Open-world vehicle simulation game
BeamNG GmbH is the developer for this open-world vehicle driving game, which saw an initial release in 2013 before entering Early Access in 2015. It followed the success of the off-road truck simulator Rigs of Rods. There are several soft-body physics components at play, delivering greater control over car crashes and design dynamics.
Vehicle simulation long in the making
Development of BeamNG.Drive began in 2011 when a few Rigs of Rods developers moved onto a new project. They were looking to build a new drive physics engine that could handle collisions.
While they started working on the game with CryEngine 3, it eventually moved over to Torque. The latter was better equipped to handle the soft-body physics that were unique to BeamNG.Drive. The cars’ internal design resembled ‘beams’, where the team derived the name from, followed by ‘NG’ for New Generation.
In 2013, the car driving simulator had a soft release with some Alpha testing, followed by an Early Access launch in 2015, that contained additional features for a new platform. The year 2018 saw a new partnership with Camshaft Software whereby players could export vehicles crafted in the tycoon game Automation to BeamNG.Drive
BeamNG.Drive gameplay mechanics
Several modes are available in BeamNG.Drive, most notably Campaign and Time Trial. You’ll find various scenarios to play in the former whereby you need to complete different objectives for rewards. Time Trial lets you select a map route, vehicle, and level, testing you against the best and personal times.
Free roam is also available for players who want to experience the feeling of crashing their cars into anything and everything that comes in their way. The soft-body physics doesn’t only apply to your vehicle but also to any unfortunate object you happen to collide with during your chaotic adventures. Furthermore, free roam lets you manipulate items and change weather conditions.
While BeamNG.Drive was designed to be a single-player experience, with mods to enable multiplayer modes. For example, you can install BeamMP to join with friends and online gamers. There’s also support in case you need assistance with any issues.
While these extra modifications may be free, you’ll still need to buy BeamNG.Drive before you can download and install any of them.
Top features of BeamNG.Drive
One of the top features of BeamNG.Drive is that any players who signed up for Alpha and Beta testing will receive the vehicle simulator game free during and after Early Access. Furthermore, you’ll also receive all the latest items and cars if you already own the title.
Whether you prefer playing on a keyboard or gamepad, both are possible. At the moment, fourteen vehicles are available to crash and drive anywhere on the map, with more to come through further development. There’s also an option to set your alert preferences for the messaging app.
With more than ten terrains for you to explore, BeamNG.Drive allows modding so that you can create new maps, vehicles, or scripted gameplay. You’ll also have access to an advanced editing tool where you can refine or adapt any of the design details. The options include 3D modeling, as well as terrain, image, and text editing.
The base game’s single-player mode doesn’t require authentication or an internet connection. You can drive around and cause as much offline chaos as you wish. However, you’ll need the internet if you installed any multiplayer mods and want to play online with your friends.
Comparison with similar games
Many gamers compare BeamNG.Drive with the original game that featured the soft-body physics, Rigs of Rods. On the one hand, players love that Rigs is free, whereas, for Beam, you need to pay. Furthermore, Rigs has better handling and mechanics for trucks with BeamNG.Drive’s design catering to lighter cars.
Another fan favorite is Wreckfest. The top advantage of this racing game is that there’s an online multiplayer without the addition of modifications. BeamNG.Drive, however, takes the win here for its physics engine, massive maps, and thrilling car chases.
Finally, you may want to try out SPINTIRES. It has a broader focus on off-road vehicles, with linear objectives that expect you to carry cargo from Point A to B. The game also employs soft-body physics.
What specs do I need for BeamNG.Drive?
Determining the specifications for games is crucial. You want as much detail as possible without the software eating at your computer’s resources, specifically the memory and storage space. It helps if you have a good PC for BeamNG.Drive, but you can play it on lower specs or a laptop.
The main effect is lower performance and unsatisfactory graphical detail. Even the soft-body physics won’t appear as realistic, and you’ll feel somewhat disappointed. The minimum requirement is Windows 7. However, for the ultimate experience, you'll want to play BeamNG.Drive on Window 10.
Here are the recommended specifications for BeamNG.Drive on Windows 10 based on a resolution of 1080p:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 3.0Ghz or Intel Core i7-6700 3.4Ghz
- Memory: 16 GB RAM
- Graphics: AMD R9 290 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 970
- Storage: 20 GB
If you plan on installing mods, you’ll need more resources. Also, the developer recommends using a gamepad.
Drive and crash to your heart’s content
Many players enjoy the exhilarating experience that BeamNG.Drive offers. The soft-body physics gives off a sense of realism as you watch body parts fly everywhere around you. While there are several alternatives to the vehicle simulation game, this one delivers in a way that few others can match.