Specializations

Specializations

Like Coverage Services, Specializations provide a coverage area, which must overlap your Residential Zones to benefit to them.

  • Lack of these specializations has a minimal effect on happiness
    • Sims will not move / abandon homes
  • Specializations provide a population boost
  • Specializations increase the wealth estimate what appearance your buildings will take when upgraded
    • Two or more specializations covering residential areas will allow for Luxury “glass-and-steel” buildings
      • Must be present at the moment it upgrades to its maximum tier (the +1.8k population upgrade)
      • Lack of these two specializations at the moment of maximum tier upgrade will result in a less luxurious max tier building
        • If this is the case, the buildings must be bulldozed, replaced, and re-upgraded to max tier to attempt the luxury skyscrapers
    • For more in-depth info, visit our How To Build Skyscrapers Guide
  • You can boost population by a maximum of 100% in EACH (a total of 300% boost) of the following categories:
    • Parks
    • Education
    • Transportation
  • You can boost population by a maximum of 100% in with a COMBINATION of the three below:
    • Entertainment
    • Gambling
    • Landmarks
  • The total maximum boost you can achieve through specialization is 400%
  • You can max your population boosts by overlapping all 6 of these coverages over your residential zones

Parks

  • Parks provide a percentage boost to your population by a maximum of 100%
  • They can be purchased with either simoleons or simbucks
    • This is a viable (but not recommended) place to spend simbucks, as the parks offer permanent boosts to your population (there are better ways to spend bucks as detailed here)
  • While the Small Fountain Park provides the best Coverage per Area, the Peaceful Park might be a better choice for its much higher population boost, combined with a good Coverage per Area. In addition, a 1×1 in many cases effectively uses up a 1×2 area, in which case they have very similar coverage per area.
  • Some parks have ‘hidden’ placement limits (they must be placed along a road lengthwise, cannot be placed in a 1×2 spot with the 1 side connecting to the road
    • Will describe this soon (need to test a couple things)
TIP
Parks should be low on your list of priorities at the start of the game. Focus instead on building residential zones, services, and production.
If you have extra cash, use the small park to fill empty lots in your city for a population/tax  boost

note: § = Simoleons (coin) $ = Simbucks (green bucks, premium currency)

Parks
Park Name Price (§ / $) Coverage Area Population Boost Grid Size Price per Coverage Coverage per Grid Size Requirements (Level/Population)
Small Fountain Park §4,000 8×8 (64) 5% 1×1 (1) 63 64 Lvl 3
Modern Art Park §5,000 8×6 (48) 10% 1×1 (1) 104 48 Lvl 3
Plumbob Park $140 simbucks 6×8 (48) 20% 1×1 (1) N/A 48 Lvl 3
Reflecting Pool Park §6000 8×6 (48) 20% 1×2 (2) 125 24 Pop 2000
Larry the Llama 2$80 simbucks 8×8 (64) 25% 2×2 (4) N/A 16 Pop 2000
Peaceful Park §8,000 6×10 (60) 25% 1×2 (2) 133 30 Pop 5000
Urban Plaza §12,000 8×6 (48) 20% 1×2 (2) 250 24 Pop 9000
World's Largest Ball of Twine $300 simbucks 6×8 (48) 30% 2×2 (4) N/A 12 Pop 9000
Sculpture Garden §16,000 6×8 (48) 30% 1×2 (2) 333 24 Pop 15000
Row of Trees §20,000 12×4 (48) 30% 2×1 (2) 417 24 Pop 18000
Soccer Field §24,000 8×8 (64) 25% 2×2 (4) 375 16 Pop 29000
Jogging Path §28,000 8×8 (64) 30% 2×2 (4) 438 16 Pop 39000
Water Park Playground $400 simbucks 8×8 (64) 25% 2×2 (4) N/A 16 Pop 49000
Giant Garden Gnome $500 simbucks 8×8 (64) 30% 2×2 (4) N/A 16 Pop 59000
Basketball Court $600 simbucks 10×6 (60) 30% 2×1 (2) N/A 30 Pop 95000
Dolly the Dinosaur $700 simbucks 10×8 (80) 40% 3×2 (6) N/A 13 Pop 105000
Skate Park $800 simbucks 6×12 (72) 40% 1×2 (2) N/A 36 Pop 130000

