Best Cities: Skyline Mods

Ready to build the city of your dreams? Check out this list of the best Cities: Skylines mods that take the game to the next level.

Whether you’re looking to become a transportation titan or build the city of your dreams, the best Cities: Skylines mods will help you get there.

From new assets and tools to features not included with the base game, we’re constantly left impressed by what modders create for the nearly decade-old game.

In this list, we’ll showcase the best Cities: Skylines mods to install and incorporate into your next project, including the best road and traffic mods for Cities: Skylines.

With that out of the way, let’s find out what are the best mods for Cities: Skylines in 2024!

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How to Install Cities: Skylines Mods

Installing mods for Cities: Skylines is fairly straightforward and can be done either manually or through Steam Workshop depending on the mod you’re trying to use.

Here, you can see the detailed guidance for each approach.

Install Cities: Skylines Mods Manually

  1. Download a mod from a reliable mod hosting site of your choosing, such as Nexus Mods.
  2. Unpack the mod folder to the correct location based on its contents (see below).
  3. Mod Directory – “C:UsersAppDataLocalColossal OrderCities_SkylinesAddonsMods[PUT FILES & FOLDERS HERE]”
  4. Maps Directory – “Cities_SkylinesMaps[PUT FILES & FOLDERS HERE]”
  5. Assets Directory – “Cities_SkylinesAddonsAssets[PUT FILES & FOLDERS HERE]”
  6. Restart Cities: Skylines to reload the new items.
  7. Navigate to Content Manager from the main menu and enable the mods you’d like to use.

Install Cities: Skylines Mods via Steam Workshop

  1. Locate the desired mod on the Cities: Skylines Steam Workshop page.
  2. Click “Subscribe” (Make sure you’re logged in first).
  3. Keep the Steam app open until all files are downloaded.
  4. Restart Cities: Skylines to reload the new items.
  5. Navigate to Content Manager from the main menu and enable the mods you’d like to use.

We suggest using Steam Workshop to download mods whenever possible as it’s the simplest method and will keep your mods updated and synchronized across all devices.

Players looking to increase the level of realism in Cities: Skylines are encouraged to check out the Realistic Population Revisited mod.

The goal of this mod is to place more realistic restrictions on the number of people that can occupy a given structure based on its size.

With it installed, small houses will have a single family assigned to each one, with taller buildings and skyscrapers supporting more residents and workers as well.

Our next pick for the best Cities: Skylines mods is Building Themes, a useful tool for creating visually-cohesive districts that adhere to a desired style.

This is achieved using a new Themes option in the districts and policies panel in Cities: Skyline where you can set individual themes for each district in a given city.

The possibilities with this mod are very open-ended, allowing you to mimic certain historical periods, architectural aesthetics, or anything else you have in mind.

If you’re not content with the 25 map tiles offered in vanilla Cities: Skyline, this next mod will take things to the next level.

As its name suggests, 81 Tiles is a mod that increases the number of map tiles you can unlock and build on, going from 25 to 81 total.

Since this is essentially the entire map, you’ll have nothing standing in your way of building the ultimate metropolis (or whatever your PC can handle).

With all that new real estate on your hands, you’ll likely want to snap a few pics to share with your friends and other players online.

Enter in CameraGrid, a mod that makes the process of taking screenshots in Cities: Skylines a whole lot easier by adding a grid to your UI to help you line up the perfect shot.

Once installed, you’ll be able to capture gorgeous vistas quickly and seamlessly and can even explore multiple setups that come included with the mod.

There comes a point in Cities: Skylines where cities will balloon in size and scale, making it a pain to try and keep track of their performance.

However, with a mod like City Vitals Watch, you can stay in the loop with real-time city vitals and stats presented at a glance.

With this mod, you’ll be able to track things like service usage, citizen safety, employment rate, and more via a configurable in-game panel.

If you play any game for long enough, you’re bound to grow tired of hearing the same music tracks over and over again.

The same applies to a game like Cities: Skylines, which greatly benefits from using a mod like CSL Music to import your own songs to create custom radio stations throughout each map.

You can use it to spice up your music selection or assign entirely distinct sounds and ambiance for certain cities or districts.

Although Cities: Skylines provides a robust set of tools for modifying terrain and water, these are largely restricted to the game’s map editor.

To reshape the world in-game, you’ll need a mod like Extra Landscaping Tools, which lets you use map editor tools in-game with more control and room for customization.

This includes a new “Brush Options” toolbar that can be leveraged to create distinct-looking trees, bushes, and other terrain features.

