I would like to play SimCity 4 using a resolution not selectable in game, how can I do this?

The possible settings in game are: 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, and 1600x1200 but I would like to use 1920x1080.


If you have a shortcut on your desktop or on any other folder (if you don't have, create one), right click the shortcut, go to properties, and on the destination, add a space in the end and -w -r1280x768x32, so it should be something like this:

"C:\Program Files\Maxis\SimCity 4\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -w -r1280x768x32

where the -w stands for window (so the game will run on windowed mode, and -r1280x768x32 stands for the custom resolution that you want (WIDTHXHEIGHTx32bits).

You can add -intro:off on destination too, to jump the intro part and start the game quickly.

To see more advanced launch options, check this thread on Steam forums.

  • 1
    Make sure to try adding -CustomResolution:enabled if -r doesn't seem to work. Thank @kalina for this impotrant addition. – Ivan Jan 12 '13 at 2:42
  • 1
    Thank you for -intro:off too :-) I hate unskippable intros. – Ivan Jan 12 '13 at 2:43
  • I have a problem ! I did all that and it showed me this : ";.../SImCity4.exe"-CostumeRes­olution:enabled specified in the target box is not valid. Make sure the path and file name are correct" and its correct ! I have 1600x900x32 ... Can anyone help me please? – user52139 Jul 18 '13 at 22:07
  • Window mode is buggy. Can't use the mouse to scroll in simworld. – pratnala Aug 20 '13 at 10:09

SimCity 4 will allow you to play using any of the currently supported resolutions:

1280x800, 1440x900, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 1360x768, 1024x600, 1600x900, 1920x1080, and 2048x1152.

If you have SimCity 4 in your Steam library, you can edit the Launch Options by right clicking on the game in your library, clicking Properties, then clicking on Set Launch Options.

To set a custom resolution in SimCity 4, you need to edit the target of your SimCity 4 shortcut. To do this, right click the shortcut and select Properties. In the properties window, you will want to be adding the below to the end of the Target field.

The first part is required to enable custom resolutions, the second is required to set the resolution and colour depth;

-CustomResolution:enabled -r1920x1080x32

Changing the "1920x1080x32" part to the specifics of your screen (e.g. WIDTHxHEIGHTx32BITor16BIT)

  • Thank you very much. The -r key didn't work for me (i was trying to use 1440x900) until I've added -CustomResolution:enabled. – Ivan Jan 12 '13 at 2:40
  • Thanks for adding the Steam example in here! It bugged my I was playing on a small canvas. – Hendrik Beenker Feb 6 '13 at 9:01

In Mac OS X you need to hold option key pressed while launching the app.


For Steam users using Windows 10:

1) Launch Steam. 2) Right Click Sim City 4 Icon in the Steam Program (Look on the left side). 3) Click "Properties" on the mini menu. A new little window will pop up. 4) Under "General" Tab. Click "Set Launch Options". 5) Paste the following into the blank space: -CustomResolution:enabled -r1920x1080x32 6) Click "OK" button to close the window.

This is the only thing that worked for me or I can do. I hope this information is helpful.

  • That is adding nothing to the existing answers. – Joachim Jan 20 '20 at 15:26

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