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Achievements

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Like all good games (and a lot of bad ones too) SimCity comes with achievement awards.

Some of them are nice and straightforward, others are more complicated. This article includes some advice on how to get yours! Please note for (hopefully) obvious reasons, I have only listed the ones which I've got myself! I have not included the special edition achievements, because frankly they are obviously only there to nag people into buying the DLC which I feel is considerably over-priced.

The following sections can be found in this article:

  • City Management Achievements
  • City Services Achievements
  • City Specialization Achievements
  • RCI Achievements
  • Region Achievements
  • Secret Achievements (SPOILERS!)
  • Tired of reading? Here is a video that shows you how it's possible to snag all 43 achievements in 3 hours of gameplay! Yay!

    "Big Government Achievement and 42 Others in 3 Hours" - SimCityBrian

    City Management Achievements

    The following are general achievements for city progress:

    Sand Through My Fingers: Easy

    Have total expenses of $15,000+ per month

    You need to place buildings that cost money to run, this is very easy to do since all city buildings cost something each hour they operate. The larger, higher value parks are ideal as they are not hugely expensive to place and do not require unlocking, but will rack up treasury expenses as well as improving your city's land value!

    Money Cube: Medium

    Have a total income of $15,000+ per hour

    I found the best opportunities to get this achievement tend to come in the early development phase after a fairly expansive placement of roads and zones and a rollout of some specialization to increase income (I got mine from oil), but before city service costs really start to rocket from higher level buildings (hospital, high school, water treatment etc).

    Contrary to some people's experience, I found that a lower tax rate was more productive as it encouraged a larger number of residents to move in, although my award came with a population of just 26,000 all in low wealth, low density housing. Low wealth Sims will generally put up with a tax rate up to about 15% before they start to get pee'd off and leave.

    For more information:

  • Government: Treasury & Budget: What makes a 'Good' Tax Rate?
  • Good Credit: Easy

    Pay off $1,000,000 in bond debt

    This is not especially difficult to accomplish on a practical level, borrow bonds totalling $1 million, pay it all back with the required additional interest. There are two approaches to achieving this, either simply borrow and pay back the money in the course of normal gameplay, or, if you don't find yourself ever needing to borrow, wait until one of your cities is very rich and simply borrow then pay back ten $100,000 bonds just to get the achievement. It does not need to be done with a single city, it can be done across any games stored on the same game server.

    Multi-Millionare City: Difficult

    Have $10,000,000 in your treasury

    I've labeled this as Difficult, because it does require quite a lot of commitment, getting your city to the stage where it is generating millions needs a serious investment in specialization or a huge amount of patience.

    Even with a well planned strategy in trade or electronics, it will likely take several game years of running the same city, with tax income alone, well lets just say the Mayor will be offered a retirement present by the time this achievement occurs! You can alternatively beg for large gifts from rich neighbors, or perhaps club together with online friends to take turns getting this achievement passing the money around!

    For more information:

  • Trading
  • Electronics
  • Busy Downtown: Super Easy

    Have at least 100 commercial buildings in your city

    Just zone a good quantity of commercial in a new city and wait to get this achievement. A low density commercial building will fit in the smallest standard zoning unit which is the equivalent of 12m x 24m.

    For more information:

  • Zoning: About Density
  • Quid Pro Quo: Difficult

    Place one of each of all the modules on a single Mayor's Mansion.

    The Mayor's mansion is upgraded by sustaining a particular approval rating (or better) for a specific period of time. The upgrade requirements start at 75% and go up to 90%, meaning that you either have to do a great job at keeping on top of your city's problems OR you can of course reduce the tax rate down to 0.

    The ideal circumstance to get this achievement is if your population consists solely of low wealth Sims simply because they are easier to keep happy - and as noted above, the lower the tax rate, the more they will like you.

  • Government: City Hall
  • Government: Understanding Data Maps
  • Zoning: Balancing Demand
  • Parks
  • Industrial Revolution: Super Easy

    Have 100 Industrial buildings in your city

    Just zone a good quantity of industry in a new city and wait to get this achievement. Remember that most low density industrial units are bigger than residential and commercial so will take up more space, and that high density roads can lead to high density industrial buildings which are huge (and therefore not easy to fit many in).

