Without a doubt, the Oculus Quest’s standalone $400 MSRP and lack of cable tethers are a difficult bargain to beat. As Quest pre-orders are fulfilled over the next several days, many fresh faces will inevitably wander into the domain of VR fitness, seeking out information on which games offer the most exercise potential. Though, calling any single game on Quest an ‘active’ game or a ‘fitness’ game is a bit of a misnomer, given that you’ll have the freedom to make any game as physically ‘active’ or ‘inactive’ as you please.
This is the first time we’ve written a top games list for an entirely cable-free VR platform. So, forgive me for wanting to sit and explain that we usually write about games solely in terms of how they utilize repetitive motion in forcing players to burn calories. That won’t be necessary here. Unlike with headsets that are tethered to PC or PS4 systems, the portability of the Quest allows you to move around wherever you’d like and however you please. This means that you can physically run, jump, slide, forward roll, or squat out of harm’s way (in the real world) in any game where tethered VR players may normally need to rely on thumbsticks or trackpads for movement. And, as a complete revelation for many of us tethered VR vets, you can even turn all the way around.
There’s a surprising amount of crossover between the Quest catalog and the PCVR catalog. Of course, if you’re brand new to VR gaming, you may not know which titles are worth your time, attention, and money. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of Oculus Quest launch titles that are completely worth all three of those things, where applicable.
10. Sports Scramble
Sports Scramble, the initial Quest offering from developer Armature Studio, is exactly what it sounds like in the title. The premise is that you get to play a wide variety of virtual sports that are ‘scrambled’ at random intervals. Some of the examples run between playing “Tennis with a Golf Club,” or smashing a “Home Run with a Hockey Stick,” as quoted directly from the store page.
Granted, Sports Scramble is a new game without the pedigree that some of the others on this list can lay claim to. It certainly fulfills the promise of the Oculus Quest in terms of game design, and it plays best when you have complete and utter spatial freedom to run back and forth. From the short demo I’ve already played, Sports Scramble seems to know exactly which buttons to push in order to provide a fun, if unpredictable, active gaming session. Grab it from the Oculus Store for $30.
9. Orbus VR: Reborn
OrbusVR: Reborn is the one and only high fantasy MMORPG currently out on the Oculus platform. You’ll get to create a character and explore a persistent online world (cross-platform with PCVR players using both SteamVR and Oculus) as one of eight possible character classes such as the Paladin or Shaman. While you level up each class independently through quests, exploration, raids, and PVP battles, you maintain the freedom to change classes at any time by swapping out your weapon with the one belonging to the class you’d like to play as.
What makes OrbusVR: Reborn quite interesting to play on the Oculus Quest is how each of its classes represents a different classic VR gimmick, such as shooting bows or throwing orbs that deal damage. While the action feels a bit subdued if you’re reliant upon traditional smooth locomotion to move around, OrbusVR: Reborn opens up for a breath of fresh air once you get more physically involved in the rhythm of combat. Grab it for a one-time MSRP of exactly $40.
Related content: Let’s Get Fit In OrbusVR
VRChat, as a social VR platform, has introduced opportunities to both socialize and exercise into the VR space that were previously unimaginable. On a daily basis, people design and host squatting classes, improv shows, dance classes, and other programs of similar status. Of course, VRChat isn’t so much a ‘game’ as it is a social app that can host content made by other people—including but not limited to games.
As a Quest user, you’ll have much more free reign to move around and get physically active with other avatars in VRChat, offering the closest experience to what’s promised in Ready Player One. If you’re curious about nightlife or even gym life in VR, your best shot at going out dancing at a VR nightclub or joining a group workout session will come from VRChat, assuming that you can find good rooms that are optimized for the Quest. The base VRChat app is entirely free.
7. Rec Room
Rec Room is truly profound, and I mean that in every sense of the phrase; there’s literally nothing else exactly like it anywhere. It’s one of VR’s premiere social spaces, sure, but it sets itself apart from the others by boasting millions of community-made levels, loads of official multiplayer game modes, a meaningful progression system, plenty of avatar customization, and an interactions-focused infrastructure that wraps it all together into one of the medium’s most satisfying and replayable packages. It’s a marvel how Rec Room has managed to remain completely free for so long, and only recently did its developer (Against Gravity) begin to trickle paid microtransactions into its (very strictly aesthetics-focused) player cash shop.
A handful of Rec Room’s game modes are cordoned off for the Quest version of the title at launch as its developers continue optimizing for the tighter resource needs of the Quest’s onboard Snapdragon 835 processor. That said, as a Quest owner, you can already get in there and play with roughly one-third of the official game modes available on its PCVR and PSVR counterparts. Paintball, Dodgeball, and Charades are a few of the modes that already work out of the box. Crossplay is enabled across the PSVR, SteamVR, and Oculus platforms, which means that you can also begin making new friends and receive assistance from experienced players as soon as you log in. And you can even explore most of the player-made community game modes and rooms.
