I have been trying to find a solution to this for many days by scanning this site and searching Google, but I can't find a definitive answer. I have been planning out some Megatower configurations and I noticed that the number of Goods produced is not a round number (like the number of shoppers living in an apartment level).

If one Good is always consumed by one Shopper, you would need over 7 high wealth apartments for each high wealth mall. Through experience, however, I am usually able to satisfy a mall with only 4 apartment levels, which brings me to my title question...

How are goods consumed in SimCity? More specifically, how many goods are used per shopper?

I appreciate any hard answers provided, but I would also be thankful for a link to a webpage describing the math behind the goods/shoppers/workers model.

2 Answers 2


First, commerce does not really convert freight into goods, they just use freight to increase their happiness. Therefore, goods appear at 6am/pm automatically per commerce (In more detail it depends on the type of commerce two 12h shifts or only one 12h shift per day). But that was not your actual question. Pre patch 6 (I hardly played that game since then although I got the addon as a present on my birthday) a single low dense/wealth resident was able to emit a shopper 2 or under perfect condition even 3 times a day, which a guy in the official forum has calculated once, which lead to spending all the cash the workers (if all managed to bring home 3$) brought "home". But as 3 times a day is really hard to achieve, a shopper should be able to go out 1-2 times a day.

Not sure if Maxis changed something on the way shoppers (or agents in general) act, but shoppers used to head for the nearest "home" of their wealth level which has an open spot for this type of agent AND requires happiness! If there is either no house of the agents wealth level with an open spot for this type of agent or if no resident of this wealth-level requires happiness, the shopping-agent will leave the city. This was somehow an important finding as up to this the overall impression was they just go for the nearest "home" but on the other handside plenty of agents left the city with money/goods in their pockets.

The way agents move in the game is triggered by a utility-function which integrates the distance to a location and certain factors like i.e a shopping agent after having done some shopping, the utility function will consider the happiness value of residents of the agents wealth level. The spot that yields the highest utility will be the target of the agent. Therefore multiple nearby agents may compete for the same spot.

The number of times a shopper is able to shop depends on a number of factors. As already explained above, under perfect conditions they could even go shopping 3 times a day if enough money and goods are available and if distances are short. As megatowers seem to be "near" enough, your shoppers seem to be able to do their shopping at least twice a day. The point however is, that a shopper coming from a residential area inside of a megatower might not be returning to this location again as maybe 4 blocks away there is a house that requires plenty more happiness and therefore the utility-function will carry the agent to the farther away resident.

As there often could be multiple reasons for the actual behavior of an agent, it is quite hard to really tell what is going on. Furthermore, Maxis limits the amount of information given to us which makes explanations to a guessing game.

  • Although this doesn't directly answer the question, it does provide insight into the behavior of the shoppers. If you are able to provide a link to the forum, I would greatly appreciate it. For now I will simply estimate two goods for one person.
    – GibsonCode
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 21:38
  • 1
    As I am currently at work I do not have links at hand. However, if you look at the population statistics, a single low dense/wealth commercial adds 7 goods to the statistic while in game (use the overlay therefore) there are actually 21 goods (if the shop has only a 12h shift per day, 22 if it has double shifts or 24h open) available for shopping agents. This would foster the theory with 3 times shopping a day - but as already stated, this is hardly achievable due to the behavior of shoppers. Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 12:41
  • 1
    I created a spreadsheet short after the release where I tried to extract some formulas used in the game. I am not sure if formulas are visible in shared-mode, if not please leave a comment here so I can explain them to you. Further note that this spreadsheet is not up to date (probably pre v6) as it still contains those ploppable buildings that produced delivery orders which have been patched to not produce any further. Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 13:02
  • Truly sorry to take this long to respond. I haven't been on Arqade in a while. This spreadsheet was very helpful. Thank you. I was able to download it and check it out in Excel - the formulas and values are all there.
    – GibsonCode
    Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 15:32

Megatower numbers. These numbers confirm that one high-wealth mall will be depleted by 4 high-wealth apartments. Note that profitability of mall segments is also reset when goods spawn, and the sooner your goods sell, the more profitable the mall is (unlike commercial buildings).

Goods: At 6AM and 6PM goods are generated at commercial buildings. Leftover goods at 6AM and 6PM are overwritten by new goods (wasted).

Shopping: The formula is:

1 residential money + 1 good
 converts to
1 residential happiness + 1 profit (commercial happiness).

The shopper brings the residential money and leaves with the residential happiness. The building starts with the good and ends with the profit.

Goods do not leave the building in which they are created.

It is my experience that a shopper shops once per day. However, shoppers are released by residential buildings at varying times and quantities. For example, two thirds of your shoppers will be active during day (6AM-6PM) and one third at night (6PM-6AM).

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