American Truck Simulator Mods – What Should You Try Next?

by Conner Mckay

Bored of playing American Truck Simulator? Then maybe you should try installing mods. Mods are a great way of improving your gaming experience and a great way to inject a new life into a video game that you’ve been playing for a while now. In this article, we’ll be talking about American Truck Simulator mods that you should try. These mods will make American Truck Simulator more fun to play, and we’ll guide you on how to install them as well.

What Are Mods

Mods stand for modification. In the gaming space, it basically means modifying aspects within the game, ranging from the way it looks to how the game behaves. Modding will require you to tweak some files in the game’s files and assets, which will then change aspects of the game depending on what you’ve tweaked.

Modding may be something as simple as adding a new skin for cars, a player’s characters, or non-playable characters. To something more extensive such as changing the physics model in the game, AI behaviors, and even the graphics.

Mods are similar to downloadable content (DLC) that developers will provide over the game’s lifespan. The only difference is, that mods are usually free and are made by fans and players rather than the game’s developers.

Modding itself is nothing new, it’s been around since the 90s. The popular 1993 first-person shooter game Doom was the first game to have a large modding community. Since then, tons of games have a large modding community, including games like Grand Theft Auto.

That being said, modding is limited to games on PC. Whereas console games have very little modding capabilities since players don’t have access to the game files like they do on PC.

There have been arguments revolving around the legality of mods, especially paid mods where you pay the modders to download the mods that they’ve made. While the legal battle continues, we’re just here to enjoy mods and improve our gaming experience.

How To Use American Truck Simulator Mods

Installing mods is a fairly straightforward process. To install mods in American Truck Simulator, follow these steps:

  1. Download the mods that you want.
  2. Unzip the .ZIP or .RAR file into My Documents\American Truck Simulator\mod. The mods may be in an .SCS file, if you’ve downloaded this file, simply copy the file in the same direction.
  3. Once installed, open the game and open the mod manage. This option will pop up just before you choose a profile in the game.
  4. Afterward, simply click on the mod you choose to activate and you’re good to go.
  5. If you’re on macOS, then copy the ZIP file into /Library/Application. Once the file is in the directory, then you can unpack it and activate it in the game.

Keep in mind some mods will need to be “triggered” before the effects start kicking it. For example, some money cheat mods will require you to do the first three jobs in the game if you’ve just made a new profile.

But otherwise, most mods will be ready to go right from the moment you activate it. Learn more on how to install mods by watching the video below:

American Truck Sim Mods

American Truck Simulator is actually a very popular game. The game boasts over 2 million downloads on Steam and has mostly positive reviews from users. Since it’s so popular, small wonder there’s a large modding community behind the game. There are tons of American Truck Simulator mods that you can try, here are some interesting (and free) ones:

American Truck Simulator Mods #1: Money And EXP Mods

One of the advantages of modding is that it can make life a lot easier in the game, and we’re starting with a mod that will do just that. If you don’t want to grind for too long at the start of the game and you want to get to the good part, then using this money and EXP mod will make life as a trucker a lot easier at the start.

Keep in mind that to trigger the money mod you will need to finish the first three jobs in the game before the money starts to kick in.

American Truck Simulator Mods #2: Realistic Traffic

Realism and immersion are very important to simulator games. While the developer SCS Software did a pretty good job in making American Truck Simulator as realistic as possible, there’s still room for improvement. One of which is the traffic in the game, which can be a bit “stagnant” in the game.

By using this realistic traffic mod, the in-game traffic will behave more like real life. It will spawn more vehicles on the road during rush hours, and they will behave differently than how it was originally programmed to.

This mod also means that there are fewer cars on the road if you’re delivering cargo at midnight. All of this adds up to a more realistic experience of driving a truck on the road. Do keep in mind that the traffic will be less patient and the AI vehicles will merge into lanes much faster than usual. Again, makes it more realistic doesn’t it?

