Using MSTS with Widescreen Monitors
by Yuri Sos

Overview

MSTS was designed in the early 2000s and its screen output is based on a "standard" monitor view based on a 4:3 aspect ratio.

These are the standard MSTS resolutions: depending on the maximum resolution of your graphics card/screen, you will see some/all of these: (all are 4:3 aspect ratio).

 

Laptops

You can set screen resolutions on widescreen laptops to eliminate distortion in MSTS: most in-built graphics card have an option to set "scaling" or "aspect ratio".

This is an example using an Intel Graphic Card.

Right-click on the desktop, select "Graphics Properties", then "Display Settings", thus:

Under "Display Expansion", click on "Aspect Ratio Options" (arrow #1 above).
Select "Maintain Aspect Ratio", thus (arrow #2):

This will give you the largest possible MSTS viewpoint with black bars down each side of the screen (much like a 4:3 TV programme on a wide-screen TV) - note you now DO NOT need the -vm:w parameter (see below):

Set the screen display in MSTS Options to the largest option available and save: MSTS will open with that resolution every time.

Command-line switches are useful if you have mini-routes that you want to run at a different resolution to your master MSTS as mini-routes take their initial resolution settings from the registry - UNLESS they are specified in the command line (for example, you're working on an activity in a mini-route and want to be sure AE opens in 16-bit to avoid "issues").

Here's another example using an nVidia-equipped laptop display: right-click on desktop, select "nVidia Display" then "Laptop Display". Select "Digital Flat Panel Settings" ans then select "Fixed Aspect ratio scaling".

 

Desktops

The same options as I've shown above for laptops exist for desktop PCs. Note: you must use the DVI inputs on your display panel and video card (rather than the older VGA) if you want these options to work correctly. Here's an image of the DVI connections you will need to use:

Here's a screenshot showing you how to alter an nVidia-equipped PC:

Here's a screenshot showing you an ATI Catalyst screen that allows you to set fixed-image scaling on ATI graphics card (ATI have been MUCH slower than nVidia to implement this feature and has only appeared in the last few months). This has only been implemented with v8.3 or higher drivers.

Select Digital Panel | DVI | Check "Enable GPU Scaling" | Check "Maintain Aspect Ratio" | Ok.

Finally, if you're still having trouble with setting scaling on an ATI card, read this tutorial on setting up scaling with ATI cards.

Hope this helps.