Simple, bare-bones guide for those who just want to know what to expect as they build a career in virtual lawn mowing.
Hello and welcome to my Lawn Mowing Simulator walkthrough guide. This game is pretty easy, after the first couple of jobs you should have a good understanding of how to play, and there aren’t any hidden levels or secret lawnmowers to unlock. So this guide will be brief and stick to the basics, focusing mostly on the “most efficient” way to get through Career Mode.
It really is just jump on a mower and go mow a lawn for a couple of hours.
The game is set in England apparently, and I think it was developed by some British people. The money is listed in pounds and pence, rather than say dollars, euros, gold, gil, or rupees. And they use some British terms to describe various things throughout the game, which might sound a bit odd if you speak American English instead of British English. From what I’ve seen, the biggest difference will be in what they call the “strimmer” in England. Here in America, that piece of equipment might be called one of several names depending what part of the country you are in. So you might know it as “string trimmer,” “wheed whacker,” “gra*s whip,” or perhaps another name. Basically all these names refer to a piece of lawn care equipment that is a long stick with a motor on the top end and a cutting blade (typically a spool of hard plastic string) on the bottom end. It’s used to cut gra*s in areas that are too small or too delicate for the bigger mower machine. For the rest of this guide, I will simply call this thing a “trimmer.”
There is a DLC available that offers additional job sites from historical Britain. I think it also adds some new mowers and such. Be advised that as of the time I’m writing this guide I do not own the DLC so I will not be discussing it at all.
This is a game that cannot be rushed. You CANNOT save during a job, and each job takes between 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the size of the lawn and the size of your mower. So make sure you’ve got a good chunk of time before you start a job here. You can leave a job early and still get partial pay for it, but any progress on the job will be lost the next time you accept the job from the list, you will have to start it over from the beginning.
I was looking at the achievement statistics… seems like everyone who plays the game gets through the first job in career mode, but fewer than 9% of players even pa*s their first challenge mission. Then 3/4 of players quit before purchasing the second HQ office. So yeah, this game is not for everyone. It really is just jump on a mower and go mow a lawn for a couple of hours. Personally, I find it kind of relaxing though. The sound of the mower in my headphones, the controller vibrating a bit in my hands… I have literally fallen asleep while playing this game. But in my case that is a GOOD THING because I have a lot of trouble sleeping due ot a medical issue, and I only play this game when I want to “chill out” and ignore the real world for a while. Sometimes it’s nice to just zone out and then zonk out for a little while.
Hidden Secret Items
There are a few jobs that have HIDDEN SECRET ITEMS that pay bonus cash (in some cases several hundred bucks) if you find them. There is already a guide that lists their locations so rather than repeat all that information, you can just go find and read that guide if you just want hidden secret item locations. 🙂 They are totally optional, but I think there is an achievement for finding your first one, possibly a second one for finding them all, maybe? I don’t remember what the achievements are. Anyway, someone else wrote a nice little list of item locations, go check it out if you’re interested in that. These secret items can only be found in Career Mode.
If you want to find the items yourself but you’re just not sure what to look for, make sure you are in Career Mode first of all. Then look for the items listed below, hidden around each property. There will be at most ONE at each job site, and only a few locations will have one, most places will not have any “valuable” items for you to return to the owner. When you get close to it, a prompt to take it and return it to its owner will pop up just like the prompts to pick up items during “ground check” phase of each job.
- Laptop computer
- Car keys
- key-card on a lanyard
You can only pickup each valuable ONCE. If you return to that location for another job after returning the item to its owner, the item will be gone so you cannot spam Car Keys for extra money.
For the purposes of this walkthrough, I’ll a*sume you did NOT find any secret items and so I won’t mention them again. They don’t affect gameplay very much, just each one gives you a bit extra cash to spend on building your business in Career Mode.
There are several game modes to choose from. Each one plays slightly differently, but mostly the same. Here is what you can look forward to:
Choose a location, choose a mower and trimmer, and just go mow. No pressure, just enjoy the scenery while you drive around the lawn in circles. Good for when you just need a half hour of zen on the gra*s (without actually leaving your comfortable chair at your desk). New locations and mowers are unlocked as you progress through Career Mode.
Pick a mowing job, but each job has special conditions. Sometimes you will have limited fuel for your mower so you have to be very efficient. Sometimes you have a time limit. Sometimes you are restricted to a certain type of mower. It’s like Free Mow, but with specific rules you have to follow. Unlock additional challenges by raising your RP rank in Career Mode. Be sure to read the job description before you accept the job!! I’ll give you some tips for Challenge Mode in a separate section of this guide.
Be your own boss. Start your own lawn mowing business. At first you only have one mower and one trimmer so you can only do one job per day. Once you get enough money to upgrade your corporate HQ then you can buy a second mower and that allows you to hire your first NPC employee. Employees will also do one job per day, which you a*sign for them, basically bringing in extra money for you. As your business grows, you can further expand by buying more mowers, bigger HQ, and hiring more employees. You can also grow your reputation by earning RP points for each completed job. Better reputation will allow you to take bigger loans from the bank (not worth it!!) and unlock more jobs in Challenge Mode. Buying new mowers and playing new job locations will unlock them for use in Free Mow Mode. I’ll give a little walkthrough of Career Mode in a separate section of this guide.
