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Video Game / Farming Simulator

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The world's #1 farming simulation game!
...Is a series of games made by Swiss developer GIANTS Software. It's a Simulation Game based around... farming.

Gameplay incorporates real-world farming techniques and (mostly) real-world machinery along with mods from a dedicated fan community for extra flavor. As the series has progressed from the first (comparatively) basic instalment, more and more equipment types, crops, manufacturers and locales have been featured in each game, with DLC and the aforementioned mods adding even more variety.

Currently, there are seven games in the main series, not counting hand-held or mobile versions:

  • Farming Simulator 2009
  • Farming Simulator 2011
  • Farming Simulator 2013
  • Farming Simulator 15: Introduced forestry as well as New Holland as a brand.
  • Farming Simulator 17: Added the ACGO brands Challenger and Massey Ferguson as well as sugarcane harvesting.
  • Farming Simulator 19: Introduced cotton as a crop, horse raising, and the addition of John Deere as a brand, followed by CLAAS in the Platinum Expansion.
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  • Farming Simulator 22: Introduces Zetor as a brand, adds grapes and olives for crops along with the official incorporation of seasons, transmissions, production chains, and much more.

Has examples of:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Many of these examples often have mods that let you avert this if you wish to add a bit more realism to the game.
    • Starting since 17, you need thin wheels to avoid flattening crops if crop destruction is enabled. Unlike in real life, however, the wheels do not need to be lined up to travel between rows of planted crops. Same goes for planting and harvesting rowcrops; the rows on the respective tools and harvesters do not have to line up with the crop.
    • The game does not factor in soil compaction and ground pressure so the tire brand and setup does not matter; a tractor with thin Trelleborg (hard and chunky) tires will behave the same as one with super-wide Michellin (softer, smoother, and less inflated) tires, even tractors with Nokian (conventional tread pattern for roads/off-roads versus fields) tires don't behave any differently. There are a few mods that add realistic traction so vehicles with small wheels will easily get stuck in a soft, tilled field which makes contact area important, especially with tracked vehicles that have superior traction with very little ground pressure.
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    • While the games avert Bottomless Fuel Tanks, you don't have to worry about refilling Diesel Exhaust Fluid in 19, even if the store displays the AdBlue capacity on machines that use it. A mod can enable the consumption of DEF for these machines along with the ability to transport and refill it.
    • All vehicles are treated as having a hydrostatic transmission with arcade forward-reverse controls. Even with blatantly manual tractors. This is averted with 22 that gives each vehicle a transmission type, but you can still let the game manage gearing for you.
  • April Fools: On April 1, 2018, GIANTS Software released a trailer for a Commodore 64 port of Farming Simulator. However, the game legitimately exists and can be downloaded from the game's official website.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: FS 19 has a lot of options to make managing your operations easier.
    • Normally, fields require regular plowing, weeding and liming to ensure maximum yield, all of which can be turned off in the options menu.
    • Crops withering on the field if you don't harvest them quickly can be disabled for a more relaxed gaming experience. Same for crop destruction caused by driving most vehicles through your fields.
    • If you dislike having to manually refill your seeders, planters, fertilizers and the like all the time, you can enable your helpers to automatically do so, which basically means these tools' tank gauges don't go down while a helper is using them. The downside is that it's more expensive than refilling manually.
    • Field contracts usually complete once you've covered about 90% of the field, giving you some leeway in case you missed a few spots.
    • A lot of gameplay mods are designed to add more of these, especially when it comes to tedious mechanics but they usually come with a caveat of their own (i.e. having vehicles and equipment delivered directly to your farm for an additional transport fee).
    • The ever popular Seasons mod for the games has several of their own such as an option to not keep track of moisture (allowing you to harvest when it stops raining/hailing versus having to wait for it to dry) and choosing the length of the seasons in days.
    • 22 introduces production chains that normally produce pallets of goods that need to be loaded onto a trailer. Alternatively, you can have them automatically sold or distributed to further points in the chain without player input.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • FS 17's hired hands can't plow properly, because plows are the only tool with a working edge that's not straight. The worker can't comprehend that a diagonal working edge means that if you lift the tool and start turning as soon as you reach the edge of the field, you get an incomplete row, thus requiring you to finish the rows yourself.
