Create The Ultimate Transportation System in OpenTTD

Danny Stieben 31-10-2013

There are loads of people who love games like SimCity SimCity 2013 - The Tale Of a Terrible Launch & a Terrific Game [MUO Gaming] SimCity was one of the first PC games I ever played when it was first released in 1989 - I was just 7 at the time. You'll understand then why this game holds a particularly... Read More . While the city simulation genre covers all sorts of different aspects, plenty of people are interested in the transportation systems and their efficiency and effectiveness. For those people, there are games that fall under the transportation management genre. Although there aren’t many games that represent this genre, there’s still a few. One of them, OpenTTD, is easily accessible, free, and available for all major platforms.


About OpenTTD

OpenTTD is a clone of the original Transportation Tycoon Deluxe. While the game it’s based off of is quite old, the OpenTTD project has provided many improvements to the game over time. Some of these are functional, such as changes made in the various tools that you can use, but a lot of them are also technical. For example, you can use maps up to 64 times as large as the original maximum limit, and servers can support up to 255 players or 15 companies at a time.

Don’t expect the graphics to be spectacular as the game is still based off of the old code — the graphics are similar to those of the original Roller Coaster Tycoon.


The idea of the game is that you are running your own transportation company. Ideally, you’ll want to be profitable while providing the most efficient and effective transportation system possible. Your transportation network should be able to handle travelers/commuters, as well as material transportation.

You have the same modes of transportation available to you as you would in real life — roads, rail, sea, and air are at your disposal. Each mode of transportation has its own advantages and disadvantages, including the price, the speed, and the amount of cargo you can carry. Of course, air can be the fastest, but it can also carry the least amount and cost the most. As a tip, if you want to carry a lot of stuff over longer distances, choosing rail or sea is best (depending on whether the two destinations are separated by land or sea, obviously).

If your transportation system is efficient, you’ll be able to carry materials and people to cities so they may grow. They’ll expand around your transportation infrastructure and demand more so that they can continue to grow and/or support its residence and their transportation needs. If you can react to these demands appropriately, things will go well for your company. You can track all of this via informational charts and tables that show you the progress of your company.


Multiplayer Mode

Speaking of companies, we’ve only talked about one — yours. In multiplayer mode, you’re not the only one. Instead, you’ll have to face off against rival transportation companies to be the best one in the region (map). Again, you can succeed if you have the most efficient and effective transportation system, because most people will want to use yours to get where they need to go.


Additionally, your prices should be competitive so that people are enticed to use your system, but it should also be profitable enough to fund further expansions that can outpace your competitors. Finally, although it’s not an official part of the game, you can chat with other players/companies and agree to terms where one essentially gives full rights to a certain part of a region in return for certain conditions, or any other similar deals that the two or more companies could see as mutually beneficial.

You can win a multiplayer game when you’re the last company standing (where all other companies have gone broke) or if you’ve reached a preset milestone so that the game doesn’t last indefinitely. Essentially, the single player mode focuses on building out a transportation system, while the multiplayer mode has a higher emphasis on competitiveness and business elements.



You can easily install OpenTTD by downloading the appropriate file for your platform. After a quick installation, you should be good to go. Debian and Ubuntu users can simply use a package, while users of other Linux systems will need to use the precompiled binary and place it in a convenient location. This isn’t as useful as using your package manager, but it’ll do.


OpenTTD is a really fun game that takes some planning to master, but those who are obsessed with transportation infrastructure should have a good time. Again, don’t expect the game to have exciting graphics, but the mechanics are very solid, and for a game like this that’s exactly what counts. At least I think that OpenTTD is much better than LinCity-NG LinCity-NG for Linux vs. SimCity: Is Free Always Better? I've always loved simulation games for as long as I can remember. They can involve so many different aspects of the topic in question and can keep you entertained for hours. However, a common downside... Read More .

For more great games, check out our Best Linux Games page!

What’s your favorite city/traffic game? Are graphics that important as long as the mechanics are complete? Let us know in the comments!


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  1. Martin
    November 1, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I love this game. I have(had) the original. Found OpenTTD when the original didn't run on modern PCs.

  2. Perfect Faro
    November 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    You neglected to mention that after download, you are NOT good to go: you need the original datafiles, either from owning the original game or downloading a third-party installer. I'm not going to go searching the Internet for files that I then have to figure out how and where to install them, nor am I going to trust third-party executables. Information like that is kind of important to share with your readers, don't you think?

  3. gzylo
    October 31, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    That is so bad, I wrote about opentt in comments the other week.
    How did they allow you to write this, on this respectable board, not.

    That photo with phone does not look good.

    • TechnoAngina
      November 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Oh trollio, you sir fail at trolling. Your troll is so terrible and your name just isn't cool. Seriously how do you wake up in the morning? No, write up a story and submit it about how awesome it is to be a trolling troll and tell the rest of us the pleasure you get in being a total waste of life. I'd be truly interested in hearing about the world from a sociopath's POV, oh wait you wouldn't even be original then since that book's been the 90s.

    • TechnoAngina
      November 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      I've tried to get into this game as it sounds like an interesting concept on paper, but the implementation always seems absurdly hard to learn and manage. I might give it another go now though.