What are the best local multiplayer games for HTC Vive?

There's no getting around it — when people come over to hang out, they're going to want to try your HTC Vive. Sure, getting them set up and watching them flail around the room can be fun for awhile, but why not join in on the fun? There are a few standout Vive titles that include local multiplayer; some are for the Vive player and one other player, and some are for larger groups. Let's have a look at the party games for Vive that will keep people talking about your party long after it's over.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Do you trust your friends to stay calm in the face of danger? Do you believe in their ability to relay clear instructions in a stressful situation? There's a way to test your assumptions! Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes places one of you into the Vive while an unlimited number of people can gather round and interact. How? The person wearing the Vive has a bomb in front of them, and as it ticks down, the other players have to read a defusal manual and instruct their friend.

The defusal manual is readily available online, so every member of the team can read it themselves to help out. If you have a rather large party, try splitting the teams up and seeing which one can get the best defusal time. This is a great game that tests your friendships; bond or be blown to pieces!

See at Steam

Mass Exodus

A creepy android factory that resembles a smoky smelting plant has a problem: one of their products has rebelled against the system and is now trying to escape. One player dons the Vive and becomes a towering robot on the factory owner's side, while the player on PC takes control of the rebel android — it's seeker vs hider.

The enormous seeker has a bunch of power-ups to help with the searching; the rogue android must be found before four switches are flipped and the door to safety opens. If one-on-one play isn't quite up your alley, three other players on separate PCs can join in, taking on the role of other rebellious androids. If a game that delivers the same old thrill as playground hide and seek is on your short-list, definitely give Mass Exodus a try.

See at Steam

Ruckus Ridge VR Party

If you already have a bunch of gamepads sitting around the house, Ruckus Ridge VR Party will probably be an attractive option as far as party games go. One of you dons the Vive and three others use gamepads to compete in a series of minigames.

Thinking the VR player might have a bit of an advantage? Well, the person in the Vive is actually only there to get in the way of the other three players. Can't disrupt everyone at once? That's how alliances are formed! After every round, players switch virtual seats so that everyone gets a try in VR. With a bunch of different minigames, different maps, and unique characters, there's plenty to do here for you and three others.

See at Steam

Panoptic

Panoptic hasn't been fully released yet, but the demo is entertaining enough to warrant a place in our roundup. Much like Mass Exodus, the Vive player plays a seeker while the PC player plays a hider. Much like Mass Exodus, this game can get intense — the fear of being pursued translates well to VR.

The PC player — the hider — must stay out of the seeker's gaze by playing smart or by hiding amongst other citizens of the oppressed city. The Vive seeker, known as the Overseer, is an orb-like drone with a big eye and a bright spotlight. Try Panoptic if you'd like some great artwork and thrilling, dystopian gameplay.

See at Steam

Containment Initiative

We get it; you're thinking, "Oh boy, here comes another zombie wave shooter." While the zombie apocalypse is an undeniably popular genre when it comes to VR, Containment Initiative changes things up by adding local multiplayer.

One of you straps on the Vive and takes to the streets, and one of you sits at the PC with a sniper rifle in-hand. The weapon mechanics in Containment Initiative are realistic and only add to the intensity — trying to get a magazine into your pistol while your sniper friend is yelling at you and five zombies are lumbering your way is a rush.

There are three game modes to choose from, with Scavenge likely being the most popular thanks to full locomotion and the chance to extract packages for money and new weapons. If you love realistic shooters and want to play with the help of a friend, have a look at Containment Initiative.

See at Steam

Hide and Spook: The Haunted Alchemist

Probably the most unique game in our roundup, Hide and Spook is a room-scale Vive game for three players. There's no need for extra gamepads — all you need is the Vive head-mounted display and the two Vive motion controllers.

One player puts on the Vive and takes the role of the alchemist, while two other players each grab a motion controller and become ghosts. It's up to the ghosts to run around the room trying to extinguish candles while the alchemist has to dispel the ghosts by looking at them for a long enough period of time. The ghosts can only tell where the candles are by feel — the controllers provide haptic feedback — and the alchemist's lab scales to however big your play area is in real life. For infinite replayability, the lab changes each time you play.

See at Steam

Blue Effect VR

From the artwork to the soundtrack, Blue Effect VR is a game with serious style. You're stranded on Planet Exo-277 and the murderous, robotic natives want you to feel some pain. You can play by yourself in the Vive, going up against waves of enemies, but the real treat is when a friend takes PC control of one of the monsters.

There are a few game modes to choose from with more on the way, yet at its price-point it's already a solid addition to your library. If the combination of guns, horror, and, of course, local multiplayer sounds like a blast, give Blue Effect VR a go.

See at Steam

Are we invited?

Did you recently have a party where the Vive was the centerpiece? Which games did you play, and which ones did you enjoy most?