Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started

“What the hell does the error, ‘Unable to find path to stop’ mean?” book-ended my first session with Transport Fever. I’d started play at an unwise time of night for a game I was still learning to be fair. But it was juuuust about enough for me to decide the game was ‘too quirky’ and put it down.

I’ve since come to love Transport Fever enough that it’s going to warrant a series. Considering a run at hard mode, starting in 1850, while attempting to achieve Penny Pincher, wherein you take no additional loans beyond what you start the game with until the year 2000.

I’d love for more people to be able to get on board as well, so hopefully sharing some of my early frustrations and their solutions will help, in addition to perhaps just some nice to know tips. So here’s the first of these, dealing with this blasted error!

Starting out, that little nondescript error box can become a nightmare.

Trains and the ‘Unable to Find Path to Stop’ Error

The most common reason for this is that your track isn’t actually connected like you think it is.

This will happen most often when either the angle of attack for joining the lines isn’t right. You might need to bulldoze further back where you’re trying to join to come in with a softer angle.

Even at a reasonably zoomed out view, it is possible to identify when this is happening. You’ll see far more speed indicators when it is creating a line that crosses over rather than joining. When it is ‘right’ there will be three key speed indicators surrounding the point of the join.

Here we go, this will work.

In addition to seeing only speed indicators for the track immediately before the join, at the point of the join, and immediately after — we can also tell this is right by the track positioning control doodackey being dead centre on the track we’re joining.

Unable to Find Path to Stop can Occur with Trucks, too

You might find it to be a connectivity error with the roads, but this is generally much easier to spot than the train example.

Most likely if you get this with trucks (or buses) then the line you’ve created is a complete mismatch of station/stop types.

Transport Fever does allow some flexibility here. Passengers will happily disembark at a freight station. Cargo can even be unloaded at a bus station if the catchment area includes the industry or property types that will consume it. This is actually quite useful when you’re dealing with just a small town in the 1850’s.

But passengers and cargo will never load at an incorrect station type.

After stations are placed you’ll need to visually identify them for type. Left is a small passenger stop, with seating. Passenger train stations will similarly have benches. Middle is the freight station with plenty of loading space. On the right is simply the road vehicle depot.

If you’ve inadvertently setup a passenger to passenger line, and you attempt to assign a vehicle that carries only cargo to it (or vice versa) — you’ll see your old friend ‘Error: Unable to path to stop’.

Interestingly, setting up a train incorrectly in this way will allow the train to run regardless of the type mismatch. Possibly this is because it could be ‘fixed’ with adding an additional carriage of the right type.

Signals Might be to Blame

Signals may well require a post all of their own, but your first adventures with double tracking and signals may well cause the re-emergence of the ‘Unable to find path to stop’ error.

You’ll have found that simply creating a double track doesn’t mean your line will automatically use it. You will need signals to make it operate efficiently with more than one train.

Track is correctly setup with a join at both this station and the other, but the line still wants to travel both directions up one side. Not exactly conducive to having multiple trains run the line.

Here are some things to note:

  • Transport Fever pathing prefers traveling on the right side, even if you’re playing the Britain map.
  • You don’t want to create any stops at a signal which will result in blocking other trains or traffic.
  • Without signals, trains will check the entire section of rail ahead of it is clear, up until the next station.1
  • Trains in Transport Fever will never crash. At worst, they’ll get stuck.
  • Where you have contest for right of way, generally an unsignaled train will have right of way over a signaled train. Queuing and wait rules will be smartly managed though.
This one signal was enough to update the line’s routing. But not quite enough to fix all issues!

Facing the direction of travel, I placed just one signal on the right side. I placed it far enough back that any train exiting the station still has room to get by on the left.

If I had placed the signal much further forward at the split, we could still run into situations where two trains found themselves in a stand-off and unable to move.

You need to place another signal at the other station as well to prevent the same happening there. Flip the camera as necessary to again align yourself to direction of travel and place the signal on the right side, before the merge.

This is your minimal set of signals, and this should work in that trains should be permitted to be assigned to the line. If you have simplified your signals down to this level, and you still can’t — check your joins or other sources of potential trouble again.

Signals Continued…

…I mean we got this far. May as well finish the basic introduction!

Signalling for the Train Depot

I might have to adjust this in the future if my train length grows.

Your depot may not require this, especially if you’ve simply attached it to the end of a station. But I figure this shows the principles in action again so might be useful.

The trains inbound to the depot will come from the right as we’ve discussed. I want them to be controlled off the main line and out of the way so that other trains can still carry on without interruption. To that end I pushed the signal as close to the join as I possibly could that still allows trains outbound from the depot to get by.

