Meticulous Experimentation In Farming Simulator 17

After a worrying absence of a 2016 edition, Farming Simulator 17 [official site] is back to simulate all your rural needs. And who better qualified to tell you all about it than I, John “Farmer” Walker, management game expert and lover of all things agricultural?!

Obviously the first thing to establish in a new Farming Simulator is which world objects can be knocked over, and which can’t. Cars: yes. Trees: no. Stop signs: yes. Fences: no. There’s no internal logic to it, so it’s a case of meticulous experimentation as you hurtle your tractors around the landscape, smashing into everything you can find. The good news is, if you knock over your flat-bed truck by crashing into it with a runaway combine harvester, it will self-right when you start to drive it even from upside-down. However, be warned: a tractor will not self-right in the same way, and will remain sleeping on its side forever. This can prove problematic if you were to then want to use that tractor to do jumps over the hills, or park it across a train track.

It’s worth noting that the merging process with lampposts is a one-way system. Your tractor can align its molecules up to drive through a post up to a certain distance, but then, using interlacing molecular technology being introduced into farming from June 2017, this is an irreversible process. You tractor will remain at one with that post forever from this point, which is worth bearing in mind when making decisions about whether to gently tap one.

It’s important to pay careful attention to the game’s instructions, and possibly go through the early tutorials, in order to learn the very many peculiar key assignments to ensure you can get the most out of a game. Crucially, in order to maintain a strong simulation of farming life, you can’t see what the myriad controls (I to dump, 0 to honk, U to toggle tip side) are while playing – that requires quitting out and going to the title screen like a real farmer.

So you’ll want to know that if you start driving the combine harvester before pressing Q to attach the choppy-spinny-bit, it’ll drive straight over it and then refuse to attach later. And then you’re going to be heftily screwed if you plan to cut some crop circles.

Thanks to every vehicle’s extraordinary turning circles, it’s a cinch to plough words into fields. Pretty much everything is capable of doing donuts, so you’ll have no issues writing curly letters. No one’s told the AI about this, by the way, so they’re trapped in a world of nineteen-point turns at the end of every field, but this affords the opportunity to do skidsies around them at the time.

Then of course, all this figured out you can settle back into the merry world of OH GOD SO MANY STATS. SO MANY NUMBERS TO WORRY ABOUT.

I don’t want this! I want to drive tractors into walls, and see if I can derail the trains! Why am I being asked to worry about how much liquid manure costs?! No wonder farmers are so bloody cross all the time. My Case 1H 1660 Axial-Flow is costing me €2,050 for… something, and whatever that something is, it’s adding up to €25,586 for something else! I only have €30,000 and €55,000 of that is a loan! This isn’t fun – this is a terrifying debt simulator, combined with arduous manual labour and an interface that puts the T into UI. No, how have I been tricked into this? ADAM!!!

Farming Debt Simulator 17 is out now on Windows via Steam for £30/$35/€35.


  1. KDR_11k says:

    2016 was on mobile and handheld systems, they always alternate like that.

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    A Walker on a farm… the heck is this, The Walking Dead?

  3. po says:

    Looks more like a crop-telly-tubby.

  4. caff says:

    This is why I can never bring myself to buy racing games. I mean, I’m sure they’re very good and all that, but I inevitably end up spending the first hour attempting to drive the wrong way around the track to see the impact and/or carnage that can be had.

  5. Lucarren says:

    I’m just curious if this guy has ever actually played the Farming Sim franchise for more than an hour or so to write this article. First off there no “worrying absence” as the PC versions always have and most likely always will release on the odd years. Secondly the what flips and what doesn’t, again that’s the same as previous years as well. equipment has always been able to flip as have signs and such. Some lamp posts and various buildings (the roofs mainly) have always had clipping issues, and trees have never been able to be knocked over. Lastly the implied lack of control UI is a stretch. Outside of the longtime players or die hard simulation players the help UI tends to be active all the time. Even me who has played since Farming Sim 2013 leaves it on. I don’t need to look at it as 99% of the controls carry over from each release but it’s still there if I need a reference.