On top of that, it also changes the spawning of police vehicles in the game depending on what state you’re in. Speaking of the police…

American Truck Simulator Mods #3: Municipal Police Traffic Pack

American Truck Simulator has police cars spawning randomly as you drive on the road. If you were to break traffic laws while a police car is around, you’ll have to pay a hefty fine for the crime that you did. In standard form, the police cars look like boxy old vehicles in the standard black and white police livery. Needless to say, this looks rather dull. That’s where the Municipal Police Traffic mod comes in.

This mod will add a variety of livery for the police cars in almost every city in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. After installing this mod, the police cars will have various combinations of livery, push bar, and lightbar.

While this mod won’t change the way the cop cars behave, it’s still exciting to see different cop cars spawning in the game. Just remember not to break any traffic laws while they’re around.

American Truck Simulator Mods #4: Real Gas Prices

On the subject of realism, how about adding a real gas price mod? Yes, that’s right. Instead of getting discounted prices at every gas station that you encounter in the game, why not pay real gas prices with the in-game money you’ve earned? Why pay for cheap gas when you can pay more? No one likes discounted prices!

Jokes aside, this mod won’t really add that much to the gameplay. However, if you’re into realism and immersion, then this mod is a fun way to inject just that little bit more realism into the game. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean that price will change automatically when actual gas prices change, it will only change when the mod creator makes an update to this mod.

American Truck Simulator Mods #5: Real Gas Stations

You’re driving a real truck, in a real American city (albeit a condensed version of it), and paying real gas prices. Why not get those gas from actual real gas stations? Yes, that’s what exactly this mod will do. Installing this mod will change the gas stations in the game to have real branding on them.

The mod includes Shell, BP, Texaco, Chevron, and a few others. Now you can choose where you get your fuel from. Don’t like BP because of the environmental damage they’re causing? Well, the others aren’t actually doing the world a favor either but hey, now you can choose where to get your fuel from!

American Truck Simulator Mods #6: Realistic Graphic Mod

It’s hard being a trucker: long hours on the road, being all alone and away from your loved ones. It can be tiring and sad being on the road for a long time all by yourself, even if it’s just in a game. Thankfully, the views are often quite nice and with nothing else to do except driving, you can soak the view in and marvel at the world. Or at least, the in-game world.

Unfortunately, American Truck Simulator hasn’t won any awards for amazing high-detailed graphics. While the views and scenery are quite good, the detail and graphic aren’t really anything to write home about. This is fine, considering that American Truck Simulator was launched in 2016.

If you wish that the game had better graphics, then this realistic graphic mod is worth trying. This mod will add higher quality textures for the skies, the roads, and the light flares.

It also enhances the colors, shadows, and brightness in the game to make it more realistic. Additionally, it will improve light reflections, weather effects, and more. Of all the American Truck Simulator mods, this one is definitely worth trying.

American Truck Simulator Mods #7: Real Brands

Going back to the subject of realism and immersion, there are no licensed real-life brands in the game. This kind of beats the point of a simulator and makes the game feel less realistic. The solution? Modding, of course. Using this Trailer Pack mod, for example, will put skins on top of the trailers in the game and you can pretend that you’re actually delivering tons of refreshing Pepsi.

Other trucks in the game will also deliver trailers with real-life brands on them, which further increases the immersion of the game.

American Truck Simulator Mods #8: Deliver The Caterpillar 785C Mining Truck

If you think that the cargos in American Truck Simulator aren’t challenging enough, then we recommend installing this Caterpillar 785C Mining Truck mod. If you didn’t know, these mining trucks are massive. 

Adult humans are nowhere near as tall as the tires on these mining trucks. In fact, this mod is the largest and widest cargo you can have in the game. So if you like a challenge, or you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to transport one of these beasts, you need to try this mod. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

American Truck Simulator Mods #9: Wheel Pack

What is one of the simplest and first modifications we car enthusiasts do when we have a new project car? Or in fact, any car for that matter. If you’re thinking wheels, then you’re right.

