BeamNG.Drive: VR Support, New Car in Latest Update

BeamNG-Update-0.30.jpg
Today, the developers of BeamNG.drive release update v0.30 bringing a new car, a map expansion and, most interestingly, VR support. Here’s all you need to know.

Image credit: BeamNG

Launched in 2015, BeamNG.drive has come along way throughout its early access development. In fact, it now offers a number of free roam maps, an expansive car list and brilliant soft-body crash physics to provide much fun.

In recent years, the game has gradually received many updates, the most recent of which releases today. Version 0.30 brings a slue of new content, plenty of fixes and one feature that is sure to get mouths drooling. Indeed, BeamNG.Drive is now available to play in VR.

VR Coming to BeamNG​

With modern tech getting ever better, virtual reality is a standard part of racing games and sim racing. Many times, a ‘no VR, no buy’ mentality sweeps the community which, in today’s age, is totally warranted.

All those that only play racing games in VR will now get to purchase BeamNG.drive as update 0.30 includes the feature.


Despite presenting in an experimental form according to the developers, it seems to include many functionalities that other games miss out on. The in-cockpit camera and walking mode will both support VR with a simple on-off switch making screen gameplay easily accessible. Directional audio, position-aware mirrors and even 3D switches accessible through one’s hand-held controllers will provide a great sense of immersion.

To run BeamNG in VR, all you need to do is own an OpenXR-compatible headset and launch the game in SteamVR. A work in progress feature according to the devs, one cannot expect a polished product from the get-go. But the addition of virtual reality is certainly an exciting step.

New content​

If you do not have a VR headset, there is plenty of new content to get your juices flowing for this new BeamNG update as well. Indeed, new places to explore and new vehicles to do it in both come in version 0.30.


First up is the Hirochi Aurata. A two-seat off-road buggy powered by a 3-cylinder engine, it will be perfect for small off-road races. A variety of modifications are reportedly available for this buggy ranging from low-level tunes to professional engine upgrades. Available as both a RWD and AWD, there are many options to play around with.

This vehicle will be perfect for exploring a sizeable expansion to the West Coast, USA map. Adding a new island location to the San Francisco-esque city, the expansion brings new roads and plenty of challenges. With a network of tunnels passing under the island, there will be lots to explore. But also many areas to test out the game’s infamous crash physics.


Finally, when you do end up stacking your shiny new car into a wall, BeamNG provides new trailers to easily drive back to the garage. The tilt-deck trailer will make for realistic car purchasing scenes. But also the opportunity to set up jumps with nothing other than a trailer. The enclosed cargo trailer is sure to feature in the many new challenges. Enabling players to deliver small items using a less powerful truck, there is a lot of potential there.

Fixes and Improvements​

In addition to the headline features, BeamNG receives many improvements to both to its basic engine and some vital bug fixes in this update. The most prominent of which is surely a revamp to the gear shift system.

BeamNG-shifting-system-1024x367.png

Gear shifts will be more realisting in update 0.30 of BeamNG.Drive. Image credit: BeamNG

Rather than simply asking for a gear, each button press will be timed, with the game figuring out how urgent the shift should be. Therefore, one will notice sympathetic city driving gear shifts taking longer than the ruthless tug one would perform in a racing scenario. Over time, the different styles are sure to affect the gearbox’s reliability adding to the game’s immersion.

Elsewhere, fuel stations will work on all maps meaning longer play time will be possible. The UI markers will also be different in this newest version of the game. Furthermore, some changes to a selection of cars come with the update. Finally, the props list is now expanded for mission creators.

Will you try out this latest BeamNG.Drive update? Tell us in the comments down below!
About author
Angus Martin
Motorsport gets my blood pumping more than anything else. Be it physical or virtual, I'm down to bang doors.

Comments

Premium
Just spent about 45 minutes using VR in Beamng. Didn't get any crashes unlike neilogical in his video.

Got a headache from the frame rate, it started out choppy and went downhill in heavy vegetation.

Overall, Very cool and its going to make me spend more time in the game, but I think its going to be unusable for many in its current form.

Had to open steam VR and change the XR runtime in there, then shutdown steam vr, run the game, hit the enter VR mode and it fired up the headset.
 
Premium
BeamNG is on my wish list, but isn't in my library - yet. Partly because no VR, but also partly because it's not actually a finished product, and getting supposedly finished sims working isn't always simple!
It also seems to be the answer to the question "what would Forza Horizon be like if it grew up and became a real sim?", which seems interesting, if not my usual diet of F1 cars and the North Loop.
I did have a negative reaction to the wording of the paragraph about the addition of VR though:
With modern tech getting ever better, virtual reality is a standard part of racing games and sim racing. Many times, a ‘no VR, no buy’ mentality sweeps the community which, in today’s age, is totally warranted.

