Best Maps in Cities: Skylines
From its humble beginnings, Cities: Skylines has surpassed the mighty SimCity to become the premier city-building game. Even 6 years after its initial release, the game is still popular thanks to a great selection of DLC, great creation tools and a vibrant modding community.
Determining which cards are the best really depends on what you mean by “best”. The easiest ? The hardest? The most balanced? The most beautiful ? The most unique? This list includes a bit of everything, with a seamless mix of maps from the base game and DLC (for PS4 and PC players), and the wide selection of maps available on Steam Workshop (for PC players only).
10. Arid Plains (Transit DLC)
This flat and simple map is a good choice for beginners. It has a narrow, straight river running through the starting square, is easy to build, and doesn’t take up much space. There is also a good balance of resources here, although you will want to extend south along the river to reach the oil fields and set up your ports.
The most unique feature of the map is that it has four separate rail connections. This is because the same card is used in “Trains! »Scenario, in which your mission is to build rail networks for passengers and freight.
9. Redwood River by MrMyagi (steam workshop)
The creator of this map, MrMyagi, actually put this map aside after creating it because he didn’t think anyone would want to build a city in it. But eventually, he released it to Steam Workshop, and it became one of the most popular Cities: Skylines maps of all time.
The intricate, woven pattern of the river – inspired by the Lord of the Rings filming locations – means it’s not an ideal card for beginners, who may struggle to develop. But fans of the map find it ideal for creating a “county,” with quaint little villages dotted around its rivers, forests and mountains.
8. Azure Gulf (Sunset Harbor DLC)
Of all the maps to build a coastal paradise on, Azure Gulf is the best. It has a well-formed coastline and many rivers, beaches, and islands to work with. Thanks to the abundance of water, it can be quite difficult to build a transport infrastructure here that does not clog up on bridges.
As you would expect, by far the most abundant resource is water. There are also a lot of forests, but it is not so generous with the other types of resources. There are pockets of each spread across the map, but you’ll need to think carefully about how to separate your specialty industries from your residential neighborhoods.
7. Owl’s The Colossal Hillside by Owl (steam workshop)
Owl is so well regarded among the Cities: Skylines community that he puts his name in the titles of his cards as a “selling point”. This is the most popular of his cards, and it is absolutely beautiful.
Not so much a hill as a coastal plain framed by mountains, The Colossal Hillside is full of beautiful detail. Not the easiest map for beginners, but playable enough. The only possible downside is that it’s now quite old, so it doesn’t take advantage of some of the new features and mods that improve and streamline the game.
6. Lavender Lake (Green Cities DLC)
This popular map is designed to tempt you with an abundance of natural resources, while challenging you not to ruin them. Your first challenge is to avoid ruining the lake itself.
The lake is the only body of water that straddles the starting square, so you will need to either temporarily dump sewage there (while providing water with water towers) or send the sewage elsewhere (this which is generally not recommended). Either way, your first priority should be to expand your city to the west, so that you can drain the sewage into the river.
5. Delta range improved by blackwiddow (steam workshop)
This card is the result of a lot of hard work by two creators in the community. The original Delta range was designed by Svampan (now called [OC] Miley ‘), and was a big favorite of fellow creator, blackwiddow, who felt there were many improvements that could be made.
The community was very happy with the improvements to blackwiddow and the improved version has now far exceeded the popularity of the original map. The key to its popularity is that it has interesting, bumpy, and beautiful terrain, but it’s not difficult to build and expand thanks to a carefully thought-out grid of tiles, which ensures that each tile has a bit of everything.
4. Green Plains (base game)
This map has a pre-built freeway square around the starting square, which will prove very useful later in the game, and save you the effort and expense of building a freeway loop when your access and exit ramps are starting to get very crowded.
There are also three rivers in the square of the highway, which means that water supply and sewage will not be a problem. Despite the rivers, there is plenty of flat land to lay out on, with all the resources, except oil, available in the highway plaza. An excellent card for beginners.
3.7th island improved by blackwiddow (steam workshop)
Another example where the prolific map enhancer, blackwiddow, took a popular map (in this case one by EyeSketch aka 섭지 디) and added a tremendous amount of detail and refinement, resulting in a better, even more popular map. .
While it’s perfectly playable, 7th Island Enhanced’s strongest selling point is its spectacular scenery. It’s a collection of pretty islands overlooked by a huge plateau, allowing you to create beautiful cities on multiple levels. The centerpiece of the whole map is a huge spectacular waterfall. It really is a great card to look at, let alone play.
2. Grand River (base game)
Despite this map’s high build area and flat, easy-to-work terrain, it’s not such an easy map to play. But it is interesting. Its peculiarity is that the starting square is cut in two by the river, with a motorway connection on each side. This presents you with an immediate conundrum: how to get started.
As with everything in Cities: Skylines, it’s up to you. But here’s what not to do. Whenever you decide to cross the river, don’t do it with normal roads. If you do, the road traffic will use your city as a through road and you will have terrible traffic jams. Instead, only connect the river with highways, preferably as much as possible.
1. Riverdale by Mechalic (steam workshop)
The most popular user-created map of all is, like many favorite maps, inspired by the geography of New Zealand (or Middle-earth to use its more popular name). In the case of Riverdale, inspiration comes from Auckland’s pretty suburb of Devonport.
Riverdale is a beautifully complex natural harbor with convenient transport links and an abundance of natural resources. Its creator, Mechalic, took care to keep the surrounding hills smooth and soft, in order to make the map as buildable as possible. It’s just a great full card.