Multiplayer won’t be available in Cities Skylines 2

Multiplayer is one of the most requested wishes for the sequel of Cities: Skylines. In today’s article, I will present you with an analysis of how could the developers implement multiplayer in city building strategy to satisfy players. After speculations, we got an official statement from the developers…

Now is confirmed that multiplayer won’t be available.

… so if you expected multiplayer, these news may not be so pleasant. We should exclude official active multiplayer types like co-op or multiple towns on one map. There is still the question if there are still some options to make multiplayer. Will the developers do it or is it nonsense?

Here is an official statement from developers that says that multiplayer won’t be available:

Cities Skylines II is our most ambitious project to date, expanding on every mechanic in the franchise. Adding multiplayers support takes an incredible amount of time and resources that would take away from building the core player experience we are striving to create.

Source: official Tweet from Colossal Order

So from the statement, we should see that they focus on other game features than multiplayer. It is important to say that implementing multiplayer is a big challenge because you must own a lot of servers and manage communication between players, which is a very complex discipline.

How they should make multiplayer for C:S 2?

There are two ways how to make multiplayer for strategic games like Cities Skylines 2. The first way I’m calling “active multiplayer” in which the players are more connected. They must play together on one map and they must see each other…

…the second way is “asynchronous multiplayer” in which the players are connected to the community virtually. They don’t play together on one map, so you don’t share a city but you could still affect others with resources, tourism, migration and other stats.

It is very likely (as the developers announced in the tweet above) that we will not see any multiplayer. But I’ll try to speculate for a while and elaborate on the idea of passive-asynchronous multiplayer.

If this system will be available in C:S2, you should use it. And if you are in the process of making another strategy game, then you should use our definition of “asynchronous multiplayer” (but we want to get the review key). 😉

For me, I don’t need active multiplayer like the latest SimCity because it was really boring to find good players who will play with me on one map. Because of that, I’m a much bigger fan of asynchronous multiplayer. Still, we will look closer at each opinion.

My personal opinion on multiplayer in C:S2

For me, I don’t need to have the previously mentioned “active” multiplayer. I’ve played the latest SimCity 5 which was released in 2013 by EA and I experienced a lot of troubles. As a result, this system did not work well for capacity reasons (I assume). So I’m personally a bigger fan of asynchronous multiplayer among strategy games like Cities Skylines.

Active multiplayer at one “place”

As I mentioned above, one of the active multiplayer types we should know is SimCity 5. In this particular concept, there was one map parcelled to multiple “towns” and you played with your squares. These squares were connected by roads or rails so you could interact between cities.

SimCity maps with multiple cities on one place.

The actual problem was that this was very limiting and after some time after publishing the game, there weren’t that many players to play and cooperate. So from that time, I don’t play many games with other players. Also, the game wasn’t playable because the server went down repeatedly. And this is only a “pinch” of what developers must solve when they want to have multiplayer in a city builder game.

On the other side, there is multiplayer on “one parcel”. This could be called co-op mode in which you cooperate with your friend to build one big city. But also this could have a lot of problems and from the game mechanics perspective, this won’t be a feature which will ensure that you can play the game repeatedly for a longer time. It will be more of a clicker/sandbox with your friends than a full game in which you can win.

Another features for Cities Skylines 2? Want to find out what other features the new Cities Skylines 2 may have? – Read more on our “endless” wish list.

Also if you want co-op multiplayer, for now, you should make rules with you and your friends. For example one of us plays for 3 years in the game and after that other one plays. You make your own goals and you can push your city to another level.

Concepts of asynchronous multiplayer

The thing which may be probably more realistic is asynchronous multiplayer in which the players could build and live in bigger communities/countries. These cities could be connected by highways/trains/boats/planes but you couldn’t see other players.

In short, I would guess that if we see multiplayer, it will be more of an economic multiplayer. In this type of multiplayer, the individual mechanics ala tourism, resources and other things that leave the borders of your city will be connected.

Economy multiplayer will be probably that way

So, in this type of multiplayer, if you don’t have enough materials, you could buy materials from other cities in your near community. Also, you could focus on the type of industry which is needed at the time. In addition, there could be some social events in the community so you will have to connect to other communities to get help.

I don’t know how long any other player plays in your own city. Yes if you build “on beauty”, then you will probably play for a lot of hours. But asynchronous multiplayer could be a feature which will increase the playing time of a normal person, because they could integrate with others and events could become great entertainment.

Could we see C:S2 multiplayer in the future?

I think they might add asynchronous multiplayer to C:S2 in future DLCs.

The important thing is to have the infrastructure ready and the rest will be easy.

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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!