A Very Important Guide On How To Recreate Optimus Prime In American Truck Simulator

It’s been a week of unspeakable magnitude. Never mind the impending fall of society: the Peterbilt 389 has just been added to American Truck Simulator [official site]. The 389 is the updated model of the 379, a true legend of the road. I write that as though I know anything at all about trucks. I don’t, apart this: Optimus Prime is a Peterbilt 379.

Well, he is now, in those frightful Michael Bay movies. Before that he was a Freightliner. It is extremely important to me that I have a choice of Optimii for my pretend lorry driving, and so it is that I bring you this unspeakably vital guide on how to introduce either classic, or ‘G1’, Prime or movieverse Prime into the wonderful ATS.

The long-nosed, flame-flecked movie Optimus is the easiest, given this week’s release of the Peterbilt 389 as official, free DLC. Just make sure your copy of ATS is all up to date on Steam and it’ll be in there – though you’ll need a big chunk of cash, a level 20 driver and a free garage slot before you can have it.

If all that’s in order, pick a Peterbilt garage from the in-game map and go browse the various 389s on offer. Now, it’s not possible to make an exact recreation of the artist formerly known as Orion Pax, but I’m betting that a user-made skin for a much closer effect will be along within a matter of days.

Here are the options I picked in order to get as close as I could:

Low Roof Sleeper cabin
Chrome Exclusive sideskirts
Seagull Chrome rims
Chrome Sunsharp visor
A full row of Lumen Mark II cabin lights
Mirrors Chrome
Chrome Air Filter With Lights
Bumper Standard Flares
Plain Stacks exhaust
Grill Exclusive

And that’s yer basic Optimus shape. For the first three Bay movies, at least. They gave him a new model of truck for the fourth movie, but I couldn’t even finish watching that one, and hence do not care in the slightest.

As for colour scheme, go pick, obviously ‘flames’ from the paint options. Now, movie Optimus has an extra set of flames around his rear wheels and a two-tone nose, but ATS’ painting options don’t support that so we need to compromise. There are four ‘paint’ boxes on the interface. Pick a nice dark-but-not-too-dark blue for the first (furthest left) one to give the cab its main colour, and the same colour again for the second one (this makes a sort of wispy effect around the flames, which Optimus does not have, turn invisible). Then grab something orange for the third, and finally a suitably flame-y red for the fourth.

Yes, this does mean the flame colours on the nose are essentially inverted from the real deal, but the alternative is to make the cabin red, and that’s even further South from screen accurate.

Honestly, the overall effect is very Optimusy indeed, and in any case you’ll be able to just slap a new colour scheme on when the inevitable skin mod is released.

As for The One, True, 1980s Optimus, you can’t rely on official help there. You, sir or madam, need a mod. Two, in fact. The first you’ll need to go download manually, from here. This gives you an accurately-modelled Freightliner FLB to buy, as edited together from various efforts by one Solaris36.

Note that it is not an exact recreation of the vintage Optimus Prime toy or cartoon model, as that was not an accurate recreation of a Freightliner FLB. But it’s Optimus. You only have to look at that to know it.

Once you’ve downloaded the mod, extract the .SCS from inside it and paste it into My Documents - American Truck Simulator - Mod.

If you’ve had all you can bear already or are content with just red, flat-nosed, cab-over-engine truck, you can now fire up ATS, click Mod Manager on the first screen and select the Freightliner FLB add-on there, then go buy your new wheels from the nearest Kenworth garage.

However, for a far fuller effect, you want to visit this link on the Steam Workshop.

There’s your full-on red’n’silver look, complete with honking great Autobot logo on one side. Sadly it hasn’t been able to make the ‘legs’ blue, but it’s good enough.

Subscribing to the mod will auto-download it, but you still need to activate it in-game via the mod manager. Then, after choosing to buy a Freightliner FLB, you’ll see a new Optimus Prime colour scheme in the paint options. There’s a few tweaks you’ll want to do yet:

Twin Alum Pipe Short smokestacks
Seagull Wide rear wheels/rims
Custom Bumper 2
Chrome tanks
Remove visor

And there you go. Roll out.

Next week, I’ll be telling you how to mod a screen-accurate Galvatron into Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.


  1. rustic says:

    This might not be the games journalism we deserve, but the games journalism we have been longing for. You crowdpleasers there.

