The Oculus Quest has many titles, from the swiping fun of Beat Saber, to the punching finesse of Creed: Rise to Glory. All the titles are available in a tightly curated store, prioritising quality over quantity. Prices also range, from the cost of coffee to a full-priced gaming experience. It is also possible to play Oculus Rift experiences on the headset as well. But what free Oculus Quest games and demos are available on the VR headset? What experiences can people play right out of the box, without paying for the games?

While most titles are simply demos of the full experience, they still offer bite-sized fun for users. Virtual Perceptions compiled a list of everything available on the standalone virtual reality headset.

Beat Saber

One of the best VR games available, Beat Saber is a rhythm game with a twist. Instead of stomping feet on the floor in time with songs, players swipe lightsabers to slash blocks that cascade in their direction.

The game received rave reviews across the internet and has a cult following of its own. It is also one of the few VR games to gain massive mainstream appeal, with Brie Larson playing on live TV. The reasons why are clear; Beat Saber is an engaging, powerful experience which players remember long afterwards. With tight controls and engaging gameplay, the game deserves the top of the charts.

The only caveat is that the Oculus Quest version does not import new songs, like in its Oculus Rift S counterpart. It is also a demo, so it is a very small portion of the full game. But that is an issue for the full experience, not the demo available for everyone. Beat Saber is well worth the short experience.

Beat Saber, with one free level of the game
Slash away. Photo credit: Beat Saber.

Journey of the Gods

Ever been a fan of the Legend of Zelda? Imagine that, but with VR and in first-person. Quest around an area deflecting monsters, swinging sorts, and collecting upgrades for your character. Wander around, kill enemies with sword and arrows, and level up your character. The game even features some puzzles to solve as well.

The Journey of the Gods demo features a smaller version of the tutorial level and the first boss fight. If it scratches your adventuring itch, the full game is available as well.

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, it is a great game for short bursts of fun.

The demo is just the first wave and boss, though it provides enough of an experience for an informed purchase decision. Space Pirate Trainer is a blast.

Space Pirate Trainer as a free demo
Blast away! Photo credit: Space Pirate Trainer.

Bait!

Bait! is one of the few free games on the Oculus Quest. Players sit back and relax, reeling in new fish across four lakes to save a local aquarium. Quiet and wholesome, anyone of any age can play the title.

With some minor paid elements, the game is great to pick up and play.

Bait!, a free game.
Reeling in some new fish in Bait! Photo credit: Resolution Games.

Rec Room

Remember PlayStation Home? The experience let avatars interact with one another, chilling in virtual rooms or playing games in an interconnected world. Though it withered away over time, the bold experiment showed that there was a dedicated community of players who would be willing to have fun together.

The same concept applies to Rec Room. Players can hop into an overworld after editing their avatar, and play games which they can customise. These games range from hide and seek to simple shooters.

The free game is not as sophisticated as titles like VRChat, but its simplistic approach has a charm to it that has helped create a fun community.

Chat with friends and family in a communal space. Photo credit: Oculus.
Chat with friends and family in a communal space. Photo credit: Oculus.

VRChat

VRChat propelled various memes on the internet. From red echidnas riding tanks to anime princesses striding across the room, the community app reeled in a strange sub-section of online culture. The app is not for young children, broadly speaking.

But for adults who want a lot of freedom, VRChat is great fun to play. With incredibly customisable avatars, players can look however they like and engage in strange and wonderful adventures with their online friends. With the variety of groups available, it would be difficult to be bored of options.

VRChat is one of the best community apps on the Oculus Quest. Photo credit: VRChat.
VRChat is one of the best community apps on the Oculus Quest. Photo credit: Oculus.

Poker VR

Feel like dealing some cards and winning on the table? Poker VR gives players the opportunity to play the classic card game against people online. Adopt your avatar, put on your face, and start dealing.

The game also offers online tournaments, for anyone who wants to set up a competition and climb to the top.

Poker VR is not for everyone; as it is simulated gambling, this game is not for children. But for adults too far from the local casino, check out the Oculus Quest game.

