Anno 1800: How to Rotate Buildings

Wondering how to rotate buildings in Anno 1800? It's simple! Here's what to do.

A ship entering an island harbor near a trade post in Anno 1800.
Screenshot by GameSkinny
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You can rotate buildings in Anno 1800, though it may not seem like you can initially. It stumped me in my first few hours with the city-builder, especially coming from games like Cities: Skylines 2. In fact, there are several ways to do so. Here, I’ll tell you how. 

What Controls Let You Rotate Buildings in Anno 1800?

Two columns of options in the Anno 1800 controls menu showing the rotate buildings keys.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

To rotate buildings in Anno 1800, press the middle mouse button or the comma and period keys on your keyboard. The middle mouse button turns a building 90 degrees to the right each time. The comma key turns them 90 degrees left, and the period key spins them 90 degrees right.

These default controls can be rebound and changed in Options -> Controls. Scroll about halfway down the list to find them. Then click the field and set any key or button you’d like. It’s actually more intuitive than destroying roads!

Important note: You can only turn a building with the middle mouse button before it’s been placed. The comma and period keys allow you to rotate a building in Anno 1800 before and after it’s been placed.

In my experience, almost every building can be rotated. However, you can’t turn things like Clay Pits, Iron Mines, coastal Trade Posts (harbor), or Fisheries. You can also rotate multiple buildings at once if you’ve selected them with the Relocate tool, letting you move — and turn — whole districts or neighborhoods simultaneously.

Why Turn Buildings Different Ways in Anno 1800?

Structures snap to roads in Anno 1800. For the most part, you don’t have to worry about citizens being able to get into and out of their homes, factories, pig farms, or bars.

Beyond pure functionality, being able to turn structures in Anno 1800 is also sometimes an anesthetic choice. It’s not just for the obvious horizontal or vertical positioning, either. It’s also because of how certain assets look when rotated.

For example, I like to have the white curved fences for the Farmer’s Residence face the road. I think it looks nice. Further, I prefer the front of my Fire Station to face the road because it just makes logical sense. But you don’t have to, and that’s the beauty of it. The system allows you to create unique-looking boroughs. You can also press Shift+V to cycle through different assets.

A pig farm with fields and silos unable to connect to a warehouse with a red warning symbol.
Screenshot by GameSkinny

However, you must be careful about rotating certain buildings, depending on how your roads are constructed. Production buildings may not be able to reach Warehouses, for instance.

You’ll see a red warning symbol above structures that don’t have access if they’re turned incorrectly. “No Warehouse in Range” will appear if you hover over the building. To fix the issue, just flip them to meet your roads.

But that’s about all I can say about rotating buildings in Anno 1800. It’s a feature that I really enjoy about Ubisoft’s city-builder, and it’s one that I’d love to see implemented elsewhere more often. Come on, Colossal Order!

About the author

Jonathan Moore

Jonathan Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of GameSkinny and has been writing about games since 2010. With over 1,200 published articles, he's written about almost every genre, from city builders and ARPGs to third-person shooters and sports titles. While patiently awaiting anything Dino Crisis, he consumes all things Star Wars. He has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing focused on games writing and narrative design. He's previously been a newspaper copy editor, ad writer, and book editor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, watching football, and walking his three dogs. He lives on Earth and believes in aliens, thanks to Fox Mulder.