I hope this will help other players do well in the competition of mayors without spending real money. My experience is from lvl 25-29 so things might be a little different if you are higher or lower, but hopefully (at least some) of my advice is useful to different lvls.
First one thing about myself. I'm very competitive when playing games. Probably not the best player in any game, but I always try to understand how the game works and always play with a serious goal. But what really gets me going is being seriously competitive in a pay-to-win game without paying real money. So I spend a lot of time (probably too much) thinking about any possible advantage a player can get without spending real cash.
Here is the result of all my work, second place in megalopolis league. LOL! I just had to show the picture Doing this cost me 200 sim cash, 9 gold tokens, 12 silver tokens, 20-ish bronze tokens and 1lvl up (I consider earned XP as a resource since the game becomes harder for every level)
So how shall I start? There are so many aspects that needs to be addressed.
First of all just accept that you have to use sim cash. It is absolutely necessary for the delivery missions, otherwise you will run out of time long before all missions are complete (or missing out on the 3k delivery missions). Watching video adds will get you (my experience) an average of 5-10 sim cash each day, I once got over 20 one day. If you are using an adblocker accept that you have to turn it off. Look closely at the accomplishments that you haven't already done. There might be a few that is within reach.
When spending sim cash on production cues and the Trading HQ think really hard before doing it. It is not wasted money because they both are extremely useful when doing certain missions. Just make sure you know what you are doing.
I would say that you should have something like 150 if you are trying to win a round. I've used as little as 90, but the last round I used 200.
50 missions in Megalopolis league
The amount is staggering considering, especially considering you only have 126 hours to do them all. That is 2h 52m on each mission. Throw in some sleep, real life activities and work/school; it seems like an impossible task. But dont't be afraid, help is near and it is called speed up tokens. If you look at them as giving you one, three and eleven extra hours respectively things start to look brighter. Consider my last round where I used 20, 12, 9. That actually gave me 20 + 36 + 99 = 156 extra hours. Some of that extra time was wasted when I had produced enough but it still doubled the time I had. Six hours on every mission doesn't seem sooo bad, more would of course be even better. How people are doing before thay can produce the tokens is something I can't answer. Speed up tokens must be farmed and produced as much as you possibly can.
Producing speed up tokens
When things start to work out for you (I say when, not if), you will probably notice that you get so much gold tokens from the competition that you hardly ever collect from your golden epic buildings (I have three golden epic buildings and I think I have only collected two times after advancing from City league). I would therefore recomend to focus on the silver tokens. A silver token can solve almost all things a gold token can do. Also it is a lot easier to build epic silver buildings and you only need six to get one token (this might rise later). Epic silver buildings are actually so easy to produce that you really should be able to do two/three of them during each competition. Bronze epics should be built every time you don't build a silver, they are even easier to build and it is very handy to pop one to reduce a one hour production to half an hour.
You also have the in game mission that you get when you can start to produce epic buildings. I think it was like 10 epic buildings and 10 silver tokens. The reward for completing that was 5 golden keys (it could have been four). Completing that means 5 gold tokens for one round. That would take 9 golden epic buildings to do the same thing. So stay with producing silver and bronze.
Your storage can't be too big. My was 330 and I almost always felt that it was much too small. Consider 10 spaces for each level to be the minimum to aim for. It is booring as **** to be buying storage stuff for a week or two, but it needs to be done. Tip: it is much easier to find them when the Mayor competition is on, so just do a stay round or two and upgrade instead of trying for the top. You need the big storage for a number of things
VU stuff. Don't start a round and expect to end up in top 10 unless you have enough to launch at least 10 disasters. That's 3 disasters for the 3k missions and one extra just in case. VU stuff are too hard to find in trading HQ that you can't rely on finding them when needed. That's like 60 storage spaces for me
Tokyo/London/Paris stuff. Also impossible to find reliably. At least two of each item, remember to restock if you use them. Lets say 20.
Mid level production stuff. Consider the Cherry Cheescake which which uses 1 sack of flour(30m), one Fruit and Vegetables (1h 30m, plus one Tree Saplings (1h 30m)) and one Cheese (1h 45m). Producing what is needed for seven Cheesecakes without having anything ready takes over a day or would use three gold tokens. Hard to say an amount, more is better, let's say 60 as in VU stuff
Stuff for deliveries. One of the fastest missions can suddenly take a looooong time when you don't have a Fruit and Vegetables ready. Plane deliveries seems to be less than boat deliveries where I've seen 11 planks. Also very hard to say an exact number so lets go with 60 again.
