5 Most Realistic Truck Simulators in 2024: True-to-life Trucking Experience


Sometimes, it’s nice to get behind the wheel and hit the road, driving just for the freedom of it. Other times, it’s nice to have a challenge, though, driving a tanker truck full of petroleum through busy interstates.

Okay, maybe that’s too much of a challenge, but that’s why we’ve got a variety here when it comes to realistic trucking simulators!

Whether you want the more relaxed job of driving some light freight through the American Midwest or doing speed runs from Los Angeles to New York with hazardous waste, these will get the job done.

Just make sure you’re buckled in before hitting the gas because the roads can get rough in these realistic truck sims!

5. Euro Truck Simulator 2

Euro Truck Simulator 2

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the basic idea of Euro Truck Simulator 2, originally released all the way back in 2012. Don’t let the age fool you though, because the devs are constantly hauling out new updates over a decade later to keep things fresh. 

Variety is the real name of the game in Euro Truck Simulator 2, combining on-the-ground freight driving with business sim gameplay. You’ll start your way up from a one-truck operation to a booming fleet, delivering all across Europe with over sixty cities in the base game.

The graphics are still fantastic to this day, giving a great sense of realism along with the physics engine. You’ll want to pay attention, too, because resource management is pretty difficult to keep on top of.

Thankfully, there are a few different difficulty options, so you can ease into the gameplay. The best part is that the online community has been steadily growing over a decade of DLC and mod support, leading to hours of playtime.

Play On: PC

4. American Truck Simulator

American Truck Simulator

The devs behind Euro Truck Simulator decided to go all in for a more expansive experience, and they deliver. American Truck Simulator will take you across the United States to deliver cargo in cities and on farms. Food, hazardous chemicals, and even other trucks will just be some of the hauls. 

Just as with its sister game, American Truck Simulator is constantly seeing updates since its release in 2016. There’s already a ton of variety, with narrow cities and sprawling deserts that will test your skills on open roads or need for pinpoint accuracy. Parking a big rig in a Hollywood car lot is probably more stressful than when I got my driver’s license, and it wasn’t even real. 

Mechanics, weather, and roads are all procedurally generated and look pristine. For the full experience, though, get on a road through the desert at night, see the stars above, and throw some Tom Petty on the radio. It’s surprisingly relaxing.

Play On: PC

3. MudRunner


You’ll need something relaxing, too, after putting a few hours into MudRunner. Life for a trucker is already one with very little glitz and glamor, but MudRunner is the rough-and-tumble cousin that will wrestle an alligator at the drop of a hat. 

You’ll take on offroad trucking, driving through untouched nature or hastily graded dirt roads to deliver cargo. Whether that be hazardous material for some remote project or just delivering trees straight from a lumberyard, it’s a challenge.

Driving a big rig on a nicely paved road is a cakewalk compared to running through a mountainside just after a rainstorm. You’ll fall off a few times; just trust me on that.

Damn, if it isn’t some of the most fun in a trucking game I’ve ever had, though. Something about having to navigate by other means than just road signs through the Siberian wilderness, keeping your ten tons of steel in a line across slippery mud is exhilarating. The game also boasts heavy mod support on PC, with a huge community. 

Play On: PC, Xbox Series/One, PS4/5

2. Scania Truck Driving Simulator

Scania Truck Driving Simulator

The devs behind Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator also made this more small-scale sim a little before ETS. Scania Truck Driving Simulator eschews the longer haul aspect of running freight, along with the business management sim. Nothing but driving is the focus here, and holy hell, does it do that with finesse?

It’s like the Dark Souls of trucking sims, requiring precision and skill to get through each delivery. The game only covers one European city, but also has various nature areas, too. The fun comes in the mission mode, which puts you in scenarios of special deliveries with set conditions.

Some will have you getting a huge truck backed into a tight alley or driving over an unpaved narrow mountain road for delivery. The absolute level of precision this game takes can’t be understood, and the realistic physics will let you know when you mess up.

Despite the difficulty and seemingly small scope of the game, it gets points for the fun and realism it delivers. These are real scenarios that real truck drivers deal with every day. The physics are fantastic, the graphics look great for something from 2012, and everything just hums when the engine starts.

Play On: PC

1. BeamNG.drive


If you look around Twitch or any streams regularly, you’ve probably seen BeamNG.drive coming up. Yes, the name is a pain, but the game is wildly complex in terms of gameplay.

Trucking is just a component of the game, too, with the entire project devoted to being a full physics-based car simulator. Almost anything is drivable, and it feels like the real thing.

Incorporating scenarios that are both developer and player-created for the trucking mode gives great variety. The soft-body physics mimics a full truck rig, with each component simulated individually.

It’s going to vary up the delivery objectives, weather, and terrain with hundreds of combinations, even on occasion getting your freight haul involved in a police chase. The possibilities are endless, and there’s no better sim for getting behind a big rig wheel and just hitting the road. 

Best played with a wheel, of course, but the gamepad and keyboard support are still top-notch. You’ll find yourself just driving for hours, most of the time admiring the scenery anyway, and community mods are steadily working on business sim integrations for the logistics aspects.

Play On: PC

About Ross Tyson 23 Articles
Ross is a writer, gamer, parent, and tired adult. They’re from the Southeast US, and have been gaming since their first Sega Genesis as a kid. A parent, they often find themselves playing kids games these days, but makes time for plenty of RPGs, Roguelikes, and anything with the Kingdom Hearts name on it. They’re experts in Final Fantasy lore, and will try any anime game no matter how bad it may be.

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