Both Euro and American Truck Simulators to get a total lighting overhaul

We do love a bit of trucking here at PC Gamer, but I'll readily admit that SCS's big rig sims are a bit bland to look at. Fortunately, both Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator just became a whole lot prettier, thanks to a new lighting update introduced over the weekend.

There's a lot that's gone into update 1.40's lighting changes, and the developer dives deep into the technical details behind the overhaul in a Steam announcement post. The engine's initial lighting system was designed a decade ago, and graphics tech has come a long way since then. 

Truck lighting overhaul comparison

(Image credit: SCS Software)

As such, light sources are now more accurately modelled against their real-world counterparts, rather than an approximate guess within outdated limitations. The camera now takes light exposure into account, while the overhaul also helped add some crispness to reflections appearing on glossy surfaces.

Just from the screenshots shown, it appears to be working. There's always been a kind of flat look to SCS's truck sims, and this overhaul goes a long way towards adding more depth and life to the roads of Europe and the US. 

In-cabin lighting comparison

(Image credit: SCS Software)

But with substantial changes to the lighting, SCS has had to make sweeping adjustments to plenty of art assets across both games—touching up rougher textures and models that were more acceptable in the old system. But this work should better set up both games for even larger visual overhauls in future, with plans to introduce physically-based rendering somewhere down the road.

With the 1.40 update currently in Open Beta for both games, the Euro version is also working towards overhauling Germany's visuals, and adding new French locations in preparation for the upcoming Iberia DLC.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.