Beginner Guides

In this article I will be covering Dr. Vu’s Disaster Challenges. These challenges add a cool mix to your game, allowing you to destroy your city in cool ways and then repairing them for golden keys to spend on cooler buildings. I’m sure you’ve noticed that old, broken down tower on the left side of your screen and that you have to wait until you have a population of 90,000 to fix it. This tower belongs to Dr. Vu and where you’ll be carrying out, “Disaster Challenges.” These challenges are probably the fastest way to earn golden keys to purchase specialization buildings.


Once you fix the building, which costs, I believe, 40,000 simoleons, and takes about 12 hours to build, you are ready to start your first disaster challenge. At the start you’ll only be able to do the meteor shower, but you’ll unlock other scenarios quickly. Your disaster currency is in the form of the remote, batteries and gloves. When you select a challenge, it will tell you how many of the objects you will need in order to start it. It will also tell you other information like your reward, Vu points (I’ll explain in a bit), damage (how many residential plots it will destroy), and the repair cost (the amount of items it will take to repair the buildings. As you can see in the picture below, the cost for the challenge is two remotes and the other information is listed on the right.

Now I will explain Vu Points. Every time you start a challenge you are rewarded a certain amount of Vu Points. These Vu Points are used to upgrade your tower. To get a level 2 tower you must have two Vu Points and 20 thousand simoleons. Upgrading the tower will unlock other challenges like earthquakes, tornadoes etc. as you can see in the above picture. The upgrade time is instantaneous, so don’t worry about having to wait for it. Leveling up your tower also can upgrade a specific disaster challenge which will change its details and give better rewards for completing it.

Check out the meteor strike disaster challenge in action below:


Once the cinematic of the disaster is over, you must repair the residential plots. The materials are no different than what you would expect when upgrading your normal plots, so it is not very difficult to repair the plots and receive your reward. I mentioned before in my first Tips and Tricks article about how you can use these golden keys and how they’re beneficial to you. They let you unlock specialization buildings which mostly increase your population by a certain percentage in a designated area.


I hope this article helped you understand disaster challenges a bit more, or made you excited to unlock them if you haven’t reached a population of 90,000 yet. They are a lot of fun and add something to break the potential “boringness” of the game. Not that the game is boring, just doing the same thing all the time. Good luck with your challenges!

Welcome to the first article of Tips and Tricks! While similar to the Tips for Newbies, this is going to focus more on advanced tips and strategies for anything that isn’t exactly common sense or beginner worthy.

City Layout

Your city layout is one of the most important parts of your game. A good layout both looks good and saves you money by maximizing the effect of service coverage area. Think about how you want to plan your city before absent-mindedly adding buildings as you go as that will not be efficient. Right now I’m overhauling my city because my layout was terrible and not maximizing the space I had. When you have 37 residential buildings along with all the factories and other buildings to move around, it is quite the pain in the butt. Unfortunately it is not as easy as Clash of Clans where you can open up village editor and get to work. It is like radically changing your village but you can’t use village editor.

The best use of space in the early parts of the game are a series of parallel lines. You want enough space between the lines to fit two residential plots, you’ll see how this works in the layout I’ve provided. Here is a good example of a city layout that’s easy to create and is a good use of space ( Notice how in the residential lines the roads only encase the buildings, they don’t run through them. You could possibly even remove that vertical middle line if you felt like it. I have two main problems with this lay out, however. It really limits your use of specialization buildings, especially the beach buildings. Specialization buildings aren’t really that important in the early game, but they can provide quite the population boost later. I would ignore most of them at first as they require space to place and this current layout doesn’t really fit it.

One type of specialization that doesn’t really take up your space are the beach specializations. You can’t place regular buildings on the beach so you don’t have to worry about fitting them in. This was one of my problems with this layout, it places the factories and energy buildings closest to the beach, at least that’s what it looks like. You need residential buildings to be near the beach for the population boost, not random buildings. I would suggest moving the two residential plots right next to each other down by the beach. This utilizes the beach and it has no change on the overall structure of the layout. This was the main reason for me overhauling my city, in order to take advantage of the beach buildings.

