SimCity Finally Works Offline: What You Need to Know

The day to finally play SimCity offline has arrived, as Electronic Arts released Update 10 that enables connection-free gameplay.

Patrick Buechner, General Manager of the Maxis Emeryville studio, revealed back in January that the Offline Mode would arrive in the next major update, aka Update 10. He said that with this patch, gamers can still play solo in Regions on their own, or in multiplayer with people from around the world. What's new is a Single-Player Mode allowing gamers to play the game Offline by themselves.

"Bringing the game Offline means big things for our wonderful community of Modders," he wrote. "They can now make modifications to the game and its components without compromising the integrity of the Online game. Modding is a big part of our studio's legacy and we're excited to see what you guys create."

To get the game to function Offline, the team had to rewrite the entire system -- which was written in Java -- in C++. The team also "knocked out the Internet pipe stuff," meaning there is lots of code that hits the servers looking for information, and a lot of code was written to produce that information locally.

"Our game routes pieces of data from one city to another as data flows through the regions," said Simon Fox, lead engineer on the Single Player Mode for SimCity. "All of that code exists on the server, and now we've brought all of that down into the client. The client processes the region box, which is what all of the cities pushes their data into. We've brought that down into the client as well."

According to an FAQ, gamers still need an Origin account to download and launch SimCity. Once Update 10 is installed, players can put Origin into Offline Mode when playing Single-Player Mode. To put Origin in Offline mode, log in to the Origin client and select: Origin>Go Offline. If the gamer doesn't have an Internet connection, he/she can put Origin in the Offline Mode and play SimCity Offline in the Single-Player Mode.

"Single-Player Mode allows for a multi-city Single-Player experience without requiring an Internet connection," reads the FAQ. "All region maps are available in Single-Player Mode. Since Single-Player Mode does not require a persistent Internet connection, Leaderboards, Citylog, Achievements, Friends List, Player Profile, the Region Wall, and region invites are not available in Single-Player Mode. The Global Market will be available in Single-Player Mode, but prices will be fixed."

Here are a few more tidbits from the developer:

Q: How do I download the Single-Player Mode for SimCity?
A: The Single-Player Mode will be included as part of Update 10 at no additional cost. This will be available to all current and future players on PC and Mac starting March 18, 2014.

Q: Will I still require an Internet connection to play?
A: An Internet connection is required to download Update 10 when it becomes available on March 18, 2014. You will not require an active Internet connection to play SimCity Offline in the Single-Player Mode.

Q: Will my previous Downloadable Content (DLC) be playable in the Single-Player Mode?
A: Yes. All of your previous DLC is available for use in both the Single-Player Mode and Multiplayer Mode.

Q: Where are Single-Player regions saved?
A:
Single-Player regions are saved locally, not on the server.
You can find your regions on PC here: \Documents\SimCity\Games\~ID NUMBER~\
You can find your regions on Mac here: Go->Documents->SimCity -> Games -> ~ID NUMBER~

Q: If I uninstall or change machines, can I transfer my Single-Player Mode regions to the new install or Machine?
A:
If you uninstall SimCity, your saved games will still be available. However, if you change machines, you will need to manually move your game files to the games file location on your new machine.

Q: Can I move my Single-Player Mode saved game from my PC to Mac and vice versa?
A:
Yes, you can transfer your Single-Player Mode saved games between PC and Mac.

Q: How many regions can I have?
A:
There is no limit to the number of saved regions a player can have in Single-Player Mode. The file size of your regions will vary depending on density and population of your cities.

Q: How do saves work in Single-Player Mode?
A:
Autosave is on by default and saves your region every ten minutes. Your region is also automatically saved if you quit your region or switch to another city in the region. To disable Autosave, go to the Options menu > Settings > Gameplay tab and uncheck "Enable Autosave in Single-Player Mode." Disabling Autosave will allow you to save at points you want to save at. If Autosave is disabled, you will be asked if you would like to save your region when you quit or switch to another city in the region.

You can manually save your region at any time by pressing "Save Game" from the options menu.

Q: How do I rollback my regions? How do I make a copy of my region?
A:
If Autosave is disabled, you can save your region at a certain point and then experiment with your region. If you wish to go back to a previous save point, you can choose not to save your region when exiting the game. If you load that region from the main menu or resume page, it will load from the last saved point.

If you would like to make a copy of your region, press "Save As..." from the options menu. You will be prompted to name the copy of your region. This gives you the control to come up with a naming convention that works for you for your copied version. Once you submit that name, you will load the copy of the region. The original region will remain at the last saved point. You can access the original or the copy from the Main Menu in the Play tab.

Q: What cheats are available in Single-Player Mode?
A:
Existing live cheats are available in Sandbox regions while playing Single-Player Mode. The following cheats are available in Single-Player Mode in non-Sandbox games.
Add §10,000 to City budget. Windows: CTRL + ALT + S OS X: CTRL + ALT + S
Add §5,000 per hour to City budget. Windows: CTRL + ALT + S OS X: CTRL + ALT + S
Add §10,000 to City budget. Windows: CTRL + ALT + S OS X: CTRL + ALT + S
Disasters are unlocked in Single-Player Mode.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
24 comments
    Your comment
  • helios2052
    I'm glad to see they are at least taking notice of some of the game's major design flaws and attempting to fix them (not like they have much of a choice). One small step in the correct direction...
    3
  • gamerxavier
    Something tells me they did a half-assed job with that re-write just to get it out and let modders deal with the bugs. Well, I severely hope it doesn't have the performances issues of TS3. We've dealt with enough of that crap.
    1
  • Alec Mowat
    Wow, that's impressive... A single player game with offline mode.What a waste of a franchise. Just wake me when Sim City 2 comes out.
    0