PMC Tactical Farming Simulator Guide

Guide and Gameplay Tips

Gameplay Tips

Relax. With real time scale, you are not in any hurry regarding crop growth, trust me you'll have plenty of time to wait after your shores are done (at least early in the game).

On easy level at default goldcrest valley map your silo is full of valuable grains, sell them to get money. Check ESC menu prices/1000L listings which site pays the best.

On career start, often your idea of good choice is not what the map / terrain maker had in mind, or maybe the map was meant as multiplayer map who knows, so you have too much stuff where you have no use for them. Well you can sell that stuff to get rid of it and also at the same time, get some money. You'll decide what you need at career start.

Doors and fence gates can be opened by LMB pressed down all the way until it has opened.

Night time starts around 2130hrs (at 2145hrs you need vehicle lights to operate) and daytime begins around 0450hrs. At dead of night depending on the weather conditions, it is pitch black and you can't see anything, even with vehicle lights its very disorienting to play game at night. But if you have clear weather with moonlight then you can see more or less enough.

Difficulty Options

Easy, Normal and Hard. Basically the only difference is amount of money, loan and market prices including vehicle prices. You can change other settings from options menu, note that each difficulty level suggests specific settings for you, but they arent hard locking them.

People have said that difficulty level hard is just unecessary grinding for no good reason and you'd be better off playing on easy or normal instead where you get more money from selling crops.

Also some believe three stages of fertilization is just too much for a gameplay, it goes to too much grinding again for no reason, however if you only use one stage and seed with Big Bud seed hawk which also fertilizes (as some others do also), then you have no use for slurry and manure which would be a real shame because it is a big, a huge part of farming and farming simulator. Don't skip slurry and manure, they are great fertilization methods so just switch to 3 stage fertilization and enjoy the game without rushing to harvest.

Plant growth slow is really show, I mean really slow, so while fast might be bit too hectict action especially when you have more fields, slow is a bit slow indeed. Not sure, maybe normal is the best choice overall, although with large number or huge fields might drive you all the way up to (or down to?) slow.

Plowing

You don't have to plow after every harvest, only about after 3 harvests. Always check map overview if fields needs plowing or if you missed a spot.

Missing a spot can easily happen even though the field looks like perfectly plowed.

With Big Bud DLC and the largest plow it is extremely difficult to do small fields or rather fields that have geometry blocking crap right next to it because Big Bud gets stuck for those obstacles so easily. It is incredible how much room this monster combination needs when they are turning at the end of the field. I once got my 747 stuck in a ditch on North West Texas because the turn radius with courseplay was so wide, I was lucky to drive that thing out of the ditch manually heh. Solution; use courseplay headland.

You can plow fields larger by pressing default Y key to turn allow making fields on/off. Note that with some mods installed this F1 control menu option disappears. When you plow fields larger, try to make the square so AI helpers / courseplay vehicles don't need to drive through geometry obstacles or other difficult spots. Manually enlargened fields do not show up in map overview image, only at the fruit types, growth and soil composition modes.

Its recommended to lease Big Bud 747 and SPSL 9 plow to enlargen any fields that have such possibility, because any harvests you do with such fields is free money. As soon as you have the lease money, do it and then return Big Bud so it wont cost you large sums of lease cash. Why lease Big Bug? Well its extremely fast 14.8km/h with 10.5m width to plow.

If your map don't fit Big Bud (if thats the case, change the map haha), maybe you could get Salford 8312 plow and New Holland T9 with engine mod and twin wheels which is can pull the salford at 14km/h speeds.

Here is table of all the stock game ploughs.

Brand Model Width Meters Required Horsepower Minimum Tractor
Salford 4202 2 85 Steyr Multi 4115
KUHN Vari-Master 153 2 120 New Holland 8340
Amazone Cayron 200 3 180 Valtra N174
Lemken Titan 11 4.9 240 Fendt 724 Vario
Salford 8312 6.9 300 JCB Fastrac 8310
Gregoire Besson SPSP 9 10.5 550 New Holland T9.565

Sowing

Vaderstad Tempo F8 kind of sucks as it has huge load of fertilizer but very little seeds, so you have to constantly refill seeds and practically never the fertilizer (well at least it feels like it). Yeah sure its nice as it sows and fertilizes at one go, but man the seed tank is way too small heh.

