Top 10 Virtual Reality Headset Experiences That Are Totally Free

Read on to find out how to make the best out of your VR headset without spending another dime.

While I firmly believe that investing in a virtual reality headset should be on everyone's to-do list, it's no secret that attaining one can be expensive. Depending on what kind you get, VR headsets can cost hundreds of dollars. Not to mention, the most popular content for the headset can range anywhere from $9.99 to $49.99.

There is a common misconception that you have to have all of the most popular games to get your feet wet with VR, and if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a headset, it can be tempting to dive right in and purchase all of the heavily advertised content. However, there are plenty of free virtual reality games and experiences to try before you decide to spend any money.

You can start by searching "free" in your devices store, and by searching for "free VR games" or "free VR experience" in the device's browser. Some headsets, like the Oculus Quest 2, will even suggest free VR experiences from around the web on the homepage of your built-in browser. A lot of the free content online for VR headsets is designed with beginner VR users in mind and is useful in getting accustomed to the tracking and controls of your device.

Need a little more guidance? Look no further.

Here is the list of the top 10 free virtual reality games and experiences will help get you started.

1. Bait

bait vr game
Image Source: Resolution Games

Bait is a quaint little virtual reality fishing game in which the player must catch specific types of fish to advance the story and unlock new fishing locations. Each location is even more stunning than the last and boasts different varieties of fish. The storyline of the game isn't very long, but for a free title, it was just enough. Not to mention, there is more to do after completing the main story. I would suggest going back through and trying to catch every fish in the game's book.

After fishing at the first couple of locations, I already found myself wondering why such a game was free. I was surprised by how relaxing the gameplay is and how engaging the controls are. As you fish, there are nature sounds playing through the speakers in your headset that help to immerse you in the experience. You can hear the water splashing and flies buzzing near your ear — everything feels so real. 

bait free virtual reality free game

The controls are easy to learn; all the player has to worry about is casting their line, reeling in their catch, and grabbing their fish from the line. My only complaint about the game is that the controls are a bit particular. For example, reeling in the fish does not always work if you don't grab the reel in a specific spot, and grabbing the fish from the line can be extremely difficult as it tends to bounce around on the line.

Nonetheless, playing this game gave me the sensation of being isolated in nature and enjoying a solo fishing trip. It is something I like to play when I want to unwind, but also feel a deep sense of satisfaction. The fish aren't always easy to catch, and sometimes you have to be patient to avoid breaking the line and losing your catch. It's the perfect thing to play during a lazy night in. 

2. Echo VR

Echo VR
Image Source: VRFocus

If you can make it past the lengthy tutorial, Echo VR will probably be one of the most unique VR experiences you'll have. It is played like a sport, with the player being on one of two teams. The game is played with a disc that gets thrown around and passed from player to player. The objective is to throw the disc into the other team's goal in order to score points. 

The coolest thing about Echo VR is how you move around the virtual space. Instead of walking around, your character floats around in a futuristic zero-gravity environment. Your wrists are equipped with thrusters and boosters, allowing you to basically fly through the air. To stop, you can grab onto any surface around you or use the brakes.

As for playing defense, there are only two ways to get an opponent to drop the disc. You can intimidate them into throwing it, or you can punch them in the face. Yes, you read that correctly. Balling your hand into a fist and punching someone in the head will force them to drop the disc and allow you to pick it up. Being punched also causes the player to be temporarily stunned, but there is a defense. With the right timing, you can block the punch.

I love that you can play online against real people or against AI. Playing against the AI is a great way to get into the flow of the game without any real pressure. You can set the difficulty and figure out what gaming style works for you, and once you're comfortable you can take your skills online. 

Echo VR is another title that I would pay money for if it weren't free. The amount of detail put into the tracking and movement is unlike any other game I've played so far. There are moments where it really feels like you're flying. That being said, I would recommend playing this in a room with plenty of space. I got really into the game and ran into the wall a couple of times; be safe!

3. Pavlov Shack

pavlov vr game
Image Source: PlayStation Universe

I've written about Pavlov before, but there's no such thing as too much praise for this game. In short, Pavlov is a super realistic virtual reality shooter. What sets Pavlov apart from other shooters is that the handling of the guns is based on their real-life mechanics, so the player has to be strategic about their timing in order to reload and shoot before being taken out.

What I mean is, this isn't the type of game where you can just press a button and have your gun reloaded. Instead, depending on the type of gun you have, you have to release the empty clip and reload the gun with the ammo in your pockets. Some of the guns have very intricate reloading processes, and it's recommended to practice in the shooting range or killhouse before taking on opponents.

