If you own a VR headset and enjoy playing FPS games like I do, then I have good news for you.
If you know about the differences between HIIT and LISS exercise, you’ll be keenly aware that VR FPS games fall into the LISS category of exercise.
How? By making you stand up and walk around your bedroom, bend over and pick items off the ground, crouch, or crawl when you’re sneaking around an area.
LISS games are never going to burn calories the same as a HIIT game like BOXVR or The Thrill of the Fight, where you are using explosive repetitive motions for minutes at a time. But moving your FPS addiction to VR is a good way to get healthier while gaming.
FPS Games Are Fantastic with Weighted Gear
I’ve been talking about weighted gear left and right these days. When you wear a weighted vest and you stand up, even if you’re standing in place, you are burning calories and building shoulder strength.
So, what happens when you add weighted gear to a session of Onward or Pavlov VR? You feel more resistance in each of your movements. You feel the additional impact from each of your actions in the game.
But most importantly, you feel more immersed. Especially on higher weights, where you can start to get a feeling of how much your character’s armor actually weighs.
Weighted gear is not a cheap trick by any means; it’s the real deal. You need to prepare your body before you put it on, and you need to be careful with it.
Want more info on weighted gear? Here’s my guide on maximizing Beat Saber with weighted gear and, while Beat Saber isn’t an FPS, my guidelines still apply here.
If you’ve played Onward, Pavlov or Rec Royale, then you know that those are some of the most stationary FPS games in VR. As a casual (non-competitive) player, you can play an entire round sitting down while using your thumbstick to move around.
But when you stand up and use weighted gear, it adds weight and resistance to your body, making you feel more like your avatar—who’s carrying combat armor.
I’d almost say that getting fit playing an FPS game is the gaming equivalent to slipping medicine into your pet’s food. But, seriously, don’t quote me on that.
FPS Games Are Even Better With a ProTube
Move aside, noob tube. It’s 2018, and we have a new tube to play with.
The ProTubeVR isn’t a piece of fitness gear per se, but it does add to the immersion. Which is important, because you want to be as immersed as you possibly can whenever you partake in any LISS activity.
Similar to walking, jogging or swimming in the real world, right?
Otherwise, you’ll get bored and stop after a few minutes and it won’t really do anything for your fitness regimen. Which then defeats the whole purpose of getting into VR.
Back to the ProTube; what does it do? Well, it makes you feel even more like a badass than your weighted gear does, especially when you use them both together.
It’s basically a holster for both of your controllers that form the shape of a rifle, which activates a psychological trigger in your brain that says “I’m here!”.
Another important consideration is how the ProTube stabilizes your weapon in your FPS of choice, granting you a higher control over your character in the game environment while making you more competitive.
It’s also necessary if you want to compete as a sniper in Onward’s VR Challenger League.
Run In Place
This might sound crazy, but bear with me! Running in place is not only a fantastic way to make VR games more immersive, nor is it just the perfect way to add calorie burn to explorable VR games; it will also help you fight motion sickness.
And what happens when you run in place while wearing a full suit of weighted gear, some weighted gloves, and ankle weights while wielding a ProTube? You might as well be inside the game, for one.
When you make a habit out of running in place in VR, you will have successfully turned your VR gaming sessions into a full-blown workout regimen that beats whatever your friends were doing at the gym this morning.
While some might complain that FPS games are too difficult like this, you’re not here to “take it easy”. You’re a champion, and this is VR Fitness Insider!
Keep in mind: Running in place is only effective when your character is simulating movement, and can be immersion-breaking in a fixed-position game such as SUPERHOT or Space Pirate Trainer.
If you’d like to run in place to trigger your avatar’s in-game locomotion, you should check out Natural Locomotion on Steam.
The FPS genre is core to classic PC Gaming and has become a console staple with titles such as Halo and Call of Duty.
Getting inside the game was one of the things that I always wished I could do while growing up. With VR, that’s more than a possibility. It’s a reality. In fact, it’s a virtual reality.
But when you play games while standing up in VR, you also get to move around and take in more air. Your body adapts to being on its feet, and you start to burn more calories than you would have, had you remained seated.
Which is exactly why you’ll find that it pays to juice the most fitness out of your VR gaming sessions, FPS or non-FPS.
If you follow my advice, you will have an unforgettable VR workout next time you’re blasting your friends online.
What’s your favorite VR FPS?