SimCity2000 Technical Info v2.0 rev. 3/22/94
Maintained by: Dave Palsen
Please send corrections, additions, questions,
etc. to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Under no circumstance including negligence, shall I (D.M.Palsen)
be liable for any incidental, special, or consequential damages
that result from the use of the information contained with this
file. So there.:P
New items to this version have a plus to the left.
1.0 MISC I (General questions about the game)
2.0 TOOLS (Zoning, transportation, water, city services)
3.0 BUDGET + OTHER WINDOWS (Taxes, ordinances, etc.)
4.0 MISC II (Bugs, rewards, cheats)
5.0 SCURK (SimCity 2000 Urban Renewal Kit)
A-1 Appendix 1 (Solving Problems)
A-2 Appendix 2 (Adjusting Difficulty)
A-3 Appendix 3 (Mac Technical Problems)
A-4 Appendix 4 (IBM Technical Problems)
A-5 Appendix 5 (How to Make a Boot Disk)
A-6 Appendix 6 (SC2K Suggestion List)
A-7 Appendix 7 (SC2K Description)
1.0 MISC I
1.1 Q: What's required to run SimCity2000?
1.1 A: (MAC) LC, Performa, II, Centris and Quadra series;
Color Classic, Powerbook 165c, 180c. Powerbook 160,
180, Duo 210, 230 with external 256-color monitor.
4MB RAM, hard disk, mouse, color monitor with 8-bit
(256 color) graphics, System 7.0 or higher.
1.1 A: (DOS) MS-DOS 3.3 or above, 4MB RAM, hard disk, mouse,
extended VGA (640x480 256 colors). A sound card is
1.2 Q: Will SC2K run on a PowerPC Macintosh? What about
a native mode release?
1.2 A: According to Chris Weiss, PowerMac versions are due out shortly.
Watch for an update on the mailing list.
1.3 Q: Where can I get the v1.1 updater?
1.3 A: (MAC) The updater is available at the following ftp sites:
spider.navsses.navy.mil in /Joe 240/pub/game/sc2k
netcom.com in /pub/maxis
If you are unable to ftp, drop me a line (email@example.com)
and I will e-mail you a copy.
+1.3 A: (IBM) It's not currently available. Rumor has it that it will
become available late this year as version 1.2. 1.1 was out for awhile
but was buggy, so Maxis recalled it until they have a chance to
1.4 Q: (MAC) What does the updater do?
1.4 A: *The budget should work properly now, transit figures
should be correct (and stay that way.)
*The Bulldoze Tool should always default to Bulldoze
instead of whatever tool was last used. This should
prevent accidental mass destruction caused by
forgetting that the last bulldoze tool being used was
*Airports should build correctly now (the ratio of
towers to runways should be better.)
*Several problems that show up with more than 7
stadiums/teams should be gone.
*Figures in the Analysis window (from the City Hall
query window) should stay correct.
*Sometimes, destroying bridges would leave an
un-usable shoreline tile. This should be fixed.
*Querying on certain tiles of the Forest Arcology in
certain situations would report bare land, this
should not happen.
*Arcologies that do not have micro-simulators attached
should now affect population (populations far greater
than 9.1 million should be attainable.)
*There is a new button when using the query tool on a
*Placing highway and re-enforced bridges now charges
the user correctly.
*Schools should work properly at population levels
*The date should now properly display above 9,999
*The power graph should be more accurate.
1.4 A: *The Microsim bug is still not fixed. It should be fixed by the
time version 1.2 comes out, at least according to Maxis. NOTE:
This is inconsistent with the README.TXT file.
*The budget should work properly now, transit figures should be
correct(and stay that way)
*The Bulldoze tool should always default to Bulldoze instead of
whatever tool was last used.
*Airports should build correctly now, with a better ratio of towers
*Several problems that show up with more than 7 stadiums/teams
should be gone.
*Figures in the Analysis window(City Hall query)should stay correct)
*Sometimes, destroying bridges would leave an un-usable shoreline
tile. This should be fixed.
*A new button is now available with the library.
*Schools should work properly at population levels above 60,000.
*The date should now properly display above 9999 years.
*The power graph should be more accurate.
1.5 Q: (MAC) I've installed the updater, but my old cities still
have the same bugs.
