Cities: Skylines 2's upcoming patch will fix the city builder's 'high rent' issue by throwing out "the virtual landlord" and letting renters pay for a building's upkeep equally

A screenshot from Cities: Skylines 2 showing a street at night.
(Image credit: Colossal Order)

Colossal Order's city-building sim Cities: Skylines 2 is finally set to fix its 'high rent' issue in an upcoming patch, with the developers tackling it in the simplest way possible – by removing "the virtual landlord." The cost calculation for rent has been altered, too. 

The 'high rent' problem has been plaguing city building enthusiasts since the Cities: Skylines 2's launch last year, with pop-ups filling the screen to inform players that their citizens are struggling to pay for their homes. Although it's possible to fix, sometimes by creating more jobs for the renters or by creating more space, Colossal Order has now outlined a number of changes coming to the game's economy which will hopefully help eliminate the issue for good. 

"Most likely you have run into complaints of 'high rent' in the game, so let's talk about it," Colossal Order writes in a new dev diary. "To complement the Land Value changes in patch 1.1.0f1 in March, we have tweaked how Rent works. First of all, we removed the virtual landlord so a building's upkeep is now paid equally by all renters."

Simple, huh? The rent calculation itself has also been altered, and going forward, the 'high rent' notifications will be based on household income. Even if they don't have enough money to pay rent, citizens "won't complain and will instead spend less money on resource consumption," which does feel a little dystopian, but rest assured that it's only supposed to be a problem if their income is too low in general, at which point they'll find somewhere else to live. 

"Besides rent, households and companies need to pay for the building's upkeep, which in turn affects the level of the building," Colossal Order continues. "When they pay the full upkeep fee, the building condition increases by a constant amount until the building levels up and the tenants start paying towards the next level. Similarly, if they cannot pay it, the building condition decreases by the same amount until it’s in such poor condition it collapses."

These changes are all coming as part of a wider overhaul to the game's economy, but don't worry, any existing saves will continue to work just fine when it's rolled out, "though we expect they will have a transition period as the simulation adapts to the changes," Colossal Order adds. However, when it comes to rent, "we expect most (if not all) of your 'high rent' notifications will disappear after letting the simulation run for a while," the developer writes, so that's bound to be a relief. This patch should be upon us very soon, as last Monday, Colossal Order said the economy rework was "set to release within the upcoming two weeks." 

If you're looking for more games like Cities: Skylines 2, be sure to check out our roundup of the 15 best city building games to play today.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.