Now that the HTC Vive has been out on the market for a few months, the community is growing and so too are the number of must-play games. We already wrote about what some of the best overall experiences are – singleplayer and multiplayer included – but now we have even more great options to choose from, so it was time to release a list dedicated specifically to the multiplayer offerings of Valve’s flagship virtual reality headset.
At E3, we saw the excellent Star Trek: Bridge Crew and granted it our “Best Multiplayer VR Game at E3” award, but it’s not coming out for the Vive, Rift, and PS VR until later this year. In the meantime, you need some awesome multiplayer Vive games to tide you over. And if you want to stay up-to-date with great new releases beyond this list then make sure to check out our Steam Community Page.
These are the 9 best multiplayer games that you can play on the HTC Vive right now.
If you have an HTC Vive and are remotely interesting in shooting guns in VR, then you need to play Hover Junkers. The physics of aiming, shooting, and reloading feel great and even if you never step foot inside the competitive multiplayer modes, the target practice range is a ton of fun and the recent Buzzbot update provides more singleplayer content and a wonderful cooperative mode.
But if you are bold enough to get competitive, that’s where the game truly shines. While piloting your hovercraft, you can duck and dodge bullets from other players as you engage in intense firefights. Physically hiding behind walls and taking aim with the motion controller feels incredibly satisfying. It’s the type of game that’s only gotten better since launch.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
This one has been around for a long time and can even be played outside of a VR headset, but I consider that a watered down version of the VR experience. In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, one person will put on the Vive and be tasked with disarming a bomb. The catch is that they’ve got no idea how to solve the puzzles located on the physical bomb itself.
In order to solve the puzzles, the person inside the headset is required to communicate with someone (or a group of people) outside of the headset that feeds them instructions. You can access the free PDF bomb manual online. What ensues often results in frantic yelling and laughter as the timer ticks down. Great for parties and large gatherings.
Pool Nation VR
The funny thing about VR is that, despite its ability to transport us to the most fantastical and magical locations, sometimes the best apps and experiences are the ones that keep us grounded. In Pool Nation VR, you won’t slay dragons or fight aliens, instead you’ll hang out in a bar at a pool table. That’s it. And that’s what makes it so special.
The physics are spot on and the setting is so believable, you might even find yourself trying to make idle chat with one of the NPCs loitering around the bar. You can even play darts on a dartboard located near your table. With random matchmaking and lobby-based multiplayer already fully supported with head tracking, voice chat, and more, it’s not just one of the best multiplayer games for Vive, it’s one of the most complete games on the platform period.
Zombies. They’re everywhere in the game industry, both inside and outside of VR. Wave shooters, tower defense games, and even just standard first-person shooters are all overrun with the walking dead.
While most of the games out in VR force you to take on the zombies alone, HordeZ lets you do it with friends. There are lots of different maps to play and tons of different weapons to use in your conquest over the horde. It’s a janky indie game with some quirkiness, but that’s part of the charm. As long as you approach it with that in mind, it’s a good time for all involved.
If you were to merge the concepts behind Minecraft and Tilt Brush into a single game, you’d get something that looks an awful lot like SculptrVR. In this game, you can hop into a virtual world with friends to create all manner of masterpieces.
The big selling point that makes SculptrVR even more unique though, is that your creations can actually be 3D-printed in the real world. After spending a short while making your model in the game, you can send it off to be printed, but it will probably take a few weeks before it’s actually delivered. Either way, it’s a really inventive use of the technology in a way that takes it from being strictly virtual, to physical as well.
Despite the name, Cyberpong VR actually has more in common with another classic retro game that you may not know as well from its name alone: Breakout. Whereas in Pong you were tasked with bouncing a ball between two paddles in an attempt to score on your opponent, Breakout has you bouncing a ball on a paddle to destroy blocks at the other end of the screen.
Cyberpong VR borrows more closely from the latter of those two games, but employs mechanics from each when you consider the multiplayer mode. Facing off against someone else in 3D space with accurate head and hand tracking will be a novel experience worth commending for quite some time in VR gaming.
I’m still waiting on a VR version of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, or at least some variation of first-person competitive melee combat in a fantasy setting, but until then Valiant will suffice. This game puts you on the back of a horse in a jousting tournament.
Your Vive controller will become your lance as you charge across the battlefield at your opponent. You can also wield swords, bows, and other weapons in team battles. Strapping on the HMD feels a lot like wearing a knight’s helm, so this is an apt multiplayer experience for medieval fans.
Cloudlands: VR Minigolf
Remember how I said Pool Nation VR is so fun because of how accurately it recreates the actual experience of playing pool? Well, forget that. Cloudlands: VR Minigolf is so fun because it not only immediately feels familiar, but also feels fantastical.
The environments are still some of the prettiest found in VR and the multiplayer offerings are fantastic. With the upcoming Course Editor, which promises an endless amount of content from user generated levels, Cloudlands is still one of the better multiplayer Vive titles.
An argument could be made against this game’s inclusion on the list – it existed far before the HTC Vive ever launched and isn’t built necessarily with VR in mind. However, an argument could also be made that the ultimate version of Elite: Dangerous is played underneath the visor of an HMD.
Every sci-fi fan’s ultimate fantasy is akin to the experience of playing a game like Elite: Dangerous in VR. If you’ve got a great HOTAS setup and throw in the voice command mod, you’re well on your way to rocketing into space and leaving this earthly existence behind. It’s one of the best, most robust, and immersive VR experiences and it’s essentially a fully-fledged MMO to boot. You need this game in your library if you’re a Vive owner.
While these aren’t technically “games” in the traditional sense, I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out two of the best social VR experiences in this list. AltspaceVR is a great tool that can be used to do everything from play D&D in VR to hang out in virtual night clubs and even attend comedy shows.
I’d also like to throw out BigScreen, which can be used a social, desktop sharing space inside of virtual reality. You can even use it to play non-VR games like a virtual LAN party. Since they’re both free and offer tons of features, you should definitely consider having both installed at all times.