It goes without saying that using an Oculus Quest over a more stationary gaming platform, such as a desktop PC, console or even a handheld console, as long as you are standing whilst playing, you will certainly be burning more calories than sitting on a couch with a controller in your hands.
Thanks to the untethered nature of the Oculus Quest, you are now free to roam around your gaming den, living room or even outside – if the weather is in your favour. Gaming like this alone will certainly burn more than your console-playing bredren, but by playing the right games on the Quest, you can begin to exercise so much more, and when used more regularly in a weekly or daily routine, you will begin to see results in your overall fitness.
We all struggle to keep on top of our exercise regime, but strapping on an Oculus Quest and playing your games more actively makes the task of exercise much more fun to do. Below are some of the best games I have experienced to help you get fit in 2020, all available on the Oculus Quest.
Arms ★★★ Legs ★★★
BoxVR has been created purely for exercise and fitness using VR. With a number of difficulties and lengths of workouts to choose from, you can either ease yourself in with an easy 10-15 minute workout or for the more experienced you can go straight into a 30 minute to over an hour workout.
Its boxercise-like gameplay has you punching orbs as they fly towards you and avoiding walls by ducking or leaning around them. These moves combined give a workout to both your arms and legs and depending on the length and intensity of your chosen workout, you’ll be breaking a sweat in no time with this game.
Arms ★★☆ Legs ★☆☆
Although this game may not appear as key workout game, with the right selection of tracks (both official and custom) you can create a playlist of some heavy workout session tracks to work both the arms and legs. By hitting each of the cubes that approach you with our arms, in different directions, whilst dodging and ducking under the red neon walls, your arms and legs are given a decent workout after playing a few tracks.
Make sure you choose a difficulty that has a high intensity of movement and ones that you can complete fully and not fail in. Selecting tracks with walls featured in them will help work your legs and also help work up a sweat much quicker.
If you SideQuest your game and mod Beat Saber to run custom songs, you can open the game up to creating an exercise playlist containing tracks that you know of and enjoy, which in turn makes working out much more fun and longer-lasting.
Arms ★★☆ Legs ☆☆☆
On the surface, The Climb may not appear like a decent workout for your whole body, and you’ll be right. But compete in high difficulty climbs and aim for breaking your best times and your arms will soon begin to feel the pain after a few attempts.
Your lower body will not get much of a workout here, so adding The Climb to your workout regime will help with leg recovery from a previous game, also whilst giving your arms an extra level of exercise.
Pick climbs that have you swinging between wooden rafters, this climbs will have your arms more above your head than at head height that’s common on many easy and medium-based climbs. High arms will make you feel the burn that little bit more.
The Thrill of the Fight
Arms ★★★ Legs ★☆☆
Another good arm based workout is in The Thrill of the Fight. If you have a 2m square play area, this is the best boxing game I have experienced on the Quest so far. Even on easy mode, your opponents do not go down that quickly, which means you’ll be working hard to get your opponent down on to the canvas. With even easy mode bouts taking a good amount of time to finish, you can pick any level here that gives you a level of challenge.
By keeping your arms up to block, whilst throwing punches at any open opportunity, your arms will certainly feel it after a few bouts in this game. With the room space available, you can also walk around the ring, duck and dodge punches to help work your core and a little in your legs.
The Thrill of the Fight is a fun and decent workout, just make sure you have the space to play how it is really intended to be played. If you don’t this game is still a good workout, you just have to be aware of any walls nearby.
Arms ★☆☆ Legs ★☆☆
Like Beat Saber, Synth Riders is another music-based game that has key gameplay elements that work your arms and legs.
With the right tracks and difficulty selected (at least medium to hard difficulty) you will soon have to move your arms a lot to collect each orb, whilst accurately riding the rails in time with the beat all help to make your workout an enjoyable one.
There are more difficult walls to dodge in this game than say Beat Saber and Pistol Whip, so your legs and core are probably getting a little more of a workout than in Beat Saber, but Pistol Whip is more of a leg work out than all these two music-based games.
