I’ve been building PCs most of my life, so PC building simulator was never a game I actively sought out. I’ve played it for hours on end dozens of times, but it was more of a social experience – a game I started when friends were over to play around or gawk at expensive graphics cards that we only wish we could afford .
pc building simulator 2, now in open beta on the Epic Games Store, is no different. It’s Guitar Hero for PC enthusiasts that focuses more on being a game than a tool to learn how to build a PC. As someone who tenses up with too much thermal paste, I expected this PC building simulator 2 to disappoint me, but it didn’t – despite some gamified elements getting in the way of actually building a PC.
guitar hero is the best touchstone for PC building simulator 2. It gives you the feel of building a PC with some licensed components in tow, but it glosses over many of the critical areas when it comes to putting a machine together. cable management? Don’t worry, just click on the highlighted ports. RAM placement? Any slot will do. The list goes on.
I started my preview of the beta with the timed career mode. If you played the first game, you know the deal: your faceless uncle left you Another seedy PC shop, and it’s your job to take orders, complete them competently, and balance your budget so you can afford new components (and most importantly, rent).
My business started booming, but it was a little too quiet. I started pushing back, viciously messing up PC builds to see if customers would get upset. I’ve missed PCIe brackets, intentionally installed GPU and RAM in the wrong slots, and absolutely drowned every CPU in thermal paste.
But nothing happened. Every order went smoothly no matter how hard I tried to sabotage it. There’s a fine line PC building simulator 2 must alternate between a fun game and a tool for learning how to build a PC. However, there are many teachable moments in the game that just get overlooked.
For example, an early job came from an aspiring one Fourteen days Streamer whose PC does not meet the minimum requirements. The machine only needed a CPU upgrade, but I noticed that the two RAM sticks were installed side by side (most motherboards need them between slots for full speed). The problem is that there was no reward for noticing this issue, nor were there any consequences for intentionally screwing up such an issue on other systems.
The worst problem came when the game introduced its new banking system. You now have access to three workstation types: Building, Watercooling, and Case Modding. Career mode walks you through each bank early on, including how to fill and install a custom liquid cooling circuit.
Unlike the first game, now you have to modify the components that you want to cool with water. This includes replacing thermal pads on a GPU, removing heatsinks on the motherboard, and so on. It’s a great system and I love the flexibility I want to have to choose the components I want, both in the PC and in the custom loop.
But it’s not always accurate. In your introduction to the water cooling bench for example PC building simulator 2 instructs you to install the leads on the same side of the GPU block. This would not let any liquid into the GPU block and is one of the most common liquid cooling mistakes.
PC building simulator 2 doesn’t have to provide full documentation on building a PC, but fixing small, common bugs could bring some big benefits to gamers interested in building their own PC. It would do PC building simulator 2 a better game, with a push-and-pull of consequences and rewards that make you feel like you’re running your own PC repair business.
Although some common career mistakes make me cringe, PC building simulator 2 is all about free play where you can build, compare and overclock the rig of your dreams. The new banking system is a tremendous boon here, allowing you to go deeper than ever.
Liquid cooling alone is a treat that gives you the freedom to make choices that come with putting together a custom circuit. Do you want a monoblock for the entire motherboard or just a CPU block? Looking to pair the ROG Strix RTX 3090 with a specific GPU block? It’s all inclusive. Custom liquid cooling was an option in the original version, though PC building simulator 2 fills it up massively.
The other bank is Case Modding, a simple but powerful workstation. You can paint cases with custom colors and apply decals, making a build truly feel like your own. I hope we see more here, either in the full version or in a future expansion, because I could spend dozens of hours just modifying PC cases.
Beyond the new benches, PC building simulator 2 also introduces a tablet to the game, which only saves you time running back and forth from your PC when you want to order new parts or check your email. It also allows you to change the music, and PC building simulator 2 has a stacked soundtrack with every genre you can think of.
Most importantly, it allows for that much-requested room customization, where you can point to a wall or ceiling and instantly replace it with a different look. I imagine this is an area that developer Spiral House will build on massively in future expansions.
I expect PC building simulator 2 to leave me disappointed because I’d rather have a free update than a new paid version. But it’s a worthy sequel, expanding on the original version with new components and features and delving deeper into things like overclocking and benchmarking – even if it has some issues with accurately depicting how PCs are built.
PC building simulator 2 Coming exclusively to the Epic Games Store later this year. You can now wishlist it for access to the free open beta.
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