FAQ/Strategy Guide by super_luigi16

FAQ Table of Contents:

hide results

    FAQ/Strategy Guide by super_luigi16

    Version: 1.52 | Updated: 09/12/13 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    City Specialization (Continued)

    Building a "Silicon Forest"

    "Silicon [Insert Landform Here]" is a colloquial term used to describe any area that mimics Silicon Valley's investment in technology infrastructure. "Silicon Forest" happens to be the term used to describe the electronics to the north of the actual Silicon Valley--the electronics and computing market in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. But I digress--it costs a lot of money to start an Electronics city:

    Trade Depot$10000
    Processor Factory$160000

    Yep, over $200000. That also doesn't take into account the necessary investments and month-to-month expenses for Education, Parks, Police, Health, and Fire to woo the workers of your future Processor Factories. The first part of this section is intended to help you your city correctly. Do note that if you want to create an Electronics city, you will need to create a high-wealth city dependent on many services, including Non-Essential Services.

    So, once you've moved onto City-Building, you'll want to place a heavy emphasis on Education. This means that the first City Hall module you add should be the Department of Education, and you should do everything possible to unlock the University. You should also leave room for your University and your future Processor Factories. Try to raise the Education level of the entire city by building up all of your schools. However, your main goal should be getting monthly profits to the point where it becomes feasible to make that $200000 down payment for Electronics. Increase density as quickly as possible.

    You will need to develop your city into a high-wealth magnate. Hence, Parks will be an integral part of your city's development; be sure to place them strategically so as to increase land value in a way that entices high-wealth development in most of the city. This includes Commercial because you'll want places for your snobby Sims to shop. You also need to develop your Non-Essential Services to full, complete, and adequate coverage thereof; furhtermore, Essential Services need to be continually provided. Any shortcomings will be pointed out by your Sims, so you can watch their reactions to determine what needs to be done to increase happiness and desirability.

    Once you've got a thriving high-wealth city complete with a University and more than $200000 in cash, you're ready to start assembling Electronics! Firstly, you'll want to have an Electronics "hub" where most of your Processor Factories will be. Corral this area off from the rest of your city, and plop some Trade Depots nearby to deal with the imports and exports necessary to maintain production. Make sure you can expand all Trading and Electronics buildings as needed. Be sure to build Processors, Plastic, and Alloy Storage Lots on your Trade Depot(s) so as to maintain resource levels and generate revenue. Once you have your first Electronics building, move onto the next section.

    Here's a checklist for this section:

    1. Build a high-wealth city that provides Non-Essential Services as well as all Essential Services.
    2. Build the University.
    3. Accumulate more than $200000 in cash for your first Processor Factory.
    4. Plop your first Processor Factory.
    5. Plop a Trade Depot with Processor, Plastic, and Alloy Storage Lots.
    6. Start importing the latter two materials.
    7. Export Processors as they are made to generate income.

    Watering the Electronics Forest

    After you build your first factory and revenue starts to pour in, you have to figure out how to get from fledgling processors producer to the Consumer Electronics Division at your Electronics HQ. Unfortunately for you, the Electronics HQ is the hardest HQ to upgrade, requiring 1.5 million Simoleons for the first upgrade. However, I've done this twice without the aid of other cities, so it is very possible to build an Electronics city--even from scratch.

    Firstly, you'll want to expand your existing factory as much as possible. This will allow you to maximize profits by minimizing expenditures; furthermore, it conserves space for future development. The general idea with Electronics is simply to build, produce, sell, expand, produce, sell, build more, produce, sell, and so on. This means that, once your first factory is fully expnaded, you should move onto building and expanding another factory. In order to get the first Electronics HQ expansion--speaking of which, you should buy it once you have the funds to do so--, you will need about three to five Processor Factories. This will highly vary from city-to-city based off of internal factors.

    You can take some measures to speed up the process; generally, cutting down on traffic from your Trade Depot(s) (you should have at least two by now) to the outside world will help bolster profits. It may also be worth it to build a Trade HQ (Trading) with an Electronics Division so you can build a Trade Port with Electronics Storage Lots. This will dramatically help you export Processors and the like to the open market. Of course, this requires an investment of at least $500000, so only resort to this measure if you're stalled with current development.

    Another good addition is the Recycling Center (see Garbage). The Recycling Center works well in conjunction with an educated city and the Electronics specialization because (a) educated Sims recycle more and (b) recyclables can produce the two materials necessary for Processors: Plastic and Alloy. This should make your imports costs less, and will allow for faster transportation. The main hindrance to earning $1.5 million seems to be traffic and the speed of selling your goods on the market; if you aren't getting your goods out of town fast enough, then you will never expand your HQ. Try to reduce on traffic or place a Trade Port if this becomes the case.

