Like cutting the red tape on a six-lane gravel highway, the launch of Cities: Skylines 2 has been both huge and rough. While undoubtedly offering an improved core experience over the original, the game's performance issues were so severe that Colossal Order started warning about them before the game came out. Moreover, certain core features you'd hope to see on release, were either unfinished or just plain missing.
One of the most requested features for Cities: Skylines 2 is modding tools, as Skylines is just one of those games that players just love to tinker with. The good news is that modding tools are coming. The bad news is it's likely to be a few more months before we see them.
In Colossal Order's latest "Word of the week" blog, CEO Mariina Hallikainen laid out the studio's plans for implementing modding into the game. At present, she says "The Editor currently includes only maps and support for code modding, and we're looking forward to getting those ready for an initial release." This won't be the be all and end all for Skylines 2 modding, however, with Hallikainen stating the studio "will be adding to the modding tools throughout the game's lifetime."
As for reaching that initial Editor release, there's still some ways to go before it is ready. "We do not have the asset import feature available yet, so the creators are currently unable to import their own assets into the game." When this is ready, Hallikainen says the Paradox Mods will be "nicely populated" with the Region pack assets the game's creators have been designing.
All of this comes down to one point, when will the Editor be ready? Hallikainen says she expects it will take "a couple of months to get the Editor in shape" but that Colossal Order doesn't have "a concrete timeline yet as we don't want to make promises we can't keep." In short, it sounds unlikely that the editor will be released this year, and you're looking at early 2024 before modding becomes possible in Skylines 2.
To be frank, while modding would be great to have in Skylines 2, Colossal Order have had more pressing concerns in the wake of release, namely the game's terrible performance. According to Hallikainen, this is the studio's next main priority, having focussed on quickfire bugfixes and smaller improvements in the immediate aftermath of release. "The team is now focusing on LODs and improving GPU performances," she says. Colossal Order expects a "relevant performance boost" from these changes, but she admits that the workload is "significant" and that "there is no silver bullet to improve the performance at once."