Ever since its release in late May, the Oculus Quest has been a must-have for a lot of VR enthusiasts, casual gamers, and early adopters. The system has sold out everywhere it’s being sold. People got so used to it being out of stock that they’d Instagram photos of units whenever they found them! But recently, Oculus has started to keep up with demand, and more and more people have been getting their hands on a Quest! If you’re one of the lucky ones, welcome to the club, you’ve just embarked on a whole new adventure. If you don’t have a Quest yet, you can get the 128Gb version from Amazon. They also have the 64Gb version, but it can’t be upgraded, so we highly recommend you get the 128Gb model instead.
So You Got A Quest
Now that you have a shiny new Quest, we’re here to offer a guiding hand. Without further ado, here are some of the titles, and accessories that we think represent the best of the Quest!
Please Note: We’ve carefully designed this list to be our set of recommendations for new Quest owners, so we’ve avoided any games that could cause some motion sickness. We haven’t forgotten about Sairento VR: Untethered or Raccoon Lagoon, we haven’t, they’re just not ideal until you’ve earned your virtual sea legs!
VR is a pretty amazing new technology, and the untethered VR that the Quest offers brings with it a whole different level of freedom and portability. Architects use it to show their clients around virtual recreations of their designs, artists are using it to create virtual art installations, and the more virtual reality integrates into our lives, the more use-case scenarios we’ll find for it. And then, of course, there are all the games!
Here are the best games we think you should get!
Rhythm / Music Games
These are games that rely mostly on the player interacting with musical cues. They were huge back in the day, and then their popularity waned a little, until virtual reality gave them a new (and sometimes sweat-inducing) lease on life!
Slash to the Rhythm
Unless you’ve been living in a clamshell or are just a complete noob to virtual reality, you will have heard of, or seen, a viral video of Beat Saber. It’s one of the most popular games on any VR platform because it’s simple to grasp yet very difficult to master at high levels, easily earning its place on any best of the Quest list! It combines music, which everybody loves, with lightsabers, which everybody loves. In the process, it also provides you with concrete proof that, unlike regular console or PC gaming, virtual gaming can do wonders for your cardio. Blocks come at you, times to music. You slash your lightsaber, slicing them apart as the music blasts away. It makes you feel like a ninja musician and is singularly responsible for selling a ton of VR headsets. If you need to know more, check out our review of Beat Saber.
Can You Audica?
Long anticipated, Audica came with an impressive and successful pedigree, which it joyfully wears on its sleeve. An addictive, empowering and sublimely well-wrought music shooter which is an exemplary model of a genre that its creators, Harmonix, helped to form. A solid but very different rival to Beat Saber, it’s yet another game that’s found a perfect home on the Oculus Quest.
Here’s Your Fill of Keanu-rvana
There was a lot of hype surrounding the release of Pistol Whip, largely driven by the promise of playing a rhythm-based shooter that promised to make you feel like John Wick. As our very own Doc Neale put it in his review:
“Pistol Whip doesn’t want just to give you bad guys to shoot; it intends to choreograph you doing it. The levels are recognisable urban environments, rendered in a distinctive limited palette. The almost-neon, glitchy, aesthetic is a triumph, allowing the imagination to run riot. The waves of sharp-suited villains rushing the player are carefully sequenced to the music – shoot them accurately on the beat and not only will your score skyrocket, but you will edge ever closer to full Keanu-rvana.“
In case you’re still wondering, it’s a blast to play.
These are games that replicate real-life sports or create novel sporting experiences that can only ever work in virtual reality. These can all be played multiplayer!
Ping Pong Surprise
Here’s to Racket Fury: Table Tennis, the game that surprised us. Racket Fury is impressive primarily because it doesn’t quite feel like a video game at all. It feels like you’ve put on a headset, found a Table Tennis paddle in your hand and a foe across the table, and played a ridiculously convincing round of Table Tennis. Racket Fury was amazingly realistic even before it got its latest update. Now, the game is almost indistinguishable from real Table Tennis. It’s like buying a real Table Tennis set that doesn’t take up a whole room and that you cannot break. A Table Tennis set that you don’t have to clean, and that comes with an infinite set of balls. Did we mention you can play it online, against other people? Read our review of it here.
Like a Snowglobe, I Pinball
Racket: NX is a breath of fresh air. It mangles together Pong, Arkanoid, and Pinball. You’re in a dome made up of colorful hexagons. You smash an energy ball at the wall of the dome, destroying hexagons and collecting powerups. You’ve got a clock counting against you, and you’ve got a limited amount of energy, which you can replenish with blue hexagons, but which you’ll lose if you hit the evil red-skull hexagons. It’s wild, it’s exhausting, and it’s nicely polished. Like Racket Fury, you can play against others online, and you can compete for a position on the global leaderboards. The concept is simple but very slick, and as the hexagon patterns get more complicated and the power-ups more essential, it also ends up involving some degree of strategy.
Explore strange new lands, solve puzzles, and sometimes fight your way!