    Move onto the next section once you upgrade your HQ once.

    The NEW Silicon Valley!

    Now that you have the ability to place one of the HQ's expansions, I get to sit here and explain to you why you absolutely need/want to place the Consumer Electronics Division. Firstly, TVs and Computers sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars per shipment. If that hasn't enticed you to place the Consumer Electronics Division, I'm not sure what will. TVs and Computers require Processors, but they make nearly three times as much per shipment. Hence, I highly recommend you place the Consumer Electronics Division.

    While the Consumer Electronics Factories are very expenisve at $400000 apiece, they are well worth the cost. On top of that, you're already making $1500000 a day from Electronics! Simply build up your Electronics Empire by building Consumer Electronics Factories as you see fit. Be sure to add TV/Computer Storage Lots to your Trade Depots, as well. You should be well on your way to earning 4.6 million Simoleons for the next upgrade.

    My not-fully-completed Electronics city!


    Unit of Trade1000crates
    Produced ByProcessor Factories
    Used ByConsumer Electronics Factories


    Unit of Trade1000crates
    Produced ByConsumer Electronics Factories
    Used ByArcology Great Works


    Unit of Trade1000crates
    Produced ByConsumer Electronics Factories
    Used BySpace Center Great Works


    Processor Factory

    NameCostProduction RateMaintenance
    Processor Factory1600002400crates/day700/hr
    NameCostProduction RateMaintenance
    Delivery Truck Garage10000200crates/truck50/hr
    Processor Assembly Line500002400crates/day350/hr

    Electronics HQ

    Electronics HQ37500450/hr
    Consumer Electronics Division500000400/hr
    Commerce Division500000400/hr
    NumberElectronics Profit

    Consumer Electronics Factory

    NameCostProduction RateMaintenance
    Consumer Electronics Factory3600003600crates/day1200/hr
    NameCostProduction RateMaintenance
    Delivery Truck Garage10000200crates/truck50/hr
    TV Assembly Line1000003600crates/day750/hr
    Computer Assembly Line2000003600crates/day850/hr

    The Consumer Electronics Factory. Note the HQ in the foreground and the Processors Factories in the background.


    Tourism (Culture in the game) can be tricky to optimize. When you first start out, your city likely has no tourist attraction whatsoever (somewhat like the middle of Wyoming). But, if you build up your attraction with Landmarks, Expo Centers, and Pro Stadiums, you can stimulate the growth of hotels and your Commercial. Furthermore, you also need plenty of mass transit to both get tourists to your city and move them around inside your city. Unfortunately, Tourism tends to compromise your traffic and transportation system.

    Creating a Tourist Destination

    Tourism is dependent upon the attraction of your city. If your city does not have a good hypothetical reputation, few tourists will come to visit. This is the real-life equivalent of wanting to go to vacation in International Falls, Montana; it just doesn't appeal to many people, even if it appeals to you. However, you can alter tourist attraction by adding interesting buildings, landmarks, and leisure facilities to your city. Generally, the following few aspects have the greatest effect on tourist attraction.

    Tourism (Culture) Buildings

    These buildings inherently raise the tourist attraction in your city because they can either host large events or because they are popular tourist destinations. The former includes the Pro Stadium and the Expo Center while the latter includes all Landmarks present in the Culture tab (for a complete list, see the following sections). Tourists (a) want to come to the events being hosted by your Stadium and Expo Center and (b) want to see the splender of the Landmarks present in your city. Hence, adding them will raise the attraction of your city quite a bit.

    Commercial Buildings

    Commercial Buildings don't have to be normal businesses--some can transform into hotels if you have enough tourists. Furthermore, Commercial offers a great place for your tourists to spend their money: local businesses. Hence, Commercial Buildings tend to increase the overall attraction of your city.

    Gambling Buildings

    By giving a service that is rarely allowed in the SimWorld, you add attraction to your city. Many Sims like to gamble, so you'll inherently increase attraction by offering said service. While Gambling buildings certainly hurt other aspects of your city--Police protection, for instance--they increase tourist attraction.

    Hence, building a Tourist city requires you to build your city's attraction from scratch. Having little-to-no tourist attraction will not prevent tourists from dropping by, it will simply inhibit a large flow of tourists. Nevertheless, let's talk about the necessary requirements of building a large tourist destination!

