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This page contains handy tips and tricks for OpenTTD.

  • Press Shift while performing an action (e.g. laying track, buying a bridge or tunnel) to see how much it would cost without actually doing it. (Note: This can be a long way off with the level land tool sometimes - normally says it will cost like £50,000 instead of £25,000 or something)
  • Press x to enable or disable trees and buildings transparency.
  • Use "Shared orders". If you have more than one bus (or any other vehicle) travelling the same route, you know that you can copy the orders from one of the vehicles onto another by clicking the orders button and then the vehicle that has the orders you want to copy... But did you know that if you press Ctrl when you click the vehicle, both vehicles will share the same set of orders so that if you ever need to change the orders (e.g. you need to send them both to another new station), every vehicle with those "Shared Orders" will see the change as well.
  • Try to make sure that any inner-city road vehicle stations are within a loop of road. A road vehicle station can only take two vehicles at a time... any more and they will try to "go around the block" and come back to the station. If your station is inside a loop of road then they can circle the town and return when the station is clear. If not, they might wander off miles out of their way!
  • Remember to upgrade your bridges as the game progresses. At the start of the game, cheap bridges can suffice and save you lots of money, but once the new, stronger bridges appear there's no point having a 200mph train having to slow to 20mph to cross a rickety old wooden bridge!
  • Be careful how you serve some of your stations. Although putting everything you can get (buses, trains, planes, ships) into one station means that you can handle a large amount of passengers or goods traffic, make sure that you are careful not to take the goodies away from that money-generating long route that's been keeping you going. Sometimes, a few buses can empty a station so that a train can take forever to build up a full load.
  • Distance matters. The further you take cargo, the more money you can make per trip. But beware... the more likely you are to be stiffed out by the competition who are running back and forth and grabbing your precious cargo before you can return.
  • Speed matters as well. The faster you take cargo, the more money you can make per trip, and also the more cargo you get to transport. In some cases, double the speed equals double the throughput, but triple the profits!
  • Try not to upset the locals. Lots of building work in an area can make the local authorities mad with you. This can affect what you can do in nearby towns. Try to compensate by making changes over time, limiting the amount of damage you do, planting them some nice trees to hide the building work or even, in extreme cases, bribing the town in question!
  • Try not to make parallel tracks too close, unless they are doing the same job. If you use two different tracks that are so close that the horizontal and vertical track sections share the same square, make sure you realise the consequences. When it comes to upgrading to monorail or maglev tracks, you'll have to upgrade both tracks at the same time or reroute one of them so that they don't share the same square.
  • Remember that your HQ generates a little passenger/mail traffic. This might be handy in the early stages of the game to boost your earnings in a sparse town. Unlike the original Transport Tycoon Deluxe, OpenTTD lets you relocate the HQ (for a certain price) so that you can move it away once the town starts to expand.
  • Try not to build sharp 90 degree turns as trains can only do 55MPH around them and some servers do not allow trains to go around such corners. Instead try to make your turns as wide as possible to allow trains to go at full speed around them.
  • Bribing costs a lot and sometimes you get found out. Plant many trees around a town to increase your rating if possible.
  • If you want to build train stations near to towns/cities, it is good to connect them with an airport. As you can see on the picture, airports are able to spread their influence much more than train stations, so you get many more passengers and much more mail.
    Train station connected with airport
  • If you are playing with infrastructure maintenance, only use as much infrastructure as needed for your routes. Remove infrastructure if you don't need it. Only double-track if you have to. Consider putting signals every 6-10 tiles instead of 2-5. Use town-owned and competitor-owned roads rather than building your own.
  • Remember to make sure to use fast vehicles, have frequent pickups, keep waiting cargo low, and buy a town statue. All of these improve your station ratings, which are key to increasing industry production and cargo throughput.
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