Game ticks represent amount of time required before automatic in-game processes happen. Both the arrow (→) and a dash (-) represent one game tick. One game tick takes 10 seconds at normal game speed. One in-game day occurs every three seconds at normal game speed. Progress to the next tick is always displayed next to the current game date (see In-game interface). Accelerating the Game speed also affects ticks.
List of processes affected by game ticks
- Production of Resources and manufacturing at Industries
- Production of Passengers and Mail at Towns
- Deduction of vehicle Operating costs
Due to different Industry extensions having different amount of products per different amount of ticks, you can see even decimal value being produced each game tick. For example, a fully upgraded Forest can produce 3.1 Logs and 1 Coal per a game tick. This decimal value shown in the industry tool-tip is only a mathematical averaging per one tick. As matter of fact, the industry produces only whole items, but the production for some units takes longer than production of other units, hence the decimal per one game tick.
According to Jan Zeleny, ticks for Trains work a little differently. New trains consume fuel every five game ticks, but only when accelerating or keeping top speed. While waiting at signals, a train still consumes fuel but at a slower rate. While stopped at the stations loading/unloading or slowing down, the train does not consume fuel. The rate of fuel consumption is dependent on the Game Settings and Vehicle Age.