    Suburb City: Super Easy

    Have 10,000 residents living in your city

    Just zone a good quantity of residential and then wait! This achievement is easy to get even if you don't provide any power and water!

    Population Boom: Easy

    Have 50,000 residents living in your city

    I have labeled this as easy because it seems to be extremely easy for some people, but quite difficult for others. The key to this, I have found, is aggressive expansion in the early development phase (lots of zoning) and keeping the proportion of residential high compared to industrial and commercial.

    Metropolis!: Medium

    Have 100,000 residents living in your city

    If you are struggling to achieve this then I recommend starting a fresh region, create neighboring cities which are low on residential (i.e. mostly industrial or commercial or mixed), and then you can zone a city which is almost entirely residential. A critical aspect of this is not upgrading your road density too early, or unnecessarily and keeping your zoning well balanced. Low taxes can help bring in Sims, but this does require a robust treasury so you will need to come up with sources of income to compensate. Around 8% is a good tax rate for encouraging immigration.

    For more information:

  • Zoning: Balancing Demand
  • Roads & Mass Transit
  • Big Government: Difficult

    Place each one of the City Hall Departments on a single City Hall

    You will need a population of 600,000 to complete this achievement, as you need to upgrade your City Hall to the maximum in order to place all of the Department modules. Creating such a large population is a real challenge, the residential zoning article includes general tips on how to increase your population, however if that fails, there is also a walk-through for a slightly 'cheaty' method which can get this achievement.

    For more information:

  • Zoning: Residential
  • Suburbtopia: Super Easy

    Have 500 residential buildings

    Just zone a good quantity of residential and then wait!

    My Favorite Mayor: Easy

    Have 24 hours of a 75% or higher approval rating

    Essentially you just need one good day where not too many things go wrong. So long as your Sims have basic healthcare, police and fire services and not too many issues with pollution or worker or job shortages then you'll probably find this will turn up before too long.

    To find out more about your approval rating and how to improve it take a look at these articles:

  • Understanding data maps
  • Approval rating: How to make it rise, or fall
  • Best Mayor Ever: Difficult

    Have an approval rating of 95% or more

    This requires a great attention to detail, particularly studying the happiness data map to look for the precise causes of Sims woes and fixing them promptly, as well as close monitoring of problems in all areas as they arise. Fortunately you do not need to sustain this approval rating. If you are close then try lowering taxes, this will help considerably!

  • Understanding data maps
  • Approval rating: How to make it rise, or fall
  • City Services Achievements

    The following are achievements for use and upgrade of city buildings:

    Bad Move, Creeps: Super Easy

    Have your Police capture their first criminal

    Simply place a police station (the small one will do) in a city that has some population and wait. Eventually some rotten ne'er do well will fall foul of the local rozzers!

    Only you can prevent city fires: Easy

    Put out more than 10 fires in a day

    This requires a reasonable city size (probably more than 20,000 population) and enough fire fighters to meet demand. Low density, low tech industrial burns most easily so zone plenty of it and wait!

    Garbage Man: Super Easy

    Pick up 10 tons of garbage in a day

    Just place a garbage dump in a city with some population and wait for the truck to collect enough.

    City Specialization Achievements

    The following are achievements for successful use of City specialization:

    You Mean Business: Difficult

    Plop every City Specialisation HQ in the game

    As far as I know this should be achievable as soon as you have placed one instance of each in any city in any region, however I did not mine until I placed all HQ's in a single city, which is obviously considerably more challenging! Not least of all because it requires you to have oil and either coal or ore, high tech industry and a casino business in a single city, although not necessarily all at once.

    The Metal's HQ requires a city with coal and / or ore. You'll need to mine 96 tons per day to unlock it, which can be done with one fully expanded mine. Petroleum requires oil in your city, you'll need 9600 barrels which is again, can be achieved with an oil well which has a complete set of pump jacks.

