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Читы для SimCity 4

Чит-файл для SimCity 4

SimCity 4

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Выдержка из Энциклопедии игр

Издатель:Electronic Arts
Модель распространения:розничная продажа
ISO статус:релиз состоялся 11 января 2003 года
Официальный сайт:Открыть
Жанры:Strategy (God Sim / Manage/Busin. / Real-time) / 3D
Похожие игры:SimCity 3000

Даты выхода игры

вышла 11 января 2003 г.


Информация актуальна для
SimCity 4 (PC)
Full Strategy Guide

Document written by PyroFalkon (pyrofalkon@hotmail.com)
Latest Update: 03 May 2003
Current version: 1.1


v1.1 (03 May 2003)
In my haste to get the guide finished, I sent it but forgot to add the table
of contents. So, that's in place, and the guide is truly done... for now.


1. Intro
2. Changes from SimCity 3000
3. Claiming Your Land

4. What Do These Buttons Do?
    a. Landscaping
    b. Zones
    c. Transportation
    d. Utilities
    e. Civic Buildings
    f. Bulldozer
    g. Dispatch
    h. Everything Else
5. Getting Started
    a. Infrastructure
    b. Recon
    c. Expanding
6. Small Towns
7. Medium Cities
8. Metropolises and Beyond
9. My Sim Mode

10. Power Plants
11. Ordinances

12. Zones
    a. Residential Zones
    b. Commercial Zones
    c. Industrial Zones
    d. General Zoning Advice
13. Education
14. Transportation
    a. Streets and Roads
    b. Highways
    c. Mass Transit
    d. Bridges and Tunnels
    e. Seaports and Airports
15. You Are Not Alone
16. Reader Strategies

17. God Mode Tools
    a. Landscaping
    b. Winds and Global Changes
    c. Reconcile Edges
    d. Disasters
    e. Day/Night Cycle
18. God Mode Strategies and Effects

19. Contributors
20. Version History
21. Copyright Info
22. Contact Info

|                    PART 1: INTRO                   |

This part of the FAQ introduces itself, along with a few of the changes to
the SimCity universe.

||1. INTRO||

Welcome one and all to my FAQ on Maxis's latest and greatest city building
sim, SimCity 4!

You've come to this FAQ because you want info and/or strategies. Maybe you
want to submit your own, which I hastily accept! For those of you familiar
to my FAQs, you'll know that that's exactly what I provide. I won't go into
history lessons on the franchise or company. I won't repeat the manual. I
won't tell you how to click the mouse.

What I will do is provide thorough, tested, reliable information. I will
provide humor here and there so this isn't a boring read. I will do my
hardest to please not only you on an informational standpoint, but an
entertainment standpoint. As my motto says, games are supposed to be fun, so
why should the FAQ be as well?

This first part, the intro, will be short. Although I do like providing
humor, I agree that too much fluff makes people irritated at the author. I
strive to strike the balance; feel free to write me and report on how well I

Finally, if you have ANYTHING to contribute or correct, please e-mail me.
Even if I misspelled the word "the" as "teh" in my 158th paragraph, feel
free to write me. I won't be offended, as long as you're civil.

All right, let's get this sim party started!


SimCity vets need to take a look at this. I stress NEED. There's a lot of
stuff that's been changed, and the more info you have going into situations,
the better. SimCity rookies can just ignore this section entirely.

By the way, I'm ignoring the simple stuff like graphics and audio and other
ambient effects that always go with sequels.

|Change 1: Neighbors|

I believe that the biggest change of all is the difference in the way
neighboring cities are handled. No longer do you start your city with four
surrounding cities. This time, YOU HAVE TO BUILD THEM ALL. This has major
impact in strategy. No longer can you rely on a quick influx of cash by
building a huge landfill and getting garbage from neighbors. You'd have to
start one city, save it, exit to the main screen, start a new city on one of
the original's borders, and go from there.

|Change 2: Budget|

Your budget is now calculated MONTHLY, not yearly. That seriously changes a
bunch of strategies. I used to splurge and wipe my bank clean in the first
year, letting the sudden influx of people and such get me a large income for
the next year. That's no longer possible.

This also helps speed the game up. You won't be waiting for 10 or more
minutes for a year change just so you get enough scratch to build a darned
bus stop.

|Change 3: Neighbor Deals|

You can now initiate a neighbor deal. It's less ceremonial than it used to
be; it's now a simple option from the budget screen. More on that later.

|Change 4: Tile Radii|

In SimCity 3000, zones would grow if they were within three tiles of a road.
Now, residential and commercial sections have to be directly next to roads.
Industrial zones, on the other hand, can be up to EIGHT tiles away from a
road and still develop, provided that SOME part of the industrial zone is
directly touching a road. That is, you can build one section of road, then
make a 1x8 section of industrial zone, and have it all grow.

|Change 5: Resident Wealth|

It used to be that the denser the building for any zone, the more you got
out of that building in terms of population and taxes. Not so anymore. A
large building could house several hundred people, but they all work
dead-end low jobs.

People and businesses are now classified into four categories: poor,
middle-class, and wealthy. Generally speaking, the most wealthy buildings
will house the most people or jobs, but that's not a set-in-stone rule.

|Change 6: Taxes|

You now have much greater control of taxes, especially since the new class
system has been implemented. You can now independently set taxes for poor
residents, middle-class residents, and wealthy residents; poor businesses,
middle-class businesses, and wealthy businesses; and poor industries,
middle-class industries, and wealthy industries. In addition, taxes can now
be set to the tenth of a percent. This lets you fine-tune taxes and give
much subtler changes in the economy.

|Change 7: Shared Demand|

Another big change is the fact that adjacent cities share the RCI meter
demand. If a city is a bustling metropolis, there may be high farm demand.
You can make a neighboring city nothing but a farm town, then connect the
two via a highway or road. The big city's people will be happy with the
number of farms, and the little town will be happy with the bigger city

|Change 8: Additional Structures|

New power plants and other city structures became available only after so
much time had passed. That's been done away with in favor of a prerequisite
system. For example, a new town is not going to be able to build a nuclear
power plant. Almost all of the new structures have their requirements shown,
but I'll list them in the FAQ anyway so you have the info at your

|Change 9: Hyperlinks|

Your advising staff is still around, but now they're way more helpful.
They'll report on individual buildings that are causing problems, and in
their report will be Internet-esque hyperlinks. For example, I commonly
build too many bus stations, and often my transportation advisor will say,
"This bus stop is just not making a profit," with the word "This" linked.
Clicking "This" centers the screen directly on the offending building, where
I can take action to do something with it.

|Change 10: Local Funding|

You are no longer forced to change the funding of all the buildings of one
type. If one school is in a remote part of town, you can individually adjust
its funding to accommodate its reduced enrollment.

|Change 11: Game Start|

All cities start with §100,000 on the year 2001. You do not select your city
size the same way either, but more on that later as well.

There are many more changes to SimCity 4, but none are as important, in my
opinion. I'll get to the specifics as needed.


Hail, O young mayor! I see that you have that look in your eyes... you want
to construct a fantastic city, one that is the envy of all the world! Of
course, whether you want to build in order to mother it or destroy it is up
to you. But either way, all cities start the same way: grabbing a hunk of

The game has no formal title screen. Instead, you're thrown to the region
screen. This is SimNation, a big huge plot of land that represents not one
city, but a county, or state, or country, whatever you want it to be. See
all those gray borders? Every single box is one place where a city can go.
Yeah, regions are that big.

You could spend your entire SimCity career without touching the land, and
that's fine. I was itching to get in the driver's seat and start building
skyscrapers, so I ignored God Mode and such entirely for awhile. Assuming
you think like that, I'm touching on Mayor Mode first. That's where you'll
be spending most of your time anyway.

In the very top-left corner is a compass. Notice that north is to your
upper-right, but it's not at a perfect 45-degree angle. This gives you a
rather unique view, one you may curse at until you get used to it.

There are four buttons at the top. The one on the left is the Region View
options. Here you can turn the grid lines on and off, as well as show or not
show the city names. You can also create a new region from here, load an
existing one, or nuke your present one off your hard drive.

The second button is only useful if you're on the Net at the same time. It's
a shortcut to connect you to the official SimCity website, or to a site
where you can exchange regions and cities.

