Wouldn’t we all love a solution that keeps us comfortable in our homes, and still provides us access to an intense exercise environment?
We perceive virtual reality as a way to escape from our reality, but we never give much thought to all its possibilities.
The developers of these awesome VR fitness games want you to enjoy your workouts like you would enjoy a video game – a win-win for us.
The logic of working out in a virtual reality is quite simple: You explore the game world, and the game will keep your movement fast enough for your body to consume large amounts of energy.
Think of it as playing tennis, except that you don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to get appropriately dressed, and the tennis racket is a lightsaber and your tennis ball are your enemies.
Excited for a workout yet? You will be, when you’ve downloaded and played the games on this list.
We promised you a lightsaber; Beat Saber heads up this list.
Beat Saber is a colorful rhythm game, in which the players are given a blue lightsaber in one hand and a red one in the other.
Based on the music beat, blue or red cubes will come flying toward you, and you will have to slice the cube with the corresponding lightsaber.
The VR Institute of Health and Exercise has rated Beat Saber as an equivalent in difficulty to playing real-life tennis!
Beat Saber features 11 original songs, with more beat maps to arrive soon.
You can play this game on the HTC Vive, PS VR, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality.
Sprint Vector, unlike the name suggests, is a great workout option for your upper body and core.
The game could have been a great lower body workout too, but, unfortunately, omnidirectional treadmills haven’t yet been invented.
Players have to move their arms in a pumping motion as fast as they can, to move faster on the competitive track.
You will have to dodge obstacles, fire projectiles at your opponent, and combine multiple speed boosts to get a super speed boost.
You can play the VR Fitness Award-winning VR game on the Oculus Rift, PS VR, and HTC Vive.
A first-person shooter for a workout? Yes, please.
Superhot VR is an FPS game in which the players have to face polygonal humanoid enemies.
The game allows you to stop time by stopping your own movement.
This puts stress on your core and thighs, as you stand still to stop a bullet from hitting you.
Your upper body workout begins when you dodge these bullets, and engage your enemies in close quarters combat.
Superhot VR received an award for Best VR Shooting Fitness Game.
You can play Superhot VR on the PS VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift.
Box VR is also a rhythm game; in this one, players punch to the beat.
Unlike other rhythm games on this list, in Box VR, you will be working out in a virtual gym.
A large screen in front of you will show information about your workout session.
Box VR is a great fitness experience, with which to strengthen your shoulders, arms, and chest, and get in a little bit of cardio workout, too.
Box VR also tells you the time you have spent in the game, and the calories you have burned.
Oculus’ comfort rating for Box VR is “Intense,” and VR Fitness Awards by VR Fitness Insider has awarded the game in three different categories.
Box VR is available for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality.
Do you think squats are boring?
What if you have to squat to dodge obstacles coming toward you at high speeds?
The game is a great VR fitness experience for both beginners and seasoned fitness freaks.
As you approach obstacles, you will have to drop down and stay in that position until you’ve reached the other side.
The unpredictable gameplay also adds to the results of squatting non-stop for hours.
Hot Squat is rated as equivalent in intensity to playing tennis in real life by the VR Institute of Health and Exercise.
Hot Squat is an HTC Vive-exclusive VR fitness game.
Soundboxing is another rhythm game that will make you break a sweat within the first five minutes of gameplay.
Virtual beat orbs will fly towards the player at varying speeds and in a variety of combinations, and the player must punch them at the perfect moment, to score.
The game features a number of beat maps, but the best way to play this game is to upload your own workout songs and create beat maps for them.
Your upper body will feel the burn as you land combinations of punches to the oncoming beat orbs, and you can get your lower body into action too by practicing proper footwork and squatting.
Soundboxing is currently available for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive only.
Play as a powerful primitive fighter in Gorn against a number of different types of enemies.
You can choose to fight with your bare fists, or equip yourself with a sword, a war hammer, or a spear, to deal damage to your foes.
Gorn features an endless mode, where you can keep fighting until your upper body muscles can no longer take it.
You can also engage your lower body by dodging enemies’ blows, and doing the proper footwork to outwit them.
According to the VR Institute of Health and Exercise, playing Gorn is equivalent in difficulty to working out on an elliptical exercise machine.
You can play this game on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
The Fastest Fist
The Fastest Fist is a serious VR fitness experience which won’t let you relax until you have had enough and pause the game.
As a warmup, you will shadowbox, and then you get to spar against Bruce Lee, your trainer.