Education

  • Provide education for your Sims, as well as a maximum population boost of 100% around education buildings
  • You must purchase the Department of Education (§40,000) before unlocking higher tier education buildings
    • Each higher tier requires the previous tier to be first purchased, except for the Public Library (The Grade School can be skipped entirely)
  • Note: Fusion plant requires a University. This is the only specialization that provides an additional benefit besides population boost
Parks
Building Name Price (§ / Keys) Coverage Area Population Boost Grid Size Price per Coverage Coverage per Grid Size Requirements (Level/Population)
Department of Education §40,000 8×8 (64) 25% 2×3 (6) 625 10.7 Lvl 10
Grade School 3 Keys 8×10 (80) 25% 2×3 (6) 21.3 10.7 Dept. of Education
Public Library 5 Keys 12×8 (96) 25% 2×2 (4) 16 24 Dept. of Education
High School 7 Keys 14×12 (168) 30% 4×2 (8) 13.7 10.7 Public Library
Community College 10 Keys 16×16 (256) 40% 4×2 (8) 16.8 21 High School
University 25 Keys 22×22 (484) 50% 4×4 (16) 10 32 Community College

Transportation

  • Adding transport boosts your population by a maximum of 100%
  • Does NOT help with traffic congestion – only upgrading roads can (More info here)
  • You must purchase the Department of Transportation (§40,000) before unlocking higher tier transportation buildings
Transportation Buildings
Building Name Price (§ / Keys) Coverage Area Population Boost Grid Size Price per Coverage Coverage per Grid Size Requirements (Level/Population)
Department of Transportation §40,000 8×8 (64) 30% 2×3 (6) 625 10.7 Lvl 10
Bus Terminal 4 Keys 16×12 (192) 20% 2×2 (4) 48 48 Dept. of Transport.
Airship Hangar 10 Keys 16×16 (256) 30% 3×2 (6) 25.6 42.7 Dept. of Transport.
Balloon Park 14 Keys 16×16 (256) 40% 2×2 (4) 18.3 64 Dept. of Transport.
Heliport 20 Keys 18×18 (324) 50% 2×2 (4) 16.2 81 Dept. of Transport.

Entertainment

  • Entertainment (in combination with Gambling and Landmarks) can provide a maximum population boost of 100% around buildings
  • You must purchase the Department of Entertainment (§60,000) before unlocking higher tier entertainment buildings
  • Entertainment buildings large buildings and take up a large amount of space
    • The only “advantage” is that they give a nice look to your city
    • Spend your keys on gambling and landmarks
Entertainment Buildings
Building Name Price (§ / Keys) Coverage Area Population Boost Grid Size Price per Coverage Coverage per Grid Size Requirements (Level/Population)
Entertainment HQ §60,000 8×8 (64) 20% 2×2 (4) 938 16 Lvl 20
Hotel 8 10×10 (100) 25% 2×2 (4) 12.5 25 EHQ
Amphitheater 9 10×10 (100) 25% 2×2 (4) 11.1 25 EHQ
Expo Center 10 18×16 (288) 40% 6×4 (24) 28.8 48 EHQ
Stadium 18 20×20 (400) 50% 6×4 (24) 21.1 66.7 EHQ
Sydney Opera House 25 20×20 (400) 60% 6×4 (24) 16 66.7 EHQ & 110,000
Ferris Wheel 28 20×20 (400) 60% 3×3 (9) 14.3 25 EHQ & 170,000

Gambling

  • Gambling (in combination with Entertainment and Landmarks) can provide a maximum population boost of 100% around buildings
  • You must purchase the Gambling HQ (§70,000) before unlocking higher tier transportation buildings
  • Gambling offers some of the most key-efficient buildings in terms of coverage area and population boost:
    • Luxurious Casino, and the Luxurious Casino Tower.
  • Gambling buildings are all 2×2, making it perfect for placement in city blocks
Gambling Buildings
Building Name Price (§ / Keys) Coverage Area Population Boost Grid Size Price per Coverage Coverage per Grid Size Requirements (Level/Population)
Gambling HQ §70,000 8×8 (64) 20% 2×2 (4) 1,094 16 Lvl 25
Gambling House 3 keys 8×10 (80) 20% 2×2 (4) 26.7 20 Gambling HQ
Sleek Casino 5 keys 12×10 (120) 25% 2×2 (4) 24 30 Gambling HQ
Sleek Casino Tower 6 keys 12×10 (120) 25% 2×2 (4) 20 30 Sleek Casino
Sci-fi Casino 8 keys 12×12 (144) 30% 2×2 (4) 18 36 Gambling HQ
Sci-fi Casino Tower 9 keys 16×12 (192) 30% 2×2 (4) 21.3 48 Sci-fi Casino
Luxurious Casino 10 keys 16×16 (256) 50% 2×2 (4) 25.6 64 Gambling HQ
Luxurious Casino Tower 12 keys 16×16 (256) 60% 2×2 (4) 21.3 64 Luxurious Casino

