The Oculus Quest is an incredible device, but with a price tag starting at $400, it’s not the most budget-friendly system on the planet. Most games on the Quest are slightly more affordable than your typical PC or console title, yet they’ll still run you around $20 each. That means between buying the headset and amassing a library of great titles, you could be looking at an entire month’s worth of rent.
Thankfully, the Oculus Quest’s catalog includes dozens of free games. Some of them are short demonstrations of VR technology, while others offer completely fleshed-out experiences. Regardless of their intent, these games allow you to take full advantage of your new Quest without having to dip into next month’s budget. Here are the best free Oculus Quest games.
This should be one of the first games that everyone plays on their Quest. It’s comfortable for all players — so you won’t have to worry about getting VR headaches — it’s loaded with unique content, and it’s completely free to play.
In Rec Room, players get to hang out with friends in spaces they themselves have designed. These can be simple rooms in which to relax, or they can be full-blown multiplayer activities like paintball and sword-fighting. Rec Room is cross-platform compatible and can even be played with PC users who don’t have a headset. With over 100,000 player-created spaces, Rec Room has an incredible amount of content for a free game.
It may not be as comprehensive as Real VR Fishing, but Bait! is a wonderful alternative for those looking to save a few bucks. Virtual anglers can visit four different lakes as they attempt to catch rare fish for the local aquarium. It’s a bit of a stretch as far as narrative is concerned, but the relaxing gameplay is where Bait! truly shines.
Fishing is a zenlike experience for many people in the real world, something that is wonderfully recreated in this free title. Step onto the pier, cast out your line, and soak in the tropical scenery as you wait to hook a fish. You can also patronize a few different shops to upgrade your gear and chat with the locals.
Elixir is the perfect game to show off the Quest’s impressive hand-tracking capabilities. Players take on the role of a budding sorcerer who is put in charge of maintaining a magical laboratory and dabbling in the world of alchemy.
Built to showcase the Oculus Quest’s hand-tracking technology, it’s fairly obvious that this is an extended tech demo. Nonetheless, Elixir stands as one of the best free-to-play experiences on the stand-alone headset, and one that you don’t want to miss.
If your old Tamagotchi somehow made the leap to VR, this is probably what the end product would look like. Bogo lets you pet, feed, and otherwise interact with a virtual — and adorable — pet. It’s a brief experience that is light on content but does a great job showing off the headset’s potential and acquainting players to scalable play areas. It’s a fun way to introduce younger siblings to the world of VR who otherwise may not be interested in the technology.
Create an avatar, chat with friends, and play mini-games with your friends in VR Chat, one of the most popular social apps on the Oculus Quest. Players are connected across PC, Quest, and Rift, meaning you’ll always have a large pool of strangers to hang out with.
VR Chat also gives you the ability to create your own space for others to visit. It’s a pretty complex system that allows a massive degree of freedom, but it can be a bit overwhelming for new players. It’s also not the most comfortable experience for folks unaccustomed to VR, so it’s best to save this one until you’ve acclimated to the virtual environment.
It started out as an Oculus Go app, but thanks to its popularity found a way to jump over to the Quest. Gamblers are seated at a table inside of a bustling casino with up to 100 players at a time, which does a great job of trying to recreate the true poker experience. Players are able to customize their avatar with hundreds of different articles of clothing before sitting down with their group, and Poker VR even tracks your speech patterns to change your avatar’s facial expressions when talking.
Get bored of gambling? Poker VR lets you perform chip tricks in your spare time, and you can even stack them into massive towers on top of the poker table. Considering it’s a free title, Poker VR comes packed with enough content to keep you busy for hours on end — just don’t expect any complimentary drinks.
There’s nothing else on the Quest quite like The Key. This theatrical experience runs for about 20 minutes, teleporting viewers to a surreal world that must be experienced firsthand to truly be appreciated.
The Key is adamant that it is not a video game — rather, it is a “magical realism experience.” That sounds a bit vague, but it’s honestly a pretty apt description. The experience has received rave reviews from every outlet imaginable and even won the Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes Award. It’s a fantastic addition to the VR landscape and is one of the best free downloads available on the Quest.
Oculus First Contact
This is by far the most extensive tech demo available for the headset. Inspired by old ’80s technology, Oculus First Contact is a virtual sandbox that will show you the ropes when it comes to interacting with the world around you.
It’s the small things we take for granted in the real world that become spectacular in this virtual environment. Shaking maracas, launching miniature rockets, and creating objects with a 3D printer are some of the tasks you’ll find yourself amazed by in this demo. VR veterans will even discover much to love in this polished title.
It’s still in the beta phase, but Echo VR is an incredibly ambitious title. Players are thrown into an arena devoid of gravity as they attempt to navigate a virtual playfield and throw a disc into the opponent’s goal. Echo VR does an excellent job of tracking your arm motion, too — flinging a disc across the map at high speed never seems to grow old.
You’ll have the option to play either online or offline against bots, but the experience is vastly more rewarding if you’re playing against real people. As a beta, it’s possible that you’ll run into a few bugs during your time with the game. Most of these aren’t game-breaking, but the Ready at Dawn team is always looking for feedback to improve the experience.
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