Train Sim World 4 – Basic Guide (How to Play)

Welcome to Train Sim World 4, a highly immersive rail simulation, featuring authentic routes and trains from around the world.

Guide to Basics


Free Roam

Discover routes entirely in your own, unique way with Free Roam. Spawn into an empty route of your choice and place down any formations that you desire, wherever you like! Climb aboard a train and set a path to anywhere you wish to explore, and just drive there. This is your sandbox experience. It even works in Timetable Mode!


Scenarios deliver individual, more narrative-driven gameplay, ranging anything from unique weather challenges, lineside obstructions, faults or disruption to one-off rail operations and services. With a step-by-step instruction set, Scenarios are a perfect way to dive in and experience a handful of what any route has to offer.


Timetables represent a full 24-hours’ worth of services on any route. Traffic volumes can vary throughout the day and night, and AI traffic can vary by season. With trains constantly moving about, string together your own experience by driving your own shift patterns, riding as a passenger, or watching all the trains go by.

Rail Journeys

Rail Journeys tie together Scenarios and Timetables, along with relevant Training, so you can learn all you need to know about a train, then put that theory into practice throughout a range of increasingly challenging experiences. Once you’re all done with the included chapters, there’s still the rest of the timetable to explore!

Quick Play

Quick Play will randomly select any Training, Scenario or Timetable Service that you haven’t yet completed, from anywhere in your collection. Maybe you will be driving a train you haven’t tried yet, or revisiting a classic route you haven’t experienced in a while. Quick Play also lets you pick between duration times, so you can even squeeze in a quicker service if you’re in a hurry.

Creators Club & Dovetail Live

Formation Designer

Using your entire collection of locos, units, rolling stock and custom liveries – you can now assemble your own formations as you please. Within the confines of coupling and braking characteristics, piece together your perfect custom train exactly as you want it, then take that formation and put it to use in Scenario Planner, but also in Free Roam!

Photo Mode

A train races past, you fly over a bridge, or the sunset just looks awesome – with Photo Mode, you can capture it all! Pause in the middle of all the action, and then select Photo Mode to enter a space where the world is frozen, but you can still move the camera – tweak with camera effects and align the perfect shot. Save shots in your own Gallery, and upload them on Dovetail Live.

Livery Designer

Expand your creativity with the Livery Designer. Now you can apply custom text using textbox input, selecting from the suite of available in-game fonts. Made a mistake? Undo & Redo are now possible! Give your livery a description so people know what it is, and choose whether a livery is active or hidden for Timetables. Oh, and now you can place 1000 decals per vehicle!

Scenario Planner

Make more detailed scenarios with the Scenario Planner. Write a description to set the scene, and pick custom weather for an additional challenge! Chain paths for multi-step movements, and make routes busier than ever by spawning and despawning AI in portals. Let the action unfold with custom start times, the AI can start to move before the player service begins.

Online Sharing Hub

Made something that’s just too good for others to miss out on? Or maybe your friends have made their own content and you want to give it a go. With the Online Sharing Hub, you can upload and download custom-made liveries, scenarios and formations, share content across all platforms and discover a whole new world of experiences.


Complete challenges and unlock rewards! With the power of Dovetail Live, complete a series of challenges with every route to unlock additional items for your content; new scenery tiles which add something unique to every route, as well as additional decals that can further power your creativity in the Livery Designer.

Navigating Train Sim World 4

The first time you launch Train Sim World 4, the initial thing you will need is a profile. If you are already a TSW3 or TSW2 player, you will be able to import your existing profile, but if you’re new, you will be able to pick a name, character, and also a preset for your experience, which will turn on and off various ease-of-access settings, as well as direct you towards the fundamental tutorials if needed.

You can always go into the settings menu and change these later.

Now that you’re all set with a profile, and you’ve potentially played the fundamental tutorials, welcome to the main menu!

To The Trains will take you into a further menu where you can start to select your gameplay, you can choose to pick your experience either by route, train, or journey.

Training Center is the hub for all fundamental and train-specific tutorials – if you’re brand new to trains, this is where you will have started already, but it’s also where you will find new training for other locomotives.

Creators Club is the hub for all the in-game creative tools, Livery Designer, Formation Designer and Scenario Planner, as well as the Online Sharing Hub.

Store will let you have a peek at the additional content old and new, there are over 80 loco and route expansions for you to pick and choose from, with more on the way!

The settings page will open the various options and parameters you can set to customize your experience – the available pages will vary per platform.

Dovetail Live is the home of all things online, you can check your Mastery progress, access and manage your photo gallery, catch up with the latest news and articles, there is also access to the Creators Club via this page.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7102 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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