Simcity Guide

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The iPhone version of Simcity is one of the most complete and in-depth games available on the platform. It is currently available on the App store for $7.99.


Build a thriving and successful city. Everyone already knows that, right?

Tips and Tactics

These tips are for version 1.4 of the game:

  • Transportation: the distance between roads and zones is very important, keep these numbers in mind:

    • Residential zones must be at least 4 tiles from a road

    • Commercial zones must be at least 3 tiles from a road

    • Industrial zones must be at least 5 tiles from a road

  • Airports: Available in 1930, must be a minimum of 3x5 tiles in size.

  • Water: You don't need to connect pipes to every tile, as long as they are within 7 tiles, they will be watered.

  • Water: Water towers provide water and can be placed anywhere on the map, and then connected to your pipe network. Water Pumps are more powerful but need to be placed next to freshwater, like a lake, then connected to the pipe network.

  • Water: You can always check to see how much water you need by inspecting any water tower or pump. It will tell you how much of it's capacity is being used. If it's being fully used, build another one because your system is maxed out.

  • Budget: Remember that you don't need to fund your services 100%, especially at the beginning of the game, they will eat up your budget, so feel free to lower their funding, even down to 50%.

  • Budget: Keep your expenses down at the beginning, build only 1 of each service you really need (Police, Fire, Hospital, School) until your city grows significantly. Some people even wait to build those for a few years or until you have a monthly income of 300+

  • Budget: Keep an eye on taxes, your sims will let you know if they are unhappy with them, but you will also see the demand in the RCI graph. If there is a lot of demand for a certain zone, you can raise the taxes a bit, if there is negative demand, reduce the taxes. You can keep your commercial taxes low at the beginning as there just won't be that much commercial business going on.

  • Zones: Don't build high density commercial at the beginning, start with low density.

  • Zones: Commercial zones are in very low demand at the beginning, build only small zones.

  • Power: Place your power station far from your main city. Early power stations produce Hazardous levels of pollution, making the entire area low value.

  • Power: You don't need to build powerlines between every zone/block, the zones carry power themselves as long as they are powered. So you only need to connect your power plant to 1 zone in your city, or any distant areas that aren't connected.

  • Public Transit: Buses need a lot of bus stations to be useful, pretty much every 5-8 tiles. This gets expensive, so wait till you actually have a traffic problem.

  • Business Deals: When they offer to build in your town, the cash is usually worth it. You can offset the pollution and crime with extra police, trees and parks. Especially with the Maximum Security Prison and Army Base, just build them in industrial areas.

  • Bridges: To build a bridge, just drag a road from one shore to the other. Some shores are incompatible with bridges, so it's best to build the bridge first and then connect it to your main roads.

  • Landfills: Don't forget to zone some landfills, they have to be in at least 2x2 squares and next to a road. It's a good idea to get the Incinerator and Recycling Plant as soon as you can. It will help your trash problem dramatically.

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