Cities: Skylines Tip – Dealing with ‘Too Few Services’

Pinpointing what services your residents need is tricky, but not impossible.

Pinpointing what services your residents need is tricky, but not impossible.

If you’ve played Cities: Skylines for more than a couple hours, you’ve probably seen a number of buildings pop up with indicators stating ‘Too few services’. This can mean a few things, based on whether your residential or industrial buildings are giving you the notification.

‘Too few services’ is woefully vague, which is why this can give some players a big headache. For residential, it can mean anything from basic services (like healthcare) to something more complicated (like land value). It’s often more simple in the case of industrial buildings, but you still have to figure it out to sate your city’s citizens.

Essential services for residential buildings

Don’t let the wording above fool you: If you simply don’t have the money, these services are not absolutely essential. People won’t be leaving your city in droves right away, but they will in time.

If you’re getting a large number of residential buildings crying for more services, check to make sure they have the following in their area:

  • Healthcare
  • Police coverage
  • Fire coverage
  • Garbage collection
  • Sewage removal
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Public transportation
  • Buildings or parks that increase land value

You can check healthcare, police, fire, and garbage collection coverage via their individual overlays. There are two things you need to keep in mind when looking at each overlay to see what the problem might be:

  1. One-way roads affect service vehicles and their ability to get to individual homes.
  2. Sometimes houses will not be affected by the services anyway, despite being on a road where they are available.

Check out this image, particularly the house at the bottom left with the urgent ‘Too few services!’ indicator over it.

Notice how, despite the fact the nearby hospital does service the roads surrounding that block, this house is not affected by the hospital. This area gave me a bit of a headache before realizing what was going on.

I can’t explain why this happens, but it is something you do need to keep in mind when looking through your overlays, trying to find the services your residential area is asking for. This does not happen with electricity or water.

Be sure to pay attention to road coverage when placing your service buildings to prevent waves of houses requesting more services. It’s the easiest way to avoid the problem.

Land values are more tricky to pinpoint as the problem, and more often than not people just want places to spend their leisure time. Buildings that give leisure, give land value.

If you’ve determined everything else is fine, up your land values with some parks or unique buildings and see what happens. Alternatively, your citizens may just want some public transportation, especially if traffic in your city isn’t all that great.

Essential services for industrial buildings

Picking out the services your industrial buildings are asking for can be a little more tricky than residential, but overall there’s less to worry about.

The first thing you need to check is whether your industrial area has police and fire coverage. These two are confirmed factors in your industrial districts’ service satisfaction, but you may want to check garbage collection and hospital coverage as well.

One thing that affects your industries (that you don’t have to worry about with others) is incoming and outgoing goods. If they’re not getting enough, they’re not getting enough “services”. A solution to this is to build either a cargo terminal for trains or a cargo harbor for ships. This will greatly increase their imports and exports.

And if all this fails, you can also try to put some commercial zones near your needy industrial areas. Commercial buildings can act as a service for industrial buildings by giving them locations to sell their goods. In rare cases, this may be just what your dissatisfied industry needs.

Hopefully this helps you out, as I’ve had quite a time trying to figure this puzzle out myself. Sometimes your citizens want one thing, sometimes they want another — but as mayor, you’ve got to figure it out.

These solutions aren’t sure-fire, but they have worked for me on occasion and will hopefully help you as well.

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