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Euro Truck Simulator is a Simulation Game in which you drive trucks. In Europe. Developed and published by SCS Software, two installments of the series exist so far: The original, released in 2008, and its 2012 sequel, Euro Truck Simulator 2, which adds improved graphics, official truck licenses, and RPG Elements. Though either dismissed as Fun for Some or enjoyed ironically through Mundane Made Awesome Major League Gaming parody videos and drunken livestreams by most gamers, the game has received critical praise, with many reviews upholding the game as a real-life Lethal Joke Item: an addictive and deep driving game which will reward players who do not immediately dismiss it as yet another simulation game with a mundane premise.

It has a coffee-swilling cousin over the Atlantic known as American Truck Simulator. Not unexpectedly, this sequel is the one that takes place on the North American continent. Along with replacing the cab-over trucks found in Europe with American conventional trucks, it also introduced weigh stations to the series, because America has weigh stations.

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Do not confuse with Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, a much lazier attempt to depict rigs in video games. Or Big Mutha Truckers, a more fantastic take on the Big Badass Rig in video games.


Euro Truck Simulator and its sequels provide examples of:

  • Anti Poop-Socking: The driver fatigue mechanic, which forces the player to park the truck about every 45 minutes, is also meant to periodically break your focus in order to encourage you to take a break.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: One of the main reasons why this game became successful despite being so incredibly niche was precisely because Euro Truck Simulator is not afraid of sacrificing realism in the name of fun.
    • Unlike most other "simulation" games, you can pause, save, and quit the game anytime and resume the game anytime, with actual non-stop driving (except stopping in rest areas) as a Self-Imposed Challenge instead.
    • Many, but most notable is the incredibly condensed passage of time and size of Europe, a design decision likely made because most of the map is created by hand and a 1:1 scale would take the small team years to do.
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    • If you're not into perfect simulation, control of the trucks can be simplified so that changing gears is optional.
    • Fragile cargo can only be damaged by direct bumps against the trailer — the only difference it has with normal cargo is that fragile cargo takes multiple times the damage. You can truck ski around at 160 km/h and it won't damage as long as you don't hit anything with the trailer. This is in order to allow speeding with fragile cargo if you feel like it.
    • As noted in a later section, post-1.9 traffic AI is much smarter than most IRL motorists. It turned out to be really not fun to run into someone blocking an intersection or bumping your trailer and damaging your fragile cargo because they didn't notice you changing lanes.
    • Speaking of traffic, motorways at peak time, unless modded, have about the same traffic as country roads in the middle of the night. For example, in real life the M25 around London is at a standstill even when it's moving. Presumably they realised that while driving a truck might interest people, waiting in traffic is less so. Or maybe even with generous AI cars that actually get out of the way, they wouldn't be able to realistically simulate that much traffic flow without issues.
    • Cities in the base game are accurate to scale, i.e. one in-game kilometer of city translates to one IRL kilometer of the actual city. This resulted in tiny, repetitive cities that turned out to be little more than a place to have warehouses, service stations and a motel in. Later expansions took notice of that phenomenon and switched instead to cities that look and feel much more realistic despite being much bigger in the map than their actual counterparts.
    • Because it can be a little hard for most players to figure out that "Санкт-Петербург" stands for St. Petersburg, most road signs in Russia are in both Russian and English. In real life, road signs in Russia only have Russian on them.
    • Ferries don’t run to a specific timetable that could delay your journey by a day if you show up a minute late; you simply drive to the terminal and choose your destination.
    • Border crossings in Russia are always successful; they function in practice as toll booths where you have to wait a few seconds to pass. Of course, it would be quite frustrating to fail a delivery to Russia due to Obstructive Bureaucrats.
  • Ace Custom: Late-game trucks in the sequel become a Mundane Made Awesome version of this, with cosmetic features and improved engines and transmissions.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • "Simple Automatic" transmission, and the ability to auto-park and easy-park the truck.
    • Double trailers only show up on deliveries within Scandinavia, and for good reason — as of right now, only Scandinavia's roads have interchanges with wide turns specially designed to make it easy enough to move an eighteen wheeler. In addition, the game won't even allow you to park the whole double trailer on the correct spot, you can only park it on the easy spot.
