A review of my favorite VR fitness games of 2021
VR fitness is fun and exciting. During this pandemic, it’s one of the best options to stay in shape, or get into shape. In this article, I will be reviewing the main three games that I play and my thoughts on each of them: Beat Saber, FitXR and Supernatural.
Beat Saber was the first game I downloaded when I got my Oculus Quest 2 headset. I knew from the longest I would love this game because it works out the brain and body simultaneously. You get a cardio workout, while improving reaction time. I am also very competitive and love being able to beat my own high scores and go online to compete against other players for the top score. However, in terms of a cardio experience, I would say there are a lot of variables at play when trying to make the most out of your daily workout. The intensity of cardio would vary depending on the songs, difficulty, and experience level of playing the game.
When I first started Beat Saber as a beginner, I was sweating and working out hard just on easy mode. It took a while for me to get comfortable with advancing into hard and expert mode. Though during the first few weeks of learning different songs on easy, it was definitely a moderate cardio experience for me as my body adjusted and learned the songs and the mechanics of the game.
Now after three months of playing, I will use an easy or normal mode song as a “warm up” to begin my exercise session, which can tend to be low heart rate cardio in the “fat burn” zone, rather than a mid to higher heart rate zone. The campaign mode in the game is also a great way to build up and learn how to be better at the game, while sweating more as the difficulty gets higher.
Easy to learn
Develop rhythm, reaction time, and hand eye coordination
Good Cardio experience (can be done at any level of fitness)
Affordable for a VR game ($30)
Limited range of motion (compared to FitXR and Supernatural)
Song packs can be expensive if you want more diversity of music in your game
Likely need a sweat band to absorb the sweat (Oculus Quest 2 headband absorbs sweat, ideally need a band to prevent the absorption if sharing with a friend or family member right after your workout)
The body gets used to the routine which can lessen the intensity of the workout
Overall, I’d say Beat Saber is great for those who are just getting back into working out again to get moving and sweating. I love that I get a mind and body workout simultaneously. It’s definitely one of my favorites whenever I begin my exercise routine.
FitXR is absolutely amazing in terms of getting a great boxing workout and full body dance workout. This has become one of my favorites for getting a hardcore sweat depending on which type of workout I choose from.
You get to choose between different types of boxing workouts and dancing workouts that all vary with their intensity. Like in Beat Saber, you can choose to do solo play or online mode. I always go into online mode to try to keep up with my streaks and points and compete against other player scores.
You get rated on your workout by how well you’re able to keep up the streaks with boxing and dancing.
The dancing can be hard to master if you’re just starting to dance because you basically go into the song learning the moves as you go, but after a few times of doing the same workout, you pick up the patterns to be able to beat your own high scores (like I mentioned, I’m super competitive). It makes it fun to learn and you don’t have to beat yourself up if you don’t do it right the first time. Even being on the bottom of the leaderboards, you still get a great cardio workout.
What I love about FitXR is that you can choose how hard you want to workout. It’s hard to get burned out on this game because there are so many options and so many different types of workouts that vary in length and intensity. I tend to do the smaller workouts to break between them, like doing a 3 minute boxing followed by 6 minute dancing. However on some days you can take a 20+ minute boxing course. There’s so much variety and flexibility on FitXR that it’s impossible to get bored on this game.
There are add-on packs that you can purchase for the game to have more songs and exercise routines, but honestly, I haven’t even gone through all of the different dances and exercises yet and haven’t felt a need to buy more.
The game is $29.99 and the extra packs are $10 each which if you bought everything for FitXR would total over $90 which isn’t bad compared to a gym membership or other equipment.
I still have the basic game and find so much enjoyment out of that. I sweat way more doing FitXR than I do on beat saber so a sweat band is absolutely necessary. These workouts are great for challenging your body, and you will definitely feel soreness when doing the dancing and boxing exercises in correct form.