    • The townie auto drivers of FS 17 can send a farmer into a living hell by driving stupidly. They ignore speed limits, stop signs, and machinery in the road that outweighs them by a factor of ten. If you block their path, they might manage to brake before they hit you, though the reaction distance and your half-dozen flashing amber lights don't influence this. And they seem to think the button for reverse gear is in the middle of the steering wheel.
    • So far, in FS 19, helpers have a tendency to stop short of the edge of the field with many tools, particularly sprayers and spreaders. This is particularly prevalent on fields with angled sides; it appears that the AI's detection radius for a nearby field is so short that approaching a field at an angle means the helper can't "see" it, so they merrily report that they're finished although half the field in front of them still needs work.
      • Helpers also have trouble handling terrain obstacles like trees, hills and especially slopes, and the larger the equipment they're dragging around, the worse it gets.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Even if you have no problem with the simplification of animal husbandry in general, because it is after all just a game, you have to question why in FS 17 the developers bothered to have the chickens go to sleep after dark but neglected to have them go inside their coop to do it. Real chickens always go "home to roost" at sundown if they can.
    • Earlier games feature more simplistic animal care, which revolves around providing livestock with food and (later) water... and nothing else. FS 17 introduced the task of cleaning up the paddocks which has been continued in FS 19. Even so, this aspect of the game remains somewhat basic. Seasons changes up the animal mechanics to be more realistic with various breeds with different production, proliferation, needs, etc. They also have to grow up to maturity before they can breed, produce and sell for full price.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Graphically, FS 17 acknowledges mechanisms like the power take-offnote , the three-point hitchnote , and the fifth wheelnote . But that doesn't mean the game scrupulously enforces compatibility. Powering a beet harvester behind a pick-up truck is no problem, even when there's a visibly dangling driveshaft.
    • This is rectified in 19; now one has to consider what types of attachment points a vehicle has. For example, the official Big Bud 16V-747 mod only has a hitch and cables, meaning it can't use any PTO or three-point note  equipment. The compatibility isn't enforced for tools of a similar group, despite what the compatibility icon says, so harvesters can mix-and-match headers.
    • The wind turbines in FS 22 rotate in the wrong direction.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Silage from corn chaff is by far the most profitable source of income because silage sells for huge sums and corn produces huge amounts of chaff. However, forage harvesters have no internal tank, forcing you to follow them constantly with a trailer, and corn chaff's high yield means you'll be doing nothing but commute between the corn field and the closest silage bunker while the rest of your work is put on holdnote . The silage then takes a while to ferment, after which you still need to collect and sell it. Sure, it'll make you rich faster than anything else, but the first phase alone gets mind-numbingly boring very quickly. Certain mod combinations can make it more practical by attaching a compatible fifth-wheel dolly and then a large bulk material trailer which most forage harvesters can haul with ease thanks to their engines generally having over 800 horsepower.
    • On a lesser note, cash crops like sugar beet and sugarcane have insanely high yield per hectare. They also have the lowest selling prices per unit, and sugarcane harvesters again have no internal tank, so while these crops do make you a lot of money, they're just as maintenance-intensive as corn chaff due to all the trailer taxying you have to do. Mods that give vehicles an autopilot alleviate this issue to some extent, but the harvesting process still takes an inordinate amount of supervision.
    • FS 22 allows you to restore any vehicle's or tool's paint job when it's worn down from heavy use. It's a neat but hideously expensive featurenote  that provides no gameplay benefit whatsoever - a tool with a banged-up paint job works just as well as a brand-new one.
  • Big Badass Rig: FS 2013 introduced the "Lizard Truck" (really a Peterbilt; see Brand X) for hauling large trailers, and other trucks from real brands such as MAN and Tatra followed in subsequent installments, as well as other (American style) trucks from Lizard. Big and Badass they are indeed, being some of the fastest and most powerful vehicles in the game. 22 brings in the Mack brand for the first official American trucks with the Super-Liner, Pinnacle, and Anthem.
  • Boring Yet Practical:
    • The official Fliegl DPW 180 mod in 19, a cheap flatbed trailer intended for hauling round bales; it's also useful for hauling pallets of items around as well if you have any kind of vehicle with a pallet fork.
    • Low-yield crops like canola and sunflowers are this from a management POV. Just sow, let a helper do the harvesting and stop by every now and then to empty the harvester's grain tank and turn a nice profit. They aren't nearly as profitable as the real cash crops like sugarcane, sugar beet and (in a way) corn silage, but their very low maintenance effort makes them a good pick for your largest fields.
