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BeamNG.drivenote  is a car game that makes use of "advanced softbody physics", which means a use of so-called beams and nodes to make up a vehicle (which can bend, deform and break from collisions). It is meant to be as realistic as possible when it comes to vehicle behaviour. BeamNG.drive is also very moddable and edit-friendly due to being built in the Torque 3D engine.

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The first public alpha was version 0.3, which debuted in August 2013. In August 2014, it was greenlit on Steam. The current version is the 0.17.1 alpha.

The game's website can be found here.


Tropes in BeamNG.drive:

  • The Alleged Car: The Ibishu Pigeon is a 3-wheeler with a tiny 27-horsepower engine and crippling instability in sharp turns (even with the stabilizers).
    • The stanced Ibishu Pessima has virtually no ride height and crappy handling.
    • The beater Ibishu Covet has a 1.5-litre carburetted engine with a blown head gasket, broken shocks, worn tires and a dirty, rusty body.
    • One scenario has you driving a cement mixer that not only likes to tip over in corners, but also loses parts as you drive it. The parts actually fall off so quickly that it is hard to complete the challenge (which takes about 4 minutes) without everything falling off before the truck reaches the finish.
  • Amphibious Automobile: More like Submarine Automobile — in the earliest versions, cars were able to work underwater. This has, however, been fixed, as engines will flood and hydrolock when running, which leads to something interesting where you can save a car's engine by shutting it off if it's flooding.note 
    • Most of the vehicles with dedicated off-road variants, like the Gavril Roamer, Gavril D-Series and Ibishu Hopper, can have a snorkel attached to the intake, allowing them to cross through deeper rivers like in Utah or traverse muddy and boggy areas. In-fact, it helps cool down your brakes and coolant by submerging the brake discs and radiator, respectively.
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    • The electric version of the Hirochi SBR4, the eSBR, can drive underwater; it has no intakes to flood, with the water simply serving to cool the motors and brakes.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Zig-Zagged with this and Artificial Stupidity. If AI-driven cars don't crash, they're actually very adept with turning speeds and the cornering ability of their vehicles (provided the map's routes are laid out correctly). Part of their tendency to crash is not knowing about the presence of obstacles, so while it might be okay to slide off the road a little bit, it's not as okay when there are big trees lining the side of the road. It also averts Lemming Cops to some degree; cars chasing you at higher speeds tend to brake and back off to try and nudge you off the road rather than ramming you in full force.
    • 0.17's traffic system is relatively competent at following between the lines, signalling and stopping at signs and lights but they're not perfect, which winds up adding a bit of realism.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The drag cars have more than 900 HP and do 0-60 in about 2 seconds, but cornering is kind of an issue. Even launching can be an issue with torque forces in play — the whole car tilts to the right if you floor it from a standing start, which can result in the front left tire leaving the ground and your car crashing if you can't control the launch. They also overheat alarmingly fast, even when you have the best possible radiator and you're starting with a cold engine rather than a preheated one.
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  • Artistic License – Cars: Averted. Being an out-and-out simulator, the developers do nearly everything to prevent this trope from going into play.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The game contains a few brand and car names that mean something in different languages:
    • Gavril, an automaker's name, is one of the versions of the name Gabriel, which is the lead vehicle designer's first name.
    • Civetta Bolide literally translates to "Owl Fireball" in Italian.
    • "Miramar", the name of a Japanese 60s sedan, is Spanish for "sea view", and is a possible reference to the rust problems of early Japanese cars (like Datsuns).
    • "Pessima", a line of 80s and 90s Japanese midsize sedans, is "bad" in Italian.
    • The piano prop's model name is "MusicaFicta". "Musica ficta" means "fake music" in Latin, and is also a term for any pitches added during a live musical performance.
  • Boring Yet Practical: A few cars:
    • The Ibishu Pessima GTz is a late 80s Japanese midsize sedan... with over 200 HP and AWD.
      • And while the ZX version of the Pessima is less powerful and only has FWD, it can optionally have 4-wheel steering (which gives it a very good turning circle, beaten only by the Pigeon).
    • The Gavril D15 Offroad (and its Extended Cab version) might be just a redneck truck on the outside, but it is the best stock offroader in the game and does 0-60 in 4 seconds.
    • The Gavril Roamer is a 90s soccer mom SUV — albeit an extremely durable one.
    • The Ibishu Covet is an 80/90s subcompact, but even the base models have good handling (except the beater version).
