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BeamNG.drive: How To Create Maps With The World Editor

Creating a map within BeamNG.drive can be intimidating. The detailed 3-D modelling software Blender is the most commonly used tool to create your props and items for maps. Fear not, however. This article will teach you how to have fun and create maps using the built-in world editor without having to learn all of the ins and outs of complicated 3D modelling programs!

The Object Editor can be used to manipulate everything from buildings, to grass textures.

World Editor Templates

Before you try anything in the world editor, make sure that your BeamNG.drive is updated to the most recent version and you do not have any outdated UI mods installed. Speaking from personal experience, it can make editing the world a whole lot harder if these outdated mods are constantly throwing error messages and crashing your game.

Make sure that the box labelled ‘Include Auxillary Debug content’ is checked when selecting a map in the bottom right of the screen.

Before you step into creating maps, take a look at the editing templates provided in the vanilla version of BeamNG.drive. These maps consist of very little detail apart from terrain, giving you the creative freedom to manipulate and terraform to your heart’s content without damaging props such as buildings or other cars. Just remember to turn off AI traffic before loading into a template map.

BeamNG.Drive’s Built-In World Editor

The World Editor is a set of tools that help create and modify game levels and related data and resources. The world editor is built using core functions written in C++, with much of the logic in Lua scripting language. The UI presentation, however, is written in Dear Imgui.  

The default key to toggle the World Editor is F11. There is also an editor-safe mode which loads with just the core editor tool extensions. To access this version of the world editor, use CTRL+F11.

The Map Editor Toolbar

World Editor Toolbar

Pictured above is the toolbar at your creative disposal when entering the map editor. This image breaks down the roles of these different buttons and their purposes. Use the table below to see a brief breakdown of the toolbar’s capabilities.

CameraCamera related functions
Window Contains all the Tools the editor comes with
HelpHelpful Documentation
Edit Editing related functions, as well as the Editor Preferences
ObjectFunction related to the selected object
File Open, load and save a level
ViewView related settings

Editing Vanilla Maps – World Editor

Once you feel confidant in the template maps, try changing and editing an existing free-roam map within BeamNG.Drive. The more you experiment with the map editor, the more confident and easy-to-use the editor will appear. Don not be intimidated by the prospect of corrupting your Vanilla maps. Simply use a modded map and get to grips with that first.

To access the map editor, press F11 while in Windowed mode, and CTRL+F11 if you want to try the ‘Safe Mode’ version of the map editor as previously mentioned. Whilst in the main menu of the editor, select a prop, such as this gas tank pictured above. Once selected, you can move this around the map as you please and create a different environment within the pre-built map.

Edit Tool

The Edit Object mode is the default mode of the editor. It allows you to select objects from the viewport or scene tree, and edit them in different ways, most commonly:

  • Translate, Rotate, Scale
  • Edit object parameters via the Inspector window
Keyboard Bind Mode
4World or Local Coordinates Toggle

How to add new objects

The Create Object mode allows users to add new level entities to either an existing map or a template map. These objects can include but aren’t limited to Sky, Clouds, Lights, Sound Emitters and LUA Triggers.

Object Creation Toolbar

To add an object to your map, enter the create object mode. An additional toolbar will appear below the main one: from there you can select the type of object. Click on the 3D Viewport to add the selected object or objects to your map.

Terrain Editor

The Terrain Editor is used to create and modify the Terrain object of the current map. With the various Brushes, it is possible to create valleys, mountains and canyons wherever you want! This tool also contains the Terrain Painter which you can use to assign terrain’s textures and materials, changing the look and feel of a given surface (e.g. asphalt, dirt, gravel and mud).

Terrain Editor Toolbar. Image Credit: BeamNG Documentation
1. Heightmap Import/ExportUse this to import a grayscale heightmap image as a terrain, or to export the current terrain as a grayscale heightmap image
2. Brush ShapeShape of the brush, either round or square
3. Sculpt ModesThe edit mode of the brush (raise, lower, smooth, etc.)
4. Terrain PainterPaint the terrain surface with different textures & materials
5. Brush PropertiesSettings that affects the brush dynamics

And that is it for the basics! This tutorial aims to inform you of this editor that a surprising majority of BeamNG players fail to realise exists. Here at OverTake, we are genuinely interested to see what you can make with this amazing free tool!

Have you tried BeamNG.Drive’s hidden career mode yet? Check out our guide and let us know what you think!

Make sure to upload the links to your mods or screenshots over on X and tag us @OverTake_gg or submit them in the comments below!

Sports Journalism graduate from Solent Southampton University with a burning passion for motorsport. I've been sim racing virtually all my life, I started out with Toca 2 Touring Cars when I was very young and now attempt to compete in the likes of iRacing and Rfactor 2. I graduated University in July, and got married to my beautiful wife Rachel at the end of August.