Freeplay Levels are levels where the player has the power to build as they see fit, and has complete control over the contracts they manage. Instead of getting points, players get money, and can spend that money on system upgrades.
In freeplay, players can use the Build tab to expand their railroad system. Players can build however they want within the space provided, and are challenged to find the best track layout to manage their system.
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Each time you complete a contract, you will get a point. That point will be put into researching a new tool, which can help you upgrade your system.
If you have nothing selected to research, the point will be wasted. You cannot store points.
Points will not be gained when a train completes its contract if:
- The contract is a test contract for a reoccurring contract
- The contract was penalized for being late or routed to a wrong platform
Autoblocks are segments of track that can't be edited and are far longer than normal track. One autoblock tile is worth ten tiles of regular track!
If an autoblock has multiple sections, the game will automatically try to stop trains at the end of each section if there is a train in the section ahead of them. This way, if the autoblock is very long, you won't have to worry about waiting it out for each train to leave.
Intercity trains go so fast that if they're going at their top speed, they will not have the time to stop until the second autoblock. Due to coding, they will not attempt to stop for signals in autoblocks until they're in the autoblock already.
This can lead to two trains crashing if one is stopped in the second part of an autoblock, and the other enters the autoblock going at top speed. If you ever have inexplicable train crashes, this might be why.
You can fix this either by delaying the second train so it doesn't run so closely behind the first, or make it so the first gets out of the autoblock faster.
The first thing you should research is "Contract Management", as it will allow you to add more trains to your system, and subsequently get more money.
When a contract is offered, you may click "decline" to get it out of your sight, or you can click anywhere else on the contract to look at it closer. When you do, you can select a track to run a trial train from. If the game thinks the train is delayed, you will lose a little bit of money on the contract.
Eventually, commuter contracts will start showing only two stations instead of three. When they do, they will stop at their second station and wait to become another contract. You will have to manually accept a contract for the train after its first test run; be careful, though! If the next train from the same contract comes on, and you still haven't found a contract for the train to turn into, the results are a bit buggy!
You may also come across red or green "one time" contracts. These contracts already have their timetable set out, but they don't care what track they go to, so long as they're at the right station at the right time. You will only have to do these contracts once; they won't appear twice.