And wheel modifications are also a simple way to spruce up the look of your truck in American Truck Simulator. There are several wheel mods that you can install for American Truck Simulator, but one of the most popular ones amongst players is the wheel pack by Smarty on Steam.

This mod pack includes pretty much every real-life wheel available on trucks today, and once you install this mod you can equip them for your trucks and trailers. This mod is compatible with any other trailer mod made for the game, but ideally, you should install the wheel pack first to ensure it works properly.

American Truck Simulator Mods #10: Decepticon Truck And Trailer Skin

So far we’ve mostly talked about mods that improve the realism and immersion of American Truck Simulator. But what if you want to spice things up and add a bit of fiction into the game? Well, you’re probably going to love the Decepticon skin mod.

This mod will allow you to add a Decepticon-looking skin on top of your Peterbilt 379 and the trailer attached to it. Giving it that menacing and intimidating look as you drive through the United States. It still won’t stop the cops from fining you though should you break any traffic laws. Probably still not intimidating enough.

American Truck Simulator Mods #11: Kenworth T680 “The General”

If you want an outrageous-looking truck but want to keep the realism, then may we suggest this Kenworth T680 “The General” mod. This truck is basically a recreation of the TRUX Accessories 2014 show car of the same name but was originally based on the 2014 Kenworth T660.

It has matte military green paint with green neon lights surrounding the truck. It’s cool, it’s intimidating, and best of all, it’s still based on a real truck. One of the must-have mods for the truckers looking to deliver cargo in style.

American Truck Simulator Mod Sites

The 11 mods we listed above are just a few of the available mods made by players and fans of the game. There are hundreds of other American Truck Simulator mods that you can download and try for the game on Steam.

So if you don’t see anything you fancy from our list above, be sure to check on Steam and other websites for mods that you might like! Here are some websites where you can find American Truck Simulator mods:

Keep in mind that some mods may not work with the other. Meaning that if you’ve installed a certain mod, then another mod might not work after you install it. This usually happens when you install two mods that affect the same aspect of the game.

For example, if you install the Smarty’s wheel pack, then other wheel mods might not work. We advise that you read the mod creator’s description to see if there are any compatibility issues since they might not work if you have a certain version of the game as well.

American Truck Simulator: Tips & Tricks For Beginners

If you’re new to American Truck Simulator, or you’ve just decided to download it after reading this post, there are a few tips you might want to keep in mind. Some of these tips may not be relevant if you’re using the money and EXP mods. But if you’re looking to only use mods that alter the visuals of the game, here are some useful tips:

1. Pick Quick Jobs

When choosing a job and cargo to deliver in the game, you can filter it by the length of the journey. Shorter journeys will obviously earn you less money and XP but are quicker to finish. This will then allow you to take more jobs in the same amount of time to finish a longer job.

If you’re just starting, it will be better to take quick jobs. This way, you’ll put more money in your trucker’s bank account more quickly, and gives you a steady income. Additionally, quick jobs won’t require you to have your own truck, so you won’t have to worry about gas and repairs.

2. Take Out A Loan

Taking out a loan can be scary, whether it’s in real life or in American Truck Simulator. But in the case of the latter, there’s no need to be afraid. Besides, you’re going to have to work on quick jobs for a long time to gather enough cash to buy a truck without taking out a loan.

We recommend gathering up $20,000 from quick jobs and then taking out a $100,000 loan from the bank to buy your own truck. Some trucks such as the Peterbilt 579 Duty Cabin costs $112,795. This will then open up more possibilities for you to earn money, including doing jobs with longer journeys.

One thing to note is that when you do deliveries with your own truck, you will need to pay for gas yourself. If the truck requires repairs, this will also come out of your own pocket. So while it does open up more job opportunities, owning a truck also means that there will be more expenses for you to pay.

