Cities Skylines 2 release date and everything we know so far

Cities: Skylines 2
(Image credit: Paradox)

The wait is almost over for Cities: Skylines 2. Announced back in March 2023 and sequel to one of the most beloved and best city builder games out there, the dedicated community can look forward to even more comprehensive management, building, and life sim systems than seen in the original.

Developer Colossal Order has been keeping its fanbase well-fed, drip-feeding us some juicy new tidbits on its upcoming sequel via Q&As on Twitter. Following a what we learned at Gamescom 2023, our hands-on Cities: Skylines 2 preview shows what else we can expect from the game when it launches this October.

It's definitely one of those upcoming PC games to keep an eye out for, not to mention one of our top new games for 2023 if you live and breathe city-builders. Here's a breakdown of everything  we know about Cities: Skylines 2, from a release date to gameplay details.

Recent updates

Our Cities: Skylines 2 guide was updated on September 29 with the disappointing news that the console version has been delayed until 2024. More details for you below. 

Recent Cities: Skylines 2 news

Cities: Skylines 2

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Cities Skylines 2 release date

Cities: Skylines 2

(Image credit: Paradox)

The Cities Skylines 2 release date is set for October 24, 2023 for PC only. Sadly, it was confirmed on September 29 that the game's release onto PS5, Xbox Series X, and Game Pass has been delayed to Spring 2024

Cities Skylines 2 Game Pass

Cities: Skylines 2

(Image credit: Paradox)

Cities Skylines 2 will be a part of the full Xbox Game Pass list, meaning that any Game Pass subscribers will be able to play the new city builder from day one through the service. Paradox is yet to confirm whether Cities Skylines 2 will be available for both Xbox and PC Game Pass players, although this does appear to be the case. 

Cities Skylines 2 trailer

You can watch the first Cities Skylines 2 trailer above, which isn't actual gameplay from the upcoming city builder but does give us a little insight into what Paradox and developer Colossal Order wants to achieve with the title. 

We then got the Cities Skylines 2 gameplay trailer at the Xbox Games Showcase in June, revealing a great look at what you'll be able to create. All the footage shown in the gameplay trailer is captured in-game too, so it's going to be pretty!

Cities Skylines 2 pre-order bonuses

If you pre-order Cities Skylines 2 you'll get access to nine unique buildings, all of which are based on world famous landmarks. They are as follows:

  • The London Eye
  • Notre Dame
  • National Gallery
  • Grand Hotel
  • Botanical Garden
  • Näsinneula
  • Xi'an Bell Tower
  • Sungnye
  • National Diet

You'll also get a map based on the geography of Tampere, Finland, which just so happens to be where developer Colossal Order is based.

Cities Skylines 2 Expansion Pass

If you purchase the Cities Skylines - Ultimate Edition you'll get access to the Expansion Pass. This includes instant access to the San Francisco set, an assets pack and radio station that'll drop in Q4 2023, the content creator pack and radio station coming in Q1 2024, and the full expansion and another radio station in Q2 2024.

Cities Skylines 2 gameplay – What's new?

Cities: Skylines 2

(Image credit: Paradox)

Cities Skylines 2 gameplay will be an evolution over the original title. It's dubbed the "most realistic city builder - ever" on its Steam page, where it also mentions "new epic scale". That's backed up by the Cities Skylines 2 achievements that have leaked, which state that you'll be able to utilize 150 map tiles in a single city, rather than the nine from the original game. There are also mentions of hailstorms, tornados, and forest fires – some of which were only available via DLC packs for the original game. You'll also be able to "Follow a citizen's lifepath from childhood to old age", which certainly suggests a depth of simulation much greater than the OG Cities Skylines. 

"With unprecedented amounts of customization and player control, Cities: Skylines 2 will continue to push boundaries for the city-building franchise," said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive

The official press release states that you'll be able to experience the managing of everything from individual households to the transport and economy systems of the city, including plenty of construction and customization options, and "advanced modding capabilities". It goes on to say this will be the "most open-ended city-building sandbox on the planet", so pretty lofty goals here.

Each of the game's maps - some if which are "bigger than some countries" - will have its own challenges, including unique climates and other opportunities. The climates can impact the pollution, weather, and provide seasonal challenges too. Then, when you're building your city, every choice you make will ripple across it, thanks to intricate AI and economic systems. 

You'll even be able to follow around specific citizens as they go about their daily lives. There's even an achievement you can unlock to reward you for your stalkery antics, meaning the game doesn't just let you observe the lives of your townsfolk, it encourages it.

Will Cities Skylines 2 multiplayer exist?

Cities: Skylines 2

(Image credit: Paradox)

There are currently no plans to make a Cities: Skylines 2 multiplayer mode.

In March, Colossal Order posted a small Q&A on the studio's official Twitter account. In response to a question asking whether there would be scope to add multiplayer, the devs said: "Adding multiplayer support takes an incredible amount of time and resources that would take away from building the core player experience we are striving to create". So it's safe to say we won't be seeing multiplayer come to Cities: Skylines 2. 

While clever players of the original game have modded in multiplayer support, we will note that it's never been an official feature of the Cities Skylines series. 

Cities Skylines is one of the best Xbox Game Pass games to play while we cross our fingers for more news on its sequel, hopefully during Summer Game Fest 2023.

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.

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