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Sim City 4 FAQ and Guide
Sim City 4 Maxis TM EA TM © 2003 Windows XP By: J.R.210 Table of Contest I. FAQs II. Game play hints III. Landmark IV. Bugs and Know issues V. Contact and Suggested Websites FAQs General Questions 1. How do I connect my road/rail/subway/water pipe/power line to a neighboring city? 2. Why does it take so long for trees to grow? 3. What are ZOTS? 4. Where are my screen-captures saved? 5. Why is the starting date 00? 6. What does the RCI graph mean? 7. What is Demand Cap? 8. I am a SimCity guru; will I dominate SimCity 4? 9. Why do sections of my city have the no work ZOT above their buildings when sections right next to it have work? 10. Is it possible to import SimCity 3000 cities into SimCity 4? Terraforming 1. Is there an easy way to reconcile edges on a map without messing everything youve already done up? 2. Do trees grow into forests? Region Related 1. Ive been hearing the term regional play. What does this mean? 2. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using regions? 3. Do I have to use regional play? 4. Should I put all RCI in one city or spread RCI across different cities? What works best? 5. My neighboring connections arent letting me start neighbor deals! Why? 6. Do I have to use my entire region to be successful? 7. If I have 2 cities in my region and I am working on one of them, is the other one still growing? 8. Why do sections of my city have the no work ZOT above their buildings when sections right next to it have work? 9. How does RCI demand work in a region? 10. If my sim commutes to another city to work, how does it determine commute times? Business Deals 1. What are business deals? 2. Should I accept every business deal that comes along? 3. How do I get the Casino business deal? 4. Do I need to run roads, water pipes and power lines to these buildings in order for me to get the money? 5. What effects on my city do business deals have Transit Systems 1. No one is using my bus stops and/or subways! What am I doing wrong? 2. My train tracks wont turn, why not? 3. How do you get a highway cloverleaf to work? 4. My traffic is horrible and I have nothing but roads, how can I lighten traffic? 5. How do I build onramps to the highway? 6. When should I consider adding highways and/or subways? Services 1. What is a service? 2. Where should I put a water treatment plant? 3. Where should I put water pumps? 4. What are the parks good for? 5. Elementary school or high school? 6. Some of my services have no range of affect. Why is this? 7. I have a ton of wind power plants, when is it too many? 8. Should I put water funding down when my pump is not running at full capacity? 9. Do I really need to cover every square inch of the map with fire and police stations? 10. My services workers are striking! Why? 11. How can I tell if I am using all of my power/water/garbage? 12. Do power plants ever die like they did in previous versions of SimCity? 13. Should I start off with large or small fire/police stations, and clinics or hospitals? 14. Where is the best place to put an airport? Zoning 1. What good are farms? 2. What do the different types of zones (Co, Cs, etc) mean? 3. Can landfills be de-zoned, rezoned or demolished? 4. Sometimes when I re-zone areas, it doesnt change all the zones. Is there a way to change them all easily? 5. How can I get high-wealth citizens to move in? 6. How far will people travel to get to work? 7. How much beautification do I need in my city? 8. If my zoned area is full of buildings, should I zone more? 9. Why are there no big buildings in my city even though Ive zoned high- density? 10. After my city runs for a few years, my industry seems to be abandoned. What is causing this? 11. Should I use auto-streets or lay my own roads when I zone? 12. Some of the zones I have created are empty. What is causing this? 13. How do I determine how long a freight trip will be from an industrial zone? 14. Will low density hold only low class, or will they hold others as well? 15. Why are my high-wealth buildings being taken over by low-wealth sims? Budget 1. In my budget, I see §, §§ and §§§. What do they mean? 2. What should I set my taxes to? 3. What are the effects of over funding? 4. What are the effects of under funding? General Questions Q: How do I connect my road/rail/subway/water pipe/power line to a neighboring city? A: Just drag the line to the edge of the screen. It will ask you if you wish to make a connection to the neighbor, simply click yes. Power, water pipe, road, rail, highway and subway connections to neighbor. Q: Why does it take so long for trees to grow? A: Trees, just like in real life, take a while to reach their full height and size. Depending on the location of the trees, they will either create more trees as time goes on, or will die off. Each type of tree can live in different locations. Depending on the amount of water they get, the height they are placed at and the wind direction in the city, you will get different trees. If you wish, you can place some trees at the terraforming stage, speed up time and watch a natural forest begin to flourish and expand. Q: What are ZOTS? A: ZOTS are the icons that appear above peoples houses when there is a problem. : Where are my screen-captures saved? A: The screenshots you take go into youre My Documents folder under your C: drive. The full path for the pictures varies based upon what version of windows you are using. For example for people using windows 98: C:\My Documents\SimCity 4\Albums\ In this folder you will see folders with the names of regions on them. To view a picture from a specific region, go to that regions folder and all the pictures will be in it. All the screenshots are in .png form. To be able to view these, you will either need to open SimCity 4 and view them in your photo album there, or you can change them to a .gif or .jpg format. A freeware program that can do this for you is called pic2pic. You can get it for free here. Q: Why is the starting date 00? Is there a way to change the starting date of your new city? A: The game starts with the current date, as this is the day you took over as mayor. Each year after that is only a chronological marker as to how many years you have been mayor. When you are terraforming, time will also pass, unless you have it paused. With the architecture, it has been designed to show the development of your city. It was based on a turn-of-the-century Chicago style, a 1950s New York City style and a 2000 ultramodern Houston look. All 3 types can exist at once (as the city develops). These were the styles included in the game, as the designers feel these are significant examples of architecture. The design doesnt want to be tied into a specific era. This way every city can have a unique look and feel about them. This is just as true I believe with the different forms of transport/vehicles that come on a bonus CD from certain distributors. As it can take some time for your city to develop, a certain style of car or plane would be obsolete if you restricted it to our real world time frame. Q: What does the RCI graph mean? A: The RCI graph represents an average for demands on Residential, Commercial and Industrial zones in your city. The higher the RCI bar is, the higher the need for those types of zones. This is an average however and doesnt tell you exactly what the break down is. Sometimes one of the bars will be down, but you still have high desirability for