    • In Finland, High Capacity Trailers will never show up on the job market, and must instead be purchased due to the skill required to tow them.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Until patch 1.9, the Traffic AI could be very dumb. Despite it being the AI's fault for lousy overtaking, it would still cost you money with the fine and damage to your trailer. SCS have now fixed the AI, making them not only smarter, but also faster so that they can overtake you more easily. It's also not always your fault in a crash.
  • A Taste of Power: After you buy your first truck, you will almost immediately miss the fancier, more powerful trucks your employers provided when you were freelancing for quick jobs. You cannot afford/unlock those trucks and customization parts until considerably later.
  • Badass Driver: Mundane Made Awesome version. Haul fragile, perishable, and dangerous cargo across an entire continent, arriving just in time without ever breaking the rules of the road...
  • Big Badass Rig: The point of the game. American players who do not find the European-style cab-overs big or badass enough have created Game Mods introducing bigger, more badass conventional trucks, complete with American-flag paint schemes. Naturally, SCS made American Truck Simulator in response to this.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • All trucks in the original and some trucks in the sequel. Freight companies are as a rule fictional, and prior to Version 1.18 of the sequel, "Majestic" trucks replaced Mercedes-Benz.
    • There is, however, a slightly suspicious similitude between French supermarket chain Carrefour and a delivery-only destination that looks like a big box shop called "Kaarfor".
    • "LKW" is based off LKW Walter. The in-game logo is similar, but the name is a bit more of a Brand X, because LKW is just the German word for "truck"note .
    • Ika Bohag doesn't even try to hide its role as an ersatz Ikea.
    • AI cars are very definitely IRL cars except for their logo. The German police car, for example, is very definitely a 2012 Volkswagen Passat... but the logo is two vertically opposite V's. Other clearly identifiable AI cars include the Ford Mondeo, the SEAT Toledo, the BMW 1-series, and the Lamborghini Murciélago in the Italia expansion.
    • Renault and Mercedes-Benz AI cars have logos that only vaguely ressemble their actual counterparts — despite Renault Trucks and Mercedes-Benz being player-selectable manufacturers. Apparently, the trademark licensing agreement didn't include personal vehicles.
      • This spills over to Truth in Television with the Volvo vehicles, with the car and truck brands now separately owned, they share only a name and badge. Said licensing agreements therefore couldn’t have had AI cars included with the trucks, since they weren’t the truck company’s to include in the first place.
    • The toll booths allow payment with not-Visa, not-Mastercard, not-American Express, not-Discover and not-PayPal.
    • Some cargo item brands are slightly modified versions of the actual one, like the ̶V̶o̶s̶s̶l̶o̶h̶ Bossloc locomotive or the ̶W̶i̶r̶t̶g̶e̶n̶ Writigen asphalt miller.
  • Boring, but Practical: Like turning a profit on long routes? Invest in the Ecodriving skill.
  • The Cameo: The English voice navigation options are provided by recognisable voice actors. Skye Bennett (Pyra/Mythra) provides the female voice, while Doug Cockle (Geralt of Rivia) provides the male voice.
  • Car Porn: Purchasing a new truck directly off the dealership will treat you to a cutscene that shows off every single curve and line of your new truck. It also doubles as a showcase of the excruciating detail SCS Software has put into modeling the trucks, from the smallest nooks and crannies of the interior to the nuts on the wheels. Once you get to drive your truck, you can also look around your cabin and see how not a single detail of the interior has been missed — the Mercedes-Benz New Actros even features the factory-included blanket partially unrolled over the sleeper's mattress.
  • Creator Cameo: Many of the hireable drivers use the names and portraits of the development team.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Regardless of whether the player is mainland European, a Brit, or even a Yank, the trip across the Chunnel is only going to end in suffering if you're not used to making the trip in Real Life. Also, playing this game after logging a significant amount of time in traditional Wide Open Sandbox games is likely going to net you a lot of penalties - by which we mean road fines.
  • Developers' Foresight: It is possible for police cars to drive out of their country of origin. While this is a bit unrealistic, the developers at least acknowledge it by not allowing them to fine you for crimes committed outside their jurisdiction.
