Starting out with a new city on Cities Skylines can be slow going at times, with money building up slowly, it can take a while before you’re able to build up a city big enough to start bringing in lots of cash but fear not, we’ve got you covered with our Cities skylines making money guide.
How to make money in Cities Skylines
1. Experiment with taxes
No one likes paying taxes, but they are an essential means for a city to grow, when you start your new city, tax rates will be relatively low, which leaves you a little room to bump them up a bit.
If you raise them too high, you might start seeing a dip in your population, reducing taxes on the other hand might lead you to a boom in population, so have a play around with the taxes and find rates that work well for you and your city.
If you’re rushing to make money, creating plenty of residential zones and rushing to hit milestones will earn you a nice bonus at each milestone you unlock.
Just be careful though, going too quickly and not looking after the needs of your population, could end up causing you more issues than it’s worth.
Pay attention to how you are building your residential areas and roads too, the last thing you need is to rush to hit milestones and cause congestion issues in your city.
3. Lower Service Budgets
When you are starting out, the chances are you won’t need the full 100% budget on all of your services, lowering them will make them less effective, but that’s not an issue with smaller cities, and the money you save, can be invested back into the city later.
It’s worth noting, this is only worth doing at the start of the game, once you have built your city up to a decent size, you will really want to make sure your services are back to 100%.
4. Bridges & Tunnels
Bridges & tunnels are extremely expensive in Cities Skylines, try to reduce the amount you build in your city to start with as they will eat into your budget very quickly.
If you’re on an island or near a lake or river, try and build with the land you have and avoid water, until you really need to cross them to expand.
5. Minimalise Service Building
Service buildings are a key part of every city, but it can be very easy to look at the heatmap and think, just another police station there, just in case. But do you really need it?
Keep service buildings to a minimum, only building them when you can see there is a clear need for them, could save your budget and help you to make money quicker.
Stop Importing & Keep it Local
Industry can be expensive, especially when it involves importing raw goods to keep you going, by sourcing your own industrial goods you take away the need to import at cost, saving you money, allowing your balance to grow quicker.
Once you have a decent supply chain, you can start exporting goods, bring in some extra cash and keep your industry running smooth.
Just be careful with your traffic management, with extra trucks going out importing goods, it can be a bit tricky to keep roads running traffic-free.
Stop Expaning Your City
Unless you’ve got a lot of zones already, this one won’t make you tons of money, but if you’re not spending and your city is in a state of content, leave it as it is and your money will go up.
I often at the start of a new city, get a load of zones painted, balance everything out so there are enough services and zones, then alt+tab out for a while and do something else, by the time I come back to my city, I’ve normally amassed enough money to keep me going and get me through a couple of milestones.
The great thing with cities is, you don’t have to have a small city to pull this off, once you’ve balanced everything, it doesn’t matter if your city is huge and you’re at end-game, as long as you’ve met the cities needs, leaving it for a while to do its thing isn’t going to break anything.
Just make sure that you’ve got enough water, sewage and electricity, just to be safe, I’ve left my city in stasis before, just to find I had forgotten about some new zones, which then drained the cities power and ruined my economy.