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RollerCoaster Tycoon Deluxe: Starting Guide (Tips and Tricks)

New to this classic gem? Having issues with mechanics, interested in learning a few things?

This guide provides a quick description of various mechanics and hints and tricks for completing missions.

RollerCoaster Tycoon Deluxe Tips and Tricks

High level hints and tricks for scenarios and coaster design.


Handyman: These guys will clean up the vomit on your paths, water your gardens, empty your litter bins and mow your grass. I suggest removing the ‘mow grass’ option as otherwise they’ll do nothing but mow endless grass from my experience. You want them on your paths keeping them clean so your park rating doesn’t fall. You tend to need quite a few of these guys. You can assign them to a limited area (ie: like near the exit of your big, intense coaster)

Mechanic: These guys inspect and fix rides. Rides that are frequently inspected break less. Rides that are older break more often. Rides that are broken require the mechanic to come and repair them. The default ride inspection time is 30 mins. I would advise you change big money makers like roller coasters to 10 mins and leave the lesser earners at the default. You’ll need enough mechanics in your park to respond promptly to any broken rides and carry out your inspections.

Security guards: These guys help deal with vandalism. Angry guests will prowl your park and smash park improvements like lamps, bins and benches. If there is heavy vandalism in your park then your park rating will fall. You can fix vandalized improvements by rebuilding them. Browse though your path network and replace any vandalized improvements you see. Less important that the previous two staff members imo.

Entertainers: Helps keep guests happy. Totally optional. There’s a staff cap so in a really large park hiring one of these guys is taking up a slot that would be better filled by the others.


Rides in Roller Coaster Tycoon are split into several types:

Transport rides include railways, monorails and chairlifts. These are low intensity rides which can be used to move guests around the park or provide. Railways and monorails can be used as a one station gentle ride, a small two station circuit or shuttle or a larger multi-station circuit. Chairlifts always have two stations that act as a loop.

In a big park, these can be a good way to have guests move around. They’re not a profitable source of income. Chairlifts have fairly low capacity and slow but can have big supports and go up hills without issues. Usually you’ll have a choice of one; if you can build multiple pick the one that makes the most sense and ignore the other option.

Gentle Rides are low intensity rides. They have minimal excitement and make little profit, however, they provide a ride for guests with low intensity preference or those who have gone on high intense rides recently and boost your park’s value. They also take up minimal space and most don’t require custom setup.

Thrill rides have higher intensity and excitement than gentle rides. Most provide reasonable profit with a few like the Roto-Drop and Gravitron having pretty good return given the initial investment. They take up minimal space and only Go Karts requires a custom setup.

Roller Coasters, as one would expect, are your primary money makers. The excitement, intensity and nausea ratings will depend on the design of the coaster.

Roller coasters require custom layouts. Each type has a set of pre-constructed coasters you can build immediately. You can also save your designs for re-use. Building a pre-constructed coaster has the advantage that you don’t need to spend time tinkering. I, however, always made my own unique coaster every time. Practice makes perfect and making your own will let you get a good feel for designing each coaster. This will help when the coaster building challenges in the expansions.

The basic roller coaster has a station, a power lift up a hill then various drops, inversions and climbs until it returns to the station. When building roller coasters always make your curves ‘banked’. This will greatly reduce the intensity rating.

Water Rides are rides that involve water. Rowing Boats are a low excitement gentle style ride. River Rapids tends to be low-medium excitement with low intensity. The Water Slide will be probably be low-medium excitement depending on how you set it up. Log flume is a medium-high excitement ride with medium intensity.

Rowing Boats can be ‘free-ranged’ meaning the AI can swim them all over the water tiles it is located in or be on an ‘on-rails’ track. The track I believe has less excitement while the free range option can sometimes cause the AI to get stuck.