  • Diegetic Interface: All of the dashboard instruments and side view mirrors of each truck are completely functional and accurate.
  • Downloadable Content: In addition to some expansive free patches, the game has received a plethora of paid DLC, which can be sorted into three rough categories:
    • Map expansions, which introduce additional areas and cities to explore and make deliveries to.
    • Cargo packs, which add various new cargo options, typically introducing a new challenge such as super-heavy cargo and special transports that require AI escorts. In addition, DLC has featured trailers licensed from manufacturers, all of which can be purchased and customised.
    • Tuning packs, which add a range of accessories to customise your trucks with. The most prolific of these are the 'National Paint Job' packs, which include a few paint jobs themed around a specific country.
  • Driving Stick: Trucks have usually twelve gears, and you can optionally fit a special heavy duty transmission that can have up to 17 gears depending on the model (3 reverse gears + 14 forward gears). Driving with an H-pattern shifter racing wheel accessory necessitates either a second shifter for gears 7-12, a button to flip the single shifter between 1-6 and 7-12, or installing an aftermarket transmission on your truck that only has 6 gears along with a superpowered engine to compensate for the massive gear ratio jumps that will sometimes take your RPM below your engine's powerband.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The base game, developed back when SCS Software was still a small studio that had yet to release a best-seller, suffers from notoriously cruder graphics and world design than content introduced in later updates or DLC such as Scandinavia and Italia. Starting with update 1.32 released in September 2018, the development team began working on redesigning these base game regions to fix this, starting with Germany.
    • At the game's launch, there were still a few Bland-Name Product stand-ins for trucks yet to be licensed, including 'Valiant' for Volvo and 'Majestic' for Mercedes-Benz. This is a design choice they moved away from entirely for American Truck Simulator, as well as for any potential future Euro additions such as Ford and Kamaz.
    • Country and region-specific companies would not be introduced until Scandinavia. The base game also featured a unique map icon for quarries, which would later be abandoned. Another early map-related quirk is that prefab intersections would be fully counted towards map completion simply by driving over part of it. Later intersections require you to drive across every inch to complete it.
    • Speaking of prefab intersections, the base game had some incredibly awkward ones. Most notoriously, many intersections would split a two lane highway, requiring you to stick to the inside if you want to carry on. As the game design advanced, the dev team took the informal decision of making them Germany and Austria's regional gimmick.
    • There was no police (a feature first introduced in American Truck Simulator).
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: In the base game, this was how cities were related to their real world counterparts: simply have a few local landmarks visible in the skyline. This was downplayed in later expansions, where geographical accuracy was sacrificed in favor of prettier city layouts and landmarks were more seamlessly integrated into the cities. And funnily enough, the remade version of Paris in Vive La France removes the Eiffel Tower.
  • Eternal Equinox: Partially averted. While it is always summer in the game, sunrise and sunset hours are latitude-dependent. Night time will arrive around 10 PM in the Mediterranean, sometime around 11 PM in Scotland, and Scandinavia has midnight sun.
  • First-Person Ghost: Your character can be shown while using external cam, but nothing is shown at all in first person view, supposedly because animating a free-rotating 360 degrees wheel turning animation is hard and so the detail on steering wheel and dashboard isn't obstructed.
  • Game Mod: A lot of them, some of which are stunning in quality. Custom trailers, custom trucks, custom cargo, map expanders, map replacement, skins, AI mods, physics mod. The game has been specially designed from the ground up to allow mods: installing them is as simple as subscribing to them on the Steam Workshop, then enabling them on the in-game mod manager.
  • Gimmick Level: As your adventures will take you all across Europe, you will encounter variations in local road laws and systems:
    • The United Kingdom drives on the left and its speed limits are in miles. More importantly while its motorway speed limits are higher than anywhere else in Europe, its town limits are lower, and it delights in speed cameras on every traffic light, in and out of town, and at roadworks, traffic accidents, and even roadside cops with speed-traps.
    • France, Italy, Poland and Norway have tollbooths on their highways, as they feature privatised road networks.