Seed Hawk from the Big Bud DLC is excellent cultivating, sowing and fertilizing implement, nothing beats it. Of course it costs a lot and requires basically monster tractor to pull it.

Crops Growth

It seems like the crops growth cycle for one stage is about 6 hours game time (not real time) but this depends on your difficulty and crop growth settings. So if you time accelerate to 120x this time will pass quicker. Unfortunately there seems not to be any hard facts about the hours it takes to grow.

For large fields its recommended to use crop growth normal or slow because you can be still seeding the field when other end of it is already switched to first growth stage. Once you get your farm with 10+ large fields, then I would recommend you setting the growth rate to slow permanently, its just best to keep it there as you dont have time even with courseplay running several seed hawks to keep up with the growth on normal or fast option.

Crop growth is really weird, it is not counted reasonably as you really often get the one half of the field switched to first stage while you are still seeding other half of the field and I am not talking about even 20 hectare field here! Weird.

2018-10-07 speculation: if you use the mod "Fast Forward" which allows you to do 12,000x time acceleration, it might be (and here is where the speculation comes into play) that the crops growth cycle gets out of whack. I tested this today on Cornbelt huge 8km terrain which alone might cause some issues (speculation, uuh speculation!), at least if you hit CTRL-R default key for this mods 12,000x time acceleration and keep it going the crops do not grow. When you release the key back to real time scale and then wait for 30-60 seconds (seems to depend a little) then the crops grow into the stage according to how much time has passed, for example if you sped up the time for several days then the next growth cycle change goes instantly to the fully grown crop stage (and if you have it enabled, crops wither as well).

On 8km terrain Cornbelt I often times noticed that when crop growth rate was normal and I used "fast forward" 12,000x time accelleration, my fields kind of "lagged" in the stages, for example: I finished seeding F45 and was starting to seed F44 right next to it, well it was 2100hrs so I fast forwarded to 0500hrs and then started to seed... guess what happens? After I've not done even the first headland... the already seeded parts switch to first stage of growth, hehe it was hilarious to complete the headland and uh oh whats this, crops are already growing!? hehe :)

So very simplistic way of looking at trouble free crop growth rate is this: set it from options to SLOW and do not time accelerate, at all. OR if you have to skip through the night, then wait in 1x normal game time at least five (5) real life minutes to make sure the next growth rate is not "lagging behind" and being switched when you are doing something with the field.

Seed Pallets

When your sower / seeder runs out of seeds, you need to refill it. On starter easy level there are several seed pallets in your farm, but these run out and you have to purchase more.

The shop has them for sale under Pallets. This will drop a pallet outside the shop in town. You then have to pick up the pallet and transport it back to your farm. For a single pallet the best way to transport it is to purchase a front loader attachment and the pallet forks. These can be attached to the front of any of your starting tractors. Once you have that you can pick up the pallet and move it. Or you could use the universal auto loader truck trailer mod which automatically loads bales and pallets.

Note: the refill radius of these pallets / sowers and fertilizers is extremely short, in most cases you can't make courseplay courses working with the pallets you have placed on the ground. Tip: use auger wagon or actual seed tender to refill your implements.

Seed Placeables

You can purchase placeable objects for seeds and fertilizer. These will always supply you with seeds / fertilizer without the need to purchase more and handle them, it even costs less than pallets. These placeables charge solid fertilizer 0.95 per liter while stock and modded pallets cost 1.6 per liter. These placeables are Official mod from Gians (developers of FS17) and highly recommended.

When you purchase these, take into careful consideration where you place them. Do you plan on buying more than one set of these? If not, then its good idea to place them into location which is easily accessible and central location on the map, however on large terrains 4km or 8km you definitely want to place more of these.

Seed Tenders

Once you get larger fields and run huge operations lets say using Big Bud and Seed Hawk setups, you run into the problem of getting seeds and fertilizer out into the field because nobody wants to drive huge and slow tractor back to the shop for refill.

Use auger wagons to fill seed carts on the field. Drive auger wagon next to a seed / fertilizer silo and refill, then open the auger wagon pipe and drive next to the seed cart and it will unload automatically. This is excellent method of keeping those Big Bud Seed Hawk setups satisfied on the fields as nobody wants to drive 32km/h Big Bud into the silos for a refill.

There are also specific seed tender mods, but frankly when you can use auger wagon like this why bother, however google search seed tender if you like.

