Cities: Skylines is a city-building simulation game developed by Colossal Order and published by Paradox Interactive for the PC, Mac, and Linux on March 10th, 2015.
From the Finnish studio behind the Cities in Motion series of public transport management games, Cities: Skylines tasks players with building-up and managing their own city through urban planning and development (similar to the SimCity series). It includes a non-orthogonal grid system, a standard RCI zoning system (with separate governmental buildings), unlockable city improvements, a districting system (which can be used for regulating things such as traffic and commerce), and robust road-building, traffic, and transportation systems.
Along with a comprehensive modding system (via Steam Workshop), the game received numerous expansions and updates since its original release, adding a variety of new gameplay features (such as a day-night cycle, alternate visual themes, in-game radio system, natural disasters, new public transit options, and new zoning options).
It was later ported by Tantalus Media for the Xbox One on April 21, 2017, the PlayStation 4 on August 15, 2017, and the Nintendo Switch on September 13, 2018. The XONE and PS4 versions also received a physical release by KOCH Media.
Cities: Skylines is heavily inspired by the SimCity model, with RCI zoning, a focus on civic infrastructure, and little to no resource chain management. The game uses an agent-based simulation system similar to SimCity (2013), but with smarter citizens that remember their own home and workplace. Colossal Order has stated there will be a limit of 1 million citizens, each with a home, job, education and many other parameters. This limit may be increased in the future, or be opened to modification. Citizens will take multiple transportation options, with a preference towards public transportation where available. However, timed traffic is not simulated, as the days pass too fast to have an internal day / night cycle.
Cities: Skylines also features a unlock system, where new buildings, infrastructure, and services unlock when your city reaches a population threshold. Players start with simple roads, but can quickly progress to avenues and highways as the city grows. However, players can also disable it and start with everything unlocked via Sandbox mode.
Maps start at a single 4km² tile, but new map tiles can be bought in game, bringing it to a non-modded maximum of 9 tiles in any direction. This can be further expanded via modding to a theoretical maximum of 25 tiles, or 100km². Maps cannot be terraformed once in game due to the water simulation.
Here is a link to an excellent FAQ by the developers themselves.
Expansions and DLC
Cities: Skylines' first paid DLC was released on September 24th, 2015. Entitled 'After Dark', the expansion pack adds new city services, a leisure and tourism city specialisation and a day and night cycle. The day and night cycle was also added to the core game, making it available to all players, whether they own the DLC or not, although some related functionality is only available to owners of the DLC.
'Snowfall', Cities: Skylines' second paid DLC, was released February 18th, 2016. It introduces new transport options to the game, including trams, as well as a dynamic weather system including rain, fog and snow. In addition to aesthetic effects, weather also impacts the behavior of citizens; Cold weather will bring increased power usage and snow will cause traffic problems for the player to contend with.
The third major DLC released for Cities: Skylines is 'Natural Disasters'. Released on November 29th, 2016, it introduces new gameplay focused around catastrophic events that can impact the player's city including earthquakes, thunderstorms, tsunamis, forest fires, tornadoes, sinkholes and meteors. New scenarios require the player to plan-for and respond-to these events using tools such as early warning systems, emergency vehicle routes and evacuations.
Cities: Skylines' fourth major DLC pack, 'Mass Transit', was released on May 18th, 2017. It allows players to add several new public transport options to their cities including blimps, ferries, cable cars and monorails. It also introduces several new road types and new mass transit hubs, where citizens can transfer from one type of mass transit to another. Alongside the paid DLC, a free update was released for all players that adds several transit-related features, such as the ability to name roads, one-way train track and the ability to customise stop signs and traffic lights at junctions.
Released on October 19, 2017.
Released on May 24, 2018.
Released on October 23, 2018.
Released on May 21, 2019.
Released on March 26, 2020.
Released on January 25, 2022
Content Creator Packs
These DLC packs feature a variety of decorative buildings and props from community modders.
- Art Deco (September 1, 2016)
- High-Tech Buildings (November 29, 2016)
- European Suburbia (October 19, 2017)
- University City (May 21, 2019)
- Modern City Center (November 7, 2019)
- Modern Japan (March 26, 2020)
- Bridges & Piers (May 21, 2021)
- Train Stations (May 21, 2021)
- Map Pack (January 25, 2022) - Includes custom maps to start with.
- Vehicles of the World (January 25, 2022) - Includes custom vehicles.
These DLC packs feature additional in-game "radio stations", each with 16 musical tracks and additional commercials.
- Relaxation Station (November 29, 2016)
- Rock City Radio (May 17, 2017)
- All That Jazz (December 5, 2017)
- Country Road Radio (May 24, 2018)
- Synthetic Dawn Radio (October 23, 2018)
- Campus Radio (May 21, 2019)
- Deep Focus Radio (May 21, 2019)
- Downtown Radio (November 7, 2019)
- Coast to Coast Radio (March 26, 2020)
- Rail Hawk Radio (May 21, 2021)
- Sunny Breeze Radio (May 21, 2021)
- On Air Radio (January 25, 2022)
- Calm the Mind Radio (January 25, 2022)
A free DLC, titled Carols, Candles and Candy, was released on December 5, 2017 that adds five renditions of Christmas carols to some existing stations.
- Match Day (February 18, 2016) - Free DLC that adds a Stadium building, which can be used to host Soccer/Football matches (which include its own customizable policies and allow additional revenue at the cost of increased traffic).
- Stadiums: European Club Pack (October 18, 2016) - Expands the Match Day DLC with four real-world teams and arenas. Removed from the storefront one year later.
- Pearls from the East (March 22, 2017) - Similar to the Content Creator Packs, this free DLC includes three decorative buildings inspired by Chinese architecture.
- Concerts (August 17, 2017) - Adds an upgradable Festival Area building, which can be used to stage musical events (which include its own customizable policies).
The game supports modding, allowing the community to improve existing structures and maps, or build their own from scratch. Players will be able to share their creations through the Steam Workshop, or through other city building fansites. The game also comes with build in modding tools, including a robust map editor that takes grey-scale height-maps, like SimCity 4, and turns them into playable maps. Colossal Order actively encourages modding, and will try to open up the game as much as possible to modders.
PC System Requirements
Mac System Requirements
Linux System Requirements