This game is intended for use with a CONTROLLER a la XBox One or PS4 style. Wheel/pedal support is not the best. Keyboard controls are so twitchy it’s impossible to drive like that. So MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CONTROLLER. There is a control diagram in the options menu, but this game does not let you remap the controls so you are stuck with this setup.
Walking / Using the Trimmer
|R-Stick||Move the camera / swing the Trimmer|
|Hold R-Stick Button||Pro-View|
|hold RT||Use Trimmer|
|hold RB or LB||Run faster|
|A||pickup item, drop Trimmer, get on mower|
|hold Y||recover mower if it got stuck|
|hold X||refuel mower or trimmer|
|click Y||change camera|
|click R-Stick button||re-center the camera|
Driving the Mower
|Hold B||get off the mower|
|LT||brake and reverse|
|Hold X||start the engine|
|D-pad L or R||Toggle throttle to 10 or 100%|
|D-pad U or D||Increase or decrease cut height|
|Click B||raise/lower mower deck|
|Click X||toggle cutting blades on/off|
|LB or RB||toggle s*ripe roller on/off|
|Hold R-stick button||Pro-view|
|Click R-stick button||re-center the camera|
|Click Y||Change Camera|
Pro-View is like “magic super-hero vision” it will show you different things. In ground check phase of a job it will highlight the objects you need to pickup. During the main job it will highlight any gra*s that is still too tall. To complete a job you usually have to cut 99.5% of the gra*s, and sometimes you miss a tiny spot that puts you at 99.4%, so this tool is useful for finding that last little patch of tall gra*s that you might have missed. It works for both the mower and trimmer.
Menu controls are fairly self-explanatory, but just in case somebody needs to know:
LB / RB : change menu tabs (i.e. job selection, garage, employee menu…)
L-Stick : move between items within the selected menu tab
A : select
B : cancel / go back to previous screen
Y : (on the garage tab) switch between mower and trimmer garages
Y : (in the mower garage) test drive the selected mower
Y : (on the Campaign Mode selection screen) DELETE YOUR SAVED CAMPAIGN
X : (on the mode selection screen) EXIT TO DESKTOP
B : (on mode selection screen) EXIT TO MAIN MENU
R-Stick : (on character edit screen) rotate the character model
There are two basic types of equipment in this game: “vehicles” aka mowers, and “equipment” aka trimmers.
Trimmers are pretty straight-forward. Just pick it up and press RT while you walk around to use the thing. They have a small cutting head so it’s pretty slow to try cutting a big area. And the controls are pretty twitchy so it’s tough to use the Trimmer without accidentally murdering some innocent flowers. But get some practice in the early jobs and it will become a useful tool for the rest of the game. Some are gas powered, some are electric but in both cases they operate the same way. If you run out of gas or out of battery charge, refill it by putting the Trimmer on the truck and holding the X button, or else go back to your garage and refill it there. There is no other maintenance required for trimmers. NOTE: to cut the gra*s at the CORRECT HEIGHT, you MUST set the camera view to look as far DOWN as possible, like you’re trying to see your own feet.
Mowers come in several varieties, each a bit different from the others. Because of that, they all steer and mow differently. So be sure to test drive them before you take them on a job. The important things to pay attention to:
- Deck placement – front mower deck attachment, or center-mounted mower deck?
- Deck size – big decks clear fields faster, small decks fit into tighter corners and small spaces.
- Deck type – Collectors suck the gra*s into a container that needs to be emptied every so often; Mulchers chop up the gra*s so tiny it won’t leave any piles AND doesn’t need to be emptied, but it needs to run SLOWER in order to operate properly. Discharge mowers leave gra*s piles that need to be picked up (walk up to it and press A) or else hit them with the mower or trimmer again. Some missions require a certain type of deck.
- Top Speed – how fast the mower moves if you put the pedal to the metal.
- Engine – more HP means you can go faster before the engine overloads while mowing
- Drive System – how does the mower steer? 4WD is powered by all the wheels simultaneously, RWD only the rear wheels have power, while the front wheels steer. Zero-Turn operates the left and right wheels independently of each other, so turning LEFT requires the left wheel to go in REVERSE while the right wheel goes FORWARDS.
- Fuel Tank – how much gas you can use before you need to refuel. You can refuel on the job or in your garage, but refueling will cost you a few bucks.
- Hopper capacity – bigger hoppers need to be emptied less often, for Collecter deck type only.
There are also a couple of attachments you can purchase for certain mowers.
The s*ripe rollers let you bend the gra*s in a uniform way as you drive over it, so you can make nice organized s*ripes on the lawn. Best way to use these is to drive a PERFECTLY STRAIGHT line all the way across the lawn, then turn around and make your next pa*s in the opposite direction. These are most impressive when used on mowers with larger deck size.
You can also outfit discharge mowers with a collector, or with a mulching plate, to convert it to a different deck type.
While on a job, your mower has three damage statistics, basically three types of “health bar” shown on the bottom left. “Vehicle” takes damage when you crash into things like walls, trees, cars, etc. “Engine” takes damage when you drive too fast while mowing and overload the engine. “Blade” takes damage when you mow over any surface that is not gra*s (brick, asphalt, concrete, bare dirt, etc.). All three can be repaired for a price in your garage (in Career Mode) between jobs. Blades can be replaced on the job for $50. If the engine or vehicle bars ever get to zero, the mission ends and you can’t use that mower on another job until you get it at least partially fixed (in Career Mode).
