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How to make money in Cities Skylines 2

Here are the easiest ways to make money in Cities Skylines 2 so you can build the metropolis of your dreams and not be stuck in debt hell.

How do you make money in Cities Skylines 2? Bread, dough, other flour-based synonyms for cash – whatever you call it, money truly does make the world go around. After all, you can’t erect your glorious city without a healthy bank account. Now, while you can simply borrow what you need to build your settlement, you’re then essentially playing on borrowed time, and without an influx of cash, you’ll be dead in the water before you know it.

The Cities Skylines 2 release date is finally here, and with it comes probably the most important question any burgeoning city planner will ask: how do you make money? If you’re planning on filling the entire Cities Skylines 2 map, then you’re going to need a strong cash flow. Here’s how to make money in Cities Skylines 2 so you never go broke.

Cities Skylines 2 money: a skyscraper with a mountain in the background.

How to make money in Cities Skylines 2

Nearly everything you do in Cities Skylines 2 costs money. From placing new roads to building houses, you’ll notice a drain on your bank account from the first minute of your playthrough. Ongoing costs from the city services require you to at least break even, and if you plan on expanding your city any time soon, you going to need to turn a profit.

Here are the best ways to make money in Cities Skylines 2:

Cities Skylines 2 money: the outline of a potential building site for a power plant.

Plan ahead

It always helps to have a plan, especially when it comes to building skyscrapers. Even if you don’t know exactly how your city is going to look, try to figure out roughly what you want to build and where you want things to go. Building your residential areas around a school, rather than adding schools ad hoc will reduce the amount you need, and therefore the running costs. The same goes for police stations, hospitals, and anything else your population needs.

In terms of resources, if you have the initial budget, it’s worth building a power station bigger than what your city currently needs as you can offload the surplus for a profit. This takes us nicely to our next point.

Cities Skylines 2 money: glowing spots in the landscape showing the location of natural resources.

Sell your surplus

There are many resources in Cities Skylines 2, many of which you need to build and expand your city. When you begin your save, you need to import each of these resources at your own expense.

Examining your environment early can give you an indication of which specialized industry your city is suited to. You can use the natural resources filter in the top left corner of the screen to seek out those precious natural resources. Not only will gathering these resources offset the building and maintenance costs of your own city but if you use the Production tab on the Economy screen, you can see if you’re earning a surplus that can be sold for huge profits.

Cities Skylines 2 money: a screen showing the amount of taxes people pay.

Taxes are a necessary evil

You’ll find that taxes are the thing that makes up the bulk of your income, at least initially. Look after your citizens by ensuring they have all their needs met and that they have access to good education and health services. You generally want to keep taxes at or below the 15% percent mark, with the 12% mark being the sweet spot initially. Setting them too high will be a turn-off for potential citizens, but setting them too low means that you’ll miss out on income, with your services likely to suffer as a result.

Cities Skylines 2 money: a screen showing the public transport options available to build in a city.

Public transport profit

In theory, every kind of paid public transport can turn a profit. It may be difficult for that multi-million dollar railway system to make you money due to the huge initial outlay, but a cheap and cheerful public bus system can be just as effective. This will eventually turn a decent profit which you can put back into improving city infrastructure.

Now that you know how to make money in Cities Skylines 2, there’s only one thing left to do; get out there and build big. If you’re looking to build a metropolis with a very specific look, check out all of the Cities Skylines 2 DLC we can expect post-launch, and how Cities Skylines 2 mods will work, now that Paradox has dropped Steam Workshop support.