doesn’t get you to 1000 abandoned buildings (see bwloe) you can max out your residential taxes too once you finish the unemployment requirement.
    • Observatory: Requires 1,000 abandoned buildings for 5 weeks. (Max out your tax rates and wait.)
    • Lazaret Plaza: Requires 3 weeks of <20% citizen health (Turn off all of your medical buildings, destroy your sewage drains/water treatment plants and put a few sewer drains upstream of your pumps.)
    • Cathedral of Plentitude: Requires construction of all city service buildings. (They need to have power & water as well to be safe.)
      • You should already have these:
        • Wind turbine
        • Advanced turbine
        • Nuclear Power Plant
        • Water Pump
        • Water Treatment Plant
        • Incinerator
        • Clinic
        • Crematorium
        • Fire Station
        • Police Station
        • Elementary School
        • High School
        • University
        • Bus Depot
        • Metro Station
        • Cargo Train Station
        • Cargo Harbor
      • You probably need to build these:
        • Coal Power Plant
        • Oil Power Plant
        • Solar Power Plant
        • Water Tower
        • Sewage Pipe
        • Landfill
        • Hospital
        • Cemetary
        • Fire House
        • Police Headquarters
        • Passenger Train Station
        • Passenger Harbor
        • Airport
  • One Off: This one will be in a separate map, because it's a lot easier with a small city (or really no city at all).
    • Statue of Shopping: Be at exactly $1 in debt. (Start a new game and build a little bit of road, you want your weekly upkeep to be under $15 ideally so you don’t skip over -1. Keep buying and scrapping the most expensive thing you can afford, until you can’t do it anymore. (You lose a little bit of money each time.) Then raise your road budget to 150% and wait. As you get close to $0 lower it to 50% so it goes down more slowly.)

Now that you have all the buildings unlock, temporarily delete all the DLC, and start a new city on a non-European map. The achievement should unlock as soon as the city finishes loading up.

I Want It All

Unlock every single building in the game

I Want It All
1 guide

Monuments

Now that we've unlocked all the buildings, you will need to build one of each non-DLC building in levels 1-6. They should be the 1st five in each group. You don't need to build the ones under Landmarks, Tourism & Leisure, or Football. The total cost will be about $2 million. You will then need another 4.8 to build all five monuments. At this point in the game I had $20 million so that was no issue. You can destroy the "normal" unique buildings once you build the monuments, but you should keep the monuments around. Their upkeep will be hefty (about $55k total per week). But one of them (the fusion plant) will let you turn off your power plants (which were costing me $25k a week), so the actual cost will be much lower. If you want to have more of a buffer, make sure you've converted back to an office based (rather than industry based) zoning strategy and you should have no problem with it. The placement is not super important. They do provide huge land value boosts, but everything is pretty high anyway, so you can just space them around your edges (make sure you give them power and water though). The fusion plant you may as well put by your other power plants (and turn them off or bulldoze them).

This will unlock:

A Huge Hadron

Build the Hadron Collider Monument

A Huge Hadron
1 guide

Beam Me Up

Build the Space Elevator Monument

Beam Me Up
1 guide

Medic!

Build the Medical Center Monument

Medic!
1 guide

New Eden

Build the Eden Project Monument

New Eden
1 guide

Short Fuse

Build the Fusion Power Plant Monument

Short Fuse
1 guide

Miscellaneous

The hadron collider's huge boost to education will give you:

Higher Education

Have over 70% of citizens highly educated in a city of over 10,000 people

Higher Education
1 guide

If you are still shy, make sure you have education funding maxed out and the education boost policy on.

The others will all push your happiness well over 95% for:

Happy Town

Have more than 95% city happiness for 5 years

Happy Town
2 guides

It is your total happiness that matters, and everything except commercial should be 99%+ with commercial in the mid 80s.

While you wait for this, you can get a few tax related ones that require waiting.

Lower your residential tax rates so they are at least 6% below industrial and then wait for a full year to pass in game (takes about an hour at full speed).

Power to the People

Have the industry tax rate over 5% higher than either residential tax rate for one year

Power to the People
1 guide

Then make your industry at least 6% below both residential rates, and wait another year.

Make Them Pay

Have both residential tax rates over 5% higher than industry for one year

Make Them Pay
1 guide

Districts

Use the district creation tool to create a bunch of tiny districts, little circles are just fine, but they do need to be separate. You need 10, I would make a few more than you need to be on the safe side.