The third button is your quit button. You're not ready to finish already,
are you?

The fourth button is your options button, where you set the more mundane
things like graphics details and audio volume, along with a few game

In the bottom-left corner is the name of the region that's loaded, along
with its mass population.

All right, now that you've got all that down, it's time to get your grass. I
personally recommend that you make a new region (set it to grass), so you
have a clean slate to work with. Your first town (and any other experimental
towns or testing towns) you make should be on paper-flat land with no water.
That gives you the most room to work and gives your sims far fewer problems
from the outset. Also, by making a region and giving it your own name, it
customizes and personalizes your playing experience. I'm big on stuff like

Once you have a new region or choose to stick with what's loaded, take a
look at the borders. Notice all the different sizes you can choose. Like a
lot of spam e-mail makes you believe, size does matter. However, unlike that
same spam e-mail states, bigger is not always better. A huge plot of land
can get eaten up pretty quickly, and it's quite easy to get carried away in
this game. The smallest plots don't provide much room, especially to learn
the game, so go with the second-smallest plot for now.

Once you click a plot, you're given a few options. If you had clicked an
existing town, it would give a population, service, and job count, along
with the town name and city funds. You can also remove it permanently from
memory. For a new town, you have the option of importing a town you
downloaded, or just starting from scratch. Obviously, we're starting from
scratch here, so hit that play button.

|            PART 2: MAYOR MODE BASICS               |

I debated with myself about whether to start out talking about God Mode or
Mayor Mode first. I decided that if you're here, you MIGHT want help with
God Mode, but you WILL want help on Mayor Mode. Considering that you could
ignore God Mode entirely and be all right, it made my decision easier.

I write the rest of this document with the SimCity rookie in mind. If you're
a SimCity 3000 vet, you could skip a bunch of this, but it really would be
best to read it, or at least skim it. I'm a SimCity 3000 vet myself, and I
sure could have used this info back when I started.


As I said before, I debated with myself and decided to pretend that God Mode
doesn't exist for now. Initially, once you claim land, you can alter it to
any way you see fit. For now, though, just click the second button in the
big three, the one with the top hat and rolled-up paper. It will prompt you
for a city name and mayor name, along with a warning that you can't alter
the land anymore beyond small (and expensive) changes. That's fine for now.
Fill out the required info, then hit OK. Just to note, your Mayor Name will
stick. Any city you make in the same region hereafter will have the same
Mayor name as a default. It's still changeable, of course.

Okay, you're in the game now. Fireworks light the sky, marking the debut of
your term in office! Where to start, where to start?

On the left side of the screen are the mayor's tools. These five huge and
two tiny buttons together mark everything you can build and zone. I'll go
over them in detail, but I will not give details to the individual
buildings... that comes in a later section.

I won't go over the finer points of things... this is just button and tool
explanations. We'll get into the strategies soon.

|4a. Landscaping|

The first big button of the group of five is the landscaping tool. Though
you have left God Mode, you can still raise and lower the land as you see
fit. However, it's pretty expensive, and completely unnecessary for your
first town. Something that does have value though is the tree planter. Throw
down a few trees here and there to suck up pollution and generally make your
city a prettier place to live. Of course, that too costs money, so don't go

|4b. Zones|

The bread and butter of the city, zones are areas that you designate to
contain certain buildings. The zones are divided into three major
categories: residential, commercial, and industrial. Residential zones are
where homes are, where your happy little sims eat, sleep, and poop on a
daily basis. Commercial zones are places of business or office space.
Industrial zones are where things are made or manufactured.

Zones are further divided by densities. Generally speaking, the higher the
density, the wealthier the citizens or businesses that move in, which
attract more taxes. However, that's not a hard and fast rule, and you'll
kill yourself if you try building high-density things from the outset.
Besides, you can always re-zone later without destroying existing buildings.

Light residential zones are places for tiny homes, such as trailer parks or
shabby apartment buildings. The taxes you generate from here are smaller
than other places, but the sims will be pretty undemanding, so you can stick
them in high-crime areas without losing too much business. Medium
residential zones are where most of you probably live, in middle-class
homes. These typically have nice gardens and other accommodations, although
you pay for it by having to provide schools and other essential services.
The high-density residential zones hold buildings that kiss the sky, whether
that means they're skyscraping hotels, or mansions that people like Bill
Gates live in.

Light commercial zones are for local businesses. These include things like
local donut shops, auto stores, ice cream parlors, fast food joints, and the
like. Medium commercial zones contain small corporate shops, such as
Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Radio Shack, or Best Buy. They also house small office
buildings. Dense commercial zones hold malls and offices that touch the

Industrial zones are a little different. The first zone type is agricultural
zones. Unlike the other industrial zones, this can be as big as you want it
to be. Agricultural zones are nothing but farms that employ few people. They
give off no pollution, but they also pay NO TAXES. Do not build farms if
you're looking for money.

Medium-density industrial zones are mostly dirty industries. There are
horribly polluting industries like resource gatherers, toxic waste dumps,
and other nasty places. They pay a bit in taxes, but you'll be spending a
lot of that money on ways to combat the crime and pollution that come with
it. Manufacturing industries, like car shops, exist in some medium-density
zones as well. These pollute, but not nearly as bad, and they pay more. The
most dense zones accommodate high-tech industries. These don't pollute but
do produce vast amounts of money for your coffers. Maxis, EA, Microsoft, and
such would be in high-tech zones.

|4c. Transportation|

People hate walking, and so do sims. We're in the year 2001 and beyond for
SimCity 4, so gone are the days of dirt roads and horses. Instead, we've got
cars and subways!

The top button of the transportation tier is asphalt options. You can build
roads, bus stops, and--new to the SimCity series--streets.

Roads are your basic to-and-from route. These are two-lane roads and can
handle a fair amount of traffic. Streets are a much weaker version of roads,
but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The pavement just outside your house
is probably a street, one that cars don't travel on too much. There may not
even be a line painted down the center of it. Streets are good to get
isolated neighborhoods to the main streets. However, the speed limit is less
here, along with its capacity, so don't use streets to link major places.
Don't be afraid to make streets, however; you can always upgrade them to
roads later by painting over them with the road tool.

Bus stops are where your sims BOARD busses to go to other parts of towns.
Notice I said BOARD... your sims can get off busses anywhere they darn well
please. You do NOT need to put a bus stop at a destination. Buses cut down
traffic, so unless you put them along busy roads and intersections, they
won't do too much.

The second button of the transportation tier allows the construction of
highways. These beefy boys are six-lane elevated roads designed to get sims
from point A to point B with optimal speed and minimal stops. You need to
connect highways to roads, and to do that requires one of the two available
on-ramps. Highways can also be linked to each other via a cloverleaf.
Highways need their own section, and it's much later in the document.

The third button lets you ride the rails. You can place down double-wide
tracks, but trains won't run without train stations. Stations, it goes
without saying, must be directly next to tracks to work. Unlike bus stops,
you have to build train stations everywhere you want the train to stop, so
you'll have to do some planning to get it to work. You can also build
freight train stations, which carry goods to and from the city, but that's
an advanced strategy that we don't need to deal with at the moment.

The fourth button allows you to build subways. These as you may know are
passenger-only trains. They're underground, so they won't take up valuable
land. They are quite expensive however, especially considering that you need
a stop at every place you want the sims to go. Small cities don't even need
to consider them.

The fifth button allows you to build an airport. Airports bring massive
demand to your city because of the tourists and/or businessmen aboard.
Again, it's not necessary to worry about it for a small city. Airports are a
fixed size, unlike they were in SimCity 3000.

The sixth and last button lets you build a seaport. Again, seaports help
commercial and industrial demands. They need water to work, so if you took
my advice and started a new region without water, you won't be using them
for now. Like airports, they're a fixed size, and they're pretty darn

|4d. Utilities|

This ain't the stone age. People want TVs and computers, and they need some
place to power those computers.

The first button lets you build a large variety of power plants, along with
power lines to link the plant to your zones. Most of the power plants are
grayed out for now because they have prerequisites that go with them, and
obviously as a young city you don't have much going for you. Explanations of
the plants come later.

The second button lets you build water structures. There's not much there,
and we'll go into more details when water becomes important. Until then,
your sims can suck water out of the ground after it rains.

