Now, this is going to be a difficult one, and likely controversial. There are many, many excellent virtual reality shooting games on the market. Whether that’s completing campaigns solo or teaming up for multiplayer matches, the genre is vast. So here XR Source picks the seven best VR shooters – or at least tries, don’t shoot us!
The Best VR Shooters
Action is the name of the game here and plenty of it. Running around, shooting enemies large and small as you navigate battlefields, cityscapes, alien worlds and more.
Below you’ll find titles (in no particular order) highlighting VR shooters from across the board. Playable across a variety of VR headsets including PC VR, PSVR and Meta Quest 2.
You can’t be into this game genre without dipping your toe into a battle royale match every so often. Flatscreen gamers have the likes of Fortnite whilst in VR we’ve got Population: ONE.
The work of BigBox VR, Population: ONE pits you in teams of three. Across one giant map with loads of themed areas, the aim is survival until one team is left standing. There are loads of guns, upgrades and ways to play. You can scale any building, build fortifications and glide across the battlefield. Plus the Quest 2 version is now free, so it’s well worth a look.
Sitting above all others is Valve’s sci-fi epic Half-Life: Alyx. It was hotly anticipated back in 2020 and hasn’t lost any of its luster since then. With a deep narrative set between the first two Half-Life games, Half-Life: Alyx became the benchmark for AAA VR gaming.
Featuring a single-player campaign that maximises VR’s potential, so much of the game is interactive. And that’s even when you’re not battling the Combine whilst exploring City17. With puzzle-solving and horror elements mixed in as well, this is a VR experience every VR fan needs to try.
Pavlov VR/Pavlov Shack
Love some tactical multiplayer warfare? Then Pavlov should be on your list a VR games to play. Available as Pavlov VR for PC VR headsets and Pavlov Shack for Quest 2, both offer community lead gameplay with realistic weaponry.
Playable solo, co-op or in fully blown head-to-head multiplayer, Pavlov has a huge arsenal of guns to play with. All have their own realistic reloading mechanics, so you can really tailor your preferential loadouts. Lots of fun whether you’re practising on the firing range or out on the battlefield.
Sniper Elite VR
Bringing the successful sniping franchise into VR for the first time, Sniper Elite VR takes players back to WW2 and 1940s Italy. Part of the resistance fighting the Nazis, this single-player campaign takes you to some beautiful locations for you to hone those long-range kills.
Featuring the series’ classic ‘Kill-cam’ option to make those precision shots even more brutal, there are 18 replayable missions to complete. Filled with authentic WW2-era weaponry, Sniper Elite VR will have you hunkering down and looking for the best sniping spots in no time.
In a similar vein to Pavlov, if you’re after a Call of Duty in VR then Onward is another worthy candidate. This highly immersive first-person shooter (FPS) features PvP, co-op PvE, and solo game modes.
Whether you want 5v5 multiplayer battles or 4-player co-op missions, Onward employs realistic modern weaponry and combat mechanics across a variety of environments. Featuring guns like the AUG, M16, M1014, P90 and the M249 light machine gun, this is a military shooter that supports up to 10 players at once.
Resident Evil 4
One of the most surprising VR ports to ever happen, this Resident Evil 4 remaster arrived 16 years after the original. Armature Studios did an incredible job of adding VR controls whilst squeezing the game onto Quest 2. Thus winning a number of awards in the process.
The sort remains unchanged, with you playing US agent Leon S. Kennedy on the hunt for the president’s daughter. Set in Europe, you have to fight all manner of monsters and cultists to find her. However, this time you’ve got full motion controls! Weapons can be manually reloaded, you can dual-wield and holster guns. Everything is more interactive and better for it. Don’t sidestep this Resi fans!
It might be classed more as a rhythm action game, but Pistol Whip is still an excellent shooter. 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!
Honourable Mention: Vertigo 2
It’s only just been released and we’ve not yet had a chance to play it, so Vertigo 2 only gets an honourable mention. It’s been a long time in the works and by all accounts could be the best PC VR FPS of 2023.
And there you have it. That wraps up our picks of the seven best VR shooters! What are your thoughts? Which ones did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!
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