    • Simple crop cultivation is this compared to animal husbandry. Animals can be very profitable while also supplying you with two types of free fertilizer, but they require frequent player input and a large variety of resources to be effective. In short, they can't be automated, unlike crops where all you need to do is drive the harvest to a selling point... and with the Automated Driving mod installed, not even that.
    • Brooms, they let you clean and return food to the troughs of an animal pen without needing to get out a vehicle with a loader shovel.
  • Bottomless Fuel Tanks: Averted, vehicles will run out of fuel as they're used and require refueling which can only be done at the gas station in vanilla but one can transport fuel to their farm via a Thunder Creek trailer and 22 adds on-farm storage for fuel. Since the Alpine Expansion in 19, electric vehicles have batteries that take a while to recharge and 22 introduced a few niche vehicles that run on methane.
  • Brand X: The "Lizard" brand is used on whatever GIANTS couldn't secure trademark licensing rights to, be it vehicles, equipment or placeable buildings. This started with the "old" machinery (such as tractors, harvesters and implements) initially given to the player, with the clear directive of making enough money to afford the real brand-name stuff. As the series has gone on, the Lizard brand has been applied to more specialist items such as trucks (both pickups and big rigs), wheel loaders, tractor weights, greenhouses, loader attachments, wind turbines, garages, outbuildings, animal feed, seeds, fertilizer, chemicals, trailers of varying purpose, tyres and rubber track systems, farmhouses, dog kennels and sandcastles (yes, you read that last one correctly) to name but a few. As such, the Lizard catalogue covers a bewildering array of equipment over the FS series as a whole, and it just gets nuttier with mods.
    • On April 1, 2019, GIANTS issued an update stating that there would be an actual Lizard-branded tractor unveiled at CLAAS headquarters in Harsewinkel, Germany. As can be surmised by the date of this announcement, there was no such thing.
  • But Thou Must!: Harvesting is impossible while it's raining or hailing. Period. The game doesn't even allow you to harvest at a loss; you simply can't start up your harvesters during inclement weather. Seasons in 19 even adds an option to keep track of crop moisture, meaning that even if it stops raining, you still have to wait for it to dry before you can harvest crops which leads to very narrow harvesting windows in cooler regions. You can, however, harvest potatoes and sugar beets regardless of moisture considering the nature of them being ground crops.
    • In 22's seasonal farming mechanic, you're outright not allowed to plant crops outside of their respective planting season which is much more forgiving versus the mod in 19 where the seeds would fail to germinate or the crops would wither.
  • Constantly Lactating Cow: Cows in the games always produce milk, thanks to the fact that Eternal Equinox is also in play in vanilla. This is averted in the Seasons mods for these games by Realismus Modding, cows will only produce milk after they have given birth though they are artificially inseminated which requires no input from the player. This can be further averted with a mod for the GlobalCompany script extension in 19 that only milks them every half-day.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Cake is one of the most expensive products you can make in FS 22, and it sure looks delicious, but the amount of ingredients and infrastructure it requires is just insane. For starters, you need a cow barn for milk, a chicken coop for the eggs, a greenhouse to grow strawberries, a dairy to make butter, a sugar mill, a flour mill, and of course a bakery. Then you need to produce at least hay for the cows (plus straw and silage for TMR if you want maximum efficiency), any of the high-maintenance sugar crops, and grain to make flour and feed the chickens. Get all this stuff delivered where it needs to be and you get less than a single pallet of cake per month. Compare this to the most expensive product, clothes, which only need some very low-maintenance sheep, a spinnery, and a tailor shop to make at least as much cash in the same time frame. The second-most complex product, cereal, only requires three kinds of crops (oat, corn, and grapes for raisins) plus some self-producing honey, it sells for merely 20% less than cake, and is produced in much larger amounts.
  • Downloadable Content: Beginning with FS 2009, each FS instalment has featured this in some form. DLC packs often feature machinery from a new manufacturer, or new machinery from an existing brand, and some packs even offer new maps.
  • Driving Stick:
    • If you wish, the Vehicle Control Addon in 19 lets you choose and setup a simulated transmission for a given vehicle which can range from the Infinitely-Variable Transmissions on most modern machines to full multi-range powershift transmissions common in older vehicles.