1.5 A: Cities that already have bugs can't be fixed by the
update. Only new cities that are created with the updated
version of SC2K will be bug-free (more or less.)
1.6 Q: I'm having trouble installing SC2K.
1.6 A: (DOS) See Appendix 4 and 5 at the bottom of this file.
1.6 A: (MAC) see Appendix 3 at the bottom of this file.
1.7 Q: Where's the SimCity2000 ftp site?
1.7 A: (MAC) spider.navsses.navy.mil in /Joe 240/pub/game/sc2k
1.7 A: (DOS) andyspc.rh.uchicago.edu in /pub/sc2k
Logon as anonup with password upload in order to upload.
1.8 Q: Why can't I get onto the spider site?
1.8 A: The proprietor occasionally has things more important
than SimCity2000 to occupy his computer's time with.
I can't imagine what. :)
1.9 Q: How do I get on the Sim mailing list?
1.9 A: There is a digest and non-digest version of the mailing
list. For the digest, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the following line in the body of the message:
For the non-digest, use the following line
1.10 Q: Does Maxis have an E-Mail address?
1.10 A: You can reach e-mail technical support at
1.11 Q: Is there anybody from Maxis on the net?
1.11 A: Yes - Chris Weiss, email@example.com
Alsofirstname.lastname@example.org for help.
1.12 Q: Where can I get a demo of SimCity2000?
1.12 A: Anonymous ftp to netcom.com. Look in the /pub/maxis
SC2KDEMO.ZIP is a slide show for DOS.
SC2KDEMO.SEA is a slide show for Mac.
1.13 Q: How do I log on to the Maxis BBS?
1.13 A: The phone number is (510) 254-3869. (8-N-1)
1.14 Q: What's a good price for SimCity2000?
1.14 A: Well, I paid $38.88 (with CUE discount) at Egghead.
1.15 Q: Can I upgrade from the old Sim City?
1.15 A: No, I don't think so. SC2K is, pretty much, a totally
1.16 Q: (MAC) Can I run SC2K on my black and white Mac?
1.16 A: No. SC2K is specifically designed to run in 256-colors.
1.17 Q: What newsgroups talk about SimCity2000?
1.17 A: comp.sys.mac.games, comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.misc,
1.18 Q: Is there an upper limit on population?
1.18 A: (MAC v1.0) Yes. Only arcologies that have are represented
by a microsimulator contribute to population - so, the
theoretical maximum is somewhere around 9.1 million.
1.18 A: (MAC v1.1) Well, if the arcos don't launch, you'd be
able to fill a map with 961 launch arcos, which equals
about 62.5 million. So that's just about the
1.18 A: (IBM)There currently is still a limit. This
should be fixed in the next version.
1.19 Q: Are there any books out about SimCity2000?
1.19 A: I've heard of three books scheduled for upcoming
* Daniel A. Tauber and Brenda Kienan are finishing up
SimCity 2000 Stategies and Secrets to be published
by Sybex (300 pages,ISBN 0-7821-1518-7, $14.99.)
which should be in bookstores in May.
Dan and Brenda write:
"...we think our book is clear and useful
-- it's full of strategies for zoning, budgeting,
and making the most of every part of your SimCity.
We include a complete how-to section and full info
on installation. We also cover -- in depth --
dealing with disasters and winning the model
scenarios, as well as all the known Easter eggs."
* Nick Dargahi writes:
"Here's the latest scoop. I am a coauthor of the
SimCity Power, Politics, and Planning book that
Prima Publishing is releasing [in March], the other
author is Michael Bremer who, as you know, wrote
the manual that comes with the software. Our book
includes information that isn't available anywhere
else, since we had direct access to the programmers
and staff at Maxis.
Our book also includes color pictures of
interesting cities, including a city which has the
world population record for a SimCity of 9.3
Other topics include:
-The most comprehensive information resource guide
for all tools, buildings and object types in
-The Making of SimCity 2000: Interviews with the
designers, and background information on how
SimCity 2000 came into being.
-Greater detail on how the simulation works.
-How to beat the scenarios: tested methods to win
-Tips & Tricks Chapter: Includes how to hex edit
your city files to add more money or create new
scenarios of your own design. All Easter Eggs are
-The Economic model. Managing your money, and
employing different economic strategies.
