• 8. Customization

    TrainSim.Com Train Simulator FAQ

    Frequently Asked Questions About MSTS


    Lots! The options menus available include:
    Realism                     Driving Aids At Startup
      Simple Control              Controls/Gauges
      Derailments on/off          Track Monitor
      Alerter on/off              Next Station
      Auto Fireman                Switching Aid
    Allows you to view and change keyboard commands.
    Master Volume
    Train Volume
    Ambient Sounds Volume
    Sound Quality
    Show Text Captions
    Resolution (settings from 640x480 to 1600x1200)
    Overall Quality
    A large number of sliders to control different aspects of the image quality.
    Also a large number of check boxes to turn on and off various display
    To add locomotives and cars usually all you need to is unzip the entire
    contents of the file you've downloaded into a new folder that you create
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train Simulator\TRAINS\TRAINSET
    For locomotives you may need to copy some files from one of the default
    locomotives; many locomotives are based on one of the default locomotives
    and use the same cabview and sound folders.
    But most important:  READ THE DOCS! The designer is the only one who can
    tell you exactly how any individual file needs to be installed.
    To use any add-on cars or locomotives (or to create different
    consists even with just the default ones) you use the consist editor.
    Unfortunately, the consist editor is difficult to find, as it's
    actually a subsection of the activity editor. When you installed
    Train Simulator you should have gotten two desktop icons, one for the
    sim itself and another labeled "launcher"; launcher is the one that
    starts up the editors. Double click on it and then from the menu
    select activity editor. If you don't have the second icon, use the
    Windows start button and look in Programs | Microsoft Games |
    Train Simulator for Train Simulator Editor And Tools and click on
    Once the editor starts, open the File menu and select new. You'll be
    prompted for some information about the new activity you're about to
    create but just use the defaults, as you are not actually going to
    save the activity anyway.
    Now, look at the right side of the editor main window, for the
    section labeled "Player Services"; technically a consist is a player
    resource. Under this section click the "new" button and that will
    open yet another window. In the middle of this window is a section
    labeled "Consists" and another "new" button; click this and the
    consist editor will load.
    To create a consist, choose a file name for your consist and a screen
    name.  The screen name is what will show up within the sim when you
    open the consist drop down box. Then, simply choose the locomotives
    and cars you want in your consist and save when you're done.
    Tips: Consists are organized according to the lead locomotive. If you
    make the BNSF Dash 9 the first locomotive in your consist when you
    run the sim you will find your consist by first selecting the BNSF
    Dash 9 and then looking in the consist drop down box. If you have
    more than one locomotive in your consist you can reverse the
    direction they point by right clicking on them.
    You do this in the consist editor. Load the consist you want to work on.
    Then, notice the icon that looks sort of like a coupler, on the right side
    of the window below the word "Couplings"? That's the delete icon. Use the
    left mouse button to drag and drop the locomotive or car you want to remove;
    point to the car/locomotive, hold down the left mouse button, and drag the
    cursor over the icon. It's now removed from the consist.
    A 3D modeling program is required to make the model, and these can be
    expensive. A graphics editor is required to create or modify the
    paint job on a locomotive.  MSTS does not include a program to create
    your own locomotive.
    When Train Simulator was first released 3D Studio Max was the only
    program known to work for creating original 3D models. For doing
    repaints of existing models both Adobe PhotoShop and Paint Shop Pro
    are known to work.
    A 3D designer called "3D Canvas" also offers MSTS support.
    3D Canvas 5.0.5 (and higher) now includes a Microsoft Train Simulator
    Wizard that creates all of the files required for a model to be
    loaded into Microsoft Train Simulator. Creating an engine from a 3D
    Canvas model is now simply a matter of running the Wizard and
    creating a consist for the model in Train Simulator. 
    The Train Simulator Wizard also assists in identifying and organizing
    parts using Train Simulator standards, placement of special effects
    and lighting, and automatic animation of steam engine wheels and the
    link between them.  Seven Train Simulator specific tutorials are
    included in the on-line help that cover everything from model
    orientation and placement required by Train Simulator to animation of
    steam engine rods.
    For information, visit their web site:
    Also suitable is "Train Sim Modeler" from Abacus, a 3D design tool based
    on their popular designer for flightsims.
    "TSM" is designed specifically for Microsoft Train Simulator and so offers
    features that train-sim modelers need. For more information, visit their
    web site:
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