What can I say about BeamNG.Drive that hasn’t been said already? This game is, quite simply, a good time. Within this simulator lies islands and cities to be explored, cars to be delivered and lap times to be demolished.
I say lap times… In fact, just about everything can – and will – be demolished.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Beam is its ‘Scenarios’ mode. Here, you will find a variety of challenges; from police chases to football matches, economy runs to mountain crawls… and mountain falls.
So pop on your seatbelt (not that it will help you much), as we run you through our 10 favourite scenarios on BeamNG.Drive.
A quick note to say that this list only looks at base game scenarios rather than those that can be downloaded from the repository. These are amazing in their own right, and we want to do another separate list in the future with our favourites from there.
It’s also worth adding that the developers update this list with new scenarios every so often, so if your favourite one is missing it might be because it was released after this article was written – apologies!
Remember as well, that this is an opinion piece, so you might not agree with every pick and that is okay. Just make sure you let us know in the comments down below what your favourite scenarios are.
Right then, kicking things off with some honourable mentions that didn’t quite make our top 10.
‘Get Down’ doesn’t need to give you any further instructions. Drive your Gavril D15 pickup truck carefully down the mountain, or simply fire it straight off the peak, and hope it reaches the beach. This golden oldie is a great demonstration of Beam’s incredible soft body physics engine for anyone who has never experienced it.
‘Dam jump’ is similarly simple and destructive. Drive your supercharged Burnside banana down the dam, up the ramp and aim for the targets. Nothing more, just the damage and chaos we were after.
If you want something a bit more serious, ‘Climbing Utah’ is a great place to start when learning how to tackle crawler events. It may not be the most exciting journey across the rocks, but this challenging yet doable scenario will teach you the basics of how to maximise your adjustable diff lock and drivetrain settings, something you will need to master before completing tougher crawls later on.
Should you be a fan of going sideways, then ‘Slithery Drift’ may warrant a place in your own personal top 10. Drifting on Beam can be a strange experience, especially on a controller. But, with a wheel, it can be highly satisfying.
Our final honourable mention is a newer scenario, called ‘Calamity Peak Spring’. This one can really make you feel like you are competing at the Paris Dakar rally, as you traverse across the desert.
Again, although an incredibly immersive experience for those of you with steering wheels, this one can be less enjoyable with a controller, as the trucks can be a bit tricky to control with their lack of precision. Well worth a try, however, this one may become an absolute favourite for you.
10) Small Island Chase
On to the main list then, and taking the number 10 spot, we have a simple case of cops and robbers. ‘Small Island Chase’ takes place on, well… Small Island, as you chase down a rogue Ibishu Pessima in your Hirochi Sunburst.
This challenge is very simple, catch the criminal and stop them in their tracks without crashing your car in the process. This, however, is one of our favourite police chase scenarios in the game.
Firstly, the four-wheel-drive Sunburst is a lot of fun to throw around on these winding coastal roads, so the driving experience alone makes it worthwhile. Chuck in a car chase, in which the robber will sometimes mix up their route, add some hilarious and often accidental crashes on top and you are left with a big smile on your face, time and time again.
9) A Flock of Pigeons
Ever dreamed of firing a cannonball at a flock of metal pigeons? Me neither, but why the hell not I guess? This scenario is stupid, pointless and doesn’t involve any skilled driving.
Just manoeuvre your mobile cannon (which has an electric engine by the sounds of it), line up your shot, change your camera view for a cannonball POV, and mash the spacebar. What follows is a frustrating sight, as your cannonball flies straight past the terrified Pigeons, or simply bounces over their heads. But don’t worry, you get four shots per round.
When you do work out your aim and manage to hit that central Pigeon square in the beak, the resulting explosion of crumpled metal and plastic is a sight to behold. Very moreish in fact, it will have you firing again and again until you manage to hit all five cars in one go. Just make sure you record the replays with the F2 key, so you can see it from the poor bird’s perspective. Ouch.
All good things must come to an end. Sadly, you are tasked with causing this end when playing ‘Goliath’. As a police officer, your job is to stop the lorry. Sounds simple, right? Well, have you ever seen the 1971 Steven Spielberg film ‘Duel’?