City Planner

Use the district tool to draw 3 districts

City Planner
1 guide

Now use the inspector, then hold down Y and select the district inspection mode. Click on a district then press right twice on the D pad, followed by A to set policies for that district. Your need 10 districts with UNIQUE policies, so just pick one policy you aren't using to add to each district. Just pick a different one to turn on for each. They can be from any tab.

Lawmaker

Apply a policy to a district you created

Lawmaker
1 guide

Distroy

Have more than 10 districts with unique policies

Distroy
2 guides

Tough City

Turn off all of your police stations as well as the prison, your crime should shoot up. Once it gets above 40% (I would keep it at 41% or higher to be safe, as the achievement does say OVER 40) you need to keep it that way for 4 years. One problem is that people will start to leave if it gets TOO bad, and less people means less crime. You can try turning a single police station back on if you want to keep it a little bit in check (but probably turn the funding way down). Be careful not to overcorrect, as there can be a lag between turning the police station on/off and it having an impact on your crime stats. You might turn it on at 50, then back off at 45, but your crime rate may keep going down for the next month to 39%, meaning you need to start the 4 months over again. I'd recommend saving every couple months, in at least two different slots. That way you can go back to an earlier save if you get in a situation where you dip under 40%. After 4 years of this:

Tough City

Have the city survive a crime rate of over 40% for 2 years

Tough City
2 guides

Unpopular Mayor

Start a small city and get a few people to move in by providing water, power, sewer, and some jobs (industrial zone). Then take away their water power and jobs (de-zone the industrial). Wait a few minutes and get:

Unpopular Mayor

Have 15% happiness

Unpopular Mayor
1 guide

Idling

Now it's time to wait, you need to play through 1001 in game nights, at max speed that is about 150 hours. The game will run slightly faster on an empty map, so just start a new city and wait:

1001 Nights

Experience 1001 nights in the game

1001 Nights
4 guides

If you also turn on dynamic weather you will also get these pretty quickly:

Foggy Weather

Experience fog

Foggy Weather
1 guide

Singing In The

Experience Rain

Singing In The
2 guides

These you should already have if you followed the main city guide:

Here's A Tram

Have one tram line active

Here's A Tram
1 guide

I Love Trams!

Have 10 tram lines active

I Love Trams!
1 guide

Speed Up!

Boost 100km of streets with Road maintenance service

Speed Up!
1 guide

And just building a sauna in your city gets you:

Are They Naked In There?

Have a Sauna in the city

Are They Naked In There?
1 guide

Unfortunately the last two will require making a new city. It doesn't need to be fabulous or special, but it does need to be a map from this DLC (I used Snowy Coast). Also make sure you have dynamic weather on.

Here is the city I ended up with:

CS51

The only truly important things are snow dumps, though I would recommend advancing far enough to unlock incinerators, so you don't have to worry about garbage as much. Also bear in mind that on snowfall maps you need to provide heat to your citizens. That can be through electricity, but they will consume probably two to three times their normal usage when it gets really cold. You can also build heating plants to generate heat locally, but you will need to upgrade your pipes to ones that can carry heat as well. Once you are all set, you can add in a "snow farm" if you want to speed things up. Just make a bunch of 2 lane roads running down to the bottom of the peninsula, and connect the ends. Make them as close as you can to each other (2 cells of space between them), to pack as many as you can in that space. If you do that you will also need some extra snow dumps (I had two in my base city and two more for the snow farm). Then just let it idle until you get the achievement (shouldn't take more then an hour or two of idling at most, even without the snow farm).

Get Your Snowshoes Ready!

Experience snowfall

Get Your Snowshoes Ready!
1 guide

The Plowmaster

Have snowplows collect 2,000,000 units of snow

The Plowmaster
1 guide

Disasters

Most of these achievements are incredibly easy. You can get these by simply selecting the natural disaster tool and creating one of the appropriate type:

It's Heading Right For Us!

Experience a meteor strike

It's Heading Right For Us!
1 guide

Twist and Shout

Experience a tornado

Twist and Shout

Shake It Up!

Experience an earthquake

Shake It Up!

Drop the Base

Experience a sinkhole

Drop the Base
1 guide

Thunder and Lightning

Experience a Thunderstorm

Thunder and Lightning
1 guide

This one seems to require you have a fire watch tower detect the disaster in order for it to count:

Run, Bambi!

