BeamNG Drive: The Best Driving Simulator

By Rogelio Castillo Jr. 

March 1, 2024

BeamNG Drive is one of the greatest driving simulators created. Each car driven has an immense quality, with customization that cannot be compared. The mods can be compared to the quality of the developers with a detailed exterior and interior and near-infinite configuration. There is a reason why millions bought this game and many more will continue to buy it. There is a reason why BeamNG has become a top seller on Steam with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

What is BeamNG Drive?

As stated on their Steam page, BeamNG is “a dynamic soft-body physics vehicle simulator capable of doing just about anything.” This is very literal, as the physics is what sets this game apart from other games in the driving simulator genre. The physics engine is regarded as one of the most realistic and the driving is considered to be very close to real life. The community is also incredible, with hundreds of high quality mods. There are Dodge Chargers, F1 Cars, and even a flying Pigeon with rockets! There are maps for destruction, others for jumps, and even maps that represent real places!

Speaking of maps, the game has multiple maps that span from the West Coast of America to the countryside of Italy. These maps are also fully explorable and open world. There are no missions, quests, or goals forced upon the player, nor is the vehicle driven. The primary gamemode is “freeroam”, which is practically a creative mode. A campaign is being developed, however it is not fully released at this moment.

What Does “BeamNG” Even Mean?

Almost all racing games use different simulation engines, each of which have an “arcade” feeling to them, or an unrealistic feel. This is due to the soft-body physics engine. This essentially means that all of the car models in the game can bend and deform. In BeamNG, as the name suggests, there are Beams and Nodes to represent soft-body. 

Each node can have different properties to represent the softness of a tire while other nodes are rigid for frames and body panels. The crashing is also phenomenal because of this. Taking a front-end impact will be similar to real life, with the glass broken and engine acting as a crumple zone. No other game can compete to this level of realism. 

Modding / Customization

As previously mentioned, there is a high degree of customization in the default vehicles. Take for example the famous Gavril D, similar to a GM Pickup. It is possible to change the frame, if it was a day or crew cab, the choice of having doors or not, windshields, or even seats and steering wheels. The engine can also be changed. V6 Gas? Sure. V8 Gas or Diesel? Of course! Even the fuel tank is a component that needs to be when switching the engine in the configuration menu. Choosing the engine block is even an option! There are also stock and race options for most components. The TLDR is, BeamNG has an insane amount of configuration for all 37 developer-created cars. 

Again, no other game can compete on this level of high-quality customization. That is only for the developer cars, however. The modding community arguably has the same or higher quality mods than the default. A perfect example is the Hirochi CCF by Theo Wilkinson with gas, diesel, and electric versions available without compromise. 

Modders have also created real life cars. To note a few, the Toyota 4-Runner, Toyota Camry, Land Rover Defender, F1 and NASCAR Gen 6 cars. The quality for all these mods is considered dev-like. BeamNG also embraces mods, having their own repository in-game and the ability to get mods outside of the BeamNG forums.

Is BeamNG Worth it?

In short, BeamNG drive is one of the best driving simulators in the market. The physics engine is the most realistic made, and could be used to practice for real driving and racing. Each car can be vastly customized, down to the smallest details of the Engine and the body. And the smallest crash can drastically change the car handling or full crashes look realistic. Modding is also incredible in this game. There are vehicles that seem as if they are from real life while also feeling like it. These are the reasons why BeamNG is one of the highest rated games on Steam and will most likely continue to be the best driving simulator for many.