If you haven’t, pause this video and come back to me in 89 minutes and 42 seconds. If you have, then this particular articulated lorry and its relentless nature will send shivers down your about-to-be-damaged spine.
This truck is strong and its driver fearless. You will need to think of a way to arrest its speed without destroying your truck in the process. The lorry might not always take the same route, and this challenge is particularly enjoyable as you have to think on your feet to try and find ways of stopping it.
This could be by jamming your door into its wheel arch; guiding it into the roadside furniture (good luck with that one!); or outsmarting the driver and provoking some sort of jackknife. Sure, this may be over in a matter of seconds, but sometimes you can be driving for miles on end. That’s when Goliath is at its most enjoyable.
7) A Run For Life
“Run for your life!” they scream, but which way should I go? This scenario is unique within the current game, as like many retro arcade driving titles, you must drive from a top-down perspective, and attempt to keep your pickup truck within the visible area.
The problem? Cannons, ramps, footballs, brick walls, hay bales and metal rails. The longer you survive, the higher your score. But bear in mind that normal rules still apply when it comes to the physics and the damage.
If you break a wheel, good luck smashing through that next caravan. Thankfully, there is a way to repair your car on the move, just drive over 4 of the blue circular markers and she will be as fresh as a daisy… until the next obstacle. And no, you can’t break through the gaps between containers.
6) Crawl – Leap of Faith
‘Crawl – Leap of Faith’ should be taken as literal, chronological instructions. Crawl, as carefully as possible down the hill, between the rocks, back up the hill and so on. Succeed in this first phase, and you will be rewarded with a cinematic grand finale… the Leap of Faith.
This crawl event takes place in Utah, and puts you behind the wheel of the Ibishu Hopper Crawler, with 400 horsepower that you don’t need, four-wheel-drive which you certainly do, and an annoying tendency to roll over onto its roof, which you can do without.
Challenging but not impossible, this is a really fun crawl to attempt, and its satisfying conclusion makes it worth the multiple restarts. Just remember to play around with your diff and gearbox settings, they may come in handy when you find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
5) Port Escape
Everyone loves a good escape sequence, and for that cinematic flavour, look no further than ‘Port Escape’. This one feels a bit like The Grand Tour to us…
Manoeuvre your two-litre front-wheel-drive Ibishu Pessima through the docks, sliding around containers, crashing through gates, firing in and out of the empty warehouses, barrelling through barrels and jumping over jumps.
Keeping your car in good shape is crucial to completing the course within the two-minute time limit. Then, with the end in sight, and the ferry (yes, ferry) about to leave, you are chased off the end of the docks by the police.
Will you make it safely onto the ferry? Well, that depends on your speed. Does it matter? Not really, it looks pretty epic either way. However, a longer version of this escape with more obstacles and higher speeds, combined with a more interesting rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive car might make this one even better.
Instead, you are left wishing you had another gear in between first and second …. Just give me first and a half pleeeease.
4) Wild West Trails
Wild West Trails is, essentially, a short, high-speed rally stage with a couple of AI cars thrown into the mix. The only ‘racing’ scenario on this list makes it to number four because every little piece of this challenge is enjoyable in its own right.
The route itself in Utah is high-speed in general, with sweeping corners, blind crests and narrow bridges waiting to catch you out. With rocks and cliff edges adding peril, you have to balance your speed with caution.
Or don’t. Just Keep It Pinned®, nail a couple of corners and have a spectacular crash when it finally goes wrong. Entertainment is guaranteed. The car used is the four-wheel-drive rally spec Bruckell LeGran, replete with an old school manual gearbox and plenty of get-up-and-go.
It’s tricky to master but exceedingly fun when pushed to the limit, especially when using a proper H-pattern shifter peripheral. And finally, the AI cars are fun no matter what you do with them. Try to pass them as quickly as possible to nail your stage time, or push them into rocks or off the cliff, and watch the chaos ensue below.
Be careful though, they aren’t afraid to repay the favour. As this scenario is time-based, you can keep coming back for more to try and improve your PB, a nice incentive.
3) Autobello Piccolina Showcase
Arguably the daftest and most creative challenge on this list, the ‘Autobello Piccolina Showcase’ is essentially an assault course for cars through the heart of Belasco. This charming, loveable s***box only has 44 bhp, and you will need each and every one to complete this challenge.
