VR feels a lot like an action movie, so why aren’t more Twitch streamers doing some of the cool stuff VR allows for? Are you really telling me you believe no one wants to watch a stream where someone single-handedly takes down 35 cyber ninjas, or where someone fights giants to the death?
Yes, you can do a lot of these things from your desktop PC but you’ll be sitting down. Sitting is the new smoking. Didn’t you know?
Whatever level streamer you are, Twitch can offer you the opportunity to build your audience. If you’re running Twitch from a gaming PC, you can run VR. The question is which titles will bring in the viewers? Where is the passion for VR outside of VRChat? And what about the fitness aspects of VR? Some of my favorite streamers discuss their diet and exercise regimens on stream. Now is the perfect time to incorporate VR and expand your viewership and your audience.
Here are some titles we think will help you look cool and get fit on Twitch, or any other game streaming platform.
A new favorite title in our household, but an oldie by VR standards. Gorn combines a lot of what I love in VR fighting games. The story is pretty simple: you fight to impress the Baby King. Dispatching your foes is where the fun can be had, and there are no shortage of weapons to choose from. Halberds and maces are some of my favorites, but there are crossbow caestus’ and pseudo Captain America shields that you can actually frisbee toss for maximum damage and hilarity.
Gorn is also packaged in a user-friendly and very zany box, with lots of movement options too. By default, users “pull” themselves to and from areas in the arena, but there’s also arm swing and pad movement.
So, what makes Gorn great for streaming? It’s simple to play and look cool, but it’s also going to work your arms and shoulders. You can easily sink 30-60 minutes into a Gorn session, especially on endless mode where difficulty ramps up gradually. It’s not just the brutality of the game, it’s how weapons feel when you swing them. Maces feel rubbery in the best possible way, so your swings all feel like they have heft to them. Plus, you can always find something to throw or swing at your enemies.
This game might be the best fit for streamers who enjoy slapstick or prop comedy, but it also works well for serious sessions too. It gets very difficult after its first few levels, and the pacing becomes fairly intense when the swarms of enemies grow thick.
Sairento is one of my favorite VR fitness games, and our pick for action game of the year in 2018. Sairento casts you in the role of one of two cyber ninjas whose goals vary from assassination to straight-up survival. You must use the game’s rapid movement system and slow-motion to avoid incoming projectiles, dodge attacks and find strategic openings. You’ll face steampunk sumos, fire hurling ghost maidens, cyber ninjas and invisible assassins all intent on claiming your head for themselves.
Sairento does a lot of great stuff with slow-motion combat. It also mixes up the wave shooter formula with objective-based gameplay and a sense of progression across its maps. There’s a strategy to wall-running, slow-motion dives, gun combat and melee that just meshes together fluidly. Sairento is at its best when you feel like the ninja you control. With multiple game modes, streamers can dive directly into the game’s toughest challenges, or tailor difficulty and show their audience the game’s growth potential.
From a fitness perspective, Sairento will demand a lot of the player. You’ll have natural resistance as you hold your guns and swords at the ready, combined with aggressive sword strikes and precision gunplay. One of the game’s best strategies is a leaping slide, where the player must squat through a slow-motion slide that opens up almost every enemy for counterattacks.
Sairento is best for streamers who enjoy exhibiting skill-based gameplay. You will want some warmup rounds to prepare yourself for the onslaught on harder levels, and to be sure you can handle long sessions with the game. A four-hour Sairento session will leave your legs screaming. Although, that’s not a bad thing is it?
Beat Saber is DDR in VR. Instead of your feet, the game wants you to slice incoming targets in specific directions. Add modding to this equation and you get physically demanding levels that are challenging and interesting. Good ingredients for fitness. The DLC and vanilla songs are also perfectly fine, and you might even find a few titles that groove you.
Where Beat Saber excels is that feeling of awe in watching someone be perfect at something. Streaming has built up a reputation of only the best and brightest in gaming showing off their skills. Beat Saber caters to that idea with challenging and seemingly impossible courses.
You can’t ask for a better fitness game than Beat Saber. It’s got enough action to keep your heart rate high, and it’s a full-body experience. You will lunge, sidestep, and get plenty of cardio in the process. Make sure you stretch before you begin.
So, who should play this game? If you’re the type of streamer who sees Mario Maker clips floating around on social media and thinks: “why not me” then Beat Saber is for you. If you love rhythm games then Beat Saber is for you. It’s not an easy game, but it has broad appeal. Just be aware that its skill ceiling gets very high when you start dipping into the modding community.
Creed has a pretty relatable boxing story: coming up from nothing, training hard and becoming the champion. It’s one we’ve heard before, but it’s nice to step inside those shoes. Creed allows you to feel like you’re an up and comer and it teaches you its best mechanics along the way. Go through its short campaign a few times and you’ll be ready for multiplayer, and there’s still an active community of players.
The Thrill of the Fight does boxing slightly better than Creed, but Creed wants you to approach it more like a fighting game. When you go online, you need to learn your character’s strengths and focus on conserving your energy. That approach works well in avoiding a swing fest online experience, so streamers will get the benefit of showing off whatever boxing skills they actually have.
The arm pump movement system emphasizes cardio and will test newcomers to VR fitness. Your arms will be feeling it after your first few sessions, but you’ll also notice more definition and strength. Not the best game for longer sessions, Creed is fun as a fighting game and as a different type of game. You’re playing real people here, which adds an element of randomness that the audience will appreciate.
Streaming Your VR Fitness Experience
A mixed reality setup isn’t terribly difficult to pull off. If you have a green screen, and a streaming PC, you can make it work. OBS is an excellent free streaming program with multiple options for angles. You can even have a production hand on the side to switch up camera angles for a more dynamic view.
We understand the costs of a high-quality stream setup can get crazy. Some use DSLRs and fancy 4K cameras to record themselves, and there are countless ways to upgrade your stream from layout to props and equipment. VR is a good start. You’re wearing a visor so you are the prop and you don’t need anything else to work around. Stick googly eyes on your headset and have fun with your stream.
VR fitness is a chance to switch up the mainstream idea of fitness. It’s not reps in a gym anymore, the virtual world is your playground. Let’s bring that excitement to Twitch and grow an audience around it.