Do you hate your city’s unpredictable property market and city officials ruining on your plans every week? Want to actually play Mini Motorways the way it’s meant to be played and not turn it into a colour-segregating Nazi simulator? Always find yourself at the mercy of the placement of new houses and buildings and upgrades? Then this guide is for you!
This guide is a Work In Progress. I plan to release 5 sections (excluding this one) over the coming days or weeks, which includes:
- Start: Explains the strategy of choosing the right spawns to start with – Released
- Planning: Explanation and Elaboration of City Planning practices into Mini Motorways – Part 1 released, Part 2 coming up
- Process: Things to watch out for as you play through the game – Coming up
- Fate: Things to do to slow your inevitable end of the game and the implosion of your city – Coming up
- Tips: Tips and tricks to make your life less hellish when playing Mini Motorways – Coming up
Feedback on any of the sections or the guide as a whole are welcomed.
This guide is best read together with the guide by WaffleMike here – [steamcommunity.com] . They had a good guide going, which explains the basics of the game, and it can be applied to any discipline and nearly on any gameplay style.
This guide also assumes that you had played any maps at least once, excluding the tutorial version of LA. If not, go back and play at least one map, fail, then come back. This guide also works best when you have an intuitive understand of how the game work, as most of the tips applied requires intermediate to advanced knowledge of the game itself. But of course, if you’re a beginner, I won’t stop you from reading this guide.
This guide is also more for people who just want to achieve a score and have fun but also playing the game in a way that doesn’t make it counterintuitive against the principles of Mini Motorways. If you simply just want to achieve a high score by all means, then you can ignore most of this guide’s tips. That being said, let’s get down to business.
Choose any map. No really, any. This is literally the first step.
For the purpose of the tutorial, let’s start off in LA.
When you load the maps, you may see something like this:
In most situations, the start of the map can determine whether if you would be able to breach beyond 1000 or not. This may come off as personal preference, but I do have the habit of restarting a map until I get a preferable start spawns for both the initial building and house.
Immediately at start, you will also need to start thinking and planning your basic road hierarchy. If you want, you could read up Wikipedia’s article – [wikipedia.org] on road hierarchy or just refer to the image below:
As Mini Motorways only has 2 lane bidirectional roads, there are only two important hierarchy concepts that you need to know:
- Suburb – These are low-traffic zones that do not receive regular flowing traffic except for residents living in the area.
- Main Road – A road that is used by road users to travel from A to B, which will receive a degree of traffic. In this case, this will be your Major Collector.
Additionally, motorways also serve a purpose in transport planning – as an arterial road. Since they are able to transport cars quickly and have the ability to handle a high amount of cars, they would be treated as an arterial road within the concept of road hierarchy.
Why does this matter? At the beginning of the game, you will need to start planning out potential suburbs and main roads. If your spawn is bad, then this will spell doom for your game in the later stage. As an example, I will attempt to analyse the 5 spawn examples above, but keep in mind that this is subjective and is always dependant on your play style.
While this is a good start, this spawn limits my ability to plan my roads in the south part of the map (where Gardena would be). Decent spawn, but not good enough.
One of the things I like to do is to try and ensure rivers or lakes (that are not facing the sea) are not blocked off by any houses or buildings. Not only this ensures no one will be able to own a waterside property ever again that you have one side of the road that buildings won’t spawn (thus reducing congestion on the road), but also you will have the ability to build bridges at your free will without the constraint of any house or building blocking the best or optimal way of placing your bridge.
Same reason as above, but as the southern part of the map (where Long Beach is) isn’t as populated as the central area, I might not mind. But in any case, the fact that the building had spawn in the middle once more, it does not make it the most optimal map spawn.
Same reason as 1. Restart.
This is a unique spawn. Why? Sure, the yellow house spawning at the west side of LA (Santa Monica) isn’t the most interesting thing, but the initial building spawn just by the top part of the map makes it special, as the northern part of map in Mini Motorways is usually populated by houses with very little commercial activity, and frees the central area for planning future roads.
In any case, there are two distinct points that you can derive from this:
- Make sure the Central Business District (where a cluster of commercial buildings would spawn) is as free as possible to give yourself an advantage to plan your roads.
- Ensure the land adjacent to rivers is free of buildings at start. If not, restart.
The principles of road hierarchy will be elaborated in the next section, amongst others.
For the purpose of the guide, we will go with the 5th spawn.
As your city ignores critical economic metrics such as inflation, unemployment, economic growth etc, assume that your city will grow exponentially. Thus, planning your city instead of building roads ad hoc to anticipate such growth can benefit you as you can control how the city will grow in your direction.
Throughout the process of planning, you will need to start looking at the map and predict how houses will be built and cater to the development that way. In this example, you will need to start seeing the yellow houses and see how they will grow and if possible, control it.
Unless you’re playing a Daily or Weekly Challenge with the No-Zoning game rule (which makes houses appear literally everywhere), most of the houses of the same colour would be grouped together to form a “suburb”. They may seem unpredictable in its growth at first, but once you use roads to your advantage, you can keep the growth of these houses in check. The following will attempt to illustrate an example of doing so.
At the start of the game, you will need to pause the game to think and plan out your roads. You can toggle the clock or the spacebar to do this. Now at this stage, some may choose to draw roads like this:
While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of the above examples, most of these solutions would find you easily running out of road tiles and are not the most optimal way of road placement when factoring future development.
First, we need to identify and control how the suburb will grow. This may sound impossible, but by using roads to block and control spawns, we can attempt to control how houses and buildings would spawn. In this case, we want to try and shove all of our houses away close to this part of the shore, as commercial buildings are unlikely to spawn there. Note that you are unable to entirely stop spawning buildings, through this method only to just control how and where they are spawned.
At the same time, we will also need to preliminarily start to plan the main roads, which would handle our general traffic. The below examples will illustrate the following:
If you have a nice combo of a house that faces adjacent like so, connect it like this. This will save you some road tiles and also will form the basis of our first suburb area.
As the map will expand to include to reveal land to the east, the dash road will form as our first main road which will extend towards the east of the map. Building the roads in a dashed formation would save you road tiles until you actually need them by just connecting it into one whole road.
Curving the building’s entry in relation to the source of the demand (as shown) may speed up the entry of the cars and increase the turnover time for meeting the demand of the building. However, this is a good short-term solution until when buildings start to pop up further north of the map, which makes the travel to the main road not so… intuitive.
An alternative way to do so is to make the a cross intersection and branch out the road in a North-South formation. This will allow for planning of the main road to expand in the said direction as well, where the northbound planned main road would be able to connect to future suburbs and the southbound road will lead to the CBD area of the map.
And whenever possible, make sure your buildings are at least 1 tile away from the main road (as illustrated in the example above), so that the road leading into the building will have a buffer and not overcrowd as cars attempting to exit aren’t able to do so. This effect will not be visible in the early game, but will be prevalent in late-stage of the game when circle buildings appear.
Here is a map showing the plan:
As shown, the orange bounding box illustrates the predicted growth of the suburb, and the blue box indicates the CBD area, where most commercial buildings would spawn (and generate high traffic). Notice the small road tile extending westwards from the two houses – it is intended to cater to future growth of houses in the area.
Once you’re satisfied with the road plan you have, hit the spacebar or toggle the play button to resume the game to let the city grow.
This is all for Mini Motorways Armchair City Planners Guide + How to Build New City hope you enjoy the post. If you believe we forget or we should update the post please let us know via comment, we will try our best to fix how fast is possible! Have a great day!
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