SimCity 2013 Walkthrough

Our SimCity 2013 walkthrough will guide you with strategy tips for this citybuilding simulation on the PC & later Mac.

Welcome! In SimCity, you are the mayor of your very own city. You’re the one who draws roads and zones and manages everything from health and safety, to education, industry and beyond. The more your city grows, the more you need to manage. It’s an exciting challenge, and we’re here to help guide you through everything you need to know to get started!

Let’s start the SimCity 2013 walkthrough with an introduction video!

The introduction video that will kick start players’ experiences as soon as they login into the game. Using all gameplay footage, the video shows off Multi-city play beginning with an expansive aerial view of one of the regions in the game before it dives into city specialisation, providing fans with a glimpse into how their cities can look when they specialise in dirty coal power, clean nuclear or wind power, or tourism. The video ends with the first look at the Space Center, one of the Great Works that players can work to create together

Please note that viewers must be at least 7-10 to watch. This game includes Mild Violence.

Table of Contents

Index of SimCity 2013 Guides:

SimCity 2013 Walkthrough

SimCity is a city-building and management simulation game for the PC gaming platform that serves as a 2013 reboot of the iconic video game series. As with all games in the franchise, SimCity provides total control of how cities develop, but also adds new features such as: crisp 3D graphics, direct contact with citizens, dynamic real-time in-game units that replace animations representing player actions and levels of citizen happiness, franchise first multiplayer support, and in-game weather and pollution representation.

The defining city simulation is back! Create the city you desire and make the choices that shape your city and power the Sims within it. Every decision, big or small, has real consequences. Invest in heavy industry and your economy will soar—but at the expense of your Sims’ health as pollution spreads. Implement green technology and improve your Sims’ lives while risking higher taxes and unemployment.

You can also team up with your friends to solve global challenges: launch a space shuttle, reduce carbon emissions, or build magnificent wonders. Compete on global and regional leaderboards to be the richest, the dirtiest, the happiest or the best place to visit!

Key Game Features:

  • Constructible Worlds — Creative and customizable world that offers unique gameplay benefits, all with a fun tactile interface.
  • Sims Matter — The Sims in your city speak to you directly and it’s up to you to respond to their needs. Will you listen and be the toast of the town? Or abuse your power for fame and fortune?
  • Specialize in What You Love — Mold your city as a casino resort, manufacturing hub, educational enclave, and more, and then watch as a unique look and feel spread throughout your city.
  • Multiplayer — Build a region with friends for the first time! Collaborate or compete in regional and global challenges and make decisions that impact the greater SimCity World.
  • GlassBox Engine — SimCity introduces GlassBox, the revolutionary simulation technology that gives you the power to impact individual Sims lives, manage city level simulation, and balance multiple city simulations at once.

How Will Wright Plays SimCity

How does the creator of the original SimCity play the new SimCity? Maxis Studio invited videogame luminary Will Wright to play the game before it is launched and last week, he interviewed Creative Director Ocean Quigley on the design choices behind the new game.

Now Lead Designer Stone Librande turns the tables on Will Wright and asks him about how he builds his cities.

Find out what Will thought and hear about the challenges of city building from the man who created a genre.

Will Wright, the creator of SimCity and The Sims, interviews Ocean Quigley, the Creative Director of the new SimCity.

See what Will thinks of the new SimCity and learn about how he plays the game. Get an inside look into Will and Ocean’s past experiences working on SimCity 4 and the design decisions that went into the new SimCity.

How Ocean Quigley Plays SimCity

Lead Creative Director Ocean Quigley shows an exclusive look at SimCity! Ocean is a SimCity veteran with over 17 years experience working on SimCity titles including SimCity 4, SimCity 3000, SimCopter, even working on the art team for SimCity 2000!

This new SimCity has the classic feel of past SimCity titles. As Mayor, you get to create cities and build simulated worlds!

With new design tools, find out what happens when Ocean builds a fully functional city shaped like a guitar! See how Ocean uses data layers to plop a Police station and fight crime, preventing those pesky criminal Sims from robbing his banks!

Cities are truly connected, so when Ocean has access power, he can choose to sell it to neighbouring cities. In the new SimCity you can create your dream city, play with the simulation or complete with your friends on the leaderboards!

Basic Strategy: Gameplay Tips

Watch the first look at gameplay as producer Stone Librande walks through the basic strategies and simulation of SimCity! SimCity is about endless choices.

Ultimately you can do whatever you want, focus on growing your population, increasing wealth or even build a city that looks like your hometown. Whatever your motivation, you have to the power to experiment with a number of different strategies.

How you choose to play will influence your city, the neighbouring cities and the lives of all the Sims across the region.

Strategy: Road Density

Ross Treyz, Gameplay Balance Designer for the new SimCity gives a tutorial on how to use roads to develop city density. Using gameplay footage Ross demonstrates city development levels, and goes from low density dirt roads, upgrading to high density roads, explaining the issues of each along the way.

SimCity allows you to create the city you desire and make the choices that shape your city. Every decision, has real consequences. Invest in heavy industry and your economy will soar—but at the expense of your Sims’ health as pollution spreads. Implement green technology and improve your Sims’ lives while risking higher taxes and unemployment. Team up with friends to solve global challenges: launch a space shuttle, reduce carbon emissions, or build magnificent wonders. Compete on global and regional leaderboards to be the richest, the dirtiest, the happiest or the best place to visit!

