If you’re new to virtual reality one of the best genres to start with is rhythm action. The games keep your feet (mostly) planted so there are no locomotion issues, just lots of energetic arm waving. And for VR veterans, these games can offer an unrelenting and compelling challenge. Here is XR Source’s selection of the best VR rhythm action games.
The Best VR Rhythm Action Games
Sometimes lumped in the same category as fitness gaming, rhythm action titles certainly are energetic. Whether swinging your arms to cut objects, squatting under obstacles or performing funny poses, these can be highly rewarding VR experiences.
Below you’ll find titles highlighting VR rhythm action games, playable across a variety of VR headsets including Meta Quest 2.
The undisputed king of rhythm action games has to be Beat Saber. Similar titles had come before but it was Beat Saber that truly highlighted how well this genre worked in VR. It is simply a rhythm-action videogame where you slice blocks to the music with a pair of lightsabers.
Like many in this field, Beat Saber’s easy-to-understand gameplay belies an addictive, heart-pounding experience. Great for beginners and veterans alike, you wave your arms around to slice the incoming blocks, sidestepping obstacles or ducking under them. Thanks to its popularity there are loads of DLC packs to purchase, from famous artists such as Fall Out Boy, Green Day, Billy Eilish, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd and many more.
For those after a rhythm action game with heavier tunes, there’s Ragnarock. Themed around Vikings where you play a captain commanding their boat with a set of four drums. The aim is to get as far as possible, unlocking bronze, silver and gold medals.
With four drums in front of you, getting the timing exactly right means you can give your crew a boost. They’ll row harder and get further the more you manage to achieve. Ragnarock’s real hook is its track selection, featuring rock and metal tracks of Alestorm, Gloryhammer, Saltatio Mortis, Wind Rose and more. A superb VR game for metal fans.
We’ve had swords, we’ve had hammers and now there are drumsticks. Smash Drums lets you live out those dreams of being an ace drummer, without all the practice and hard work.
Sit down and get comfy to play through 54 great rock songs across nine environments in single-player. Or head over to the multiplayer to test the Co-op and Versus modes, challenging others on the global leaderboards.
Unplugged: Air Guitar
Designed initially to utilise Meta Quest’s hand-tracking feature, Unplugged Air Guitar was all about rocking out in classic air guitar fashion – no controllers required! Since then, developer Anotherway has added a controller option so PC VR headsets are now supported.
A modern VR version of games like Guitar Hero, Unplugged: Air Guitar will make you an air guitar master in no time. Features 50+ rock hits from the likes of Steel Panther, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Clash, Ozzy Osbourne, The Offspring and Tenacious D. You can unlock new guitars and venues whilst striving to top the global leaderboards.
Another major player in the rhythm action genre, Synth Riders originally started out with a unique hook, synth wave music. Having to time your hands with the orbs flying at you, Synth Riders has grown in scope and gameplay options.
By yourself, you can dance and exercise to 58+ included tracks, selecting different modifiers to alter each session. Or then there’s the 10-player cross-platform multiplayer, or the spin and spiral modes where the orbs come from different directions. And like most titless on this list, there’s plenty of DLC should you wish to expand the track selection. Plenty of hours of entertainment here.
No sticks, hammers or swords this time, OhShape is all about making shapes with your body to fit through virtual cutouts. Sounds straightforward, but when these obstacles come flying at you you’ll have to move fast!
Featuring 47 handcrafted songs with 4 difficulty levels, there’s a multiplayer component to challenge friends with a cross-platform online leaderboard. Custom songs are supported alongside a level editor to create your own fun sessions.
If Beat Saber is the epitome of sword-based rhythm action games, then Pistol Whip is its gun-slinging cousin. There are few VR titles quite like Cloudhead Games’ Pistol Whip, where you gain points for shooting enemies in time with the music and extra for headshots.
You can play individual “scenes”, each featuring thumping soundtracks or try out a couple of campaigns with their own narrative. Pistol Whip also has a massive amount of modifiers to tailor each run, dual wield, take aim assist off, or make it even harder than normal. Definitely one to be experienced!
And there you have it. That wraps up our picks of the seven best VR rhythm action games! What are your thoughts? Are there any that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
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