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    Fast Population and Profit Growth on Hard Game Play Setting

    The following technique will allow for a population growth of around 40,000 combined with a monthly profit of between $1,500 – $3,500 within 5 years, when playing on “hard” game-play setting.

    I would like to thank vab423 & DOXXP29 for testing the technique for me and for their invaluable feedback and suggestions that have improved the original theory.

    I use this method sometimes to provide what I call “off map” contribution to regional play. This enables the positive (and cumulative) effect of regional growth to be used to fuel demand in a connected city where I might be looking more for aesthetics.

    In this example I should point out the mods I have in place on my system that may effect game-play, although it is not necessary to have the all those listed on your system for the technique to work. Note: I do not have any demand mods installed at all.

    • The NAM (optional).

    • Radius Doubler (optional).
    • Industry Jobs Quadrupler (required).

    Ok, first select a small city square and establish your city.

    Now, set your taxes as follows:


    Run the blank city without development for at least 1 month in order to allow the city ordinances to appear in your menu. Once you have done this, enact the following ordinances:

    • Pro Reading
    • Smoke Detector
    • Free Clinic
    • CPR Training.

    Again, you can actually achieve good results without enacting all these ordinances, but I have found that the benefits they bring are positive early in the game. In addition, you may also enact the gambling ordinance as DOXXP29 proved during testing that this does not have a negative effect on results, so in turn actually speeds up the profit growth.

    Now, go into the utilities menu and select water pipes. You are going to lay the pipes in a particular pattern, which is both cost effective and provides the optimum coverage. Start the pipes 5 tiles in from the top left corner and one or two tiles down from the top. A tip here is that the horizontal pipes that connect each vertical row will cost $143. This saves counting out the gap each time. Incidentally I have tested pipe layouts several times and I have yet to find a more efficient way to supply a whole city square (regardless of size).

    Once you have done this, put in a single water pump on the tip of your pipe system.



    A note on water supply: if you are looking for rapid growth, water is essential. Its initial cost is quickly and easily outweighed by the benefits brought about by increased density and subsequently, increased tax revenue. The important thing to remember always is return on investment…how many $ will my original $ spent bring in?

    Next comes the perimeter road. This road will be 4 tiles in from the edge of the map (meaning you will have a space for a 3 tile deep zoning area) and will connect to neighbouring cities on all sides.


    Once the perimeter road is in place create roads in a grid fashion into 6x6 blocks, starting from each end and moving in towards the centre. As you approach the centre from both sides, you will notice that it is not possible to have equal block sizes at this point. Instead, create a row of blocks either side 3 tiles wide. This is very important, as it will leave you with a central block of specific proportions for our next step. If you are at all unsure about this layout, please study the image below.


    Now, in the central block you will need to place the following services:

    1. A Small Police Station.
    2. A Small Fire Station.
    3. An Elementary School.
    4. A High School.
    5. A Library.
    6. A Small Health Clinic.
    If you place them as shown below, you will note they fit perfectly into the space provided. Set your funding to fairly average levels, but cut ambulance & school bus to zero. Now this is one point where a radius doubler helps as you are still left with good coverage even at zero.


    Now onto zoning. Using only high density zoning for all types, lay out your zones in the pattern shown below. Note that I have left a gap in the industry zoning close to the water pump. This will give you just a little extra time (but not much) before industry starts to affect your water quality. You will also note that I have placed a power plant and connected up my zones with power lines. I have used a non-polluting gas power plant from the STEX for this, but I have also run the simulation with the standard in game coal power plant and the difference is negligible due to the short period of time you will be running the simulation.


    Your budget should now look something like this:


    Ok, you’re ready to flick the switch and start the clock running. I use cheetah speed as little is going to happen that you need to watch particularly.

    Pretty quickly, you’re going to dive into the red but this is all part of the plan. Take out a loan for $50,000 over 10 years and then hit go again.


    You will note that the clinic and elementary school very quickly go way over capacity and the sims will moan and strike, as you’d expect them to. My advice is to ignore them and let them suffer for a little while..after all you’re only aiming for a 5 year target. Beyond that just wait for the 5 years to roll on (you do not need to respond to requests for rewards). You should now be left with something like this:


    So now you have profit, a healthy population (in numbers terms), an existing water system, flourishing industry & commercial and still plenty of residential demand. You have lots of development space and the beginnings of a health and education system.

    On the downside you have an emerging pollution problem, the first glimpses of a crime problem and no parks, no greenery and no entertainment, but plenty of profit to put all that right!

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