Once again, Rec Room is entirely free. When you first log in and set your account up, you’ll receive an online profile where you can upload and share content, send messages and friend requests, and cultivate a tidy little social network with other Rec Room players across all applicable platforms. Should you find yourself wholly immersed in Rec Room, you may wake up one day and see it as the radiant online world that its veteran players have built with care and love over the past several years.
6. Space Pirate Trainer
Space Pirate Trainer is the single most active VR bullet hell shooter you may play for some time. It’s a wave shooter, through and through. But it’s the most tightened wave shooter across the entire VR medium by far. From the very start, you’re handed a selection of weapons and tools that cover all of the different flavors of mayhem that you might want to enact, each of which are punchy and offer different challenges and advantages alike.
Back when I first got into VR in 2017, this was the classic VR game that originally made me drool over the concept of owning a cable-free gaming headset someday. And once you pop your head into the distinctly cyberpunk-looking arena, you’ll quickly find out why. Space Pirate Trainer is one of those rare VR titles that you’ll find yourself subconsciously attempting to do actual barrel rolls in while avoiding hails of enemy gunfire streaming down at you from all sides. This means that anything that could logically stop you from achieving said barrel rolls is a very bad thing indeed. Luckily, the cable-free nature of the Oculus Quest means that you can theoretically barrel roll, squat, and powerslide to your heart’s content, which leads Space Pirate Trainer to the #6 spot on our list of top Quest launch titles. You can grab it for a clean $15.
5. SUPERHOT VR
Superhot VR is, well, do I really need to explain this one? It’s a compulsory play for anybody who owns a VR headset, whether that be an Oculus Quest, a PSVR, a Windows MR, or anything in-between (that supports the title). If you’re completely out of the loop, Superhot VR is a slow-mo shooter where time only moves when you move. And, in VR, that results in large stretches of time where you are literally stretching and exerting your core. Everything in the game is extremely low-poly, which makes for a particularly smooth experience where enemies and objects are clear-cut: if it’s orange, shoot it. I can’t explain the game much better than that, but I can say that it’s one of the most impactful experiences you’ll have on your brand new Oculus Quest, and it’s also a barrel of fun and a great workout. You can nab Superhot VR from the Oculus Store for $25.
Related content: Superhot VR Game Review – Excellent Core Workout
4. Dance Central VR
If you’ve been itching to get your groove on in an actual game that teaches you to dance, then Dance Central VR is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. I haven’t gotten my hands too deep into this one yet, but from my gameplay demo at GDC, I could already tell that what Harmonix has put together here is fitness gold. As somebody who took dance classes for a few years back in college, the range of motions that are tracked as well as the fidelity of the actual dance moves you’re asked to complete is extremely impressive. Additionally, it’s just a good deal. You’re getting crossbuy and crossplay between the Oculus Quest and Rift platforms, 32 tracks, a full campaign, and group multiplayer support right off the bat. Read my GDC impressions of Dance Central VR here, and grab a copy of the game for $30.
3. Creed: Rise to Glory
Our winner for Best Fighting Game of 2018, Creed: Rise to Glory holds the crown title for giving players the most fun melee boxing experience in the entirety of the VR medium. It’s also one of very, very few AAA titles that are completely designed around fitness and active play. Step into the ring as Adonis Creed, voiced by Michael B. Jordan himself, and train alongside Rocky Balboa as you bust your way through a cinematic campaign that sees you take down fighter after fighter on your way to the championship. And yes, there’s even multiplayer. Get your copy of Creed: Rise to Glory on the Oculus Store at an MSRP of $30.
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How are you supposed to supplement your training in Creed without a few good rounds of BOXVR? Another championship-winning title, the non-Quest version of BOXVR earned its place as our Best VR Cardio Fitness Game of 2018, and rightfully so. It’s arguably a much more focused fitness game than any other, even Beat Saber (our overall Best VR Fitness Game of 2018). But where it lacks in fun, light mechanics, it makes up for in actual workouts that directly focus on building distinct muscle groups. BOXVR is the infinite source of professionally guided group workouts and HIIT fitness courses that you only need pay for once. That is, until your headset breaks down or your account keys get jangled. BOXVR is the one that you download because you’re actually serious about fitness. And for the purpose of getting and staying fit, it’s worth every penny at $30.
1. Beat Saber
Selling over one million units and even landing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Beat Saber has become somewhat of a spectacle around the world. And yet, it may be one of the most important games to ever reach the previously parched beaches of VR’s nascent gaming industry. As a new Quest owner, you may have purchased your device because of Beat Saber. If not, you won’t get very far without stumbling over and/or becoming hopelessly consumed by it. In terms of gameplay, it really doesn’t need explaining. It explains itself. And yes, it’s worth the $30.
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Apex Construct – $20
Journey of the Gods – $30
Robo Recall: Unplugged – $30
RUSH – $20
Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – $10/Episode 1
Particularly agree or disagree with our choices? Let us know in the comments!