One of the best aspects of virtual reality is sharing the experience with friends, whether online or right in your living room. No matter the VR system you're using, these are the best multiplayer titles available now.
Echo Arena is a free sibling to Lone Echo that seems to be destined to be the latest hit in the eSports field. You and your team are launched into a zero-gravity arena with a glowing disk in the middle that needs to be tossed into the opposing team's net.
Between goals, there's a lot of physical activity going on. You can punch opponents to momentarily disable them, you can pull and push yourself off the floating obstacles in the arena, and you can use your boosters to help navigate. It's frantic action, and, most importantly, it's so much fun. Try it once and try not to get hooked.
The Unspoken (about $30) is a smash hit that pits you against other wizards in a variety of environments. Did we mention you're a wizard?
Cast spells, change the environment to help you out, and best other players online. This is one of the most popular Rift games yet, and for good reason. If you love virtual magic and have a bit of a competitive streak, this one's for you.
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
Like sports? Like guns? RIGS (about $30) is going to be right up your alley. Jump into a mechanized robot strapped with guns and jump into an arena where there are three different games to compete in. Powerslam involves you having to jump through a ring in the middle of the arena, Endzone is a close take on football, and Team Takedown is like a tackling exercise but with enormous steel robots.
Much like The Unspoken, Wands (about $6) pits you against other players online in a duel of wizards. Set in 1880s London, this game has beautiful graphics and and a very immersive style that keeps you coming back for more. Although it's pretty much strictly multiplayer, there is a workshop where you can practice offline so you don't get completely smoked in the online arena.
What's almost as good as meeting up with your pals at a pub for some darts or pool? Meeting up in VR! SportsBar VR (about $20) lets you play some seriously legit pool (don't fall over when leaning over the virtual table), air hockey, skeeball, shuffleboard, chess, checkers, and some other minigames that are lying around. Angry? Toss a bottle and worry not about the cops coming to cool you down.
VR Karts: Sprint
Remember Mario Kart? Of course you do. VR Karts: Sprint (about $5) is basically the VR version of everyone's favorite comic racer. Hone your skills in singleplayer before jumping into to multiplayer to compete against your friends. Your kart can be completely customized to your liking, and don't forget to compete in the championship trophy mode. If you have an Oculus Rift, there's also a version called simply "VR Karts" that's also available.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (about $15) is the perfect game for a large group with only one VR headset available. One of you gets behind the lenses, taking on the role of a bomb-defusal expert. It's up to your friends to consult the manual and tell you how to defuse the ticking package.
This game requires some very clear communication and the ability to stay calm under pressure — your friends with the manual can't see what the bomb looks like. Because the defusal manuals are readily available online, all you need is one copy of the game and you're ready to go. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is available for Rift, Gear VR, Vive, Daydream View, and PSVR.
- See at Oculus Store | Oculus Rift
- See at Oculus Store | Gear VR
- See at Steam | HTC Vive
- See at Google | Daydream
- See at PlayStation | PSVR
What can be said about Minecraft that hasn't already been said? This mega-hit that sets you down in an infinite world of blocks where it's your job to do pretty much anything you want. Survive off the land for as long as you can, or jump into creative mode and let your imagination take shape.
Truly stepping into Minecraft — i.e. through a Gear VR or Rift — is a real trip. Sit directly behind the eyes of your character, or if you're a tad prone to motion sickness, enjoy cinema mode for an enormous screen in front of you. Either way, you're going to fall in love with Minecraft all over again. Note that Rift players can join Gear VR players thanks to cross-platform capabilities.
Raw Data (about $40) is a game that we at VR Heads keep coming back to. You're tasked with uncovering some nasty secrets at Eden Corp. that mostly revolve around some shady practices involving murderous, intelligent androids. Everything, from the gunplay to the graphics to the action, is nearly perfect.
We wouldn't blame you if you stuck with single player, but once you get a taste of multiplayer, it's hard to go back. The Vive's built-in microphone makes it easy to communicate with teammates, which is absolutely essential in later levels. If you've been looking for a VR game with near infinite replayability, this is it.
Elite Dangerous (about $30) had a bit of a rocky start — chalk it up to a lack of variety — but has since turned the corner thanks to attentive developers and tons of feedback from rabid fans. What you have now is an enormous online (single player is also available) game that focuses on exploring billions of planets, mining resources, trading resources, upgrading your ship, and fending off enemies.
Feel like giving your life's time to a higher power? You definitely have the opportunity thanks to a nearly infinite explorable world and the option to do whatever it is that pleases you.
The HTC Vive has plenty of shooters, but when it comes to military simulation, none come close to Onward (about $25). The developers took their time designing a movement system that is easy to control and won't make you sick. This isn't however, the most impressive part of the game — the gunplay in Onward is as close to real gunplay as you'll find in any VR shooter.
If team-based games are your thing and you love the idea of a first-person shooter, Onward should definitely be at the top of your list.
Rec Room is like a bunch of games in one. Best part? It's completely free. Chill with your friends in the locker room where you can talk about anything you want, or jump into one of five separate activities, including paintball, 3D charades, disc golf, paddle ball, or dodgeball.
If you find someone you like while you're playing, give them a fist bump and they'll join your party. This is the multiplayer game for all HTC Vive owners.
A little friendly competition
Have you been meeting up to play our game picks? Tell us how you and your friends have been teaming up and duking it out in these games!
Updated July 21, 2017: We've refreshed this list with a bunch of new title to ensure you're still getting the absolute best multiplayer VR games.
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