Golden Keys

So how do you buy beach and other specialization buildings? Some of these buildings are purchasable like anything else, simoleons. However, some require currency called, “golden keys.” You can start earning these as soon as you unlock the Cargo Dock. A ship will come in and request a certain amount of goods for you to load it with. Once you load it, a new one will come in 6 hours for a new shipment. You’re given about 18 hours to fulfill the current shipment. Another benefit of this is that the cargo ship pays you for your items, usually more than you would be able to sell them for on the market.


These keys are easier to collect once you reach a population 90,000 citizens and unlock Dr. Vu’s disaster challenges. These are a bunch of different challenges that will somehow destroy some residential plots in your city. You will then have to rebuild these plots within a certain amount of time then you will earn your golden key.

Like I said before, these keys are used in purchasing specialization buildings which mainly give a percentage boost to your population. They might be difficult to fit in, especially if you’re using the above layout which does not have very many openings. I would hold off on using specialization buildings in the earlier parts of the game, but once you have a good amount of cash and space to grow, look for a more advanced layout that includes these buildings. Once you get to that point you should be building green energy in order to maximize your space. I will write a later article detailing city layouts at different stages of the game and how to maximize your space.

Daniel’s City

I wish I had found this earlier, but remember your good friend Daniel from the beginning of the game? He still has a large impact later in the game. Since he is kind of a “player,” he has a Global Trade HQ of his own, and he sells products for their entry price. The price that the Global Trade HQ asks you what you want to sell it for. For example, a city storage expansion item’s entry price is 487 simoleons. I believe he refreshes his stock every day, and he has about 6-7 items for sale. They range from basic materials like minerals to finished products like tables. Another cool feature is that at least one of these items is an expansion item. Either a beach expansion, city expansion or a city storage expansion item. This makes it easy to find those trickier items, while also making you a nice profit of the other items. Another cool feature of Daniel’s city is that sometimes you are given free items by clicking the speech bubbles that look like presents above residential buildings. When I just visited him while writing this article, I was given chemicals and a beach expansion item as my gifts. Be sure to visit him daily in order to take advantage of all these free simoleons and being given some harder to find items.

Thank you for reading this week, next article I will be going more in-depth on different city layouts as you progress through the game. I will also release another tips and tricks article, hopefully featuring a more in-depth look at Dr. Vu’s disaster challenges along with some other goodies!

Welcome to New Player Help Guide Part Two! I’m going to give you some tips about earning those precious Simoleons! Simoleons are the lifeblood of your city. There are three main ways of earning currency: taxes, upgrading residential plots and trading through in-game offers or through the Global Trading HQ.


Taxes are relatively easy to figure out. Give your citizens services and you’ll earn more money passively as you play the game. You’re going to be commonly around 86%-94% in happiness, always try your best to stay above 90%. The cutoff from the 80’s to the 90’s is a full 6%. This might not seem like much but with my numbers right now it is a 3077 simoleon difference (10255 at 20%). This number is only going to increase as you play the game, as costs for buildings seems to be generally the same through the first 20 levels as you’ll be buying mostly tier 1 buildings. A week of being below 90% could cost you 21 thousand, two tier 1 services your city could use.


I have two Simcity Buildit help tips for keeping happiness high. One, do not grow your city too quickly if you don’t have the proper resources to cover your new buildings with services. I know you want to place those residential plots you have, but it might be beneficial to hold off until you have a little bit in your savings. The second is to be wary of leveling up. Some levels unlock new services you must provide to your population.

  • Fire at level 5
  • Police at level 8
  • Sewage at level 8
  • Waste management at level 14
  • Health at level 16

Make sure to have a good amount of simoleons ready before you hit these levels in order to hit the ground running. Otherwise you might be looking at a few days of 80% happiness while you work to build the services.

Residential Plots

I’m sure you have noticed by now that upgrading residential plots gives a fair bit of money. If you have residential plots fully covered by services, work to get them upgraded for both taxes and the ~1000 simoleons it gives you. There’s not much to say about this other than to always be upgrading your plots. Later in the game it becomes a viable strategy to destroy plot and then rebuild them to earn the simoleons back, but you don’t have to worry about that quite yet.