Similarly, trains leaving the depot should give right of way to any train already at full speed on the main line. I’m controlling them with the signal as close to the main line as possible to create space for any potential train incoming to the depot while one waits to leave.

That situation should be fairly rare, but as I noted under the image, if my trains start getting longer I’ll have to bulldoze this on/off section and rework it for additional length before the join.

Signal Pairs on the Main Line

This deals with the principle that in Transport Fever trains will look ahead at the next entire segment of track. If it has a train on it (even if they’re going in the same direction) the next train will not go until it is clear.

That is currently a huge block of track uncontrolled by signals that trains would have to wait to be clear before starting at the moment.

Fortunately, this has a simple fix. You apply signal pairs at regular intervals down the length of the track.

You don’t need them to be too close, but you will need (at minimum) one segment for every train you plan to run, otherwise eventually you will get something stuck. Being too far apart is not great either though simply due to the wait times if one section does happen to be blocked.

Here’s what I changed mine to:

Much better. Trains should be able to freely flow along this path.

And that’s it for the basics! Hopefully it helps. :D

One Final Bonus Tip on Pairing Bus Stops

Knowing that Transport Fever travels on the right (even in maps set in Britain) can certainly help when placing your bus stops in avoiding your carriages taking truly bizarre routes through town.

But you can simplify it a heck of a lot further by simply placing two bus stops together, one on either side of the road.

Transport Fever will automatically consider these as a single terminal/point for the purposes of creating your lines and will route to the correct side of the road depending on the needs of your path.

On the left, can see the bus stops have been automatically considered as a single point with two terminals. Lines using this will be free to approach from whichever side of the road is best. On the right, is a single bus stop. Lines using it from the ‘wrong’ side will need to turn around, often in a loop.

A new Anthem demo approaches

Less than a day stands between us and the launch of the next Anthem demo. This time the floodgates spread open, the spigots of access turned to full.

It will be the best of times. It may also be the worst of times. BioWare’s Head of Live Service, Chad Robertson has posted some information setting expectations.

There are a few key takeaways, but perhaps the main one is that the dreaded infinite / 95% loading bug should be fixed. We’ll see. I’m personally a little sceptical. Not I hasten to add due to a belief in any lack of effort on their part, but because this shit is hard.

From the last go-around, there were reports that simply changing your Window’s clock settings to ‘Auto’ was making a measurable difference for some people. There was also mention that there was interplay between various local (in-home) and ISP specific routing methods contributing to the problems.

There has been more testing over the course of the week, and I hope for everyone’s sake that they’ve nailed this one. I’m just saying don’t be surprised if some people still strike it.

Any other differences to this build?

Not really – we’re still not going to be playing the ‘live’ version of the game, so there is still — as with last time — a myriad of fixes that have been made that we won’t see the benefit of.

Examples?

  • Live version will allow you to run in Fort Tarsis,
  • A squad indicator, showing you direction of your teammates even if they pass the range of your main HUD display
  • Loot won’t come with 0% inscriptions
  • Loot won’t come with inscriptions that are literally impossible to use (e.g., Interceptor mod with Ranger gear buffs)
  • Fixes to other bugs/issues ranging from audio issues, XP gain problems, flight control feeling off for M+KB players, etc.

So all that and more (Dantics has a great video on the topic here, actually) we will have to wait for the live version of the game.

Any reason to play again this weekend?

What… What sort of question is this? I don’t even…

No no- I got you. Progress is carrying over from last weekend, so if you feel maxed out already this is a legitimate question. There are a couple of potential draws though which you possibly might not know about.

  1. On the last day of the VIP demo — BioWare opened up all four Javelins to all VIP demo players. So if you didn’t get a chance to max out (or at least test out, to your satisfaction) the other two Javelins, you now can.
  2. A live event has been teased for Sunday afternoon (or Monday for Aus/NZ folk — there was a dev tweet suggesting they would look after us timewise so that we could play too, even allowing for work, etc — but no details yet on what this looks like.)

The common belief is that the live event will be a Shaper Storm — one of the big storms we see at the end of the E3 2017 Gameplay Video, right before the cut without seeing where it goes or what it does. Shaper Storms are expected to be another type of endgame content, but at this stage very little is known.

The embargo on endgame content is also due to end tomorrow in line with the opening of the demo, so from a timeline perspective it’s certainly possible.

Personally I’m expecting something a little lower key; perhaps some sort of mob invasion, or freeplay world boss event — a general playing with the live service ‘dungeon master’ type tools.

I guess we’ll soon see! I’ll be sure to update my impressions afterward!