    Firstly, you need to ensure that, when you're planning your city, that it can handle a voluminous amount of traffic. This means that you must go above and beyond what is outlined in Basic Transportation and Advanced Transportation Network. You must have adequate ways to deal with traffic, namely via good road planning and excellent mass transportation systems. Furthermore, you should have more Commercial than normal to increase tourism. Leave large open plots for the Pro Stadium and Expo Center. Also, try to concentrate tourist buildings near each other so that tourists have less distance to drive/walk from their hotels to their desired destination(s).

    Hence, your city should have a large section corraled off for Commercial, Culture, Mass Transit, and potentially Gambling. This should take up anywhere from one-third to one-half of your city. First, you'll want to build up your city itself so that you're riding off of the initial profits of a fledgling city. Once you save up the down payment for the Expo Center--which should be one of the first things you do after establishing Fire and Health buildings--place the ExpoDome in the area you've set off for the placement of the Expo Center and the Pro Stadium. They shouldn't be adjacent to each other, but they should be relatively near each other.

    Your next investments should be a Ferry Dock with a Cruise Port terminal, a Bus Terminal, and a Passenger Rail Station. You will likely need bonds and/or gifts to manage all of these expenses. Now that you've established a good tourist base, it's time to start hosting events! These will be the lifeblood of your Tourist city. Generally, you'll want to start out small to "float the waters." If you can fill your Motocross event at the Expo Center, you'll have more than enough money to host another--possibly larger---event. Keep building your Tourist city up by hosting more events, expanding your mass transit tourist base, and zoning/improving commercial. Once you have enough money to buy the Pro Stadium, move onto the next section.

    The Next Dubai

    The Pro Stadium, while an arbitrary "checkpoint" of sorts, is a good marker that you're moving from just-trying-to-make-money to building-the-best-tourist-destination. Hence, you've moved from present-day every-non-tourist-destination-in-the-world to a present-day Dubai. You're next few months will be spent investing in huge, money-consuming projects that will ultimately make you the best tourist destination around. You will spend money on the Pro Stadium, the Airport, more mass transit, and Landmarks. This section is all about placement and about coughing up the necessary dough; the next section deals with fine-tuning traffic solutions and maximizing profit.

    This is your goal for a Tourist city.

    Placing the Pro Stadium can be a bit tricky. You want it close to your mass transit and your tourist district, but you also don't want it too close to the Expo Center or the regional connection. If you do end up putting the Stadium near your regional connection, the highway will basically be unusable because it will constantly be backed up with traffic. Furthermore, the Pro Stadium is the largest building in the game and it will take up approximately six city blocks of space (three wide by two long). Fortunately, you can use the Expo Center as a "buffer" between your tourist district and your residential, if you want. Nonetheless, placing your Pro Stadium can be tricky; you may have to make some major changes to your transportation system and/or city to accommodate this behemoth structure. Moreover, you'll want to ensure that your city's mass transportation city connects the Pro Stadium to the areas from which your tourists are arriving. Usually, this means you'll want to be close to the Airport and Ferry Dock whilst connecting the Passenger Train Station and Bus Terminal with Streetcars and/or Bus Stops.

    After you've set up your Pro Stadium, you'll want to see how well your Pro Stadium attracts tourists--it is generally much, much harder to fill a Pro Stadium event than an Expo Center event. Hence, you'll want to start out with a smaller event to test out your tourist flow. If the event goes well, you can start experimenting with running two events in a day or with the larger Stadium events; if it doesn't go well, stick to the Expo Center until you improve your transportation system or attract more tourists. Once your assets recover, you can move onto the next paragraph, which concerns landmark placement.

    "Landmark" is the general term I use to describe a set of buildings that inherently attract large numbers of tourists. Firstly, you only have three in any one city, so you must choose and place wisely (you can always demolish or move them, though). Landmarks have varying effectiveness in attracting tourists. They also vary in size. For more on that, see the Buildings section below. Anyway, I usually find it a good idea to place Landmarks in the middle of your Commercial so as to encourage tourists to shop at nearby businesses. Landmarks will almost always be full regardless of where they're placed, so you should have no problems with Landmark placement; it's mostly a matter of where you want your tourists to go. Landmarks range in price from $50000 to $500000. You might want to start small to stimulate your tourism and then upgrade once you're generating a fair amount of income.

    Furthermore, you also want to set aside a small chunk of your city near the tourist district for an Airport. While Airports are very long, they do not take up much width. Airports will contribute to traffic problems with taxis, but they will also bring upwards of 1000 tourists per day into your city. You should also make regional efforts to build an International Airport, if that is a viable option.

    Once you've developed your tourist attractions, consult the next section with regards to finalizing your city.