Landmarks

  • Landmarks (in combination with Entertainment and Gambling) can provide a maximum population boost of 100% around buildings
  • You must purchase the Department of Culture (§80,000) before unlocking higher tier transportation buildings
  • Most landmark buildings have a large building size (similar to entertainment) but have better coverage per grid size
    • Washington Monument is expensive but it provides a massive coverage area for a 2×2 (4) building
Landmark Buildings
Building Name Price (§ / Keys) Coverage Area Population Boost Grid Size Price per Coverage Coverage per Grid Size Requirements (Level/Population)
Department of Culture §80,000 8×8 (64) 20% 2×2 (4) 1250 16 Lvl 30
Tower of Pisa 12 keys 14×16 (80) 20% 2×2 (4) 6.7 20 Dept. of Culture
Big Ben 14 keys 16×14 (224) 30% 3×2 (6) 16 56 Dept. of Culture
Arc de Triomphe 16 keys 14×16 (224) 40% 2×3 (6) 14 37 Dept. of Culture
Brandenburg Gate 18 keys 16×14 (224) 40% 2×4(8) 12.4 37 Dept. of Culture
Empire State Building 20 keys 16×16 (256) 40% 2×4(8) 11.2 32 Dept. of Culture
Statue of Liberty 30 keys 14×16 (244) 60% 3×3 (9) 8.1 30 Dept. of Culture & 200,000
Washington Monument 40 18×18 (324) 60% 2×2 (4) 8.1 36 Dept. of Culture & 250,000

Thanks to czeuch for helping contribute to this section

Check out our 2.5 Million Population Guide to see a city using specializations in action.

 

Utility ServicesCoverage Services – Specializations – Government Services

  • nick

    Typo: Gambling HQ requires level 25

    • vortexrap

      thanks. I’ve corrected the error.

  • BBQ

    So, does adding transportation ease traffic?

    • vortexrap

      It does not. The only way to ease traffic is to upgrade roads. The transportation specialization justs adds population boost buildings.

  • czeuch

    Good info. Not sure if I missed it, but the following information seems missing.
    You can boost population by a maximum of 100% in the below categories:
    – Parks
    – Education
    – Transportion
    – Entertainement, Gambling, Landmarks

    Entertainement buildings are not space friendly. Most of them are big or huge. The only “advantage” is that they give a nice look to your city.
    Similarly, this happens with landmarks too. They aren’t as big as Entertainment, but they are bigger then Gambling. Washington Monument is small but expensive. Again, they are nice to look at, but that’d be it.

    • Chubdouglas

      I think you’re right czeuch.

      Entertainment, Gambling and Landmark boost do not stack and are considered one category.

    • Matsumae

      How does this work for combining entertainment, gambling, and/or landmarks?

      Would one ferris wheel, and one empire state building effectively be 100%? They sort of count as a single category? The downside to using more than one of those three specializations would be having to buy each HQ, when technically you’re just as well using just a single one. Is gambling the most space efficient of the 3 for getting 100% boost?

      • czeuch

        yes, 1 Ferris plus 1 Empire State would max you out at 100% for the combined category.
        Gambling is the most efficient one because you can get 100% with 2 Luxurious Cassinos for only 20 keys.
        Washington Monument has better coverage (18×18 instead of 16×16) but it costs 40.

        However placing cassinos all over your city is a bit boring. Entertainment and Landmarks are not the most effective ones, but they are cool and give a different look to your city.

  • Watanyu Yaemsukon

    Education -> Community College Grid Size must be 4×3.

