General Information

Ask for help in the comments below!


Basic Information
CityVille allows you to build and run your own city – think a new version of the old game, “Sim City”… you can learn the world of city planning from the developer’s point of view – although your title in the game is Mayor! First, you’ll have to clear the land of trees, and then you’ll be provided with a city planner who will help you to create the city of your dreams. You can build houses and city buildings, add decorations, plant and harvest crops, or import them via train or shipping from your friends, to make goods for running restaurants and retail stores. You can continuously update your city with bigger and better buildings, decorations, and other fun items.

An important thing to keep in mind as you grow your city is to consider your timeframes when you’ll be able to check on your city growth. Activity occurs in real time. So far, it looks like the only thing that you’ll potentially lose to withering is crops; rent, train shipments, and other growth does not appear to go away if you don’t get back in a certain amount of time. So if you plan on farming within CityVille, remember your crops!

However, you only have a certain amount of energy available to complete actions; energy regenerates in real-time as well. You can visit neighboring cities to gain additional energy!

Learn the controls, which are mainly at the bottom right of the screen. We’ll go over each of the tools in detail in the Getting Started section.

For each action you perform and complete in the game, you’ll earn experience points (XP). XP are how you increase your level in the game. Along with those, there is also “reputation points” that you earn for doing things such as helping others by sending tour buses to their businesses, collecting rent, harvesting crops, and so on. Performing these actions earn you additional experience points, as well as reputation points and gold coins, which help you purchase additional items.

There are many directions you can go in the game… You’ll develop your own strategy as you play, but this guide is intended to help you get started, and learn some tips to help you.

Another tip for success in the game…neighbor cities! Obtaining neighbor cities is critical to advancing in the game. You can obtain most things through the normal progression of the game but it’s easier and more fun, and faster, with a lot of neighbor cities! One way to gain neighbors is to ask/beg your friends to play the game; another is to visit the CityVille Facebook fan page. There are many people on the fan page asking others to be neighbor cities, but remember you have to friend them to have them as a neighbor, so this technique might not be for you.

OK, let’s begin!

Getting Started
What do I start with?
When you start the game, you have a small area of land ready for building and some coins! Now it’s up to you. The game will provide you with goals along the way—most of which are things you’re going to need to do anyway, so follow them as best as you can! You can customize the look and feel of your city by moving items around.   

How far can I go?
The game is relatively new, having been released in December 2010. Currently, it has 60 levels for both Reputation points and 60 levels for Experience points. The beginning levels are very short as you grow from a Crossroads to a One-Horse Town to a Two-Horse Town…and so on. The further up in the game you advance, the further apart the levels are. When you grow Reputation Levels, you’ll be rewarded with extra goods!

How do I level?
XP (Experience Points) are earned throughout the game in varying amounts and are what you need to level up in the game. The more XP points you earn, the faster you move up in levels and can unlock items for purchase and use in your city. You also earn reputation points by helping out in neighboring cities and can level up in reputation as well as experience.

The Tools of the Game
At the top of the game window, you’ll see the top panel. In the top panel, you can see the following:


Coins = how many you currently have; these can be earned by collecting rent from your tenants, collecting from your business, and many other actions in the game

CityVille Cash = how much you currently have; this is a special currency that allows you to purchase luxury items for your city. Although you earn 1 CityVille Dollar every time you advance a level, and sometimes find them as special gifts, to get extra, you must actually purchase CV Cash with your own cash using Paypal or a credit card.

You can purchase either Coins or CV Cash using the “Add Coins and Cash” button.
Energy Meter = The yellow lightning bar indicates your energy level. You use energy performing actions in the game. It regenerates, but slowly… You can visit neighboring cities, use batteries bought or gifted from friends, or level up to increase your energy levels. Your energy meter changes to display the reputation meter when you are visiting friends.


Goods Meter = This bar displays how many goods you have available out of your max supply. To gain additional supply, you need to build additional storage buildings such as barns and silos.

XP Meter = hover your mouse over the bar and you can see how many more XP you need to reach the next level!

Along the bottom of the game window is all of your neighbors. Clicking on each neighbor will give you an option to send a gift or visit their city.


At the bottom right of the game window, you’ll see the settings box.


Click it to see the setting options.


With the settings open, you can zoom in and out, toggle the graphics quality and full screen modes, and turn sounds and music on and off.