that zone in your city. To find out what types of specific zones you need, click on the RCI bar to see an expanded version. Check this expanded graph quite often, as it is the true level of demand in your city for zones. Q: What is Demand Cap? A: Demand cap stands for demand capacity. A city starts off being able to hold a certain number of people as well as places to work. Through things like city beautification, rewards and connections to other cities, you can raise this number. If your city is no longer growing, but has all the services it needs, this generally means you have hit your demand cap. Q: I am a SimCity guru; will I dominate SimCity 4? A: SimCity 4 is drastically different from the previous versions of SimCity. You will definitely have a leg up on many of the newer players, but there is still a lot to get used to in the latest version. Q: Why do sections of my city have the no work ZOT above their buildings when sections right next to it have work? A: Possibly the EQ (education quotient) of the workers in the lot is different than the EQ required by the job. You can try to zone new areas for them to work in, or wait until their education level rises. Its a question of whether you have enough money to support new zoning and if you would like to have these lower education jobs in your city. They normally pollute and may cause more damage to your city than having workers without jobs. Q: Is it possible to import SimCity 3000 cities into SimCity 4? A: At this point in time it is not possible. There may be a program that will be released at some point that will allow for this. Right now however, there is no such thing. Terraforming Q: Is there an easy way to reconcile edges on a map without messing everything youve already done up? A: The only easy way to reconcile edges on a map is to start in one city, change the terrain the way you like it and do not reconcile edges. Save it and go to your next city. Immediately reconcile edges on that map. This will leave your original city alone, but make the current city up-to-date. This will at a bare minimum keep you from having to go back and reconcile edges on cities you have already completed. Q: Do trees grow into forests? A: Yes. If you place a clump of trees and fast-forward time (say 30-50 years) you will see the clump grow out and become a forest. Trees grow faster if they have adequate moisture and are on reasonable altitude. Density also affects how fast (or if at all) a clump of trees will grow. The denser they are, the more chance they have at propagating. Less dense clumps of trees will die over time. Region Play Q: Ive been hearing the term regional play. What does this mean? A: Regional play refers to using many different cities for separate goals. For instance, make one city dedicated to industry and commerce, and make a neighboring city just for residential. Connect them so they have road access to each other and your Sims in your residential city will begin to look for work in the industrial/commercial city, and commute back. Jump back and forth between your two cities as you develop them. A more thorough analysis of neighboring city dynamics will be covered in a later article. Q: Do I have to use regional play? A: No. You are free to choose your own style of play, be it consolidating everything you need into one city, using regional play to specialize cities, or a mix of both. Q: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using regions? A: Regional play does have its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages, to name a few, are that you can isolate pollution as well as have areas designed to provide specific types of businesses or housing. You can also choose to provide specific services, such as trash removal, power and water through neighbor deals. The drawbacks, to name a few, are that you have to work out neighbor deals if you want to have things like water in one location, power in another and garbage in yet another. You also have to switch between the cities in your region if you want them to truly grow. Its not like being in a self-contained city where everything grows when it wants to. You actually have to keep an eye on things. Q: Should I put all RCI in one city or spread RCI across different cities? What works best? What works best? A: The game is designed to work either way. Its really just a matter of personal preference as to which you should do. Regional play has its advantages and disadvantages so play the way you like; this always produces the best results. Q: My neighboring connections arent letting me start neighbor deals! Why? A: All of the neighboring deals have a set of requirements that must be filled in order for the deal to show up. The requirements are - Trash deals Must have a road or highway from the area with trash zones in it to the place you want to remove trash from. You must have enough excess space zoned out for trash so it can take not only the cities trash where the landfill is located, but also for the neighboring city whos importing trash. (Meaning build a decent sized landfill or incinerator, whichever you prefer) NOTE: You must have enough money to cover a 1-year supply of the service or the option for the deal will not be presented. Power Deals Must have power lines to the city that will need power. You have to have enough extra power to support both cities simultaneously. You must have enough money to cover a 1-year supply for the service. Water Deals Must have pipes to the city that requires water. You must have enough extra water to support both cities simultaneously. You must have enough money to cover a 1-year supply for the service. Q: Do I have to use my entire region to be successful? A: No! You can have one city that contains everything you need to be successful. Regional play is meant to be an option for use in the game. There are many drawbacks and advantages to using regional play. Q: If I have 2 cities in my region and I am working on one of them, is the other one still growing? A: While you are working on one city, the game uses extrapolation to simulate growth in the city you are not working on. This does not mean buildings are being built while you are gone, rather it means that it will assume the buildings will be built because of the increased demand next time you visit that city. When you leave one city to work on another, all information from your city is saved before you leave, and the simulation uses that saved information to extrapolate how demand might be satisfied in your currently active city. Q: Why do sections of my city have the no work ZOT above their buildings when sections right next to it have work? A: Possibly the EQ (education quotient) of the workers in the lot is different than the EQ required by the job. You can try to zone new areas for them to work in, or wait until their education level rises. Its a question of whether you have enough money to support new zoning and if you would like to have these lower education jobs in your city. They normally pollute and may cause more damage to your city than having workers without jobs. Q: How does RCI demand work in a region? A: In region play, RCI demand is shared across all your cities. For example, if you have one city that has started demand for IHT (high tech industry), you can start a new neighboring city, zone industrial, make a road connection to your first city and high-tech will start to pop up in your new city, satisfying the demand of the city that it is