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Home News No need for controllers with these awesome Oculus Quest games

No need for controllers with these awesome Oculus Quest games

The Oculus Quest is an amazing piece of technology, but did you know it can automatically track your hands instead of just using the Oculus Touch controllers? While it’s convenient to browse through the Oculus menus with just your fingers, playing games is a lot more fun. To get started, sideload apps to your Oculus Quest using Sidequest before you begin. For the best results, always play in a well-lit room for optimal hand-tracking performance. The brighter, the better. We cannot stress that enough.

★ Featured favorite

Hand Physics Lab

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Staff Pick

Developer Dennys Kuhnert of Holoception fame has been working on this incredible collection of hand-tracking experiments since Oculus opened up the development floodgates a few months ago, and the results are nothing short of revolutionary. Simply put, there’s nothing on the market that even competes with the accuracy, interactivity, or imagination as Hand Physics Lab. The only thing we can hope for is that all of these concepts make their way into a full game because it could certainly compete with the likes of Boneworks without ever requiring a controller. So long as you’re in a bright room, of course.

Free at SideQuest

Pew pew forever

Tea for God

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If you’re looking for a great example of what hand-tracking can add to an already unique experience, the oddly named Tea for God is a great choice. Tea for God is a never-ending procedurally-generated experience. That means the game creates its world as you play, and it’s different every single time. On top of being one of the best room-scale experiences available, Tea for God utilizes the hand-tracking feature in a wholly natural way. You can make guns by simply holding up your thumb and index finger, punch enemies when they get too close, and even use your fingers to touch buttons and control environmental objects.

Free at SideQuest

Failing driver’s ed…again

Car Parking Simulator

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Did you hate driver’s education when you were a teenager? Maybe you didn’t learn the skills you needed to make it in the real world? This virtual experience puts you back behind the wheel of several different types of cars in an attempt to help you learn the ropes all over again. You’ll be using your hands to grip the wheel and change gears, adding to the feeling of realism in 45 surreal challenge courses. Just as most “simulator” games have shown, this is more than just recreating a real-life experience; it’s about creating an experience unique to a virtual world.

Free at SideQuest

Learn how to play your piano

VRtuos

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Were you once interested in learning how to play the piano, only to find that the keyboard you picked up from a garage sale was too challenging? VRtuos works by lining up your real-world piano, whether it’s a bargain-bin keyboard or a glorious grand piano, with a virtual one that teaches you the ropes. Colored notes rain down into each key you need to press, helping you not only press the right notes but to hold them as long as you’re supposed to. Five bundled songs get things started and you can even import any MIDI file to help you learn that song you’ve always wanted to play.

Free at SideQuest

When you simply don’t have a piano at home

Virtual Piano

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Virtual Piano is a similar concept to VRtuos but with one big exception: you don’t actually need a piano to play this virtual one — just a table. Virtual Piano starts by aligning the real table in front of you as if it were a piano and then overlays the appropriate keys where they would actually be if there were a piano in front of you. While it’s not quite as geared toward teaching piano as VRtuos is just yet, it’s still under development and gives you a great way to practice. The physical table helps deliver convincing tactile feedback that would otherwise be lost in the virtual world without a real piano.

Free at SideQuest

Pulling worlds apart

Interdimensional Matter

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Interdimensional Matter is a puzzle game that appears to be simple on the surface; take the object apart, insert the “cores” into the correctly shaped slots, and put the object back together. Even a preschooler could do it, right? In this dimension, sure, but between dimensions, there’s no telling what’s going to happen to the matter as it bends and moves in ways you won’t expect. It doesn’t feel the same without your hands, and that’s what makes this such an excellent experience!

Free at SideQuest

Tetris in the fourth dimension

Cubism

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Tetrominoes get a three-dimensional enhancement in Cubism, a puzzler that has you placing funky-shaped pieces inside a larger puzzle. The trick here is that, like playing Jenga, you’ll be utilizing your primary digits to grab these pieces and put them in the right place. It’s a great way to relax while keeping your brain active and using your fingers to grab virtual puzzle pieces feels amazing.

