Terrain mod

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A terrain mod is a type of plugin that changes the game terrain, including the visible textures and various terrain-related properties, such as the treeline. It is one of the most extensive types of plugins you can have in SimCity 4.

A complete terrain mod consists of two major parts: the terrain exemplar(s), and the terrain textures. The textures are the visible part that you see as the ground in your cities. The exemplars are the files that control various properties behind the scenes. In the most basic version, a terrain mod may consist of simply a new set of textures and the main terrain exemplar. More complete terrain mods may also include a water mod, beach mod, rock mod, weather and light tuning exemplars, lot texture replacement, and seasonal flora capabilities. It is often possible to mix-and-match parts of different terrain mods, however care must be taken to avoid conflicting mods, which often result in a game crash. Many terrain mods feature both high-altitude and low-altitude options - typically so that people playing on flatter terrain can still achieve snow-capped mountains by using low-altitude terrains.

Common issues with terrain mods:

  • It is critically important when installing a terrain mod to ensure that you also install the associated textures, otherwise a game crash will occur when you load your cities. In many cases the core of the mod and the textures are separate downloads.
  • Be careful when mixing and matching rock, water, beach, and terrain mods - while many are interchangeable, there are some cases where conflicts can arise - usually with functional but odd-looking results.
  • Nowadays, both low-definition and high-definition (HD) terrain mods can be found. It is important to note that HD terrain mods only work in hardware rendering mode.
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