Jump through the ring of death, drift up and down the multi-storey car park (yes this Fiat 500 clone is rear-wheel-drive) and make your way towards the shorefront. Then, another big jump and a reversing challenge akin to a Chinese driving test.
Make it this far, and be greeted with a Piccolina-sized hole in a wall, before a final dash up the hill to the finish line. This one isn’t easy at first, and each stage poses a different threat that you will learn to overcome.
Once you do finally make it to the end in one piece, the feeling will be fantastic. If you are struggling, however, the best advice I can give you is to avoid over-revving. This will increase your speed and lower your oil temperature, two things you will rely on to get through this.
2) Freeform Mountain Crawl
Taking the runner-up spot is one of the game’s most recent additions. This is also the only one on this entire list that I am not ashamed to admit, I haven’t managed to complete just yet.
‘Freeform Mountain Crawl’ has one simple objective, reach the checkpoint by any means necessary. Taking place in Johnson Valley, you will start at ground level and it’s your job to get your SP Rockbasher to the tip of the highest peak.
The car is well suited to the task; there is no clutch to worry about burning, no weak suspension parts to worry about breaking – just some difficult terrain to traverse across. Keep climbing, follow any routes that look remotely kind, watch for rocks that will puncture your tyres and try your best to keep your wheels pointing in the same direction as your momentum.
If you do… sorry… when you do end up on your side, try wriggling your way back on to your wheels using a locked diff. That’s pretty much where my limited advice ends, if we have any crawling experts in the comments section feel free to help us all out.
The reason I love this scenario so much is the same reason I love playing golf. You take a different route to the objective every time, it’s difficult and I’m bad at it. But I keep coming back for more because I believe that one day, I am going to nail it, and it’s going to feel like a real achievement.
Anything else in common with golf? Well, the landscape is gorgeous, the pace is slow, the frustration is real and you often end up stuck headfirst in a ditch and need to go back to the beginning to try again.
1) Taken Treasure
For me, ‘Taken Treasure’ is the best BeamNG.drive base game scenario that currently exists. It combines many of Beam’s best elements, to deliver a challenging and often hilarious car chase.
You are behind the wheel of the Soliad Wendover Sport SE 3800 Facelift edition (catchy name), and you are a treasure-carrying criminal. Your job is to get from the town centre to the fishing village, without getting stopped by the Rozzers.
Then, once you have successfully delivered said treasure to the charismatic green circle on the ground, you must escape. What makes this particular cop chase special? It’s not just one police car, it’s a full police squad, and they even deploy roadblocks across the island.
This forces you to be a bit smarter than usual to try and keep your car in good condition. It also causes a lot of unpredictability. As you are the hunted rather than the hunter, you aren’t simply tasked with following another car, you can pave your own way to the destination, using any means necessary.
Try kicking off with a J-turn and finding your way to the fishing port via the backroads instead. The car is fast enough to be fun but tricky enough to keep you on your toes, the crashes are often spectacular and some chases can have you fleeing for miles on end.
A bit stupid, and a bit challenging at times, but always enjoyable and full of variety. Applying advanced driving and damage physics to a police chase that takes place within a realistic environment, provides you with an experience that’s hard to beat.
There’s more where that came from
So you’ve stuck around this long? Well done, you have unlocked the bonus level.
If you head into free-roam mode and select a map of your choice, you will find countless missions and scenarios to try, some of which are included in the main Scenario section of the game, but many that aren’t.
These are well worth your time, and one such example can be found at Johnson Valley. ‘Camper Mishap’ is a delivery mission that sees you tow a caravan across the dunes towards the campsite.
Your Gavril Roamer has a V8 diesel engine which makes it a pretty good tow car, but that’s not what makes this mission so good. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what condition your caravan is in when you reach the base camp.
As long as you are still towing something, it’s just a case of doing it as quickly as possible. This means you can literally throw the kitchen sink at it, and the results are as you would expect… Entertaining.
This is of course just one example of the countless extra fantastic missions available, which goes to show that beyond the scenarios, there lies a world of endless possibilities. I for one, can’t wait for the career mode to officially launch and tie everything together.
So which scenarios from the base game are your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.