    • 22 adds this as an official game mechanic. Ranging from manual, sequential powershift, manual ranges with powershift gears, or continuously-variable transmissionsnote .
  • Easter Egg:
    • FS 17 has a broken Polybius cabinet tucked away in the woods of the American map Goldcrest Valley.
    • FS 17 had pedestrians walking with a Zombie Gait on Halloween 2016.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: In every game, it is the player's goal to shape up a farm, sell produce and resultantly make money. 22 expands upon this by allowing you to buy or outright build production chains, letting you process products for more valuable items.
  • Eternal Equinox: The base games are always treated as being in the middle of the Summer, allowing you to plant any crop that will grow overnight regardless of the supposed geographical location that would make it impossible to do so (e.g., cotton in the otherwise Germanic looking Felsbrunn in 19) and sheep will always produce wool as if it were Spring. The Seasons mod in many games avert this entirely with various "GEO" mods that simulate a geographical area and crops not only have a minimum soil temperature but also drought and frost resistances, making planted crops like corn and sunflowers more viable in areas like the Midwest U.S. while sown crops like wheat and canola are more practical in cooler regions such as Germany.
    • Can be played straight or averted in 22 with the incorporation of seasons as an optional mechanic.
  • Fauxrrari: FS 17 has a "Lizard Pickup TT" that looks like a Ford F-150. Among the officially developed game mods, one can find a "Lizard Road Rage" car that looks a bit too much like a 2010 Ford Mustang. This generally seems to apply in FS 17 to vehicles made by Ford, such as the Ford Transit van (aka the "Lizard Rumbler"(!)); in FS 19, however, the Lizard pickup looks more like a Toyota Tacoma. Trucks from brands such as Peterbilt and Western Star also have Lizard equivalents; see Brand X above.
  • First-Person Ghost: External views of a vehicle being operated by the player (with the exception of transport belts) show the player character at the wheel; in first person cab mode and on foot, nothing is shown.
  • Game Mod: Tons of them. New tractors, combines, maps, cultures... you name it, they have it. Many of the mods are provided by GIANTS themselves.
  • Gameplay Automation:
    • The helper system allows you to hire a worker to perform a task when you have the corresponding attachment on a given field. It's good to do this with harvesters so you can drive alongside and let them empty the harvest into your trailer and it's outright required if you're using a forage or sugarcane harvester which lack their own internal tanks.
    • The GPS Steering mod for 19 works much like the equivalent on modern tractors which helps keep the machine driving straight, particularly with plows that otherwise pull your tractor toward the left or right. You only need to manually turn around to the next row.
    • Combine the two above and you get Automated Driving, which lets you automate much of the back and forth taxying of loaded trailers, machines sent to new fields, and even the occasional trailer following a forage harvester. It's far from foolproof, but it still takes a lot of time-consuming work off your shoulders.
    • 22 expands the abilities of helpers, including driving equipment somewhere and delivering products to a selling point which can also be repeatable until the silo's empty.
  • Guide Dang It!: These games are not beginner-friendly. They have a couple of tutorials, but the majority of crucial functions is never explained (or even mentioned to exist), leaving the player to learn the ropes through trial and error or comprehensive online research. There's also a serious lack of numbers provided, like how much of each resource an animal consumes per day, or the precise yields of crops per hectare, making it difficult to judge how profitable they really are until you find out the hard way.
  • Hostile Weather: All harvesting operations except for grass/hay are suspended during rain and hailstorms. The weather is mostly randomized, so if you're unlucky enough to roll multiple rain phases at the peak of your harvest season, much of your crops can wither on the fields with you being unable to do anything about it. FS 22 dials this down a bit by allowing harvesting in the rain, but you still suffer a massive 50% yield loss if you do so.
  • Invisible Wall: Maps are often bound by these.
  • Item Crafting: Of a sort in 22 with production chains. Materials deposited at a production building you own will be processed which can then be sold or processed further. For example, wood is processed at a sawmill into planks, those planks can then be taken to a carpenter to make furniture, with woodchips as a leftover from both, which is then sold off to a supermarket like the GrocerY Mart in Elmcreek. Others require multiple ingredients, like cake which requires five ingredients to produce and come from a variety of sources.