Upgrading town zones and repairing disaster areas. Most stuff that you need here are pretty fast to produce, but a pair of bricks, a couple of nails and some cement quickly adds up. Repairing disaster areas after a 3*launch disaster means that you will need to upgrade 12 zones (2*6 easy repairs, leaving all zones of the the third disaster unrepaired), lets say 50 or 30 with some production.
Swallowing materials from a full factory production line, that is 40 spaces on my level with eight factories. Of course you can(should) always sell the items in Trade HQ but that takes time and sometimes things just don't sell at the HQ.
Factory materials for production. No real limit here on how much you want, but lets say 60 again.
This is what I would say is the minimum storage space needed to be able to do almost all missions (on level 29) in a reasonable amount of time. But having a storage of 330 is an epic task in itself and something that most people probably don't have; so you have to take shortcuts and only store what is absolutely necessary. Speed up tokens, Trade HQ and pre production are your options here.
Know exactly which items and materials can be found there at any time. This is probably different depending on your level and the tme of the day you are usually playing but here are my rules.
all factory materials except cloth and chemicals can always be found
Cloth and Chemicals can be found but thay are rare. It is worth searching for them, but set up a production que just in case. Chemicals seems to be easier than Cloth.
Easy items are: Chairs, Donuts, Vegetables, Grass, Home Textiles, Tables, Shoes, Caps, Ice Cream Sandwiches and Clocks.
High end items like Pizzas, Smoothies and Cherry Cheescake can usually be found, at least in single quantities.
Although you can find any other item it can't be done reliably so don't set up a plan that relies on finding one of these. But it's worth looking, especially if finding the item you need will speed up a mission considerably.
Consider Ladders to be impossible to find. I don't even see one offered every week (and I spend a lot of time Trading). Only search for them if it is the final hour and you wont be able to complete a mission without finding one.
Starting to produce items before you accept the mission really cuts down the storage space needed. You can start while doing another mission or start production while you are still looking for more stuff to produce all the items needed. Just be very careful so you don't accidentally collect an item before the mission has started (believe me, that really sucks! I lost six hours because of that). It might be good to have all your shops spread wide apart to prevent this. Also remember that you can switch between the shops when you have one selected, doing this makes it possible to add items to the queue without collecting the previous items.
Speed up tokens
If you have some pre production and some items already in storage it is usually enough to pop one silver token to have all the stuff you need in a reasonable amount of time. Save your gold tokens for when they are absolutely necessary, like seven Fire Pits which would take almost 24 hours to produce. Gold tokens can also be used when they make it possible to start another mission a lot earlier, like before bed time. Just don't overdo the last thing.
Set your goal
since resources are limited you need to have a a plan on what you want to achieve in the current round. I consider these
top round. End up in the top three to get the sim cash. You should use any and all resources without consideration for the next round.
Advance round. End up so that you advance to the next level. Use all types of resources but try to not burn them all, keep in mind that the next round will be even tougher.
Farm round. Just get to the small price to build up your stock of speed up tokens and sim cash (3 tokens and 25 sim cash in Megalopolis league). Maybe one or two disaster missions if you have a lot of VU items, otherwise only spend silver and bronze tokens. You should also focus on on increasing your storage and building more epic buildings. This should be accomplishable with just doing easy missions.
Stay round. When you know you will have limited time to play. Just do enough missions so you safely end up above 80th place. Try to find time to build some epic bronze buildings. Or if you have a day over to play, go for more storage.
Drop round. When you think doing well in the league below will give you more gold tokens than farming the current league.
Be flexible with your goal
If things suddenly go better or worse than expected you should change your goal. It could be a lot of 3k missions early on which makes it possible to go all in or it could be that you get no good missions at all and you decide to just make it a farm round. It could also be like in the last round for me that I had decided to be a farm round, but suddenly I got a message that the rewards where doubled so I decided I couldn't miss the opportunity.
