Cities Skylines 2: 5 BEST Starting Maps [First-Hand Experience]

Learn about the best starting maps for Cities Skylines 2 and pick the best one to start your city building journey.

For a player who is new to the building game, the first thing they want to do is to find a perfect map to build the city of their dream. Maps are important in saving time and making the game more enjoyable, so finding the best starting map in Cities Skylines 2 is important. Maps provide versatility with their features of climate, buildable area, and outside connections.

Key Takeaways
  • There are a total of 10 maps in Cities Skylines 2.
  • 4 maps are based on the North American map theme, and 6 maps are based on the European map theme.
  • Maps differ based on climate, buildable area, and outside connection.
  • The best starting map in Cities Skylines 2 is Waterways Pass.
  • It has a high buildup area and a good stock of natural resources.
  • The disadvantage of Waterways Pass is the lack of buildup area in the starting square area.
  • Other maps that you can try are Mountain Village, Barrier Island, or Lakeland.

Best Starting Maps In Cities Skylines 2 Compared

The table I’ve made below summarizes and compares Cities Skylines 2 best maps based on Theme, Climate, Latitude, and Buildup Area attributes:

RankCities: Skylines 2 MapThemeClimateLatitudeBuildup AreaBest For
1River DeltaEuropean-4-34Northern Hemisphere42%Balance
2Sweeping PlainsNorth American-4-23Southern Hemisphere31%Aesthetics
3Twin MountainEuropean-4-15Northern Hemisphere39%Flatland Development
4Waterway PassNorth American-5-26Northern Hemisphere53%Building Large Cities
5Windy FjordsNorth American-6-18Southern Hemisphere21%Customizability

1. River Delta

The Most Balanced Starting Map In Cities Skylines 2.
city skylines 2 best map
River Delta [Image By Me]
Map Features Value
Theme European
Climate -4-34
Latitude Northern Hemisphere
Buildable Area 42%
Outside Connections Road



  • Why I Chose This: The River Delta map has a lot of crisscrossing highways and a majestic bridge that crosses the river at its mouth, making it a scenic beauty, in my opinion.

The European theme-based map is quite nice for both beginners and intermediate players. The map offers players a 42% buildable area and access to all outside connections, giving you the perfect opportunities. The temperature in the River Delta is mostly warm but has wide temperature variations.

The mountains are mid-size, providing a good backdrop to the city. Overall, the city looks more structured because it’s boxed in by two rivers and multiple highways of varying sizes. Knowing where to expand can seem overwhelming, but one can create creative layouts.

  • Wide-range temperatures.
  • Balanced stats.
  • Amazing backdrop.
  • Strong buildup area.
  • Access to a large body of water.
  • Expansions might feel tricky.
  • Doesn’t stand out in any specific category.

2. Sweeping Plains

The Best Starting Map For Aesthetics In Cities Skylines 2.
city skylines 2 best map
Sweeping Plains [Capture By Me]
Map Features Value
Theme North American
Climate -4-34
Latitude Southern Hemisphere
Buildable Area 31%
Outside Connections Road



  • Why I Chose This: If you want your city to be in the most beautiful place, this map is perfectly aesthetical.

The North American theme-based map, Sweeping Plains, is one of the most beautiful places to build your starting city in Cities Skylines 2. It has massive mountains often covered in snow, and the weather is mostly rainy and cold. Sweeping Plains offers a decent buildup area of 31% with mostly less flat terrain. The mountain peaks will add perfect scenic beauty to your city, attracting tourism and generating revenue.

Sweeping Plains is for more experienced players, but beginners can still find it enjoyable as it allows for large coastal cities. You may find it difficult to bring trains in early because the rail connection is up a steep incline and quite far from the rail connection.

  • Great for tourism.
  • Amazing beauty.
  • Access to mountains and rivers.
  • Difficult to create train systems.
  • Weak Buildup Area.

3. Twin Mountain

The Best Flatland Starting Map In Cities Skylines 2.
city skylines 2 best map
Twin Mountain [Capture By Me]
Map Features Value
Theme European
Climate -4-15
Latitude Northern Hemisphere
Buildable Area 39%
Outside Connections Road


  • Why I Chose This: For players looking to build road-focused cities on flatlands, this is the perfect map for you.

