As players of Cities: Skylines, a simulation game, we have a lot to do; we can control zoning, road placement, public services, taxation, budgets and transport in our little slice of City paradise.
To add to the base game, Cities: Skylines has numerous DLC packs available to purchase on Steam, ranging from expansion packs for the base game to flavour packs such as Match Day and Concerts. In addition, there are eleven or more content creator packs to buy, adding specific themed buildings such as European style. We have Cities: Skylines Content Creator Packs: Which are the Best to Buy articles here with further reading on the packs.
But if you are a new player to the game, how do you know which DLCs you should buy? Which ones will benefit your gameplay and make your city the place everyone wants to live? That’s where we come in with our handy list of the best DLCs to add to your game. All the DLCs here are ranked from 11 to 1, with one being the best to buy.
The Snowfall DLC was released way back in 2016 and was the second DLC released for the game. It adds a winter weather system, in other words, snow! As well as adding six city service buildings, eleven unique buildings, eleven winter parks, five new roads, five winter snow maps, and new transport: trams.
The five snow maps are fun to play with as you have to factor in underground heating for your cims and ensure the roads stay ice and snow-free. Seeing your city in a thick layer of beautiful snow is nice. I like the addition of trams to the transport network that this DLC gives. However, the Snowfall content is limited to the pre-selected five winter maps. You can not change a tropical map into a winter map, as the DLC doesn’t allow for seasonal changes. You either have snow or you don’t, so for me, this makes snowfall one of the weaker DLCs.
10. After Dark
The After Dark DLC adds Nightlife, leisure and tourism. It also adds twenty growable assets, six-city service buildings, five unique buildings, an international airport, a bus station, a cargo hub, eight parks, five new roads, and roads with bike paths.
I like having the bike roads in this DLC as using them, as well as the bus transport cuts down on traffic flow in your city as the cims will happily cycle or bus everywhere. The nightlife and tourism in your city are nice to have. The DLC allows commercial zones to remain open all day and night for added nightlife. I like seeing my city lit up at night, but it is not an important feature, so to me, After Dark is not an essential DLC.
9. Natural Disasters
The Natural Disasters DLC was the next DLC to be released by Paradox. It consists of seven disasters that can be switched off or on. Furthermore, it introduces a fire-spreading mechanic; previously, a fire was contained in one building and didn’t spread; this can also be turned off in the settings. In addition, there are sixteen city disaster-related service buildings, such as shelters and warning systems. It also adds six unique buildings, one monument, five new scenarios and three new maps.
As the name suggests, with the Natural Disasters DLC, you can have disasters hit your city, such as earthquakes, thunderstorms, tsunamis, forest fires, meteors, tornadoes, and even sinkholes. You can make any disaster happen instantly in your game or wait until the game surprises you with one. It’s best to be prepared and ensure you have shelters for the cims. Unfortunately, I have a love-hate relationship with the disaster DLC; after spending many hours building a city, the last thing I want to do is destroy it. However, it is a fun DLC to experience if you want to pay for it.
8. Sunset Harbour
The Sunset Harbour DLC adds a Fishing industry with ten fishing industry buildings. Along with new transport, Trolley bus, and helicopter, seventeen city service buildings, one unique building, five new maps, and three trolley bus roads.
With Sunset Habour, you can grow the fishing industry in your city. You can control fishing boats and even place fish farms. You also get a new intercity bus service which is a great addition. The Aviation Club can increase the entertainment level in your city by flying passenger helicopters and private planes. Since the Airports DLC release, I rarely use the Aviation Club in my builds anymore. Sunset Harbour is not an essential DLC, as you can get by without it, but it does add a few nice additions to the coastal areas on the map.
As the name suggests, the Campus DLC adds extra education facilities to the game with three unique modular campuses: a trade school campus, liberal arts campus, and a university campus. In addition, there are nineteen unique assets, five sports buildings, nine unique buildings that boost education in your city, three museums and five new maps.
The Campus DLC follows the Cities: Skylines trend of allowing us to micro-manage our city’s higher education. You can set up a university campus in your city using the dedicated assets. Each of the three university types has a distinct architectural style with beautiful buildings that can bring your city to a new level of beauty. The teaching buildings also provide bonuses to the city’s education based on their courses.