  • Big Badass Rig: The Gavril T75 does look rather pedestrian, but it has a massive 10.6-litre (647 cubic inch) engine and an optional ram plow.
  • Character Customization: Both the parts editor and especially the garage allow you to freely modify a car, swapping out or adding parts from other variants, tuning the parts, giving the car a paint job, and changing the lettering and design of the Vanity License Plate before saving them as the default vehicle that the game starts you in when loading a level and/or as a custom variant.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: The eSBR. Like many other electric cars, it produces high amounts of consistent torque without the need to shift gears at all, but said torque can be difficult to control — especially in the 800 model, where so much as tapping the accelerator causes the car to lurch when starting off. The battery life is also quite limiting, especially on the track.
  • Cool Car: The mid-engined Civetta Bolide supercar, the rear-engined Hirochi SBR4 sports car, the Gavril Barstow muscle car, and any of the competition or performance versions of cars.
  • Crossover: With Automation, in which you can export car designs from that game to drive it yourself, along with this game getting the Automation test track, allowing players of both games to test their car designs personally. Players who own one of the two games even got a 20% off coupon for the other on Steam when the respective updates launched.
  • Chronically Crashed Car: Every single one the player drives (usually).
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Civetta Bolide, an Italian 80s supercar without any modern bells and whistles like ABS or TCS. It's significantly easier to drive with a gamepad (or especially a steering wheel) and, if you master it, it's a very fast and nimble car along with being very fun to drive.
    • Heck, any car without ESC or TCS can be this to keyboard drivers (due to the lack of proportional controls, which gamepads and wheels have), but it's all the more satisfying when you tame a Barstow with little more than the WASD keys.
  • Driving Stick: The game gives you the choice between an arcade gearing style (where gas just means forward and holding brake reverses the car after stopping) and realistic gearing. With automatics, this means you have to put it into the proper mode and it cycles like a real automatic: Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, and then the specialized modes (which can be 2 and 1 in older automatics to Sport and Semi-Automatic in modern manumatics and DCTs). While keyboard, gamepads and non-stick wheels allow you to move through the positions sequentially, wheels with sticks like the Logitech G2(X) series not only let you use the stick for manual gears but also for positions in an automatic (1st = Park, 2nd = Drive, etc).
    • The game offers multiple gearbox-related assists that you can turn on and off at will. Clutch assistance allows you to change gears without having to use the clutch pedal — otherwise you'll damage the desired gear when shifting into it while the clutch is still engaged. Throttle assistance cuts the throttle when shifting, preventing the engine from revving up, and will automatically rev-match for you, preventing lurches and clutch strain. Gear selection safety stops you from shifting into a lower gear that would put the engine beyond the redline and also prevents you from shifting out of semi-automatic in manumatics and DCTs.
    • 0.11 introduced sequential transmissions that only require you to (without the clutch assist) clutch in when shifting into first or reverse to prevent a stall when starting off, but afterwards, you can freely shift up or down without using the clutch until you come to a stop.
  • Eagleland: Available as a skin for the Gavril T75, complete with bald eagle.
    • The "Hero" bus, a stunt city bus equipped with rockets and a cape, is a literal Flying Brick decked out in red, white and blue.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Downplayed; a hard enough impact to the engine or gas tank can set those respective parts on fire. Otherwise, the radial menu allows you to explode any car on command, deflating the tires and setting the car on fire to eventually overheat and melt the engine.
    • Averted before the 0.5 update; cars weren't able to catch fire no matter how they crashed.
  • Explosive Overclocking: If you edit a car's engine files, you can have a car that has tons of power... and overheats constantly, if you don't modify the cooling system files as well.
    • In-game, adding a Stage 3/4 turbo or supercharger, or adding a variable-boost turbocharger and cranking the wastegate limit all the way up without upgrading the cooling system, creates the same effect, sometimes even melting the engine block if you drive the car long enough. Usually, though, the boost of a higher-than-usual wastegate limit blows the engine due to excessive torque.
    • Using too big of a nitro shot for a given engine can rupture the engine block from excessive torque.
  • Excited Show Title!: For whatever reason, the UI app that allows you to control the wind is labelled as "Wind!".
  • Fauxrrari / Fictional Counterpart: Most official vehicles look very much like certain real cars, and many mods also get in on this by adding their own counterpart companies or adding vehicles to the existing brands. The manufacturers, too, with:
    • Autobello being an Expy of Fiat.
    • Gavril being one of Ford, with elements of GM and Chrysler thrown in.
