Want to work out, but make it more enjoyable than running on a treadmill or pumping iron? You’ll want to check out the best VR fitness apps and games.
Whether you’re looking to burn some calories or are just looking for a more active way to play games, VR games are an ideal way to spend some time when you have some space in your schedule. Better yet, they’re only getting more and more impressive, meaning we’re constantly updating this list with new virtual workout options.
Sure, you’ll need to pick up one of the best VR headsets if you don’t already have one, but that’s no different than investing in any other workout gear, and VR headsets can be used for loads of other stuff too including playing games, watching movies, and meditation - you can even work in VR.
Still, there are some things to be aware of – for one, you’ll want to be sure you’re cleaning your VR headset regularly since bacteria can build in the sweat you’ll be working up. Secondly, your choice of headset is extremely important – the Meta Quest 2, for example, is a great option since it’s wireless, and your mileage may vary with a PC-based headset that doesn’t allow for the same freedom of movement.
There are plenty more VR experiences to be found, though, and not all of them have a fitness component, even as they get you moving. For now, though, here are the best VR fitness apps and games we’ve found so far.
Best VR fitness apps and games
Beat Saber is one of VR’s most acclaimed games, and for good reason. Created by Beat Games, this iconic rhythm game is a great example of a simple premise executed perfectly, swapping the plastic accessories of older music games for a VR headset and motion controllers. Giving you two colored light sabers in each hand, all you need to do is slice the corresponding blocks, avoiding any obstacles like bombs or walls along the way.
It's a brilliant workout and the game has always warned players this requires high physical activity levels, so get those warm ups in first. However, Beat Games took this a step further post-launch with FitBeat (opens in new tab), a free fitness focused song that’s an intense ride on higher difficulties. Beyond this, Beat Saber’s largely been fueled by an active modding community on PC and Quest, who’ve continued making new maps and songs at pace, alongside official DLC packs.
- Check out Beat Saber on Steam (opens in new tab), Meta Quest (opens in new tab), Oculus Rift (opens in new tab), or PlayStation Store (opens in new tab).
Those panicking about gym class trauma from school years can lay those concerns to rest despite Gym Class VR’s title, because this particular title is all about playing basketball to improve and maintain your fitness.
While some games take a more “functional” look in VR, Gym Class VR looks great, with customizable courts and characters available in the premium version, and matches against both AI and friends or players online.
Pass, shoot, dribble and even dunk, with your shot charts and stat records held to help you improve over time. You may have so much fun, you won’t even realize you’re building up a sweat. Quest 1 owners should note that there are fewer modes for the older headset.
- Check out Gym Class VR on the Meta Quest store (opens in new tab).
Following its success on Guitar Hero and Rock Band, Harmonix established itself as the king of rhythm games, and many of us remember Dance Central from the Xbox 360 days. Starting life as a Kinect launch game, Harmonix took a small hiatus before making a surprise return with Dance Central (2019) (opens in new tab). Bringing us a new 32-song soundtrack, this latest entry ditched those camera peripherals for VR.
It adapted to this new format well and Dance Central leaned into the fitness aspect of VR gracefully. However, this isn’t just another incidental workout. Harmonix went further by releasing an integrated fitness tracker. Appearing in-game as a virtual smartphone, Dance Central estimates how many calories you’ve burned during a dance off once you’ve input your weight and height. Even if you’re not playing to lose weight, it’s a great time that comes highly recommended.
Holofit is best described as a companion app to existing fitness equipment, compatible with any Bluetooth enabled exercise bike, rowing machine, or cross trainer. Featuring over 100 different workout settings, Holofit aims to liven up your home exercise experience when using these machines. This provides 10 different environments, taking us to space stations or tropical environments, instead of spending your time staring at walls.
Boosted by a virtual coach and five workout modes, there’s plenty to keep you occupied here. Because of its reliance on physical exercise machines, Holofit is best suited for those who already own one, so it won’t universally appeal. Still, you can trial it for seven days free first to decide if it’s for you. While it’s available on PC, the Meta Quest’s wireless design makes it a much more preferable platform to test this out on.
Fit Reality's Viro Move (opens in new tab) is a strong choice for PC players, aiming to replicate your gym results. Career Mode offers four sports with 30 levels each. Boxing turns your motion controllers into punching gloves, hitting blue and orange orbs while dodging incoming walls. Swords has you swiping through these orbs without the color coordination. Shooting sees you taking down enemies once a hitbox aligns with them. Finally, Weapon Master combines all three into one mode.
If Career Mode starts getting too easy, Viro Move houses some tougher ‘Challenges’ that’ll keep you on your toes, awarding new cosmetics once completed. Alternatively, should you seek variety without necessarily making it harder, ‘Playlists’ mix up the levels to keep it interesting. It's a good workout, there’s a fun EDM soundtrack backing it up, and if you’re playing alongside friends, you’ll also find some online leaderboards.
- Check out Viro Move on Steam (opens in new tab).
YUR.Fit is an app that provides a real-time overlay, monitoring your heart rate when playing VR games to track your weight loss. Ranking progress through a level system, YUR breaks down your workout for each game. So, when you’ve finished your latest round on Pistol Whip, expect an email detailing how long you played, calories burned, and more. It’s a good fitness companion and for greater accuracy, one that’s also compatible with Bluetooth heart rate monitors.
If you’re not fond of the set overlay, some games directly integrate YUR support. Often, that’s achieved via unofficial mods, though official adoption of the YUR Watch (opens in new tab) has increased. Allowing you to track progress through an in-game virtual watch, it’s supported by games like Gym Masters (opens in new tab), OhShape (opens in new tab), Synth Riders (opens in new tab), and more. Quest users can access it through SideQuest, though there’s a similar built-in app called Oculus Move (opens in new tab).
Which VR headset is best for fitness?
There are more than a handful of excellent VR headset models, but they’re not all created equally. While some offer incredibly high resolution in each eye, they often require a powerful PC to get the most out of – or to use at all.
Trying to move your body, throw punches, or slam dunk a basketball with a cable tied to the back of your head is more than a little uncomfortable, but there are some impressively long cables available for headsets that allow it to be swapped out.
Better yet, though, we’d advise something wireless like the Meta Quest 2. Everything is built into the headset itself, so you don’t need to connect to anything else to install apps. The battery life is solid enough to work out for a while (although we’d advise picking up rechargeable ones for the included controllers) and the Meta store has a huge number of the best VR fitness apps and games available.
Meta’s library includes plenty of the games on this list, and while its not the cheapest storefront (PC fans will know all too well how affordable Steam can make PC VR titles), regular discounts and gift vouchers certainly help users build up their own fitness game and app libraries. You can even plug it into a gaming PC and use it as a more powerful Oculus Rift, too.
Aside from the advantages we’ve already mentioned, the Meta Quest 2 is still one of the most affordable entry points for VR, even after a price hike to $399 in 2022. It’s not got the power or pixel count of the HTC Vive Pro 2 or Valve Index, but at a considerably lower price it’s much easier to recommend for a foray into VR fitness and exercise.