connected to. Using this concept you can create bedroom communities: wait for your residential demand to climb in one city, then start a neighboring city, connect with to your first city by road, and zone residential and watch as your sims move in to live in your new city and commute to the other city to work. Q: If my sim commutes to another city to work, how does it determine commute times? A: When you create a connection to another city, say, by road, and you do not immediately go to the other city to connect the remaining stub to that citys road structure, the simulation will attempt to estimate the commute time to the work place in the other city and add it on the exiting commute time. This estimate will often by inordinately high, giving you the result of long commute times. To remedy this, make sure that the connection stub in your other city is connected to the road structure. The simulator will then be able to recall more accurately the average commute times. Business Deals Q: What are business deals? A: Business deals are offered to you when you are financially in the red for extended periods of time. Aside from providing a fairly lucrative monthly income, business deals may also have the following effects, mostly negative: contribute to air and water pollution, radiation and garbage, increase commercial demand as well as crime rate, affects desirability for all sectors, and decreases your mayor rating. Q: Should I accept every business deal that comes along? A: No, you should carefully pick and choose which business deals you will take. Any business deal that is in red is a negative deal, meaning in general that it will give you money, but has a negative affect on surrounding areas as well as your mayor rating. Q: How do I get the Casino business deal? A: The casino business deal requires that you have enacted the Legalize Gambling ordinance. Warning: If you repeal the ordinance, your casino will be automatically demolished. (If you want, save yourself the cost of bulldozing the casino (§15,000) by repealing the legalize gambling ordinance). Q: Do I need to run roads, water pipes and power lines to these buildings in order for me to get the money? A: No. Once you place any of the business deal buildings, you start getting money right away. However, in order for these buildings to help supply your city with jobs, you need roads connected to them. Providing water to them will reduce the structures flammability (roads also ensure that fire trucks can get there if needed). Q: What effects on my city do business deals have? A: The following chart details the available business deals, what they provide, and their impact on your city: Business DealSize, income Pre-requisites Positive Effects Negative Effects Army Base(12x12)§350/month 1. your funds are less than §7000 2. Funds less than 40% less than three previous years 3. dedicated expenses greater than income 4. population greater than 2000 Jobs for R§ sims, Increase Commercial desirability Lowers Mayor Rating, lowers residential and high-tech desirability, adds to water and air pollution, increases crime. Casino(6x3)§300/month 1. Legalize Gambling Ordinance enacted 2. total population greater than 24,000 Creates commercial demand and adds commercial desirability Lowers Mayor Rating, lowers residential and high-tech desirability, increases crime. Drains power. Federal Prison(4x4)§250/month 1. funds less than §7000 2. funds dropped by half in last 2 years 3. expenses greater than income 4. population greater than 5000 provides jobs for R§ sims Lowers Mayor Rating, lowers residential, commercial and high-tech desirability, increases crime. Missile Range(4x4)§450/month 1. funds less than §1000 2. funds dropped by at least 20% in last 6 months 3. expenses greater than income 4. population greater than 500 none Lowers Mayor Rating, lowers residential, commercial and high-tech desirability, high air and water pollution, chance of Missile Misfire Disaster (not good) Toxic Waste Dump(4x4)§400/month 1. funds less than -§1000 2. expenses greater than income none Lowers Mayor Rating, lowers residential, commercial and high-tech desirability, high radiation, lowers air and water pollution, very flammable. Even dirty industries dont want to be near it! Transit Q: No one is using my bus stops and/or subways! What am I doing wrong? A: In order for busses and trains- and even subways for that matter to work, you need to place them in locations that are congested with traffic. In general, it is a wise decision to place these mass-transit buildings on major roads that lead from residential to commercial or industrial districts. Remember, Sims riding on these will have to walk after they leave the station. Place them so they dont have to walk too far, or they will not get used. Q: My train tracks wont turn, why not? A: The train tracks are unable to turn on a dime. In order for you to make a turn, the turn must be gradual. There are two ways of doing this. 1. Make the tracks go where you want them to end up on each side of the turn. Then, from one of the ends of the track, click and drag a new track to the end of the other, this will create a turn. 2. Make gradual turns as you go, click and drag to a 45-degree angle and let go. Do this twice and you have a turn. Q: How do you get a highway cloverleaf to work? A: A simple way to get a highway cloverleaf to work is by deciding where you would like the two highways to intersect. Make one of the two highways go entirely through. (Fig. 1) To complete the cloverleaf, start building the second highway over the first. If you have not gone far enough on one side or the other, it will show up red. (Fig. 2) Make sure you get enough of the highway so it will turn blue. (Fig. 3) After you release, it will ask if you want a cloverleaf. (Fig. 4) Q: My traffic is horrible and I have nothing but roads, how can I lighten traffic? A: The only way to lighten traffic at this point is by placing mass transit services in your city. These include highways, subways, trains and busses. To use these effectively, you must place them in highly congested areas. People that take a bus for instance, will be walking on foot after they get off the bus. As a result, be sure to place all mass transit items in locations people will not have to walk far from to get where they want to go. Q: How do I build onramps to the highway? A: There are two ways of going about this. One is to simply place the onramp next to a highway in your city. When the ramp turns green, you are able to place it. The other way, which may be easier, is to make a road that goes under the highway where you would like the onramp to go. Once it is created, it will ask you if you want to add onramps. Click on accept and the onramps will be placed for you. Q: When should I consider adding highways and/or subways? A: These are great ways of lowering the traffic in your city. The drawback to these is that both of them cost a lot. Once you have a large surplus of funds in your city, these are certainly viable options to lowering the traffic. As a result, the best time to place these is later on in your citys lifetime. When you have quite a few residents (no less than 100,000 normally) it might be a good idea to start adding these forms of transportation. Highways should be in highly used areas as a main connection. Normally its best to have these span your city to give access to central locations. Highways should also be used to connect your cities across your