Cities Skylines Tips and Tricks

Cities Skylines Tips and Tricks by ExinX


Nvidia Optimus users: Don’t forget to manually add a rule for Cities: Skylines. I tend to forget to do that as Nvidia’s rules usually work for almost everything and the Intel GPU is actually quite good for me till I started playing a bit and wanted to know why I was getting 15 fps. Hint: Launch it once so the driver settings knows it exists.

It’s super easy after you’ve done it once, and some things you have to manually add. I figured I’d include some pictures to help people that never did it before though, but after switching to Nvidia GPU I get a solid 60 fps (I force vsync on, because laptop) as opposed to a terrible 15 FPS on Intel GPU.


1. Visit the official Wiki page for insights about certain aspects of the game (f.e. roads, zoning, natural resources, transportation, map editor and much more!)

2. Also, take a look at the FAQ, it covers a lot of basics and advanced questions about what is in the game, what are the possibilites etc.:

3. Take a look at the SimNation guides! You can find here information about for management of public transportation, industry, pollution and much more!

Roads & rails

1. Creating a highway that will be the “spine” of your city can be beneficial for the traffic flow, however, a proper road hierarchy is needed in order to maintain the flow in the city and on the highway.

2. Sometime you will need a way to diffuse heavy traffic from the highway/freeway, you can use Frontage roads ( or Local-express roads (

3. The less intersections the better, also try to avoid traffic lights as they disturb the flow pretty much. You can do this by f.e. transforming the road to highway.

4. Strategic roundabouts shouldn’t be small (the smaller the roundabout, the more the cars have to slow down, thus causing a decrease in the flow of traffic).

5. Use one way streets whenever possible, especially in industry districts as there is a tendency for trucks to be clogging the roads.

6. Remember about connecting two lines of highways in a way that people can turnaround easily without the need of entering the city.

7. Too many roads merging in a small area are bad for traffic flow, especially when the Devs are still working on improvement of the lane switching, which is not optimal right now (cars often use only one lane when more are available)

8. Try to split your truck traffic away from your commuter traffic. Having both loads of traffic on the same roads can quickly snarl even well-designed traffic systems.

9. Use cargo rail in industrial districts, they will greatly help develop the district and remove part of the traffic. Remember that a good road system is needed to serve the cargo station as every time a train arrives a lot of trucks are moving the goods to their destination. (One way streets are one of the solutions here)

10. Great ideas for intersections can be found here: Keep an eye on the Steam Workshop as some of them will most likely be posted there by our awesome modders!

Public transportation:

1. Start the public transportation as soon as possible, also do not make the bus lanes too complex.

2. Metro seems to be the most effective transportation system, but it is also quite costly. A good mix of buses that compliment metro system is the most effective solution atm.

3. Passenger trains are in my opinion a no-go at the moment. They are either broken or they need some special settings in order to be effective, further testing is needed to confirm that, but I suggest not to invest too much money in it.


1. The garbage and dead bodies seem to be causing a lot of troubles right now, especially if your traffic is high and road connections are not optimal. Keep track of the availability of garbage services as well as cemeteries and crematoriums in the region, it’s always better to have a few more.

2. Control the needs for water and sewage + make sure you’re not pumping poop water to your city ;)

3. Parks and services increase land value increasing popularity of given land as well as stimulating them to develop.

4. The most optimal pipe coverage is “$440 worth of pipe between two parallel pipes will result in the smallest possible amount of overlap between the zones of coverage of the parallel pipes, whilst still ensuring everything gets served with water and sewerage.” Here’s a visualization: + a movie:


1. Water intake has to be in such place of the river that you do not have water mixed with sewage. The important thing is the River stream. Here is a visualization of how it should be placed:

2. Make use of districts and city policies. More here: Dev Diary 8: Districts & policies

3. Try to separate pollution-heavy buildings/industries from residential areas.

4. Agriculture and forestry industry produce no pollution, and you can utilize them even if the area doesn’t have natural resources of that type (They’ll just import what they need). You can use these as buffer-zones in between your industry and commercial/residential zones.

5. Pedestrian paths – Just because they are under the “Decorations” section does not mean you should write them off as just decorative fluff. They are legitimately useful in cutting down your traffic. A resident walking to work is one less car clogging your road. It’s like free mass transit. You can also make pedestrian paths elevated the way you can elevate roads.

6. Building orientation tip: “The orientation between two roads that are in 90-degree angle to each other happens by moving the mouse pointer towards the road which you want the building to face. So if you have a corner with a large road and small road and you want the shopping mall to face the large road, you can first move the mouse to the spot you want it in and then slightly move the mouse towards the larger road and the building will orientate towards that. No 1 cell gaps needed. :)”

7. Trees can reduce noise pollution, however there’s a cap of, I believe, 250k trees on the map.

8. Offices can be used as a barrier between Commercial and Residential areas to reduce the noise as well.

9. When you build your city, don’t forget that not all jobs are for super educated people. What I mean is, usually you’ll want everyone to have super education/health/everyservice coverage, but if you do that you’ll have no one left working in your factories. Zoning some residential in some not so desirable land, like near your industrial zone, is a good way to ensure those a nice pool of adequate workers.


1. Save your city before you build a dam as sometimes the results might be different from your expectations ;)

2. Browse the Steam Workshop for cool mods as well as fancy intersections that will in general improve the flow in some critical places.

3. A great guide from SimNation –

4. You can use to obtain a height map of you city of choice and import it into C:S!

5. The Developers gave us a lot of freedom in modifying the game. However, this freedom comes at a cost of the mods being potentially infected. However, benbrooks created a subreddit dedicated to auditing the mods from the Steam Workshop! Read more here.

I hope that I helped some of you but please remember that you play for your pleasure! Points above are only suggestions. Some of the points might also not be accurate under some specific circumstances. :)

Other Cities: Skylines Articles

Leave a Reply