  • The Juggernaut: The trains driving around the maps in 19 and 22 don't even attempt to brake if one of your machines is on the tracks, and they're significantly heavier than anything you can own, resulting in the train smashing its way through any obstacle without slowing down due to the fact that it's not actually subject to regular vehicle physics, same goes for the traffic cars as well.
  • Made of Indestructium: It is impossible to damage buildings, cars on the road, vehicles or equipment, even in a high-speed collision.
    • FS 17 technically averts this; from this game onwards, equipment wears down over time and must be eventually replaced. Played straight in the aforementioned circumstances, however.
    • Averted with signs on most maps. They can be knocked down.
  • Nerf: Horses, the most lucrative animal in FS 19, were nerfed significantly in FS 22. On the upside, you can finally breed them. However, they take much longer to do so than any other animal (22 months of puberty, 11 more months to reproduce, with a total of 36 months to reach their peak value), and their maximum selling price was reduced from $50,000 down to just $5,000. Combine this with their high maintenance requirements - you still need to ride and clean each individual horse every day - and you get very little return on your investment no matter how well you care for them. And just to rub salt in the wound, horses are the only animal that doesn't even award an achievement for breeding a certain number of them.
  • No Antagonist: Aside from bank loans, crop prices and inclement weather, there is nothing working against the player in the FS series; players are free to do what they want without recourse.
  • Product Placement:
    • Machinery traders in-game usually have various manufacturers' names displayed on pennants. Understandable, seeing as these shops sell equipment made by these brands.
    • Billboards advertising GIANTS Software's own Demolition Company appear in FS 2011.
    • In-universe examples also appear, including the biofuel outfit "Lizgaz" (see Brand X), a soft drink called "Fizzy Spizz Xtreem", and fast food chain "Hypercube Pizza" on two of the American maps.
  • Quality over Quantity:
    • You have the choice between high-yield crops that fill multiple trailers per hectare but have abysmal selling prices, or low-yield crops where one full trailer can sell for more than a whole bunch of trailers full of the former. High yield, low price crops tend to be more profitable overall, at the cost of massively increased maintenance requirements.
    • On the animal side, horses exemplify this best. Unlike all other animals, horses are actual individuals instead of just numbers, with each having a name and its own personal stats. While chicken, pig or cow pens can hold hundreds of animals, horse paddocks hold a maximum of 16. Their low numbers and high maintenance effort are balanced out by well-trained horses selling for up to $50,000 apiece, compared to $2,000 for the second-most expensive animals (cows) and $1,000 for pigs, the only other animals whose value lies solely in themselves instead of their products.
  • Scenery Porn: Most maps are quite pretty to look at.
  • Shown Their Work: Certain details in maps, such as road markings, signs and architecture, are rather accurate to their supposed locations.
    • Averted for the machines themselves, however, which default to using European versions and red-white striped markers that denote the vehicle width, versus the U.S's usage of the Slow Moving Vehicle triangle and extendable warning light arms. Many mods show their own work by providing the player a choice between U.S and Euro versions of vehicles.
    • The John Deere 8R, 8RT, and 8RX in 22 have infinitely-variable transmissions in their lower engine configurations but the 410 instead uses their signature e23 powershift transmission, the side console even changes from the throttle stick to the gear selector if it's a 410 (at least on the 8R and 8RX, for some reason, the 8RT changes to a throttle stick in the U.S. configuration and the gear selector in the Euro configuration).
  • Simulation Game: Could it really be anything else?
  • A Taste of Power: The mission/contract systems in FS 17 and FS 19 (respectively) give you the opportunity to drive large and powerful vehicles before you have enough money to buy them yourself. The leasing system also allows you to quickly acquire big machinery for a low initial cost (albeit at a much greater cost in the long run, and the cost is not remunerated when said machinery is returned to the dealer).
  • Technology Porn: Modern agricultural equipment contains a lot of moving and (un)folding parts, most of which the games show in loving detail. Many non-farmers also aren't aware of how many buttons and monitors are part of the cockpits of today's tractors and harvesters, so just driving any of these vehicles in cockpit mode can evoke this feeling as well. A popular trend with mod makers is to add the ability to open and close doors and windows on vehicles or manipulate things in the cockpit as well.
  • Vanity License Plate: 22 lets you add and customize the letters of a license plate for many vehicles, trailers, and implements. They even use appropriate plates in regards to the map you're playing on and restricted on what characters can be typed in depending on the format.
  • Work Info Title: And a fairly obvious one.