3. Invest In These Skills

As you level up in the game, you will earn skill points that you can then invest in various skills in the game. When done correctly, these skills will benefit you greatly in the game and make life quite a lot easier. Here are the skills that we recommend you invest in when you level up:

  • Long Distance. This allows you to accept jobs with longer distances, and awards you with more money and experience points for doing so.
  • High-Value Cargo. You will earn more money and experience points every time you finish a high-value delivery.
  • Fragile Cargo. Investing in this skill will allow you to take up fragile cargo deliveries, which pay higher. You will also earn more money and experience for completing them.
  • Hazardous Cargo. Similar to fragile cargo, these jobs pay you more money. Investing in this skill will also earn you more money and experience points for completing the job.
  • Just-in-Time Delivery. This one’s also similar to the fragile cargo job, only it’s called an “important delivery”. Investing in this skill will allow you to accept this type of job. And of course, earn you more money and experience points.
  • Fuel Economy. You will become more fuel-efficient as you drive around, thus saving you gas money as you make deliveries.

We recommend spending your first skill point for the Long Distance skill. This will let you travel further and opens up a world of opportunities for you. After that, if you feel that the fuel costs are too high, then you should invest in Fuel Economy.

4. Watch Out For Cops

Being a simulator, American Truck Simulator tries its best to feel realistic and immersive. This includes driving laws and the cops in the game. Just because you’re in a game, doesn’t mean you can just drive about as you please while ignoring the law, not in this game anyway.

The cop cars are in black and white colors, and if you see them, best to drive in a civilized manner and abide by the traffic law. If a cop catches you breaking the law, such as running a red light, for example, you will have to pay a hefty fine.

Which will be fine if your trucking empire has grown and you are now a wealthy truck driver who’s still delivering cargo just for the fun of it. But if you’re just starting, then you literally can’t afford to get a fine.

5. Use Your Turn Signals

Admittedly, your turn signals might not be that important in real life. Your flick the indicator stalk, and you’re ready to turn left, but no one going to the other way seems to care and isn’t allowing you to turn. Thankfully, not in American Truck Simulator.

Putting on the turn signals to switch lanes or to make a turn will tell the AI traffic to get out of your way. Allowing you to switch lanes or turn safely without hitting anyone, keeping your cargo safe and your truck undamaged.

Additionally, not using your turn signal while turning can also result in a fine if a cop car is around. So unless you have a clear road and there are no cops in sight, always use your turn signals. Actually, always use your turn signals no matter what, both in American Truck Simulator and in real life. Be a safe driver. Speaking of which…

6. Drive Safely

As mentioned, breaking the law while a cop car is around will earn you a hefty fine. Additionally, once you have your own truck, you will be responsible for any repair costs should you need any.

Not to mention crashing will damage the cargo you’re delivering and decrease your earnings. It would be best to drive safely and avoid accidents and abide by the traffic rules to keep expenses at a minimum. Kind of like real life, really.

Facts about American Truck Simulator and Mods Installation

  1. American Truck Simulator is a truck simulator game developed by SCS Software from the Czech Republic.
  2. The game is available on various platforms such as Android, Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  3. It is a parallel sequel to Euro Truck Simulator 2 and a third installment in the Truck Simulator series.
  4. The game recently received the Volvo Construction Equipment DLC which offers five new construction machinery from the brand’s lineup.
  5. The DLC is available for Euro Truck Simulator 2 as well.
  6. The game takes place in an open-world scaled-down version of the United States.
  7. Players have to perform cargo delivery tasks to different destinations.
  8. Players must deliver payloads within a given time limit and without damaging the goods to receive compensation.
  9. Players can use in-game currency to purchase more trucks, customization, accessories, and upgrades.
  10. Mods can be installed in the game by ensuring that the mod file is a “.scs” file type, extracting the Zip or RAR file archives, pasting the “.scs” file in the mod folder path, and activating the mods in the Mod Manager in the main menu of the game.

American Truck Simulator Mods: Final Words

While developers spend thousands of hours developing a game, more often than not there are still improvements that can be made to the game. That’s where mods come in. It either changes or adds a new aspect to the game, improving your overall gaming experience. A lot of the time it will also inject new life into a game. Making it exciting to play once again even if you have spent hours playing it.

