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SimCity Strategy Guides


Electronics Specialisation

The Electronics specialisation is challenging, but can be extremely profitable!

The following sections can be found in this article:

  • Unlocking the Processor Factory
  • Unlocking the Electronics HQ
  • Upgrading the Electronics HQ
  • Supply Chain Problems
  • There is a complete listing of the natural resources of each of the base game cities in the following article:

  • Natural Resources Listed by City
  • Unlocking the Processor Factory


    The processor factory requires 5 medium tech factories. This means you'll need some industrial zoning and either a Community College or a University.

    For more information:

  • Education & Tech Levels
  • Zoning: Industrial
  • Unlocking the Electronics HQ

    You can place the Electronics HQ once you have a production rate of 7,200 crates of processors in a single day. The basic factory outputs 2,400 per day, adding another 3 manufacturing modules will provide sufficent to unlock the HQ. If you can supply the factory with educated workers (by having educated residential buildings nearby), this production rate can increase to 9,600 crates per day.

    You will need to supply the factory with sufficient materials. It requires both plastic and alloy in equal quantities.

    Factory / Imported Materials Costs per Day Net Profit per Day
    Processor Factory $43,200 $964,800
    Processor Factory + Imported Plastic $144,000 $820,800
    Processor Factory + Imported Alloy $244,800 $720,000
    Processor Factory + Imported Plastic + Alloy $388,800 $576,000

    As you can see, you'll make much greater profit if you have oil, coal and ore present in your city, but you can still make an average of $24,000 /hr from selling processors even if you don't (assuming no hiccups in your supply chain).

    Upgrading the Electronics HQ

    The following guide covers upgrading the Electronics specialization headquarters building.

    Electronics HQ Upgrade #1: $1,500,000

    You'll need to expand your processor factory industry, if you generate your own raw materials then you'll need two factories plus supporting industries to provide the raw materials. If you are importing materials you will need three, possibly four, depending how efficient (or inefficient) your supply chains are.

    Providing educated workers for your Electronics industry will increase production by a significant amount. Educate your city by providing enough schools for the number of students living there - any level of school will do

    One useful aspect of Electronics is that although importing raw materials does eat into your profit in absolute terms (as the table above demonstrates), those costs are not subtracted from your Electronics profit. Importing coal, or or alloy are all considered costs against your Metals profit, similarly importing plastic, or oil to make plastic, will reduce your Petroleum daily profit.

    Choosing a Module

    There are two modules available for the Electronics HQ, the Commerce Division which unlocks the Trade Port's electronics storage lots, and the Consumer Electronics Division which unlocks the Consumer Electronics Factory.

    Having the large Trade Port with the electronics storage lots is extremely useful, however you can also unlock these by placing the Trade HQ and upgrading it and adding the Electronics Division. The first Trade HQ upgrade can be obtained sooner the Electronics HQ can be upgraded. The Consumer Electronics Factory on the other hand, is arguably more useful because using it you can generate much larger quantities of profit, something you'll need if you want to fully upgrade your Electronics HQ.

    I strongly recommend placing the Trade HQ and saving up for the Electronics Division (at a rather eye watering $400,000), and then using the first Electronics HQ upgrade to add the Consumer Electronics Division.

    Electronics HQ Upgrade #2: $3,000,000

    The reason the Consumer Electronics Division is recommended once you've managed the first upgrade, is because it makes the second and third much more plausible! The following shows a product comparison and the number of factories / modules required, the prices are based on the typical 'pre global market' standard shown. I have assumed an educated workforce to arrive at these figures.

    Product Example Profit /1000 Quantity required for $3,000,000 daily profit Number of Factories
    Processors $100,500 30,000 crates per day 4.16 Factories (4 fully expanded, 1 with 1 module)
    TVs $158,125 19,000 crates per day 2 Factories (fully expanded)
    Computers $184,375 16,272 crates per day 2 Factories (1 full expanded, 1 with 3 modules

    Of course the consumer electronics will require you to make processors as one of the input materials, however the factories will generate two crates of TVs or computers for every one crate of processors, so you will not need to produce them at the same rate. Whether you choose TVs or Computers (or a mixture of the two) will also depend on whether or not you have alloy and plastic. If you are importing all your raw materials, then TVs become the more cost effective option as they require plastic which is much cheaper than alloy. You would need a 2:1 ratio of plastic to alloy to generate processors and TVs.

    Electronics HQ Upgrade #3: $7,000,000

    Once you have created your Consumer Electronics industry to succeed at the previous upgrade, getting the final upgrade is just a matter of expanding your industry and keeping your supply chains moving.

