I know what you‘re wondering – with so many free-to-play games out there, surely BeamNG.drive must be available for free, right?
Well, I hate to break it to you but the short answer is no, BeamNG is not a free game. If you want access to everything it has to offer, you‘ll need to purchase it.
But don‘t tune out just yet! In this in-depth guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about BeamNG‘s pricing, free options, alternatives, and whether it‘s ultimately worth buying. Just stick with me!
An Overview of BeamNG For The Uninitiated
Before we dive into the pricing, let me give you a quick overview of what BeamNG actually is for those who may not be familiar with this indie darling.
In essence, BeamNG.drive is an ultra-realistic, soft-body vehicle simulator for PC that gives you an incredible degree of control over your vehicles. Using a proprietary physics engine, you can tweak every parameter of your cars and trucks – from the stiffness of individual suspension components to the constructed materials used in each panel.
But BeamNG really shines in terms of damage modeling. Using soft-body physics, your vehicles deform, dent, and crumble with an accuracy never before seen in a video game. Crashing your rides in BeamNG is almost disturbingly lifelike!
Beyond crashes, BeamNG gives you a sandbox to test out your customized vehicles across a variety of maps, from everyday suburban roads to challenging off-road trails. Add in community mods for extra cars and maps, and you have a motorhead‘s dream simulator!
For tech and driving enthusiasts, BeamNG offers an unparalleled virtual garage for tinkering with realistic vehicle physics and experiencing real-world car characteristics in a safe, virtual environment.
Which brings us to the question at hand – how much does access to this automotive sandbox cost?
BeamNG is Primarily a Paid Game
After that overview, you may think such an in-depth simulator HAS to be free, right?
BeamNG.drive is currently a paid game, with the standard edition retailing for $24.99 USD.
So if you want to enjoy the 10+ basemaps, 60+ vehicles, endless customization options, vibrant modding community and realistic soft-body physics that BeamNG is known for, you‘ll need to buy the game.
I know, I know. No one likes being asked to pay for something, especially when we‘re all used to snagging free games left and right. But trust me, once you dig into all that BeamNG has to offer, that $25 will feel like a steal!
Why BeamNG Isn‘t Free
You might be scratching your head wondering why such an indie game from a small developer charges money upfront. Can‘t they just make it free and sell skins or something?
Well, the reasoning is pretty simple:
No ads/microtransactions – Unlike free-to-play games, BeamNG doesn‘t rely on intrusive ads or "pay-to-win" purchases. Everything is included with one purchase.
Ongoing development – Over a decade of constant improvements require dev costs to be recouped. No publisher means they need revenue.
Niche product – As a niche simulator, the potential audience is smaller than a mass market game. Sales justify the dev time.
Covers platform fees – Being sold on Steam also means fees to cover, necessitating a base price.
Basically, you‘re paying for a complete, uninterrupted experience free of ads and microtransactions from an indie team that relies on game sales to fund ongoing development of this specialized automotive platform.
Still wish it was free? I get it. But trust me, once you get your hands on BeamNG, you‘ll understand why a paid model is necessary.
Ways to Try BeamNG For Free
Alright, so BeamNG isn‘t just available for free right off the bat. But that doesn‘t mean there aren‘t ways to test it out without paying at first. Let‘s look at some options:
BeamNG offers a free early access demo that gives you a taste of the soft-body physics and driving. It includes:
- 3 vehicles – ETK800, ETK-K Series, pickup truck
- 2 scenarios to try out
- Limited saving/exporting
- Missing many features of full game
While limited, the demo is great for getting your feet wet before you buy. You can download it from the BeamNG site.
Steam Free Weekends
A few times a year, BeamNG has free weekend promotions on Steam allowing full access for 48-72 hours. This gives you unlimited unrestricted gameplay to really try before buying.
Keep watch on Steam for these too-good-to-be-true deals a few times annually!
Content Creator Giveaways
The BeamNG devs occasionally provide game codes to YouTubers or influencers who then run giveaways. For example, youtuber [KDub2706] does BeamNG code giveaways for subscribers occasionally.
While random, giveaways are a nice perk of following BeamNG accounts and content creators closely for your chance to win a free copy.
Game Sharing with Friends
If you have a gracious Steam friend who already owns BeamNG, they can share their library using Steam‘s game sharing feature. You‘ll have temporary access as long as they aren‘t playing.
