Though VR offers a level of immersion and one of the most unique forms of gaming currently available, donning a headset and jumping into a virtual world can be an isolating experience. For when you are in the mood for some jovial company and a spot of lighthearted communal gaming to spice up an evening or your next social gathering, fortunately, there are excellent VR party games to play with friends and loved ones.
The beauty of most VR party games is not every player needs to have a headset, which, let’s face it, involves quite the investment even for gamers well accustomed to dropping considerable sums into their pastime of choice. With the clever use of controllers and flat screens, VR party games can involve multiple players with only one headset.
Additionally, these games are generally designed to accommodate newcomers with simple premises, straightforward gameplay, and intuitive controls, so even non-gamers and VR first-timers can participate in the festivities without feeling overwhelmed.
In this guide, we’ll be sharing our top picks for the best VR party games guaranteed to deliver hours of fun you can play right now. Let’s dive in.
If you are interested in VR, PC Guide has a whole host of articles you might enjoy, including these.
Cooperative mini-games, goal-oriented, and competitive turn-based play: the best VR party games are easy to set up and play, both in terms of equipment and difficulty level, and propose barrels of fun and laughs from the get-go. We, therefore, prioritized picking games that deliver that in droves.
We’ve narrowed down our selection among a sizable selection of VR party games to five titles that, in our estimation, are guaranteed to jazz up your next party and have your guest rave about the good times for months to come. You’ll find games that fall roughly into various genres and involve a different number of players, but they all deliver snappy, fun gameplay.
Read on to find out why each is worth considering and where they potentially fall short, and, as always, you’ll find a ‘Things to Consider’ section with some top tips for finding the right VR party game for your next event.
Best VR Party Games
Spy-themed hide and seek
Only one VR headset required
Easy to learn and play
Good headset compatibility
In The Take, two players jump into a retro 1960s comic-book-styled scavenger hunt. As two competing spies, the players take turns hiding classified intel in a spy stronghold, laying down traps and gadgets along the way to slow down the seeker. From there, the other player jumps in and must hunt down the intel while avoiding the carefully placed traps before a timer runs out.
The Take requires only one VR headset with players transferring it between them. There are three unique strongholds, more than eight different traps and gadgets (including bombs that blind the seeker to stunt their scavenge), nine types of classified intel, and over 30 different hiding places, all sound-tracked to a theme-appropriate jazz soundtrack.
Each match is short and snappy, making The Take a perfect addition to any VR party line-up. The controls are intuitive and simple enough that those trying out VR for the first time will quickly learn and understand the concept and basics of the game.
Despite a fun premise and the competitive element, The Take does have a limited lifespan, and having played one round, there isn’t too much else to the game, which hampers the re-playability value. You can inject some variation by changing the hiding spot of the documents, arrange traps and gadgets differently to stunt the other player’s progress, and jump into one of the three spy strongholds. Still, the snappy nature of each match means you’ll quickly eat through the full spread of content.
Available to purchase on Steam and the Oculus Store, The Take is compatible with Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
Over fifty 10-second micro-games
Only one headset required
Decent headset compatibility
No longer updated by developer
Presumably styled on the frantic mini-game buffet of WarioWare, Schlocks is a collection of over 50 micro-games designed to be played competitively with friends using a single VR headset. The twist? Each micro-game lasts no longer than 10-seconds, meaning you’ll need to assess the game, understand what’s required to win, and actually play it all in the space of 10-seconds.
Schlocks allows you to set the number of players and rounds as well as the difficulty level. Each player takes turns trying their hand at the micro-games. After each bout, each player’s performance in each of the micro-games is tallied up, with the highest scorer crowned the winner. Games range from speed-running the washing up, color-coding clothing, ultra-short games of tennis, lighting-fast cooking, and in one of ten different departments in the Schlocks Store.
Having released in Early Access back in April 2017, Schlocks is starting to show its age, chiefly due to the underwhelming visual experience, which is ultra-minimalist with very little polish. In the heat of a series of micro-games, this matters little, but a little more visual flair would certainly up the immersion. Sadly, developer Fancy Bear Games has abandoned the game, and there’s very little hope of any future updates to hit the promised 100+ micro-games.
Schlocks headset compatibility is a little more limited than some of the other games on our list. You’ll need either a Valve Index, HTC Vive, or Oculus Rift to play, and the game is only available for purchase on Steam.
Cooperative escape room-style puzzle solving
Only one VR headset required
Decent headset compatibility
Rough around the edges
Eye in The Sky is a cooperative puzzle-solving escape room set on a dreary post-apocalyptic robot planet. Designed for two players, Eye in The Sky has one player wearing the VR headset taking on the role of the ‘eye,’ while the other player jumps in on a regular PC as the ‘light.’
Each player has a different viewpoint and must share information to solve puzzles; the ‘eye’ with a bird’s eye view, acting as a guide of sorts, while the ‘light’ sees through the lens of a small robot, which can squeeze into those tough to reach spots and collect puzzle parts. The concept lends itself incredibly well to precise and cooperative communication, and there are hours of fun to be had in the game’s large escape room-style levels that grow in complexity as you progress.
It’s fair to say that Eye in The Sky is a little rough around the edges: there are glitches and clipping, some of the physics are questionable, and there’s an overall feel of jankiness to the experience.
However, Eye in the Sky is inexpensive, so we can’t fault the game too much for these issues. Overall it delivers a delightful, fun cooperative experience with its novel use of both the headset and PC to involve both players. For us, it’s one best left to those with a bit of gaming experience as some of the puzzle-solving and mechanics can be challenging for VR first-timers.
As for headset compatibility, which is decent enough, Eye in The Sky is playable on Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift headsets. It’s available for purchase on Steam only.
