For those new to Simutrans-Extended, those thinking of having a go, or those who have been playing for a while but want to make the play experience even better, below are some tips for getting the most out of the game.
I strongly encourage other players to contribute their own tips to this topic to help those starting out in Simutrans-Extended to get the hang of it, and to encourage discussion of game stratagy; all well meaning contributions welcomed!1. Get the latest version
Simutrans-Extended is often updated to add features or fix bugs. Don't forget to check this subforum regularly to see whether there have been any new releases. See here
for the latest nightly builds. 2. Use a Simutrans-Extended optimised pakset
Whilst most Simutrans-Standard paksets can be used with Experimental, you will only get the most out of Simutrans-Extended by using a pakset whose features are optimised to work with it. See here
for details.3. Have a problem? Report it!
Every software has its bugs; if you run into a problem, post a message on the development board
letting us know the nature of the problem that you are having, what one has to do to reproduce the problem, and the version that you are using. Check to make sure that you have the latest version before you report a bug, however, as, if not, it might already have been fixed.4. Get stuck in
Simutrans-Experimental, and many of its paksets, are open source. If you think that you could do a better job, or want to add a particular feature, you are free and more than welcome to do so. (Don't feel obliged, however - pure players are also more than welcome).5. Play online
Simutrans-Extended is fun when played alone, but comes into its own when played online. See here
for a list of servers. Make sure that you are using the same pakset version and version of Simutrans-Extended as the server, or else you will keep getting disconnected.
If you are not very experienced at playing Simutrans-Extended, joining an online game is a good way of learning by watching what other, more experienced players do. Don't worry about going out of business a few times - it's the best way to learn. 6. Don't keep your passengers (and mail and fast goods) waiting
Frequency is important in Simutrans-Extended for things that need to get where they're going quickly, such as passengers, mail and other goods with a high "speed bonus" rating (look in the "list of all goods" window to see the speed bonus level for each type of transportable item). Even if your travelling times are low, the overall journey time is high if the frequency of your service is too low. Check travel and waiting times to each stop with a direct connexion by clicking on the "details" button in a stop's information window.
High frequency services are particularly important for local transport, where journey time tolerances are low and waiting is a significant proportion of the overall journey time: don't set frequency based just on how many people use the service.7. Don't set "wait for load" for passengers (and mail and fast goods) without a qualifying setting
Would you ride a local 'bus service that didn't leave each 'bus stop until the 'bus was full? Simutrans passengers don't. Using "wait for load" on its own is best reserved for cargoes such as coal where it doesn't matter how long that they spend in transit. For more fine grained control over waiting times at stops that is more suitable for use with passengers and other things that need to be transported quickly, see the tutorial here
.8. Keep journeys quick
Passengers won't travel if the overall journey time is too long, so keep journey times (both travelling and waiting) down as much as possible. Also, in a multi-player game, other players can out compete you by offering a faster route, as passengers, mail and all goods will always take the fastest route to their destination.
To keep an eye on how many fares that you are missing out on by having slow transport, look at individual stops and see the number of passengers recorded as "too slow" in the station's information window. Also, on the mini-map, select "pass. dest." (short for passenger destinations) from the legend, and click on a town hall: the purple dots represent places that passengers starting at that city wanted to go but could not because the journey was too long.9. Watch out for motor cars
In a pakset optimised for Simutrans-Extended, the number of passengers who can (and will) use private cars to reach their destinations will rise greatly during the middle of the 20th century. This will provide stiff competition to your passenger transport services, so keep an eye out for unprofitable lines. Passengers can be tempted from their cars by fast, frequent services, and are far more likely to use your services if the towns cities to or from which they are travelling suffer with a lot of traffic congestion (see the "congestion" graph in the city information window for details). 10. Watch out for factories closing
In Simutrans-Extended , old factories will close down, new ones will open up, and some older factories will upgrade to newer types. Make sure that you don't have obsolete infrastructure leading to long closed factories eating away at your revenue, and keep your network up to date.11. Know what to do about overcrowding
In Simutrans-Extended optimised paksets, passenger carrying vehicles have an overcrowded capacity represented by a number in brackets after their capacity in the depot window (e.g., "Capacity: 64 (5)" - 5 is the number of standing passengers). When vehicles on a particular line are overcrowded, the name of that line will appear in purple instead of black in the line management window.
Overcrowding can indicate a problem, but it is not always a bad thing. Overcrowding reduces the comfort of passengers using the service (having to stand is not a comfortable experience), and passengers are willing to pay less for travelling in discomfort than they are for travelling in comfort, so overcrowding can affect your revenue. However, the extent to which it affects revenue varies greatly with distance - passengers will not mind so much if they are standing for a five minute 'bus ride, but will be very unhappy to have to stand for a three hour train journey. Check the effect of overcrowding on revenue in the list of all goods window. Sometimes, particularly with urban rail and modern 'buses, it can be much more profitable to run an overcrowded service than to make sure that everyone has a seat.
Overcrowding on vehicles can indicate that extra capacity is needed: if passengers are building up at interchange stations, bottlenecks might occur, and you might have to start paying refunds if the passengers have to wait so long that they go home. Transport that is so overcrowded that people have to wait a long time to board also increases the waiting - and therefore the journey - times.12. Improve your civil engineering, especially for railways
In Simutrans-Extended, there are far more significant detriments to building ways (especially railways) too steep (i.e., on too many consecutive or nearby hill tiles) or around too sharp a corner. Anything other than a 45 degree bend will slow a train significantly, and even two 45 degree bends in the same direction too close to each other will have a greater effect than a single 45 degree bend. Multiple consecutive or nearby hill tiles will have a considerably greater effect than a single tile on its own, although even a single tile will add a fair bit of drag.
Just as in reality, it is important to keep ways, especially railways, straight and level where possible, and, if corners and hills are unavoidable, make them as gentle as possible. Use cuttings, tunnels, embankments and viaducts to keep your ways straight and level.Edit
: Updated references to "Simutrans-Extended" instead of "Simutrans-Experimental"