    • Norway has tunnel crossings with roundabouts, where you must be careful not to hit the central pillar if you're hauling an eighteen wheeler.
    • France has low speed limits placed at highway junctions and winding back roads, but hardly any traffic cameras, tempting the trucker to speed with no repercussions, up until you fly off the road and flip over three times.
    • Scandinavia and Finland provides the option for trucks to carry double trailers, and all the extra challenges they provide. Update 1.35 expands this area to Germany and The Netherlands, reflecting real life rule changes.
      • Finland introduces High Capacity Transport: full-size, double trailers that take the associated challenges of doubles Up to Eleven.
    • Russia requires border inspections upon entry and exit. The country's roundabouts also give priority to merging traffic, unlike everywhere else. Finally, the fact that the nation uses the Cyrillic alphabet means it is much harder to read road signs without at least a basic knowledge of it.
    • The Baltic region in general features less developed road infrastructure compared to other countries, meaning lots of two-lane highways, variable speed limits, and even at least one unmarked railway crossing.
    • The Special Transport DLC gives you the option to transport huge, heavy cargos, accompanied by two escort cars. Your speed is drastically reduced, your heavy cargo makes every speed-bump a mountain, and you take up about two-thirds of the road. You must also follow the lane-changing advice of the escort drivers and not collide with them. Just pray you don't have to stop at a rail junction or you may never clear the speed-bump.
  • Flying Saucers: At first glance, these seem to be circling in various locations. The Extreme Trucker games, also from SCS, make it clear that these are supposed to be birds.
  • Guide Dang It!: It takes a while to figure out that Telepass tollbooth lanes are fully functional. Once you do, tollbooths suddenly become much less of a pain in the neck.
  • Interface Screw: When your driver is tired, the screen will occasionally turn dark since the driver is slowly falling asleep at the wheels. The more tired he gets, the more often and longer this will happen. Eventually, your driver will start nodding off at the wheel, during which your screen will turn completely black and you will lose all control over your truck for a few seconds (you can save yourself to some degree if you get into this situation by driving slowly, on a low gear, with the retarder at maximum).
  • Invisible Wall: There are many smaller roads that divert from the main roads, but you can't take them. Those Xs will not allow it; your truck just stops suddenly and shuts down as soon as you touch them. You also can't go onto train tracks.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Update 1.35 added voice navigation, with Doug Cockle providing the Male English voice. The 'Gruff' novelty option is him doing a legally-distinct version of his Geralt of Rivia voice.
  • Level Grinding: Want to afford a truck of your own in the sequel without turning to the Bank? Better log those hours behind the wheel. More advanced trucks and customization options also require this.
  • Level-Map Display: In addition to the standard road map that is part of the HUD, there is also a diegetic GPS screen on the trucks' more luxurious trim levels. If you feel like experiencing a little more inmersive interface, you can disable your standard HUD map and instead rely on your truck's GPS screen. If you don't feel like paying a fortune of in-game money for upgrading your truck's cabin, a DLC will also allow you to install separate GPS screens into your truck's dashboard or windshield.
  • Made of Indestructium: The gate barriers in toll booths. That flimsy-looking bar will total your truck if you try to run through it in full speed.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game is decidedly relaxing for the most part, but learning to park and unload the truck is a painfully slow process, as is any process that involves reversing. Fortunately there are three options - the realistic and perfect park, the easier park, and just dumping the load, at the loss of some experience.
  • No Antagonist: There is nothing actively working against you in the game except your own mistakes, and even then you can always take quick jobs in borrowed trucks if you can't afford fuel/service for your own. Even in the business sim aspects, there are no opposing companies and your employees will make you money nine times out of ten. Pretty much the only way to get into trouble is going into debt and defaulting on a bank loan, which almost takes actual effort, as the rates are surprisingly reasonable.
  • Not the Intended Use: The 'National Company' achievement asks the player to own a garage in every city in your home country, expecting the player to slowly build up their garage portfolio over time. Alternatively, you can just set Luxembourg as your headquarters and complete it as the very first thing you do.