At the bottom right, you will also see three additional buttons.


Clicking the arrow button (tools) will open a list of options for things you can do to items in the game, such as move, rotate, remove, and store items (if you have a warehouse).


Clicking the button that shows boxes on it will open a list of additional items, including collections, inventory, and franchises.


Clicking the Build button will display all of the items that you can purchase to build your city… many items are locked until you complete goals or gain additional levels in the game.


You’ll be able to buy housing for your citizens, businesses, decorations, farming supplies (in CityVille, farming allows you to create goods to keep your businesses running), shipping supplies, community buildings (which are needed to increase your population limit), energy, city expansion, and the ever growing additions of landmarks and wonders… It’s limitless!

Playing the Game
So, now that you know the basics of items and the tools of the game, let’s start building a city! The game itself will help you get started, by providing goals that you need to achieve along the way. As you complete them, you’ll see your city grow by leaps and bounds!

There are also many characters in the game, so keep in mind who will actually help you achieve your own goals, and who seems to just want favors from you! Politics, politics…

Samantha is the first person you’ll meet in CityVille.


She will help you learn all the building basics and provides the first few game goals. You also have her as a neighbor, and can visit her insanely amazing city daily to get free rewards.

Conductor Charlie


runs the trains. He’ll help you send or ship goods; he’s reachable 24-7! Just click on your train station!




is a farmer and lives in your city. She helps to ensure that you know how to plant, harvests, and use your crops efficiently. Make sure to remember to collect rent from her residence – it seems to drop more collection items than other residences!



is a lumberjack; at first he wants you to build a house for him and his family, but he also does his job well teaching you how to remove trees from your city when trying to expand!



is the businessman of the town. He’ll help you launch new businesses and a headquarters building for your franchise business too! However, he does expect things in return, such as building him a lovely chateau!

There are many more characters that appear as you get more advanced in the game, each with his or her own motivations and needs.

Your neighbors can also help you out around your city, by collecting rent from your residences and sending tour buses to your businesses. If a friend has helped you out, you’ll see their picture nearby an area of your city. Click on it, and you’ll have the option to accept or decline their help.


If you accept, the areas where the friend has helped will turn blue, and you’ll see your friend’s image bounce around those areas, and your coins and experience will be available for collection.


You will earn coins and experience from collecting from your businesses and residences as well. When collecting, the coins and experience points will display, along with collection items that you may find. You don’t have to click on the coins and stars to obtain the money and the experience, but clicking on them begins an additional reward meter that will result in additional bonus coins – the more you can click on in a row, the more coins you can get!


All I need is just a little help from my…neighbors!
Visit your neighbors’ cities often to gain additional experience, coins, and reputation points!  Each time you visit a brand new neighbor for the first time you will be rewarded with 100 coins, 3 Energy and 1 XP. Pretty nice for just saying hi! After that, visiting friends daily gives you the 50 coins, 1 Energy and 1 XP.


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. As you complete these actions, you’ll receive coins and reputation points (noted as hearts).


Where do my citizens live?
To help your city grow, you need to build houses! Houses allow people to move in, and then you can collect more rent.

Keep in mind that your population should always remain below your population limit.


If not, you make your citizens unhappy. Unhappy citizens don’t work, don’t go to businesses, and thus your city will not grow and be successful. To increase your population, you can purchase community buildings. Keep in mind when you purchase buildings that you need energy to actually construct the buildings, and then often you need friends to either work in the building or send you items in order to complete the construction. There is also an option to pay CV Cash per every position you need filled or to purchase needed items. Suffice to say, the more neighbors you have, the better!

What’s a town without a McDonald’s?
Or at least, some businesses! You need business for your city to prosper. You must build and stock (with goods) businesses before they can make money. You can also turn a business into a franchise by building one in a neighbor’s city. Once you start a franchise, you can build the franchise headquarters building and collect additional coins; the more stores you have opened, the more coins you get!

Goals and Collections
Completing goals and collections rewards you with extra coins, energy, xp, and other fun surprises! Especially at the beginning, many of the goals are things that you need to be doing anyway, so definitely work toward those rewards! Special items often pop out of buildings when you collect from them – these are collection items. Collect one of each from a set of five, and you can trade them in for fantastic rewards!

Where do my citizens work?
When you hit Level 13, you’ll be offered a factory that you can build!


