There’s no denying the pull of VR boxing games for non-boxers inspired by the exploits of colossi of the sport like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson, but wary of the seriously high pain threshold required even at the amateur level. VR boxing games offer us mere mortals a chance to experience the grueling attrition of a prizefight as if we were there, gloves in hand, sweat on our brows, bloodied and sore, thanks to the tech’s immersive qualities.
Unlike controller boxing games, VR boxing is creeping ever closer to mimicking the real thing and is increasingly analogous with real-world boxing. Much of this is thanks to VR controllers that act as an effective conduit between the hands and a pair of virtual gloved-fists, but also work by developers to introduce the same physicality as the real thing, albeit without the pain whether you’re on the receiving end of a well-placed punch or not.
Whether you want an arcade-style virtual punching ball to stay in shape or an ultra-realistic simulator to test your boxing skills, we’re here to help. Jump in as we share our top picks for the best VR games currently available to play.
While you are at it check out our Best Fitness VR Games too if you are into this sort of thing.
Products at a Glance
The Thrill of the Fight
Creed: Rise To Glory
The Fastest Fist
The best VR boxing games need to offer something more than your straight console or PC boxing titles. As such, we searched for games that tap into the unique qualities of playing with a headset, all while offering a fun or compelling boxing experience.
We’ve narrowed down our selection to five VR boxing games. From gentler, fun boxing games with an arcade feel to simulators that require skill and patience, we covered the full palette of boxing games with our recommendations.
Below, we’ll let you know what each brings to the table, highlighting where they shine and where there’s some work to do. And, as we always do, we’ve added a ‘Things to Consider’ section near the end of the guide to help you choose the right VR boxing game.
As always, our recommendations are by no means definitive, but rather the ones that stood above the rest for us here at PC Guide towers. If we missed out on a must-play VR boxing game, then head to the comments section at the end to let us know.
Best VR Boxing Games
The Thrill of the Fight
Authentic boxing simulation
Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, WMR
Provides a genuine workout
Requires room-scale play area
For those that favor an authentic boxing experience, where form and style matter, The Thrill of the Fight is one of the best VR boxing games currently available. It may not be the most flashy game visually, nor will it win awards for presentation, but it makes up for this in droves for the deep simulation aspects it offers budding fighters.
The game offers a selection of challenging fighters to go up against, each with unique fighting styles and a range of techniques, forcing you to adapt, target weak spots, and learn as you go along. There’s also a rich training mode, including a dummy, speed bag, and so on, to fine-tune your skills and perfect your timing.
It’s no understatement saying that The Thrill of the Fight provides a serious workout that creeps remarkably close to the real thing. There’s no stamina gauge or fabricated in-game limitations; the success of each fight depends on what your body can do.
The Thrill of the Fight’s focus on delivering a realistic boxing experience means you’ll need a reasonably sizable room-scale play area as standard to play. The game very much expects the player to duck, weave, evade punches, and skip around as you would in the real world. As developer Sealost Interactive notes, make sure you’ve properly tuned your Steam VR Chaperone or Oculus Guardian boundaries before jumping into the virtual ring. Also, clear out any wandering pets or expensive objects to err on the side of caution.
The Thrill of the Fight is currently available to purchase on Steam and the Oculus Store, which grants compatibility with a good selection of headsets, including Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
Creed: Rise To Glory
Polished, cinematic visuals
Fast, fun, arcade-style gameplay
Compelling career mode inspired by the Rocky films
Online PvP to test your skills
Broad headset compatibility
Lacks the skill and realism of The Thrill of the Fight
There’s no denying that the highest stakes boxing matches are a spectacle, oozing with theatricality and pomp. Creed: Rise to Glory taps into this aspect of boxing to deliver a polished, cinematic experience that veers far more towards fast, fun, arcade-style gameplay than authentic alternatives like The Thrill of the Fight.