    The Trade HQ is a little more complicated in that you need to profit from some type of commodity to the value of $72,000 per day. This is a great deal easier if you have oil, coal or ore, otherwise you will need to import and process raw materials into a higher value item (which usually requires HQ's to already be placed and unlocked to a degree). Recycling plants can generate profit selling plastic, metal and alloy which does count, but it is very difficult to output enough. In addition to the trading profit, you'll also need to place a trade depot with 3 different types of storage lots on it (i.e. coal, oil, alloy etc).

    The Electronics HQ requires you to first unlock the processor factory. This requires 5 medium tech industries, this in turn will require a Community College and a bit of patience. Once you have unlocked and placed the processor factory, it'll need to be fully upgraded with as all allowed manufacturing modules in order to produce the required number of processors each day. You can import the plastic and alloy, however you will not make a profit from this, so you'll either need to subsidize it partially or wholly with recycling plants, or by generating your own raw materials through mining and drilling.

    Lastly you'll also need to place the Casino HQ. This requires $52,000 daily profit from casinos, since you can only use the basic casino without placing the HQ, you'll likely need two or three of them. Hopefully this is stating the obvious, but if you have casinos that are losing money, these will detract from your daily profit.

    For more information:

  • Mining
  • Oil
  • Trading
  • Electronics
  • King Coal: Super Easy

    Extract a total of 100 tons of coal

    So long as you have coal in your city, place a coal mine and a trade depot with a coal storage lot, then wait.

    For more information:

  • Mining
  • Electrical Magic: Medium

    Assemble 4,000 crates of Processors in a day

    Unlocking the Processor Factory requires some medium tech industry in your city (5 or more factories). You will need to place a Community College in your city first to increase your low tech industry to medium. Once the factory is available, place it, and expand it by adding at least one more manufacturing module. By default it will produce 2,400 crates per day. You will need to ensure there is sufficient plastic and alloy to keep the factory supplied. Recycling plant output may not be enough, you may need to import or create more raw materials to support your factory.

    For more information:

  • Electronics
  • Sin City: Difficult

    Place one of each type of casino in a city

    I'm sure Maxis envisaged this as being a more 'medium' difficulty achievement, but with the gambling specialization being so problematic, this may well turn out to be more tricky than it ought to be!

    To unlock the higher level casinos you will need to use the basic casinos effectively (i.e. in locations where tourists can be encouraged to go in your city) to generate a profit of $52,000 per day. This allows you to place the Casino HQ. Once you do so you'll need to make a total of $100,000 per day with the Sci-Fi and basic casinos in order to upgrade the HQ and unlock the smarter casinos. Once you have unlocked them, place them all to get this achievement.

    For more information:

  • Gambling
  • Culture & Tourism
  • Penny Slots: Medium

    Generate $200,000 in total revenue from casinos

    I've labeled this as being medium, because although the Gambling specialisation is... well... a gamble, this achievement has no time limit. You simply need one casino, the basic one will do just fine, which is making a profit, however small. Over time it will, eventually, earn the $200,000 required and you'll get the achievement.

    For more information:

  • Gambling
  • Blast Furnace: Difficult

    Smelt a total of 100 tons of metal

    You will need to unlock the smelting factory in the Mining buildings. You can only do this by adding the smelting division to the Metals HQ. Once you have an operating mine in your city, fully expand it to generate the 96 tons a day of coal or ore. This unlocks the Metals HQ. You will need to upgrade the HQ once, which requires $160,000 daily profit from selling coal, ore, metal or alloy. In addition the smelting division building is $200,000. Once unlocked you can place the factory, by default it includes a metal smelting module, which only requires raw ore in order to function. Allow it to run to complete this achievement.

    For more information:

  • Mining
  • All Oiled Up: Easy

    Pump 10,000 barrels of crude oil in a day

    So long as you have oil in your city this is not a difficult achievement. One fully expanded oil well should be able to generate this, although two will generally be faster!

