Few experiences send shivers more than VR horror games. A movie can curl toes and have scary scenes, but VR is much more immersive, trapping people in the experience. For some, that is terrifying; for others, that is precisely why they got a headset.

The Oculus Rift S, PlayStation VR (PSVR), and HTC VIVE Pro headsets have a range of terrifying encounters, from Arizona Sunshine to the Brookhaven Experiment. The final choice for horror aficionados comes down to the types of VR headsets available, gameplay, and the quality of the game title. Here are the top picks.

Brookhaven Experiment

Like to shoot zombies? Then ready your pistols and blast through levels with limited ammunition and weapons. Players roam through the game world as horrors lurk in the dark, avoiding their slashes while filling them with lead.

The arcade element is its most compelling feature. By buying the kinds of weapons and ammo the player wants, the experience is tailored to how they want to perform. Pop people with pistols, or spray with machine guns? The choice is there.

At times Brookhaven Experiment can be too dark to see, which adds to the horror aspect but is otherwise annoying to play in. But apart from these small issues, the game is generally fun to play.

Available on: Oculus Rift S and HTC VIVE Pro.

Brookhaven Experiment
Get ready to shoot some zombies. Photo credit: Phosphor Games.

Arizona Sunshine

Would you like to kill some zombies? Arizona Sunshine offers an excellent 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 and The Last of Us.

Fans love the game for good reason. With the smooth feel of gameplay, it feels seamless to move from area to area to pop off some ammo. Arizona Sunshine is the of the best VR horror games for its fun gameplay along with its scary elements.

Gameplay wise it feels excellent 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.

Available on: Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE Pro, and PlayStation VR.

Arizona Sunshine
Aim for the head. Photo credit: Arizona Sunshine.

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 Resident Evil franchise prides itself on the grave and creepy horror of silence, followed by shadows from the dark. The VR experience builds on this, with slow walking and malevolent forces plotting to end the player.

The game also features shooting, where each and every bullet counts. One missed gunshot, and it is over. Unlike some other titles on this list, resource management is a vital part of the gameplay. Less spraying people until they fall over, and more accurate shots for survivability.

Available on: PlayStation VR.

Resident Evil 7
Don’t lose your head. Photo credit: Capcom.

Face Your Fears 2

The original Face Your Fears series on the Oculus Go had lots of small, creepy experiences. The sequel builds on this by integrating a story, weaving the scary situations together into a strong narrative. From crashing a car to delving into a creepy cave, the player will encounter a range of common phobias. For this reason, it is one of the best VR horror games available.

While the other games on the list lets people run around with some sort of protection, this game offers no such luxuries. It is designed for people to face their phobias, in the most direct way possible.

This is not for the faint of heart. From spiders to jump scares, the developers wanted people to jump out of their skin in a multitude of different and creative ways. While other games come with guns for defence, Face Your Fears 2 believes that fists are enough. As spiders crawl on them. Ew.

Available on: Oculus Quest,

Face Your Fears 2
Mind the spiders. Photo credit: Face Your Fears 2.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted

Building from the cult classic, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted rebuilds the scenarios of some games in the series into a neat VR package. Want to run through the first game with the blinking lights and doors? Go for it.

The game also has new features such as repairing some of the most famous monsters. This includes plucking their eyes out in the right order to remove their faceplate, to clean the internal mechanisms. One wrong move and the monster eats the player.

For fans of the series, the game is a must-buy. For everyone else, it is one of the best VR horror games out there today.

Available on: PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift S, and HTC VIVE Pro.

Sharp teeth. Photo credit: Sony.

The Exorcist: Legion VR

Some horror movies become classics, and few reach the heights of The Exorcist. With possessed children that spew vomit, to deep malevolent voices asking people to suckle on body parts in hell, it’s a wild ride. Package the experience into a video game, and a horrifying adventure awaits.

The game features multiple chapters, each featuring a demon to confront. Equipped with the items needed, take steps to progress as the player meets select fears. There’s even a collecting element with artefacts, for those interested.

Be warned that there is a graphical difference between the Oculus Quest version of the game, and the rest of the VR headsets. While minimal, it is a lower-quality experience.

Available on: Oculus Quest, HTC VIVE Pro, and Oculus Rift S.

The Exorcist: Legion VR
Watch out for the demons. Photo credit: Wolf & Wood Interactive.

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.

Available on: PlayStation VR.

Until Dawn Rush of Blood
Riding a roller coaster. Photo credit: Sony.

Narcosis

Not a fan of being underwater? Best to avoid this one, then. Narcosis places players deep under the sea, exploring a base and solving puzzles. With creepy sounds and a claustrophobic presence, the game has an oppressive feeling which sends shivers straight to the bones.

While the puzzles are easy, the experience is worth it. The deep, unsettling feeling of being completely alone, armed only with flares, makes NArcosis unique and compelling. An earthquake at the beginning of the experience sets things off, and the player stars exploring a barren landscape. Hold your breath.

Available on: Oculus Rift S and HTC VIVE Pro.

Take a deep breath. Photo credit: Honor Code.

What are the best VR horror games?

The answer depends on the VR headset available to the person. For owners of the Oculus Quest, Face Your Fears 2 provides a story with a thread of horrifying segments. Connect the headset to the TV via a Chromecast, and friends can join in the fun as the player wanders from the road to the house.

Meanwhile, owners of the PlayStation VR should play Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted. The game provides a lot of content, with a range of levels to play through and monsters to encounter (and avoid). Searching through cameras and checking around corners for upcoming horrors is great fun, and well worth the time for horror aficionados.

Ultimately it depends on the player to decide, and how they define scary games. Do they want to roam around the world shooting zombies? Arizona Sunshine provides a fun way to pop the heads of the undead. Or is it to ensure the player can do nothing as spiders creep towards them? Then Face Your Fears 2 is perfect. When horror can be a nebulous term, it depends on the person to decide and what headsets they have available.


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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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VR horror games: The best ones for your headset
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VR horror games: The best ones for your headset
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What are the best VR horror games for your virtual reality headset? Here are the greatest titles for the Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift S, and the HTC VIVE Pro.
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Virtual Perceptions