    If you started out your industry by digging up your own raw materials, coal, oil and ore, you may find that it's actually beneficial to wait until you have used up those resources, in order to make space for additional factories.

    If you haven't already expanded your education system to provide schooling for all your city's students by now, then I strongly recommend doing that to make this last upgrade. Your electronics factories will be more efficient with an educated workforce. Check your education data map and look at the residential buildings nearest to your electronics factories. If they are white, or just pale green, then you don't have enough educated workers. Place a school near to this area, or add more school bus stops and more class rooms / dorms to existing schools already in your city. If your enrollment is at 100% then it's most likely that you simply don't have enough workers close to your factory and it has unfilled jobs (see last section).

    Store & Flood

    A common suggestion for getting to the demanding level 3 upgrades, is to set your storage depots to 'use locally' until they are full of the products you want to sell. Once the clock hits midnight, set them to export.

    This tactic certainly can make all the difference if your production falls short of the amount required, however it does require available delivery trucks and clear roads (or rail / shipping connections on your trade ports). If your trucks spend half the night trying to get back into the city then you won't benefit from the extra goods. It also requires your city not to go bankrupt whilst you wait for goods to accumilate. This can be challenging if your city budget runs consistently in the red.

    Supply Chain Problems

    The Electronics specialisation is the most difficult to maintain in terms of supply chains. Keeping materials moving smoothly, especially if you are processing everything from the raw materials onwards, can be a headache. There are a few basic pointers I can offer you on this subject:

    Maintain a balance of mines, factories & storage

    Lets say you're making your own alloy from imported coal and ore to support a consumer electronics factory making computers. For each 1000 crates of computers you will need 5 tons of alloy for the consumer electronics factory, and 5 tons of alloy for the processor factory. To make 10 tons of alloy you will need 10 tons of raw ore and 5 tons of coal. This is a ratio of 2:1, so it makes sense then that you add 2 ore storage lots and 1 coal storage lot to the trade port or depot that is importing these materials. This would also apply if you are digging up your own coal and ore, you'd ideally want the same 2:1 ratio of mines as well as 2:1 storage. If you dig up excess coal you can of course sell it, but it means delivery trucks at the storage depot are having to deal with exporting your coal in addition to delivering coal and ore to your smelting factory. The whole supply chain can break down if they are busy queuing up on the regional highway to sell your coal, rather than bringing coal and ore to your smelting factory, which in turn can't deliver alloy for processors, which means no processors and alloy for your computers!

    Avoid traffic problems

    This is much easier said than done of course, but there are a few things you can do. Aside from all the usual 'add mass transit', 'don't use 4 way intersections' type tips, there is one other which is not frequently mentioned, which is keeping your population down. Having a huge city population will cause traffic, plain and simple. If you really want to suceed at your electronics industry, then make that the primary focus of your city. De-zone other industry (especially if you have lots of unfilled jobs), reduce road density in highly populated areas, put taxes rates up a bit of necessary. Your delivery trucks will be able to move about a great deal easier if you population is 50,000 rather than 250,000.

    You can also reduce reliance on trucks by making the most of the trade port. Adding rail terminals or cargo docks means as long as your final product makes it to the trade port, you are guarenteed to get those products out and profit in.

    If necessary move your buildings

    If your setup evolves by putting buildings down where you have a space, rather than where is most accessible then it may be time to re-think your city layout. Putting chained buildings near to each other and ideally on the same side of the street, and reducing the number of other roads that connect into those on your supply chain, will give you the smoothest possible supply chain.

    Unfilled jobs = inefficiency

    Although city buildings have a higher priority than zoned buildings when assigning workers, if you have a lot of unfilled jobs this can affect your electronics industry. To get the most out of your factories, you need to supply them with educated workers from all three wealth levels. If you have no high wealth Sims (or not enough), or if your nearby residents are uneducated, then your factory will not work as efficiently as it could. Factories which are producing at a less-than-optimal rate means reduced profits.

    Examine the nearest residential areas, check your education data map to look for white or pale green residential buildings and purple blocks indicating unenrolled students. These are a sign that your education system needs to be expanded with more bus stops, or more classrooms or dorms (it doesn't matter what level of school you provide, so long as it has more capacity than your city needs).

    Checking your land value map is a quick way to identify the wealth level of your residents. If there are no medium and dark turquoise areas then all your Sims are low wealth and you will have worker shortages. Add some small parks in nearby residential zones to create a limited number of medium and high wealth areas to provide these workers.

    For more information:

  • Roads & Mass Transit: Overview
  • Roads & Mass Transit: Road Layout
  • Zoning: Wealth Levels
  • Government: Understanding Data Maps
  • Education
  • Parks: Happiness, Wealth & Land Value
  • Return to Top
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