  • czeuch

    Thanks for the mention, but there is still something wrong in the test below. I’ve sent a suggestion of the correct text.
    Entertainment, Gambling and Landmarks stack, so you can only have 100% for all of them, summing up a maximum of 400% population boost from Parks, Education, Transportation and Entertainment/Gambling/Landmarks. You cannot boost your population by 600%.

    Many people, including myself, have already tested and confirmed this.

    You can boost population by a maximum of 100% in EACH of the following categories:

    Parks
    Education
    Transportation
    Entertainment/Gambling/Landmarks

    You can max your population boosts by overlapping all 4 of these coverages over your residential zones

    • vortexrap

      I cannot replicate this for myself so I will not update the guide yet. can u make a video proving that this is the case? if this is true we will have to correct alot of pages and guides.

      • czeuch

        I can’t make a video but this is general knowledge already. Max I can do is send you a screenshot of my population boost for those 3 specializations and you will see that they are shared. And it’s not a display bug since it doesn’t matter if I add a cassino close to a ferris and the Washington monument. I won’t get any boost from the cassino.
        Check this link:

        http://scbuildit.com/simcity-buildit-2-million-population-layout-guide/

        Why do you think there is ONLY a DoC and none of the HQs (Entertainment or Gambling)?
        You can check this in EA Answer forums or ask someone you know that have all 3 specializations.
        Trust me, they don’t stack. I’m 200% sure 😛

        • vortexrap

          k will update when i have time

  • Krespiritu

    Does Gambling Specialization work? I’m not sure why I don’t see any change in population when i dropped my first Luxurious Casino. Another question is that why do I see the same amount of population increase (for Gambling) when I switch from Entertainment to Gambling, Transportation to Gambling, Park to Gambling.

  • czeuch

    I believe the answer is pretty clear right in the beginning of the guide:

    You can boost population by a maximum of 100% in EACH (a total of 300% boost) of the following categories:

    Parks
    Education
    Transportation

    You can boost population by a maximum of 100% in with a COMBINATION of the three below:

    Entertainment
    Gambling
    Landmarks

    The total maximum boost you can achieve through specialization is 400%

  • Michael

    @Czeuch: I also see the problem Krespiritu is describing. When I first go into my gambling specialization it shows a total population boost of 99999. If I go to education and then return to gambling, that number changes to the same number as my education boost (ie. If my current education boost is 75000 people, now gambling will display 75000 as the boost instead of 99999). If I then go to the parks specialization and then return to gambling, gambling will display the same number as parks. I emailed EA about the bug today, if I get a response I’ll share here.

    I do agree with your assessesment of population boost stacking. Thanks for figuring that out and sharing, I knew there was a cap but I hadn’t figured out exactly how the specializations interacted. :-)

    • Michael

      EA wrote back saying the faulty population boost numbers displaying for the gambling specialization is a rare graphical issue being experienced by some users. They also assured me that my population numbers are calculating properly. So I guess this explains why not everyone is seeing the issue Krespiritu and I have seen.

      I’ll also have to go back to my city and reexamine how I have placed buildings cause I must have too many entertainment/gambling buildings close together since I didn’t notice a population boost with my last luxury casino. :-(

      • czeuch

        Yh you’ll have to place your luxurious cassino elsewhere.

  • Bruno

    Can you please explain me, what the (64) or (80) stays for in the area? Because when you build streets, it shows for example that residential areas are 2×2 big.

  • jac

    I notice in your layout there is a tenth shop. I am at lvl 33 with no vu tower yet. Can you confirm when the tenth shop becomes available please?

  • czeuch

    The Tokyo Town update “fixed” gambling, entertainment and landmarks. They can stack individually, up to 300% (total).

  • http://none Andrew

    Hello everyone ,
    I recently acquired the 28 Keys Entertainment Ferris Wheel and i put it instead of 3 building that i have , IN THE MIDDLE of the city.
    This building has a radius of 20×20 and a 60 % enhancement.

    IT gets 30 Tier level 5 Houses.(i counted it..) , a normal Tier level 5 House has 1836 people in it. that means a total of 30×1836 = 55.080
    If i understand correctly after i installed the FERRIS WHEEL i should have an extra 60% of 55.080 = 33048 people

    Now what is strange…when i drag the building i get from 4404 —> 52140 people(before droping it )…thats like 48.000 people ..and when i SET the building down…instead of 33.048 or 48.000 people i only get 8000 people..