So bug all those friend who are into cars and physics sims – maybe one will share!
BeamNG Alternatives If You Can‘t Buy
Maybe none of those options worked out and you still don‘t want to shell out for BeamNG right now. Are there any good free alternatives to get your car crash physics fix?
Here are some options:
City Car Driving
This is a more dated but still solid vehicle simulator focused on real-world road dynamics. The base version is free on Steam making it a great BeamNG substitute.
RB Racing 3
While more arcade-style, RB Racing 3 has simulated vehicle physics and is free on mobile. Good portable BeamNG-ish fun.
This mobile game has simpler graphics but lets you crash and deform cars to your heart‘s content. It‘s free on iOS and Android making it perfect BeamNG crash practice.
OpenBOR is an open-source game engine for vehicle physics and crashes. Requires modding knowledge but is 100% free.
So while not perfect substitutes, these free games capture elements of the BeamNG experience. Great to hold you over as you save up for the real thing!
How Can You Get BeamNG For Free Legally?
Alright, we‘ve established BeamNG is primarily paid. But are there any legitimate ways to get it for free or at least at a major discount? Let‘s discuss:
Buy a Discount Steam Key
Sites like Kinguin or G2A sell official Steam keys at a discount, often 20-30% cheaper. The keys are legit, just resold – check reviews to buy safely!
Wait For a Sale
BeamNG regularly has 25-50% sales on Steam and their site around the holidays or big events. Wishlist it on Steam and grab it when discounted!
We covered promotional giveaways earlier. While unpredictable, following BeamNG socials may net you a free copy through contests one day!
Borrow from a Friend
Again, if you have a generous Steam friend who isn‘t playing BeamNG 24/7, they may share their library temporarily using Steam‘s family sharing.
Outside of these money-saving tactics, there are unfortunately no shady "free" downloader sites I‘d recommend for getting BeamNG entirely free forever. Any pirated copies come with malware and legal risks so I‘d avoid those if I were you.
But with discount keys, sales and giveaways, you can hopefully score BeamNG for cheap or free with patience!
Is BeamNG Worth The $25 Price Tag?
Alright, so BeamNG costs money – but is it worth shelling out $25 bucks for? Or should you just stick to free games?
Well, as someone whose dumped 100+ hours into BeamNG over the years, I can definitively say it‘s absolutely worth the price tag – especially if you‘re a car nerd.
Let‘s quickly look at why it‘s worth it:
Incredible physics – The soft-body deformation is second to none – crashes look scarily real. An automotive engineer‘s dream.
Endless customization – From tire treads to gear ratios, you can tweak every facet imaginable to design your ideal ride.
Active modding community – Get 5x the content through mods like extra cars, maps, and scenarios.
Surprisingly optimized – Runs well even on mid-range hardware thanks to the optimized engine.
No microtransactions – One $25 purchase gets you everything. No annoying "premium" add-ons or loot boxes.
Free updates – The devs constantly add new content like cars and features for free.
Considering most major titles cost upwards of $60 these days, BeamNG‘s one-time $25 asking price is more than fair for literally endless vehicular engineering entertainment.
For driving fans, BeamNG is easily worth every penny – I can‘t recommend it enough if car culture is your thing!
To Sum It All Up…
Let‘s do a quick recap of everything we covered today:
BeamNG.drive is primarily a paid game – No free, full version exists except for limited trials.
It costs $24.99 – On both Steam and direct from the BeamNG site. Totally worth it!
There‘s a free demo – Lets you sample the physics and gameplay before committing.
Discounts are available – Steam sales, discounted keys, etc can save you money.
Alternatives exist – For mobile or free driving fun.
It‘s 100% worth buying – Especially for gearheads who will get endless hours of engineering enjoyment.
So in summary – is BeamNG free? Unfortunately not. But for only $25, it may be one of the most satisfying purchases you‘ll ever make as a simulated driving fan.
The free demo and money-saving tips in this guide should help you get your hands on BeamNG without breaking the bank. And once you do, trust me – you‘ll realize pretty quickly it was worth every penny.
Let me know when you finally start BeamNG up for the first time – I look forward to hearing about all the awesome cars and crashes you‘ll experience in this automotive masterpiece!