When trying to stay in touch with friends, you aren’t limited to video chats. You can actually spend time in the same room as your friends without seeing them in real life.
Do you want to hang out with your friends in a virtual space? Then convince them to invest in a VR headset, and have a blast using one of these fun social VR experiences.
1. Rec Room
Rec Room is one of the best free VR games for Oculus and other major VR headsets. In Rec Room, you and your friends become cartoonish versions of your actual selves.
You can opt to spend some time in the Rec Center, where you can meet other players and interact with the objects in the room (like the frisbee or basketball). If you want to get some virtual sunlight, you can also go to the Park, another public space outfitted with a gazebo, campfire, playfield, and more.
For a more private experience with your friends, you’ll want to head into your own room that you can create using the game’s built-in room builder. Don’t have the time to build a room? Fortunately, you can also choose from the thousands of custom rooms created by other players.
While you can just use these rooms to chill out and chat, Rec Room gets even more fun when you try its minigames. When you’re ready for action, you can play virtual paintball, capture the flag, laser tag, battle royale, dodgeball, disc golf, charades, and more.
Although Rec Room is best played with a VR headset, you can still play it without one using Screen Mode.
VRChat is one of the most chaotically fun social experiences in VR. This game allows you to create your own avatar from scratch using Unity. If you never used this software, it’s a great time to start looking at some Unity 3D tutorials for beginners .
With a custom avatar, there are no limits on what you can become—embody your favorite cartoon or video game character, or even play as a mythical creature. As you talk and move, your avatar’s mouth and limbs move with you.
Learning Unity also comes in handy if you’re interested in creating worlds in VRChat. However, you don’t have to be an expert at Unity in order to have fun—there are plenty of player-created worlds you can instantly hop into. Whether you want to visit a virtual Japanese shrine, dance inside of a club, or view YouTube videos in a theater, VRChat has the world for you.
As you explore each world with your friends, you’ll get the chance to see and meet tons of other players. For even more fun, you can play capture the flag, rob banks, sing karaoke, go bowling, and more.
3. PokerStars VR
When you’re unable to take a trip to a casino (or don’t want to gamble with real money), join your friends on PokerStars VR. While you can play this game without spending real money at all, just keep in mind that the game gives you the option to use real money to buy more chips.
In PokerStars VR, you can enter a luxurious casino, and sit down with friends for an intense game of Poker or Texas Hold’em. This game offers eight exotic casino locations, including a futuristic version of Macau, the Galaxy Space Station, Macau Suite, Showdown Saloon, the Void, PokerStars Arena, a volcanic lair, and the Monte-Carlo Yacht.
PokerStars VR acts just like an actual casino. While you’re busy sliding chips across the table, you can dress up your character, interact with props, order virtual food and drinks, or even smoke a cigar.
Altspace VR is a hub for virtual meetups. You and your friends can choose to hang out in many different worlds, some of which include hot springs, an enchanted meadow, a cabin on a lake, a space museum, and a Brooklyn rooftop. If you’re feeling creative, you can create your own world as well.
In addition to serving as a great way to hang out with friends and watch YouTube videos together , Altspace hosts a variety of exciting events every day. Spend time with friends at an open mic night, a hilarious improv comedy show, or a relaxing meditation session.
You’ll also find a series of educational classes and presentations, as well as meetups of people who have the same hobbies or interests. To browse Altspace’s list of events, check out the event schedule on Altspace’s site.
5. vTime XR
After you create your avatar, you can enter the world of vTime XR. The game offers extensive avatar customization options as well as virtual gestures—that way, you can really feel like yourself. Not only can you use this VR experience to hang out with friends, but you can also meet new people from around the world.
In vTime XR, you can step into a variety of constantly changing destinations. vTime XR often swaps out these locations so you’ll never get bored hanging out in the same places over and over again.
Right now, vTime XR doesn’t include support for the HTC Vive or Valve Index. However, vTime XR prides itself on being a “cross-reality social network.” That means you can still hang out with friends in VR, AR, or with no headset at all in Magic Window mode.
Have Fun With Virtual Hangouts
Who says you need to see your friends in-person to have fun? These social VR experiences prove that hanging out with people from a distance can still be exciting. And they let you play sports, meet new people, and see amazing sights without ever leaving the comfort of your own house.
For even more ways to hang out with friends virtually, here’s how to play board games online with friends .
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