The Water Slide, Log Flume and River Rapids are all custom setups. Only the water slide is somewhat complicated through. If the dingy crests a hill too fast it can go flying off (and explode for some reason). Special care should be made when designing water slides. You should enclose your crests to help prevent them jumping the track and leave the drops and other areas open.

Shops and Stalls are your merchandise stores, your eateries, washrooms, etc. You’ll want enough facilities to keep your guests happy. Sprinkle little food courts with a washroom around your park. Put a Information Kiosk right at the entrance to your park so your guests can pickup a map quickly. Drop the other stores around where you want, they make easy money.

Scenarios – Hints and Tricks

The first thing to do when starting a new scenario is to pause the game. Now, take stock of your situation.

  • What rides are currently built?
  • What rides are available to be built?
  • What type rides areĀ notĀ available to be built?
  • What is the state of the park?
  • Where is the entrance and what is the starting path system like?

Open the Research and Development Information Menu, switch the funding tab and set funding to Maximum. Money shouldn’t be an issue when you get some good rides out and you want to get new rides as fast as possible. Disable the Scenery and Themeing and Ride Improvements options. More ride options is more important than extra scenery or improvements to the existing ones at the beginning.

Next you want to disable any ride type options that you already have a decent supply of. If you don’t have a stall to sell drinks, for example, you’ll want to research one to keep guest happy.

Some scenarios have a complicated path system at the start. You want to bar access to this path as guests pathfinding AI is terrible. Never make a 2x tile path. Guests will walk around in circles and your park rating will tank. Keep the path system simple and avoid dead ends as this can cause the guests to get lost as well. You can delete one tile of the path or can drop a sign on the path with the ‘No Entry’ option selected. This will prevent guests from walking down the path. Make note of any vandalism and if paths have garbage bins and benches yet.

Building Your First Rides
Start off simple. Drop your gentle rides and thrill rides first. They’re quick and easy to make and don’t take much space. Open your park up and adjust the park entrance as required. The entrance fee can be set in the vanilla game, but is free in the expansions.

Next you’ll want to build something that will really bring in the guests and fill your bottom line. My personal suggestions (if they’re available):

  1. Any of the wild mouse coasters – they’re cheap, compact and can easily get high excitement ratings.
  2. Steel Mini Roller Coaster – excitement rating tends to be meh for me but it’s fairly cheap to make.
  3. Any coaster with powered launch or reverse inclined modes – extremely cheap to make, compact, excitement ratings are stupidly high, huge turnover; they make so much money that it’s pretty much cheese.
  4. Log flume – very popular, brings in good money but has mediocre capacity.

Build a food court and drop your stalls. Fill up your paths with improvements. You’ll want seats so guests can recover, bins so they can toss out their garbage and lights to improve security.

Hire some staff. You’ll want 2x handyman and 2x mechanics. Make sure you disable mow grass on the handyman. Set inspection time on the big money rides to 10 mins, leave the other rides at default.

Financial Information
From this menu you can take out loans, review your park’s profit and complete advertising campaigns.

Loans are an extremely powerful tool in Roller Coaster Tycoon. Interest is very minimal and you can use the extra money to build a number of profit generating rides to attract new guests and bring in extra profit.

Using Advertising is almost cheesing the game (especially in the vanilla game). Advertising campaigns will attract a considerable number of extra guests. In the vanilla you can set an entrance fee. The new guests pay to get in giving you more money which you use for the next campaign.

Using View Options
Click this tab to get an option to change your viewing options. Underground view is useful for seeing rides under the ground. See-through Rides / Scenery and invisibly supports / people will make it easier to see thing unobstructed. For example, select all four and you’ll be able to see your path network and check for vandalism.

Entrance and Ride Costs
Entrance fee is only applicable to the vanilla game. In the expansions you’re expected to make all money from rides. Entrance fee should be high enough that you make enough money to finance your new rides but not high enough that rides no longer have enough money to spend on stuff in your park.

