Cities: Skylines II – Performance Issues? Read This First!

How to Fix Performance Issues

Note: Credit goes to Fierman

Optimal Settings

Don’t go around reducing the global settings thinking it’s your only option. A lot of the graphics settings have no impact on the FPS, while there are some key ones that have massive impacts.

Start with a High Preset and then:

  • Use “Fullscreen Windowed” or disable VSync
  • Disable “Depth of Field Mode”
  • Reduce “Volumetrics Quality” to Low
  • Disable “Global Illumination”
  • Reduce the “Level of Detail” to Low (or Medium if you don’t need the extra FPS)
  • Disable “Motion Blur” (This is a preference, if you want it, keep it on Low)
  • In the advanced tab, scroll to the Shadows section and disable “Terrain Casts Shadows”

If you want to squeeze a bit more performance, Disable “Fog Quality”, though I personally prefer to keep it enabled

These settings should give you the best looking graphics while also increasing your FPS significantly


As you may have heard, VRAM is quite the make or break for some graphics cards, there is currently no effective way of reducing VRAM usage, so keep in mind that if your GPU’s VRAM is lower than 8GB, your game will most likely suffer.

Keep in mind that once you run out of VRAM, your PC will try to use your normal RAM, and then page file.

What is causing this performance?

There are some underlying issues that may not be as obvious to spot by people other than CO, but some big ones that we are aware of:

Citizens’ models. As most of you have guessed, cims are very heavy at the moment. That is why the suggested “Level of Detail” is Low, that way the cims will only render once you’re close to the ground.

Having a ton of buildings on-screen. While this might be vague, this should also get improved through some asset optimizations. The Low “Level of Detail” setting should also help with that.

Some of the specific settings listed above, like Volumetrics & Global Illumination are individual cases, and lowering those settings has very little effect on how your game looks.

What about the stutters?

The game’s CPU usage is surprisingly good compared to the GPU one. It will take you a while until you can cap your CPU (we’ve tested cities with over 350’000 citizens)

But, the stutters you may have seen on streams are most likely from growable buildings leveling up.

We’ve tested this out by leveling up all buildings in a city, and once all were at level 5, the game was buttery smooth, almost too good to be true. So if you’re trying to build and are experiencing heavy stutters, pausing the simulation while you build will completely stop the stutters from happening.

Tips and Results

You can enable “TAA” in the advanced anti-aliasing settings if you want a smoother look with less jagged edges, though there are some minor known bugs like flickering roads from a distance.

Definitely give it a try to see if you like it though.

Trees aren’t the FPS killers you might think they are, so don’t be scared of plopping them.

The 4K textures and how they are handled are really optimized, lowering that setting will most likely not have any effect on FPS, though if you have a slower hard drive, it might be a good idea to lower them.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3203 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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