Last week I reviewed the AutoCombine mod. I’m quite pleased with how the AutoCombine mod performs. Especially on non-square/rectangle fields surrounded with fences, trees, shrubs etc. In recent weeks I’ve been playing the Coldborough Park Farm map and AutoCombine has truly been a blessing. I installed the AutoTractor mod hoping it might do equally well. Unfortunately, AutoTractor just doesn’t work well enough for me to use it.
Here’s the deal with mods like AutoCombine, AutoTractor, CoursePlay etc. or even the default “Hire A Worker” feature. These mods or functions are not perfect. You just simply can’t drive a tractor, combine etc. to a field and expect it to perform a perfect job each and every time. If anything, these mods do often emulate the difficulties a farmer would have with his/her hired workers. In real life, some employees work very hard and do everything just as one would expect, but some do not. This is more or less what we can expect when we use these types of mods that emulate a hired worker performing the task or seeding, fertilizing or harvesting.
Again, much like AutoCombine…the AutoTractor mod simply adds a few more features to the default “Hire a Worker” function in FS15. But unlike AutoCombine…it just do as good of a job. As a matter of fact, I really couldn’t get it to do much at all.
The HUD for AutoTractor
How can I get this mod?
The AutoTractor mod is available here. I have personally downloaded, installed and tested this mod. Unfortunately, I’ve found this mod is just not for me. While AutoCombine handles odd shaped fields slightly better than CoursePlay, the same can’t be said for AutoTractor. While CoursePlay does struggle in the tractor dept. with odd shaped fields, I find it is still better to use CP than AutoTractor. I will keep an eye on this mod and when/if an update is made available, I’ll download it, test it and review it again if necessary.
I’ve been a HUGE fan of Courseplay and while I had heard about the AutoCombine mod, I really never had a need to use it. After all, on most of the maps I’ve played in the past…Courseplay worked mostly well. I say “mostly well” only because Courseplay is certainly not without issue. I wrote about some of the struggles we all face with using Courseplay here and here. One of the reasons for looking more closely at the AutoCombine mod was due to the fact that Courseplay is really challenged with fields which are not mostly square or rectangle shaped.
A few weeks ago I began playing the Coldborough Park Farm map. This is a wonderful map based on a real world farm in Herefordshire, England. If you haven’t played this map, you can download it here. This map consists of mostly small irregular shaped fields all bordered with fences and hedges. As previously stated, Courseplay really and truly works best when the fields are relatively large, square or rectangle and have plenty of room between the fields edge and any obstacles such as trees, hedges or fences.
For the most part, AutoCombine functions similar to the default “Hire a Worker” function of FS15 but is more customizable. Another way to look at the AutoCombine mod is it includes the features Giants left out of their default “Hire a Worker” function.
The GUI for AutoCombine is shown below.
I have found I really only use 6 of the buttons on the GUI. I’ll provide a brief description of each: 1. Start/Stop 2. Empty while driving or while stopped 3. Active Side Left 4. Active Side Right 5. Auto Combine or Standard Hire a Worker 6. Harvest mode (circles or up and down)
I typically will start my combine manually and get it into the field and headed in the direction I want it to go. I will then click button number 6 to select the circular option. The combine will continue to harvest in this method until you stop it. Keep a watchful eye on the combine during the first headland cut. If there are nearby obstacles (fences, hedges, trees) these may cause problems. But once the combine cuts the first headland (completes the first trip around the field), it will generally continue without issue as it will have enough room to turn without crashing into an obstacle. After the combine cuts 2-3 headlands, I may stop it and use button 6 again to start an up and down cut.
Much like Courseplay, there are no guarantees that AutoCombine will automatically work without issues. Obstacles such as trees, fences, gates, other equipment etc. may cause AutoCombine to stop. Just like the real world, you will want to occasionally check on your hired workers. But I’ve found AutoCombine does seem to handle odd shaped fields a little better than Courseplay.
AutoCombine will likely stop in the scenario below. In this scenario, we have separated our wheat crop. Once the combine harvests all the wheat in this smaller section, AutoCombine will most think it is done and shut down. You will then need to manually drive the combine back up to the large portion of un-harvested wheat and start it back up.