The third button is for garbage disposal. The quick and dirty (literally)
way to deal with trash is to zone for landfills the same way you zone for
other things. You can also build incinerators to burn trash, though that
gets expensive and stinky. You could also get a waste-to-energy converter to
make trash into electricity. Finally, you can plop down a couple recycling
centers around the city and hope your sims save a tree.

|4e. Civic Buildings|

Civic buildings are generally administrative. They have specific sizes and
uses, and require some planning to be used effectively.

The first button lets you slap down a few police stations and jails (sorry,
no donut shops). You can go with small stations at first, but soon the crime
will be a little too large and will need a bigger place to deal with things.
All stations have small internal jails, but those will quickly fill up, so
you need to build jails eventually to keep criminals behind bars and off the

The second button is your fire department. Again, you can make a little
station that serves a neighborhood or two, but large cities need large

The third button is your educational department. Schools come in three major
varieties: elementary schools for the kids, high schools for the
adolescents, and city colleges for the young adults. Education is pretty
expensive, so make sure your other needs are suited to first. You can also
build libraries and museums here, which assist adults and senior citizens
from getting stupider than rocks.

The fourth button of the civic buildings tier is for the city's health. You
can build tiny clinics, or decent hospitals. You'll also eventually be able
to build a disease research center, which assists your other health
buildings in extending your sims' lives.

The fifth button is real-world landmarks that help attract tourists and
businesses to the town. Unlike in SimCity 3000, these cost, and some are
astronomical in price. You can only have one of each per town.

The sixth button gives you access to rewards... once you meet the
requirements, anyway. You can also build business-deal buildings such as
casinos and malls, although those aren't listed initially.

The seventh and final button is where you can build recreational buildings
and sites. Green cities make the environmentalists happy, especially because
they cut down the pollution poisoning the city.

|4f. Bulldozer|

The first of the smaller buttons is the bulldozer. This is your destruction
tool, used for taking out trees, buildings, pipes, power lines, and
everything else in your way. This does NOT remove zones. To do that, go into
any tool that lets you BUILD zones, and you'll get a tool called De-Zone.

|4g. Dispatch|

In games, "dispatch" normally means "to kill." Here though, it means to send
your police and firemen out to combat crimes and fires. Whenever there's an
emergency, used the options in that to send your boys in blue and yellow to
their targets. In SimCity 3000, there was an emergency siren here as well,
used to warn the city when a tornado or alien attack threatened their lives.
It's been removed, so you don't have to stress about hitting a warning
button the instant disaster looms.

|4h. Everything Else|

The buttons under the tools won't be messed with too much, but I'll explain

The button on the left re-enters God Mode. However, it's a VERY limited
version. You can start disasters, reconcile the city edges (talked about in
the God Mode section), or nuke the city. If you decide to nuke your city,
it's a PERMANENT decision, so be really careful with that command. You can
also enable or disable the day/night cycle the graphics go through. If you
have a dark monitor, you may want to force the world to stay in the day the
whole time so you can see what you're doing. Doing so will not change the
internal clock that your sims live by.

The middle button takes you to Mayor Mode, with the tools. The third button
takes you to My Sim Mode, which I'll get into later.

Below that is a question mark. That's your query tool. Click that, then
click a building to get some REALLY valuable information about it.

In the very bottom-left corner is a mini-map. There are arrows where you can
rotate it, or zoom in and out. There are also speed settings near there, in
case you want time to fly.

Finally, you have your options button. You can save the city, exit to the
region, exit to Windows, or alter your options.


Okay, now you know how to at least throw down buildings, so let's start
zoning stuff!

|5a. Infrastructure|

The first thing you need is a power plant, so click the Utilities tool, then
the Electricity button.

As a new city, you have access to only the most basic plants: wind, coal,
natural gas, and oil. This is your first big decision: what are you most
interested in? If you want a clean city, stick with wind or natural gas. If
you just want to get a high population quickly, go for coal.

Whatever you choose, find a nice corner of the map and plop it down. City
edges are absolute, and pollution that spills off your map does NOT enter
adjacent cities. This way you can remove almost half of the building's
pollution from the start. If you chose windmill plants, you'll need several,
but if you chose anything else, one will do.

Now that you've got some power, you'll need to zone land so your sims know
what to build where. Sims, like real humans, have the NIMBY opinion when it
comes to power plants: Not In My BackYard. Do you want to live next to a
stinky coal plant? Neither do sims.

Go a fair distance away from the plant and build your first industrial zone.
I always start with dirty industrial zones to get a solid foundation of the
city, then expand outward. Your industrial zone or zones should be large
enough to support a decent influx of people, but they shouldn't be so large
that your town is flooded with smoke. I normally go with two 8x8 zones that
are fully enclosed with roads (not streets).

Those will go up, but they have no place to give their finished goods. You
need to build some commercial zones, but right now you'll have nothing but
tiny local businesses. Go some more away from the industrial zone in the
direction opposite the power plant, and build a few commercial zones of
light density. Let the computer build streets as it needs to; you can take
finer control of that aspect later, once you get more accustomed to the way
things work.

Once that's ready, both the industrial zones and commercial zones need
workers. Build a large number of medium residential zones as close to the
commercial zones as possible on the side opposite the industries. That way,
your people won't be smelling like smoke TOO badly, if at all. Again, let
the computer build streets as it needs to. However, make sure you build
roads that connect all the zones to each other. You'll also need one road
that links the power plant with the rest of the city.

Within a month or three, you should be getting your first people and
businesses! Woo hoo! Let your city run awhile, because you'll have to wait
for things to happen before you can take additional steps. If you're
impatient, speed the game until you have a few hundred or few thousand

|5b. Recon|

A mayor is only as good as his or her information. You need to be provided
with detailed maps and such of situations, and luckily, it's all there for

With Mayor Mode active, check out the stuff to the right of the buttons (on
the bottom edge of the screen). You're presented with several things: your
mayor rating, the city's cash, the city's population, the RCI meter, six
status bars, and five tabs that provide information.

Your mayor rating is based on a scale from -100 to +100 that rates your
overall general performance. The six status bars to the right are heavily
weighed for your mayor rating, but it's not that simple of a calculation.

The money and population counts are self explanatory, but the RCI meter is
not. The RCI meter provides you with a GENERAL opinion of the situation of
the city. The taller the bar, the more that zone is in demand. The lower the
bar, the less it's demanded. Bear in mind that no other situation is taken
into account: even if you fill up every square inch of your city's
boundaries with something, the RCI meter will still be active. You can click
the RCI meter to get even more detail about what's hot and what's not, but
don't get too dependent on the details. For example, if nothing but farms
are being asked for in the industry zones, but you don't want farms, just
ignore the demands. The sims will have to deal.

If you did click the RCI meter, then you'll notice that the fifth tab became
active. I'll talk more about it in a sec. For now, click the second tab, the
one with a person. This is your advisor screen. They give frequent reports
about everything in their departments. If their picture is on a green
background, they're happy about things. If the background is red, they're
none too pleased. If it's blue, they don't care one iota either way.

Click on any one of their pictures to get a list of their reports. As a new
mayor, their first reports are just introductory resumes, where they tell
you what they do and what they watch for. As time goes on, they'll make real
reports about different things as they need to.

The third tab of that section takes you to your budget. You're given a
simple chart of your current money, your monthly expenses, your monthly
income, and your projected total after the month ends. Obviously, you want
your income to be higher than your expenses, but young cities will struggle
in doing so.

You can get a more detailed look at your budget by clicking the small
report. The screen will expand and show your expenses and incomes, and you
can further go into detail. I'll worry about that later as well. For now,
just click the fourth tab in that group.

This is your data view, or map. You can see various aspects of your city
through this to hunt down problems or see successes. As an example, click
the traffic option. You'll see which roads and streets are more traveled
than others. Red routes mean the path should be upgraded, whether that means
changing a street to a road, or adding bus stops, or something else.

The last tab takes you to a bunch of charts and grafts. This is where you
can get a general breakdown of people or services. Wanna know how your crime
rate compared to five years ago? You can do that here.