    The Big [Insert Fruit Here]

    So, once you've got the infrastructure for your tourist city worked out, you can start moving onto working the kinks out of your large city. Primarily, this means maximizing revenue by minimizing traffic issues. In order to attain this goal, you'll need to optimize your transportation network (going above and beyond advice given in Advanced Transportation Network), and you'll need to maximize tourist attraction. The former goes hand-in-hand with the latter--you will not be able to get the tourists into your city without a top-notch traffic system.

    In order to make sure your transportation network can handle such a large tourist destination, you'll want to make every medium- and low-wealth Sim take some sort of mass transit to get everywhere. There should be no medium- or low-wealth Sims driving anywhere. This means that you should have Bus Stops on every block, Streetcars that connect every part of your city, and tourists that opt to take the Bus or Streetcar over the taxi. The only denizens on the road should be high-wealth Sims because they basically refuse to take mass transit. While that's unfortunate for your traffic system, it can be a motivation to make your normal Sims efficiently ride mass transit.

    You may have to make some massive overhauls to your road system if there are bottlenecks. Every road--every road--should be high-density, and you should have plenty of avenues for handling large volumes of traffic: especially in the tourist district. You should resort to a larger city block system to cram more buildings into your city. Once you've made these adjustments, tourism should flourish in your city.

    Tourist Layer

    The tourist layer is a very descriptive map that denotes where all tourists are in your city. It also shows where all hotels, tourist buildings, and mass transit buildings are located. Finally, it annotates the wealth of all tourists and how many hotel guests are currently located at hotels in the city. An example map is located below:

    The Tourism Layer.


    Expo Center

    NameCostMaximum ProfitMaximum AttendanceMaintenance
    Expo Center150000$189000/event3000300/hr
    NameCostTourists GeneratedMaintenance

    The Expo Center!

    The Expo Center is a very big building; fortunately, it can generate quite a bit of money every day. As you can see, it tends to increase traffic around it with all of the tourists trying to reach the building. If you follow the advice outlined above, more complete guidance regarding placement will be given.

    Pro Stadium

    NameCostMaximum ProfitMaximum AttendanceMaintenance
    Pro Stadium225000$300000/event15000600/hr
    NameCostTourists GeneratedMaintenance

    The Pro Stadium!

    The Pro Stadium is even bigger than the Expo Center (for comparison, look to the right of the Stadium above). It can also host larger events that require upwards of 10000 attendees to reach maximum profits. That makes it even more of a traffic procreator. Follow the advice above for guidance regarding placement.


    NameCostTourist AttractionTourist CapacityMaintenance
    Arc de Triomphe280000High275305/hr
    Cinqantenaire Arch50000Medium175350/hr
    Dutch Windmill50000Medium275350/hr
    Edifício Copan!50000Medium0350/hr
    Empire State Building575000High450450/hr
    Globe Theater50000HighN/A1000/hr
    Kölner Dom50000Medium175350/hr
    Leaning Tower of Pisa280000High275305/hr
    Oslo Opera House150000Medium13642000/hr
    Statue of Liberty575000High375450/hr
    St. Basil's Cathedral140000Medium275605/hr
    Stockholm City Hall!!50000Medium180350/hr
    Sydney Opera House200000HighN/A2000/hr
    Tokyo Tower50000Medium175350/hr
    Zamek Królewski W Warszawie280000High275305/hr
    Washington Monument50000Medium175350/hr
    Willis Tower140000Medium390605/hr
    !Acts as a Residential Building
    !!Acts as a Commercial Building

    Globe Theater, Sydney Opera House

    Both of the above buildings can offer events--much like the Pro Stadium and Expo Center--that attract tourists. These events can generate profit (though much less than a normal event), and both of these buildings have inordinately high maintenance costs for this reason. Place at your own risk.


    Coming Soon! I'm still working on figuring out how to build Casino cities correctly, so bear with me!


    Q:What's up with the servers?

    A: To be honest, I can't really tell you. The best idea is to stay tuned with what Maxis is doing because they could be running maintenance, the server could be down, or it really could be full.

    Q: How does regional sharing work?

    A: Well, that depends on the service. Certain services--such as PWS--will be offered to neighbors automatically. For instance, if you have 100MW of excess power in one city, it will be offered to your neighbor who desperately needs power. He can simply press "Buy" and power will start flowing from your city to his city. Do note that the providing city's power takes precedent, though, and if the provider starts to use more power, the amount of available power to buy will decrease. Other services--such as Health, Fire, Police, and Garbage--require the provider to volunteer vehicles to the other city. These vehicles will then leave the provider and go to the receiver to perform their duty. Note that certain services, like Fire, will take slightly longer to respond in this instance. Then there are some services that automatically share: these include actual Sims and Education. Sims will attend schools in other cities if there are available seats and Sims will find work in other cities if there are available jobs. Finally, there's Simoleons. These can be gifted to other cities directly. Note that regional sharing only works for cities that are connected in the region.

