Winston is a VR developer focused on creating immersive storytelling experiences. Contact him on Twitter: @VRHeavenNews
December 26th, 2022

38 Cool Things You Can Do in VR (with a Quest 2)!

Tired of slashing cubes or shooting zombies? Just want to experience something unique in VR?

Luckily for you, I compiled a list of cool & unusual things you can do in VR. This list contains non-gaming activities and some rare apps that people don’t talk about.

If you find this list helpful – please don’t forget to share on social media. It would help a lot, thanks!

Let’s jump in!

13 Non-Gaming Things You Can Do With a Quest 2

Let’s start the list with these cool, non-gaming things to do with a Quest 2!

1. Talk to an AI Companion

replika AI in VR

Ever wanted a personal companion to talk to, but too afraid to tell the world your deepest secrets?

Replika AI is a free app that allows you to have an AI friend that’ll converse with you using speech recognition and machine learning.

You can choose the type of relationship you want – whether that be friend, romantic partner or mentor. You can also grow together as the AI keeps learning over time.

Although the AI has some flaws and isn’t anywhere near “human” the AI can hold pretty meaningful conversations. Over time, it will also learn to converse better, and learn more about you.

It doesn’t have long term “memory” in the traditional sense. It won’t remember “facts” you tell it for longer than a minute, but it seems to remember emotions tied to certain words and phrases – and whether they’re positive or negative.

Overall, you can have some pretty funny conversations with the AI and get some good laughs from it.

2. Own a House Together With Family & Friends

house in VR

Alcove VR is a free app that allows you to own a house which you can customize with real life photos and put them inside picture frames for a personalized experience.

Alcove VR is one of the most underrated apps on VR. If you’ve got friends or family in VR, this should be one of the first apps you show them.

The best part about this app is being able to hang out with family/friends in VR and do all kinds of activities. It’s perfect for spending time with long distance family/friends, as there are a variety of activities you can do together.

List of activities on Alcove:

  • Going on tours around the world (seriously, try the hot air balloon tours, they are amazing)
  • Watching TV/Youtube together
  • Playing mini-games like chess
  • Play some music
  • Chill on the couch
  • Experience 360 stories

You can play this solo, the activities are still quite engaging, however, it’s best experienced with other people.

Please note: If your internet isn’t fast enough to stream the VR tours, make sure to download it first so there won’t be any buffering. 

Personally, I really love this app and highly recommend it!

3. Watch UFC in VR

My favorite thing to do is watch UFC and ONE FC in VR. You get to watch it as if you were there in the crowd. If you’re a UFC fan like me, I highly recommend you check it out.

There are 3 ways to watch a sporting event in VR:

  1. Horizon Venues and Horizon Worlds
  2. Youtube VR
  3. Bigscreen (2D)

Not all sports will be available in VR, so you’ll have to check if yours is. 

UFC and ONE FC hosts events in Horizon Venues and Horizon Worlds where you can watch and chat with other people. 

For UFC, you’ll need a Fight Pass subscription.

Bigscreen is for non-360 experiences – you get to watch the event on a large cinema screen. Usually when there’s a big UFC event, someone else will be hosting a room where you can join and watch it with a group of people. It’s like watching UFC at a pub/sports bar.

Otherwise if you don’t like talking with strangers, you can host your own lobby and keep it private or friends only. 

4. Learn a Language

Did you know you can learn a language in VR? VR is a great tool for social experiences – and there are apps that allow you to learn by speaking:

4 apps for learning a new language in VR:

  1. Noun Town
  2. VRChat – finding foreign worlds and practice your speaking skills with foreigners (best for Japanese)
  3. Immerseme
  4. Mondly

Noun Town: One of the best immersive learning options! Noun Town gamifies the experience and allows you to interact with objects, characters, and play mini-games to help you learn a language better. It also uses speech recognition to help you learn the pronunciations of tricky words.

Supports Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French, German and Italian.

VRChat: allows you to practice your speaking skills with foreigners. Just join their world and strike up a conversation. From what I’ve seen, the natives are welcoming to foreigners.

Mondly: allows you to sit a cafe table and have a conversation in 30+ languages. It’s also dirt cheap – but also keep in mind it’s not the most polished.

