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Parchment Background Image for RCT3 FAQ: Customers, Popularity, & Satisfaction on

Outlined below are the parameters that determine whether or not our rides and tracks will be a success. In as much as they also have satisfaction and popularity we may apply these same principles to shops and stalls.

Sometimes the term ‘attractions’ is used in an all-inclusive way to refer to all the tracks, flat rides, shops, and stalls in a park. For instance, someone describing their park may write about “the park’s attractions.” A community member who is writing about the flat rides and tracks in his park might collectively refer to them as rides.

The information presented here is based on in-game shops & stalls and tracks & rides as they come installed with our game. With custom content the values attainable can sometimes be inflated by custom content artists, usually by creators of CTR’s and CFR’s.


Whenever we look over the statistics of our attraction we can find the number of park guests who have used it. This number is affected by popularity and satisfaction. For tracks and rides the EI&N value is considered along with the number of trains on the track, the number of cars per train, and the duration of the ride. The waiting time after boarding and at any block brakes are also factors. Only popularity and satisfaction will be a consideration for shops and stalls.

The next most obvious factor is how busy an attraction is when the customer arrives because guests usually won’t use a stall that’s too busy. Guests sometimes won’t enter a queue that has long queue times. They also can’t enter a queue that’s full. It’s a given that guests won’t use an attraction that’s down or closed when they arrive.

There are several things we can do to increase the customer numbers at our attractions and in order to do that it would be helpful if we looked over some of the additional reasons why our customer numbers might be lower than we'd like. A ride that never accommodates lots of passengers will always show a lower reading for customers. For example Sky Sling will only take six passengers at a time and won’t ever display high customer numbers because of this limitation. At a glance it would be expected that coasters with several trains that have many cars per train will give the highest rate of customers but if we haven’t balanced popularity, satisfaction, excitement, intensity, nausea, queue times, and downtime for that coaster we could find that our gentle flat rides will compare shockingly well with that coaster’s customer numbers.

Generally speaking, in a well designed park in which we’ve placed coasters with balanced parameters we’ll find we get the best customer numbers with coasters followed by Thrill rides, Gentle & Transportation rides, and Junior & Water & Other rides.

Some rides come with a limited number of parameters that do not permit much control over how we present them to park guests. For example, when building Aquarium the only thing we can control is the length of the ride, the number & type of tanks, and where in our park we place this attraction. Of course, when we build rides that offer additional parameters we should take advantage of what’s available.


The percentage of guests passing by the attraction or the queue line entrance who actually stop and use the attraction will determine it's popularity reading.

This parameter is affected by the excitement and intensity combined with the nausea level of the ride. Also considered is the price of the attraction, whether the time of day suits the customer’s preferred time to ride, whether there is a long queue time, if the queue line is full, and if the attraction is otherwise busy.

Customers who think the ride or attraction:

is too intense (“just looking at ride X makes me sick”, or “ride X looks too intense for me”),

isn't thrilling enough (“I want to go on something more thrilling than X”),

is too long (“I want to get off ride X”),

doesn't want to pay the price asked (I’m not paying that much for X”),

requires too long a wait (“stall X is too busy”, or “I can’t be bothered to wait for ride X any more”), and

is unavailable, because they've arrived at the attraction to find it is out of order (“I wonder of stall X will be fixed soon?”)

will not use the attraction which will decrease its popularity rating. Families tend to ride during the day while teens like to ride at night so your rides will be less popular to families at night while teens will ride less during the day. Teens will ride less in a park where it is always day time. While planning your park you'll need to consider the types of guests you are expecting to visit.

If your park includes a pool you’d want to be careful how many inflatables you sell as guests carrying inflatables won’t ride your pool rides ‘n’ slides so this in turn will affect the customer numbers at those rides. As a side note, those same guests carrying inflatables won’t use your loungers so you’ll need to decide if you enjoy seeing guests lounge about your pool or if you enjoy seeing them playing with inflatables. Slightly raising the price of inflatables will considerably lower your guests’ interest in them and will result in more of your guests using your pool rides 'n' slides and your loungers.

Large numbers of attractions that are consistently unpopular will ultimately pull down your park rating and the attractiveness of your park to guests. When guests leave your park with a bad impression of it, negative word of mouth will spread to guests who have yet to arrive at your park. This bad publicity can be minimized by placing entertainers near your park exits so your guests leave the park in a happier frame of mind.

The proximity one stall to other similar stalls needs to be carefully considered by the gamer. If you’ve placed a Lemonade stall next to a Drinks stall and the guest has just bought a lemonade, that guest will likely next visit the Drinks stall and not get a drink there because they’ve already drinking a lemonade. However a duplicate stall or another of the same type placed near one that’s always busy will alleviate any negative feelings about your stalls being too busy in addition to enablng more of your guests to satisfy their hunger or thirst so while placing additional stalls near by will, technically, reduce each stall’s popularity, keeping your guests adequately fed and watered will increase your park rating.

Shortening queues or adding queue line televisions or queue line entertainers will minimize problems with long waits for rides. The best solution will be to shorten the queue so that there aren’t too many guests waiting in it when the ride starts up or when the train leaves the station. Multiple trains on the same track will alleviate this provided those trains don't take too long to arrive after the previous one has left the station.

