The best HTC Vive games you need to play

The games to play now, and the ones on their way
Best HTC Vive games to play now

Ask around, and a lot of people will tell you that the HTC Vive is the virtual reality champion right now. The Valve-powered system had the benefit of launching with both room-scale tracking and controllers, giving it a head start on the Oculus Rift.

These days there's more parity between the two, but there are still a few games that can only be played on one or the other. There's a pretty extensive library on the Vive, and while not all of the games are entirely complete or worth your time, there are still some great titles to dive into.

Read this: The best VR headsets

Below, we've rounded up what we reckon are the best Vive games you can play right now, along with some titles that are still on the way. Whether you're after dogfights, zombies, or, err, drug tennis, there's something here for everyone.

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Rec Room

VR needs more social games, and a lot could be learned from Rec Room, a title that's all about hanging out with other people in a social club. Think Wii Sports with a bit more attitude and a lot more immersion. There are a bunch of activities for you and other players to participate in, from paintball to dodgeball to disc golf, while character customisations and quirky interactions with other people bring vibrancy to this shared world.

Free, Steam

Arizona Sunshine

A first-person shooter from Vertigo Games, Arizona Sunshine throws you in the middle of blistering Arizona during a zombie apocalypse. Yeah, it's wave-based, but there's a bit of exploration on offer, while co-op multiplayer gives it another dimension. It's tense, violent, and more fun than you can wave a sawed-off shotgun at. Get some.

$39.99, Steam

VR Funhouse

Nvidia's first title for Vive and though it's simple, this is still an absolute blast. If you like the mix and match style of the The Lab (below), then you'll know what to expect from Funhouse. Really, the game is a showcase for Nvidia's physics tech, but that doesn't stop it being a lot of fun. Plus, it's totally free.

Free, Steam

The Gallery: Call of the Starseed

Cloudhead Games' The Gallery: Call of the Starseed is a fantasy adventure game that takes you on a mission to find your missing sister. It's designed to take full advantage of room-scale gameplay with the devs even creating their own Blink locomotion tech and putting MoCap actors inside the headsets. It's beautiful, mysterious and kind of creepy sometimes, showing that Cloudhead really found a perfect balance of ambiance and intrigue.

$19.99, Steam

Fantastic Contraption

Fantastic Contraption started life as a popular Flash physics puzzle game in 2008, was repurposed for mobile and has now completed its journey in VR – which is where it really belongs. The game tasks you with building weird and fantastic contraptions to solve little puzzles. It's simple to build yet difficult to get your creations moving right, which is more fun than it sounds. Also, your building materials are conjured from a creepy cat.

$29.99, Steam

Elite: Dangerous

Frontier's multiplayer space sim Elite: Dangerous is more of a traditional, seated game, but that's ok, because it's also superb. Venture through space, trading and battling, in this modern sequel on the original BBC Micro classic. If you're looking for a massive multiplayer VR game, this is it.

$29.99, Steam

The Brookhaven Experiment

If you want a game to terrify your friends with, you can't go wrong with The Brookhaven Experiment. The zombie shooter offers a campaign and survival mode, the latter of which sees you blasting away the increasingly-tough undead - and is perfect for when you're hankering for a quick horror fix. Remember, when you wet your pants in virtual reality, you wet them in reality too.

$19.99, Steam

#SelfieTennis

A game of tennis with yourself… on drugs. Or at least that's the best way we can describe it. From studio VRUnicorns, the game is both very simple and very weird. Also, incredibly fun. You can volley the ball towards the other side of the court and the game will immediately switch perspectives, allowing you to hit the ball again. Or you can try and hit the giant tennis-headed people hanging around for fun. Because why not? We hope the Unicorn team will add more to this game in the future.

$19.99, Steam

Audioshield

Combine exercise and gaming as you hit blue and red glowing orbs racing towards you, all played to your favourite tunes. There are different difficulty settings, various kinds of shields and you can even upload your own music, making this game incredibly addictive.

$19.99, Steam

Vanishing Realms

If you've ever wanted to sword fight with skeletons then look no further, friends. The undead don't really lunge at you, rather they wait around for you to make the first move. But once that happens, it's on. We got genuinely sweaty with all the slashing and shooting, and we expect you will too. While a bit too short – it's a Steam Early Access game – it continues to be added to.

