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Is There Free VR Games on Oculus Quest 2? Yes, There Are Plenty of Great Free Options!

The short answer is yes, there are lots of free game options for Oculus Quest 2 owners to enjoy! While premium VR titles understandably get a lot of attention for their immersive worlds, innovations, and polish, you can have amazing VR experiences without spending a dime.

I‘ve tested and compiled highlights of the many free games, videos, apps, and experiences available on the untethered Oculus Quest 2 headset so you can dive into virtual worlds without draining your wallet.

Free Games Included Right Out of the Box

Excited to start your VR journey and not sure where to begin? Every new Oculus Quest 2 comes pre-loaded with a few introductory free apps and games to give you a taste of virtual realities possibilities:

  • First Steps: This short tutorial walks you through setting up your Touch controllers and interacts with simple objects like blocks and balloons. It only takes 5-10 minutes to complete but lays the basic groundwork.

  • First Contact: A fun demo that teaches you VR mechanics like grabbing, throwing, and pressing buttons through a robot helper named Pascal. Approachable even for total beginners.

  • Beat Saber Demo: Gives you a sample of the hugely popular rhythm game Beat Saber with one song to slice cubes along to. Super straightforward but extremely replayable.

  • Oculus Move: Mini games focused on getting you physically moving in VR, from dodging obstacles to reaching for items. Great way to get your blood pumping!

While short experiences, First Steps and First Contact give new VR users a softly paced introduction to moving around and interacting in a virtual environment. Even when I help VR newbies set up their Quest 2, I make sure they complete First Steps to learn the ropes before moving onto more complex games.

The Beat Saber demo is wisely chosen as Beat Saber is consistently one of the most beloved VR titles. Slicing blocks with lightsabers along to a thumping dance beat showcases the natural feeling hand controllers and active nature of VR. I‘ve seen that demo hook many newcomers onto purchasing the full $30 version.

Oculus Move highlights the active and physical possibilities of room-scale VR with its mini fitness games. It‘s simple but gets you moving your full body right away, breaking the stereotype of VR being an isolating seated experience. Those 15 minutes can get your heart pumping faster than you expect!

The Oculus Store: Your Gateway to Tons of Free VR Games

Once you‘ve gotten your VR legs under you from the included demos, the Oculus Store offers a solid lineup of deeper free games covering diverse genres and styles of play. While paid titles understandably get more buzz for their premium quality, don‘t sleep on the free catalog which provides tons of gaming value.

Rec Room is the perfect next step to take your VR experience social. As its name suggests, it‘s like a big virtual recreation center with tons of multiplayer activities like paintball, quests, paddleball tennis, disc golf, and player-created rooms. I love that Rec Room caters both to casual hangouts through its dorm rooms and clubs, but also provides intensely fun competitive modes for hardcore gamers with paintball and quests. Weekly featured player rooms keep content fresh, and I‘ve constantly been surprised by the creative ideas like escape rooms, science lessons, and talent shows other users come up with. Rec Room hits the high bar of being both incredibly fun and 100% free.

Echo VR transports you into a futuristic zero gravity setting and is one of the most immersive movement systems I‘ve tried in VR. Using your jets to propel yourself around an arena while passing a disc to teammates is an absolute blast and great workout too. Echo VR features multiple modes including a rocket arena battle mode and training areas to practice flying. As a highly-rated Oculus Studios title built specifically for their hardware, Echo VR really shows off the capabilities of VR and the Quest 2. Like Rec Room, Echo VR delivers an extremely polished and addictively fun sports experience at no cost.

PokerStars VR brings a classic gambling pastime into the immersive first-person perspective of VR to great effect. Sitting around a table in a Las Vegas casino with avatars makes Texas hold ‘em poker far more lifelike than playing on a 2D screen. The table interactions like passing chips and gestures are a riot with groups of friends, almost making you forget you‘re in VR. PokerStars VR is completely free including weekly free poker chip giveaways to keep playing. Just be warned: bluffing is way harder when making eye contact with avatars!

Bait! provides a relaxing escape to the scenic waters of a picturesque harbor, lake, or ocean bay for fishing. Casting your line with the Touch controllers feels intuitive and the locations are beautiful to admire in VR. It‘s quite a peaceful experience outside of the occasional heart-pounding tug on your line from snagging a virtual bass or trout. With expertise from a professional fisherman behind its creation, Bait! nails the angling mechanics and ambiance of the hobby. Reeling in the big catch of the day in VR creates a rush absent from real life fishing‘s long periods of waiting. It‘s the perfect chill, free option if you want a calm experience between more action-packed games.

Elven Assassin scratches that fantasy adventuring itch, dropping you into a castle overrun by orcs. Let loose with your bow to pincushion the green invaders with arrows as they rush your ramparts. With satisfyingly responsive archery mechanics and unlimited ammo, Elven Assassin delivers an immensely fun tower defense style experience across multiple levels. Headshots never stop feeling great. It‘s an easy recommendation for people looking to dive into an active first-person combat encounter.

