Players start with a plot of land – equivalent to a 2-by-2-kilometre (1.2 mi × 1.2 mi) area – along with an interchange exit from a nearby motorway, as well as a starting amount of in-game money. The player proceeds to add roads and residential, industrial, and commercial zones and basic services like power, water, and sewage as to encourage residents to move in and supply them with jobs.
As the city grows beyond certain population tiers, the player will unlock new city improvements including schools, fire stations, police stations, health care facilities and waste management systems, tax and governing edicts, transit, and other features to manage the city. One such feature enables the player to designate parts of their city as districts. Each district can be configured by the player to restrict the types of developments or enforce specific regulations within the district’s bounds, such as only allowing for agricultural industrial sectors, offering free public transportation to residents in the district to reduce traffic, or increased tax levels for high commercialized areas.