Welcome to the hints and tips section for Sean's Sim City 2000 Page.
Q: Do undeveloped zones conduct power?
A: No. Only tiles that have immediate contact to power (either next to another building or next to a power line) are powered.
Q: What type of power plant should I use?
A: If you aren't concerned with initial cost, fusion plants are the most efficient, and don't pollute or cause disasters - like nuclear and microwave. If you are concerned about initial cost, then hydro is a good option. They don't pollute and don't need to be replaced every 50 years. Of course they don't produce a lot of power, so you need a lot of them.
Q: Why did my power plant blow up?
A: Power plants (with the exception of hydro and wind) have a 50 year life. After that, they blow up and need to be replaced. Watch the newspapers for warnings that your power plants are getting old.
Q: Why don't my power plants ever blow up?
A: If you have disasters off, your power plants are automatically replaced when they reach 50 years of age--if you have the money to replace them. Their replacement cost is deducted from your city treasury.
Q: Why should I use light zones over heavy zones?
A: Aesthetics and lifestyle. Not everyone wants to live or work in high rise apartment or office building. Light zones have a lower population, therefore less crime, therefore requires less police protection than heavy zones. If you need to zone an oddly shaped piece of land that wouldn't hold a 2X2 or 3X3 building, you might as well use light instead of heavy and save a little cash.
Q: Why should I use heavy zones over light zones?
A: Heavy zoning lets you build a larger population, and a larger population pays more taxes in a given space. Of course, your taxes will take a hit due to the lower property values.
Roads, Bridges, and Transportation
Q: How do I get on ramps to work? I can't even place them.
A: The trick to placing onramps is to follow these steps:
- Lay down your stretch of highway.
- Run a road along and immediately adjacent to the highway.
- Select the Onramp tool and place the onramp at the end of the road. It will automatically hook to the highway.
Road adjacent to highway. Onramp placed.
You can also place onramps between highways and roads that are perpendicular to the highway, and you can use onramps to connect roads to the ends of highways. The trick is to place the highway, then the road, then the onramp.
Q: What's the difference between causeways, raising bridges, and suspension bridges?
A: Causeways do not allow ships to pass. Raising bridges and suspension bridges both allow ships to pass. Raising bridges are cheaper than suspension bridges, but can only be a maximum of eleven tiles long.
Q: What's the difference between a highway bridge and a reinforced bridge?
A: Highway bridges don't allow ships to pass, but are cheaper.
Q: How do I place a reinforced bridge?
A: First, select the Highway tool. Now, put your mouse cursor over the water where you'd like a reinforced bridge. If your "hot spot" (the area where an object will be placed) is highlighted on the water (see illustration, below left), click and drag across the water. You should now be offered a reinforced bridge (below, middle). The illustration below right shows two reinforced bridges next to each other.
Ports and Connections
Q: What's all this stuff about connections?
A: No city is an island. Not even a SimIsland. For your city to grow and thrive, industry and commerce must be able to ship in raw materials and ship out finished goods. And that means your city need connections. There are four kinds of connections, roads, rails, airports and seaports. Road connections (roads off the edge of the city) and airports help your commercial zones grow. Rail connections (rails off the edge of the city) and seaports help your industry grow. The bigger the city, the more shipping capability you need, and that means more or larger seaports and airports, or more road and rail connections.
Q: I've zoned a port - why do they keep complaining?
A: They won't stop complaining until either a runway or pier has been built.
Q: Why won't my airport grow?
A: Airports won't grow if they're too small or don't have power. Make your airports at least 4 tiles by 6 tiles, and run plenty of power lines through them. Airports grow all at once, so the whole airport must be powered.
Q: Why do I have so many air crashes?
A: You probably have tall buildings in the flight path. It's best to put airports out of population centers, if possible on islands or plateaus.
Q: I got a million pumps. Why do I still get water shortages?
A: There are a few things to consider here. Pumps must be powered to work. They must be hooked to the water grid by pipes. And they produce a lot more water when surrounded by water.
Q: How much water would a water pump pump if a water pump could pump water?
A: A water pump surrounded by dry land or next to salt water will service approximately 24 to 36 tiles, depending on the weather. The water that the pump pumps increases by enough for another 24 to 36 tiles for each tile of water (either fresh water or artificial water) that touches it. If a pump is totally surrounded by water--that's eight water tiles--it can pump up to eight times as much as a pump totally surrounded by land.
Q: I've built several pumps on the edge of my city, but all the water seems to be going to the center of the city. Are the pumps broken?
A: The simulation calculates the total available water, then distributes it from one place. As long as your pump is powered and hooked to the water grid, it is helping to quench the thirsty masses.
Q: Where is the best place to build pipes?
A: Sims automatically build pipes underneath buildings, so all you need to do, is build the pipes that connect them and the pumps. Placing them underneath roads is a very efficient way of connecting buildings to the grid.
General City Building Strategies
How can I get my city to grow?
How can I increase land value?
