Cities Skylines Industries Guide

Cities Skylines Industries Guide

Industries DLC brought a new level of complexity to the game. Thanks to it now we have a challenging task of organizing production chains in our cities. This Cities Skylines Industries DLC guide is to clarify how the new approach to industries works. 

New Approach to Industries

In Cities Skylines Industries expansion we still have good old industrial branches: oil, ore, forestry, agriculture. However, if before that you were just setting a specialization to different industrial districts in accordance with sources of raw materials, now you are equipped with a variety of specialized objects that are individual for each of four industries. Moreover, now you have control over the entire production chain starting from mining and ending with the production of complex goods.

The approach is very similar to the new parks we received in Parklife – one of the previous Cities Skylines expansions. You just place industrial zoning on your map with a special brush and then place the main building to define the specialization of this district. The new industrial districts have the same 1 to 5-star rating as the new parks. As your industrial district produces some amount of goods and is expanded to some number of employees it receives a new level. In this way, you unlock some additional buildings that usually are either the bigger versions of fields, plantations and so on or unique factories (we’ll talk about them later). 

The production chain of the specific industry is pretty simple in the beginning and more complicated in the end. On the first level, you start with a simple source of two kinds of raw materials – e.g. a field and a plantation of fruit trees. Those materials are to be moved to a processor – a special facility that will turn raw materials (like crops, ore, or oil) into processed materials (like flour, metal, or petroleum). You also can build unique factories that produce more complex products like ships and cars and require a bunch of intermediate products. Once the products are produced they will be distributed among your commercial zones or exported.

A view on my oil industry

One of the most interesting new features is warehouses. They can have different sizes and it’s wise to use them in the correct locations to make sure your factories get the needed resources in time. 

Choosing the Place for Your Cities Skylines Industry Layout

Let’s start with placing your industries. Just like it was before, your extracting industries should be placed where the specific raw material is present. For example, for forestry, you need to find a good dense forest. It is usually more complicated with ore and oil so you need to plan your development in advance. Keep in mind that ore and oil deposits may get depleted (unless you’ve set unlimited oil and ore when starting the game). 

Often ore deposits are located on elevations which will impact your Cities Skylines Industries Layout

In fact, the entire city configuration will be affected by your Cities Skylines industry layout decisions. First of all, you need commercial zones to have access to the goods produced by your industries. Also, you can’t place residential zones next to industries. And sure your downtown or a park can’t be located next to some ore mines. This all makes industries very important to the way you’re going to organize your city.

This farming district is far from the downtown

Before you start the district, you need to make sure you have good connections – a wide road or a highway, cargo train station, or harbor. And sure you need water and electricity

Starting your Industrial District

Now you need to draw the borders of your district, just as you create parks (Parklife DLC) or campus area (Campus DLC). The area should be located on land which contains deposits of the needed raw material.

That’s my farming district borders

After that, you can build the main building which actually determines the specialization of this industrial area.

That’s where my forestry starts

Next, place extractors. Those are buildings that will be extracting raw materials – ore mines, oil pumps, plantations, and fields. Such buildings are to be located within the borders of the specialized industrial district and need to cover the land which contains needed raw materials. These buildings have different levels and their extraction rate depends on the level. Also, it is important that extractors have their own small storage. Once it’s full, a truck will appear to deliver the collected raw materials to a warehouse or a processing building (see next paragraph). If there is no building that has demand for this raw material then you’ll see the “not enough buyers” icon and the extraction will be paused.

This plantation produces raw forest products so that’s an extractor building

It’s time to place barracks for your workers. The number of workers is one of the criteria for leveling up your industrial district (again, pretty similar to park and campus mechanics).

Barracks for workers need to have access to good public transport

Warehouses and Plants in Cities Skylines Supply Chain

So, your crops are coming, oil is being pumped out of the ground and the trees are ready to get chopped.

This sawmill accepts raw forest products and turns them in to a processed material – planed timber

Your next step is preparing places to store the extracted raw material which eventually will be passed to processing plants. The warehouses act as a buffer that allows your supply chains to work without interruptions. Extractors may run out of their small storage. They can also lack extraction rates to provide your processing buildings with raw materials in time. The same goes for the processors – they can be full of raw material for now. To avoid interruption in work on both sides, you create a buffer – storage buildings that collect some volume of material and deliver it to processors when they have the free capacity and accept the material from extractors when they’re full.  

This silo is a specialized warehouse for raw materials of farming industry

Now place some specialized warehouses (e.g. grain silos and barns for the farming industry, sawdust storage, and log yards for forestry). At first, you can have only the smallest specialized storing buildings but as your industrial zone gets level ups the larger warehouses will be unlocked. It is important that you have to place those buildings inside of your industrial zone. However, you don’t need the raw material deposits on this part of the land to build a storage building so save some resource-rich land for extractors.

Raw materials will be delivered to warehouses by trucks which belong to extracting facilities so they will be driving from an extractor to a warehouse and back. Consider this when building your road network.

