Must-Have Mods for Cities: Skylines (Industries-Compatible)
Some of the essential mods, like unlimited ore and oil, have been built into the game itself as menu options choose-able at the beginning of gameplay.
Others, like some of the anti-crash and performance mods, found themselves incorporated into patches as the devs had a “why didn't we think of that?” moment when someone showed up their QA team.
And still others, like Improved Public Transit, were effectively rendered obsolete when those options showed up in DLC packs, most notably the Mass Transit expansion. And the official ones are far better (and more compatible!) than downloading a mod, so if you care about that stuff, just buy Mass Transit.
That said, the Steam Workshop is chock-full of great mods, and I'm going to mainly focus on the ones that make gameplay tweaks rather than purely cosmetic additions (content packs are great, of course, but they're not really “must-have.”)
As far as I've been able to gather, these all work with Industries, but as always with modding your game, these aren't officially supported, so if you install a mod and it breaks your game, you're on your own.
Industries Vehicle Converter
This is a nice little cleanup mod to make sure that if you're putting Industries on top of an existing city that all your vehicles come along for the ride and work with the DLC's systems.
Note that you'll need the Prefab Hook mod if you want this one to work.
Takes all the micromanagement out of making sure you have enough money allocated toward making sure the city gets the resources it needs.
Great for making sure that no excess production ends up wasted (and costing money) and likewise is a lifesaver if you're using the day/night cycle or the resource-demand systems in the After Dark or Snowfall DLC.
This is a great headache reducer.
One of the best mods out there for traffic management, the newest version of the download now includes support for the vehicles and game mechanics in Industries.
Basically, this prevents those nasty traffic jams that come from AI-controlled cars not selecting lanes properly on multiple-lane roads, allows user-controlled speed limits on streets and highways, makes traffic lights make a lot more sense in terms of the relative timing for each side of a crossing, and even includes a nuclear option to just get rid of traffic entirely if the AI has made such a hash of it that there's no bringing it back through no fault (or entirely through the fault!) of the player.
If you find yourself as angry at traffic as a Seattle pedestrian, this is the mod for you.
Automatic Bulldoze (Industries Edition)
Tired of having to manually clear abandoned buildings once whatever the problem it is that spawned them gets solved, and don't want to wait for the game to wise up and make use of the building space again?
Install this handy mod and watch as no blight goes un-renewed. This will get rid of those pesky blighted buildings in a hurry so your city can get back to growing and thriving.
Or, y'know, spawning another abandoned building because you didn't solve the underlying resource problem, but hey, it's automatic, you can mess up to your heart's content!
Fallout 4 Lynda Carter Music Mod
OK, this is just here because I am an absolutely shameless Fallout fanboy. Don't believe me? Go read my review of Parklife.
Just because you're nowhere near Goodneighbor doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to hear the music, right?
Don't forget to install the CSL Music Mod in order to be able to use this one.
Fallout: New Vegas Music Mod
Look, I told you, I'm a Fallout freak. So sue me. Same advisory applies as the Fallout 4 music, make sure you get CSL Music for this.
Mod Achievement Enabler
For obvious reasons, you'll want this one if you play with mods. Making your game better shouldn't lock you out from getting those spiffy little notes congratulating you on your progress...well, unless you're using cheat mods, in which case, you filthy cheater.
But seriously, this mod is essential to preventing a minor tweak or bug fix from marking you like you're using cheat codes.
Remove Need For Power Lines
Tired of having to mess around with bulldozing power lines, cutting power to large swaths of the city, just because you're expanding in a direction those lines occupied?
Or maybe you just want to automate another part of the process that's more about micromanagement than strategy.
If that sounds like you, then this mod is for you.
There's another one that does the same thing for pipes, but pipes aren't intrusive in the above-ground portion of the game world. Power line interruptions break realism during construction, so this mod proves exceptionally useful.
A nice realism mod, since Mother Nature often does what firefighters tap a hydrant in order to do, and she shows up without you even needing to dial 911.
Common sense mods are always nice in video games, and this is no exception.
And like in real life, if there's a fire blazing so far out of control that it's going to take more than a little drizzle to put it out, nature alone isn't going to cut it, so don't neglect your fire services.
Why should park buildings be excluded from city parks? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it?
Well, if you've got Parklife installed and want to create parks that aren't limited to Parklife-exclusive recreation buildings, this is the mod for you.
Makes Parklife much more immersive and convenient and helps solve the problem where regular park buildings are often more efficient than using Parklife's mechanics to create city beautification.
Essential if you have that DLC.
Control Building Level-Up
You know that problem you run into where the game tries to level a building up before you're ready for it?
You know how that's especially annoying when your city is too small for the advanced services that high-level commercial and industrial buildings require, but the game wants to level you up to them? Then you get abandoned buildings for lack of educated workers?
Yeah, you can lick that problem with this mod. It's officially updated for Parklife but should work just fine with Industries.
Employ Overeducated Workers
This is the Newton's Third Law equal and opposite reaction; you have great city services, but someone ultimately has to do the grunt work.
You can just pretend these are the interpretive dance majors and the people who burned out and became video game writers with accounting degrees and the people who tried their best to find good work but ended up stuck in retail because they couldn't network.
Point is, a lot of people work jobs they're overqualified for in the real world. Now they can do it in Skylines too. So you can condemn your citizens to menial, soul-destroying, dream-crushing labor.
No matter what mods you like to use, you'll find something in the Steam Workshop. And even if you prefer vanilla, there's nothing wrong with that either—but it's hard to imagine, once you've seen how a good mod can improve your experience, how you'd want to play without it.
And besides, Cities: Skylines with Fallout music is like a Reese's Cup of great tastes that go great together.