This tutorial will show you how to record routes and create networks on any Farming Simulator 22 (FS22) map using the AutoDrive (AD) mod. I’ll teach you how to create waypoints and targets, which are the main components of a great network.
Btw, if you want to learn more about the mod and how to use it for automated driving, I’ve created an introduction to AutoDrive too.
Let’s dive into it, shall we?
Waypoints and Targets
AutoDrive networks are a collection of routes. Each route is made up of two things:
The AI helpers you hire to drive for you automatically follow the waypoints to get to the targets. Your job is to create the waypoints and mark the targets.
In FS22, this job has become so much easier if the map makers have done their job.
Automated Waypoints Creation
Giants Software’s AI helpers have gotten a lot smarter in FS22. They can now drive almost anywhere you tell them.
This is possible thanks to splines. In the Farming Simulator Games, splines are navigation routes AI helpers and AI traffic follows. The splines aren’t visible in-game; you must open the map in Giants Editor to see them.
The point is this: AutoDrive (AD) can use those map splines to create an initial network of waypoints in FS22. It can be a massive time saver.
When you start a new game save with AD activated, you should see this message:
“Should AutoDrive generate a route of network from the traffic and helper data on the map?”
- If you click yes, the mod will take its time to create a network based on the existing splines on the map.
- The quality of the network varies from map to map. Just choose No if you want to create a network from scratch instead.
- The auto-generated AD network does not connect the intersections. You have to create those manually.
Before I start showing you how to create your own AD network, I want to talk about the ingredients.
4 Kinds of Waypoints
Your AutoDrive routes can be made up of 4 different waypoints. They have different colors and are created differently.
- Red waypoints connected by green lines — Main routes in one direction. Arrows mark the direction.
- Red waypoints connected by blue lines — Main routes drivable in two directions.
- Yellow waypoints connected by yellow lines — Side routes in one direction. Again, with arrows marking the direction.
- Yellow waypoints connected by brown lines — Side routes in two directions.
Ok, I think it’s essential to tell you more about the directions and main routes versus side routes.
- If you create one-direction waypoints, the driver only drives in the direction the arrows point.
- Two-direction routes, however, can be driven in both directions.
And main routes and side routes?
When AutoDrive (AD) calculates a route for your driver, it uses the main routes network first.
If it can’t find a working solution, only then will it include the side routes in the calculation. This is to minimize the performance impact of route calculation.
Your routes won’t do anything unless you add targets to them. Your AI drivers won’t drive anywhere until you’ve given them a target to reach.
The good thing about waypoints is that you can turn them into targets. Every waypoint on a map can be a target, although I wouldn’t recommend it for your sanity’s sake.
It’s also possible to have AD display all targets on the maps in the game.
How to Record an AutoDrive Route
Ok. Let’s get down to business. Let’s create an AutoDrive (AD) route. First, we need to talk about what you need to get started.
- AutoDrive for FS22 has to be installed and activated.
- The game must run. You can either start a new game save or use an existing one.
- You need to be inside a vehicle. You’ll use the vehicle to record the waypoints and add targets.
AD can automatically connect the first waypoint to the closest, existing waypoint when creating a new route.
Likewise, it can also automatically connect the last waypoint to the closest existing waypoint.
Although these are excellent features, they can also produce undesired results. I suggest that you turn both options off, at least to begin with. You can always enable them later when you’re more used to working with AD.
- Open the AD settings menu (Ctrl + Alt + Numpad 0), and go to Settings (just click the globe icon.)
- Set Auto connect (start), and Auto connect (end) to No.
Also, the waypoints and targets that are visible in the edit and recording mode have two positions:
- Close to the ground.
- Above the vehicle.
I prefer to use the second position. You can change the position yourself in the Settings Menu -> User Settings (the head icon) -> Line height.
Enable Edit and Recording Mode
You can’t create AutoDrive routes out of the box. You need to enable the Edit and Recording Mode first. Here’s how you do it:
- Click the mouse wheel to activate the mouse pointer.
- Now, click on the warning sign with the exclamation mark inside.
Note that the sign gets colors, while many new buttons appear in the AD HUD. Also, if existing routes are already on the map, the waypoints become visible.
You’re now ready to start recording.
Plan Your Routes First
Before recording, I like to do a manual test run of the route I intend to create. While driving, here are the things I consider:
- Existing Routes – I look at my existing routes to decide where I should start my new route and where I should end it.
- Turns – I make a mental note of tricky turns, visualizing how to make the turn with large trailers.
- Obstacles – I look for obstacles that might cause problems for AI drivers.
You can, of course, attach a trailer to your vehicle during the test run. It makes it easier to plan the route, especially the turns.
Turn AI Traffic Off
Recording AutoDrive routes become considerably more manageable when no AI Traffic gets in your way or honks at you when you block the road.
That’s why I always turn AI traffic off before I start recording.