region. The subway, on the other hand, can be placed throughout the city in many locations. It is a lot easier to place the subway, as only one square above ground needs to be used to place a stop, while the rest of the track goes underground. As a result, if you can afford it, subway is a great alternative to connecting neighbors as well as providing transportation within your city. City Services Q: What is a service? A: A city service is anything from an elementary school to a landfill to a power plant. These are all things your city needs in order to function and thrive. Each of these services cost money, be careful what you put in. Be sure you have enough cash to cover the expenses before taking any action. When placing services, especially at the start of your game, immediately adjust the funding slider (use the query tool) so you are not wasting money on unnecessary resources. Q: Where should I put a water treatment plant? A: Water treatment plants should be used when your water pollution starts to get out of control, or if you just want to clean up. Put them anywhere where there is high water pollution and near water towers and pumps, as this structure acts as a water purifier and has a very large radius. With enough water treatment plants placed throughout your city, you can clean up all your water pollution. Q: Where should I put water pumps? A: The further away from pollution they are, the more efficient they are. If they are kept away from pollution entirely, they will last longer and produce more. Q: What are the parks good for? A: Parks, as well as other city beautification items are good for quite a few things. They are able to increase your population limits as well as add desirability to your surrounding zones. Parks are also able to reduce pollution in surrounding areas. It is not a bad idea to place them near dirty industries, as this can increase the desirability since pollution is lower. Q: Elementary school or high school? A: You do need both high schools as well as elementary schools. Once people leave elementary, some choose to continue their education in high school. Youll also need colleges eventually. In order to get high-tech industry as well as better jobs/higher class citizens in your city, youll eventually need all forms of education. (Library, museum, college, high school, elementary school, even the university when you get the chance.) Education is very important if you want to eventually develop clean high tech industry. Q: Some of my services have no range of affect. Why is this? A: Museums, colleges and universities have no real range. They affect the entire city. The same goes for main library, major art museums and opera houses. Q: I have a ton of wind power plants, when is it too many? A: After 5 windmills, you will be spending more a month than a fully funded coal power plant would cost, and will not be producing as much power. As a result, if you get to this point, it is a good idea to blow them up and put in a more cost- efficient way to power your city. Of course, a coal power plant produces far more pollution. Q: Should I put water funding down when my pump is not running at full capacity? A: You should never lower water funding as a rule as youll tend to suffer more than youll save. When you reduce the spending on water services, you are reducing the spending on pipe maintenance. This will lead to water pipes bursting all over your city and reduce the effectiveness of the pipes providing water to buildings. Its best to keep your water funding at 100% all the time, regardless of the amount of water used. Q: Do I really need to cover every square inch of the map with fire and police stations? A: It is definitely not necessary to cover every part of your map with fire and police coverage. You may not even have any. This will lead to problems though, and quickly. At the bare minimum you will want a fire station in a central location. Fires will break out in your city quite often and without proper protection, you will get burned. Its a good idea to wait until your first fire breaks out in your city to place a fire station. This way you are not paying a monthly fee for something your city doesnt need yet. Eventually crime levels and lack of fire protection will halt the growth of your city. Put them in only when you can afford them, i.e. not when you first start your city. Q: My service workers are striking! Why? A: If people are going on strike in your city, it is because you have not provided enough funding to support the need. Query the building on strike and increase funding to stop the strike. For example, doctors will strike if there are more patients than their funding will allow them to handle. Increase funding so that the maximum number of patients is a bit more than the current amount of patience, and eventually, theyll quite down. Q: How can I tell if I am using all of my power/water/garbage? A: If you click on the graph button, you will be able to click on power, water and garbage to see how much capacity you have at the moment, as well as how much of the service you are using. If you click on the power button to see how much power you are using and the usage is very close to the capacity, its either time to increase funding on power, or time to add a new power plant. Q: Do power plants ever die like they did in previous versions of SimCity? A: Power plants can blow up just like they did in the previous versions of SimCity. They blow up for different reasons in SimCity 4 though. As time goes on, the effectiveness of buildings such as power, water and garbage disposal will decrease. The better funded the building is, the longer it will take for the effectiveness to go down. If the effectiveness gets very low, you are spending a lot of money on something that is not doing a lot of good for you. Its best to blow it up and build a new one that will produce more for the same monthly cost. If your buildings ever catch on fire, they may explode, and in the case of the nuclear power plant, this will lead to a city-ending event. A bad thing. Q: Should I start off with large or small fire/police stations, and clinics or hospitals? A: Some people think small is the way to start off, and later advance to large. Others think that starting off with large will save you in the long run. Well, the truth to the matter is that both do work. Depending on how you zone your city in the start should determine if you should start with large or small services. If you have zoned large areas of low-density, its probably going to be most cost-effective to cover it all with one large service instead of a few smaller ones. On the other hand, if you start of with smaller zones, it is most beneficial to build small services. Be sure to use the radius of the service to the max. Avoid placing a service where its radius isnt being used (i.e. at the edge of the map), as this lowers its cost-effectiveness. Q: Where is the best place to put an airport? A: Airports help increase your commercial demand cap, as well as increase traffic in surrounding areas. Since you would like for your commercial zones to have traffic, its a wise idea to place the airport relatively close to commercial zones, or easily accessible by road. Keep in mind that airports generate pollution, so you might want to surround it with trees or some parks here and there to keep the pollution down. Zoning Q: What good are farms? A: Farms create food for the simcitizens, jobs, cargo to ship off to neighbor