HomeNewsGamingCities Skylines 2 New AI Traffic System is Bonkers

Cities Skylines 2 New AI Traffic System is Bonkers

Thanks to the new AI in Cities Skylines II many problems can be avoided, but also many new arise - accidents for example...

Cities Skylines 2 is finally coming this fall, taking the city builder genre to a new level of complexity, freedom, and immersion. Colossal Order has recently unveiled a bunch of exciting fresh gameplay insights. What cool new features and changes await you in part II? Learn more in our overview.


Cities Skylines 2 will be released on October 24, 2023, for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Recent new details on the traffic system show that AI could justify further quantum leaps here as well.


More liveliness due to multifactorial pathfinding

In the predecessor, people’s pathfinding was straightforward and always calculated the shortest route. Traffic conditions were not considered, resulting in unused roads and traffic jams. In Cities Skylines 2, the new pathfinding brings much more realism to the building sim. Four factors now determine citizens’ navigation, which adds much more variety and liveliness.

We are looking at a traffic circle in Cities Skylines 2, from which four roads lead off, and several different cars drive.
Screenshot of Cities: Skylines II (Source: Colossal Order/Paradox Interactive)


Time as a factor

Time, of course, remains the most crucial factor. Every citizen wants to take the fastest route to their destination. The speed of the vehicle, public transport, footpath, or road plays a decisive role. As in real life, people tend to be lazy and want to commute as efficiently as possible without wasting unnecessary time.


Money as a factor

The second factor is money. People compare fuel and parking fees with the cost of public transportation. Also, pathfinding, including prices, is constantly recalculated when, for example, an accident occurs. In addition, companies try to transport their goods as little as possible to save costs and maximize profit.


Comfort as a factor

Another factor, however, is comfort. Some citizens try to avoid inconvenient and complicated roads or intersections. The availability and price of parking is also significant factor for many people when they go to certain places, such as shopping malls.


Individual behavior/character as a factor

The last important factor is the character or behavior of citizens, which is very individual. Some people are more careful in traffic than others. Lane changes, speed, and U-turns affect travel time and fuel consumption. They also change lanes to make way for emergency vehicles.


Age groups for pathfinding

Of course, age groups also play an essential role in finding the right path. Adults care a lot about time because they always lack it, older people prefer comfort because there is enough free time, and young people, well, money is often scarce…

A complex city with various skyscrapers and streets is shown in a long shot. In the background, we see mountains.
Screenshot from Cities: Skylines II (Source: Colossal Order/Paradox Interactive


Emergencies and accidents in Cities Skylines 2

The logistics of emergency vehicles are constantly checked, ensuring, for example, that there are only a few vehicles at the scene of an accident. In an emergency, these vehicles make more dangerous decisions and are given the optimal way, which can result in chaotic road scenarios. Because besides all the intelligent traffic calculations, there are always accidents, which can be caused by various factors like weather, bad drivers, or natural disasters.

However, many accidents can be avoided by maintaining the roads in good condition. In case of an accident, affected lanes will be closed, and the traffic there will be interrupted. An ambulance may also be called in the event of serious injuries. If the accident leads to a long-lasting traffic jam, drivers calculate new routes, leading to risky driving behavior and turning maneuvers.


Life simulation becomes more complex

The new traffic AI in Cities Skylines 2 is impressive but also quite overwhelming. To manage all the traffic, two info windows help you plan and react: the road and the traffic info view.

The traffic info view, for example, provides a real-time overview of the current traffic flow and volume data for all or certain selected sections. This allows problems to be identified and eliminated at an early stage.

In the road info view, you get details about your entire road network, but you can also check the details about specific roads.

This Top-view shows a complex city with skyscrapers and a network of highways. Much is already known about the gameplay.
Cities: Skylines II screenshot (Source: Colossal Order/Paradox Interactive


Your city is connected to the outside world

But the traffic in Cities Skylines II goes even beyond your built city. Thus, vehicles can come from outside and drive through your city instead of the highway for a faster and cheaper route, contributing to more inner-city traffic. More and more things need to be considered – but this was also the developers’ response to community feedback from the first part, which left many players wanting more control.


Different types of service vehicles

Regarding traffic, there are different types of service vehicles. Some cars respond to direct calls, like ambulances. But there are also special vehicles, like corporate or police cars. You can select which service buildings are active in which areas using the district info panel. The service buildings can also work in several districts, which helps your city management.


Is your PC good enough for Cities: Skylines II?

Now, you may ask, can your PC handle all these massive in-depth game calculations? And the answer is probably yes (if you don’t play on a totally wrinkled potato). Thanks to multi-core CPU usage, the developers promise efficient performance despite the complex underlying systems. The graphics settings will certainly allow options for older cards. So you don’t have to discard your future city blueprints and can keep looking forward to October 24th. In case you missed it, definitely check the exciting announcement trailer below.


Cities Skylines 2 comes in two editions for PS5, Xbox, and PC

For some bonus content, you can already pre-order it for PC on Steam and choose between two different editions. Find a quick overview of the different options below:


Standard Edition

  • Full game only
  • Pre-order bonus:
    Landmark Buildings + Tampere Map

Deluxe Edition

  • Full game
  • Pre-order bonus:
    – Landmark Buildings + Tampere Map
  • Expansion pass:
    – San Francisco Set (instant unlock)
    – Assets Pack + Radio Station (Q4 ’23)
    – Content Creator Pack + Radio Station (Q1 ’24)
    – Expansion + Radio Station (Q2 ’24)


Did we unleash the architect in you?

If you can’t wait to turn your visions into reality, feel free to explore other great building titles. Find inspiration in our selection of the best City Building Games.

To make your American Dream come true, we recommend checking out these Big Ambitions Tips for a smooth start to this exciting simulation game.


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