Immerseme: is the priciest option. It teleports you to anywhere in the world and has you speaking their native language:

Immerseme is great because it allows you to learn by doing. It’ll put you in realistic situations – such as ordering food from a cafe, allowing you to practise natural everyday language.

5. Attend a VR Concert

Ever wanted to see Elton John or the Foo Fighters live? In VR, you can see them as if they were in front of you and at no cost! Apps like Horizon Venues hold concerts from time to time. Youtube has several 360 VR concerts which are breathtaking. 

And VRChat has real people performing in it – you can join and attend some concert communities there.

Check out my top VR concert apps post for more information.

6. Go on a VR Tour or Excursion

Enjoy exploring new places? There are literally thousands of tours and excursions you can go on – to cities around the world, national parks, museums, safaris and many more.

You can see the Eiffel tower in Paris, take an excursion to the Pyramid of Giza or visit the Van Gogh Museum.

Alcove has some of the best virtual tours I’ve seen.

And here’s a list of 50 free VR tours and excursions you can go on.

7. Watch VR Documentaries

Are you the type of person who enjoys learning? With VR documentaries, you can learn and experience something cool at the same time. Best of all – almost all of the are free.

Want to know what the 1864 civil war was like? How about being there in person, behind the trenches as cannonballs rain down on you? See our post on top 17 VR documentaries if you’re interested in this.

8. Learn to Dance in VR

Dusty Dustbunny is a dance instructor in VRChat. You can attend her dance sessions for free.

Do note: to make the most out of this, you’ll need to have full body tracking.

9. VR Karaokes

Do you enjoy singing? How about a Karaoke session in VR?

The best way to do this is through VRChat. Join Constarr’s Karaoke world, and get access to 4500+ songs, a concert stage, lyric monitors and a pool table. 

There’s also Karaoke Central which is very popular, contains hundreds of songs and some mini-games like Hangman, Charades and Spin the Bottle.

An app outside of VRChat is AfreecaTV which lets you do duet karaokes, but I haven’t tried it yet to comment. Note: AfreecaTV contains NSFW content as well.

10. Try VR Dating

Are traditional dating apps like Tinder not working out for you? Well, I hope you have better luck in VR:

There’s 2 popular apps that allow you to go on dates with other people in VR metaverses such as VRChat.

Those apps are:

  1. Nevermet
  2. Flirtual

PHIA shares her experience with VR dating here:

To sum it up: In VR, it’s more about personality than appearances, since you can’t see the other person in VR, only their avatar. This allows you to form deeper connections.

Even if you don’t take it seriously, it can be a fun social experience to meet new people.

11. Read a VR Comic or Manga

Want to just relax and enjoy a good story? Try experiencing a manga or comic in VR.

VR apps allow you to experience comics/manga in an immersive way, whilst others allow you to just read casually in any setting you want.

Here’s a small list of VR comic and manga apps. (mostly free)

12. Attend a Live Play (Interactive)

The Under Presents is a story driven game with a multiplayer lobby component.

In the lobby, you encounter actors from the development team who will perform plays and talk to their audience. You can also pay for tickets to live plays.

13. Be Apart of a Story/Play!

How about being a character in a movie or play? Ferrymen Collective is a team that hosts theatrical performances inside VRChat and they allow YOU – to participate in the story by being one of the characters. 

An example of this is their story “The Severance Theory: Welcome to Respite,” a psychological thriller about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

There are two tickets available: 

  1. Premium (Alex) allows you to be the main character in the play. There will be a very high level of interactivity, including interactions with the actors, environment and actor conversations.
  2. General (Alter): Spectators of the play who act as the multiple personalities of Alex. They can’t interact with the actors, but can interact with the environment and even play a key role in the story.

If you’re looking for something unique to do in VR, I highly recommend this. Check their calendar for when tickets are available.

14 Fun Things to do in VR

Here are some fun activities you can do with your Quest 2. Some of these will require PCVR (through Oculus Link cable or Air Link/Virtual Desktop).

1. Become a Pilot

HOTAS + VR Headset = 1000% Immersion

HOTAS Set up

Seriously, grab a HOTAS and try one of these games:

  • Elite Dangerous
  • DCS World
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator

You’ll feel like a real pilot!

