The Most Graphically Demanding VR Games

A couple of decades ago, the notion of playing VR games was an unattainable goal. Some game companies tried, but all of them failed — even Nintendo bombed with their now-infamous Virtual Boy. However, as technology advanced, the line between the dream and reality of playing in a stunning virtual playground became shorter and shorter.

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Nowadays, there are tons of VR games available to sink your teeth into. While by no means cheap, VR games are more accessible today for a wider range of players. That said, if you wish to truly immerse yourself in a jaw-dropping virtual environment, you will need a PC that can handle it. Some VR games are so graphically demanding, but the cost is worth it to play them at their full potential.

9 Star Wars: Squadrons VR

Charging towards a Star Destroyer in space

While the base game for Star Wars: Squadrons won’t put a strain on your PC, switching to VR mode will certainly make your hardware cook. Opting for a mid-range graphics card should be the minimum if you want to play in a galaxy far, far away.

A GTX 1070 GPU should suffice, but if you wish to play the game on max settings, you will need to upgrade to an RTX 3080 or higher.

8 No Man’s Sky VR

Shooting robots in an alien world

After a rocky start and a couple of years later, Hello Games has certainly picked up the pieces to deliver the game they promised with No Man’s Sky. An added feature is the ability to play the game in VR. While it doesn’t require the newest high-end graphics card on the market, you might still need to upgrade your hardware if you wish to experience this space-faring epic in virtual reality.

Playing the game at a medium setting will require a GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 470 installed in your rig. For the smoothest possible experience, though, an RTX 3070 or higher will deliver the best performance.

7 Asgard’s Wrath

Fighting orcs with an axe

Asgard’s Wrath requires a PC rig that is VR-ready, as it is one of the most GPU-intensive VR games that you can get your hands on today. At the minimum, Asgard’s Wrath will require a PC with an Intel i7-7700 and an NVIDIA GTX 1080 to have a respectable performance; anything below that will leave the game with an unstable frame rate bordering on unplayable. Hardware with 16 GB of RAM is also highly advisable for Asgard’s Wrath.

Gameplay-wise, Asgard’s Wrath is one of the most visually stunning VR games around, with outstanding levels of immersion. It is also a decent choice for an introduction to VR games for beginners, as the interface is straightforward.

6 Hubris

Inside a space pod with someone outside

Hubris is a graphical achievement in VR gaming. While the gameplay is dodgy, you cannot deny that Hubris is one of the prettiest VR games today. The sci-fi setting further pushes the visual pizzazz of the games to new heights, and the movement immersion is on point with various methods to navigate the rich and detailed environment, such as swimming, climbing, and some good old-fashioned platforming.

At the minimum, you will need a GTX 1080, 12 GB of RAM, and a Core i5-7500 to play the game. If you want to experience maximum performance, an RTX 2070 with 16GB of RAM is needed to play it at ultra-settings.

5 Lone Echo 2

Giving a thumbs up to Liv in zero gravity

Lone Echo 2 by developer Ready at Dawn improves everything from its predecessor and showcases the level of deep immersion that VR can add to a game. With nearly 20 hours of gameplay to dig into, which includes side quests, there is more to Lone Echo 2 than just another good-looking VR game, which it also is.

As a GPU-intensive VR game, it is recommended that you get yourself a PC with an RTX 3090 or higher to play Lone Echo 2 smoothly.

4 Pavlov VR

Reloading an M16 rifle in VR

If you are looking for an immersive and pulse-pounding VR shooter, then Pavlov VR is a good game to check out. Pavlov VR is an FPS developed by Vankrupt Games.

Graphics-wise, Pavlov VR is quite impressive with its amazing attention to detail and realistic lighting effects. Realism is where Pavlov VR puts all its chips in, and it delivers on that with flying colors. Of course, to achieve the best performance, you need to meet higher-spec requirements. In Pavlov VR’s case, you will need to have an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti or higher, which is the most forgiving on this list.

3 Boneworks

Holding a gun and flashlight in the sewers

Boneworks is a VR FPS whose primary selling point is its hyperrealistic physics’ engine. Unlike other VR games that allow you to teleport around the area, Boneworks is all about navigating the game world and its obstacles the old-fashioned way: by foot.

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Due to the demanding requirements of calculating a realistic physics’ engine, Boneworks will need the minimum GTX 1060 and a quadcore 3.0 GHz to play. The developer’s recommendation, though, is a GPU 2060 Super or higher. You will need to chalk up some cash if you wish to play this impressive physics-based VR game.

2 Half-Life: Alyx

Alyx caught byCombine soldiers in a hallway

Half-Life: Alyx is a must-play if you are curious as to what VR can bring to the table in terms of gaming. What’s more impressive here, besides the excellent integration of VR, is how Valve managed to optimize the game so that mid-range PC users can still enjoy it.

Unlike most VR games today with high hardware requirements, you can play Half-Life: Alyx with a 12GB RAM rig and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060. However, if you want to push the game to its full potential, then you need to have a current quadcore CPU or higher, 16 GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 or 2080.

1 Microsoft Flight Simulator

A view of San Francisco from the plane in VR

While not a native VR game, Microsoft Flight Simulator still manages to push the limits of your hardware to their utmost. MFS is already quite graphics-intensive without throwing in a VR feature, so you can just imagine the requirements it will need once you put on your VR headset.

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The complexity of running a realistic physics flight engine along with rendering miles and miles of detailed landscapes will eat up a significant chunk of the CPU and GPU. If you wish to run Microsoft Flight Simulator at ultra-high settings, you should invest in a powerful graphics card like the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT.

NEXT: The Best VR Games Of All Time

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