If you’ve spent any time playing games on any platform in the last five years, you’ve killed your fair share of zombies. Now that zombies have fully integrated into virtual reality, it begs a very important question: How fit are these games for your next VR workout? Surely killing a hoard of zombies in VR should burn a huge number of calories, right? Here are three zombie games we decided to put to the fitness test so you can chose smart before your next virtual killing spree and get the most out of your workout.

Arizona Sunshine

This game combines two of our favorite things: First person shooter gaming and zombies. Who doesn’t love killing zombies? Rather than just a slice and shoot ‘em up, Arizona Sunshine has a narrative you have to get through, which is one of the selling points of the gaming, but also one of the detractors of the fitness. The game does grab your attention and you do want to get through it, but it’s not all hacking and shooting so there’s a lot of downtime between bouts of killing and getting your body moving. If you’re easily tired of a storyline in a game, then this game probably won’t be your favorite since there’s well over an hour to get through. And, as you’d expect, after you get through it, you’re probably not going to play it again—and certainly not for a workout.

How Does It Rank For Fitness?

Don’t expect a great workout for this game. We’re as bummed to report this as you are to read it. We had high hopes of swinging, kicking, hacking and evading zombies, but that’s not really what you’ll get in this game. Instead, expect long bouts of story on the path of the storyline with intermittent zombie battles. When you’re hacking away, you definitely can feel it in your arms and your heart rate can raise up, but it’s so fleeting that we can’t honestly recommend it for a workout of any kind. Sorry we’ve got to throw this shade at you for fitness Arizona Sunshine, but we did love the graphics.

Fitness Report Card: F


Anyone who tells you that HordeZ is a typical zombie-slashing game is misleading you at best. First off, you’re not just fighting zombies. Second, it’s not cluttered with a lot of story that slows it down. Third, the game moves forward as you kill your way through the experience, which solves the problem of having to walk around in VR without an omnidirectional treadmill or walking-in-place mechanism like the ones we’ve covered here and here. That’s a remarkable thing for gameplay, but not for fitness. Sure, you really are moving around (though not as much as the game would need if it was real) and the killing is intense and continuous, but it would be great to have more movement in this game. This is a game that you can play over and over if you’re into defending yourself against a never-ending swarm of zombies coming at you.

How Does It Rank For Fitness?

A never-ending parade of the undead may sound like a heck of a workout, but the fact is that this game is literally just a shooter—a rapid fire shooter, really. What that means is that you aren’t walking, running or forced to find cover, so that rules out lunging, leaping, squatting and twisting. Just shooting. And that’s the most important part: We could forgive the game for not having you run around a lot because of the current limitations of VR, but literally just giving us a couple guns and letting us hit buttons means you could pretty much do this game from a seated position and you won’t be getting a workout from that! About all you can expect to keep you moving is that targets come at you from literally all angles so you will have to be alert and reactionary to get your gun to hit the targets, but that generally doesn’t even equate to a full twist of your torso. The only other movement you’re responsible for is reloading and occasionally picking up ammo off the ground. This is not what we’d call a workout.

Fitness Report Card: D

Zombie Buster VR

As you might have guessed from the title, the overall point of Zombie Buster VR is to shoot zombies. There is a narrative in the gameplay and you progress through levels like you would in a typical arcade game. The hardest part of this game—and coolest part, quite frankly—is that the zombies come at you in epic number and those numbers only continue to rise as you progress and they don’t stop coming until the end of the level. And they come from everywhere. You will feel overwhelmed by the targets and you will want to play this game again and again.

How Does It Rank For Fitness?

Much like the other games on this list, you aren’t going to rack up a lot of steps on your pedometer. But make no mistake about it, you will be moving—a lot! The speed at which the zombies come at you is very difficult to explain without hyperbole. When you play this game, don’t expect slowdowns or open areas for story. Instead, expect a zombie body count of epic proportions that grows with each passing second as you play the game. That means you’re moving around to hit every single target from every direction imaginable. You’re going to get down on your knees, you’re going to squat, twist, swing and lunge. You’re basically going to do whatever your body allows in a small area with the exception of running or walking and you’re going to do it with increasing intensity through the levels of the game. You’ll want this in your next VR workout and you’ll want to revisit it often.

Fitness Report Card: A-