Beat Saber on Oculus Quest (Needs More Songs)

Beat Saber for Oculus Quest
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Before I made the decision to buy the Oculus Quest, I played a few game of Beat Saber. This VR rhythm game has a small learning curve, only requiring a handful of rules. The less than five minute tutorial makes learning the game even easier. Basically, swing you saber in the direction through the box. The more centered and hard you swing, the more points you get. Avoid red walls by learning left or right, or ducking. And avoid hitting land mines. That's it!

Beat Saber on Oculus is similar to Rock Band on the Wii. Both are innovative games on fairly new gaming consoles. With the exception that Beat Saber is a single player game and Rock Band supported a whole band (multiplayer). The upside is that both games get your body moving ever so slightly, which is better than sitting still. After playing a few upbeat songs, the simple action of swinging my arms does cause me to start sweating.

Beat Saber really is the first VR game you should buy for Oculus Quest.

Upselling Music Packs

After paying $29.99 for Beat Saber, you'll have the option to buy Music packs. They say new songs will be released for free as the game is further developed, but big name artists are going to cost you. A single song is $1.99 and a pack of 10 songs will run you around $12. The only upside to all this is the songs have great replay value and can be played over and over, like you listen to the same song over and over.

Great Exercise

The thing with Beat Saber is that instead of sitting on the couch, you'll be standing in a room, completely immersed in swinging your arms at boxes to the beat of the song. As you get better familiarized with the songs, you may even naturally start swaying to the beat of the song. And all these small movements add up over the course of half an hour. Between the heat from the Oculus monitor and your movements, you may find yourself sweating. All that sweat can be gross (especially if you have friend's play), so consider VR disposable face masks.

After a couple of days of playing, you may also start wondering if Beat Saber really requires an Oculus, or any VR platform. After all, all the blocks appear from in front of you. You never need to turn around. But I've decided that part of the game is the completely immersion. And not having to spin around minimizes the possibility of motion sickness.

More Free Beat Saber Songs

The major downside to Beat Saber, specifically on the Oculus Quest, is the lack of songs. They also have additional songs available for purchase, but of the two available packs, I only recognized Imagine Dragons. I don't recognize any of the included songs, but when I played Beat Saber at a friend's house on an Oculus Rift, I recognized all the modern pop, R&B, and rap songs. A quick Googling of "Beat Saber and SongQuest" reveals the solution. SongQuest can be installed on Windows, Mac, or Linux and eventually integrates you BeastSaber. Note that this process will involve putting your Oculus Quest into Developer mode. The process is long, but as long as you carefully follow the steps, you'll have 100's of songs at your fingertip.

The UI for downloading songs isn't great, but you can visit the site for Top 7 Day for a sample of available songs. The site even allows you to preview the song before loading it to Oculus Quest. And once BeastSaber is installed, the site will know what songs you've already downloaded. The downside is that you'll have to browse the songs all at once. And since these are custom Beat Saber songs, the difficulty from song to song may vary. Some songs marked as Expert might be excruciatingly easy.

Note that this route installs a custom version of Beat Saber that cannot be upgraded in the standard way. I've found workarounds, but found its just easier to uninstall and re-install Beat Saber when a new version becomes available.

Beat Saber Vest

Although too rich and unnecessary for me, there's a vest that can be purchased to better feel the base of the song. There's a limited edition Beat Saber SubPac, but other variations are also available on Amazon called Woojer Vest Pro. I have not tried these myself and think it's a bit overkill. That being said, if you really get into it, the vest can probably be used in other games as well. Purchasing this vest would make the experience more closely match that of Sandbox VR at Hillsdale Mall.

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