The trainer will make you work hard to land perfect jabs, uppercuts, and hooks, chosen randomly.
Also, keep your feet moving, if you don’t want to lose points.
According to the VR Institute of Health and Fitness, you can burn as much fat while playing this game as you would playing tennis.
The Fastest Fist is available for the HTC Vive only.
Racket Fury: Table Tennis
Racket Fury is a game that will give you a proper workout, while improving your table tennis game.
The physics engine of the game is accurate, with real-world-level physics.
You can either practice or play any of the four tournament cups currently available.
Each tournament starts with an easy robot as your opponent; as you keep winning, harder robots will take its place at the other end of the table.
You can get a decent cardio and upper body workout while playing Racket Fury.
This game is available on all major VR platforms.
However, the most complete experience you’ll get either on Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
The Thrill of the Fight
The Thrill of the Fight is a special entry on this list, because it was among the VR fitness experiences that Tim Donahey played during his 50-day VR fitness challenge.
A half-hour session of this punch ‘em out VR experience will push your upper body to its limits.
You can stress your core, abs, and legs, by performing dodges, consistent footwork, and turn-and-punch maneuvers.
The VR Institute of Health and Exercise has rated The Thrill of the Fight as equivalent in difficulty to sprinting, in real life.
Moreover, the game has also won an award for Best VR Sports Sim. The game can be played on the Oculus Vive and Rift.
Dodgeball is one of those games at which everyone wants to be good.
Sparc is a VR fitness game that allows you to perform pro-level moves in a dodgeball match, in a much easier, yet productive, way.
The players are equipped with a shield, and can trigger amazing gymnastics to dodge the ball or throw it at their opponent.
Of course, you will have to perform intense gestures to trigger an ability which, in turn, works out your upper body and core, along with the cardio treatment you receive via the overall gameplay.
The best way of playing this game is with your friend as your opponent.
Sparc holds a VR Fitness Award for Best VR Competitive Fitness Game, and is available for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR.
Knockout League is a serious VR boxing game that can give you a proper workout, if you want it to.
There are nine competitive opponents in the game, in addition to several activities.
You can go one on one against the opponents, earn the Golden Gloves, play Grudge matches, do Focus Mitt Training, and use Speed Bag for a total body workout.
Playing long sessions will also give you a well-deserved cardio boost.
According to the VR Institute of Health and Fitness, playing Knockout League is comparable in intensity to rowing in real life.
The game is available for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PS VR, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
Audioshield is yet another rhythm game on this list that will start burning calories within the first five minutes.
You will have to punch and block the oncoming obstacles with the correct controller to score in this game.
The obstacles will be flying toward you at varying speeds and vectors, and in a variety of combinations.
Holding a squat and lunging, while punching and blocking the obstacles, will work your lower body; the punching and blocking part of the gameplay will stress your upper body.
The VR Institute of Health and Fitness rates Audioshield as equivalent in effort to cycling.
The game is available for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality.
Bitslap is a fun and intense VR fitness experience that offers players a good cardio workout.
The High-Intensity Interval Training VR workout produces cubes randomly in front of the player.
“Slapping” a cube will destroy it, and spawn more cubes in its place.
The players must pay attention to the order of the appearance of the cubes, as this will affect the overall score.
According to the VR Institute of Health and Exercise, a good half-hour session of Bitslap will burn as much energy as you would on an elliptical machine.
Bitslap is an HTC Vive-exclusive VR game.
This bow and arrow first-person VR shooter is not only a great workout option, but it also makes the player feel like a bad-ass.
Different types of enemies, including demons and samurai, will show up in front of you, and you will have to take them out with your virtual bow and arrow.
The game resembles the famous Mockingjay arrow training simulation, in which Jennifer Lawrence explodes holographic enemies like a boss with her superior archery skills.
The VR Institute of Health and Fitness rates Holoprint as equivalent in intensity to swimming laps.
The game is available for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets.
Sword Master VR
Sword Master VR is an adrenaline-inducing first-person sword combat game that puts the players in the middle of an army of enemies, and equips them with a sword and a shield.
The players will have to hack and slash their way through the different enemies.
Using the sword to slash and the shield to block your enemies will work out the player’s upper body, while dodging, squatting, and lunging will work their lower body.
The VR Institute of Health and Exercise rates this game as equivalent in difficulty to using an elliptical machine.
Sword Master VR can be played on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.