Experience a forest fire

Run, Bambi!
1 guide

This one needs to be done on a map with ocean access:

We Need Snorkels!

Experience a tsunami

We Need Snorkels!

This one requires 10 total:

Eternal City

Have ten disasters hit the same city

Eternal City
2 guides

Scenarios

Losing is easy, pick a scenario that has the "have less than 0 money" loss condition. Build things to waste your money, turn taxes down to 1%. Save your game. You will lose momentarily. Pick the "Restart" option, then reload your save. Repeat this 5 times for:

The Underdog

Lose 5 scenarios

The Underdog
2 guides

Winning is a bit harder (but not too hard). If you have the Mass Transit DLC, the scenario "ferry empire" is ridiculously easy. See the Mass Transit DLC walkthrough page for details.

If you don't have the DLC, your best bet is "Tornado Country". You have tons of space out to the N/E so you can just purchase tiles so you have a 3x3 square, and easily fit in more grids than you could ever need. You will probably need to use water towers if you do this as there will be minimal water frontage to keep your sewage and drinking water separate.

Another option (suggested by II Loadsman) is the Alpine villages scenario. It's not too bad, but I am a bit wary of the deadline. If you don't hit your target in time, game over. He said, "I had a population of about 12,500 get 250k trips by bus in 250 (out of 350 allowed) game weeks. Just spam bus lines everywhere."

Whichever you pick, when you are close to winning save your game. Then just like for losing, reload your save and "win" again for the achievement. Then reload your save so you can "win" 5x.

We Have A Winner!

Win 5 scenarios

We Have A Winner!
1 guide

What the...?

I've left this one for last, because this could take the longest of anything in the game. But you can start working on these at any point. It is easiest however if you have the save you made just before buying your first extra map tile.

Preparation

Load up that save, and buy as many tiles as you can, but extend them away from your city as much as possibly (i.e. buy two in a row north, then branch out E/W from that far northern city. We just want to maximize the chance of disasters hitting empty land far away from your city.

Idling

Load up your "idling" save, turn on natural disasters and maximize their frequency, and turn on the day night cycle. Go to sleep, go to work, I don't care. When you come back, much time will have passed, and your city may or may not have been damaged. You can either repair it or just reload your save, depending on how you feel. If you want to repair, then do that and you can let it continue to idle. If you are in the negative, the game is probably paused asking if you want a bailout. SAY NO. Then you can temporarily turn off disasters, pause the game, and take out all 3 loans. That should give you enough cash to rebuild and repair. Once you do, you should start making money again, and can turn disasters back on (maybe wait until you've paid off the loans to be on the safe side). Save your game periodically. It may not matter but it can't hurt to be progressing the game rather than running the same few months over and over.

Eventually, you will get:

What the...?

Experience a special disaster

What the...?
2 guides

or as i like to call it "When the @#$%??"

The vast majority of this DLC is super easy. Start by loading up your city (I'm assuming you are using the end game save from this walkthrough, but any decent sized city should work).

Build a couple of blimp stops and a blimp depot wherever you want. Create a pathway from the depot to a stop, and then to the other stop. Then create 10 routes between those two stops for:

Blimp? Blimp.

Have 3 blimp lines.

Blimp? Blimp.
1 guide

Put Some Blimp In Your Blimp

Have 10 blimp lines.

Put Some Blimp In Your Blimp
1 guide

Build a couple of cable car lines (these don't have a depot, just need stops and cables and the routes are auto-created). I'd recommend going along the outside edges of the entire city if you want to knock this out real quick, maybe every 4 blocks or so. Once they are set up, wait a little while for:

Clark Cable

Transport 5,000 passengers with cable cars.

Clark Cable
1 guide

Cables Galore

Transport 20,000 passengers with Cable Cars.

Cables Galore
1 guide

Just like the blimps, create a ferry depot and 2 ferry stops (in the water, although technically they can be on a canal). Then create a pathway connecting all 3, then create 15 routes again for:

Rejoice and Be Ferry

Have 3 ferry lines.

Rejoice and Be Ferry

Ferry Faerie

Have 15 ferry lines.

Ferry Faerie
1 guide

Now time for a monorail. No depot needed here, so create two stops, lay some track, and create 10 routes for:

Triorail

Have 3 monorail lines.

Triorail
1 guide

Not So Mono

Have 10 monorail lines.

Not So Mono
1 guide

The last one requires a Ferry/Bus Exchange Stop, MetroMonorailTrain Hub, Monorail-Bus Hub and Multiplatform Station. Build them all for:

Combo Breaker!