    This is clearly an article of a writer who has never even thought of picking up one of the Farming Sim titles but was told by his bosses to write a compelling article about the game. The vast majority of this article is uneducated babble about all the things that have always been in existence in the game yet none of the existing player base really cares about. Oh and if you cant read the elementary level number sheets then you have no business playing this game anyway.

    The included “Oh MY GOD THE STATS” picture simply shows your stock crops and how much they sell for per 1000liters at the various locations. Red means depreciating value, green is appreciating, and white means it’s stable. The other charts are all essentially the same concept.

    Journalism really needs to move away from the “anyone can write about anything” mentality. This article is evidence that it doesn’t work. Because a guy that has seemingly never played a game in the franchise doesn’t understand the game and doesn’t enjoy it, he has written a slanderous article that puts the game into a bad light and gives an overall negative view of the game.

    “No, how have I been tricked into this? ADAM!!!” Case and point as to why this guy should never write about this genre but probably will again because we all know in the world of game reviews “One hour of experience is more than enough to give an unbiased and informational review of a title.”

    • LimEJET says:

      While I agree with you, I can’t help but think that you don’t have a lot of experience with RPS. The focus is usually on humour here.

      The people who WANT to play Farming Sim usually don’t need a review as they know what a new version will entail.

      • Lucarren says:

        Admittedly no I don’t have a lot of experience here, however as a direct link from the steam store page and an article that could make or break someones decision on the game they still need to provide unbiased and educated reviews. I am perfectly fine with articles pointing out potentially bad things such as the clipping bugs and such, however when that same article gives no good things about a great game then it becomes slander and not a true review. Like me I would imagine the average steam player doesn’t know this site leans toward “satirical” reviews.

        Honestly if I wasn’t a long time player of the game and I had seen this review I wouldn’t think twice about skipping over an overly complex and broken game because that’s exactly how this review makes it look when it’s really the opposite. People that know what farming sim is and have a lot of experience don’t need reviews to decide on the next game, but when I’m looking at a new title or franchise I look at reviews like these to determine if its work the money to buy. This does not give an accurate portrayal of an amazing new release in the Farming Sim franchise for those potentially new players.

        • GeoX says:

          I mean, I’m sympathetic to the general point, but really, the fact that steam provides automated links like that doesn’t obligate RPS to do anything.

      • logofascinated says:

        > The people who WANT to play Farming Sim usually don’t need a review as they know what a new version will entail.

        And yet we already have one commenter who says they won’t be buying the game on the strength of this “review”.

    • LewdPenguin says:

      Agree with pretty much all of this, the entire article reads like someone with zero interest in or experience of the series has loaded the game up, dicked about for at most an hour then sat down to write a “review” about the game.
      This would have been ok as lighthearted preview feature, but for a review it would be nice to have someone that can write something relevant. How does this compare to FS15? No idea because the writer has none. What’s been improved, what hasn’t, what’s new this year and does it mesh well with the existing content? No idea because the writer has none.
      If none of the regular RPS staff writers have any interest in a game it would probably be better if a guest writer submitted a review for publishing, a bit of humour is great (and probably a large part of many of us come here) but if I want hyperactive blather of a review from someone with no idea or seemingly intention of playing the game ‘properly’ I can go to youtube and watch some 12yo and come away knowing about as much as I do after reading this.

    • santouryuu says:

      i really doubt this review was written seriously,you can easily tell.though i suppose you can argue that a review should be serious,but it was never marked as a proper review,as it’s not a Wot I’s more of satirical piece about a tractor game.
      Edit:it’s been a while since i have been here,and now we have an Edit button?even though it’s temporary,THIS IS GREAT!

    • kororas says:

      I’d play the game like this as well, one of those games where you are into it or not and John clearly isn’t.