To build it, first you’ll need a large space of land and then quite a bit of energy to construct it. Once constructed, you’ll need to obtain 10 of each of 5 different items.


When you collect goods from your factory, they will be premium goods.

You will see your Goods bar will change from one single bar to two - one representing the normal Goods, the other representing Premium Goods.


When you click on your factory, you'll be able to schedule jobs by choosing from a series of templates. Different jobs cost different amounts of coins, and some take longer than others to complete, but produce more Goods in the process.

You can hire your neighbors to work in your factory to make it more successful.


Each job has a minimum amount of Premium Goods that can be produced, however, you can increase this number greatly by hiring workers for a shift in your Factory. You can only hire each friend once per day, by clicking on the "Hire Friends" button and then inviting your friends to come help you. Goods amazingly enough will never spoil, no matter how long it takes you to come back to collect them.

When you have both kinds of goods in your possession, your premium goods will automatically be used first when you supply your businesses, resulting in a higher payout for that Business the next time you collect from it. After that, regular Goods will be used as normal. Only regular Goods are used when supplying franchises and sending trains, so no worry about wasting the premium stuff!

I didn’t really want that flowerpot…
After you reach level 12, the Warehouse goal


will allow you to build a warehouse so that you can store decorations that you already have but don’t want to use in your city. To complete the goal, you’ll need to find some neighbors willing to work in the warehouse as staff


, and then you’ll need to place a decoration inside it. To start, you'll only be able to hold three items inside your Warehouse, but it can be expanded. To do so, you just look inside your Warehouse and click on the "Add More Space" button. From there, you'll need to get your neighbors to help you expand your Warehouse; each neighbor that helps counts as one additional storage space.

To actually store items in the Warehouse, simply click on the Arrow in the bottom right corner of the screen - the same arrow you click on to switch to the Rotation and Move tools - and click on the new Warehouse icon. Then, click on the decoration that you'd like to store and it will be put into the Warehouse.

Receiving Gifts
When you receive gifts, you’ll get notification messages and/or wall feed posts to let you know. You can access your gifts via the “Gifts” button in the Toolbox. Not getting what you need? You can request a specific gift by using your “Wish List”.

Wish List
Your wish list is viewable when you look at your collections or your inventory. To add items, find the item in your inventory or collections, and click the small symbol that looks like a piece of paper with a + sign at  the bottom right of the item.


The item will display in your wish list. Make sure to share it with your neighbors so they can gift you the items!

And there’s more…
Here are some additional tips for playing, but again, you’ll probably create your own strategies as you play.

Everything you do in the game requires energy…so what if you run out? First, you can wait – energy refills at the rate of 1 point every 5 minutes. You can also get batteries either as gifts or by purchasing them (using CV Cash).

You also gain energy from visiting and gifting items to your neighbors, as well as completing collections!

Increase your reputation…
While the neighbor visit bonuses are only available every 23 hours, your five actions will replenish every 12… so… you can level up your Reputation score (the meter that replaces your Energy when visiting friends) even more than before--bonus or not.

More decorations = more coins!
Placing decorations, such as the Arboretum, Bronze Statue, and Flower Patch, around and near buildings and housing increases the worth of that item when it comes time to collect from it! So you can actually have fewer businesses and still make more money!

Expanding your city
To expand your city, you basically purchase land in 12x12 areas. Once you purchase it, you can add it to ONE border of your city, rather than expanding the entire space. Expanding is pricey, and once you’ve hit a certain size, every additional expansion requires additional help from your neighbors, in the form of permits!

You’ll only have access to train shipment for quite a while; at some point when you expand your city out toward the water, you’ll get a goal to build a pier, and then you’ll be able to ship by… well, ship.

I love this game!
Becoming a fan (or “Like”ing) the CityVille application can help you add many neighbors, if you want to expand your friends. But remember to set your other privacy settings appropriately, otherwise your CityVille friends will see everything you post on your wall, etc.

Maybe my friends shouldn’t see _everything_...
Set your CityVille permissions appropriately. Your friends probably don’t want to see EVERY time you send a gift or win a new ribbon. Think about when you really want to post on your friends’ walls, instead of accepting every time to do so.

So now you know how to play… it’s up to you to decide what the city of your dreams looks like!
Happy Building!!

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General Information

Ask for help in the comments below!