The amount you can charge for your rides is determined by their excitement and how old they are. The more exciting, the more you can charge. The older they are, the less you can charge. Almost all your profit will come from coasters, water rides (excluding boat hire) and a handful of choice thrill rides. The other rides are there to get people into the park, keep them happy and boost your park rating and value.

To easily to see if a ride is popular or not click the ‘Rides and Attractions in Park’ menu. Then click the drop down and select popularity. Sort and find all rides with <5% popularity. Adjust the price until people come back. NOTE: Outdoor rides popularity will plummet if it’s raining, preferably do this when the weather is good.

Keeping Your Park Rating Up
Most missions require you to keep your park rating up. Many things can affect park rating. You can generally boost your rating by having more ride variety, having a large number of rides and having highly exciting rides. Awards can give you a further boost. The maximum park rating is 999 and you should be close to this or at it unless they’re is an issue in your park.

Lack of facilities will hurt your rating. Make sure you have enough shops and stalls to keep everybody happy. Overcharging can hurt your park rating. Vomit on paths and stuffed bins will lower your rating, if you have a problem hire more handymen. Vandalism will lower your rating. Inspect your entire path network and replace anything that is broken. Then hire security guards. A ride crash can severely affect your rating for a time.

Lost guests indicates a serious issues with your path network. If one guest gets lost then others will also get lost. Lost guests are unhappy. Unhappy guests will tank your rating. Check where the lost guests are getting stuck and try to adjust your path network. Remember avoid 2x tiles and dead ends as this can confuse the AI.

Roller Coasters – Hints and Tricks

Roller coasters are such an integral part of the game that they deserve a section just for themselves! Every coaster is different. Some can be more compact and / or cheaper to construct. Others can be built taller, faster. Others can have all sorts of inversions. The only way to really get good with coasters is to build a few hand-made so that you can get used to the ride elements.

Coaster Stats
When building coasters you need to pay attention to it’s stats: excitement, intensity and nausea.

Excitement indicates the enjoyability of a ride. The higher the excitement, the more you can charge for the ride and the more interest it will attract. Excitement can be boosted in a number of ways. The more variety the ride has the better.

  • Multiple different track pieces and inversions
  • Parts or all built under ground
  • Being close to water
  • Adding scenery to the ride (eventually ROI will be minimal)
  • Having coasters interlock themselves / others or having pathways or other rides going through loops or corkscrews
  • Intensity is not extreme or ultra-extreme; excitement will be garbage if it is
  • Intensity is not too low, low intensity coasters are not too exciting
  • Playing music increases excitement by a minimal amount
  • Emplying station synchronization

Intensity determines how intense the ride is. If a coaster is not intense enough then it is dull. If it is too intense then it is painful to ride and not enjoyable. It is dependent on ride speed, the G-Forces exerted and ride mechanics. Certain coasters tend to have higher intensity than others. Having a lot of inversions or poorly planned inversions can really hike your intensity. Having trains going over hills too fast is bad as well. Ride speed over loops, corkscrews and the like is very important; too fast and the intensity spikes, too slow and the train stalls. The best way to get used to using them is to practice a bit.

Nausea is linked vertical G-forces (up and down forces) and long stretches of low or Negative G-Forces. Rides that twist and turn a great deal will have an impact on nausea. Certain rides are much more likely to have higher nausea ratings than others. Of all the ratings this is the least important. Guests that ride coasters with high nausea rating will be more likely to puke than others. Build benches immediately outside the ride’s exit so they can recover and hire a suitable enough amount of handyman to deal with the mess.

Banked Curves
Your curves should always be banked. Banked curves can take much higher speeds and will have much lower intensity ratings. When making a curve, select roll for left-hand or right-hand in the Roll / Banking section depending on which direction you need to turn. You can’t go directly from a roll into a steep descent.

Building and Testing your Coaster
Roller coasters can be really complicated to setup. If you’re working on a large one I would suggest working on it in chunks. Build your station, your lift and the first part of the coaster. Then loop the end of the coaster to the station.

