Help us understand why Euro Truck Simulator 2 is so popular

11258559_10206808825728584_744391955_nA longtime PretendRaceCars.net reader sent this in today; a picture he’d taken a few weeks ago during a university lecture where one of his fellow students was deep into a session of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and didn’t want to stop.

As North Americans, myself and Chris don’t really understand the obsession behind this game. Both of us own our own vehicles, so if we want to go on a road trip some where or run a remedial errand, we grab our keys and walk outside. We seem to be in the minority, however, as SteamCharts shows that Euro Truck Sim 2 is blowing away the combined active player count of Project CARS, DiRT Rally, and Assetto Corsa.

schartsMy theory is that due to Europe’s fantastic public transit services, and the fact that very few Europeans own their own vehicle compared to North Americans, ETS2 provides the freedom and exploration they otherwise don’t usually get with subways, trains, buses, and cabs. Others have stated that it’s perfect for a rainy day or as a way to unwind after dealing with stress in the real world, but doubling the active player count of every other major racing title combined on a daily basis?

So we need your help! Tell us, in the comments, what makes this game so addicting – neither of us get it!

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9 thoughts on “Help us understand why Euro Truck Simulator 2 is so popular

    1. That’s exactly why: it even has built-in Internet radio support so you can really feel like you’re cruising around Central Europe. Plus the jobs are really easy to complete on time, at least if you disable the requirement to sleep every so often.

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      1. Compared to other “___ Simulator” (Goat Simulator doesn’t count) games, it’s easy to pick up and play and has actual game elements. Train Simulator, for example, has a very confusing user interface and complicated controls that are never explained in the game.

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  1. Main reason? Trucks are more powerful than race cars. Seriously: http://www.volvogroup.com/group/global/en-gb/cwp2moss.news.documents/27105

    This game has actually more in common with titles like Train Simulator, Farm Simulator or Flight Simulator. It’s not aimed for competitive players that play other racing games. Though if you like cars in general, you’ll probably find diesel trucks somewhat interesting too.

    It’s not even an very realistic sim, but the GAME element is good:
    + nice career mode with economic and role-playing aspects. You gain experience, unlock upgrades and better paid jobs, expand your company, fleet of trucks, buy garages, hire drivers, etc
    + lots of upgrades to personalize your truck, NFS style: decals, paints, visual addons, more powerful engines
    + modding support make it a good sandbox
    + you can drive it with a mouse as good as with a wheel (actually, FFB is rather shitty)
    + low system requirements
    + driving through varying landscapes and conditions, listening to your favourite radio is pretty relaxing.
    +

    And no, most Europeans know how to drive and own a car. We just don’t need to use it all the time.

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    1. I play ETS2, many of my sim racing friends play ETS2. None of us know why it’s so appealing. We genuinely don’t. I’ve never wanted to be a trucker in real life, I have no interest in logistics, I don’t especially enjoy a top speed of 55 mph and acceleration akin to that of a tectonic plate. But damn, if this game isn’t just good fun for an hour or two every now and then.

      Head to the job list, choose a company to work for, collect the cargo, set the sat nav, and spend a hour cruising the highways and rural roads of europe. Plan the journey so you don’t get caught short on fuel or sleep, arrive on time and then back that big ‘ol load up to the warehouse doors and collect your paycheck. Ear enough and you can buy your own depot, hire your own drivers, and it turns into some quasi-management sim.

      Visually it’s impressive. The landscape is varied, colourful, and interesting. The lighting is beautiful, with a full day/night cycle, stunning sunsets and rises, stark overcast days and downright dirty thunderstorms. And at night, it gets proper dark. All the trucks are incredibly well detailed and customisable, there’s a large variety of traffic on the roads.

      So in short, even the people who play it have no idea. It just is. I look forward to the Californian version that’s currently being developed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A European myself, I have no goddamn idea why this game is so popular. I tried it once, spent about an hour playing it but stopped because a) it is boring b) it is unrealistic – Berlin to Paris is ten minutes? c) it is boring d) the graphics are not that great e) it is boring. I have recently uninstalled it from Steam altogether because it had the nerve to push into the queue and start downloading an update before R3E could do it. Really. Some games don’t know how to behave these days. Stupid.

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  3. I enjoy ETS2 mostly because of the multiplayer aspect. There’s a real sense of “hey guys we’re all having fun here”, and everyone honks to say hello when you pass and so on.

    There’s no drama, no bullshit, it’s just driving trucks around for an imaginary company.

    Actually, flight simulators such as Microsofts FSX and X-Plane 10 would probably be just as popular if they had an integrated career and cash system.

    It’s a comfy game, you put on a radio station, you cruise around, honk to the fellow players and just generally have a good time, all while you’re actually focused too because despite being relatively casual, driving (and especially parking) a truck with a 20 tonne trailer is difficult – when was the last time you had to downshift in a racing game to drive up a hill?

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