Trading is going to be the main source of income for you, it also can be the most fun or boring. There are two forms of trading, the Global Trade HQ and offers from the computer for your goods. Not sure if you should be accepting the offers from the computer? Consult this trading help chart and compare it to the maximum Global Trade HQ price to see which is higher. This is a good amount of the items you’ll first see in your gameplay (AKA how far I’ve gotten). By the time you reach the point you need to consult an item that isn’t on the list I’m sure you’ll have learned the tricks to the trade.

Item Sell Price Item Sell Price Item Sell Price Item Sell Price
Metal 10 Sugar/Spice 110 Msr Tape 110 Grass 310
Wood 20 Nails 80 Shovel 150 Tree Sapplings
Plastic 25 Planks 120 Cooking Utensils 250 Storage Items 650
Seeds 30 Bricks 190 Vegetables 160 Expansion Items 800
Minerals 40 Cement 440 Flour Bag Beach Expansion 1500
Chemicals 60 Glue 440 Chairs 300
Textiles 90 Hammer 90 Tables 500

If the computer offers you more than these numbers, feel free to take it if you like. If you need the item, don’t feel like you have to trade it just because it’s a better price. If you are going to need the item in for a recipe, you might not want to trade it in.


As for trading with other players, it is quite simple. The main way you’ll be trading is through selling off your items. When I want to relax and not worry about upgrading residential plots, I make the highest selling items I can. Right now I set my factories to craft Sugar and Spice, netting me ~1600 every 4 hours. It’s not a lot, but in a day you could easily make 6400 off of just your factories, not counting anything from your commercial buildings (Tools, building supplies, produce, furniture). You don’t need to be a super active player to make money. Just collecting your taxes and selling off simple to make products will earn you a good amount of simoleons each day. When you have everything under control in your city, take a break and allow that bank account to fill up for the next “rainy” day.

If you want to be more aggressive and active with your trading, just follow the simple rule of buying low and selling high. If you see something under the above prices, you can purchase it and immediately sell it back for a profit. This is going to be easiest probably when you’re a low level. Purchase the special items that increase your cities’ size and storage space for anything lower than their normal amount. I’ve seen them listed for their starting amount, possible of netting a 120-200 simoleon profit. It’s not a lot but if you get 5 a day along with other building items, that will earn you possibly above a thousand a day. I personally do not do this because I don’t have the patience or time to, but it can only help you!

I hope this second part helps clear up some questions about earning money in Sim City Build It. Nothing is better than seeing your number of simoleons up in the high thousands and knowing how much you could buy with it. Good luck!

I remember playing Sim City about 10 years ago. I had a fun time, but I had no idea what I was doing. I enjoyed creating earthquakes, alien invasions and starting fires that would all ravage my people.  I recently rejoined this genre of game recently when Cities: Skylines came out. I got burned out pretty quickly so I didn’t play it all that long. Sim City Build It seems like a nice mix of city builder but with the ability to play it in short increments on the go and less complexity than what is needed

When you first start up, it’s going to look familiar. You are given instructions, place this, do this, go here, etc. The game seems very simple and easy to get into. Resources are the name of the game. You use your factories to produce metal and wood which are then used directly in upgrading your housing or in creating other materials which are then used.

I’m going to give a few quick newbie tips that might send you on the right path.

1) Separate your districts

I’m sure you noticed that the factories have what is called a, “dirty radius.” You want this dirtiness as far away from your sims as possible. Just place all your working factories and whatnot into one place while all your residential is in another. This also makes it easier for placing fire stations and other utilities down the line. Make sure to leave one unit spaces for the fire and police stations as if you don’t you’ll have no room to place them other than having to move around residential areas or destroying roads. You’re not going to be able to do this very efficiently, this will just save you headache in the future.

