Which Cities: Skylines DLC Is Most Worth Getting?

1 of 9

Cities: Skylines has several DLC packs that mayor-players can add to the popular build simulation base game. The benefits of purchasing DLC range from a weather system to natural disasters. Seven must be purchased, while two others -- "Match Day" and "Pearls from the East" -- can be downloaded for free.

Colossol Order, developer of Cities: Skylines, first released "Match Day" on June 9, 2016. This expansion brings a stadium, ticket revenue, team colors, and stadium policies. "Pearls from the East" was released on March 22, 2017, and includes three new buildings inspired by Chinese architecture. These two DLC are must-haves, simply because they're free. 

But what about the rest?

With so much content available of varying prices, which is best for your budget?

Let's break it down and find out! In the following slides, we'll go over all 7 pieces of paid DLC and examine their strengths and weaknesses. On the final slide, we'll let you know which ones are going to give you the most bang for your buck if you've only got a little to spend.

  • Note: It should go without saying, but all DLC requires the base game Cities: Skylines to play. Cities: Skylines is currently 68% off on Steam, which means it can be bought for as low as $9.59 (regular $29.99).

Snowfall

  • Release Date: February 18, 2016
  • Price: $12.99 regular (currently 50% off at $6.49) 
  • Overall Review: Mixed
What It Offers

This DLC brings a new in-game weather system -- including snow, rain, and temperature changes. It also adds several new city maps, and introduces trams as a new public transportation option. 

Criticisms

Potential buyers may expect that seasonal cycles are automatically included in this expansion, but that is not the case. Having snow in one's city is all-or-nothing. If a mayor wishes to get rid of their snow, they must start a new game entirely -- which means the regular $12.99 price tag is steep without offering the ability to change seasonal cycles. 

Get This If...

Weather is your thing. And if you're okay with having an endless winter in your city. You should also pick this DLC up if you simply want trams as a transit option. That alone justifies the price for some players.

Relaxation Station

  • Release Date: November 29, 2016
  • Price: $3.99 regular (currently 20% off at $3.19)
  • Overall Review: Mostly Positive
What It Offers

This DLC features a high-quality "jazzy and relaxing" soundtrack for players to listen to while building and managing their cities. That's all there really is to it -- just some extra music for you to listen to while you construct the city of your dreams.

Criticisms

Some players thought the music wasn't "jazzy" or "relaxing" enough for their tastes. Others admitted they only bought this expansion because it is included in the bundle pack. 

Get This If...

You enjoy jazz music, and don't want to pull up YouTube or Spotify every time you start the game. Just make sure to preview the music included so you know whether it not it suits your ears. 

Content Creator Pack: Art Deco 

  • Release Date: September 1, 2016
  • Price: $4.99 regular (currently 33% off at $3.34) 
  • Overall Review: Mixed
What It Offers

This DLC adds in 15 new buildings from creator Matt Crux. The building types vary from commercial and residential to unique -- featuring a hotel, laundromat, ice cream parlor, radio station, and several new apartments. 

Criticisms

Art Deco is not worth the $5 price tag when hundreds of similar buildings can be downloaded for free from Matt Crux's own workshop. 

Get This If...

You want to support Matt Crux and let your wallet show your gratitude for all he's developed in Cities: Skylines.

Content Creator Pack: High-Tech Buildings

  • Release Date: November 29, 2016
  • Price: $4.99 regular (currently 20% off at $3.19) 
  • Overall Review: Positive
What It Offers

This DLC brings 15 new buildings from creator Mauro Vos. It features several unique buildings -- including a farm, nanotechnology center, research center, robotics institute, a space shuttle launch site, and television station. There are also city service buildings, including police headquarters, medical laboratory, large crematorium, and university.

Criticisms

The service buildings provide some value, but the rest aren't functional. Like Art Deco, the content in this DLC was not created by Colossol Order -- so any proceeds go to the creator, Mauro Vos. In addition, as mentioned, similar unique buildings can still be downloaded for free elsewhere on the web. 

Get This If...

You want to support Mauro Vos and show your gratitude for all he's developed in Cities: Skylines.

After Dark

  • Release Date: September 24, 2015
  • Price: $14.99 regular (currently 50% off at $7.49) 
  • Overall Review: Very Positive
What It Offers

With this DLC, you'll get new leisure night activities, beach tourism, and more forms of transportation -- like taxis and bicycles. There will also be new prisons, plus new city policies on education, prison sentences, and taxation.

Criticisms

The main feature advertised in this DLC preview -- the day and night cycle -- was added to Cities: Skylines for free. This expansion isn't necessary if one simply wants to have that cycle. Additionally, there aren't enough tourists to utilize the great features it offers. 

Get This If...

You want to optimize the free content released in the patch. With the addition of new lanes for buses and riders comes traffic lessons. Crime is reduced once a prison is placed and its corresponding policies enacted. Your city will run much more smoothly with this expansion installed. 

Stadiums: European Club Pack

  • Release Date: October 18, 2016
  • Price: $5.99 regular (currently 25% off at $4.49)
  • Overall Review: Positive
What It Offers

This DLC adds in new football stadiums, team colors, and logos. In addition, mayor-players can expect traffic changes and great ticket revenue on game days.

Criticisms

Some say that this DLC is not worth the $6 price tag given the free Match Day DLC has just added stadiums and ticket revenue to the game. 

Get This If...

You are a football/sports fan. You should be able to appreciate this expansion more than the average player.

Natural Disasters

  • Release Date: November 29, 2016
  • Price: $14.99 regular (currently 25% off at $11.24)
  • Overall Review: Very Positive
What It Offers

This expansion includes earthquakes, thunderstorms, tsunamis, forest fires, tornadoes, sinkholes, and meteors that can wreck havoc on any mayor's city. There are also new disaster-oriented buildings, a scenario creator, and helicopters introduced. Gameplay reaches a whole new level with this expansion.

Criticisms

Natural Disasters does not offer anything to improve one's city. It only offers destruction and buildings for citizens to seek refuge in. Some players complained of citizens moving away after disaster strikes. And of course, destroying one's city means that the buyer must spend their time and effort rebuilding it again. 

Get This If...

You are an individual who enjoys "playing god" and causing death and destruction. 

So which Cities: Skylines DLC is most worth the money?

Definitely the After Dark expansion. 

This expansion truly improves gameplay from the base game. Unlike "Natural Disasters", it adds nothing that could be subjective to the player's goals. Every city will be safer with the improved crime system, and travel will be more efficient with designated vehicle travel lanes -- not to mention the added leisure and tourist specializations, which add more diverse gameplay.

The 50% off discount -- making this expansion only $7.59 -- makes "After Dark" an instantaneous sell. You can pick it up on Steam now. 

Published Apr. 8th 2017

Featured Contributor

Hello! Thanks for visiting my page. All you need to know about me is that I'm a university student and writer who loves writing for GameSkinny. I strive to bring the latest gaming news and information to you and the GS community.

Related

Connect with us

Related Topics