$19.99, Steam

The Lab

Straight out of Valve HQ itself, The Lab is a combination of eight mini games and experiences. Though short, each one is whimsical and entertaining in its own right. Plus. Aperture Science robots are everywhere - look out for the little robot dog that loves belly rubs. We can't wait for Valve to make more VR games.

Free, Steam

Hover Junkers

Indie devs Stress Level Zero part-crowdfunded this little treat on Indiegogo back in 2015. It's a multiplayer flying/combat game in which you choose a ship based on the size of the actual room you're playing in and, in shootouts, physically hide behind your vehicle's defenses. Designed for use with the Vive's motion controls, this is a game that both showcases what VR can be and serves as an addictive game in its own right.

$34.99, Steam

Tilt Brush

A stalwart of the HTC Vive demos, the Google-owned Tilt Brush is a 3D illustration tool that lets you walk around your creations. More of an app than a game, it's still massively fun making art in VR; it's Microsoft Paint on steroids. There are so many options, colours, types of brush and so forth to choose from that it's almost overwhelming.

$29.99, Steam

Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope

While it's not a proper sequel to Serious Sam 3, this gives you something to play while developer Croteam gets to work on the full follow-up. It's also a hell of a lot of fun, putting a VR twist on the shooter, and even though it's still in Early Access we thoroughly recommend it.

$39.99, Steam

Job Simulator: the 2050 Archives

One of the funniest games on the Vive, Job Simulator plonks you in a world where robots have taken over all human jobs. But don't worry, this isn't a case of doing a 9-5 in VR, it's much more entertaining than that. Jobs range from office worker to chef, but you'll have to work out most of it as you go along. This is a fantastic game for introducing people to virtual reality for the first time.

$29.99, Steam

Final Approach

An airport management sim meets strategy game that builds on the premise of something like Flight Control, but in 360-degrees, this is the debut game from studio Phaser Lock Interactive. Airports and cities the size of your dinner table at are your command as you guide planes and helicopters to land or assist transporting criminals and moving junk around.

$14.99, Steam

Coming Soon

Fallout 4


The biggest VR news story to come from E3 2016 was Bethesda announcing a VR spin on its post-apocalyptic hit Fallout 4. Revealed at its press conference, Pete Hines, VP of PR and Marketing said: "We think that the greatest promise of VR is its ability to immerse players completely into virtual worlds, and that the best games for that experience will be first-person open-world RPGs."

There are no details yet on whether this will be an adapted version or if Bethesda will port the original game, but it's set to arrive in 2017.

Out 2017

DOOM VR

That's not all Bethesda had to talk about. Joining Fallout 4 VR was the announcement that the most recent Doom game was also set to get the VR treatment. Giving you a "virtual tour of hell", demos of Doom VR were played at E3 using the Vive to show off locations and the gunplay mechanics. Unlike Fallout, Bethesda hasn't stamped a release date on this yet, but here's hoping we're not waiting too long for it.

TBC

Budget Cuts

A spy thriller for VR, Budget Cuts is based around motion controls, using a teleportation gun to move you around the game (and get around those moment limitations). It's all about stealth as you play a robotic spy infiltrating a corporate complex at night.

TBC

Star Trek: Bridge Crew

Set in JJ Abrams' Star Trek universe, Ubisoft and Red Storm Entertainment unveiled this four player co-op game that could really showcase the potential for shared VR gaming experiences. You'll be able to play as the captain or various officers aboard a Federation starship, with gameplay elements set to include activating the warp drive, scanning objects in space and broadcasting images to the ship.

Out 14 March 2017


Shop for VR headsets on Amazon

Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift
$599.99
PlayStation VR
PlayStation VR
$571.99
HTC Vive
HTC Vive
$799
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR
$72.00

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21 Comments

  • kirstyollie says:

    The HTC Vives are the best thing ever invented which allows you to play games all day, everyday. I was one of the first people to get one and have never been off it,

    • arnold says:

      I received the Vive a week ago as well. Do you have any suggestions on what games to play?

      • Halleluyah says:

        The above list is really good. The one I play the most is hover junkers, second would be space pirate trainer. My kids really loves job simulator. Budget Cuts is a great demo, but very raw at the moment and not much to do. Most games out right now fit into wow this has a lot of potential rather than wow this is amazing category.

