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Paths allow your guests and staff to walk around, and are required to be placed before they are able to navigate around the park.
Guests and Paths
An unlimited number of guests can walk on a path in any direction, and they never bump into each other.
Guests will follow a path until an intersection, entrance, exit or until the end, they can't turn around in the middle of a path. Unless you provide guests with maps, the direction the guests take is purely random. Guests with maps will head towards their destination rides/stalls, and avoid paths leading to dead ends. The flow of people can be directed away from dead ends by placing 'No entry' signs.
Guests never leave a path unless you delete paths or they fall off a ride exit onto the ground (or you pick them up and place them off a path). Those "lost" guests wander around on the ground until they find a path.
Queue lines are built from ride entrances and allow people to queue for rides. In the original RCT, all queue lines were blue. Corkscrew Follies allows the building of green, red and yellow queue lines. When a queue line connects to an entrance and a normal path, a banner displaying either "closed" or the ride name will appear at the head of the queue line.
Normal paths allow normal movement, but Queue Lines can also function as general paths if they don't lead to a ride entrance. In RCT1, there were 5 different kinds of path design. The selection was expanded in Corkscrew Follies and further in Loopy Landscapes.
Queue lines won't connect to adjacent queue lines, thus they never form intersections. In contrast, they will always connect to an adjacent normal path. Once a queue line connects to a path, you can no longer extend it.
Normal paths always connect to other adjacent normal paths. In RCT2 and RCT1, the creation of 2 paths side by side will form a wider continually intersecting path; many guests in RCT1 become stuck as they wander in circles around the paths. In RCT3, large intersecting paths no longer caused guests to be stuck.
Path building options
Paths can be built in 2 ways in RCT1 and 2. A first, direct method allows you to place path square by square, but only on flat and sloped terrain tile (not diagonal slopes or edges). Path tiles automatically connect to adjacent path tiles, forming continuous paths. Sloped paths only connect to paths on the top or bottom edges, 2 sloped paths running side by side never connect. Ground paths cost $10 in the original RCT, queue lines $12, but both were revised to $12 in Loopy Landscapes. Paths are deleted by right-clicking on them. The refund is always $10 regardless of what the path originally cost. The player should be careful not to delete a path when it is above water and guests are walking on it, else they will fall and drown in the water.
You can also change the path style or type of existing paths that way. This applies even to underground or elevated paths. There are also different types of structures for support when building paths above ground and for tunnel entrances when underground. Replacing a path with a different type/style costs $6.
The second method allows you to select the head tile, i.e. where you start building the path, and allows you to add paths linearilly section by section. You specify the direction using the arrow buttons.
In this method, you can add elevated paths by selecting the slope up/down options. Elevated paths cost more than normal paths, depending on the height. Supports can be customised in Loopy Landscapes, up to 5 options are available. Paths have a maximum support height of 20 in RCT1. Trying to create paths any higher off the ground will cause an error message saying "Can't build footpath here, too high for supports". Paths can be built over tracks and other paths; a clearance of 2 height marks is needed for guests to pass through.
By building into a vertical face of terrain two tiles high, underground paths or tunnels can be created. Underground paths always cost $32 in RCT1, regardless of depth. Underground paths must clear other rides/paths and surface by 2 height marks underneath.
Guests getting lost can be a huge problem in RCT1 and RCT2, since their artificial intelligence is very limited. Most of the time, people wander around aimlessly, but it can happen that they have a specific destination: the park exit, a ride, a food/drink stall or a bathroom.
As guests can't turn around in the middle of a path, they need a special point for that: intersections, including ride exits, shops and stalls or benches (if they sit down). On every such decision point, they will choose the direction which is closer to their target, although, they will head straight to it and don't recognise dead ends. This can lead to your guests getting trapped. If they head for a ride, they will sooner or later give up, but if they want to leave the park, it can happen that they are trapped endlessly getting angry. This causes your park rating to drop rapidly, same as if you block the park exit. Therefore, dead ends facing the exit have to be avoided. Remember that guests can decide to leave your park on every single tile.
Also, long or ways with too many intersections to their destination can cause guests to lose happiness or get lost. A path can be as complicated as you want, and, as long as there are no decision points, your guests can't get lost. This is the reason why it is recommended to block ride exits with one-way signs if they are causing problems.
Many scenarios start with a suboptimal path system which can lead the player into continuing it that way - but often enough, it's a wise choice to remove it and start over. Paths leading to areas devoid of attractions and stalls should be removed or blocked off, because guests walking on them will get tired. Make use of do not enter signs. If a peep doesn't need to go down an exit path, they shouldn't go down it.
In RCT3, paths need more attention than in previous games. Peeps get confused when paths are bigger than 2 blocks wide! So, keep to two or less. Try to keep a central design. One big path that loops around or two smaller paths that branch out. Make exits longer than you need for roller coasters, that way peeps don't bunch up areas near the exit. Avoid one block wide paths in major intersections. Avoid stairs unless for the excitement bonus as they clog up parks.
List of Paths
- Ash (since Added Attractions)
- Brown Tarmac (since Added Attractions)
- Green Tarmac (since Added Attractions)
- Grey Tiled (since Added Attractions)
- Space Style (since Added Attractions)
- Green Tiled (since Loopy Landscapes)
- Red Tiled (since Loopy Landscapes)
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3
- Under-Water Tunnel
- Sandy Path
- Tarmac Path
- Steel Path
- Ornate Path
- Marble Path
- Leaf Path
- Dirt-Track Path
- Crazy-paved Path
- Asphalt Path
- Spooky Queue Line Path
- Sci-Fi Queue Line Path
- Adventure Queue Line Path
- Western Queue Line Path
- Generic Queue Line Path
Trivia and Tips
- In RCT1, there is a bug where when you place a sloping path directly in front of a ride exit at the same height, guests magically float up on to the sloped paths even though the path is not connected. Mechanics cannot enter by this way though, so make sure paths always connect to ride exits.
- In RCT1, if you convert a queue line with guests already queuing on them into a normal path, queuing guests will continue to stay in line until the line moves. Then they will walk all the way up the queue line (as like normal paths) and reach the entrance, only to turn back and resume walking normally. This is the same behaviour as seen when closing the ride the queue leads to.
- Guests never vandalize objects or puke when on an underground path.
- If you delete an elevated path the guests on it will drop to the ground or a lower path. Delete an underground path, and the guests on it will "drop" into the void and simply vanish.
- To prevent the queue line from prematurely connecting to a normal path, start from the desired end point and head towards the entrance or delete an adjacent path and build the queue line until you reach the desired end point. Alternatively, place fences between sections of path that you don't want connecting. You can delete the fences once the paths are placed, and they will remain separated. This does not work for RCT1 however.
- Queue lines also have a tendency to connect to an adjacent ride exit or stall, causing them to end there. So, don't place entrances close to exits or stalls to prevent this from happening.
- The only staff who purposely leave paths are handymen who have the option to mow grass.