The 9 Best Free VR Games of 2021

If you have a VR headset, these are the best free downloads out there

There are many VR games out there, including many on iPhone and Android, but many games are premium, pricey experiences. Luckily, not all VR games are like this. Across Steam, the PlayStation Store, and the Oculus Store, there are more than a few unmissable, free VR games out now.


01
of 09

The Lab

The Lab by Valve

Valve

What we like
  • Great way to introduce someone to VR.

  • Minigames feel polished and responsive in VR.

  • Explore a pocket universe within Aperture Science.

What we don't like
  • Not enough content for more than a few hours playtime.

  • Not much replay value.

In conjunction with Valve's development of their headset and controllers and Half-Life: Alyx, Valve released The Lab: a collection of minigames meant to introduce gamers to VR in the world of Aperture Science.

If you want a chance to dive back into a Valve world, even on a smaller scale, and are looking to get your feet wet with VR, The Lab is better than any other introductory minigame or tutorial in VR out there.

Though it's on Steam and developed by Valve, The Lab supports various headsets and controllers.

Available for: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus, and Windows Mixed Reality.

02
of 09

A Township Tale

A Township Tale

A Township Tale

What we like
  • 3D open-world online RPG in the style of Runescape.

  • Play with up to 10 friends as you gather resources, craft, gear up, and explore.

  • Lots of communication from devs.

What we don't like
  • Still in Alpha.

  • Performance problems.

  • VR novelty is cool but brings nothing new to the genre.

A Township Tale has familiar RPG mechanics with crafting, gear, professions, and exploration. You can do it alone or with a group of friends, and visually is reminiscent of the more colorful art design found in RPGs of the 2000s like Runescape. However, you do all of this in VR.

Playing A Township Tale is a chill experience in the vein of Valheim. You'll mostly spend your time slowly gathering resources, growing stronger, and exploring, and meeting and playing with other people along the way. Doing all of this in VR is a worthwhile novelty, and if you like the immersion of VR and love this kind of game, A Township Tale is a must-play!

While it may support more devices over the course of development, A Township Tale currently works with Index, Vive, and Rift headsets.

Available for: Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus.

03
of 09

VRChat

VRChat logo

VRChat

What we like
  • Hang out with people in VR.


  • Full-body avatars sync lips, eyes, and your entire range of motion.

  • Available on Steam, Quest, Rift, and Viveport.

What we don't
  • 4 years of Early Access,

  • Technical issues.

  • Community can be toxic.

VRChat does what its name implies: It provides virtual hangout spaces where gamers can create realistic avatars that sync their movement and facial cues. There's not just chatting, though; you can play minigames, watch videos, and explore worlds created by the community as well as create worlds.

There are still quite a few technical issues with the now four-year-old Early Access game, and if you go into the wrong worlds with certain players, you can easily find a lot of toxicity. But if you're looking for the most active VR hangout game out there, that's VRChat.

Available for: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus, and Windows Mixed Reality.

04
of 09

Rec Room

Rec Room

Rec Room

What we like
  • VRChat hangout but with more of a focus on games.

  • Play a bunch of built-in minigames or choose from thousands of community-created games.

  • Works cross-platform with Rift, Vive, PSVR, Index, and more.

What we don't like
  • Still in Early Access after 5 years.

  • Too many trolls.

If you like the idea of hanging out with friends in VR but want something more to do than just hanging out, Rec Room provides an excellent alternative to VRChat, focusing more on built-in minigames and tons of community-created games.

Unfortunately, if you don't have friends to play with, the Rec Room community can be toxic. There are always kids online who like to troll, and if you happen to so much as sound like a girl, you will get unwanted attention if you stumble into the wrong place.

Available for: PSVR, Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus, and Windows Mixed Reality.

05
of 09

Bigscreen

Bigscreen VR

Bigscreen VR, Inc.

What we like
  • The best way to watch video content together virtually.

  • Put your computer's desktop on the big screen.

  • Available on all VR platforms, minus PSVR for now.

What we don't like
  • Few other features to speak of other than virtual desktop functionality.

  • Requires some setup.

Bigscreen plops you and your friends into a virtual movie theatre, and your computer's desktop projects onto the big screen. From here, you can stream whatever you want online with friends, play games with friends on your computer, and do whatever you can imagine.

You can do a lot with Bigscreen, but more complicated projects will require some setup, and more than anything else, you will need friends who hang out inside VR in Bigscreen consistently.

Available for: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus, and Windows Mixed Reality.

06
of 09

Epic Roller Coasters

Epic Roller Coasters VR game

B4T Games

What we like
  • Awesome, thrilling use of VR.

  • Ride through fantastical settings.

  • Available on Steam and Oculus stores.

What we don't like
  • Few tracks.

  • Limited interactivity.

Rollercoasters immediately spring to mind as one of the best natural applications of VR. It's thrilling and fast-paced, and riding a virtual coaster through fantastic settings would appeal to many people. Enter Epic Roller Coasters: the game which does just that for free.

It's not all sunshine and rainbows, though, because the track selection is limited, and there isn't much 'gameplay' to speak of beyond simply riding the coaster. You can buy more tracks to ride, but it can be a hard sell with little replay value after a couple of rides.

Available for: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus, and Windows Mixed Reality.

07
of 09

PokerStars VR

PokerStars VR

Lucky VR Inc.

What we like
  • Study opponents, pick up on tells, and chat live.

  • Handle chips and cards like you would at a real poker table.

  • Play on Oculus, Vive, or Steam.

What we don't like
  • Community can be toxic.

  • Occasional bugs and glitches.

Online poker has a reputation for being overly simple and boring and just another way to gamble. PokerStars VR does away with all that by bringing poker to life in VR. Now you can study your opponents and talk to them in real-time as you play.

Plus, you can play in various exotic locales and summon interactive props and toys while you play to stay entertained. Unfortunately, like any online game, the community can be toxic, and PokerStars VR is known to be somewhat buggy.

Available for: PSVR, Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus, and Windows Mixed Reality.

08
of 09

Minecraft VR

Minecraft

Mojang

What we like
  • Another way to play Minecraft.

  • VR a good fit for low-detail first-person games.

  • Approachable entrypoint into VR if you're a MInecraft fan.

What we don't like
  • Only available on Oculus store.

  • Works exclusively with Minecraft for Windows 10, not Minecraft Java.

If you're one of the hundreds of millions of Minecraft owners out there, more specifically if you happen to own Minecraft for Windows 10, Microsoft offers a VR version of Windows 10 Minecraft entirely for free on the Oculus Store.

It isn't some stripped-down version of the game, either. You can play the full-fat Minecraft experience but in VR. Plus, the Windows 10 edition of Minecraft has benefits, like better performance, really come in handy to help keep the VR experience running smoothly.

Available for: Oculus, Windows Mixed Reality, and Gear VR.

09
of 09

Google Earth VR

Google Earth VR screenshot

Google

What we like
  • Explore the real world like never before.

  • Easy way to be wow'd by VR.

  • Available across VR platforms.

What we don't like
  • Many limitations on movement.

  • No graphical settings.

  • Abandoned by Google.

Google Earth VR is an excellent application of virtual reality: Go anywhere in the world, soaring around to your heart's delight, in a digitized 3D representation of the Earth based on satellite imagery, aerial photography, and images taken by Google's own Street View cars.

Unfortunately, Google has stopped supporting the application, and navigating the world, especially trying to find a specific view, can be clunky. There also aren't any fun minigames or exciting features beyond exploring the world.

Available for: Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus.

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