Riding into 2019 on a wave of hype, the Oculus Quest has captivated seasoned VR gamers and newcomers alike. That’s partly down to its untethered, wireless nature – we’re still loving the ability to pack it into a bag, take it to a friend or family member’s house and jump back into the action without worrying about hooking up a gaming PC and finicky sensors.
Of course, no gaming system will gain traction without, well, great games. And thankfully the Quest launched with an eclectic library of titles that spans genres and serves up a myriad of stellar experiences. Let’s dive into the best Oculus Quest games that you can play today, and read on to find out what our picks of the best Oculus Quest games are.
Oculus Quest games on our radar: Onward
Onward, a tactical Mil-Sim (or military simulator) that’s gained a devoted following on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift (and now Rift S), is a hugely anticipated port for the Quest. It’s a shooter that practically demands to be played in warpaint and camo combat overalls thanks to its manual combat controls, which lend it a distinctly realistic feel.
When reloading, many weapons require you to physically reach out and discard the ammo clip, before grabbing and inserting a new one from your belt then cocking a lever to chamber a round. Clips suddenly feel like slippery fish as you cower on the family room floor, back to the couch, frantically attempting to reload as the sound of enemy gunfire draws closer.
Playing Onward with an untethered, room-scale set-up should only add to the appeal. Its maps, which range from desert outposts to deserted underground stations, provide plenty of options for diving for cover in the real world. Which is half the fun, if you ask us.
Expected: Hopefully sometime in 2019
Without further ado, on to the games you can get right now for your VR headset…
Beat Saber has sold more than a million units across existing VR platforms for good reason – it’s addictive as heck – and simple enough for anyone to jump into. The aim is to slice red and blue blocks in time to music using dual lightsabers while contorting your limbs to duck and dodge advancing walls.
At lower difficulties it’s fun, but things get really interesting on ‘Hard or ‘Expert’. Stick with it, and you’ll eventually enter a ‘flow state’ where your arms operate independent of thought. Suddenly you’re slicing through blocks like Luke Skywalker if he’d drummed for Pendulum instead of becoming a Jedi.
Make sure you have a big enough play space to execute 360-degree dance moves (which is exclusive to Quest), and hooking up external headphones (especially ones with deep bass) is a must. Following a recent update, it’s even possible to cast gameplay to mobile devices and certain Chromecast models to show off your moves to friends.
Robo Recall: Unplugged
It’s fair to say that few people outside of Drifter, the studio hand-picked by original developer Epic to port Robo Recall to the Quest, expected Unplugged to play nearly identical to the full-fat Oculus Rift version that came out in 2017.
While its graphical downgrades are noticeable, the humorous VR wave shooter is arguably even more exhilarating owed to the Quest’s 360-degree freedom. The ability to teleport behind rogue bots, grab them by the chin and spin round to launch them into oncoming enemies is something that wasn’t easy on the Rift without risking serious ankle injury.
Added to Unplugged’s consistent frame-rate, all of the above makes going for a high-score all the more enjoyable. Everything from dodging (and deflecting) incoming bullets to using crawlers as makeshift rocket launchers feels like taking part in the Robo-recalling olympics. As one of the droids would say: service with a smile.
Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR
A well-received title on the Oculus Go, arcade-styled ping-pong-a-thon Racket Fury is one of the most moreish titles on the Quest. Ideal for quick 10-minute blasts and hour-long sessions alike, you can take on increasingly difficult CPU opponents or attempt to ascend the rankings in online multiplayer.
There’s two gameplay modes: Arcade and Simulation. Arcade is faster-paced while making it easier to execute power shots with less accuracy, whereas Simulation demands a deft hand if you want to avoid the ball careering past the edge of the table.
Despite its online mode suffering from a point-scoring glitch, Racket Fury is one of the few sports games on the Quest where we never fail to find active players (at least in the Europe lobby, anyway). So we’ll continue enjoying it – at least until Eleven arrives.
Superhot has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a browser-based tech demo in 2013. The first-person shooter has found a natural home on the Quest, where it makes the most of 360-degree tracking by having enemies flank you from all sides.
Because time moves in slow-motion when you do, Superhot VR benefits from the flexibility of a bigger playspace. As the difficulty ramps up, you’ll need every inch of cover to dodge incoming fire, bullet-time style, while shattering faceless enemies using guns, shurikens, and – most satisfyingly – your clenched fists.