  2. Halk says:

    “Optimii” !?!

    • Oridan says:

      Yeah, really? The plural of Optimus is clearly “Optimeese”.

      • davebo says:

        Agreed, and you encounter several traveling together it’s a rollout of Optimeese.

  3. Optimaximal says:

    Will a screen-accurate Galvatron be able to fly around inside a screen-accurate Cyclonus?

  4. sleepisthebrotherofdeath says:

    I never wanted to play American Truck Simulator… until now.

  5. Ashabel says:

    I never liked the Peterbilt 379 as a vehicle mode for Optimus. It’s one of the most pretentious vanity trucks on the market and was pretty glaringly chosen for the movie because it looks so pompous.

    I much prefer the considerably toned down version of the thing from Transformers Prime. It’s unfortunate that the game doesn’t seem to support its awesome color scheme.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I remember reading in some press for the lead up to the first movie that they chose that model of truck because it was the biggest real world truck available and they wanted everything to be to scale.

  6. NetharSpinos says:

    The official music required to listen to whilst driving Optimus, of course, goes without saying.

    • Archangel says:

      +1 Internets for you, sir. I should think “Mr. Krinkle” for those long desert night hauls.

  7. thekelvingreen says:

    By the golden spires of Iacon, this is a thing of beauty.

  8. frogulox says:

    I still have a 25 year old Optimus Prime, but not hands or accessories, which legitimately makes me feel bad.

    Also I recently watched Mark Wahlberg do something something in what claimed to be a transformers movie.
    It hurt me.
    I couldn’t look away.
    The pain was too real.

    • frogulox says:

      Oh, and more relevant to the article:

      I don’t really fuss around with mods and whatnot a whole lot, but this kind of stuff reminds me of why others do, and I love that customisability is more commonplace now and that there are SO many people that create and share things for people.

      I also enjoyed this article even though I don’t have any truck simulators about my person.
      Has RPS considered a weekly modscene article?

  9. Arthur ASCII says:

    I’ve never seen the Transformers movies and didn’t know what Optimus Prime is until I saw the unofficial ETS mod a year or so ago. Speaking of trucks from movies I have seen, whatever stopped SCS from making official DLC of arguably more iconic movie trucks from classic films like the rusty Peterbilt 281 + fuel cistern (Steven Spielberg’s Duel, 1971) and Kris Kristofferson’s black Mack RS700L (Sam Peckinpah’s Convoy, 1978)? Did Mack and Peterbilt refuse SCS a “licence”, or are the costs too high? Or would those two vintage trucks “copyright” now be in the hands of the movie studios and/or respective private owners who are possibly asking ridiculous licensing fees? If the latter, then no problem – once we have the base factory models, we can always make our own custom personal skins. If the former, then surely the whole concept of licensing and copyright is moot in this case as it would essentially be free advertising for Peterbilt/PACCAR and the Mack corporation? (advertising costs & fees are huge). Not that those vintage models are even being manufactured anymore, so what’s the deal? Surely they’re screaming out to be official “Classic DLC” in ATS if for no other reason to encourage sales and more players? The unofficial Peterbilt 351 mod + the kriechbaum sound & smoke mod is by far the best truck in ATS with possibly the (buggy) Mack V8 Superliner coming close. AFAIK, there was only one unfinished Rubber Duck Mack RS700L and a strange lack of interest from the modding community wanting to see it finished?

    • bill says:

      You lucky guy! NEVER watch the transformers movies.

      You could probably watch the cartoons, but without the nostalgia it becomes much more obvious how they are just big toy commercials.

      As for classic movie trucks as DLC – sounds like a great idea.
      I’d like a Kenworth K100 in a Universal Soldier variant:
      link to manlymovie.net
      (which is apparently the same truck from the T2 chase).

      The Mad Max trucks from Mad Max 2 and Fury Road would seem obvious choices too.

      After that, I’m running low on ideas…

  10. Neurotic says:

    As a 43-year-old die-hard G1 fan, I’ve learned to love nearly all manifestations of Transformers (well, except for the Kiss Players). This wide-ranging love does not include the Bayformers, although I do have to say, that in my personal opinion number 4 was the best of the bunch so far. (Note: I’ve only seen 2 and 4).

    • Phasma Felis says:

      I watched the first one and I’m not making that mistake again.