Conan O'Brien Plays "Space Pirate Trainer" (

Virtual Reality Fitness is here, and it will make your heart pound!

Thanks to the resurgence of virtual reality we’re all one step closer to The Matrix. While we might not always get the opportunity to say cool one-liners like Morpheus and Neo we may be able to workout like them.

“Do you think that’s air you’re breathing?”

The Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise has tested 24 VR experiences and has come up with an approximate calorie burn estimate for each game. Also, they’ve paired games with an equivalent traditional exercise based on each game’s MET score.

This is a list for those who want to push VR Fitness to the edge and possibly even utter the words “I know kung fu.”

So without further adieu, here is a list of the Top 10 VR Fitness Games based on approximate calorie burn and general awesomeness.

10. Space Pirate Trainer

4-6 cal/m Equivalent of Elliptical

Many games burn 4-6 calories per minute, but Space Pirate Trainer makes this list as the most impressive. Blast robots and dodge bullets as you attempt to survive horde after horde and boss after boss. It’s not uncommon at Sphere to see players take breaks or finish their session covered in sweat. Based on your height and weight you could easily burn between 120 and 180 calories playing Space Pirates for 30 minutes.

9. VirZOOM Arcade

4-6 cal/m Equivalent of Elliptical

VirZOOM Arcade is one of the cooler concepts out there for a mix of traditional and VR exercise. VirZOOM uses a unique exercise bike equipped with hand controls including triggers. In some games, the faster you pedal, the faster your horse, tank or bike goes. The triggers are used to shoot a weapon, throw a lasso or fly higher if you’re riding on a Pegasus. If that last sentence confused you, here’s a video.

8. Drunken Bar Fight

4-6 cal/m Equivalent of Elliptical

It’s official. Drinking beer burns calories. Well, maybe not real beer…

Drunken Bar fight is a fun-filled violent adventure in which we play the role of a beer drinking, pool cue wielding psychopath who chooses to start fights with anyone and everyone inside a poor unsuspecting bar. Though I don’t recommend this workout in real life, slamming back a few dizzying beers and picking fights with anyone standing around makes for a much better workout than even the coolest looking ellipticals.

7. Gorn

4-6 cal/m Equivalent of Elliptical

Looking for more blood in your workouts? Gorn is a cartoony take on Roman Gladiator fights. Much like Drunken Bar Fight, the premise is simple: Beat the crap out of whoever is in front of you. Unlike Drunken Bar Fight, you can do so by ripping off the other fighter’s arm and beating them with it. If you’re into cartoon gore and hailing Caesar, this is another key fighting game.

6. Fastest Fist

6-8 cal/m Equivalent of Tennis

Now we get to start ratcheting up the intensity. Fastest Fist is a boxing training simulator using a Bruce Lee look alike to mentor you as you Jab, Jab, Cross, Uppercut! Though you will not use nun-chucks to light any matches, you will be sure to be out of breath by the end of this workout. With an average of 180-240 calories burned with a 30-minute session, try to keep up.

5. Hotsquat

6-8 cal/m Equivalent of Tennis

While most of the games on this list are great substitutes for cardio, Hotsquat is much more. As you stand in a traditional gym, the walls begin to move toward you as you’re forced to squat down and fit your body into holes barely large enough for a dog. To top this, as wall after wall comes toward you must stand up to finish the squat or the whole gym will collapse on top of you. One wrong squat and you lose. Play Hotsquat. Your glutes will thank you/scream.

4. Knockout League

8-10 cal/m Equivalent of Rowing


Knockout League is a 1980’s arcade style boxing game amended for the HTC Vive. Think Mike Tyson’s Punch Out VR. Complete with blocking and punching, this game is sure to leave you out of breath. With an average burn of 240-300 calories per 30-minute session, this is a great alternative to rowing.

3. Audioshield

8-10 cal/m Equivalent of Rowing

One of the original great games for the HTC Vive, Audioshield is Guitar Hero for your hands. What makes this even more impressive is the fact you can choose any song you’d like from a library or YouTube. Few experiences are as immersive and good for calorie burning as Audioshield.

2. Holopoint

13-15 cal/m Equivalent of Swimming

Holopoint is one of my favorite games. Wield a bow, grab the arrow from behind your back and shoot targets in a Matrix style dojo. What makes this game so addicting and so extreme is that every time you shoot a target, it shoots back and it shoots fast. Coming from every direction, you’ll find yourself on the floor fighting for your survival. That is unless you’re a true Katniss.

1. Thrill of the Fight

15+ cal/m Equivalent of Sprinting

And here we are. THE most calorie intense VR game recorded so far. Though the graphics might not be as polished as Knockout League, don’t let Thrill of the Fight fool you. This is the real life equivalent of sprinting. Playing this for 30 minutes straight, if you can, will burn 450 calories or more! Personally, 10 minutes of Thrill of the Fight and I need a break. Adding this to your workout may leave you on your back.

For more of the top VR Fitness games, check out our VR Game Reviews or the Top 15 Best VR Fitness Games List.