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samerton

SimCity 4 Frequently Asked Questions

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This thread contains useful links and information regarding adding plugins to your SimCity 4.

First things first: In order to use mods/plugins, you must have SimCity 4 Deluxe or Rush Hour.


New to the whole plugin/modding scene? The following thread will explain the whole idea of custom content, how to install it, and more:

Looking for some mods to install?

This thread describes ten essential mods.

 

1. How do I install mods?

Spoiler

Download them and unzip them into (My)Documents/SimCity 4/Plugins.

However, some mods like the NAM have an installer. Unzip the folder and run the .exe file inside the file.

You need either SimCity 4 Rush Hour or Deluxe for mods, they won't work with plain SimCity 4. Also, make sure you're download all dependencies the file needs. These are links in the description that it tells you to download (See the Brown Box issue below to find out what can happen if you don't...)

 

2. I'm getting brown boxes in my cities!

Spoiler

You are missing dependencies for the lot.

Firstly, use the query tool (the ? icon) on the building to get its name. Then, search for the download page of that mod. On the download page there should be a link in the description pointing you to file(s) you need to download. These extra files are called dependencies. Once you have downloaded and installed them, the brown boxes should disappear.

*If the link to the dependency is broken, try using this link to find it.
If you still can't find it, Google's your best bet*

 

3. The building I downloaded doesn't have nightlights/How do I update (patch) my game?

Spoiler

You need to update your game.
The SimCity updates are free to download from SC4Devotion.

NOTE: This does not apply to the Steam version/any digital download (eg Amazon) of this game, that already comes patched, so nightlights will work. 1) Download the SKU Update for the area where you purchased your game.
2) Extract the downloaded folder and double click the installer, doing everything it tells you to do.
3) Download the SimCity4 BAT Update.
4) Extract the downloaded folder and double click the installer, doing everything it tells you to do.
Your nightlights should now work. If not, make sure you are providing your buildings with power.

 

4. SimCity 4 keeps crashing/closing randomly!

Spoiler

This cannot be totally avoided.

However, it can be helped if you have a multi core processor. This is what you must do:

1) Right click the desktop shortcut to SimCity 4.
2) In the Shortcut tab, add the following to the end of the Target:


-CPUCount:1

So the Target line will look similar to this:


"C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -CPUCount:1

This will not totally prevent the game from crashing, but it certainly helps!

NOTE: If you are having issues with this shortcut, you can use this SC4 Launcher:

 

5. SimCity 4 won't load, it keeps crashing on startup!

Spoiler

You may have installed a dodgy plugin.

If you download plugins slowly instead of constantly downloading tens of plugins at once, this can be easy to sort. Delete the plugin you just downloaded/installed and test if the game is working. If not, rename your plugins folder to something different so the game won't load them, and bit by bit reinstall your plugins into a new, empty Plugins folder. Then, open the game and see if it crashes.

Keep doing this until you find the plugin which is causing your game to crash and delete it.

 

6. SimCity 4 keeps crashing when I load a certain city!

Spoiler

The city might be corrupt.
If this happens, the chances are your city is corrupt. There is no way to 'uncorrupt' your tile, so you will have to delete that tile and start again.

However, if you keep backups then you should be able to revert to a previous save. Also, it might be a bad plugin. Terrain plugins with missing dependencies are likely causes, however it could have been any mod you installed recently.

Delete any plugins you installed recently, and see if the game is working without them. If not, rename your Plugins folder to something different so the game won't load it, and bit by bit reinstall your plugins into a new, empty Plugins folder. Then, open the game and see if it crashes.

Keep doing this until you find the plugin that is causing your game to crash and remove it.

 

7. SimCity 4 lags a lot for me!

Spoiler

From experience, I'd recommend you turn your Fog and Waves graphics options off, and turn your visual settings to Medium. Also, running SimCity 4 in Windowed mode (see the spoiler below for instructions) seems to speed the game up a bit.

 

8. How do I install maps (GREYSCALE IMAGE FORMAT)

9. How do I install maps (.SC4M FORMAT)

Spoiler

Use SC4Mapper.
You can download it from here, however in order to see the download link you must be signed into the LEX.
Once you have downloaded SC4Mapper, use this guide.

 

10. SC4Terraformer won't work for me on Windows Vista/7/8!

Spoiler

You will need to download a few more files.
Use this guide I made to download/install these files Hopefully SC4Terraformer will now work for you, however if you only need to install maps, not create them, I'd recommend you use SC4Mapper (see the above spoiler).

 

11. I want moar cheats ingame!

Spoiler

Use Buggi's Extra Cheats DLL mod.

Type Ctrl-Alt-X ingame to bring up the cheat box, and right click it to bring up a list of available cheats.

 

12. How can I change the driving side of my SimCity 4 (eg, from Left Hand Drive to Right Hand Drive, and vice versa)?

Spoiler

You will need to move the SimCityLocale.dat file to a different folder.

RHD to LHD

1) Navigate to Local Disk/Program Files/Maxis/SimCity 4.
2) Create a new folder in there called UKEnglsh. Notice how I wrote UKEnglsh, missing out the 'i'. Make sure you do the same!
3) Find the SimCityLocale.dat file inside the Maxis/SimCity 4 directory. CUT it from its current location into the UKEnglsh file we just created. Make sure it is not in two places at once!
4) Run the game, enjoy!

