SimCity 3000 Hints & Tips

How do population caps work?

Written By: Rand Huck
Monday, May 22, 2000

One of the biggest keys in having a successful city is knowing your population cap. You might be there, at your city, experiencing a huge rush of simigrants coming as you plop a large amount of residential zones. For no reason, the rise just stops dead. One year it's 500,000, then next it's 600,000, but then the year after it only rose to about 601,000 or so, and just hanging in there. Your zone demand is roaring. It's way up there, and your taxes aren't too high, and your power supply is just fine. What happened is that you have reached your population cap. It's the limit of sims you can have in your city.

This is not a fixed number. It rises as you build rewards, and government facilities. The cap starts at 5,000. To relieve this, you can build anything: Parks, zoos, marinas, schools and other educational facilities, but not landmarks. Almost all the rewards give you a large relief (see Reward Information for cap info)

How much of a relief do you get? A rule of thumb is the size of your building. Here is a formula:

V = (T * 1000)

In other words, the cap relief (V) equals the amount of tiles (T) times one thousand.

So, if you build a zoo, which is 4x4. It is not 4,000, because the zoo isn't really 4 tiles. It is 16. So that would mean you now have the ability to have 16,000 more citizens in your city.

The next time you have a problem with population increase coming to a halt, and everything appears to be fine, you have most likely hit a cap. Build something from your rewards window, or a park or something.

Return to the SimCity 3000 Hints & Tips index