Can BeamNG.drive Help You Learn To Drive? (2024)

Gamers have called for an open-world driving sim in the past. As it turns out, we already have something like this - namely BeamNG.drive. While racing may not be its strong suit (yet), the game excels as a driving sim.

There are not many modern and updated titles with built-in infrastructure to teach you how to drive a car on the road and within the constrictions of the law. There are mods for sim racing titles such as Assetto Corsa that add a freeroam mode. However, from my experience, this does not come close to the driving feel and dynamics of BeamNG.drive's encouraging driving dynamics.

The former sandbox sim does not just model damage in great detail, but also vital mechanical components such as the transmission of a car, meaning clean gear shifting is important if you want to keep your clutch alive, for instance.

Whether you are learning to drive a manual or an automatic car, BeamNG has you covered. The physics behind how a car behaves at a slow speed is especially good. Just make sure you turn off all of the mechanical assists. The exception to turning off the assist is if your pedals do not have a clutch unit. There is an assist that can do the clutch for you if necessary.

Can BeamNG.drive Help You Learn To Drive? (1)


ETK 800 Series Manual Interior. Image: BeamNG

Which Car To Use?​

There is an almost endless amount of cars and presets to choose from in BeamNG. I would recommend going for the 'Student Driver' preset for the Ibisu Covet. This Covet is liveried as a learner driver car, and it has a very manageable power band with an easy-to-use clutch.

The covet is front wheel drive as well, meaning it is easier for you to get used to and a bit more forgiving than a rear-wheel drive vehicle. The BeamNG tyre model is not the best, so going for a low-powered front wheel drive Covet is the perfect starting point for learning how to control a car.

Using BeamNG's fantastic 'Garage' mode, you can adjust every part on your 'Learner Driver' Covet. If you want the bumpers to match the colour of the body, you can do that. If you want to turbocharge it, that is available too! There is a near-endless amount of customization, and mods only add to your creative freedoms.

Can BeamNG.drive Help You Learn To Drive? (2)


Despite the abuse, the 'Student Driver' car will keep going!

Not every car has to be liveried to look like a learner driver car of course. Any car in the game will give you a great learning experience. Just try to stay away from anything with too many assists. Unless of course, you are training to drive a car that also has a lot of assists like Traction Control, Cruise control, and more.

There are, of course, other options if the Covet is not your style. Both of the other liveried options below are free-to-download mods, there is also a learner driver license plate mod applied to both vehicles.


Moonhawk (L) & Sunburst (R) Learner/Student Driver Vehicles

One of the best parts of learning to drive in BeamNG is that even making mistakes is great fun. Having a shunt in traffic goes from an expensive and stressful experience to an interesting investigation into how the car buckled and why the crash happened. Learning how much to brake when coming to a stop quickly is also a fantastic skill to sharpen within BeamNG.

Can BeamNG.drive Help You Learn To Drive? (5)


Small accidents in BeamNG can help you gauge elements of driving like braking distances.

Which Maps Are Best?​

This question is entirely based upon where in the world you want to practise your driving. I, for example, am from the UK so I downloaded the 'Somerset' map to practise on. However, I used BeamNG to practise driving on the other side of the road for a trip to Germany I had planned last year. It made me a lot more confident heading out on foreign roads.

Below is a list of the maps I have driven and tested for various countries and continents. Whilst I have included a large chunk of the quality maps available, this list is not exhaustive. Search the BeamNG.drive repository if the map you want is not listed here. This list also includes base content maps.

North America​

- East Coast USA (Base Content)
- West Coast USA (Base Content)
- Utah (Base Content)
- Bizona Desert
- River Highway
- Farmlands and forests of Texas

Europe​

- Somerset
- Barkstead Village
- RN154 (France)
- Eastern Countryside
- Italy (Base Content)
- German Autobahn

South America​

- Rutas Argentinas
- Argentinean Roads
- Bumpy Island

Asia​

- Central Asia Countryside & Town
- Japan Island
- Fujigoko

Africa​

- African Trails
- Bush Valley

Oceania

- Mount Coot-tha
- Mount Glorious
- Automation Test Track (Base Content)

Can BeamNG.drive Help You Learn To Drive? (6)


Moonhawk Cruising The American Highways. Image: BeamNG

BeamNG is a fantastic way to practise your driving. However, it is not the only option. Assetto Corsa has some fantastic free-roam maps available from all corners of the world. There are also multiple 'Driving test' based games on platforms like Steam.

Whichever platform you decide to use, make sure that it has relevant controls that can be mapped to important buttons. Indicators, hazard lights etc. And if you have a clutch pedal, make sure to use it.

Of course, nothing replaces actual driving practice in a real car on a real road. But to get an idea of how some of the basics work and what to expect, BeamNG.drive can indeed serve as a good base - as well as a simple, relaxed cruising session.

Could you see yourself using a sim like BeamNG to practise your driving and car control? Maybe you prefer a different sim? Let us know over on x @OverTake_gg or down in the comments below!

Can BeamNG.drive Help You Learn To Drive? (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aracelis Kilback

Last Updated:

Views: 6043

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aracelis Kilback

Birthday: 1994-11-22

Address: Apt. 895 30151 Green Plain, Lake Mariela, RI 98141

Phone: +5992291857476

Job: Legal Officer

Hobby: LARPing, role-playing games, Slacklining, Reading, Inline skating, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Dance

Introduction: My name is Aracelis Kilback, I am a nice, gentle, agreeable, joyous, attractive, combative, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.