Now that Oculus Go is finally here that means thousands (or hopefully millions) of people will soon have the most accessible way of experiencing VR at the ready no matter where they are or what they’re doing. Without the need for a smartphone or PC, it’s as simple as strapping it to your face and grabbing the controller.
We found a lot to like in our full, official review of Oculus Go and broke down exactly how Facebook crafted such an easy to use device. But the big question on most people’s minds at this point is: which apps should I download? With over 1,000 to pick from across the existing Gear VR library and about two dozen brand new launches — what are the best games and apps to try?
Keep reading to find out! We’ve split it up into new apps that just released this week, legacy apps ported over from Gear VR, Daydream, and/or other VR platforms, social apps, and non-game media apps.
Update (10/12/18): This list has been expanded from 25 to 30 apps total with the additions of Wander, VR Karts, Bait!, Henry, and Catan VR.
Update (9/12/18): This list has been updated to retire B-Team and add Thumper.
Best New(ish) Oculus Go Games
Anshar Online ($7.99)
As the third entry in Ozwe’s best-selling space-based dogfighting series, Anshar Online is basically everything great about Anshar Wars 2, but with more of it and even better features on top. All of the missions are playable in co-op, which is a treat for taking to the skies and space with a friend, and it’s got competitive multiplayer as well. Visually, it’s super crisp and great fun to look at too. The cross-platform multiplayer between Go, Rift, and Gear VR is an excellent feature as well.
Catan VR ($9.99)
Catan VR allows tabletop fans and new players alike to experience the best-selling board game in a fresh, fully-immersive format. Take on other players around the world and broker trade deals with friends and strangers. Board games are tough to wrangle people for in real-life, so bringing them to VR feels like a natural evolution. This one is super well-done.
Dead Secret: Circle ($14.99)
This one is a horror mystery game set in 1960s Chicago in which you take on the role of an investigative reporter chasing a horrible killer. You’ve got to track down the killer and stay alive in this VR thriller. It’s from the same developers (Robot Invader) of Dead Secret, one of Gear VR’s standout titles, which is highly recommended if you enjoy Circle.
Republique VR ($9.99)
This one is pretty special if you’re into narrative-based stealth games with a hint of RPG flair. It’s created by a team that’s got experience working on franchises like Metal Gear Solid, Halo, and FEAR, which makes it one of the most promising mobile VR games in recent memory. The whole thing is split up into five episodes.
They Suspect Nothing ($7.99)
Coatsink is back again with another charming, quirky VR game. This is the same team that made Esper, A Night Sky, and Augmented Empire, so it’s anything but a first foray into the market. Going back to their Esper roots, They Suspect Nothing is a puzzle game mixed with hefty doses of humor and robotic hijinks.
Thumper ($9.99, Our Review)
This was a stand-out title in the PSVR’s launch lineup that has since made its way over to PC VR headsets and now the amazing portability and crystal clear lenses of the Oculus Go. Even if you don’t usually like rhythm games or music games you need to play this one. Just zone out and try not to feel too overwhelmed in this exquisite “rhythm violence” experience.
Pet Lab (Free, In-App Purchases)
Part VR Tamagotchi experience and part animal-raising simulator, Pet Lab puts you in the boots of a wizard in charge of summoning and raising magical creatures. You’ve got to manipulate eggs, craft potions, and customize your creations. Great one for kids!
Best Ported Oculus Go Games
Bait! (Free, In-App Purchases)
It’s a bright, colorful fishing game in VR. The premise is simple, but it works and it’s fun. There are lots of locations to see, fish to catch, and gear to collect. It’s one of the easiest VR games to pick and play for short bursts and it’s a mainstay in my rotation.
Coaster Combat ($4.99)
I’ll be one of the first people to tell you to stay away from VR coasters, but Coaster Combat is an exception. Not only are the tracks beautifully rendered with exciting twists and turns, but you’re also tasked with shooting orbs for points and taking out enemies along the way to keep things interesting. Each track is procedurally generated based on a defined theme, so you’ll never have the same coaster twice.
Drop Dead ($9.99)
If you’ve ever put on a headset and browsed an app store then you’ve probably seen or played a wave-based zombie shooter. It’s the bread and butter of new VR developers. But with that being said, Drop Dead is actually quite solid. The motion control aiming works really well, the co-op is fun, and there’s lots of zombies to shoot as you travel through time.
End Space ($7.99)
There are lots of space combat games out there. We included Anshar Online primarily for its multiplayer features and End Space is on the other end of the spectrum. It feels almost like a lite-simulation take on space combat and has a robust single player experience with lots of missions and upgrades across its campaign. Very high-quality.
Face Your Fears (Free)
If you could distill the bite-sized anthology concept that powers the likes of Black Mirror, adapt it for a horror theme instead, and release each episode as a VR experience, then you’d have Face Your Fears. Each vignette taps into a different type of fear people often experience and exploits it until you feel like ripping the headset off completely.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes ($9.99)
The person wearing the headset has to defuse a bomb and the only way to defuse it is to listen to instructions from a friend outside of VR. However, that friend doesn’t know what you see, so you’ve got to describe it to them. Add in a large group and a few drinks and this quickly becomes one of the most entertaining party games around.
