Bugs and Known Issues
A guide by Mazer327
Please PM STomnibus if you have any questions about this article.
This is a re-post of a post by MaxisDevinoch on the official site.
Disappearing Buildings When Scrolling
Many cards (including the ATI Radeons) lack support for a backing store, which SimCity 4 utilizes. For those cards, SimCity 4 is forced to disable the rendering of many of the view objects (like buildings) during scroll. This is intentional to ensure responsiveness while scrolling. You can enable the rendering of all objects by editing your "Graphics Rules.sgr" which is found in the Sim City 4 directory installed to your hard drive. With any text editor go into this file and change the following property from true to false: property noPartialBackingStoreCopies false
Note, however, that doing so can adversely effect scrolling speeds.
If this problem is occurring for brief periods, this is to be expected. If these pauses occur for longer than several seconds, the likely reason is that you have run out of RAM. The larger the city, the more RAM the game requires. In this case, you have several options short of purchasing more RAM. First, play on smaller cities (64x64 tile cities). Secondly, play with City Detail turned to medium or low. City Detail can be found in the Graphics options and reduces the number of objects rendered in the world (such as trees, street lights, stop signs, etc). After changing this setting, you must exit your city and re-enter it to take effect. Third, have few or no other applications running simultaneously with the game. A combination of these three options should improve performance.
The crash with MySim is related to the bonus CD. If you have installed the bonus CD and have moved a MySim into your city, crashes are likely. We will have a patch available soon that fixes this issue. Deleting the file called Plugin_007_AirForceBase.dat from the Plugins directory found in Program Files\Maxis\SimCity 4\Plugins is a quick way to avoid the crash.
Turning Off The Auto-Street Laying Function When Zoning
Currently the auto-street laying function as part of the zone tool cannot be turned off. If, however, you draw roads and then zone an area, you can avoid having streets automatically drawn.
Editing Terrain With Fine Detail
You can change the size and speed of all terrain brushes by using the shift key in combination with the number keys for size, and the shift key in combination with the F1 though F10 keys for speed. So, after selecting a brush to use, you can make the brush smaller by clicking on Shift-1, large by clicking of Shift-0, and everything in between using Shift-2 though Shift-9. Similarly, you can slow the rate of terrain change for the same brush by clicking on Shift-F1, increase the rate by clicking on Shift-F10, and everything in between by using Shift-F2 though Shift-F9.
By placing your own music files (MP3's) in the proper directory, you can have custom tunes play while you enjoy the game. The first step is to place the music files in one of two directories. For music to be played while in region mode place your custom tunes here:
C:\Program Files\Maxis\SimCity 4\Radio\Stations\Region\Music
And for music to be played while editing your cities:
C:\Program Files\Maxis\SimCity 4\Radio\Stations\Mayor\Music
Once your music is in place, start the game up and go into the sound options. In sound options is a check box called Custom Tunes. Checking that box will enable the playback of the music files you placed in the two directories.
We've tested the game with full-screen anti-aliasing on a variety of cards. We found that beyond some graphics glitches (streaking) the game runs fine. If, however, if you have overclocked your card or have beta drivers, a crash might result.
Flood Fill Zoning
After selecting a zone tool, by click-holding in an area, the tool will flood fill the zone in the area bounded by roads. This can be useful for zoning non-rectangular areas.
Q: Every now and then, one of my buildings is blue. What's that mean?
A: Actually, this is a visual bug in the game. It doesn't mean anything besides for the building is temporarily blue! It should change back soon.
Q: Is there a patch for SimCity 4?
Q: SimCity 4 starts up, but then does nothing. I just see the cursor and that's it. What's up?
A: This is a common problem for people with no hardware rendering. The "Solution" (at least temporarily) is to run in software video mode. Unfortunately, you can't get into the game to set it to software, so manually edit your SimCity 4.ini in the \Apps folder so that it looks like this:
;OpenGL =SimGLRef.dll, C4554841
;D3D7 =SimGLDx7.dll, BADB6906
The key being that semi-colons are in front of any options other than Software.
Q: SimCity 4 seems to run poorly on my machine. Is there anything I can do to remedy this problem?
A: Upgrade your system of course! If you aren't looking to spend a lot of money though, here is another suggestion. Run scandisk on your computer. When it finishes, proceed to run defrag on your computer. Restart and your performance should be improved slightly.
If you have any questions about this article, please PM STomnibus.