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Simcity 2000


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Simcity 2000 Tips and Tricks

This page is from 1996!

I admit it. I'm a Simcity Freak! My first experience with it was on Samir's black and white laptop computer. I still remember my first city I made on that computer. I love urban planning so much that I think I'm going to study it in grad-school. Anyways, for your information, I'm going to tell all that I've learned about Simcity that I think is special.

Use this quick-list to jump down quickly.


  • You absolutely need three things to start a city in Simcity 2000. This is the toughest part for beginners.
    • FIRST: Build a Power Plant.
    • SECOND: Build Roads (not rails) (A grid pattern works very well.)
    • THIRD: Build a mix of Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Zones not more than 3 blocks from a road.
  • This took me a long time to figure out. If you press the mouse button and hold it down on the menu bar where you choose which structure to build, a menu will pop up with more choices. Kind of like Windows 95. You need to know this.
  • You will probably have zoning that does not develop. Check the following things.
    • Does it have a road within three tiles?
    • Does it have access to power either through adjacent buildings or power lines?
    • Can the people who might live (or work) there have an short, connected route to another zone type?
  • Now, look at the demand indicator. What you want is for all three indicators to be in the full + position. If they are not, then something is wrong with your city that makes it undesirable.
    • The first thing you can do to raise the demand indicator is to lower taxes in the budget window. Lowering taxes always brings cheers from the populace.
    • The second thing that you can do is often overlooked by people. You must have the correct ratio of Residential to Commercial to Industrial. The optimum ratio changes as a city grows larger. The ratios are approximately as follows:
      • >10,000 people, R:C:I = 4:1:3 (lots of industry)
      • 10,000 to 60,000, R:C:I = 4:2:2 (about equal industrial and commercial)
      • <60,000, R:C:I = 4:3:1 (lots of commercial)
      • A good rule of thumb is the amount of Residential population should be equal to the sum of the Commercial population and Industrial population. In other words: R = C + I.
Jump back to the Quick-list.


  • You will notice that the zoned buildings come in 3 sizes: 1X1(small), 2X2(medium), 3X3(large).
    • Small buildings contain 10 people per tile.
    • Medium buildings have two distinctions.
      • Low density contain 20 people per tile. (80 people per building)
      • High density contain 30 people per tile. (120 people per building)
    • Large buildings contain 40 people per tile. (360 people per building)
  • To attain the highest density, you will want to promote the construction of the large buildings.
    • A grid of 6X6 square zones with roads in between is a very good zoning technique. This way, you can have 9 medium buildings or 4 large buildings with no wasted space.
    • A 3X3 zone must have at least 3 roads on one side and 1 road on another side to develop into a large building. It also must have a high enough land value and the demand indicator should be in the +. A big park will often coax a zone into becoming a large building. Also, the zone must have access to other zone types within about 10-15 tiles.
    • What will happen if you build your entire city of 6X6 zones is that most of the zones will not develop into large buildings because land values will be too low. So, you should put lots of big parks or areas with trees or water to raise land values.
  • By now, you should be experimenting with the small map to get information like:
    • Where to place Police stations to maximize their effectiveness.
    • Where trouble spots of pollution and crime are.
    • Where water and power are needed.