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Welcome to my Sim City 3000 Playing Guide. This Guide will help you construct and maintain a successful and profitable city. There are many sections to this guide and they appear in no order to follow, this is not a walkthrough on how to build a city following steps that I have written (although there is a walkthrough on how to build a basic city). Instead this outlines some major parts of the game and addresses them with solutions to help build and keep your city up and running.

Please do not copy this guide without my permission

Comments and Suggestions can be sent here

Please do not mail me for hints or solutions

The Printable Version can be found here

Now with that over onto the Sim City 3000 Playing Guide!



This section will provide tips on how to build a basic but profit turning city. Then provide tips on expanding your city to become a city to be remembered.


Construct the basic layout of your city while it is paused. Build your city near a fresh water supply. Lay down a large Residential area, close to an Industrial Area but not too close for the Sims don't want to live near to much pollution. Then build a Commercial area near to the Residential Area. Now run roads through and around the areas. Lay down a Power Plant and connect it to the areas with the power lines.

    You should now have a Residential, Commercial and Industrial area, connected with roads, with a Power Plant connected to them with Power Lines.

    Now begin placing Police Stations, Fire Stations, Hospitals, Schools, Libraries, Museums and Parks or other recreational facilities. Now build Water Pumps near the fresh water and then connect the pumps with water pipes to everything you just built. You will need a lot of Water Pumps so build around 5 to 8 to start and then build more as your city grows.

Note: Always remember to connect new areas with water pipes so that everyone has water or your Sims will complain.

    Un-pause the game and try and end up with 2 to 5 thousand dollars left. You have to end the first few years with some money left over or you will not survive the next year. In the beginning set Industrial and Commercial Taxes at 8 or 9 %, and have Residential Taxes between 7 to 10 %. Now watch your small but thriving city grow.

   The little RCI indicator at the bottom of the screen tells what zone is needed most. R is for Residential, I for Industrial, and C for Commercial. When the bar is higher than the middle it means more of that zone is needed and lower than the middle means that it is not in demand.

Pay attention to the ticker tape running along the bottom of the screen. It displays what is going on in your city, how Sims are reacting or what they demand. Also check your advisers often they will provide you with valuable information, check out there briefing files for information on how to look after your city.



Expanding your city is quite easy, as long as you don't go overboard and spend all your money. When expanding your city build what the Sims want, it is no use building a whole bunch of Schools when all they want is some where live. Check your Advisers for they usually tell you what the city needs. Also pay attention to the RCI indicator and try and build what zone is most needed.

    Now that you have a growing city on your hands you will need to do something about all your rubbish. Landfills are cheap and easy, but Sims don't like the pollution they give and don't want to live near them. Incinerators are costly but dispose of your garbage quicker but still the Sims don't want to live near them. The next option is to build a road connection to your Neighbour. Connections can be Road connections, Water Pipe connections and Power Line connections.

Road connections mean that traffic can be moved between your two cities. So if you have a road connection you may get an offer from your Neighbour asking if he would like to dispose of your trash, or vice-versa, you take his trash. This comes with a cost though so be careful, if you take trash from a Neighbour you will be paid a fee for your service, and you will have to pay if the trash is taken from you. Other deals are that he may buy or offer to sell you power or water. To sell excess power or water is handy if you need the money.

    When adding large areas to your city, make sure that they have access to Schools, Hospitals, Fire Protection and Police Protection as well recreational facilities. Remember to add water and power to the new areas or they will not develop.

    By now you should start getting rewards. The Sims will vote to give you some awards like the Mayor's House and Courthouse, but now and then a business man/woman will approach you and offer to build a facility in your city, such as the Maximum Security Prison or the Toxic Waste factory. The Rewards that Sims give are good and you can place them anywhere, but the Rewards offered to you from the business man/woman are different, these generate pollution or can have a bad effect on your Sims. Click the Analysis button on the right of the offer and an Advisers will warn of the Pro's and Con's of this building. It is best to place the Toxic Waste factory and the Prison and any other not so good Rewards near Industrial areas or out of the way places.