Twin Mountain is a European theme-based map. It is similar to Sweeping Plains but has no rail connection. The absence of rails will require you to import all outside goods and visitors via Road, air, or sea or purchase outside tiles at the edge of Twin Mountain to create an outside rail connection. The climate is cold, and the buildup area is 39% higher than Sweeping Plains.

The starting square of Twin Mountain is very simple, with a four-lane road coming out of the highway. The main highway is a barrier to coast access, encouraging some interesting designs. This map has very flat land, but the elevation graphically is gentler. I recommend opting for Sweeping Plains instead of Twin Mountain. The rail disadvantage and harsh climate make it a worse option for beginners.

  • Respectable Buildup Area.
  • Simplistic look.
  • Ideal for complex road systems.
  • Lacks any railroad transport.
  • Barely any elevation.
  • Harsh climate.

4. Waterway Pass

The Starting Map With The Highest Buildup Area.
city skylines 2 best map
Waterway Pass [Image By Me]
Map Features Value
Theme North American
Climate -5-26
Latitude Northern Hemisphere
Buildable Area 53%
Outside Connections ship



  • Why I Chose This: This is my favorite starting map because I like investing in the maps I start in and Waterway Pass’ high Buildup Area makes it a noteworthy mention on my list.

The only North American theme-based starting map in Cities is Skylines 2, which is set in the northern hemisphere. The map has the highest buildup area in the game, with a temperate sunny climate and a massive variation in temperatures. The mountain design is unique, and the flat buildable area in the center is perfect for creating a collection of interconnected towns, such as one large sprawling city or two cities divided by the river.

The start square is a flyover interchange into a simple four-lane highway. Waterway Pass has elevation variations and is more manageable as you move away from the river. Overall, it is a great option for best starting maps in Cities Skylines 2 because you have plenty of land to build and a good spread of natural resources.

  • Never-ending water supply.
  • High Buildup Area.
  • Unique layout.
  • Discourages testing other maps.
  • Slightly lackluster temperature variations.

5. Windy Fjords

The Most Customizable Starting Map In Cities Skylines.
city skylines 2 best map
Windy Fjords [Cature By Me]
Map Features Value
Theme North American
Climate -6-18
Latitude North Hemisphere
Buildable Area 21%
Outside Connections Road



  • Why I Chose This: I was surprised by the different attractions of Windy Fjords, allowing me to be creative and customize these attractions in various ways to promote tourism.

A North American theme-based map with a very cold and rainy climate and a buildup area of only 21%. With such a low buildup area, you must be creative with your building design. The map has space in the center, perfect for a large, sprawling city, and isn’t too drastic to scare beginners. Windy Fjords has much to offer, with a small lake in the center and a long arched bridge as a two-way highway.

  • Beautiful bridges.
  • Water features are exploitable.
  • Several distinct resources are in place.
  • Harsh temperatures.
  • Difficult to develop maritime trade.
  • Tourism links are tricky to set up.

My Opinion On The Best Starting Map

city skylines 2 best map
In-Game Screenshot [Capture By Me]
One of the best starting maps in Cities Skylines 2 is the Waterway Pass for me because the map provides the largest buildup area divided by a river.

You can exploit such a big area and consider using the river by building on both sides of the river to develop a beautiful city with access to all outside connections. Other than Waterway Pass, the top three maps for beginners are Mountain Village, Lakeland, and Barrier Islands

These maps provide a good buildup area and are rich in natural resources. They offer a good starting square and a perfect terrain to get you going on your city-building journey.

That’s all from my guide on best starting maps of Cities Skylines 2; you can head over to read our expert Asad Ahmad on Cities Skylines 2 Review-An Unfinished Mess Of A Game.  

Next: Cities Skylines 2 Crashing And All Errors

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Irfan Ansari is a Senior Editor and Guides Writer on eXputer. He has seven years of Video Game Journalism experience and has been gaming for more than 22 years. Over his editorial career, he has gained experience at multiple sites, including TheGamer and VeryAli Gaming. Irfan has also earned a degree in Writing and Editing from the University of Michigan. Learn some more about Irfan's gaming journey on his Steam, PSN, and Xbox profiles.

Experience: 7+ Years || Worked for TheGamer and VeryAli Gaming

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