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SimCity Specializations Guide

Which specialization is the most lucrative? How should you set up trade? We answer all these questions and more!
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

Maintaining all those city services and schools isn’t cheap. By exploring opportunities in the metals, petroleum, trading, and electronics businesses, you may get the city’s budget back on track. And all those Sims bellyaching about no jobs? These big businesses employ tons of workers of various wealth and education levels, potentially leading to a boost in tax revenue as more Sims move in and new shops open.

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Which specialization is the most lucrative?

SimCity Specialization 1

If you’re primarily concerned with making money, it’s best to choose a specialization that harnesses your city’s natural resources. If your city has oil, pursue the petroleum specialization. If your city has coal or raw ore, specialize in metals. But even if your city has no natural resources, you can still find ways to make some extra money. Gambling is almost instantly profitable. However, you’ll need mass transit and a robust police presence to handle the crowds and criminals. In terms of market prices, processors, TVs, and computers produced through the electronics specialization yield the biggest returns. But starting an electronics business takes time, requiring a skilled workforce produced by a Community College. But if you have the patience and money to invest in education, the electronics specialization is a huge moneymaker…assuming global market prices stay high.

How do I make money through the Trade specialization?

SimCity Specialization 2

The Trade Depot and Trade Port are your city’s gateway to the global market, allowing you to buy low and sell high. In most situations, these facilities are used to store resources extracted or produced by your city. These resources can then be exported onto the global market for a quick profit. But in addition to exporting resources, you can also import resources from the global market. Market prices fluctuate hourly based on real-time supply and demand. So those barrels of fuel you imported in the morning, may be worth more (or less) by the evening. Playing the market can be fun, but it’s difficult to produce a steady profit without constant monitoring of market prices. Instead, consider extracting or producing resources for export on the global market.

My production facilities keep shutting down due to full output lots. How do I fix this?

SimCity Specialization 3

The output lots found at specialization facilities are relatively small, and fill-up fast. If the output lot becomes full, the facility temporarily shuts down. There are a few different ways to address this problem, but the easiest is by adding more truck garages at the impacted facility. The trucks dispatched from a facility draw resources from the output lot and deliver them to local business or Trade Depots and Trade Ports. The more trucks a facility has, the faster they’ll empty the output lot. It’s also wise to build Trade Depots or Trade Ports close to your extraction and production facilities. This cuts down on travel time, allowing trucks to travel a tight circuit without getting caught in traffic on the opposite side of the city. Placing all participants in your supply chain close to each other greatly improves efficiency.

I already have a Trade Depot. Why do I need a Trade Port?

SimCity Specialization 4

If your Trade Depot is handling all imports and exports with ease, there’s no immediate need for a Trade Port. However, there may come a time when your Trade Depot becomes impacted due to its small storage lots. At this point it’s wise to plop a Trade Port, preferably near a railway or shoreline. The storage lots at a Trade Port are enormous, capable of storing huge volumes of resources, leading to fewer interruptions in your supply chain. Plus, Trade Ports can import/export through train or cargo ship with the addition of the Freight Rail Terminal or Cargo Ship Dock modules. Trains and cargo ships are much more efficient than trucks, significantly increasing cargo capacity. As you can see, the Trade Port is capable of handling much larger volumes of resources than the Trade Port. So as production within your city ramps up, start scouting locations for a potential Trade Port.

Do you have more questions? Post them below! For more information on the city specializations check out the SimCity: Prima Official eGuide, available now.

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