Planet Coaster Alpha 3 launch and Update notes

Zac Antonaci

Head of Communications
Hi guys,

I hope everyone's looking forward to getting their hands on Planet Coaster alpha 3! Just to let you know we are expecting the update to go live at roughly 6pm BST so just a few more hours before you can enjoy all the new content included in the update.

Remember that you will require a steam key to play alpha 3, you can find out how to get your free steam key here.

Make sure to give your feedback on all the new content by posting on the alpha feedback forums.

We'll add the update notes below shortly.

Planet Coaster – Alpha 3 Update Notes

General Overview / Intro:
The change log below isn’t exhaustive but gives you an idea of how big a step Alpha 3 is on the way to release on 17 November; don’t forget there are many other things being worked on for release. :)
The highlights of Alpha 3 are the beginnings of our simulation, the first sight of our community and sharing functions built on Steamworks, even more support for creation with the 400+ pieces of the new Fairytale theme, more coasters, more editing improvements, water, more customisation, more flatrides, (you get the idea) … and, of course, general performance, visual and audio quality improvements.
We can’t wait to see what you do with it!

Here we go:


  • New Park Management tabs where the player can Hire Staff and track their Overviews.
  • Guests are even more like real humans and drop litter everywhere…unless they see a bin of course.
  • Janitors can be hired to keep the parks clear of litter, vomit and empty bins when full
  • Mascots are available for hire to entertain your guests
  • All Staff can be fired. Sacked. Shown the door to Adios City.
  • Staff can now be trained to increase efficiency. Trained staff work and move faster.
  • New Guest behaviour makes them more reactive than ever to Mascots.
  • Economy System is getting serious now where all items have a placement and running cost
  • Improvements to the Guest Brain
    • Guests actually make considered decisions by assessing the value of rides, coasters, shops and facilities
    • As Guests make these decisions and experience the park they give feedback through Guest Thoughts
  • ATM are now available for your guests to withdraw even more money, keeping them in the park for longer
  • New Mascots added – Cosmic Cow and Princess Amelie
  • Detailed analysis is now available through Info Panels for Guests, Staff, Rides, Shops and Facilities including price adjustments, custom settings and recent thoughts
  • Ability to focus camera on Attraction, Shop or Facility relating to a specific Guest Thought
  • The expanded and improved Park Rating now incorporates Ride Rating, Scenery Rating, Park Balance and Guest Happiness
  • Added Summary Overview tooltips to status bar for Total Guests, Park Rating and Current Cash
  • Priority Pass system allows players to create priority lanes for rides and coasters
  • Priority Passes are available to Guests from the new Information kiosks
  • Staff become less efficient when demotivated by being underpaid, overworked or both, which can be easily seen in the awesome animations played.
  • Players can be true gods by picking up and moving groups of guests and staff too.
  • Staff now have all the same camera functionality available to Guests

Main menu

  • Curated Planet interface brings all your content into one place, including Steam Workshop
  • New “My Parks” screen uses screenshots from your Save Games for fast navigation
  • More appropriate game-mode flows for Sandbox and Challenge mode
    • Sandbox still offers total freedom with unlimited cash-flow
    • Challenge Mode won’t allow you to go into negative money, heralding the first steps to fully functional park management
  • Brand new 3D globe interaction populated with a host of charming, animated Avatars
  • Our new “Desert” terrain pack offers a new proving ground for park creators to explore
  • Planet Coaster’s Community get personal with first glimpse Avatar Editor and HQ placement tools


  • You can now save local blueprints of buildings, scenery, coasters and combinations of all three!
  • Get a name for yourself in the Community by sharing local blueprints via Steam Workshop

Steam functionality

  • Steam Workshop integration to access blueprints/parks from in-game
  • Steam Workshop is fully integrated into the Main Menu making park sharing simple.
  • Planet Coaster Steam Friends appear in-game with their Steam Workshop content
  • Planet Coaster “Celebrities” debut in Alpha 3 with Steam Workshop content
    • Celebrities include Frontier developers and select members of the community
    • Contains new parks and blueprints created by Frontier staff

6 new coaster types have been added

  • Barghest - Is a Euro-fighter style coaster. The trademark feature is its beyond-vertical drop. This is an excellent compact looping coaster.
  • Basilisk - This has a distinctive look and sound and creates amazing silhouettes over the landscape like a beautiful flowing ribbon.
  • Loony_Turns - With 2 cars placed close together with 4 riders per car and 8 riders per train, this steel roller coaster is characterised by a vertical or beyond-vertical drop, tight corners and abnormal banking.
  • Test_Pilot - This is a 4th dimension roller coaster were the riders are suspended either side of the track. The car then spins on a horizontal axis 360-degrees forward and backwards. There are new widgets in the track editor for adjusting 4D coaster to control the car rotation round each section of your track.
  • Tiamat - This is a prototype wing coaster featuring a high-speed cable lift mechanism. This coaster is all about speed, airtime and high g-force along twisty track layouts.
  • Torque - The Torque is the only coaster to feature a loop with a top hat element connected to the top of the loop. This coaster also features a reverse launch mechanism which stops the train then propels the car backwards down the track and then gives it another boost forward.