Fun hide and seek premise
Works with a single VR headset
Only playable on Valve Index and HTC Vive
Requires a decent play area for the best experience
Hide & Spook: The Haunted Alchemist taps into the simple pleasure of a good game of hide and seek and brings it to VR for three players with clever use of a single VR headset. It’s beautifully simple but entertaining, a technologically enhanced throwback to a childhood favorite for many of us. Best of all, it won’t cost you a penny and is completely free, so it’s definitely worth adding to your next VR party game lineup, if only to try it out.
One person jumps in as the titular alchemist wearing the VR headset, while the other two, each armed with a controller, play as ghosts. The ghosts must sneak and creep around the alchemist’s lab undetected, avoiding the alchemist all while trying to put out several scattered candles.
The ghosts are ‘blind’ and unable to see the alchemist’s lab, guided to the candles only by the controllers’ vibration. The alchemist must catch the ghost by staring at them. Once the ghosts extinguish all the candles or the alchemist catches both ghosts, the game ends.
Hide & Spook: The Haunted Alchemist has a nifty feature that adjusts the alchemist’s lab to the size of your room, but we found that for the best experience, not least to give the ghosts a fighting chance, it’s best played in a decently sized room, so plan some space for the best experience.
Unfortunately, Hide & Spook: The Haunted Alchemist has minimal headset compatibility and will only fire up if you own a Valve Index or HTC Vive headset. It’s available for purchase exclusively on Steam.
Fast-paced, hectic bomb defusal cooperative puzzler
Only required one VR headset
Unlimited number of players
Compatible with virtually all VR headsets
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a fast-paced, hectic VR party game centered around quick puzzle-solving skills to defuse a bomb before it goes off. In our book, it is the most fun you can have with a VR headset and a bunch of friends.
It is designed to have one player as the defuser wearing the headset, while the others play as experts armed with a 23-page bomb defusal manual. The experts can’t see the bomb, and the defuser can’t read the manual, forcing two-way communication to exchange the requisite information to solve the puzzle. The formula is conducive to hours of frantic fun as the experts sift through the manual barking instructions, and the defuser translates verbal queues into in-headset actions.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes boasts the best headset compatibility of any game in our guide. You can play on Valve Index, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, Samsung Gear VR, PlayStation VR, and Google Daydream. The game is available for purchase on the Oculus Store, Steam, PlayStation Store, and Google Play Store and is generally available for a very low asking price.
Best of all, the game accommodates an unlimited number of players as the instruction-relaying experts interact with the manual outside of the game world. Only the diffuser needs a headset. You could conceivably play with a handful of friends in the flesh as well as a gaggle of players jumping in via Discord or Zoom. Naturally, the more players, the more hectic the game. And, hectic in Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes’ case usually means a lot more fun.
Things To Consider
Does Each Player Need A VR Headset?
As first and foremost multiplayer games, asking whether you need multiple headsets – one for each player – to play VR party games. While we are generalizing a little here, the answer is typically no.
Fully aware that players load up these games to show off VR to newcomers or jazz up a party, developers design these games for a single VR headset. Most VR party games have one player wearing the headset, while the others either use the controllers or the tethered PC’s monitor to get involved in the game.
How this works in practice differs from game to game, with clever implementations that deliver a delightful playing experience whether you’ve strapped on the headset or not. Some have players take turns, while others will pit the headset wearer against the other players, and others will see both types of players work together to solve puzzles, each unable to see a crucial part of the puzzle.
While not all games require multiple headsets and are designed to be played with all players in the same physical space, you’ll need to check whether your headset is indeed compatible. As any VR fan will tell you, VR is defined by a scattered multitude of headsets running on different platforms, limiting what games you can play and making it vital to check you can indeed play a particular game before clicking the buy button.
To make things simpler for you, we’ve noted above what headset(s) you’ll need to play each game and where you can buy them, including if they are bound to particular platforms like PlayStation VR. Otherwise, you can generally find the required compatibility details on game listings found on storefronts like Steam and the Oculus Store.
There’s a strong possibility that first-time VR users may experience motion sickness, which can vary in intensity depending on the person. VR party games tend to avoid the high-speed, energetic gameplay of serious single-player games that exacerbate motion sickness. However, the 360-degree immersion can still wreck with the disposition of some users unaccustomed to the platform causing nausea or, at worse, vomiting.
If any players show signs of motion sickness, we recommend switching roles and possibly handing the headset over to a more seasoned VR player. The structure and design of VR party games mean those not wearing a headset are as involved in the game and can participate in all the fun, too, so this won’t detract from the overall experience.
A spy-themed scavenger hunt brought to life in VR, The Take is an excellent head-to-head game that’s easy to jump into and only requires a single VR headset.
With over 50 micro-games for up to four players, Schlocks is a lighthearted and fun way to spice up any friendly gathering, and one requires a single VR headset. It’s not the most visually appealing game, but looks are secondary to fun when faced with 10-second mini-games.
A test of communication and puzzle-solving skills, Eye in The Sky has two players adopt different perspectives to tackle large-scale escape rooms, a perfect addition to any VR party game bill.
Hide & Spook: The Haunted Alchemist brings a childhood classic to VR as players vie to extinguish candles while avoiding a seeking alchemist. It’s simple, to the point, and guarantees hours of silly fun.
A VR classic, Keep Talking, and Nobody Explodes is a must-play VR party game if there ever was one. Experts relay information to a bomb defusal in a frantic exchange of communication that almost always results in mayhem.
We’ll now wrap up your guide to the best VR party games. We hope you’ve found the perfect game for your next get-together. Feel free to drop any questions, concerns, or even any top suggestions we may have missed into the comments section below.