What’s better to pass the time than bashing a couple of decomposing zombie heads together? You can’t bring up horror fiction without invoking the morbid curiosity brought on by hordes of flesh-hungry living dead, but the sheer primal fun of this genre is hard to overlook.
And, as it turns out, they even have zombies in VR now too! Who’d have thunk? Luckily, there are some cool VR zombie games and, yes, you can even play these games with the intention of burning calories and losing body fat.
While your mileage may vary in that regard, you’ll generally incur at least a level of activity that warrants a LISS (low-intensity steady state) exercise when playing VR zombie games. You can lean into the gameplay a bit more, use more of your body, move around your play area more often, and put more intention into each of your movements for better calorie burn overall.
Here are the games to check out:
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is one of the best VR games around, period. It’s a fully-fledged survival horror RPG that has you scrounging for your own survival, but the detailed physics systems make for incredibly tense close-quarter battles with seemingly unstoppable waves of undead.
That said, a full playthrough of The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is at least a 15 hour commitment. But, because you have so many choices to make and alternate pathways, you can easily play through this one three, four, or even five times before seeing everything. It’s also one of the most physically engaging VR games that also carries this level of depth.
Here’s our fitness guide for players of The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is out now on SteamVR and Oculus Rift, and a PlayStation VR release is expected in Spring 2020. A Quest release is also expected, but not until much later in 2020.
Arizona Sunshine was the original “big zombie game” to hit VR headsets in December 2016, well over three years ago at this point. Best experienced with a friend in co-op, you’ll spend your time in Arizona Sunshine shooting your way to the end of each mission.
It’s been continuously updated since launch, with a few DLC releases such as The Damned, and a port to Oculus Quest. Don’t expect any strenuous melee mechanics, punching, or swinging your arms around. Arizona Sunshine is the most relaxed of the bunch.
Arizona Sunshine is out now on Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, SteamVR, and PlayStation VR.
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (Return of the Rotweiner)
What’s better than shooting and looting your way through an army of zombified sausages? Not much, honestly. Return of the Rotweiner takes the entire arsenal of weapons featured in Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, and drops it into a wasteland riddled with the walking hors d’oeuvres.
There’s a detailed physics system in place here, which means you can do some pretty crazy stuff in Return of the Rotweiners. Impaling hot dogs on a number of different weapons, such as claymores, is a pretty ingenious solution when the bun factories are (presumably) closed until further notice. Speaking of, this is the perfect place to try out as many of the MANY weapons featured in H3VR as you’d like.
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades is out now on SteamVR.
Pavlov VR (Zombies Mode/Mods)
Pavlov VR introduces a few different options for zombie slaying. There’s a built-in co-op mode where you can fight through waves of zombies with up to three friends online, but it’s pretty limited.
The one to check out is one of the many ‘COD Zombies’ mods, which directly pulls classic zombies mode gameplay from past Call of Duty titles into Pavlov VR. This is easily the most feature-rich co-op zombies mode around, aside from Arizona Sunshine, and it’s an incredibly addictive way to fight hordes of zombies with your buds online in VR.
Pavlov VR is out now on SteamVR.
We’ve gotten our hands on Half-Life: Alyx, and we can say with confidence that it is truly a massive accomplishment in VR game design. It isn’t the most physically active, as it is built around accessibility. However, Alyx will keep you vastly more entertained than many other VR games out there, albeit only for the length of its 10-11 hour campaign.
Half-Life: Alyx isn’t exactly a “survival horror” game or even a “zombie game”, per se. But on the other hand, it features a ton of ‘headcrab zombies’ to kill. If you haven’t heard about Half-Life: Alyx before, learn about it now, because this one is a huge deal.
Half-Life: Alyx is out now on SteamVR.
Here are our favorite VR games that have little to do with the zombie horror genre, but prominently feature the living dead in some form.
Asgard’s Wrath is about Norse mythology. Luckily, that means there are a literal army of Draugr, aka zombies from Norse folklore, to face down on your quest. Asgard’s Wrath is also focused around a ton of melee combat with swords and parrying, making it an active VR fitness game.
Here are the best weapons you can use to sweep groups of undead Draugr away in Asgard’s Wrath.
Asgard’s Wrath is out now on Oculus Rift.
Like Asgard’s Wrath, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR has its roots set in Norse mythology. If you delve into any tombs, you’re likely to run into your fair share of Draugr, and they won’t be particularly happy that you disturbed their sleep.
Here’s how to burn 1000+ calories in Skyrim VR, and here are the top mods to download for Skyrim VR on PC.
Skyrim VR is out now on SteamVR and PlayStation VR.
Technically, the zombies in Boneworks aren’t actually zombies. They’re just zombie-shaped AI. The whole thing is set inside of a computer world, so it fits.
On the bright side, there are a ton of these ‘AI’ zombies around, and there’s a fantastic physics system that lets you pulverize them to death with any old cardboard box, if you so choose. It’s quite therapeutic to kill the “zombies” of Boneworks, and we definitely recommend it — if you have the stomach for it.
Boneworks is out now on SteamVR and Oculus Rift.
Fallout 4 VR
Fallout 4 VR isn’t about a zombie apocalypse, but it is about a nuclear apocalypse, and those two flavors of apocalypse are probably cousins or something. Fallout also doesn’t have zombies; it instead features Ghouls, severely mutated and deformed husks of former humans that now roam the wasteland and feed on human flesh.
Zombies, Ghouls, potato, potah-to. Close enough for us. If you like to mix your peas with your carrots, however, you can customize Fallout 4 VR further to include actual zombies as well. Just install the Fallout 4 Zombie Walkers mod from Nexus. Here’s how to install regular Fallout 4 mods into Fallout 4 VR. (H/t Windows Central)
Fallout 4 VR is out now on SteamVR.