Aura Sync lights the way in Euro Truck Simulator 2

Articles: Gaming
May 23, 2020 Written by:Eric Born

I’m on a highway, traveling west from Bern and heading to Geneva. The large concrete cylinder strapped to my trailer is just a little wider than what I’m used to hauling, especially on a narrow and winding mountain road, but it’s a gorgeous day and I can’t help but take a few peeks at the scenery. Underneath puffy white clouds, golden sunlight bathes the verdant countryside. The experience is oddly relaxing, but my focus slips. There’s a curved tunnel up ahead, and a cluster of other semi trucks (or lorries) heading into it. I check my mirrors, trying to keep inside the lanes, but an errant twitch of my mouse sends my wheel into a curb. Blue and red lights flash everywhere, and my truck flips over on its side.


I’m playing Euro Truck Simulator 2, a popular driving sim that’s been newly updated with ASUS Aura Sync integration. Now, as you take on deliveries, master the art of backing up a trailer, and build your European trucking empire, the game will coordinate your Aura-compatible RGB LED lighting with the controls and on-the-road events. I did just that to see how Aura integration enhances the experience. (And as seen above, you can even get an ROG paint job mod for the Mercedes-Benz New Actros truck to show your allegiance.)

Frankly, I was a little unsure about the premise of the game at first. Driving a truck? If I’m going to tour Europe, I’d rather do so in a luxury sports car, thank you. And why would I want a game that realistically simulates the experience of waiting at a red light?

As it turns out, many people not only want a hyper-realistic truck driving simulator, they routinely praise Euro Truck Simulator 2 as one of the best options out there, even eight years after its initial release. The game has garnered over 222,000 user reviews on Steam, a whopping 97% of which are positive. SCS Software must be doing something right here.


My first experiences with the game showed me how a trucking simulator could be both challenging and engrossing. After selecting my character and control options, I opted to locate my operations in the quiet hills of Aberdeen, Scotland. I glossed over the tutorial, foolishly assuming that a driving game couldn’t be that complicated. I accepted my first job and hit the accelerator.

Unfortunately, that was the wrong move. My starting position required me to back up before turning and pulling out of the lot. I was not prepared to back up, not with an attached fifty-ish foot trailer. I floundered. I jack-knifed the truck—multiple times. I tried to bypass the problem by running over a bundled pile of logs, a strategy that predictably and miserably failed.

This ill-fated attempt to bludgeon my way out of a tight spot did give me a front-row seat to one of the coolest parts of Euro Truck Simulator 2’s integration of Aura Sync. If you’re about to get in an accident, all of your compatible peripherals and components will flash blue. On my desk, that sudden glow is impossible to miss. In addition to the ROG Strix Flare keyboard and ROG Gladius II mouse, both of which are decked out in RGB LED brilliance, I have our new ROG Strix GA35, a powerhouse desktop featuring an AMD Ryzen 3950X and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. With RGB LEDs running across its graphics card, motherboard, liquid cooling pump, a strip inside the case, and a broad vertical slash across the front panel, the GA35 puts on quite a show. If my truck sustains damage, all those lights turn red, and if I get in trouble with the law, they alternate red and blue as a police siren wails.


My early failures with the game didn’t discourage me from playing more. They challenged me to improve my skills. I started a fresh game, making a conscious decision to pay attention to the tutorial this time, and I’m glad that I did. Euro Truck Simulator 2 makes clever use of RGB LED lighting cues to streamline your process through the tutorial. When it instructed me to turn on the engine, there was no question about which key to push: the “e” key was glowing a bright white, while the rest of the keyboard had dark blue backlighting. At every step, the keyboard used color to show me exactly what to push and when. It’s an extremely natural process for onboarding new players, and it doesn’t require any extra setup at all.

Euro Truck Simulator 2’s Aura Sync integration trucks straight on through the tutorial and into the game proper. When you’re out on the road, each key that’s bound to a function is illuminated. Groups of colors indicate similar functions. For example, the arrow and WASD keys are lit up with a bold green. You can change your driving perspective using the number keys that ETS2 sets apart with orange. The current option is highlighted in yellow. The ROG Strix Flare keyboard on my desk is a particularly good deck for showing off the Aura Sync functionality in this game. Since the key caps are raised slightly from the surface of the keyboard, the lighting is distinct and vivid, and the underglow from LED strips on the left and right sides of the board makes the red and blue flashes from accidents and near-misses feel even more immersive.


My Gladius II mouse works fine for steering, and I enjoy that the curved RGB LED strip along its base changes from green to red whenever I break the speed limit, but I prefer using a controller for Euro Truck Simulator 2. Pedals, a gear shifter, and a wheel would be even better, but my man cave doesn’t have a full driving sim rig—at least, not yet. Even when I use a controller, the Aura Sync-controlled RGB LEDs on my ROG gear prove quite useful. The lights still react to in-game events like accidents, and the keyboard maintains the same layout so I can use the functions not mapped to the controller, like switching quickly between one of the eight camera perspectives.


Overall, the Aura Sync functionality in Euro Truck Simulator 2 works the way I’ve always hoped RGB LED hardware would work. The game intelligently uses the available lighting on my gear to accentuate in-game events and make the controls easier to use. From the glow that warns me when I’m breaking the speed limit to the brilliant flashes that warn of an impending accident, each element of the game’s Aura Sync integration is thoughtfully executed and well worth checking out.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a job in Geneva to complete. This concrete cylinder isn’t going to deliver itself.