According to consumer insights from NewZoo‘s 2022 Global VR Users survey, 60% of Quest 2 owners use their headset weekly or daily, spending an average of 6 hours per week gaming. With Rec Room, Echo VR, PokerStars VR, Bait!, and Elven Assassin all offering at least 5-10 hours of unique content, you could easily rotate between them for months without paying a cent. None feel like hollow tech demos or soulless ad vehicles. These legitimately fun titles represent some of VR‘s best innovations and experiences.

Hidden Gems Available Through App Lab

While the Oculus Store hosts plenty of polished free titles, even more experimental and upcoming VR games can be found through its App Lab section. App Lab gives developers a way to distribute demos and works in progress outside the traditional store approval process. You access App Lab by directly installing an app through a browser or QR code rather than browsing the store normally.

App Lab is a treasure trove of bold and innovative VR games you won‘t find spotlighted in the main store. Many App Lab developers are generous in offering free demos or full apps as a way to build word of mouth. It does take more effort to find each title individually, but uncovering a great free VR game through App Lab enhances that sense of discovery.

Here are some of my favorite free App Lab games worth seeking out:

  • Pavlov Shack: This multiplayer FPS distills Counterstrike style gunplay into an addictively fun but accessible package. With a wide range of iconic guns, multiple game modes like Team Deathmatch and Gun Game, and cross-play with PC, Pavlov Shack offers tremendous quality for an App Lab beta. Its active community of Quest and PC players keeps the matches full. If you want realistic feeling FPS action on Quest, Pavlov Shack is unmatched in the free category.

  • Tea for God: This experimental game leverages redirected walking technology to create an endless maze runner with zero motion sickness. As you walk infinitely through randomly generated corridors, the game uses clever tricks to subtly rotate you without noticing. Tea for God is mesmerizing in its ability to make rooms feel massive. It‘s an incredible demo of VR innovations available for free only through App Lab.

  • Hyper Dash: Imagine Rocket League combined with parkour in a futuristic arena. That‘s Hyper Dash in a nutshell. Using your dash ability to slingshot around the arena battling opponents with disc throws, punches, and shots tests your reflexes to the limit. It‘s an incredibly kinetic multiplayer experience unlike anything on the Oculus Store. The skill cap is high, but that makes victories even more rewarding.

  • Ancient Dungeon VR: Despite being designed by only one developer, Ancient Dungeon‘s visuals and atmosphere rival AAA fantasy games. Treasure hunting through skillfully constructed ruins and tombs in this solo Roguelike dungeon crawler is breathtaking. Combat and spellcasting feel magical. As a passion project, Ancient Dungeon VR is practically a steal being offered completely free. This is a glimpse at the huge potential of indie VR experiences.

For VR gaming connoisseurs, diving into the world of App Lab expands your horizons far beyond the Oculus Store free catalog. Titles like Pavlov Shack, Tea for God, and Ancient Dungeon innovate both gameplay and tech in ways rarely seen. While you need to search for each hidden gem, discovering a great free game in App Lab‘s sea of experiments and prototypes enhances the feeling of stumbling across something special.

Access an Even Wider Selection of Free Games Through PCVR

The Oculus Quest 2 can also open up PC-based VR games through a compatible gaming computer. Using an Oculus Link cable or the wireless Air Link feature lets you install and run VR games from Steam and other PC stores.

Setting up Oculus Link does come with extra equipment requirements like owning a powerful PC and compatible USB-C cable or steady 5Ghz router. However, gaining access to PCVR unlocks free gems like:

  • The Lab: Developed by Valve as a VR showcase, The Lab‘s mini games let you repair robots, defend a castle, explore scenic locales, and fire a bow. Despite being over 5 years old, The Lab‘s polish and charm hold up incredibly well, delivering the signature quality Valve is known for.

  • Accounting+: This deranged cinematic "adventure" from the creators of Rick and Morty is a hallucinogenic trip through disturbing worlds full of colorful characters. It‘s only about an hour long but is a wild free experience if you want offbeat VR storytelling.

  • Google Earth VR: Travel the world and into space through Google‘s incredibly detailed 3D maps. Exploring global landmarks in VR adds informative context that 2D browsing can‘t match. An educational marvel.

Thanks to hand tracking, 120hz refresh rate, and a faster processor, the Quest 2 offers a smoother PCVR experience than its predecessor. Playing games from platforms like Steam in standalone VR no longer requires being tethered to a clunky cable and PC thanks to Oculus Air Link‘s streaming capability. PCVR opens up a huge library of free gaming content through Steam demos and giveaways.

I regularly use my Quest 2 wirelessly for PCVR gaming thanks to Air Link‘s low latency. Despite demanding games like Alyx and Skyrim VR running off my PC, tracking and image quality stay solid with no motion sickness. Expanding beyond standalone Oculus titles has been game changing.

