Trucking Digest

Times ticking on and I’m moving rapidly towards my truck owning goals in Euro and American Truck Simulator. The problem is that I still have so much to tell. Today I’m going to talk gameplay settings. These are not settings relating to your computer set-up, they’re about how you play the game. I’ll try to be quick and I hope it helps new players.

On the home screen there are lots of options but if you hit the Options button, just to the left of the exit button on the bottom right, you’ll get this page pop up…

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…We’re going to start with the audio choice, second down. You would think that Audio has a lot to do with setting up for your hardware but it also has some other things that are more gameplay related. It’s here that you can turn down the annoying music😉 But you can also set up voice navigation…

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…You need to check that enable voice navigation box in the middle of the screen and then select your preferred language and voice from the dropdown below. You’ll notice I’ve selected Michelle and French. I’m driving as a French company in Euro Truck, so what did you expect? 😂

If we step down the list into gameplay, there are several key things here. First up, Fatigue Simulation…

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…That box near my cursor arrow – It’s checked by default. In the game, your shift has a set number of hours between rest periods -12 hours in America and 11 hours in Europe. The moment you step outside those driving times, the next cop that passes you will issue you with a fine. If you continue driving long enough, you’ll start blacking out at the wheel too. The first thing to understand about this is that it’s quite simplistic – driving regulations vary from country to country and state to state, so the driving hours in Truck Sim are a compromise. I suggest you turn fatigue simulation off. After that you can make a choice whether to drive through on a job or do your best to work with the unenforced driving hours. In my company profile I always take my rest breaks, but that’s my choice – you have the freedom to choose how you want to handle your hours without receiving fines left, right and centre for being just a couple of minutes overdue.

Lets look at how the game decides what bad things to throw at you…

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…I said bad things but it’s not all bad. At the top you can set up a speed limit warning – your satnav person will warn you about going too fast (if you’ve activated them!). Most of those settings are preset anyway so just leave them alone. However, Parking difficulty is one you should consider changing. I have ‘Skilled Parking’ set because it makes the game give you the most difficult parking option available when you do a delivery. The thinking behind that choice is governed by the points available on any job. The most difficult of parks will give you 90 points towards the next level while an easy park will only give 15. In the early part of the game when you are trying to earn those levels, those points are very important! ps – just because a parking slot looks difficult doesn’t mean it is. Take your time and shuffle back and forth as much as necessary – there’s no extra points for doing it in one go!

Down that same settings page and there’s three sliders: Random Road Events, Detours and Rain Probability. The first decides how many roadworks and similar events you’re likely to meet on your travels – I’d leave that where the developers have set it. The second is about road closures that interfere with your Quick Jobs, and later on, your Cargo Market jobs, The default setting will give you a detour every other job – I’ve set mine to happen at a frequency of every 3rd to 4th job. I suggest you see how detours affect you and adjust the setting accordingly. I should add that detours only affect Quick Jobs and Cargo Market jobs – something I will try to explain in a future post (someone remind me please🙄). The final slider is about rain probability – use your judgment to get the amount of rain you feel is realistic. Just be prepared for the occasional day when you can’t see your hand in front of your face 😉

Here’s another set of things to adjust further down the page and they’re key to how your truck behaves…

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…I’ve done my best to get these right with advice from a couple of IRL truck drivers. Never forget that this is a simulation though so we’ve gone for the correct appearance of the trucks in most driving situations. Braking is set to around a 1/3rd, truck stability to just below a 1/4 , etc. Try those settings yourself and see how it works for you.

Down near the bottom of that page and we have the ‘automatics’ of the game…

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…This is straightforward. Unless you want to drive at warp-speed and illegally, you want truck speed limiter checked – in Euro Truck that will limit you to 90kmh – in ATS, 65mph. The three auto’s below that should be unchecked – unless you don’t want to control your truck. You are here to drive after all 😉 Automatic Parking brake on the other hand doesn’t do what you might think – you stop at the lights and you’ll still need to apply the parking brake yourself. This just makes sure that the parking brake is applied when you first start the game to stop your truck rolling backwards while you’re still gathering your thoughts! So you should check that box. The automatic drop of axles is checked and you might as well leave it that way – until some clear guidance is given in game about when you should raise and lower trailer or truck axles anyway! For realism, I think you should check both Air Brake Simulation and Realistic Fuel Consumption. As an aside, the latter should render the economical driving points irrelevant for yourself although they should still apply to your employees. Most of the time you won’t notice the effect of your airbrake choice but if you choose to use the brakes rather than the engine brake or the retarder on a long downhill, you may find the alarm going off. Understanding how to use the tools you have in a truck for slowing down will be part of your gaming experience👍

There are lots more things you can change in the gameplay menu but the others are of limited use for most players. I think all the info above is correct but even with over six years of experience playing the games, I can still get things wrong! And it doesn’t help when SCS keep updating the game – not a complaint, just an observation about how it can be hard to keep up to speed. There have been so many changes in those six years that it’s difficult to remember how things were just last year, let alone back then! As always, see what best suits your style of play.

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