- Lower taxes
- Improve roads/transportation system
- Improve water system
- Intersperse zones
- Improve land values
- Build airports (Commercial)
- Build seaports (Industrial)
- Build road (Commercial) and rail (Industrial) connections
- Lower pollution/crime/traffic
- Improve education/health
- Pass Legalized Gambling ordinance (Commercial)
- Pass Tourist Advertising ordinance (Commercial)
- Pass Business Advertising ordinance (Industrial)
- Pass City Beautification ordinance (Tourism)
- Pass Annual Carnival ordinance (Tourism, Commercial)
- Pass Nuclear Free Zone ordinance (Residential)
- Remove Nuclear Free Zone ordinance (Industrial)
- Remove Parking Fines ordinance (Residential)
- Remove 1% Income Tax ordinance (Residential)
- Remove 1% Sales Tax ordinance (Commercial)
How can I lower pollution?
- Build parks, trees, water
- Build recreational zones
- Build educational zones
- Build police, fire, hospitals
- Pass City Beautification ordinance
- Pass Homeless Shelter ordinance
How do I lower traffic?
- Lower traffic
- Use solar, hydro, wind, microwave, fusion power
- Use light industrial instead of heavy industrial
- Build a water treatment plant
- Move polluting buildings to edges of map
- Increase tax rate on polluting industries
- Pass Pollution Control ordinance
How do I lower crime?
- Build mass transit, especially busses
- Intersperse different zones to keep commutes short
- Pass Parking Fines ordinance
How do I bring down unemployment?
- Build police stations
- Use more light zoning
- Build a prison
- Pass Anti-Drug Campaign ordinance
- Pass Neighborhood Watch Campaign
How do I increase my city's education level (EQ)?
- Zone more industry and commercial zones
- Remove Pollution Control ordinance, if in place
- Lower industrial and commercial tax rates
How do I increase my city's health level?
- Build schools and colleges
- Build Libraries and Museums
- Pass Pro-Reading Campaign ordinance
- Give tax breaks to high-EQ industries
- Build hospitals
- Pass Public Smoking Ban ordinance
- Pass Free Clinic ordinance
- Pass Junior Sports ordinance
- Pass CPR Training ordinance
Industry, EQ and Pollution
Q: Which industries need the highest EQ?
A: Aerospace and electronics need a very high EQ. Petrochemicals and automotive need a fairly high EQ. Finance and media need a fair to middling EQ.
Q: Which industries pollute the most?
A: Steel/Mining, textiles, petrochemicals and automotive pollute the most, with food, electronics and tourism next in line.
Q: The newspaper just reported that some other city built an arcology. Why can't I?
A: Once arcologies have been invented, you still must have a population of 120,000 before you can build one.
Q: How can I improve the conditions in my arcologies?
A: The same way you'd improve conditions anywhere else. Place parks nearby to increase property value, build a police station to control crime, add water and power.
Q: Do the Launch Arcos really take off?
A: You'll just have to find out for yourself. (They do)
Q: Why do some of my Query boxes give more information than others? For instance, some police stations tell me how many arrests have been made, while others don't.
A: Many of the buildings, like power plants, fire and police stations, schools, libraries, etc. have their own microsimulation to calculate the local data. For memory and performance reasons, the number of microsimulations is limited to 150. If you build more than 150 buildings that use microsimulations, they will still perform their city-wide function (supply power, lower crime, raise education level, etc.), but they won't show the local data.
Q: When the simulation is running, I hear crashes and sirens.
A: This could mean that your SimCity 2000 city has too much traffic and/or crime. On the other hand it could mean that the city you live in has too much traffic and/or crime. Crash sounds also indicate plane crashes.
Q: Is there a quick way to get rid of rubble?
A: You can either build power lines over rubble, or you can use the de-zone tool to get rid of the rubble (and the zoning).
Q: How do I log on to the Maxis BBS?
A: The phone number is (510) 254-3869. (8-N-1)
Q: What's that thing flying around my city? It's not a helicopter or an airplane.
A: That's Captain Hero arriving in the nick of time to fight disasters (sometimes, if you don't have an other disaster preparations).
Q: What's that thing swimming around in my marina?
A: Nessie, of course. She appears when you build marinas and eats an occasional sailboat.
Q: How can I shoot down that annoying traffic helicopter?
A: Click on it with the centering tool. But it'll still come back.
Q: How does the weather affect the game?
A: Precipitation levels affects the output of water pumps. Clouds affect the output of solar power plants, wind affect the efficiency of wind power, and heat influences the likelihood of riots and fires.
Q: How do I get more scenarios?
A: I'm glad you asked that question! SIMCITY 2000 SCENARIOS VOLUME 1: GREAT DISASTERS is available in better software stores everywhere. If you already have the CD Collection, youve already got all the scenarios that there are.
Q: How many policemen or firefighters can I dispatch in an emergency?
A: You can dispatch one police icon for every police station you have and one firefighter icon for every fire station you have.
Q: How high should I set property taxes?
A: 7% is safe and steady. Lower it for quick growth, raise it temporarily now and then for a quick buck.
Q: I didn't enact any ordinances, so why were some of them passed?
A: In a city that's doing well, your City Council will take it upon themselves to enact an ordinance here or there, to justify their existence.
I hope MAXIS doesn't find this because here is...
SIMCITY 2000 SCENARIOS VOLUME 1: GREAT DISASTERS
Warezed for your pleasure. Just put them in your scenarios directory.