Immerse Yourself in Free Cinematic VR Through Media Apps

Looking for VR experiences beyond just gaming? The Oculus Quest 2 makes an incredible media viewer thanks to its untethered freedom. VR applications focused on streaming 2D and 180/360 video turn your headset into a portable IMAX theater.

Two apps I use nearly daily are Bigscreen and YouTube VR. Bigscreen lets you join public and private VR rooms where groups of avatars watch movies together on huge virtual screens. YouTube VR transforms YouTube into a massive floating screen you control by just looking around.

The social experience of enjoying films and videos with others in Bigscreen is a game changer for at-home viewing. Video quality is crystal clear thanks to streaming directly to your VR headset rather than being compressed by a TV. YouTube VR makes even normal videos feel 100X more immersive and almost tangible when they fill your entire field of vision.

Beyond just video streaming, creative apps like Tilt Brush and social platforms like VRChat deliver endless entertainment completely for free. In Tilt Brush, you can paint vibrant 3D artwork by waving the Touch controllers in air – no art skills needed! VRChat lets you explore infinite user-made worlds while designing your own unique avatar.

No matter your interests, there‘s likely a free VR app that aligns with it. Nature lovers can meditate in relaxation environments with Guided Meditation VR. Aspiring Tony Starks can build virtual machines with Gravity Sketch. Budding DJs can lay down mixes in REZ. Even just web browsing becomes an adventure inside Mozilla Hubs.

With media streaming, social VR, and creative tools, I spend almost as much time immersed in apps as I do playing games. VR unshackles your content from screens and pulls you inside whatever you‘re viewing. There‘s always another new world or activity to dive into thanks to the wealth of free apps.

Keep an Eye Out for Free Game Promotions and Giveaways

Between the Oculus Store, App Lab, PCVR, and streaming apps, there are already hundreds of free titles to enjoy natively on the Quest 2. But on top of those options, special promotions and giveaways unlock even more free premium VR games.

For example, Oculus recently gave away Beat Saber for free to all Quest 2 owners for a limited time. Beat Saber normally costs $30 and is consistently the #1 most popular VR game so this was an incredible deal!

Oculus offers an online referral program that rewards existing Quest owners with $30 store credit for getting a friend to buy their own headset. That store credit can be used to obtain marquee paid titles like Superhot VR or Job Simulator for free.

By following VR developers on Twitter or joining gaming Discord servers, you can often find beta giveaway contests where they raffle off new game codes. I‘ve discovered and won access to numerous hyped upcoming VR games through giveaways months before their actual launch.

Free limited time game demos allow you to extensively try out hot new releases before deciding whether to purchase the full version. Even if you don‘t plan on buying, it‘s an awesome way to experience AAA quality on a budget.

Oculus frequently discounts popular paid games by 50-75% for seasonal sales events. Keeping an eye out for deals during Black Friday, Christmas, Lunar New Year, and the summer can score you premium games for under $10 if willing to wait for sales.

With all the free titles natively available on the Quest 2, promotions and giveaways are just the cherry on top. But staying plugged into VR gaming news and communities can randomly award you brand new titles for $0. I‘ve discovered so many of my favorite VR games through giveaways and deals.

Free VS Premium: Are Paid Games Worth It?

While this guide has focused on the wealth of excellent free games and apps accessible on the Oculus Quest 2, VR‘s premium paid titles undoubtedly dominate many "best games" lists. But are pricier titles worth shelling out $20-30 for when free alternatives exist?

In my experience, splurging on select paid games expands and elevates your VR experience in valuable ways:

  • Flagship titles like Beat Saber, Superhot VR, and Job Simulator provide highly polished, unforgettable showcases you return to repeatedly. Their quality drives interest in VR as a whole.

  • Multiplayer shooters like Onward, Contractors, and Population: One offer large online communities and satisfying gunplay unavailable in free titles.

  • Ambitious narrative adventures like Resident Evil 4 VR and Moss fully immerse you in VR worlds with detailed storytelling and exploration.

  • Fitness apps like Supernatural and FitXR take working out to amazing new places with professional coaching and choreography.

  • Creative platforms like Masterpiece Studio and Gravity Sketch provide powerful tools for 3D modeling and animation.

I don‘t regret a single dollar spent on premium VR games I pour hours into like Beat Saber, SUPERHOT, and Population: One. However, with the expanding catalog of free options, premium is no longer essential to enjoy cutting edge VR.

For budget-conscious gamers or those new to VR, downloading a library of free games makes it easy to dabble in titles and discover what genres resonate most before committing to bigger purchases. I always recommend new Oculus owners try out a wide range of free apps first before shelling out on paid games.

Whichever you choose, rest assured there are amazing VR journeys to take without spending a penny. The free VR content available natively on the Quest 2 or through streaming and PC VR access will keep you occupied for a long time. Strap on your headset and start exploring! New worlds are waiting.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.