      • The Grand Marshall resembles a sedan using the Ford Panther platform, shared by the Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car.
      • The Barstow looks like a cross between a Mustang and a Charger. More so to the latter with the wood-grain dashboard and some models having the rotating grill headlights. In fact, the Barstow is also an Expy of the Gavril Bandit from the days of Rigs Of Rods, particularly its resemblance early in the Barstow's development.
      • The Gavril Vendetta mod car is the equivalent of a Chevrolet C3 Corvette.
      • The Gavril Roamer is a midsize SUV similar to the first generation Ford Explorer, name and all.
    • Ibishu being a catch-all for Nissan, Toyota, and Honda.
      • The Hopper is based on a Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Land Cruiser, or really any company's adaptation of World War II's general-purpose vehicle (hence why one variant is a tribute to it, with no cover, no roll cage and an army green color.)
      • The mod Ibishu Kashira minivan is based on a 90s Honda Odyssey (its creator owns one).
    • Civetta being a stand-in for Italian supercar makers, with the Bolide in particular being a homage to the Ferrari 308 GTB. A mod even gives it a targa roof, evocative of the GTS version.
      • Another mod adds the "Corse" version, with a twin-turbo flat-plane V8, box wing and skirted body like the Ferrari F40.
    • Bruckell being a Bland-Name Product version of Buick.note 
    • Burnside being one for DeSoto.
    • ETK replacing BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
      • The 800-Series is evocative of the BMW M5 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagons.
      • The K-Series has a body shape close to that of a Mercedes-Benz SLK.
      • The I-Series seems modeled after a 90s BMW. Some models use "TT" to abbreviate "twin-turbo" in their name (like Audi), and the branding on the tachometer is similar to Audi's style.
    • Hirochi instead of Subaru and Mitsubishi.
      • The SBR4 is an unusual rear-engined fastback with heavy design cues from the Lexus LFA, powered by a range of flat-four engines with optional all-wheel drive. An electric variant similar to the Tesla Model S, called the eSBR is also available.
    • Soliad (a yet-to-be-released brand) seems to be the game's version of Pontiac.
    • Many player designs from Automation tend to create their own brands or use the existing fictional brands of the game.
  • Featureless Protagonist: The Player Character of the "A Rocky Start" campaign; the only identifying trait is that he's male, but his face is never shown or he's silhouetted to let the player insert themselves as the character.
  • First-Person Ghost: No driver is ever seen in the cars, presumably to reduce visual clutter in the cockpit and keep your player character ambiguous. This even extends to the "Driver's School", "A Rocky Start" and "Hustle and Bustle" campaigns, where cutscenes and art show characters inside and outside of the cars, but they're completely absent during gameplay.
  • Free Wheel: The physics makes this a frequent occurrence in severe crashes. If your car has hubcaps, then expect to see the minor version of this trope come into play.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The nature of soft-body physics can result in glitches that cause beams and/or nodes to be catapulted into the horizon and stretch cars to the ends of the universe, but it does detect those things happening and prevents the game from crashing by resetting the car and pausing the game if the nodes and beams become extremely unstable. The overhauls to the collision system in more recent updates have made this kind of occurrence unlikely now.
    • The odd bug here or there is humorously acknowledged by the devs. The first hotfix to 0.11 was named "The Vacuuming", due to the turbo sounds being broken and sounding like a loud vacuum cleaner before they were fixed.
  • Holiday Mode: Official Halloween mods were released on October 31, 2017 and October 2018, which unlocked a respective achievement when the game was run with either installed. Most of the maps have their default time set to late evening to give everything a very creepy, shadowed ambience and many jack-o'-lanterns and candles adorn the maps, particularly in areas where scenarios and campaigns take place.
    • Christmas 2017 upped the ante with another special mod, adding falling snow and setting the lighting so it's similarly overcast. Most cars have a unique Christmas variant with a special horn that plays Jingle Bells, and Christmas scenery scattered throughout the maps. The achievement requires you to find all 90 snowmen in 9 of the official maps (10 snowmen in each map). It's easier when using the minimap, showing circular areas where one is found along with the sound of sleigh bells when nearby. It also has a bit of No Fair Cheating — using the free camera removes the map indicators, and the jingling sound is volume-scaled by vehicle distance, not camera distance, so it's better to drive to find them.
  • Instant Convertible: Defied, according to videos like this, as the physics engine doesn't distinguish between roof and body stiffness.