Have a Ferry, Bus Exchange Stop, MetroMonorailTrain Hub, Monorail-Bus Hub and Multiplatform Station

Combo Breaker!
1 guide

Finally the one that requires actual effort, you need to complete all 3 Mass Transit Scenarios.

Ferry Empire

You need to hit 25k population and transport 250k people by boat. Simplest way to do this is to buy the tile to your east and set up a grid city just as you did for the main game. But leave a couple blocks space between it and the existing city and along the N/S borders. The twist here is we are going to run a square shaped wide & deep canal around our grids instead of highways. Leave a little space between the canal and your grid as the ferry docks you will be placing need to be set back half a block or so from the canal. You can connect it into the existing lakes in the S, and stick a ferry depot there. Make a ferry path going to your canal, and then set up stops spaced around the outside of your grid. Turn on free mass transit and "prefer ferries" and maximize your ferry funding. You can also put the residential on one side of the highway and the commercial/industrial on the other to force them to travel more. This should get you a few hundred passengers every week. Then you can just turn on the day night cycle and let it run.

I also created an office/commercial zone north of the highway, and a residential south of it. They were probably about 4-6 double block wide and 5 or 6 blocks high.
I purposely only connected them to the highway side they were closest to, so it was inconvenient to get from one section to the other by car. I then looped a canal around them, and added some docks and stops. (Don't forget you need to include water (and make a path) so the boats can get from the depot to your loop.)
You will have to redo the highway a bit to take it over the canals. It works best if you come at the call exactly perpendicular, go up one elevation step and get right up to the edge of the canal before trying to cross it. You may need to drag it a ways past the canal to get it to let you place it, and afterwards you can delete the excess and bring it back down to ground level.
This is good for another 200 or so per week.
You can also stick some addition office/industrial/commercial/residential outside the loop and stick some docks and create routes there as well. I ended up getting up to 550/week before I stopped and just let it sit.

Fix the Traffic

This one is actually ridiculously easy. The trick here is that traffic only counts if there are roads. So the 82% requirement can be reached simply by pausing, deleting red roads wholesale, then unpausing for maybe ten seconds. Of course this will negatively impact your population, so you need to hit 35k first and have a little buffer. So pick an open area with access to a non-awful highway. Build a grid there to get yourself up to 40k population or thereabouts (feel free to try earlier, like 36k, just save first). Then delete all the bad roads. Alternatively you can build a lot of roads (like for the snow plowing achievement, see snowfall DLC page) which will bring your average up.

Trains!

The real challenge on this one is hitting your population goals quickly enough to avoid failing.

City:

Image 4

This is basically the same layout as before. 9 double blocks wide, 15 high. I would recommend growing with this general layout as quickly as possible and not worrying about the train stations until you have hit your size target.

The train stations I set up like this, by joining two E/W blocks together (remove the road in the middle). You'll want to center the station in the double (or quadruple is suppose) block and go up an elevation step as quickly as possible.

Image 1

For the overall layout I did 6 stations on each half of the grid. E/W it was on blocks 2/3 and 7/8. N/S it was on 3,8,13. I connected each set of 4 using E/W tracks, I didn't bother with N/S connections. Set up your routes and just wait. While you are waiting you can just build random tracks outside the city to hit your track building goal.

Image 1

Once you beat all 3 you get:

Totally in Motion

Win all three Mass Transit scenarios.

Totally in Motion
3 guides

This DLC will be very quick to complete.

Load a city you have handy. I would recommend a smaller city that has reached at least big town size (offices, crematoriums, etc). You will also want to have around a million cash on hand. You can get by with less, but being able to run a big deficit for a bit will speed things up.

You might immediately get an achievement, depending on your energy mix, if not we will come back to it later:

Green Energy

Produce all electricity without using raw materials.

Green Energy
1 guide

To start, put all of your city in a district and set the zoning specializations to: Forestry (industrial), IT-Cluster (office), Organic/Local Produce (Commercial), Self-Sufficient Housing (residential).

Wait a while and all of your existing building will be torn down and new ones will be built in the new specialization. If you wanted to do it more gradually, you could start with your custom district small and slowly grow it as each section is rebuilt.

Once you have all of the old buildings gone and at least one new building built in the appropriate zone you will get:

I To The T

Have all office zone in your city be specialized IT-Cluster.

