Skid Cities – City Builder Guide

A simple guide on building cities and oppressing the masses in Skid Cities.

Guide to Build Cities


Alright, let’s get down to brass tacks. Skid Cities is a grid based city builder, fairly similar to Sim City 3000. There is a fair level of depth to the game, and I hope to give you a solid idea of how deep this schizo rabbit hole goes.

If you’re curious about my level of knowledge with Skid Cities, I would point you to my best city, Dreamland, located in SOTA’s area of Oceania. It has a population of 119,280 poor sods. We have an income of about $70,208, depending on how frisky the Yakuza gets.

Making South Sudan

I’m going to assume you know how to make a city (Make it anywhere, preferably close to other cities for buffs.). I always start a city by building up the poor area first. Poor areas are cheaper to build, cheaper to maintain, and I think they’re full of eye candy once they get off the ground. So, let’s get to oppressing the masses!

Now, plan things out in your head. I like to build small sections of area to start. First, use the infrastructure tab and make some roads. Then use the services tab, and make a water recycler and some sewers. Arguably the most important aspect of your city’s development is water. You need water for most buildings, albeit with a few exclusions(Like airports). I like to build a water recycler in the middle, and then build 2*the street’s length.

Then, use the zoning tab. Select poor residential zoning, you want to surround the sewers with residential zoning. You can make these as thicc or as thin as you want. If you’re unsure if your water will reach it, you can use the data layer tab to check.

Now, we have a small neighborhood. Not enough! We’re corpos, we need fat stacks of cash to spend on cocaine. We will increase our revenue by building factories. Factory zoning is very similar to residential zoning. You need space, roads, and water. Design a similar layout to your neighborhood. Then, select the tab under residential zoning, you should see a hardhat icon, use it. Notice the small 4×4 central areas interspersed? That’s for the upgrade. More on those in the next chapter.

Now, the poor residents have jobs, and the factories can pay taxes. Expand on both your poor residential zoning and your factories until you begin unlocking new buildings.

Expanding Hell Holes

Now, you have the basics down. You can begin upgrading your old designs. To upgrade different buildings, you need to increase the cyberpunk of buildings. Your main method will be in the services tab, These different buildings will enhance your income by enhancing your people with cybernetics. There’s three, and I will explain all, since all are important:

  • Arm Aug – Use this to upgrade poor residential zoning. The arm aug has the biggest upgrade radius, and can easily reach far.
  • Eye Aug – Use this to upgrade factories. This radius is small, possibly half the radius of the Arm aug. You will need to build more of these as a result.
  • Brain Aug – Use this to upgrade offices. Offices are the factories of rich people. This is in between the size of the arm aug and the eye aug.

If you’re unsure about how close you are to upgrading a building, you can right the building. You will see the cyberpunk represented via a bar. Clicking on the bar will show you the exact modifiers. There’s a lot of different possible cyberpunk modifiers, too many for me to list here.

Now, the more you build, the more upgrades you get. This means once you unlock something, you should go back to older designs, use the bulldoze tool and make room for the upgrade. This way, you can keep organically upgrading your city as you expand.

How to Brainwash Everyone

You might have noticed another tab. The third tab, marked ‘Security’ has a lot of uses. Let’s blaze through them.

  • Crime is for keeping street crime down. Street crime lowers demand, which means less money. Always build at least one underground prison. Build anywhere.
  • The second tab is for reducing unrest. Big ol’ propaganda screens.
  • Third tab is for rogue androids. Factories use androids for some labor. You can build these near factories that have android escapees. Check for these with the data layer tab.
  • The fourth tab is dissent. These guys will give you issues. Too much dissent leads to terrorists flat out blowing up your buildings. Dissent can occur everywhere.
  • The final tab is Interpol. Read: Rich people crime. Build in the corresponding areas. Extra note on this: Yakuza don’t like these gentlemen.

How to Optimize Building?

I see this question asked on the Discord, I’ve been asked this question IRL by a buddy that plays, and the question hangs over this guide like a specter.

Since the buildings that upgrade cyberpunk are the basis of all growth, ideally you will build around their radius ahead of time. Yeah I know, that’s likely agonizing to read. Such is life in a Skid City.


This crash course hopefully gave you a decent idea of how to control the mass of unwashed plebians. Remember to water your masses daily, expand zoning, and upgrade cyberpunk. Once you’ve done all that, take a look at the laws and organization tab, on the right of your minimap. Then, skim your options. If you liked this guide, legalize random laws and try to cause some chaos.

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