Great full body workouts
Moderate to Intense Cardio
Affordable for just the base game (one time cost of $29.99)
Lots of varying levels and intensity workouts
Easy to learn and jump right into
Fitness for all bodies and all levels of experience
Exercise made fun through VR gaming
A lot of sweating (but this is actually a good thing)
Add-on packs are pricy($9.99 each, up to $60 of extra workouts if you choose to get them)
Can be difficult to get “streaks”
Learning the dance routines can be a learning curve
Not a lot of variety of music and songs on the base version
Overall, in terms of a game that was made specifically for fitness that targets a full body workout, FitXR is definitely one of the best in the market right now up there with Supernatural.
Supernatural has definitely made it into one of my favorite workouts for intensity, scenery, and variety of music. The game itself is free to download on the Oculus Quest store, however, this game is like a monthly subscription. The best part about joining is that you get your first 30 days FREE! So you get to try it out and see if these workouts are right for you.
At first I was hesitant, just because I’m one of those people that forget I have a subscription and forget to cancel once the free trial ends, but I’ve set reminders in my calendar to cancel if needed. At this point, it’s been about 15 days into Supernatural and actually really like how balanced this game is in terms of fitness and overall health. You not only get workouts, but meditations and stretches if you choose to! Personally, I love the meditations and use them nightly before bed.
A monthly subscription for Supernatural is $20 a month, which is cheaper than a gym membership these days.
It doesn’t matter which exercise I choose on Supernatural, I always sweat. Even on the low intensity workouts.
Supernatural has (4) different types of workouts and the meditation option. The descriptions are taken from the app itself:
- Low — Fewer targets for a full body flow. Sweat while focusing on form.
2. Medium — More complex patterns and body movements, increased focus on beats.
3. High — Extremely complex patterns that require laser-sharp focus and agility.
4. Stretching — Follow a coach through guided stretches to loosen up and improve flexibility.
What I love about the game is that the instructors are real people. When you see them on the screen, it’s not a cartoon image of a person. The sceneries in the game are so breathtaking too. Not only do you get a workout, but you get a mini travel session all in one.
You can be in the mountains of Italy, or working out in the desert of Iran, but you’ll always get a full body workout.
The game reminds me of Beat Saber but not quite. In Beat Saber, you’re trying to match rhythm and tend to use your wrists. It’s a shorter range of motion. In Supernatural, you’re using your shoulders and arms fully. You’re also using your core to keep your posture correct. I remember on my first day of trying Supernatural, my shoulders were sore for days afterwards!
This game makes fitness fun and enjoyable. I really love all of the coaches in Supernatural. It’s like having a personal trainer pushing you through all the songs. They keep you going and inspire you. They also make you feel good for showing up to do your fitness. It’s nice to have that personal touch to your workouts like you would in a gym or with other people.
What I love about supernatural is that there are options for music! For a metalhead such as myself, I LOVED that they had a workout with Pantera on there. They also have great pop, rap, and electronic songs. Having a variety of songs and music make it amazing to keep motivated.
Also, an amazing plus is after I signed up for my free trial, the company offered a sweat headband for free! To me, this shows the dedication they have to fitness and health by offering this as part of the free trial. I got my sweat headband for my Quest 2 and it fit perfectly and works to keep the sweat off!
Amazing cardio workout
Fitness for all levels
Makes working out fun
Works out muscles as well (depending on form and posture)
Beautiful scenery to workout in
Amazing coaches to guide you through your sessions (note that they are not live, it is pre-recorded coaching)
Tons of variety of different music genres
They update their listings for workouts added
Variety of challenges and different levels of intensity
Monthly subscription (instead of buying a base game at a set price)
Learning curve to learning how to hit the notes properly (comes with time and practice)
The high intensity workouts are definitely hard to learn
A lot of squatting depending on the songs and workout chosen (which is great, but for me, it can be difficult because of my knees)
Overall, Supernatural has become my favorite go-to workout for a full body exercise. I love the scenery, the coaches, and the inspiration that comes with their workouts. I love being able to choose from an easy 8 minute workout or a 45 minute workout depending on how I feel.
In summary, all three of these games are amazing, and I tend to mix it up and do a bit of each one of them in my workouts. This is just my personal experience and thoughts on each of the games, but one thing they all have in common is that they all make fitness fun, and enjoyable again for people of all fitness levels.
Huge thanks to all three companies for helping me find my groove and passion for fitness again during this pandemic!