When SteamVR first launched alongside the HTC Vive last year, the platform soon came to be an outstanding stop for all your VR content. Building on an already established ecosystem with over a decade of history, the platform soon grew to be one of the strongest aspects of the HTC Vive.
However, being a relatively open platform, Oculus Rift users can also take advantage of SteamVR's content offerings with a select range of titles. A growing list of games is adding support for Facebook's headset, with some going to extra mile to make sure all users feel at home. Now, several titles support the Oculus Rift exclusively via SteamVR, making this an unmissable store for all virtual reality users. These are our favorite games currently only available in Valve's ecosystem.
For fans of tactical shooters, Onward is the ultimate PvP experience for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Pitting players in multiplayer shootouts across a range of expansive battlefields, the game is one of the few VR shooters which holds up against the offerings on a standard desktop game. Using motion controls and the Oculus Touch joystick to move around the world, the lack of teleportation makes a truly consistent and competitive shooter at its core. With a player base built solely around Steam, the game also has an active pool of players comprised of both platforms.
Although in Steam's Early Access program, the game currently offers a balanced range of modes and maps, with no major issues. Now that basic gameplay mechanics are in place, you'll continually see new content added in the months ahead.
As one of Valve's few in-house VR experiences available at this point in time, The Lab brings together the best aspects of its biggest franchises into some bite-sized experiences. Originally used as a way of highlighting the ability of the HTC Vive's room-scale technologies, the game recently picked support for the Oculus Rift and its Touch motion controllers.
More than anything, The Lab stands out most for its accessibility to any type of VR user. While the game houses an enjoyable range of mini-games, each of these is intuitive, even for those first diving into virtual reality. With Oculus Rift still struggling to match the offerings of room-scale titles seen for the HTC Vive, The Lab showcases the true potential of both these headsets. Best of all, it's entirely free!
Climbey is a cute but intense climbing course available on both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, which offers one of the best uses for motion controls in VR to date. With a linear single-player mode, community created courses and even online cooperative multiplayer, there are hours of endless climbing to be hand.
Using your two hands to propel yourself through the courses, Climbey relies heavily on puzzle solving, accurate timing and your ability to hold on tight. By moving your hands and body to navigate courses, you'll find yourself reaching across all corners of your play space. Just don't look down.
There may have been a fair share of unimaginative archery games for motion-controlled VR, but that's not to say there aren't a few exceptions. QuiVR is one of the best of the bunch, offering a wide range of features around its polished core mechanics. Giving players just a bow and arrow, you'll be tasked with fighting off the incoming waves of enemies. Whether taking on the hordes alone with friends, QuiVr is a tense and fast-paced experience.
As another title still in Early Access, you'll be seeing more content in the coming months as the game develops. Although you won't be getting the full experience from the outset, it's currently available for a discounted price of $19.99.
Heart-racing action and music come together in Audioshield – a first-person rhythm-based game for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. With waves of 'beats' approaching you from the horizon, you'll need to block them with your hands, as they align with the beats of the music. Although a simple concept on the surface, the oncoming beats soon come to be overwhelming during the tensest parts of the song. Overall, this makes for one of the most immersive virtual reality experiences to date, combining the tension of music and action is a harmonious format.
What makes Audioshield truly stand out is its open-ended music library. With direct support for your own music files or streaming over YouTube, the game can generate levels on the fly around your music preferences. Although the game is seeing few updates as of late, the current experience is still one you shouldn't miss.
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