Train

In Goldcrest terrain there are three massive buildings that can be accessed by the train. They are not marked locations on the map and can't be teleported to. Each one is a freely-available silo with a 500K capacity that can hold all grain crops and root crops.

The contents of these three silo buildings can be loaded or unloaded from any trailer or train car. Even without the train, each is a useful and free secondary storage location, but the storage figures in the menu don't include these silos, so if you stash some grain there remember that you did it.

To load or unload a train, move a grain wagon (all three are mostly the same) under the pipe visible overhead, the discharge grate is lined up with it so loading and unloading are in the same spot.

To load or unload a trailer from these buildings, look on the far side away from the tracks. There is a section of workshop that you can drive through, that's where the drop grate is, and there's a silo structure outside, that's where you can load. Despite appearances these sites will take potatoes and sugar beets.

I use a train on big fields for 'field bin' storage - use an auger and you can move the train up the line while you unload. From the train you have several 500t hubs. At those hubs you can unload the train and sell to points all over the map as well as sell at Maplefield direct,

Learn the routes, the hubs and the truck/tipper access and you'll find they are a huge benefit to large game play.

Train is very useful. Can sell HUGE loads during great demands without the drop in price you would get between tipper loads.

Can also use it as intermediate storage as you harvet fields. Park a train close to the field being harvested, dump combine into auger wagon and unload directly into traincar...no need to run to silos.

Trailer

Not a movie trailer ;-) but trailer which you hinch with tractor or car etc and you load various items on top of it for easy transport.

For example seed pallets are ideal to be loaded into trailer in front of the shop and then driven to your farm.

You need forklift to lift the stuff into a trailer.

Fertilizing

After sowing a field you can increase its yield by fertilizing it. There are up to three stages of fertilization depending on your game difficulty level and options.

Check fertilization stages from ESC -> map overview -> soil composition -> fertilized.

Between each fertilization either the soil must be worked (cultivated, plowed, sown etc.) or the plants have to grow at least one stage before you can fertilize again. Note: if you are using sowing machine which also fertilizes, then you cannot fertilize yet again right after sowing and you must wait for the next growth stage, assuming you are not already in the 3rd deep dark blue fertilization stage).

Fertilization methods are; spreader, sprayer, manure spreader and slurry tanker.

Slurry manure is expended like crazy quickly. This is not very accurate, just very very rough estimate... but you probably need like 100,000 liters of liquid manure (slurry) to fertilize about 10-15 hectares of field. It is insane. Do not get into false ideas about not purchasing fertilizer and only using your animal shit, you need a lot, huge number of animals to produce decent amount of manure, we are talking about 500+ heads of pigs/cows.

Do not skip fertilization as it yields so much more crops, until you test it out you can't believe how much more you get with proper fertilization.

Buying / Selling Equipment and Vehicles

You can sell equipment and vehicles from shop menu (P), you can sell them from anywhere but if you get the item into the shop, you get 20% more money.

Stay away from leased payments, they have incredibly high cost overall. If you must just stick it out until you have enough money to purchase whatever you need. Once you get fleet of leased vehicles, however super they might be for your poor ass, you quickly run into negative cash value as the costs keep running every day.

It is stupid to have the daily upkeep cost for vehicles, I mean when you have a car in real life it doesn't cost you 1000 euros every day, not even with the craziest insurances and taxes. So having this kind of game gimmick to make players "play" some stupid stuff is lame. So this is why you should not have excessive vehicles and equipment laying around because... it costs money just to keep them. Its all good fun to have nice toys in this game, but it costs money so you have to decide if you have the money to burn or should you sell the stuff you're not using (that much) anymore.

Vehicle horsepower is interesting, lets say the sanlford 6.2m wide plow requires 300hp vehicle to pull it, however if you use 300hp tractor it is slow as hell, it can barely pull it heh.

Placeables for Money

Stock game placeables to make money.

These placeables pays itself back in days: Bee house 34, greenhouses 12, solar collector 35 and wind energy converter 34.

Conclusion: greenhouses are the most cheapest way to make money, but again require water and manure, which are free of course if you have animals and the terrain has water, you just have to do the work to collect and bring that stuff to the greenhouses.

