Cities: Skylines 2 has created my arch-nemesis, and it's made me love the game more

Road network
(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Paradox Interactive does a great job convincing you that Cities: Skylines 2 isn't just a city-building game but a living, breathing community. But looking at the in-game social media Chirper, Paradox may have done too well.

There's more than enough to do in Cities: Skylines 2 to keep you occupied, but if you're in the mood to take a break from all the city building and relish in a bit of entertainment, you can browse all the latest posts from your citizens on Chirper.

On this social media platform, you can read everything that's going on in your city, from complaints about pollution to small discussions about the beauty of the northern lights. It's great to see, and it adds a personal touch to your population and ever-growing metropolis.

A helping hand 

city map

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Watching your residents talk about their lives in your expertly crafted city is great fun. However, when you've just started and are desperately trying to complete tasks to expand, such as balancing the budget and keeping utilities working, it can be a bit overwhelming to see a flood of angry comments shouting about traffic.

In my first Cities: Skylines 2 session, I was excited to get stuck into creating my first village. I had picked out an excellent spot for my highway, town center, and residential area and was preparing to put some serious elbow grease into my public service industry. While my small town, Nika, which sat on a river delta, wasn't all that impressive, it was certainly coming along nicely. Or at least I thought so.

I was knee-deep in tasks while trying to get international trade off the ground when I glanced down to see a rather unhappy message in my Chirper inbox. A resident called Calvin Robbins wasn't all that happy with the wait time in the hospitals and was voicing his complaints. At first, I was content to have some constructive criticism, but then the messages didn’t stop. 

Calvin Robbins posted about everything from traffic jams to air pollution at any time of the day, and soon, he wasn’t the only one. People like Tyler Rosales, Felicia Trilby, and Ian Murray also joined in on the social media tirade. While most of their demands were valid, some didn’t make much sense. 

I had people asking for more police when my ratio of officers, police stations, and prisons was well above the required amount. There were also complaints about healthcare even after I upgraded all my hospitals to have more space and ambulances; they were all functioning at over 100% efficiency. I’m still not sure what I can do to satisfy the hordes to that extent. 

The citizen who cried burst pipe

tram on a bridge

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

I’m sorry to say that all the complaining over issues that were already fixed did hit a nerve somewhere down the line. I may have, at one point, just thrown my hands in the air and told Calvin Robbins and the rest of them to run the town by themselves, because they clearly know so much about city planning and municipal management. 

After the dust had settled, I realized how helpful having Chirper is if you know how to use it. Like listening to the radio, it’s a great way to quickly hear about escalating problems in your city. 

While there are certainly issues with some of the Chirps crying wolf, as long as you weed out these ones, by quickly checking up on the complaints with the information drop-down in the top left-hand corner, you’ll be able to get on top of all the cracks before they really start to show. 

So far, I’ve learnt that when people complain about public services, it’s worth a check-up but usually doesn’t require any urgent action. However, if you hear or see complaints about utilities like electricity or water, they are generally up to something. I’ve had many instances, unbeknownst to me, when my sewage network was working overtime and barely holding on, only to be saved by Jenny Chirping me a complaint about a funny smell. Effectively saving an entire neighbourhood from contracting cholera. Again. 

So even if most of the social posts may not directly concern actual problems, and even if they drive me around the bend sometimes, Jenny alone has proved to me that my citizens are worth hearing out because you never know when a faulty sewage pipe may burst.

If you love spending time in Cities: Skylines 2, then be sure to check out these other great simulation games that are available to play right now. 

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.