50 Best Cities: Skylines Mods To Download (All Free)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
When talking about city-builders, Cities: Skylines is easily the first one that comes to mind.
With the initial goal of being able to simulate a city with a million unique citizens, Colossal Order has succeeded in creating a game unmatched in scale. With that much at your disposal, it’s hard not to let your creativity flow building and managing your own city.
And the devs even went a step further by allowing modding compatibility. As you’d expect, the community has been hard at work and has churned out mods in the hundreds of thousands – basically making anything possible with Cities: Skylines.
So where do you even get started? Well I’ve already searched through what’s out there to give you my list of what I think are the 50 best ones. Have a look for yourself, I’m sure you’ll find something you like.
50. Loading Screen Mod
Before even getting started with pragmatic mods, you’re going to want to install this one.
A simple utility that helps you manage the mods you have, as well as all the required assets for your game to run smoothly.
This also displays some useful information while your city is loading, like how much memory is being used, which assets are being loaded, and which assets are missing(if any).
That alone makes it an essential mod for managing all the other mods you’re going to use. But it also speeds up loading time by integrating its own asset loader, so it’s really just fantastic.
49. Ultimate Eyecandy v1.5.2
This probably isn’t what you think it is, based on the name.
Cities: Skylines already looks pretty good on its own. So we’re not looking for something to improve on the game’s graphics.
Ultimate Eyecandy is actually the most useful tool you can have for capturing your city under your preferred conditions.
Maybe you’ve just started building your first city and would like to share your progress. Well this is sure to come in handy.
Allowing you to change time of day, the sun’s latitude and longitude, ambient light intensity, weather, and even change LUT’s in-game. Ultimate Eyecandy basically allows you to capture what your city looks like however you want.
If you prefer to become Seattle where it rains in your city forever, that’s possible too. All up to you.
48. Traffic Manager: President Edition
As your city grows, traffic management becomes increasingly difficult.
With intertwining roads, 8-way intersections, pedestrians complicating traffic flow, and the game’s problematic AI, it can become one of the bigger problems you end up focusing on.
Most players find that it can be distracting though. We would rather spend all that time improving on our city rather than solving traffic jams!
Well Traffic Manager helps with that, giving you complete control over road traffic in your city.
There are tons of options here, including the ability to change road restrictions for specific vehicles, set speed limits, and select lane prioritizations.
Many players consider the base game to be unplayable without this, but try it out and see for yourself.
47. Precision Engineering
Probably all city builder fans tend to have a bit of OCD kick in every now and again. We always want things to line up right, and oftentimes find ourselves disheartened when we can’t get certain things the way we want.
Precision Engineering helps with that. It aims to improve on the game’s building mechanic for roads, train lines, pipes, and power lines.
New features have been added to help you get things set exactly how you imagine. And you’ll find angle and distance measurements, snapping, and guidelines to help you along.
46. Move It!
One more mod to help with your customization needs: Move It!
This gives you more control over moving and aligning objects in the game.
With a few simple keybinds you can easily move buildings and trees, among other things. You even have the option to select multiple items at once and move everything at the same time.
Some additional options include the ability to move items in low-res mode, as we all know how graphically intensive it can get once your city is packed with detail.
You can even fine-tune placement and angle rotation so you can get everything exactly where and how you want them.
45. Building Anarchy
To further control building placement, you’re going to want to have Building Anarchy installed.
It’s pretty common in city-builders to have a predetermined set of requirements to be able to place buildings.
Some buildings need to be placed near roads, or are meant to be placed by bodies of water.
Building Anarchy gives you complete control of placement modes, by allowing you to change requirements for any building.
Want a football stadium in the middle of a lake? Sure, why not.
44. Find It!
Another thing to watch out for is actually finding things around town. In a huge city packed with people, buildings, vehicles, and even decorations… it can get difficult to find certain things fast.
Luckily, we have Find It!
