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Original author(s)Ludvig Strigeus
Developer(s)OpenTTD Team
Initial release0.1 / 6 March 2004; 18 years ago (2004-03-06)[1]
Stable release
12.2 / 2 April 2022; 9 months ago (2022-04-02)[2]
Written inC, C++, Objective-C, Squirrel[3]
TypeBusiness simulation game
LicenseGPL-2-0-only[4] Edit this at Wikidata

OpenTTD is a business simulation game in which players try to earn money by transporting passengers, minerals and goods via road, rail, water and air. It is an open-source[5] remake and expansion of the 1995 Chris Sawyer video game Transport Tycoon Deluxe.

OpenTTD duplicates most features of Transport Tycoon Deluxe and has many additions, including a range of map sizes, support for many languages, custom (user-made) artificial intelligence (AI), downloadable customisations, ports for several widely used operating systems, and a more user-friendly interface.[6][7] OpenTTD also supports local area network (LAN) and Internet multiplayer, co-operative and competitive, for up to 255 players.

OpenTTD is free and open-source software licensed under the GNU GPL-2-0-only[8] and is under ongoing development. According to a study of the 61,154 open-source projects on SourceForge in the period between 1999 and 2005, OpenTTD ranked 8th most active open-source project to receive patches and contributions.[9] In 2004, development moved to their own server.[10] Since 2018, the project uses GitHub for its source repository and bug tracker.[10] Starting from April 1, 2021, the game is now also available on Steam.[11]


The development of OpenTTD was driven by the desire to extend the abilities of Transport Tycoon Deluxe to support user-made additions to the graphics and gameplay, as well as the desires of users to play the game on more modern operating systems and alternative computer architectures which the original game (released in 1994 for DOS and programmed in assembly language) did not support.

Prior modifications to Transport Tycoon Deluxe[edit]

There was a prior attempt to modify Transport Tycoon Deluxe to run on more modern operating systems. OpenTTD was preceded by a commercial conversion of Transport Tycoon Deluxe to run on Windows 95. It was created in 1996 by the FISH technology group, but Nola released in 1999 as part of a compilation of older Tycoon games. This release was still greatly restricted in operating systems and computer architectures it could run on.

Similarly, there was an earlier success aiming to open Transport Tycoon Deluxe to modification by users. TTDPatch, initially created by Josef Drexler in 1996–97 and still being developed in 2010, changes the behaviour of Transport Tycoon Deluxe as it is running, to introduce many new features to the game, such as new graphics, vehicles, industries, etc. TTDPatch is restricted by the same operating system and computer architecture limits as Transport Tycoon Deluxe and has limited control over what features of the game can be altered.

Initial development of OpenTTD[edit]

In 2003, Ludvig Strigeus announced that he intended to reverse engineer Transport Tycoon Deluxe and convert the game to C. On March 6, 2004 this re-engineered Transport Tycoon Deluxe was released and named OpenTTD.[1][12] As of 2023, OpenTTD is still under active development.

The early development of OpenTTD focused on restructuring the code to improve readability and extensibility. This allowed restoring features like sound and music, improving the user interface and introducing new languages for the GUI. Many new gameplay features and possibilities for user modification were also added around this time, aiming to replicate the abilities of TTDPatch. A major improvement was reprogramming multiplayer (network games) to use the internet protocol, allowing multiplayer gaming online and over modern LANs.

By the late 2000s, OpenTTD was a stable and popular game and development moved toward more substantial changes. 2007 saw the development of support for custom, user-made AIs, which can provide players with more of a challenge than the original AI.[13][14][15] Other more major changes included introducing support for IPv6,[16][17] an integrated download system for user-made customisations, and support for alternative base graphics, sound and music sets in 2009. Since 2007, OpenTTD is gradually being rewritten in C++.[18]


OpenTTD gameplay is very similar to Transport Tycoon Deluxe, on which it is based, although there are many improvements in both options within the game and ease of use.[7][19] A player's aim is to build a transportation network using trucks, buses, trains, airplanes and boats to link together industries and towns on the map and transport the cargo they produce. Every time a vehicle makes a delivery of some cargo, players receive an income, allowing them to build more infrastructure (rails, stations, etc.), build more vehicles, modify the terrain, and interact with towns, via their local authorities. The default game runs from 1950 to 2050, during which a player aims to get as high a performance rating (based on number of vehicles, income, amount of cargo delivered, etc.) as possible.

Chart illustrating flow of commodities between industries and towns in Temperate scenarios in OpenTTD.

The world map is dotted with both industries and towns. Cargo for transportation is supplied by both industries (e.g. the coal mine which produces coal) and towns (which produce passengers and mail) and accepted by other industries and/or towns according to their needs (e.g., the power station accepts coal). Placing a station near a source and a receiver of a certain cargo allows transportation between the two. The amount of cargo supplied by a town or industry depends on the quality of transport players provide to move its goods. Payment for delivering cargo depends on the quantity of cargo delivered, how fast it was delivered and how perishable it is. Some cargoes (e.g., passengers) must be delivered faster than others (e.g., coal) to earn a good income.

The introduction of the "Path Signal" to OpenTTD, in addition to the traditional "Block Signal" from the original Transport Tycoon, increases throughput of railway junction-crossing.

During the course of the game, players must build and expand their transport infrastructure. The only infrastructure present on the map at the start of the game are roads within towns (as well as seas and rivers which ships can utilise). All other infrastructure—ports, stations, airports, rail, canals, locks, aqueducts and depots—must be built by players. The tools for building a rail network are particularly powerful, and players have access to many different signal types to build a complex and interconnected rail network.

