1- Energy Guide
CityVille, arguably the most anticipated social game of this season, was launched by Zynga just today. And, of course, we want you folks to have as fun a time as we are building our cities. That being said, managing your resources and tapping every possible source is going to maximize your time in CityVille and thus your overall enjoyment and personal happiness. (Yes, these games are that powerful.) Energy, the most important resource in nearly every Zynga game, is scarce, but it's not impossible to find.
Look after the break to find some tips that will increase your time in CityVille to potentially unsafe levels.
This is obviously the first logical option when you see that Energy timer being ticking. However, only one Energy point will refill every five minutes. So, if you just got into this and want to squeeze as much fun as possible out of it, we suggest you employ this method as a last, last resort.
The main source of Energy in CityVille, Batteries can be gifted for free as well as bought through the game's build menu (pictured below) for City Cash. Just click "Build" and then the lightning bolt icon to access the Energy shop where you can buy Batteries that give either 3, 7 or 12 Energy for 3, 6 and 9 City Cash, respectively. Though, there are some more fun ways to replenish Energy.
My personal favorite, visiting friends daily grants you a whopping 3 Energy for nothing among other rewards like XP, coins and Reputation points (this stat returns from FrontierVille). The more friends you help, the more oomph you'll have to do things back Home. Not to mention you'll look good around your friends, who might come around and help you out some in return.
As we mentioned before, Energy can be gifted to other players for free, which means your friends can do the same for you. Just click on the "Free Gifts" tab that rests on top of the game screen to the left of "Play." From there, you can select one type of gift to give out at a time--in this case that being either 1, 2 or 3 Energy Points (much less than Zynga's other games) with the latter two locked until you reach certain levels.
Speaking of gifting, certain Collections (pictured below) in CityVille will yield lots of Energy if completed. This can be done through playing the game normally, collecting from properties like the Toy Shop and Coffee House, but there's a neat little feature called the Wishlist that might help. In your Collections menu (click on the icon to the right of the arrow), you'll see that every item in each Collection has a small button that looks like the RSS symbol. Click that to add it to your Wishlist and then click "Share" to broadcast exactly what you need, which should increase your chances of friends sending you those very items.
Going about your Business:
Just as it sounds, just doing normal tasks like collecting from properties, planting and/or harvesting crops and chopping down trees all have a chance of restoring spent Energy. Albeit small, work is progress and progress leads to...
Second only to visiting friends (personally), gaining levels restores huge amounts of Energy. Nothing beats the feeling of being on your last point of Energy as you build the City Hall, only to level up off of that last point of XP, launching you forward to finish the job.
Unfortunately, there aren't any cheats or get-energy-quick schemes in CityVille that we know of... yet. But with your help, we just might be able to figure out this game's little quirks that might help us maximize our Energy even further. So, if you find any interesting (and possibly unintentional) ways to nab some extra juice, why not let us know? It'll both help this guide and make you look even more awesome in front of your fellow mayors.
Something unique to Zynga's brand new CityVille is its Franchises. This new feature allows you to initially choose one business of your own to expand into your friends' cities. Starting a franchise is simple enough. Just visit a friend's city and find the empty plot of land in their town. Players can also add additional plots of land and invite their friends to do business with them.
Find out how to create the foundations of a CityVille empire after the break. Before we dive into this, the most important thing to remember is that Goods--the lifeblood of all business in CityVille--come only from farming and other select missions. This secondary resource to Energy fuels all of your businesses including your franchised ones. As a rule of thumb, your farmland should always be planted (though, they do wither) and you might want to build silos. Lots of them.
If this is the first time your expanding, then you'll see a list of all the businesses you run in your hometown. Choose one and plop it down on that land just waiting to make some money and you're good to go. Though, it'll cost some coins to build the new branch--but fortunately it won't cost any Energy and it completes instantly. Your friend will later have to accept and soon enough you'll be making some extra cash.
Franchised businesses work much like normal ones, though they're backed by what's called an HQ. It's from this massive building that you can supply your branches in all of your friends' cities with Goods as well as collect daily bonuses. Here is also where you'll discover that you can have more than one franchise with your second opening up at level 10. You'll be taken through the whole process via a series of goals--which can be found on the left side of the screen--lead by a balding businessman named Edgar.
After building your franchise into a bustling business with a headquarters, you'll be asked to employ some friendly competition. This goal will ask you to send 10 spy-packed tour buses to your friends' businesses to get a leg up on your opponents. Completing goals similar to these will help grow your franchises and increase your profits.