Free at SideQuest

Craft and mine all the time

Voxel Works Quest

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While the Oculus Rift has an official version of Minecraft, the Oculus Quest is without its own port of the venerable voxel survival game. Voxel Works Quest attempts to recreate the magic of Minecraft with the bonus of letting you use your actual hands to interact with the blocky world. It’s still got a long way to go before it has all the features of Microsoft’s incredibly deep title, but it’s darn fun to play, given the new level of interaction present.

Free at SideQuest

Giving beast mode a new name

VRWorkout

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VRWorkout is designed to be a way to get exercise rather than playing a game that happens to accelerate your heart rate. It’s better designed for hand-only interaction than games like Beat Saber or Pistol Whip, which rely on ultra-precise controller aiming and movement. It’s actively being developed and has seen several updates since its debut in late December, and the developer has been very responsive with feature requests and additions.

Free at SideQuest

Make happy trees

Mr. Scribbles

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Mr. Scribbles is a unique drawing game that aims to create a completely natural way of interacting with virtual elements. Utilizing a set of gestures and hand movements, virtual artists can create lines and shapes out of thin air. These shapes can then be manipulated in several ways, including resizing, changing the color or material, and just about anything your mind can concoct. You can even create little planets, set them to spin, and toss objects into their orbits. It’s still early in the prototype stage, but the potential here is massive, and the development is very active.

Free at SideQuest

A god-game on a smaller scale

Sun Shard: Hand Tracking Demo – Might of the Gods

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Gamers familiar with the Black & White series will know that god games can be incredibly rewarding to play. While Sun Shard doesn’t encompass all the qualities of a full-fledged god game, it does put you in the shoes of a rather large deity who’s goal is to defend a totem against an invading hoard. Grab, smack, pummel, and shoot magic at your enemies as they head wave-after-wave into your sanctuary and try to dismantle the totem that gives you power.

Free at SideQuest

Rock, Paper, Scissors

RPS Championship

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It’s rock, paper, scissors in VR. There’s little in the way of extras here, and, at the present moment, you can only play against a computer-controlled opponent. It looks like the developer will be adding several new features and a possible multiplayer mode but, until then, it’s a fun distraction for a few minutes.

Free at SideQuest

An aptly-named experience

Hand tracking demos

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While the title is a bit ambiguous, it perfectly describes the experience you’ll find inside. The developer took the Oculus trains demo and added hand-tracking to it, including some neat modifications that’ll make you feel like you’re 6 years old and playing with trains again. The developer has taken to Reddit and unveiled plans to continually update this app with additional demos, including concepts like Rocket Punches, Rubber Stretchy Arms, Finger Guns, and Hand grenades.

Free at SideQuest

Hand-tracking 101

Hand-tracking is still early for the Oculus Quest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it with any of these fantastic games. While there’s something for just about everyone here, there’s also something well worth noting: all of these titles are in early development and likely will look and behave very differently (read: better) in the months to come. The nice part is that they’re all free, so you won’t have to worry about wasting your money on an experience you may not fully enjoy.

Hand Physics Lab is probably the single most impressive demonstration of how good hand-tracking can be, but other experiences like Tea for God, Interdimensional Matter, and Cubism are a bit more along the lines of an actual game. These titles will give you a few good hours of fun between them, and they won’t cost you anything more than your time. Setting up SideQuest is a breeze, and once you have it down, you can enjoy all sorts of titles and mods for your existing games that wouldn’t otherwise see the light of day on the Oculus Store.

Oculus was quick to roll out automatic hand-tracking to the Quest after just a month of testing, and we expect significant improvements to hand-tracking just as we saw significant improvements to controller tracking just a few months after the release of the Oculus Quest. That being said, expect a few bugs but go into the experience expecting to have fun. After all, that is the entire point of gaming, and the realism of VR only makes that fun more palpable.

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