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What Are The Best VR Games For Exercise?

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Workout session just got more interesting and fun! Excessive sedentary gaming can have an effect on your weight but that’s not the case with VR games. No need to hit the gym every day. You can now stay fit and healthy at home with the help of VR games. They can help you burn calories and perform your regular exercise at home in a fun way with more determination.

In the past, I wrote an article about the best consoles for exercise and today I decided to check out some fun VR games for exercise!

So what are the best VR games for exercise? The most popular are Audioshield, The Thrill of the Fight, Holopoint, Sprint Vector, Beat Saber, BoxVR and many more! This time we’ll look at the 6 previously mentioned VR games in more detail.

Audioshield

Good news for all those who enjoy listening to music while exercising. This single-player rhythm indie game will let you fight your favorite music beats orbs in virtual reality. Audioshield will generate new levels that are based on the music you supply via local storage.

This joyful fitness game allows you to block incoming music notes with the power of a punch. Isn’t that amazing? Fight your favorite music beats in virtual reality. This high energy game is developed by Dylan Fitterer and available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows mixed reality.

This fun fitness VR game is perfect for an upper body and cardio workout that has proven to burn 6-8 kcal per minute (source). If you change some settings in your game to challenge yourself, you can get up to 13 calories per minute. You can get Audioshield at HumbleBundle.

Pros:

  • customizable with own downloaded music
  • can be modded to up the difficulty
  • no motion sickness

Cons:

  • support dropped for YouTube music
  • music interface is subpar
  • beat matching with custom music can be a bit off

The Thrill of the Fight

It’s time to get all your stress out with this VR boxing game. This is the best VR knockout and boxing game that allows an ideal upper body workout if you are looking to warm up. This game will make you sweat!

The VR Institute of Health and Exercise rates this boxing game as an equivalent to rowing. You can burn 8-10 kcal per minute. (source) The VR technology has limitations, so this game is by no means an accurate representation of real boxing. However many players who have had some experience with real-life boxing admitted that it was pretty close to the real thing.

Ian Fitz developed this game and the available platforms are HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Enjoy the experience of real-life boxing in your virtual gym. Players highly recommend this game – it will get your blood pumping! The Thrill of the Fight is available on Steam.

Pros:

  • no motion sickness
  • accuracy
  • intense workout

Cons:

  • high difficulty can be tough to beat
  • can get repetitive

Holopoint

It’s better to cancel your gym membership because Holopoint wants a lot of physical movement. This first-person archery game is all set to make you sweat in no time. In this archery combat, players have to catapult and slingshot the arrows quickly at the holographic rivals; the dangerous ninjas, blue samurais, demons and black targets.

This fast archery game often draws comparisons to the Hunger Games training part with the dominant use of the player’s upper and lower body. Not only do you shoot the targets, but you also have to dodge what’s coming at you. The exercise equivalent is tennis and you can burn 6-8 kcal per minute. (source)

Holopoint is developed by the Alzan Studios and available for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets. With a GTX 970 graphics, it comes with two modes: time trial and the original. Fight back the waves as fast as you can with a super active mind and body. Holopoint is available on Steam.

Pros:

  • no motion sickness
  • intense overall workout
  • your legs get a workout as well, which is rare for VR games

Cons:

  • wired headsets can get tangled due to the 360° nature of the movements
  • bow mechanics can sometimes get weird
  • can get repetitive as there are only 2 game modes

Sprint Vector

Sprint Vector is a fun colorful VR racing game that will give you quite the workout and leave you out of breath! To move forward you use your arms to simulate running. Not only that, you will also learn how to drift, wall run, climb and even fly. While the tutorials are fairly simple, the learning curve of mastering the controls is pretty steep. But have no fear, you will still enjoy the game even if you’re not the best at it.

You can play alone, against AI or have private or public multiplayer matches. There are 12 colorful race tracks with power-ups, shortcuts, and obstacles to challenge your opponents or 9 single-player courses to test your skills.

You can burn 4-6 kcal per minute, the exercise equivalent of an elliptical machine workout (source). Thanks to the locomotion, you shouldn’t feel any motion sickness while playing this game.

Sprint Vector is one of the most popular VR games. Many players say the game is like Mario Kart meeting Mirror’s Edge and I have to agree!

