Putting on a VR headset and stepping into a virtual world for the first time is a special experience. Unfortunately, it can also be a nauseating one. It’s very common for VR newcomers to get sick mere minutes after launching a game. Your skin can get clammy, you might feel queasy, and you may even feel a strong sense of dizziness. It doesn’t make for the most relaxing or fun time.
While there are many factors as to why VR motion sickness occurs, one thing that makes it worse is playing a game that’s designed for those with more VR experience. If you put on your headset and immediately launch a game like Resident Evil 4, you’re probably going to have a bad reaction. Luckily, there are plenty of games that are very friendly for VR newcomers. If you’re struggling with getting your VR legs, our list of the best Quest 2 games for VR first-timers to avoid motion sickness will help you get the most out of your Quest 2 while acclimating to virtual reality.
Puzzling Places is one of the most relaxing experiences available on the Quest 2. It’s a collection of jigsaw puzzles with customizable levels of complexity, letting you choose the number of pieces for each puzzle from 25, 50, 100, 200, or a whopping 400. What makes Puzzling Places so special is that the jigsaw puzzles are in 3D, and rather than just placing pieces in front of you, you’ll have to rotate the puzzle at every angle to figure out where they fit. It can be played completely seated and requires no movement, making it a perfect fit for VR beginners and anyone with motion sickness.
There are quite a few art games and apps for the Quest 2, but Painting VR is the best for VR newcomers. It plops you into a huge virtual art studio and gives you a canvas with customizable dimensions, along with a vast array of painting tools ranging from teeny brushes to cans of spray paint. Painting VR also gives you an in-game browser that you can use to paint along with YouTube tutorial videos in real-time and lets you upload your own reference images.
Tetris Effect: Connected
It’s genuinely hard to put the experience of playing Tetris Effect: Connected into words. On the surface, it’s just the classic gameplay of Tetris in VR. It’s not until you play yourself that you realize how the trippy 3D visuals, emotional background music, and meditative gameplay harmonize with each other to create something magical. Tetris Effect: Connected requires no movement and instead lets you push or pull away from the Tetris board to get as close to the action as you want. It also features a unique multiplayer mode with full cross-play support, so you can play with friends regardless of the platform.
Little Cities takes a laidback and cozy approach to the city-building genre and does so with great success. Players hover over the island like a giant, invisible god and build cities from the ground up. Whereas Cities: VR requires you to micromanage budgets and powerline placement, Little Cities instead tasks you with maximizing the happiness of your citizens through strategic city zoning and building placement. The simple aesthetic really pops in VR and gives a sense of depth, and the push-pull movement system keeps you from getting sick to your stomach.
For many, Beat Saber is the quintessential VR game. The premise couldn’t be more simple — take the action of rhythm games like Guitar Hero but replace button presses with directional arm movements — and that’s part of what makes it work so well. You don’t tap the correct buttons to the beat but instead, slice them with a musical lightsaber in the instructed direction. All the while, you’re ducking and weaving through obstacles as you cut through virtual boxes. It’s fun, exhilarating, and is one of the best VR games you can play.
What happens when you combine the mechanics of rhythm games with the stylish gunplay of John Wick? You get Pistol Whip. Equal parts Beat Saber and an on-rails light gun game, Pistol Whip has you shooting baddies and dodging bullets as you automatically progress through levels set to music. Your score increases for each shot you land on beat and you’re free to tweak each level to make it as easier or as difficult as you’d like. Pistol Whip has received numerous free content updates since launch, meaning there’s plenty of gun fun action for you to enjoy.
There are few games on the Quest 2 that are as cute as Moss. This all-ages adventure stars Quill, a little mouse who’s as adorable as she is brave, on a quest to save her uncle. It’s a typical fantasy setup, but Moss isn’t your typical action-adventure game. There’s a heavy emphasis on environmental puzzles you’ll need to solve to help Quill. Rather than shrinking you down to her size, Moss keeps you at the perspective of your human height as you aid Quill on her adventure, creating a fun sense of scale that’s perfect for VR.
A VR staple, Job Simulator is a hilarious collection of job simulations that are very loose approximations of real-world professions. The fun of the game comes not only from its premise — robots show you what the working world used to be like by running you through simulations in a job museum — but its physics gameplay. Drawers can be opened, coffee can be chugged, and staplers can be thrown. Almost everything can be interacted with and it really shows off the level of immersion VR can accomplish.
If you’re looking to work up a sweat, Racket: Nx is a great way to see how virtual reality can enhance a workout session without making you too sick to your stomach. Racket: Nx can best be described as anti-gravity racquetball, but rather than the ball just bouncing off a wall and straight back to you, it rolls around a 360-degree dome. You stay stationary and instead use a tractor beam on your racquets to pull the ball back toward you. There are a variety of different modes available, from score-based levels to a more pure and straightforward racquetball experience.
Like Beat Saber, SUPERHOT VR is considered by many to be a must-own game for any VR player. The gimmick of SUPERHOT VR is that time moves only when you do, meaning when you’re swarmed by enemies, you’ll need to stay still and take it slow if you want to make it out alive. SUPERHOT VR’s stylish aesthetic and inventive gameplay make it one of the best VR games you can own, and it’s a perfect choice regardless of how much VR experience you have.
As you may have guessed from the title, Startenders puts you in the role of a bartender in space. You’ll need to collect enough tips to purchase parts to upgrade your bar equipment, and that will require delivering drinks to your alien patrons accurately and quickly. There’s a lot to keep track of and orders can get pretty complex, so it won’t be as simple as pressing a button and garnishing with a funky umbrella. Startenders also has a mode that allows you to create your own custom cocktails that your customers can order in the campaign, boasting over 100,000 possible ingredient combinations.
A word of caution: Out of all the games on this list, Swarm is the one that has the most potential to make you a little woozy. It’s really best for those who feel they can move on to a game with a bit more VR intensity rather than complete beginners. Swarm is a cell-shaded arcade shooter that has you swinging around a stadium in 360 degrees with grappling hooks, shooting hordes of robotic enemies with plenty of cool guns. It sounds like a recipe for disaster for anyone prone to motion sickness, but as many players can attest, Swarm’s grappling mechanics somehow make its action feel not only tolerable but downright comfortable.
Graduating to more intense VR games
Every person will adjust to VR at a different rate. Some won’t get motion sickness at all and can jump into the most intense games right off the bat, and others might need to stick to more gentle experiences for a few months. Don’t get frustrated if there are some games you can’t physically play yet!
If you’re struggling with motion sickness, Puzzling Places and Painting VR will likely be your best bets for comfortable experiences. When you feel that you’ve almost gotten used to VR but aren’t ready to fully jump into something like The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, games like Swarm and Startenders bridge the gap perfectly. Just remember that if you don’t allow yourself time to adjust to VR, motion sickness might stop you from enjoying some of the best Quest 2 games available.