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Throwing down hundreds of dollars for your brand spanking new Quest 2 headset is no easy task. Those who are new to virtual reality especially might find the asking price quite steep. Once you have your headset out of the box too you’re expected to shell out more cash for content. But knowing what games to purchase or experiences to invest in can be difficult. So there is nothing better than getting your hands on some free titles first to get to grips with your new hardware. Some may be considered tech demos or short experiences but there are plenty of hidden gems out there that are very much worth your time. We’ve put together a list of the greatest free titles you can experience right now on your Meta Quest 2. Did I mention they’re all free? Let’s get into it!
1. First Contact
The title of this game is more of an instruction than anything else. This is developed by Oculus Rex themselves and should definitely be one of the first games you boot up with your new headset. The setting feels like it’s lifted straight out of a Spielberg 1980s movie with a cute robot guide stealing the show. It takes place in what looks like the back of an old camper van which has been set up with a desk full of old 80’s style machinery for you to experiment with. The game is short but has a surprising amount of polish. From the outset, you get many props to interact with and mini games to play. It does a very decent job of showing new users of virtual reality how to interact with objects. The 80’s vibe and aesthetic are really appealing too and you instantly feel that sense of nostalgia mixed with sci-fi. There is no real story to follow here and it is more of a short sandbox experience than a fully-fledged game but this one is heartwarming and fun to play through for all ages. So shake maracas, fire bottle rockets, interact with digital butterflies, and shoot space invaders all from the comfort of a retro lab station. A really good introduction to virtual reality and also a clever way to get used to using the Oculus touch controllers. Brilliant starting point.
2. Beat Saber Demo
I don’t like suggesting demos as I feel that’s a bit of a cheat and this will be the only demo on this list I promise. That said, Beat Saber has to be experienced by everyone, and having access to a couple of free songs to toy with is irresistible. Beat Saber is one of those VR titles that everyone has heard of and should be played by all if you get a chance. Having access to a free demo means that playing Beat Saber is possible once you have a quest 2. For anyone who doesn’t know, Beat Saber is a rhythm game. You swing lightsabers to cut incoming boxes with your swipes in time to the music. Sounds really simple and basic and that’s the beauty of Beat Saber! Entry level is nonexistent as anyone can swing their arms. Fun for all the family as hitting each beat is quite addictive. Again easy to try but difficult to master, you might find yourself getting addicted to beating your high score. Not only is it a rhythm game with a focus on music but it’s also a great cardio workout. Visuals are sharp and smooth with creative lighting. The art style is simple but works well as you’ll be more focused on the upcoming block than your surroundings. The demo itself is painfully short but you’ll know pretty much straight away whether it’s an essential purchase for you or not. Many play the demo and pay for the full version nearly straight away as the experience is so enjoyable. At the very least, testing out the demo costs you nothing and the short experience is incredibly enjoyable.
So you’ve played the Beat Saber demo to death and want more but you’re not willing to pay? Moonrider is exactly what you need. This is not a demo and also not a short experience, this is a fully-fledged Beat Saber clone, and it’s amazing! The tracklists to choose from are vast including new and old hits alike. The range of songs is incredibly impressive and you may find yourself searching for obscure one-hit wonders just to see if they’ll pop up. Almost always, the answer is yes! From rock to Pop to RnB and even Jazz, Moonrider has got you covered. It even has some comedy tracks and famous Youtuber songs. Basically, if you can think of it, there’s a great chance the song you want is there. Aside from that, there are plenty of playing options also. There are, of course, the usual lightsaber options but test out the other modes to see what you like. Using punching fists is especially satisfying and provides a great workout. The synth rider mode provides are more laid-back chilled-out experience, so experiment as the creators have tried very hard to make modes to suit all needs. Visually it’s not as pretty or polished as Beat Saber but there are some color backgrounds you can play around with. Also similar to Beat Saber, the visuals aren’t really the main focus. You become engrossed in the gameplay and the visuals are only on your periphery anyway.