You need to understand that if a bee house costs $20,000 and starts to make a bit money every day, so that would be nice balance to cover lets say vehicle maintenance costs right? Well imagine how many days of vehicle maintenance costs you could pay with that initial 20 grand, not to mention the monstrous wind energy converter with one point two million... hmm :)

Missions

When you click the blue circle with ! on it and click "something?" you can access the field by teleporting there. Now if you hit R key you open the missions dialog.

Missions dialog is tasks from the AI farmers which you can do for them for cash payment. This is great way to test new random equipment and get some cash. You have time limit to accomplish the mission and you cannot leave the area, even making long turns will trigger the zone inside which you must stay.

Missions freeze the normal gameplay, so if you have crops growing, vehicles moving (helper or courseplay etc), they will stay frozen until you have exited chosen mission. Missions do not work in multiplayer for this same reason. Sorry to burst your bubble about missions, they should have been running along with the normal "simulation" but they are not. Missions feel almost like cheating, time freezes and you can make crazy amounts of money.

Honestly, why not just use money cheat to get the money and save your boredom time. I hate to be blunt but missions are really gimmicky and hacky things, yeah you get the field prices cheaper when you get better reputation with the owners, but that is the only point. I don't like cheating but I rather add 100k cash from savegame file than sit around with the other simulation (your fields and vehicles) frozen in time when you are wasting your time in mission.

Market Prices

Market prices gets updated constantly. When you sell grain the market price for that type immediately drops after the sale (this is why if you can use the train its great to get huge load).

Great demand means the price stays the same no matter how much you sell, however the price might not be the highest in the market.

In short; if possible stock up with different type of grains and sell when the market looks great for that type. Of course stocking up is not necessarily always possible due silo size and money requirement.

Animals

Caretaking for animals is feeding, water and cleaning. Equipment you bare minimum need are; water tank trailer and basic grass cutter.

Equipment list, you dont need everything it depends on which animals you keep and what is your preferred caretaking (play) style.

Water can be picked up from any water source in the map. Drive the tanker trailer into the water edge and you get option to refill the tank. Deploy the water for animals near the water location which usually is marked on the map.

Grass will be cut with the mower, then collected by the forage wagon which is used to dump grass to the animals.

Cleaning can be done with various telehandlers or front loaders, or even by forage wagon drive by (heh). There is also modding option, if you are lazy or cant be bothered with pesky stuff like taking care of your animals, there is mod called "FS17_AnimalTableManners" which disables this whole cleanliness hassle.

There is no limit on animals you can have, however game will only render limited number of them (not sure what this number is).

Chickens require no caretaking.

Sheep give them water and grass. Clean the food spills.

Pigs give them water, straw, 50% base food (corn), 25% grain (wheat or barley), 20% protein (canola or sunflowers or soybeans) and 5% root crops (potatoes or sugar beet). Clean the food spills.

Cows give them water, straw, 20% grass (grass), 50% base food (silage or hay) and 30% power food (power food). Clean the food spills.

Cows Total Mixed Ration (TMR). You can use mixing wagon like siloking. Use telehandler to lift bales, you need dry hay, sileage and straw. When you get into mixing wagon pulling vehicle, you can see the TMR values in your controls (F1) menu. You can create sileage bales from grass with baler and bale wrapper.

Bales can be placed directly to the cow feeding area as food.

You can turn hay directly into silage by baling hay and using bale wrapper.

You can unload tons of straw or food into the spot it goes and animals use it as they need it, this way you don't have to keep refilling it so often. But please be tidy, don't just unload huge load of it where the animal food/straw trigger wont reach.

Gameplay Styles

How you play the game is up to you, however here are some of the options available to you. These are just list of individual styles which may or may not be used together, mostly though these styles can be combined.

Vehicles and Equipment per Field

When you harvest one field, you bare minimum need some basic vehicles and equipment. Lets start this list of the moment when you need a plough the field (which only happens every third harvest).

With the above you can successfully harvest field at any given time. Now that list is not the optimum, for example it doesn't have semi truck with a large trailer to haul that grain into silos, you have to do that with the tractor and tipper.

Many seeders cultivate the field as well, so if you got one of those then cultivator has very little use, you could use it sometimes to cultivate in manure/slurry or other fertilization stuff but thats about it.

When you have two or more fields, then you have to increment that list the amount of fields you have, assuming you want the capability of working on every field simultaneously. Also its good to keep in mind that if your having crops withering option on and only limited number of the above list but many fields, then you are in danger of not having enough time to harvest them all before crops go bad.