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Thread: Alternatives to MSTS/OpenRails

  1. #1

    Default Alternatives to MSTS/OpenRails

    I've been playing MSTS/OpenRails for many years. There are other train sims on the market, but I don't know where to start. I'm really looking for a train simulator where I can build consists, set up a path, maybe throw in some traffic, and drive. I only like to drive modern US freight, preferably on routes with a lot of railroad crossings. I thought about Run8, but there is so little info available on it, the game might as well not exists. There is TrainSim 2020, and they have NS ET44ACs available, but I might have to take out a nice loan to begin to enjoy it, and there have been so many complaints.

    I would be happy with OpenRails/MSTS if more Tier4 locomotives were available. (I know the ET44 isn't much different than an ES44, which isn't much different than a Dash 9, but I like modern.) The possibility for new American routes and locomotives looks bleak, particularly with few vendors remaining open. So I was just wondering if one of the alternative sims available would fill all the checkboxes.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hanover Park, Il., USA.
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    9,155

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    I have to turn the table an ask - other than not having the very latest gens from the big two loco builders, what doesn't MSTS/OR provide for you?
    You say, "I'm really looking for a train simulator where I can build consists, set up a path, maybe throw in some traffic, and drive." What is prohibiting you to accomplish this in MSTS/OR?
    Or, are you simply looking for a change?
    Neil

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  3. #3

    Default

    So ok, i have been in this position, wanting to try other train sims. And i did a few of them not all. But in the end i always came back to MSTS/ORTS. Why? simple anwser is ORTS works the best of all of them. Simulation wise, if you want a good graphics there is maybe Railwordks (Train Simulator 2020). I did and buy this game, got my self few addons and so on.... Don't understnd me wrong, it is a very good simulation but for me it was one thing i really did not like. And that was "stuterring" in the middle of game play. I have noticed the same in other gameplays inclouding the Dev team. Everyone had this it was noticable everywhere. and it still is. In other words every time the game loads stuff in front frames drops dramaticly. It was really becoming a problem for me, and eventually went back to ORTS.

    I did try other ones. I remember Trainz is really not a sim game for me, its more like an arcade game. About Run8, yes it does exist and its Multipplayer based game, i would love to try this someday...
    All the others are not really simulation if you ask me...

    And as you stated, you would like to change consist, edit paths, and such. I can tell you this all is possible in ORTS. My personal files from MSTS are heavly modified. Cabs, engine sounds, consists, paths, services, traffic, clouds, weather modifications trough gameplay (triger events ands such) i have even replaced some buildings in one route that had no textures. But ofc i had to learn how to do that, and blieve me its not hard. All you need is a bit more knowledge of basic windows user. Ok is moce stuff you also need some advanced knowlege of usig some graphic editors, but not necessary. (i just did my first cab on f59ph).

    So i don't know what you actually looking for but its all already here, just dive in and have fun.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Swindon, England
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    5,180

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    This thread probably belongs in the General forum as it is bound to bring out the diehard MSTS/OR supporters! Though I admit I do like running the old stuff and the OR Timetable editor has aroused my curiosity.

    In simple terms the two big alternatives are DTG with either Railworks aka TS20xx or Train Sim World. The former has many good points but will require some financial investment. Train Sim World has the newer graphics engine but is more limited and tends towards the arcade side of train gaming. Then there is Trainz, now on its umpteenth iteration. If building routes is your thing, then Surveyor can't really be beaten but the actual driving experience can be lacking. Never completely outgrown its model railway roots.

    Then there is Run8 if you're looking for something North American but again starting from scratch with all their routes and asset packs will cost a small fortune.
    Vern.

  5. #5

    Default

    My biggest issue with MSTS is the scenario editor. In order for it to load, I have to switch screen resolution to 4:3. Then I get errors with wagons randomly. I'm learning TSRE to build scenarios, and just use MSTS editor just to create paths.

    I still love MSTS, particularly with OpenRails. OR has done a ton for the game. I was just wondering if veteran players have something else.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltapooh View Post
    ...just use MSTS editor just to create paths....
    Suggest using Trackviewer to create paths.
    Cheers, R. Steele [Gerry] It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    New York, USA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltapooh View Post
    I'm learning TSRE to build scenarios, and just use MSTS editor just to create paths.
    Hi...

    Just a heads up - if you use ORTS's included Track Viewer to create paths - you can do it in high resolution... No need for MSTS tools...

    Regards,
    Scott

  8. #8

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    I need to give TrackViewer another chance. I played with it a little when it first came out, but it seemed limited. Avoiding MSTS Scenario editor, and building paths for switching and AI would really improve my overall experience. Thanks for the heads up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Swindon, England
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    I have the same issue with MSTS AE when using on the main PC, which now feeds to a UHD/4K monitor at 3840 x 2160 or thereabouts and I CBA to keep changing the desktop resolution. So I may also give TrackViewer a spin.
    Vern.

  10. #10

    Default

    Not using any of the MSTS tools *ever* will vastly improve your experience...

    I still use the RE because I'm stubborn and haven't had the time to dive into TSRE yet. My next laptop purchase will probably force that decision on me...

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