In your garage, you can use the SHOP to buy new equipment, or you can maintain (refuel and repair) your equipment, or view the stats of your equipment, or sell it back to the store. There is also an option called “Part Exchange” and at first it’s not really clear what this option does. “Part Exchange” is basically “Trade In”. You trade in your old equipment and replace it with an item from the shop. If yours is fancier, your trade is worth more than the new item so you get some money back from the deal. If yours is cheaper, then you pay for the new item but your trade-in value lowers the final cost.
NOTE: steering controls for both mowers and trimmers are VERY TOUCHY. So is the accelerator control for the mower.This leads me to imagine that the main character is out there trying to mow lawns but he has epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease so he ends up just flailing around like an idiot. If you EVER manage to complete a job with zero fines for collisions, destroying flowers, and ground damage, leave a comment below and tell me what location it was. (Trash pickup missions don’t count!!)
This game only has three trimmer styles available, and really they’re all the same thing. The only difference will be the amount of time it can run before you need to refuel or recharge it. So just pick whichever of those you think is the “prettiest” one or else go cheap. Functionally there is no major difference between them.
Mowers are a different story. You can choose from A LOT of mowers. If you go through the list in the shop, from left to right they get more expensive. Some of them have attachments for sale, too. These include mulcher plates that convert a discharge deck to a mulcher, collector bags that convert a discharge deck into a collector deck that needs to be emptied every so often, tiger s*ripe kits that make pretty lines on the lawn as you mow, and total deck replacements that straight up change the functionality of the mower. Attachments are not purchased from the main vehicle shop menu though, you have to select the specific mower in your garage first and then go into the Attachments menu and open the Shop from there. After purchasing an attachment, back out of the shop and then click the attachment to equip it. Click again to remove it.
The “Groundmaster 3000″ also has THREE variants, while the other mowers each only have one or two styles to choose from: stock version has a 60″ (152 cm) rear discharge deck. But you can also purchase ATTACHMENTS to convert it to a 72″ (182 cm) rear discharge deck or a 60” (152 cm) flail deck. Then all three decks can also be fitted with a recycler kit if you buy the one of the appropriate width for your deck. A recycler kit converts a discharge deck to a mulching deck, just like a mulcher plate does except the geometry in a recycler kit is a bit more complicated… but you don’t need to worry about the math here since all you need to know is – your mower will be able to mulch the gra*s instead of leaving gra*s piles behind. No more gra*s piles being launched out of the chute on one side fo the mower. Hooray!
Rules of thumb for buying mowers:
- Mulcher has to drive SLOWEST but makes the cleanest cut of done correctly.
- Collector needs the hopper emptied when it fills up or else you start leaving gra*s piles.
- Discharge deck needs you to aim the chute AWAY from flowers and walkways.
- More HP = drive faster before overloading the engine
- Bigger deck = fewer laps needed to complete the job
- Smaller deck = better turning and fits into corners better, less need to use the trimmer
- TEST DRIVE for at least ten minutes before you buy a new mower.
- Try to have at least two mulcher mowers in your fleet once you have a HQ with at least 3 bays
- “Mulcher Plate” = “Recycling Kit” = “Mulching Deck” so look at the available attachments
- In my opinion, Mulcher > Collector > Discharge when it comes to decks.
- Top speed is for driving, not mowing. So SLOW DOWN while mowing unless you want to blow up your engine and leave gra*s piles everywhere and do a bad job of cutting the gra*s.
- The different drive systems are neat for realism, but in terms of gameplay they are pretty similar.
- When considering a purchase: Deck Type (including attachments) > Deck Size > Top Speed > Engine.
NOTE: the garage will not indicate if you have an attachment on your mower; you need to look at the Attachment menu for that particular mower to see what you have installed, or use R-stick to rotate the mower model around to see the other side (because mulcher plates usually go on the right, s*ripe kits on the rear, but the front-left is the side facing the camera by default).
I won’t bother listing all the mower stats here, since you can just look at them in the shop or garage once you get into a game. I will warn you however:
Mowers with a top speed over 6 mph (10 km/h) are NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to drive safely because the controls for this game are TOO F***ING SENSITIVE!! And the built-in sense of speed is very much exaggerated; 6 mph is the same speed as a light jog, but the game makes it feel like you’re doing 140 mph on the Patterson RO-A. So as much fun as that Groundsmaster 3000 looks with the Flail Deck installed… it has too much HP and it goes too fast, it’s basically a death trap. So I heartily recommend in career mode give your employees the bigger mowers (or else stick with the tiny ones entirely) while you drive the smaller ones – seriously, even the little blue Patterson RO-A is fast enough to be dangerous; don’t drive anything bigger than the yellow Stiga Tornado 6108 HW, unless you want a real challenge that could give you motion sickness.
Anyway… if you want to know more about each mower, just open the in-game vehicle shop and read the descriptions. Go ahead, I’ll wait until you get back…
(twiddling of thumbs)
(sipping some tea)
Oh good, you’re back. Excellent. Let’s continue. 🙂
So the bottom line on mowers:
- Yello Stiga brand drives okay as long as you can control your speed exceptionally well.
- Blue Patterson brand the throttle is too touchy, it’s just too hard to drive safely.
- Orange Stiga brand is just difficult to drive because the steering is INSANELY GLITCHY, and so is the accelerator control. Plus they are BULKY so many locations have places where they are too big to fit.
