When we first heard of Tesla and their first vehicle, the Tesla Roadster, over a decade ago, many correctly predicted them taking the initiative in redefining the automotive industry. What absolutely no one saw coming was that same electric car manufacturer developing a gaming platform for their vehicles. That’s right, if you didn’t already know, your Tesla is now a gaming platform.
With a starting price of ~$36,000, all Tesla games come free with the purchase of the vehicle, for now. Tesla has stated no intentions of charging customers for premium apps but who are we to deny them their capitalistic rights? Until then, if the day ever comes, all updates and additional Tesla games are free assuming compatibility.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 1, 2018
Teslatari started off as one of Tesla’s infamous Easter eggs hidden from public view. It came alongside the long awaited V9 software update which added new features such as an in-car dashcam and a whole new, revamped, interface. In order to access Tesla’s video game platform, you must access the hidden Easter egg screen. Just tap the “T” at the top of your interface and swipe down or wait a few seconds for them to show up. This method could be simplified in the future as Tesla teased its own dedicated gaming directory. We could possibly even lose the “Teslatari” name altogether as some new, upcoming, Tesla games already announced were not developed by Atari.
Before we begin this list we should mention that not all Tesla’s have been made equal. Some previous owners will not receive each and every new Tesla game being released to the fleet. That will be fully dependent on when you took delivery and which MCU (media control unit) you currently have. Tesla has produced two versions in recent history with the latest allowing for newer, modern, games, YouTube compatibility, and much more. If you took delivery of your new Tesla after February 2018, you most likely have MCU2 and will be receiving all current features. Those out of luck, do not fear, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has previously mentioned the opportunity to purchase and have installed the newer MCU2 in the near future. You can still play games using the touch screen display or the scroll wheels on your steering wheel.
Yes, you can upgrade hardware, although we also wrote software to accelerate rendering on old MCU. Coming out soon & makes a big diff.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 27, 2018
MCU2 cars have Tesla game controller compatibility. It is as simple as plugging in any gaming controller into your front USB port. You can take the classic route with one of these modern NES controllers . There’s even the option to go wireless with an Xbox One, PS4, or similar wireless gaming controller as long as you have a Bluetooth adapter. Those with MCU1 are out of luck for the foreseeable future.
Asteroids, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, and Centipede were the first four games to be released and are available on both MCU1 and MCU2 vehicles.
Asteroids is a space themed shooter first seen on arcade machines in the early 1980s. Your goal is simply to survive. Using your available weapons, you must shoot the asteroids coming at you from all directions. As you progress, enemies enter the arena and fire back.
Lunar Lander is sort of a homage to Tesla CEO’s space venture with SpaceX. In this Tesla game you control a lunar lander by using its thrusters in the end goal of safely landing on the moon. While this sounds easy in theory, it’s anything but.
In Missile Command, the player must protect six cities under attack by using their weapon defense systems. Quickly shoot missiles out of the sky before they hit the neighboring civilizations. As you progress, new defenses are unlocked and missiles start coming in faster.
Centipede was one of the most successful games of its time. You play as a garden gnome who must defend his mushroom forest from giant centipedes, spiders, and other creatures.
Pole Position (MCU2) (Discontinued)
Pole Position was a fan favorite and actually the first Tesla game that was restricted to MCU2 owners. The classic game was rebranded as “Mars Madness” and took place as a Tesla on Mars. It was short lived and eventually removed in an update due to “rights issues”.
Couldn’t resolve all the rights issues. Will add another racing game soon.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 11, 2019
In this Teslatari game you used your actual cars steering wheel to race against others. Fear not, the company is adding more Tesla racing games with the same controller option as Pole Position in the near future.
The existence or Tempest is still up in the air. It was seen in a Tesla game trailer for a Teslatari update but was never released or mentioned again. In that specific update, it seemed to have been replaced by 2048 but there’s no word on whether or not it’s officially off the table.
In Breakout, a layer of bricks lines the top third of the screen and the goal is to destroy them all. A ball moves straight around the screen, bouncing off the top and two sides of the screen. When a brick is hit, the ball bounces back and the brick is destroyed. The player loses a turn when the ball touches the bottom of the screen; to prevent this from happening, the player has a horizontally movable paddle to bounce the ball upward, keeping it in play.
2048 is unlike the rest on this list in the sense that it is a puzzle game. The objective is to combine numbers on a grid without running out of possible moves.
Cuphead is one of the most challenging and artistically pleasing platformers to come out in recent memory. The game is critically acclaimed and a favorite for many who enjoy the platformer genre. This addition has been a big surprise as it is the most modern game of what has been featured. It will only be able to be played with a connected USB controller as the game requires much more precision than can be had from touchscreen controls.
Beach Buggy Racing 2
Beach Buggy Racing 2 is an arcade racer akin to Mario Kart, however the added twist is that you are able to use the Tesla’s steering wheel and peddles to control you vehicle in game. Who needs one of those racing simulators costing thousands of dollars when you have a Telsa?
Along with the above two games, Bethesda Video Game Director Todd Howard and Fallout fan Elon Musk announced that they would be porting over Fallout Shelter to Tesla vehicles. Unlike other entries in the series, Fallout Shelter is more of a base-building game where you expand you vault and manage your resources.
Tesla has announced that they will add Chess to their Tesla Arcade lineup. The rollout to early access members has already begun so we expect to see it in all cars soon enough.