    What is explanation to this ?
    I mean i got an extra 8000 ppl for a 28 key building?
    not worth it.
    Thank you v much

  • czeuch

    If you don’t have any other Entertainment building in that area, then you are facing a bug. A friend of mine has issues with Entertainment boosts.

  • http://none Andre

    Hey , ty for your answer,
    It happens at so many special buildings….it shows an amount when i drag it …and when i drop it ..its like much more then what it should be….

    i have 140 houses *1836 = 257040 people

    Special buildings like this :
    1.Parks: 20 Peacefull Parks (8000g) 25 % boost and some others 20 smaller Total = 118.000
    2.Education : 1x All Buildings Total = 114.000
    3.Transportation: 2 Heliports and one Bus Terminal Total = 96.000
    4.Enterteinment : Enterteinment HQ and 1 x Ferris Wheel Total = 122.000
    5.Gambling : Gamblimng HQ + 1 x Luxurious Casino + 4 x Luxurious Casino Tower Total= 201.000
    6.Landmarks : Department of culture and 1 x Washington Monument Total= 91.000

    Now ONLY this is a total of 742.000 people.
    If i add the 257.040 from the houses i have almost 1.000.000 people
    In reality i have 775.000 people.

    P.S. all house are Luxurious Homes and coverage of the specialization building it is between lets say 50-100% depending of the specialization..
    Thank you again.

  • czeuch

    I never did the math:

    Parks 295778
    Education 160680
    Transportation 131521
    Entertainment 149347
    Gambling 261343
    Landmarks 150080

    RZs 334152

    That’s almost 1.5M
    I have around 1.2M.
    So yeah, pretty much bugged.

  • http://none Andrew

    I made a Video of the Bug so it can be clear and post it here …
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5Q8WFWMtc4

  • Ian

    Hi all, had a question: If in the Gambling section I add a Sci-Fi tower next door to my Sci-Fi hotel, will the hotel count towards Entertainment since it’s a hotel, or will it count as a Gambling asset? Also, do they need to be next to each other? Thanks for any help-

  • http://none Andrew

    Hello ,
    In my opinion , i have a 1.3 K million ppl city by now , the Enterteinment and the Landmarks are with bugs so therefore you better not use them at the moment.

    For example i constructed a Washington Monument with 40 Keys if i remember good and i got a small boost , instead i should have got 2 Heliports.

    I made a lot of test and i found that those 2 are bugged, i write to EA and they recognized that .
    I also found that Gambling also has issues like the others.

    Build parks , but build 4 next to each other (2 near and 2 under), Peacefull Parks (8000g) with 25 % …so in that area u will have 100% boost only from parks.

    My personally i created all city around the parks ..so i have full 100$ coverage of parks.

  • Roshan

    Hey guys czeuch is right. I was facing the same problem with the 600% population boost and yes, it is 400% for now. I wrote to EA about this. They said the upcoming update may solve this problem but we never know. I want to know what if i build 2 heliports and 2 universities just besides each other will they stack or is this bugged too? I just don’t want to waste my keys for the bug. Hope to get a reply soon 😉 Thanks :)

  • czeuch

    Helis and Univs are fine, build away 😉

  • http://none Andrew

    hey again ,
    I made the layout of the city , with 2xHelis = 100% , 2xUniversity = 100% , 4xPeacefull Parks = 100% and 2xLuxurious Casino Tower = 100% …build your city like this …and u will get that 400% MAX boost…

    P.S. a lot of bugs when reading the population…sometimes if i drag a specialization and put it down and drag it again..i get different numbers many times.

  • KJ

    The grid size of Community College is 4×3 (12) NOT 4×2.

  • Zac

    Is it possible to build more universities after deleting the community college?

  • Bill Schroeder

    Transportation Issue: When I added a bus station I got busses, balloon park yielded balloons, airship hanger generates air ships. When I added the helicopter port, I got nothing. Are there no helicopters?

  • Bill

    When adding Transportation services each service generated the vehicles to support it, ie, busses, airships, balloons. But when I added a heliport no helicopters are generated. Is this right?