A simple mod that improves the search features of the game, allowing for added functionality.
The mod starts out by scanning all assets present in your city and assigning them tags based on title, description, and other important details. It then creates a database of all existing assets to make things easier to track. Useful, right?
43. Watch It!
One more great quality of life mod here, Watch It! gives you the ability to see vital statistics with a quick click of the mouse.
It gives you a taskbar of sorts from where you can access quick overviews of water, electricity, education, and garbage, among other important management statistics.
Not only does it open up a menu showing the information, but it even gives you a color-coded visual representation of how things are for each statistic. Ted from accounting would love this.
And really, this mod is very easy to use once you install it.
It’ll sure come in handy for quick macro glances at how your city is doing.
42. Bulldoze It!
Across the lifespan of your city you’re bound to encounter natural disasters. When that happens, anything goes.
And if buildings get damaged they might become too dated and end up being abandoned.
This can be a hassle because for one, they can no longer be used, yet still take up space.
Other than that… well, they just don’t add to the overall look of your city. With Bulldoze It! you can have destroyed or abandoned buildings automatically removed from your city.
The mod even comes with customizable options where you can set which buildings are removed, how frequently, and to have historical buildings preserved.
Automation for the win.
41. Extended Public Transport UI
Wherever you are in the world, public transportation surely plays a major role in your city.
Cities: Skylines is no different, as public transportation is a major service that your city must provide for your citizens to get around.
With a simplified layout, you can much more easily manage bus and train routes within your city. You have options to single out specific routes, and have passenger and vehicle information for each with a quick click.
40. Extra Landscaping Tools
If you’re looking for more ways to customize the look and feel of your cities, the Extra Landscaping Tools mod is a must-have.
With this mod you get tools for modifying natural resources, water, terrain, and trees.
Brush tools now have size and strength options too, allowing you to set the area size affected as well as how much it’ll be affected.
This is a huge help for getting things done quicker, as well as to customize terrain down to the detail.
Another great feature this adds is the ability to undo actions.
You can’t avoid unintentionally clicking somewhere every now and then. There should be a quick undo button to fix this, but surprisingly the base game does not give you that option.
39. Surface Painter
You can get even more out of the Extra Landscaping Tools mod with the Surface Painter plugin.
It gives you more control over landscaping by adding a painter. It’s very simple to use and lets you paint over land to make pavement, gravel, fields, or ruining.
The painter can also be used with all the available brushes and options in Extra Landscaping Tools as well, so you’ll be able to customize your land down to the detail.
38. Daylight Classic
Probably the only graphics mod on the list, Daylight Classic doesn’t do much – but I feel that it makes the overall look of the game much easier on the eyes.
Anyone else annoyed by the warm yellow-tinted sunlight of the base game?
It almost looks like it’s always sunset time.
This mod simply removes the yellow tint from sunlight, giving the game an overall cooler look. Not only does it look much more realistic, but it’s also less bothersome.
37. Fine Road Anarchy
With building and landscape customization, let’s not forget about roads.
Roads obviously play a huge role in your city’s development, as people wouldn’t be able to get anywhere without them.
The Fine Road Anarchy tool is a must-have that makes building roads so much easier.
You might encounter restrictions when connecting roads, but these can be bypassed with the Fine Road Anarchy settings.
Connect roads that weren’t allowed previously, as well as toggle settings for bending, snapping, and collisions, to place your roads virtually anywhere you want.
36. More Beautification
Here’s something for those who really want to get their creative juices flowing.
The More Beautification mode gives settings to basically decorate your city however you want. It allows you to place little objects that would otherwise not be available in the base game.
Props are little decorative items that would usually come with buildings, including hedges, benches, and lights.
For those who like to focus on the little details, this should be your first install.
35. 81 Tiles
As if the game wasn’t big enough already, eventually someone wanted to make it even bigger.
