This guide explains the difference between time in Cities: Skylines II and real-life wall clock time.
Game Time and Speed
In the game, 1 month of game time equals 24 hours of game time.
When you change the game speed from 1 to 2, the game becomes twice as fast. If you go from game speed 2 to 3, it’s twice as fast as game speed 2 and four times as fast as game speed 1.
Game Time vs. Real Time
Let’s compare the game time to real time for different game speeds:
- 1 hour in the game at speed 1 equals 3 minutes in real time.
- 1 hour in the game at speed 2 equals 1 minute and 30 seconds in real time.
- 1 hour in the game at speed 3 equals 45 seconds in real time.
- 1 month in the game at speed 1 is equivalent to 1 hour and 12 minutes in real time.
- 1 month in the game at speed 2 is 36 minutes in real time.
- 1 month in the game at speed 3 is 18 minutes in real time.
- 1 year in the game at speed 1 equals 28 hours and 48 minutes in real time.
- 1 year in the game at speed 2 is 14 hours and 24 minutes in real time.
- 1 year in the game at speed 3 is 3 hours and 36 minutes in real time.
Example Time Spans
In Cities: Skylines II, various city developments happen at different time scales. Some progress quickly, like advancement and construction, while others, such as education, wealth, building upgrades, and pollution, take much longer to change.
- Educating a cim from elementary school through university can take 35-60 months, depending on your education system, funding, upgrades, etc.
- Assuming an intermediate rate of 48 months for full education, at game speed 1, a cim will be fully educated in roughly 56 hours of real-time, while at game speed 3, it only takes about 14 hours in real-time.
- Air pollution dissipates in just a few months, approximately 1 hour in real-time at game speed 3.
- Water pollution takes about a year to dissipate, which is roughly 3 hours in real-time at game speed 3.
- Ground pollution, on the other hand, takes multiple years to dissipate, and it’s a much longer process.
The conversions between game speed and real-time mentioned earlier are based on the assumption that your PC is not overwhelmed by the simulation. However, as your city grows larger and more complex, the simulation may slow down, which can affect the accuracy of the game time to real-time conversions mentioned.
If you encounter a slowdown in the simulation, you can make adjustments by going to the “Options » General » Performance Preference” menu and favoring “Simulation Speed” to help improve the game’s performance.
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