    For more information:

  • Oil
  • Refined Tastes: Difficult

    Refine 40 barrels of fuel and 40 crates of plastic in a single city in one hour

    This achievement doesn't require a particularly large quantity of plastic or fuel, however I would still recommend leaving this to a second city in a region where a first oil producing city has already unlocked the refinery. I have found the oil often runs out in an effort to unlock the refinery by which time there's no plastic or fuel to be made without importing crude oil (which tends to produce very little profit after trading and factory costs).

    To unlock the refinery you will need to add the refining division of the Petroleum HQ. The HQ requires 9600 barrels a day to unlock, but $160,000 in daily profit from the sale of oil in order to upgrade it (and place the refining division). This can often be a challenge if oil reserves are running low. If you want to accomplish this in a single city I recommend finding one that has a large area of oil reserves.

    For more information:

  • Oil
  • To be Ore Not To Be: Super Easy

    Extract a total of 100 tons of raw ore

    This is a very easy achievement, find a city with ore reserves, place an ore mine, a trade depot with a raw ore storage lot and wait!

    For more information:

  • Mining
  • A Lot Of Lots: Medium

    Place 6 unique storage lot types on any Trade Depot or Trade Port

    This is one of those achievements that sounds ridiculously simple at first glance, but isn't. The essential difficulty is that some of the storage lot types are locked, initially you'll only have access to coal, oil and ore (freight doesn't count).

    Although you can unlock the higher level specialisation ones through mining, drilling and manufacturing, the simplest answer is to place a recycling plant in your city. Once it is operational it unlocks alloy, plastic and metal. Add these to a trade depot along with the 3 basic ones to get this achievement.

    For more information:

  • Garbage & Recycling
  • Moving Pictures: Difficult

    Assemble 100 crates of TVs in one day in a single city

    TV's and computers require unlocking the consumer electronics factory. This is one of the more difficult buildings to unlock as it has a number of prerequistes, including medium tech industry (Community College or University), the Processor factory (unlocked once your medium tech industry begins to appear), the Electronics HQ (available once you start to produce 3,600 crates of processors per day), and then finally the consumer electronics division of the Electronics HQ.

    Fortunately it is relatively easy to turn a profit from electronics, unfortunately Maxis realized this and made the profit requirement higher to get the first HQ upgrade. You'll need to make $750,000 from the sale of processors in order to upgrade your HQ, add the very expensive consumer electronics division and then buy your very expensive consumer electronics factory. By default it makes TVs, so once you have placed it and it has sufficient raw materials it will not take much time to get this achievement.

    For more information:

  • Electronics
  • Specialist First Class: Super (Insultingly) Easy

    Select 'Guide Me' for any city specialisation

    Oh lordy... yes apparently we get an award for being able to read. Open any specialisation panel in game, click on the 'Guide Me' button that comes up when you interact with the advisor. Follow the on-screen instructions... blah-de-blah. I actually sort of regret getting this acheivement now on point of principal... Anyway, it's too late now. I have it. There's no going back.

    RCI Achievements

    The following are achievements for the management (or lack of management) of your city's population:

    The Big (Insert Fruit Here): Medium

    Have 50 high density, low wealth commercial buildings in your city

    You will need a fairly large quantity of commercial zoning, and sufficient residential zoning - also low wealth, in order to supply workers and shoppers.

    For more information:

  • Zoning: Commercial
  • Billionaire's Playground: Medium

    Have 10 high density, high wealth residential buildings in your city!

    High wealth Sims are fussy. Creating high wealth zones is simply a matter of putting a sufficient quantity of $$$ parks in to create an area of high land value, zoning some residential and waiting for Sims to move in.

    Increasing these buildings to high density, on the other hand, requires you to keep those fussy citizens happy long enough to increase density. Above and beyond basic city services (health, fire coverage, garbage collection that is at least 80% efficient, clean water etc), high wealth Sims will also expect to be educated (any school will do so long as your enrollment is at 100%) and good police coverage. I would recommend zoning this high wealth area close to your police station, perhaps after it has been there a while and has built up a nice blue area on your crime data map.

    High wealth Sims also dislike pollution of any kind and will expect suitable shops, so make sure there is an area of zoned commercial within your high land value area.