Who knows why the devs decided that only 25 tiles should be made available for players, when there are actually 81 tiles in the game?
Leave it to gamers to want to unlock everything. Because with this simple mod, you now have access to all 81 tiles.
Expand your cities to more than thrice the original size, with options to unlock each tile one-by-one or all at once.
34. First-Person Camera
A fun little mod that unlocks the camera from the typical birds-eye view.
This allows you to take a first-person perspective and experience your city as your citizens do.
You can even get in a car and drive around, whatever you do is up to you.
After all, your city is only as fun as you make it.
33. Ploppable RICO Revisited
Ploppable RICO is another mod that most consider to be essential for any Cities: Skyline player.
For those who aren’t familiar, RICO stands for residential, industrial, commercial, and office.
The mod gives you more control over how you design your city, as you’ll now be able to plop any of the buildings above. You can also convert any ploppable building to be used as you intend: for example, any ploppable unique building can be made into office space.
It also allows you to place buildings that are larger than 4×4, so you can place towering condominium buildings that are actually functional.
32. Roundabout Builder
Yet another mod that makes building roads much easier.
Roundabout Builder does exactly as it says: automatically places a roundabout wherever you want with a single click.
All you have to do is set the radius, point your curser, and click – and there you go!
31. Remove Sickness
Sickness can be a massive problem is Cities: Skylines, and bad ones can cause citizens to die in waves.
Any self-respecting city official wouldn’t want that. So here’s a quick fix.
It’s designed to do one thing, and nothing else. It removes all current sickness from your game. Do note that it doesn’t prevent sickness from returning, but it will wipe the slate clean.
It’s a cheaty solution, but a quick one. If you’re looking for a more realistic solution check the next mod on my list.
30. Lifecycle Rebalance
When your city’s population reaches the hundreds of thousands, death waves can wipe them out in a snap.
Death waves are actually caused by an unrealistic mechanic where citizens that move into your city are all within the same age range. This means that they all live a similar amount of time, and towards the end of their lives they start getting sick and eventually passing on.
This mod fixes that by creating variations in age when citizens move into your city.
Not only does this fix the death wave issue, it adds a whole new sense of realism to the game as well.
29. Real Time
Time is a strange thing in Cities: Skylines.
Actually, more like it’s not a thing at all.
Every city seems to be the city the never sleeps. Everything is literally moving no matter the time. Stores stay open, citizens are working, people are out and about even late at night.
That doesn’t sound too realistic, does it? Well the Real Time mod fixes exactly that.
Making the game run at real time, citizens actually sleep at night, wake up in the morning, head to work, and go back to bed.
Work shifts make it possible for citizens to work different hours based on their jobs too, adding variety and realism as well.
28. Ambient Sounds Tuner
Some players found that the sounds of the game could use some improvement.
With the Ambient Sounds Tuner, most sounds in the game have been replaced with more realistic sounds.
Many of the annoying sound effects have been removed as well, to make for a more immersive overall experience.
Ambient Sounds Tuner even allows you to download custom sound packs, or even create your own – making the soundscapes of your city completely customizable.
27. Building Themes
Another great customization tool, this time changing the look of buildings.
On a district level, Building Themes allows you to apply different themes that affect how buildings appear.
Simple enough, right? It adds a “Themes” tab to the district policies menu, from which you can set themes that’ll be applied to each district.
It also allows you to download custom themes if you’d like, but it comes with two default settings – European and International.
26. Network Skins
If it isn’t obvious yet, Cities: Skylines players like to have control of every little thing.
Yes, we can now even choose to detail our city streets.
With Network Skins you can choose street lights, roadside trees, and bridge pillars, depending on what look you want your city to have.
You’d be surprised at how much more realistic the game looks when roadside trees actually have variety, instead of having rows of the same shrubbery.
25. Prop & Tree Anarchy
Speaking of trees, the Prop & Tree Anarchy mod gives you control of trees and props as well.