  • Interface Screw: Damage to the suspension and wheels, even minor, results in some awkward steering. This can happen from scraping the wall during a turn or hitting bumps too big for the car's clearance to handle. This is especially noticeable in force feedback wheels, sometimes causing it to forcibly turn in one direction.
  • Itasha: Being a widely-enjoyed driving game with mod support, such skins were bound to be created sooner or later.
  • Joke Character: The 90s Pessima's stanced version is meant to ridicule the stanced car scene. As such, it has very bad handling. Its reputation as a joke character is established by the in-game description, which has this to say about it:
    Completely useless and undrivable, this version is designed only for aesthetics.
  • Level Editor: 0.12 introduces a 3D track builder that allows you to assemble tracks in a way not too dissimilar from TrackMania and tweak the variables of each track segment, such as width and banking.
  • Made of Explodium: The Propane Tank mod explodes in the slightest crash.
  • Made of Iron: The Gavril Roamer can survive a few rollovers, a 40 MPH frontal impact and a few jumps and still drive.
    • The Ibishu Miramar is a unibody car from the infancy of the technology, but is just as durable as the 90s Gavrils or the Moonhawk and beats modern cars in durability.
    • The Ibishu Pigeon's very light weight and simple construction allows it to bounce back from impacts that would crumple other cars. In addition, the engine is placed towards the middle of the vehicle, preventing all but the fastest frontal impacts from damaging the engine block or driveshaft.
  • Mega-Corp: BeamNG, an in-game company that refines and sells fuel, performs international and national shipping, operates driving schools, and sells roofbags and satellite navigation systems. It might also be selling beer ("Beambeer") and offering Internet services ("Beamcom").
  • Mid-Life Crisis Car: From the official SBR4 showcase video:
    SBR4. Your midlife solution.
  • Nitro Boost: 0.11 introduces the ability to add a nitrous oxide injection system to most cars, sometimes offering larger bottle sizes and allowing you to use preset shot sizes or tune the shot itself. Arming the system (visually) purges it and it will only inject if you are at the defined gear or above, above the defined minimum engine RPM and applying full throttle. Alternatively, you can inject nitrous at any time using a different binding. Be careful of using too big of a shot for an engine that can't handle it; otherwise, the torque can cause the engine block to rupture.
  • No One Could Survive That!: The very severe crashes. As in, the ones where you toss your vehicle off of a cliff face and watch it tumble downwards, reducing it to a pile of scrap that barely resembles the car in question.
    • Crash head-on into a wall or streetlight fast enough and the passenger compartment will fold.
    • Some vehicles (the Gavril Roamer and D15 especially) are still capable of driving after sustaining multiple serious accidents that make them look ready for the scrapheap.
    • Additionally, as long as the moving parts still work on some level, the player is capable of driving the car, even if the passenger compartment is too damaged to realistically ride in.
  • Optional Traffic Laws: Well, there really isn't a way to enforce them outside of scenarios.
  • Overheating: Each major part of your car is tracked individually, heat-wise. Having an insufficient, damaged or missing radiator leads to a lot of problems if you're pushing your car to the limit. First the coolant overheats, then the piston rings and head gaskets will break or melt, resulting in power loss due to a lack of a seal in the cylinders, and soon the oil will overheat. This is followed by the connecting rod bearings becoming damaged and producing a clattering noise. Keep driving after that? The engine will eventually die. As in, the block itself will melt.
    • There's also brake temperature, which in particular can overheat very fast if you brake hard a lot and/or haven't put racing-spec discs and pads on. You'll eventually learn to brake lightly for cornering to reduce the wear and heat.
    • 0.11 introduces clutch heat as well which will overheat under high load, particularly if you're holding the clutch halfway open or if you lock up the engine in a high gear and at high speed.
  • Ragdoll Physics: Not with people, but with cars. Well, unless you happen to have the crash test dummy mod on hand.
  • Ramp Jump: Some scenarios are this trope. Reality Ensues in that your car typically dips forward and smashes its front bumper.
  • Reality Ensues: A lot of tropes and quirks you take for granted in other games do not apply here.
    • Typically, you might scrape against the wall in some games and, in-fact, help yourself take a corner. Not so here, as even a minor graze against the wall can irrepairably mess up your steering alignment, requiring your car to be reset.
