VR shooting games are one of the most fun ways to play in virtual reality. While tactical rolling in a bedroom isn’t recommended, there are some great games to play on both PC and standalone VR headsets. Compared to other FPS games, they offer a more immersive experience by placing players in a first-person perspective. It places players right on the battlefield, dodging bullets and sniping enemies.
Virtual Perceptions has compiled a list of the best VR shooting games across the Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift S, Valve Index, PlayStation VR (PSVR), and the HTC VIVE.
To navigate and find out more about the headset you own, click on the item in the Table of Contents and navigate from there.
Choose your VR headset, pick up your weapons, and get shooting.
Which headset is best for VR shooting games?
Like choosing between Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, there is a choice between platforms for VR shooting games. These choices normally come down to personal choice, finances, and software. In this case, the difference is between HTC and Oculus.
Similar to the console market, the choice is dependent on the consoles. There is no clear and direct answer, as it is dependent on the priorities of the players.
The HTC VIVE and HTC VIVE Pro are high-end VR headsets for hardcore fans. The VR headset offers room-scale VR where players can walk around and interact with objects. These experiences are incredibly realistic, requiring a powerful PC to run and sensors to be set up around a room.
While expensive, it provides plenty of value with its VIVEPORT subscription. For a monthly cost, HTC users can access plenty of titles on the store page, much like Netflix. While the cost of the PC is high, the difference can be compensated by lower software costs.
Some of the best VR games are already available on the system and its stores, and it is a great place to pick up the top experiences on any VR system.
Oculus Rift S
Owned by Facebook and a successor to the Oculus Rift, the Oculus Rift S is a VR headset which offers realistic experiences. The system requires a powerful PC and sensors on a desk to run, and players can interact with virtual environments with 6DoF controllers.
The VR headset will also be supported with some great titles coming through 2020, such as Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. Pushing the boundaries of the genre, it’s a great time to pick up a new headset.
Like the HTC VIVE, the Oculus Rift S can offer room-scale VR by adding a new sensor for a small cost, letting people roam around a virtual space and interact. While this is not necessary for VR shooting games, it opens the door for some of the best titles in the market.
The Oculus Quest is a standalone VR headset released in Spring 2019. The headset requires no cables or external trackers, giving players the freedom to bring the headset anywhere for fun and games. As a powerful PC is not required to play, it is the most accessible form of VR available.
The Oculus Quest has its own store for content, and not all games on the Rift S is available. Before buying a headset for a particular game, make sure to do some research.
While the Oculus Quest has a lower price-point, it sacrifices graphics for accessibility. As it runs on mobile graphics, it is not up to bar with its brothers and sisters. But for those who want an intuitive and fun experience for less cash, it does a great job. It is also a headset I personally recommend for the best of all worlds in VR.
PlayStation VR (PSVR)
Played with the PS4 or PS4 Pro, the PlayStation VR is a great headset for those who already have the games console. It just needs Sony’s console to run, as opposed to a powerful PC. An optional VR Aim Controller adds depth to shooting as well.
The PSVR has some great exclusive titles on the system. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is one of the best VR shooting games, with three to four hours of content to go through.
However, some experiences are not as good as the HTC or Oculus headsets. While it is ‘good enough’ for many software titles, users may be able to tell the difference between the realistic shooting games on PCs, and the muddier graphics on the home console. There are also rumours that the PSVR 2 is coming in 2020 as well, so waiting may be a great strategy as well.
The Valve Index is a top-of-the-line VR headset. Similar to the HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift S, it plays the most graphically-intensive games via a PC.
The main draw of the headset is the knuckle controllers. Instead of holding an item, players can use their fingers to grip objects in the virtual world. The control method gives more complexity and depth, such as feeling along with a crowbar. The controllers can also be used with other headsets, in case others may be interested in trying it out.
Valve hopes to sell more of the headsets and controllers alongside Half Life: Alyx, a flagship game for the system.
Best VR shooting games as of 2020
Now that the right headset has been chosen, what are the best VR shooting games of 2020? Many titles from previous years still hold up today, such as SUPERHOT VR. Others have been ported to recent systems, such as Arizona Sunshine on the Oculus Quest.
Most games feature zombies, with a massive arsenal of weapons to fend off the horde of enemies. It’s like choosing ice cream, where all are the same food, but with slightly different flavours. Have a browse, and pick your fancy.
Fancy killing some zombies? Arizona Sunshine offers a great experience for those who want to pop some heads off bodies with a variety of guns. With a horde mode and a solid campaign, the game scratches the itch of those who like the Walking Dead.
Arizona Sunshine also arrived on the Oculus Quest in 2019, making a portable shooter with slightly downgraded graphics.
Gameplay-wise it feels great to wield two guns, moving around and smashing windows to get a view of the target. With DLC being released, it is also well supported by its developers.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
The PlayStation VR game released as an exclusive when the headset released a few years ago. It remains one of the best games on the system, with a solid run of shooting segments against beings which, what else, want to kill you.
The developers designed the game around the player sitting down, as it is a roller coaster ride shooting people. As such, it enforces a sedentary, relaxed way of play. The game is only three to four hours long, making it a substantial experience for a Sunday afternoon.
As the game has been out for a few years, it will likely be discounted online. For a cheap and fun thriller, dive in.
The hit game on PC made its way to VR, and it is a smash hit. SUPERHOT VR features time manipulation, dodging bullets, and throwing objects to beat bite-sized levels.
As time moves when you move, it is possible to make some neat tricks to spray around a room while looking cool. Well, in the headset anyway; perhaps not in the real world.