With that out of the way, we’re ready to make some routes.
Recording a Route
Now, the fun part: Recording a route. Just don’t press rec yet. I have something to say about starting a route and ending it.
If you’ve told AutoDrive not to connect the routes you create automatically to existing routes, you must make the connections manually.
Just have that in the back of your mind, both when you start a recording and when you end it. You want it to be easy to connect your new route to older ones. Now, let’s move on.
The actual recording is effortless:
1. Press the button marked rec.
2. Start driving (the waypoints are created automatically.)
3. Stop driving when you’ve reached your destination.
4. Press the rec button again to stop recording.
You might want to insert targets during the recording. That’s also easy to do; just have a look below.
Creating Different Route Types
You’ll create a main one-way route if you just press rec with your left mouse button. So, how do you make the other routes?
- Clicking the left mouse button: Creates a main one-way route.
- Clicking the right mouse button: Makes a main two-way route.
- Holding Shift + clicking the left mouse button: Creates a one-way side route.
- Holding Shift + clicking the right mouse button: Makes a two-way side route.
Main Route or Side Route?
AutoDrive lets you create 4 kinds of routes. So, where should you use the different choices?
There are no set rules for what kind of route you should use where. It’s totally up to you.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have suggestions for you. Here’s how I build my network:
- One-way main routes: I use them on all the map’s main roads. I also use them to and from selling points
- Two-way main routes: I rarely use them.
- One-way side routes: Almost every other route, for example, to and from fields and loading points, are one-way side routes.
- Two-way side routes: I might use this type for single-lane roads, like dirt roads. Usually, I create a master main farm route that’s also a double-direction side route.
Note: Two-way routes require less recording but more planning.
It’s easy to have AI drivers crashing into each other when your network becomes more extensive, and you forget that some routes can be driven in both directions…
As I’ve mentioned already, you can create the most extensive route network in the history of Farming Simulator games. Unless you add targets to your network, it won’t do diddly squat.
First, let’s talk about the red line drawn from the vehicle in the Edit and Recording Mode. When you’re recording or just driving, that line connects automatically to the waypoint closest to the vehicle.
The line is a great guide. It lets you do stuff to the waypoint it’s connected to, like converting the waypoint to a target.
Here’s how you add targets to your routes:
During recording: When you want to make the waypoint connected to the red line a target, stop your vehicle (not the recording.) Then press the Map Marker and plus sign button.
This opens a dialogue box:
- Give the target a unique name, e.g., Field 01.
- Press OK.
You’ve now created a target and are ready to keep on driving.
Outside the recording: If you want to add a target to an existing route, make sure you’re in Edit and Recording Mode.
1. Now, drive close enough to the waypoint you want to convert. Now, Make sure the red line connects to it.
2. Again, press the Map Marker and plus sign button and give the target a unique name.
Note: You can edit the name of the targets without having to be close to them. See further down under How to Edit Waypoints and Targets for instructions.
Fill and Unloading Triggers as Targets
AutoDrive can fill or unload trailers and other implements automatically. If your route passes a trigger, you can add a target near it that makes the AI driver interact with the trigger.
However, the position of the target is essential for making it work.
If you place the target ahead of or too close to the trigger, nothing will likely happen when the driver reaches it.
Instead, place the target a bit behind the trigger. How far behind? Well, a distance equal to the length of two reasonably sized trailers should set you up for success.
This also works for buying- and selling-triggers, by the way.
Connecting the Dots
Congratulations! If you’ve made it here, it means that you’ve most likely created your first AutoDrive (AD) route. Just hold out a little bit longer; we’re soon finished.
An essential ingredient in creating a good network of AD routes is to connect the dots, literally.
When you record a route, that route’s red or yellow dots are connected automatically.
However, if you followed my advice about disabling auto-connections, your newly created route isn’t part of the network yet.
You must connect its start and end to other routes.
How to Connect Routes
This is how you link a new route to an existing network, starting with the end.
First, a little bit of preparation:
- Make the mouse pointer visible by clicking the mouse wheel.
- Make sure you’re in Edit and Recording Mode.
Now, let’s start connecting the routes, beginning at the end.
1. Left-click once on one of the last waypoints of your new route. (Notice how the waypoint turns green if you move the mouse pointer, meaning it’s ready to be connected.)
2. Now, Left click once on a suitable waypoint of the existing route you want to link to. (The waypoint you choose turns blue when you hover the mouse over it. You’ll also see the suggested line.)
To join the new route to older routes at the beginning, do this:
- Drive back to the start of the new route.
- Left click once on a suitable waypoint of an existing route.
- Then, Left click once on one of the new route’s waypoints.
Hooray! You’ve just connected your route!
Important: The order of the clicks is critical. Here’s a usable rule of thumb:
- Linking the start of a new route: The first click goes to the old route, while the second click goes to the new one.
