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Deurklink

Guide: Speedrunning in OpenRCT2

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Hello everyone, in this guide I will explain how to do an OpenRCT2 speedrun.

This guide is divided in 12 parts which each describe something to consider in your speedruns. The guide assumes you turn on early completion for the map, which finishes the scenario as soon as the goal is reached. I also assume you don’t use any ride designs you created before the speedrun, except the ones that came with the game. Of course, you don't have to stick to those rules, but they are the rules that I like to use.

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1. Scenario goal

The most important variable in the scenario is the scenario goal. The original Rollercoaster Tycoon and its first expansion only have scenarios where you have to get a certain number of guests or a certain park rating. Loopy Landscapes and RCT2 added new scenario goals to the game. I will briefly describe all of them here.

X guests within Y years

The most common type of scenario. Guests are generated for each ride that you build, so often you can just get away with spamming a huge amount of small roller coasters.

X guests, don’t let park rating drop below 700

In this scenario type you’ll need to immediately build several rides if they are not in the park yet. Also, you should immediately try to satisfy your guests’ needs. Be careful with fastforwarding at the highest speed because if the park rating drops below 700 you only have very little time to react.

X park value within Y years

Also a very common scenario type. The value of a ride is based upon its Excitement, Intensity and Nausea value. It’s often easiest to just spam many small roller coasters. If you have enough money, you can simply keep the rides in test mode and then you don’t have to bother making a path to the rides (unless they break down).

X park value and repay loan

In this scenario type, you will want to earn as much money as possible, so it’s a good idea to spam many small rides which each have a photo section for that little extra income. Here I recommend connecting all rides to a path so the guests can ride them.

Build 10 roller coasters with an excitement of at least X and a length of over Y meters

These scenarios will usually take you the longest to complete. The best way to approach these is usually by first making sure you earn enough money, which can often be done by spamming small coasters with photo sections. You don’t have to care about guest happiness in these scenarios, you’ll just want their money. Always try to see if any of the rides that came with the game fulfill the ride requirements. If any rides come close to the requirements, it’s usually faster to place those and modify them than to make an entirely new ride. Don’t forget to open the rides, or else they will not count.

Finish 5 rollercoasters with an excitement of at least X

Again, here it’s best to spam rides that will generate income first, and then try to finish the 5 roller coasters. If you need a higher excitement rating for your rides, making your rides pass through loops or making interlocked loops is a great way to do that. Extra inversions usually help, and so do paths and scenery next to the ride.

Earn a monthly income from shops and stalls of at least X

Ride photos count as shop items, so it’s often a good idea to place lots of small coasters with photo sections. Happy guests are more likely to buy merchandise so it’s wise to put your shops and coasters close to each other.
Addition from @LordMarcel96: Putting the price of umbrellas to 20 will give you a great boost towards the goal if it starts raining.

Earn a monthly income from ride tickets of at least X

In these scenarios you should not put photo sections on your rides, because you’ll want your guests to spend every penny on going on more rides. Spamming many small coasters is usually the easiest way to beat these scenarios.

2. Making money

Something you should always consider in a scenario is how to make money. There are four types of scenarios, money-wise:

Pay for park entrance and for rides (RCT1 scenarios only, typically)

If a park charges an entrance fee, guests are only willing to pay 1/4th of what they normally would pay for a ride. This means that the standard entrance price for a ride in these scenarios is often already too high for most designs of spammable coasters. If you know a park like this is charging an entrance fee, put it down to zero so the guests will always ride your coasters. Changing the entrance fee of all your coasters would simply take too much time.

Pay for park entrance, free rides

In these scenarios I usually start by charging €40 for the park entrance fee. There will be some warnings that the price is too high, but guests will spawn anyway, especially as you build more rides. The guests that keep coming in should keep your money income high enough. Advertisement campaigns will usually pay for themselves in these scenarios.

Pay per ride, free park entrance

In these scenarios you will always have to make sure that the guests will ride your rides or else you will have no income. I typically just use the standard entrance fee for all my rides because changing them every time would take too long.

No money

Some scenarios don’t use any money at all. This means you can freely spam all the staff and rides you want in the park. Be sure to use the landscaping tools to make the park area suitable for your needs.

3. Available ride types

Most scenarios can easily be won using a simple corkscrew coaster design that consists of 2 station pieces and then a half corkscrew. Putting it in launched mode (without passing station) at the lowest speed will give it decent stats and a great throughput, on a very small footprint. This ride can also be built with a photo section before the corkscrew element if desired. If the corkscrew is not available, a loop coaster which consists of 2 station pieces and a loop will also do the trick. The launch speed should be set so the train travels up a big part of the loop, but doesn’t make it over.

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Before speedrunning a scenario, you should always check if one of these types of coasters is available. In Object selection, you can see if one of these ride types will become available during the scenario. By fastforwarding the game you can check when they will become available. If these coasters have to be researched, you should go to the research window and put the funding to maximum while only having rollercoasters selected as ride type to research.

Some scenarios cannot be beaten with these ride types because they either become available too late, or not at all. Those scenarios have to be beaten through other means. Bumbly Beach for example, can be beaten by making small Junior Coasters. Amity Airfield is quite easy if you spam small Vertical Drop Roller coasters, and Fungus Woods can be completed with Wooden coasters.

4. Advertisements

Advertisement campaigns will spawn extra guests to enter your park. Some parks, like White Water Park, can simply be beaten by just running all the advertisement campaigns several times. If you need several hundred more guests in a park, advertisement campaigns will usually push the number a lot higher. I typically first spam a lot of coasters in a park and then do the final push using advertisement campaigns.