How can I get this mod?
The AutoCombine mod is available here. I have personally downloaded, installed and tested this mod. The mod works and I use it on all my maps.
I’ve been searching for a way to enable BOTH my Logitech G27 wheel/pedal/shifter unit AND my Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick in Farming Simulator 15. I’ve worn Google out and have read through many forums. I’ve also watched several YouTube videos. Unfortunately, much of the information available is either in a non-English language or more geared towards FS13. Some videos and forum threads discuss the need to edit the inputBinding.xml file and some even mention the need to install 3rd party software. I’ve also read through so many comments from fellow FS15 enthusiasts who are so frustrated and fed up, that they just gave up on trying to get it all to work.
Let’s face it. Giants SHOULD have done a better job implementing wheel support in FS15. Simply put…I believe they dropped the ball. If you are going to develop a driving based game and call it a simulator…YOU NEED TO OFFER WHEEL SUPPORT. Yes, FS15 can be controlled via the keyboard or a simple XBox type controller. Some folks are 100% happy with this setup. However, if you want to take this game to the max and truly push the limits…(and feel good about calling it a simulator) then offer better wheel support like is offered in Euro Truck Simulator 2 or American Truck Simulator.
Now that we’ve got that all out of the way, I absolutely love Farming Simulator 15. While I play a variety of simulation based games like the previously mentioned ATS/ETS2…I also enjoy Car Mechanic Simulator 2015, Train Simulator 16 and Flight Simulation (P3D). At the present time I would have to say that Farming Simulator 15 is my favorite. I believe it is my favorite because there is so much variety in the game play. FS15 allows us to operate tractors, combines, front loaders, bale hay, manage livestock and of course chop trees down in forestry.
The operation of most vehicles in FS15 is pretty straight forward with the G27. Press the gas pedal and the vehicle goes forward, turn the steering wheel and it turns. However, the operation of other functions not so much. For example, if you are operating the telehandler or the wheel loader…the operation of the front bucket is a little clumsy with the mouse. Actually it can be downright frustrating. Considering one spends good money on the G27, the need to use the mouse or keyboard to operate the front bucket really blows away the immersion you are attempting to achieve.
Most know the forestry aspect of Farming Simulator 15 is a very good way to generate a lot of money when first starting out on a new map. But operating the crane to pickup logs to load the trailer with the mouse or keyboard is just as frustrating as I previously described. Perhaps more so.
In the real world, these equipment functions are managed by pulling a lever or two and in some cases using a joystick (or two). I purchase the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick over a year ago in an effort to use it for handling the functions of operating the front bucket or grabbing logs. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get it to work alongside my G27…..UNTIL NOW!!!
As I mentioned at the top of this piece, I’ve searched, I’ve watched and I’ve read in an effort to make this work. I’ve started threads on many of the popular FS15 forums asking for assistance…and basically heard nothing but crickets. So in an effort to assist others who may find themselves in my situation…I’ve decided to document what I did to get both my Logitech G27 and Extreme 3D Pro Joystick to work in Farming Simulator 15.
The video below is just a little over 12 minutes long. In this span of time I demonstrate what I did to get my hardware working. During this video I setup the basic assignments for the wheel, pedals and joystick. Both the G27 and the joystick unit offer many buttons which can be programmed in the same manner I demonstrate in the video. You just need to decide what you want programmed.
While baling hay or straw, do you wonder just how many bales you’ve made? Wonder no more with the Bale Counter mod. This mod is super simple in both its approach and function. It’s so simple, this will likely be one of the shortest blog postings I’ve written.
Once the mod has been installed you’ll notice a small change to the HUD in the lower right corner of the screen. The addition of two new icons which resemble bales of hay will appear and a count.
In the example above, I had been baling and accumulated a total of 8 bales from the field.
If you want to reset the count, just click the “R” key and that will reset the count on the left side. The count on the right will remain to indicate the total number of bales created.
How can I get this mod?
The bale counter mod is available here. I have personally downloaded, installed and tested this mod. The mod works and I use it on all my maps.