Technology improvements give players access to newer, faster and more powerful vehicles. For rail transport, new track technology also becomes available over time, first electrified rail, then monorail and maglev track. In general, newer vehicles cost more money to buy and run, and players must have earned enough money in earlier stages of the game to be able to afford to upgrade their vehicles. The full course of the default game, from 1950 to 2050, takes around 24 hours.[20] Players can optionally start at earlier dates and play on past 2050, although no new technology becomes available.

OpenTTD can be played by one player, against a computer controlled AI, or by many players against each other, over a LAN or the Internet.


OpenTTD supports multiplayer games for up to 255 players between 15 different transport companies, and can be played both over a LAN or over the Internet. Each transport company is in competition with each other transport company, and each transport company can be controlled by more than one player at any time. This allows both co-operative and competitive multiplayer games. Competitive team games (e.g. two transport companies, each controlled by three players) are also possible.


The game is also home to an active modding community, with community-made additions including new vehicles, trains and scenarios.[21] Additional changes to the open source code which modify core game mechanics ("patches") are also available.[22]


OpenTTD has been praised for the number of improvements it has made to the original Transport Tycoon Deluxe, such as the AI, graphics, sounds, and ability to play multiplayer.[23] OpenTTD received the most votes for Game of the Year for the 2004 Amiga Games Award.[24] Lewis Denby from PC Gamer ranked OpenTTD 20th in its May 2011 list of best free PC games.[25] Hungarian Unix Portal users chose OpenTTD as favourite (free) game in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010.[26][27][28][29] In 2014 OpenTTD was named by PCGamer among the "Ten top fan remade classics you can play for free right now".[30] In 2015 and 2016, Rock, Paper, Shotgun ranked OpenTTD 8th on its The 50 Best Free Games on PC list.[31][32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b orudge (March 6, 2004). "I proudly present to you OpenTTD!". Transport Tycoon Forums. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  2. ^ "OpenTTD 12.2". GitHub. April 2, 2022. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  3. ^ "GitHub repository". GitHub. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
  4. ^ copying on
  5. ^ "About OpenTTD". Official OpenTTD website. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  6. ^ "OpenTTD 0.7.4". Heise Software Verzeichnis. Archived from the original on December 28, 2009. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  7. ^ a b Dmitri Popov (June 2006). "OpenTTD – Open source hauls the classic Transport Tycoon Delux game into the future" (PDF). TUX Magazine: 44–46.
  8. ^ "OpenTTD". OpenTTD. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  9. ^ Belenzon, Sharon & Schankerman, Mark A. (October 2008). "Motivation and Sorting in Open Source Software Innovation" (PDF). EDS Innovation Research Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 18, 2011. Position 8th, Name OpenTTD, Topic Simulation, License GNU GPL, License Type Highly Restrictive, Age 2, # Developers 11, # Patches received 874, # Patches Contributed 182 {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ a b TrueBrain (April 14, 2018). "OpenTTD source migration and other changes". Transport Tycoon Forums. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  11. ^ TrueBrain (April 1, 2021). "OpenTTD 1.11.0". OpenTTD. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  12. ^ "TTDPatch origin". Transport Tycoon Forums. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  13. ^ Luis Henrique Oliveira Rios; Luiz Chaimowicz (October 2009). "trAIns: An Artificial Intelligence for OpenTTD" (PDF). VIII Brazilian Symposium on Games and Digital Entertainment. Special Commission of Games and Digital Entertainment of the Computing Brazilian Society. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  14. ^ "NoAI Merge". Official OpenTTD News. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
  15. ^ Carsten Schnober (June 2009). "Projects on the move" (PDF). Linux Pro Magazine. Linux New Media USA, LLC. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 24, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  16. ^ "IPv6 support news article". Official OpenTTD news. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
  17. ^ "Changelog for version 1.0". Changelog in the svn branch 1.0. Archived from the original on March 8, 2010. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
  18. ^ "Merge the cpp (C++) branch". Revision log of OpenTTD's version control system. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  19. ^ McCullagh, Jonny (January 2008). "Install Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe (OpenTTD)" (PDF). Ubuntu Full Circle Magazine: 20–21. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 8, 2011.
  20. ^ "Game speed is too fast". Transport Tycoon Forums. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  21. ^ Bolding, Jonathan (February 7, 2021). "Transport management classic OpenTTD is coming to Steam". PC Gamer.
  22. ^ "OPenTTD|Patches". Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  23. ^ Blake, Michael (June 23, 2011). "PC Gaming: Doomed? or zDoomed?". IGN. Archived from the original on June 27, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  24. ^ "Amiga Games Award 2004". Amiga Games Hit Parade. Archived from the original on December 5, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  25. ^ Denby, Lewis. "20 free PC games you must play". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  26. ^ "HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2005 – eredményhirdetés". Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP) (in Hungarian). Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  27. ^ "HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2007 – eredményhirdetés". Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP) (in Hungarian). Archived from the original on January 31, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  28. ^ "HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2009 – eredményhirdetés". Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP) (in Hungarian). Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  29. ^ "HUP Olvasók Választása Díj 2010 – eredményhirdetés". Hungarian Unix Portal (HUP) (in Hungarian). Archived from the original on January 13, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  30. ^ Craig Pearson (January 1, 2014). "Ten top fan-remade classics you can play for free right now". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on May 10, 2016.
  31. ^ "The 50 Best Free Games on PC". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. October 16, 2015. Archived from the original on October 9, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  32. ^ RPS (October 31, 2016). "The 50 Best Free Games on PC". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017.

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