Shadows of Doubt: How to Rename Your Citizens

So you want to have your friends running around the city, or perhaps you want to fill your city with people with silly names. This guide is intended to teach you how to give your citizens custom names.


  • Generate a new city, unless you want to use an existing one you already play on.
  • Navigate to the directory where the game saves your cities. It should be
    C:\users\YourUsername\AppData\LocalLow\ColePowered Games\Shadows of Doubt\Cities
  • If you are playing on Linux through Proton, open your SteamLibrary location and navigate to
    SteamLibrary/steamapps/compatdata/986130/pfx/drive_c/users/steamuser/AppData/LocalLow/ColePowered Games/Shadows of Doubt/Cities

    This location may vary depending on your Steam and Proton setup.

  • Backup the city you want to edit (specifically the .cit file) just in case! The easiest way is to just copy-paste it into the folder in which case it will create a file ending with (copy)

Editing the city file

The Cities directory should contain files in the following formats:


The file we want to focus on is the .cit file. Go ahead and open it in a text editor. Do note that due to the massive file size, many text editors may struggle. The basic Windows notepad can reportedly handle it, and I personally used a hex editor to edit it.

Press ctrl + F to get out the search function, and search for citizenName. It should take you to your first name. If you already know the name of the citizen you want to rename, you can also search with that citizen’s name.

The meaning of the different fields

The file may seem very intimidating and confusing but fear not! I will explain what the fields you want to edit do.

Each citizen has a total of four name fields: citizenNamefirstNamecasualName and surName. Editing these four fields allows us to control the citizen’s name in various situations, and they function as follows:

This is the name that appears in most contexts. It’s the name that they introduce themselves as, it appears on their birth certificate, and if you add the citizen to your evidence, this name will appear there.

The most obvious effect of the first name appears as the first name initial in the city directory. Otherwise seems to appear in place of casualName if that’s not defined.

Think of it as a nickname. As the name suggests, this is the name that is used in casual contexts. One place I saw it, for example, was in a note writing down the citizen’s personal code.

Similarly to first names, this field’s content appears in contexts where a surname is necessary, such as the city directory. Note that if you leave this field empty, your citizen will no longer appear in the city directory!


Before edit, you might have a citizen with these values:

"citizenName":"Diego Aguirre","firstName":"Diego","casualName":"","surName":"Aguirre"

This citizen will appear in the city directory as D. Aguirre. He will introduce himself, and he will appear in your evidence as Diego Aguirre, and people write “Diego” in casual contexts.

After edit, you might have something like this:

"citizenName":"The Dark Knight","firstName":"Bruce","casualName":"Batman","surName":"Wayne"

This citizen will appear in the city directory as B. Wayne. He will introduce himself, and he will appear in your evidence as The Dark Knight, and people write “Batman” in casual contexts.

Finishing up

Now that you’re done customizing your citizens’ names, it’s time to save the file. Just make sure that you haven’t accidentally deleted any of the “quotes” around the field names, or around the names themselves, as that will certainly prevent your city from loading.

Then launch Shadows of Doubt and either load into a save that uses the city you just edited, or create a new save and select to play in a pre-generated city, selecting the edited city from the dropdown menu. If your loading screen is stuck in the first stage, something went wrong. You may need to look through the file for the error, or return the city to its functional state from the backup you hopefully made earlier and try again from the beginning.

If your loading screen progresses: Congratulations! Your custom citizens should now appear around the world and if you gave them a surname, their address should appear in the city directory (assuming they have an address).

Thanks to Veloxization for his excellent guide, all credits belong to his effort. if this guide helps you, please support and rate it via Steam Community. enjoy the game.

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