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Get Fit While Gaming With These Exercise Rated VR Games

Hot Squat

Hot Squat is a virtual reality fitness game with a rigorous competitive twist. The whole purpose of the game is to perform as many squats as you can. The game offers leaderboards so you can compete against your friends, family, and the rest of the world.

Hot Squat features an endless challenge, so you’re always pushed to the limit of your ability. The game also offers 11 Steam achievements to unlock.

The VR Health Institute gave Hot Squat the Tennis rating, with roughly seven calories burned per minute. Hot Squat may burn the same level of energy as tennis, but it’s a different kind of workout. If you have trouble with your knees or your hips, this title might not be the best choice of workout.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Bean Boy Games
  • Developer: Bean Boy Games
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 6.56 kcals to 7.25 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Tennis


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Audioshield

Audioshield was one of the original launch titles for the HTC Vive, and it was one of the first rhythm games to reach the VR medium. With an orange shield in your right hand and a blue one in your left, you punch the corresponding colored ball as it flies towards you timed to the beat.

The standard version of Audioshield can provide a reasonable workout when you play an upbeat song at the highest difficulty. It’s also possible to edit the configuration files to increase the intensity of the gameplay.

The VR Health Institute said that playing the standard version of Audioshield can consume as much energy as using a rowing machine. Lower difficulties of Audioshield are comparable to elliptical training. Modified versions of the game can offer more intense workouts.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Dylan Fitterer
  • Developer: Dylan Fitterer
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 5.73 kcals to 10.27 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Rowing


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Knockout League

If you’re old enough to remember Punch Out for the Nintendo Entertainment System, you’re going to get a kick out of the arcade boxing game Knockout League. However, if you’re going to play this game, you might want to bring a sweat rag with you.

Knockout League is a made-for-VR boxing title in which you'll use your entire body. You’ll have to throw punches, dodge fists, and block the blows that would otherwise hit you.

It's a pretty intense workout. The VR Institute gave the game the Rowing rating, which should burn at least eight calories per minute.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Grab Games
  • Developer: Grab Games
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 8.33 kcals to 8.48 kcals per minute
  • Store Page: Steam, Oculus Store
  • VR Exercise Rating: Rowing


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Holopoint

Holopoint is a high-intensity archery game that forces you to move quickly and pushes your reflexes to their limits. Holopoint doesn’t have a locomotion system; your movement is limited to your tracked play space. You must stand your ground and defend yourself from wave after wave of targets and enemies.

In the beginning, you shoot stationary targets before they explode and fire a projectile at you. The targets spawn in random locations in front, beside, behind, and above you. If you don’t hit the target, you’ll be hit by shrapnel. The catch is you have to avoid the flying debris even when you hit your target, so you must be ready to duck and dodge as soon as your arrow hits its mark. As you progress through the levels, you will face sword-wielding samurai and clever ninjas that sneak up on you.

The VR Health Institute compares the calorie burn from playing Holopoint to that of competitive swimming. We can say from experience that if nothing else, this game will get your heart racing and adrenaline coursing through your veins.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Alzan Studios, LLC
  • Developer: Alzan Studios, LLC
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 7.46 kcals to 12.69 kcals per minute
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Swimming


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Thrill of the Fight

Thrill of the Fight is a room-scale VR boxing game that puts an emphasis on moving around. The game supports forward-facing configurations for Oculus Rift support, but you need at least 2 x 2m of tracked space to play it effectively.

In this action-packed boxing game, you have to train and fight your way to the top of the boxing world. Thrill of the Fight is a “semi-sim” with a combination of realistic mechanics where possible and simplified mechanics to make it easy and fun to play.

The VR Health Institute assigned Thrill of the Fight the highest VR exercise rating that the organization offers. If you’re looking for a significant cardio workout to help you burn a lot of energy in a short period of time, Thrill of the Fight is the best option available in a VR game. Before you play this game, you may want to consider upgrading the foam on your VR headset with a waterproof version from VR Cover.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Ian Fitz
  • Developer: Ian Fitz
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 9.74 kcals to 15.32 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Sprinting


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Kevin Carbotte is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews of graphics cards and virtual reality hardware.