Cities Skylines 2 How to Make Money Guide

As a sandbox game, there are so many different ways to play Cities: Skylines 2. As a city planner, you are in total control! However, whether you are the kind of player who fills your cities with parks and greenery or the type of player who spends hours designing the best road system for traffic, there is something we all have in common – money.

Making money is a massive part of Cities: Skylines 2. With money, we are able to expand our city and watch it grow. But, many of us fall into certain traps that drain the city budget and leave us with nothing. So, how do we make money in Cities: Skylines 2?

Today, we will talk about making money in Cities: Skylines 2. We will start at the very beginning and look at tips and tricks to make that dollar sign rise as your city expands. Let’s dive in!

how to make profit in cities skyline 2

Key Takeaways

Here are our tips on making money fast on Cities: Skylines 2:

  • Export your electricity.
  • Avoid loans.
  • Only put in services when needed.
  • Increase taxes slowly and avoid going over 15%.
  • Take time fine-tuning your budget, but do not make dramatic changes to it.
  • Only upgrade buildings when necessary.
  • Create districts and charge for parking.
  • Add a few bus lines to your city.
  • Make use of the natural resources in your city to avoid importing goods.

How to Make Money in Cities Skylines 2

#1 – The Humble Beginnings: Export!

It takes time to break even in Cities: Skylines 2, so don’t worry too much about being in the red for a while. However, you can still do things early on in the game to get some cash flowing into your city bank account.

exporting electricity Cities Skylines 2 How to Make Money
Image by Lou Siday

You will need water and electricity straight away in the game, but you won’t need all the resources you produce. So, you can export the electricity you make to the outside world for cash. All you need to do is find the power lines going into your city and link them up to your power plant. Voila: easy money for your city!

To determine how much electricity you are exporting, look at the service trade section in the budget tab.

#2 – Take Your Time: Avoid Loans and Certain Services Straight Away

avoiding loans Cities Skylines 2 How to Make Money

As your city grows, you will unlock milestones that unlock different services, gameplay aspects, and cash rewards. The cash you get in Cities: Skylines 2 for the milestones is pretty hefty compared to the original game, so make sure you are focusing on hitting those milestones to get the money coming in.

You will unlock loans early in the game, but honestly, there is no need to get loans in Cities: Skylines 2. These loans have interest, so you will be worse off in the long run. I have never had the need to get a loan in this game, and I think if you need to get a loan for your city, you are probably doing something fundamentally wrong, and your city is not set up for long-term success. Rely on the cash rewards you get from hitting milestones.

As you unlock new services, you might think you should place them down immediately. However, I recommend taking it slow and avoiding giving your city all services straight away. Unlike the original game, you are able to have services come in and out of your town and, therefore, won’t need them all until your city grows. I recommend placing schools and colleges as soon as possible, as smart Cims means more money for your city in the future. However, waste disposal and death care can wait.

#3 – Increase Taxes

Ah, taxes. We hate them, your Cims hate them, but they are necessary! As you expand your city and start to place services, you must begin to slowly increase taxes. Thankfully, unlike the original game, your Cims won’t immediately move out if taxes exceed 11%. But, you still need to ensure that, if you raise taxes, other aspects of your Cim’s happiness are met.

They won’t mind a tax raise if they have decent healthcare, education, police services, and parks. However, if there is none of that in your city, your Cims will leave.

taxes Cities Skylines 2 How to Make Money
Image by Lou Siday

Before raising taxes, look at your services and ensure there are at least two decent services in your city. I have found that raising taxes to around 14% is the sweet spot in the game, allowing me to break even and begin to make money early on.

#4 – Fine Tune Your Budget

So, you are well on your way to making a profitable city. You have a few services, are exporting electricity, and have slowly raised your taxes. Around this time, you will have unlocked your budget panel, which allows you to adjust how much money is being spent on what in your city. To make money in the game, you may want to lower your spending in your budget.

Now, it is really important not to make drastic changes to your budget and to take it slow. Some changes to your budget won’t be obvious immediately but will have long-term effects that will harm your city’s progress.

budgeting Cities Skylines 2 How to Make Money
Image by Lou Siday

It takes time to make money in the game, and you may be tempted to reduce your budget to get your money in the green. But remember, you are building a city and need it to grow. Have a look at how much of each service your Cims are using, and slightly reduce any that aren’t being fully utilized. Don’t adjust your electricity budget, as you are selling off surplus energy anyway!

As your city grows, keep checking service use and adjust your budget accordingly. Make sure your budgets are at 100% before adding new service buildings to get the most out of what you have.

