Update: November 6, 2013: From what I've seen myself and from what others are telling me, the Gifting Bug has been officially squashed. The advice below still remains true, although success rates are nearly 100% now.
BREAKING NEWS: Update 7.5 which is being released on October 8 is supposed to fix the "Gifting Bug" where the gift would arrive at only a fraction of what was sent.
"The gifting bug" has been a hot topic of conversation in the Sim Nation Guild. City to city gifting is one of the issues listed as "Being Worked On" for Update 8.0 (the full list of which you can read here). What I've written below represents what I consider the best method for gifting. Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page if you have a better method or a list of things that work/didn't work for you when sending gifts.
The number one requirement for gifiting is patience. Planning ahead for a gift is your best bet. Don't wait until you're bankrupt or about to go bankrupt to send/ask for a gift from one city to another. The process may take a couple of minutes, so make sure you have enough funds to get by while you wait. Through discussion with the good folks of the SimNation Guild and my own experience, I've come up with the steps below.
Gifting Steps (The Sim Nation Guild's best advice so far...)
- Make sure there is a city hall in the receiving city. (This step may not be necessary as Brian pointed out in the comments below)
- Make sure that you have a direct connection to the city you want to gift to. Cities that you can purchase or sell sewer/water/power to are direct connections. Although we discovered workarounds for gifting to cities without direct connections, the process has a low success rate and should be avoided. Gifting to cities with direct connections has a high success rate, although even following the directions below, occasionally fails for unknown reasons.
- When you send a gift, be sure to stay in the region view until after you see the arrow disappear and a message is given across the top of the screen that a gift was sent.
- If possible, continue to play the game in the gifting city for a while longer. I like to wait at least 5 minutes before exiting.
- Go to the receiving city and wait in cheetah speed for the gift to arrive.
- Sometimes, receiving gifts take a really long time. Just have patience. Go get some coffee. If your gift just isn't coming through, you might want to close out completely and come back an hour later to try playing the game again. If all goes well, the servers will sync the second time around and the gift will come through.
- As I mentioned in the second bullet point above, occasionally the gifting process just fails for no good reason, although the steps above have given us the best results.
Why so many issues with gifts?It seems to us that the issues with gifting is more of a server issue than an in-game glitch. When you exit out of a game, your PC is communicating with the server and transferring all the in-game data. If you're switching in and out of games quickly after a gift, the servers may get confused and not register the gift correctly.
The SimCity Gift Bug
I'm hearing that sometimes gifts arrive at 50% of the original amount, even with a city directly connected via road and even when following all the steps above. This is clearly a bug, and as mentioned before it's being worked on by Maxis. Let's hope they have it fixed by Update 8.0.
Did this not work for you? Do you have another method? Let us know in the comments below so we can update this page with the best method possible.