Here’s Your Hit of Virtual Zelda
It took us a while to get around to reviewing Journey of the Gods, but we were certainly surprised when we did. A demo of the game was launched with the Quest’s release way back in May 2019, but the demo didn’t really show off that much of the game and wasn’t very impressive on its own. When we got a chance to play the full game we were very impressed with everything, from the wonderful art direction to the intuitive controls, to the music, to the mission structure, to the evolving god powers that you gain as the story progressed, to the absurdly psychedelic graphics of the last levels. Journey of the Gods is perfect for adults and children alike, providing a decent challenge to either, depending on the difficulty level chosen. It is a touching tale and is the closest we’ve yet seen to embodying a Zelda game in virtual reality. It also has a beautiful ending, and makes us wish we’ll see more from Turtle Rock Studios sometime soon!
Solve puzzles, move on, it’s really not the same in VR!
How Do I Get Out of Here, And Do I Want To?
The Room has always been a fantastic puzzle-gaming franchise, and recently made its move from mobile to full-on virtual reality gaming with the latest iteration; The Room VR: A Dark Matter.
Here’s what our own Doc Neale had to say about it:
The Room VR: A Dark Matter is a creepy puzzle game which satisfies, thrills and rewards in equal measure. It’ll draw you in with its fantastic atmosphere, great setting and classy graphics, and hook you with its precisely-wrought and polished (but never obtuse or demanding) puzzles. A must-play VR title which plays best on the Quest.
He’s not wrong. Give it a try if you’re at all interested in puzzle games, or video games in general!
Let’s Fawn over a Red Dawn
A puzzler with a Cold War retro-futuristic feel, Red Matter is the most graphically impressive game yet released for the Quest. Aside from being a graphical showcase, and a gauntlet thrown to all other developers, the game itself is a very cool sci-fi puzzler with some creepy vibes. It’s a bit short, with a running time of around three or four hours, but they’re three or four hours that you won’t soon forget. Read Andrew Podolsky’s review of Red Matter if you’re not convinced, but it stands proud amongst the best of the Quest.
Quicksilver Meets the Love Boat
Remember the scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past when Charles Xavier, Magneto and Quicksilver walk into a kitchen only to find themselves surrounded by guards? Remember how Quicksilver went into superspeed and everything seemed to stand still while he manipulated various objects around the kitchen? Remember how we only really saw the results of his manipulations when time resumed its pace, and suddenly all the guards were incapacitated? That’s you in Time Stall. You’re on the world’s first crowd-funded space cruiser, and you’ve got to save the captain and his ‘Bobots’ from a series of disasters by manipulating things in frozen time. It’s a puzzler with a fantastic twist. It’s lighthearted and a joy to play, and if it were just a little bit longer, it would be an instant classic.
Your Name is Bond, Telekinetic Bond
I Expect You To Die is another puzzler and gives you the role of a secret agent. The game has a lot of humor, but the story is essentially a plot device to put you in a series of virtual escape rooms. So, if you like escape rooms, and want to have easy access to six of them in the comfort of your home, you’ll love it. This game initially came with five levels, and only recently got an update that added a sixth. With any luck, the developers might continue to show it some love. As it stands, it’s still one of the best games on the Quest.
Playing with Light
Shadow Point puts you in a fantastical land and tasks you with helping a childhood friend. Starting from a central game hub, you go to different levels where you play out a series of puzzles in order to unlock new locations and help your friend. The game is all about manipulating lights and creating shadows out of the objects that you find throughout the levels. The graphics are simplistic but well-directed, and the audio features a wonderful narration by none other than Patrick Stewart. Shadow Point is a wonderful game for adults and a challenging game for younger gamers, who are bound to fall in love with it. Don’t miss out on this game just because you haven’t heard much about it. This is the hidden gem in the Oculus Store treasure chest.
Hard to classify, these are games that provide an experience no other game or platform has ever quite managed to convey. Highly recommended because, other than being good, they really are refreshingly unique.
Tripping the Light Fantastic
Coming out of nowhere, and released without much hype, The Under Presents is a delightful experience that is guaranteed to be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced in VR or outside of it. The Under Presents is simultaneously a game, an interactive theatrical performance, and a social world full of magic.
There’s no killing in The Under Presents, and the closest you get to platforming is when you’re teleporting across shipping containers to read pages out of a book. There’s no upgrading your weapons, and there’s no working out the best loadout. It has puzzles and motivates you to solve them without demanding that you do. The Under Presents doesn’t make you want to beat it, as much as it’s asking you to enjoy it and to get involved in it. It wants you to bask in its weirdness, to explore its surreal locations, and to play around with it in the hope that you’ll discover more of it.
The Under Presents is one of the best things we’ve ever experienced while wearing a headset!
