Guides

VR Gaming on a Budget: 6 Tips for getting cheaper VR games

cartoon image of a guy in vbr holding a piggy bank representing cheap vr games. produced with dall-e

Venturing into the world of Virtual Reality often seems like a leap into a costly dimension. With VR headsets alone ranging from a few hundred to well over a thousand dollars, and the additional investment in a compatible computer or console, the initial setup can be hefty. And just when you’re ready to dive into the virtual realms, the price tags on VR games – like $25 for a mere four-hour puzzle adventure – might reinforce the notion that VR is a luxury hobby, and budget-friendly options are a myth.

But fear not! In this article, we’re debunking the myth of expensive VR gaming. We’ll guide you through six savvy strategies to build an impressive VR library without draining your wallet. From uncovering hidden gems to smart shopping tactics, these tips will ensure your VR journey is both exhilarating and economical, promising years of endless entertainment in the virtual world.

1. VR Game Library

The first step is to pick which game library you’re going to use. There are pros and cons for each one. I personally use a combination of SteamVR, Pico and the Quest Store.

SteamVR

As a regular gamer who still plays flatscreen games, SteamVR is a very convenient platform. Having all of your games in one place makes it easy to manage and access them whenever you want to. In addition to that, SteamVR works with almost every headset available in the market. This means that if you ever upgrade your headset in the future, there won’t be any compatibility issues.

One of the biggest benefits of Steam is the discounts they offer on games. They have the biggest sales and you can pick up extremely cheap VR games throughout the year, especially the older ones. This allows you to expand your game collection without burning a hole in your pocket.

Using Steam also provides you with the increased power from of your PC. However, the obvious downside is that you need to be in the vicinity of your computer to run the games.

Meta

Meta (Oculus) has the benefit that Meta is funding it, so there is plenty of good content and exclusives available. The Quest 2 and Quest 3 are by far the most popular headsets available and they have captured market share, so multiplayer games are fantastic. Often when you buy games from the oculus store you will get both the rift and the quest version so you still can use a PC for increased performance. But then you also have freedom of the quest as it is a standalone and can play anywhere. 

Pico Store

Even in 2024 Pico for me still seems like a bit of a gamble right now. It’s hard to recommend in its current state and  that’s because the amount of games are lacking, the games aren’t always well optimised and it’s more expensive. Even though this is was my primary headset for over a year because it’s nice and light, and had upgraded specs compared to the Quest 2,  and it is a cost effective way to experience wireless PCVR. If I doubled down on my Pico store purchases, but then decide to move to another headset in the future, which I did, it would have been complete waste of money. My personal strategy was to pick up a few titles and exclusives to test here and there like Les Mills body combat so I can take a workout on the road.

Vive

Vive is a bit of an interesting one and it feels like it’s been a bit forgotten over the years as they have transitioned into the enterprise space. You can use it if you have one of the vive standalone headsets or for PCVR gaming but what’s interesting about Vive is they offers a subscription service called Vive Infinity. Anyone with access to PCVR gaming should try it at least once.

2. Viveport Infinity Trial

viveport-infinity

For 15 dollars a month you can get access to over 1200 titles, they also have a free 14 day trial so you can sign up and cancel immediately to get access to all of these. You can use this in two ways.

First is to complete the highly polished puzzle, adventure and single player story games that only really take about 4 hours to complete. This is your Moss, The Last Clock Winder, and a Dark Space. While these games are fantastic, once you finish them once there’s really no need to play them again. So if in one month you knock out four or five of these, then you probably saved yourself $100.

The other way is to use it to  other way to use it is to trial the high replayability games. These are multiplayer, shooting, boxing and rhythm games. This is a fantastic strategy to test two similar games, for example Audio Trip and Synth Riders. You are able to access full game you can even try mods to help make your decision.

3. Build a VR Wishlist

The next step is to start building up a wishlist. From games you tried on viveport infinity, from friend recommendations, or online reviews. Once added, items on your wish-list you will be emailed when they go on sale. Earlier this year Dance collider was 85% off and I picked it up for less than 3 dollars.

Two times a year something magical happens, which is the Steam summer and winter sales. During these sales, you can find some of the biggest titles for a fraction of the original price. By adding the games you like to your library throughout the year, you can build a large collection of Cheap VR games without spending too much money.

4. Oculus Referral Program

The Oculus referral program is a great way to save money on your VR games. By using a referral code from your friends, you can get 25% off your Oculus purchase and your friend will receive some store credit. It’s a great way to save money and support your friends at the same time. If you’re a weirdo and don’t have friends like me then just check out the comment section of any game and normally someone has posted their code there.

5. Modded VR Games

best vr mods of 2022

Mods are a great way to get more content out of your existing games and add some extra replay value. For example with a game like Audio Trip which has 28 songs and no paid DLCs, you can extend your library to 500 songs popular for free with a few clicks. SkyrimVR is another classic game which which can be modded to for a more immersive experience.

One of the big criticisms with VR gaming is that there isn’t a lot of AAA titles. We have half life alyx and now Assassins Creed, but maybe we don’t have to wait for developers to make new games and ports. There’s a bunch of super smart people that have already done this.

Did you know that there’s already a fully supported VR mod for Half-life 2, basically all of the Resident Evils, you can play the intro to the Witcher, and if you don’t mind using a game pad then you can even experience CyberPunk in VR.

Finally the UEVR injector tool makes 10,000 Unreal 4 and 5 games available.

6. Free VR games

best-free-vr-games
Best free VR games

Finally, there are a number of free games available for VR. These can be a great way to try out the technology and build up your library without spending any money. This is good to bide time while waiting for your Wishlist titles to go on sale. It is important to note that some of these games may not be of the same quality or they might be trying to get money from in another way though in game purchase like cosmetics, DLCs or subscriptions. One of our personal favourite games to pick up is Blaston.

Finding cheap VR games and building up an extensive game library is possible with a bit of research and savvy shopping. By taking advantage of subscription services, sales, referral programs, modding, and free games, you can build up a large collection of VR titles without overspending.

Want some inspiration?

Video showcasing the 50 best VR games of all time