Can VR Games Be Played Without VR Headset?

Can VR Games Be Played Without VR Headset?

You’re probably wondering, can you play VR games without using a VR headset? While it might seem straightforward, there are certain nuances and exceptions to consider.

Most VR games demand the use of a VR headset. However, there are exceptions, and we will outline the most prominent ones. Game developers and manufacturers genuinely want you to purchase their headset and the compatible games. This strategy not only provides them with a dual revenue stream but also enhances your gaming experience. Just like how avid gamblers seek out the best btc casinos in 2023, VR enthusiasts aim for the most immersive experiences, typically achievable with a VR headset.

On another note, the technology for playing VR games without a headset hasn’t been fully realized in most instances. So, while there are workarounds and exceptions, the intended and most immersive way to experience VR is with a dedicated headset.

How to play VR games without VR headset

You can play some VR games without using a VR headset, but, to be clear, you can’t really play them with VR experience, for that you need a headset. However, there are certain titles such as The PlayRoom VR that will support local multiplayer modes that allow a PS VR user and other players to play together using PS VR’s Social Screen, and then you don’t need a headset. But games like those are really rare.

But, there are VR games that can still be played without VR Headset.

Can VR Games Be Played Without VR Headset?

In fact, some of them can. There are some games that are made to be played in VR experience, which means using a VR headset, and they also have an option to be played without a headset – flat gaming, but then without VR experience as well.

How to know if those VR games can be played without VR headset?

There are some games that can be played in VR experience and flat gaming. You will know the difference between full VR and those crossplay games that combine both worlds by “VR” and “VR Only” options.

VR games are the ones that can be played in pure VR experience, while also you can play them in flat gaming.

VR Only are, of course, games that can only be played with VR headset on.

So, if you are trying to play VR games without a headset, take a close look at those two different options.

Best VR games that can be played without VR headset

We will list a few of the best VR games that can be played without a headset.

  • Skyrim – as you probably know, there is a non-VR version of this game for a long time. There is also a VR version of this game, but what is maybe more important for people already owning the game, there are also Skyrim non-VR modes that transform the original game to VR
  • Fallout VR – pretty similar to Skyrim, there is, of course, an original, non-VR version, and then we have another VR version of the game
  • Doom VR – again, as Skyrim and Fallout

Then we have new AAA types of games, that are pure VR, with the option to buy them in non-VR mode, so you don’t have to use headsets.

  • Half-Life: Alyx – it is a VR game, but with the use of mods it can be played without headsets
  • Bound – this is a PS4 game that is not VR only, so you have to versions of the game, one flat, and one VR
  • Resident Evil 7 biohazards – one more PS4 game PS VR compatible, which gives players the option to play in or out of VR. 
  • Star Trek Bridge Crew – is playable in both VR and non-VR

Unfortunately, there are not many games that are able to be played in both VR and non-VR, because game creators would then had to actually make two games because of the control integration (keyboards, mice). It’s fairly rare to find a VR game that can be played in VR and in a non-VR setting.

Most VR games are impossible to play within the limitations of flat gaming. In VR you have two pointing devices in addition to what you’re looking at. You can’t emulate that with a controller and TV only.

Can you play VR games without a controller?

Yes, you can. There are some VR games that don’t require a controller for playing.

One of those games is Microsoft Flight Simulator X, it only requires a third party addon FlyInside. What’s even more astonishing is that this is a flat, non-VR game, and it clearly demonstrates that non-VR 3D games can be ported to VR with a great degree of realism.

Smash Hit – this VR game started as a mobile game, and can entirely be played without a controller, only with a headset.

VR Roller Coaster – if you love roller coasters then this game is made for you. Also, it can be played without a controller in VR using only headsets. Having the VR mode allows you to see from a first-person perspective what it’s like riding the coaster that you built, and it’s a great adrenaline rush. And the best part is that no controller is needed to get the full enjoyment out of this game.

Deep Space Battle VR – if you have Android devices you can jump into space using only your VR headsets for controlling the game. Once you get an enemy ship in your crosshairs, your ship automatically fires. That’s it. Just move your head around to get the aiming right.

End Space VR for Cardboard – If you don’t have Android smartphones, and you still want to play VR game, don’t worry, End Space VR is the right solution for you. The game is designed to shoot with the trigger button on your VR headset. If you don’t have a button on a headset, then you’ll want to disable that in the options and use the head gaze-based shooting.

There are many more VR games that you can play without using controllers, such as Darknet, VR Street Jump, VR Racer – Highway Traffic 360, Snow Strike VR, Trooper 2, VR X-Racer, and many, many more.

Conclusion – Can VR Games Be Played Without VR Headset?

Most times VR games can’t be played without the use of VR headset, but there are some exceptions.

As you have seen above, there are some games that can be played without VR headset, but usually, that is only the same game, made for flat gaming. In fact, those are two technically different games, and one can be played with VR experience, while the other one can’t. Also, you can’t combine saves between VR game and non-VR game, because, as I said, these are two completely different games.

VR games are made to bi played with VR headset on, and that is the best practice to use for playing them.


  • Tristan

    Tristan has a strong interest in the intersection of artificial intelligence and creative expression. He has a background in computer science, and he enjoys exploring the ways in which AI can enhance and augment human creativity. In his writing, he often delves into the ways in which AI is being used to generate original works of fiction and poetry, as well as to analyze and understand patterns in existing texts.