cities for money, and yes the flip side is they pollute the water, lower the land value and there is no tax bracket for them. A good idea might be to make a neighboring city on a small map mostly farms. You will get a farmers market after a while, which will provide increased health for your Sims, as they eat natural food. Q: What do the different types of zones mean? I keep seeing CO and ID, but I have no clue what they mean. A: Heres a breakdown of the terminology: IA Industry Agriculture (low wealth industry) ID Industry Dirty (low wealth industry) IM Industry Manufacturing (middle wealth industry) IT Industry High-Tech (high wealth industry) Co Commercial Office (medium and high wealth commercial) Cs Commercial Service (low, medium and high wealth commercial) R§ - Low Wealth Housing R§§ - Medium Wealth Housing R§§§ - High Wealth Housing Q: Can landfills be de-zoned, rezoned or demolished? A: In order to de-zone, re-zone a landfill area, you must wait for garbage to disappear (decompose). A quick way to get them empty is to erase the road leading to them. If there is no way to get to the landfill, they cant put trash there. You are unable to demolish landfills while they are full. Q: Sometimes when I re-zone areas, it doesnt change all the zones. Is there a way to change them all easily? A: If you change to your zone overlay, you can easily re-zone areas. It will show you exactly where you are re-zoning as well as give you a good idea of what types of zones you already have. Q: How can I get high-wealth citizens to move in? A: In order for high-wealth citizens to want to move to your city, you need to have high levels of education as well as health, which creates demand for higher wealth citizens. In SimCity 4, there is a direct correlation between wealth and education - essentially, the lower wealth citizens begin their lives with lower education quotient, than wealthier Sims. (However, low-wealth Sims can still become highly educated, but takes more time.) You will also need places for them to work. To be sure you can satisfy their work requirements, zone new areas for them as demand for high-wealth commerce and industry rises. Be sure to zone them in the most desirable places. Check your overlays to see desirable areas. Q: How far will people travel to get to work? A: They will travel quite a ways to get to work. The further away they have to travel though, the less desirable the area is to live in however, and eventually they will not want to live there at all if the commute gets too bad. To check the commute time, query any residential building. The shorter, the more desirable. Commuter trains may help alleviate long commute areas. Q: How much beautification do I need in my city? A: This is something that is left up to the mayor. A general rule-of-thumb though is that you dont need it until later. City beautification increases the desirability of areas and increases your demand cap for your city. Each time you add a park, playground, plaza or any other type of city beautification, you are spending money that could be used on more zoning. As a result, be careful when placing these items. Make sure you have enough money and enough demand to justify the cost of building the item, as well as the monthly maintenance. Beautification will be very necessary to attract commercial office and high-tech industries later on. Q: If my zoned area is full of buildings, should I zone more? A: In general, it is a good idea to expand your city with more zones. If your city is already fairly large, then maybe it is a better idea to get more use out of your current zones. Re-zone the areas from low to medium density to get more money out of the same amount of space. Be sure to have a lot of your map covered by low-density before changing to medium density, as low density makes the most money per person, giving you the biggest taxes possible. Always zone low-density everything when you start. For example, there is absolutely no benefit to zoning high density industrial, until your industrial population (jobs) reaches 2447. Q: Why are there no big buildings in my city even though Ive zoned high-density? A: Just because an area is zoned for high density does not mean the demand for larger buildings is there. Your city will take quite some time to need high-density zones in it and as a result, its best to start with low-density and gradually increase as your city grows. Even a medium-density zone can hold large skyscrapers holding upwards of 2,000 people in it. Before you start zoning for high-density, be sure your city needs it and your services are well funded. Q: After my city runs for a few years, my industry seems to be abandoned. What is causing this? A: In many cases, your industry is being abandoned because your citizens EQ (or Education Quotient) has risen. As a result they will want to move up to a higher- wealth job (manufacturing or high-tech), which could leave much of your dirty industries abandoned. If you can afford it, it will benefit you to demolish these buildings as it will not only free up space for the new industries, but also create new demand for that area. Q: Should I use auto-streets or lay my own roads when I zone? A: There are benefits and drawbacks to doing this. If you lay out your streets at first and then place zones, you are able to set the size of your zones as well as keep traffic problems down somewhat. (Since you can avoid the unnecessary intersections occasionally created by auto-streets). The drawback is that it takes a lot of time and effort to plan correctly. Youll also have to ensure that each lot is within reach of a road. When laying the zone, be sure to watch how its zoning. Sometimes you will need to change the area you start/finish at to make all the areas of the new zone touch the road. If you zoom in to one of the closest two views, it is much easier to see how your zones are being laid out and pick exactly how big or small you want the zones to be. Q: Some of the zones I have created are empty. What is causing this? A: The desirability of the zone is low, and as a result no one wants to build there. Check to ensure the zone has proper service coverage. If it does, try adding in a few things like parks to the area. This will increase the desirability of the area and new people should start moving in shortly afterwards. Q: How do I determine how long a freight trip will be from an industrial zone? A: Industrial zones have to freight their cargos to one of the following neighbor connection, freight train station, seaports and in some cases airports. The closer the industry is to one of these types of connections to the outside world, the shorter the freight trip. Q: Will low density hold only low class, or will they hold others as well? A: Low density, just as any other density, can hold all classes. Low, medium and upper class citizens will move into and work in low, medium and high-density zones. Q: Why are my high-wealth buildings being taken over by low-wealth Sims? A: The most probably cause is reduction in desirability. Buildings tend to degrade when desirability decreases, rich Sims move out, low-wealth Sims move in. (low- wealth sims will live anywhere). Check your desirability and make sure your Nimbus are far away from your affluent neighborhoods. Add amenities to increase desirability, check for things like commute time, or traffic noise, which also reduces desirability. Budget Q: In my budget, I see §, §§ and §§§. What do they mean? A: § = Low-wealth citizens §§ = Medium-wealth citizens §§§ = High-wealth citizens Q: What should I set my taxes to? A: You can set your taxes as high as 9% without lowering demand for your zones. As your city gets larger, this number decreases. Any number higher than this will decrease demand, while and number lower will increase demand. The more drastic the change, the more drastic the demand change. Use taxes to make money, but remember, they have a minimum effect of 3 game months even if you change your mind immediately after. So dont expect to be able to make some quick cash, and then reduce tax rates without hurting demand. Q: What are the effects of over funding? A: Over funding is when your funding slider bar is beyond the white mark. Be cautious what you over fund as it may just end up being a waste of money. For most buildings, over funding will slightly increase effectiveness by about 10% (police stations, fire stations) or provide increased capacity (schools, health clinics). Q: What are the effects of under funding? A: Under funding is when your funding slider is before the white mark. In most cases, under-funding will cause no harm if the structures usage does not exceed its capacity (example, under funding a power plant will save you money but decrease its lifespan). For other buildings (schools, police stations, fire stations) that have a radius effect, under funding will decrease the size of the radius. If an under funded building begins to have more volume than the funding capacity will allow, strikes will break and your workers will stop working until youve rectified the problem. Game play Hints 1. Help! I cant make a profit in my city, whats wrong? 2. Are there any hints for a new player just starting out his city? 3. Is there anything that can reduce pollution in my city? 4. Is there any way to change the name of a region? 5. Ive gotten pretty far in the game and I would really like to get rid of all polluting industries. How can I go about doing this? 6. All my buildings are being abandoned, what is causing this? 7. I have a huge empty map...where should I start? 8. What is the best way to get rid of pollution? 9. Should I put animals on my map, if so, how many? 10. I hate having to pay to demolish buildings, is there another way to get rid of them? 11. What are the Hotkeys? 12. Does altitude of buildings do anything to affect the desirability of a zone? 13. What is the best speed to play the game at? 14. How long does it take to see skyscrapers in your city? 15. Is there an easy way to find out how my population is divided up in terms of §, §§ and §§§? Q: Help! I cant make a profit in my city, whats wrong? A: There are many factors determining the profit or loss of your city. One of the main causes of people going into the red (or negative) is because they spend too much on services either too quickly or when they dont need them. Reduce spending on services to barely above what is needed. Spending more than that will certainly place your city into hard times. Q: Are there any hints for a new player just starting out his city? A: There are no guarantees that your city will do well. Only one person is able to make your city profitable, you! These hints may or may not work for your playing style, as everyone is different. This being said, here are a couple of hints to get you started. Start off slow. Low-density buildings bring in more taxes per-person than medium or high-density buildings do. As a result, you will bring in more tax dollars for less initial capital by using low-density zones for nearly everything. After your city is larger and making a decent amount of money consider re-zoning to medium-density. There is no benefit from zoning anything but low density when you first start, you will be spending more money than you need to for the higher density zones. Many people think wind power is the way to go. This, however, is a common misconception. After placing 5 windmills, it is cheaper to have 1 coal power plant. Not only is it cheaper, it is able to produce a much larger amount of energy. This will end up saving you money in the long run. Another way to cut down on spending is to place a waste -> power incinerator. While the initial cost of these is quite large, the money it will save you from month to month will eventually pay it off. Not only does it get rid of garbage, it turns it into power! Q: Is there anything that can reduce pollution in my city? A: First and foremost, remember that almost all of these solutions cost money. Be sure you can afford them before taking any action. The only free way of reducing pollution is to keep polluting areas small. When you zone an industrial area, dont make a huge one. This will eventually lead to horrible pollution. If you keep your industry away from residential and commercial areas, pollution is not as large of a factor. There are several ways of reducing pollution that cost money. Placing things such as parks and trees will reduce the pollution in your city. The more of these you have, the less pollution you have. In addition to this, you can enact several ordinances that have a direct impact on pollution to get cleaner air. The ordinances that reduce pollution are: Automobile Emission Reduction Act Clean Air Act Commuter Shuttle Service Landfill Gas Recovery Program Q: Is there any way to change the name of a region? A: Yes, you can change the name of the region. Go to the folder where your region is saved. If it was the region "San Francisco" that came with the game you will find it here: MyDocuments/SimCity4/Regions/San Francisco In this folder you find a file called region.ini, which you will need to open. It will look like this: ----- Name = San Francisco Terrain type = 0 Water Min = 60 Water Max = 100 ----- Simply change Name = San Francisco to Name = New Desired Name. Q: Ive gotten pretty far in the game and I would really like to get rid of all polluting industries. How can I go about doing this? A: To ensure that you are only using High-tech industry, there are a few conditions that must be met. Low pollution, High education, and low freight times are a must. Inter-city connectivity and a high population are also helpful. Keep in mind there are no real easy or cheap ways to do this unless you wait for a very long time. First, make sure you have at least 100-200 thousand simoleons in the bank and a high education level in at least 80% of your city. In general, these next steps are made easier while the game is on pause. This will allow you to carefully work on your plan without being distracted or interrupted. First, raise the taxes on § and §§ industry to 20%, and lower your §§§ Industry to below 7%. This ensures that you will never see development of polluting industry again. Depending on if you are looking for instant pollution reduction or if you dont mind waiting it out, you have two choices you can make. One choice would be to let the game run. This doesnt reduce pollution very quickly, but the manufacturing plants and dirty industry will eventually leave due to high taxes. This will leave you with fresh air for all your high-tech industries. This will take a long time, but will end up saving lots of money. Another choice would be to carefully I demolish every dirty and manufacturing industry building on my map. This will take a while, but will be essential in order to lower pollution. For the first 10 years or so you will have a large loss in tax revenue. This loss is why you will need the extra