There’s no question that shooter games are integral to the growth of VR. Overwatch, one of the top eSports games in the world, is a first-person shooter. Call of Duty and Battlefield are triple A games that sustain entire businesses, and both are first person. The immersive nature of the battlefield calls to people.

Arizona Sunshine’s new Dead Man DLC is here with two-handed weapons! Credit to: Vertigo Games and Jaywalkers Interactive

And VR is answering that call. Pavlov, Arizona Sunshine, Farpoint, Zero Caliber, Contractors, the Serious Sam series and Borderlands 2 is set to explode in PSVR.

As a gamer, I also know how hard it can be to step outside your preferred genre. If shooter games are where you find yourself spending the most time in VR, then these tips will help fitness boost your session.

Carry Weight

Soldiers carry packs and gear into the field, and weapons aren’t light. First, let’s add heft to your weapons with a pair of $14 weighted gloves, or $20 strength weights. A bonus for more active shooters: you can switch the strength weights to your ankles and high-step in place when you move.

Next, carry a backpack. I sometimes carry a small hiking pack full of water weight or toss a few books inside my backpack. Be mindful of your back, since you’ll be doing a lot of squatting and kneeling. My advice is to start with less gear and work your way up.

The extra gear adds some immersion like you’re actually carrying weapons and other gear you find along the way. I recommend players try this with Arizona Sunshine. You’ll feel right at home placing things into a pack and traversing those more extended missions with the weight of the gear you’ve found.

Moving and Dodging

When you’re dodging, try and practice lunging. This way, you step out of cover and keep a low form that makes you harder to hit, and you get a stretch. Works great for RecRoom or games like Pavlov or Zero Caliber. Anywhere you need to dodge incoming fire and peak out of cover.

Let’s also practice the step-and-move, just like an aerobics or boxing class. It’s a natural shuffle from left to right, where the front foot follows the back foot. Almost like skipping. Skipping or shuffling in place is also a good way to add some extra cardio and up your heart rate a bit, as well as deal with locomotion sickness.

But shuffling has a hidden benefit. It makes it easier for you to turn and pivot, making you far more effective at catching targets who may be behind or around you off guard.

Find Cover

Your odds of surviving in a shooter are completely dependent on finding good cover. If that’s not hard enough, I’m going to ask you to prioritize the lowest possible cover points you can find. Anything knee or waist high should be your first destination. The up and down motion you need to practice to fire over cover and hide from incoming fireworks your core, your knees, and everything in between.

Are you feeling great after that session? Good! Follow it up with a 30-second wall sit challenge. Back and neck flat against the wall, knees bent, arms down or resting on your thighs. Hold this position for 30 seconds and you’ve conquered your day and completed the mission! Alternatively, you can go for Box Squats which might give you better results if you’re looking for tone. Here’s a great writeup on how they work.

Longer Sessions

Shooting games can be enjoyable, and they lend themselves to very long sessions. Known as LISS, these more extended play sessions won’t boost your cardio with high-impact routines. You need to focus on maintaining a heart rate consistently in fat burning range.

Make sure you take stretch and eye breaks intermittently to avoid strain. LISS workouts need to be around 30-60 minutes, and they need your heart rate at roughly 60-70% of its max.

Prep a Play Space

Before your workout begins, take a moment to re-evaluate your play space. Can you scoot your furniture back a few inches, or buy some extensions for cords that give you more room to play?

Can you place your PC somewhere that gives enough space for you to move safely?

Make sure you can’t strike anything with your wands, and that you’ve removed all tripping hazards. Give yourself plenty of room to move, dodge, squat, kneel, and shuffle.

Good luck out there, soldier!


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