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Parchment Background Image for RCT3 FAQ: The Care and Feeding of Custom Downloads, Page 3 on Please turn to Page 4

To find CS in your game when you're new to CS and RCT3 can seem hopelessly hit and miss.  The first thing to remember is to look for new custom items in a sandbox park where by default everything is already invented, enabled and available.  


Scenery that’s installed while RCT3 is running will usually not show in the game.  It is recommended to exiting the game before installing new scenery and re-launching the game after you’ve done installing.


When in your sandbox looking for your new scenery, the walls tab is the best place to start but sometimes the scenery is located in another tab such as the trees tab, or general scenery tab.

Some sets can be found among several tabs.  A set with benches, conforming paths and walls could be found in three places in the game. You will need to look everywhere before concluding it's not showing in your game. A fresh new install of RCT3 makes looking for newly installed stuff so much easier!

You will do to remember CS is not always filed in alphabetical order. Some sets are designed to show at the bottom of the list, others are designed to show even if you deselect all the themes at the top of the menu.  As terrific as his work is, one or two of Vodhin’s older sets show entirely in the paths menu.  You will also find that several sets from the same creator are not always filed in a logical order one after the other. If the set name contains capital letters, punctuation, or spaces it will not follow Windows Explorer’s idea of alphabetical order.

Old Spice's sets, for example, are sometimes found under Old Spice and sometimes under Spice.  All of Shy’s sets show all in one place at the very end of the list that displays in the walls tab.  DasMatze’s sets will display at one end of his listing while DasMatzes (without the apostrophe) will display at the other end of his listing.


A file that downloaded, say, with the name Ubuntu's Safari Plains Trees could be listed as just that; it could be listed as Safari Trees, or Plains Trees, USP Trees, or anything. Very rarely a set will not come grouped under a tab but will show as individual items throughout your menu listing. As they unnecessarily clutter our in-game menus, with the plenitude of custom content available for use in RCT3 most of us try and avoid using those types of sets if at all possible.

Testing and Placement of CS  

Always test new CS in a blank empty park or at the very least a small park with not much going on. A sprawling busy park that is running full tilt and flat out is not the place to test CS, CTR's or CFR's, speaking of which, once you've successfully installed a few CS sets you'll be ready to install the more complicated CTR's, CFR's, paths, and track & support enhancement packs.


Downloaded files to be used in-game should be placed in the following directories:

Parks (.dat files)

Documents\RCT3\Parks, or


Campaign Progress (.prf files)

The person sharing this sort of file with you should tell you which of these folders the PRF needs to go into:

Documents\RCT3\Campaigns, or

Documents\RCT3\Campaigns\Soaked, or


You will need to complete a mission level in your installation of RCT3 in order to start adding your own progress to a shared PRF.

Buildings and Arrangements of Scenery (.dat files)


Firework Shows (.fwd files)

Documents\RCT3\Fireworks, or

Program Files\Atari\RollerCoaster Tycoon 3\Firework Displays

Firework Effects (.frw files)


Program Files\Atari\RollerCoaster Tycoon 3\Firework Effects

Particle Effects (.frw files, e.g., smoke, lava, water splashes)


Custom Guests (.txt files)


Swimming Pools (.pool files)


CSO’s (custom scenery objects)

Program Files\Atari\RCT3\Style\Themed

CFR’s (custom flat rides)

Follow the directions in the ReadMe but they usually go here:

Program Files\Atari\RCT3\Style\Custom

If you have no “Custom” folder simply create one. Use an upper case “C” when you name it.

There has been some confusion as to where track type files go and where track design files go when they are installed:

Coasters or Track Files

These are .trk files: a specific track design someone has built from an already existing track type. Put them in:

Documents\RCT3\Coasters, or

Program Files\Atari\RCT3\Coaster Designs

Downloaded shared Campaign scenario locked tracks need to be prepared with a work-around by the person uploading them, or they will show up on your own installation as locked if you yourself have not completed that particular Campaign scenario.

CTR’s or Track Designs

These are made up of files that include .ovl files which make up a track type that did not exist prior to the track artist creating it. To install, follow the directions in the ReadMe. Such downloads are usually installed in this way:

One file in Program Files\Atari\RCT3\Tracks\TrackedRides

Usually with the addition of one or more files in

Program Files\Atari\RCT3\Cars\TrackedRideCars

CTR and Track Design files are named differently by various track artists and depending on what the uploader wishes to share with the community the placement of these files doesn’t follow any fixed system. For example Community Member A might want to share six car types made for one or more in-game tracks, Member B may want to share a new track type that uses some of the existing in-game cars, while Member C might want to share a completely new track he's invented along with two brand new car types that come with it. If there is no ReadMe with these files there are a few clues we can consider to determine which folder what file goes into. Before experimenting with file placement it is best to take a backup copy of your RCT3 installation folder.

If the file name includes the word "track" or "bahn" it's likely to be a track file, which will go into Tracks>Tracked Rides. If the file name includes the word "car" or "wagen" it's likely to be a car type which goes onto a track. This file would likely go into Cars>Tracked Ride Cars.

If the file ends with a TXT extension you've downloaded the Track Data or Bahn Daten file. Such files will need to be further developed through the CTR Creator utility as one step in the process of becoming usable tracks. TXT files are usually shared between CTR Designers and there isn't much the average gamer can do with them.

Track Files and Coaster Files

Let’s assume you have downloaded a CTR (say, Ubuntu’s Hyper Track [which includes .ovl files]) and you have also downloaded an in-game Air-Powered Coaster track: [AirPoweredRC]Safari’s Sizzlin’ Sumthin’.trk file. After you’ve installed your .ovl files, when you’re in the game, as if you’re going to build a coaster, go here:


Where In The Game Menus To Find Your Coaster OVL Download - Image 01