Powered launch is an operation mode that launches cars at a specified launch speed from the station. The launch speed can vary between 15 mph (24 km/h) and 60 mph (96 km/h) for most roller coasters that have it available.
This is an option for the following Roller Coasters:
- Steel/Looping Roller Coaster
- Stand-up Roller Coaster (RCT1 and OpenRCT2 only)
- Steel Corkscrew Roller Coaster
- LIM Launched Roller Coaster - also has the powered launch block section mode which allows for multiple trains on the ride but requires a complete circuit. The maximum launch speed is 69 mph (111 km/h).
- Inverted Roller Coaster (RCT1 and OpenRCT2 only)
- Inverted Impulse Coaster - the maximum launch speed is 74 mph (119 km/h).
- Air Powered Vertical Coaster - in RCT2, RCT Classic, and OpenRCT2 before v0.3.0, this coaster type always requires a complete circuit. It also cannot do multiple laps unlike other coaster types with powered launch available. Additionally, it has much higher minimum and maximum launch speeds than other coaster types.
The Reverse Freefall Coaster has a similar mode, LIM-powered launch. You can't directly adjust the speed there, as the car builds up more speed on a longer section of track.
In OpenRCT2, two variants of the powered launch mode exist: passing station and without passing station. The former emulates RCT2's style where the train will be able to pass through the station if it rolls back, and multiple circuits can be done with this mode as well, increasing the stats on a short and cheap design. The latter emulates RCT1's style where the train does not pass through the station upon rolling back, which allows for even cheaper and smaller designs. This was used by the Corkscrew, Hyper, LIM Launched, and Air Powered Vertical Coasters in RCT2 and RCT Classic.
Both operation modes allow for a special track design. You build a station, optional track (recommended to make the coaster exciting) and then a steep hill. The cars run through the track and climb the hill until they lose all their speed, then they roll backwards and repeat the whole course until they are back at the station. Just make sure the hill at the end is high enough, otherwise the cars will leave the track and crash. When in doubt, save the game before testing! If the launch is too slow, the car will stall on the track.
It is also possible to make a closed track using the powered launch, but you are still limited to only one train unless the Powered launch block section mode is used. However,
- You can build very compact rides
- Your track elements are used twice and so improve your track twice
- Both of this makes such rides cheap and money-efficient
- You can easily synchronize launched rides to increase their excitement
- The ride time is very short, so you can earn money quickly
- The Intensity is usually in a range which most of your guests might ride