-Plus an appendix that teaches you how to install
the DOS version of SimCity 2000 so that it will
run under Windows 3.1 (as a DOS application) or
* Johnny L. Wilson is working on The Sim City 2000
Planning Commisioners Handbook, probably to be
published by McGraw Hill.
1.20 Q: What is this SimCity CD-ROM I've heard of?
1.20 A: Well, it's an expanded version of the old game, not
SimCity2000. And its put out by Interplay, not Maxis.
It is expected to be out in April or May.
Courtesy of Dave A. Lartigue:
SIMCITY ENHANCED (a/k/a SimCity on CD-ROM)
"You'll watch dramatic city news unfold through live
broadcasts in a full-motion video window. News that
will challenge you to make choices that could make
your metropolis thrive...or perish!" Ye-ikes!
- Incredible video and sound
- Hollywood's finest talent captured the intensity
of natural disasters, human drama, triumph, and
tragedy in 30 minutes of action-packed video
- See how your citizens react to your decisions in
pop-up video windows
- Included on same disk - extra sets and terrain editor
+1.20 A: There is a version of SC2K available on CD, but it really isn't
much different from the disk version. There are a couple of
differences, however, in that it has SCURK and the Scenarios
package added to it.
1.21 Q: How is the Australian version of SC2K different?
1.21 A: Chris Weiss writes:
"The Australian version has a few bug fixes in it
that are more or less transparent. I think the only
external way to tell is that instead of getting a
Braun Llama Dome at 90,000 people, you get the
Sydney Opera House. A patch for the Australian
version will be available shortly."
2.1.0 Q: Is there a good way to aviod mass destruction?
2.1.0 A: Yes, the bulldoze tool in version 1.1 will default to
The bulldoze tool all the time, so some destruction caused
by using the wrong bulldoze tool can be avoided. Also,
Save Early, Save Often. (Note: V. 1.0 will NOT default to bulldoze)
2.1.1 Q: Should I bulldoze abandoned buildings?
2.1.1 A: You can, but it's not necessary. Sims will build over
abandoned buildings, although, abandoned buildings
lower property values.
2.1.2 Q: Do I have to bulldoze rubble?
2.1.2 A: No. Sims will build over rubble.
2.1.3 Q: Is there any way to bulldoze large areas at a time?
2.1.3 A: No. Although you can destroy a few buildings at a time
using raise terrain tool.
2.1.4 Q: Is there a way to get rid of lots of rubble?
2.1.4 A: You can either build power lines over rubble, or you
could use the de-zone tool to get rid of the zoning
and the rubble.
2.1.5 Q: The sims complain when I try to bulldoze some forest.
Should I pay any attention to them?
2.1.5 A: I don't think it'll do you any harm to ignore them.
2.2.1 Q: How do I make waterfalls?
2.2.1 A: Place water on a slope.
2.2.2.Q: What's the magic eraser?
2.2.2 A: Select the tree tool. Press the mouse button with
the cursor on a blank tile. Keep holding down the
button and press the shift key. The cursor will
now erase any type of development. The effect is
rather odd - when you query the tile that's been
erased, the old structure appears to still be there.
2.2.3 Q: Can I make a deep river at higher elevations?
2.2.3 A: No, the only way to add water at elevations above
sea level is to use the water tool - and this only
makes water that is 50 feet deep.
2.2.4 Q: Does the water tool make fresh water or salt water?
2.2.4 A: (MAC) Fresh water.
2.2.4 A: (DOS) The water tool seems to make fresh water half
the time and salt water the other half.
2.3.1 Q: Do undeveloped zones conduct power?
2.3.1 A: No. Only tiles that have immediate contact to
power (either next to another building or next
to a power line) will be powered.
2.3.2 Q: What type of power plant should I use?
2.3.2 A: If you aren't concerned with money, fusion plants
are the most efficient, and don't pollute or cause
disasters - like nuclear and microwave.
If you are concerned about money, then hydro is
best. Hydro plants don't pollute and don't need
to be replaced every 50 years.
Eff. Output Pollut.
