How to fix the Cities Skylines 2 Not Enough Customers issue

Cities: Skylines 2 not enough customers
(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

The Cities Skylines 2 Not Enough Customers message seems to pop up in nearly every players' new city at some point, and it isn't a welcome sign. Just wait a while, and your commercial zones will likely display the 'not enough customers' warning too. Luckily, there are several ways to fix this issue – although it may occasionally be related to a bug, so hopefully you've not been unlucky with that.

From proper zoning to better parking spaces, here's how to fix the 'not enough customers' problem in Cities Skylines 2.

If you're looking for more help then we also have some Cities Skylines 2 tips to steer you on the right path, pointers for the best ways to make Cities Skylines 2 money, plus how set up Cities Skylines 2 development nodes

Cities Skylines 2 'Not Enough Customers' explained

Cities: Skylines 2 not enough customers

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

After playing Cities Skylines 2 for a bit, you may see the "not enough customers" warning message pop up on your map – the little blue icon depicting a person and a money billet. If you hover over this icon, you will see the phrase "not enough customers." As this message only appears in commercial (blue) zones, it means that the shops inside those zones are suffering from a lack of clients. 

The Cities Skylines 2 'not enough customers' message may be the result of bad city planning, but it also tends to occur in zones that have previously operated with zero issues. This may be due to the fact that your city has expanded; perhaps you've built a new commercial zone that attracts more customers, draining the older ones of their clientele. Alternatively, your zone may have become less accessible due to a lack of infrastructural upgrades. Whatever the cause, we'll troubleshoot your customer problems below.

How to fix 'not enough customers' in Cities Skylines 2

Cities: Skylines 2 not enough customers

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

There are several things you can do to fix the 'not enough customers' problem in Cities Skylines 2. Here's an overview:

  • Build a large residential zone around a much smaller commercial zone. If you want a successful commercial zone, you need way more customers than shops. Even if the demand for commercial zones is high, it's best to only assign a small patch of land to commercial purposes, as one or two shops per six residential blocks is usually more than enough to satisfy that demand. Furthermore, your commercial zone should be close to its customers, so it's typically best to place your commercial zone in the middle of a much larger residential area.

  • Build low-density commercial zones instead of high density. Even with many surrounding residential areas, your commercial zone may not attract enough customers if its density is too high. Build low-density commercial zones first, and only expand to high density once you've got a very large city with lots of potential customers nearby. As a general rule, the nearby residential zones must be at least the same density level as the commercial zones or higher; a high-density residential zone near a low-density commercial zone can work just fine, but not the other way around!

  • Check the commercial zone's info view before assigning a zone. This will tell you two things: whether a road is suitable for commercial use (in which case it'll be coloured in green), and how many potential customers are nearby. The latter is the most important one; if an area has lots of high-rise buildings, the high number of potential customers will ensure the success of a nearby commercial zone.

  • Make the commercial zone more accessible. Instead of bad positioning, the 'not enough customers' problem may be due to the zone's accessibility. After all, commercial zones can't attract customers without proper parking spaces, walking areas, and public transport. This shouldn't be an issue while your town is still small, but make sure you accommodate the increasing number of cars, public transport users, and pedestrians as your city grows.

  • Rebuild zones with not enough customers. This one's a bit drastic, but if you can't figure out why your commercial zone lacks customers, you can always try to demolish the current shops and reassign the zone.

Not enough customers bug in Cities Skylines 2

Cities: Skylines 2 not enough customers

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

As has been suggested by some players on Paradox's bug report forum, the frequency of the Cities Skylines 2 'not enough customers' pop-up could be related to a bug, especially when the demand for commercial zones in your city stays high. If that is indeed the case, you should expect fewer customer troubles once it's patched – although the tips mentioned above will still hold true.

Now that your commercial zones hopefully have enough customers, let's get back to the city-building!

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Marloes Valentina Stella

I’m a freelance journalist who (surprise!) kind of has a thing for videogames. When I’m not working on guides for GamesRadar, you can probably find me somewhere in Teyvat, Novigrad, or Whiterun. Unless I’m feeling competitive, in which case you should try Erangel. You can also find my words on PCGamesN, Fanbyte, PCGamer, Polygon, Esports Insider, and Game Rant.