- Red Toro brand makes REALLY BIG mowers for big open fields, but they are difficult to steer, partly because they have too much HP for their own good, they go too fast to make those corners and the accelerator control is super glitchy.
- The black Knight brand actually drives LIKE A DREAM. The Knight OFT is the only mower in the game that drives in a truly realistic way, the steering isn’t too twitchy, the throttle is reasonably responsive. For some reason, this mower is like “god mode” or something. Plus it comes with an optional (extra cost) mulcher attachment AND the deck size is FREAKIN’ HUGE. Trust me, the OFT is the mower you want – the ONLY mower you want.
End of Job Scores
When you finish a job, either by completing it and driving away, destroying your mower, or quitting early doesn’t matter you’ll see a results screen no matter what. What will change based on your performance is the numbers on that screen. It’s basically like an invoice for your customer showing what they owe for the job you just did. Let me break down what is on that screen.
“Site Name” is where you just finished mowing. Duh.
“Value” shows the total potential amount you would make if you cut ALL the gra*s at the proper height and within the recommended time.
“Complexity” is an estimate of how difficult the job should have been.
“RP Value” shows how many RP you would earn for completing the contract.
Below that, you’ll see the maintenance status of your mower. If any of those bars are getting low, consider repairing the mower in your garage before your next job.
“Reward” shows your base pay for this job. If you mowed ANY gra*s at all, you get paid based on the percentage of the contract that you completed. If you mowed less than the amount required to complete the contract, you only get partial pay. You also earn a few RP depending how much of the job got done.
“Ground Check Time Bonus” is for finishing the ground check quickly.
“Ground Check Earnings” is for finding items in the gra*s during the ground check phase of the job. In addition to the cash, you also get a little extra RP for finishing the ground check.
“Cutting Time Bonus” is for completing the job faster than the recommended time.
“Valuables” is your reward for finding hidden items and returning them to the owner.
“Ground Objects Destroyed” is a mystery to me, I’ve never had this penalty.
“Flowers Destroyed” is a penalty for killing flowers with the mower or trimmer
“Collisions” is a penalty for crashing into walls, trees, fountains, lights, cars, etc.
“Clean-up Fee” is a penalty for leaving gra*s piles without cleaning them up.
“Ground Damage” is a penalty for turning too sharply and leave ruts in the dirt from your tires
“Incorrect Height Penalty” is a fine for cutting the gra*s either too long or too short; see the note below.
“Vehicle Maintenance” shows how much you spent on blade replacements, gas, and battery charges DURING the mission; these are items that you activated manually and they each showed you the cost when you did so. This is not a new deduction, it is just a sum total of money you already spent.
Additional notes about gra*s height
If you cut the gra*s too tall, for instance they ask for 5.0 – 6.0 cm but you cut it at 9.0 cm, you get a penalty if you leave it like that. But you can lower your cutting deck and go back over it at the correct height to avoid the penalty.
If you cut the gra*s too short, for instance they ask for 5.0 – 6.0 cm but you cut it at 3.0 cm, the “completion” bar fills in with RED instead of WHITE. There is no way to fix this, you will be penalized for it after you leave the job.
If you cut SOME of the gra*s at the wrong height and the rest of it at the correct height, you get regular pay for ALL of it, but you get a half-pay penalty for any gra*s that was at the wrong height. So if you cut 25% of the lawn too short before realizing your mower deck was too low, then moved your deck up and finished the lawn… you get 100% of the pay but the penalty screen will deduct HALF of that 25% that you mowed wrong. It won’t deduct half of ALL the pay, because you did 75% of it right. Meaning you earn 75% +25%/2 = 87.5% of your pay in this example, instead of 100% pay you would get for completing the job correctly.
*** best tip ever *** Spend at least 10 minutes test driving a new mower before you take it out on a paying job. Taking a new mower out on a job without a test drive is a sure-fire way to rack up a bunch of fines for accidentally killing flowers and ramming into trees & walls.
At the bottom LEFT corner of the screen while on a mower, you’ll see its maintenance status. There are THREE bars here, one for each component. The “Vehicle” bar is affected by crashing into things. The “Blades” bar is affected when you have your mower deck running over a paved surface such as concrete, asphalt, brick, or even bare hard-packed dirt with no gra*s on it. The “Engine” bar is affected when you overload your engine. Overload happens when you have your mower deck turned on and you try to mow THICK gra*s while driving too fast, your engine’s horsepower just isn’t enough to keep up with the load.
At the bottom RIGHT corner of the screen, you’ll see your speed and RPM. Your speed is displayed as a digital number in the center. The RPM is the gauge above the speed. Note the RED ARROW at the end of the RPM gauge – if your RPM goes above that line then you overload your engine.
Damaging your Engine or Vehicle (by overloading the engine too much or crashing into too many things) will eventually render your mower inoperable. If it happens, your job will end immediately and you can’t use the mower again until you go to your garage and repair it. Blades can be replaced on the job, but it costs $50. So try to keep up with your vehicle maintenance between jobs.
Overloading your engine not only damages your vehicle so you have to pay for more maintenance, but it also will cause some of the gra*s at that location to be left un-cut, and if you are in a mulching or collecting mower then you will leave piles of gra*s clippings behind, too.
LISTEN to your engine. When it gets close to overload, it will start to rev up and then sputter before it hits the red line. After it red-lines, you will hear it rev up to the max. This is in addition to the flashing red RPM gauge when you go over the red line. Listening lets you use your eyes for something other than monitoring the RPM gauge.
