Beginner’s Guide to Railgrade
- Use track height to your advantage
Railgrade is a railroad strategy game with a sci-fi twist. You have been tasked with operating a series of off-world settlements by introducing railway infrastructure. By building pathways and stations between a variety of resources, factories, and settlements, you’ll earn money while increasing your manpower and network efficiency.
But Railgrade is no ordinary train simulation. Rather than being left on your own to create your own colony, you are thrust into specific situations that you must find a solution to. This will come in the form of one or more challenges, and there is always a timer. The faster you complete the challenge, the bigger the reward. Here we will give you some beginner tips to help you make this network work.
Get all your vouchers
Before starting a level, note the leaderboard goal timer on the right of the screen. You can also see your rank decrease during the game at the top left of your screen. Each level has four potential passing gradeseach with a time that must be beaten to reach them.
These start to five minutes for the best mark but climb much higher (an hour or more) as you progress through the game. You will receive five vouchers for the “S” grade, four for the “A”, three for the “B” and two for the “C”. But it is important to note that:
- You can’t miss a level. If you complete the task at any time, you can move on to the next one.
- You can redo the levels to get the full complement of vouchers. You can only get five vouchers per level, so re-leveling will make up the difference if you do better, rather than giving you the full reward. However, vouchers are the only currency in the game, and you’ll want as many of them as possible.
Vouchers can be spent to purchase licenses. These will allow you to upgrade industries, engines, and other extras, allowing you to manage your networks more efficiently. But there are also some fun cosmetic items, such as extra soundtrack tracks. Once you have purchased a license, it is available for the rest of the game.
Take your time
This might seem counterintuitive in a game that rewards you for leveling up quickly, but remember you can come back to redo the levels at any time. This means that you don’t have to complete a level perfectly the first time. Learn the lay of the land and see exactly what you need to do. To note the level timer will not start until you start your first moving train. This is extremely important, as it allows you to plan and then build tracks and stations before the timer starts.
Taking your time also applies to how you build. It is recommended from the start of start small and build. Take short AB routes between locations that you know should work together, with small trains and short stations. This early resource trickle can make the difference between rank tiers. When it’s possible, quickly deliver goods to earn income, rather than achieving your goals. You will probably need money to achieve your goals by expanding your network anyway.
Efficiency is key
When you sum up each level, you’re basically trying to complete each task as quickly and efficiently as possible. All you have to do is craft or deliver enough to complete your goal. So don’t waste money until you need it. As long as you’ve built diligently, everything can be expanded or improved over time.
- Train and station length: A train can be longer than the station to which it delivers. The only penalty is the time it takes to overload the cargo. So try to keep it in direct multiples. So if you have a three-length station, try making trains with three or six cars to avoid inefficiency. Also, if you start with a short station, will you have room to do it five or six parts later if you need to? Remember that stations can only be built on flat ground and must touch the building.
- Wagons are single use: However, it can still be efficient to have a single train performing two tasks, such as delivering one item and then collecting another at its destination to transport it. This is especially true when you can deliver a catalyst to a resource site and then pick up its goods to deliver. Wagons tend to be cheap, so this can be great where you can build an efficient loop.
- Production versus capacity: Keep an eye on all your trains. If either is empty or full, something is wrong. Can we increase production via a catalyst? Or deliver a product to a different location or perhaps move workers from one site to another?
Use track height to your advantage
Sometimes you’re forced to run your tracks up and down mountains or hills, which can be a pain when they slow down. However, a race track at different levels (using the F and V keys) can also work in your favoralthough it is a bit more expensive.
- Tiered Stations: You will often find that you want to run several lines in a tricky place. A great way to get around this problem is to have multiple stations above each using track height. The elevated track costs more, so try to get it down to ground level as soon as possible. And remember that you can build a parallel station two spaces from the source.
- Bridge: Ghosting means trains can still pass each other, but it slows them down considerably when they do. It is always more efficient to run a line across another track using stilts, rather than creating an unwanted junction.
Next: Railgrade: How to beat the clock and get the S grade on every level