(16 tiles) Level Comments
Fusion $16/MW 2500 80
Micro $17.5/MW 1600 0 Possible disaster
Hydro $20/MW 320 0 Doesn't need replacing
Coal $20/MW 200 3400
Wind $25/MW 64 0 Doesn't need replacing
Solar $26/MW 50 0 Weather dependent
Nuclear $30/MW 500 80 Possible disaster
Oil $30/MW 220 1680
Gas $40/MW 50 610
2.3.3 Q: Isn't it kind of like cheating to use hydro power?
2.3.3 A: Well, first off, it's just a game, and you can
do whatever you want with it. The most efficient
use of hydro would be to use the raise terrain tool
to make a little bump. Line the bump with waterfalls
and then place hydro plants on the waterfalls. You
could even surround the hydro pants with water
pumps. This is the best, and most unrealistic use
of hydro plants. A more realistic approach would
be to make a map with a river, then raise the land
on one end of the river, and draw the river back
in, having it flow down the raised land. You could
then build large dams on the slopes.
2.3.4 Q: My power plants seem to last forever.
2.3.4 A: If you have disasters off, your power plants
will automatically be replaced when they are 50
years old. Their cost will also be deducted from
2.3.5 Q: Why don't hydro plants and wind power have to
be replaced every 50 years?
2.3.5 A: Well, you could say that this is bias on the
part of Maxis to encourage the use of clean power.
The real reason has to do with programming
limitations - they'd have to keep track of the
age of each plant.
2.3.6 Q: Why should I use wind power?
2.3.6 A: I don't know - appearance, maybe? If you have extra
space on the top of a mountain, you could put
windmills there. You could use a couple of wind
power plants to sustain a small village in the
middle of nowhere.
2.3.7 Q: Do I have to use raised wires to run power across water?
2.3.7 A: No, there's a cheat you can use to get around this.
Chris Weiss writes:
"There's a little trick you can do to run power across
water without needing lines. First, you need 3 tiles of
water between where you'd run the line from and where
you'd run it to. Build a power line brige across that 3
tile space and bulldoze the power line between the two
"on-ramps" for the power bridge. Replace the flat land
tiles with water again and Voila! The power flows across
the no-longer-existent power bridge."
2.4.1 Q: How effective is a water pump?
2.4.1 A: A water pump (not next to water) will service
approximately 24 to 36 tiles, depending on the weather.
An additional 12 tiles (approx.) will be serviced for
every water tile that the pump is adjacent to.
For example: W W W
L P L
L L L
where W = water, L = land, P = pump
The above pump is next to 3 water tiles, therefore, it
will provide 60 to 72 tiles with water. I think that
each tile requires 600 gallons of water.
2.4.2 Q: Should I build water towers?
2.4.2 A: Each water tower will hold up to 40,000 gallons of
water. They will only fill up when you have a surplus.
It's probably easier to just build four more pumps in
the space that a tower would take.
2.4.3 Q: Why aren't the pipes under my towers filled with water?
2.4.3 A: The pipes turn blue when the tower fills with water.
For every 10,000 gallons, one pipe will turn blue.
2.4.4 Q: What good is a water treatment plant?
2.4.4 A: The manual says that water treatment plants will help
you prevent droughts by cleaning and recycling your
water. However, the online help says that water
treatment plants will reduce the overall pollution level
of your city. Experimentation has revealed that water
treatment plants do not really have anything to do with
the water supply. Adding one treatment plant (anywhere
on the map) will reduce the pollution level of your
city quite a bit. Additonal treatment plants have no
effect, though. So, build one, and only one
2.4.5 Q: How effective is a desalination plant?
2.4.5 A: Desalination plants seem to have an effective radius, so
there effectiveness is rather complicated. They can
provide water to 200 - 500 tiles each, depending on how
many seawater tiles are adjacent to the plant.
2.4.6 Q: What types of water will help a water pump?
2.4.6 A: Natural water and artificial water will improve the
performance of a water pump, while salt water will not.
Use the query tool to find out whether water is salty or
fresh. Water pump performance will even be improved by a
waterfall, or a waterfall with a hydro plant on it.
2.4.7 Q: I've built several pumps on the edge of my city,
but all the water seems to be going to the center.
2.4.7 A: Well, SC2K figures out how much water you have, then
it distributes it from the center of your city. The
only way to keep the water at the edge would be to
cut it off from the water system.
2.4.8 Q: Where do I need to build pipes?
2.4.8 A: Sims will automatically build pipes underneath
buildings, so, all you need to do, is build pipes
underneath roads. I like to place pipes underneath
my power lines.