Use this information as much as you need to. There's plenty of trouble that
can happen, and the sooner and more you know about it, the better. Don't use
it just to figure out what's wrong, though. See what's right, and make sure
you don't ticker with what's working.

|5c. Expanding|

With the city doing its thing, it's time to start planning for improvements.
Services such as police protection are still not needed, but the time is
coming short. For now, just look to see what can be expanded. Plan out new
neighborhoods, new industrial zones, and new business sectors. Zone them
once you can see them in your head. Don't bother zoning for new places if
the ones you already haven't aren't full. My experience tells me that
residential zones will fill up fastest, so you'll have to be zoning for more
houses first.

The only thing aside from zones you'll want to build at this second is a
landfill. Garbage becomes a problem fairly early, so you'll need to take of
that one as quickly as possible. Build a sizeable landfill (one worth about
§1000) near the power plant. Make sure to give it road access as well.


Once your population hits around 500 people, your people will give you a
mayor's house, and will start grumbling about cops and firemen. Not one to
be heartless (especially after the neat gift they gave to you), you need to
take your sims' lives out of your hands and put them in someone else's.
Education isn't much of an issue at the moment, but your sims' safety is.
After all, if they get murdered, who's going to be around to pay taxes?

The first thing you need to build is a police station. Click the appropriate
buttons, then select a small police station. Take a look at it as you drag
it around the landscape. See the big circle around it? That's the range the
police station has access to. It's scalable, so a crime committed two doors
away will have a better chance of being stopped than a crime on the fringe
of the radius. Place the police station in such a way where you can cover
the whole town (aside from the power plant) if you can. The worst crime is
probably in the industrial zone.

I'm sure you have a large amount of money left, so build a fire department
now. Get a small one and place it so it too covers the whole city if
possible. Favor the residential zones if you have to; losing a business
won't cut much into your economy, but losing people will. You may also want
to put a second small fire department next to your power plant. That
prevents your plant from catching flames and exploding, which would result
in the loss of power, which is absolutely devastating this early.

That second fire department does not need to cover its full radius if it's
right next to the plant, so I'll teach you how to make it a little more
efficient. Click the query tool (the question mark near the mini-map), then
click the station. There's a bar that lists its local funding, which is
currently §125 per month. That's way too expensive for a station that has
only one objective, so let's fix that. Click and drag the little box to the
left to lower the building's funding. Notice that the radius shrinks as you
do so. Don't lower it too much, or else the people will go on strike.

By now, your people should be going along smoothly, and your people are
ready for new challenges. You don't have much for kids to do, so build a few
parks or plazas around the town. Unlike previous SimCity games, each rec
area costs monthly, so don't go nuts. About five small parks will do for

Kids can't just play, of course. It's time to address the education issue,
and this is where most new cities go down. Build an elementary school, and
make sure you place it so it only covers residential areas. Commercial and
industrial zones don't breed little sim kids, so it would be a waste to put
a school too close to those places.

Once the school is placed, grab your query tool and examine the building.
The radius is determined by the bus fund, and lowering it any will catch up
with you in the end unless you monitor it VERY carefully. The main funding
affects how many students it can hold. For now, lower the funding so the
school accommodates only 10% of your population. That's still probably high,
but you can lower it later.

Speaking of which, there's nothing more to do for now. Let your city run
itself for awhile. Hope for a profit, but know that your large treasury will
hold out for awhile as long as you didn't go crazy with building things
earlier. After about two months, query the school again. You'll get a count
of its current students. Adjust the funding so you can accommodate all the
students and about 50 more. If you put in more funding than that, you're
just wasting it, and at this stage, every simoleon counts... especially with
schools, where the costs are so bloody high that you wonder why you bother
with it in the first place. Trust me, though, that education will pay off...
you just won't see it in the short-term.

Sim the game for awhile until you get roughly 1000-1500 people. (If your
population deadlocks before that, you probably have too few residential
zones). Once you hit that milestone, your sims' throats will feel a little
too parched. Fix that by giving up some cash to build a water tower. Water
pumps offer more water, but cost way too much for tiny cities. Choose a site
far away from pollution, or else black liquid will come out of faucets, and
I'm not talking oil.

Once the tower is placed, use water pipes to connect your tower to the rest
of the city. Water pipes have a six-tile radius, so you don't have to cover
every square inch of your land. An old strategy that I used to subscribe to
is to line your roads with water pipes; that way, you can guarantee that
every building is watered. However, since you have a monthly fee for every
section of pipe that is laid in the city, you can't do that anymore, at
least not starting out.

Sometime during this part, you'll probably be offered to build a church
and/or graveyard. They take up valuable land and don't pay taxes, but they
improve your people's morale. As everything, it's up to you; personally, I
always build them.

All right, your sims now have police protection, fire protection, health
care, educational facilities, garbage disposal, and water. Everything is in
place to make your city run... but there's probably one major problem you've
got, and it plagues all young towns no matter how well experienced the mayor
is: money.


With the services in place, you need to start being able to fund those
services. Money is probably a serious issue at the moment, so you need to
start looking for a way to fix it.

For the first step, I'll teach you about a really, really nice tool. Click
the Data View tab (the fourth one in the batch of five), then click the
Desirability category. Here you can see which class of people want which
plots of land. Generally, the low class will be happy anywhere, and the rich
class will only be happy with places provided with services.

If you built your police station, fire department, school, and clinic
relatively close to each other, the land value for the radii is
astronomical. High land values attract richer people, but you can't soak
their cash from their rich little fingers if they have nowhere to live.
Spend any remaining money you have on upgrading your zones. Get any
medium-density residential zone to its high-density cousin by selecting the
high-density zone tool and painting over the residential zones that already
exist. You do NOT have to destroy the current buildings to do this.

Once you've upgraded the residential zones, upgrade your commercial zones as
well. Be aware that you'll need more commercial zones also; your city gets
more and more commercial as the years go by, especially in the early days.
Reasons are explained later. With all that expansion, you cannot neglect
your industrial zones. Expand, expand, expand.

Your city is gaining physical size pretty quickly, so consider upgrading
your fire department and police station to their larger cousins. One large
police station or fire department covers almost an entire city built in the
smallest city size. If you took my advice and are playing on the
second-smallest plot, a large station effectively covers a quarter of the
map. Feel free to upgrade your police station and primary fire department,
but you may want to leave your small fire station that is guarding your
power plant. Of course, if you CAN eliminate it through intelligent fire
coverage, feel free. Unlike zones, you'll have to destroy the original
building to replace it with a bigger version.

Avoid upgrading your hospital and school for now. It will just eat up your
money. However, you SHOULD increase their funding if they're running at or
over capacity.


For better or for worse, the rest of the game is reactionary. I've found
that the more you try to make things happen, the worse they get. Don't force
the issue; if you're impatient, just speed up the sim time for awhile.

The goal of the game is whatever you want it to be. Assuming you want a
friggin' large city, then you'll have go slow and steady. From your medium
city that you've got running, expand outward. Try to fully envelop the radii
of your services before seeking out new places to conquer. Keep those land
values up, the rate of expansion down, and you'll have success!

After you get done upgrading your services, you may still find yourself in
the red. Rest assured that it's normal and easy to recover from if you're
smart. Take out a loan, then prioritize zoning or building money-making
ventures. The easiest way to gain cash is through taxes, so keep those zones
filled at all times. Only stop zoning if you're short on cash or there are
still empty zones for you.

Keep tabs on the population by listening to your advisors. They really do
know what they're talking about, although catering to everyone's wishes will
leave you broke. Pick and choose what you believe will be the most effective
strategy, whether that means blitzing for cash, or blitzing for people, or

One thing that I've noticed make people more happy than anything is
education. I detail education and its entire role in your city in a later

||9. MY SIM MODE||

By  clicking the third button in the main group of three (it's to the right
of Mayor Mode--it has a picture of a pair of sims), you can insert a sim
into your city and get one-on-one advice. In theory, this provides you with
exacting detail about one part of town, and you can hear about problems a
little sooner from your little sim than your advisors. Also in theory, if
you're lucky enough to also own a copy of The Sims and any of its
five-going-on-six expansions, you can get even more personalized info.

In practice, the My Sim Mode falls partially short of its goals. Although
you can indeed import your sims from The Sims, any sim is like any other
sim. The ones that ship with SimCity 4 are no better or worse than your own
creations. Also, once you inject a sim into a house, you lose complete
control over it, and can't really dictate what job class or whatnot it

That's not to say it's totally worthless, though. You still do get sound
advice from your sims quicker than your advisors, and they are a pretty good
representation of their neighborhood. I normally keep about two or three in
my cities to stay on track, though I normally know about their problems
before they tell me.

