Cities Skylines Industry Management and Industry Specializations Guide

How do industry management and industry specializations work in Cities Skylines?

Industrial Management is a subject engineers and business students will learn, but actually managing entire industries in a city is something only a Cities Skylines player would learn.

Cities Skylines Industry Management and Industry Specializations

Managing your industries is a challenging task in the game, especially when you have other factors to consider, such as traffic, pollution and terrain.

To make your learning process of Cities Skylines easier, here’s a guide for you that address everything you need to know about Industries.

Generic Industries (Manufacturing Industries)

First and foremost, you’ll be coming across generalized industries. When you’re in a land that lacks any particular kind of material to take use of, these are the industries you should be building before you expand your city.

Keep these as far away as possible from the residential areas, as they cause a lot of pollution and noise. These types of industries will manufacture general goods. It’s a great idea to have a cargo train-station next to them that connects with a foreign track, as you’ll be able to export plenty of manufacturing goods from them.

Specialized Industries

Next we have Specialized Industries. This is where industrial zones become more interesting. Specialized industries are those which are specifically tasked towards certain types of products.


There are four main specialized industries in Cities Skylines.

Ore Industries
Ore Industries are the ones you should be creating whenever there is terrain rich with ores. In order to find that out, click on the Resources tab, located on the bottom right (second last bottom-right) in your infographic menu.

The blue-ish grey areas will represent where the ores are. Ore industries will need to be built on top of these ore sites, and then given the Ore District. The result will be an industry that is rich in producing rare earth elements and other essential metalworks.

Have an ore industry is an absolute must if you want to generate electricity through Nuclear Power-plants. Ore Industries will create a lot of ground and noise pollution, while the air pollution will be limited.

Keep an eye out for this, as you’ll have lots of garbage to dispose of. Generally, it’s a good idea to have an incinerator power plant within your Ore Industry to get extra power.

If you use a Nuclear Power-plant, there will be added water pollution, so make sure your sewage disposal pipes are located downstream, or else your citizens might be drinking radioactive water.

  • Tax Income: +20%
  • Pollution Rate: +20%
  • Requirements: + 10% electricity consumption

Oil Industries
Oil Industries are ones that specialize in extracting mineral oil resources from the ground, storing it for fuel purposes, and exporting it for added profit via taxes.

A city that specializes in oil industries will get you a lot of money, but it will also generate a lot of air pollution, and an extreme amount of traffic congestion issues.

Terrain rich with oil will appear in black when seen through the Resources infograph. These are areas where you should build your Oil industries on. Most importantly, these are the areas where your Oil Power-plants should be constructed as well.

Oil Power-plants are relatively inexpensive when compared to Hydraulic Power-plants or Wind Turbines, but they rely on oil reserves, and generally have a high upkeep budget.

In order to get the best efficiency from oil power-plants, your Oil Industry will need to work a large area, and have good traffic flow. Oil Industries create a lot of ground, air, and noise pollution, so locating them as far away from residential regions as possible is important.

  • Tax Income: +35%
  • Pollution Rate: +30%
  • Requirements: + 15% electricity consumption

Forest Industries
Forest Industries should occupy regions with lots of trees. In order to see the best regions for forestation, check the Resources infographic tab. The regions that appear dark green are the ones that are ideal for forest industries.

Building an industry on top of these forest-rich regions will get you’re a forest industry if you apply the special district on it. Once done, these industries will generate wood-related goods for import and export.

Forest Industries alongside Farming Industries are the only two ‘renewable’ industries, in the sense that the forest-growing tiles will renew themselves after a short while.

Unlike Oil and Ore industries, you want to be careful about how quickly you expand your forest industry, as it can quickly make a tree-rich land barren, and reduce the renewing rate overall.

This will cause you to import wood a lot more than exporting it, which can reduce profit via taxation. Forest Industries will create a lot of air pollution, so keep them far away from windy regions and residential areas.

  • Tax Income: +10%
  • Pollution Rate: +7%
  • Requirements: + 7% electricity consumption

Farming Industries
Farming industries occupy regions that are fertile. In order to assess the terrain, check the Resources infographic tab. Regions that are yellowish green are those that are fertile.