Steering and acceleration controls for this game are VERY SENSITIVE AND TWITCHY. Expect to crash into things once in a while because of this, whether you’re on foot or on the mower.
The camera angles are a bit glitchy sometimes and it can be difficult to see where you’re going because of it. Expect to crash into things once in a while because of this, whether you’re on foot or on the mower.
A mower’s DRIVE SYSTEM determines how it moves and how it steers. Try one out for a test drive to see how they differ, before you buy a new mower. Some articulate in the middle of the mower, too, so the front and back wheels both steer – this almost feels like driving a truck with a trailer. The zero-turn system is pretty cool.
More HP in your engine = able to go FASTER WHILE MOWING before overload.
Driving over pavement? Hit X to turn your mower OFF to avoid taking damage to your blades.
Deck placement (front of the mower, or middle of the mower) is IMPORTANT. Gra*s will only be cut if it is under the DECK, so plan accordingly when you start mowing.
Never try to cut a s*rip of gra*s that fits the entire width of your mower deck, always overlap your last cut by a few inches to avoid leaving “mohawk” lines of un-cut gra*s between each lap. From the behind viewpoint, try to keep the cut line from your last pa*s lined up with the edge of your player’s headphones to ensure that you don’t miss any gra*s along the edge of your previous lap.
Having trouble seeing the cut line? Hit Y to change the camera between 3rd person behind you, overhead 3rd person, or 1st person view. Then use R-Stick to turn the camera angle.
The Trimmer won’t take any damage from overload or from running into objects. But if it overloads it will not do a very good job of cutting the gra*s so you will need to do another pa*s. And you have to be careful around flower beds because it is VERY EASY to accidentally cut down flowers with it.
Crashing into objects or walls will incur a fine at the end of the mission.
Leaving piles of gra*s behind will incur a fine at the end of the mission.
Cutting down flowers will incur a fine at the end of the mission.
Damaging the turf (by turning too sharply for too long) will incur a fine at the end of the mission.
It is easier to damage the turf in rainy weather than on a sunny day.
It is VERY EASY to overload your engine because the controls are so sensitive. Be GENTLE with that RT button while your mower deck is active! Try to keep your engine RPM right around 80% full (full meaning where the red line is).
It is VERY EASY to turn too sharply and damage the turf by accident because the controls are so twitchy. Be GENTLE with the L-Stick while driving the mower.
Try not to crash into things while mowing around them. You don’t need to get that close; remember you have a Trimmer you can use for corners, obstacles, and small spaces.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery – they put a lot of stuff into the background in this game and if you only focus on the gra*s you’ll miss all of that. Watch for neighbors out jogging, hot air balloons, nice sunsets, and more.
Set your Gra*s Draw Distance in options menu to “Normal” to reduce demand on your graphics card. It also makes it easier to see items during Ground Check phase of a job. If you absulotely must see all the gra*s on the property all at once, make that setting higher.
Some jobs are listed with “increased fines” in the job description. Be EXTRA CAREFUL on these jobs because those fines will add up fast if you make a mistake.
You CANNOT save your game in the middle of a job. You either have to finish it, or quit the mission. I’m not sure if it saves automatically when you finish a mission, but just to be safe I a*sume that it only saves when I exit Career Mode back to the Mode Selection menu.
The machines in this game are VERY LOUD. Get into the audio settings menu and turn them down so you don’t go deaf like a real landscaper who doesn’t wear his hearing protection.
Challenge Mode Tips
These will NOT be “do this and you’ll win every time” tips. Just tips to help you be more efficient with limited resources on each type of challenge job. So if you’ve tried a certain challenge a couple of times and just got stuck, come back here and check the tips to see if I have something to say about your specific situation. But I definitely recommend trying to beat the challenge yourself at least once before you go through this list… so I’m putting a “spoiler” mask over the list. Hover your mouse over the black square to see the list. Also, I’m only writing tips for the Amateur challenges since those are the only ones that I’ve actually played. These tips should be helpful on higher level challenges with similar rules, too, though. So maybe you’ll find them useful even on the Professional challenge levels? Only way to know is to try.
Here’s a pro tip for free: finish Career Mode before you attempt the challenges. This will give you plenty of practice driving the mowers, unlock higher level challenges, and … read the Career Guide all the way through to the end to discover the other thing Career Mode will do for you.
Tips for Amateur Level Challenges
- Challenge 1: limited fuel – don’t waste fuel trying to get your mower close to flowers and trees.
Remember your trimmer has its own fuel supply.
- Challenge 2: limited time on a mulching mower – WATCH YOUR SPEED. It’s a big rectangular yard, but your mulcher mower will overload the engine if you try to floor it. Slow down a bit, try to regulate your speed at around 5.5 kph to avoid overload. Use the mower first, get as close as you can to obstacles, and if you do it right you shouldn’t even need the trimmer for this one.
- Challenge 3: stricter fuel limit – LONG, STRAIGHT LINES should do the trick. Remember to turn off the mower when you drive over the brick walkways, too, to keep your blade sharp.
- Challenge 4: 20 minute time limit – go fast, but watch your RPMs and back off of the gas if you get close to the red line. If you keep the needle in the upper fifth of the RPM meter, you should be able to pull it off.
