Cities: Skylines 2: 8 Best Ways To Make Money

Find the correct strategies to make money in Cities Skylines 2 for city development and growth, and become the master of finance.

To maintain a thriving virtual city economy, you must understand how to make money in Cities Skylines 2. However, there is no proper guidance on the most effective methods for making money.

Key Takeaways
  • Money is needed to build and expand your city, including infrastructure, services, and amenities in Cities Skylines 2.
  • City growth and happiness depend on having funds to meet the demands of your citizens, such as education, healthcare, and public services.
  • If you’ve taken loans, having money on hand allows you to repay them with high-interest rates.
  • Without sufficient funds, your city may struggle with essential services and infrastructure maintenance.

Methods To Make Money In Cities Skylines 2

Here is a summary of the best methods to make money:

Serial NumberMethodsDescription
8Hit MilestonesAchieving city milestones provides a substantial sum of money to aid your city's progress. Invest wisely when you level up.
7Export Water & ElectricityExport excess water and electricity to an outside source by extending pipelines and power lines to the city's border.
6Balance TaxesImpose taxes on households, commercial districts, offices, and industries. Significant tax revenue usually starts when your city has around 2,000 residents.
5Create Zoning AreasCarefully plan zoning areas to maximize efficiency. Ensure industrial zones have access to essential resources and develop an efficient transportation system.
4Manage LoansTaking loans is discouraged due to high interest rates. Only use loans for profitable investments like public transport.
3Export ResourcesUtilize cargo stations to export goods, particularly from office zones. Industries requiring an educated workforce can be more profitable.
2Public TransportCreate an effective public transportation system, including bus routes and parking fees to reduce car usage.
1TourismAttract tourists by improving city attractiveness and establishing external connections like railways, airports, and harbors.

8. Hit Milestones

Hitting Milestones
Hitting Milestones [Image Credit: eXputer]
The quickest method to earn money, aside from obtaining a loan, is to achieve a milestone. Each time your city reaches a new level, you’ll receive a substantial sum of money to aid your progress toward the next milestone. It’s a wise idea to invest your money in the following tips whenever you level up.

7. Export Water & Electricity

Electricity Stats [Image by eXputer]
Don’t forget that you can export any excess water and electricity in Cities Skylines 2 by connecting to an outside source.

  • For exporting water, extend a blue waterline from one of your city roads to the city’s border, and your surplus water will be automatically exported.
  • To export electricity, position a transformer station near the map’s border and connect it to one of your city roads using an electric cable. 
    • Extend a power line from the transformer station to the map’s edge, and your extra electricity will be exported for a profit.

You can strategically add extra water and energy stations to boost your city’s income. However, focus on electricity production, as it’s generally more valuable than water exports. Choose large power plants over wind turbine parks since they generate more energy, although they may be less environmentally friendly.

6. Balance Taxes

Balancing Taxes
Balancing Taxes [Image by eXputer]
Taxation is a reliable method to make money, but it might not generate much income in the early months. You can impose taxes on households, commercial districts, offices, and industries, but you need these types of zones in your city for taxation to work. 

Significant tax revenue typically kicks in around progression stage four, when you have approximately 2,000 residents in your city. More residents mean more households, shops, and industries, which naturally leads to increased tax income. 

To maximize your income through residential tax, focus on developing residential areas. Avoid increasing taxes, as this can hinder your city’s population growth.

5. Create Zoning Areas

Creating Residential Zoning Areas
Creating Residential Zoning Areas [Image by eXputer]
Initially, zoning areas in your city might seem straightforward, and the temptation is to fill up grids quickly to meet various demands. However, it’s advisable to take your time and create a well-thought-out layout to make the most of the zoning system. 

While it might be tempting to locate industrial zones far from the city to minimize pollution, ensure that essential resources are still accessible to these industries. This proximity allows companies to produce more goods. 

Additionally, make sure there’s an efficient transportation system in place to move these goods to commercial properties.

4. Manage Loans

Managing Loans
Managing Loans [Image Credit: eXputer]
In Cities Skylines 2, you have the option to take larger loans as you progress through levels, but I strongly discourage this approach. Why? Because the interest rates on these loans are exceptionally high, and this can quickly drain your budget. 

If you still decide to take a loan, here’s how to do it: 

  1. Open the city economy panel 
  2. Navigate to the loan tab
  3. Adjust the slider to determine the loan amount. 

However, resorting to loans should be your last option. It’s only a great choice if you’re investing the loan money in something profitable, like public transport, which allows you to repay the loan as soon as possible.

3. Export Resources

Cargo Harbor
Cargo Harbor [Image by eXputer]
You can significantly increase your revenue in Cities Skylines 2 by leveraging outside connections to export goods. 

Important: It requires specialized “cargo stations,” distinct from passenger stations.

The most effective way to export goods often involves using a cargo harbor, ideally located near an industrial zone. It’s important to understand that office zones tend to produce high-value goods, which can be very profitable. On the other hand, industries focusing on more basic products like vegetables and wood might not be as profitable for your city. 

If you develop industries that require a well-educated workforce, you’ll generate more income for your Cities Skylines 2 city. The key to this strategy is to provide excellent education services, which will require colleges and universities, and then construct office zones as the demand grows.

2. Public Transport

Public Transport
Public Transport [Image Credit: eXputer]
Another highly effective method to make money is by creating a strong public transportation system. Given that a majority of your citizens rely on daily commuting, this presents a significant income opportunity. 

If your city is in its early stages, consider establishing a series of bus routes and charging a reasonable fare, perhaps around eight credits. Additionally, you can reduce car usage by applying parking fees in specific areas.

1. Tourism

Tourism [Image Credit: eXputer]
If you truly want the best method for making money, two factors come into play: 

  1. Creating an attractive city 
  2. Establishing notable external connections. 

To draw more tourists and revenue, expand your public transportation network by introducing a railway that traverses your city, building an airport, and setting up a harbor. These enhancements will not only facilitate smoother travel for your citizens but also generate substantial income for your city.

Coupled with a high level of city attractiveness, these efforts will bring a huge amount of tourists and revenue to your city. The presence of expansive parks, sizeable sports facilities, and iconic landmarks will be instrumental in raising your city’s overall appeal.

My Take On Making Money

Cities Skylines 2 Gamerscore
My Gamerscore on Cities Skylines 2

Based on my experience, one of the Best Ways to make money is focusing on exporting electricity in Cities Skylines 2.

Not only is it easy to maintain, but it gives a huge return on investment. My mistake was not focusing on exporting electricity, which gave me some loss, and now I am currently focusing on generating more electricity.

That’s everything you need to know on How to Make Money in the game Consider reading the Best Tips and Tricks if you’re new to the game. Find out the Best Starting Maps in Cities Skylines 2 to build your city. 


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Arham is a Guides Writer at eXputer with a penchant for exploring new realms in gaming. He loves conquering major AAA titles like Elden Ring, The Witcher 3, and Cyberpunk. He has also accumulated 300+ hours on Valorant! Arham is dedicated to aiding fellow gamers on their quests by curating guides through his personal experience. Feel free to get in touch with Arham on his gaming profiles on Steam and Xbox.

Experience: 1+ Years || Mainly Covers Guides.

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