money on hand. After the zones start to fill back up, you will begin to make more money and increase the desirability citywide for high-wealth buildings. This will leave your city almost completely pollution-free, and demand will be drastically higher in the high-wealth brackets. Q: All my buildings are being abandoned, what is causing this? A: There are many possible reasons for abandonment of a building. These include, but are not limited to tax rates, pollution, lack of services, long commutes, long freights and a whole slew of other potential problems. In general it is in your best interest to check the coverage of your services and make sure things are adequately funded. If your taxes are high (above 8-9%), try lowering them some. Also, it helps if you demolish abandoned buildings as they reduce desirability of an area. Q: I have a huge empty map - where should I start? A: In general it is a good idea to start in a corner of the map. This gives you easy access to at least two other neighboring cities, which will increase demand in your city across the board. This tactic also allows you to place a power plant in the adjacent corner, keeping it close, but at the same time allowing ¾ of your pollution to go off of your map. Q: What is the best way to get rid of pollution? A: The best way to get rid of pollution is by planting trees using rewards you get such as the country club, or using parks. Each of these will reduce pollution in your city. An even better way of reducing pollution in your city is by zoning small areas of industry all over the city instead of one huge patch. This will keep pollution down without having to spend cash monthly on pollution reducers. Q: Should I put animals on my map, if so, how many? A: It never hurts to have animals on your map. People living there will be happy since they see animals about and as a result, your environmental rating will be up. As a result, be sure to place at least a few patches of animals on your maps while in god mode before starting a new city. Q: I hate having to pay to demolish buildings, is there another way to get rid of them? A: You could demolish them with your bulldozer utility, but this costs money. A much more efficient way to get rid of unwanted buildings is by starting a fire on them. This way the building is demolished, but you didnt have to pay a cent for it. Q: What are the hotkeys? F1 (God Mode) F2 (Mayor Mode) F3 (My Sim Mode) F4(Options Panel) Ctrl+`(Pause) Ctrl+1(Turtle Speed) Ctrl+2(Rhino Speed) Ctrl+3(Cheetah Speed) + (Zoom in one level) - (Zoom out one level) Press numbers 1 to 5 (Zoom levels 1 - farthest from city to 5 - closest to city) Page Up (Rotate counter-clockwise) Page Down (Rotate Clockwise) Home (Rotate Building Clockwise) End (Rotate Building Counter-Clockwise Left Arrow / Right Arrow (Scroll Left/Right) Ctrl+ Left Arrow/Ctrl+ Right Arrow(Scroll Left/Right Once) Ctrl+Up Arrow/Ctrl+Down Arrow (Scroll up/down once) Up Arrow/Down Arrow (Scroll Up/Down) Spacebar (Center on Cursor) Esc (Close Open Window/Release Tool) / (Query Tool) Q (Zone Low D. Residential) W (Zone Medium D. Residential) E (Zone High D. Residential) A (Zone Low D. Commercial) S (Zone Medium D. Commercial) D (Zone High D. Commercial) Z (Zone Agriculture) X (Zone Medium D. Industrial) C (Zone Heavy D. Industrial) Y (Zone Landfill) V (De-Zone) B (Demolish) Ctrl+F (Dispatch Fire) Ctrl+P (Dispatch Police) R (Road Tool) Alt+R (Street Tool) Shift+R (Highway Tool) Ctrl+Shift+R (Build Bus Stop) T (Rail Tool) Ctrl+Shift+T (Passenger Depot) Ctrl+Alt+T (Freight Depot) Shift+T (Subway Tool) Shift+Alt+T (Subway Station) L (Power Lines Tool) I (Pipes Tool) P (Build Small Police Station) Alt+P (Build Large Police Station) Shift+P (Build Jail) F (Build Small Fire Station) Alt+F (Build Large Fire Station) H (Build Clinic) Alt+H (Build Hospital) K (Build Elementary School) Alt+K (Build High School) Shift+K (Build City College) F5 (Day Only) F6 (Night Only) F7 (Night & Day) F11 (Open Play Options Dialog) F9 (Open Graphics Options Dialog) F10 (Open Audio Options Dialog) Ctrl+S (Save City) F8 (Exit To Region) F12 (Quit SimCity 4) Num Lock (Hide/Show UI) Ctrl+Shift+A (Open Photo Album) Ctrl+Shift+S (Take Snapshots) Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F (Full Screen Refresh) Ctrl+X (Open Cheat Code Dialog) Ctrl+Shift+C (Toggle Display of Terrain Contours) Ctrl+Shift+O (Open Obliterate City Dialog) Q: Does altitude of buildings do anything to affect the desirability of a zone? A: Yes. Residential and especially commercial buildings love high altitudes. If you build a mesa in your city, this is where you will want to place commercial or residential zones. The demand for them is much higher there; you will get larger buildings faster in those locations. Its never a bad idea to add at least one mesa to your city as it could greatly boost desirability in that area. Q: What is the best speed to play the game at? A: Normally rhino speed is perfect. It is not too fast that you are unable to get to problems fast enough, but its not so slow you are sitting there waiting for things to happen either. Cheetah is a little too fast and should normally only be used if you have everything under complete control. Normal speed is a little too slow, but it, as well as paused, are good for making changes to your city. Q: How long does it take to see skyscrapers in your city? A: This depends. If your city grows fast, it will take less time. Its really a matter of how you zone your city and how fast it is growing. In general you will start seeing larger office buildings when your city is around 100,000 citizens or larger. This is not a set standard, but rather a generalization of when you will start to see them. Q: Is there an easy way to find out how my population is divided up in terms of §, §§ and §§§? A: If you go to your budget screen and expand your taxes, it will show you how much money you are making from each of your residential zones. It will show you the money you make from §, §§ and §§§, and as a result, will give you a general feel for which class makes up the majority of your population. Keep in mind that if your taxes are higher on one class than another, it may be that that class doesnt have more people living in your city, its just that they are being taxed heavier. To get a more specific view of your population, go to the graphs page and look there. Its hard to tell exact numbers on the sheet as a few of the lines look the same color, but it should at least give a general idea. Landmarks Landmarks do more than just looking pretty, they provide desirability boosts to certain parts of your city. When your city has matured (100K+ residential pop.) you may want to start thinking about putting in a few landmarks in key locations. Be mindful where you place them to get the most for your money (and watch those monthly costs). For example, putting a landmark that benefits Commercial offices in your industrial section would make no sense. Instead, place it among the potential office locations and it will provide a boost in development which will mean increased tax dollars which will help offset the cost. Alamo San Antonio, USA Cost: §65,000 Monthly: §130 Commercial YIMBY: 40 Radius: 20 Tile size: 2x3 Alcatraz San Francisco, USA Cost: §50,000 Monthly: §100 Commercial YIMBY: 10 Radius: 24 Tile size: 5x10 Amalienborg Copenhagen, Denmark Cost: §70,000 Monthly: §140 Commercial YIMBY: 30 Radius: 18 Tile size: 12x12 Arc de Triomphe Paris, France Cost: §55,000 Monthly: §coming soon Commercial YIMBY: coming soon Radius: coming soon Tile size: 3x3 Bank of America San Francisco, USA Cost: §110,000 Monthly: §210 Commercial YIMBY: 80 Radius: 28 Tile size: 5x3 Bank of China Tower Hong Kong, China Cost: §180,000 Monthly: §300 Commercial YIMBY: 100 Radius: 48 Tile size: 4x4 Big Ben London, England Cost: §75,000 Monthly: §150 Commercial YIMBY: 40 Radius: 20 Tile size: 1x1 California Plaza Walnut Creek, USA Cost: §50,000 Monthly: §100 Commercial YIMBY: 30 Radius: 18 Tile size: 6x8 Capitol Records Building Los Angeles, USA Cost: §50,000 Monthly: §coming soon Commercial YIMBY: coming soon Radius: coming soon Tile size: 5x5 Chrysler Building New York City, USA Cost: §170,000 Monthly: §330 Commercial YIMBY: 100 Radius: 48 Tile size: 4x4 CN Tower Toronto, Canada Cost: §225,000 Monthly: §440 Commercial YIMBY: 80 Radius: 28 Tile size: 6x7 Coit Tower San Francisco, USA Cost: §55,000 Monthly: §100 Commercial YIMBY: 30 Radius: 18 Tile size: 3x3 Empire State Building New York City, USA Cost: §240,000 Monthly: §470 Commercial YIMBY: 100 Radius: 48 Tile size: 8x4 Faneiul Hall Boston, USA Cost: §50,000 Monthly: §100 Commercial YIMBY: 20 Radius: 16 Tile size: 2x2 Fernseturm Berlin, Germany Cost: §85,000 Monthly: §170 Commercial YIMBY: 50 Radius: 22 Tile size: 3x3 Gateway Arch St. Louis, USA Cost: §90,000 Monthly: §180 Commercial YIMBY: 50 Radius: 22 Tile size: 2x10 Globe Arena Stockholm, Sweden Cost: §70,000 Monthly: §coming soon Commercial YIMBY: coming soon Radius: coming soon Tile size: 11x8 Grand Central New York City, USA Cost: §110,000 Monthly: §coming soon Commercial YIMBY: coming soon Radius: coming soon Tile size: 7x8 Great Pyramid Giza, Egypt Cost: §160,000 Monthly: §310 Commercial YIMBY: 70 Radius: 26 Tile size: 8x8 Guggenheim Museum New York City, USA Cost: §95,000 Monthly: §180 Commercial YIMBY: 70 Radius: 26 Tile size: 4x6 Hagia Sophia Istanbul, Turkey Cost: §80,000 Monthly: §160 Commercial YIMBY: 40 Radius: 20 Tile size: 6x6 Hollywood Sign Los Angeles, USA Cost: §30,000 Monthly: §60 Commercial YIMBY: 20 Radius: 16 Tile size: 7x1 Independence Hall Philadelphia, USA Cost: §60,000 Monthly: §120 Commercial YIMBY: 30 Radius: 18 Tile size: 2x2 Jefferson Memorial Washington D.C., USA Cost: §80,000 Monthly: §170 Commercial YIMBY: 50 Radius: 22 Tile size: 6x6 John Hancock Center Chicago, USA Cost: §165,000 Monthly: §320 Commercial YIMBY: 90 Radius: 30 Tile size: 6x4 Lincoln Memorial Washington D.C., USA Cost: §85,000 Monthly: §170 Commercial YIMBY: 50 Radius: 22 Tile size: 5x4 Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco, USA Cost: §90,000 Monthly: §180 Commercial YIMBY: 30 Radius: 18 Tile size: 11x11 Palicio Real Madrid, Spain Cost: §65,000 Monthly: §130 Commercial YIMBY: 30 Radius: 18 Tile size: 6x6 Rotes Rathaus Berlin, Germany Cost: §65,000 Monthly: §130 Commercial YIMBY: 30 Radius: 18 Tile size: 4x4 Seoul City Hall Seoul, Korea Cost: §65,000 Monthly: §coming soon Commercial YIMBY: coming soon Radius: coming soon Tile size: 5x6 Smith Tower Seattle, USA Cost: §55,000 Monthly: §110 Commercial YIMBY: 40 Radius: 20 Tile size: 3x3 Sphinx Giza, Egypt Cost: §50,000 Monthly: §100 Commercial YIMBY: 20 Radius: 16 Tile size: 2x4 St. Basil's Moscow, Russia Cost: §90,000 Monthly: §180 Commercial YIMBY: 60 Radius: 24 Tile size: 4x4 Statue of Liberty New York City, USA Cost: §85,000 Monthly: §170 Commercial YIMBY: 60 Radius: 24 Tile size: 4x4 Sungrye-mun Seoul, Korea Cost: §65,000 Monthly: §coming soon Commercial YIMBY: coming soon Radius: coming soon Tile size: 4x4 Taj Mahal Agra, Ultar Pradesh, India Cost: §105,000 Monthly: §200 Commercial YIMBY: 60 Radius: 24 Tile size: 6x6 The Living Mall Taipei, Taiwan Cost: §55,000 Monthly: §110 Commercial YIMBY: 80 Radius: 20 Tile size: 6x6 Tokyo Tower Tokyo, Japan Cost: §175,000 Monthly: §340 Commercial YIMBY: 80 Radius: 28 Tile size: 6x6 Tower of London London, England Cost: §55,000 Monthly: §90 Commercial YIMBY: 30 Radius: 18 Tile size: 3x3 US Capital Building Washington D.C. , USA Cost: §135,000 Monthly: §160 Commercial YIMBY: 80 Radius: 28 Tile size: 6x6 Washington Monument Washington D.C., USA Cost: §70,000 Monthly: §140 Commercial YIMBY: 40 Radius: 20 Tile size: 3x3 White House Washington D.C., USA Cost: §70,000 Monthly: §140 Commercial YIMBY: 40 Radius: 20 Tile size: 6x6 Cheats In order to get cheats to work, you need to press escape a few times. This will clear out any previous actions you were going to do. i.e. If you are zoning a residential area, and want to cheat, pressing escape a couple times will bring your cursor back to the circle icon. After you have cleared your commands with the escape key, press CTRL+X at the same time. This will bring up the cheat box. Once the cheat has been activated, CTRL+X again and hit the Up Arrow and Enter to activate your last cheat without having to type it again. List of known cheats are: Stopwatch: This will pause and resume the 24-hour clock. Whattimeizit 1-24: This will allow you to set the time of day. (In military time) Tastyzots: Toggles ZOTS on and off. Hellomynameis new name: This will change your mayor name. Sizeof 1-1000: This will change the magnification. Whererufrom new name: This will change the name of your city. You dont deserve it: All rewards available. Zoneria: Hides all empty zones. Howdryiam: Removes water requirements from all structures. Weaknesspays: Adds §1000 to your balance. Fightthepower: Removes power requirements for buildings. Bugs and Known Issues Known Issues 1. What is the list of known issues? 2. Is there a patch for SimCity 4? 3. SimCity 4 starts up, but then does nothing. I just see the cursor and thats it. Whats up? 4. SimCity 4 seems to run poorly on my machine. Is there anything I can do to remedy this problem? Known Issues This is a re-post of a post by MaxisDevinoch on the official site. Author: Maxis Devinoch Date: Jan-21-03 01:36 PM PST Subject: Technical FAQ 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. Performance Problems 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. Game Crash 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. Custom Music 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. Anti-Aliasing problems Weve 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 over clocked 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. Whats that mean? A: Actually, this is a visual bug in the game. It doesnt mean anything besides for the building is temporarily blue! It should change back soon. Q: Is there a patch for SimCity 4? A: There are no patches out as of yet. If your game is not running correctly, try upgrading your drivers to the most current ones available. This will fix problems on occasion. Q: SimCity 4 starts up, but then does nothing. I just see the cursor and thats it. Whats 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 cant 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: Graphics Drivers] ;OpenGL =SimGLRef.dll, C4554841 Software=SimGLSoft.dll,7ACA35C6 ;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 arent 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. Contact and suggested websites: I hope you had fun playing the game and found this guide helpful! Some suggested sites are www.ea.com and www.maxis.com and www.simcity.com and www.cheatcodes.com. Good Luck with your cities!!! Check out my other FAQs and Guides for Starship Titanic PC The Crystal Key PC The Simpsons: Road Rage XBOX Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring - XBOX