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SimCity – The Road to Happiness

Do you know how to reach your happiness destination in SimCity?
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

The Sims living in your city have two basic needs: money and happiness. Sims need a job so they can earn money. After work, they’ll then use that money to buy happiness in a commercial zone. So what exactly makes a Sim happy? What makes them unhappy? It depends on the Sim. But it’s not just individual Sims who are affected by happiness. The happiness, or profitability, of businesses in commercial and industrial zones are also affected by specific events.

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Here are a few events that make Sims happy:
•    Successful Shopping
•    Visiting Parks
•    Crime Suppression
•    Low Taxes

And now for some events which make Sims unhappy:
•    No Power
•    No Water
•    Crime
•    Death

SimCity Happiness 2

These are just a few of the factors that impact happiness. Sims react differently to events based on their class. The population of your city is divided into three rigid classes, referred to as low wealth (W1), medium wealth (W2), and high wealth (W3) Sims. Although these Sims occupy the same city, they live, work, and shop in buildings that cater to their class. For example, a high wealth Sim will not shop or live in a building designed for low wealth Sims and vice versa. When zoning, you need to take into account your city’s demographics, ensuring each class has enough jobs and shops to keep the population happy.

SimCity Happiness 3

The happiness of your Sims also impacts density. As your city expands and space becomes limited, there’s only one way to build—up! Density refers to how many Sims can live, work, or shop within a particular building. As a general rule, tall buildings support greater density than short buildings. There are three levels of density: low density (D1), medium density (D2), and high density (D3). Happiness and the type of road adjacent to a building affect density—a Medium Density Street supports medium density buildings, and so on. The happiness of a building is determined by how happy or profitable the tenants are. If the Sims living in a residential building are happy and have few complaints, the building is eligible for an increase in density. Likewise, the profitability of a commercial or industrial building determines when it can increase in density.

SimCity Happiness 4

Click on any occupied building to open a window revealing more details about its current density. The meter at the top of this window shows the current density and its progress to reaching a higher density, as indicated by a face icon. If the Sims in the building are happy or profitable, a happy face icon is shown, with a green arrow pointing to the right, indicating a move toward higher density. If the Sims in the building have multiple complaints, they probably won’t be too happy, represented by an unhappy face icon and a red arrow pointing to the left, indicating stagnation—once a higher density has been reached, a building will never reduce in size. For residential and commercial buildings this window also shows the land value, displaying which wealth class the building serves. In industrial buildings, instead of land value, the building’s tech level is shown, displaying the education level of its workers. Review the comments at the bottom of each window to study what makes the building happy or unhappy. These comments can help guide your future decisions. For example, if a building is complaining about a lack of power, open the Power menu and make sure your power plant is generating enough power for the city. Do your best to address each complaint in an effort to increase a building’s happiness.

Stay tuned to for more SimCity information, including some city troubleshooting tips. For more information check out the SimCity: Prima Official Game Guide, available now. The guide includes a detailed chart illustrating how each event impacts a building’s happiness based on class and zone.

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