Trees can be placed on roads, within buildings, or even underwater now.
It’s completely up to you. If you wanted a house with a tree inside, go for it.
The mod not only works with trees, but with props as well, so this one is great with the More Beautification mod.
24. Unlimited Trees
Can’t have enough trees? You’re going to need Unlimited Trees to go with that.
Yes we’re doing a lot of tree mods here, just roll with me.
Unlimited Trees removes the game’s limit of 262,144 to allow you to place up to 2 million.
Build a forest just outside the city. Or combine this with Prop & Tree Anarchy to build a forest inside the city. Now we’re cookin’ on all burners!
23. Chirpy Exterminator
I can’t deny that Chirpy can actually be useful from time to time.
For most players, however, the constant popups become annoying pretty quickly.
Lucky for us, we won’t have to worry about being bothered by Chirpy ever again.
The Chirpy exterminator mod simply disables the tweeting bird so you can go about your business freely.
As you probably noticed by now, most of these mods unlock previously unavailable features. No one gets to tell us what to do in Cities: Skylines. Not even Chirpy.
22. Wayne Enterprises
Now that you have the power of expanding across the entire map, and you’re able to modify every little detail within your city, let’s take a look at some cool things you can add to bring your city to life.
One word: Batman.
There are tons of building mods for Cities: Skylines that can bring color to any city. Whether you’re looking to add some restaurants, parks, sporting arenas, or pretty much anything else you can think of.
One of my personal favorites is the Wayne Enterprises building by Auldben.
Does this even need an explanation? It’s like a little video game easter egg you can place in your city. How fun!
21. Ghostbusters Firestation
Is there something strange in your neighborhood?
Well if you already have the caped crusader keeping the city safe from the villains, who’s going to take care of the ghosts?
With this mod you can build the Ghostbusters fire station in your city!
Another cool little feature – and it’s not even just a cosmetic item. It actually serves its purpose as a fire station, though it has reduced stats compared to small fire stations in the base game, as it’s even smaller at 1×3.
20. Space Needle
The iconic observation tower and city icon for Seattle, the Space Needle.
It’s always a consideration if we’re talking about beautiful skylines.
Well if that’s what you’re after, look no further. You can have your very own Space Needle for just $115,000 dollars. Well, at least the mod’s free.
Not only does it look great in the center of any city, it adds tourism benefits as well.
19. Gula’s In-and-Out Burger
One of the more well-known building creators for Cities: Skylines is Gula, who has a whole list of interesting mods you can check out.
I’ve already gone through his workshop and picked out my personal favorites, starting with Gula’s In-and-Out Burger.
Now this might be a controversial topic depending on where you live… but who doesn’t want THE best burgers in town?
This 3×3 recreation of the famous burger chain even comes in the signature red and white colorway, complete with the yellow arrow logo and everything.
18. Gula’s Starbucks Coffee
Coming in with more from Gula’s list is his Starbucks Coffee mod.
Another branding icon coming out of Seattle, Starbucks is one of the most recognized coffee chains in the world.
This 2×4 growable can be placed in commercial zones so your citizens can get their coffee fix anytime they want.
17. Gula’s Gibson Guitar Factory
One more from Gula? OK, how about the Gibson Guitar Factory.
Taking ideas from Memphis this time around, this is a great building to have if you’re looking to add a little bit of rock history to your city.
The large 6×8 landmark building pays homage to the actual building in Memphis, complete with the signature Gibson logo up top.
The amount of detail in this is just crazy. Rock & metal fans, grab this add-on for sure.
It’s also cool that this mod was actually the result of a community monthly raffle from Gula’s Patreon supporters.
Wherever you are in the world, there’s bound to be a McDonalds somewhere close by.
And in that sense, this mod adds a sense of realism to the game. As McDonalds branches are just common no matter what city you’re in.
Your city should be no different, so go build some McDonalds branches!