If some of the Rewards are polluting, undesirable buildings then why accept to build them? Well I'll tell you why, they give you a set amount of money each month if they are placed in your city. Now this extra money each month can really help provide the city with more places to live, places to play etc. So it is a good idea to accept all the Rewards as you can.

    Remember that when expanding build what the Sims want, check your advisers all the time and they will advise you what should be built.



This section of the Spoiler will now look in detail at some of the important aspects of the game and hopefully these should improve your city building skills.


building.wmf (10806 bytes)    BUILDING   building.wmf (10806 bytes)

This section will deal with the building aspect of Simcity 3000. It will teach you how to effectively build and place the structures in the game.


Zoning can be more complicated than it seems. For your Zones to grow and have a high land value they need to have access to everything. Having a high valued Zone is very important, it means that more people will move into the zone and will build up the Zone which in turn gives you a nice healthy profit.

Your Residential Zones need to be near some Commercial Zones and relatively close to some Industrial Zones. They also need access to Schools, Hospitals, Police and Fire Protection and at least one or two recreational facilities. They also need to be powered and have water access. To achieve the high land value place Museums and Libraries to help keep your adult Sims educated.

When starting your city try not to build too many dense Residential Zones for your Sims will want a small house at first, and also building dense Zones early off could rapidly deplete your money leaving you broke. Also don't try and build massive blocks of Zones because there is a good chance that the middle of the block will not get built fore the Sims can't get to it.


Police and Fire Protection is important. Without Police and Fire Stations crime and flammability is high and Sims won't want to live there and move out, and also not many Sims will move into a crime infested area or an area that is an extreme fire hazard. Make sure there are plenty of Police and Fire Stations about to keep your Sims happy.

Sims don't like highly polluted areas, so try and keep heavy Industry away from Residential zones. Also enact the anti-pollution ordinances to help fight off the pollution. If your water gets polluted build a treatment plant to help clear it up or otherwise the Sims get fed up and move out.

Build lots of parks and other recreational facilities to keep your Sims happy and occupied, bored Sims will soon leave your city for lack of things to do.

Remember to build Water Pumps, Water Pumps need to be placed next to fresh water or they will not work, and they need to have electricity. If you aren't near fresh water you need to build a Desalinization Plant to turn the salt water into fresh water. You will also need to continuely build water pumps to get water to all your Sims.


WB01513_.gif (307 bytes)   MONEY MANAGEMENT   WB01513_.gif (307 bytes)


Taxes play a very important role in Simcity 3000. I think that you should take a good look at your budget screen every year, maybe even twice a year so that you can change Residential taxes when necessary (say when you are running low on money, or the Sims are complaining about the taxes being too high), as well as the Industrial and Commercial taxes.

High taxes could be the reason your city isn't developing like it should, Sims won't move to a city where the taxes are really high. When your city is just starting off (say the first 10 years) it is a good idea to have the Commercial and Industrial taxes at 7%, so that Sims will set up business, and have the Residential taxes at around 8% and 10%. Now remember when fiddling with the taxes be careful for if the Sims don't approve of the new taxes, you will probably have rioting on your hands!

Also when starting off you could probably cut down on the funding to the Police and Fire etc. Though be careful fore it down grades their ability to work and they will not work as effectively as they could.

As your city grows to accommodate more people it is wise to raise the taxes a little, not too much or the Sims will complain. Experiment with the taxes and set them to suit your needs.


It is a good idea to invest in some ordinances, some can be profitable (Parking Fines etc.) but most are non-profitable but they help your city and also please your Sims. When starting off it is best to set too many ordinances or you could be wasting money that could be used to lay down the foundations of your city. Though when you have the money try and enact some of the anti-pollution ordinances for the Sims will greatly appreciate it.

Every now and then a Sim will approach you and ask for an ordinance to be enacted or one taken away. Again this is your decision as what to do.