All those that only play racing games in VR will now get to purchase BeamNG.drive as update 0.30 includes the feature.
While I think I agree with the sentiment, the reason I won't purchase e.g. FM8 if it doesn't have VR isn't because some mentality has 'swept the community', it's because as long as you don't get motion sickness VR is more immersive and far cheaper than the previous best option of multi-monitor set-ups.

To whit: a friend of mine hasn't played video games since Sonic first appeared, and had no real interest in sim racing, but after trying my setup in VR has now spent several thousand pounds on his own rig, and spends hours every day strapped into a headset.
Also, I loved racing in 2D before I got into VR, now I simply don't enjoy the experience as I'm not 'in' the car anymore, and that makes me slower, which makes me sad :(

But if you could tell Turn 10 that "virtual reality is a standard part of racing games and sim racing" I'd appreciate it! :)
 
Only last thing missing now is a driver in the car, preferable with animations, as for VR it is not immersive to drive an empty car, at the present rate of developpement it should take too long. Right?
 
In the list of improvements, the AI seems to have benefited from quite a few minor but very numerous tweaks (including during scripted missions).
 
VVVVEEEEEEEEEEE AAAAAAARRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lez go!

Only last thing missing now is a driver in the car, preferable with animations, as for VR it is not immersive to drive an empty car, at the present rate of developpement it should take too long. Right?

 
VR aside because I dont own a headset - I love this Sim. So much fun and it drives really well. I love the variety of cars, maps and scenarios. The improvement to the graphics last year and inclusion of Johnson Valley at the beginning of the year was a welcome addition. The soft body physics is great and something I think all the other sims should (try) embrace. My top two frustrations of the sim would be the UI / Menu System (I just battle to get my head around it) and the missing driver in the vehicle. Not bothered while driving because I turns hands & wheel animations off but for replays it would be cool. Looking forward to the new update!
 
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Premium
BeamNG is on my wish list, but isn't in my library - yet. Partly because no VR, but also partly because it's not actually a finished product, and getting supposedly finished sims working isn't always simple!
It also seems to be the answer to the question "what would Forza Horizon be like if it grew up and became a real sim?", which seems interesting, if not my usual diet of F1 cars and the North Loop.
I did have a negative reaction to the wording of the paragraph about the addition of VR though:

While I think I agree with the sentiment, the reason I won't purchase e.g. FM8 if it doesn't have VR isn't because some mentality has 'swept the community', it's because as long as you don't get motion sickness VR is more immersive and far cheaper than the previous best option of multi-monitor set-ups.

To whit: a friend of mine hasn't played video games since Sonic first appeared, and had no real interest in sim racing, but after trying my setup in VR has now spent several thousand pounds on his own rig, and spends hours every day strapped into a headset.
Also, I loved racing in 2D before I got into VR, now I simply don't enjoy the experience as I'm not 'in' the car anymore, and that makes me slower, which makes me sad :(

But if you could tell Turn 10 that "virtual reality is a standard part of racing games and sim racing" I'd appreciate it! :)
Yep, totally agree with you on that.
 
My top two frustrations of the sim would be the UI / Menu System

And just figuring out an efficient way to map your controls, so you're not constantly going between wheel, keyboard, mouse. (I really need to set up my stream deck for this)

Otherwise love this refreshing sim! And I can finally play it again on a wheel, as my current setup only allows me to use my rig in VR.
 
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Premium
Hello Simlovers.
Well, I guess I'll have to install the thing again.
I've had this thing in my Steam library since 2016. With an incredible playing time of 6.6 hours. But now with VR support it will definitely be fun to cold deform cars.
And yes, I also think that deforming vehicles belongs in every sim, but I once read
that there is no proper damage model in racing sims due to licensing regulations.
The manufacturers don't want their vehicles to be deformed like that. For whatever reason.
It was about Gran Tourismo and its virtually non-existent body damage model.
What it looks like in GT7, I have no idea. I only know GT5 & 6 and as mentioned above
it wasn't available.
But I will install BeamNG again.
It's almost the weekend and who knows, maybe I'll break with Assetto Corsa.
But I don't think so.
 
Will definitely reinstall and give this a try. I find BeamNG's physics truly interesting, and it can surprise how good it is when doing some old fashioned rally.

And will also keep on adding up people who cannot help bringing up other sims at unrelated discussions to my ignore list.
 
..So much fun and it drives really well...
While I agree on the fun, I cannot agree on the "drives well". Maybe it's because I am used to AC and ACC but honestly road cars in particular drive quite weirdly in BeamNG. I like the rally cars and those dune buggies, but on tarmac there is no comparison even with AC. Never mind aerodynamics, brakes etc. I mean it's a super fun game anyways, but if I want to simulate driving I certainly do not run BeamNG. The other thing is multiplayer, I don't feel it is up to scratch. In short, I love BeamNG but not as a driving/racing sim.
 
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I gave my old setup to my son and BeamNG is his favourite game by a long way. I've never installed it only because it didn't have VR support (and my rig is VR-only). Looking forward to demolition derbies with him now - hopefully with added motion!
 

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