#5 – Only Upgrade Buildings When Necessary

upgrading buildings Cities Skylines 2 How to Make Money

Building upgrades are a massive improvement from CS1 to CS2. Instead of having to plop down loads of the same service buildings, you can upgrade the ones you have to boost their efficiency. This is fun – but only upgrade your buildings when it is necessary!

Upgrades cost money and add to the outgoings of your city. Upgrading your services straight away can really impact your financial situation, so take it slow and think before making any upgrades.

Similarly, take it slow when adding new service buildings to your city. Take the hospital, for example. We all want to keep our Cims in good health, but the hospital has a monthly upkeep of $775,000. If your city is still pretty small, adding in the hospital can double your outgoings, making it even harder to break even.

I always try to compare my city to real-life towns as it grows. Most small towns will not have a hospital or a college until they expand, and I try to hold off placing these objects until they are necessary and my budget can handle them.

#6 – Create Districts and Add Policies

At milestone 5, you unlock policies. This allows you to create districts in your city and impose policies on that particular district, with some policies adding money to your bank account.

policies Cities Skylines 2 How to Make Money
Image by Lou Siday

The Roadside Parking Fee is a great policy that provides easy money. With this policy, your city gains money from all those cars parked on your streets. The fee goes up to $50, which is a lot, but it doesn’t seem to affect your Cim’s happiness.

This is probably a bug right now because high fees should really make your citizens sad. But until it is fixed, enjoy that money rolling in!

#7 – Get the Busses on the Road

public transport Cities Skylines 2 How to Make Money

Transport brings a lot of good things to your city. It means fewer cars are on the road, eases traffic, and makes your Cims happy. But, transport can bring a fairly decent profit if done well.

As you grow your city, place down one or two bus routes to bring in some cash. Of course, transport is expensive and you will have to spend some of your budget on it. However, in the long run, it will bring money into your city.

Like other services, it is essential to place transport down slowly. It is tempting to create loads of bus routes straight away, but more bus routes mean more money. Place one down, and as your city expands, add more.

#8 – Make Use of Natural Resources

Every map includes various natural resources to mine. There are trees for forestry, fertile land for farming and crops, and oil and ore. Once you have unlocked these natural resources, it is vital to make use of them.

resources Cities Skylines 2 How to Make Money
Image by Lou Siday

Your city needs resources, and it will import them if there aren’t any in the city. However, if you are using the natural resources on your map, import fees will go down. Furthermore, your city will begin selling off the surplus of natural resources to bring more money into your city.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

I have played Cities: Skylines 2 a lot over the last few weeks, exploring different ways to expand my city and make money at the same time. Of course, I have encountered a few budgeting difficulties in different cities, which have dramatically affected my city’s growth.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when wanting to make money in Cities: Skylines 2:

  • Increasing taxes too much: If you increase taxes too much, Cims will not want to move into your city. This means that the expansion of your city will take time.
  • Putting in too many services straight away: If you place down all services once unlocked, your expenses will be extremely high, which may lead you to lose too much money.
  • Placing too many parks: Maybe this is a me problem, but once parks are unlocked, I tend to place loads down all over my town. Parks don’t cost much, but they add up! So, try to avoid overdoing the parks.
  • Not being aware of what you are importing: The game automatically imports services you need, which costs money. Make sure you are checking your imports to see if any services should be placed to save money.

Create a Succesful City in City: Skylines 2 Today!

succesful city skylines 2 Cities Skylines 2 How to Make Money

Making money is an integral part of Cities: Skylines 2, and making money means you have a successful city. However, if you are new to the game, it can be difficult to understand the different aspects of city building and how making money works. I hope this guide has helped you feel ready to build your dream city that makes money and keeps your Cims happy!

How you create your city is down to you; there is so much room for personalization and creativity. But, you gotta make the cash. So up those taxes, sell your electricity, and charge your poor Cims for parking. They will thank you in the long run.


Question: How Can I Get Money Fast in Cities: Skylines 2?

Answer: To make money fast in Cites: Skylines 2, only add a few services in the game and increase your taxes. You should also fine-tune your budget to ensure you are not wasting any on anything unnecessary.

Question: Why Am I Losing Money So Fast in City: Skylines 2?

Answer: The main reason for losing money fast in Cities: Skylines 2 is too many services early in the game. Services cost money, but if your population is low, you aren’t getting the money from taxes coming in. Take it slow when building your game to ensure

Question: What Brings in the Most Money in Cities Skylines 2?

Answer: Taxes bring the most money into Cities: Skylines 2. By raising your taxes for industry, residential, and commercial, you will start to see your money going up.

Continue reading:

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