Do All VR Games Cost Money?
Everyone has fantasies about virtual reality’s potential, and with the recent VR headset price hike, many users are considering how much more money they may need to invest in a VR game or three. Moreover, most gamers are concerned, considering the price of new games on all platforms has marginally increased over the decade. So with that said, do all VR games cost money?
The majority of VR games cost between $0.99 and $59.99, with many other genres of games falling within these price ranges. However, as with most gaming platforms and VR stores, such as Steam and Oculus, there is a selection of free-to-play games and free demos.
There are many VR games available. Very likely thousands. Since VR is still a fairly new technology and games take a long time to develop, the devs need to make an income to keep the business afloat. Still, that doesn’t take the fun away from VR since there are plenty of excellent free games on the market. That said, let’s take a look at VR game availability in various VR stores.
How Much Do VR Games Cost?
It’s no secret that VR headsets may be expensive since Meta announced the price hike in July 2022, and some require a powerful computer to function. So it only makes sense that users would be concerned about the cost of games and other programs for your device after investing in hardware.
The reality is that it’s difficult to predict the cost of VR games because they come in a broad range of pricing. While some games are free, others might cost up to $60.
Moreover, compared to independent games and games from smaller studios, which sometimes have cheaper costs (or a demo available) to entice consumers to check them out, games from major companies are more likely to have a higher price point. For example, Half-Life: Alyx, developed by Valve, is rated 10/10 on Steam with over 63,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews and is priced at $59,99.
There is no doubt that the Half-Life series, both on PC and VR, is a popular and loved option among gamers. As a result, paying $60 towards supporting the developers and their content is a worthwhile penny for many. Besides Half-Lift Alyx VR, other examples of popular titles and their prices include (prices may vary by location and future promotions):
- Minecraft VR
$6.99 on Amazon (Free on Oculus) – Available directly from the Minecraft website.
- Rec Room
Get it for free from the Recroom website.
- The Forest
$20 on the Steam Store.
- Skyrim VR
$59.99 on the Steam Store and $27.50 for PS4 VR on Amazon.
Are Free VR Games Truly Free?
There is a difference between free-to-play (F2P) and free-to-start (F2S). Because the free-to-start approach is not entirely free, it is occasionally used in jest.
Online games that employ the free-to-play business model do not charge users or players to sign up for their services. Instead, they want to make money from adverts or in-game purchases like expansion packs, upgrades, unique goods, and special skills.
However, as a result, free-to-play games have also received a lot of flak for being “pay-to-win,” meaning that players may often pay to gain an advantage over other players in terms of power or competition.
Fortunately, VR gaming is still in its infancy and hasn’t caught the pay-to-win bug that most other gaming platforms have started to propagate. Still, even if it employs a pay-to-win structure, free VR games remain free forever.
Without spending money, players may still explore the universe, advance in levels, interact with others, and have fun. On the other hand, only a tiny portion of users (often between 1 and 20 percent) decide to spend money on in-game items.
Where To Search For VR Games?
Now that you understand that not all VR games cost money, you will wonder where the best places to search for them are. This list of recommendations covers the storefronts for the HTC Vive, Oculus Quest 2, PlayStation VR, Valve Index, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
In addition, you may find that many of the VR games in the stores are now more inexpensive than they were a few years ago, making them easier to justify buying. With that in mind, the following are the most frequented stores to buy or download VR games from:
View the library of games here
Valve wants to make Steam the preferred platform for the distribution of virtual reality content by focusing on cross-headset support. As a result, the platform’s VR apps are slowly moving up the ranks of the entire Steam catalog, boasting more than 600 VR titles. From that growing list of titles, you will find plenty of free-to-play and paid games and can read and leave a review on every game you play.
Use your HTC Vive, Oculus or Meta, Windows Mixed Reality headset, or any other compatible VR headset and controllers to access and play VR games with SteamVR. Finally, compared to Steam’s competitors further down the list, Steam has the most appealing seasonal sales and discount specials throughout the year – an event most dare not to miss.
2. Oculus Store
View Oculus store games here
The Oculus store has hundreds of Oculus-exclusive games available on the website, through their headsets, and even through a mobile app for Android and iOS users. On the Oculus store, you will find plenty of genres of games and many popular Oculus exclusives. Their games list includes both free-to-play games, demos, and paid games.
Note: If you own other headsets besides an Oculus or Meta headset, you are still in luck. The SteamVR add-on Revive, commonly referred to as the Revive Compatibility Layer, enables you to play Oculus-only titles on any headset.
Visit the Revive GitHub page to obtain the program. Before making any purchases, please review the list of eligible titles on the same page, as Revive does not support all of them.
3. PlayStation Store
View the PlayStation VR Store here
To test out two sets of playable PS VR demos with your PS4 or PS5 and PS VR headset, go to the PlayStation Store and download them for free. The PlayStation store’s VR titles are only playable with PS VR equipment, much as Oculus. Additionally, many thrilling VR games are available on the PS Store, including free-to-play games, paid games, and demos.
4. Amazon Store
View the Amazon VR Games list here
Amazon has everything from games to gear to almost everything you can think of, plus more. However, most VR games on Amazon are not digital copies and are populated by PlayStation VR games. Unfortunately, unlike the online stores mentioned above, Amazon currently does not provide any free-to-play VR games. Still, you may come across some incredible promotions and deals.
Considering the vast majority of VR games and the consistent rise of VR gaming, VR games will continue to march forward, and most of them will have a price tag. Still, as with most gaming platforms, free-to-play games are a trendy and welcome addition to the VR realm, and many aspiring developers may just become famous from them.