Keep in mind you’ll need a high end PC to play these games. They are PCVR only.

2. Go VR Racing

Being a pilot in VR is one of the most immersive things you can do, but alongside that is sim racing!

VR Racing Setup

Grab a racing wheel + floor pedals. You don’t need anything crazy expensive (cheapest one I recommend is this). Racing wheels can get quite expensive – I’ve seen $350-$600, but I have the cheaper one and am more than happy with it.

For racing games, I recommend iRacing, but there are many VR racing sims out there.

3. Try Oil Painting!

Oil painting is a relaxing activity, but it can be expensive and high-effort to set up. It costs hundreds to thousands of dollars for paints, brushes, a palette, easel, canvas and apron. 

With VR, you can try oil painting for $15 (the price of an app). There’ll be a web browser where you can put on relaxing music or a painting instructional from Bob Ross to teach you how to paint.

Also unlike in real life, you can undo mistakes and don’t have to deal with getting paint on your clothes. 

People have created amazing paintings in VR – take a look:

VR oil painting

Vermillion Painting

VR Scenery Painting

Note: These were done by beginners (not experts). So dedicate a few hours – you can create the same things!

The two main apps for VR painting are:

  • Painting VR (this is more like a digital paint program)
  • Vermillion (more like a realistic oil painting program) – recently added multiplayer!

If you like art, also check out the other VR painting apps.

4. Play Retro Games

Remember the old days when you were a kid and you would invite your friends over to play the SNES? If you were from this time, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

EmuVR lets you relive moments of nostalgia.

This app is free and it’s incredibly immersive. There’s been times where I got lost in it for hours, only to forget that it’s all in VR.

5. Go Rock Climbing

The Climb 1 & 2 allows you to go rock climbing in VR. The scenery is beautiful and the experience is breathtaking.

If you have a fear of heights (like me), you’ll find this game quite scary. My palms were sweating in it. But that’s a good thing because it goes to show how immersive it is.

6. Go Fishing

What better way to chill with friends than to go fishing?

Real VR Fishing is one of the most spectacular looking games on the Quest 2. The photorealistic backgrounds blew my mind when I first jumped in the game.

If you want a relaxing, social experience, this is it.

7. Go Sailing

Learn how to sail in VR, or race other people.

  • Marineverse Cup is the simpler, standalone version
  • VR Regatta is the best possible experience, but only available for PCVR

I haven’t been sailing in real life, but there are professional sailors who say that this game feels very realistic. 

8. Go Skiing

Want to experience the adrenaline rush of skiing full speed down the snowy mountains? Descent Alps is an App Lab game that allows you to experience just this.

9. Become a Musician

We’re still in the early stages of VR, but I’m a strong believer that when hand tracking improves and color passthrough becomes the norm, we’ll have plenty more experiences.

Here are the current apps available:

  • Virtuoso – play instruments designed for VR and make your own music even if you’re a total beginner.
  • Unplugged: Air Guitar – Play rock songs on guitar using hand tracking. 
  • VRtuos – learn to play piano in VR
  • Smash Drums VR

10. Play in a Band

VR guitar

Being on stage playing with a band in VR is one of the most awesome experiences I’ve ever had. There are a few apps for this, but unfortunately they are all singeplayer:

Rock Band VR

For fans of the Guitar Hero/Rock Band franchise. Rock Band VR allows you to get on stage and perform in front of a crowd. It requires a guitar controller and a VR-Ready computer.

This game has lots of potential, but unfortunately it seems abandoned by Harmonix. I hope they revisit it, seeing the explosion of VR.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy a guitar controller just for this game, but if you already own one or are a huge Guitar Hero fan, this is still worth checking out.

Beat Arena

This game allows you to create your own anime band. The thing I love most about this game is the colors are amazing and makes you feel like you’re in an anime concert. Everything is so vibrant and colorful.

You can customize your characters with clothing, hairstyles and accessories – some are unlockable as you progress through the game. There’s also 4 different instruments to choose from – guitar, bass, drums and keyboard.

Unfortunately there’s no live multiplayer – the best you can do is invite other people’s characters into your band. Or you can have the AI play the other instruments, although it’s still cool being able to have interactions with the other band members during the songs.