Time Moves When You Move
It’s a simple enough concept, but Superhot VR takes this conceit and turns you into Neo from the Matrix. This unique game mechanism turns it into a shooter that also doubles as a zen-like tactical trainer. You can try to speed-run it, but you can also move much more methodically. If you slow down your movements, you can bring time to a standstill. Taking advantage of that, you can plot your path between bullets while using household objects and captured weapons to your advantage. Superhot VR’s ‘game hub’ is a small room in which you don a VR headset that transports you to the campaign levels. It’s a neat touch of meta-narrative, but it’s also used to lend an eerie atmosphere to an otherwise opaque narrative. Parents might be concerned, however with two particular moments in which you’re asked to ‘prove your commitment.’ Interested? Read our review of Superhot VR.
The Quest does more than just play games, and whereas it has fewer applications than it does games, these applications are the best of the Quest!
What Dreams May Come
Tilt Brush wowed everybody when it was initially released on VR headsets a few years ago, and it finds a whole new life on the Quest. Being untethered while you move around your space and paint in 3D is an absolute blast. Tilt Brush is simple to use but provides almost unlimited creative potential. If there’s an artist in you, you owe it to yourself to try it out. Got an artist in your family, you owe it to them to give them the joy that Tilt Brush offers. If your interest is piqued, head over to our Tilt Brush review.
What Tilt Brush does for painting, SculptrVR does for sculpting. If you’re at all interested in sculpting or in 3D modeling, or if your children like to play with Play-Doh – then you’ll love SculptrVR. It’s easy to use, and, with patience, you can produce some great results.
My Quest is a Window to Windows
Although some of its most-used functionality has now somewhat been superseded by the release of Oculus Link, Virtual Desktop is still quite useful! Virtual Desktop allows you to stream your PC’s display to your Quest. This, apparently simple feature enables you to do several things, the first of which is that you can use your PC on a giant virtual screen. Ever wanted to play Forza Horizon on a giant virtual TV screen? Now you can. Here’s the killer feature though; it works with Steam VR too! Ever wanted to play Steam VR games but couldn’t do it because you don’t have an HTC Vive or an Oculus Rift? Well, now you can. Ever wanted to try Google Earth VR? Now you can.
The possibilities offered by Virtual Desktop are incredible, and the latency is good enough that you can use all but the most time-sensitive games. The one caveat is that Oculus forced the developer to remove the Steam VR feature from the official release, so if that’s the functionality you want, you’ll have to buy the game from the Oculus Store, then sideload (it’s not that difficult, you’ll find what you need to know in our SideQuest feature) the more functional version from the developer.
It’s Popcorn Time, Bring Your Friends
There are various ways to watch movies on your Quest. Big Couch is quite popular, is free, and allows you to host a viewing party from your Quest. You can invite friends to your room or join public theaters, and it’s like sitting in a virtual film theater with avatars. Your mileage will vary depending on your bandwidth, but for the price, it’s certainly worth a try!
Skybox offers no party or chat features but is a premium media player that’ll play just about anything you throw at it. Want to watch Avengers Endgame in 3D on a huge screen? You can.
Gear & Accessories
Official Quest Travel Case
The best thing about the Quest is that it’s an all-in-one completely portable system, and people have been taking advantage of that. We’ve seen Quests being used in parks, trains, and even airplanes. Sure, you might not be able to use the room-scale capabilities while you’re stuck in an economy seat, but you can use it in stationary mode and then let loose when you get to your destination.
The official Oculus Travel Case is a great companion. It’s a snug fit and isn’t any larger than it absolutely needs to be. It’ll protect your Quest, your Touch Controllers, and your charger. There’s only one reason NOT to buy the official Travel Case and that’s if you’re planning to ‘FrankenQuest’ your Quest. What the hell does that mean? You’re about to find out!
HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap
In order to make their Quests more comfortable for prolonged use, some enterprising users have resorted to modding it. A FrankenQuest is essentially a Quest that’s been fitted with the HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, providing better head support and much better sound.
Here’ a video explaining the FrankenQuest mod:
The mod is reversible, and you can always reattach the standard Quest strap if you need to, so the only real disadvantage to the FranenQuest mod is that the Quest will no longer fit inside the official Travel Case. Instead, you’ll have to get something like this.
AMVR Touch Grips for Quest
Whereas we had some issues with their Beat Saber Handles, the AMVR Touch Grips impressed us a great deal. They’re well thought out, nicely designed, and feel robust. We had an easier time putting the AMVRs on than the Mamut grips (especially when it came to getting the native straps out of the bottom) and loved the fact that we could finally, comfortably use our index fingers for the trigger button. They’ve been attached to our Touch controllers since we received them, and we only wish that somehow AMVR had managed to work out a way for us to replace batteries without having to loosen the velcro strip and pull the grips halfway off.
At $24.99, and until we find an even better solution, we can’t recommend these enough. If you want a more comfortable grip on your controllers, go ahead and buy these.
Oculus Quest In-Ear Headphones
They’re called headphones, even though they’re earbuds, but they’re official, and did pretty well in our review! Please note that you do not need these if you’re going the FrankenQuest route since the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap has its own headphones.
Which games, apps, or accessories do you think are the absolute best for the Quest? Which would you recommend to new Quest users? Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments.
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Featured image courtesy of The Modern East.