    • Taking a Ramp Jump as described above, front-engined cars will typically nosedive, wrecking the radiator if not outright popping the engine block out from the hood. Even if your car was balanced out to land level, you'd still bottom out the suspension (except for with really high-riding cars) and trash the undercarriage, damage the suspension and even snap the driveshaft, crippling your car. There's a reason Real Life ramp jumps have an opposing ramp so they can land while driving downward to slowly cancel out the downward momentum.
    • Not every car is designed for racing/sporting or even just spirited driving — most of the common cars are hard to control at high speed and can otherwise overheat when pushing them to their limit.
    • Using a Nitro Boost generally puts strain on your engine from the increase in torque, and too big of a shot for a given engine will simply cause it to blow in an instant.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: A common complaint from people unfamiliar with how real cars, especially everyday economy models, handle at high speeds. The developers released a video showing how realistic their handling model is with demonstrations of understeer, oversteer and drifting in order to dull these complaints.
  • Relocating the Explosion: The first mission of the Hustle and Bustle campaign has the player drive a bus with a bomb that will go off if the bus goes below a certain speed. After rescuing the passengers, the bus has to be driven off to one of three locations where the explosion won't hurt anyone.
  • Removable Steering Wheel: Similar to in Project CARS, a gameplay option allows you to visually remove the steering wheel if you're using a steering wheel controller to avoid duplicate wheels (and/or to view the dashboard more easily).
  • Rice Burner: These can be created using the customization tool. Take the lowest-powered base model of a vehicle, lower the suspension, and add aesthetic features from the sport or race variants of that car (such as body kits and spoilers).
    • Conversely, sleeper cars can also be built using this tool. Take the base model of a car such as the Pessima, replace the stock engine with the highest-powered option (and add forced induction if possible), add race or rally suspension and any other performance enhancement that doesn't alter the bland exterior, and you've got an econobox ready to embarrass muscle car drivers at the stoplight.
  • Shout-Out: Opening the key cover of the piano plays a short loop of Claire De Lune, the theme used for Car Boys.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Rigs Of Rods.
  • Sturgeon's Law: The natural result of the Automation exporter update having made mod car creation so much easier. Expect cars without any fixtures, poor design and/or handling.
  • Subsystem Damage: To the point that there is almost no such thing as Critical Existence Failure. Each part of the car and even each part of the engine can be damaged to some degree depending on the nature of the impact or how you're handling the engine and car. Exceed the redline for too long (either because the engine lacks a limiter or you downshift too early) and the valvetrain suffers due to valve float, reducing performance. Bottom out the suspension and you might find yourself completely immobile from a broken driveshaft, despite a fully functional engine and intact wheels. Run the engine hot for too long? The piston rings and head gaskets in the cylinders can become damaged, causing a loss of power due to an improper seal and will allow oil to seep in and burn, leading to further damage.
  • Universal Driver's License: It's easy to use any other car or truck, despite the fact that they may have different pedal positions or transmission type (since commands are always in the same spot on your keyboard, wheel, or gamepad).
    • Averted in case of non-land vehicles like planes; those usually have custom controls.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: Some of the chase scenarios, like one where you chase a modern supercar in a 90s police SUV, or one where you chase a van in the beater Covet.
  • V8 Engine Noises: Zigzagged; all cars except for the Ibishu Covet used to have V6 engine noises, despite only two of them having a V6 (and only in the best trim levels). This was fixed in the 0.10 update, which added unique sounds for most vehicles.
    • In the 0.16 update, the Civetta Bolide ditched its odd-firing V8 sound for a more exotic even-firing V8 sound.
  • Vanity License Plate: The license plate on any car defaults to your username on BeamNG.drive's website or Steam client, as many characters that the plate can fit. You can even set your own lettering via the car editor or garage and includes a variety of plate designs from a few states, as well as a made-up "virtual reality" one. You can download more via the repository to include more states, provinces, counties, and countries, both real and fictional.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Freeroam in particular. The Career mode is implied to be this once it's released, with a free selection of missions and activities to earn money for buying, repairing and customizing vehicles.
  • Wreaking Havok: Despite running on Torque 3D, this game is this trope, as it has great vehicle damage simulation and a lot of freedom for players.
    • Torque forces in 0.11 open up some additional fun with the physics. Particularly the fact that, without any additional scripting, the torque forces ripple throughout the exhaust system, causing the tailpipe to wobble when revving the engine and accelerating in a realistic manner as a consequence of the soft-body physics.
    • The second campaign is called "Senseless Destruction". It's all about trying to make it as far as possible and/or causing as much destruction to each scenario's vehicles as possible.

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