by Goran Damnjanovic, Gaming Columnist
Published in Gaming on 6th August, 2019
Virtual Reality gaming is lots of fun, especially when playing with friends. Check out the best VR multiplayer games available at the moment.
VR gaming is still struggling in a way. Headsets are rather expensive and require a beefy PC for most games to work as intended and the tech is still trying to overcome field of view and other problems tied to VR motion sickness that affects a relatively large portion of users.
PSVR and Occulus Quest are cheaper options with the latter being the first standalone VR headset to offer core gaming experience and if other companies come up with their standalone devices VR gaming could finally jump into the mainstream.
But still, VR games are pretty popular these days. There are plenty of excellent VR games to pick from and many of those are available only on PSVR. Most of those are single-player titles so once you finish those the best way to keep using your VR headset is diving into multiplayer.
The feeling of competing (or cooperating) with others in a VR environment is so much better when compared to classic, flat screens. And the level of immersion you get in VR is unmatched, with players being "physically present" and completely submerged in games they're playing.
But which multiplayer VR games are worth playing? Here are our top 10 choices that include both competitive and cooperative VR multiplayer games.
This game is a perfect VR multiplayer co-op experience for all Trekkies as well as for everyone who enjoys co-op games. The premise is simple: you and your crew must work together to beat missions with every party member having their duties at the helm.
While this sounds pretty foolproof things can get crazy in a matter of seconds, which is one of the biggest appeals Star Trek Bridge Crew has to offer.
Multiplayer servers are relatively empty at the moment and the single-player portion of the game is a rather poor filler content featuring unimpressive campaign and fairly generic missions so get this only if you have a couple of friends who dream of sitting on the Enterprise bridge (the original design is included with the main game with Next Generation ship being available as a DLC), manning the helm and playing with the game's wacky motion controls.
With a couple of friends, this game becomes the best recreation of any Star Trek ship, ever.
And even though mission design won't get better when you play with friends missions will become a blast to play because everything is better with friends and this saying has tenfold more weight in the case of Star Trek Bridge Crew.
The best thing is that recently the game got its non-VR update allowing everyone to play it so your friends can now join you even if they don't own a VR headset. You can find it on Steam or on the PSN Store.
Zero Caliber is a first-person shooter made from the ground up for VR headsets. The game combines the adrenaline-pumping action of Call of Duty titles with amazing visuals (for a VR title) and excellent motion controls.
The single-player campaign is the meaty main course that can be played solo or in co-op. And while playing alone can be fun, co-op is the way to go.
The game is a blast when playing with friends. The action gets super intense, you have to communicate all the time, to look around, and to shout at friends in order to get their location with enemies non-stop pummeling at your position.
And the great motion control system makes all those movements visible to other players, which can lead to some hilarious moments.
Visuals are stunning and the game is pretty stable. Further, Zero Caliber is highly polished on a technical level and it shouldn't trigger motion sickness like other titles.
If you want to play Call of Duty in VR or just want to meet with your buddies in a highly immersive environment and shoot some baddies Zero Caliber is the best choice at the moment.
The game is still in Steam Early Access with developers promised they will soon bring PvP multiplayer, which will make this one even better for all VR multiplayer fans. Get Zero Caliber on Steam.
Sparc is a great VR multiplayer title and an excellent way to be active and have some fun. The game is basically a VR recreation of some kind of futuristic dodge ball, with players trying to score goals while at the same time defending their goal with their shields.
While this rudimentary explanation may sound generic and bland once you put the headset on and find a game Sparc becomes the ultimate VR sports game.
It's fast-paced and filled with action and with fluid motion controls that are very important because each controller plays the role of one shield.
The game features quick one-vs-one matches with random people but in case you have friends playing you can create your own custom game modes.
Sparc also supports a variety of customization options for your character as well as multiple arenas to choose from. Another interesting feature is the ability to watch matches from a VR lobby that looks pretty cool. The game can be found on Steam and PSN Store.
Pavlov is the most popular VR multiplayer shooter on the PC and for a reason. The game plays like a mix between CS: GO, Rainbow Six Siege, with a bit of Call of Duty found during shootouts. The game offers a plethora of classic modes the most popular being the Search & Destroy, which is basically the main Counter-Strike mode but in VR.