Puzzle-platform fans will feel better about Astro Bot being a PS4 exclusive once they’ve given Moss a go. Developed by former Bungie developers, this cutesy third-person adventure is visually one of the more impressive titles on the Quest, which helps draw you into its immersive 3D environments.
You guide Quill, a swashbuckling mouse who’s on a quest to save her uncle after their kingdom was overthrown by a hot-headed snake. Far from a gimmick, Moss employs a clever use of VR that helps you manipulate the environment and guide Quill around levels, tackling environmental puzzles and engaging in combat with enemies along the way.
Space Pirate Trainer
Having debuted on the Vive back in 2016, Space Pirate Trainer is the OG VR wave blaster. Now on the Quest, it’s one of our favorite games to show off to VR newbies thanks to its simplistic gameplay mechanics, frenetic droid-blasting action and thumping soundtrack.
This golden oldie is almost a whole new experience without a cord tethering you to the spot. Choosing from an assortment of weapons and gadgets, including a nifty shield, the added movement afforded by the Quest’s inside-out tracking system is almost an additional weapon in itself.
It all makes for a physically demanding experience on the Quest – stay rooted to the spot and you’ll be blasted into oblivion. While its gameplay can become repetitive over time, like Beat Saber, it has a magnetic ‘one more go’ feeling about it that seems to pull us back in.
Creed is one of the best workouts on Oculus Quest and a must for boxing fans. Whereas its challenging single-player campaign places an emphasis on patience, timed dodging and striking at hit points on the opponent’s torso, online multiplayer presents a different challenge – and it’s there that Creed shines.
With a big enough playspace, tactics suddenly come into play. Do you pick to play a brawler like Drago and come forward applying pressure? Or choose a fighter with better stamina and fight at the end of a jab while maintaining distance?
As they say, styles make fights, and Creed does an admirable job of making its movie-themed characters translate as yours. It may not be the bona-fide boxing sim we’re waiting for, (are you listening, Thrill of the Fight?) but it’s keeping our ring rust at bay for now.
A word of warning: though Pavlov can be played on Oculus Quest, the FPS is currently an Open Alpha release, so you won’t find it in the Oculus Store. However, if you’re prepared to sideload it, you can jump into the action early. Join the Pavlov Discord channel for installation instructions and help from its friendly community.
A huge hit on other VR platforms, Pavlov is essentially Counter: Strike in VR. The alpha presents two game modes: Deathmatch, and Search & Destroy, the latter of which involves one team planting a bomb while the other attempts to diffuse it.
Like Onward, Pavlov requires you to reload guns manually – though it’s faster-paced than the Mil-Sim and there’s rarely a long wait inbetween rounds if you’re taken out. Shooting feels satisfying, with a decent amount of weapon recoil and meaty sound effects, while variety in handguns, rifles and machine guns make for varied yet balanced gameplay.
Journey of the Gods
Until a Legend of Zelda game designed from the ground up for VR arrives, Journey of the Gods is the closest thing going. Flaunting an attractive cell-shaded art style that brings its giant and grotesque bosses to life, Gods employs clever use of scale as you traverse its large yet linear levels. While most of the action-adventure game is viewed in the first-person, a ‘God mode’ lets you manipulate the environment from a strategic top-down perspective to solve puzzles and gain the upper hand in combat.
A large play space comes in handy in physically sidestepping projectiles or spinning around to face enemies with your sword and shield when surrounded. The most fun weapon in the game, however, is the crossbow, which is manually reloaded using a crank handle and rewards careful judgement of distance and timing.
Until Pavlov and Onward see proper releases, Rec Room’s Paintball mode remains one of the most playable FPS experiences on the Quest. And that’s just one tiny element of the social VR experience, which remains free-to-play and continues to prove popular on the back of a virtual world that’s constantly growing.
Even without its Battle Royal mode, which is planned to come to the Quest, Rec Room still offers Charades, Dodgeball, and Paddleball, alongside custom user-created rooms and a cooperative adventure called Quest for the Golden Trophy. Rec Room may have its challenges related to the behaviour of its young playerbase, but it’s hard not to be impressed by the amount of content on offer.