When Meta announced Quest 3, it was clear that mixed reality games and apps were going to be more important. A month later, there are dozens of titles that make great use of the significantly improved passthrough camera.
If you have a Quest 3 I’ve discovered some great titles that you should check out. Of course, the Quest Pro can also show a colorful, mixed reality view of your room. The Quest 2’s passthrough camera is grayscale and low-resolution, but you can still play most of the games below on this older model.
The meta includes the first encounter on every Quest 3 headset. This is one of the few apps that won’t work on the Quest Pro and Quest 2, as it uses the Quest 3’s depth sensor to scan your room.
Floors, furniture, walls and ceilings are identified so that virtual objects can interact with your real surroundings. It’s a short game, but it gives you a great idea of what’s possible with mixed reality. It’s surprisingly fun to watch your own roof fall away from the invading creatures.
Fuzzy aliens blow holes in your walls and jump around crazily until you catch them with a blob gun. Within a few minutes, Quest 3 Gaming will be introduced, and you’ll have a silly smile on your face, ready to discover another reality-bending adventure.
I Hope You Die: Home Sweet Home
I Expect You to Die (Free) is a popular VR franchise that is a clever version of escape room games. You take on the role of a secret agent tasked with stopping the nefarious plans of Dr. Zor, who lays a series of deadly traps that you must disarm in order to survive and save the world.
IEYTD: In Home Sweet Home, Dr. Zor must have somehow discovered your location because that’s the setting of this mixed reality mini-game. Some puzzles only take a few minutes to solve, but as it’s free, you should give it a try.
It’s a great introduction to the series and works perfectly with the Quest 3’s color passthrough cameras. Starting out trapped inside a virtual box inside your own room is not for the claustrophobic, but the effect is well done.
Drop Dead: The Cabin
Drop Dead: The Cabin ($25) is one of the most thrilling VR games out there, involving a relentless zombie horde that attacks your remote cabin in increasingly difficult waves. Since there are frequent power outages, you cannot sit quietly. You have to run a generator or fight in the dark.
To add to the terror, a new mixed reality mode incorporates your room’s doors and windows into the gameplay. Now, the dead are banging on your walls, breaking down doors, and climbing in windows. If you can keep the wobbly antenna aligned a radio signal may help. It’s as nerve-wracking as it is brilliantly funny.
eleven table tennis
If you like ping pong but don’t have the space to set up the large table required for this game, you should check out Eleven Table Tennis ($30). It feels just like the real thing but without the hassle of opening the table and chasing errant balls. There are also no broken table legs, torn balls or loose nets.
Even if you’ve never played, you’ll enjoy seeing the full-size table in your room. Even if it doesn’t actually fit, VR can break the rules and extend a table into a wall.
You can learn how to play with practical tutorials, hone your skills against an AI player, or join multiplayer games with people from all over the world. As a good ping pong player, I can attest to the accuracy and entertainment of Eleven Table Tennis.
OpenBrush (Free) is a great 3D art app that’s completely free. When Google discontinued TiltBrush, as Google often does, the company open-sourced the code, which is a great way to acknowledge the community of artists who love this new form of expression.
OpenBrush keeps that dream alive with a variety of tools that turn your Quest 3’s Touch Plus controllers into magical brushes that paint in the air. After applying a brushstroke, you can move within the scene, resize everything to add detail, or zoom out to make larger changes with a swipe.
I still recommend OpenBrush if you don’t consider yourself creative. You may be surprised at how relaxing and inspiring this can be. Like the other apps mentioned so far, OpenBrush supports mixed reality, so you can decorate your room with 3D paint.
For a more traditional paint and canvas art experience, Painting VR ($20) gives you the freedom to explore without the expense and mess. You can use art tools of various sizes and shapes, from standard paintbrushes to rollers and even a power drill with art attachments.
Grow into experimentation or enjoy a moment of meditation with intentional strokes. For shy painters, you can keep your gallery within virtual reality or export it and share it with others. Mixed reality mode lets you use anything around you for reference. This is actually a great use of the Quest 3’s advanced color passthrough cameras.
Les Mills Body Combat
Working out in VR is surprisingly fun and effective because you can stay at home but go to the gym virtually. Les Mills Body Combat ($30), like most mixed reality apps and games, has a full VR mode as well as one that lets you see your surroundings.
This is more important in an app that guides you to throw punches and knee attacks at virtual targets. If you work in a tight space, your furniture may be at risk, so leave plenty of space in front. More importantly, your family members and pets may enter your play area unexpectedly.
When Passthrough mode is activated, the virtual gym and incoming targets appear straight ahead, but you can clearly see the edges. Your peripheral vision should give you enough time to react if someone comes near your strike zone.
When it’s time to work, Immersed (free) is a great virtual desktop app that lets you connect to your Quest 3 from your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. It turns your VR headset into a giant display space that supports up to five virtual monitors.
You can work completely in mixed reality mode, positioning the floating screen around your real monitor. If you want to escape into the world for better concentration, you can choose from a variety of virtual environments, and then create a portal to show your real keyboard and mouse.
With the Quest 3’s increased resolution, text is sharp and easy to read. The added performance of the Quest 3’s Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 keeps everything running smoothly.
More games and apps
One of the greatest things about Meta Quest 3 is the huge library of VR games and apps. I did not have enough time and space to list every title worthy of acceptance.
Pickleball One, Demio Battles, Samba de Amigo, Gravity Sketch, ShapesXR and Figmin XR all make excellent use of mixed reality. VR developers are busy adding the option to use passthrough cameras in many more games and apps.
Quest 3’s improvements aren’t limited to mixed reality. Several VR games received updates with improved graphics, including red substance 2, guardian frontline, in radius, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners (Chapters 1 and 2), Population: one, pistol whip, hit sabereven more.
Now is the time to shop because Meta is having a huge Black Friday sale with 40% off over a hundred titles. There aren’t any sales on Meta’s recently announced Quest 3 yet, but you can score big savings on the Quest 2 during the Black Friday sale.