Putting together a PC that works as soon as you hit the power button can prove to be an adventure. If only there was an easy way to visually install components and build some confidence in the process. It's always easier to perform a task if you've seen it done before, or better yet, entered into a simulation. This is where PC Building Simulator comes into play, and it does exactly what its name suggests.
Build without real consequence
This interactive simulator lets you put together numerous components without having to order anything, remove packaging, or make errors that could potentially set you back a few hundred dollars. And it goes one step further than online part-picker tools by allowing you to see just how everything goes together. Not only will you be selecting parts in this game, but you'll also be responsible for hooking up power and screwing a few things into place.
Some may question why this even exists, but it's actually a great concept and PC part manufacturers think so too — multiple vendors have teamed up with the developer to have their products included. The game allows one to put together builds without any real-life consequence. There's even a career mode that puts you in charge of your very own workshop where customers will place orders for new builds and upgrades.
But the best part about PC Building Simulator is it's incredibly useful for learning how to put together systems. If you happen to be a beginner and have never touched a power supply before, let alone installed a CPU, motherboard, RAM, or GPU, then this handy game will show you the basics.
Connecting all the cables
The game is not complete and is available in Early Access on Steam. We first saw the PC Building Simulator demo six months ago, and in the time since the whole interface has been revamped and the parts selection has been expanded. There's still plenty of stuff that could be added, including water-cooling all-in-one solutions. Covering custom loops would also be a valuable resource for system builders looking to create their own cooling solutions from scratch.
It would also be good to have a more in-depth system for cable management with accurate representation and cabling. Being able to mess around with hiding things behind panels, seeing just how far a specific cable would reach before making an order would be ideal. It also doesn't appear to be possible to plug in an HDMI cable to a motherboard, requiring a GPU. Finally, there needs to be an easier way to cancel the selection of a product to install.
The career system is also pretty basic, with customers already knowing what's broken and jobs not being affected by a reputation or difficulty score of any sorts. I suspect more complicated features will be introduced now that the foundations have been laid.
PC Building Simulator worth checking out if you're new to the world of PC building, or simply wish to enjoy a simulator that allows you to run your own PC repair business. It's a little pricey, coming in at $20 but is worth the cost if you're thinking about building your own computer but have absolutely no idea where to start.
Updated April 04, 2018: With a revised interface and arrival on Steam, it's time for a closer look.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.