      It shouldn’t be considered a review piece at all, not sure who is at fault for that. Probably Steam i’m guessing?

      • LewdPenguin says:

        Last I checked steam didn’t publish RPS merely link here. IF it wasn’t meant to be posted as a review it probably shouldn’t be at rockpapershotgun com/2016/10/25/farming-simulator-17-REVIEW/ or be tagged as a review at the bottom.

        • April March says:

          The tag may be a little damning, but who the hell would say “I’d like to see if this site has a review of Farming Simulator 17. Let me just randomly add farming-simulator-17-review to the home’s URL to see if something comes up…”

          The solution to this is to stop using the word “review” in the URLs. I recommend replacing it with “snarfblat” or “flaetsbnort”.

    • Kefren says:

      Personally, I found it useful. Reviews can be from insiders: in which case they tend only to appeal to those who are already into the game/genre in question; or by people who are new to the series/genre, in which case their reviews are more useful to other people who are new to it.

      I’m pretty sure I’d have likewise been sat there wondering WTF trees and fences are made of and dicking about. The humour of the piece was probably the only pleasure I’d get from the game. The impressions piece did its job. Anyone seriously interested in farming simulators would probably investigate more than one dismissive article before ruling it out.

      • Kefren says:

        Oh no, the edit button has been taken away from me again (unless it is tied to Javascript, which I turn off).

    • gwop_the_derailer says:

      Look, mate, it’s another farming simulator. You know if you want it.

    • aerozol says:

      Your comment put me off this game way more than Adam’s review.
      RPS has never totally hated on this series in the past, including in this little article, and if you can’t handle one article that’s clearly light-hearted on the face of it then please stick to whatever boring magazine/website you enjoy that sticks to [list new features] [picture showing graphics] [explain what the graphics are like] [number out of 10]

      Unfortunately leaping onto another website to defend/attack whatever is what makes your gaming community look quite unappealing to me, which I’m sure wasn’t your intention.
      Also, RPS isn’t made to serve as a appendage of Steam, if they link to things you don’t like, that’s not RPS’ problem. I’m sure as far as Farming Simulator 17 is concerned, any exposure to a new audience is good exposure, especially an article like this which isn’t really negative, just making fun of quirks. So let’s all relax :)

    • Sin Vega says:

      Poor John, yet again under orders from his bosses (probably in the Kremlin or whatever amirite) to write a compelling article, despite his failure to attend the Oxford Institute of Agricultural Videogames for the requisite nine years. When will the torment end?

    • John Walker says:

      My bosses are FURIOUS this morning.

  6. honcho66 says:

    Hangover Monday John Walker? No article would have been better

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      But where are John’s snarky replies to the comments? :(

  7. stoner says:

    So, crappy physics are still part of this steaming pile of sh1t. I played FS 2011, FS 2013, and FS 2015. The same problems have existed in all. For instance, I turned a combine too sharply and it launched straight into the air and got stuck in a tree. Why the hell doesn’t Giants fix this game?

    I swore I’d never buy another FS20xx again. I may buy FS2017 on a $5 Steam sale. Maybe.

  8. CartonofMilk says:

    it’ll keep on doing well with the anoraks obsessed with heavy machinery crowd.

    i personally grew up surrounded by tractors and other farm machinery. The idea of playing a game that is about driving those things to do the things you’re supposed to do with them is just really really…weird…to me.

    • Harlander says:

      Wow, I haven’t seen “anorak” used as an insult in a long time.

      Or to describe a coat, for that matter. In fact, it seems like nothing more than a term from a lazy fantasy setting. “Beware, the armies of Anorak are massing!”

      • CartonofMilk says:

        one i’m (reasonably) old so it might be why i’m using this word. two i wasn’t really using it as an insult. I could have said nerd. Geek. Whatever. I consider myself one of them. I am an anorak about some things. Just not heavy machinery. To each their own. But it is weird to me. Just as the things i’m obsessed with probably would be weird to another.