      • Gazader says:

        try fruit ninja, really good. :)

      • bampot says:

        a good game is surge simulator 2.0.256

      • cnelson700 says:

        HordeZ is awesome.  It is the game that I have played almost exclusively for the past couple of months - usually in multiplayer mode.

    • lolytallica says:

      Vive are the best!! got mine one week ago and with my MSI Geforce 1080 honestly wayyyy better than expected, best thing I have tried so far!!!

  • Lilbobby says:

    although I think these vrs HTC and the occulus will sell well, I think they are still very undeveloped, they should spend more time fixing it up and making contacts with third party developers before getting right into things. I think in the future it will save them from money loss and problems

  • speedpilot says:

    Just got the Vive, and it won't work, with error "(unresponsive) SteamVR [program]".  It's driving me nuts, because it ran thru about 80 percent of the tutorial and then crashed.  Lots of reports of crashing, and no real solution...

    • IronAngel says:

      Hmm, I sometimes get the unresponsive with "The Lab". I think in my case it's because I use a heavily outdated computer.

      Try disabling some heavy programs e.g. windows update while playing, it might improve a bit. Also try running the SteamVR Performance Test to check which component of your computer is lacking (if any).

    • frankwest says:

      use the display port on your graphics card, don't use the gpu from your motherboard. i.e. hdmi to hdmi for monitor, displayport to minidisplayport for vive output. Alternatively could put display port to hdmi for monitor, and hdmi to hdmi for vive output, depends on what cables you have or can find. TL:DR both video outputs should be connecting to the ports from your graphics card.

  • Robin52077 says:

    I've had my Vive for a week now and we've logged about 20 hours of play. The things that get the most of our attention are Spell Fighter VR (free!), The Longbow game in the Lab, and Vanishing Realms. Oh and Audioshield! Our GPU is just under spec but still works (nvidia 960) but we have an nvidia 1080 on the way and I can't wait!

  • LucasLball says:

    The HTC is probably the best VR on the market, and once your using it you just cannot stop. It requires a big room for the scanners and cameras, and the controllers need some room to move around, but apart from that you need the time to play the games (and a good graphics card!) plus some really good games are coming out, my favourite is fantastic contraption.

  • redalert says:

    Can you use the head set as a monitor for non VR games? Also, as someone that is not very techy(I'm a nurse) can someone tell me about the hardware specs? Are the one's listed accurate? Would you recommend something else. What kind of graphics card would you go with. AMD or Nvidia? Thanks gents

    • Wildcard9 says:

      I can say a couple things. First,  use the SteamVR Performance Test app. Second, using a steam app called Virtual Desktop will allow you to play any game on your PC, and a lot more. I myself always prefer Nvidia, but be smart as far as smanufacturers go (such as Asus, EVGA, MSI).

    • tenstorey says:

      As a headset for non VR games your going against the whole reason for its existence. There would be no reason to use it for just that. I've view videos with the headset and yeah, it's nice, but not a purchase reason.

      For VR as a minimum your graphics card in your PC would need to be a 970 gtx (1060 gtx would be better) or a radeon 480. CPU wise a quad core CPU is a must and at least 8GB of RAM. I've got a Vive myself and its a different world to any games I've played before. It's something more than your expectations (Well for me it was) as it's impossible to describe the pull into another world. The best description is that it's a world without the distractions of your surroundings (Until you bump into your furniture...It happens sometimes with the Vive on occasion.  Until the Rifts motion controllers I'm not sure how it will compare but I do know the Vive will offer the bigger area.

  • davidelindberg says:

    I can highly recommend Rec Room as well, a free title with a huge focus on being social and playing VR-sports with random people. Oh yeah, and it has three-dimensional guess-a-sketch, which is surprisingly fun to play, even with complete strangers - or maybe especially with complete strangers.

  • Alexchn says:

    htc vive, always connect the link box to the hdmi port on your graphic card, do not use the minidisplayport to display port cable. Buy a cable to connect your displayport from graphic card to your hdmi tv. You will save hours of work trying to make it work.

  • me56oldoldold says:

    I bought a displayport to hdmi cable and it fixed the headset problems the hdmi to hdmi hookup isn't good enough for the headset.

  • LORD_SKYRAIDER says:

    would u reccomend Out of ammo?

    I've heard it's good and I am deciding Wether to buy 

  • shadab14meb346 says:

    are these games online can any one tell?

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