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DevBlog: “Vibrant Cities Pack” Cosmetic DLC

In the past weeks we have shared some teasers after the Reddit Community challenged us. Now it is time for a deep dive into the upcoming Cosmetic DLC, Vibrant Cities Pack!

This is the second Skins Pack released for Anno 1800, with the first being the Vehicle Liveries Pack last Spring.

Why the Vibrant Cities Pack? – you might ask. In Spring 2021, we opened the votes for five possible Cosmetic DLC. The choice was in your hands, and the Vibrant Cities Pack resulted to be the winner of the poll together with the Pedestrian Zone Pack. What a great combo, don’t you think?

With this brand new Cosmetic DLC, we will add some great skins to Anno 1800, that will make your cities look livelier and more vibrant than ever: three new skins for each residence building of each resident tier.

“We wanted to create different skin sets and some new models as variations. So, introducing it on the residence buildings was the logic step because these are the most important and most frequently placed building in every city.”

– Tim, Lead Artist

In total, the pack includes 69 skins – three new skins per building model of each population tier (Tiers 1, 2 and 3 each have four models, Tier 4 has six models and Tier 5 has six models, each receiving three new skins). Furthermore, the skins can be divided into four different themes.

Different themes

Now, let’s have a look at the different themes that will be available in the Cosmetic DLC.

Colourful Theme (Tier 1-5)
A great way to make your city pop with some pastel colours. Whether you like blue, red, green, pink, or orange… feel free to use all of them to experiment and express your creativity. This theme will be available for Tier 1-5.

Brick Theme (Tier 1-5)

If you prefer to go with a more “classic” look for your cities, then the brick theme is the one for you. It is something you see often on old buildings in American cities (like Boston, for example). Just like the colourful theme, the brick one will be available for Tier 1-5.

Inverted Theme (Tier 1-3)

This theme can be considered as a counterpart of the unique and new looks, like the Colourful Theme for example. It uses the same materials and colours as the regular asset, but in an inverted way. The roof colour is swapped with the colour of the walls. In this way you will be able to add more variation to the regular buildings, without changing their look too much.

Casino Theme (Tier 4 and 5)

Did anyone say neon signs? Oh yes. But first, a bit of a history class: neon was discovered by Sir William Ramsay in 1889, while the first neon sign was installed outside a barber shop in Paris in 1912. By the 1920s-1930s the first neon signs started glowing in the streets of Las Vegas. Well, now it is time for you to make your Anno 1800 cities shine with some bright and colourful neon lights. The Casino theme will only be available for Tier 4 and 5 residence buildings.

Eager to know more? Tim, our Lead Artist, answered our questions and let us have a peek behind the scenes of this Cosmetic DLC:

In terms of creation workflow, what is the difference between ornaments and skins?

With regular skins we provide texture variations for the already existing assets in the game. Therefore, we create new texture maps (diffuse, normal maps etc.) for these buildings. For the new marketplace variations for example, the workflow is quite the same as for the ornaments, for which we create completely new assets based on our Concept Art.

Speaking of inspiration and reference, have you looked at something specific?

For the colourful theme for example, you can find colourful houses all around the world: Burano (Venice, Italy) or La Boca (Argentina). Also, a lot of old fishing villages are often very colourful.

How did you decide on the different styles for the themes?

For the different themes, we wanted to have some unique ones, like the colourful skin for example, and some themes that add slightly different variations, to make sure you can decide how unique you want your city to be.

Now on a more personal note, what is your favourite skin?

I like the colourful skin the most. This really brings a very new and fresh look to your cities.

The marketplace

Last but not least – yes, there is even more! – three new alternative models for the Marketplace have been added, more fitting to Tier 1, 4 and 5.

The original Marketplace we have in the game is a great asset, but it did not work too good in the late game from a visual point of view, especially with the content of The High Life DLC, like the Skyscrapers. With the new Marketplace alternative models, we wanted to create new markets that fits every tier, from the farmer’s Market to the city Market Hall.

The Vibrant Cities Pack will be available for purchase for the usual 4,99€ (or your regional equivalent) starting from December 14th.

We cannot wait to see your cities come to life with the Vibrant Cities Pack Cosmetic DLC. If you have further questions related to the Cosmetic DLC, feel free to ask them in the comments below or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or our official Forums.