Some ordinances can be quite profitable and the price of ordinances grow as the cities population grows. If you need the extra money you might want to enact the Parking Fines ordinance or perhaps the legalised gambling.


It is best not to blow all your money on one thing. Try and spread your money out to cover the Sims needs. When the Sims want something it will either come across on the ticker tape or the advisers will let you know of what they need and sometimes a Sims will come and ask for something. If the Sims don't need anything, check the Police and Fire coverage and build Stations where necessary the check to see if perhaps a School, College, Library or Museum is needed. Then after you have gone checked these build recreational facilities somewhere near some Residential zones (your Sims will love you for this).

It may also be best not to spend anything, just letting it build up is good as well, in case of an emergency or the Sims will finally ask for something which you will have to give them. 

Loans. I hate loans. Only take out loans if your really have to. Every year some money is taken from your coffers and given back to the bank to help repay your loan. Though this is good and saves you the hassle, the bank adds interest to the initial loan making it harder to pay it off. Only take out loans if you are in debt, or desperately need to build something for Sims. Also after a loan has been taken out repay it as soon as possible, or your city could be in serious debt and may never get out.



The Sims are fussy people and always demand the best and only the best of their mayor. They expect you to build a wonderful city for them to live in, work in, and play in. Thus you must provide them with these demands. Failing to do so results in your sacking. Your Sims will be forever demanding and will constantly annoy you. Though they should be listened to as annoying as they are, they provide vital information which you need to use to build a successful and Sim pleasing city. 

Always pay attention to your Sims they let you know when you have done a good job or you are stepping out of line. If you annoy them too much you could have a full blown riot on your hands! Though if you please you will be lavished with many great rewards and opportunities. The Sims may be demanding but don't let them push you around, you don't have to give them every thing they want. Make a wise decision as what they should get and what they shouldn't. Though be a fair mayor and your Sims will enjoy living in your city.



constance.gif (11280 bytes)   THE ADVISERS   moe.gif (10806 bytes)

The advisers don't just have names of double meanings (Moe Biehl, "mobile" your transport adviser) but they provide you with valuable information on how to run your city. They inform of important current events as well as briefings that provide valuable insight into many subjects within the game.

Constantly check the Advisers to learn about new happenings in your city. Also check out their briefing files for information into some aspects of the game. Your Advisers will warn you when things aren't doing so well, and will also tell you when things are fine, or outstanding. They will also pop up to tell you that something is seriously wrong and that it should be fixed immediatley.

Pay attention to your Advisers they usually know what they are doing. Sometimes Police, Fire and the Health and Education Advisers will get annoyed if you take away their funding but they can't have everything. It is a good idea not to take away funding from the Transport Adviser or the roads will wear and break, and without the Transport inspectors they can't be fixed.

Your Advisers will also tell you if there section they represent (say Education or Police) are doing well ,need more buildings to do with that section or are the best in the country. As with your Sims pay attention your Advisers they are very helpful and help you make your city grow.




  Rewards are what a good Mayor recieves if he has excelled in building and nuturing his city as well as pleasing the Sims. Rewards are different from Building Offers. Rewards are the nice things that the Sims decide on giving or building for the Mayor. Now thats not to say that the Building Offers are bad and cause no good. Building offers all have a downside, unlike the Rewards where there is nothing bad about them. As soon as a Reward is offered find a nice place to put it and build it there. They range from ther Mayors House and his Statue to City Hall and many more. Unlike Rewards I don't think there are as many Rewards as Building Offers but they are still very nice.

Rewards usually mean that you are doing the right thing city wise. Your Sims are happy and have Rewarded you. Keep up the good work and many more bigger, better, more glamorous Rewarsd will be handed out to you.