As the name implies, Creed: Rise to Glory dips into the Rocky franchise to bring a compelling career mode that has the player carry Adonis Creed from a lowly fist thrower to a dominating force in the highest echelons of boxing. You’ll meet iconic characters like Rocky Balboa, Ivan, and Viktor Drago along the way, with frequent visits to a gym to hone your skills. Additionally, Creed: Rise to Glory has an online PvP mode to test your skills against players worldwide.
The fights themselves aren’t so much about timing and skill but rather about unleashing a maelstrom of wild punches to secure a knockout, all while keeping an eye on your stamina bar. Fights tend to be quick and to the point, with a high production value seen in cutscenes and slow-motion moves that add a bit of welcome flair to the experience. Movement isn’t linked to your body and feet but rather to moving the controller, making for a less physically taxing but decent workout.
Creed: Rise to Glory is available on both Steam and the Oculus Store. You can fire it up using a Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, or Windows Mixed Reality headset.
Music-based boxing gameplay
Delivers a serious workout
Suitable for all fitness levels
Available on SteamVR, Oculus, and PlayStation VR
More fitness than pure boxing game
Turning away from straight VR boxing games, we have BOXVR. Despite the name, BOXVR is far more a fitness game than a boxing one. It employs Beat Saber music-based timing mechanics, except with a lot of jabbing and punching instead of slicing and slashing.
Each session is set to one of over 150 different songs from various genres, from thumping dance tracks to ska, with the player tasked with producing all manner of jabs, weaves, and uppercuts in time with the beat presented as colorful orbs.
BOXVR proposes over 20 hours of choreographed workouts designed to burn fat, up your stamina, and overall improve cardio, all in a light, fun setting. The game even tracks your progress to let you know the impact of each session, all while allowing you to set goals. There are also sessions for all skill levels, rising in intensity as you progress, making it suitable for all fitness levels from total beginners to seasoned gym-goers.
Naturally, the focus on fitness means many of the more authentic aspects of boxing, chiefly taking on another fighter, are thrown out of the window. Therefore, BOXVR is primarily aimed at those that want a fun, alternative way to workout from home and not those looking for an authentic and realistic boxing experience that mimics stepping into the ring.
You can play BOXVR on SteamVR, the Oculus Store, and PlayStation VR. Headset compatibility isn’t half bad with support for Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, and PSVR headsets.
The Fastest Fist
Limited headset compatibility
The Fastest Fist falls somewhere between a pure boxing sim like The Thrill of the Fight and a boxing-inspired fitness game like BOXVR. At its core, The Fastest Fist is best described as a high-intensity shadowboxing sim designed to deliver a heart-pumping workout.
Simplicity and repetition is the name of the game here as you jump into a training session with a trainer that bears an uncanny resemblance to Bruce Lee. He’ll hold up bags and throw all manner of hooks, jabs, and uppercuts your way that you’ll need to dodge and block, then respond in kind with a few punches of your own. That’s pretty much it. It’s a simple gameplay loop, but it works up quite the sweat and is easy to get into. After a 30 minute session with The Fastest Fist, you’ll be gasping for air.
The repetitive formula won’t suit those that want a varied, challenging boxing experience, and the game has no alternative modes or online elements to ward off boredom. Additionally, headset compatibility is limited. The Fastest Fist is exclusively available on Steam and only compatible with the Valve Index and HTC Vive headsets. It’s cheap, though, going for no more than $8-$10.
Goofy, fun boxing gameplay
Endearing game world with quirky characters
Various drills and mini-games
SteamVR, Oculus, and PlayStation VR
Not a serious boxing sim
Knockout League doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s why we love it. It’s a goofy, arcade-style VR boxing game that aims to deliver a light and fun experience without over-complicating the mechanics or asking players to invest countless hours to master the requisite skills.
A single-player game, Knockout League, is structured as a series of boxing drills, mini-games, and a one-on-one fighting league where you’ll take on a colorful cast of characters from a boxing octopus to a pirate each with their own unique attacks and fighting styles. It oozes good-natured humor and charm, all bathed in a simple yet bright and colorful visual world.