Anyway, to start off, click the My Sim Mode button. You'll get five empty
portraits; click one to bring up the list of available sims. Your sims from
The Sims aren't on the list at the start. To get them there, click the
Import Sims button, the one that looks like a computer. SimCity 4 quickly
scans your The Sims directory and adds any and all non-Townie sims to your
roster. You'll only have to do this once, unless you make more sims in The
Sims and want to move them in. Select any sim, but be advised that they're
only faces and names. A kid sim will be no different in your town than an

Once you select a sim, you'll get an arrow. Point it to the house you want
the sim to move into. Doing that will immediately make them take on the
personality of the house... if you move them to a rich house, they will have
mucho dinero and high education. They'll take a job based on their class,
and you can see them drive to and from work every day.

You'll get reports on their lives through the main news screen, or you can
click their portrait in My Sim Mode. You can choose to just ignore them and
let them deal with your decisions, or you can actively try to kill their
problems and improve their assets. They'll keep you guessing, sometimes
changing careers, sometimes moving across town... check out their reaction
if you bulldoze their house while they're at work. ^_^

Your sims have lifespans, and once they reach a certain age, they'll kick
it. Luckily, they'll be replaced with a new sim with the same name, just
with a number. (Pyro Falkon's replacement is Pyro Falkon the 2nd, whose
replacement is Pyro Falkon the 3rd, etc.)

|                 PART 3: REFERENCE                  |

This part of the FAQ deals with a database of power plants, their costs, and
value, along with personal comments. Also is a description of the various
ordinances in the game. However, this section is NOT strategy... that comes


Here I list all the power plants alphabetically, their requirements (if
any), their costs, their values, and my opinion on their operation and

|Coal Power Plant|


Initial Cost:

Monthly Cost:

Power Generated:
6,000 MWh

24 MWh/§1

The power plant with the best value is also the dirtiest. Its low monthly
cost, however, and high value make it perfect for young cities. At the
beginning, avoid this one only if you're bound and determined to keep your
grass green from start to finish.

|Hydrogen Power Plant|

4,000+ high-tech jobs
30,000+ MWh/month demanded

Initial Cost:

Monthly Cost:

Power Generated:
50,000 MWh

5 MWh/§1

By the time you CAN build it, you can probably afford it. It's extremely
clean and totally reliable. There are other alternatives, but for its
capacity and cleanliness, you can get a better deal.

|Natural Gas Power Plant|


Initial Cost:

Monthly Cost:

Power Generated:
3,000 MWh

7.5 MWh/§1

Although cheaper than a coal power plant, it makes far less power. Then
again, it's MUCH cleaner, and you can get your people to live just a BIT
closer to it. A nice alternative to coal if you're starting out.

|Nuclear Power Plant|

85,000+ overall population
25,000+ MWh/month demanded

Initial Cost:

Monthly Cost:

Power Generated:
16,000 MWh

5.3 MWh/§1

Nuclear power doesn't pollute much, but there's a chance that the plant will
meltdown, especially if it catches fire. If it does that, it will make a
rather large radius of land radioactive, and you can't do anything with
radioactive land for the rest of the game. Although that's a high risk, if
your power plant is well covered with fire stations, you'll be fine.

|Oil Power Plant|


Initial Cost:

Monthly Cost:

Power Generated:
7,000 MWh

11.7 MWh/§1

The second-best deal on the market has a high initial price tag. It's
cleaner than coal, so you may want to trash your coal plant in favor of oil
once you're making a large profit.

|Solar Power Plant|

3,000+ high-class residents
+55 or better Mayor Rating

Initial Cost:

Monthly Cost:

Power Generated:
5,000 MWh

5 MWh/§1

Cleaner than your grandma's kitchen, this plant is a reward for having rich
people inhabiting your town. People have little problem living next to it.
The problem is that it's darn expensive for clean power, and one little
solar plant doesn't produce nearly enough power to keep a large town
satisfied. Only build these if you're simply expanding your power, not
replacing it.

|Waste-to-Energy Plant|


Initial Cost:

Monthly Cost:

Power Generated:
5,000 MWh

5 MWh/§1

A cheaper version of the solar power plant, this type is available from the
start. However, its initial cost is a little high for young cities, and the
pollution it generates is ridiculous. It reduces garbage, but don't look
here for a permanent waste OR permanent energy solution.



Initial Cost:

Monthly Cost:

Power Generated:
200 MWh

4 MWh/§1

The cleanest form of power is the worst deal. However, windmill plants are
excellent to use if you need temporary bursts of power when you don't have
the money or desire to get a full-sized plant. Unless you want to lose a
bunch on money, don't rely fully on these.


This is a list of all the ordinances in the game. To access them, click your
budget tab, then expand it, and click the eye beside the City Ordinances
line. They are listed here in the same order as they are on the budget

|Legalized Gambling|

The only ordinance that will actually make money instead of costing it, this
will put a guaranteed §100 in your bank every month. The problem is that
it's not scalable, and once you hit several thousand people, §100 per month
isn't going to be worth much. Still, young cities seriously benefit from it,
and it leads to getting a casino business deal.

|Community CPR Training Program|

A small amount of money is taken from the treasury to teach people how to
perform CPR. This increases the lifespan of all sims, and it improves their
overall attitude. I recommend it once your city gets going smoothly to
assist your health clinics and hospitals, but not from the outset of the

|Water Conservation Program|

Money is spent to reduce the amount of water all buildings use. Residents
don't have a problem with it, but industries don't like it one bit. This
reduces the industry demand, but seriously increases your water capacity. It
comes with a hefty price tag, though.

|Paper Waste Reduction Program|

Similar to the water conservation program, the paper waste reduction program
cuts down garbage and ticks off industries in the process. Again, don't
enact it if there are industrial zones empty. Use it to support your
sanitation department.

|Free Clinic Program|

Places are set up throughout the city to give free medical treatment to your
poorer sims. City-wide health greatly increases at a monetary expense. I
don't like this one, because I prefer to have rich people in my cities who
can afford to go to hospitals. If you have a tiny town, though, you may want
to consider it.

|Smoke Detector Program|

This program installs smoke detectors on all buildings. This cuts down on
city-wide flammability, assisting your fire departments. The only downfall
is the cost, which isn't much at all. I recommend you enact this one as soon
as you can.

|Neighborhood Watch Program|

Your vigil sims will assist the cops in cutting crime in residential zones.
Not too bad of an option, considering its relatively low cost, but I don't
normally use it.

|Tourism Promotion Program|

This one advertises your city to other cities. More people will come to
check out your town, which adds to your commercial sectors' coffers. This
increases your commercial demand, but can congest your roads when people
come to visit. Also, you should have some good attractions (landmarks or
rewards) in your town before enacting this, or it won't work as well.

|Junior Sports Program|

The city funds schools for uniforms and other sports equipment. This cuts
crime because the kids have something to do in the afternoons aside from
holding up 7-Elevens, and it increases schools' effectiveness because the
kids want to work hard and maintain good grades to keep their athletic
eligibility. This comes at a mediocre cost to your budget.

|Power Conservation Act|

Reduces city-wide power usage, so you get more out of your power plants.
However, this ticks everyone off--especially industries--and comes with a
nasty price tag.

|Carpool Incentive Program|

This funds little things like carpool lanes and other benefits for sims who
decide to carpool to and from work. This cuts down on road congestion, which
also cuts down on air pollution, especially around main streets. This isn't
too bad of an alternative to busses, though both can be used in tandem for
best effectiveness.

|Commuter Shuttle Service|

The city creates and maintains mini-busses to help people get to mass
transit stations like bus stops and train stations. This gives people more
of an incentive to ride mass transit, which reduces traffic and air
pollution along the busiest streets. However, you'll need SOME mass transit
in place for this to work; don't bother enacting the ordinance if you have
no bus stops or train stations.

|Clean Air Act|

This money is used to set standards for air pollution. This will cut down
air pollution from industries pretty well, but it will tick off all dirty
and manufacturing industries. Of course, if your aim is to have a clean,
high-tech city, go for it. The cost is rather steep, but the payoff is worth
it once you can afford it.