What’s great about this one is that it’s also RICO compatible, so you’ll be able to place them anywhere you want.
15. Sunken Plaza
Now that we’ve added some restaurants, coffee shops, and even some landmarks, how about we add some nice places where your citizens can just walk around, relax, and enjoy being outside?
There are tons of cosmetic structures like parks that help your city look alive.
One of my personal favorites is this Sunken Plaza mod by ryanjamesoflondon.
A great-looking modern plaza where your citizens can walk around and enjoy in the city. It’s a great visual addition to any city too, especially when the lights turn on at night.
14. Modern Art Plaza
If you’re looking for a more modern look, the Modern Art Plaza might work for you.
It’s a bit bigger than the Sunken Plaza at 6×6, but has a more modern & open feel to it.
I imagine this would be great for adding open spaces to your city, especially if surrounded by towering high-rise buildings.
Add a bit of variety and flavor to your city, with an artistic taste to boot. It can be built for $5,500 and has tourism benefits as well.
13. Old Town Commercial Set
Those of you looking to add some variation to residential buildings, this is a great place to start.
The Old Town Commercial set gives access to 7 new level 1 commercial assets with an old-fashioned aesthetic.
The design is actually inspired by buildings in Poland. But reminiscent of the famous Painted Ladies in San Francisco, you can have your very own 17th-18th century style apartments in your city.
The buildings even have color maps so can customize how they look.
12. Modern Townhouse
As always, there are always some modern alternatives – this mod being one of my favorites.
The Modern Townhouse by cbudd was inspired by a modern apartment in Germany.
The building is small with a 2×3 footprint, but has three floors. How much more modern can it get? The second and third floors even have little balconies.
There is so much detail here that it’s obvious the modder put a lot of work into it. And it paid off – because the result is amazing.
11. Cul De Sac
A great addition to any suburban area is a cul-de-sac.
Even I am reminded of some great childhood memories when I see a cul-de-sac. And for some reason it gives my smaller residential areas a more “homey” look.
This simple mod lets you to place a cul-de-sac in four different sizes, so you can place them as you like, to remind you of those childhood memories. Or maybe to remind you of those three weird Ed boys.
10. Graffiti & Streetart Megapack
For urban areas, on the other hand, street art can make any city feel alive.
If you’re looking for a change of scenery from the vanilla clean look in Cities: Skylines, the Graffiti & Streetart Megapack could give you something to enjoy.
There’s a total of 111 graffiti and street art images to choose from. Everything from tags, elaborate paintings, and even cartoon robots.
A great way to make your city look and feel more “lived in” is to scatter these across building walls and street corners.
9. Street Market Props
Since the modding community is made up of gamers, it’s unavoidable that some of their mods will have nods to their other favorite video games.
You might recognize the look of The Street Market Props mod if you’ve played Bioshock Infinite before.
That’s right, the French street kiosks from the game were ported over. And they can now be placed in your very own city.
Not only that, but the modder went so far as to create his own props – giving us a total of 100 to choose from!
The pack is actually divided into 17 different mods, so you can pick and choose which ones you want.
Choices include Asian, book, cheese, flower, and seafood carts, among others.
You can even customize down to the detail of awnings and market workers, giving you complete control. Just the way you like it.
8. The Amazing Spiderman
If the Wayne Enterprises building wasn’t enough to fill your superhero needs, well then this one’s for you.
Previously taking from DC, we now have a Marvel favorite.
You read it right. You can actually have The Amazing Spiderman as part of your city.
Now don’t expect too much, as this is just a citizen skin. You won’t be seeing him swinging around the city or anything.
Nevertheless, it’s a cool feature to be able to see Spiderman walking around your sidewalks every so often. I’m not sure why anyone could say no to this.
7. Bordered Skylines
Borderlands has become known for its unique cartoon-y art style.
A Borderlands game is just instantly recognizable for gamers, with the defined outlines and comic book textures… it’s a classic by now.
