How make money in Cities Skylines 2?

Are you struggling to make money in Cities Skylines 2? Proper budget planning and reaching milestones are essential for generating a steady income in the game. Additionally, effectively balancing taxes, focusing on cost of services, exporting resources, utilizing public transport and parkings, and knowing when to take loans or start over can all contribute to a prosperous city economy. Learn how to maximize your income and create a successful city in Cities Skylines 2 with these helpful tips.

Top 5 tips to make money
  • Budget planning maintains positive cash flow
  • Balance services to save money
  • Milestones provide steady income
  • Effective tax allocation maximizes income
  • Export resources for extra revenue

Budget Planning and Milestones

Budget planning is crucial in Cities Skylines 2 to maintain a positive cash flow. By carefully managing expenses and allocating funds to different areas such as public services, infrastructure, and maintenance, players can generate a steady income.

Services cost a lot of money so you need to balance them
More tips I show bellow about services

It is important to provide sufficient jobs, commercial, and residential areas to stimulate economic growth and increase tax income. Strategic placement of service buildings and careful planning of necessary services can maximize efficiency and reduce unnecessary expenses.

Properly planning zones helps me to make a lot of money in CS2
Small places of commercial zones helps preventing not enough customer problems.

Additionally, reaching milestones in the game provides a stable source of income and unlocks new buildings, services, and areas for development, allowing players to progress further in the game.

Reaching milestones makes money

How I plan budget and milestones in CS2?

  • I don’t need reach milestones, they generates money but…
  • …it’s not a long-term source of income I can rely on.
  • I’m building healthy economy with less commercial zones near residential.
  • I’m focusing on profitability of this zones, happiness, accessibility.
  • And also I’m focusing budget sliders

Effective Use of Taxes

Properly allocating costs and taxes in Cities Skylines 2 is crucial for a healthy city economy. It involves finding the right balance between generating income and maintaining citizen satisfaction. Allocating costs effectively helps manage the city’s finances and provide essential services to residents, ensuring enough funds for infrastructure, healthcare, education, and other needs.

However, raising taxes too high can negatively impact citizen happiness and overall income. It is important to find the right balance to avoid hampering economic growth and citizen satisfaction. The budget menu in the game allows you to adjust funding for various city services, freeing up money for other areas or future investments.

Taxes in Cities Skylines 2 could be setup deeply
Higher taxes for commercial and less for customers Taxes are a field all their own that I wrote an article on. It’s preferable to tax commercial zones significantly more and keep taxes on residents as low as possible. Why? I’ll tell you in my next article (after the click-through)

Balancing taxes is essential to maximize income without compromising citizen satisfaction. Gradually increasing taxes for commercial and industrial sectors, while avoiding high residential taxes, can help achieve this balance. Additionally, adjusting taxes based on education levels can incentivize higher-income residents and businesses. By carefully managing taxes and allocating costs effectively, a stable and prosperous city economy can be ensured in Cities Skylines 2. Regularly reviewing and adjusting tax rates and budget allocations is important to adapt to the changing needs of the city.

How I play CS2 with taxes?

  • I’m trying to increase taxes for profitable Commercial and Industrial zones.
  • I try to cut taxes where I need a boost in industry to attract more businesses.
  • I’m balancing on best taxes rate for my residential to pay me a lot of money.
  • I don’t have problems with not enough customers so I should get reward in taxes.

Focus on cost of services

As I mention is important to focus on cost of services which you have in your city. Every time when you need more hospitals / firefighters / … you need to consider if is better to upgrade current building or build new. A lot of upgrades could accomplish your goal significantly cheaper than buying another building.

Here is expansion of police station 6 more cars (+100%)…
for just like 16k which is 1/10 of price of new police station!

Also you need to focus on budget sliders. CS2 provides us more stats so we know how each direction affects or money (or happiness) in game. But this detailed sliders aren’t on much services. I hope that they will extend this features…

… working with sliders is great for customization. And I will be happy to “manage” my city in this panel. Like in future I should expect some detailed policies for each services? This should be great expansion.

