Using your HTC Vive in a large, empty room is definitely something you have to experience, but not everyone has the space to game like this all the time. Luckily, there are a bunch of games that were designed specifically for standing-room gaming. Here's a list of the best games that you can comfortably stand in place and play without worrying about missing out on a room-scale experience.
Castle Must Be Mine
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It's still in Early Access on Steam, but Castle Must Be Mine (about $16) is already a detailed, thorough tabletop tower defense game. You stand above one of twelve large maps and choose where to build your defenses against waves of enemy monsters that want nothing more than to ruin your day. Not only can you create towers and other structures, you can also cast spells at enemies when they get too close to your castle. There's no multiplayer yet, but two endless maps were recently added to keep you coming back for more.
There's certainly a lot of fun to be had with a room-scale setup, but smart mechanics allow just about anyone ― seated or standing ― to enjoy Rec Room. It's full of minigames, social rooms, and character customization options, and it's continuously updated to keep the fun fresh. Be nice to those you meet (it's a social game), play fair, and enjoy this completely free game to its full extend.
Space Pirate Trainer
This stand-and-shoot action thriller has been around for a long time, but that doesn't make it any less of a hit. You're stranded on a galactic platform in front of your ship, and it's up to you to protect it from the waves of droids and drones that want to wipe you off the face of the galaxy. Your dual pistols have plenty of secrets in store, and you can swap to shields when the going gets tough or to mix up your strategy. Great graphics, frantic gunplay, and pounding soundtrack make Space Pirate Trainer (about $15) a must-have for anyone with a Vive.
Rez Infinite (about $25) is not your usual action shooter. It takes your floating avatar through trippy worlds built from grids and pulsing lights, and all the while there's a pulsing techno soundtrack in the background that syncs with the in-game action.
This legendary title has been reworked to support VR, and it's clear that this is how Rez should be played from now on.
SUPERHOT VR (about $25) takes a premise that worked very well as a standard game and turns it into a VR experience. Turns out this premise ― one where the action only happens when you're moving ― translates incredibly well for a head-mounted display.
Take time to plan out your attack against approaching red enemies, then kick into action and start shooting, all the while dodging projectiles that are aimed your way. For a great first-person shooter that doesn't require a full room to play, check out SUPERHOT VR.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to be stranded at the bottom of the Pacific ocean with waning oxygen and dead bodies floating around, you'll probably enjoy Narcosis (about $20). A massive earthquake destroys a methane-mining operation, and as you attempt to make it back to the surface, things get really weird.
This is a truly terrifying game that will have you thinking about it for days after you finally see what the ending holds.
Fruit Ninja VR
The insanely-popular mobile game is back and better than ever. Fruit Ninja VR puts two sharp katanas in your hands and it's up to you to slice every piece of juicy fruit that's launched your way. Precise motion tracking lets you skewer fruit and bat bombs away, and a challenging leaderboard will keep you coming again and again.
For a lighthearted, colorful challenge, give Fruit Ninja VR (about $15) a try.
Subnautica (about $25) isn't just another VR diving experience; there is an in-depth crafting system (you can even craft submarines), there are laser guns, and there are fully customizable underwater bases. This open-world exploration game will have you battling aliens, leaky hulls, and erupting underwater volcanoes.
If you'd like to spend your time underwater building bases and crafting subs — and you don't mind a game with a lot of motion — check out Subnautica.
A unique world with ancient secrets to discover, a beautiful, haunting soundtrack, and a grappling hook make Windlands (about $20) a treat for VR. You're free to move through ruins and nature at your own pace, and you can set the game to be as challenging as you want when attempting to reach the end of the level. If you want to relax while you game, this is the one for you, and if you want a thrill, try running through the levels to get to the top of the speedrun leaderboard.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
If you don't think you and your friends talk enough, you should all invest in Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (about $15). One of you is locked in a room with a bomb set to explode — your job is to defuse it. Not a bomb tech? That's OK, neither are we. Your friends, however, each have a manual in front of them with information on how to defuse the bomb. The catch? They can't see the bomb, so clear communication both ways is crucial to ending the day in one piece.
- Best Windows Mixed Reality games
- Best SteamVR games for Windows Mixed Reality
Updated April 24, 2018: We refreshed this list with a bunch of new titles to ensure you're still getting the absolute best games that you can enjoy in limited space.
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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.