I To The T

Super Self-Sufficient

Have all residential zone in your city be specialized Self-Sufficient Housing.

Super Self-Sufficient
2 guides

Organistic

Have all commercial zone in your city be specialized Organic and Local Produce.

Organistic

Greenest City

Have no polluting industry in your city, only Office Zone and specialized zones.

Greenest City
2 guides

While you are waiting for this to happen build a community school, institute of creative arts, and modern technology institute (total $132,000) for:

Friendly Teaching

Build one of each eco-friendly schools: Community School, Institute of Creative Arts and Modern Tech

Friendly Teaching
1 guide

If you are missing green energy, one option is to quickly destroy any coal/oil or similar power plants (which you probably didn't have to begin with if you followed this walkthrough). Another option is to start a new city, build a road, and then build a wind power plant. Bam, you're done.

Green Energy

Produce all electricity without using raw materials.

Green Energy
1 guide

I would recommend doing this in a large city with plenty of money to speed things up. But any city that is big enough to idle (crematoriums/incinerators) will do the trick with minimal effort.

I set up 3 parks zones, each in a square on the east side of the map. 4 blocks N/S and 2 blocks E/W. I threw a road along the N/S edges as a boundary. You may need to make the zoo park a bit larger as it has bigger buildings. You will also need some water for the zoo and nature parks as they each have buildings that must be placed on a shoreline. If you didn't create them near the water (or couldn't due to space) you can just dig a little hole and pipe in water from elsewhere with a water outlet to make a nice little artificial pond. If you do this be careful to tone down the number of active outflows once you have it filled enough so it doesn't overflow.

Build a Amusement Park Gate in one, Zoo gate in another and Nature reserve gate in the third.

Amusement:

Image 1

Nature:

Image 1

Zoo:

Image 1

Build one or two park maintenance buildings near them.

Maintain That Park

Have a Park Maintenance Service and a Zoo, Nature Reserve and Amusement Park in your city.

Maintain That Park

Build one of each of the buildings you can in them (the regular ones not the decorative, everything between the side gate (included) and the bench (not included)).
You will need to wait for visitors now so they can level up.

I would also set the ticket price to zero, and under the policies, activate everything except main park and fine for fireworks.

While you wait go ahead and put in 5 walking tour lines and 15 sighseeing bus lines. They don't need to be good routes, since it's just for the achievement.

Ambulare

Have 5 pedestrian Walking Tour lines

Ambulare

Sights To Be Seen

Have 15 Sightseeing Bus lines

Sights To Be Seen

You can also make zone 7 little dots of park and then delete after getting

Parking Not Forbidden

Have 10 parks made with Park Tool

Parking Not Forbidden
1 guide

You will need to wait for each park to level up (which requires enough visitors and enough attractions). This will take different amounts of time depending on the siting of your parks, city size, etc. You can see the requirements and progress by using the park info tool. As it gains each level it will unlock new buildings. For the Zoo/Amusement parks, one of each building will give you enough to level up each time. For the nature park, you can spam a few extras to meet your targets.

Getting one park to level 5 will get you:

The Park To Rule All Parks

Have a maximum level park made with Park Tool

The Park To Rule All Parks
1 guide

Building all the buildings in each will get you:

Coaster Tycoon

Have a park with all Amusement Park buildings built in it

Coaster Tycoon
1 guide

Z00

Have a park with all zoo buildings built in it

Z00
1 guide

Naturally

Have a park with all Nature Reserve buildings built in it

Naturally

Start by building ten warehouses (you can the destroy them):

Scaling Up

Build 10 Warehouse buildings

Scaling Up
1 guide

Build one of each toll building type (no need to connect to your road network):

Just Tolling

Build one of each road Toll Booth buildings

Just Tolling
1 guide

Next, we'll go ahead and build some post offices. I built 7, on the N and S sides of each grid square. I also built a sorting facility on the W edge of the city. This is looking towards the West.

Image 1

It will take a while to send enough mail, but we can just let them do their work while we work on the industrial areas, and eventually get:

Postman

Deliver 1 000 000 units of Mail

Postman
1 guide

We need to build one of each type of industrial area and get it up to level 5. This shows where I placed each one (camera is looking E by NE):

Image 1

From left to right they are, oil, wood, farming, ore. Oil,ore, and food all need to go on areas with the right natural resources. More resources means they will level up faster. But even worst case, they will import the raw materials and process them and you will make some progress, just slower. For all of them it is worth turning on all of the industrial area policies (you can access these when inspecting the area). I'll provide some specifics for each type of area. To get them up to level 5 you will need to get at least 800 workers and process 135000 units of resources. When you view the info for the area, it will show where you stand. You will probably be okay on the worker side of things if you have capacity for 2000 workers. You may need a bit more or less depending on thef5 state of your city. If you have trouble you could always focus on one of the area types at a time, and once it hits level 5, sell off the majority of the buildings (but don't sell the HQ or delete the area).