- Challenge 5: VERY strict fuel limit – there is no time limit, so remember your Trimmer has its own separate fuel supply. Switch to the trimmer if your mower fuel starts getting dangerously low.
- Challenge 6: TIME LIMIT, 28 minutes to do the Orchards. First time I did this mission in story mode I still had the basic yellow starting mower and it took me an hour and forty five minutes. This mower is bigger, but it’s still a tight time limit. Find that balance of speed and quality where the mower moves like the wind but doesn’t overload the engine. Also, the fine limit is only $25 so try not to hit too many walls or trees!!
- Challenge 7: 20 minute time limit on a “zero-turn” mower. This one shouldn’t bee too hard if you’ve already learned to control your speed and mow fairly efficiently. However, the zero-turn mowers turn differently from the normal RWD mowers, so you might want to spend some time test driving the Z Master 2000 before you try this challenge.
- Challenge 8: Fuel limit with a bigger mower deck than last time. My advice is similar to the other fuel-limit challenges. Find the sweet spot where you can run your RPMs just below the red line to balance speed and quality mowing. And remember there is no time limit so feel free to use the Trimmer, too. Fine limit is $25, so try to avoid hitting any trees or walls.
- Challenge 9: Fuel limit on a smaller mower. Again, there is no time limit but this time the fine limit is pretty high. So just drive fast but avoid overloading the engine, and make good use of the Trimmer. Long, straight lines will be key for this one.
Career Guide 1: early game
In Career Mode you do jobs to earn money and RP. Money is used to buy more equipment, upgrade your HQ, and hire employees. RP determines your level. Higher levels will open more jobs, allow you to hire more employees, let you take bigger loans from the bank, and unlock things in Challenge Mode and Free Mow Mode. There are four main RP levels, each with several sub-levels. You start out at rank Newcomer. After that is Credible, then Established, and finally Trusted.
Start out by picking your main character’s face, your company name, your uniform shirt and hat colors and logo. This has no effect on gameplay other than what you look like, and your employees will wear the same shirt and hat as your main character (but their names and faces will be randomized).
Day 1 – you need to choose a mower and a trimmer to start your new company right. I recommend starting with the little black Knight OFS1 mulcher mower and the cheapest trimmer, because you’ll need to save your money for the next two weeks but the Knight brand mowers are the only ones that drive safely and realistically – the other brands all have glitchy controls. Once you have your equipment, pick a job and go get it done.
Note that some jobs require specific mowers, or have other rules in place. Make sure you read the job description before you accept the job, and make sure you have the right mower to get it done!!
There are “two and a half” phases to a job in Career Mode. First is the Ground Check, where you can run around and find all the hidden junk on the lawn before you mow. Finding all the items will give you an extra $20 and a few RP after the job is done. If you get on the mower or pick up the trimmer, you can skip the ground check but then you lose out on that extra cash and RP. It only takes a couple of minutes anyway, so might as well do it. Then you mow. If you have a “collector deck” on your mower then you will have to empty it whenever the hopper fills up – the “trash can” icon in the bottom right will turn red when it gets close to full, and you’ll hear an alarm when it is full. Back it up to the big green bags near your truck, hold A button to empty your hopper. (Hopper is just a fancy word for container.) If you keep mowing while the hopper is full, you’ll leave gra*s clippings behind that you must then pick up or run it over with the mower or trimmer again, just like a “discharge deck” style mower. After you mow, take the trimmer around and hit the little spots that you missed with the mower (around trees and flower beds and such). To use the trimmer you have to tilt the camera view ALL THE WAY DOWN do if your character had feet you would be staring at them. With the view tilted even a little bit up, you don’t cut the gra*s at the right height. When the job is done, BACK UP your mower onto the trailer, put your trimmer back on the truck, and get in the truck to end the job.
The rest of the first week will be similar – keep doing jobs every day until you save up $1500. At that point, go to your HQ menu and upgrade your office to get a second mower bay. After you pay for it, it will take SEVEN DAYS to complete the upgrade’s construction.
Week 2 – similar to week 1 – keep doing jobs every day and save your money while you wait for your HQ upgrade to finish.
Week 3 – Your upgrade should be done, hooray! Now you will need $22,500 for the Knight OST mower, and a little extra for the mulching plate attachment for it. You should also get a second trimmer. Then go hire an employee. If you have any money left, a*sign the employee to a training program (one per day) and then send him on a job. Then go do another job yourself. Remember to setup TRAINING and WORK for your employee every day. Also remember that payday is FRIDAY so make sure you have the employee’s salary in your bank when you leave for work on Friday.
Your next major goal will be to save up enough to buy the next HQ ($160,000), which will allow you to purchase another mower. Until then, you can hire more employees if you so choose BUT without more mowers they cannot go on jobs which means they collect a salary every week without actually working for you. You can train them though, if you really want to start leveling them up early. So for the time being you have your little mulching mower and your big discharge/mulcher mower and one employee.
You can experiment with taking out ads to increase your RP, but that costs money so I don’t recommend messing with it this early in the game. RP is easy enough to earn by working regular jobs. The main point of RP is to unlock more jobs in Challenge Mode, allow you to hire more employees, and to unlock higher-paying jobs in Career Mode.
Weeks 4 & 5 – Your real goal will be to reach $160,000 to buy a new HQ (or even save up to $175,000 for the bigger one first). If you get close, you can take a loan from the bank… but I don’t recommend it because the interest rates are so high. So basically these two weeks will be simple – just go mow some lawns and save your money.
