Great Cities: Skylines Mods You Probably Want to Install

Cities: Skylines mods bring some serious quality of life changes, and you just might want to use them.

The city builder genre has been sort of a dead zone for a while now, which is part of the reason Cities: Skylines has gotten so popular so quickly. It also helps it's a pretty great game and has mod support right out of the box.

The Cities: Skylines Steam Workshop is just packed with community-made content, including everything from structures and maps to feature mods. It's very impressive considering the game's only been out for seven days at the time of writing.

I've definitely packed my game with mods, and I want to share some of my favorites from the Steam Workshop. Most of these mods are works in progress, but their creators can help you in the discussion and comments sections on their Workshop pages.

If you want to use a mod click on the 'Subscribe' button on the Workshop description to download the mod and use it in-game. Once you launch the game, enable the mods you want to use in the mod menu.

More mods are being created all the time. I'll be adding to this list as my own mod library grows. For the time being, updates to this list are happening every two days or so. Mods that have been overshadowed or are no longer needed are removed once the time comes.

  • Chirpy Banner - Changes Chirpy into a scrolling marquee banner at the top of the screen. Very convenient if you want to keep it around, but hate opening it and having to scroll through messages.
  • Automatic Bulldoze - Destroys buildings that are abandoned or burned down without you having to do a thing. Very convenient, especially once your cities get big.
  • Tree Brush - Does exactly what it sounds like: Lets you plant trees in your city, wherever you want.
  • PopBalanceMod - Changes the maximum population for buildings based on their zone type, and changes their water and electricity requirements to match those adjusted numbers. Changes your population and money flow considerably in comparison to a vanilla city.
  • AutoSaver - Configurable - Adds an autosave function. You can configure autosave intervals in the mod's files. Details on that can be seen on the Workshop page. The default interval is 5 minutes.
  • Toggle Traffic Lights - This is a lifesaver for cities that have traffic problems. Normally vehicles will stop at intersections with traffic lights regardless of other traffic. This makes it so they only stop when they need to. An absolute must have.
  • Info Button Viewer - This mod lets you see all the overlays before they unlock via milestones. I find this particularly useful when starting a new city and want to see nearby resources.
  • SimpleClock - Just puts a clock on the bottom of the game's UI. Great if you have trouble keeping track of time when you're in-game.
  • First-person camera - This mod lets you see your city through the eyes of your citizens. It's very fun to see from their eyes while they're driving, let me tell you.
  • City Vitals Watch - This makes it much easier to keep an eye on how your city's doing. Gives you a simple transparent overlay showing most of your city's service usage so you don't have to keep looking at the overlays. Would be nice to see more stats, though!
  • Flight Cimulator - If you want to fly an airplane around your city, this is the mod for you. An interesting idea implemented pretty well.
  • City Web Server - Have you ever wanted to keep track of your cities' stats while minimized? Whether you have or not, this mod lets you do so. It only works locally on the same computer being used to play the game at the moment, but gives detailed information and perfectly fits the needs of minimizing players.
  • All 25 Areas Purchaseable - Lets you buy 17 additional areas when you reach the 13th Milestone instead of the default single area. A must-have if you have the itch for an absolutely gargantuan city.
  • Mod Achievement Enabler - Lets you get achievements even if you have mods on. Considering the very simple features of some mods, this is a reasonable download for people who want simple quality of life mods but don't want to lose out on achievements.
  • NoPillars - Lets you build elevated train tracks, even above roads. So you can have a road on the ground with train tracks above it running parallel or across. Very nifty.
  • Text Scale Mod - Allows you to adjust the in-game text size to make it more readable. I know a lot of players have trouble reading the tiny tutorial text, and this mod aims to make it a bit easier to read.
  • Zonable Pedestrian Paths - If you wanted roads for people to walk instead of drive on, this is the mod for you. Helps a ton with traffic (no more traffic jams), but still allows emergency and service vehicles make their way down the no-drive paths. Very cool and makes traffic jams in neighborhoods a thing of the past.
  • Traffic Report Tool - If you're having traffic issues (we all are), this handy dandy mod may make your road planning a little easier. This shows the routes individual vehicles are taking on a particular road and even shows the routes taken to buildings. 
  • Automatic Emptying - This mod is simple: When a cemetery or garbage dump is full, it will automatically empty to another facility that isn't full. It currently has some issues, but may be worth it for some cities.
  • Slow Citizen Aging - This extends your citizens' lifespans to 20 ~ 24 years instead of the default (and very short) 5 ~ 6. Compatible with Proper Hardness.
  • Proper Hardness - If you want a more difficult mayoral experience, this is the mod for you. Does a ton of stuff that changes the overall gameplay experience and makes the game much less of a cake walk. 
  • Extended Public Transport UI - Probably the best tool to keep track of your public transportation. Each line has its own color, and the mod's interface is thorough and easy to use.
Published Mar. 17th 2015

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