  • Power Limiter: The game limits your vehicles' speed to 90 km/h by defaultnote . You can disable it in the options menu, but you risk spectacularly rolling over your truck if you try to turn at high speed, in addition to the much longer braking distance. It is also impossible to remove this speed limiter on online-sourced deliveries.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • The Czech Republic's highway network used to be divided into two categories: 'Dálnice' and 'Rychlostní silnice'. The latter was abolished and absorbed into the former at the end of 2015, which was then reflected in-game.
    • Update 1.32 reduces the speed limits of several French minor roads from 90 km/h to 80 km/h, reflecting a July 2018 law that did just that.
    • Update 1.35 reflects rule changes in Germany and The Netherlands that allow for double trailers to be towed there.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic:
    • The old traffic AI that would often switch lanes without looking and block intersections was actually probably the most realistic traffic simulation out there, as anyone who spends a lot of time on the highways - or watches a lot of Russian dashcam videos - can tell you.
    • You will sometimes see French TGV trains outside of France. This is realistic — SNCF has services that venture abroad, reaching countries such as Germany, Italy, Switzerland or Netherlands.
  • RPG Elements: Euro Truck Simulator 2 features these heavily. Completing shipments successfully and parking the truck properly earns XP, which increases your driver level, which lets you unlock more customization elements for your truck, as well as skills which in turn unlock longer or more difficult routes for your truck, more fragile or hazardous cargo, or increase your gas mileage.
  • Scenery Porn: Europe is beautiful. The Scandinavia expansion is pretty much all about beholding the magnificent mountains and fjords that lie between Oslo and Bergen. And the modders at ProMods have an even prettier version.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: The in-game achievements encourage you to take risks such as finishing a long, urgent delivery with only 30 in-game minutes left, extra difficult tasks like running a delivery longer than 2000 km or gathering 20,000 XP over less than 10,000 km, perfect streaks like running a perfect delivery (no damage, no fines, in time) longer than 1000 km, or completion challenges such as exploring the entire map or purchasing a garage in every single city.
  • Shout-Out: One achievement is called 'Test Drive Limited'.
  • Shown Their Work: SCS Software takes geographical faithfulness very seriously, and always strives hard to do its research in order to recreate Europe as accurately as the compressed space allows it. The staff has joked that every time they finish mapping a region, they end up knowing it better than many locals.
    • Belgian road signs come in different languages depending on whether you're in Wallonia (the French-speaking part, with signs that lead to Bruxelles and Liège) or Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part, with signs that lead to Brussel and Luik). Swiss highway exit signs also say "Sortie", "Ausfahrt" or "Uscita" depending on whether you're on the French, German or Italian-speaking part. Road signs pointing to foreign cities will also often use the name in their language instead of the local name, e.g. "Straßburg", "Lüttich", "Posen" or "Stettin" in Germany instead of Strasbourg, Liège, Poznań or Szczecin, and "Koszyce" in Poland instead of Košice.
    • Italy has signs on every region border — a crossed "Basilicata" sign above a "Calabria" sign means you have just moved away from Basilicata into the Calabria region.
    • Truck stops in France and Italy are named in compliance with French road law — "Aire de la Chapelle" means "La Chapelle [rest] area".
    • Update 1.30 added timezones. While it only supported two timezones at launch — UTC in Great Britain and CEST elsewhere — it was seen as the first step towards the expansion towards Russia and the Baltic States.
    • License plates across each country are faithfully depicted, and this includes some very specific details. For example, nations like Switzerland feature area codes which accurately reflect the garage the truck is located at. Other nations such as Denmark feature different formats between cars and trucks, or Russia with cars and the police.
    • Countries that require daytime running lights reflect that in-game — and will fine you if it's raining and your lights are off.
    • Traffic lights vary from country-to-country, not just in design, but also with timings and whether they flash yellow at night.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic — Hurry Music: When the delivery time left drops below two in-game hours (about 10-15 minutes of IRL time), the fast-paced electronic music begins.
  • Space Compression: The game's largest break from reality.
  • Simulation Game: Of both the driving and business-management variety.
  • Warp Whistle: Ferries, the Channel Tunnel, the towing service and the Quick Travel function essentially work this way.
  • Work Info Title: The game has its genre in its title.

Alternative Title(s): Euro Truck Simulator 2

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