I built most of the areas with the same 2x1 block street grid as the normal city. You can designate the area with a painting tool, and once you've done that you need to build a headquarters of the appropriate type. Here are some specifics on each type of area. You may want/need to level out the areas where you will be building beforehand to make things a bit easier.

Image 1

Image 1

Oil: I built small oil pumps up and down each side of the blocks. I built them on both the E&W edges of every block, but you may want to space them out a bit (maybe just one side of every other short block). If you place them too close together you will just use the resources up too quickly. The insides were filled with oil sludge pyrolysis plants, petrochemical plants, and worker barracks, as well as storage areas. I would probably aim for a storage area in every other block, I did one on each which I think was overkill. You can replace with a storage cavern later, but don't just scrap them without emptying them first. Don't want to lose that black gold! You should also build 20 worker barracks throughout the area, more than that provide no further benefit.

Image 1

Ore: I used larger blocks for this (2x4), because the buildings are quite large. I placed 3 small mines (and later upgraded them to small underground mines) in each block. 2 ore grinding mills processed their output, along with a small storage area (you unlock a better small one later on which you can replace it with). You can also fill in worker barracks in the remaining space until you hit 20.

Image 1

Farming: This won't run out like ore/oil, but you do need to be in an area with the fertile soil in order to produce output. I built small crop fields, along with small pastures (and later flour mills) to process the resources. I put a few silos on the ends of the blocks to store the excess. You want 20 worker barracks again, but they are pretty small so placing them should be no problem. I will note that the area I built in had big differences in output for the farms just by moving a small area. I filled in about half of the area with farms, focusing on placements that could produce at least 15 per week. Then I built barracks, pastures, and mills in the areas that weren't as good for farming.

Image 1

Lumber: One special thing about wood is that you can create the resource by planting trees, so before building anything, go nuts and plant tons of trees in each block before building anything. As far as the actual buildings, use small tree plantations (and replace them with sapling fields once they are available). Sawmills and later biomass pellet plants can be used for processing. Half the blocks I did 3 tree fields and a sawmill. The other half, I did 2 tree fields, a biomass pellet plant, and a sawdust storage area (these don't unlock until level 2, so you'll need to use the wood lot storage area at first). The worker barracks are pretty large, so I built mine around the outskirts of the area.

There will be a bit of waiting as you wait for all four areas to produce enough resources to level up. Once the first one hits level 5, you will unlock:

Full Capacity

Level up an Industry Area up to Level 5

Full Capacity

Once the oil area hits level 5, you can make a new oil area near the shoreline and build 5 offshore drills (you can delete/destroy the area afterwards) to unlock:

Offshore Assets

Build five Offshore Oil Drilling Platforms

Offshore Assets
1 guide

While you are waiting, you can build 6 more industry areas (they don't need to level up at all, you just need to build a HQ) to get:

Serial Investor

Build 10 Industry Areas

Serial Investor
1 guide

Once all 4 of the areas have hit level 5, you will have unlocked all of the unique factories. You need to build them all. Some are very large, but it doesn't really matter where you build them (they don't need to be placed in the industrial zones). This will get you the last achievement:

Industry Tycoon

Build all Unique Factories

Industry Tycoon
1 guide

If you actually care about them beyond the achievement, you should place them as near as you can to the resources they will use.

I continued with my existing city, however I did clear away the industry areas from the last expansion. I had about 220k-230k populations.

I made the following changes:

  1. Turn off the Hadron Collider. (I tried just turning off the university boost, but it didn't seem to work, although it could have been one of the other steps that did the trick.) Also you may need to wait a bit for eligible students to appear, as they seem to have to age through legitimate elementary and high school to be ready.
  2. Turn off any standard universities.
  3. You should also keep an eye on the capacities of your elementary/high school system, so you can keep plenty of people feeding into the university campuses. In my city these deficiencies had been concealed by the fact that the hadron collider had made them obsolete, and the city continued to grow and I didn't build any more. To rectify this I spaced some additional ones around the edges to make sure I had more than enough capacity. Keep in mind the capacity you need will fluctuate as students age into high school.