With its quick gameplay and fast-paced action, it is perfect for short sessions of fun with friends and family. Rightfully, it has sold thousands of copies and spread like wildfire across the internet. SUPERHOT VR is well worth the time and money, and is one of the best VR shooting games available.
Half Life: Alyx
Half Life: Alyx made a massive splash in the world when it was announced in late 2019. After years of silence, Valve finally announced their new project to applause, cynicism, and an overrunning theme of excitement.
Featuring Alyx, the game takes place before the events of Half Life 2, using the knuckle controllers as the main input. While the game can be played with the Valve Index, it can also be used with a linking Oculus headset with its knuckle controllers.
Half Life: Alyx is one of the most hyped games of 2020. Early impressions are hopeful for the system, but we will see when it launches in March 2020.
Available on: Oculus Rift S, HTC VIVE, Valve Index in 2020.
Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE
Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE fully embraces the absurdity of its gameplay. With a wide range of guns available, from machine guns to rocket launchers, it is a bloodbath of epic and beautiful proportions. There is no logic or sensible narrative; just the sheer power of blasting foes away.
The game is also a favourite at VR arcades, particularly in ones based in London. With the co-op gameplay tied to the battlefield, it is one of the best games to play with (older) friends and family.
Available on: Oculus Rift S, Valve Index, HTC VIVE.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Horror games are, for lack of a better word, terrifying in VR. Being in first-person, creeping around a house and underground, was nerve-wracking. For horror fans, it may be music to their ears as it is rightfully made for them.
The game also features shooting, where each bullet counts. One missed gunshot, and it is over. Unlike some other titles on this list, resource management is a key part of the gameplay. Less spraying people until they fall over, and more careful shots for survivability. For the methodical players, this game is for you.
Available on: PlayStation VR. (Amazon)
Firewall Zero Hour
Multiplayer VR games are a lot of fun with voice chat, but few are as fun as Firewall Zero Hour. Call of Duty is a similar game, with its grenades and action. However, it takes a step beyond by having great gameplay enabled by the VR Aim Controller. The peripheral heightens the game from good to genre-defining.
The PlayStation VR has a variety of great exclusives, from Resident Evil 7 to Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. Firewall Zero Hour is not only one of the best games on the system, but one of the best VR shooting games available to buy.
Available on: PlayStation VR (Amazon).
Space Pirate Trainer
Sometimes, an arena arcade to shoot down robots scratches a particular itch. Space Pirate Trainer lets players blast away enemies and rack up a high score, sweeping away enemies with dual weapons. Visually the game is a blast as well.
The music pumps the players along with some deep bass, which works well with the gameplay. Similar to SUPERHOT VR it is a great game for short bursts of fun.
Phantom: Covert Ops
Phantom: Covert Ops is a quiet game inspired by the Metal Gear franchise. The aim is to not kick down the door while screaming down the place. It is to sneak through the level, taking out enemies silently.
The game makes people feel like an operative, with a toolset and the environment at your disposal. A canoe in the water? Use it to quietly drift under your enemies.
The game will release next year, but the wider VR community is already excited. It looks like it will be one of the best VR shooting games of 2020.
Robo Recall is a fan favourite shooter game first released on the Oculus Rift. Light and swift, the aim is to reach a high score by blasting your way to victory. The game also features challenge modes to put the skills to the test. — a fun way to pass the time while dancing among a hail of bullets.
Best of all, it is coming to the Oculus Quest. With the portability of the system, it allows players to shoot their way outside of the bedroom. However, it does sacrifice graphics for the portability.
Similar to Beat Saber, Pistol Whip is a VR rhythm game where music blasts through the air and targets appear in time to the beat. But instead of two light swords, the aim is to shoot them as they appear.
This is not a game of aiming and firing, as it features a generous hitbox and auto-aim system. Instead, a lot of the skill comes from being aware of the surroundings and dodging bullets as they soar in. It’s a great leg workout, while Beat Saber focuses on the hipper body.
Pistol Whip provides a fun and innovative experience for someone who gets tired of zombies. Grab some headphones, and start feeling like John Wick.
I love outer space. I also like spaceships. Space Junkies smooshes them together, with heavy music and slick gameplay to make a game that is, unshakably, about fun. The addition of hand gestures with your partner is also a nice touch, before jumping into a neon warzone of death and pretty colours.
As a game ported to the Oculus Quest, this is a great experience for those who want a short blast, similar to Space Pirate Trainer.
Available on: Oculus Rift S, HTC VIVE, Valve Index, Oculus Quest.
Dead and Buried 2
The previous title is a lot of fun, especially with shooting zombies. Now, imagine shooting zombies in an arena, running around, with the Oculus Insight cameras sensing the walls and crates? That is a recipe for next-level immersive gameplay.
For those who have friends out in the open, and want something which raises the bar for VR shooters, this one is definitely for you.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is the next title by Respawn, and is coming exclusively to the Oculus Rift platform. As a soldier during the Second World War, you are a soldier tasked to help win the conflict by shooting enemies, throwing grenades and, at times, throwing them back.
But it is not all guns and running. At times, the soldier will need to sneak through the level instead, with quiet steps to avoid some operatives. Also, with the help of kitchen items to bang their heads in.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond has a big budget pushed by Oculus, and a lot of people in the VR community are excited about the title. It could be one of the best VR shooting games of 2020, but only time will tell. In any case, it looks promising.
Available on: Oculus Rift S in 2020.
This post contains affiliate links with Amazon. Please read here for more information.
Editor, Virtual Perceptions