American Truck Simulator's expanded map is now available in open beta

Back in June, SCS Software announced that the map scale of American Truck Simulator would be changed from 1:35 to 1:20. You might think that is one of the least exciting-sounding announcements in the history of this publication, and you would be right, but it will actually have a big impact on the game, lengthening roads and opening up space for future growth. 

SCS said at the time that it would take "several months" for the expansion to happen, and it wasn't kidding. However, the update is now close enough to finished that it's been released as an open beta for anyone who wants to try it. 

The biggest changes, as detailed on the SCS Software blog

  • Scale: It's bigger! You will understand it once you start the game.
  • New chassis options (6x2 and 6x2 Midlift): There is an option now to choose 6x2 chassis or 6x2 chassis with lift-able axles (lifted axles avoid unnecessary tire wear when the weight distribution stays within legal limits).
  • Weight stations: We have improved how they operate to better reflect reality. A message will always pop up before you approach a weight station telling you if you can bypass it (green light) or you have to go get checked (red light).
  • Parking brake behaviour: Thanks to pneumatic safeguard you have to manually disengage parking brake if you had low air pressure previously.
  • Map projection: We are now using Lambert conformal conic projection (LCC) instead of Mercator projection so it will more accurately show the area and shape of each state as you are used to from any other source.

On top of that, the new features introduced in the recent European Truck Simulator 2 open beta, including new transmissions and and an Upgrade Shop search tool, are also present in the American Truck Sim open beta.

"Please keep in mind that our goal was not to completely rebuild the whole world, so set your expectations accordingly. Changing the scale from 1:35 into 1:20 gave us a lot more room for better placement of intersections and interchanges, and a chance to introduce some roads and places for which there was not enough space in the old map," SCS wrote on its blog. "But we've kept in place the parts that were working as expected in our view, so of course you will still recognize most of the destinations."

To hit the rescaled roads, you'll need to opt in to the American Truck Sim public beta branch: Right-click the ATS entry in your Steam library, select Properties, then the Betas tab, and then "public_beta – 1.5 public beta" from the dropdown menu. SCS warned that, as a beta, there may be some bugs, so you may want to wait for the official update if you're more interested in a smooth ride than a long one.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.