cities skylines 2 road building tips and tricks
Image Source: Paradox Interactive

Best Cities Skylines 2 Road Building Tips & Tricks

There's a whole lot more than you might think.

Cities Skylines 2 has become known for a lot of the bugs and issues that people have been running into since the game’s launch. However, with the right framework you can still build a great city under poor circumstances. Here’s the best Cities Skylines 2 road building tips and tricks.

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Plan Ahead

cities skylines 2 wide map view city layout
Image Source: Paradox Interactive via Twinfinite

I’m not saying that you’ve got to be drawing your city out on a piece of paper beforehand, but try to give yourself an idea as to where you’re going to put things. It’s important in Cities Skylines 2 that you’re keeping in mind things like the flow of air, where the water drains to or where the groundwater is. This is important for many things, but you’ve got to have an idea of what’s going on before you start laying asphalt.

Zoom out on the map and see just how big your buildable space is, and make sure you know where you’ll have important things like emergency services, hospitals and garbage management. That way you’re not having to go back on your work later for a cost and you can just rezone as opposed to changing the roadways. It costs more to demolish your work than to just get it right the first time, and you won’t have to move things around later on.

Have Multiple Routes Between A & B

cities skylines 2 multiple routes city layout
Image Source: Paradox Interactive via Twinfinite

Think about it, if you’ve got all your shops in one district and all your residences in another, it’s gonna become pretty tough to manage all that traffic with only one road between the two. Make sure that you’ve got multiple different paths that people can take so that your city doesn’t wind up getting too congested. If you’ve only got one stoplight on a very long road, it’s gonna become a bottleneck very quickly.

It’s a good practice while you’re getting used to setting up your city to use a grid layout for your roads, that way you know that there’s always going to be a path to get from one place to another. There’s even a new Grid button that you can use to make one automatically, which will make an interconnected grid for you in just three clicks so you don’t have to fight with it manually. You do still have to be careful with your bottlenecks, but they’ll be easier to spot and manage if your city already has a clean setup to begin with.

Use Varying Road Types

cities skylines 2 multiple road types
Image Source: Paradox Interactive via Twinfinite

When it comes to building your city’s infrastructure, you should make sure that you can properly service the areas of your city with various sizes of roads for different circumstances. Obviously if you’ve got a busy commercial district, you’re not going to be able to use a small, two-way road for the people in the area, so you’ll have to use something different like a four-lane divided road or a three-lane road with a turning lane.

The Medium Roads tab is going to be your friend while you’ve got a smaller city, as the small roads might not cut it but you don’t need to build a highway just yet. The four- and five- line roads are great for intersections because they can break off into a turning lane without slowing down traffic, and they work great going into a roundabout.

Pay Attention To Your Intersections

cities skylines 2 intersection
Image Source: Paradox Interactive via Twinfinite

Speaking of roundabouts, you should really incorporate them into your city’s roads where you can. It’s very easy for your intersections to get congested, and before you know it you’ll be seeing popups and news alerts about how slow the traffic is. Obviously this works in conjunction with what roads you use and how many turns you’ve got, but having one intersection simply won’t cut it for large urban sprawl.

It’s also important to know what zoning you’ve got planned before you start building the roads, so that you don’t have the traffic from an industrial or commercial area trying to flow into a residential area at one bottleneck. Make sure that there are enough ways to get out of any neighborhood so that the people driving there can take alternate routes and clear up traffic jams. If you’ve got one main road, make sure that it branches off in a few directions so everyone doesn’t have to take the exact same route to go different places.

Keep Track of Your Connections

cities skylines 2 highways road connections
Image Source: Paradox Interactive via Twinfinite

Luckily, the roads in Cities Skylines 2 will come with a low-voltage power connection, water and sewage as a default. However, this doesn’t apply to highways, which only have water and sewage, and bridges don’t have water or sewage but they do carry power. Keep track of what connections you’ve already got so that you’re not wasting time and resources trying to place pipes and power lines where they don’t need to be.

This goes along with making sure you’ve got a plan for your city because while you’re zoning your districts, it’s important to remember whether or not you need to make space for extra connections. As long as you have your buildings built along a road in the proper zone, they’ll automatically be supplied with the proper connections, but you’ll need to incorporate electrical cables to power things that aren’t along a road.

Be Aware of Elevation Changes

cities skylines 2 elevation changes
Image Source: Paradox Interactive via Twinfinite

It can be frustrating when you’re trying to build out an area and it isn’t fitting properly into the landscape, so sometimes you’ve got to do a bit of manual work to get things the way that you want them. If you need to change the terrain, you can go into the Landscaping tab and play around with where mountains lay and how it plays with the rest of your city.

Be careful when you’re using the landscaping tab because there is no undo button to fix any of your mistakes. The shift terrain tool will be for more drastic changes, while you can use the level terrain tool to fix any mistakes you make. Use the soften terrain tool to finish it all up so that you’re not getting “Too Steep” warnings when you try to build a road on it.

Those are some of the main tips and tricks for building roads in Cities Skylines 2. They’re one of the most important features in building your city, so really get comfortable with your options before you start working. For more guides on things like garbage or how to make a Quay, keep checking back here.

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Nick Rivera
Nick Rivera graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021 studying Digital Media and started as a Freelance Writer with Twinfinite in early 2023. Nick plays anything from Halo to Stardew Valley to Peggle, but is a sucker for a magnetic story.