This farming district is connected to a wide road to handle the truck traffic

Processing buildings are the places where raw materials turn into processed material. Those are materials that will be combined into finished goods in unique factories. 

For example, oil is a raw material that is harvested by oil pumps. It gets delivered to a petrochemical plant where it turns into petroleum which is a processed material. A Household Plastic Factory needs petroleum along with another processed material of the oil industry – plastics to produce its final goods household plastics which eventually go to stores.

At the same time, regular industrial zones (the ones from the vanilla game) will buy both petroleum and plastic. However, it is much more beneficial to invest in value-added products and go for unique factories.

I prefer keeping unique factories in one place not to pollute many lands

Cities Skylines Unique Factories

Unique Factories are buildings that produce expensive goods from several processed materials. For example, a Car Factory utilizes animal products, metal, glass, and plastics to produce cars. This means different industrial areas are to provide processed materials to unique factories to produce finished goods.

This unique factory produces lemonade from crops and glass

To succeed with the unique factories you need the following:

  • Several industries should be in a pretty developed state because you can’t produce finished goods without having all the needed ingredients
  • You will need some warehouses located in a smart way to make your supply chain work without creating industrial traffic jams
  • It’s good to locate factories in close proximity to cargo terminals so that road traffic needs to get to the closest terminal instead of making its way through the entire city.

The good thing is that unique factories can be built in any part of the map but I prefer consolidating them to avoid polluting too many lands.

What a beautiful sunset!

Leveling Up Your Industries

Industrial areas get to the new level once you’ve reached two thresholds:
– the number of workers
– the volume of production

To increase the number of workers you need more barracks, working places and educated workers with good access to the industrial area.

To produce more goods you need more extracting and processing buildings and/or time.

It’s good to level up your industries evenly to be able to unlock unique factories and supply them with all the needed resources.

The stats of a 5-star district

Import and Export

If your production chains lack some raw materials then they will be imported from the outside of the city.
If your city overproduces some raw or processed materials then they will be exported.

You won’t gain money for export but you’re not going to lose money due to import as well. Anyway, it’s profitable to aim at producing items by yourself to earn on taxes.

These trucks are exporting the unused ore from my city…
…and these buddies are importing goods and agricultural products which I lack
This leisure district is importing goods because it lacks ones produced internally

Cities Skylines Warehouse Guide

Let’s get back to the warehouses. There are two kinds of storage buildings – specialized ones (silos, log yards and so on) and universal warehouses of different sizes.

As I mentioned before, the main purpose of these buildings is to create a buffer to make your supply chains run smoothly. Your extractors should always have some spare place to keep raw materials in. Your processing buildings should always have a source of raw materials. And your unique factories should have constant access to several kinds of processed materials that may be produced in different parts of your city. 

Universal warehouses may store any resource, but it can be a resource of one kind at a time. Also, there are warehouses of different sizes. 

Each warehouse may be set to one of the following modes:
Empty – in this case, trucks that belong to this warehouse will be exporting materials once it’s filled for more than 20%. As an option, they will transport goods to other buildings that may accept this material. This mode is good for arranging constant export.
Balanced – if it’s filled under a half then it will be importing raw materials (processed materials can’t be imported). If it’s over half then trucks will be exporting goods or delivering to buildings in your city that require the resource. That’s the most working mode for storage which acts as a medium between extractors and processors or processors and unique factories.
Fill – it will be importing goods as long as it’s not almost full.

Warehouses have their own trucks but they’re used only for export and for delivering goods from the warehouses. Goods are always delivered to warehouses by the trucks that belong to extracting and processing facilities.

What to consider when placing a warehouse:
– If your unique factories are far from the industrial zones then it makes sense to build several warehouses for different goods
– In some cases, a centralized place with several warehouses can help – you can gather goods from distant industrial areas and have control over the heavy traffic. However, this is tricky and you need to be sure that your roads have the capacity.
– Placing warehouse close to cargo terminals saves you some heavy traffic
– Always think about the road network. Try to avoid intersections, routes through residential areas, aim at going through highways. Use the “no trucks” policy in areas that are overloaded with transit traffic.
– Warehouses can be helpful for your vanilla industry and commercial zones. It can be a faster solution for the lack of goods. 

Cities Skylines Industries Layout

Cities Skylines Industries Tips

  • Having a huge 5-star industrial area is not the only way. In fact, often the deposits of raw material occupy small areas so you may need only several extractors to harvest raw materials there. At the same time, by creating a small industrial district you can avoid having heavy traffic issues.
  • Aim at fast access to cargo terminals from industrial zones. In this way, you will avoid unnecessary truck traffic
  • Warehouses don’t bring you money. Try to have them just enough to supply operations but don’t stock too much material
  • Raw materials are imported to extracting facilities. So one of City Skylines Industry tips is that if your oil deposits are depleted then the oil will be imported to oil pumps first.
  • Industries have a different level of profitability. The oil industry is the most profitable one while farming is the least profitable industry so far.

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