|Youth Curfew Act|

All young sims have to be in their homes in the late evening. This highly
cuts crime, but it ticks off every kid in the city. Be careful; it's a good
assist for the police, but you'll have issues with city morale.

|Automobile Emission Reduction Act|

That's a mouthful, isn't it? Enacting this will set standards for cars so
their pollution is reduced. This cuts air pollution to a pretty large
degree, especially around busy streets. There are no negatives aside from
the cost, although this won't cut down on traffic like other ordinances
will. Still, I enact it once I can afford to.

|Tire Recycling Program|

This reduces pollution and generally improves city aura and beauty. In
SimCity 3000, this also reduced road costs by §1 per section, which REALLY
added up. Sadly, that discount is no longer a part of it.

|Nuclear Free Zone|

For a fee, you can declare your city as being nuclear free. This eliminates
the option to build nuclear power plants and toxic waste dumps, but the
environmentalist will be happy, and aura will improve city-wide. This ticks
off the dirty industries, but not to a very large degree.

|Pro-Reading Campaign|

This gives assist money to libraries and schools, which improves education.
It does not impact museums.

|                  PART 4: STRATEGY                  |

Come on, admit it: this is the reason you clicked this FAQ in the first
place, isn't it?

||12. ZONES||

Here I'll talk about the different zones and their densities in detail. I'll
also talk about what each type looks for when choosing land.

|12a. Residential Zones|

Residential zones come in three flavors: light, medium, and dense. Generally
speaking, as you get more dense, you get a richer populace, but that is not
a rule set in stone.

The light residential zones look for nothing in particular. They just want
some plot of grass to plant their trailers and be happy. The people living
in these houses typically look for jobs in light commercial zones like fast
food joints. You won't get much money from them, but they are your lifeblood
at the beginning of your city's life.

Medium residential zones have small apartments or typical, middle-class
houses like the one you probably live in. Rarely, you'll get a small mansion
here too. Either way, you get a moderate amount of money from them. They
hate pollution and usually require at least one or two of the Big 4
services. Their typical jobs are middle-paying affairs like secretaries and
shift managers.

Dense residential zones house celebrities like Gary Golf in huge mansions or
skyscraping apartment towers. Jobs get as high as CEO of the power plant or
manager of the town. The rich need a lot of their needs attended to, so make
sure you've got ALL of the Big 4 services, plus some recreational areas.
Landmarks and rewards don't hurt either. Any pollution at all will kill the
desire to move in.

|12b. Commercial Zones|

Commercial zones come in the same three flavors of residential zones.

Light commercial zones provide local shops. These offer cheap services for
cheap prices, employ cheap people, and pay cheap taxes. You see things like
ice cream parlors and car dealerships here. They will set up practically
anywhere, so long as they're relatively close to customers.

Medium commercial zones hold two types of buildings: offices and business.
Offices employ white-collar workers who are paid a decent amount. Businesses
employ no-collar workers who are paid less than the white-collar, but more
than anyone in light-density zones. They need to be closer to customers to
be inhabited, and farther away from pollution.

Dense commercial zones hold both offices and businesses, too. Your tallest
buildings will probably come from dense commercial zones. Businesses include
malls, which accommodate customers from all classes, and which make absurd
amounts of money that you can tax to death. They've got to be practically on
top of customers, and very far away from pollution. Offices are more picky
than businesses, but you can't control whether businesses or offices inhabit

|12c. Industrial Zones|

Industrial zones come in the same three flavors as well, but there's a
slightly different spin on the way the buildings are made and the way taxes
are collected.

Light industrial zones, also called agricultural zones, are areas that you
zone for farms only. Farms, unlike all other zones, can be as big as you
want them to be. They don't employ too many people, but they're pretty and
are required for larger cities (although cities can share that demand, but
more on that later). You get ABSOLUTELY NO TAXES from farms, so if you're
short of cash, don't even consider it. Farms appear once given road access,
provided there's little to no pollution. After they're created, only
pollution will shut them down.

Medium industrial zones can house dirty industries or manufacturing
industries. Both pollute (the former worse than the latter), and neither
make a tremendous amount of money. However, they do employ the largest
number of people, no education required. They produce large amounts of
crime, so keep them away from homes and make sure they are provided police

Dense industrial zones eliminate dirty industries, but manufacturing
industries are still around. However, so are high-tech industries, which are
clean and rich. You'll need very well-educated sims in the city for
high-tech industries to hire, so don't bother with dense industrial zones
until your education program is in full swing. Also, high-tech industries
hate pollution, so if you re-zoned, don't expect any HT industries to move
in while black smoke still hangs over that part of town.

Industrial zones (farms excluded) need two additional things to grow. There
has to be some way for the goods to get from your industrial zones to your
commercial zones and other cities. To do that, you'll need trains. Place a
rail DIRECTLY NEXT TO industrial zones to eliminate the problem entirely. If
you cannot do that, place a rail line anyway, then place a freight train
station. The industries will ship their goods by truck to the freight train
station, which will then in turn carry it away. Be aware that the longer the
freight time, the more ticked off industries will be.

Freight stations, by the way, are arrival-only stops. You do not need to
place them at destinations, so don't, or you'll be losing cash with the
monthly cost for no reason.

|12d. General Zoning Advice|

Zones need to be directly touching roads to function. Every individual plot
of residential or commercial land has to have road access at its FRONT DOOR
(putting a road at the side of the house only isn't going to help).
Industrial zones can be up to eight tiles away as long as the zone is
unbroken and one part of it touches the road.

Zones expand and grow (in terms of density) when provided with the right
services. If a dense zone doesn't seem to be developing, query it to see the
problem, and try to fix it.

Zones can be re-zoned to something more dense without the buildings having
to be destroyed. Just "paint" over the existing zone with the new one.

One strategy is to use the densest zone type right from the beginning. That
prevents you having to spend additional money on re-zoning later. I believe,
however, that the initial cost of the expensive zone is too great; young
cities won't see the potential of dense zones, so there's no point in
building them. However, that IS just my opinion... if you can get it to work
with dense zones from the outset, no problem.

Young cities favor industrial zones because industries are looking for the
cheap land. As cities grow, they become more self-sufficient, so they favor
more commercial zones. Adjust your zones and zoning techniques as you need
to based on your population.


While we're on the subject of highly educated sims, we should discuss how to
go about getting those little sim brains filled with big sim thoughts.
Educational buildings are divided into four classes: young kids, old kids,
young adults, and adults to old people.

Elementary schools educate the young kids. Each one holds a maximum of 500
students, and they have a radius that represents the bus range (no more
stacking all your schools in one corner of the map like in SimCity 3000).
Place them in the hearts of your residential areas, because no one from
businesses or industries will be heading to school (no child labor in this
city, Kathy).

High schools educate old kids. Each holds a maximum of 750 students and
increases young people's EQ as they go through the ranks of school. They
also have a radius, so use the same strategy as in elementary schools.

City colleges and universities help out the young adults. Getting a degree
is one of the greatest feelings in life for a lot of people, and it opens
the doors to higher-paying jobs (which in turn leads to more money you can
bleed from your populace). Colleges hold a maximum of 7,000 students, more
than enough room to hold quite a few generations. Also, the college does not
have a radius since most people will live on campus. Universities hold no
students, but instead act to assist and improve colleges to make their
education better.

Local branch libraries and the Main Library let sims of all ages (excluding
the seniors) maintain their education. Libraries are essential to keeping
adults from forgetting everything they learned in college, which could lead
to a loss of job or status in the city. Local branch libraries hold a number
of books, which represent its radius. Main libraries assist the local

City museums and Major Art Museums offer relics of old for the people who
routinely tell kids to get off their lawns. The presence of museums assists
the schools and prevents seniors' brains from turning as mushy as the rest
of their bodies. Don't bother with them until you have a fair number of
years behind you.


Here I'll talk about the nuances of bridges and tunnels, along with all
other stuff relating to moving sims from point A to point B.

|14a. Streets and Roads|

You know what the best way is to punish a 16-year-old? Take away his keys.

Sims love driving as much as humans do. There are twice as many cars on the
road as there are people if not more, but no one is going to be moving their
gas guzzlers without roads.

