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Home > FAQ > FAQ – A few randomly asked questions about Cities XL

FAQ – A few randomly asked questions about Cities XL

Here I’ll try to answer some of the more frequently asked questions that bring people to the website…


Do I need to pay for a subscription to play?

The short answer is no. You can buy the game, and play in single-player mode without subscribing online. However, you’ll only be getting half the experience. It seems that Monte Carlo has deliberately gimped the single-player experience, probably in an effort to encourage people to subscribe.

You can play single-player, but you won’t get a lot of key updates. The biggest pitfall is that you’re going to have a very difficult time trying to grow your city beyond a certain point. The problem is that each map has a limited number of resources. Oil (for fuel), Water, Fertile Areas, and Holidays are the 4 main resources. Each map has only a limited amount of each (and some maps have none of a certain type). The way you deal with this online is by trading “tokens” of a resource. So if you’ve exhausted all the water your map has to offer, you can sell something you have an abundance of, and use the money gained to buy water tokens.

In single-player mode, you only have one trading partner, known as “Omnicorp”. Omnicorp basically rips you off. What that means is you’ll never get a 1:1 ratio when you buy and sell – the ratio is more like 9:1. This makes it very tough to grow a city the way you want it in single-player mode.

You also miss out on blueprints in single-player mode – they’re only distributed online, and it’s expected that much of the upcoming content (such as mass transportation) may also only be available online.

To sum it up, no, you don’t need to subscribe to play, but you’re only getting half the game if you don’t. Keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to buy.


Blueprints: How do they work?

Blueprints generally give a large bonus to your city, although they take a fair bit of time and a little effort to complete. Blueprints are randomly given out, and they came out fairly recently in the game.

Unfortunately, the only way to see if you have new blueprints is to log on to the website. So not only are you forced to play online, but you must also log into the website periodically to see if you have any blueprints. They only last for a period of time on the website, so if you forget to check on the website for a couple weeks, you may lose out on a potential blueprint.

They can be “activated” or traded. If you activate one to use in your city, you have a certain amount of time to get it started. The way it appears to work is that it will require a certain amount of tokens. For example, Stage 1 of a certain blueprint might require 5 Executive tokens and 50 Office tokens. You do not have to accumulate these all at once – you can simply assign the tokens you have available, and they will be applied each day until it’s complete. For example, if you assign 1 Executive and 10 Office tokens, it would take roughly 5 days to complete Stage 1. This is estimated based on the way my first blueprint seems to be working, so it may not be entirely correct, but it should give you an idea.

Pollution – Oh Man….

Pollution’s a common problem. Right now, the effect will spread pretty far, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to stop it.

All you can do is to build your residential areas far away from polluting places (build them on the opposite side of the map), or bulldoze your polluters and trade for the needed tokens on the marketplace.

That’s really all you can do for now.


I’m losing money!

If you’re losing money, you’ve got a couple options. The first is to do some trading on the marketplace, specifically if you’ve got a lot of extra tokens. Remember, you can put a lot of tokens up for sale, then log out. Come back later and if the offers were accepted, you may now be making money. You can also trade over the website while logged out, and simply wait until you’re making profit before logging back in.

The 2nd option however is the easiest – start bulldozing city services. They cost a lot, and surprisingly enough, you generally don’t lose that many people when the services start to disappear. Police, Fire, Health, Education…. start knocking them down one by one until you’re making profit again. People will complain, but at least up to the 1,000,000 mark they don’t tend to leave.