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Cities: Skylines 2 gets long-awaited official mod support and map editor

Enlarge / Kudos to the designer of this umbrella-shaded rooftop terrace at Colossal Order, perhaps the only worker who can imagine a place that isn’t overwhelmed by Steam reviewers.

Paradox Interactive

Under the very unassuming name of patch 1.1.0f1, Cities: Skylines 2 is getting something quite big. The sequel now has the modding, map editing, and code modding support that made its predecessor such a sprawling success.

Only time will tell if community energy can help restore some of the energy that has been dispersed by the fraught launch of Cities: Skylines 2 (C:S2). The project of relatively small developer Colossal Order arrived in October 2023 with performance issues and a lack of content compared to its predecessor. Some of that content perception stemmed from the game’s lack of modding support, which had contributed to entire aspects of the original game not yet available in the sequel.

When Ars interviewed Colossal Order CEO Mariina Hallikainen in December, she said that modding support was the thing she was most looking forward to arriving. Modding support was intended to be available at launch, but the challenges of building the new game’s technical base, amid many other technical issues, pushed it back, along with console releases.

“[W]e can’t wait to have the support out there, so we can have the modding community ‘fully unleashed,'” Hallikainen said then. “Because I know they are waiting to get to work. They are actually already at it, but this will make it easier. … We just can’t wait to give them the full set of tools.” She noted that character modding, a “technically difficult thing to support,” would arrive further out, and indeed, asset modding is listed as “available later this year.”

The base-level modding support is now available, though in “Beta” and in a different form than fans are used to. Instead of working through Steam Workshop, C:S2 mods will be available through Paradox Mods to support console players. There are, of course, issues at launch, including slowdown with the in-game mod browser. Most non-incensed commenters and reviewers consider the tools themselves to be an upgrade over the prior game’s editing suite.

In addition to making mods, the in-game mod tools should make it easier to load preset “Playsets” of mod combinations. We’ll have to see how long it takes assets like Spaghetti Junction, the most popular mod for the original Cities: Skylines, to arrive in C:S2 so that all may experience the municipal engineering regrets of Birmingham, England.

Along with modding tools, Colossal Order issued some of its first proper DLC for C:S2. Beach Properties, an asset pack, adds both North American and European waterfront zoning and buildings, palm trees, and six signature buildings. There’s also a Deluxe Relax Station that puts 16 new songs and DJ patter on the soundtrack. The recent patch also contains a number of optimizations and bug fixes. Steam reviewers and Paradox forum members are asking why the beach DLC doesn’t contain actual beaches.

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