While building we’d also want to balance the length of our queues with the rides to which they give access. We wouldn’t want a long queue for Roll-O-Plane which takes eight guests at a time, and a short queue for a Safari Train carrying over seventy guests per journey. Queues that are proportionate to their ride will benefit your ride’s popularity rating and your guests’ park experience.

Any attraction with long downtimes will decrease its own popularity level because after all, customers can’t use attractions that aren't functioning. In some parks we may find that fewer guests want to ride our older rides at which time we may want to

start making price adjustments to make our older attractions more appealing,

delete the old ride and replace with a new one, or

empty the park and open it again to new guests with fresh perspectives.

A 76% popularity seems to be the highest attainable with any stall & attraction. This indicates that in an ideal park the game engine anticipates that about three fourths of our park guests will stop at any stall or attraction they happen to be walking by. This could explain why some guests seem to have a spell during which they stop at every stall along their way and then revisit some of the stalls they’ve just stopped at. It's possible this percentage is written into their AI resulting in some guests visiting stalls because they need to, and other guests visiting stalls just because Guest AI directs so.

Upon discovering they're hungry or thirsty some guests will head for the nearest stall where there are at that time no guests being served, even if that stall is some distance across the park. It seems they're making their way to that stall because at the time they decided they needed a stall that stall was seen as available. Often by the time they arrive, the stall they think is available is busy. If this guest walks past stall A, stall B, and stall C to get something at stall D because he previously saw stall D as available this will reduce the popularity count for stalls A-C due to this guest’s having walked past them to get to stall D. If this guest who had intended to use stall D got there and found it was too busy that would also affect stall D's popularity. No gamer would attempt to avoid this dilemma by placing all stalls in the park singly and at isolated locations so what could we do to address this?

One solution is to arrange the paths in our park to roughly resemble the points of a star so that a minimum number of stalls need to be bypassed by guests while they were on their way to a particular one. A guest who wanted a particular stall who found that that stall was in another point of the star would simply need to leave the point of the star in which they found themselves, cross over the star's middle, and walk into the star point with the stall that they wanted. The bigger your park is the more points you'd want in your 'star.' A midway path system also gives this same benefit. See our article Effective Park Design - The Best Start For Your Park for more about the different path systems possible in parks and the various attributes of each type.


Guests who have used an attraction who then return and use it again increase the attraction’s satisfaction reading.

If your attraction is:

a good value (“ride X is a really good value”),

brings happiness to the guest (“ride X was great!”), and

makes the guest want to return (“ I want to go on X again”),

such guests will want revisit the attraction. More guests will return to the attraction if there’s a high excitement rating in comparison with the low price you’re charging for the ride, or if the customer feels he is getting a good quantity of merchandise at a low cost. If you’re undercharging for the attraction to the extent that large numbers of your customers believe they’re getting a good value then you’ll need to make adjustments so as to strike a balance between guest satisfaction and park profit.

Although a motivated vendor can convince a sick guest they could do with a little something to eat or drink, nauseous guests usually won’t ride any further rides until their stomach settles. Your park will do better if unwell guests gradually dissipate their nausea by sitting quietly on a bench as opposed to instantly dissipating their nausea by hurling a vomit, therefore benches placed at ride exits will benefit your park rating. Benches placed at ride exits will also minimize the number of vomits that your janitors need to clear away.

A good sign that your guest will want to return to the ride is if they jump for joy when they leave the ride’s exit. They’ll do this on the tile adjacent to the exit. If a ride becomes a guest’s favorite that guest will usually ride the same ride multiple times.

The ride’s satisfaction rate will be artificially reduced if there’s a long distance from the ride’s exit to it’s queue line and there are path intersections within that distance. Even though your guest may leave the ride intending to return, some of those guests will go down other paths when they meet intersections. The more intersections there are the less likely it is that your guests will return to that ride.

The maximum satisfaction rating appears to be similar to the maximum popularity level in that there is no way to attain anything higher than 81%, and suggests that in an ideal park setting guests will return and twice use four out of five of the stalls that they've visited during their park stay. However, based on this percentage it does seem that the game engine expects that four fifths of our park guests will use the same stalls & attractions more than once. Arranging your paths like the points of a star for the sake of your stalls may make it more challenging to gain good satisfaction ratings for your rides. To get around this you'd want your stalls near the ends of the star points with your flat ride and track access nearer to the center of the star.

It seems easier to attain good popularity and satisfaction levels with rides & tracks as opposed to attaining the same sorts of scores with stalls & facilities. Having said that it’s not likely anyone could expect to attain 76% popularity and 81% satisfaction for every attraction in any park.

Those of us who always build food courts with stalls arranged in rows might want to consider that it would be possible to attain higher levels of popularity and satisfaction with those same stalls & facilities if they were placed more loosely about the park instead of being arranged so closely together.


When we first install RCT3 and open a blank terrain the temptation is great to get a move on building huge coasters and placing attractions around so we can draw those guests. However as we’ve seen above a successful park requires that we consider our layouts by taking many things into consideration while actively balancing several factors.

Just like everything else we learn, this balancing act may seem to be a bit of a bother at first but after we’ve achieved success at it and have done it a few times we’ll find we’ll enjoy designing our parks to their best advantage.