Ocean Rift ($9.99)
This one isn’t really a game so much as it is a slightly interactive underwater safari or zoo. If you love the ocean, sea creatures, or wish you could go to a massive aquarium anytime you want, then Ocean Rift is simply the best way to do that. This is also an excellent choice to introduce people to VR.
Virtual Virtual Reality ($9.99)
No, that isn’t a typo. That’s the actual name of this one. Virtual-Virtual Reality is a surreal journey through a distant future in which humanity has become dependent on the various realities VR throws us into. V-VR is one of the most polished and well-written VR apps on any platform and is a roller coaster tour of the future constantly keeps you guessing and sees you through to the end long before you wish the ride was over.
VR Karts: Sprint ($7.99)
I love me some Mario Kart. Now, VR Karts: Sprint isn’t as good as Nintendo’s classic racing game, but it’s a passable racer that’s actually pretty fun given the limitations of the Go. You can’t lean around in the driver seat, but it controls reasonably well and the visuals are sharp. Multiplayer is solid too.
Wands ($9.99, Currently Discounted)
While we patiently wait for an actually good Harry Potter VR app, Wands will have to do. This is a 1v1 spell-based dueling game in which you’ll select a loadout of spells and conjurations to take into battle where you can teleport around an arena fighting a rival wizard.
The Well ($4.99)
One of the genres that is lacking most in the Oculus Go’s library is the RPG. We’ve got tons of shooters, puzzle games, and quirky adventures, but very few roleplaying games with a focus on action, exploration, and character progression. That’s where The Well comes in. This is the same developer as Face Your Fears (and Left4Dead for that matter) and it’s a turn-based RPG with some of the most gorgeous artwork available on any headset.
Best Oculus Go Social Apps
As one of the first VR social network apps, AltspaceVR lets people meet up in rooms, hang out, play games, watch videos together, and have a good time attending events and meetups as if they were really there in person. This is one of the best ways to meet up with someone in VR right now, especially on Oculus Go, and it has cross-platform support with Rift, Vive, Gear VR, and even non-VR PC setups.
Currently you can’t host a room from Go, but you can join rooms that PC users are hosting. In Bigscreen, you can cast your PC to a screen and use it to stream videos, movies, games, or anything else on your PC. There is also a remote desktop feature that lets you access your PC from inside VR using Go. This is an essential app for all Go users, hands down. Especially as it improves and iterates for mobile VR in the future.
Oculus Rooms (Free)
All Oculus Go users will have this one installed by default if I’m not mistaken and it’s one of the best ways to meet up with people. When you start a Party chat you can invite friends back to your room where you can decorate the walls, floor, furniture, and even pick out photos from your phone and Facebook to hang on the wall as an extra layer of personalization. In your room you can stream videos and photos to the group or play board games on your loft’s balcony.
Instead of trying to cram a bunch of bells and whistles in, vTime focuses squarely on making the experience of talking with someone face-to-face in VR as great as it can be. The avatar customization features are excellent and there are tons of environments to hang out in. On top of that, you can still share things like photos and talk to people across all VR platforms.
Best Non-Gaming Media Apps
Facebook 360 (Free)
This app is a great way to explore some of the breathtaking 360 content on Facebook. Whether it be amazing photos from around the web, uploads from people you follow, or something on your own timeline this is a great way to view it all in immersive VR.
Gala – 360 (Free)
This one is sort of my go-to VR tourism app. People that are new to VR love seeing beautiful vacation destinations in glorious 360 so I drop them into a beach or sunset environment to let them get an idea of what standing somewhere in VR can feel like. Tons of gorgeous shots in this app.
Guided Meditation VR (Free)
This is something a bit different, but still highly recommended. The Go seems like the perfect platform to pop into if you want just a bit of peace and quiet away from everyone. Throw on some headphones and chill out in one of several different serene environments.
If you haven’t seen the downloadable Oculus Go version of Henry and you own an Oculus Go, then stop what you’re doing and watch this right now. It won an Emmy for a reason. The story is heart-breaking and adorable at the same time and it’s one of the most visually impressive and crisp animations you can see in VR.
Netflix (Free, Requires Subscription)
This one is a no-brainer. Why would anyone want to watch Netflix on their tiny phone screen when they could instead retreat to a cozy mountain cabin with intimate lighting and a massive TV screen instead? Everyone needs this one installed.
Oculus Apps (Free)
The official Oculus apps are definitely recommended for all Go users. Oculus Video is a go-to for high-quality 360 content, Oculus TV will bring many of your favorite TV services into VR finally, and Oculus Venues is launching soon as an excellent way to attend live events from the comfort of wherever you want using Go.
The Oculus Go doesn’t have the official Google Earth VR app, but it does have the next best thing in Wander. Using data from Google StreetView, this VR app lets you explore pretty much anywhere you want to go in the whole world with immersive 360 images. It also includes “speech recognition for searching, Wikipedia integration for location-based learning, historical jumping to witness changes over the years, multiple navigation modes and more.”
Within has earned a reputation for being one of the premiere 360 video services out there. From original miniseries, documentaries, and short videos showing wonders of the world you’d be hard-pressed to find a better library of VR videos than Within.
Tagged with: Oculus Go