I love most the full-body session I get in VR. I bend and move in ways that I would otherwise build a specific workout around, to the point where I sometimes feel like I’ve been through yoga. VR experiences ask gamers to perform actions targeted to various muscle groups. Adding cardio to those sessions helps boost the results you get.
Cardio can be a challenge when you’re first starting out. Running hurts and the lungs and muscles need time to develop, so you need to learn how to regiment your training. That’s where VR can help. Cardio in VR is easy to do almost every day. In some cases, users say it’s enjoyable and look forward to the experience.
If you’re looking for a way to get off the couch a bit more, these games offer opportunities for cardio that you won’t want to pass up.
The Thrill of the Fight
Developer: Ian Fitz
A classic choice here at VRFI. When I first played it, I was literally floored. The Thrill of the Fight tries to calculate the force of your punches, so you feel it in your arms and shoulders by the end of a session. It’s open to some gaming, of course, but it generally does a decent job of calculating how hard or fast a punch is thrown. And, of course, we’ve laid out some tips to help you keep opponents down for the count.
In the ring, you will need to throw precision punches that are hard enough to score a knockdown. Outside the ring, you can practice your form and aim at dummies that will provide actual data on your punches. I’ve taken to shadow boxing with weights outside of TotF so that much punch power and speed will improve.
You can also customize opponents, both for difficulty and as a method of tailoring your workout. Longer rounds make you work harder, dodging and striking until you to can’t stand.
With constant feature updates and an extremely responsive developer who seems to understand boxing, we cannot recommend Thrill of the Fight enough for a genuine cardio experience.
Virtual Boxing League
If Thrill of the Fight is about simulating real boxing, Virtual Boxing League is the arcade take on that idea. It’s built on realism, but the physics and accuracy are not quite on the same level as Thrill of the Fight. Don’t assume that’s a bad thing. Some players will appreciate the difficulty scaling in Virtual Boxing League, which allows for amateur fighters to become a champion while they get fit. That same scaling difficulty then rewards fighters who do master the system.
Like the fighting but need a break? VBL has you covered with mini-games like Ball Blaster and Bum Rush to keep you entertained while you work your body. There’s even a pseudo BoxVR style game to play with 20 tracks to choose.
VBL has some ambitious plans for multiplayer, and if they pan out the title will be worth the cost in the future. Essentially, the developers want players to be able to participate in and bet on fights that take place online. That “league” will eventually grow to have prizes and robust player customization system.
Sprint Vector is kind of the new hype in VR multiplayer. It has an active player base, and it’s adding new content. Survios is doing a great job keeping their parkour-based sprint running multiplayer game engaging. The workout is intense as players pump their arms and move their bodies to try and gain an edge, reaching for pickups and striving for shortcuts along the way.
Sprint Vector appeals to fitness heads because of the obvious fitness benefits, but gamers love it too. That part of you that enjoys being in 7th place and getting the blue shell (you know who you are) will want to find that hidden edge in Sprint Vector. And it’s there.
The game’s thumping soundtrack and additional maps give everyone a reason to dive in for just one more race. Active players, share your gamer tags below in the comments or on our Facebook page so we can link up.
Developer: Alzan Studios, LLC
Simple and challenging, Holopoint delivers on a cardio workout that targets almost every muscle group in a session. The time attack options offer good fitness scaling potential as well. How long can you last?
There are also multiple opportunities for a full-body workout session. How many squats can you do in a single round? Combined with a robust scoring system, Holopoint keeps individuals in your group in constant competition and motivates solitary players to test their skills worldwide. If you’re looking for an edge, here are our tips.
Holopoint is a solid title that is easy to play and difficult to master. It’s simple enough that anyone can jump in as a first VR experience while offering enough options to scale with experienced fitness nerds. It’s a game that’s great to have in your library because you will be playing it for years to come, even as you find newer and more exciting experiences.
BoxVR is the only VR game designed with fitness in mind. Its gameplay was created with input from real trainers, who also provide advice and motivation during workouts. It’s a kind of rhythm game, but in practice, it’s a bit more like a kickboxing class. Players alternate their stance and use left and right punches, and dodges, to hit or avoid targets.
The routines are very user-friendly, teaching you how to throw a proper punch while never demanding too much of a beginner or intermediate player still learning the ropes. Advanced players benefit from customizable routines and access to your music library for nearly endless tracks to work out too.
The app tries to track your workout progress and succeeds to a certain degree. It isn’t as accurate as a FitBit probably would be, but you can set goals and get an idea of where your workouts are leading. The potential cardio stems from the speed at which you are asked to perform these actions. You can even play with friends now.
You’re never scrambling to time your hits, but you need to throw punches fairly regularly and will have thrown a few hundred by the end of your first session. All of this adds up to a progressive cardio experience that never quite feels like a video game.
Developer: Hyperbolic Magnetism
We are fans of BeatSaber here at VRFI. It doesn’t offer a massive library of songs like Soundboxing can, but it makes up for that with music designed for the gameplay. Algorithms are cool, and all, but the flow of BeatSaber is undeniable.
The game is based on the hand-eye coordination and movement that is fundamental to making a rhythm game great. Creating songs for the game also makes difficulty better tailored to players of any experience level. You can work up to beast mode with scaling difficulty.
Overall, BeatSaber has a lot of room for growth. It’s an excellent early access title with a metric ton of potential.