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How To Start A City

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Below we have written a special guide for beginners on starting a city.  This guide is written in a numbered step format and includes several screenshots to help first-time mayors.  After you read the guide, you may want to check out the Tips and Tricks section for further help!  Enjoy!

1. Beginning
    First, launch SimCity 2000 and click 'Start New City.' Then name your city, select the start date and difficulty levels - you will probably want to select 'Easy' if you are a beginner.  Click 'Done.'  Now, look over your map and select and appropriate region.  A good area to build should be largely flat and near water - preferably a river, as you will place seaports on the coast.  At right is shown a map of our demo city, where the good area to build is outlined in green.

Blank Map


2. Laying Roads
Next, you will need to lay roads for your Sims to travel by! Try any layout you want for now, but you will not to build roads want too far apart, as you will see in further screenshots.  To lay roads, simply click the
Road Button button (you may have to hold it and select 'Roads') and drag out a road with your cursor as shown at right.

Laying Roads


3. Zoning
    Now you must zone areas in which your Sims will live and work!   Sims live in residential areas, spend money in commercial areas, and work in industrial zones as I'll bet you already know!  In SimCity 2000, you will want to build the most of your residential areas, second most of industrial, and least commercial zones.  The ratio of Residential zones to Industrial to Commercial zones is about 5:3:1.  In other words, for every five tiles of residential zone, you will want to have three tiles of industrial area, and one tile of commercial area.  You can also monitor the Sims' demand for a certain type of zone by watching the RCI indicator:

RCI Indicator Shown at right, the RCI Indicator lets you know which zones are in demand.  The green bar shows demand/excess of residential areas, the blue bar shows demand/excess of commercial zones, and the yellow bar shows demand/excess of industrial zones.  A bar that is above the words 'RCI' indicates a need for that zone; a bar below indicates an excess - you have too much of that zone!

City Zones

To zone an area, simply select the zone you wish to lay by clicking the appropriate button (located at the top of the toolbar) and drag out an area as we have done in the above screenshot.  Zone densities are not really too important, but simply represent the amount of living, commercial, or industrial area your Sims can have - higher densities mean bigger buildings and are shown on the map as a more intense shade of either green, purple, or yellow.  Go ahead and zone some stuff now!


4. Power to the Masses!
    Next, in order for your city to begin to grow, you will need to purchase and place a power plant and power lines.  To do this, click the
Power Button button and select 'Power Plant.'  Chose a plant to build (we recommend oil power for now).  Place the plant on the outskirts of town (preferably in an industrial area) so that  its generated pollution doesn't reach much of the city.  Next, click the Power Button button again and select 'Power Lines.'  Drag and place power lines as you would roads.  These lines must reach every part of your city, but need only touch part of a zone for that entire zone to be powered.  If a building is not powered, a yellow/red lightning bolt with flash on the front of it - connect it to power!  Now, set the simulator to full speed and watch your city grow!
Power Plant


5.  Your City Has Begun!
    Wow, look how much it's grown!!!  A little power and it's on its way.  Notice that we have also added a police station and a fire station on the right of the map.  These will be very necessary to the future of your city!   You must keep your Sims safe and happy!  Click the icon in the menu that looks like a badge and select the item you wish to build and build it.  You will need many stations to adequately protect your city.  Also, you will later want to add hospitals and prisons as your city grows - but don't worry about when you'll need these - your Sims will tell you (look at the status bar in the bottom right corner of the screen).



6. Adding a Seaport
In order to continue commercial growth in your city, you will need to add a seaport.  A seaport is zoned like an industrial area, except on one side there must be a river as seen at right.  The seaport as you can imagine has docks and transports good via ships to other cities.  Make sure to connect the port to power and give adequate road access.  Later, once it has been invented, you can add an airport to help your continue to grow residentially and commercially



7. A Bigger City
Wow!  In just a few years, look how much we've added to our little city!  As you can see, we have now provided our Sims something to do - entertainment.  Things like marinas, ballparks, stadiums, and parks can all be added by clicking the
Entertainment button and selecting the item you wish to build.   Also, we've added some schools to educate our Sims and more police and fire stations to protect them!   Now that you know the basics, go ahead and build your city and have fun!  You can also check the Tips and Tricks section for much more info on building a city.