This article is considered accurate for the current version of the game.
Maps can have four different types of natural resources: forests, fertile land, oil, and ore. Natural resource distribution can be seen on the map by using the natural resource overlay. Each resource is assigned a color. Forests are green, fertile land is yellow, oil is black, and ores are blue. The darker the shade of color, the better that piece of land is for extracting the associated resource. Statistics about natural resource availability and use can also be seen from this overlay.
Natural resource buildings can change not only the tax revenue and industrial supply chain of your city, but also the entire look and feeling of specialized areas. Exploitation of natural resources and specialized industry is necessary if you wish to conduct more of the resource supply chain within your city.
New buildings will begin to appear in the affected industrial zone, changing its appearance. For example, industrial zones with oil industry specialization will have oil pumps and petroleum processing facilities, and zones with the forestry specialization will have forest and saw mills.
A specialized zone does not necessarily need to be created over a supply of that natural resource. If created over an area without the associated resource, the zone will be populated with only processing facilities and require the raw materials to be brought in from elsewhere. Industrial specializations will yield more tax income from the specialized zones if there are relevant natural resources present.
Specialized industry lengthens the supply chain of goods in your city, which may be desirable if you wish to create more jobs, re-balance imports and exports, or otherwise take more control of the flow of freight through your city.
Each of the natural resources and specializations related to those has its own advantages and disadvantages. Specializations cannot be applied until the appropriate milestone has been reached.
|Resource type||Milestone||Renewable||Tax income||Pollution rate||Input requirements|
|Oil||Busy Town||No||+35%||+30%||+15% electricity|
|Ore||Boom Town||No||+20%||+20%||+10% electricity|
|Forest||Worthy Village||Yes||+10%||No ground pollution
Substantial noise pollution
|Fertile land||Worthy Village||Yes||+10%||Doesn't pollute ground,
turns all fresh water used into waste water
|+25% more water|
Note: The game manual gives the forestry pollution rate as "+7%", but this is not borne out by game-play.
Industrial specialized buildings do not level up, regardless of their circumstances. Agriculture and forestry buildings have roughly similar employment statistics to level 1 generic industry, whereas oil and ore buildings are similar in this regard to moderately developed generic industry.
|Available only with the Industries DLC enabled.|
The Industries DLC added new buildings and mechanics to the game that make use of the Natural Resources.
Depletion of resources
Forestry and farming are renewable resources, which will continue to produce raw materials indefinitely. Planting trees will replace fertile land with forestry, and the fertile land will be removed permanently.
Oil and ore extraction however consumes the resource, eventually depleting it entirely. Once this occurs, the production buildings will complain of a lack of natural resources and eventually will become abandoned if not able to import said resources. If you don't remove the specialization from the zone, these buildings will be replaced with specialized secondary industry facilities. This can be quite a shock for your transportation system and supply chain, as a zone which previously supplied raw material will transform into one that needs to import it.
The game has a built-in mod "Unlimited Oil and Ore - oil and ore are not reduced from terrain", which prevents them from being depleted. It must be activated before the resource is gone, as it only halts depletion, and will not renew it. Note that this will disable Achievements, unless they are re-enabled by a mod from the workshop.