6. Financial Districts
Financial District DLC adds to your city’s economy with financial districts that you can zone and uses your funds to invest in the best industries for your population. Financial Districts is a mini-expansion that adds the new feature “Investments” and more than a hundred assets to the game.
Invest your money wisely and improve the lives of your citizens. Many sectors await your support, including death care, healthcare, oil, ore, farming, the generic industry, and logistics. Keep track of your investments with the new stock trading tab. While this DLC is fun and des adds lots of highrise buildings to your city centre it is not an essential DLC.
5. Green Cities
The Green Cities DLC adds eco-friendly homes and buildings to your city. With three hundred and fifty new assets that can be zoned, fourteen service buildings, such as IT cluster buildings that produce commercial goods and organic and local produce buildings. It also includes six unique buildings, one monument, three scenarios and three maps.
This DLC adds so much more to your city builds; the assets are nice buildings adding more depth to your build. Eco-friendly buses are a great addition to any city. Green Cities is an excellent DLC pack for making your skyscrapers look so much better, so why not “go green”!
The Airports DLC was the most recent one to be released in January this year, you can read our review here. It adds three passenger airport buildings in different styles, airport terminals, three public modes of transport, and sixteen airport assets, including a runway and a taxiway. It adds everything you would want to build an International Airport for your cims. There is also a modular cargo train station, two unique buildings, two cargo airport roads, and three new maps in this pack.
With Airports DLC, you can fully integrate the system into your city’s overall transportation network with a deeper level of flexibility and customization. However, while the Airport, once set up, can be a good money maker, the game already had an airport, just not on the scale you can build with this DLC. Nevertheless, if you are into Aviation like I am and enjoy planes and such, this would be one to buy.
3. Park Life
Park Life is one of the best DLCs if you love detailing your city with trees, fences, rocks, parks and more. Adding in four modular parks, which are a city park, zoo, amusement and nature reserve six unique buildings, one monument, three-city service buildings and five new maps.
Parks have the added bonus of helping to keep the cims happy. There are plenty of assets to decorate the parks how you like and make your city the best place to live. You can zone out individual areas in your city and turn them into a Zoo or nature reserve for cims and tourists to visit. This is one of my favourite DLCs for the game, and I always use it in my city builds, spending hours beautifying my city.
The Industries DLC adds four new modular buildings and zoned industry areas: forestry, ore, oil, and farms. Along with four service buildings, sixteen unique buildings, four warehouses, three new roads, and five new maps.
The DLC allows you to set up and plan a supply chain in all four industrial buildings and zone out dedicated areas in your city. Allowing for dedicated harvesting of products to processing, storage and production, then supplying your products to your commercial zones or exporting them to other cities. I enjoy using the Industries DLC and micromanaging the industry in my city and eventually turning a profit and raking in the cash.
1. (Joint) Mass Transit
The Mass Transit DLC adds four new transport mods: ferries, monorails, blimps, and cable cars. New transport hubs, thirteen service buildings, three unique buildings, eleven new roads, asymmetric roads, four-lane highways, three scenarios, and three new maps.
Cities: Skylines Mass Transit is a must-have DLC; it adds so much more to the game to get your cims from A to B in your city. Anyone that has played Cities: Skylines will know that the in-game traffic systems can give you a headache. So having more options to add to your transport network helps cut the heavy vehicle traffic down; you can even make a monorail the main means of transport instead of roads for cars.
1 (Joint) Plazas & Promenades
While the Mass Transit DLC added heaps of transit networks and new buildings to the base game, the Plazas and Promenades will add many new pedestrian paths, facilities, and new residential, office and commercial buildings.
You can zone areas, use pedestrian paths, and turn a busy neighbourhood into a peaceful place with very little traffic other than service vehicles. All roads in the pedestrian area, except highways, get a speed limit of 20 km/h.
Having zoned pedestrian areas also reduces road traffic as fewer Cims will take their car if they can walk. If you give them the option of walking, they will do that.
Plazas & Promenades bring so much to the game in the way of new plazas, decorations, decals and much more. If you like to beautify your city, this is an excellent DLC with the addition of the specialization features with twenty-four new modern wall-to-wall colourful buildings.
What are your favourite DLCs for Cities: Skylines? Why not leave us a comment below? If you are new to the game, you may find our Cities: Skylines Beginners Guide helpful.
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Happy city Building!