SimCity BuildIt Tips, Hints And Strategies


City-builders have been a genre that has worked on mobile for a while, but the granddaddy have them all has been largely absent from that category on phones and tablets.

That changed once EA hit us with SimCity BuildIt, a game that plays a lot like the SimCity computer games in many ways as you determine ways to balance the needs of your city. It also introduces a heavy dose of crafting as you produce the proper materials to upgrade your Sims’ residential buildings and keep that city growing.

That crafting element makes things a little more complicated than the game first appears, particularly since it gets increasingly tricky to fulfill all of your citizens’ desires the larger your city gets — and really, that’s probably how it would be in real life as well. But take heart, because if you follow along with App Trigger’s Tips, Hints and Strategies, you’ll have a happy, thriving metropolis with a minimum of hassle.

  • Unlike other SimCity games, you don’t have to worry about zoning different areas for different purposes — but that doesn’t mean you can simply build whatever you want, wherever you want. Instead, you’ll receive a certain number of plots for residential buildings and factories as you level up, as well as specific stores. This limits your choices somewhat but also simplifies your planning.
  • It’s not always a great idea to use all your available residential plots. That’s because the amount of services your Sims demand are based on the number of residential plots you are using instead of your total population. Not that realistic, you say? Happily, that’s not really your concern. If you have enough power for, say, 18 plots, it makes sense to focus on upgrading the building you already have instead of laying down more plots until you have enough money to buy more power plants.
  • Factories create pollution, at least until you get far enough into the game to research clean technology. Pollution makes the Sims who live close to the factories unhappy, so your best bet is to build a long road and place your factories as far away from your occupied areas as you can. Similarly, once sewage becomes and issue, you’ll want waste plants to be located on the outskirts of your usable land as well.
  • Basic, two-lane roads cost nothing in SimCity BuildIt, so lay them down wherever you need them. Once your city gets bigger, traffic becomes a problem for some Sims, and you’ll need to upgrade to bigger roads. This does cost Simoleons, so keep that in mind once citizens start asking for wider roads.
  • You want your Sims’ happiness as high as possible because they will pay more Simoleons in taxes. Ideally, you’ll want it at 90 percent or above at all times, which will get you the highest tax rate of 20 percent. Is it possible to get to 100 percent? Sure, but you’ll need to make sure every single resident is pleased about everything, and that gets increasingly difficult as you progress through the game.
  • Your factories should be producing something at all times while you’re logged into the game. The basic materials they can produce — Metal, Wood, Plastic, Seeds and Minerals — don’t require any prerequisites, you simply have to wait the allotted amount of time for them to finish. You can tinker with the production mix as you see fit, but you’ll want to keep as many different kinds of materials on hand as possible, because …
  • Stores need the materials from your factories to churn out their goods. Every different kind of good uses a different mix of items to craft, and you can find out what you need just by tapping and holding on any product.
  • Upgrading residential buildings will take materials from the factories early in the game. Later, you’ll need a mix of basic materials and items crafted in stores. If you don’t like the plan for a certain building, you do have the option to ask the architect to draw up new plans. It costs you nothing, but you will have to wait half an hour.
  • You’ll need items from your citizens in order to expand your City Storage or the borders of your city. You can get those by tapping on the blue thought bubbles that you’ll see pop up from time to time from various residential buildings. The frequency of these bubbles increases when the Sims are satisfied, which is yet another good reason to keep your happiness level up.
  • Need more Simoleons? You’ve got several options. Your quickest but least efficient choice is to click on the dialogue bubbles with the coins in them, where you’ll get offers from other (fictional) cities to sell some of your excess items. A better way to go is to use the Trade Depot once you unlock it, where you can control both the quantity and the price you’d like to set for any sale.

Next: EA VP Jason Willig talks about the making of SimCity BuildIt