Those factory production missions can be divided into three basic types
Produce more materials than all your factories can produce at the same time. This means that producing 41 is just as hard as producing 80. The way I handle them is putting some materials into production and when it's ready I start the mission, collect all those produced then start producing the rest. Then I do whatever I like/need to do in real life (like sleep). This way I still have some production available while the first are produced and I can do other missions. It might be a good idea to produce one or two more than needed in case you accidentally collect.
Produce less than your total factory capacity. These missions seldom give good enough points to to them, but they can be done while doing other missions so doing one or two each round might work, especially if you are running low on time.
Produce fast materials. These are the missions when you wont be doing anything else and you probably will play the game during the whole mission; iron, wood, plastic, seeds and maybe minerals. Easy to do missions that usually gives good points. You might find that the biggest problem problem is to sell the stuff fast enough, especially if your trade depot has few spots. I haven't seen the insane produce 180 metal lately that I remember from one of my first rounds. That was a rel challenge and was also depending on someone quickly buying what I put up for sale
Points per mission
Obviously you want to complete as many high point missions as possible but since 2k/3k missions are uncommon you will have to do at least some that are lower than 2k. Set a goal for each round depending on what you want to achieve. During most rounds I have only seen one or two (maybe three) players that end up with an average above 2k, so you can assume that if you are over 2k you will end up in top 3 (the exception is the one in the screenshot, probably because of the doubled rewards). An average of 1.9k will almost certainly let you advance and so will probably 1.8k.
Since it's a question of average points then as soon as you have completed a high point mission you can do lower points missions and still keep a good average. An example: lets say you aim for an average of 1.8k, if you do one 3k mission you can do now do three 1.4k missions and still have the average you want.
It is also very useful to set treshold where you know you will do all missions that have higher rewards. I assume that I will do all missions that give more than 1.7k (probably over 1.6k). Doing this means you can often choose which missions you will do which is very useful if you don't play 247 since you can take the missions that can be done between your irl responsibilities. You might want to change this threshold during the round
Two missions simultaneously
Preparing for the next before the current one is completed is a key factor. Sometimes you get a new mission that is so good that you will abandon the one you planned, but this will really save you time in the long run
Repair disaster zones
Although this mission is very fast, especially after doing launch disasters I only do it if it is a repair five zones. But if you are low on time you can do three zones. If have a choice, make sure you repair the zones that only gives simoleans thereby saving the ones with golden keys for that mission.
Fast and easy. At least if you have the VU stuff needed. Remember that you don't have to repair anything from the last disaster. At VU Tower lvl 14 I only do earthquake since it is easy to repair and uses five VU items compared to tornado which is also easy but requires one more VU item. Maybe doing Meteor Strike would be better , but that one is medium repair. If you have VU tower at 15 then you might do the last disaster as a Tornado (I assume that Tornado III gives 4 golden keys). In hindsight I don't think I should have upgraded my VU tower after I got Tornado I, I seem to remember that it was only one or two VU items needed at that level. That would have made the golden key mission more difficult, but saved sooo much storage.
Another mission that I oly do if it is on 5 keys. Start it after a disaster, do cargo deliver, pay sim cash to get the boat again and fish that. Done. You can also save the in game missions for this, I think I got two golden keys for every one I finished.
Not much to say. Choose the ones with good enough points. Use tokens for speed or try to time them so they get finished while you are sleeping. Or both for the really heavy ones. Pre production should also be used, having just one ready can be a big help. If your production queues are long you might even have everything produced and ready when you start the mission.
I never seem to get a mission that is worth doing here. Maybe others have different experiences?
Fast missions with good rewards. The downside is of course that you have to spend sim cash to make them doable. At least the three delivery missions. If you are lucky then the plane is already in when you get it. The London and Paris missions can sometimes be done overnight, thereby saving 14/18 sim cash. The items needed are usually not that hard to produce or buy, but you might get unlucky.
Upgrade residential zones
Good solid mission with a nice 2.4k reward for doing three upgrades. You can choose to upgrade your existing buildings or just build a new. The last thing has changed if I remember correctly, earlier you didn't get points for doing the first upgrade. Because of the downside of getting XP here you should only do the 3-zones missions. There is nothing worse in hte game than to suddenly see that you have three more things to produce.
