Cities: Skylines is a prospective civil engineer’s dream come true. It’s been a staple city-builder for a few years now, and in that time the modding community has turned its sharp eyes and impressive creativity to the city builder and management sim in a big way. Today, there are literally thousands and thousands of Cities: Skylines mods available on the game’s Steam Workshop page, which makes it understandably daunting to find the best ones.
Luckily, you have us. We’ve gone ahead and handpicked a suite of the best Cities: Skylines mods that will make any city better and help you manage your citizens efficiently. Below you’ll find a mixture of purely aesthetic mods, and quality of life tools that will make managing, creating, and destroying a breeze. Turns out there’s quite a lot you can do with the mod tools for this building game.
No matter if you’re a casual builder or a hardcore city planner, you’re sure to find something appropriate in our Cities: Skylines mod list. So, without any more preamble, here are the best mods for Cities: Skylines.
Providing your city with power is an essential step to growth, and is often a foundational aspect of your infrastructure. The most common method to spread power – at least at first – is through the use of unsightly power lines. The Electric Roads mod allows you to ditch the power poles by making the roads themselves a conductor. It’s a brilliant quality of life mod that keeps your city beautiful and powered all at once.
Loading Screen Mod
As far as quality of life mods go, the Loading Screen Mod is dang near essential. Most notably, it cuts download times significantly. Installing several mods can bog down the game’s performance, but with the use of the Loading Screen Mod allows you can automatically load the assets present in your city. Many users have reported load times much faster than the base game’s notoriously slow load time, which makes this mod a fantastic addition to your arsenal.
Traffic management is one of Cities: Skyline’s paramount challenges. Maintaining smooth flow through the use of one-way streets and freeway connections is almost a puzzle game in itself. Roundabouts are a fantastic way to alleviate heavy traffic, and this Roundabout Builder mod makes building them a breeze. A simple press of CTRL+O and all your traffic-related headaches will disappear.
Sometimes buildings burn down, or are abandoned, or otherwise become unsightly and undesirable. With Bulldoze It!, these buildings are automatically removed from the city without having to manually delete them yourself. It’s a great quality of life mod that lets you direct your focus to something other than abandoned buildings.
The Agricultural Field Collection
If Cities: Skylines isn’t agricultural enough for you, take a look at this Agricultural Field Collection mod collection’s suite of fields. There are five different fields to choose from, each lending a quaint countryside feel to your city. They don’t require any upkeep, and don’t attract any visitors – these are strictly visual eye candy meant to give some colour to otherwise metropolitan cities.
For those among us with an eye for detail, the More Beautification mod by modding all-star BloodyPenguin is an absolute boon. Snap satellite dishes to the roofs of houses, billboards to the side of buildings, ventilation systems atop industrial buildings, and much more. More Beautification is a perfect way to add a personal touch to your city and tidy away any clutter.
Are you bored by a dumb ol’ regular city? Do you yearn for the dystopian skyline of Blade Runner? Download the Quad collection and your city will leap straight into the future. The collection also includes many modern buildings, but who wants to mess with those when you can have a near-future Los Angeles?
Related: Take a look at our guide to all the Cities: Skylines DLC
If you’re looking to expand beyond the 25 tiles the base game allocates to you, then check out this 81 Tiles mod. You’ll be able to unlock 81 tiles of a map, allowing you to build in any direction from the get-go. Keep in mind that this is an absolutely enormous area to cover, but a canvas that big is sure to produce some incredible art.
Timboh’s Marvelous Interchange Emporium
Once your city grows large enough, you’re eventually going to have to address freeway connections and how they move drivers in and out of the city. Timboh’s Interchange Emporium comes complete with a host of prefabricated freeway interchanges, all based on real-life examples. Clovermills, turbines, diverging windmills – this Cities: Skylines mod collection has it all. The best part is that not only are the interchanges very efficient, but they’re also a ton of fun to look at.
In vanilla Cities: Skylines, building a canal involves a great deal of terraforming and careful planning. With the Canal Blocks mod, though, putting together a canal network is a snap, literally. The collection includes a ton of different canal shapes and sizes that you can use to increase the value of adjacent homes – ideal for your Venice Beach or Amsterdam recreations.
Ultimate Skyscraper Collection by various
Have you ever wanted to add Die Hard’s Nakatomi Plaza to your city? How about the Avengers Tower? Now you can as this Ultimate Skyscraper collection gives you access to a host of skyscrapers that put the skyline in Cities Skylines mods. It’s not just fictional buildings either: real-world locations like Sears Tower and Seattle’s Space Needle can be found in this impressive collection.
Real World Locations
The beauty of the modding community surrounding Cities: Skylines is its diversity. There are a ton of collections and mods that allow you to build based on your preference of architecture and your favourite cities worldwide. With these mods you can model your city after Brooklyn, France, Russia, Central Europe, China, Japan, and more. The creativity of the Cities: Skylines player base is truly staggering.
Advanced road anarchy
Roads and complex traffic solutions are great and all, but have you ever created a loop-the-loop highway that towers above your city? The Road Anarchy and Advanced Road Anarchy mods let you throw physics to the wind and create the roadways of your dreams.
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This Chirpy Exterminator mod does so little, but changes so much. As the author puts it, Chirpy Exterminator “gets rid of Chirpy, the bird we all love to hate”. Alternatively, you can make Chirpy a little more useful by modding it so it reads out all the latest from your favourite subreddit.
Real World Cities Maps
Think you can do better than the real-world city planners of yore? This collection of Real World Cities Maps lets you try your hand at redesigning one of hundreds of real cities, from Ancona, Italy to Zakopane, Poland.
This Zion mod is based on Zion National Park and challenges you to deface, debase, and disgrace one of the world’s natural treasures by turning it into a functioning city. With steep mountains, seasonal water flow changes, and very little flat ground this is no mean feat.
Mission to Mars
You can either play this map as a scenario, where you’ll need to develop a human colony on the red planet and a space elevator, or you can just download the Mission to Mars mod as a map and enjoy all your usual city planning deeds in an extraterrestrial setting.
If it’s a fictional setting you’re after, then why not try to build your dream city on Skyrim’s map with the Skyrim Map mod? We always felt that Whiterun could be improved by a spaghetti junction or landfill site.
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What we’ve listed here is just a small sampling of the thousands of mods available on the Steam Workshop. By no means is this list definitive or exhaustive, just what we like to play with ourselves. Browsing the Workshop is a ton of fun, and you never know when you might discover inspiration for your next city.