You know that fabulous feeling you get when you mow the grass with perfect lines? You might be able to integrate that same kind of healing energy into your gaming.

Fun and friendly Farming Simulator interactive display.
Fun and friendly Farming Simulator interactive display
Photo Credit: dalvenjah at WikiCommons

The newest release from Giants Software is Farming Simulator 19. Farming Simulator builds upon the success and popularity of previous simulator offerings. If you have played other simulators like trucking or boating, then you might be familiar with the general idea. Let’s dive in on the how-to.

Getting Started in Farming Simulator 19

Career vs Multiplayer Mode

Several crop areas exist and using multiplayer options can help ease the workload.
Several crop areas exist and using multiplayer options can help ease the workload
Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

The first element you’ll choose is whether you’ll start in career or multiplayer mode. In multiplayer mode, other people who have the game can assist you on your farm. You can create a family farm online and reach out to relatives who are interested in helping. The pre-installed maps are the same for career or multiplayer. You can also download additional maps, but we will discuss that later.

A multiplayer map renders all of the same options, characters, modifications, crops, and animal options you would receive in career mode. The major difference is whether or not someone else can join your farm. You can invite other players and designate their level of participation. You can also make someone a farm manager with the same privileges as you. You can also limit their participation and invite them to your farm but not allow permissions on certain aspects of the game, such as purchasing items.

Once you have made a choice between career mode or multiplayer mode, it is time to create a character. The Farming Simulator character creation is simple. You have many options to choose from to custom your farmer to look how you want.

Creating a Character

The Farming Simulator 19 character creation menu.
The Farming Simulator 19 character creation menu
Image used by permission: Twitch user Voodooparamedic

To create your character, you start by choosing your gender, though there are only binary options for now. Your name is your gamertag, so that is pre-selected. You can choose your skin tone and hairstyle. For men, there are styling options. For women, you can choose hair in a ponytail or bun.

A hat can also be worn. In lieu of sporting a hair cut, your character can solve bad hair days on the farm by utilizing a hat that aligns with several of the equipment manufacturers in the game. If you feel brand loyalty to Husqvarna instead of John Deere, this is the place to announce that! You can also choose to accessorize with sunglasses to compliment your hat or hair-do.

Finally, you can choose which shirt color you prefer. Are you bright and sunny? Are you traditional? Classic dark-colored flannels are available for that farming experience. You can choose here to have a pop of color that will look fabulous as you ride your tractor. Regardless of the colors you choose, you will be wearing flannel.

Set the Difficulty

Harvesting and trailer transfer
Harvesting and trailer transfer
Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

You decide your level of difficulty. There are three options to start with varying degrees of difficulty. You can start from scratch with virtually no money and no land. This level requires you to do a great deal of work upfront to start earning capital and purchasing items. Cutting trees by hand and hand carrying them to a sawmill would be an example of the kind of ingenuity you have to use in this level of difficulty. This level is difficult, time-consuming, and very rewarding because you build the farm you want to build from the ground up.

You can begin mid-range as a farm manager and choose to have $1.25 million to start but without land or equipment. Beginning as a farm manager requires a degree of familiarity with the game. Part of your funds in this mode comes from a bank loan that you have to pay back over time. You may also borrow more money in any game mode, but don’t forget that you eventually have to pay it back with interest.

You can ease your way into it with fewer funds initially, but enough land and equipment that you can begin harvesting a crop. New farmer mode starts with a tractor, harvester, cultivator, seeder, trailer, silos, and your farmhouse, among other handy items. This mode allows you to get started immediately and has some perks. The crops grow a bit faster in the new farmer mode. Seeders will automatically refresh seed storage as they run low.

Earning Money

Grow capital.
Grow capital
Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

There are several ways to create financial success on your farm. Where you start in difficulty has a bit to do with where you end up and what sort of value your farm can have initially. Some tips are starting with a mid-range tractor that can haul multiple tools to save money. Stick to crops that will generate more income based on the values in the daily sales menu at various locations on the map and be consistent. The real beauty of Farming Simulator 19 is that it rewards consistency with income, and your mental reward for consistency is peace of mind.

Selling your crops for cash allows you to focus on a niche crop or diversify for rotation. To increase your gain, you can choose to plant oilseed radish as a natural, chemical-free fertilizer. You can also use liquid fertilizer or solid fertilizer pellets inside of different planters or in specific tools that attach to tractors depending upon your preference. You can also choose to increase yield by utilizing manure or slurry. You can obtain that slurry from pigs or cows on your farm and create savings while increasing yield.

You can try animal husbandry with cows, sheep, pigs, or horses. Sheep eat grass and produce wool, but you need a transport vehicle and sell them at a spinnery. Horses eat hay and oat, require daily riding, and gain value over time. Pigs produce manure after consuming pig feed you can purchase from the store. Cows produce milk that sells automatically over time after eating a special mixture of food.

