Cities Skyline 2’s economy is realistic, vast, and has way more taxes


The Cities Skylines 2 economy has me both excited and intimidated. In the original Cities, I have a pretty simple task. Keep residential, industrial, and commercial taxes around 14% and everything will be more or less fine. With the Cities Skylines 2 release date almost upon us, however, I think it’s time to brush up on my supply and demand, income, and outcome, as CS2 looks to deliver a much more detailed and realistic simulation of a working, profit-producing city. That means more specialized industries, and a lot more taxes. Get ready for the next generation of the Colossal Order city-building game. Cities Skylines 2 is all about that money.

We know plenty about Cities Skylines 2 maps and also Cities Skylines 2 traffic flow. But all of that will be irrelevant unless we can balance the books and keep a steady flow of cash in and out of town. To begin with, the entire production management system is overhauled.

There are now nine specialized industries in the base game, four of which are farms where you can raise livestock or grow grain, vegetables, or cotton. After that you have forests which produce timber, and underground deposits from which you can extract ore, stone, or coal, and finally, the option to drill for oil.

Every single one of these industries can be managed down to the smallest detail. You can decide how much you want to produce, set prices for any surplus, and decide how much you want to export or keep to yourself. A lot of this micro management is optional, Colossal Order says, so if you prefer the big picture and want to leave the finer details to someone else, likely that will be an option.

Taxes are also much more detailed now. In Cities Skylines 1, you’d levy general taxes on industrial, commercial, and residential areas. Now, every individual business, material, and product can be taxed. Manage taxes on everything including food, furniture, grain, paper, timber, vegetables, vehicles, electronics, metal, oil, plastics, and petrol. I mean, that’s a huge list – if you like setting taxes, Cities Skylines 2 is your game.

And of course, the way you manage these taxes will affect your economy. If you make furniture production cheap, more industries and factories dedicated to furniture will appear in your city, and the happiness of your citizens might increase as they have more comfortable homes. However, if taxes are too low, you won’t get a steady income, and you may end up overproducing one commodity to the neglect of others.

But there’s even more to deal with, as companies will now fire employees, giving you another plate to spin when it comes to managing joblessness. Let’s say your oil drilling concern is having a negative effect on your city’s environmental status and making people unhappy.

Cities Skylines 2 economy: A list of taxable products in city-building game Cities Skylines 2

You boost taxes to slow production, but in turn, that means oil companies have less money, which means they make job cuts, which leaves more of your Cims unemployed – and unhappy. It’s a carousel of decision-making and consequence which feels like running a city for real, and I can’t wait to play.

In the meantime, however, get the full Cities Skylines 2 system requirements so you know your PC is up to the task. You might also want to try some of the other great management games available on PC.

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