SimCity 2013 Guide

Table of Contents


  1. Traffic is going to be a major nuisance for you at the beginning of the game. Like most problems in Sin City (or the ones that matter, anyway), this is something that you will never be able to curb completely. However, an efficient Mass Transit strategy will help minimize congestion.
  2. Click the Roads tool in the data view and you will be able to view traffic congestion. Traffic is signified by the lines that appear on the roads. They are color coded fairly intuitively. Green lines mean light traffic, yellow lines are a medium amount of traffic, and red pretty much means that your citizens are gridlocked.
  3. The key to controlling traffic is to use foresight and plan ahead. This is where the connections between your residential and commercial neighborhoods come into play. Just like in the real world, the hours of 8 am to 5 pm are working hours. This means your citizens are moving in predictable patterns to and from work. You should also upgrade your roads to higher densities whenever possible. Roads with higher densities will allow for quicker traffic flow.
  4. Streetcars are the first of public transportation options that will help you reduce traffic flow. They are actually great at curbing traffic, but are limited in their movement. They cannot move across streets. Also, wealthy Sims tend to ride the trolleys.
  5. Streetcars can be very finicky with their movement. The will turn around for no reason, completely blow off turns, or pickle themselves back and forth between different stops. Needless to say, this can make your Sim citizens quite pissed. As long as you direct them to a single route at each intersection though, trolleys will serve you well and help control traffic in your city.
  6. Buses are the cheapest of your public transportation options. It is also the least favorite of your citizens.
  7. If you are going to plant buses, the key is to plant a high volume of bus stops. Sims that take the bus don’t like walking too far. Or crossing the street- always make sure to place stops on the sides of the residential areas. The stops are dirt cheap to maintain as well. Not the flashiest of options, but a well placed bus system will help you curb traffic on a budget.
  8. As unappealing as the idea of having buses may sound, they will actually remain an integral part of your transportation system. Even when you upgrade to bigger and better things, buses will still serve as connections between other modes of transportation.
  9. Trains will more your Sims from city to city. They are also limited in their movement, but since they’re traveling greater distances, it is not as problematic as the limited movement of the trolleys.
  10. Although all cities can add a train station, because of their the space they take up and the purpose they serve, trains are best to be ignored if your city doesn’t have a rail connection to the region. If it does however, you’ll want to take advantage. Your best solution to minimize the large physical size of the train station is to place the station as close to the pre-made rail as possible, then ensure that Bus Stops are nearby so Sims can transfer. In this case, it will be beneficial to place trolley and bus stops here.
  11. Airports connect the cities of different regions. Planes are going to be extremely useful in bringing in large numbers of tourists to your cities. They’re not really used so much for curbing traffic or mass transit.

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3 Comments on SimCity 2013 Guide


On March 1, 2013 at 7:53 am

What are you talking about with “making a successful city is about as hard as any reasonable person might expect “?

The beta (1 and 2) were both childish easy, build over the complete xtra small maps in less than an hour, and also almost impossible to loose money. No challenge what so ever, even if you take _all_ the loans.
“oh wait it is just beta, wait for the final version” you say? Wrong! It is the same. With the economy working like you have infinite money there are no easy, medium or hard. It is just no challenge at all.

Fans of SC2000 – SC4 are in for a huge dissapointment, but fans of Farmville and The Sims will be overjoyed. And that is ok, just do not hope for some kind of advanced citybuilder.

Kevin Thielenhaus

On March 1, 2013 at 10:32 am


Oh wait, it is just beta, wait for the final version! … wait. I’m wrong?! How did you know.

This guide is, plainly, for people with no experience at all with the SimCity series. We’re not trying to claim it’s going to be harder than SC2000, or easier, or really making any value statement here. This isn’t a review. This isn’t a preview.

I’m sorry you’re unhappy with this turn in the series. Plenty of people are, you’re not alone there (Not on this site, for sure.) but the point of this guide is to teach newbies how to get their city started. It might seem easy, but you’d be surprised — there are lots of people with completely valid reasons for needing a bit of help. Hopefully, we can provide that.


On April 29, 2015 at 12:54 am

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