Open the ride window, on main tab on the right sides, there’s red, yellow and green buttons.
Clicking on the red button will close the ride. Clicking on the yellow button will test ride. Clicking on the green button will open the ride to the public. Setting to yellow will allow you to get an idea for how your ride behaves. See if the ride stalls or gets closed to stalling. If it does, tinker with your ride until it doesn’t. If the ride comes back with extreme intensity ratings review the G-forces and adjust the offending sections.

Once you’ve resolved the issues, build the next section of the ride and test again. This can be time consuming and is mostly required for working on larger coasters.

Station Synchronization
If stations are touching they can be synchronized. This option gives a nice boost to excitement.

Trains in synchronized stations will leave together; they don’t need to stay together once leaving. Just triggering the option boosts the excitement.

Open both adjacent station ride windows. Click the Show Ride / Attraction Operation Options and click the checkbox for ‘Synchronize with adjacent stations’.

Individual Coasters – Hints and Tricks

Wild Mouses – Cheap to create for a coaster, very compact and can get high excitement ratings fairly easily. Wild mouses can be built with sharp turns and steep, if not high, drops. Primary drawback is that they have low capacity. A good wild mouse has a couple of steep drops and a number of tight turns. Care must be made to keep speed under check on these turns through.

Steel Mini Roller Coaster – Relatively cheap to make but not particularly exciting imo. There’s a couple of alternative car types available for the ride that can tweak it’s capacity, excitement, intensity and nausea ratings. One thing of note is that the lift hill can be built as a spiral which can help for preserving space. Build a spiral lift, add a few drops and hills then return to station. It will bring in the early money which you can use to build a real coaster.

Wooden Roller Coaster – Requires lots of drops and hills to be good. Not something I’d recommend as your first coaster as it will take a lot of money to get a good one off the ground and it requires a decent amount of space. A good wooden coaster through is an exciting ride.

Steel Coaster – Can be built as a powered launch or reverse incline coaster. Grown up version of the steel mini, lets you add vertical loop inversion. Powered launch / reverse inclined coasters are insane money making machines. A normal coaster is pretty good too.

Steel Corkscrew Roller Coaster – An even better version of the steel coaster. Can be built to a large height and adds a number of additional inversion. In addition to the steel coaster’s helix and vertical loop the steel corkscrew can build half-loops and corkscrews. All these inversions can get pretty pricey and you need to watch out for the intensity rating but you can really get creative with this ride. Again can be be built as a Powered launch / reverse inclined coaster.

Stand-up Steel Roller Coaster – Horrible intensity, just stick with the Steel and Steel Corkscrews

Mine Train Coaster – One of my favourite coasters aesthetically. Requires a good amount of size and money to make a good one. Should be fast, smooth with lots of twisting turns and helixes and should be taking underground for best results.

Bobsled Coaster – One of the more ‘meh’ coasters. Requires lots of helixes and turns to get a reasonable excitement. As such, cost investment isn’t quite equal to the return you get. It also has the drawback that the trains are not fixed to the track so easily jump the track if it is not designed correctly.

Steeplechase – Not one of my favourites through it can get good excitement ratings. Low turnover and there’s no banking so you need be careful with the Gs.

Mini Suspended Coaster – Kind of similar to the steeplechase. Low capacity and turnover. Decent excitement. I usually just make them as a medium excitement / intensity coaster and use other coasters for my high intensity / excitement ones.

Reverse Freefall / Whoa Belly Coaster – It’s meh imo and requires a lot of room in a single line

Vertical Drop Coaster – One of the best coasters in the game. Expensive to build but it has huge capacity and you get high excitement from even simple coasters. Build the station and lift then add a delayed brake before the first drop. Have the drop go underground and pop up and return to the station. Basically you’re remaking Oblivion from Alton Towers. Quick and easy to make while having good excitement, turnover and profit. For more a more interesting ride, you can make multiple drops and climbs and adds loops.

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