VR can be an expensive hobby, so we’ve rounded up a list of the best free VR experiences and games to help you save some money while making the most of your VR headset.
We’ve focused on finding free VR experiences for the Oculus Quest 2 (aka the Meta Quest 2) as that’s both the most popular, and the most affordable VR headset out there, but we’ve also got free VR experiences here for other headsets like the Valve Index. If you haven’t yet picked up a VR headset, or you’re thinking about upgrading your current set-up, then check out our best VR headsets guide to see our top picks. We’ve also got a list of the latest VR headset deals to help you save money too.
Since you’re here at Space.com, we have to assume you’re a fan of all things space and sci-fi, so we’ve focused our search into those areas. We’ve got a good mix of entertainment and educational experiences as well. So, whether you want to explore the actual International Space Station, or play a high octane zero-G sports game in the deep void, our list of the best free VR space experiences has you covered.
If you don’t mind shelling out a little cash for your VR entertainment, then check out our guides to the best VR space experiences and best VR space games for more great experiences to try on your VR headset.
1. Mission: ISS
- Platforms: Oculus Quest 2, Oculus Rift
- Release date: March 9, 2017
This is one for all the budding astronauts out there. Mission: ISS is an interactive simulation that lets you explore the International Space Station (ISS). You can freely float about the inside of the ISS, pushing and pulling yourself around the station using the wall-mounted handrails just like the actual astronauts aboard the ISS do.
The attention to detail that the developers have put into Mission: ISS is really impressive, with the entire station being recreated with astonishing accuracy. You can rummage around the station, pressing buttons and flicking switches, or, if you’re feeling brave, you can head outside for a spacewalk.
If you’re looking for an authentic space experience, then nothing comes close to Mission: ISS. You can explore the entire ISS, replicate some of the tasks that astronauts perform on a daily basis, and it even features instructional videos from real astronauts.
2. Echo VR
- Platforms: Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, Oculus Rift
- Release date: May 5, 2020
Sports in space! That’s the headline for Echo VR, a zero-gravity multiplayer VR sports game that plays like a mix of ultimate frisbee and hockey, but in the weightless environment of space.
As you’d expect from a zero gravity sports game, movement is the name of the game. Players can grab onto and push off from objects in the arena, letting you propel yourself around the arena with ease. If you find yourself without something to grab onto though, you’ll need to use your thrusters to get around.
Beyond that, it’s fairly straightforward as sports games go. Both sides have a goal that they’re trying to protect, while also trying to score by throwing the space disc, frisbee thing into their opponent’s goal. It sounds simple, but the zero-G nature of the arena makes for some incredibly compelling games. There is another game mode called Echo Combat, but you do have to pay for that.
3. Spider-Man: Far from Home VR
- Platforms: PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index
- Release date: June 25, 2019
Now you too can do whatever a spider can, thanks to the excellent VR tie-in game, Spider-Man: Far from Home VR. In truth, it’s more of an experience than a full game, but it gives you the sensation of swinging through the streets of New York as our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. You also get to engage in a bit of crime fighting, taking on some evil robots with your web shooters.
Graphically, it’s pretty basic, and there isn’t a huge amount of depth to the gameplay, but as a one-off experience, Spider-Man: Far from Home VR absolutely delivers on the core feeling of being the web crawling superhero.
Players who suffer from a fear of heights might want to give this one a miss though, as hurling yourself from a skyscraper in VR feels awfully real in the heat of the moment.
4. Gorilla Tag
- Platforms: Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index
- Release date: February 12, 2021
And now for something completely different. Gorilla Tag is a multiplayer VR game of tag with a unique gameplay hook – players traverse the world primarily using their arms, like a gorilla. You move around by swinging your arms, jump by pushing off from the ground, and can grab onto and climb surfaces too. The unique mode of locomotion means that you don’t have to deal with any of the clunky movement systems that VR games usually pull out, like teleportation of joystick control.
Using these tools, you need to navigate the world to avoid the other players in tag or infection game modes (infection is like tag, but everyone who gets tagged, stays tagged and works as a team to catch the rest).
The retro style visuals bring a load of charm to the experience, while also doubtlessly helping the game to run smoothly on the hardware on a variety of VR headsets. The gorilla faces are a tiny bit intimidating to look at though – there is rage behind those eyes, you can just feel it! Still, it provides extra encouragement to not get tagged.
5. Free demos for SUPERHOT VR, Space Pirate Trainer, Beat Saber, etc.
We’ll resist the urge to go off on a “back in my day” rant about demo discs, but we’re thrilled to say that VR gaming is keeping the tradition of demos alive and well. You can access free versions of some marquis VR games including SUPERHOT VR, Space Pirate Trainer, and Beat Saber.
These demos will only give you a taste of what the full game has to offer, but it’s a great way to try before you buy – VR games can be expensive, so buying something only to later discover that you’re not into it is a real bummer. Avoid the disappointment and embrace the demo life.