Moonrider is an amazing experience that can be enjoyed by everyone. It’s also online and runs directly from your browser. No game installation is required, just fire up your Internet browser. Enter this link and click enter VR in the bottom right hand corner to start your new amazing rhythm game experience. You won’t be disappointed!
4. Rec Room
Trying to describe what Rec Room is can be an impossible task but here goes. Rec Room is a huge creative space with vast amounts of content for you to stumble upon and exploration is very much encouraged. You begin by creating your own avatar and get to play online with thousands, if not millions of Rec Room fans. The different lobbies to engage with are ever-growing and there are experiences to enjoy for everyone. It would be impossible for me to list off all the activities that are available, but to name a short few you can do the following: Play basketball, take part in laser tag tournaments, compete in a paintball match, experience a PUBG style PvP tournament, play charades with friends, explore a dungeons & dragons style adventure, chat with friends and the list goes on and on and on! Put simply, this is a massively creative sandbox where content is constantly updated and the feeling of inclusion and community is wholesome and sincere. You will meet some amazing people online and the content is more geared to family-friendly / PG-13 so you can have some confidence that the people you interact with will mostly be respectful. The visuals are quite basic and cartoonish which suits the overall vibe of the game. Customizing your avatar and unlocking challenges leads to rewards making it feel like every play session offers you a sense of progression. So whether you’re the sporty type, or just feel like hanging out and being sociable, then Rec Room is such a wonderful experience for all.
VRChat is the grown-up version and natural successor to Rec Room. Gone are the cutesy graphics replaced with more realistic avatars. The user base is also a little bit more adult and I would not recommend any young children playing VR Chat. Similar to Rec Room, there are vast amounts of lobbies and activities to involve yourself with although the emphasis does seem more on chatting and interactions with others. There are no restrictions on avatars used or language and depending on what lobby you visit, you may end up seeing or hearing quite offensive things. God bless the internet! Aside from needing a thick skin though, the overall experience in VRChat is quite pleasant. As mentioned, there seems to be an infinite amount of content if you’re willing to explore and some user-created lobbies are actually amazing stand-alone experiences. Swinging like Spiderman in a comic-created world stands out in VRChat as it’s probably the best Spiderman experience in VR that’s currently available which is no mean feat. There are also plenty of PvP first-person shooters to enjoy within VRChat if that is more your cup of tea. The level of customization is ridiculously high and basically, if you can think of it, most likely it already exists in VRChat. So if you find Rec Rooms visuals and content a little childish, then perhaps VRChat is a better fit for you. The darker emo kid of the content family. Check it out!
Let’s totally switch gears here with a fishing simulator. Bait! Is a real change of pace and such a relaxing experience. Don’t let the price tag of zero fool you either, this is a very complete and polished title. There is a storyline to follow with unlockables, different locations, and upgradeable equipment which adds some longevity to this fishing title. The graphics are cartoonish but quite detailed and gorgeous to look at which is key for a fishing simulation. The difficulty level is also adjustable so you can decide yourself if you want a more realistic challenge or just a relaxing game play session. The controls are intuitive and feel natural when playing. The highlight of the game has to be the immersion though. The tropical scenery and gentle tones are all pitch-perfect to provide you with a really serene fishing experience. You will find yourself wasting hours from the comfort of your sofa in the best possible way. A great title to help switch your brain off and recharge your batteries. So dust off your worm box and go catch yourself a pink pufferfish … you owe it to yourself!
