Simcity 4 - what plugins/mods do you use?

Yes, I know I am eight years late to the party…

For dopers who play Simcity 4, what plugins do you use? I am now using NAM. What other plugins do you recommend to improve the game experience?

I’ve actually been replaying Simcity 4 lately. I find it oddly mesmerizing. I’m also using the NAM, which makes for a much different experience; I can’t use avenues anymore (they seem to be a bit glitched with NAM), but people actually use the highways I build so it’s all good.

I’ll confess that the other plugins I’m using are more cheats than anything. It’s mostly bigger schools and hospitals and so forth, because the base ones are too small for a dense city (“large” medical center my ass). Libraries especially have tiny radii. The custom library I downloaded is a blatant cheat as it boosts a city’s education level up to 200 immediately and keeps it there; even with a huge influx of new citizens, the graph reminds me of a helium balloon skipping along a ceiling. I wouldn’t recommend it for a new player, but it’s interesting when you’re at the “tinker with the game’s mechanics and see what happens” stage.

Not playing but wanted to chime in here.

I’ve had SC4 since it came out. The game is AWESOME to look at. And the cities other people make are amazing. But I’ve tried and tried at least 4-5 times to get started on that game but I suck way too bad at it. I get frustrated way too quick and cant’ make cash. The game is SO complicated that it’s hard to get a handle on for a newbie.

Maybe I’ll try again some day because I love the look of the cities. :frowning:

I was on your boat, Cubsfan, when I finally threw up my hands and follow one of the guide Simtropolis: Making the Money the Easy Way. I like this guide because it doesn’t advocate having a slum city first and then making a big profit off it. It focus on profitability while providing amenities, and the key is when. It is also an excellent guide to region play. Do take a look; I get most of my guidelines for city-building there.

Here are some of the things that have allowed me to enjoy the game and hopefully this will be of help. I assuming you know how to work with the RCI. At any rate, I am playing easy so the Sims are less fussy.

  1. Don’t start with a big city. Start with low density zones, especially for residential. Their needs are easier to meet.

  2. Don’t start providing amenities. Its sound counter-productive, but it seems that the way to bring in more money is to have a highly educated workforce and manufacturing/high-tech industry, which is obtainable by education. So I put schools rather early, but micro-manage its funding.

For low density zones, one school could probably handle every kids in its radius. Not so for medium to high density zones in my experience. You’'ll need 2 schools or one big school in the area, and they are expensive!

So what I do is this : start the city, wait for the population to reach 4,000 or so, start school and a library, wait for EQ to hit 80 (look at the graphs) and then start zoning for manufacturing, and wait for the money to roll in.

I only put down fire stations and police stations when the Sims complain.

  1. Low density zones have less crime and traffic issues. High density zones usually lead to congested roads, and you’ll need mass transit or highways, which are expensive. I think that low income Sims simply does not simply pay enough tax, even in high density zones - so I probably will wait till I get manufacturing jobs and high-tech industry before zoning high density residential.
    Anyway, I think I will check out the larger capacity hospitals as suggested by Max…it’s one of the problems I have with the game.

Yeah, the hospitals are particularly inadequate for high-density cities. If you go to and search their ST Exchange for “hospital radius” you should get a whole slew of fan-made hospitals. The site is kind of slow, though, and the search feature kinda sucks, but there’s quite a bit of interesting stuff on it.

1st, do you have the Rush Hour expansion? I’ve usually found that the large schools included with that solve the school density problem.
After that, the mods I find to be invaluable are the NAM, the Mercy General Hospital, (fixes the hospital density problem), and the Colossus Addon Mod (CAM). The CAM adds more density levels, allowing even bigger buildings, and fixes transit issues even more than the NAM does. I also usually find a waterfront mod or two, letting you place a boardwalk along your residential/commercial waterfronts, and industrial wharves and things along your industrial seafront.

[Edit: Almost forgot the thing that got me into finding plugins in the first place! You should definitely find some on-street bus stops and subway stations. No more wasting a valuable downtown tile on a tiny stairwell.]

I have read the CAM and decided to try a vanilla game without it first.

Is it possible to have NAM and CAM at the same time? NAM has recently has an updated in 2010, but the only version of CAM I can find is 2007.

I definitely need the bus stop and subway mods too.