Ninja Legends – Workout mode
Arms ★★★ Legs ★☆☆
The story mode in Ninja Legends is already a decent workout. But with an update of the game, a new endless mode is now available that will certainly keep the heart racing. With ninjas spawning all around you, you are certainly kept on your toes, whilst reacting as quick as possible blocking attacks and fending off each wave of ninja that comes at you.
Picking the default katana sword or claw weapon help to keep combat close and manic, and as a result, your heart rate will be just as active as the intensity of the combat in the game.
Again, play space helps add to the activity of the workout because the extra room can help you with lunging out to ninjas and dodging attacks, thus increasing your workout burn.
Arms ★★☆ Legs ★★★
Pistol Whip is another rhythm shooter game that makes for an enjoyable workout. The game works your arms when aiming and shooting enemies, whilst your legs are worked when ducking and dodging incoming bullets and stepping or leaning to pass oncoming walls.
The soundtrack is also great and you can easily lose many session minutes in the game by selecting a few of your favourite scenes and setting the difficulty on at least medium setting.
The game’s online leaderboard will also up the pressure to do well and as a result, your workout is also intensified.
Crisis VRigade (SideQuest only)
Arms ★★☆ Legs ★★★
It’s still a shame that this game didn’t make it on the Oculus Store, however, if you have use SideQuest on your Quest, Crisis VRigade is a fantastic workout for shooting fans.
With so much ducking behind cover required in this game, you are squatting a lot throughout each round of shooting bad guys. As a result, you will certainly feel the pain in your legs after a few missions in the game. The game is very intense and highly enjoyable, so you can spend a lot of time in this game without noticing the pain until you stop or you can’t stand any more!
Sports Scramble (Tennis mode)
Arms ★★☆ Legs ★☆☆
Three sports come bundled with Sports Scramble, and although Baseball and Bowling are fun to play, neither of them really give you a decent workout as much as its Tennis mode does.
With a wider play space, you can find yourself lunging at returned tennis balls, and the opponent AI is pretty challenging enough to make each set match a decent workout.
Don’t let the weird balls and bats put you off, head into the game’s settings menu to turn these off so you can focus on returning real balls with a real tennis racket.
Arms ★★☆ Legs ★★☆
The casual yet frantic nature of Superhot VR makes this game an unexpected good game to workout in.
With a 2+ meter square decent playspace, you can find yourself dodging, ducking and lunging your way around each level you face.
Attempting to complete each level can feel a little repetitive at times, but with each attempt, you soon start to feel the burn as the game intensifies and you begin to dodge bullets and lunge at the red bad guys with your fists.
Arms ★★☆ Legs ★★☆
In Dance Central, you are required to execute certain physical arm and body moves in order to score high points. With the right music track and learning the moves within them, this game can soon become a decent workout if dancing is your thing.
If you are more into your Zumba or your more general aerobic exercises, then Dance Central will be more suited to you than the more action, sport or shooting-based exercise that I have listed above.
Your Oculus Quest Fitness
Whichever game you chose to help tick that box of regular exercise this year, it is the intensity, length and consistency that is important to burn off those calories. If you are not breaking enough of a sweat, change the mode to a harder difficulty or increase the length of time you’re doing it for. Some difficulties may mean you are in the game for longer, so if time is not available, select a high difficulty.
Using any of the games listed above with the right difficulty or challenge setting will help to create an intense level of exercise that will keep your heart rate levels up. Just make sure you take regular breaks when you feel like you need to, stick to a set number of tracks or levels per game in your routine.
Maintain hygiene and get yourself a VR Cover or similar face cover to catch and wipe all that sweat you’ll generate whilst wearing your Quest. Keep hydrated also, use a narrow spout water bottle or use a straw so you can take on water without removing your headset where you have to readjust your headset every time you take in fluids.
Most of all, use the Quest to enjoy yourself and the exercise it is giving you. It isn’t this fun in the gym, and it will cost you a lot less than a gym membership too. Although you may not work your entire body on the Quest, if your options do not include a regular daily walk or a visit to the gym, then the Quest is a decent option to maintain some level of fitness in us gamers.