Think of franchises as what you're really leveling up rather than your city. While in the real world we wouldn't suggest a mayor do that, it seems that Franchises are going to be what advances us further in CityVille than just having a pretty little town. As a recap, there are three essentials to maintaining a Franchise in CityVille: Goods, Energy (which will come from...) and visits to friends. Now, go forth and and capitalize that city... and a few more while you're at it.
shipping and expansions
If you're going to be a big business tycoon slash mayor of a city, you're going to have to look beyond just your town. I'm talking expansion, folks, and in CityVille you'll need to do just that (in more ways than one) if you want to be successful. First things first, you'll need to do some intercity commerce before you'll be able to expand. Especially considering the first city limits expansion costs 20 thousand coins.
Welcome to the wide world of exports and imports, which you'll find out about in detail behind the break.
Shipping can be done two ways: by train or by, well, ship. You'll only have access to shipping via train until a later mission comes along that involves building a pier and whatnot. Luckily, the train station is raring to go as soon as you arrive. However, we don't recommend you jump into shipping until you're well into the swing of things (i.e. read our Franchise guide).
Once you have a good amount of goods and cash, each of which come from farming and collecting from properties, you can start shipping goods and buying them from Samantha through the Train Schedule Menu. It's here that you can select to buy or sell goods and to how many people with varying prices, gains and times. Selling goods detracts from your supply, but nets you cash while importing goods does the reverse. Sending an receiving anything from Samantha's city goes something like this:
-Sell to Samantha: 5 minutes, -50 Goods +150 coins
-Buy from Samantha: 5 minutes, +50 Goods -210 coins
Notice the timer. This is how long it takes for your train to make the trip. Once it returns, you can collect your Goods or cash. Now, sending goods to multiple friends' cities goes a little differently, so here are the current rates and times:
-3 Friends: 4 hours, +250 Goods -925 coins
-4 Friends: 8 hours, +350 Goods -1,365 coins
-6 Friends: 12 hours, +450 Goods -1,844 coins
-8 Friends: 14 hours, +550 Goods -2,365 coins
-10 Friends: 48 hours, +700 Goods -3,150 coins
-3 Friends: 4 hours, -250 Goods +500coins
-4 Friends: 8 hours, -350 Goods +612 coins
-6 Friends: 12 hours, -450 Goods +675 coins
-8 Friends: 14 hours, -550 Goods +687 coins
-10 Friends: 48 hours, -700 Goods +700 coins
You'll notice that when you select to buy or sell goods to a multiple amount of neighbors, that you can choose which of your friends to include in the exchange. It'd be wise to choose friends who you do business with normally considering they get a coin bonus for your trains that pass through. Also, doing this will help remind your friends to continue doing business with you. The returns aren't exactly amazing currently, which is most likely due to the fact that Goods are relatively easy to come by through farming right now. But imagine that later on the game, as in when overseas shipment is open to everyone, that this will become extremely important in fueling your eventual list of franchises.
Eventually, there will be an interesting balance to be maintained once everyone reaches higher levels of commerce. It seems that the pier and ships will be an automated process, simply collecting goods on various timers. But before you can build a pier and start shipping good internationally, so to speak, you'll need to become the mayor. (We'll have more on both once these options become available.)
Now that you've built up the savvy to support your imminent explosion onto to commerce scene, let's talk literally. Just like in other Zynga games, the option to expand your land is there from the beginning in the Build menu. However, the first land grab, at 12x12, costs a whopping 20 thousand coins. You'll also need a Zoning Permit, which your friends can gift you for free from the Gifting Menu.
Expansion behaves a bit differently than in Zynga's other games. Instead of just growing larger on all sides, you'll be granted a 12x12 spot of land that you can choose to place along any one of your city's four edges. This opens things up for a little strategy. For instance, if you're near a local river or the coastline, I would highly recommend expanding in that direction first to get a pier going as early as possible. Until that time comes, just keep on farming, shipping those goods and growing your franchise empire.
Now that you've expanded your Franchise empire along with the boundaries of your booming town in CityVille, it's time to get those Goods in line. I don't know about you, but I often find myself maxed out on Goods upon logging into the game. In fact, it's gotten to the point where, at times, I can't even harvest my crops before somehow getting rid of my gobs of Goods. However, there are a few ways to optimize your Goods management so that you don't run into the same problem.
1. The Right Crops for the Right Time
The number one way to control the amount of Goods you produce is planting smart. This isn't FarmVille anymore where the motto normally goes, "The more crops, the better!" Remember to be sure of the yield of each crop and its harvest time before planting. Now, you don't have to break out the calculator or anything (well, unless you're that intent on efficiency), but an idea of how many Goods are waiting for you in a few hours or days is good to keep in mind. For instance, I would strongly recommend against planting a field full of corn when you already have half of your Goods limit in storage.
