All about industry specializations and areas in Cities Skylines

Industry specializations, as a secondary tab of the district tool, are one of the game’s most interesting features. They are much more complex and entertaining than the original specializations. In addition, they differ from the look of classic zone factories.

Their purpose to enrich the game may be simple at first glance, but the management can be a little bit confusing. As a result, I have created the following article for you. This should make it super easy to manage all things around Industry specializations!

What is the best industry specialization in Cities Skylines?

Every industry specialization (Farming, Forestry, Oil and Ore) has its pros and cons:

  • Farming is a renewable resource. It gives a modest increase in tax income without producing extra pollution. It has an increased demand on the water supply and it only provides jobs for low-educated people. Be careful! Planting trees in a fertile area will permanently remove the fertile resource.
  • Forestry is also a renewable resource which gives a modest increase in tax income. On one hand, it doesn’t cause pollution. However, it generates noise pollution on a large scale. It consumes more electricity than the generic industry. It provides jobs for low-educated people.
  • Oil is a limited resource. It increases the tax income significantly, however, it produces a lot of pollution and it requires a lot of electricity. It provides jobs for a wide variety of educated people
  • Ore is a limited resource. It increases the tax income significantly, however the pollution becomes worse (but still not as much as the oil industry). It requires more electricity than the generic industry.

To sum things up, you will get the best tax income from Oil and Ore specialization but if you don’t have enabled “unlimited resources” then by time this industry stops. Farming and Forestry are good for their low pollution and they are renewable (and that is a big plus). Moreover, Farming and Forestry require only low-educated people so you must plan your scholar system to not have overeducated people.

Industry specialization vs Industry area?

In Cities Skylines are two industry specializations types. You should paint INDUSTRY AREA what is feature which is bring to game with DLC industries and have advanced game features. Or on other side you should paint classic district and setup a INDUSTRY SPECIALIZATION which is available in based game for every one and is more easier to play with it.

Industry specialization

This is part of BASE GAME and is more easier to use. You could use industry specialization when you need only to build classical yellow factories. But if factories will be build in industry specialized district then your buildings will be in “theme” of that industry.

Industrial specialization in Cities Skylines (left district)
Industry areas in Cities Skylines are different (right district)

So If you make district and setup “Forest Industry” for that then all of your buildings will be in forest industry and have different settings than classic yellow buildings. All of this feature is simplified so you don’t have focus on much thing.

Base industry specialization on forestry in Cities Skylines

Internally you will se two types of buildings Extractors/Producers and Processors. So in your district will be traffic from extractors which extracts natural resources to processors which makes goods and that is delivered to another generic business or export.

Base game industry specialization goods schema.

After you “use” all of resources which are available on one place (only in Ore / Oil industry) then all of extractors/producers will change to processors and is good idea to reduce this zone. Do not forget that processors will grow exclusively if the specialized industry is not zoned over a natural resource.

Industry areas

On the other side there are industry areas which works more complex because is added by DLC industries and extend more deeply supplies chains and everything. This areas has levels which you should increase if you make more outputs and also they should provide more taxes than classic specialization.

Painting industry areas is in different place

Main feature of industry areas is that you must place all specialized buildings. So you should optimize more deeper than in industry specialization when you doesn’t have control about that.

Industry areas have 5 building types:

  • extractors (produce raw materials)
  • processors (manufacture the raw materials)
  • factories (take Special Goods and use them to create Luxury Goods, these can be then exported or sent to commercial zones)
  • auxiliary buildings (not a part of the production flow, but still helpful for the industry to level up and increase efficiency of your industry areas)
  • warehouses (store materials to be shipped to other buildings)
On “tab” on bottom you should see even smaller bookmarks to help you navigate

So as I mention you must place all specialized buildings. So you must start with main building which will allows you to maintenance your buildings. It’s all about looking at this tab and balancing the production of each resource. So I recommend expanding your industry area slowly

How looks details of your industry areas if you click on main building

Also if you have DLC industries then you had more complex goods chains which has shared resources with industry specialization factories. So is good to use only one system in your game to give you a better overview of how your system work.

Extended resources chains in Cities Skylines

When is specialized industry open for players?

Fertile and Forest become available at the “Worthy Village” milestone.

Ore becomes available at “Boom Town” milestone.

Oil at “Busy Town” milestone.

How to get natural resources with industry areas?

This is when you have DLC industries.

  1. Find “natural resources on map”
  2. Build roads structure
  3. Paint industry area
  4. Place main building in that area
  5. Expand by building extractors/processors/factories/warehouses

How to get natural resources with industry specialization?

You should also have specialized industry if you don’t have DLC industries.

  1. Find “natural resources on map”
  2. Create classic district
  3. Add to that district specialization with type of industry which you want
  4. Build classical “orange zones” here
  5. Wait until build new specialized factories for specific natural resources.

How to change industry specialization?

If you play with industry specialization then you should change it by selecting other specialization in specific tab. After assigning a specialty to a district, the individual factories for your desired specialty will gradually start to appear.

Other types of industry specialization
I’m Teresa, one of the content creators and a translator. My favourites are art, literature and video games. My goal is to bring some freshness and sensitivity to the articles.