While focused on a fun experience, Knockout League is no slouch on the physical exertion side of the equation, and you can expect to get a decent workout from all the swinging and punching the game involves. It’s nevertheless worth pointing out that Knockout League is by no means a realistic boxing sim, nor does it pretend to be, so those looking for something with a bit more depth and skill may want to look elsewhere, chiefly The Thrill of the Fight.
Knockout League is available for purchase on Steam, the Oculus Store, and PlayStation Store. You’ll be able to jump in using Valve Index, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
Things To Consider
Competing manufacturers and platforms vying for a piece of the VR pie means playing a VR boxing game isn’t as easy as simply buying, downloading, and firing it up. You’ll need to check first that it supports play with your headset and secondly on what platform it is available.
Steam is by far the most flexible VR platform because it offers a broad range of games and support for all SteamVR compatible headsets out there. Oculus Store takes the runner-up spot, although compatibility is limited to Oculus’s own range of headsets, such as the Rift and Quest.
PlayStation VR, the only genuine VR experience on console, is even more limited, requiring a PSVR headset, PlayStation console, and that you buy any game you have your eye on via the PlayStation Store, with no exceptions.
VR boxing games tend to have a decent crossover between these different platforms, but we can’t stress the importance of a cautionary check to be sure before laying down any money.
Play Area and Space
As with any room-scale VR experience, we recommend playing VR boxing games in a space fit for purpose. The range of movements and the freedom you have to hop around a ring will largely depend on how much real-world space you have at your disposal. The larger, the better, yes, but more importantly, the area needs to be free of clutter and obstacles that can cause an injury.
We’ve all heard stories of VR players caught up in the thrill of the game barging into walls or smashing TVs to bits with an over-enthusiastic leap or hand gesture. VR boxing games heighten the chance of this due to the nature of the activity: throwing fists, ducking and weaving, and pivoting. As such, ensure you have a clear play area beforehand, and you may even want to invest in a VR mat fitted with embossed underfoot patterns so you can keep track of where you are in the room.
VR is one of the most physically intensive forms of gaming, and boxing games only intensify this aspect of the platform. While how much effort you put in is generally up to you, boxing games, by their very nature, require a reasonable amount of movement to get the full gameplay experience.
More realistic VR boxing games try to mimic the physical demands of a real-world fight with long rounds, constant movement, and even training modes to improve your stamina and skills. Similarly, there are games designed specifically for exercise, something we see in flat gaming in titles like the Nintendo Switch’s Ring Fit Adventure. More arcade-like alternatives are more forgiving on the body and tend to be designed for a more fun-oriented experience.
The Thrill of the Fight
For offering an authentic boxing experience that pushes the player to learn and hone their skills, with plenty of footwork to match, The Thrill of the Fight is a must-play for serious VR boxing game fans.
Creed: Rise to Glory is very much the polished, Hollywood-blockbuster of the VR boxing world with its sleek visuals, Rocky-inspiration, and cinematic qualities. While less realistic than other boxing games out there, it still delivers a taxing experience dipped in a good coat of fun.
BOXVR is squarely aimed at fitness, borrowing a similar formula to the acclaimed Beat Saber to help you work up a serious sweat in VR. Plenty of songs, suitability for various fitness levels, and bucket loads of content make BOXVR easily one of the best fitness games on VR.
Simple, sometimes repetitive, and highly affordable, The Fastest Fist has you jump into grueling shadow boxing sessions alongside a Bruce Lee-look alike to get the heart going. To the point, and practical, it’s a no-nonsense VR boxing workout.
Silly and fun, Knockout League is one for those that like their boxing with a helping humor and charm. Easy to enjoy and with plenty of character, Knockout League’s arcade-style gameplay doesn’t take itself too seriously.
We’ll now wrap up our guide to the very best VR boxing games. Feel free to drop into the comments section below with questions, suggestions, or concerns.