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1) About

Simutrans is a freeware and open-source transportation simulator. Your goal is to establish a successful transport company. Transport passengers, mail and goods by rail, road, ship, and even air. Interconnect districts, cities, public buildings, industries and tourist attractions by building a transport network you always dreamed of.

1.1) Download Simutrans

You can download Simutrans from:

There is a "nightly" version available, but most most people should use the last "stable" release.

1.2) Helpful links

Main sites


Additional downloads

2) Compiling Simutrans

This is a short guide on compiling simutrans. If you want more detailed information, read the Compiling Simutrans wiki page.

If you are on Windows, download either Microsoft Visual Studio or MSYS2. MSVC is easy for debugging, MSYS2 is easy to set up (but it has to be done on the command line).

2.1) Getting the Source Code

You can download the latest version with a SVN client:

svn checkout svn://

If you prefer to use git, there is a mirror of the svn repository available at github:

git clone

Note that the svn repository is the main repository, and the git repository is just a mirror. If you use git instead of svn, you will need to set the game version manually for network play.

2.2) Getting the libraries

This is a list of libraries used by Simutrans. Not all of them are necessary, some are optional, so pick them according to your needs. Read below about how to install them.

Library Website Necessary? Notes
zlib Necessary Basic compression support
bzip2 Necessary Alternative compression. You can pick this or zstd
libpng Necessary Image manipulation
libSDL2 Necessary* *On Linux & Mac. Optional but recommended for Windows. Graphics back-end
libzstd Optional Alternative compression (larger save files than bzip2, but faster)
libfreetype Optional TrueType font support
libminiupnpc Optional Easy Server option
libfluidsynth Optional MIDI playback recommended on Linux & temporarily on Mac
libSDL2_mixer Optional Alternative MIDI playback and sound system

You will also need pkgconfig (Unix) or vcpkg (Microsoft Visual C++)

  • MSVC: Copy install-building-libs-{architecture}.bat to the vcpkg folder and run it.
  • MSYS2/Ubuntu/Debian: Run to get the libraries and set up the environment.
  • Linux: Use to search for development libraries available in your package manager.
  • Mac: Install libraries via Homebrew.

2.3) Compiling

Go to the source code directory of simutrans (simutrans/trunk if you downloaded from svn). You have three build systems to choose from: make, MSVC, and CMake. We recommend make or MSVC for debug builds.

Compiling will give you only the executable, you still need a Simutrans installation to run the program. You can start simutrans with -use_workdir to point it to an existing installation.

2.3.1) Compiling with make

The executable will be built in build/default.

(Linux) autoconf
(MacOS) autoreconf -ivf
make -j 4
(MacOS) make OSX/getversion

2.3.2) Compiling with Microsoft Visual Studio

Simutrans solution is a single solution file simutrans.sln with 4 projects:

  • Simutrans-Main: The project that holds the shared, non back-end specific, files. All the followings use Main to build the specific back-end executables.
  • Simutrans SDL2: Preferred back-end for Simutrans.
  • Simutrans GDI: Windows-only back-end.
  • Simutrans Server: Server back-end with no graphical interface.

2.3.3) Compiling with CMake

The executable will be built in build/simutrans.

mkdir build && cd build
cmake -G "Insert Correct Makefiles Generator" ..
cmake --build . -j 4

See here for a list of generators.

mkdir build && cd build
cmake.exe .. -G "Visual Studio 16 2019" -A x64 -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=[vcpkg-root]/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake
cmake --build . --config Release

2.4) Cross-Compiling

If you want to cross-compile Simutrans from Linux for Windows, see the Cross-Compiling Simutrans wiki page.

3) Contribute

You cand find general information about contributing to Simutrans in the Development Index of the wiki.

3.1) Coding

  • If you want to contribute, read the coding guidelines in simutrans/documentation/coding_styles.txt
  • You definitely should check out the Technical Documentation Sub-Forum as well.
  • Do not open Pull Requests in GitHub. Use the Patches & Projects Sub-Forum instead.

3.2) Translating

Simutrans is constantly updating and adding texts so we are always in need for translators:

3.3) Painting

Simutrans is always looking for artists! If you want to paint graphics for Simutrans, check:

3.4) Reporting bugs

For bug reports use the Bug Reports Sub-Forum.

4) License

Simutrans is licensed under the Artistic License version 1.0. The Artistic License 1.0 is an OSI-approved license which allows for use, distribution, modification, and distribution of modified versions, under the terms of the Artistic License 1.0. For the complete license text see LICENSE.txt.

Simutrans paksets (which are necessary to run the game) have their own license, but no one is included alongside this code.

5) Credits

Simutrans was originally written by Hansjörg Malthaner "Hajo" from 1997 until he retired from development around 2004. Since then a team of contributors (The Simutrans Team) lead by Markus Pristovsek "Prissi" develop Simutrans.

A list of early contributors can be found in simutrans/thanks.txt