This article lists many hints and tips to keep a park running smoothly while dealing with common problems associated with operating an amusement park.
- You should pause the game at the start of each scenario. This gives you a chance to familiarise yourself with the park and get your finances in order. It is also a good idea to sort out your research priorities now.
- If there are any pre-built rides/attractions in the scenario, now is a good time to check their status and pricing information.
- In already established parks, you should also ensure you have adequate staff to meet your needs.
- Check whether you will be charging a park entrance fee, or charging per ride admission so you can plan your expansion accordingly.
- Before taking on large projects (such as building a new roller coaster), you should already have a basic park up and running.
- While roller coasters are the big money makers, it’s far better to have a few small rides turning a monthly profit (or allowing you to charge a decent entry fee) to help offset some of the construction/landscaping costs.
How paths work
See Also: Paths
- In most cases, guests will wander around your park aimlessly (“walking”), and only occasionally will some guests want to travel to a particular location (generally a specific ride or the park exit). At every junction in the path, guests will make a decision.
- Junctions are created by paths meeting, shops/stalls, ride entrances/exits, and the entrance to a queue line. If a guest has interacted with a path item (bench or bin), then this also acts as a junction.
- “Walking” guests will make a random decision at each junction (however, they are slightly more likely to continue straight).
- As a quirk of this system, a ride entrance/queue joined at a 90 degree angle (or “T” intersection) to a path is less likely to attract guests than those joined straight on.
- Guests who have a destination will make the decision at each junction to choose the direction (north, south, east or west) that leads them directly to their target tile. This means that guests don’t use path finding, but rather make a judgement based on two points.
- Complex path systems with a lot of dead ends should be avoided as often as possible. Grid systems are the most efficient way to prevent your guests from getting lost.
- Guests cannot turn around on a straight section of path and require a junction to do so.
- Park maps allow guests to take them out and pick a destination to go to.
- This means that Information Kiosks selling maps will not prevent guests from getting lost because of a poorly laid out path system. Rather, it only prevents random decision making at junctions. However, guests do not gain pathfindings - they still make decisions based on distance between two points.
- Many scenarios include pre-existing path networks. When this is the case, it is a good idea to “disconnect” long sections of paths that lead nowhere to prevent guests from getting lost and stop your staff wandering too far.
- Rather than deleting entire sections of path, simply deleting one path tile at an intersection to “disconnect” it. As you expand your park you can slowly reconnect sections of path by simply reattaching path sections.
- In extreme cases, it may be wise to completely demolish an existing path system and start from scratch.
- In RCT paths wider than one tile should be avoided as guests are likely to end up walking in circles and getting lost.
- From RCT2 onward, paths that are 2 tiles wide can be used without confusing the guests.
- Avoid dead ends whenever possible to minimise the chances of guests getting lost.
- No entry signs can (and in most cases should) be used to stop guests travelling down paths that only lead to ride exits.
- Untidy sections of path are more likely to be vandalised, so ensuring you have enough handymen to keep your paths clean will minimise the chance of vandalism in your park.
- If charging guests to go on rides, as a general rule you can charge them up to the price of the excitement rating (rounding down).
- As rides age, they become less desirable and you may be required to drop the ticket price for some of your older attractions.
- Building rides with sections that go underground, that intersect with other rides and/or include a lot of nearby scenery items will increase its excitement rating.
- Rides with covered cars, or that have at least 40% of their track constructed underground will attract guests even when it is raining.
- Tracked rides that have a ride time of 5 minutes or longer will have a negative impact as guests will want to get off the ride, and so should be avoided. This also affects the ride’s excitement rating.
- Broken down rides also aggravate this issue so it is important to ensure you have enough mechanics employed.
- Take advantage of the different operating modes of rides. “Powered Launch Mode” on some Roller Coasters can be used to make relatively cheap and compact “shuttle” rides that still draw a decent crowd.
- For long Go Karts tracks it may benefit you to change the number of laps, or even change from race mode to continuous circuit mode. In race mode, the winner gets a victory lap and so the next race can’t begin until the winner completes it. The drop in excitement rating from continuous circuit mode is generally offset by the increased capacity of the ride.
- Some rides can accommodate more guests than what the default is set at. Spiral Slides and Hedge Mazes are two examples.