Poker VR
Dealing cards. Photo credit: Poker VR.

Creed: Rise to Glory

Feel like punching some people in the ring? Uppercutting through foes as you fling fists to save your skin? Creed: Rise to Glory pits people in an arena and lets them roll through several rounds, until hopefully becoming the winner.

The full game balances between mini-games and a campaign. Together, they provide a fun little package for a quick dip. However, the Quest tracking software is not as good as it should be, losing sight of the fists as they fly. This is a massive issue for those who like to do quick flurries.

The demo is also concise, with just one challenger available. Even for a demo, it feels stringent. But for a quick experience, Creed: Rise to Glory is acceptable.

Creed Rise to Glory on the Oculus Quest
Raise your fists and fight. Photo credit: Creed: Rise to Glory.

Epic Roller Coasters

The classic genre of VR content is roller coasters, putting family members and friends for a ride so that they, hopefully, enjoy themselves. Epic Roller Coasters is the free game of its kind, letting people ride in fantastical locations as they soar up and down the tracks.

Remarkably it includes a multiplayer mode, where people can ride roller coasters together. But more interesting is the shooter mode, where people can hit targets as they ride along the journey.

Fun and free, Epic Roller Coasters is best for children and thrill-seeking adults.

Epic Roller Coasters, one of a few free Oculus Quest games
There are dinosaurs in this free Oculus Quest game. Photo credit: Epic Roller Coasters.

Sports Scramble

For fans of realistic sports games, this one is not for you. Sports Scramble embraces the weirdness of mixing equipment to make unique experiences. Want to bat away footballs? Why not. Mix up bowling, tennis, and baseball to your specifications, and let it fly.

Best of all, the game is designed for the Oculus Quest, meaning it runs smooth as butter. Have fun!

Sports Scramble, a free demo on the Oculus Quest
Play one of the best free Oculus Quest demos available. Photo credit: Sports Scramble.

Elixir

The Oculus Quest includes hand tracking, which lets players interact with objects with their fingers and palms. Not all games feature hand tracking; sometimes games don’t need it when a controller works well.

Elixir is an application designed to play around with hand tracking expeirences. Take the role of a potion maker, browing concoctions and weaving magic spells with your finger tips. Though short, the experience highlights the potential of hand tracking: to give users more immersion via fun and interactive experiences.

Simple yet subtle, Elixir is one of the best free games on the VR system.

A demo for hand tracking. Photo credit: Oculus.
A demo for hand tracking. Photo credit: Oculus.

Traveling While Black

From games and demos, to a powerful film. Traveling While Black is a VR experience on the Oculus Quest, created by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams. The immersive film guides the user through the dark history of black Americans, and their fight for greater movement.

The film explores the way people talk about race in the United States, from the language people use to the way they are treated. Learn from the past, and build on it; that is the key message portrayed by the actors on screen.

While different from the other free experiences on the Oculus Quest, Traveling While Black provides a compelling way to show the power immersive film can have.

Traveling While Black
A full film in VR. Photo credit: Felix Paul.

What are the best free Oculus Quest games and demos?

This fully depends on what the player wants with their Oculus Quest. A fan of sports? Then Sports Scramble is a good bit of fun with friends. What about something more physical? Creed: Rise to Glory would scratch that particular itch. What about something more exploratory and expansive? Something social? VRChat and Rec Room are both great ways to connect to your friends and family. Journey of the Gods is practically designed for Zelda fans. Sometimes, Oculus will make deals with software as well, such as Vader Immortal in late 2019.

But ultimately, some people want to play ‘that’ demo, which brings out the headset. For that, Beat Saber is one of the best free Oculus Quest games at launch, at least as a demo. It ignited interest in the industry for excellent reasons, and it can bring joy to newcomers as well. Just make sure they’re wearing straps around their wrists so that controllers do not start flying everywhere.


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Tom Ffiske

Editor, Virtual Perceptions

Tom Ffiske specialises in writing about VR, AR, and MR across the immersive reality industry. Tom is based in London. 

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