First of all...
Useful Tutorials and Guides
- Camera switch tutorial for trackmaker newbies
(Look at the bottom of the topic)
- BlackShark's custom music tutorial
(Middle of the first page)
- Pr1m3's Photoshop skinning guide
(In case you don't like the painter that cames with the game)
- Acegikmo's Color Text guide
- BLaHiTiS' MediaTracker tutorial
Useful custom stuff sites
- Upload your tracks and share comments with other trackmakers. If your track is good enough you may even get an award!
- For Sunrise and Original
* - Model and Skin site
* - Another model and Skin site
*Note that for TrackmaniaNations, only cars that have "Nations Compatibility" will work correctly (Otherwise their wheels don't show, for example).
Useful (and free) Dev Utilities
Racemaniac's animated Sign tool
(For .bik animation files)
nVidia's DDS Photoshop Plug-In
(To edit .dds image files with Photoshop)
(To convert BMP into DDS, for example)
(Good for compressing music files effectively and converting them to .ogg)
TM Dedicated Server
(Full description here
(Needs the main dedicated server utility, full description here
(Any questions on any of these utilities, just ask!)
Useful file locations
Cars and skins (.zip format): \GameData\Skins\Vehicles\StadiumCar
Avatars and Flags (.dds/.bik format): \GameData\Skins\Avatars\Flags
Tracks (.gbx format): Usually in \GameData\Tracks\Challenges\Downloaded
but any location works
Track Editor: ***NOTE: These require a Locator in order to make them work online*** (More info on locators below)
Images (.tga or .dds format): \GameData\Skins\MediaTracker\Images
Sounds (.ogg format): \GameData\Skins\MediaTracker\Sounds
Music (.mux or .ogg format): \GameData\Skins\ChallengeMusics
Mods (.zip format): \GameData\Skins\Stadium\Mod
Signs (.jpg, .dds or .bik format): \GameData\Skins\Any\Advertisement
Frequently Asked Questions
How to use different signs/ads/arrow markers in tracks
You can use the "Paint pot
" tool in the track editor >
With this tool you can also customize the appearance of inflatables, among other blocks.
To use your own signs you need an image. For large signs the size I usually use 280x140 to ensure an instant download, but some trackmakers go as big as 512x256 (It's always 2:1 ratio). Small resolutions don't look that bad in the game. Small signs should have 1/4 of those dimentions.
The image format should be .jpg
(I think dds works too) for images and .bik
for videos and animations.
If you want other people to see these signs, you need to host them at an internet location. I think freewebs
allows file linking so it's ok for images, but I'd recommend your own reliable ftp server.
Once you uploaded them somewhere on the net, you just have to copy the URL of the file and paste it when using the "Paint pot" tool ("Select URL" option).
If a green sign appears, it can either mean that your file is being downloaded, or that it's too big (in size or resolution) or the URL just doesn't work.
How to use videos and animations in your signs
Using the Rad Tools
you can convert many animation files (Such as .avi
, among others) to .bik
These bik files can be used exactly the same way as jpg's, but they usually take some time to load into the game, so be patient if the "green sign" shows.
How to make Custom Avatars
Use any .tga
image you have and run the conversion tool that comes with the game. Just open the Trackmania Launcher, and go to Help
> Custom Data
. Select your image, and the program will make any necesary changes to size. Your avatar should be ready to use in your profile settings.
You can also use a 128x128 .dds
file. Transparency is allowed too. Just place it in your \GameData\Skins\Avatars\Flags
folder with the rest of the flags.
Bik animations can be used too, if you like. They're usually pretty cool. They're not that hard to get, you can use animated gifs converted with the Rad Tools
(Bink), for example.
They both show online, of course.
How to make custom Stickers for the Painter
First you need an image. They can be of any size, but I don't recommend going above 400x400 or the image will look horrible when resized.
The format needs to be .tga
. If you have Photoshop then you should have no problem, but if you don't you can use a freeware utility like Gimp
to do so. (You can also use IrfanView
if you just want to convert the image to tga without transparency).
Remember that if the image has no Alpha Channel (Transparency layer) it will look like a square image in the game.
Once your TGA is ready, create a folder with your sticker's name in the \GameData\Painter\Stickers
for example). Place your TGA in it and rename it to "Sticker.tga" (Otherwise the game won't recognize the image).
We're almost done, all you need now is a representative Icon to display in the sticker menu (Like a small version of your sticker). If you have Photoshop, you should make a 64x64 image and save it as "Icon.dds" in your sticker's folder. Make sure you're saving it in "DX3" mode, any other mode will remove any transparency and make it look crappy.
If you don't have photoshop or any way to edit .dds files, you can just grab an "Icon.dds" file from the other stickers. The thumbnail will look like the one you copied it from, but the sticker will work just fine.
Making stencils is similar, but instead of tga
you use dds
format (and of course you put them in the Stencils folder instead of Stickers).
You can use Audacity
to convert .mp3
The game uses .mux
format for music, so you can use the convertion tool that comes with the game. It's just like the avatar conversion tool, just open the Trackmania launcher, go to Help
> Custom Data
> Convert Music
. The song needs to be in .ogg format before you can convert it. Also make sure you completed the ID3 tags before the conversion or the music title/author will show as "???". You can complete these spaces using Winamp, for example.
Once you use the conversion tool, the output file will be saved to \GameData\Skins\ChallengeMusics
What is a locator?