NOTE: This will change the date and spelling into the UK standard (eg, 1/7/2012 is the 1st July 2012)


LHD to RHD

1) Navigate to Local Disk/Program Files/Maxis/SimCity 4.
2) Create a new folder in there called English.
3) Find the SimCityLocale.dat file inside the Maxis/SimCity 4 directory. CUT it from its current location into the English file we just created. Make sure it is not in two places at once!
4) Run the game, enjoy!

NOTE: This will change the date and spelling into the US standard (eg, 7/1/2012 is the 1st July 2012)

 

13. Which mods should I get?

Spoiler

Check out the following topic:

I personally recommend the Network Addon Mod (NAM), see the below spoiler for links.

 

14. Where can I download the Network Addon Mod (NAM), and what is the latest version?

Spoiler
 
Note: There is a separate Mac version (v32.1), available to download from:

When installing the NAM, read each page of the installer correctly; it can cause issues if you don't.
The NAM now includes mods such as the Real Highway Mod, Network Widening Mod, and road retexture mods, and much more.

The latest version of the Network Addon Mod is v34, released December 25th, 2015.

 

15. I downloaded the NAM but it has broken my avenue junctions and my rail!

Spoiler

This usually happens when you have a LHD game but you install the NAM with RHD settings, and vice versa.

Uninstall the NAM and reinstall it, make sure you read each page of the installer carefully and tick any boxes that apply to you.

 

16. How do I make my roads look European/with white dashed lines?

Spoiler

You will need European Road Texture Mods.

In order to get your roads looking European, you should tick the Euro Textures box in the Network Addon Mod installer (see the above spoiler for the NAM download links).

 

17. How do I create my own buildings?

Spoiler

Use the SimCity4 BAT Program.

To use this program, you need Gmax, available from here.

Once you have Gmax, you can then download the SimCity 4 BAT tool.

Unfortunately, I have no idea as to how to use this, so I will have to give you another link for a tutorial on using the BAT.

In order to complete your building, you will also need the Lot Editor (LE) and the Plugin Manager which comes with it.

There is a tutorial for the Lot Editor here.

 

18. Where can I find the Maxis Files, such as bldgprop?

Spoiler

Since the SimCity 4 official page has been taken down, they are hard to find.

If you're missing files like bldgprop or Day of Peace, then this site has them all. Here is a complete list of the files available for free from there:

SC4 RH Deluxe Manual

SC4 Lot Editor
SC4 BAT Installer
SC4 BAT Update
Texture Problem Fix
Plugin Manager with Unicode Fix
Transportation Update

Building Prop Vol 1
Building Prop Vol 2
Day of Peace – Flag Prop
American Flag
Canadian Flag

Castle Set
Grutze House
Grutze Industries
63 Building
Brandenburg Gate
Parthenon
Schloss Schoenbrun
Temple Expiatiori
Arc Triomphe
Seoul City Hall
Seoul Soccer Stadium
Globe Arena
Airforce Base
Kunjungjon
Nam Dae Moon (Sungre Mun)
Grand Central Station
Capitol Records
Stonehenge
San Fransisco City Hall
Taipei Art Museum
Adler Planetarium
May Flower Port
Rockefeller Center
Sobchak Lanes
Shorty Burger
Lucky’s Hang Ten
Stone House
Temple of Gruntz
Living Mall

Maxis Region
U-Drive It City

 

19. How do I change the resolution and/or run SimCity 4 in Windowed Mode?

Spoiler

You can edit the command line parameters.

1) Right click the desktop shortcut to SimCity 4.
2) In the Shortcut tab, add the following to the end of the Target:

TO RUN IN WINDOWED MODE:


-w

So the Target line will look similar to this:


"C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -w

TO RUN WITH A DIFFERENT RESOLUTION:


-rXXXxYYYxBB

Replace XXXxYYY with either 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 or 1600x1200.

Replace BB with 16 or 32, you should always use 32.
 

You can use these together if you wish. For example:


"C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -w -r1024x768x32


However it is also possible to add custom resolutions, if you do not want the ones listed above.

Do this by adding:


-CustomResolution:enabled

You can then use different resolutions, such as -r1280x800x32.

This is my configuration:


"C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -CustomResolution:enabled -r1280x800x32 -w


If you need more information, click here.

Or, you can use the SC4 Launcher:

 

20. I'm getting really weird graphical bugs on Windows 8/8.1!

Spoiler

Follow this guide by Indiana Joe:

 

21. My SimCity 4 discs won't work on Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10!

Spoiler

On September 8th 2015, Microsoft released a system update for Windows (KB3086255) which drops support for "SafeDisk" protection. As a result, running SimCity 4 from the game disc is no longer possible. It's recommended that you pick up a copy from Steam or Origin which does not require using a disc.

You can use the following guide by Cyclone Boom to uninstall the update (not recommended), or try one of the listed workarounds:

 

More Useful Links
 
If there are any issues you're having that aren't covered by this guide, please feel free to send me a PM and I'll try my best to update this guide.
 
Last updated: 04/01/2016 - Formatting
Edited by samerton
Brought up to date with thread at ST

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I really appreciate this Sam !

Now that i have closed help desk over on the Trop until

RTMT is finally released ,this is a very valuable resource that

new player and old should take advantage of !

Kindest thanks !, Brian

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