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Building are quite different from the Rewards. Though in the same catergory Building Offers are proposed by an outerstate buiseness man hoping to place some "special" building in your city. Like a reward this should be honoured. Most Offers are good but some are bad, but they all have a downside. Not all your Sims will approve of aToxic Waste Removal Factory right next door, or a Casino running late into the night in the middle of town. If they are so bad then why build them, you ask. Well let me tell you, each month every accepted Building Offer will pay you a certain sum of money each month. This can be very handy, though you may have Sims petitioning to close that building down. But they can't have everything they want now, can they. Every now and then an Offer comes along that is quite good like a tourist attraction, it is wise to place these building for it draws people to your city.

Because of the monthly fee that these Building offer it can be tempting turn down an offer but remember and think of your Sims your best interest lies in the Sims and what they want and need. So think carefully before accepting an offer.


Landmarks are amazing feats of human contruction found in the "real" world. These have been implemented into Simcity 3000 and are a nice addition to the game. A total of 10 Landmarks can be added to your city. Landmarks are quite helpful in their own way. They raise the Sims happiness level wherever the Landmarks is placed and usually Zones near a Landmark will usually become high land value Zones. Try not to go over board with them though try and spread them out through you city. They cost nothing to place as well so they can be placed anywhere without having to think of money.

Also after placing a Landmark look at the tickertape and read the message about having a great Landmark pop up into your city.              

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To experience Disasters you must have the Disasters on (this can be toggle on and off in the options/preferences screen). In Simcity 3000 there are 5 Disasters.

Riots: Riots consist of some pretty peeved Sims that roam you city and throw garbage and abuse everywhere and setting things on fire. The way to stop a Riot is to surround them with your Police Cars. (The "send Police here" tab can be found by pressing the Disaster button, then selcting the Police icon, and then clicking on the screen to place a mobile Police unit there)

Fire: Fire is a Fire that has started in a building (Duh!) and will quickly spread to nearby buildings. The way to tackling a Fire is send your Fire Engines to the Fire as quickly as possible (The "send Firefighters here" tab can be found by pressing the Disaster button, then selcting the Firemen icon, and then clicking on the screen to place a mobile Firefighting unit there)

Earthquake: An Earthquake is when two continental plates collide causing the earth to quake, hence Earthquake. The ground will shake on your screen, then this will cause damage to building and probably starting a Fire. You will ahve to rebuild damaged building and send Firefighters to the Fires.(for fighting Fires see above)

Tornado: A Tornado is usually a sort of cylinder mass of very fast moving wind that can obliterate anything it is pass. The way to stop a Tornado is press the Emergency Siren Button in the Disasters tab. This gives everyone time to get in their shelters until it has passed over, then you need to rebuild damaged buildings.

U.F.O: A U.F.O is an Unidentified Flying Object (Aliens). Unfortunately these U.F.O's are not of the friendly kind. You will know a U.F.O when you see one because a massive mothership will fly across your screen. Then it will release lots of little U.F.O's these will suck up buildings and the such then leave. The only way to stop the U.F.O's is to sound the Emergency Siren, giving everyone time to get to their bunkers and hide from the U.F.O's. Once they are gone you need to rebuild damaged buildings.

Optionally you can start a Disaster in the disaster tab, press and hold down the yellow face tab and pick the disaster you want. This will start the desired Disaster somewhere on the map.




If your city/zones are not developing maybe you have forgotten something.

- Are they all Powered and have Water. Power and Water are vital to a Zones development

- If it is a Residential Zone is it close to Roads and near some Commercial and Industrial Zones. To help the Zones grow they need Road or some other form of Transportation access.

- Do they have Police and Fire Protection. To help the Zones grow they need Police and Fire protection.

- Are they near Hospitals and Educational Facilities. To help the Zones grow they need Hospitals and Educational Facilities.

- Are there any Recreactional Facilities close by. To help the Zones grow they need recreational facilities.

- Are they near a polluted area. Zones won't develop if they are near too much polloution.

- Is that type of Zone really needed. It won't grow if the Sims don't want it.