Happy city-building!




  1. s screg95 March 17, 2022

    Bonjour allez-vous créer pour les bâtiments publics une construction qui suit les upgrades des maisons en taille verticale avec une architecture différente

  2. d dencreate December 3, 2021

    I live in Russia and I don’t need to use Amazon Prime. For this reason, I still do not have the opportunity to take the Vehicle Liveries Pack release. When you change this for Ubisoft?

    •   Ubi-Thorlof December 3, 2021

      hey there, the Vehicle Liveries Pack was only available via Amazon Prime for a limited time and then entered the Ubisoft Store as a regular DLC.
      You can find it here on the Russian Store: https://ubi.li/h2xDb

      • d dencreate December 3, 2021

        When I click in Ubisoft Vonnect on the Store tab in the game, I don’t see this as an opportunity to buy. And now I looked closely and saw that there were small tabs Season Pass, Extensions, Skins. Compared to the rest of the stuff. This is bad for UI.
        If you had not given a specific link, I would have thought that this is not available to us only for prime

  3. Q Queglar December 3, 2021


    Props to the dev team for both the previous vehicle skins and these upcoming building skins – this is an awesome way to do cosmetic DLC.

    Next year you should do a Halloween pack with the ornaments, but also have a “Gothic” building skins DLC that includes a “spooky house” (and a ghost ship skin). The typical haunted house is really just Gothic Victorian/Queen Anne/Federation style architecture (depending on the country) – there are examples of this type of architecture from farm house to apartment block. It’s such a distinctive architecture associated with the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it would fit right in.

    Since I like pretty cities, I’ll keep buying all these skins as long as they keep getting released!

  4. R Rastfarian December 3, 2021

    Looks amazing! – love the casino neon…
    Now the question on everyone’s lips….Did the HOTELS get a new model option (or 2) and skins!?

    •   Ubi-Thorlof December 3, 2021

      Only the buildings specified in the article are part of the Cosmetic DLC.
      We also try to make sure our Cosmetic DLC are useful for the majority of our player base, so including e.g. skins for hotels (which are DLC content), would mean that players without said DLC would pay for a bundle from which they might be only able to use 80% or something.

  5. F FHackner December 2, 2021

    How are we going to cycle/select between these options? The current ctrl + v spamming seem unoptimal.. maybe you will apply the menu present in the palace wings?

  6. A AORUS2017 December 2, 2021

    You talk about the brick theme “It is something you see often on old buildings in American cities (like Boston, for example)” In fact the Red bricks was in England/Europe in 12 Century. America was only discover in 1492 and the types of building materials have been used in the United States since the British colonial era, red bricks were cheaper and could be used for the public side of houses/buildings, also a mix of types of bricks was used more in the Victorian era.

    As for the new marketplace variations great work for the dev team and new Market Hall fits the Skyscrapers Theme can’t wait to change my city outlook.

  7. L LadyLoonie December 2, 2021

    Wow, I didn’t expect that much content to be honest. Therefore I am rather surprised and very much looking forward to it. It really looks like some fantastic content to my favorite game. So many options… Thank you so much.

  8. f frasoucos December 2, 2021

    Great! 3 years after its release ANNO 1800 is still rocking game! Since there is a casino theme I want to suggest a casino building to complement the entertainment options and also a nice tribunal that can be placed in one or two major cities. Thank you!

  9. D DogenKigen December 2, 2021

    Awesome! I did not expect so many new themes for all tiers. Just wow.

    The inverted one looks very smart, and the casino one is a big surprise.

    And just to be clear: you can theme them individually, right?

    •   Ubi-Thorlof December 2, 2021

      Yes, you can select each building individually to change the skin to your preferred one.

      • l lsalazarm99 December 2, 2021

        Would I need to cycle between the 12 variations per tier (1, 2 and 3) or will there be another way to cycle themes instead of variations? For big cities, will there be a global or island theme switcher? If I’m placing a house of the colorful theme, the next house I’ll place will be of the same theme or will it be randomly selected (like now)?

        I know this is a cosmetic DLC so there would probably not be any “logic” changes. But, if that’s the case, city builders would really appreciate those QoL improvements instead of just pressing the “change variation” shortcut every second.

        • F FHackner December 2, 2021

          Hopefully it will be like it is with the palace wings at least.


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