Building sets or tilesets refer to a function that is available in SimCity 4. In SimCity 4, it is found under a separate panel which controls the building sets that appear in the game.
All buildings in the game are categorized into different styles; Chicago 1890, New York 1940, Houston 1990, and Euro-Contemporary. These categories are called building sets (or tilesets). The buildings that lie in each set reflect the era of the tileset names, for example, glass and steel offices will not appear in the 1890 Chicago tileset (as that was not the common architectural design of the era), but will appear in the modern tilesets, like 1990 Houston and Euro-Contemporary. Conversely, brick and stone buildings will only appear with the Chicago and New York tilesets, and will not be found in the modern building sets.
The purpose of the tilesets are to allow the player to control what kind of buildings grow in their city, and it allows them to plan out the city. This tool lets the player build an ultra-modern metropolis, a 20th century city, or a mix, and it is because of this tool that diverse cities are generated.
Although the player are able to choose only one building set, if more than one is selected, then there is a function that allows you to set the number of in game years before the game switches to another tileset. Depending on the number of years choosen, the game will automatically switch between the sets in chronological order.
If a player does not wish for this to happen, the player can set the number of years to zero, or choose the "build all styles at once" option, which will make the game rotate between chosen tilesets every year, the most frequent a rotation can occur.
- Some buildings, such as the Cute House make an appearance in multiple tilesets, under different names and textures.
- Even though the option says to "build all styles at once", the game does not do that, rather, it rotates every game year, which is as frequent as it can occur.
- Ploppable buildings are not affected by tilesets.