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VR Games FAQ
What are VR games?
VR games are played with a virtual reality headset. A virtual reality headset is a special piece of gaming hardware that connects to a PC. The player wears it on their head, covering their eyes and ears. When worn, a virtual reality headset will immerse the player within the game world, with the game’s first-person viewpoint appearing on a screen within the headset. The headset will have a way of tracking the player’s body movements, enabling them to move and look around the gaming environment as if they were in the game itself. VR headsets will usually come with a pair of motion-tracked controllers that let players interact with the game world. Because they’re tracked, players can see the controller’s position rendered in the game, which enables players to interact with game objects.
The difference in moving from a monitor-based first-person perspective to a virtual reality viewpoint is profound. VR games are built for the player to be a part of the world in a much more tactile and interactive fashion than other games. Walking, turning, ducking, and moving their hands in the real world will see the player perform the same actions within the game. This means they can duck behind a wall to hide by crouching in the real world. They can move levers, pick up items, aim guns, and even throw grenades in game by moving their arms in the real world.
Because of this interactivity, VR-specific titles tend to involve lots of physics objects for the player to manipulate. These can be items to move around and stack or even zombies to grab and bash.
The breadth and scope of VR titles can range from first-person zombie shooters to tabletop strategy games where you reach out and move the game pieces to sitting in the cockpit of trucks or spaceships and moving the controls with your hands. Pretty much any FPS game can work as a VR title, given relatively few modifications.
Are there VR games you can play sitting down?
Yes. Many titles allow players to sit down and play. Some games are built with that in mind, where they’ll be set in a jetpack, a spaceship, or a car. If the game has controls within the world, such as levers or a steering wheel, they’ll be within easy reach.
But developers are learning to create proper action titles, such as first-person shooters, that you can sit down and play and still experience the range of controls that someone standing and moving around can explore. The motion controls all have buttons and joysticks, and ducking and turning can be bound to the controls without the player having to perform the actions in the real world.
Are there VR games you can play with a PC?
Yes. Modern VR games started as PC-only titles. Though a number of PC-free hardware setups now exist, most VR games can be played on a PC.
Are there VR games I can play with a keyboard and mouse?
Yes. Though almost all the games will be better played with the motion controls, or a joystick, or a joypad. Players can play games using a keyboard to move the character around the game world. There are some games that will use a mouse to help change menu selections or interact with on-screen elements, but unlike first-person games, players won’t be using a mouse to move their character’s head. They can simply move their head in the real world.
Do I need VR equipment to play these games?
It depends on the game. Some games support both VR and non-VR setups. There isn't a lot, and there are VR-only titles that can only be played with VR equipment.