1 modified existing coaster type

  • Black Falcon - Planet Coaster fans asked for a chain lift variant of the wing coaster so we gave them one - we now have a LIM launched and chain lift wing coaster variants. Now has Black Falcon adornment on the coaster car.

New Track Special Pieces

  • Over 40 new, Special Pieces are available to terrify your guests including:
    • The “Top Hat Loop” with two entrances and two exits in the same piece
    • “Heartline” rolls, huge news for all the fans desperate to see this included
    • Vertical Chain Lift with a 120 degree drop making it the world’s steepest coaster!
  • Improvements to making Specials smoother than ever

New Utility pieces

  • Cable lift variant for the Tiamat coaster
  • Stackable vertical chain lifts on the Eurofighter tracks
  • Dive drop – This has had some graphical and usability improvements

New animated stations

These stations now work with glorious detailed engineering just like the real thing

  • Werewolf
  • Aetheon
  • Stingray
  • Boa

Roller Coaster Blueprints

  • Move and reposition existing tracks
  • Save your coaster layout
  • Load it into any park
  • Share with your friends

Track Editor Improvements

  • Disable supports option - Tracks now have a toggle to have their supports disabled when placed which was a request from the fans, you asked and we listen.
  • Improved the “tweaky-tweak” behaviour when editing a placed piece of track
  • Ability to smooth track banking without changing the position of the track
  • Updated banking widget provides angle feedback
  • Moved track selection controls into in-world rather than UI buttons to make it easier for you to select your existing track pieces for editing
  • Dual direction booster that slows the train to a stop, launches it backwards then propels it forwards as it comes back over it
  • Default track lengths for different coaster types
  • Ride cameras added to coaster construction
  • Ability to adjust load rules for smoother loading and unloading of rides
  • Initial testing mode containing live readouts of your excitement, fear and nausea ratings
  • Testing mode provides a final readout of key information and statistics about your ride once complete
  • Coasters must be tested before they can be ridden by guests
  • Special pieces can now be rotated, scaled and moved in situ without the need to delete any track

Amusement Rides

  • 5 new amusement rides ranging from the classic Teacups to the ultra-contemporary Cube, including the towering Sundial swing, guest-flown Wild Blue and the steel beast they call the Gears of Fear
  • Amusement rides even more faithfully realised with controls booths on all bases
  • We give players more control allowing you to adjust individual load rules of each ride
  • Existing rides have been given greater polygonal detail and improved surfaces.


  • Introducing our new ‘Fairytale’ theme consisting of over 400 original assets.
  • Nature packs get even more varieties of tree and plants, including decorative topiary and a fantastic rock-set to support the new Desert theme.
  • Pre-built blueprints of scenery and buildings lovingly created by our artists are included for creators to modify and managers to bit beautiful parks straight out of the box.
  • Advanced Move and Rotate gizmos can now switch World and Local making creation of blueprint smoother than ever.
  • The new “Duplicate and Advanced Move” allows creators to clone complex structures and blueprints quickly and precisely.
  • New particles offer ever more freedom and movement to your theming, including mysterious Mist, explosive Splashes, and plumes of rising Steam.
  • Ability to change the grid size of your buildings offers far greater flexibility when planning park spaces.
  • Players can create an entirely new building simply by selecting a section of an existing one and choosing Split, making creation of complex structures
  • Grid items have a different Browser background allowing seasoned players greater expectation of how an item will function when used

Shops and Facilities

  • Alpha 3 comes complete with pre-generated blueprints of shops and facilities in various themes to allow players to quickly build evocative parks.
  • Shops and Facilities now have their own Browser tab to speed navigation
  • Shops are now internal buildings ready and waiting for custom wall pieces to be added
  • New First Aid shop included to help control Nausea in Guests
  • New ATM to supply Guests with cash for new clothes if the First Aiders fail J
  • New Info kiosk to sell the Priority Passes to impatient guests
  • New, clean and a well-tiled Toilets


  • Players can choose custom colours for Amusement Rides, Scenery, and even Building Pieces.


  • Placing bins and benches along paths is now simple with the soft snap-to-edge feature
  • Paths now have an toggle to prevent supports being dropped when the path is raised
  • Running paths through buildings has never been easier now we have the Align to Grid toggle when laying paths.


  • Guests throw litter into bin (like b-ball pros!)
  • Guests sit down at benches when tired
  • Guests may vomit if they’re nauseous
  • The new pattern system for guest clothing increases variation
  • We’ve added more varied body-types to increase the diversity of the crowd
  • If a guest becomes trapped in busy areas of the park they play a trapped animation
  • Guests Thoughts now take account of congestion in your park


  • Our new Roughen tool allows players of all abilities to sculpt natural-looking noise into the landscape.
  • We introduce Water including 4 different types of water to suit most requirements with more to come on release.