Well if you’re a fan, you can take Cities: Skylines in that direction too.
This tool adds an “Edge Detection” feature that gives your game that Borderlands look.
You can even mix and match different graphical mods to completely change the game’s appearance.
6. Los Santos from GTA V
Another great way to enhance your Cities: Skylines experience is by trying out different maps.
There are so many to choose from, with most of them worked on for hours to give a completely unique city-building experience.
So covering maps with the theme of video game-inspired mods, we have Los Santos from GTA V.
GTA changed the game with its lifelike worlds, basically ever since the release of San Andreas.
There are tons of mods that recreate GTA maps for many different games, and Cities: Skylines is no different. Not to mention the number of GTA 5 map mods created for the game itself!
Modder grockefeller took it upon himself to build a completely accurate recreation of South San Andreas, including the cities of Los Santos, Paleto, and Sandy Shores.
This map is just gorgeous, capturing the mountain roads and coastline from GTA V. This will surely be fun to play around with, whether you’re a GTA fan or not.
While on the topic of great video game worlds, Skyrim is always near the top of the list.
This is one of the earlier open worlds that caught people’s attention as it felt so alive, almost as though it would continue living on even when you closed the game.
Well now you can play Skyrim in Cities: Skylines thanks to modder RoboAsimov.
Keep in mind though, that the goal of this mod was not to actually represent Skyrim 100%. Certain changes had to be made for a good Cities experience, so some landscaping was done to make room for city-building.
But with these upgrades you can now experience Morrowind, Eastmarch, High Rock, and other Skyrim locations.
4. Boulder Rapids
There will always be players who prefer to discover a completely new world, instead of a place they’ve already played through before.
So moving onto this design by modder Scotland Tom, who creates some of the most beautiful Cities: Skylines maps out there.
Boulder Rapids is a great place to start a new city, with a large variety when it comes to terrain.
There are beaches, mountains, and rivers scattered across the map to make for some interesting yet challenging building gameplay.
One of the more interesting features of this map is that it’s great for building dams.
Given that there are several rivers on the map, there are a lot of great spots to build dams on. Something new to explore if you haven’t already.
3. De Voortuin
Now if you’re looking for more of a European styled landscape, Zakerias’ De Voortuin might do the trick.
Filled with vast green forests, this map is mostly flat. So it’s definitely build-friendly.
One of the main features here is that there’s several islands, but the largest central island is connected by roads – making it much easier to maximize whatever purpose you see fit.
The map balance is also very well thought out, as there are sources of water, oil, ore, and an abundance of fertile soil to make sure the map is habitable.
This is seriously a lot of fun to play through.
2. Sea Turtle Falls
Some of you will be looking for more verticality to your map, and you should check out Sea Turtle Falls.
Modder Leo Mystic Magic loves building on different elevation levels. So this map mod features tons flat mountaintops to build over.
From little mountain towns to a big central city, you’ll be able to let your imagination run wild with this one.
The map also looks absolutely gorgeous with a few waterfalls for you to enjoy, hence the name Sea Turtle Falls.
Balance isn’t an issue with this map either, as there are tons of resources available allowing you to freely build pretty much wherever you’d like.
1. Fjordland Buildoff Map
With thousands of maps available for Cities: Skylines, MrMiyagi’s Fjordland is always a safe bet.
It was actually used in an official build-off event by the Cities: Skylines team, so quality isn’t questionable in the slightest.
This map features carefully built road systems, from very complex intersections to tunnels and bridges.
There are wide green areas available to build over, while being surrounded by rivers and mountain ranges offering a great view.
There are also multiple versions so you’ll be able to pick it up regardless of what version of the game you’re playing.
Plus I haven’t even covered all the options for Mass Transit, and no DLC, and almost vanilla… so you’ll be able to play this map even without any of the DLCs for a long time.
Consider this just one of many incredible mods to try out for this game.