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This section is here specifically to help you! These aren't tips found on the Sim City 4 website and you wont find them on any other sites (except our partners), these are tips from an ordinary player(s). I hope you find these useful and if you need any further help or have any advice, email us.


 
Pick a topic that you need help with:

 

I keep loosing money faster than I make it!

I have run out of land!

Pollution is driving me crazy!

My Sims wont shut up!

Zones and transport just aren't working!

Cut traffic, pollution and save land space!

 


Money:

Money, it makes the world go round...or in my case down! It's nightmare to keep check on your incoming and outgoings! I finally worked out how to keep my cash flow under control, here's how:

 

Don't pay more than you have too! Having to pay monthly maintenance charges is new in SC4, it is also a pain! You have to realize that when you start out you need very little funding for Utilities!

Services are unnecessary, only when your population hits 5,000  you might want to start thinking about Hospitals and schools. When your industry grows I strongly recommend building a fire station!
 

Water, water everywhere? What a waste of money! Your sims don't need much water. A few water towers here and there keeps them happy! Whatever you do if your on a tight budget avoid water pumps, they are extremely expensive!

 

More to come...

 

Land:

You give em what they want, they ask for more! You give em that they ask for more!! What's with these people?!? After time of fulfilling their needs you wont have any land left, you could demolish the 'light' zones and replace them with high rise buildings or you could start a community!

The great new 'regions' in SC4 enable you to control your neighbouring cities, unlike before when you would have to connect to your neighbours and wait for a deal, now you just lay a road or pipe, connect it up the other end and you've got yourself a deal!!! This is great, it means that your connected cities also share RCI demand levels! What does that mean? Well, if you have a great city with no more land left just open up the city next to it, connect them up and continue your city. Great!

If you want to take this trick a little further, you could build a city of just industry, another of commerce and a third of residential and a final city of utilities. The utilities city would supply all your other cities needs and receive funding for maintenance in the form of the neighbour deal, this would also contain all your pollution to one city!

More to come...

The Environment:

That pesky environmental advisor has new powers! She may look sweet and innocent but she does nothing but close my facilities! Grrr! There is no way to stop her, your only tactic is to avoid polluted area when building water facilities or try to keep pollution to a minimum. A good way to do this is to raise the taxes on high polluting industries or through ordinances.

My Sims:

Striking sims, moaning sims...dieing sims, there's nothing these strange little people can't do without you! Guess who also have new powers! Yep, you guessed it, your sims now have the power to strike (whose idea was that?!?). Well, no matter, life goes on. The best way to deal with striking sims is to boost funding for their sector, building more facilities (which they suggest) is the expensive way out... or you could use my way out... IGNORE THEM! Harsh as it may seem, after time they will return to work...until the next union meeting! Still its always fun to rain a few meteors down on those protestors, that'll give them something to moan about!

Transport:

Transport, possibly the easiest thing to get right ( except those pesky trains). You will find it mighty hard to go wrong in this area, just expand mass transit from Buses - Trains - Subways. You may want to skip the trains...Grrr! Under no circumstances build the sub way first!

POP-UP tunnels to avoid intersections

SAVE YOUR CITY BEFORE ATTEMPTING THE FOLLOWING - JUST IN CASE!! I even suggest practicing on an empty city first till you get the hang of doing this in tight spaces of an already developed city.

I have uncovered a method of creating tunnels in flat terrain that I call pop-up tunnels. They are called pop-up because the tunnel entrance is just below ground level, but the exit rises up and pops through the surface at ground level. This method will allow you to go under a crossroad instead of creating an intersection, and we all know the fewer intersections the FASTER a road is.

Plan on using all level land 3 squares wide and as long as you want the tunnel to run. Later you will be able to zone over this, but for now it is better it is empty of structures (see warnings below).

First, use SHIFT-2 to reduce the radius of the raise/lower land tool-you only want to effect one grid corner at a time.

Now use SHIFT-F2 to reduce the rate the tool operates, making it easier to avoid big mistakes. (you have to do these two steps every time you select either the raise or lower tool)

Use G to turn on the gridlines, this will help you aim your precision digging work.

Placing the center of the circle for the raise/lower tool directly on the four corners of a grid square will yield unpredictable results. Instead, place the center of the green circle just inside a grid and note which corner is affected. If you move anywhere within that grid square the same corner should move, even when you rotate your view. Now you know how to select a specific corner.

For this example lets assume the following is a map of the grids you want to affect, each number represents a corner in a group of grid squares, 3 wide by 3 tall:

00 00 00
00 22 00
00 00 00
00 11 00
00 33 00
00 00 00

You wont be modifying the corners represented by zeros.
Raise the number 1 corners by approximately $100.
Raise the number 2 corners by about $50.
LOWER the number 3 corners by about $200.

This creates a steep surface into which you will drag the ROAD tool (not streets, they wont work. Highways will, but you need to make the grid wider by one square-4 wide by 3 tall).

Use R to select the road drawing tool and drag a road up from below the number 3 corners up through the 1 and 2 corners. If you start a square or two away from the 3 corners, you will see the road dip into the small valley you made, and a tunnel will go into the steep wall, and then pop up approximately three or four squares away, just beyond the number 2 points.

If you want the tunnel to be longer, raise a few more corners in the direction your tunnel is running in the same way you did the number 2 corners. It seems that when the land above is even moderately rough, the tunnel will not surface as quickly.

Congratulations, you now can zone whole city sections or run roads over the tunnel you just made!

WARNING! Your tunnel will implode if you use land shaping tools nearby, especially the leveling tool. So shape the nearby land first, then run your tunnel. If it implodes, you simply have to make it again by dragging the road again. Usually you wont have to redig unless you really changed the shape of the nearby land.

WARNING! Be careful with the bulldozer directly above a tunnel or near the entrances.

WARNING! If you build a tunnel under existing buildings, they WILL BE DESTROYED!

WARNING! If your city is on land that is too low in elevation, lowering a point by $200 will most likely strike water. If this happens, you will NOT be given the opportunity to create a tunnel, as they cannot go below sea level. Instead your road tool will turn RED and a bridge will be built. I still have not found a way to run road or rail under a bridge.

WARNING! Occasionally when doing this I have had random squares of my transportation network be destroyed. So check your city when done tunneling and repair any roads/highways/rail that might have been destroyed while your infrastructure crew was tunneling. you know, like in Boston's big dig project.

Enjoy Pop-up Tunnels!

Buck Rapid

 

Follow these hints and you too should be able to get a monster region! A buzzing metropolis displaying SC4 in all its glory.


Got a tip? Email me.