The first screen you'll see is a window that downloads the latest news off the internet to keep you updated. Click on the play icon and you're ready to go.
After watching the start video, you'll come to the first menu. Click the city icon to create your profile. If you've already created an account, then you'll be bought to the most recently played account.
You might want to do the tutorial first to equip you for the differences in the game. If you want to get into it. Press the city icon to be taken to another menu.
Here is a list of everything you can initially customize in the game.
- Name: Choose a name for your city or click the button next to it for a random name.
- Region: Regions are a set of archetypes for the ground your city is based on. You can customise the ground further under advanced settings. For your benefit. The exact features that choosing a region controls are presented in the table below.
|Region||Water||Vegetation||Elevation Variation||Altitude Range||Smoothing||Terrain Texture|
- Difficulty: Choose from relaxed, normal and challenging. Difficulty impacts two elements in your city. The first is how much money you'll raise each day when sims go to work. At relaxed you'll make 125% of the amount displayed on the building card, at normal, nothing is changed and in challenging you'll only make 75%. The second element is sim happiness. At relaxed sims will gain happiness from any home that doesn't lower it, at normal there's no change and in challenging, sims will lose happiness from any house that doesn't raise it. It also controls the rate that homeless sims lose happiness.
- Event Frequency: Events disturb the flow of city life all the time and this option controls the rate. Choose from low, normal, high and climate only. The first three will change the rate of any events including jailbreaks, donations and eclipses while climate-only means that only pollution related disasters and fires can ever occur in your city.
- Modes: There are six modes of gameplay in SimCity Societies. Note that you will need the game patch to access the strategic modes of gameplay.
- Freeplay: A sandbox in which you can place any building without consequence and none of the rules come into play. Experiment with any type of city you want.
- Unlimited Simoleons: In this mode you have an unrestrained budget but every other rule applies. You'll still have to unlock buildings and meet society requirements.
- Normal: The first mode in which you can unlock trophies for your city. All the rules apply here except you don't have to meet daily payments for your buildings.
- Strategic: Like normal except for a few differences. Mainly, each building puts a strain on your city budget. You'll have to pay money every day to keep them going. If not, then watch the buildings break down. You can also only unlock one trophy per city. Initially you'll only have Basic mode of gameplay. to unlock Hardcore and Nightmare, you'll need to earn the Jack of all Trades trophy in Basic mode.
- Advanced Settings: Control elements of your city's terrain using sliders. The terrain texture determines the ground color and what plant life appears there.
Once you're happy with your city, click on the city icon to be taken to where all the action happens. There's lots to do in the game and it may be a bit daunting as to what to do first. As a suggestion, choose a society and try to build it from the ground up. There are ten different societies to achieve. These are presented here.
- Normal: What you start off with.
- Authoritarian: A grim society where all the citizens must do exactly what they're told. With surveillance cameras on every street and secret police everywhere, this is the type of city that tyrants run.
- Capitalist: Everyone here wants money, money and more money. In this city, citizens work at corporate buildings then go out to purchase luxury items for their houses including cars, furniture and more.
- Contemplative: In this peaceful city, sims are quite content and want nothing more. They'll work at the farms all day, and then go out to meeting houses and churches to display how thankful they are for their quality of life.
- Cyberpunk: The future of cities. Sims here are obsessed with entertainment and neon lights. A variety of workplaces dictate where they'll work but what they enjoy most are playing video games and going to holographic stadiums.
- Fun City: Sims here are the happiest in the world. The lightposts are candy canes and the hardest work is at the chocolate factory. The work is only three days a week and the rest is spent time at carnival rides, circuses, movie theaters and more.
- Industrial: The most polluted city of them all, sims here choke in appalling conditions then go to run down venues that are way past their useby date while the rich (a.k.a. You) only get richer off their suffering and don't care at all about the smog and the CO2.
- Haunted: Whoever doesn't believe in ghosts and zombies has never been here. The sun never shows itself and sims have to live the many ghosts that haunt the town.
- Romantic: A culturally refined and more sophisticated version of the Fun City, romantic cities have a huge focus on the arts and beauty. Sims here are in love with the world.
- Small Town: A small-scale society on all of the above, a small-town can range from a farming community to a quiet religious society to the noisy college lifestyle.