PC Building Simulator lets you build a custom rig without lifting a finger

PC Building Simulator

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 (opens in new tab) comes into play, and it does exactly what its name suggests.

Build without real consequence

PC Building Simulator

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

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.

See at GMG (Steam) (opens in new tab)

Updated April 04, 2018: With a revised interface and arrival on Steam, it's time for a closer look.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is 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 over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • So it's a game, not a tool? I thought it would be useful to have this as a simulation where you see which components go together, power consumption, the length of a GPU, airflow, etc. But that couldn't work if it's tied to brand sponsorship and deals. This is no good if it's just an excuse to advertise hardware. I mean, it's probably ok as much as the Lego simulator, but it doesn't add anything if you already know the very basics. not interested. But I also see there's a missed opportunity to do something greater here.
  • Assuming it to be both.
  • Correct. The game is sideplay to the main idea of simulating a build before committing to orders for the components. You don't have to stick to the brand names as long as you order parts with the same parameters. This simulator should help avoid common mistakes leading to performance bottlenecks.
  • Seems pointless to me. Pretending to build a pc isn't the same as actually building one, testing it, diagnosing problems
  • Agreed, I can't believe this exists. 
  • So you're generally against sims?
  • It's anything but pointless for a novice who's always wanted to build one but was intimidated by the maze of information that's offered on the Internet.
  • Agreed. Pretending to be a soldier isn't the same thing as enlisting, training, shooting bad guys for real... sheesh.
  • I mean that's why the US Air Force gives credit for hours flown in MS Flight and other flight sims. Because it's all worthless. Right guys.
  • Why not? What needs to happen is for a major custom PC builder to buy into this program and allow users to actually order the exact PC they just built (assuming the game has a "free play" mode).
  • That is actually a great idea
  • Cool idea! They should definitely team up with pcpartpicker.com!
  • Great idea. Eagerly waiting for it to launch in steam
  • I would love to check it out, but as a policy now I no longer download anything unless it's coming from the Windows Store. Come on developers, get your **** together.
  • Yes... I was disappointed as well to learn this was on Steam and not as a Windows Store, with main focus on VR/AR experience. It would have made it so much more real. Maybe it will be in the future, if this takes off. One can only hope =)
  • Not going 2 Hate on This Dude... It's obviously NOT GTA 5, but **** Guys, It's Ver. 1.0... I Think He Could add some Real Pics, and Cards, but IT'S FREEWARE,  and the Developer Probably Spent 100 Hours of Time Writing Code, just to be BITCHED About??? WTF... IT'S AN INDIE GAME, meaning Proceeds will be DONATED... Buy Your $1K GPUs X2, $100 for GTA6, then *****... A Microsoft Engineer can Make Bank with 100 Hours... Just STFU, Delete, and Move on to Ur WC $5K Investment to Play @ 4K on a $7C 34" Curved, Crossfire 2 $8Cx2 GPUs, $2C Case, $3C RAM $2C PSU $3C 1TB 960 PRO SSD, N Move The F On...