Jump behind the break for four more tips on how effectively manage your Goods.
2. You're Gonna' Need a Bigger Boat
Or in this case, a bigger barn. There are currently only four storage solutions in the game and they're as follows:
-Silo: 250 coins; 100 Storage
-Red Barn: 1,000 coins; 415 Storage
-Sticks: 1,125 coins; 485 Storage
-Cargo Shed: 10 City Cash; 1,000 Storage
While it is mighty tempting to just say, "Forget it," and put up for the Cargo Shed, smart buys and even smarter positioning can help you avoid paying real dollars just to keep your Goods in safe keeping. While Silos are the cheapest solution to Storage, they're not exactly efficient. A much better strategy, although more expensive, would be to line up multiple Barns and Sticks adjacent to one another facing your farmland. In fact, the best way to build in CityVille is in a grid format similar to this, though it's not 100 percent necessary. The bottom line here is that if you place Barns and Sticks intelligently along the borders of your farmland or city, letting Silos fill in any unavoidable blanks, you should be fine when it comes to Storage.
3. Time is Money (and Goods)
Say it with me: Collect from and supply businesses as often as possible. Actually, collecting from Businesses should hold a much higher priority than collecting rent, taxes and free from residential buildings. Here's a scenario: if you only have a few Energy left, yet both your Businesses and Housing are ready to be collected from, which would spend your remaining Energy on? If your answer was cutting down Trees, you're are not even close to getting it. All kidding aside, just collect from the Businesses. This way, you'll get both coins and will be able to supply those Businesses, which costs nothing but Goods--and that's exactly what we want to get rid of.
4. Meet Expanding Demand with Expanding Supply
Franchises are a funnel for Goods. Every day, you'll be able to supply a huge portion of your Goods to your Businesses in other cities. And it only gets better with the more places your Businesses pop up. As soon as you're able to, open another Franchise as soon as possible. (Second and third Franchise opportunities open up at Levels 10 and 20.) With two Franchises running Businesses in multiple cities you could easily unload 75 percent of your Goods the moment you log in and click the "Supply" button a few times.
5. All Aboard!
While we've touched on Shipping before, we didn't exactly touch its importance when it comes to Goods management. And the reason why it's at the end of this list is because, frankly, it's a last resort. But don't think it's not equally as important. To put it into perspective, shipping Goods via Train can rid you of up to 700 Goods in an instant. While many of us haven't expanded to a local waterway to give international shipping a go, surely that will provide an even better way of dumping excess Goods elsewhere while making some money in the process. So, when you're at a loss of where to put the rest of those Goods after everything else has been taken care of, send them off on a train and make a few friends happy.
how decorations earn you more coins !
While efficient Goods management and mastering your Franchises in CityVille will certainly make you a far more successful mayor, one player has pointed out an extremely important aspect of the game that has the potential to send your profits sky high by implementing some hardcore decorating methods.
You can see in the image above, Josh Morlan (a.k.a. morlanjo) has done his math, using the Pool Hall as his example, he calculated that:
Basically, collecting money from businesses will always cost 1 Energy (Note: Resupplying businesses with goods doesn't use up Energy!). So he decided to choose a business that will pay him the most money and raise its profits by surrounding it with decorations that offer the biggest boosts. For most folks, that big boost decoration would be the Arboretum, which offers +16% and costs 4,000 Coins. In the top image, you can see he's also using the Bronze Statue (+2%) and Flower Patch (+1%) to plug any leftover space. Why is there space leftover? Well, your business needs to connect to the Asphalt Roads in order to make money. Between his Bronze Statues, you can see the small strip of Sidewalk that lets the Pool Hall connect to the street.Normal Pool Hall output: 420 coins
Output with bonus: 1391 coins
1 energy = 1391 coins
Each Charlieville train I send out for more goods nets me 991 coins (that's
-400 coins for the 100 production)
After all these changes, each Energy Josh spends on the Pool Hall will now nab him 1,391 Coins instead of 420 Coins. The great thing about this setup is that you can reuse the Arboretum on the sides by putting down another business. You can also swap out the business for a higher paying one when it becomes available. (Hot Tip: The bonus boosts work for when you collect, so you can use this decoration plan on more than one business. You just gotta do it one at a time.) This seems to be the best Energy-saving and money-making plan for the long run.
Another user, Michael A. Coan (a.k.a. macoan) made some handy charts to help other players with laying down decorations. For businesses that take up a 4x4 space (such as Josh's Pool Hall), click here. For those that use up 3x3, click here.
