Fitness Reviews

Pistol Whip Review: For VR Workouts


Pistol Whip is a virtual reality game that has gained a lot of popularity and become one of the highest rated rhythm games across all headsets. It’s a fast-paced, action-packed game that involves shooting at enemies and dodging bullets and obstacles. In this review, we’ll explore what makes Pistol Whip such a unique and exciting game, and how it has become a favorite among VR gamers and VR fitness enthusiasts.


Fitness Intensity:
Audience Score:

About Pistol Whip

Release Date7 November 2019
Rating on Oculus store with # of reviews4.8/5
% of upvotes on Steam with # of Reviews93%
GenreAction, Rhythm, Shooter
Time to beat main story2 Hours
ReplayabilityExtremely High
Steam / Meta

Video Review

Video review of Pistol whip

Pistol Whip Gameplay

In Pistol Whip, players use one or two VR controllers to shoot, punch and whip enemies while dodging bullets and obstacles. The game is set in a stylized, neon-lit world and features a variety of levels with different themes and challenges. Most levels are set to a high-energy electronic music track, and players must shoot and dodge in time with the music to score maximum points.

Pistol Whip also includes a number of gameplay modes, including 2 story modes, a daily, weekly and monthly event called contracts and arcade mode.

How many calories can you burn playing Pistol Whip?

The Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise conducted a study to measure the energy expenditure of players while playing Pistol Whip.

  • The study found that the game had an energy expenditure of 7.17 to 7.69 calories per minute
  • with an average MET (metabolic equivalent) of 6.83.
  • This makes Pistol Whip a moderate-intensity workout, similar to playing a game of tennis.
  • Pistol Whip is slightly more intense than Beat Saber, but less intense than Thrill of the Fight.
  • Assumes a weight of 60kg

Fitness Intensity

My own test with a 30-minute session of Pistol Whip, I alternated between dual-wield revolver and dual wield brawler in Arcade (hard mode). I Burnt approximately 203 Calories and had an average heart rate of 108 BPM. This was recorded using a Garmin Forerunner smartwatch.

Heart rate while playing 30 minutes of pistol whip

Dual wield brawler made is significantly more intense, as more enemies will be left alive. This means there is more bullets to dodge which ultimately leads to more squats and side to side dodging.

Upper Body vs Lower Body

The game requires fast upper body movements as well as some lower body movement to dodge obstacles and bullets, making it a full-body workout.

pistol whip deep squat

When you activate Brawler mode it become more lower body focused and there will be more things to dodge. And if you use all of the modifies below it will turn into a squat simulator making it one of the best Lower body workouts you can do in VR.

Pistol Whip Styles and Weapon Types

Styles menu in Pistol Whip

You are able to select from 5 different weapons and can choose weather to dual wield them or not.

  • Pistol
  • Revolver
  • Burstfire
  • Brawler
  • Boomstick

There are also a bunch of modifies that will increase or decrease the difficulty.

What are the best Modifies for Fitness?

  • Bulletproof: You can’t die! This is great when learning new or more challenging content, there’s nothing worse than have to restart all the time.
  • Scavenger: This takes away your ability to reload normally and only get additional ammo when you successfully pistol whip the enemy. This is quite cool because you will have to think about which enemies to take out and then when you have to go more on the defensive.
  • Vengeance: makes enemies fire a bullet when they die, so if you have a happy trigger finger then you’ll still be forced to dodge bullets.
  • Brawler: Out of reach enemies will continue to fire bullets at you.


The graphics are nothing to write home about and the high energy electronic music isn’t normally my go-to. I actually preferred the western campaign with the revolvers and shotgun. Compared to over VR games I don’t completely lose track time. I’ve put this as a 7, if this is your jam then it would be way higher for now but I do expect this to improve for me in the future once custom mods come out.


The replayability of Pistol Whip took a significant leap forward in 2023 with the introduction of a level editor and the availability of custom songs. This update opened the floodgates to an ever-expanding universe of content, providing players with a diverse array of musical tracks and environments to engage with.

Players can unleash their creativity by designing their own levels and share them with the community. This not only adds to the variety of the gameplay experience but also ensures that the content stays fresh and diverse, catering to a wide range of preferences and playstyles.

Even before these enhancements, Pistol Whip was already acclaimed for its compelling gameplay. The intense leg workouts it offers with modifiers, make it a go-to choice for players looking to combine fitness with immersive gaming. The rhythm-based shooting mechanics, combined with the physicality of dodging and weaving, create a highly engaging and active experience.

Pistol Whip Tips

  • Use smooth and precise movements to maximize your accuracy and score.
  • Dodge obstacles and enemies by leaning to the side or ducking under them.
  • Try out the different gameplay modes to find the one that best fits your playstyle. Brawler is great to increase intensity.
  • Use the “Bulletproof” modifier to practice and improve your skills without worrying about failing a level.
Is Pistol Whip Worth it?
pistol whip vr fitness review

Pistol Whip is undeniably a worthwhile addition to any VR library. It stands out not only as an exhilarating rhythm game but also as an effective leg workout, combining entertainment with physical activity. The introduction of custom songs in 2023 has significantly enhanced its replayability, bridging the gap with other popular rhythm games like Beat Saber. This feature allows for a greater variety in music and gameplay experiences, catering to a wider range of tastes and preferences.

Price: $29.99

Price Currency: USD

Operating System: Quest, Pico, PCVR, PSVR 2

Editor's Rating:


  • Insane Lower body workout
  • Rewarding and fun gameplay
  • High Replayability
  • Constant updates form developers


  • Graphics
  • Limited custom songs compared to Beatsaber