Pavlov Shack

The game has an online mode as well as an option to play against AI on various maps. Regardless of how you play, the game is guaranteed to get your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping. Your agility will be put to the test as you struggle to aim your firearm, dodge bullets, and keep your gun up to par. 

While I wouldn't consider Pavlov to be best suited to beginners, it is definitely a game that everyone should have in their libraries. If you are up for a challenge, then I would highly recommend playing this first!

4. Epic Roller Coasters

epic roller coasters vr game
Image Source: Steam

There were mixed reviews about this one in the VR store, so I almost skipped out on giving it a try. This is one of those games where the first few "levels" are free, but the rest must be paid for. Most of the reviewers complained that the free levels were nice but not enough and that the game needs an update. While I understand, I think the title offers an adequate amount of free content. 

There are four tracks available to the player free of charge, with three different game modes to choose from. You can either be a passive rider on the rollercoaster, race with the rollercoasters by taking control of the acceleration and brakes or ride through the map while shooting at things. There are different cars and other customizations the player can make, however, they are also hidden behind a paywall.

The nice thing about this game is that during the tutorial, they ease you into the virtual reality rollercoaster experience. The virtual assistant has you ride a roller coaster a few times with different levels of visibility. Then, after each ride, the assistant checks in with you to make sure you didn't get sick.

Epic Roller Coasters

There is also a designated place to look on the screen if you do begin to get sick, and this target can be toggled on and off in the settings. Once I was used to the motions, I turned my target off so that I could enjoy the full view. Although the free levels are scarce, they are all visually breathtaking. You really get up close and personal with the wildlife and environments of the tracks. 

If you do have a little extra change, the paid tracks aren't unreasonable in price. Individual maps cost $2.99, or you can pay $12.99 to unlock every rollercoaster in the game.

5. YouTube VR

youtube vr

The first thing I did with my virtual reality headset was watched a YouTube 360 VR video on the YouTube VR app. When I first fired up my Oculus, it was the only app I saw in the store that was immediately familiar to me, so I wasted no time downloading and giving it a try. 

There are three types of videos that stood out to me on the YouTube VR app: regular YouTube videos, VR 180 videos, and 360 videos. 

The nature of regular YouTube videos cannot be changed in the app other than increasing or decreasing the size of the screen. Still, it's pretty cool to see some of your beloved videos on this type of viewing screen. The VR 180 videos give the user the option to have a semi-immersive experience play out in front of them. Lastly, the 360 videos allow the consumer to feel as if they are in the center of the action by giving them a 360-degree view of the video. 

The first video I watched in virtual reality was an immersive and informational clip about tigers. Since this was my first virtual reality experience, I was shocked by how real everything felt. It sounded as if the animal was growling right next to my ear and running around near my feet! And this was just the tip of the iceberg for what YouTube VR has to offer. 

There are many genres of videos in the VR 360 section of YouTube. Some of my favorite examples are their travel collections and their gaming collections.

The Travel Collections playlist features videos that take you to places all over the world via flyovers, VR tours, and more. The flyover videos are some of my favorite on the internet. Think California Adventure's Soarin ride, but in a headset. It's truly worth trying.

The Gaming Collections playlists put you in the center of a video game universe, such as Minecraft and Fortnite. It's already cool enough playing these games with a regular controller, so feeling like you're inside the screen in the middle of the action is a noteworthy experience.

While these are just a couple of my favorites, there are hundreds of thousands of videos to enjoy within the YouTube VR app, whether fully immersive or not.

6. Matterport Spaces

Matterport Spaces

I stumbled upon this website via the browser's suggestions. "Destination: Everywhere" is the site's tagline, and being a fan of the Youtube flyovers, this caught my attention. The site offers virtual tours of beautiful destinations all over the world. It is done in a walk-through fashion much like Google Street View. This way you can spend as much time as you want in one spot taking in the view.

My favorite location on this website is the Giza Zoo - Zoological Museum in Egypt. In VR mode, you are able to walk through this beautiful museum and learn about all of the different types of animals that have existed in Egypt. There were walls dedicated to animals such as birds, snakes, felines, and more. The quality of the images on Mattersport is absolutely stunning; you really do feel as if you are walking through the locations.

For example, the picture above may look like it was taken at the museum, but it was actually taken during the VR tour with my headset!

There are all sorts of locations to visit on this website, all free of charge. A few of my other personal favorites are the Greater Metropolitan Baptist Church and the Rosa Parks Bus.

7. Exit

Exit

Exit is an adorable puzzle game that requires precise timing and planned use of resources. It is available online via Construct Arcade, an online collection of web browser-based virtual reality games. Your job in Exit is to strategically place arrows on the map that will change the direction of little green friends so that they avoid bad guys and wander into their portals. As you might expect, each level is harder than the last. 

