SimCity 4

Genre: Strategy
Release Year: 2003
Developer: Maxis
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Age Rating: 3+
Playability Status: Perfect
Tested On: Windows 7 x64
Availability: Copyright retained - Still sold

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The Sim City series of games has been keeping wannabe town planners occupied since 1989. With the latest instalment of the series getting so much negative publicity due to its unreliable servers and it’s arguably unnecessary requirement that you are always connected to the internet when you play, it seems like a good time to revisit the previous instalment in the series. Luckily this metropolis building mayor simulator can run on modern PC’s without too much hassle.


SimCity 4 should install on modern PC’s without any major issues, simply insert the DVD and follow the on-screen prompts to install the game. The version of the game we tested was the Deluxe Edition, which also includes the Rush Hour expansion pack, but there should be no issues installing the standard edition either.


Before taking your virtual mayors office, you should install the latest patch for SimCity 4. Patches for the game are still available from here. Download the relevant patch for your region and remember if you are using the Deluxe edition or the Rush Hour expansion pack you should download the SimCity 4: Rush Hour or Deluxe Edition patch. Note that you only need one patch (either the standard or the Rush Hour/Deluxe Edition patch) even if you installed Rush Hour separately from SimCity 4.

Widescreen support

SimCity 4 supports custom resolutions and will run with the most common widescreen screen modes.To enable these widescreen modes, we need to edit the games shortcut. Find the games shortcut on your Start Menu or Start Screen, right click and choose “Properties”. (Windows 8 users will need to right click on the games icon on the Start Screen, choose “Open File Location” and then right click on the shortcut that appears). The properties window for SimCity 4 will then appear, click on the “Shortcut” tab. The picture below shows the window that will appear:-


Click on the box labelled “Target” and press the “End” key on your keyboard or use the cursor keys to scroll to the very end of the line. Now, copy and paste one of the following additional commands. For 720p:-

-CustomResolution:enabled -r1280x720x32

Or for 1080p:-

-CustomResolution:enabled -r1920x1080x32

If your monitor uses a different resolution, simply substitute 1920×1080 for the appropriate values. Click on “OK” when you are done and then try to launch the game. If you followed the steps correctly, SimCity should now launch in your chosen widescreen resolution. According to the Wiki, at higher widescreen resolutions, “the images (thumbnails) of large cities in the region have a minor corruption”, but nothing you can’t live with.


Random crashes:- If you experience random crashes while playing SimCity 4, it may be due to the fact that you are using a multi-core CPU. Most modern PC’s use CPU’s with two or four processing cores, but in the past most PC’s only had one and this occasionally causes problems with older games. To fix this problem, you should configure the games shortcut to launch SimCity 4 and use only one of your computers CPU cores. See this tutorial for details of how to do this.

Souped-up SimCity

Like many popular PC games, SimCity 4 didn’t stop growing or expanding after the official expansion packs were launched. Hundreds of user created mods, buildings and textures are available for the game. Head over to Simtropolis to browse and expand your SimCity experience.


  1. sbo says:

    so many comments about where to get one and if you just read the effing shhhhh, he tells you how to get one…

  2. Kevin says:

    It wont let me launch it. it says to do in admin mode but it just does nothing.

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