Best Truck Simulators: Have Fun Driving a Big Rig
Get a truck simulator and start experiencing driving a big rig for yourself
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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.
- Best OverallAmerican Truck Simulator GoldSummarySummary
Very realistic portrayal of truck driving and handling and of the trucking business. Supports gamepads, steering wheels, and other input devices. More than 30 truck models included.ProsPros
Large selection of turning accessories. Air brake choices and alternatives include Jake brake, retarder, brake intensity, and trailer brake. Start a trucking business and build a fleet with this simulator.ConsCons
May not work with Windows 10, and it may crash the system. It’s sometimes difficult to control the truck.
- Best ValueMudrunner - American Wilds EditionSummarySummary
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.ProsPros
Features large maps. You can drive solo or with a group of up to three other drivers. Drive through the wildlands of North Dakota and Montana through rivers, muddy terrain, and rustic roads.ConsCons
In some cases the driving is too slow. The simulator may not be challenging enough for some people.
- Honorable MentionAmazon.com: American Truck Simulator - PC: Video GamesSummarySummary
Drive trucks through beautiful countryside, busy cities, and famous landmarks. Customize your truck and haul various cargos. Build and manage a trucking company.ProsPros
Make your truck unique by choosing your engine, cabin, chassis, and paint scheme. Transport machines, food, and hazardous materials. Build a truck fleet and manage a company: hire and fire drivers, buy garages, make a profit.ConsCons
Manufacturer says it covers the whole country but it only covers California. Does not come with an activation code, so you can’t update the simulator.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
- 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.