Graphics are pretty solid and this is another place where Pavlov picks those sweet CS: GO accords, offering pretty visuals without asking for a NASA PC to work. Aiming is well done and the game plays super smooth on most configurations.
Another plus is dedicated server support allowing players to run their servers and to find just the game they're looking for.
Shooting is leaning a bit towards the hardcore side so get ready for hours of training with each weapon before you find your favorite. After that, get ready to spend lots of hours mastering your favorite weapon. But overall, shooting is fun and once you climb on top of Pavlov's newbie learning curve you will love its gunplay.
There are plenty of maps and since Pavlov supports Steam Workshop you can dive into its huge library of mods once you get bored with regular maps and game modes. Pavlov plays great, looks nice, features a huge number of players (for a VR title) and can be bought on Steam for just $10. What's not to like?
This is a fun couch co-op game that is a blast to play with friends. It's a perfect party game because everyone can enjoy playing it, even those who never have played a video game in their life.
And the best thing is that only one VR headset is required. In this game, one player assumes the role of a demolition expert who has to disarm a bomb in an interactive VR environment.
Others are there to find clues (using their phones) and try explaining them in the best way to the player who's stuck with the ticking trouble.
And as those things go, every level and every bomb will create hilarious moments because communication is the key and it can often crumble down like a sandcastle, especially when a bunch of players need to explain things about an object they can't actually see.
Visuals aren't top notch but they are suitable for a game of this kind. On the other side we have a bunch of superbly designed levels that offer unique puzzles and increasing challenges that can turn any party into a perfectly coordinated entity with the sole goal of disarming the damn bomb (just don't expect for this to happen on a regular basis, in most cases the bomb will explode even though everyone talked).
The best party VR game and an excellent co-op experience on its own Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes can be found on all major platforms including mobile devices (iOS and Android) but is best when experienced in VR on PC or PSVR.
Tabletop Simulator is the ultimate choice for all tabletop games fans that cannot meet with friends and play their favorite adventures every weekend.
The game has endless possibilities and while it comes with a couple of free games (chess, mahjong, etc.) its real value can be found in Steam Workshop creations that bring thousands of tabletop games to life in this interactive virtual sandbox title.
And since the game also supports VR it is the best choice (sans, of course, meeting in real life) for people who want to play some D&D with friends, or maybe create a unique tabletop game and test it, or fire up some cool Warhammer campaign found in Workshop.
The possibilities with this one really are endless and every game looks and feels amazing in VR. The immersion factor is through the roof and its janky physics system and equally janky controls can serve lots of memorable moments while trying to beat friends (or cooperate with them) in your next tabletop voyage.
PAYDAY 2: VR is a free add-on for Payday 2 that introduces VR support and allows players to experience the whole game in virtual reality. And it rocks. While the original game is a bit bland by now - since most of us already played it to death - its VR version can light that spark that died years ago.
After all Payday 2 did come out six years ago. But once you put on your headset and find some friends (or strangers) Payday 2 becomes a completely new experience that plays superb and feels even better.
Every single map from the main game is available here and those playing the VR version of the game can play with regular players meaning that you won't have trouble finding games.
The locomotion is pretty smooth, controls are tight and going silent is super immersive and can feel extremely thrilling. Going loud is loads of fun when playing in VR. Stuff explodes around you, everyone is shouting all over the place, your whole world becomes a chaotic shooting grounds filled with action, bullets, and non-stop action.
Pair that with three other friends, them also playing in VR and the fun times can last for weeks. Motion controls allow for nonverbal communication between teammates and even some punching in case you don't agree with someone (why talk when you can simply punch them in the face, which can feel surprisingly fulfilling in case someone from your team constantly gets on your nerves).
Overall, Payday 2 gets a new life with its VR component and is a must-play for everyone looking for a compelling VR co-op shooter.
WipEout Omega Collection is the best WipEout experience you can have at the moment. Two games (along with one expansion for WipEout HD), dozens of tracks and ships, and hundreds of races are a great offering for just $20 (and the game goes on sale fairly often).
On top of that WipEout Omega Collection features stunning visuals and silky smooth 60fps action. Even without the VR component, this is a great game for all hover racing fans.