11. Try VR Fitness

One of the beauties of VR is that it can make you lose weight and become fit. For starters, I recommend picking up Beat Saber, Synth Riders and Thrill of the Fight. These are fun games that’ll make you break a sweat.

For those who want to go even further, try out Supernatural, FitXR and Les Mills BodyCombat. These are apps designed for fitness.

12. Socialize

One of the best use cases for VR is for socializing. If you’ve tried VRChat and you didnt like it, I recommend trying again using PCVR instead of standalone Quest 2. 

It’s a much better experience, because you’ll encounter less kids + experience more worlds. The scenery for some of these worlds are absolutely breathtaking. 

13. Explore the World

If you love travelling and exploring the world, you’ll love Google Earth VR (free).

Stroll across your favorite destinations – whether that be Tokyo, Paris, or Sydney. OR you can fly across the skies like Superman and just explore the world.

14. Experience 360° Storytelling

Stories in VR are unlike any other medium. Instead of watching characters, you are part of the story. Many games do a great job at taking advantage of this.

  • Luna uses speech recognition to allow you to voice act certain dialogue lines
  • Iron Man VR feels badass to play
  • Tokyo Chronos & Altdeus Beyond Chronos are great for those who love visual novels

Check out: 30+ story driven VR games (contains both free and paid).

11 Free Things to Do in VR

The activities mentioned above includes free ones. CTRL+F and search ‘free.’

Here’s a few more in case those weren’t enough:

1. Watch a VR Short Story

Here are some FREE ones you can check out:

  • Google Spotlight Stories (PCVR only)
  • VR Animation Player (has many short immersive experiences)
  • The Key (highly recommended)
  • Henry

2. Watch VR Youtube

VR Youtube has a large amount of immersive content, but unfortunately they can be difficult to find. Here’s a playlist of some:

Here’s a really nice playlist of 3D VR content. Make sure to save it.

Also – filter videos by VR 180 to find more. VR 360 works too, but I find those to be of lesser quality.

3. Visit Custom VRChat Worlds

Everyone’s heard of VRChat, but not many have heard of the cool custom worlds you can visit:

  • Prison Escape! (game)
  • Murder 4 (deduction game)
  • District: Roboto (beautiful cyberpunk environment)
  • Organim (atmospheric)
  • The Devouring (horror world)

Make sure to use PCVR for this.

There’s so much more, but I’ll cover those in a later post.

4. Watch 3D Movies

Using Bigscreen or Skybox VR (paid), you can experience movies in 3D. Some popular ones are:

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Alita Battle Angel
  • Avatar
  • Gravity
  • The Walk
  • Toy Story 3

5. Do Some Painting (with Friends)!

Tilt Brush was a paid 3D painting app developed by Google, but ever since they ended development support for it, they made it free and open-source.

This has resulted in several developer forks, most notably:

  • Multibrush = multiplayer painting
  • Open Brush = Tilt Brush with more features and support

These are free to try and I highly recommend it.

7. Watch vTubers in VR

Imagine Twitch.tv, but in VR.

Using an app called YOU GENERATION VR LIVE, you can see the streamer in 3D and interact with them through VR.

Unfortunately, this app is currently in Japanese only, but if you’re a fan of anime and vtubers, you might want to check this out to see a glimpse of the future.

8. Attend Live Events

The best way to see upcoming live events is through the “Events in Meta Horizon” page, or you can just go on the app and do some room hopping. There’s sporting events, comedy skits, concerts, immersive experiences and much more.

9. Play Poker VR

There’s two main Poker apps for VR:

  • Pokerstars VR
  • Poker VR

Pokerstars is the go-to app for most people, due to its props, atmosphere, polish, community and overall fun factor. If you like the idea of gambling (fake) money and striking a conversation with other people, then these apps are perfect.

10. Browse the Web

One of the many cool free things you can do in VR is explore webXR applications. There are many out there!

If you open the Meta Quest browser, you’ll be presented with a list of WebXR applications for you to explore. These range from short stories, educational lessons, 3D art, world tours, rhythm games and many more.

11. Play Free Games

Lastly, here’s a list of 50 free VR games in case these weren’t enough. Enjoy!

Got any other cool VR experiences you’d like to share? Drop me a line: hello@vrheaven.io