Train Simulator

TS20: New Customisation Features

With Train Simulator 2020 you can access an array of options to personalise your experience.

New Visual Options

The star of the show is the ability to change various visual options, either from the main menu, pause menu or with some on the fly in-game with keyboard commands. You now have more control over how you want TS20 to look and feel!
You can find screenshots depicting some of these options further below.

Ambient Light Intensity

Changes the quantity of “Fill” lighting that is present in the scene. Move the slider to the left to reduce the amount of ambient light (for a cloudy or foggy day) or move to the right to increase the amount of ambient light (for a sunny day). Fill – or ambient – lighting is what is used to light a scene fully and is also known as global lighting as it has a wide-ranging effect.

Sunlight Intensity

Changes the quantity of “Direct” lighting in the scene. This can help improve how cast shadows are represented. For example, in summer moving the slider to the right will strengthen the sunlight as direct lighting is more intense in this season - this will make shadows stand out more. Conversely, in winter moving the slider to the left will weaken the sunlight as direct lighting is typically less intense and shadows will become much softer.

Ambient Occlusion

A shading and rendering technique used to calculate how exposed each point in a scene is to ambient lighting. This can greatly enhance the quality of soft shadows and lighting in a scene making the scene look considerably more realistic. Higher settings are more noticeable but the intent of ambient occlusion is to provide subtle cues of added realism in lighting. However, if you turn it on and off whilst seated in a loco cab (Ctrl+Shift+F2), you can easily see the difference it makes. Of particular note is under station canopies and the eaves of building roofing, and 3D foliage - the added shading in these areas enhances the realism you wouldn't get from normal ambient lighting.

Depth of Field

Sets the distance between the nearest and the farthest objects that are in sharp focus in the scene. This artificially blurs the background and foreground to simulate the effect. This can be toggled using the Ctrl+Shift+F4 keyboard shortcut whilst in a scenario. Note this is a creative camera mode and may make driving more difficult.

Adaptive Bloom

Toggles light intensity when moving from areas of darkness into areas of brightness or vice versa. This is an excellent effect for making night lighting look more dramatic as it essentially blooms brighter areas of the scene with coronas. This can be toggled using the Ctrl+Shift+F1 keyboard shortcut whilst in a scenario. Adaptive essentially just means that it automatically calculates the best use of the feature so that it doesn't unnecessarily blow out specific point light sources.

Field of View

Alters the focal length to bring elements in the background scene closer (tighter field of view) to or push them further away the camera (wider field of view). This can help you see more, or less of a train cab as per your own preference, and changing the field of view can greatly impact the perception of speed, making it feel like the train is travelling a bit slower or faster and giving it a more realistic sensation.


Changes the representation of lighter or darker elements in the scene. Essentially contrast adjusts the midpoint between full white and full black. By altering this midpoint, you can adjust the representation of blacks and/or white colours - moving the slider to the right alters the midpoint so that darker greys become black. Conversely, moving the slider to the left alters the midpoint so that blacks become greyer.

Colour Filter

Enables you to set a creative filter whilst you drive or take screenshots. This can be set to Normal (Default), Black and White, or Sepia. This can be toggled using the Ctrl+Shift+F5 keyboard shortcut.

Screen Effect Filter

Enables you to set creative filters whilst you drive or take screenshots. This can be set to Normal (Default), Noise (adds photographic noise and works perfectly with Black and White or Sepia Colour Modes), CRT (mimics older Cathode Ray Tube style displays) or CRT (curved edge) – this is the same as CRT but curves the edges of the screen. This can be toggled using the Ctrl+Shift+F6 keyboard shortcut.


Applies a darkening effect to the corners of the display in the same way that photographers use this to direct the eye to the primary focus of the image. If done right, it can greatly improve the representation of images and can be toggled using the Ctrl+Shift+F7 keyboard shortcut.

New Main Menu Features

We’ve made it easier for you to find your favourite add-ons – on the Drive tab you can now pin your favourite routes, locomotives and scenarios to the front of the selection. For example, if you come to enjoy the mixed-traffic operations of the Nuremberg & Regensburg Railway but don’t want to have to constantly search for it among your collection, you can keep it (and as many other routes/locos you want) pinned to the front of the page.
The same is true for scenarios: using the same method you can pin your favourite scenarios at the top of the list to make them easier to find. Another new way of finding the scenarios you want is to filter out which ones are from the Steam Workshop, and which are not. If you’ve downloaded that latest popular scenario, but can’t find it among your list of scenarios, with a simple click you can filter everything else out.
Lastly, if you’ve wanted to have a go on quick drive in the past but have struggled due to performance issues of being on a medium or lower-spec PC, or driving in a typically AI-intense area, then rejoice as we’ve now added the ability for AI to be optional in quick drive. Before clicking start, check the box underneath the weather/season/time setup and when you’ll load in, you’ll find that routes which were once busy have now been made much quieter, the only trains you’ll see are the static ones in yards and sidings (and yours of course!)
With customisation galore, Train Simulator 2020 makes your collection even easier, more exciting and more revolutionary to experience.
Screenshots and images displayed in this article may depict content that is still in development. The licensed brands may not have been approved by their respective owner and some artwork may still be pending approval.
Train Simulator
13 Sep
TS20: New Customisation Features
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