But wait! You don’t actually have to pay full price for a new HQ building. You will sell the current HQ when you purchase a new one, so the purchase price gets reduced by the value of your current property!! I didn’t figure this out until I was ready to buy the final HQ and it made me sad because I felt so stupid.
So just keep mowing with your single employee and your two little mowers for a while, until you can afford that new HQ. When you get close to the right price, you can take a loan from the bank – but no more than $25,000 at this point in the game, any more than that and you won’t be able to repay the loan – bankruptcy is “game over” in this game if you end up over $5,000 in the hole. Once you have the new HQ with more garage slots, buy some new mowers (these mowers will be for your A.I. employees so it doesn’t matter which ones) and more trimmers, then hire more employees to fill up all your garage slots so you can do more jobs per day to make more money. Just remember: the Knight OST is YOUR MOWER. Nothing else in the game drives properly. Let your employees have the glitchy mowers. LOL.
Training Your Employees
In Career Mode, you can hire employees and then a*sign them to do jobs for you every day. Depending on their XP level, their weekly salary and the amount of money they bring in for doing a job will change. Here are the experience ranks from lowest to highest.
Apprentice – $250/week cheapest salary, makes only basic money for a job.
Journeyman – $300/week salary, makes a bit extra on jobs
Proficient – $350/week salary, makes a little more on jobs
Professional – $400/week salary, makes good money on jobs
Specialist – $425/week salary, makes decent money on jobs
Expert – $450/week salary, makes great money on jobs
Payday is end of the day on Friday when it shows your weekly budget review, so make sure you have enough money on Friday to pay all your workers. If you hire a worker in the middle of the week, divide their salary by 5 and their first week they will take that much per day. Example: $250 per week, divided by 5 work days in a week, equals $50 per day. So if you hire someone on Wednesday they only work Wed, Thu, and Fri that week so they only take $150 the first week. After that, they get full weekly salary even if you don’t send them on any jobs.
From the Employee menu, you can hire new workers, or select a current employee. For current employees you have two options: you can fire them, or you can train them. Training them does two things – it raises their XP (allowing an Apprentice to eventually train through the ranks to Expert) and increases their job skill (reduces the maintenance needed for any equipment they use on a job). You can train an employee only ONCE each day, but you can train them and send them on a job in the same day. There are three types of training, offering different amounts of XP rewards and costing different amounts of money. Each training has three levels before it maxes out, each level is more expensive than the previous. Regardless of their original experience, all new employees start at training level 1 for all the training options. So to fully max out a professional will take the same amount of money and the same amount of time as maxing out an amateur; but the professional will bring in a bit more money from each job right from the start while the amateur will need XP to reach professional level before bringing in all that extra money. Employees also gain some XP by doing jobs, so you don’t have to rely entirely on training to get them leveled up.
When you select your jobs, you have to a*sign a worker, a mower, and a trimmer before you can accept the job. (Except trash pickup which only needs an employee.) Each employee can be a*signed to one job per day, plus you can take a job yourself. So the point of having more employees is to multiply the amount of money you make each day by having them go to one job site (AI-controlled, behind the scenes) while you actively play another job site for that day. As your RP level increases, you will get more job offers per day so you can send more employees out to work, and you will gain the ability to hire additional employees..
Bank Loans & Bankruptcy
If you need cash quick, you can take a loan from the bank. Your RP level will determine the largest loan that you can take; as your RP level goes up from “newcomer” to “trusted” you can borrow more money – and also take out additional loans. At “newcomer” level you can take ONE loan at a time; at “trusted” level you can take up to FOUR loans at a time. Each loan gives you 10 weeks to repay it in full (plus interest), and the bank will bill you every week after you finish your job on Friday. So make sure you have enough money in the bank to pay your employees AND pay the bank before you start work on Friday.
Loan Amount : Interest Rate : Amount to Repay : Billed Weekly
2500 : 40% : 3500 : 350
10,000 : 35% : 13500 : 1350
25,000 : 30% : 32,500 : 3250
50,000 : 25% : 62,500 : 6250
You can choose to repay the loan early so you don’t have to worry about weekly payments anymore, but you still have to repay the full amount with ALL the interest included as if you let the loan go the full ten weeks. No pro-rated interest for early repayment.
If your current bank balance (your cash money, not your net worth or loan balance) goes below zero, you are in danger of going bankrupt. There is an Achievement for bringing a company back from bankruptcy, so some of you achievement hunters might want to do this ON PURPOSE. Aside from that, if you are careful how you spend money it is hard to “fail” financially in this game because jobs pay pretty well. Regardless of why you have no money, taking a loan from the bank will give you a positive amount in your bank account to bring you temporarily up from negative money, but it will not give you the achievement until after you fully repay the loan and you must still have more than $0 in your bank.
A good way to intentionally induce bankruptcy is right at the beginning of a new career (I suggest starting a second career save file rather than blowing up your main career): buy the little blue mower. Then buy the cheapest trimmer. Then buy the attachment for the mower. Then buy a one-day ad to boost your RP. If you still have more than $100, buy another mulch plate attachment for the mower. Then start a job, pick up your trimmer immediately to skip the ground check. Go run over a few flowers (not the gra*s, just flowers) with your trimmer to induce a bunch of fines. Put the trimmer back on the truck, get on your mower and take it off the truck. Run the mower blades for a minute on the concrete driveway (don’t cut any gra*s) and then put it back on the trailer. Hold B button to change the blades on your mower, hold X to refuel the mower. Remember to walk up to your trimmer and hold X to refuel that, too, then get back in your truck and leave. You’ll get hit with around $100 in fines for killing flowers and you earn nothing since you didn’t cut any gra*s, and this should put you in the red. If you still somehow have positive money, pick another job and do the same thing again until you end up with negative money.
