Test Cities: Skylines 2 on your PC within Steam’s refund window using this enormous, player-built benchmark city

A city at night in Cities: Skylines 2.
(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Cities: Skylines 2 is out now on PC, and for those wondering if their system will be able to handle the game as they grow their towns, one player has the answer for you. 

Last week, developer Colossal Order and publisher Paradox Interactive released a joint statement on the Paradox Forum, in which they acknowledged “concerns raised about Cities: Skylines 2 performance” on the back of the announcement regarding the game's minimum and recommended PC requirements. It stated: “Cities: Skylines 2 is a next-gen title, and naturally, it demands certain hardware requirements.” 

Of course, anyone buying the game via Steam can refund the title within 14 days as long as they’ve played for less than two hours, but since the whole point of the game is making your city larger and more developed over time, it’s debatable if you’d get an accurate measure of performance in that window if you started from scratch. That’s where Reddit user kjmci’s enormous 100k population creation comes in. 

“Given the news regarding performance concerns, and Steam's short two-hour playtime refund window, several people were asking for early access creators to provide a city with a large population to use to benchmark the experience on their PC. As an answer to that request, this is Ruston,” they wrote. 

Benchmark your PC using this 100k population early-access city, built on the release version of Cities: Skylines II from r/CitiesSkylines

“I spent most of this past weekend speed-running to 100k using the base game as it comes (although ‘unlock all’ and ‘unlimited money’ were enabled). Ruston is built on the Twin Mountains map and should have most buildings, zones, transport modes, and mechanics unlocked and placed somewhere within the city.”

The user has provided a download link and instructions in their Reddit post, but as with any unofficial download, proceed at your own risk. They also noted that those who use their city might notice strange, silver rectangles on the roads instead of vehicles. However, this isn’t anything to do with performance - it’s simply due to them building while having the San Francisco set redeemed, and using the muscle car models.

For more games like Cities: Skylines 2, be sure to check out our recommendations of the best simulation games. You can also read our roundup of the best PC games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.