Streets are minor, low-capacity and low-speed routes. You probably live on a
street as opposed to a road; the best indication is the presence or lack of
a line painted down the pavement. Streets have no line, because the drivers
should be going slow enough that no one is in danger of hitting anything.
Use streets to connect out-of-the-way neighborhoods to main roads. Streets
cost less, both initially and monthly, so use them when you can.

Roads are the basic route to get sims around. These are medium-capacity and
medium-speed paths, designed as major linking paths between zones. All
vehicles will spend the majority of time on roads, so make sure they're well
kept. Any street you have can be easily replaced with a road by "painting"
over it, and the original street will not have to be destroyed. If you can
afford it, I personally recommend getting rid of streets entirely. It makes
transit quicker, and it's just a little more orderly.

|14b. Highways|

Highways are high-speed, high-capacity monsters that can accommodate huge
quantities of cars and shoot them across the landscape in a matter of
moments. Seldom are highways clogged, unless it's the only route to get
between zones. If given the choice, sims will always take the faster route,
so running a highway parallel to a busy road (or just replacing the road
entirely) will guarantee its usage. Highways are expensive though, so don't
bother with them until you can foot the bill.

To get onto a highway, you need an on-ramp. On-ramps, in short, connect
roads to highways. There's massive strategy to on-ramps because they come in
two flavors and have to be placed on both sides of the road at the arrival
AND destination. That's four on-ramps at least for any given stretch of
highway... although the payoff in low traffic density is worth it.

The two on-ramp types are overpass and side. Side on-ramps let drivers hop
from the road to the highway without slowing, allowing smooth transfers and
minimal congestion. Overpass on-ramps usually force drivers to bottleneck at
that point, but the drivers can get to the other side of the highway by
cutting under it. Your on-ramp choice depends heavily on your zones. If you
have the highway simply as a link between zones, you can get away with a
side on-ramp. However, if there are zones actually AROUND the highway, then
an overpass on-ramp is the best way to go to avoid forcing commuters to
taking longer trips than necessary.

If you have multiple highways, you can link them provided they cross at
90-degree angles. One has to be going north-south, and the other east-west.
Once an intersection is created, use the cloverleaf to combine both into one
super highway. Commuters can hop from one highway to the other with little
to no delay.

|14c. Mass Transit|

Cars produce insane pollution. Even with the Automobile Emission Reduction
Act active, a large city will produce many drivers who are all polluting. To
combat that, bring in mass transit, which by definition has many sims using
the same bus or train or whatever to get places.

Busses are the cheapest way to cut traffic. They need to be placed near busy
roads and intersections to be of any use. Sims will board at a bus stop, but
they can get off anywhere, so you don't have to litter your landscape with
stations. Sims don't like walking to bus stops, though, so make sure there
are enough to give sims plenty of places to board. Unfortunately, there's no
radius to help you.

Trains take more passengers than busses, and are faster. They can travel
much farther too, but they cost more. First, you'll need to build rails
where you want the trains to go. Also, unlike busses, you'll need to put a
train station for every place you want the train to stop. Like bus stops,
sims don't like walking, so you'll need plenty of stations to make sure
enough people are using it to make it worth it. Good stop points are in the
hearts of residential zones to the hearts of industrial zones.

Subways are underground trains. They operate like trains in practice, but
they're more expensive. They take more people, though, and are even faster
than trains. They're small, so they won't take as much room as train
stations. Best of all, because the tracks are underground, you can make
direct lines to each station, and you won't be wasting valuable real estate
upstairs where it counts.

If any station of any of the three mass transit types fails for whatever
reason, your transportation advisor will inform you with a hyperlink to the
offending station. He alerts you to the stations that make no profit, which
means, as the game puts it, are black holes of money. Take them out with
your trusty bulldozer to stop losing the cash.

|14d. Bridges and Tunnels|

If there's a body of water or a mountain in your way, you have three
options. The first is to go over it, the second is to go around it, and the
third is to go through it.

Mountains can have roads and rails over it, but this will make for a
horrible driving experience, and some trains won't be able to make some
climbs. Going around the mountain is an option, but that can be a long and
expensive trip. The best solution is to just drill through the mountain to
make a tunnel, giving your cars and trains a flat path to zip along.

Bodies of water are similar. Again, you could go around it, but some rivers
may take the length of the map. Build a bridge to get your cars past the
obstruction and get them on their way.

To build either a bridge or a tunnel, first plan on where you want it. They
can get expensive, and you don't want to continually be destroying and
re-building them. Make a strip of road where you want the tunnel or bridge
by dragging OVER the mountain or river. Go a little farther along the land
until your highlight turns green.

After you let go of the left mouse button, you'll be given the cost of the
bridge or tunnel, and you'll be asked to confirm its construction. If you
decline to build a tunnel, the game will make the road you selected, but it
will be going OVER the mountain. Declining bridge construction makes your
engineers build the road you drew minus the bridge itself.

Bridges cannot cross each other, but tunnels KIND OF can. If you build a
tunnel through a mountain, you can still build a road ON the mountain as
well. You can't make two tunnels on the same level cross, but you can make
two or more tunnels run parallel if you need to.

Highways, roads, and rails can all tunnel or bridge.

By the way, you can also bridge over a canyon. One of my prides and joys is
Canyon City, which features a huge canyon splitting two huge mesas. The
northern mesa has the industrial sector and other pollutants, and the
southern mesa has everything else. Highways bridge the two mesas, giving
people easy access to their jobs.

|14e. Seaports and Airports|

Seaports and airports do help send sims this way and that, but they are
mostly assists.

Seaports assist your industries by hauling their goods across the oceans and
rivers of your region. Although passenger boats aren't rare, you'll get far
more people with neighbor connections (more on that in a second). By
building a seaport or two, the demand for your industry of all types
increases. They pollute heavily and are expensive, so take care.

Airports provide more people than seaports, but they help commercial zones
instead of industrial zones. Airports bring in planes with tourists, who
will add to the coffers of your city's businesses. You'll get more tourists
with more landmarks and rewards, so don't be too stingy.


SimCity is not the isolated lonely existence it once was. It's not even as
lonely as it was with SimCity 3000 (although until you make more than one
city, you will feel a little isolated). After getting your one city running
well, save it and exit to the region. Start a new city within the confines
of a plot of land adjacent to your first city.

Once you have two cities, you can link them in a number of ways. Two cities
can very easily support each other, so just imagine when you link up a city
to four other cities or more! The basic way to link cities is by road or
highway. You'll have to have room on both sides of the border to accommodate
the road connection, but it only takes one or two tiles. With a simple road
connection, all sorts of things happen.

First and most importantly is the shared demand. Two cities that are linked
share their RCI meters. If City A has a bunch of farms, and City B desires
farms, linking them will benefit both. Residents from one city DO cross the
border to work at other cities as well, although there's no number to get an
actual fix on how many people are doing so.

Second, the cities can import or export each other's trash. If one city has
the landfill to spare, it can take garbage at a cost of the exporting city.
It's a pretty lucrative way to get a profit in the early days.

Third, the cities will share tourists. If one city has enough tourist traps
like landmarks and rewards, its commercial sector will get a boost when the
second city's people come to visit.

You can also link cities via water pipes to share water, power lines to
share electricity, and rails to share people and industrial goods. A lot of
the sharing happens without your knowledge in the background, so if you make
two identical cities, one linked and the other not, the linked city will
probably prosper better.

There are also business deals you can make internally with your own city
only. If you ever find yourself in debt, you are usually given the
opportunity to build a building at no cost that will net you a decent
monthly income. Young cities will have to practically depend on these
buildings to survive, and there's no shame in using them. However, they all
bring their own problems, so if you can sustain yourself without them, do


Back by popular demand from my FAQs on the The Sims series, I'm providing
this section of the FAQ for any strategy you may have. Send it to
pyrofalkon@hotmail.com, and I'll post it here with all due credit. Unlike
I've done in the past, I reserve the right to edit your submission for
grammar, spelling, and profanity, but I will NOT edit the game content.

|                  PART 5: GOD MODE                  |

So... much... power...!

After clicking a plot of land without a city, you are given the power to
change the land to your liking WITHOUT COST. Beware, because once you engage
Mayor Mode, God Mode becomes extremely limited and nearly worthless. Plan
your city now before you make some mistake that you'll regret once in-game.