A locator is a small file that tells the game where to get certain madia file (such as an image, music, even car skins) from a location on the net. They are meant to speed everything up when playing online without the need to use p2p. These are also generally used in tracks with custom signs, music or custom effects.
They are placed in the same directory and share the same name as the file they would refer to. For example the locator for "MySong.mux"
would be named "MySong.mux.loc"
and be placed in the ChallengeMusics
directory (Like MySong.mux
would). You just have to make sure that if you use a locator, the original file should be deleted from its corresponding folder to make sure it works (Except for car skins).
Making a locator:
To create a locator, first you need to create an empty text file (.txt
). To create it, you can use blockpad
, or more directly ib a folder by RightClick > New > Text Document
To make sure everything will work, you should first make sure your system is configured (if using Windows). In a folder window, go to Tools > Folder Options...
and into the "View"
tab. Look for the option that says "Hide file extensions for known file types"
(or something like that) and make sure it's un
Now back to our empty text file, open it (with blockpad or wordpad). It should be empty (d'oh). Now type the URL address where the file you are trying to locate is (http://www.myhosting.com/myfiles/MySong.mux
for example). Now save the file and close the text editor. Back to your browser, rename your file (if you haven't already) to the same name of the file you want to refer to as mentioned before (MySong.mux.loc
, for the given example). It's important that the file extention is changed to ".loc". You can later edit this file with your text editor as well.
That's it, you should be able to select the file from the game now, and it should download from the URL location you specified. It may take some time for the files to download, especially for videos and sound, which may take up to a few minutes, so be patient if you don't see it working. Many players also use this for their custom car skins, which is usually much better than having to use p2p. Just create a locator of your .zip
file (located in the Gamedata\Skins\Vehicles\StadiumCar
folder). Just keep into account that the original .zip should not
be deleted in this case, or you won't be able to even select your car!
How to host a dedicated server?
First of all, you need to download two things. The dedicated server program
itself and the Servermanía utility
that makes it easy to operate it once it's running. I'll explain how the latter works later on.
You should unzip the first file to a temporary directory first. Windows' desktop is a good choice. A folder named "TmDedicatedServer" will be created. Open it, and copy all files and folders to your main Trackmania (Nations, Sunrise, or Original) directory. It may ask to overwrite files, you should make sure it does
overwrite one that's called DedicatedTrackMania.TrackMania.gbx
or the utility will close as soon as it's started.
Once that is done, let's prepare your Admin account. Open your TrackMania game and go to Internet play. Create a new account, the one you'll be using as an administrator account. Once it's been created, just exit back to the main menu.
Log in with your main account (The one you use when you play) and create a server. Select Show Advanced Options and pick the maps you want to put in your default server configuration (You can change them later on). Notice a button in the lower-right corner that says "Save Settings"
, and click it once you've selected the tracks. Save it as "MyTrackSettings". We will need this file later on. Now that our track selection is saved, exit the game.
Back in your Trackmania game's folder, you should open a file named "dedicated.cfg
". This is actually a text file that you can open with blockpad. In that file you'll see a lot of configuration lines, but unless you know what you're doing, you should only change the following ones:
<login>YourAccountName</login> (Use your Admin Account here)
<name>Nameless Stunt Server</name> (Server Name)
<comment>Comment Away!</comment> (Server Comments)
<max_players>8</max_players> (Max number of players allowed)
<password></password> (Don't put anything if you want your server to be public)
<ladder_mode>forced</ladder_mode> (Use either 'inactive', 'normal' and 'forced'; forced is the TMN default mode)
<enable_p2p_upload>True</enable_p2p_upload> (Leave this as "True" if you want skins and everything to upload correctly)
<enable_p2p_download>True</enable_p2p_download> (same as above)
<callvote_timeout>60000</callvote_timeout> (Milliseconds in whitch given percentage of votes must be reached)
<callvote_ratio>0.5</callvote_ratio> (Set between 0 for direct vote pass and 1 for 100% vote requirement)
<allow_challenge_download>True</allow_challenge_download> (Leave it as "True" or players won't be able to play any maps they don't have!)
Of course, you should change the values that I marked in Red
as you see fit.
Now that we have configured our Admin account and the server itself, all that remains is to make a shortcut. Make a shortcut of TrackManiaServer.exe
by right clicking the file and clicking "Create shortcut".
Rename this shortcut to anything you like ("Server Start" for example), then right-click it and go to Properties. (The window looks like this
). Put your attention towards the Target
Click on that box and add the following after
what's already in there:
/game=nations /dedicated_cfg=dedicated.cfg /game_settings=MatchSettings/MyTrackSettings.txt /internet
So the full text of the target
box should look like the following:
"C:\Program Files\TrackMania Nations\TrackManiaServer.exe" /game=nations /dedicated_cfg=dedicated.cfg /game_settings=MatchSettings/MyTrackSettings.txt /internet
(This is an example for TM Nations, also you may have the game installed in another directory. That's ok.)
Now we're ready to launch the server! All you need to do is open the shortcut you just created and the server should run. To change configurations, to add or change tracks, to boot players, etc. you'll need the othe program you downloaded: Servermania
Install it to the folder of your liking. Open it and configure all paths to your game and configuration files as needed in the options
tab. You can open this program once your dedicated server is running, or it will be opened for you. With this proggie you can change prety much anything for the server you're running without having to close it. It's a great utility.
For another in-depth guide about the dedicated server, or in case this guide didn't help, you should take a look at BLaHiTiS' dedicated server tutorial
Please let me know if there's something you'd like to correct/add to this FAQ!