PC Building Simulator 2 is saving me from spending money I don’t have

Building computers is an expensive hobby, but the best thing about PC Building Simulator 2 is that I don’t have to spend a dime to build the rig of my dreams.

A screenshot from PC Building Simulator 2, in which the insides of a gaming system can be seen in a glow of RGB lighting

Do you know the worst part about shiny new PC components? They cost so much money. I know why they cost what they do, but for someone who built their first system in 2017, time has not been kind to my machine. Over the years, I’ve swapped out my motherboard, my CPU, my RAM, and picked up the best graphics card I could at the time.

Sure, it’s all part of the fun, but when it’s clear Nvidia is sitting on the RTX 4070 release date and AMD is no doubt planning some fandangle new thing that’ll change the way we look at computers, I can’t help but let out a single extra salty tear for my hard-earned money. Will no one think of the PC-shaped hole in my bank balance?

If you’ve built your own PC, then you’ll know that nothing will ever quite satisfy your itch for building except buying yet more Lego blocks to click into place inside your machine. Over the years, I’ve tried satisfying that itch by building my partner his first system using parts I found on the Facebook Marketplace and a VR rig for our living room. I then taught my brother-in-law how to build his using the same five minute ‘how to’ video I had used all those years before. Hell, I even taught my best friend how to build hers in the smallest case I think I’ve ever seen over Zoom.

That feeling of seeing a computer whirr into life is dangerously addictive, and when you haven’t built anything in over a year, you begin seeking it out in any way you can. I started watching auctions on eBay and haggling neighbours on Gumtree, but nothing really came to fruition. That is, until I stumbled upon PC Building Simulator 2.

A screenshot from PC Building Simulator 2, in which a AMD Ryzen processor can be seen in a motherboard, with thermal paste on top of it that's been drawn in a way to resemble a smiling face

It turns out that PC Building Simulator 2 is an absolute game changer. I now have the disposable income to buy old computers, work out what’s wrong with them, and sell them on for a profit via my own virtual company, Press Any Key Repairs. It means that I no longer have a desire to buy that scraggy old computer I saw on Facebook Marketplace because I can do it in the virtual world without any of the cost or risk.

Over the course of my save, I’ve bought countless computers and sold them on for a profit. Some had broken components, others had blown PSUs, and some had viruses, but I’ve managed to repair them all. My confidence in my ability to diagnose and repair these machines largely comes down to the lessons I’ve learned while playing this game.

While PC Building Simulator 2 is just that, a game – it’s also highly educational. When I immersed myself in the world of PC building all those years ago, I did so with the hallmark traits of a novice. I knew what components I had to buy and why, but without a video, I didn’t know where to put them or what wires to connect. Developer Spiral House teaches you this – and much more – throughpoint and click missions in your company’s early days via the Career mode. Then, as your confidence builds, so too does your skillset, and you’ll know which parts to switch out without needing to check your compatibility tool.

A screenshot from PC Building Simulator 2, in which an empty motherboard rests on a desk, surrounded by paraphernalia such as thermal paste

And the best bit of it all is that with fully licensed parts, you can build your actual PC in the virtual world via Free Build and even benchmark it without spending a single penny. While that’s a dangerous game in itself – as it basically dares you to drop money on upgrades – it’s an incredible learning tool that just doesn’t exist in other videogames.

It’s taught me all about water cooling and closed loops from the comfort of my own chair, and while it’s not quite given me the confidence to make the leap and discard my trusty AIO, I’ve learned far more from PC Building Simulator 2 than I have actually putting these things together in the real world.

And that in itself is beautifully bonkers. With Press Any Key Repairs, I can dare to dream of the wildest PC build ever built by my own (virtual) hands without spending a single dime. And if that’s what it takes to satisfy my PC building itch, then so be it; plug PC Building Simulator 2 into my veins.