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  1. #1
    Mayor of SimCity Forum Ken's Avatar
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    Command line parameters: run in a window, skip intro, use single CPU core, etc.

    From searching the Internet, I discovered that there are some command line toggles for SimCity that can be added to one's shortcut that starts SimCity. They are (in order of usefulness):

    -CPUCount:X (where X is the number of CPU cores to use) This is an important option on multi-core systems, especially if you are having crashing to desktop issues with Windows Vista or Win7. Setting to one core (-CPUCount:1) could resolve your issues. Also this can keep SimCity on one core while other processes use your other cores. This can be especially useful if you have dual monitors and want to run SimCity on one monitor while you do other stuff on your other monitor.

    -intro:off This will cause SimCity to skip the long and noisy intro sequence SimCity goes through every time it starts. I think after the twentieth of starting this game we know it is by Maxis a division of EA Arts.

    -w This causes SimCity to run as a window instead of full scree, which can allow one to quickly switch to other tasks. My advise when using this toggle is to make sure the task bar automatically hides itself or it will cover up part of the SimCity window as SC does not run as a complete resizable window as other Windows programs.

    -rXXXxYYYxBB Controls the resolution and color bit mode SC runs at. Valid values for XXXxYYY are 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200. Valid choices for BB are either 16 or 32. This can be handy if SimCity won't start because you set its resolution too high.

    -CustomResolution:enabled Allows the use of Aspect ratios other than 4:3 to be used with the -r command above (e.g. 1360x768).

    -CPUPriority:low This sets SimCity's process priority to low, which is useful when used in conjunction with window mode and custom resolutions if you want to run SimCity while still being able to do other things on your computer.

    -UserDir:[path] (e.g. -UserDir:D:\SimCity\OtherRegions\) This is useful if you want to play different regions and have a shortcut that automatically takes you to the other regions. Basically you create an alternate regions folder and put the other region in this folder. If there are spaces in the file path you need to wrap the file path in quote marks. The trailing slash must be on the path name.


    -f switches SimCity back to full screen mode. I'm not sure of the purpose of this switch as SC starts in full screen mode normally.

    To use these switches you would modify the "Target" of you shortcut for SimCity as follows:
    "C:\Program Files\Maxis\SimCity 4\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -w -intro:off -r800x600x16
    Notice how the path to the SimCity executable is wrapped in quotes and the toggles are outside of the quotes. This is really important.
    Last edited by Ken; 03-24-2010 at 08:53 AM.
    Ken Barbalace - Mayor of SimCity Forum
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  2. #2
    Resident FrankU's Avatar
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    Thanks Ken, I'll use this.

  3. #3
    i seem to get a promblem using 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 they just fullscreen the game

  4. #4
    This helped thanks

  5. #5
    the switches worked fine for me, but i had to switch from hardware to software rendering to resolve crashing issues, and now the -w switch doesn't work. i can't get the game to start up in anything but fullscreen (but the nointro switch still works).

    any ideas? I like running in a window.

  6. #6

    Cool Windowed mode will not work for a resolution larger than your monitor.

    Quote Originally Posted by elt
    the switches worked fine for me, but i had to switch from hardware to software rendering to resolve crashing issues, and now the -w switch doesn't work. i can't get the game to start up in anything but fullscreen (but the nointro switch still works).

    any ideas? I like running in a window.
    I had the same problem, I noticed that If I entered a res above the resolution of my main monitor (the one sim city naturally opens on) then it just full screens to that monitor. But if I set it at a res at or below my monitor's res, it does open in a window.


    My "main" monitor according to windows is my smaller 1280/1024

    My second monitor is 1920/1080

    I wanted simcity to start in windowed mode at 1920/1080 and when I tried ( -CustomResolution:enabled -r1920x1080x32 ) It would just go full screen in my "main" monitor

    What I had to do was right click my desktop, in the menu that appeared click "screen resolution" and then change my 1920/1080 monitor from my second monitor to my main monitor.

    I have windows 7



    So that's what worked for me. anyone know of a command that would make SimCity open onto my second monitor?

  7. #7

    Cause for concern?

    Ken, the windowed function did not work with me, and I put it just as you explained how to put it. Any help there? I run now on Windows 7 (yay!) but I hardly doubt that is the cause of the problem.

    My path looks like this now:

    "C: \Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity 4\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -w -intro: off
    Note: I had to put some space between : and \ because it turned into a :\, and also where it says intro: off, as it turned out to be a , but you probably understand that.

  8. #8
    Mayor of SimCity Forum Ken's Avatar
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    I have no idea why it doesn't work, I'm still on WinXP myself so this isn't something I can test. Which version of Windows 7 are you running? Are you running the 64 bit version by chance?
    Ken Barbalace - Mayor of SimCity Forum
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  9. #9
    Yes.

    Also, do you mind checking out my new thread on middle and high wealth citizens please and reply your thoughts?

  10. #10
    Mayor of SimCity Forum Ken's Avatar
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    I've added more command line options I have learned about. One of the important command line parameters I learned about is "-CPUCount:x", which allows one to dictate how many processors SimCity will use on multi-core systems.
    Ken Barbalace - Mayor of SimCity Forum
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