7. Pavlov Shack VR Beta
Have you played the absolutely amazing Pavlov VR on PCVR yet? Very competitive PVP first-person shooter with realistic gun play? Of course, you have, it’s one of the greatest VR shooters currently on the market! Well, Pavlov Shack Beta is just great, and it’s free. Currently available to download via side quest, this beta version has been developed solely for the Quest 2 to take full advantage of the Quest’s hardware capabilities. Bar a slight graphical downgrade, it’s incredibly impressive how much content and realism they’ve managed to cram into Pavlov Shack VR. The interaction with the guns alone feels so realistic and very satisfying when you get into a flow. Whether you’re playing squad-based sessions with your mates or fast-paced death matches against strangers, the pace and sense of realism on offer is second to none. Trying to physically swap out the gun mags and cock the gun while in a firefight is exhilarating, to say the least. The online lobbies are also very active so connecting to a game is generally quick and easy to jump into. The content is constantly getting updated and the amount of options and game modes on offer is frankly staggering. From Deathmatch to capture the flag, all the classics are covered and there are even single-player modes to take advantage of like zombie survival which is slightly terrifying to say the least! As far as first person shooters go, this is simply one of the best you can play in virtual reality to date. For now, the game is free because they’re still in beta, but it may get an official release sometime in the future. Until that happens though, get suited and booted and practice your walkie-talkie phrases. Bravo tango over and out!
8. We Are One Beta
Another side quest beta worth checking out while it’s still free. We Are One is a strange time-based puzzle shooter. The idea sounds confusing but in practice, this makes for an incredibly fun puzzler. You travel in time loops and have the ability to make clones of yourself. It sounds difficult to grasp, but after five minutes of gameplay it just clicks and allows for some very creative problem solving situations. Shooting your gun and throwing it so that your clone catches it just in time to survive is oddly satisfying when you manage to pull it off in one smooth motion. Every action you perform within each time loop gets copied and mimicked by your clones which means you need to plan your attack and use cooperation with yourself to get through each level! A mind bender indeed but deeply gratifying when it works. The graphics are unusual here with a very unique art style. Lots of greens and whites are on display as each scene looks handdrawn and characters/creatures have that cell-shaded look that has become timeless. Nothing too taxing visually but impressive nonetheless. You’ll find yourself ducking, shooting, dodging, reloading, and throwing guns with precision within no time, and even when it all goes badly wrong, you’ll still be grinning wildly. The gameplay is just so much fun and really addictive and mastering each level is very satisfying even after repeat playthroughs. The gameplay and realistic physics make this truly a one-of-a-kind experience and even though the game is still a work in progress there is plenty of content here to enjoy. There are also talks of a level editor coming soon which could add endless gameplay hours for the more creative players out there. Definitely worth your time and well worth checking out while still in beta.
9. Discovery VR
Discovery VR comes in two versions on your Quest 2. You can pay for the full version or you can choose the free lite version. There are differences between the both but not enough for you not to try the free version first. Sure some materials aren’t available in the Lite version and there is no multiplayer options, but apart from that, they’re the same game! Discovery VR is basically Minecraft without the copyright! The focus here though is on creating and building rather than survival. Graphically it’s almost identical to Minecraft and getting to physically stand within your created world is actually amazing. The use of the touch controllers when building also makes things so much easier. The controllers appear with laser pointers showing the block you’re interacting with which speeds every process up and leads to fewer mistakes. The appeal of Discovery is the same as Minecraft … it has limitless potential for anyone with a spark of creativity. Whether you build a small hut in a vast sprawling city, the choice really is down to you. The ability to walk through/explore your creation within the virtual space really is almost magical and leads to a great sense of accomplishment. As this is a Minecraft clone, it’s also age-friendly and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Minecraft has become a staple in modern gaming and it’s fitting that even a clone of it in VR can inspire users to create. Until they get Minecraft running properly in VR, this is the best alternative and the Lite version is a no-brainer to check out using side quest.
And there you have it folks, plenty to keep you busy for a while. A comprehensive list of free experiences is available to all Meta Quest 2 users. Varying from free games, demos, and even beta pre-releases we’ve covered all the very best for you. So before you go making purchases of titles with your hard-earned cash, go check each of the titles on this list first. You certainly won’t be any the poorer for trying them out and you may find a particular genre or game type that interests you more than you expected it would. As with all lists, it is subjective, and tastes differ from person to person, so please don’t be offended if your own personal favorite freebies didn’t make the list.
Be sure to check back regularly for all your virtual reality news and gaming updates. If you’d like to see our list of free titles for the Oculus Rift S then please check out our link here.