Once you have negative money you should get a notice at the end of that day about a $5000 overdraft because you are in danger of losing your business. Then go ahead and CAREFULLY finish a job (try not to bump into things or kill any flowers) and get paid. Going into positive account balance again should make the achievement pop.
If you ever end the day more than $5000 in the hole, the next day you will be unable to start any contracts until you get up above -$5000. You can do this by selling equipment, part-exchanging expensive equipment for cheaper stuff, or taking a loan from the bank. You cannot sell a mower or trimmer if it is your only one. Soif you end up with only the little yellow mower, the cheapest trimmer, and maxed out on bank loans… it’s game over by soft-lock if you end up more than $5000 in debt.
Career Guide 2: Mid Game
NOTE: When you buy a new HQ, you do not keep the old one. You will SELL the old one, so the value of it will be deducted from the purchase price of the new building. This also means if your first HQ has been upgraded to 2 bays, then you buy the next one with 3 bays, you only have a total of 3 bays not 5.
But hey, now that you saved up that $160,000 like a moron because you didn’t realize at first that the value of your current HQ counts towards the purchase price, so really the new HQ only cost around $10,000 or something like that… VERY soon (just another $25,000) you will be able to buy the next HQ – which starts at 3 bays but you can upgrade it to 6.
Now you have your third HQ, probably four lawn mowers, and three employees (not counting yourself). It’s easier to make money because you have more workers, send them all out on jobs every day. And jobs will THEORETICALLY get done faster now because you have bigger mowers available – a*suming you actually paid for bigger mowers. But you should also always keep two smaller mowers in your fleet in case you get one of those jobs in somebody’s back yard with tight corners and a small area that is not a good fit for a big mower machine.
BUT… everyone quits this game at this point, if not earlier. Seriously, look at the Steam Achievements, “X% of players have this achievement” statistics. Practically every player gets to the point where they hire their first employee. But almost nobody reaches the point of buying the second HQ, or finishes the first job in Challenge Mode. Why is that???
Well, it’s simple really. The game goes to crap. By now you should have noticed that the steering controls are VERY TOUCHY, it is hard to do small maneuvers without crashing or killing flowers. The camera view is pretty scary, too, it can be difficult to find a view angle where you can actually see what you’re doing. Once you get on the bigger mower, these two problems multiply by a factor of 100. Riding the Scag Patriot, I was trying to drive IN A STRAIGHT LINE and suddenly my mower was spinning in circles and I wasn’t even touching the controller. And then the camera started to blink back and forth from one side to the other and it was impossible to see where I was going. At one point I was THREE FEET away from the flower beds, tried to do a MINOR steering correction to stay on my nice cutting lines without leaving a gra*s mohawk, and tried to speed up by maybe 0.2 km per hour. But the controls are so twitchy that this caused my mower to veer off directly into the flower bed and crash violently into the fountain in the middle of it at 20 kph. It bounced off the fountain and landed further down the flower bed. I killed nine flowers in less than a second BY ACCIDENT.
So, unfortunately, increasing the size and HP of your mower makes the game essentially IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAY. It’s very frustrating and stupid at that point. So your options at this point are really just choose one of these:
- Give the big mowers to your employees since the AI drives okay, while you stick with the baby mower and the Knight OST, and actually try to finish your career properly.
- Rage quit and play a different game.
- Go nuts and turn this game into “demolition derby” trying to see how many flowers you can kill in a single job.
Yeah. It’s like that. So I guess really the point of this guide was to fill you in on basic game mechanics, then describe why nobody ever finishes the game. LOL, good luck.
Career Guide 3 – End Game
Seriously? You’re still here? Why?
Ok, apparently you didn’t read my “Career Guide 2” section. That, or your OCD won’t let you quit before you reach the end of a game – no matter what. So you can consider “Career Mode” to be complete when you own the final HQ that gives you unlimited garage space, as well as have at least TWO of each different mower model and enough of the best trimmers for each of your employees to have one, max out your RP level and unlock all the Challenge Mode missions as well as all the locations and equipment for Free Mow. So if you’re seriously going to keep playing, just keep working towards buying new HQ properties one at a time, and hire more employees only when you have enough garage space and cash to buy a mower and trimmer for them to use. Remember to train your employees every day, too.
If you can get that far, then…
GOOD JOB YOU BEAT THE GAME
Now you can keep taking jobs in career mode, or you can go chillax with Free Mow mode, or you can attempt to do the Challenge Mode missions. Or if you want more content you can go pay for some DLC. More likely though, you’re fed up with the twitchy controls and glitchy camera so you’ll probably just give up and quit now. Whatever you choose, just go have FUN. Because that’s the whole point. Right?
Here we come to an end for the Simulator Basic Walkthrough – Lawn Mowing Simulator guide. I hope this guide has helped you with your gameplay. If you have something to add to this guide or believe we forgot some information to add, please let us know via comment! We check each comment manually by approving them!
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