The Best VR Exercise Games to Get You Moving
We all know fitness is important for our health and wellbeing. But, getting exercise is never easy. From busy schedules to a lack of motivation, fitness can be a struggle. Luckily, the best VR fitness games make working up a sweat, burning calories, and getting fit a breeze easier.
Let’s face it, working out can be kind of a chore. But what if you could get fit while literally playing video games? That’s where virtual reality fitness comes in. It’s the modern, fun way to get us moving and help us get in shape in the comfort of our own homes.
VR fitness games come in all shapes and sizes. Some games will have you jogging or cycling while exploring exotic locations, others emulate a personal trainer/coach relationship to keep you motivated and progressing through various levels of fitness.
But perhaps the best VR fitness games are those where you don’t even realize you’re working out at all. Such games simply cause you to work up a sweat, burn fat, increase muscular endurance and coordination, balance, and more all while playing something like an action adventure or tossing you in the boxing ring to test your meld against opponents.
If you’re a couch potato like us, or simply can’t find the motivation to exercise, this list of the Best VR Fitness games for 2022 can help.
Let’s dive in.
The Best VR Exercise Games for Staying Fit
Boxing is a quick way to get in shape, and the same goes for Thrill of the Fight. Much like a good shadow boxing session, this game hits you in all the right places to make a great VR workout experience. It offers high energy fights with every match, and a well-balanced difficulty that makes approaching the game easy. This is a totally immersive experience and one that I have gone back to again and again.
I have found myself getting agitated by my opponents and reacted in a flurry of punches, I have methodically jabbed them in the same spot over and over and broke them down piece by piece, and I have gotten knocked the heck out too! Each time I find myself having a great experience and really feeling like I am in a pro boxing match. After one match I even caught myself raising my hands to the crowd in victory and taking in their cheers and applause. Don’t be fooled by the fun though, after a few rounds in the ring you’ll start feeling the burn in your shoulders and core from throwing punches and hay makers, feel your legs start to shake from bobbing and weaving out of the way of your opponent, and feel the calories melt as you get a fun full-body workout. Each time after removing the headset I have been winded and felt that rush of adrenaline exiting my body. One thing I will caution, you will leave the headset sweaty after this one. If you have friends over who want to try it I recommend using a VR cover or saving this for the last experience of the night.
In short, if you are looking for a realistic fighting experience that will have you sweating as you block and punch instead of just mashing buttons, this game may be just what you are looking for. It has clean graphics, great playability, it runs smoothly on almost any PC, and it will give you the workout you’re looking for. Step in to the ring right now with Thrill of the Fight. Thrill of the Fight is available on SteamVR or the Oculus Store.
Available on Oculus Quest and Quest 2, Supernatural is an all-around fitness workout guaranteed to have you burning calories. The virtual world is excellent and takes you to locations around the world and beyond, such as the Great Wall of China and the surface of the moon.
The workouts are rhythm-based, blending movements in time with the music. Users can pick their difficulty level and choose from four different exercise types: meditate, flow, boxing or stretch. Flow and boxing are the most intense with flow classes involving high-intensity movements which get you swinging, squatting, and lunging to the rhythm.
Virtual trainers help you through Supernatural’s workouts, and it’s worth noting that they’re not as intense as you might expect from a fitness coach. Although they’re motivational and encouraging, they make you feel comfortable and even praise you just for logging on!
Based on the Japanese TV show Hole in the Wall, OhShape is another rhythm-based VR game that will have your body moving to the beat. Players have to match their bodies to fit through human-shaped cutouts on walls coming towards them. The game gets you twisting, punching, dodging obstacles, and lunging in an attempt to avoid hitting the wall.
Points are scored for accuracy and speed so the faster you move and more precisely you contort your body into the random poses, the higher your final score. There are lots of customizable settings to vary the difficulty which means anyone can have a go—no matter their fitness level or flexibility. OhShape is a VR fitness game that the whole family can get involved in.
Dust off the rowing machine, exercise bike, or elliptical trainer and let HoloFit give it a new lease of life. The app is designed to transform cardio workouts into fun, immersive fitness routines.