Strategy: Multi-City Play

Lead Designer Stone Librande is back and he’s showing you some advanced strategies for growing his casino city using Multi-City Play – one of the crowning achievements in SimCity.

With Multi-city play, you no longer need to provide all the required city infrastructures in one city. Build a police station and share your growing police force with the greater region. Have your friend build a fire station in a neighbouring city and soon you’ll see their fire trucks putting out flames in your city.

Just like the world around you, neighbouring cities support each other through shared resources.

Expert Tips and Tricks

Shared below are tips and tricks that allow you to see the consequences of your actions and dig in to see how the SimCity systems really work.

Thanks to the new data visualization layers, you can look under the surface for deeper clues about how your city is functioning. Click the power layer for an instant snapshot of how electricity is distributed throughout your city. Access the water layer to find the best location to plop a water tower. Discover where your criminals cause crime by clicking on the crime layer, then plop a police station to protect your Sims! All of this is done through a unique graphic interface, which replaces charts and numbers with the experience of actually manipulating the city itself and seeing how it responds in real time.

Pablo shares some valuable tips and tricks for playing the new Simcity game for both beginners and veterans!

Protip: Build trees. Build trees everywhere in your city! 😀

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SimCity 2013?

This is a new SimCity that delivers unprecedented depth of simulation, with the new GlassBox engine where everything you see is simulated even down to each individual Sim in your city. The model-like world and detail of the simulation make this the most responsive and personal SimCity ever. This is also the most expansive city management game yet where you can control a region that delivers true multi-city scale and play a single city or up to 16 cities at once each with different specializations.

Multiplayer is also a first for the series, which adds a new dimension to your game as your decisions impact both your city and your region and creates new ways to play by collaborating or competing to earn achievements. Finally, SimCity is a live service that simulates real time updates from new challenges to new features and content.

What are the keyboard controls?


Control camera: W/A/S/D/number keys/arrow keys
Rotate camera: Q/E
Zoom camera: Z/X
Tilt camera up/down: END/HOME
Camera zoom in/out: +/- or PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN
Back out of current menu or tool: ESC (while tool or menu is open)
Options menu: ESC (while no tool or menu is open)
Population information: F2
Budget information: F3
Approval Rating information: F4
Open chat/Region Wall: ENTER
Enter/Exit region view: BACKSPACE
Screen capture: C
Video capture: V
Residential zoning tool: CTRL + R
Commercial zoning tool: CTRL + C
Industrial zoning tool: CTRL + I
Unzoning tool: CTRL + U
Upgrade road tool: R
Bulldoze tool: B
Leaderboards: L
Achievements: ;


Toggle Fire On/Off: ALT + F
Toggle Crime On/Off: ALT + C
Toggle Health Issues On/Off: ALT + M
Toggle Air Pollution On/Off: ALT + A
Toggle Ground Pollution On/Off: ALT + P
Toggle Homeless Sims On/Off: ALT + H
Add §100,000 to City Budget: ALT + W
Toggle Sewage On/Off: ALT + S


Population: F5
Happiness: F6
Land Value: F7
Commerce: F8
Building Density: F9
Residential: F10
Commercial: F11
Industrial: F12
Cycle through Data Maps (when a menu is open): /


Pause: ~
Turtle: 1
Llama: 2
Cheetah: 3


Water map: 4
Coal map: 5
Ore map: 6
Oil map: 7


Disasters: SHIFT + X
Roads: SHIFT + R
Power: SHIFT + P
Water: SHIFT + W
Sewage: SHIFT + S
Garbage: SHIFT + D
Government: SHIFT + G
Fire: SHIFT + F
Health: SHIFT + H
Police: SHIFT + C
Education: SHIFT + E
Mass Transit: SHIFT + T
Parks: SHIFT + U
City Specialization: SHIFT + B
Next menu or SubMenu: TAB
Previous menu or SubMenu: SHIFT + TAB

ROAD SHORTCUTS (with Road menu open):

Straight road tool: I
Circle road tool: O
Curvy road tool: U
Rectangle road tool: H
Arc road tool: J
Upgrade road tool: R
Constrain road type: SHIFT
Toggle Grid On/Off: ALT

What’s the “Getting Started Scenario”?

The first time you enter the main menu, you are taken to an initial scenario. After you have finished the initial scenario and return to the main menu, you gain the ability to access SimCity World. The Play option also becomes available.

Before you begin building a shining utopia, you need to know the basics. To help explain the ins and outs of mayoral duty, you are first guided through a simple scenario. Learn the basics and gain insight into key game features, such as drawing roads and zones, and using Ploppable buildings. After you finish the scenario, you can replay it again. Select the Options icon from the main menu, and click GETTING STARTED.

Select the Play button to start your journey into SimCity. Before building, select the Create Game tab to start a new game, the Join Game tab to join a game, or the Resume Game tab to resume and manage your previous games from the last point played.

Have fun! 😀

SimCity 2013 Walkthrough continues on Page 2 with a full commentary guide!