Phantom line tactic ruins the game, should be nerfed in a new mod


In order to get to top 10 list I use phantom line tactic, otherwise its impossible to get those high scores. I was getting around 1500 score without using this tactic and I’m getting close to 3000 when I use it. But this ruins the fun of the game because I need to use it constantly and it’s boring.

Phantom line tactic : keep one or two lines and trains unused. Use them momentarily to clean overcrowded stations. Create a line from an overcrowded station to another station where most of the passengers in overcrowded station wants to go. The moment train leaves the first station you can remove the line and use it in another overcrowded station if you have another unused train.

What I suggest is to have a new game mode, called Hard (or something) that will be like normal but when a line is removed it will have a delay of 10-20 seconds to be available again in order to make this phantom line tactic unusable. This should be a new mod because if normal mode is changed, then current high scores will not be reached again.


I use “phantom lines” all the time. And I disagree about the boredom factor, or nerf idea.

All transit systems in the world use phantom lines. Based on their usage, operators figure out how to expand the rail network, and optimize the road network.

I see MiniMetro more as a puzzle than a game… design a fixed line network to connect all station types efficiently … Optimize to make phantom lines as short as possible … see how your phantom lines do in the “end game”.

It actually feels a little like playing checkers to me. except you get to design a new checkerboard, each episode.


Lol, I never use phantom lines and are in the 3000’s all the time.


Erm no, no they don’t. If you can find me a single example of a rail transit system that has ever built a rail for a single trip because there were passengers waiting at the platform then torn it up again then feel free to call me whatever you want because you will never find that.

It should be nerfed, its completely unrealistic. I would suggest that any line that has been laid has to stay for at least 1 week in game.


You are right, if you think of every blip on a mini metro map as subway station. But if you think of the blips as a place where people want to move from, then it’s more like a real world city map. For e.g. in the real world, rail and stations cost a billion dollars a pop – a bus line is practically free in comparison. There’s no city that connects all transit points with subway stations.


These cities presumably they still have cars and buses outside of the rail system, but we are not in charge of those. This is a rail network, nothing more nothing less, every blip IS a rail station so the idea of temporary lines is a completely unrealistic one.


Weeeell, If you use this map it comes quite close

But this map does the job pretty much, (assuming all types of trains count)


Good point, re: London – now show me the same illustration for Auckland, and many others that are not built out like London. No photoshop allowed! I was not able to complete some of the challenges with out these so called phantom lines, so it’s hard for me to imagine that they’re not an intended feature of the game.


Sorry for bumping this topic, I am new to the game. I couldn’t agree more to the topic starter. Phantom lines are totally unrealistic, boring, but necessary to get a high score. Indeed a 20 seconds delay for removing (or reshaping) a line would suffice.
To add to this, the way trains can be moved instantly is also a bit unrealistic. This is another trick you have to use to get a high score. Maybe this can get a small time delay as well.


Nobody said this game was supposed to be realistic. It’s an approximation, and everything is scaled down (it is “Mini Metro”, after all), including the number of passengers that fit in stations and train units, the time and resources it takes to extend or reposition a line whether there’s a train unit on the segment or not, the time and resources involved in building or decommissioning a tunnel or bridge, and the time it takes to reallocate an engine. Also, track complexity is reduced, and real-world subway systems don’t usually have new stations being built around the city all the time, especially not as scattered as they are in the game (e.g., the metro nearest to me considered extending a single line, adding multiple stations to it, which would have been the first expansion in… a while). It’s just a game, it won’t be completely realistic.

I can think of only one time that I blatantly abused phantom lines in the manner described in this thread, and it was for the purpose of completing Berlin’s second challenge (deliver 1000 passengers using no more than one locomotive per line). I also see how it could be abused for tunnels-on-one-line challenges (e.g. Barcelona, Guangzhou, Lagos), but I finished those without that tactic. I’ll be honest, if it were possible to completely prevent phantom lines from circumventing those challenge conditions, I’d support that for the sake of fairness.

I’d like to comment on this too:

I, for one, would have appreciated an explanation from @TransitTourist. I’m inclined to believe him, but I’m unfamiliar with what a real-world phantom line would involve. Even without actually knowing, though, I’m guessing that if a real phantom line were to be built, it would just be abandoned after use, not ripped up.


Just noticed this comment. What I was referring to in my comment about “all transit systems use phantom lines” is “bus bridges” to support rail outages and congestion, and “bus rapid transit” (BRT) routes designed for moving people quickly and efficiently between major transit hubs. Sometimes BRT routes are permanent, sometimes they’re converted to rail lines. There’s an article about one of those systems here: – the first time I saw BRT was in Los Angeles 20 years ago. Rush hour bus express routes have been around for decades.


For all the, “This is a game, not a real life simulation” comments (@AJIPiGuy and others) I didn’t ask for this feature (nerfing phantom lines) to make the game more realistic, I asked to make the game more fun. The concept of a passenger not wanting to go a to particular station but to a particular type of station (square, circle etc) is already far away from real life but it is a good game mechanic.

Having phantom lines (lanes) is bad not because they are unrealistic, but because they take the fun from the game. I want to focus on the strategy, but after some point I always end up keeping one or two lines as phantom lines and micro manage the overcrowded stations with these phantom lines.

@TransitTourist All transit systems in the world use phantom lines.

So yes, for buses, there can be phantom lines, but there can’t be railed phantom lines, not practically possible. This is a railed transport game, but even if we ignore that, phantom lines in real life would have some drawbacks, as it would take some time for the passengers to learn that there is a new lane and they can plan their trips with this newly introduced lanes. And when they are removed, again some passengers that aren’t aware of the removal would have problems commuting.


Also, I suggest this to be a new game mod, so anyone who loves the phantom lines can continue to play that way.