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Cities: Skylines 2: release date, trailers, gameplay, and more

After the Sim City franchise faded away, gamers were left with few options when it came to city-building simulations. That changed when Cities: Skylines came out. The first game was a smash hit, filling the void left by the pioneer of the genre – and in many ways even surpassing it. However, that game came out in 2015, and even the numerous updates and DLC packs added to the game could only extend its life so long. Now, Cities: Skylines 2 has been officially revealed and fans have already built up their hopes as high as skyscrapers. Have the developers designed the perfect system for this sequel to thrive and grow? Let’s take a bird’s-eye view and see what groundwork has been laid for Cities: Skylines 2.

Release date

A long road at dusk.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Cities: Skylines 2 will be fully constructed and ready to play on October 24, 2023 for PC, however, the console versions of the game have been delayed to sometime in spring 2024.


A reflection of a building being built.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Cities: Skylines 2 will be coming to PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Sorry last-gen folks. In addition, it was also announced that Cities: Skylines 2 will be a day-one addition to Game Pass.


Cities Skylines II | Announcement Trailer I

The announcement trailer for Cities: Skylines 2 was released to celebrate the original game’s eighth anniversary. The cinematic trailer shows a rapidly developing city, starting from underground wiring, up to the streets and buildings. The world evolves as new structures are built, but also weather and seasons change. By the conclusion, the city is a fully modern city and bustling city.

While there isn’t any explicit story in Cities: Skylines 2, being more of a simulation game, the stories that come about tend to be more systemic and unique to each player as different events occur in their own distinct cities.

Cities: Skylines II - Pre-Order Trailer

A quick preorder trailer was shown off at the Xbox Games showcase with only in-game footage. The main focus of this trailer is to show just how much power you as the player have in shaping and designing the world.

While not trailers exactly, the developers have been releasing a series of videos detailing individual features new and old to the game and breaking down how they will work in the sequel. These are being released on a weekly schedule with the final entry set to release on September 11. So far you can check out the ones focusing on:

  • Road Tools
  • Traffic AI
  • Public and Cargo transportation
  • Zones and signature buildings
  • City Services
  • Electricity and Water

While not out yet, they have revealed seven more that will showcase:

  • Maps and themes
  • Climate and seasons
  • Economy and production
  • Citizen Simulation and Lifepath
  • Game progression
  • Sound and Music
  • Cinematic camera and photo mode

It would be far too dense to go through all the details for each of these features here, so you can check out any (or all) that interest you to learn more about them by visiting the official site.


A city park in winter.
Paradox Interactive

Even though the announcement trailer showed no real gameplay, there are plenty of hints we can pick up on as to how the game will work. Naturally, Cities: Skylines 2 will be a city builder at its core. You will most likely begin with an empty space of land that you will terraform and develop into your ideal city, managing roads, buildings, and infrastructure. According to the Steam page, “Here your city will evolve and react to your decisions. A dynamic and ever-changing world that is both challenging and rewarding. Use your creativity and strategic planning skills to grow your city into a thriving metropolis that will attract businesses, residents, and tourists alike. From residential neighborhoods to bustling downtowns, the possibilities are endless. Navigate through the complexities of running a city and keep up with the needs and demands of your citizens” which is exactly what fans of the first game are after.

Another hint picked up on thanks to the game’s achievements list is that Cities: Skylines 2 will allow you to build in areas of 150 tiles. For context, the first game had a maximum of nine tiles, meaning this sequel (assuming tiles are remaining the same size) will be orders of magnitude larger. Other achievements reveal there can be rat infestations, hailstorms, and the ability to somehow track an individual citizen’s life from childhood into old age.

Terraforming the land and fully plotting out roads, bridges, and even public transportation will be up to you to design.


A bridge leading into a city.
Paradox Interactive

Cities: Skylines 2 has preorders available on all platforms for either the Standard Edition or Ultimate Edition. Here are the blueprints of what each one has to offer:

Standard Edition ($50)

  • The base game
  • Landmark Buildings preorder bonus

Ultimate Edition ($90)

  • Everything from the Standard Edition
  • San Fransisco Set
  • Content Creator Packs (Q1 2024)
  • Bridges and Ports Expansion (Q2 2024)
  • Beach Properties Asset Pack (Q4 2023)
  • Radio Stations (Q4 2023, Q1/Q2 2024)

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Jesse Lennox
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