If you’re thinking of buying the game solely for the multiplayer aspect, please be aware that many players have trouble finding any matches, mainly because not everyone has a VR at home, so it’s not so widespread.

The game is available for PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. You can get Sprint Vector at Humble Bundle.

Pros:

  • no motion sickness – you need to adjust your footing if the direction changes
  • intense workout
  • great visuals and soundtrack

Cons:

  • lack of online multiplayer matches
  • steep learning curve
  • can get tangled if not using wireless VR headset

Beat Saber

Beat Saber is a similar game to Audioshield as both are rhythm-based games. I find that Beat Saber can be more challenging. At first glance, it seems like a Jedi training course and well…who wouldn’t want to play that?

Check out this insane gameplay!

You have to slice the cubes in the way the arrows are telling you. It can definitely get mentally challenging, especially when you have to cross your arms, duck or dodge the huge walls flying at you.

Beat Saber makes a great party game but you can also play it alone. You can burn 6-8 kcal per minute, making this game comparable to tennis (source).

Beat Saber is available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality. The base game song choice is pretty limited but with some modding, you can add your own music. You can get Beat Saber at HumbleBundle.

Pros:

  • no motion sickness
  • intense workout
  • Jedi training 😁

Cons:

  • needs to be modded to add custom songs
  • DLC songs are expensive

BoxVR

VR fitness is taken to another level! This boxing rhythm based VR game is ideal for arms, chest and shoulder conditioning and the ultimate cardio workout. Also, get ready to become a sweaty gym jumble with this calorie burn game. Forget about a punching bag! It’s time to punch the beats. Burn calories and stay fit while listening to intense electronica rhythm.

The VR workout app will keep track of your fitness, as well as your calories, burned every day. Furthermore, this fat burning and strong muscle flexing boxing game is rated as ‘Intense’ under Oculus comfort rating.

Not only that but BoxVR has received 3 VR fitness awards as well (2017, 2018). The exercise equivalent is tennis and you can burn 6-8 kcal per minute while playing.

BoxVR is developed by the FitXR and available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows mixed reality headsets. You can find BoxVR at HumbleBundle.

Pros:

  • intense workout
  • ability to add custom songs

Cons:

  • some people may experience motion sickness with the jumping mechanic
  • beat mapping can be a bit off for custom songs

Will I Get Motion Sickness?

Some people are prone to motion sickness (ask WebMD why) and it has been shown that some VR games can cause this as well. Even people who have no problems with motion sickness during car rides and such can report sudden symptoms.

The best ways to battle motion sickness while playing VR games are:

  • start with little 5 minute segments of gameplay, extending them more and more over the next few days until your nausea subsides
  • take breaks often – if you feel queasy, stop immediately, get some fresh air and drink water
  • sit down while you play – it’s not always possible (especially with fitness games)
  • change settings in the game – most games allow you to change certain settings to make sure you are comfortable
  • try to have a fan aimed at you, that might trick your brain into thinking you’re moving

I tried to choose fitness games that cause no motion sickness. However, if you’re super sensitive, it might be best for you to start slow, try out a VR set before buying.

What About The Sweat?

It’s basically given that workouts will make you sweaty and it’s no different with VR. It can even get you more sweaty, considering you’re wearing a VR headset on your face and headphones.

Thankfully companies have thought of that and provided foam replacements and hygienic covers for your VR headsets. The most popular brand is VR Cover, which offers a good range of products (check prices at Amazon).

Why HumbleBundle?

As I mentioned earlier, this post contains some affiliate links. I decided to go with HumbleBundle because not only you can get awesome bundles and some cool deals, but by buying from my links you will support a charity of my choosing.

This time I have decided to support the Epilepsy Research, mainly because it’s a topic close to me but also the brain is such a complicated organ, so any research on how the brain works and how seizures affect the brain is very important.

Conclusion

All in all, a workout can never be boring with the best VR fitness games. Transform the gym session into an exciting VR gaming. You can make VR exercise games a part of daily workout routine to get remarkable benefits of enhanced endurance, energy, weight loss, and muscle gain. You don’t have to be ashamed of clocking many hours in a video game!

Do you own a VR headset? Do you own any VR games for exercise? Let me know which games you’d like to try!

To me, Beat Saber looks hella fun and I’d also like to try Sprint Vector. 🙂


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