Rec Room is still one of the most accessible games in VR, and most notably for its crossplay between PC VR and PSVR users. It isn’t the most active game around by far, but it is still commonly played by VR veterans and newcomers for its social connectivity and its fresh slew of user-generated content and dynamic game modes. That, and it’s also free to play.
The question is, how do you get some serious calorie burn out of Rec Room if you’re looking to play something that’s active, but low-intensity?
I generally want to point you in the direction of augmenting your low-intensity VR gaming sessions with equipment like weighted vests, ankle weights and wrist weights for extra resistance and calorie burn. I also want to point you towards Natural Locomotion (if you’re on PC) and the practice of running in place while you move around in-game.
However, Rec Room has specific modes that work better with these implements. You want to find game modes that make you move the most. Which ones facilitate movement the best?
Rec Room Quests
Rec Room’s quests are best played with a group of four players, where you take on a pretty sizeable dungeon and collect coins before fighting a boss at the end. It’s all pretty standard dungeon-crawly stuff.
What makes the quests good for fitness is the fact that they’re so long. If you play with all of my recommended implements, you’ll notice that you’re working up quite a sweat at the end of a quest. The best one for getting your body moving is the Crescendo of the Blood Moon quest, which features whips. Rec Room’s whip mechanics work as you lash outwards and crack them with a second motion of the arm, making them more deliberate and challenging to use than a sword.
Rec Royale is currently Rec Room’s most intense multiplayer mode, featuring 16+ players showing down against one another across a replica of the contemporary American summer camp.
If you play Rec Royale like a true champion, you’ll end up feeling pretty wiped out after a few solid rounds. This is because Rec Royale, like its non-VR counterparts, is a game that becomes increasingly intense as each match (literally) closes in towards a finishing point. If you’ve spent 20 minutes trying to evade the swarm while gathering loot just to get blasted by another player, you’re going to feel it.
Unlike Rec Royale, laser tag is much more casual and less tense. It’s still extremely hyperactive and if you get really into the intensity of a match, you’ll work up a sweat without realizing it. This Rec Room mode doesn’t benefit as much from Natural Locomotion because of the tight corners and high focus on vertical engagements that can make thumbstick play feel more fair and “correct”. However, if you own a weighted vest, absolutely wear it for laser tag.
Paintball is really just a variant of laser tag here. Different weapons, different scenery, but generally it’s just a matter of distinguishing ‘capture the flag’ from ‘team deathmatch’. However, treat this one like you’d treat laser tag or Rec Royale. Wear body weights, use Natural Locomotion, and run in place whenever you move around for maximum burn.
Fun tip: When you let yourself get engaged at a full-body level, you’ll notice how much easier it is to enter a flow state and succeed at beating other players. With low-intensity VR fitness gaming, the goal is to get into the game as much as you can, for as long as you can.
Paddleball is a very simple, fun 1v1 game in Rec Room that has you paddling a ball back and forth between your opponent while you try to get it into their goal. On one hand, it isn’t inherently intense. But on the other hand, a competitive opponent can make it so.
Dodgeball is tricky because of the insane fight for survival that occurs each time one of exactly three (total!) dodgeballs spawns in the center of the court. If you run in place and use Natural Locomotion here, you can nearly simulate the exhilaration of running and actually dodging the ball as if you were on the court. Regardless, Rec Room dodgeball can be a pretty fun and competitive activity even without modifications.
Calling this Rec Room mode “Soccer” is sort of misleading. It’s basically Rocket League, but where you use your hands and your head to push a gigantic soccer ball down the field towards the opposing team’s goal. I would actually avoid using a weighted vest for this mode, but would absolutely go in with Natural Locomotion. Running in place will definitely help you get more exercise and feel more grounded on the virtual field as well.
Rec Room is one of the few VR games that suffer from somewhat of a content fatigue. It’s true that you have a wealth of user-generated content which keeps the game’s online community alive and well. However, there are plenty of stinkers in there as well. Besides, the original game modes constitute some of the best content available in Rec Room today.
Mechanically, you can burn calories in just about any mode within Rec Room if you’re standing up and moving around your play area. However, these modes are the best ones to play for consistent low-intensity exercise.
Which is your favorite Rec Room game mode to play? Let us know in the comments.
Images credited to Against Gravity