VRWorkout (on SideQuest or Steam)

We haven’t gotten much into SideQuest or Steam on this site yet, but had to mention this game for  serious trainers who want more traditional exercises in a virtual environment, this is the best full-body workout we’ve seen so far among VR games for the Quest; you’ll be dropping to the floor for crunches and planks, then jumping up to run in place, all while hitting colored targets that move toward you and moving your body to align your head with the visual cues it gives you. The game does feel more like real exercise to us than the gamified movement of the other apps here, so we think it’s unlikely to turn you into an exercise fan if you’re not already one, but if that’s your thing then this game will get your heart pumping even on the easiest mode (there are four levels of difficulty).

The game includes several short videos to illustrate how to do the moves and provides a series of pre-set workouts or you can create your own. Extensive customization is available to allow you to turn on or off specific moves (aging knees will appreciate “knee-saver” mode), select whether you want the workout to focus more on cardio or on strength, and even to turn on “Beast mode”…which is scary enough that we haven’t yet tried it! The game involves A LOT of moving and does not warn you when you get near your guardian boundary, so be sure you have plenty of room to move about without hitting anything (the developer recommends 2m x 1.5m (~6.5 x 5 ft) minimum.

You’ll want to make sure hand-tracking on your headset is turned on to do all the exercises that require hands (like planks), or try strapping your controllers to your wrists to keep your hands free. Or you can just turn those kinds of exercises off.

A downside for us is that music selection is really limited (only 13 songs right now, and none that are recognizable). There are a couple of workarounds to this, the first one not requiring much tech savviness but requiring some work, the second needing a bit more tech comfort. The first option is to create your own workout to music you like by playing a song (e.g. on your computer) and then hitting a virtual drum in the game to tell it where the beat of the music is. Once that’s done, select a “freeplay” mode in the game which will then send you workout cues without any music, and you just play yours in the background. The second approach allows you to upload your own music files (of OGG file type, kind of like an MP3 file but with more info).

This game is currently in preview (beta) mode so isn’t as polished as many others, but it is free for the Quest through SideQuest or through Steam for use with Oculus Link or with other headsets (the developer accepts donations). They are working on an online portal that tracks your workout results, but this is currently available only to donors through the Patreon platform. The developer is eager for community feedback to help improve the app.

 

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