Upgrade Tokyo/Paris/London zones
Probably the best mission. You get more points than regular zones (3k vs 2.4k) and the you also get less XP (50 vs 80, at my lvl. Hmmm, now that I looked the XP for Tokyo/London/Paris has gone up, maybe it gets higher the more zones you have upgraded?). Sadly you also need the special stuff, but that can be farmed and saved. Here it is really useful to start a new building. New buildings have always only used one special item while your old ones can demand as many as three. Just build, upgrade, demolish, repeat. Doing this means the special stuff only takes up around 20 storage instead of maybe 60. That's a huge difference!
My favourite mission. Not because the points awarded are that great but because it super fast. I always end up doing all these missions, even when there are better points available elsewhere. You know that you don't have to make a profit? You can actually buy items in the Trade HQ and sell them for less, you will still get credit for what you sold. Or if you have the slots there, just don't collect the money from two or three really expensive sales. Then when you get the mission you just collect and the mission is done in less than five seconds. Or don't collect taxes until you get this mission. Or sell stuff to the bubbles in your city. Point is, this mission is FAST!
Plan your gaming according to your life
Maybe this is an obvious point? Or not. But try to start missions that are in sync with your life. As an example lets say you have on hour in the morning until you go to work. Try to start a mission that will end just before your lunch break, lets say 5 hours. Or maybe an eight hour mission that you can fill up and speed up with a silver token during the morning coffee break and end during lunch? You don't actually have to be playing 247 to play a perfect game, you just have to plan (planning means thinking, and thinking can be done during the morning meeting. You don't pretend that you actually listen to everything that is said there do you? =p )
Plan your life according to the game
I'm not saying you should change your whole life, but doing your Saturday shopping an hour earlier or later. Maybe you are in a position where you can decide exactly when you have lunch? Watch your favourite TV show when it's aired or record it?
That became a lot of text. So let's hope it helps somone
Some updates due to new missions
Earlier I said you should just do them during the competition but after that I received my first "earn epic points" mission. So forget what I said and never start an epic project unless you have a mission for that. Well that's not entirely true, if you have a low epic point mission that you know you will never do you can go ahead. Just remember that while an epic building is underway you won't get any sell bubbles (including the Omega one) so if you need that one to complete a earn neo simoleon mission you should think twice before starting your epic building
Earn neo simoleons
Can be ust as easy and fast as earning regular simoleons or take more than a day if you just have collected. I think the highest I've seen is 1810 so if possible make sure you always can collect that amount. The omega bubble where you can sell items is very helpful until you have enough Omega buildings; it appears when you have 5 or less Omega storage free. Just decline the offer until you get one with enough neo sims. You will keep that offer even if you get low on Omega stuff, just make sure you you keep the correct items... To make this work you should always try to have a full or nearly full storage
A special case here is that the first neo sims you get when you activate it at lvl 30 also counts. So if you just turned 30 you could consider waiting a while to start the whole Omega thing. But that also means that you will have to wait to upgrade Omega buildings. Hmmm, tough choice... I haven't claimed the Omega quest yet, maybe that will give some Neo sims? Anyone else who knows?
Upgrade Omega buildings
A nice and fast mission with up to 3k points. Just doing the building sites usually(it could be always, My memory fails me here) only requires one single item so do that (and maybe demolish).
Otherwise my previous advice still works for me. Aim for an average of 2k but don't be afraid to do lower ones if they are fast (just don't make a habit of it). Something like 200 sim cash should be enough to do all the delivery missions you will get. If you ever get to 6th place you should be good for a long time.
I'm still only lvl 35 so your experience might be different than mine, but I've won three times now. I also only run every second week since I need time to build up my stock of VU items and my stock and prepare all my production ques
Good luck to all of you!
Hello @IceCityFTW Thank you so much for taking the time to write this guide! This is very impressive.
I've pinned this topic at the top of the forum so more people can see it.
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Great guide. The only parallel is the Guide in sim city general disscussions about epic projects. Extremely exhausting guide for that but don't harp about spending simcash I myself am in the lead at the town league without spending money. But could you please tell me @IceCityFTW how to top the first contest of a season Both the times I tried biut cold not get up from the neighbourhood league in the first try.