LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2019
Best Truck Simulator: Have Fun Driving a Big Rig
Get a truck simulator and start experiencing driving a big rig for yourself
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON December 6, 2019
A truck simulator gets you behind the wheel of the big rigs that dominate the world’s roads and highways. Start, drive, load, park, and design your own 18-wheeler. Drive on mountains and in the desert. Cruise large cities. Tackle wilderness roads. You can even start your own trucking firm and run the entire operation with a truck simulator. Check out three of the best simulators in the buying guide below.
Focuses on a career as a truck driver. Drive through the vast world as it progresses with you. You build strong relationships with local communities. Gorgeous countrysides and fully explorable cityscapes.
Start young and build a career in trucking. Choose your truck model and parts as you customize it and tune it the way you want it. Great graphics, including the truck’s shadow following. Beautiful scenery. Various weather such as haze and fog.
No radio talk. Everything is European so you have to get used to kilometers versus miles, left-hand driving, and different road signs.
Lifelike terrains that react realistically to the movement and weight of the truck. Vehicle choices include iconic American models like Chevrolet, Western Star, and Hummer.
Takes a lot of time to play. Must drive on the left side of the road. No multiplayer option.
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Benefits of a Truck Simulator
- Realistic training. A truck simulator gives you an opportunity to drive and manage a fleet of trucks. Since you’re not driving real vehicles, you can learn from your mistakes without worrying about the consequences. You can improve your driving skills gradually.
- Improved control. You can easily control the weather conditions, traffic behavior, and the road layout either in real time or offline. By intentionally creating certain scenarios, you can practice a large number of maneuvers over a given time.
- No risk. The best truck simulator allows you to drive in dangerous conditions without putting yourself at risk. It prepares you to handle critical tasks such as avoiding collisions. You can’t practice such tasks on a real road.
Types of Truck Simulators
Euro Truck Evolution Simulator
This truck simulator will help you get ready to become a real trucker. It features 12 European trucks with detailed interiors, an enhanced AI traffic system, and remarkable engine sounds. The settings include both day and night and the weather conditions are realistic. The vehicle simulation game has more than 20 real-life cities. You can visit exciting places such as Prague, Berlin, Madrid, and Paris. You can also assess the damage on your trucks.
Euro Truck Sim Truck Trailer Driver 2018
This truck simulator offers an unparalleled driving experience and is perfect for both young and old drivers because it doesn't have an age limit. It has realistic missions, easy controls, and HD graphics. To complete a mission, you must drive across the European outback and deliver goods to a specific location. Run your business successfully, make money, and purchase new trucks and semi trailers.
Truck Simulator 2018: Europe
Become the king of the road with this popular truck simulator. It has 11 impressive next-generation trucks you can drive across Europe. Start operating your own business and watch it grow as you complete freight deliveries. The 60+ challenging levels feature incredible scenarios, a realistic traffic system, highway toll roads, vivid sound effects, and more than 250 radio stations.
Truck Simulator: Offroad
Have you always wanted to be a truck driver but for some reason you couldn't? Well, here’s your chance. Clear the complicated levels as you transport cargo and avoid numerous obstacles. Get stuck in mud and drive on steep slopes, mountains, and forests with a powerful, off-road truck. You’ll also enjoy listening to the truck simulator tell a story about a father and son driving a truck in extreme conditions.
This video game company was founded in 1996 and is located in Prague, Czech Republic. It mainly develops simulation games for use on Mac, Microsoft Windows, and Linux. Its vehicle simulators offer an immersive driving experience and allow drivers to explore at their own pace freely. One of its best truck simulators is the Euro Truck Simulator 2.
This American video game company was established in 2001 by Andrey Iones, Anton Krupkin, and Matthew Karch. It is located in Maplewood, N.J. It uses the Saber3D engine, a copyrighted game engine, to develop its games. It prides itself on developing groundbreaking games for various platforms such as Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PCs. Its most popular truck simulator is MudRunner.
Oovee Game Studios
This UK-based video game developer is located in Norfolk, UK. So far, it has produced one well-known truck simulator that allows players to drive trucks through muddy, off-road terrain to complete missions. The simulator was produced in collaboration with a developer named Pavel Zagrebelnyj. It’s known as OOVEE Spintires: Offroad Truck Simulator.
Truck Simulator Pricing
- $5-$20: These truck simulators feature simple sceneries, 3D graphics, and some contain ads.
- $20-$40: The simulators here have easy driving controls, 3D graphics, a limited number of missions, and minimal sound effects. The landscapes are limited to specific regions.
- $40-$50: These have realistic truck sounds, 3D graphics, multiple driving missions, diverse driving sceneries, and accurate controls. There are also numerous trucks to choose from.
Multiple Levels and Trucks
The best truck simulator should have a series of never-ending challenges to keep you hooked. Some games now offer more than 60 challenging levels with awesome scenes to explore. You have many trucks to choose from. The trucks are made by popular European and American companies. Some simulators offer 11 next-generation trucks and 12 European trucks with 4x2 and 6x4 axles.