Who would've thought that having less businesses and more decorations can get you more money?
you dont need roads in cityville !
There's two schools of thought when it comes to the best way to play CityVille -- that is, whether looking pretty and saving land is more important than cramming things to the hilt and saving Energy. Right now, the prevailing wisdom of players is to value Energy-saving over land space. Today, we already showcased an awesome way to save Energy by using decorations. But if you find yourself running out of space more than Energy, here's some pointers:
1. Franchise HQs don't need Roads to work. They take up 5x5 of space, which is a lot, but you need them to manage your franchises. Most people put these buildings off to the side, but they offer a +2% boost range of 11x11 to businesses. (You can see from the sample image that one HQ can bonus boost up to five businesses.) So put 'em where you can use their bonus boosting power!
2. Community buildings (e.g. Post Office, Police, City Hall, etc.) and Storage buildings (e.g. Silo, Red Barn, Sticks, etc.) don't need roads either. Community buildings give out money and owning them allows you to have a bigger population. And Storage buildings let you have more goods. But other than that, these are pretty useless. Profit bonuses from decorations don't work on them. So if you have to put a building in the corner, do it to these two kinds!
3. Contrary to the headline of this post, roads are important. We all know certain buildings can't earn coins unless they're somehow touching the roads. So what do I mean when I say you don't need them? Well, the game starts you off with some Asphalt Roads already in place. This means most of us are tempted to keep using them, so we buy more for 10 Coins each. But a better substitute is actually the City Sidewalk, which costs 20 Coins. If you care about space, one Asphalt Road takes up 3x3 land, but one City Sidewalk takes up just 1x1 land. Instead of connecting your buildings by using the Asphalt Road, use the City Sidewalk!
(Note: A piece of City Sidewalk must be touching a piece of Asphalt Road to work. See the above image where I put down one piece of road in the middle of nowhere, connected the Sidewalks to it, and the businesses are functional? And that one Coffee Shop has some Sidewalk sticking out of it, but the game says it's "Not connected to road.")
While we've covered visiting neighbors in passing once or twice in our ongoing series of Cheats and Tips for CityVille, it's only just now that the CityVille team has given us some vital information about how they work. Whether you're a hardcore mayor or just a casual city council member, these tips on how to maximize your bonuses from neighbor visits could potentially launch ahead of your friends in your favorite new Zynga game.
First off, every time you visit a brand new neighbor for the first time you will be rewarded with 100 coins, 3 Energy and 1 XP. Now, that's a pretty hefty bonus just for popping in and welcoming your new friend to the game, don't you think? As you all probably know already visiting friends daily after the fact nets you the standard 50 coins, 1 Energy and 1 XP.
Join us after the break for more details on exactly how neighbor visits work.
Visiting a neighbor grants players five actions, marked by lightning bolts on the left hand side of the screen. These actions can be used to help your friend by providing business via tourist buses, chopping their trees, collecting fees from their properties or harvesting their crops. Though, we recommend avoiding that last option altogether--it almost always leads to complaints.
We'll admit it, we lied (at least only a little bit). While the visiting bonuses are available daily, they actually run on a 23-hour clock, meaning that they reactivate every 23 hours instead of 24. For the most hardcore of CityVille players, this will mean the world--but this news won't mean much to us more casual mayors as we actually enjoy sleep. However, here's where things get interesting.
While the visitation bonuses are only available every 23 hours, your five actions will replenish every 12. This means that you can level up your Reputation score ( the meter that replaces your Energy when visiting friends) even more than before--bonus or not. Though you might not see yourself taking advantage of this piece of information, consider this tip. Why not try logging into the game just before you go into work or school and visit all of your friends? Then, by the time you come home, your friends should be ready for some help yet again. Try this out and you might see that Reputation score fill up even faster than your experience level. And if some of you feel that Reputation is a meaningless number, check out what CityVille forum moderator Sugar Monkey has to say about that:
This means that although bonuses run on a 23-hour timer, they're are governed by your Reputation score as well. For example, if you have a Reputation score of 6 and you have eight neighbors, you will only be able to collect bonuses from six of your friends daily until your Reputation matches the number of friends you have. Basically, increase your Reputation to allow yourself to take advantage of all the bonuses your neighbors have to offer. So, as the game continues, requiring more neighbors for more features, you might want to take advantage of that 12-hour timer to make sure your Reputation matches your popularity.The number of bonuses you can get from neighbor visits also depends on your total reputation, so if your reputation is lower than the number of neighbors you have you will run out of bonuses before you will run out of neighbors to visit.