Outlet for Creativity

Plowing the land can be cathartic.
Plowing the land can be cathartic
Image used with permission: Twitch user Voodooparamedic

You can create new fields with a plow. It is long, tedious work, but you can control how large your fields are, the shape of the field, and feel as if you have accomplished something on your farm. Each field that you plow can be utilized in multiple ways. You can also cultivate these fields to change the appearance, construct sheds or other buildings or create more organized animal pen areas.

You can customize your tractors, tools, front loaders, and other elements of gameplay in the store menu. Farming Simulator 19 has options such as more colors, wheel customization, tire options, and multiple wheel number settings as well as manufacturer-specific badging. The customization menu is intuitive and easy to use, showing changes immediately in the tractor visual near the menus.

Creating the perfect tractor.
Creating the perfect tractor
Image used with permission: Twitch user Voodooparamedic

Customization can also be used to remove trees and participate in forestry activities. Clear cutting a forest through a wooded area to create a pathway to parts of your farm, adding a different terrain or texture to mark the road, and lining it with bushes. Creating pathways can improve access to tight areas or change the landscape and the look of your map. Forestry work is challenging, time-consuming, and rewarding, so try it out and enjoy the fun!

Highly Customizable Modding

Custom colors, schemes, and modifications for any tool or equipment are available.
Custom colors, schemes, and modifications for any tool or equipment are available
Photo credit: Acabashi at WikiCommons

If you are staunchly against mods and prefer vanilla gameplay, look away. Farming Simulator 19 offers mods that have been programmed by both the game manufacturer and private players. There are new maps, tractors, tools, equipment, and other elements that allow you to make your game your own.

Often the vanilla options do not suit the serious farmer after they have gotten comfortable with traditional gameplay, or there are gaps in the convenience of tools. This is where mods come in handy. There is a mod for subsidy and income if you want to make millions by the hour and create a farming empire.

In Farming Simulator 19, you can modify the ground, landscape, change entire mountains to flat ground, change the terrain type, and build hills or land features into your game. You can eliminate rocks, add ponds, and adapt your map to suit your needs.

Crop Diversity

Wheat fields sway in the gentle country breezes.
Wheat fields sway in the gentle country breezes
Photo Credit Maarten Kruit at Freeimages

Farming Simulator 19 allows you to harvest, plow, cultivate, and capitalize on various crops. You can specialize in cotton or sugarcane in addition to more traditional crops such as corn, wheat, barley, and even grass. There are all kinds of crops you can grow on your farm.

You choose what stages of these crops to use as well. You can simply elect to harvest them, transfer them to a trailer, and sell them around the map for top dollar. However, you can also elect to use these crops more traditionally. Wheat, for example, can be harvested with a straw swath that is left behind in the wake of your harvesters. It can be used with a bailer to create straw bales to be sold or used with your animals.

Another neat, multi-stage feature involves grass. Yes, grass. Good old fashioned farm turf. You can mow grass, windrow it, and bail it into grass bails or collect it and sell at biogas plants for more income. Grass can also be turned into hay bails by using a tedder to turn it for drying. After it changes to a lighter color, you can bail the hay and use it for animals or sell it at bail sell points just like straw or grass. Multi-stage crops allow you to diversify and increase your capital for very little overhead.

Realism and Immersive Game Play

International farms as well as traditional American farms are available for immersion.
International farms as well as traditional American farms are available for immersion
Photo credit: Arlid Vagen at WikiCommons

Farming Simulator 19 has immersive gameplay features that are key to their success. The tractors turn on when entering them; you can hear the engines throttle up and down through use, acceleration, and addition of tools or crop interaction. The harvesting machines have similar features and unique gameplay sounds that mimic real-life equipment very closely. When turning a plow to change directions, you can hear the hydraulic lines engage.

Map topography effects speed and crop plowing and planting. If there is a hill in your field, your plow can miss, or your seeder might not be able to plant. You have to maintain your equipment and ensure it is planting and plowing correctly. You can also hire help. You can engage with farmhands in the game to complete tasks for you. You pay them an hourly wage, depending upon the task, and they will complete separate tasks in fielded areas. They will plow, harvest, and plant, which will free you up to manage other things that cannot be automated, such as collecting eggs or selling wool.

Animal husbandry is a unique task in the game, and the animals require maintenance just as fields do. Each animal requires a specific feeding regimen, in addition to pen cleaning, watering, and harvesting of their products. Each animal has varying levels of responsibility attached to them. Cows are arguably the most complicated.

If you enjoy farming, want to learn farming without actually killing any plants or risking any animals, or are interested in simulator games, head on over and download Farming Simulator 19. If you have questions, drop them in the comments below. If you would like to read gameplay tutorials, let me know!