When you are building your city you need to constanly check all of it to see if it needs repairing or needs some vital building, like a Police Station or Hospital. To achieve the perfect city your Zones need to be at a high land value. This will only happen after the Zones have access to everything (Police, Fire, Hospital etc.). They will then grow and obtain a high land value. They also need to be wanted by your Sims.

Keep an eye on your Power Stations and Water Pumps for these wear down over time and will consequently downgrade their performing abilities. Old Power Stations should be dealt with immediatley and should be replaced. Water Pumps should be replaced as well and adding new ones when your city expands.

Make sure any breaks in the roads are repaired. Think to loking into building Highways, Subways, Bus Stops and/or Trains. These all take the workload of the roads and make transportation a pleasure.

Constantly add anything the Sims want if you have the money. The more pleased the Sims are the moer will come to your city. Try not to build really large blocks of Zones because it may not all develop because of the Sims not being able to reach the inside of the block.

If you have taken out a loan remember to pay it back as you get the money, nothing is worse than finding you took $20,000 and now owe $30,000 after only 5 years.



This section will deal with some of the more difficult things to build or develop in Simcity 3000.


Yes, thats right! Farms are actually available in Simcity 3000 you just have to know how to build them. To attract Farmers you will need to build large plots of low denisty Industry. They need a fair bit of rrom so they will only build farms in a low density Industry Zone that is   8x8 squares or bigger. They need power, but they don't need water. They build their own water supply, so this saves you the hassle.

They alo are picky about the roads, farmers don't like to be surrounded by roads, so only build roads along one edge of the Zone and you will have more chance of a farm developing. Farmers will also not build on the low density Zone if there is any polloution nearby, they need to be in a place without polloution. The max polloution they can handle  is low level polloution, any higher and they won't develop. Another way to help farmers come to your city is to enact the Farmers Market Ordinance.

To keep farmers at their farm build the low density Industry on the outskirts of town, keep them away from the city. Also if a farm develops in your Zone, pause the game and De-Zone the remaining tiles, this will prevent any other pollouting Industry to build next to the farm. If they do the farmers will surely move away. 


Bridges can be a lot harder to build than you think. Unlike Simcity 2000, Simcity 3000's bridges require a bit of planning instead of just laying down a bridge anywhere. To build a bridge, selcect the road tool and start building road at least 5 squares back from the water, then drag across the water and onto the other side of the water and continue until you are 5 squares away from the water. If a bridge can be built here the road squares will turn blue. If it is blue release the mouse. A message will appear telling you how much it will cost and whether to proceed or not. A bridge will then appear over the water for you.

Bridges can't be built over too deep waters and can't be built on un-level terrain under water. it is also a good idea not to build a bridge over a little puddle when you can raise the land and save a lot of money. It also helps to have straight parallel shores for the bridge as well.


Tunnels are not as hard as bridges to build but this now explains how to successfuly build a tunnel. First off a tunnel will be automatically offer if road is placed on a steep slope. It has to be a relatively steep slope and must be built one square up from the flat area. If a tunnel is offered and you agree you will be told how much it will cost and whether you still want to build it or not. Click yes and your tunnel will be constructed. Also be careful where the tunnel will end, you could end up with a tunnel to nowhere seeing that the terrain on the other side is too steep to build a road. So be careful when building a tunnel.


Seaports are fussy building and must be perfect before they develop. This should teach you how to successfully build and have develop a Seaport. Only zone a Seaport along the coastline of a major water body. There are some rules that go with Seaport building.

  1. There must be at least 5 tiles of available space out onto the water so that piers will develop. Piers are essential because without them no ships will come in to dock with your city.

  2. The Seaport zone must be at least 5 tiles wide.

  3. The shore must be straight.

  4. The tiles along the the shore must be at least five tiles long.

  5. The shore zoning must be close to sea level. If the dirt around it is not sand coloured or light green, it is not low enough.

  6. The Zone needs to be powered and watered, and least six tiles from roads or any other forms of transportation.

If you have built your Seaport following these rules you should get a nice and healthy Seaport.