- Connecting the end of a new route: The new route gets the first click, the old route the last.
The Clicking Order is Important
The order of which waypoint you click when linking them is crucial. It determines the driving direction between the two points.
The first waypoint you click is the start; the second is the end.
So, let’s say you have a one-way route that goes from south to north. Within that route, you need to close a gap between two waypoints.
If you now click on the northernmost waypoint first, then the south point, the driving direction between them will be from north to south, causing problems for the AI drivers.
Instead, the driving direction will be correct by clicking on the southernmost point first, followed by the northern point.
Note that you can use the arrows on one-way routes as a guide.
See below, under Remove the Connection Between Two Waypoints, for more on canceling connections.
The principle for connecting routes that meet in intersections, i.e., road junctions, are basically the same as above: You just need to connect the dots.
There is an issue with just clicking and linking, though. You often have to consider the turn the vehicles are going to make. The vehicle might get stuck when pulling trailers or other tools if the turn is too tight.
Luckily, AutoDrive has an ace up its sleeve in Farming Simulator 22 (FS22.) You can use the mouse wheel to widen the turn.
This is how you do it:
1. Left-click once on the first waypoint you want to connect.
2. Now, place the mouse pointer over the second waypoint, the one you want to link to. Important: Don’t click! Just let the pointer hover over the waypoint.
3. Instead, scroll the mouse wheel. Notice how the line between the waypoints gets curved.
4. Are you satisfied with the shape of the curve? Then Left-click the second waypoint.
Test You Routes
Now that you’ve created some routes and connected them, I recommend testing them. I don’t have a number for how many times I’ve made routes, then started working only to get a message that my helper can’t reach the destination.
- The reason is almost always that not all waypoints have been connected.
- Another common cause is that one connection has the wrong direction.
To test, just have an AI driver drive to one of the targets using your newly created route.
If you get a message that the driver can’t reach the target, just abort the job. Then, start driving along the new route while looking for gaps or arrows pointing in the wrong direction.
Remember that you need to be in Edit and Recording Mode to see the waypoints.
How to Edit Waypoints and Targets
Your AutoDrive waypoints and targets aren’t final. There are several ways to edit them. Let’s look at some of the methods.
Note: Make sure you’re in the Edit and Recording Mode.
AutoDrive lets you move individual waypoints. For example, this might be handy when you want to tighten or widen a turn.
Also, if you’re AI drivers often stop because of oncoming traffic, you can solve the problem by moving waypoints.
All you have to do is move your mouse pointer over the waypoint you want to move. Then, click on your right mouse button and hold it to grab and move the point.
Option 1: To edit the target’s name or delete it, just drive your vehicle close enough to it so the red line connects to the target.
Now, press the Map Marker symbol to edit the name or delete the target. Note that it reverts to being a waypoint if you delete the target.
Option 2: If you don’t want to drive to the target to edit it, there’s another way.
- Select the target you want to edit or delete from the dropdown menu.
- Then, click on the button with a Map Marker symbol and a Pencil.
This opens the edit and delete dialogue box for that particular target.
Adding and Deleting Waypoints
Adding individual waypoints is easy. First, make sure you’re in the Record and Edit mode.
Just place the mouse pointer where you want to add one. If you now hold down Left Ctrl while clicking the left mouse button, AutoDrive will insert a waypoint.
What about deleting waypoints?
Easy! Just hover your pointer over the waypoint you want to delete, then hold down Left Alt while clicking the left mouse button.
So, to sum up:
- Left Ctrl + left mouse button adds a waypoint.
- Left Alt + left mouse button deletes a waypoint.
It’s also possible to delete a waypoint from the vehicle you’re in. Just make sure that the red line connects to the point you want to get rid of, then press the button with red X.
Remove a Link Between Two Waypoints
You can unlink waypoints without having to delete the points. This is how you do it on one-way routes:
- Left-click on the point closest to the start of the route.
- Now, Left-click on the point closest to the end of the route.
This will remove the line between the two points, including the connection.
Adding waypoints to Existing Routes
You can, of course, add new waypoints to existing routes. It involves a bit more work because the new waypoint doesn’t automatically connect to the current points.
This is how you can do it:
Let’s say you want to add a new waypoint between two existing points on a one-way route.
- Add the new point between the old ones with the Left Ctrl + left mouse button.
- Now, left-click on the waypoint behind the new point.
- Secondly, left-click on the waypoint ahead of the new point.
The order of each click is essential. When you get it right, it removes the existing connection between the old waypoints.
Now, you can link the waypoints again, including the new one:
- First, left-click on the waypoint behind the new point, then on the new point to join them.
- Secondly, left-click on the new waypoint, then on the point ahead of it to make a connection.
Using your Network
Now, all you have to do is hire AI helpers to drive your routes. I’ve created an in-depth tutorial for using AutoDrive Networks too.