But once you try it with PSVR WipEout Omega Collection will become your favorite VR experience ever. The only downside is that it takes some time to get used to breakneck speeds featured in the game but once you climb over that obstacle you will discover the best VR racing game on the market.
And on top of all that the game supports online multiplayer in VR, which works flawlessly and is hands down the best VR racing multiplayer at the moment.
The sense of speed is almost overwhelming and the view from the cockpit is breathtaking. The only downside is that the game looks gorgeous in VR so make sure to play single player a bit and to get used to the game's beauty before diving into multiplayer. Because admiring the view can ruin your whole race in just a couple of seconds.
Firewall: Zero Hour is the premier FPS multiplayer experience for PSVR and if you have a PS4 and its VR headset get this one, like right now.
Sadly, this one's a PS4 exclusive so everyone else has to find an alternative (Pavlov maybe?). Another (relatively) negative side is that you simply have to get the Aim controller with this game because playing Firewall: Zero Hour with a classic controller is like driving a beetle on a racetrack while you have a Ferrari FXX-K parked in your garage.
Aiming is top-notch and there isn't even the slightest lag when moving the Aim controller. The same can be said about overall performance.
The game runs extremely smooth, without any noticeable lag or stuttering. And the visuals in Firewall: Zero Hour are almost unbelievable. They aren't talking of the town but the game looks surprisingly good for a VR game that works flawlessly.
Shooting and gameplay are fast-paced and require a bit of skill and quick reflexes but once you complete training missions and play a couple of multiplayer contracts you will be able to deal headshots regularly.
The action is played on excellently designed maps that offer multiple routes, lots of places that just beg for quality shootouts and there are enough maps to not get bored for a long while.
There are tons of weapons, gear, and cosmetic skins to unlock which only adds to the game's great replay value; simply put, Firewall: Zero Hour is one of those multiplayer shooters that can take months from your life without even trying.
Firewall: Zero Hour plays in 4v4 matches and the game demands a certain level of communication and coordination. Mind that even when playing with total strangers communication is important if you want to win. And when played with friends this game becomes the ultimate VR multiplayer experience that cannot be put down.
There's no WipEout for the PC and most clones that can be found on Steam cannot come close to the sheer level of enjoyment Wipeout offers.
And that especially stands true for Wipeout in VR, which is the best racing experience in VR at the moment. But one tiny indie game is pretty close and while there are no huge hover ships here and the number of tracks and the variety of hoverbikes cannot be compared to the PlayStation 4 exclusive VR title, the game is lots of fun.
Instead of super-fast hover ships, you drive super-fast hoverbikes. They don't look as cool and awesome as Wipeout racers but they can drive as fast and are equipped with an assortment of deadly weapons.
The sense of speed is there and even though it's not as crazy as when playing Wipeout in VR the game does come pretty close. Races are fast and require speedy control and the game's motion controls work rather well although at times you'll wish they were a bit more precise and responsive.
Tracks are varied and well designed. There isn't many but the game is still in Early Access meaning that new tracks and bikes are added on a regular basis.
At the moment the game features 16 tracks with 8 more on the way, which is a respectable number and they won't bore you in a while since most are a blast to play. Visuals are top-notch and one of the biggest selling points of the game; bikes and tracks are super detailed and there are plenty of shiny effects and explosions once the race starts.
The only downside is that the game is available only for VR meaning small player base but if you have some friends who happen to own a VR headset you should all get V-Racer Hoverbike because this one is the best VR racing currently available on the PC.
Last but not least we have a couple of free VR titles, both offering free multiplayer. Rec Room is a virtual hangout where you can chill with friends and strangers, talk, or play some of its multiplayer modes such as paintball, dodgeball, laser tag, and many other mini-games.
The game supports cross-play allowing players to chill out with friends no matter if they play on PC, PS4, or Android. The game also supports a plethora of customization options with thousands of unique pieces of clothing and other accessories.
The Playroom VR is a free VR title that can be downloaded from the PSN Store. It isn't rich with game modes and other features as Rec Room but it is a solid way to kill some time in VR multiplayer.
The game comes with six multiplayer modes and each one is hella fun mini-game. This should be the first download after you get PSVR and while mini-games don't offer depth as some other games on this list they are more than enough to get some fun out of your PSVR headset.