2.5 Road + Rail
2.5.1 Q: How much road do I need?
2.5.1 A: A zone (residential, commercial, or industrial) must
be within 3 tiles (not counting diagonally) of a
road in order to start growing. If you're really
strapped for cash (say you start on the hard level)
then you can get away with discontinuous roads.
Just drop down 1 tile sections of road and build
different zones around it:
For example: R R R
R R R R R
R R - I I
C C I I I
C I I
where - = road R = residential, C = commercial,
I = industrial
Actually you don't really need any roads at all. If you
want, you can rely totally on mass transit. You won't
have any traffic, but growth will be less and
larger(3X3) buildings won't develop.
For example, sims will build given the following setup:
R R R I I I
R R R R R I I I I I
R R R s R R R I I I s I I I
R R R R R I I I I I
R R R I I I
where R = residential, I =industrial,
s = sub stations - connected underground by subway
2.5.2 Q: Why should I use rail instead of a subway?
2.5.2 A: Rail is cheaper, and, supposedly, has a greater
positive impact on heavy industry.
2.5.3 Q: How do bus stations work?
2.5.3 A: Place bus stations at busy intersections to
reduce traffic at that intersection.
2.5.4 Q: How do you build a reinforced girder bridge?
2.5.4 A: You will be asked if you want to build a reinforced
bridge if you place a highway tile halfway over
before: L L L W W W after L L L W W W
L L L W W W L L H H W W
L L L W W W L L H H W W
L L L W W W L L L W W W
where L = land, W = water, H = highway tile
+Also, be sure that the other side of the river is
clear and flat.
2.5.5 Q: What's the difference between a highway bridge and a
2.5.5 A: Highway bridges don't allow ships to pass, but are
2.5.6 Q: What's the difference between causeways, raising
bridges, and suspension bridges?
2.5.6 A: Causeways do not allow ships to pass. Raising
bridges and suspension bridges both allow ships
to pass. Raising bridges are cheaper than
suspension bridges, but can only be a maximum of
eleven tiles long.
2.5.7 Q: How does my transportation system affect growth?
2.5.7 A: Residential zones must be properly connected to a
commercial or industrial zone in order to start
growing. Industrial or commercial zones must be
connected to a residential zone in order to start
growing. This connection can either be made by road
rail, or subway, however, growth will be best with
2.5.8 Q: Is there an annual charge for bus depots?
2.5.8 A: Yes, in fact, there are transportation charges for lots
of things. The chart below shows the various things that
have maintenance charges. The first column shows the
building cost. The other columns show how much is
charged, per year for each item in each category. (Some
items, like Sub/Rail, have split charges.)
Build Road Hwy Brid Rail Sub Tun
Road $10 0.10 -- -- -- -- --
Causeway $25 -- -- 0.22 -- -- --
Raising Bridge $50 -- -- 0.22 -- -- --
Suspension Bridge $75 -- -- 0.22 -- -- --
Highway $100 -- 0.80 -- -- -- --
Highway Bridge $200 -- 0.80 -- -- -- --
Reinforced Bridge $300 -- 0.80 1.00 -- -- --
Tunnel $150 -- -- -- -- -- 0.10
Tunnel Entrance $150 0.10 -- -- -- -- --
Onramp $25 0.10 -- -- -- -- --
Bus Depot $250 25.00 -- -- -- -- --
Rail $25 -- -- -- 0.40 -- --
Rail Bridge $75 -- -- 0.22 -- -- --
Subway $100 -- -- -- -- 0.40 --
Rail Depot $500 -- -- -- 1.60 -- --
Sub Station $250 -- -- -- -- 0.76 --
Sub/Rail $250 -- -- -- 0.40 0.40 --
Power Lines $2 -- -- -- -- -- --
Raised Wires $10 -- -- 0.20 -- -- --
2.5.9 Q: Will sims walk to a road, then drive to a sub station,
take the subway, drive from the sub station, and walk
from the road to work?
2.5.9 A: Well, I said yes before, but actually, work has to be
next to the road. (See next question.)
2.5.10 Q: Why do some zones develop away from a road, and others
2.5.10 A: email@example.com writes:
"I recently posted my theory about the trip generator
by proposing four schemes. The question came up because
I was trying to explain how you can have properties