PC Building Simulator is set to leave early access this month after nearly a year of tuning and longer still as a free alpha. The Irregular Corporation's sim does exactly what it says on the tin - it lets people experience the thrills of cracking open a fresh PC case, stuffing it with expensive electro-guts and hoping it doesn't catch fire. There's a career mode where you work your way up the ranks to tuning high-end machines, a sandbox mode, and all the virtual LED lighting strips and liquid cooling rigs your heart desires. Below, a video showcase of the luminous monster machines its players have made.
Our hardware brainiac Katharine Castle took a peek at PC Building Simulator last year and was generally positive about it, with some caveats. Her early experiments with career mode were, ironically, a little too close to reality for comfort, as most of the time she was doing menial replacement or minor upgrade work for minimal pay. And in the game? I kid - she gets to play around with hardware I can only dream of tinkering with. Recent updates have apparently made improvements to the career mode, but nothing I've had the chance to play around with myself.
As frivolous as all this seems, there's a good educational angle to it all. If you're hoping to build yourself a PC, there's a lot that can go wrong, either in choosing your components or during assembly. The simulator lets you figure out what hardware you'll need and how to get it all wired up and functioning. While most of its virtual hardware is for the more-money-than-sense crowd, it's still possible to map out most modern-spec setups here. If you're going to be spending a grand on hardware, $20 on an interactive how-to guide doesn't seem so bad, at least to me.
Recent updates to the game have mostly focused on adding more branded hardware into the game. G.Skill's absurd colour-shifting RAM is available if you want your memory to look like a 90s rave, and there's a range of nice new PC cases. The simulator also now includes modern CPUs up to i9-9900k spec and AMD Threadripper 2970WX. While not in the current release, there is the promise that those fancy new RTX GPUs will be added eventually. Surreal, isn't it? Selling the dream of foolishly and excessively overclocking a $1200 GPU.
PC Building Simulator launches out of early access on January 29th, though there's no plans to raise the price after launch. It's available on Steam now or direct from the developers for £15/€20/$20. Irregular Corporation plan to continue updates post-release.