Some parks, like all No money scenarios or Rainbow Summit, do not allow advertisements. In these parks you will simply have to keep spamming rides to spawn all your guests.

5. Pathing

If a path is too crowded, guests will lose happiness quite quickly, and they will be more eager to leave the park. Especially in the parks that require a very high number of guests, this can be a problem. In these parks, I often make a spammable ride design which has a bigger queue, so it can soak up some of the guests that would normally be walking on the paths. More guests in your queues means you can have more guests in your park. Try not making the queues too long however as this may cause guests to drop out of the queue altogether or become unhappy. Queue times of around 10 minutes are usually acceptable.

You can also simply make some extra paths to spread out your guests. When you make paths, you should always make sure they actually lead somewhere so more guests will use them. You can connect them to another path, or put some shops next to them. If your park consists of a long path with coasters on both sides, it’s usually a good idea to put a food or drink stall at the end. Guests that head for the drink stall will then pass by all coasters on the way back, making the chance of them riding one higher.

6. Guest generation difficulty

There are a few scenarios that have more difficult guest generation. These are usually scenarios situated in a desert or in an alpine landscape. You can check if a scenario has more difficult guest generation activated in the scenario options. This window can be found under the debug tools in OpenRCT2.

When a scenario has more difficult guest generation, the usual method of spamming small coasters will only work up until the first thousand guests or so. After that, only coasters that have a ride length of at least 600 meters and an excitement rating of at least 6.00 will attract more guests. This limit can often be circumvented with advertisement campaigns, as those will simply keep spawning guests. A combination of advertisements and a ride design that meets both requirements is probably the fastest way to beat these scenarios.

7. Guest preferred intensity

In some scenarios all guests will spawn with a preferred intensity that is outside the normal range. In parks like Gentle Glen, all guests prefer an intensity lower than 4, and in park like Extreme Heights guests prefer an intensity of over 9. For the parks with a low intensity preference, the usual coaster spamming strategies will still work as the intensity of these coasters is low enough for guests to still be willing to ride them. For parks with a high preferred intensity, it is probably best to design a small coaster which has a high intensity so guests will still ride it. A ride design that I like simply consists of a corkscrew coaster with a lift hill, a 180 degree turn, then a drop with one straight steep piece, a looping, and then an unbanked turn at the end. The lateral G-forces should increase the intensity of the ride to just over 9.

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8. Original rides and scenery

In many scenarios, you can free up a lot of space and make a lot of money by removing the original rides and scenery that exist in the park. This will really help with scenarios like Pokey Park and Karts & Coasters, but also most of the scenarios of the Wacky World expansion of RCT2. Many of the Time Twister scenario pieces actually cost money to remove, so care should be taken there. In some parks, like Factory Capers and Amity Airfield, you should also remove the existing paths because they’re laid out inconveniently for guests, and you will make a lot of money in the process.

9. Shops and stalls

You should always make sure to have at least one food stall, one drinks stall and a toilet in your park, if the goal is to have many guests. Guests who are very hungry, very thirsty, or need to go to the toilet badly may decide to leave the park.

An information kiosk is also recommended because it will help guest pathfinding. Guests are able to look ahead more junctions if they possess a park map. Shops can be used to spread out guests to different areas of your park. If you park is very big, it may be useful to put down more than 1 of each of the above mentioned shops and stalls. Merchandise stalls are usually not required but can be useful in scenarios where you are struggling to earn enough money.

If you want a little bit more money you can always increase the shop prices a bit from the original price.

10. Fastforward

You should always learn when you can fast-forward in scenarios, and which speed you should use. I typically play at the 3rd or 4th highest speed, with the 5th speed used when I need to research a coaster, when I am at the end of a scenario and I want to boost the number of guests using advertisements, or when I need to wait until I earn more money.

The 5th speed is a lot faster than the 4th speed and should be used very carefully in scenarios where you are not allowed to drop the park rating below 700, because you will not have much time to react.

11. Learn / change shortcut keys

Learning shortcut keys is a great way to save time in speedruns. The ‘Z’ button will rotate a ride or scenery piece before you place it down, for example. The ‘S’ key will bring up the staff menu. Backspace will close a window, while Shift + Backspace will close all windows. Shortcuts can be viewed and changed from the options menu in OpenRCT2. I still have to get used to most of these shortcuts myself, but I am using them more and more.

12. Awards

Park awards will help you by slightly increasing the guest spawn rate. An easy award to get is the Most Dazzling Color scheme award, which you can get by simply coloring your rides in onze of the 'dazzling colours'. Getting a positive award will temporarily increase the spawn rate, getting a negative award will slightly decrease it. You shouldn't go out of your way to try and receive any positive awards though, as their effects are small. 

Conclusion

These were 12 things to keep in mind that should help you perform a speedrun in this game! The last tip I want to give you is that you should always prepare well for a scenario. They will always go better if you have first practiced them several times in order to find a strategy for the scenario that works well. Good luck, and have fun!

Further reading:

How to win Park awards:
https://openrct2.org/forums/topic/2732-guide-how-to-win-awards-with-your-park-in-openrct2/

Guest spawning (and advertisement effects)
https://openrct2.org/forums/topic/2861-guide-when-and-how-do-guests-spawn/

Two of my speedruns:

 

Edited by Deurklink
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