    If all else fails, try dropping the high wealth tax rate as low as possible and removing any bus stops which are anywhere near your high wealth area. High wealth Sims will use the streetcar, but the stops themselves are still a negative influence on land value.

    For more information:

  • Parks: Happiness, Wealth & Land Value
  • Zoning: About Density
  • Zoning: Residential
  • Elite Estates: Easy

    Have 50 low density, high wealth residential buildings in your city

    This is a relatively straightforward achievement because it doesn't require you to keep your high wealth citizens happy in the longer term, they simply need to move in in the first place. I recommend having only low density streets in the area you want to develop your mansions. Although it does take a while for buildings to increase density, this achievement requires a large number of them and it's entirely possible by the time the last few have developed into mansions and Sims have moved in, some of the first to develop may have evolved to medium density which is not desired in this case. Keep the road density at low will prevent them from increasing.

    Create your high wealth zones by adding $$$ value parks in areas where there are no negative influence buildings (shown in red on the land value data map). Working with the land value data map on when placing your parks will enable you to see the extent of your potential high wealth area. It's worth noting that a low density high wealth mansion is 6 times the size of a low density low wealth shack and only houses 3 Sims (seriously!). In short, expect your city's population to drop significantly! And of course, if you want to keep your high wealth citizens you'll need to think about high tech jobs... but that is another matter entirely!

    For more information:

  • Parks: Happiness, Wealth & Land Value
  • Zoning: Residential
  • Office Parks: Medium

    Have 50 low density, high wealth commercial buildings in your city

    This is a good achievement to combine with the previous 'Elite Estates' as it too requires low density and high land value. Adding commercial zones around your high wealth residential will generate shopping for your high wealth Sims in their mansions!

    As with the 'Elite Estates' you'll need low density roads to ensure that buildings do not increase density. 50 low density, high wealth commercial buildings do not take up as much space as the high wealth mansions, they are the same size as the low and medium wealth commercial units.

    What makes this achievement somewhat more difficult, is that your commercial buildings will need workers. If some of your 50 buildings are closed due to lack of workers, you will not get your achievement. In addition to 50 high wealth workers, you will also need 100 medium and 100 low wealth workers, which means you will need some residential areas nearby of those wealth levels (however tempting, you can't turn your whole city into wall-to-wall mansions and boutiques!).

    For more information:

  • Parks: Happiness, Wealth & Land Value
  • Zoning: Commercial
  • Apartment Rows: Medium

    Have 50 high density, low wealth residential buildings in your city

    In addition to creating a sufficiently large zone of residential you'll also need to encourage the buildings to evolve to high density without increasing land value. Unfortunately a lot of city service buildings have a positive effect on land value, so you'll need to keep things like clinics, schools, city hall, the police station etc, out of the area you wish to develop. Fortunately poor Sims are easier to please and so won't mind having reduced access to these buildings!

    In order to encourage density you'll need to ensure that your residents are sufficiently happy which means providing them with employment and shopping. You can also add parks to supplement the commercial areas, but make sure you use the basic parks, not ones which will add to the land value.

    50 high density, low wealth residential buildings will generate 20,000 workers and 10,000 shoppers, so you will need sufficient quantities of workplaces and shopping or park capacity. Not providing these things will make it difficult to increase density and therefore to get the achievement.

    For more information:

  • Zoning: Residential
  • Region Achievements

    The following are achievements for regional activities experienced by interactions with neighboring cities:

    Llamahound: Easy

    Have a municipal bus from a neighbor make 100 trips into your city within a year

    A neighboring city will require a municipal bus depot, your city will require one or more bus stops. Provided your neighboring city has plenty of buses, this should be easy to accomplish over the course of 12 game days (which is also a year)

    For more information:

  • Roads & Mass Transit: Mass Transit Tips & Problems
  • The Philanthropist: Medium

    Gift $200,000 or more to a neighbor

    It actually is a pretty easy achievement, you simply need $200,000 to spare, on a short term basis (the neighbor can, after all, give you the gift back), however since the gifting system is slow and prone to not working, I've labeled this as medium difficulty.

