While many people are turning to fitness apps to help them build exercise routines and stay in shape, formal workouts don’t appeal to everyone. Fortunately, there are many different ways to stay active, and plenty of them let you have fun while you’re at it. Virtual reality is one of those options – it may not be a formal workout, but there are many games out there that will have you working up a sweat. Here are some of the best VR games that will get you moving without having to head to a gym.
Rhythm games are a popular genre of VR games, where the player needs to move in time with the beat of a song in order to score points. This is often represented by hitting and dodging incoming obstacles, giving the player a workout to music while testing and improving their reflexes. Beat Saber is a popular entry into this category, and is considered by some to be one of the best VR games in the rhythm genre.
In Beat Saber, the player wields a pair of swords (they’re essentially off-brand light sabers, which doesn’t hurt the game’s appeal) and has to hit cubes that fly towards them in time with the music. Each cube needs to be hit by a specific sword from a specific direction, adding challenge to the game. On lower difficulty levels the player won’t need to move around too much in order to hit the beats, so people looking for a workout will need to try out the harder settings.
Other rhythm games with similar gameplay to Beat Saber include Audioshield and Beats Fever, but there are many other types, including games where the goal is to dodge or shoot obstacles, and games more closely tied to the concept of music where the user plays an instrument or dances to the beat.
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Dance Central is another type of rhythm game: it’s played by matching the choreography of on-screen characters as they dance to various songs. The more accurate the player’s movements, the better they score. While this is the first venture into VR for the series, this movement-based gameplay isn’t new to Dance Central. Previous titles have used the motion tracking of Microsoft’s Kinect in order to follow the player’s movements. The newest game in the series is tailored to the VR experience, tracking the user’s head and hand movements and employing dance moves that won’t risk dislodging the VR headset.
Dance Central is made by Harmonix, a developer best known for creating the Rock Band franchise. Harmonix has produced many rhythm and music games, such as Guitar Hero and DropMix, and its other VR games include Rock Band VR and Audica.
Creed: Rise to Glory
For those looking to get their physical activity without a musical component, there are many sports-based alternatives. Boxing in particular is the focus of many different VR games, and can be a great option for people who want to work on their cardio.
Creed: Rise to Glory is one of the best VR games in the boxing category. It offers some of the best graphics, and teaches real boxing moves. It also encourages players to take breaks, and boosts immersion by vibrating the controller whenever a punch hits its target. The game includes both a single-player campaign and online multiplayer.
Other boxing games include BoxVR, a combination boxing and rhythm game; Thrill of the Fight, another realistic game that requires the player to punch with skill and accuracy; and Virtual Boxing League, which is more forgiving and freeform than some of the others. There are many other VR boxing games on the market, however, so chances are players will find one that suits their tastes.
Players looking for the best VR games based on sports may not think of squash as their first pick, but Racket: Nx offers a polished, fun experience with both single player and multiplayer options. Players are placed inside a dome where they need to hit targets as quickly and accurately as possible, while picking up energy refills and avoiding panels that will drain their health.
If squash doesn’t fit the bill, there are many other sports games available. VR Sports Challenge lets players pick from several different games, including hockey, football, and baseball. NBA 2KVR Experience brings players onto the basketball court, while Headmaster offers a sillier take on sports by asking the player to hit soccer balls and other objects with their head. There are a wide range of other sports games as well, from mountain climbing to ping pong and beyond.
Extended Reality Market Outlook
VR and AR gaming have been somewhat slow to gain traction with consumers, but with hardware becoming more accessible and gaming becoming a more widespread hobby, these types of games are seeing a significant boost in popularity. Players are turning to VR not only for traditional video game experiences, but for fitness, exploration, and more. Some of the best VR games are ones that couldn’t function without a VR component, while others put a new spin on traditional types of games. The extended reality market (which includes AR, VR, and MR) is expected to grow by 65% in 2020, with incremental growth of over $175 billion between now and 2024. It’s a good time to be creating games in this category.
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Learn more about the extended reality industry with Technavio’s market research insights, including:
- CAGR of the market during the forecast period 2020-2024
- Detailed information on factors that will drive extended reality market growth during the next five years
- Precise estimation of the extended reality market size and its contribution to the parent market
- Informed predictions on upcoming trends and changes in consumer behavior
- The growth of the extended reality industry across APAC, Europe, MEA, North America, and South America
- A thorough analysis of the market’s competitive landscape and detailed information on vendors
- Comprehensive details of factors that will challenge the growth of extended reality market vendors