Sometimes new arrows have to be placed, and sometimes existing arrows have to be moved around in order to get the little green balls from point A to point B. New mechanics are added along the way to keep the game interesting. What's nice about the game is that it doesn't rush you. There's time to sit back and observe the level and all of its parts before making a move. 

It's your typical time-waster browser game, but with a semi-immersive twist. The 3D levels are laid out in front of you, and you have to interact with the map and tools to progress through the game. It's a great game to start with if you don't want to download anything just yet.

8. Flappy Bird VR

Flappy Bird VR

For those of you who may be too young to remember, Flappy Bird was originally a smartphone app that took the world by storm in 2013. You would tap the screen to make the bird "flap" or jump, and you had to make it through small spaces in pipes without touching them to keep playing. The original app itself was short-lived as the developer ultimately decided to remove it from the app store shortly after it was released. 

The public's obsession with the game didn't end with its deletion, though. Knock off began hitting app stores shortly after, and even today Flappy Bird games still exist in certain arcades. Those who did not delete the app and have their old devices might even still have the original floating around!

The virtual reality version of this classic app is brought to us by Construct Arcade, the same website that houses Exit. Playing Flappy Bird in virtual reality is different because you are playing from the perspective of the bird. However, I found this version to be much easier since they let you cut corners — you can run into the pipe a little bit and still keep going. I even found a glitch that lets you fly far above the pipes, but you won't get points for it. 

All in all, it's a great free game to start with if you're feeling nostalgic!

9. Barista Express

barista express vr game

Barista Express is yet another gem from VR game powerhouse Construct Arcade. It is reminiscent of the old CoolMathGames coffee shop game I used to play in elementary school. It is a fully immersive virtual reality experience where you work as a barista at a local coffee shop. You are given directions on how to make certain drinks and must serve them to the customer before they get impatient and leave. There is a profit quota to meet, and it gets harder as you go.

Barista Express

This game surprised me because I expected it to be a stationary experience much like the other Construct Arcade games I like to play. However, this game doesn't line up correctly if you try to play it seated, and works much better if you stand as an actual barista would. You have to reach around for different objects and take cash from customers all while looking around and checking the time. A lot is going on, and it can get a little crazy!

Barista Express is basically one of those flash games from those old browser game sites, but with an immersive twist. If you've ever wanted to live out your fantasy of owning a quiet little coffee shop, then this free virtual reality game might be worth your attention.

10. Trajectile Command

trajectile command vr game
Image Source: SIGGRAPH

Last but not least, we have another Construct Arcade original. Trajectile Command is a virtual reality browser game in which you defend small cities from enemies' missiles with missiles of your own. You use your controllers to mark a spot in the sky where you want the missiles to explode. The goal is to destroy all of the enemy's fire before they reach your cities.

Trajectile Command is great for getting the feel of the VR controllers and understanding how tracking works. You have to be very precise with where you mark the missiles' detonation points, and it has to be done at the right time. This is another semi-immersive VR experience, where the game is presented as a 3D model in front of you. You are able to reach the map and guide your projectiles.

Trajectile Command

One thing I will say about this game is that it is not easy. The first couple of levels are pretty lax, however, the heat is on after that. Multiple missiles come out of the sky from all directions, and you only have a limited amount of ammo. Timing everything so that you can take out as many missiles as you can with a small amount of ammo is more difficult than it looks. I personally haven't made it to the end of the game; I always lose around level 4 or 5.

If you are up for a challenge and don't mind spending a lot of time on a game, then Trajectile Command is something you should probably try first


As you can see, there are plenty of games you can play and experiences you can have without spending extra money after buying your virtual reality headset. From free virtual museum tours to free fishing, there are so many virtual reality experiences to be found online. They are only a simple Google search away!

What's more, new games and experiences are always being developed. With the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 catching the world off guard, different industries had to figure out how to adapt and present their products from a safe distance. This led to a boom in new virtual reality content so that people could feel like they were leaving their homes without actually leaving their homes.

As things start to go back to normal in the world, the VR boom is still going strong. Every day I am seeing new advertisements for another virtual concert or a new highly anticipated VR game. If you don't see anything on this list that sparks your interest, don't worry. There are still plenty of free virtual reality experiences to be discovered.

Writer, blogger, and content creator from Sunny San Diego. When she isn’t writing, you can find her exploring, eating, and watching Netflix.

No Saves yet. Share it with your friends.

Write Your Diary

Get Free Access To Our Publishing Resources

Independent creators, thought-leaders, experts and individuals with unique perspectives use our free publishing tools to express themselves and create new ideas.