Cities Skylines is one of those games where modding can actually enhance your overall gaming experience with multiple folds. And Cities Skylines in fact have a whole ton of mods library with mods made for every kind of functionality. The below piece is an in-detailed guide that consists of the absolute Best Cities Skylines Mods that every beginner Cities Skylines player can and should take advantage of.
I will also provide you with all the links and note that I will be listing them in the order of importance in my opinion. If you know some more mods then comment below.
Best Cities: Skylines Mods for Absolute Beginners
- City Vitals Watch
- Move It!
- Fine Road Anarchy
- Zoning Toolset
- Network Extensions 2
- Ultimate Level of Detail (ULOD)
- Dynamic Resolution
- Camera Positions Utility + Shadow Distance Fix
- Hide It!
- Extra Landscaping Tools
- Prop Line Tool (PLT)
- Ultimate Eye Candy
- Undo It!
- Roundabout Builder
- Toggle It!
- 81 Tiles
- Traffic Manager Presidential Edition
- Loading Screen Mod
- Instant Return to Desktop
1. City Vitals Watch
First up is a vital mod in my mind and that is – City Vitals Watch. What it does is give you your vital city information – your electricity availability, water availability, and so on and so forth. So I think that this is incredibly useful to keep an eye on what’s happening in your city.
And you can add a whole bunch of other things to this to see how your city is doing and it can help you diagnose issues with your city. And you know things that you’d have to go to and look within the city statistics normally to figure out what’s going on. With this mod, you’d be able to do that very easily and save a lot of effort.
2. Move It!
Move It! is one of my favorite beginner mods for Cities: Skylines. This mod can do some really basic things and some really complicated things. The basic thing you can do is select a node and kind of move it wherever you like. There are some locations where it would be incredibly useful. For eg. If you wanted to clean up an interchange, you could easily do that with Move It. You can kind of improve and perfect the look of it and can also bring them down and stuff.
This mod can really make some of the assets that come with the game look a lot better. Because it is pretty unreasonable the way the game is initially set up for you. So you can do a little bit of playing with it with this and just make things look a lot better. Maybe this isn’t perfect but it’s certainly pretty good.
There are a number of other things you can do with the tool as well. You can select things to duplicate them and place them, rotate pillars, adjust the slope of roads, etc. This mod will be very beneficial if your city is situated in a hilly area.
3. Fine Road Anarchy
Next up is another tool that’s almost equally as useful as the above one and that’s Fine Road Anarchy. So sometimes you’ll get a situation where you just need to make a connection that you just can’t make because the game says NO can’t do that. With Fine Road Anarchy now you can do whatever you want. You can make some connections that the game would otherwise not allow you to make and that can be incredibly useful depending on what you’re doing so I personally find this to be very very beneficial.
4. Zoning Toolset
It’s a mod that many people probably think is pretty frivolous. So normally when you have a road if you don’t have a fence there you get the zoning. But if you have the Zoning Toolset what you’re able to do then is actually click on the toggle zoning update and then just click on the road and it will get rid of all the zoning in between those nodes.
So that can be really helpful if you want to take an arterial and turn it into kind of an extension of your highway or even have a collector that doesn’t have the same amount of zoning on it so this can be really helpful.
5. Network Extensions 2
Next is Network Extensions 2. There are some roads that are not available in the vanilla Cities: Skylines and this is a great way to get all of those roads into your game. It offers a variety of roads – these narrower alleys. It offers a variety of asymmetrical roads, a narrow collector, etc.
Now keep in mind if you want it to function as a collector, you will need to go through and modify stop signs and your traffic controls. But this Network Extensions 2 allows you to do that and there are a variety of different roadway types (Bigger highways, etc) that are available in there.
6. Ultimate Level of Detail (ULOD)
The next mod is a little bit different than the other ones and this mod is Ultimate Level of Detail (ULOD). So what I love about this mod is if you go into options, it allows you to change the drawing distance of certain types of objects in the game.
So let’s say you have a very powerful machine and want to be able to show trees from a very far away distance you could increase the distance there. Or if you don’t like some of the props, you could minimize those or increase them and improve the loading.
This is also good for people having decent PCs. You can gain upto 10-15 Frames Per Second by using this mod. It’s a very useful mod to improve the aesthetics of the game or to decrease the aesthetics to gain some performance.
7. Dynamic Resolution
Now I really really really love this mod. What this allows you to do is if you push F10, it’ll bring up this dynamic resolution menu and this is going to do a couple of things for you. First, it will improve the graphics and make everything crystal clear and really crisp. Second, it will also show the FPS change that this does.
8. Camera Positions Utility + Shadow Distance Fix
Camera Positions Utility and the reason. You will need 2 mods for this one. So what this mod does is it allows you to zoom way way in and you can get right to street level. Or you can zoom way way out and get as far away as you want. This is actually incredibly useful.
But one of the things that you’ll need to enable with this is the Shadow Distance Fix. This actually has an impact on the way shadows look while you zoom in or out. When you are zooming in and out you can still have those nice shadows. Again this is one that could have an impact on your frames per second so you’d want to make sure that you’re right-sizing this with your setup.
9. Hide It!
Now I want you to take a look at a mod that can really improve the aesthetic of your game and that’s Hide It!. You can disable a whole bunch of stuff here. So let’s say you don’t like chirper or the bulldoze button, then you can hide them with this mod.
So there’s a whole bunch of stuff that you can get rid of like the objects and props because this can improve your FPS. Get rid of seagulls, get rid of wildlife, get rid of smoke or steam. You can get rid of things like solar panels, abandoned or destroyed cars, billboards, neons, logos, smoke, steam, HVAC systems, etc.