If you built your campuses prior to doing the above you may need to turn the admin building off and back on again. I tried to spread my campuses out around the city, to minimize travel time. I placed one on the E side, one on the W side and one on the N. You will need a decent amount of space, and many of the buildings are pretty big (larger than your standard 1x2 block areas). You can either use larger blocks in your university district, or just place the larger buildings around the perimiter.

You will need to upgrade them through 5 levels:

W=Academic Works
S=Students
A=Attractiveness

  1. Unrecognized: you start here
  2. Recognized: 2W, 500S, 200A
  3. Renowned: 4W, 800S, 450A
  4. Acclaimed: 8W, 1200S, 900A
  5. Prestigious: 16W, 1800S, 1800A

Academic works will be the slowest (especially if your city is large to begin with). You can speed these up by doing a funding grant every year and maxing out the extra academic staff. You have a certain chance one for every 500 students (max 4/year). Maxing out the staff and some buildings you can build later will increase this chance. So even best case with 5/year (4 from students+1 from a grant) you will need at least 4 years to hit 16.
The staff and grants aren't mandatory, but if you have the funds they will speed things up. Unfortunately there is no other way to boost this until you get to level 4.

In level 1, I built for each of the 3 types:

  • 1 Admin building
  • 4 dormitories
  • 1 Study Hall
  • 3 Clubs (Not 100% required, but I wanted to have the attractiveness ready to upgrade to level 3 in case I was lucky and ended up with 4+ works.
  • 1 Groundskeeping
  • 1 Sub-School

You'll get

Student Housing Project

Build 10 Dormitories on campuses.

Student Housing Project
1 guide

At this point you will mostly just need to wait for academic years to pass so you can finish academic works and level them up.

In level 2, I built for each campus:

  • 1 Outdoor Study
  • 1 Gymnasium
  • 1 Cafeteria
  • 1 Fountain

If you need more academic works you may need to wait another year here.

In Level 3, I built in each:

  • 1 Library
  • 1 Commencement Office
  • 1 Statue
  • 1 Level 3 Club (Math/IT/Art)
  • 1 Level 3 School (Environmental Studies/Tourism & Travel/Medicine)

You will likely get this soon, now that your capacities are 6k or so on each campus:

Education Nation

Have 15 000 students studying on campuses at the same time.

Education Nation
3 guides

If you don't you can:

  1. enlarge your population
  2. make sure you have adequate elementary/high schools to prepare people for university
  3. turn off all of your universities for a few years to build up a backlog, then turn them back on.

You will definitely need to wait a year here. You should have enough attractiveness and students at this point. If you are low on students, you may just need a bigger city or more high school educated people. If you are low on attractiveness, the level 1 clubs are the easiest way to boost it.
In Level 4, I built in each:

  • 1 Auditorium
  • 1 Laboratory
  • 1 Bookstore

Here you need 8 more works for level 5 so will likely need to wait two years.
You will also likely need another 600 or so attractiveness, so build a bunch of level 1 clubs to achieve that.

Once you hit level 5, you get:

Distinguished Academics

Have one campus reach "Prestigious" in reputation.

Distinguished Academics
1 guide

Then build in each:

  • 1 Media Lab
  • 1 Level 5 club (Dance/Beach Volleyball/Chess)
  • 1 Level 5 statue
  • 1 Level 5 school (Economics/Engineering/Science)

This will get you:

Higher Learning

Build all Campus Area types with all of their respective campus buildings and faculties.

Higher Learning
1 guide

I am not 100% certain if the museums are required. I built them, and it didn't pop, and then realized I had missed one of the level 5 statues.

Now you can just wait a few years for 100 works (you will be about halfway there once you hit level 5) to get:

Academic Scholar

Create 100 academic works.

Academic Scholar
1 guide

And build all 5 sports arenas on whatever campus you have room for them to get:

Varsity Sports Patron

Build all five varsity sports arenas on one campus in one city.

Varsity Sports Patron
1 guide

This one was a little troulesome. I'm not sure what was actually necessary, but I turned off all campus level policies, as well as the city wide education boost, and turned ON "For-Profit Education" (city-wide) and it finally popped:

For For-Profit Education!

Have one campus area with more than 5000 students and all upkeep costs covered by tuition fees.

For For-Profit Education!
1 guide

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