  9. brulleks says:

    Worth reading just to see that someone remembers how to use the word ‘myriad’ as an adjective instead of a noun. 10/10.

  10. Aaron D. says:

    What a disappointing review.

    I get snark and I get satire. No problem.

    Unfortunately, with a franchise and genre with such a tenuous grasp on legitimacy with the gaming community, “roasting” the game for laughs does it no favors. Nor does it grow the audience in ways other titles with more exposure and advertising don’t need.

    The whole piece strikes me as irresponsible, truth be told. I mean, it’s cute and all. But you’re informing no one about the game and not setting the stage for anyone to give it the slightest chance.

    That’s pretty lame, imo.

    • John Walker says:

      Fortunately it’s neither my job to do games favours, nor advertise them.

      • Aaron D. says:

        That’s fine.

        I’d only suggest that you don’t advertise your article as a Review then, as it’s anything but.

      • Herbaceous says:

        Fair enough, John. I Love to read RPS but it’s important to at least try to get some informative information in with the humour. I mean, this article is completely lacking in it, and honestly it’s not even that funny if you are familiar with the Farming Simulator franchise, as most of the issues you brought up are deeply rooted irritations since FS11.

        I guess any writer that’s going to write “poop” on the ground with a tractor is obviously of a certain mindset…

  11. XHawkeye says:

    Mr. Walker, you’ve did good, the comments were/are more fun to read your “review”.

  12. rwstark1028 says:

    I have played this game for only a few days now and already I am very impressed. I have played Farm Simulator since 2011, and the inprovements since then are phenominal. Sure, there are some quirks with the physics, but if you play reasonably it’s really quite absorbing and beautiful. Some of the new features are: livestock breeding and animal transport/purchases/sales. They have added pigs. And there are so many new crop types and vehicles, I’ll run out of room describing them. All of the addons we had to purchase in 2013 are standard in 2017, and now you really need a fork lift to move your own pallets around. I have a Saitek wheel and pedals (don’t know how you could play this game with only a keyboard and get such a smooth response.) The new map has a four lane highway running through it, and two rail systems that you can actually get in the cab and drive with freight cars containing your produce! Awesome! I wouldn’t sell this one short, and I have only scratched the surface. People expect a lot from programmers and have many complaints and no praise. It’s hard work – nothing someone off the street could even imagine – and what they can do now is nothing short of amazing. So if you want to drive your jeep over a cliff to watch it bounce and roll, then maybe this sim is not for you. If you want to apply your skill and intellect to running a digital farm, then you have come to the right place! Good luck to all!

    • rwstark1028 says:

      As an addendum, I wanted to note that I have just purchased the”Infamous Bale Trailer” to transport pallets of seeds and fertilizer home in one go, and I made it back without a slip. Some of you may remember how objects seemed to “float” right off the trailors in 2011 and 2013, and to a lesser extent shift in 2015, but now the bale trailer is actually quite solid and stable. And yes, you now have to buy seed fertilizer in pallets at the shop to replace used bags. You also have to fertilize each field up to 3 times to get a full yield boost, so there is a lot more “actual farming” involved in this one – good news for the serious enthusiast. They even have “weeders” for deep root crops, but I haven’t the equipment to try that out yet – sounds cool though! Finally, my compliments to the new mission system that has you doing work for other farmers, which not only makes more sense than shuffling pallets of suitcases around town or mowing baseball fields, but also lets you try out new equipment without having to purchase or lease it for your own stable. For someone new to farming, it might even be considered a tutorial on what needs to be done on a farm and what equipment is needed to accomplish it. All in all, I’d say the physics system is way better than that of previous versions; connecting trailers is much smoother, and thye even have tie down straps to secure loads if needed. Seriously, I would recommend Farm Simulator 2017 as one of the best releases ever of the franchise (though I did not try 2016 because I hate controllers and only play PC games, so possibly a lot of this impressive innovation may have had its origens there.) Thanks and enjoy!