While you’re at it, why not take your terrain modifications further by altering the surface of various landscapes in Cities: Skylines?

With the Surface Painter mod, you can cover entire areas with pavement, gravel, grassy field, and other textures to achieve distinct looks.

This has some obvious practical benefits but can also be leveraged stylistically by assigning areas certain surfaces to create the illusion of depth and realism.

After spending dozens of hours crafting the perfect city, the last thing you want is for all your hard work to fade away behind the cloak of cloudy or foggy weather.

To avoid this, consider installing the Clouds & Fog Toggler mod, which prevents both weather effects from appearing anytime you zoom out the camera.

As a bonus, this mod also gives you the option to disable industrial smog, which was added to Cities: Skyline in the After Dark update.

Creation-driven games like Cities: Skylines will always benefit from adding more props and assets to mess around with.

Such is the purpose of Tree and Vehicle Props 2, an asset expansion mod that adds a slew of new cars and trees to bring your cityscapes to life.

You’ll find a good variety of different vehicle and tree types included, allowing you to create visually detailed areas that feel truly lived in.

As your library of Cities: Skylines assets grows, you may start to run into trouble finding specific items.

That’s where a mod like Find It! 2 comes into play, allowing you to search for and place any asset in the game quickly and efficiently.

This includes both buildings and props that would otherwise require you to scroll through menu after menu to find them.

While we can’t fault Cities: Skylines for keeping things simple when it comes to asset placement, some players crave more control.

To broaden the possibilities at your fingertips, we suggest installing the Move It mod, which allows you to make fine-tune adjustments when placing buildings, roads, and other assets.

The best part is that none of the functionality is lost in the process, ensuring you can create distinct-looking cities and roadways that still work as they should.

We’ve all gone through the painstaking process of having to manually rotate and place tree after tree to create a forested area in Cities: Skylines.

However, with the Prop Line Tool mod, this becomes a thing of the past as you can now drag out lines of props or trees at a time and place them all at once.

Your options are limited to straight lines either, as the mod includes several configurations for designing just about any project you can imagine.

As your urban areas expand in magnitude and population, handling traffic flow becomes an progressively challenging endeavor as every driver has their own path to pursue.

To avoid constant traffic jams and long queue lines, we suggest using the Traffic Manager: President Edition mod for Cities: Skylines.

Once installed, you’ll be able to set custom rules for each road in your cities, including real-world restrictions to create one-way streets complete with stop signs and other road rules.

Speaking of roads, they can quickly become annoying due to how Cities: Skylines handles road-snapping when constructing new junctions like roundabouts.

To avoid any headaches, your best bet is to use a mod like Roundabout Builder, which streamlines the construction process with an easy-to-read menu.

Once properly set up, this mod will clear any obstructing roads and drop a shiny new roundabout in your desired location for cars to start using immediately.

Okay, so we’ve covered the best Cities: Skylines road mods and traffic mods but what about something for adding realism and convenience to urban districts?

Parking Lot Roads is a useful tool that can be leveraged to create full-sized parking lots with multiple spaces for AI drivers to stop during their daily routines.

Since each space requires you to add markers, we suggest pairing it with yenyang’s ParkingLotSnapping mod to speed up the process.

Of course, Cities: Skylines traffic problems don’t end at parking, as there are plenty of restrictions regarding where roads can be placed.

On top of this, steepness and proximity must also be considered, warranting the creation of a mod like Fine Road Anarchy.

The purpose of this mod is to remove any and all road placement restrictions and give players total control over their city’s transportation.

In line with the previous mod, Prop & Tree Anarchy will allow you to place trees and props anywhere on the map you so please.

Whether that’s on the roof of skyscrapers, deep underwater, or stacked on top of existing roadways, the power is in your hands.

With this newfound freedom, you can personalize any city to feel like a distinct setting with its own backstory and lore.

Considering how central building is to Cities: Skylines’ gameplay, it’s only fitting that mods like Precision Engineering rank among the most popular.

Once installed, it provides players with detailed information regarding the inclination, altitude, and distance of roads, train lines, and power lines in relation to nearby objects.

In addition, it features an angle-snapping tool that will allow you to build roads and lines with pinpoint precision.

To conclude our list of the best Cities: Skylines mods, we’re recommending not just one but an entire collection of mods.

Timboh’s Interchange Collection is an absolute must for players looking to take their road layouts to the next level with eye-catching interchanges and junctions.

The best part is each one comes pre-made and can be simply plopped down onto an existing map to add some architectural flair while also minimizing traffic build-up.

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Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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