Not only those but you can get rid of some of the effects associated with the game too. So let’s say you want to get rid of edge fog distance of the polluted area to get rid of that purplish destroyed area pollution or some funky ground color or ground fertility color.
Picker is a very simple Cities Skylines Mod. Picker allows you to click on an item and make a copy of it. This is really helpful if you’ve used network extensions and have lots of different road types. For e.g, want to take that collector or a fence that you used over there and use it again over here, you can click on that little ‘Eyedrop Icon’ and have that fence available for you. It’s a really nice quality of life mod that makes building a lot quicker.
11. Extra Landscaping Tools
Next, I want you to take a look at Extra Landscaping Tools. This mod gives you a panel that gives you a whole range of landscaping tools. So you can pick a bigger brush size and go through and use that to make your improvements.
It also gets rid of the amount of soil that you have available to use so that can be really helpful if you find yourself bumping up against the limits for soil availability. With this mod, you can place things like sand so to improve the aesthetic of an area.
12. Prop Line Tool (PLT)
Prop Line Tool is a simple tool that gives you the same sorts of tools you’d have with roads with props. It allows you to make a nice straight line of trees with just one drag. It really can make creating an attractive roundabout or doing your landscaping very very easy. So it’s a great tool.
However, one important to note that without Prop Anarchy you will not be able to build trees within a road but if you do have prop anarchy ON you’d be able to place them anywhere regardless of collision errors. Just something to keep in mind.
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13. Ultimate Eye Candy
One of the most essential Cities Skylines Mod – Ultimate Eye Candy. It allows you to do a whole bunch of stuff. You can turn ON the time of day by using the day and night cycle. What that’s going to do is give you a whole bunch of control. You can make this night, you can increase the frequency that we’re going from day to night, decrease it.
You can also change the latitude and longitude which can make the place feel more tropical or more boreal. You can also increase the light intensity which can make a desert area, for instance, feel a little bit more natural by increasing some of these global light and the ambient light.
The other things that you can do are go in and change the weather you can make it rain, make it really rain harder, turn off rain blur, turn off weather altogether, and have fog. I also love that you can change the LUT here. So let’s say you want to change the entire feeling of the area you could do that quickly through this mod.
Also, you can save a preset so that when you’re going into your saves you’re loading it up the right way so it’s a very very useful tool to improve the look of your game. Highly recommend trying this out.
14. Undo It!
The next mod for Cities: Skylines is relatively straightforward and does what the name suggests. So earlier let’s say you made a mistake with your landscaping and that’s a huge mistake, You can just push Ctrl + Z which will undo it.
15. Roundabout Builder
The next tool is really helpful if you like roundabouts. If you want a roundabout just push Ctrl + O and the roundabout builder comes up now with the builder you can make a whole bunch of adjustments and get it to your liking, then you find your intersection that you want to build around about and this tool will automatically build a roundabout for you.
You will need to keep in mind that this might break some things if the roundabout doesn’t make sense in that intersection. The roundabouts are perfectly circular and you can use any type of road you want to make that roundabout by changing your road type.
16. Toggle It!
Toggle It! is very useful in my mind. You can actually change what your toggles do so you could toggle ON notification icons, district names icons, borders, contour lines, and zoning. This is very very very helpful. It gives you the ability to look at your city without all of the noise so I find it to be very useful. It’s a very useful tool this is really a quality of life tool.
17. 81 Tiles
The 81 Tiles mod and I like this one very much because it allows you to purchase more tiles. With the base game, you’re limited on the number of tiles that you could purchase and this allows you to basically purchase the entire map which can be really useful. Let’s say you wanted to develop a park on a volcano this would allow you to actually purchase this area at some point in the future and build a park so it’s a superb mod.
18. Traffic Manager Presidential Edition
The mod that everyone loves. And that is Traffic Manager Presidential Edition. Now I don’t have this higher on the list because this adds a level of complexity to the game that can be very difficult for a lot of people.
It allows you to turn off the spawning if you want to see what will happen if vehicles never respawn. You can see if you get massive massive massive traffic backups. It will also allow you to do a couple of interesting things like if you have an issue you can just clear all the traffic in your city to start fresh. The next thing that I really like is to add parking restrictions.
The cars will actually move as you do this because they gotta park somewhere. Traffic Manager allows you to have a little bit more fine-grain control over your city. You can set speed limits and things like that.
19. Loading Screen Mod
Number 19 is a little bit different than the other mods because this is one that you actually take advantage of before you enter the game. This is the Loading Screen Mod. So with this mod when you click load, rather than seeing the traditional loading screen you will see a screen that lets you know if there are any assets that are broken, it lets you know your ram utilization.
Other thing is that you can actually reduce your loading times by minimizing the range.
20. Instant Return to Desktop
Instant Return to Desktop is an absolute godsend mod for Cities Skylines. It allows you to actually immediately leave the game. So if you have installed a bunch of mods in your game and exit game, sometimes it can take 1 or 2 minutes to actually leave the game. With this mod enabled you will just be able to leave immediately.
How to Install mods for Cities: Skylines without Steam
- Step 1: Copy the Steam Workshop link of the mod that you want to install
- Step 2: Head over to https://steamworkshopdownloader.io/
- Step 3: Paste that link and download the ZIP file
- Step 4: Extract that ZIP file
- Step 5: Copy that folder inside Cities_Skylines/Files/Mods/