SimCity Buildit Beginners Tips – City Layout, Golden Keys, Daniel’s City

SimCity Buildit Beginners Tips – City Layout, Golden Keys, Daniel’s City

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!