- Queue lines should at least be long enough to hold enough guests for one car/train but not exceed a length of 7 minutes wait time (as any longer than this will displease your guests and affect your park rating).
- If you hire an entertainer and set their patrol to a queue line, guests will wait up to 11 minutes before leaving the line.
Tips for building tracked rides
- Roller Coasters and other track rides with multiple fast moving cars/trains are more susceptible to crash if they enter the station at a speed greater than 28mph (45km/h).
- Brakes can be used to minimise this risk. From RCT2 onwards, block breaks can be used to completely negate it.
- Understanding how G-forces work is an important aspect of Roller Coaster building that will help you maximise your excitement rating while minimising your intensity rating. An in depth guide can be found here, but in general terms:
- Try to keep the maximum vertical G on a ride to below 5.
- Negative vertical G should not exceed -2. For rides with detached vehicles (such as Dinghy Slides or Bobsled Coasters) excessive Negative vertical G can result in crashes, and for these rides should be kept under -0.9
- The maximum lateral G on a ride should not exceed 2.75 under most circumstances. Banked curves can be used to reduce Lateral G (as it is “converted” to Vertical G).
- Tracked rides have a graphs tab that displays line graphs of the velocity, altitude and G forces experienced throughout the ride. These graphs can be used to visually identify any sections of a ride that generates high G forces.
Shops and Stalls
- Information Kiosks should be built close to the park entrance. This ensures as many guests as possible have access to a park map which will give them destinations to go to (instead of wandering aimlessly).
- In RCT1 and RCT2 Information Kiosks can be accessed by guests from all 4 directions (i.e. the direction of the construction arrow is irrelevant). You can use this to your advantage and build the structures on existing path corners, or you can construct a 3x3 path with the kiosk in the centre to maximise guest access.
- Guests will only carry one food or drink item at a time and so there is no advantage (outside of aesthetics) to building “food court” areas in your park that have multiple stalls in close proximity.
- Food items such as Popcorn, Fries, and Pretzels increase the guest's thrist meter faster than normal. It is unwise to build these unless the Drink Stall is researched as guest will complain of thirst very quickly, reducing your park rating.
- Merchandise stalls (such as the Souvenir Stall or Hat Stall) should be built near the exit of the park's most exciting rides as happier guests are more inclined to buy merchandise.
- In RCT3, food stalls are operated by a shop vendor. They are only capable of serving a certain number of peeps at a time, and will walk away from the shop if overwhelmed.
- Like other staff, they can be trained (via the human resources window) which increases the number of peeps they can deal with simultaneously.
- Building First Aid Rooms, and benches, near the exits of nauseous rides is good practice in helping keep paths clean.
- The amount of money guests spawn with varies across scenarios, and within each one the amount varies between individual guests by $30 (as an example, in a scenario guests will have between $60 and $80).
- It is important to keep this number in mind when charging an entrance fee, as when you have larger parks with higher fees, some guests may not be able to afford admission. Depending on your financial position/objective, it may be better to charge less money to ensure more guests enter the park.
- If guests are commenting that a particular ride in your park “is really good value”, you may want to consider increasing its admission price for a little extra profit.
- Another viable strategy is to try and get the Best Value park award by keeping your admission prices slightly lower.
- Park awards aren’t just passive, but actually affect the number of guests visiting your park. Positive awards attract more guests (similarly to advertising campaigns) while negative awards will reduce the number of guests visiting your park.
- It is extremely important to constantly check the thoughts of your guests. Not only will addressing their problems help boost your park rating, but also help you avoid receiving negative park awards.
- Advertising campaigns are great ways to temporarily boost the number of guests coming to your park. If you are nearing the end date of a scenario and still haven’t reached your objective of number of guests, an advertising campaign will be more effective than a new ride.
- If you are about to start construction on a complex and/or costly construction/landscaping project, it is a good idea to save your game first. If it doesn’t go as planned, you can simply reload the latest save to reverse the damage to your park and finances.
- Where applicable, you should always note the interest rate for the scenario you are playing. Big loans with high interest rates are dangerous to you and often times you will lose large chunks of monthly profit to loan interest.
- In particular, if interest rates are 10% or higher, you should seriously assess whether it is more financially viable for you to wait a few months and save up rather than borrowing money from the bank.