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Why Are Truck Simulators So Popular?

I am a video game enthusiast with years of experience in the gaming world.

Delivering a load in SnowRunner can be a beautiful experience.

Delivering a load in SnowRunner can be a beautiful experience.

Relaxing Gameplay

Truck simulators tend to have an almost zen-like gameplay. It's not such a shock when having in mind that most truck simulators' core is to deliver materials from point A to point B and repeat. It may seem like a pretty boring activity, but there's something to it.

Driving a big truck and transporting materials across the virtual world is tremendously engaging. Forget fast-paced action. Here, it's the enjoyment of driving that makes you stick with the games.

Driving on both fictional and real roads and highways has come very close to the real thing in recent years, which is just utterly amazing. We don't even need to talk about the possibilities and potential that lie further ahead. Let's say that there are infinite possibilities and that 1:1 scale worlds maybe aren't that far ahead.

A Job You Wouldn't Dare to Do in Real Life

I know a lot about trucking and can one hundred percent confirm that trucking is not a job you want to do at these times. What once was one of the most lucrative jobs has fast become a job most people want to either avoid or leave.

The trucking industry is, at this moment, at the very bottom or is at least inevitably going down there, and with AI slowly but steadily taking over people's jobs, I am afraid that there's no shiny future to take place within the trucking industry in the upcoming years.

Trucking is nowadays sadly a dangerous and health-destroying business. But that does not mean that virtual trucking is the same. There, you get to experience the pleasure of driving and delivering loads without any pressure whatsoever, and I must say that it feels rewarding and fun to do that.

Driving in Euro Truck Simulator 2 is far from realistic but still delivers a lot of joy.

Driving in Euro Truck Simulator 2 is far from realistic but still delivers a lot of joy.

Virtual Traveling and Exploring

Virtual traveling has become more accessible in recent years. Since gaming worlds are getting bigger and bigger, the possibilities in game development have massively increased. There is probably no other gaming genre that has benefitted from this as much as the truck simulators.

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The spirit of trucking, which lies in hauling loads during both days and nights and exploring hundreds of never-ending highways and roads, is not easy to depict if offering players a small map. In the early days of game creation, this has often been a massive problem for developers. How on earth do you create an illusion of driving long distances if having a limited world?

Some developer studios (a lot of them) did it very smartly. They introduced modding tools that the engaged community could use and thus create map additions, cars, et cetera. Of course, as usual, some creators went all in and created maps that were much bigger and better than the vanilla version map. Suddenly, virtual exploring got a completely new meaning.

Dalton Highway mod to American Truck Simulator is a 1:1 scale map that tests both your skills and patience.

Dalton Highway mod to American Truck Simulator is a 1:1 scale map that tests both your skills and patience.

Truck Simulator Games You Need to Try

Have you enjoyed this article? Are you curious and want to try out some truck simulators for yourself? Here, I will give you some tips on where to start.

Euro Truck Simulator 2

When talking about virtual trucking, one cannot overlook the Euro Truck Simulator 2. Launched back in 2012 and developed by the Czech studio SCS Software, this game has already been on the gaming market for as many as ten years, yet the game is still developing forward and expanding. Through the years, ETS 2 has covered a lot of new regions of Europe, and with the vanilla version and all the DLCs together, you'll get an immensely wide map that takes many hours to drive through.


SnowRunner is a much more realistic version of trucking. It's all but not about smooth driving. Here you have to tackle the tough muddy, and snowy off-roads and deliver prime loads to the remote communities. Its Alaska map comes close to the Ice Road Truckers series, which has received a lot of fans since it aired for the first time in 2007. While SnowRunner doesn't provide huge maps compared to the other titles mentioned, it's still a highly enjoyable game to play. Navigating your truck through the terrain may be more of a struggle, but once you get a hang of the game mechanics you'll start to enjoy the environment and the exploration.

American Truck Simulator

Developed from the same studio as ETS 2, American Truck Simulator is at its core the same game with the same assets, graphic stylization, and even game mechanics. The only difference is that it covers the American continent instead of Europe. The game has a lot of DLCs out already, and there are some great mods made for the game. My favorite is the one where you drive across the Dalton Highway up in northern Alaska. The map is 1:1 scale, and one drive across the map can take up to 20 hours, depending upon which load you are transporting. So if having time, give ATS a chance.

Don't Be Afraid to Explore

I've mentioned some of the most known games within the truck simulator genre. However, there are more games focused on trucks available, both older and new ones, so do some exploring and see what you can find.

Don't get scared to try out the older truck games. While their graphics may be somewhat outdated, the majority of those titles still offer some interesting game mechanics and the oddly-special atmosphere of driving a big truck across the country.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Jan Stepan

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