Farming Industries are unique in the sense that they do not create any air, ground, or noise pollution. However, they do greatly increase the water requirements, so unless you have a rich river running near your city, setting up farming industries should be avoided.

They will also significantly increase the amount of waste water produced, so make sure you have multiple sewage disposers.

  • Tax Income: +10%
  • Pollution Rate: N/A
  • Requirements: + 25% water consumption


Districts are directly related to Industrial specializations, because they are the primary way through which you assign what kind of an industry will occupy an industrial zone.

Without assigning a district to your Industry, it will behave like a generic manufacturing industry. Although Districts greatly aid in specialization, they can also be applied to residential zones for the sake of naming areas and applying localized policies.

In order to assign Districts to your various city regions, you’ll need to click on the Districts button, located next to the Zoning button. Once click, you’ll have to ‘paint’ the entire area that you want in the district.

The regions you paint will become highlighted by a translucent white, while the borders will be opaque. Once you are done painting, a name will be assigned to your district. You can unselect the District tool and rename your district according to your liking if you wish.

In order to give it a specialization, you will need to select one of the five options when you have clicked on the District tool. To assign an industry constructed on top of oil-rich terrain, you will need to select the Oil District icon, then click the district you just painted out.

Similarly, you can do the same for other industry types. Each type of industrial district will grow different looking buildings, which is how you’ll be able to differentiate them.

Oil industries will have buildings with chimneys, Ore industries will have metal-works buildings, Forest industries will have buildings with saws and forests, while Farming industries will have wheat and crops growing.


Your industries will be occupied primarily by High school graduates, elementary graduates, or uneducated citizens. However, when you start creating Universities in your city, you will notice that Industrial buildings will have ‘over-educated’ workers working for them.

These are university graduates working in industries, simply because they have no other job offers. Over-educated workers will eventually leave your city if they are not provided proper jobs. For this reason, you will need to create offices.

Offices are created by their own special ‘Office’ zone that is unlocked when you have decent enough population. These offices will create good tax rates and increase the growth of your city, and are a must-have for your university graduate citizens.

Managing Connectivity

It is extremely important to have your Industrial zones far away from residential districts, but it is also equally important to make sure they are connected together. Citizens will need to go from their residential areas to work, and trucks will need to export/import goods from outside the city.

For this reason, having multiple methods of connectivity is necessary. Make sure there are clear and uninterrupted roads leading from the residential are of the city to the Industry. Secondly, make sure there are proper accesses for industrial trucks to both sides of the highway.

Once you unlock additional transport features, you should create multiple routes for buses to take from residences to the industry. Citizens will opt for buses more, which will allow for more growth and better profit.

Thirdly, when things are advanced enough, you should connect tube tunnels for rapid underground transit between the various parts of the city, including your industrial districts and residential ones.

Managing Traffic in Industries

One of the toughest parts of Cities Skylines is traffic management. Traffic jams and blocks can have a detrimental impact on the growth of your city, which is why managing from the beginning is extremely important.

There are primarily two kinds of traffics in the city: inter-city traffic, and outer-city traffic. Inter-city traffic includes traffic within the city, such as citizens come and going from residential zones to industrial zones for work.

Outer-city traffic includes traffic that connects to your highways. This includes citizens going from residential areas to the highway, tourists coming into the city, and industrial trucks coming and going from the industrial zones.

The latter is what causes an extreme amount of problem for most people, resulting in traffic jams near highway exits/entries that can have a terribly negative impact on your city’s growth rate.

In order to assess this from early own, you will need to create isolated loops for your citizens and your industrial trucks. This means that roads that citizens will take for coming and going to work should be completely isolated from roads that industrial trucks would take to the highways.

Secondly, you should also later on isolate citizen highway traffic from your general inter-city traffic. This means creating isolated loops for citizens who would like to travel within the city, and citizens who will travel in and out of the city through highways.

Traffic management is extremely important for industries because the trucks need unadulterated access to the highways, and for that you will need to expand your road designing to the residential districts as well.

It’s a difficult thing to execute in your first few cities, but once you gain experience, traffic management and road design should come to you naturally.

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...