These Are The Best HTC Vive Games For Burning Calories

by Joe Durbin • July 11th, 2016

HTC Vive owner Aaron Stanton recently published the findings of an interesting experiment via a Facebook note. The intrepid early VR adopter set out to discover which of his Vive games would get his heart rate the highest.

As Stanton wrote, “In the 8 weeks that I have owned it, the HTC Vive has become the most used piece of exercise equipment I’ve ever owned.”

Other VR fans have reported similar athletic benefits when using the Vive. Stanton’s goal, however, was to determine if, “Augmented Exercise, as I call it, is actually exercise.”

To do this he devised an experiment. After fiddling with the heart rate tracking on an Apple Watch, Stanton decided to go all in and purchase a Polar H7 chest strap heart monitor. Using an app called Motifit to track his gameplay, Stanton fired up seven of the Vive’s most physically demanding games and began to collect his data.

thrill of the fight

For some of the experiences, Stanton added weight resistance to increase his training, but for others he did not. These are the results he saw in heart rate and calories burned as the experiment concluded:

Audioshield w/o weights – 96.75 bpm – 413 calories/hr

Audioshield w weights 118.2 bpm – 610 calories/hr

Hover Junkers w/o weights – 105 bpm – 487 calories/hr

Holopoint w/o weights – 168 bpm – 764 calories/hr

Thrill of the Fight w weights – 144 bpm – 851 calories/hr

Spell Fighter w/o weights – 86 bpm – 314 calories/hr

Orc Hunter w/o weights  105 bpm – 500 calories/hr

Quiver Aplha w/o weights – 87 bpm – 322 calories/hr

To put that into perspective, the common consensus in the fitness community is that running a mile burns between 100-150 calories on average. This means that by some estimates playing Audioshield for an hour, even without weights, is equivalent to running about four miles in terms of burned calories.

The clear winner in this experiment is clearly Thrill of The Fight. This VR boxing experience burned a whopping 851 calories in an hour and rocketed Stanton’s heart rate up to 144 bpm. Again, to add some perspective, a well trained sprinter’s maximum heart rate is around 168 beats per minute and they will usually hit 90 percent of that when going all out.

It’s good to keep in mind that Stanton did use wrist and chest weights for some of these tests, but by all accounts it seems that the Vive is capable of offering a substantial workout experience to its users.

If you or someone you know is attempting to lose weight with the Vive give us a shout in the comments!

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

What's your reaction?
  • unreal_ed

    I’d argue HOLOPOINT is the clear winner since it doesn’t use weights (therefore more convenient/cheaper) is the clear winner, with only 100 less calories/hr

    • Good point. I think the main difference from my perspective is that The Thrill of the Fight is a more versatile and scalable experience. I can punch harder and faster, choose to duck instead of bob/weave and block, etc. In Holopoint, it’s mostly driven by which wave I’m on more than anything.

      Ultimate result though, regardless, is that you can get a pretty decent workout from playing Vive games it seems!

      • unreal_ed

        Actually, on scalability, in the note he says that the problem with Thrill is that it only has 1 enemy player. and therefore his data is on 15m vs 25 in Holopoint (so it’s a bit more accurate). Plus you can add a bigger variety of stuff to Holopoint than a realistic-ish boxing game imo. At the end of the day, boxing is going to be boxing, but holograms can be anything and you can “break” them any million of ways.

        Plus you can do pretty minimal movements in Holopoint if you need to. You can do just a neck twitch instead of a full lean

    • Konchu

      I can play Audio Shield forever no tiring but on HoloPoint you start to feel it after a little bit I can see why its high. So I do concur Holopoint is legit. I will have to try thrill of the fight but I Imagine Holopoint with Weights may top it out as Audio shield went up around 50% with weights.

    • Felix Andersen

      Holopoint is a great exercise, but after playing Thrill of the Fight for not even ten minutes, I have to agree that this is probably a “better” workout. Of course that’s arguable, as it also depends on your boxing style, so it varies from person to person, but I reached Holopoint-level drenchedness in sweat in half the time. And, for the record, everything without added weights.

  • Pistol Pete

    Great list!!

  • usherjerksoffsonyfanboys

    I have to agree and disagree with the comments here. Yah Holopoint, defiantly more frantic calorie burning but you got to be good enough to make it that far. Audioshield at least ur assured the songs length in continuous workout time.

    Damn….just 3 more weeks, then i’ll have enough money saved up to take a $800+ hit….lol already got quite a few games, could not pass up VR games during the steam summer sale, even if I don’t have the headset yet.

  • Ryth

    I was wanting to get wrist weight but then people told me that they are really bad on joints. I need to find out more about this cus I really like the idea of wearing weights while playing.

  • Andrew Portlock

    I’m starting my vive routine today actually! The scale was not my friend this morning, I am likely going to do a routine involving holopoint holoball audioshield thrill of the fight and maybe some hover junkers… my legs though…

  • TheVoiceOfReason

    In my house, AudioShield wins this battle hands down. Why? Because my wife loves AudioShield and she plays it every day for half an hour or more. The fact that she enjoys playing AudioShield and will therefore keep coming back to it, makes it an effective workout. If you enjoy working out, you are going to do so more regularly and more diligently.

    We’re excited to see what other cool ideas developers come up with in the future to take advantage of room space technology on the HTC Vive but for now AudioShield is the go-to application for us! (Steam Name: WoD – look for us near the top of the AudioShield leaderboards!)

  • Joe Banes

    As someone needing to lose weight I am actually doing an experiment based on this article to see if I can use VR (and now some wrist and leg weights) to lose weight. I am on day 3 with some fits and starts. You can read about it @vergingreality on Facebook if interested and I’ll be putting videos up on YouTube as well. So thanks to this article and original test to give me the idea to give this a try. So far for me, Thrill of the Fight, Holopoint, and now Audioshield give me the most sweat. I’m purchasing an H7 as well to track calorie burn and such to try and make this more effective.

  • C Blum

    I know I’m a bit late to this party, but anyone have suggestions for a workout that would target the core?

  • “Calories”? Not “kcal”?
    Remember, eating 2,000 KILO calories or 20,000 calories is usual for a normal person, office cleark etc. per day.

    “Holopoint w/o weights – 168 bpm – 764 calories/hr”
    200ml coke has 39,000 calories (“39 kcal”)!

    • Spencer Kingman

      Dietary calories = kcal and should be capitalized (“Calories”).

      I expect that people knew what the author meant.