2) Don’t be afraid of coal

I know it’s not clean energy so you’re not really enthused about using it, but it is by far the best early game spending of money. It gives you a huge amount of electricity, for a very low cost. You don’t have to worry about real life problems. All environmental impact happens right in that square and as long as it doesn’t touch a house, you’re all good to go. Carry this into using oil and nuclear later in the game. Wind power is by far the worst route to go, don’t make the mistake of using it like I did.

3) Take advantage of the Global Trade HQ and offers in-game

I’ll release an article later detailing more about this later. For now, just make the most expensive things you can sell. The vegetables are pretty pricey along with the chairs. Also, if a coin popup shows and it gives you more than the HQ max price, go ahead and take it. It’s always going to make you more money to put the materials into a finished product, but it’s good to get rid of your excess materials this way. I always make a large amount of the most expensive material. When I don’t need any metal or plastic, I make seeds or minerals to sell to the Trade HQ.

4) Don’t waste any money

I made the mistake of placing too many parks right away. You’re going to need the money for necessary buildings like fire, electricity and water. You want to keep your happiness as high as possible. Parks only increase population be a certain percentage, wait until later to start spending money on them. It really sucks when you place 3 parks and then you do not have enough money to afford a fire station causing sims to leave.

5) Have fun with SC Buidit!

Go at your own pace. Don’t think you need to be constantly checking on your city to collect materials and get things going. Improvement will come, what’s most important is that you enjoy the game. Don’t burn yourself out too quickly. If you liked games such as Clash of Clans, Boom Beach and others, you are going to love this one as well.

How To Add Friends

So now that you’ve created your city, invite your friends to check out your creation! Here is our SimCity BuildIt How To Add Friends Guide. There are currently 3 ways to connect with friends.

fbFacebook (iOS and Android)

Allows you to save your progress for use on multiple devices (can be used cross platform).


  1. Download and sign into Facebook (iOS | Android)
  2. Open up SimCity BuildIt and tap on settings icon (Wrench and screwdriver icon)
  3. Tap on the Connect to Facebook button

That’s it! Definitely the easiest method I’ve used (I created a fake Facebook to use for this purpose).

Check out our Facebook and add other mayors from there!

game-center-logoGamecenter (iOS only)

Allows you to track achievements & saves your progress for use on multiple iOS devices.


Don’t Have An iOS device.. if someone could list the steps required in the comments it would be extremely beneficial!


Google Play GamesGoogle Play Games (Android only)

This also allows you to track achievements & saves your progress for use on multiple Android devices.

This one is a bit tricky.

  1. Download Google+ & Google Play Games
  2. Connect your Google Account (Gmail) to both services
  3. TO ADD FRIENDS (Google+ Required):
    1. Open up Google+
    2. Add your friends emails (if they aren’t friends already) and send them requests
    3. Add these friends to your ‘Circles’
      • I created a special circle called SimCity for all my SCBuildIt neighbors
      • These friends will appear in your game as neighbors
  4. Open up SimCity BuildIt and tap on settings icon (Wrench and screwdriver icon)
  5. Tap on Connect Google Play
  6. Click Sign In

If you have issues (once successfully connected to Google Play):

  1. Open up SimCity BuildIt and tap on settings icon -> Then tap Google Play (this brings you to the achievements page)
  2. Tap on the 3 dot icon on the top right -> Settings -> Sharing Settings
  3. Tap on ‘This App Can See These People’
    • Choose which circles you want to share activity with (I used my SimCity Circle from above)
  4. Disconnect and Reconnect (Usually solves any problems)

Video showing part of the process (Android Only):


Woohoo! You should be connected with friends on onward to building great cities!


Postcover - Beginner Guide

Happy citizens One on the most important things in Simcity Buildit is keeping your citizens happy. But this can be a difficult task while you’re expanding your city. Sims complain about living too close to a polluting factory, traffic jams or they are worried about not being safe from fire or criminals.

That’s why we are making this beginner guide to help you be the best mayor and to be worshipped by your population.

How happy are my Sims?