Be sure to read the descriptions from the mod creator, as there might be compatibility issues when installing a mod. This is perfectly normal since they’re not the original developers and are just enthusiasts trying to make the game more fun to play. Hopefully, you’ll have fun modding American Truck Simulator after reading this.

FAQs On American Truck Simulator Mods

If you’re still curious to learn more about American Truck Simulator mods, our FAQs here might help…

How To Play ATS Online

Back in the day, playing American Truck Simulator online with friends would typically require installing and running a mod. However, a recent update to the game has made this much easier. Now, you can officially (without any mods) play ATS online, with your friends, using its official multiplayer mode. This allows players to host their own sessions, either privately among friends or make it open to the public. In this multiplayer mode, you can do hauling jobs together with your friends. Or, partake in lengthy convoys with one another. All players in that multiplayer session will experience synchronized time, AI, and weather, too. For the time being, you can only add 8 people into a session at a time. However, in due time, we may see updates that would allow more players to join a single session.

How Much Is American Truck Simulator

At the moment, American Truck Simulator is available for purchase from Steam at a cost of $20.00. This is a pretty decent price given what you’re getting in return. Although, ATS also has a plethora of DLCs alongside the base and main game. Most of these DLCs add new vehicles and machinery into the game. Beyond that, ATS also has DLCs where they’d make certain parts of the US available to players – which didn’t have as much exposure as in the base game. These DLCs would also unlock new livery options, paint options, interior upgrades, and more. To get the most out of including these American Truck Simulator DLCs, you can try buying purchasing a bundle on Steam. These bundles are generally cheaper than buying each DLC one by one and include quite a bit more content.

Where To Install ATS Mods

Installing American Trucks Simulator mods is pretty easy. To begin, make sure that you’ve downloaded all the mods that you want to include in the game. Then, head into your computer’s MY DOCUMENTS folder, open up AMERICAN TRUCK SIMULATOR, and find the MOD folder. Once you’ve found this folder, head back to all those downloaded mod installation files. Next, you need to extract these mod installation files (usually, they come in ZIP or RAR form) into the aforementioned MOD folder. To test this out, crack open ATS after you’ve just installed the mods and open the built-in mod manager. Finally click on the mods that you want to specifically activate, and launch the game to see if it’s working as intended.

How To Make American Truck Simulator Skins

Creating a skin or livery for your truck in American Truck Simulator isn’t as hard as it might seem. You’ll first need two tools… An editing software like GetPaint or even Photoshop, as well as the ATS Mods Studio. Using ATS Mods Studio, you can download templates for the various trucks available in the game. These templates provide an outline of all the paint-able body panels which you can create a livery over. Once you have the templates, open this with GetPaint or Photoshop. From here, you can start getting more creative, by adding layers, fonts, decals, shapes, and so forth. Take some time, and after the livery’s all complete, save it as a PDN and DDS file. You can then copy this file into the game’s main installation folder to add the liveries into the game.

How To Get Unlimited Money In American Truck Simulator

There are several ways to get unlimited money in American Truck Simulator. First off, you’ll have to turn on console commands. This will require you to go to your DOCUMENTS folder on your computer and find the American Truck Simulator page. Then, you’ll need to make a couple of changes to the in-game config file. With the console command now turned on, you can start using the unlimited money cheat. Now, open the console in-game, and type in: g_set_time x. This should skip ahead the in-game time to 12.00 am on the following day. As it’s ticked over to a new day, you’ll start receiving money based on how many drivers you have under your business. If that doesn’t work as well, you might also consider installing unlimited money mods, too.

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Rob 05/30/2022 - 10:36 am

Great stuff, thanks. One more site that you should add to the list is

Zack Norman 08/03/2022 - 3:34 pm

Thanks for the comment, Rob!

Cheers for the recommendation too, they have some pretty great stuff there. We’ve now added this site to the list, thanks again!


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