Traffic is one of the most important elements of the game, as jammed streets can paralyze an entire city. In Cities: Skylines II, the artificial intelligence and traffic mechanics have been reworked to better reflect real-world traffic behavior. In the first installment of the game, routes were mapped based only on the distance to the destination. In Cities: Skylines II, residents choose their route based on a variety of factors, allowing them to go to a store that is farther away but takes less time to get to.
Four main aspects were taken into account in the route-finding calculations in Cities: Skylines II:
- Time – Time is a key factor that influences routing. Residents prefer the fastest routes to their destinations, which means that travel time is the most important criterion.
- Comfort – Comfort includes smoothness of the route, avoidance of complicated turns and access to appropriate parking spaces or public transportation stops.
- Money – Travel costs, including fuel consumption and parking fees, influence route choices. Residents analyze these costs and compare them with other travel options, such as walking or using public transportation, to find the most economical route.
- Behavior – Residents can make non-standard decisions such as turning around to minimize route finding costs.
In addition, the age group of travelers influences their preferences: teenagers pay more attention to cost, adults prioritize time, and seniors prefer comfort. All these factors are taken into account to find the route with the lowest total cost.
For service vehicles, decisions are based on the minimum cost of route finding and the availability of other vehicles in the area. Privileged vehicles, on the other hand, have a smoother behavioral model, allowing them to navigate the road network in emergency situations and make unsafe route-finding decisions when necessary.
The cost of the route also affects the cost of transporting resources, so companies try to ship cargo as close to the destination as possible to increase their profits.
Use of lanes
In Cities: Skylines II, vehicles try to use more lanes efficiently to ensure traffic flow. If one lane on a multi-lane road is jammed, new vehicles will select available empty lanes to evenly distribute traffic. On multi-lane roads, vehicles can overtake slower vehicles or avoid accidents, for example. Residents will also give way to emergency vehicles, changing lanes when possible.
In the game, there are road accidents, which are collisions with other vehicles or buildings. The probability of accidents is calculated for each road section and depends on factors such as road condition, lighting, weather and disasters. To reduce the risk of accidents, it makes sense to keep roads in good condition by using road maintenance services and installing street lighting.
In the event of an accident, a section of road is randomly selected where the vehicle is involved in an accident. The vehicle is then moved in a random direction, leading to a collision with an obstacle. Accident sites must be secured and cleared by police and road maintenance services. Traffic in the lanes affected by the accident is halted, and vehicles wait until the road is cleared. An ambulance may also be called in case of serious injuries.
Parking is an important new feature in Cities: Skylines II and is one of four key aspects of residents’ route-finding. Residents take parking availability into account when planning their routes and decide how they will get to their destination, usually preferring parking spaces near the destination building itself. In the absence of such an option, they choose other parking spaces or other modes of transportation.
Different criteria are important to different age groups of citizens, such as comfort, travel time and cost, and parking affects all these aspects. Seniors prefer convenience and will park whenever possible, even if it involves a fee. Adults are time-driven and choose the fastest route, and teens, due to limited resources, prefer cheaper parking options, even if it means taking a longer walk or using other means of transportation.
Parking fees at buildings and roadside fees in neighborhoods can influence the choice of where to park and the calculation of route costs. No or low fees encourage all groups of residents to park, while high fees favor only wealthier residents.
Two traffic information views are available in Cities: Skylines II.
This view shows the flow and volume of traffic throughout the city, allowing quick detection of problem areas in the road network.
The road information view provides detailed data on individual roads, including their technical condition, flow and traffic volume. Tools for precise road network management are available in this view.