There's nothing quite like the first time in VR.
The coolest part of owning a VR headset right now is being able to introduce new people to the experiences that have been blowing your mind for a while now. These experiences are unique and thrilling, regardless of what headset you are using right now. It's an incredible thing to watch, but if you're the one sharing the headset it's also an interesting experience to help mold into something better with the right apps.
These are the best experiences, from our own time sharing VR with friends to share with new VR users on each headset right now!
The coolest part of using an HTC Vive right now is the room-scale aspect of VR. You take a step in the real world, and you take a step in the game. Apps that take advantage of this are amazing, allowing you to reach out with your hands and interact with the virtual world and wander around puzzles to find the best way to solve them.
If you want to show someone action, show them Raw Data. This intense cyberprunk shooter is equal parts first-person shooter and sword-wielding slasher game, so you can really show off the benefits of having those controllers handy.
Art is awesome, and Tiltbrush brings out the creative aspect of every person who tries it. You can be a world-renowned artist or someone who has barely mastered stick figures and still get an amazing experience out of this app. The whole world around you is your canvas, and your controllers are the paintbrushes. It's an incredible, unique experience.
Take you favorite song, watch as the music notes come flying toward you, and punch those notes as hard as you can! Audioshield gets your blood pumping and fills your ears with your favorite music. It's an incredible rush for anyone who enjoys games like Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution.
While Oculus isn't quite ready for room-scale, the Rift has no shortage of reality-bending experiences available. Are you sitting in a chair at your desk, or are you in the cockpit of an incredible spacecraft? Are you standing in an empty room, or drifting through space trying to figure out how to not run out of oxygen?
Few games give users the sensation that they are not where they think they are in quite the same way as The Climb. It's a rock climbing simulation, but done so beautifully that you can both appreciate the scenery as you look around and feel a shortness of breath as you frantically reach for the next grip spot.
Something terrible has happened to your space station, and you're the only astronaut left alive. Every move must be toward survival, and that means figuring out how to slowly and carefuly maneuver from place to place using nothing but the small, broken propulsion system on your suit.
If you want action or multiplayer combat, you won't find better than Eve: Valkyrie. It's an intense space shooter with tons of excitement, and the multiplayer aspect means you can worm attack wings and really have some fun as a group. Just don't forget to breathe when the canopy shatters!
Small and portable does not mean less capable of delivering great experiences. With the Gear VR you can more easily share your fun with so many other people, and picking the right apps for that is important.
The smaller yet equally action packed Eve game for the Gear VR is a ton of fun and can be played with either a controller or through the touch panel on the side of the headset. Defend your ship against wave after wave of small, angry spaceships from the relative safety of your massive gun turret, and everything will be fine!
Does anything else really even need to be said here? Anyone who enjoys Minecraft will love the ability to took around with their head and see the world they're creating. This is a great way to explore the game, and for some will be the only way they want to play moving forward.
Want to show people what it's like to watch something with other VR users from around the world? Oculus Social is a great way to make that happen. Sit in a virtual room with three other users and enjoy Twitch or Vimeo streams together, chatting the whole time with everyone in the room!
VR doesn't have to be a "hey strap this to your face for an hour" kind of experience. It can be brief and still incredible. In fact, that's what Google's Cardboard experiences are all about — offering up a quick glimpse of this other world.
Adult Swim Virtual Brainload
This is some weird shit right here. It's basically a VR acid trip. With a pair of headphones and this app, you'll see and hear some incredible visual trippiness happening all around you. Everyone enjoys looking at it for a few minutes, but you probably shouldn't stare deep into the eye of madness for too long.
A collection of powerful, moving videos all recorded in 360-degrees. These are stories happening all around you, in the most incredible ways imaginable. In some videos you're the center of a story, while in others you're watching the story happen all around you. These are intense, emotional, and occasionally terrifying stories all told in this wild new format.
Why fly through space in a ship when you can do so in a suit of futuristic armor? Vanguard V is the first level of a much larger game, showing you what it's like to use your head as a controller. Dodge massive chunks of rocks and debris as you shoot your way through to the next sector, and look great doing it!