If you’re new to Transport Fever 2, this traffic simulator can feel daunting without a bit of guidance. Out tips might be old hat to veterans of the first Transport Fever, but for newbies, this guide should cover some of the things you need to know to start your budding career as a transportation network engineer. Let’s get started!
Begin at the Beginning – Transport Fever 2 Tips
Free Mode and its unguided sandbox make up the meat and potatoes of Transport Fever 2. However, jumping straight into the advanced mode will leave you perplexed without any kind of background as to what’s going on.
The campaign serves as a soft tutorial to introduce new players to Transport Fever 2. You start off completing simple tasks, but before you know it you’ll create railroads that run from city to city, moving people and goods between towns with the best that 19th century technology has to offer.
A lot of information gets thrown at you in those early missions, but you also get a lot of cash to play around with. Feel free to experiment to discover what kinds of setups work best!
It’s Not All About Trains – Transport Fever 2 Tips
Trains are your focus in the first few levels of the campaign, but don’t be fooled into thinking they‘re all the game has to offer. While railroads are by far the most fun to build and plan out, they are also a money pit in the early years of Free Mode.
Choosing 1850 as your starting year is regarded as hard mode. Early trains are extremely inefficient and cannot pull much weight at all. Still, if you’re dedicated to “beginning at the beginning,” and also just love steam locomotives like I do, you’ll wind up making things as difficult on yourself as you can.
Trucks and ships help save cash and are much more efficient to start. That’s because roads and water, unlike railways, are free infrastructure already built into the map. Find facilities that go well together and are near each other! It also helps if they’re near a city that wants that particular resource. If you can find these on or near the water, all the better. If this doesn’t happen, maybe just start a new map and try again.
Connect those facilities with truck and water transport to a town and watch the cash flow in.
Move Material, Not People – Transport Fever 2 Tips
The basics of the early game are: move raw material to a factory for processing, then move that processed good to a town. There the game will automatically sell it to the populace, and you can rinse and repeat. People moving between cities helps the towns grow, but what’s more important right away is that you sell goods to a town or two to kick things off.
Your Starting Cash is a Loan – Transport Fever 2 Tips
When you begin Free Mode, you’re not some baron taming the countryside with your own money. The $5,000,000 you get at the start is a loan, and you will immediately accrue interest on the sum. Set up a profitable line and pay off as much of the loan as you can right at the start. You can always take out more in the Budget window should you need it.
Time is a Concept Created by Humans – Transport Fever 2 Tips
Time passes through the months and years fairly quickly in Transport Fever 2. Upgrades to technology come fast — especially in the 1900s. Whether you’re just getting into your groove and want to slow the progress of time while getting used to the game, or you’re tired of waiting for commercial aviation to invent itself, you can slow, speed up, or stop the flow of time without pausing.
Clicking on the date in the lower-right corner allows you to increase or decrease how fast time moves ahead. You can even stop it entirely.
Label Your Lines – Transport Fever 2 Tips
In the early game, you only have a few lines to contend with. The default labels of Line 1, Line 2, and so on, will work just fine. Once you have a few different industries built up and are delivering to several towns, however, the number of lines adds up quickl. Differentiating by color alone will not suffice.
I recommend a couple different things. Add the type of line and any relevant information in its name. This quick, at-a-glance reference will be useful down the road. I use descriptors to say which type of vehicle is on the line and usually some basic information about it. My train that delivers coal to the steel mill, for example is “Train – Coal to Steel.” Meanwhile, a bus service I run between one pair of towns is called “Bus – St Mawes / Cannock.” It’s a simple but effective way to organize the dozens upon dozens of lines you will create!
Find the “Perfect” Map – Transport Fever 2 Tips
When creating your first Free Mode map, set the sliders to give you lots of water and towns, very few factories, and not many hills. The extra water is so you can use boats in the early goings. More towns mean more places that want product, and fewer factories helps you focus on a lower number of objectives at the same time. Hills, meanwhile, are the bane of any transportation network. They only serve to slow you down.
Once a map is generated, look along the waterways for factories and towns that go well together and establish your first production loop. This is a great “second step” after fiddling with the campaign, in order to get acclimated to more freeform maps.
Make Those Small Adjustments – Transport Fever 2 Tips
You can make small adjustments to objects before you place them onto a map. With the object hovering on the ground, about to be built, tap either “<” or “>” to increase or decrease its height. Then press “M” or “N” to rotate the adjusted object around To make even smaller rotational adjustments, hold “Shift” while pressing down on the left mouse button.
Sometimes the Highlights Lie – Transport Fever 2 Tips
When you click on a building — such as a train station or depot — Transport Fever 2 highlights the nearby buildings that connect to it automatically, without needing additional infrastructure. And sometimes it lies… If you have a station that claims to be working with a nearby factory, but will not fill up with goods, try adding a road depot nearby.
This doesn’t happen often, but I have had it occur at least once per map. Keep it in mind if something should be working, but somehow isn’t. Hopefully this is just a bug, and will eventually get ironed out in a future patch.
Don’t Be Afraid to Knock Down a City – Transport Fever 2 Tips
You don’t do any city building yourself in Transport Fever 2. The game AI takes care of all that. It will add roads and buildings to cities as they grow, as well. Sometimes it does a fine job! Other times it blocks off roadways or areas where you want to lay some rail with businesses or houses. Don’t be afraid to knock over a few buildings whenever they’re in the way. The game will eventually adjust and put them somewhere else, or build around your new lines once it expands again. This isn’t SimCity, after all. You’re just here to get things moving!
These are our tips for new players starting Transport Fever 2. There are still many more nuances to the game — especially in the mid to late stages of your journey. Stay tuned for more guides to help get more out of Transport Fever 2 in the future!