Numerous Playing Options
One of the important things to check in a truck simulator is different playing options. While some games offer multiplayer options online, others have a career mode. You can easily view your progress and see which players take the top spots on the leaderboards. Some simulators allow you to play the game on your gamepad or Android TV.
The best truck simulators have amazing graphics, are easy to control, and offer a driving experience that reflects real-life driving. They feature accurate engine sounds and virtual steering wheels or tilt steering wheels. Trucks with manual transmission have an H-Shifter and clutch. The simulators also come with an improved AI traffic system and highway toll roads.
- Customization. A good truck simulator should have trucks that feel and look like real trucks. They should have detailed interiors you can personalize however you want. Some developers offer support in more than 25 languages, while some have 250 radio stations to entertain you. You should also have access to multiple cameras, including a front cam, an internal cam, and an external cam.
Natural Weather Conditions. To offer a great experience, the best truck simulators should have a dynamic weather system that incorporates all weather conditions. This includes rainy, snowy, windy, and sunny weather. The game should also incorporate the different seasons and give you the freedom to go on missions either during the day or night.
- Great Scenery. No truck simulator is complete without brilliant, realistic scenery. You should be able to drive on highways, country roads, city roads, and off-road. Some truck simulators allow you to drive across the European outback in mountains, cities, or in the desert. Others allow you to explore the American landscape.
Best Truck Simulator Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This is a game-type truck simulator where you are given a truck and you get your assignment. You must deliver the goods on time without problems to the destination and you get your reward in “experience points” and the game’s currency.
Modify the truck to your specifications for better performance and even get a new truck to enhance your chances of being a better trucker. On your journeys, you must change tires and fuel up, even changing engines if necessary. You must stay alert during the journeys and obey traffic laws while avoiding accidents.
Be aware that this is a European game where the traffic signs are the European style, speed limits are in kilometers, and there is left-side driving. Also, there’s no radio back-and-forth, so it’s a quiet game.
This off-roading simulation game was developed by Saber Interactive and released in October 2017. Its lifelike terrains quickly react to the movement of the truck. It features two sandbox maps that are inspired by the rough terrains of North Dakota and Montana. Enjoy driving on rustic roads, muddy terrain, and through raging rivers.
There are more than 30 powerful all-terrain trucks from popular brands such as Chevrolet, Western Star, and Hummer. You can equip them with up to 60 add-ons for different missions. You can also drive solo or with your friends, as the game allows up to three other players in co-op multiplayer mode.
The maps cover the rugged landscapes of Siberia as well as Northern USA. However, the simulator has some faults. The trucks tend to move very slowly at times, hampering your experience. In addition, the simulator is not challenging enough for some people.
With the simulator, you operate your own trucking firm. You hire drivers and managers, buy garages, and make investments so you can maximize profits.
You also tune and maintain your vehicles to keep them in top shape. And you add lights, horns, bars, and beacons to customize them. In your truck, you will travel miles of actual roads where you will see famous sights and landmarks.
There are downsides to this game. Leave yourself a lot of time to play it. Remember, too, that it is a European simulator so you drive on the left, the road signs are different, and it’s kilometers instead of miles. Also, the simulator offers no multiplayer option.
- Determine if you have a certain country or part of the world where you’d like to experience trucking, and buy a simulator tailored to where you’d like to drive.
- Research online and read reviews to gain an understanding of the types of simulators out there and the experiences they provide. Consider driving locations, types of vehicles, type of hauling, and price.
- Truck simulators are not just for adults. Kids (and grandkids) really like the idea of being able to drive a big rig. It keeps children occupied for hours and makes a great gift.
Q: What is a truck simulator?
A: Similar in some ways to a flight simulator, a truck simulator gives you the feeling and experience of driving a big rig. It puts you behind the wheel, so you can experience starting, steering, shifting, parking, loading, and unloading. All of these things are associated with driving a big truck.
Q: Are there other aspects of a truck simulator?
A: Yes. Many truck simulators provide the opportunity to not only operate an 18-wheeler but to create the truck of your dreams by choosing the model, engine type, chassis, cabin, and paint scheme. With some simulators, you may also create a trucking firm, so you can experience trucking from that angle: hiring and firing drivers, making repairs, building facilities, etc.
Q: What are the computer requirements to run a truck simulator?
A: They can vary, but generally you’ll need 3.0 Ghz CPU speed; 6 GB of RAM; an operating system such as Windows 7, 8.1, or 10 64 bit; a 2 GB video card; and at least 3 GB free disk space.
We chose American Truck Simulator Gold as our top pick overall because of its realistic driving and handling and because many models are included. Our best value pick is Mudrunner - American Wilds Edition for its genuine vehicle movement and the iconic models it features.