Get Up Close And Personal With Cities: Skylines Mod

Cities: Skylines first person mod screenshot

A bird’s eye view of a city is ideal for budding urban planners, but deep down I suspect many of us want to explore our creations first-hand. Thanks to one of the many Cities: Skylines [official site] modders, you can do just that with the first-person camera mod.

If you’re interested in giving this a go, forewarned is forearmed: it’s advised that you also install the Dynamic Resolution and HideUI mods. At present this first-person camera mod doesn’t quite simulate controlling a vehicle or pedestrian, either: it’s more like you’re flying a small drone over the city.

Building and managing a smoothly functioning city isn’t exactly the easiest job in the world, and in the game. It’s for this reason that Sim City allowed players to summon natural disasters (and, depending on the version you’re playing, unnatural disasters): a bit of visceral destruction helps blow off steam. This mod makes for a pleasant alternative for those who’d rather perambulate about their creations than destroy something beautiful.

The game isn’t optimised for close-up inspection, of course, and the closer you get to the action the more likely you are to see oddities in traffic and pedestrian behaviour. But who knows, perhaps seeing problems first-hand will help in working out how to improve traffic flow and manage congestion. Or you could just derive amusement from the seemingly inexplicable behaviour of AI-driven entities; I know I do.

If you’d like to take your Cities: Skyline modding adventures further than this, there’s what looks like a nifty list of recommendations here on NeoGAF.


  1. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I have always wondered what being Shaq riding a scooter is like.

  2. SaintAn says:

    All the clipping I’ve seen in this game makes me cringe. Cars drive right through each other and people, and the first person mod makes it even worse. Hope there’s a mod to fix that soon too.

  3. Arathorn says:

    That’s a lot of donut vans. Is this what you get when you have an excessively large police force in your city?

  4. LionsPhil says:

    What it really needs is the modern equivalent of Streets of SimCity (and SimCopter).

    • Scurra says:

      I played SimCopter more than I ever played SimCity. It found a good balance between the tediousness of the micromanagement and the elements of, you know, an actual game. Plus having your sims rioting was never less than entertaining, even if the water cannon was considered to be the only viable solution to making them disperse – no reasoned negotiation allowed here, folks. I think it may also have been the first game I played which had a radio station that allowed you to use your own music (interrupted by police messages, of course.)

  5. Dinger says:

    Skylines is a game that makes me wonder about its importance. On the one hand, there’s a tendency to classify it critically as “just another city-builder”, even discard it as a SimCity-clone with poor clipping. But look at it again; heck look at what people who don’t like it have to say about it. They’re often missing some (painfully obvious) mechanic, and are upset about it, or they’re lamenting the absence of gamelike objectives. In short, practically the day after EA shutters Maxis largely on SimCity’s failure, comes a game that only tries to be what SimCity was before gamification and monetization: a toy, and a fun one at that.

    But that narrative is false too. It released day one with modding tools. Where many would monetize mods by restricting them to for-pay DLC, this team made the mods part of the package. And Steam weaponized it.
    The core activity of placing things on a map is somehow rewarding, the explosive potential of mods are supported from the beginning, and the game focuses on emergent narratives rather than fixed objectives. This thing sounds more like a Minecraft clone than SimCity.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Wasn’t Sim City always just a sandbox? (I never played the latest one, so count this as a genuine question)

      • airmikee says:

        SimCity4 was a pure sandbox, the previous games had disasters (that could be disabled) that provided some outside intervention to the sandboxiness.

  6. gunny1993 says:

    Used to think I hated games like this …. then yesterday I spent 3 hours trying to get traffic to flow efficiently …

    I now have a lot of respect for town planners and might on rag on Milton Keynes quite so much

  7. derbefrier says:

    Its a good game and you can get it at a good price if you shop around. I have been enjoying it all weekend. I will download this mod now looks pretty cool.

  8. DamienMB says:

    The ‘First-person camera’ mod has various options including “snap to ground” for an actual first PERSON perspective, rather than that of a bird or drone.