How I play with sliders and upgrades?

  • First of all if I could upgrade then I upgrade.
  • If I can’t upgrady any of building then I’m building new.
  • In sliders I’m looking what changes.
  • Is okay to have efficiency like 80% but if you have problems then…
  • … remember that you could adjust price back to 100% and not to build new service buildings.

Exporting resources makes money

Exporting excess resources in Cities Skylines 2 can boost your city’s income. By selling surplus resources like electricity, water, and goods to other cities or regions, you can increase your revenue and offset the costs of running your city.

One profitable option is exporting electricity, which requires connecting your power grid to a Transformer Station and Power Lines. This allows your excess electricity to flow out of your city and be sold. Similarly, exporting water can provide a steady stream of income by connecting a water pipe from your city’s network to the edge of the map.

Exporting power could cost you a lot of money Is important to check costs of produced MV in your city. On export you get like 2 500 or 2 600 per one MV and there are power plants which makes one MV significantly more expensive than this price so you could lose out. See my article (after clicking-through) on the cheapest energy sources in CS2

Additionally, setting up cargo stations or cargo harbors near industrial zones allows you to export goods produced by your industries, with industries that require a high level of education being more profitable. One main information panel which you should use is this one…

Production panels (I would appreciate more detail, but I don’t seem to have a firm grip on it.)

… which shows you how much of resources you have in your city. So you need to focus on extraction industry (specialized zones) to produce more resources and also you should boost generic yellow zones with taxes.

Is important to say that If you have local goods then is better to process it in your generic industry and don’t export this industry. So by lovering taxes here you should make more profitable export for your city. The production chain is incredibly complex and it pays to work with it well. By strategically utilizing these external connections and stations, you can generate additional income and maintain a positive cash flow for your city.

How I export to make money?

  • I’m doesn’t import electricity (imported MV costs 4 500 per MV)
  • I’m planning which power plants to build to minimize cost per MV.
  • If I have cost per MV less than 2 000 then I export electricity.
  • Also I focus on extraction industry (specialized industry) to produce goods.
  • With lovering taxes I’m boost industry which have local goofs.

Public transport and parkings

In Cities Skylines 2, players can generate income for their city by implementing public transport systems and charging fees for their use. Creating bus lines and setting reasonable fees can be a good way to generate income, especially in the early stages of the city. Additionally, charging for parking in certain areas can discourage car use and further increase revenue.

Parking fee is great way how to get money from your citizens
And they aren’t upset on you (can be expected to change that)

To maximize income, it is important to establish major outside connections such as railways, airports, and harbors, which will attract tourists and generate significant income. Building attractive features like parks, sports fields, and signature buildings can also increase the city’s appeal. Prioritizing public transport, creating outside connections, and enhancing city attractiveness are key strategies for generating income in Cities Skylines 2.

How I play with public transport and parkings?

  • If I need then I increase price per parking in my city.
  • All of public transport cost people some money (to cover expenses).
  • I’m working on connection with other cities when I have bigger town.

Loans and starting over

In Cities: Skylines 2, we have the option to take out loans to finance necessary city services and development. Loans provide a quick influx of money but come with interest and need to be repaid over time. So you can’t take loan for to pay for the costs you have (because they will increase). Loans are best when you need money for expansion which will make money to your city.

Loan with interest 20% is nonsense in Cities Skylines 2 so be aware of that

And the last tip from me if your city isn’t make money then you should start over. You need to learn from your mistakes and every new fresh start makes more space for you to build efficient and prosperous city. In my POV every time when I reset game I see new opportunities how to play and make money.

More articles about economy and money in CS2

How to make a lot of money in Cities Skylines 2

How work taxes in CS2 and why you need to increase them

Solving problem with not enough customers in CS2

How to earn money by export/import power in Cities Skylines 2?

About article
Last edit: 29/10/2023
Current version of the game doesn't affect the article.
Author hours in Cities Skylines 2: 24,1
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I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!