There’s a good reason why The Thrill of the Fight won VRFI’s Best VR Sport SIM Fitness Game of the Year and that’s because it is one of the most effective and realistic VR fitness games to date. When it comes to giving pro tips, there is no one better qualified than the creator himself, Ian Fitz. I reached out to Ian to get some tips and tricks on how you can maximize the potential this boxing simulator has to offer.

Here’s what he had to say:

1. Safety first!

Don’t hurt yourself or anyone else. Make sure your SteamVR boundaries are set up properly to include only completely obstacle-free space that you’re willing to walk or punch into. Make sure others know they need to stay clear of your play space. Don’t throw punches any harder than you are comfortable with. The game automatically adjusts your virtual strength to account for your swing speed, so don’t push yourself beyond your limits.

2. Take the game seriously.

Treat it like real boxing. Look up the basics of how to stand, move, and throw punches.

3. Strive for quality over quantity.

Weak hits don’t accomplish much of anything, so always try to make your punches count and don’t just flail.

4. Aim for weak points.

Hitting weak areas that cause excessive pain or head rotation is key to scoring knockouts. On the beta branch, there’s a boxing dummy with weak points marked that you can practice on.

5. Keep moving.

Bob and weave. If you’ve got the room, make sure to keep space between you and your opponent when you’re not trying to take him down. Pinning them in a corner just leads to a static slug-fest.

Author’s note: Your head is a big fat target. By making it a moving target, you will keep your opponent guessing.

6. Keep your arms up.

If you leave an opening, expect your opponent to punch it.

7. Press your advantage.

If you land a good hit and your opponent looks dizzy, try to keep landing good blows to secure the knockdown.

8. Adjust the game to your level.

You can use the “Customize” menu to change match length options and opponent difficulty to create a routine or to challenge yourself.

9. Opt into the beta and provide feedback.

The beta is generally several updates ahead of the main branch and constantly changing due to player feedback. The more I learn about each player’s experience, what they like, and what they find frustrating, the better I can make the game.

Ian’s roster of tips and tricks will undoubtedly give you your best performance to date, but to justify the title of the article, I added one more of my own:

10. Pace yourself.

On paper, 3 minutes might not sound like very much, but in practice, it can feel much longer. I’ve introduced many people to The Thrill of the Fight, and it’s not uncommon for the uninitiated to get in the ring and throw non-stop haymakers and completely gas out in under a minute. Find a pace that you can maintain for the duration of the fight and take time to recover, either by guarding with arms up or clinching up with your opponent until your stamina is back. Also, take full advantage of your one-minute rest breaks and be mindful not to accidentally trigger the mouthguard which sends you back into the fight.

Did one of these pro tips give you an “aha!” moment or have any pro tips of your own to contribute? Let us know in the comments section below!