    If you can’t be bothered with options the Ground Level mod does it by default: link to

  9. Neutrino says:

    Are there natural/unnatural player summoned/random disasters? I need my plane crashes and alien invasions. If not is there anything like that planned?

  10. tonicer says:

    Nice … i’m still dreaming off Sim Copter 2.

    That’s it i’m going to install SC2K and Sim Copter on a virtual machine today.

  11. blastaz says:

    So wot do people think of this?

    I’m the world’s largest paradox fan and will probably eventually buy this out of loyalty to its publisher (how many publishers do people say that of?) but I hear mixed things that run the gamut of the game needs massive rebalancing to the game is absolutely amazing.

    Hive mind?

    • mike2R says:

      Firm vote for absolutely amazing here.

      For what its worth though, I wouldn’t say that just being a fan of Paradox grand strategy means you will love it – it appeals more to the Dwarf Fortress part of my brain (without the learning curve!) that the Paradox one.

      Its a game of building, fiddling, getting incredibly involved in solving some complex but minor emergent issue, then suddenly looking back and staring in awe at what you’ve built.

      And I strongly suspect anyone who thinks the game needs “massive rebalancing” simply hasn’t grasped the subtleties of the transport system yet… Great guide here:
      link to
      From this reddit post:
      link to

    • phelix says:

      I think it’s fun and moderately addictive. However, it’s also unchallenging. I find it way too easy to make a profitable, green metropolis with maxed happiness, partly because the crime and pollution factors are borked.
      Crime is too easy to manage and air pollution is nonexistent, which means you can have a massive, traffic-heavy metropolis with insane land values because hurr durr wind energy.
      The only true challenge is traffic (which may also be partly attributed to poor AI choosing the quickest route rather than the fastest)
      Nevertheless, building cities is fun, creating districts lends character to otherwise bland neighborhoods, and designing highway overpasses and viaducts is also fun.
      The graphics are great, but little building variety means the prettiness and character of the buildings wears out quickly. I suppose the modding community will fix this.
      The car and pedestrian traffic modeling is amazing and makes for an insane level of detail, allowing you to follow an individual citizen as he/she takes the car to work, goes shopping, picks up the kids from school and returns home.
      I like the phased unlocks (even though they subtract from the sandbox feel a bit) because they give a sense of purpose and progress.

      Just some thoughts. Do with them what you will.

      • draglikepull says:

        I agree with this post. It’s less a “game” in the sense of having challenges to overcome, and more of a toy or a sandbox. If you’re a person who likes being creative and building things, you’ll probably really like Cities: Skylines. If you’re a person who plays games to develop mastery of skills, there’s not much there for you.

        • airmikee says:

          It simply sounds like a small development team hasn’t figured out how to effectively add the challenges that other city building/simulation games have provided. It looks like a gorgeous game that still needs a little more attention being directed at the code.

          There’s one player on Steam that’s been broadcasting their city that was made, in my opinion, simply to highlight some of the flaws: a ring of traffic around the entire city taking up one of six lanes because of poor traffic AI pathfinding, massive industrial districts placed right next to residential areas with no negative effects, and airplanes that clip right through skyscrapers. Hopefully some patches will address these problems so it will be fixed by the time I get around to picking up the game.

    • Phantasma says:

      In my opinion, neither nor.
      It’s charming, competent and sufficiently polished, with much room for future additions.

      A worthy successor to the city building genre but if you are looking out for quirks, you WILL find them.
      Not everything is tracked meticulously, but i see that more as a relief for the simulation.
      For example, if too many people are kept waiting at bus stops, the game may reset them to their home where they try to reach their desired destination again, so the whole system doesn’t lock itself up completely.
      But i’m fine with that, even the revered Sim City 4 had most of its systems abstracted, so i’m more thankful for everything Skylines does simulate than grieve over the bits it doesn’t.

      And the district tool is a stroke of genius, so i don’t get the accusations that Colossal Order just merely gave us an updated SC and didn’t bring anything new to the genre.

  12. Armitage says:

    I can’t wait for the GTA mod so I can run over people and steal their stuff.