    Make Sure You're Grounded: Easy

    Provide both power and water to a neighbor, at the same time

    All you need for this achievement is a bit of excess power and water production, and a neighboring city willing to buy them both. Remember that the amount of water and power you can sell will be divided by the number of connected neighbors (regardless of whether they buy from you or not), so you may only be able to supply a third of your excess.

    For more information:

  • Water
  • Power
  • Secret Achievements

    SPOILER ALERT:

    If you don't want to know what these are, look away now! Several of these achievements will be given when you unlock the various SimCity disasters.

    Bronze Anniversary: Medium

    Play a city for 10 years!

    If you are the sort of Mayor who quickly gets bored of your city's or runs them into financial ruin or other problems soon this may be somewhat more challenging. If that's you, I recommend creating a tiny city and then just leaving it alone - perhaps run it on fast overnight, to get this achievement.

    Dug Too Greedily and Too Deep: Easy

    Mine 100 tons of coal or raw ore in your city to gain access to the Earthquake disaster

    You will need either coal or ore in your city to achieve this. After unlocking the coal / ore mine, place it and place a trade storage depot with an appropriate module to collect the coal / ore and wait. A single mine will produce 24 tons per day, but you can speed things up by adding more mine modules. Mines do take a while to 'warm up' to full capacity so this may take a few days to achieve.

    For more information:

  • Mining
  • Trading
  • What Goes Up Must Come Down: Medium

    Have 200 tourists arrive on flights at the Municipal Airport in a day to gain access to the Meteor Strike disaster

    This is best achieved in a city that has higher commercial demand and at least some tourist traffic. Placing high and medium wealth cultural attractions in a city will assist with making Sims use the airport, since planes are favoured by higher wealth tourists.

    For more information:

  • Culture & Tourism
  • Roads & Mass Transit: Mass Transit Tips & Problems
  • Laboratory Outbreak: Medium

    Add a Diagnostic Lab to a Hospital and have 15 Sims die in a day to gain access to the Zombie Attack disaster

    Having a death rate of 15 Sims per day requires a high injury rate. This is most easily achieved in a sizable city with lots of low tech industry. Turn off any healthcare provision in your city. Adding a Diagnostic Lab to a Hospital requires the Department of Safety (for the Hospital) and a University that has been upgraded at least once to add the School of Medicine, after which you'll need to complete the research project to unlock the Diagnostic Lab.

    For more information:

  • Healthcare
  • What's Cookin': Super Easy

    Burn 100 tons of garbage in an Incinerator at the Garbage Dump to gain access to the Big Lizard disaster

    Place a garbage dump in your city, add an incinerator and wait. It will take around 4 game days to burn sufficient garbage with a full compliment of garages.

    For more information:

  • Garbage & Recycling
  • We Are Not Alone: Difficult

    Ship any resource to a Space Center Great Work to gain access to the UFO Encounter Disaster

    Gaining this achievement takes a sizable amount of preparation, you will need to initiate the Space Center Great Work in a region by paying $1 million, and then ship some materials to it. The Space Center Great Work requires fuel, alloy and computers, the easiest of which to source is alloy which can be generated by placing a recycling center and adding an alloy processing module. The Space Center is best suited to a local area where the cities have natural oil reserves (for the fuel) and sufficient resources in general to unlock the Consumer Electronics Factory, which is the top tier building of the Electronics specialization.

    For more information:

  • Great Works
  • Electronics
  • Blowin' In The Wind: Super Easy

    Have 24 Wind Turbines at Wind Power Plants in your city to gain access to the Tornado Disaster

    Fortunately a wind power station comes with one turbine already, so all you have to do is buy another 23 to get this achievement (and the tornado disaster of course).

    Mayor Yuk!: Easy

    Have 500 Sims complaining about dirty water in a day

    In order to gain this achievement you will need to generate yukky water. This means pumping sufficient ground water in an area which has ground pollution. There are plenty of buildings which generate ground pollution, although it can take a while before it builds up to sufficient levels that it makes the water dirty. You don't need a water pumping station, just a single water tower in a polluted area will do.

    For more information:

  • Water
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