  • Improvements to the browsers target categories and sub-categories for all items make navigation easier
  • Improvements to filtering options for theme, materials and sets for targeted browser searching
  • New multi-select mode allows you to select multiple types of items
  • Global vertical grid has been made optional, increasing player freedom when placing structures while still offering precision placement you’ve come to expect, with the Vertical Grid moved to a toggle (the default is Off)


  • Significant improvements to the lighting and shader systems
    • Real-time, screen space reflection for water and reflective surfaces
    • Adaptive exposure gives greater lighting realism when going between dark and light areas.
    • Improved lighting makes tunnel darker the deeper they go and prevent surface atmospherics from brightening subterranean areas
    • Bounce lighting is more advanced, with rich surfaces reflecting hues upwards to structures built upon them.
    • Lights turn on when underground
    • Volumetric atmospheric effects, such as cones, appear on placable lights
    • HBAO has been improved to occlusion to be visible further from the camera, making the large structures feel far more solid and guests more ground to surfaces.
  • Added advanced graphics options to allow players greater control over their gaming experience


  • Obstruction/Occlusion our audio is now aware of the space it is in and will change accordingly!
    • Buildings, tunnels and caves will alter the sound according to how you build them.
    • Made a huge cave? Well prepare for an echo! Move the camera into a narrow passage and there will be early reflections to simulate such a small enclosed space.
    • Sounds that are outside will be muffled, making it much easier to create underground or indoor rides.
  • We have started adding sounds to special track pieces such as the Drivetrain and Chainlift. This is ongoing.
  • We are replacing placeholder sounds, like the mechanical brake noises on magnetic brakes.
  • We are beginning to diversify the audio on coasters, which up until now where all using the same sample set.
  • The Cloudrunner, Rival, Wendigo and Sprint 500 have bespoke sound design layers.
  • Small objects close to the tracks produce little swooshes when a coaster goes by them at speed.
  • We have recorded over 46 voice actors for the game, all speaking the language specifically designed for Planet Coaster.
  • Previously close-up animations didn’t have any sounds, we’re beginning to add these. This is ongoing.
  • Guests in the park react to the sounds that mascots make. Move in closer to King Coaster see the Guest react when he makes noises.
  • Not only will players be able to see the happiness of guests at a glance, but they’ll now start to hear them emoting and reacting to their surroundings
    • (Note: this is not just mascots performing – this is coasters racing by, opening new rides, etc.)
  • Loads more Planco is spoken throughout the park now, replacing placeholder background “walla” layers.
  • Added a lot more music to the rides. We personally love the teacups ride, give it a spin!
  • We have changed how far music carries (just like in a real park!) so take this into account when placing your rides. Close together for a fairground feel, further apart for that theme park feel.
  • We have added layers to existing music, check out the Whirly Rig
  • A huge pass on scenery, there are sounds for placing and moving it around and even more pieces of scenery have unique sounds now.
  • Loads more bespoke sounds for animated scenery and new scenery pieces.
  • New ambient soundest for the desert biome.

Game Optimisations

  • Guest optimisation. Updates now 3-4 times faster and uses half the memory overhead from Alpha 2
  • Optimisation and LOD pass on all ride and coaster assets
  • Optimisation and LOD pass on existing scenery and building items
  • As well as improving the visuals, we optimised materials on rides, coaster cars and tracks by removing the clip material from surfaces that did not require it and moving the alphas onto a separate, smaller texture.
  • Audio systems now use less resources
  • Optimised and improved the model renderer system
  • Optimised and improved the animation rendering system
  • Optimised and improved the crowd rendering system
  • Optimised and improved the particle rendering system
  • Reduced the cost of rendering the reflective shadow maps used to populate light propagation volumes.
  • Softer shadow filters.
  • Reduced memory usage of the terrain system.
  • SIMD optimisations to improve terrain editing performance.


Last edited:
Hi guys,

I hope everyone's looking forward to getting their hands on Planet Coaster alpha 3! Just to let you know we are expecting the update to go live at roughly 6pm BST so just a few more hours before you can enjoy all the new content included in the update.

Remember that you will require a steam key to play alpha 3, you can find out how to get your free steam key here.

Make sure to give your feedback on all the new content by posting on the alpha feedback forums.

We'll add the update notes below shortly.



Thank you very much for the information!! [squeeeeee]
I'm looking forward to it... hopefully the download won't take too long (my internet connection is really bad...), I can't wait to play it TODAY [heart]
NOOOOOO i've literally been waiting all day for this!!!!!!!!! Why so late? They never usually that late [down][down]
Weeell i have to wait anyway because i have to work til late tonight. AND i can play Elite Dangerous while i download :D I hope this doesn't make System-jumping unbearable ^^
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