If you want to find out how happy your citizens are you just look at the happiness counter at the left side of your screen. If you’re happiness-face is anything less then green, you’re in trouble.  If you counter says 100%, you’re best mayor possible and people will love you.

happy sims

Why is it important?

If you don’t keep your Sims happy they will abandon their houses and leave your city. And with that, it will lower your population and the taxes you receive. More citizens means more taxes. On top that, the more happier your citizens are, the more tax they pay; it can run up to even 20%. Which means you’ll earn more money to make your Sims even more happier!

taxes increase happiness

What citizens hate in SC:BuildIt

Sims are just like normal people. They want a clean city with electricity, clean water to drink and shower and they want to feel safe. So it’s important you build police stations and fire stations in their neighbourhood. If Sims are unhappy about something they will let you know with opinion bubbles. For example: If Sims don’t feel safe they might say: “I’m about to join a gang” or if they are unhappy because of traffic jams you might get this message:

traffic jams

Packing up and moving out!People who live in your city expect a lot from you as a mayor. They hate to get stuck in traffic jams when they go to work. They hate you if there’s no electricity in the city or when you open up a polluting factory near their houses. Here are some of the other things that Sims hate:

  • Crimes in their city
  • Not enough fire stations
  • Traffic jams
  • Not enough parks
  • No health clinics
  • No entertainment

And the list goes on and on. So..

What services do Sims want

  • Police stations
    Citizens wants police patrolling their streets. They don’t like being robbed (who does) and so it’s important have enough police, and to have them nearby.
  • Fire department
    This needs no explanation I guess. People just don’t like it when their house burns down and there is no one to rescue them.
  • Health care
    Ever been sick? Sims like to be treated for their illnesses so you better build enough hospitals!
  • Electricity
    It’s 2015.. we need electricity for our everyday life. So make sure it’s there or your citizens will abandon their house and leave.
  • Clean water
    People be trusty. They don’t like polluted water. So makes sure you give them clean water to survive your mayorship.
  • Sewage
    Nobody wants to live in a neighbourhood that smells funny. So make sure it doesn’t.

These are some of the basic services that Sims so they won’t leave your city. As the game progresses they will demand more stuff (like entertainment, waste management, parks etc) but as this is a beginners guide we won’t get more into it. Read our full services tutorial for more all services that are in the game.

How can you make your Sims happy / keep them happy

Not thrilled, but doing all rightLike I said, keeping your citizens happy is very important but also can be very difficult since you have a limited amount of Simoleons (money). And most of what your Sims demand costs money. So at the start of your game it’s crucial that you don’t build too much residential area’s. Every time you expand your city you will need more and more police stations and fire stations.

Important tip: Don’t build too many residential blocks. It’s better to upgrade existing blocks.

So don’t build more blocks, just upgrade existing blocks. First of all, you will Simoleons (cash) with this move, and second: you don’t need to build additional services.

The next tip I can give you is to save money. You can’t build you city in one day, you can’t even build a large city in a week. Sometimes you just have to save money, and buy the services your Sims need.  Have patience and in a day or two you will have the money to buy the things that your Sims need. After all, you’re still collecting taxes and you can produce resources which you can use to upgrade residential zones or you can sell on the global market.

And to kick in a open door: earn more Simoleons. There are several ways to earn more money which costs nothing but time. Everyday you earn taxes which generates money to buy services. You can also produce resources which you use to upgrade buildings and you get awarded with money.

You can start trading on the global market as well. Buy resources cheap, and sell them for higher prices. Don’t worry if you stuff doesn’t get sold immediately. Every time you advertise new things there is a chance someone will buy everything you have in stock. And even then, after 3 days our friend and neighbour ‘Daniel’ will buy what you have put on the global market.

A happy citizen

So in conclusion, your Sims will be happy if you provide them with the services they need and they have a enjoyable (not polluted) place to live. If you’re still struggling to keep your Sims happy, there’s tons of information available on this website to help you out. Maybe you need a better city layout, need help trading or need more info about services. We have it all. For now I’m saying goodbye and I hope you enjoyed this beginners tutorial on how to keep you citizens happy in Simcity BuildIt. Comments are appreciated!

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