There are plenty of fun buttons to play with here! I'll go over everything
for your reference.

|17a. Landscaping|

The first button on the God Mode list is the Landscaping tool. It features
Raise Land, Lower Land, Level Land, Add Trees, and Add Animals.

If you choose to raise your land, there's a variety of ways you can do so.
Create cliffs to mark sheer raises and drops in altitude; make several to
create a stair-step effect. Mesas raise a circle of land and top them off,
giving a nice area to plop down a landmark, but denying direct access from
the bottom. Mountains are just that, and you can make them as tall as you
want; to get a mountain range, just slowly drag the mouse across the
landscape. Steep hills and gentle hills are self-explanatory.

Lowering your land is pretty fun too, and lowering it enough makes bodies of
water. Shallow valleys, valleys, and steep valleys give downward slopes to
your land. Craters lower the land at the center of the tool but also steeply
raise the land at the tool's edges. This creates a nifty little in-mountain
lake or something. You can also add shallow or regular canyons, which lower
land in a very small area.

Leveling your land is not a one-option affair, either. Using the plateau
tool lets you make an area all the same altitude with extreme edges. Plains
level the terrain too, but the edges will be gently sloped. The quick level
brush allows you to easily get your land all the same altitude with extreme
edges; useful if you made a mistake. Erosion gives your beaches and cliffs a
rocky appearance, whereas the soften tool makes those beaches and cliffs

Adding trees gives your city some personality from the start. The more trees
there, the bigger the danger of fire, but the less pollution there is.
Adding animals is pointless, because as soon as you go into Mayor Mode, the
animals disappear... I suppose it can be neat to see animals roaming your
land before your sims take over.

|17b. Winds and Global Changes|

The second button gives you access to the wind tools, and gives you the
ability to make extreme changes. You can issue the erosion command to make
your cliffs and beaches rocky, or you can use the soften tool to give
everything a much cleaner appearance. Finally, you can raise or lower the
entire city's terrain but one whole level. This is useful if you made a
couple mistakes but still want the basic shape of your created land.

|17c. Reconcile Edges|

To make the game more realistic and give your region a cleaner look, you're
given this tool. It compares the borders of your city with all the ones
around it, and it changes your current city's land to match its adjacent
borders. This way you don't have, say, half a mountain on one side of the
border and nothing on the other side.

This is optional; you never HAVE to reconcile edges. If you do want to but
don't want to bother hitting the button, there's an option in the options
screen called Auto Reconcile Edges, which does what it says it does.

The reconcile edges option is one that is still available in Mayor Mode.

|17d. Disasters|

What would be the fun in making cities if you couldn't whack them now and
then? This tool stays in its entirety even after the city has been

A miniature mountain springs up and erupts lava. The lava will flow down the
hill and burn up everything in its path, including buildings. You get to
choose where you want the volcano to appear: just point and click. If you
ever get ticked off, make a volcano appear in the center of downtown.

The basics are back. Point and click, and whatever unlucky object you choose
catches flames. Fire leaps from one flammable object to another, so trees
and buildings are all subject to heat.

Summon a flaming comet from space. On impact, it will set fire to a bunch of
stuff and make a small crater in the ground. If you throw a couple down
before the city gets established, you'll have a pretty nifty land shape.

Servo is fed up from doing all the chores for all the sim families. He's
managed to make himself 10 stories tall (that's like 70 to 100 feet, you
math whizzes), and now he's launching grenades randomly. You can control him
yourself and direct him to specific parts of the city you want to level.

I live in Xenia, Ohio. We got hit by a couple of rather devastating tornados
in the past 25 years, but luckily nothing was ever this bad! You can change
the tornado's direction to send it to different buildings to take it out.
Although it sets some things on fire, its primary purpose is to cause

This is a quickie. Summon a bolt of lightning to any object you choose, and
that object will catch fire and/or be destroyed. It's like the fire
disaster, but it's a little more precise.

Point and click to make a tiny tremor. Or, for more fun, click and hold the
mouse button for a few seconds, THEN release. That will rip the map apart,
sending buildings flying and sims screaming. Woo hoo!

|17e. Day/Night Cycle|

The game has a clock so you can see your sims going to and from work. (You
can see what sim time it is by hovering your mouse over the date display.)
The sun rises and sets, and it changes the color of the land with it as it
does so. Also, buildings will get lit up at night. Call me a sucker, but
seeing from a distance a huge skyline all lit up is one of the greatest
sights in existence... SimCity 4 does a darn good job emulating it, but I

You can keep the passage of time, or you can elect to force the city to
spend all its time in daylight or nightlight. The night brings beautiful
graphics, but the day lets you see what you're doing better. If you're
working on a lot of zoning, you may want to leave the sun turned on until
you're done.

No matter what you choose here, the time will still proceed. It just affects
what you see.


Unless you're just learning about the tools, avoid just screwing around with
God Mode. If you mess around too much, then the city you establish will have
its own set of problems... which is why I recommended that you start your
first city on a totally flat piece of land.

Sims both like and dislike hills. Houses build on hills or mesas are
automatically valued more due to their view. Windmill power plants also
produce just a LITTLE more energy the higher they are. However, sims hate
driving up and down steep slopes, and if you make your cliff too steep, it
can't be traversed at all.

Water is a slightly different issue. Sims love water as much as they love
hills. Property values around water are higher, which leads to higher taxes,
and lakes can easily be driven over or around. Oceans give you access to
seaports, which help industries, which add money. The problem is that for
every tile that is occupied with water, that's one less tile for something
else, like a house or road.

Unless you have some specific strategy in mind, you need to find a balance
between aesthetics and efficiency. A couple of lakes, a few gentle hills,
and one or two steep hills in an otherwise flat area is fantastic. Having a
little of everything lets a lot of different sims be happy, and as they say,
variety is the spice of life.

That's not to say that specific strategies are bad. If you want to make an
island, you'll have to give up a lot of land to do it... but maybe that's
your idea. Your city is your city... just make sure that whatever you do in
God Mode won't bite you in the butt later. As long as you know what you're
doing and what you're limiting yourself from, you'll be fine.

The only thing I always recommend is trees. Trees won't catch fire by
themselves, and they'll cut down pollution from the start. It doesn't cost
that much more to build things over trees (there is an added cost to
compensate tearing the trees down), and it costs absolutely nothing to zone
over trees (because the land owners will cut their own trees down). Besides,
trees add land value too. If there's any space on your map that has no
trees, you don't have enough.

|                 PART 6: FAQ STUFF                  |

This part of the FAQ is about the document itself.


This is where I'll list everyone who has contributed anything to me. I'll
list your name, e-mail address (unless you tell me not to), and what you
contributed, along with what version of the FAQ you did so. Send all
contributions to pyrofalkon@hotmail.com.


v1.1 (03 May 2003)
In my haste to get the guide finished, I sent it but forgot to add the table
of contents. So, that's in place, and the guide is truly done... for now.

v1 (02 May 2003)
First release.


An HTML version of this guide will eventually be found at my website, listed
near the bottom of this document.

This document is copyright 2003 for J. "PyroFalkon" Habib. If you plan to
use any of it as part of another FAQ, you need my permission first. However,
if you plan to post it on a website or e-mail it to someone or whatnot, you
may do so without my permission AS LONG AS IT IS NOT ALTERED IN ANY WAY. I'd
like you to drop me an e-mail so I know where you're going to take it, but I
will not require you to do so. You may download it or print it at your

The most updated version will always be found at these sites:


Other sites may have up-to-date versions, but check GameFAQs or my website


If any information is incorrect, or you wish to submit something, please
e-mail me. My address is found on the bottom of the FAQ. Credit will be
given where it's due.

Do not ask me for the serial number to SimCity 4. I will delete your e-mail
and insult you.

If you submit something to me, I will credit you by the name you signed in
the message body or by the name attached to your e-mail. I will also post
your e-mail address unless you specifically tell me not to.

If you wish to be e-mailed when this FAQ is updated, send your request to
me. If you have a junk mail protector on your e-mail program, make sure you
put my e-mail address on the safe list, or my messages may not get through.



Good luck in SimCity 4, and may all your cities be sparkly and successful!

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