    Q: Can I change where the regional access point is in my city?

    A: No. That regional access point is fixed and cannot be moved. Furthermore, original rail and highway cannot be bulldozed even if it is within your city limits.

    Q: Is there a more efficient way to upgrade my roads?

    A: Sadly, no. You must upgrade them one-by-one.

    Q: How exactly does the time system in SimCity work?

    A: Well, it's somewhat weird. So, you can watch the time in the bottom-left corner tick. Each "hour" on that clock (which is about 30 seconds at Cheetah Speed (3)) is equivalent to one budget cycle. Twenty-four hours is equivalent to one "day" which is also equivalent to one "month." For instance, when an HQ tells you that you need to make $160,000 in one month, it is referring to the twenty-four hour period from 12:00am to 11:59pm.

    Q: My Sims constantly complain about "germs!" Help!

    A: I've had the same problem and it can be for numerous reasons. If it's a universal problem, look for contaminated water or high pollution in the region. If it's the former, adjusting your water source to a cleaner area will fix the problem. If it's the latter, you need to cut down on pollution in the region, meaning massive infrastructure changes throughout the region. If the problem is localized, look at ground and air pollution. Also check out the Wind Layer. Try to move polluting buildings to other locations so that they're not affecting residences. If there seems to be no obvious pollution problems, try placing some Wellness Centers on your Hospital.

    Q: When can I name my city?

    A: You can name your city whenever you want by clicking on the city name in the bottom left corner. However, the game will automatically give you the option once you place a City Hall.

    Q: I tried your strategy and it didn't work! What gives?

    A: There are so many variables in each city; expecting a strategy to have universal success is naive. Remember that there is a degree of adaptation with each city.

    Q: I found a new strategy/I have a new take on something!

    A: Cool! Tell me about it here: Contributing.

    Q: I've discovered XYZ glitch in the game! What do I do?

    A: You can send a problem report to Maxis. Or you can just leave it be if it's not game-breaking. That's what I did with this one:

    Building-On-Top-Of-Highway-Powers, go!

    Q: Do you take friend requests?

    A: Yes and no. It's a case-by-case thing.

    Legal Info

    This guide is the sole property of the account holder of the "super_luigi16" account. It may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal or private use. It may not be distributed publicly in any manner without the written consent of the owner. The only website that is allowed to have this guide posted is gamefaqs.com. Use of this guide on any other website is a violation of copyright, and is prohibited by law. If you would like to have this guide posted on your website, you must have advance written permission of the owner (feel free to contact me). Copyright 2013 "super_luigi16"

    All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders.


    If you would like to contribute to this guide, please contact me if it hasn't been covered already. These contributions can be as small as grammatical errors, or as large as section re-writes. Also, if you believe info provided in this FAQ is misleading, or confusing, let me know. If you have any info that is contrary to what is posted in this FAQ, and you have evidence supporting your conclusion, I will happily update my FAQ to accommodate these new developments.

    HOWEVER, I will not read game bashing, FAQ bashing, Maxis bashing, PCbashing, or more game bashing. I don't care if you hate this game because a lot of people (including myself) don't. I will also not read emails that don't directly relate to this FAQ. I don't care about what you're selling, or whathaveyou.

    So, if you do send me an email, please put SimCity somewhere in the title, so as to avoid having your email deleted.

    Contact Info

    The best way to contact me is via email. I usually check my email once every one to two days, so don't be surprised if you don't get an immediate response. FaceBook, however, is almost guaranteed to fish a near-immediate response out of me, so feel free to like my page and ask questions or give me feedback!


    You can also try to search for me on assorted Nintendo boards if you'd rather PM me. However, I will not accept larger contributions via PM because of the character limit.

    Also, compliments are welcome. :)



    • azzaron - For pointing out various discrepensies in the FAQ, including the following: distribution of parks, distribution of zoning, and tricks for increasing university attendance. Thanks a bunch!
    • JonSan and tintedsun - For discovering/bringing my attention to the existance of the water/sewage glitch.
    • WaryContrary - For the info about trees in the Parks section. Thanks!
    • mauporte - For the tidbit about wavy roads. Thanks!


    [NONE YET]

    Image Credits

    All images are derived from my gameplay.

    Special Thanks

    • My bro - For playing along with me
    • Maxis - For releasing this wonderful game and allowing my city-building dreams to come to fruition :)
    • GameFAQs - For being a kickass gaming site

    And lastly,

    • You - For reading this far!

    ---------------------------- (c) super_luigi16 2013 ---------------------------