A polygon budget is a rule-of-thumb limit on the number of triangles allowed for any object or element based on the amount of space that object occupies. SimCity's polygon budget is measured based on lot size, not volume. Taller buildings are not allowed more polygons simply for being tall. Fortunately most tall buildings sit on larger lots and therefore have reasonable budgets compared to smaller buildings.[1]

SimCity 2013 Polygon BudgetEdit

0.5 triangles per square meter (for LOD0)

As an example all Shotgun Shacks sit on 16m x 32m lots:

  • 16m x 32m = 512m2
  • 512m2 x 0.5 triangles / m2 = 256 triangles
  • LOD-0 = 256 x 100% = 256 triangles
  • LOD-1 = 256 x 50% = 128 triangles
  • LOD-2 = 256 x 25% = 64 triangles
  • LOD-3 = 256 x 12.5% = 32 triangles

For LOD-3, the “Shotgun Shack” would need to be reduced to 32 triangles or less. 32 triangles isn’t much, but when a player sees LOD-3 of a building, it’s pretty far away.

More Detailed Info on SimCity's Blog - How Things Work: Buildings


  • Remove hidden geometry whenever possible. For example, SimCity's top-down view will never see the underside of a vehicle.
  • If you find triangles that don't help create the vehicle or building's silhouette or major features, it's probably safe to get rid of that triangle. Use a texture for that added detail instead.
  • Focus any added detail for the tops of buildings, not the base. SimCity players will spent a majority of the time looking at the tops of buildings.