By connecting to your equipment via Bluetooth, HoloFit takes you on a journey through various virtual locations while you run, cycle, row, or ski. Virtual coaches provide encouragement and guidance and a range of cardio challenges keeps you striving for a goal.
Those without static equipment at home can still use HoloFit in the freestyle mode. However, freestyle it’s currently only compatible with Oculus headsets.
5. The Climb 2
If you want to take up a new hobby, The Climb 2 could be the VR fitness game for you. It’s not as physical as actually rock climbing, but the game definitely puts your arms through a good workout.
The Climb 2 takes you to virtual environments where you climb your way to the top of the peak. From canyons, skyscrapers, and cave systems, you’re often left dangling from small ledges by your fingertips as you work out your next move.
The game can be played sitting or standing so is ideal for those who prefer working out from the comfort of the sofa. It should be noted that The Climb 2 is pretty exhilarating as, when you fall, you actually feel like you could be plummeting to your demise!
FitXR focuses on getting the whole body moving and has been specially designed by fitness experts. There are hundreds of boxing, dancing, and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts to choose from and new ones are released every day to keep it fresh and challenging.
Which workout style you opt for will determine how you move. Boxing requires jabbing and punching targets while HIIT gets you moving around different challenges, such as ladder drills, side punches, and squats.
FitXR is a great VR fitness game where you can pick your virtual environment and vary up the styles for an all-around workout.
VZFit is another app that converts your home gym equipment into a 3D experience. It pairs with Google Street View to let you explore more than 10 million miles of road. From cycling through the French Alps to riding around southern Argentina, VZFit can transport you wherever you want to go.
For gamers not into traveling along roads, other options include racing around a race track while shooting at cars and other vehicles.
No standing bike or a cadence sensor to sync with? No problem. Take a jog around the streets of San Francisco or run the route of the London marathon. Whichever way you use VZFit, there are plenty of fun challenges and stunning landscapes to explore.
8. Beat Saber
Gamers are sure to enjoy Beat Saber, something galaxies far, far away from a VR fitness game. Two lightsabers are your weapons and you slice through colored blocks in time to the music while avoiding bombs and other obstacles.
Beat Saber requires you to buy handsets, but it’s worth it. Exciting visuals, haptic feedback, and challenging gameplay make it an addictive game that gets your heart pumping as you try to achieve a perfect score.
Competitive gamers are sure to enjoy Sprint Vector, a multiplayer game for up to eight players. The format is a cross between Mario Kart and parkour.
As a workout, the game gets you to use your whole body as you race around one of 12 tracks against your opponents. There’s a pretty steep learning curve which can be challenging as you try to become a master at different moves, including running, climbing, dodging, jumping, flying, and shooting to beat off the competition.
Not into having to compete against other players? Sprint Vector also has offline solo games to enjoy alone.
If you have ever played the old-school PC game Audiosurf you’ve got an idea how this game works. Now replace the mouse with two motion controllers and you can see how this title could be a full body workout. Audioshield, which has been verified to work on both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, gives you the simple quest of defending yourself from red, blue and purple lights with a pair of red and blue shield you wield. While the concept of the game seems simple, the gameplay is definitely not. Keeping the streams light off of your avatar will definitely give you a workout as you twist and bend to keep your shields in place.
Another cool feature that will keep you returning for more is how customizable the game is. Each level of gameplay is based on the music playing, and with the games open system it allows you to use your own music library for creating new levels, and even keeps a running scoreboard for each track. While it comes with many songs that work great with the game and even has a song of the day feature, when you use your own music it becomes an addictive workout and a great game.
Best VR Exercise Games: A Fun Way to Keep Fit and Active
The overall theme of each game in our list of the best VR fitness games (even if not overtly designed for fitness), is to keep you active and moving. Many of these apps let you play for a trial period before deciding to purchase, allowing you to get a feel for which might be best for keeping you working up a sweat.
For those of us who can’t face heading to the gym or who need a fun way to exercise, VR fitness games are a great way to burn calories, tone the body, and increase stamina without even realizing it in many cases.