The 10 best HTC Vive games

Add these games to your Vive for the ultimate in VR gaming

Oculus Rift is great, but thank to swishy motion controllers it's the Vive that's currently winning the VR war.

Because Vive is the product of collaboration between HTC and Valve, it's got Steam as its platform for games, and that's already got a whole section dedicated to virtual reality.

But how do you narrow down that long list (173 games long at the last count) to the essential games that are out now and coming soon? Why, you simply continue reading this very feature!

Here are the 10 games to download or salivate over as soon as you get your Vive out of the box.

The Lab (free)

Valve’s involvement in making the Vive is most obvious when you play The Lab – a set of mini-games set in an Aperture Science lab.

None are more than a few minutes long but in their simplicity they show Valve has really grasped what VR is all about, whether it’s the subtle vibration of the controllers as you hold an arrow tense and ready to fire in Longbow, or the way you put a jelly-like globe on your head in order to launch each game.

The best one is Aperture Robot Repair, a Portal-like experience, complete with an appearance from a worse-for-wear Atlas from the second game, that’s both laugh-out-loud funny and staggeringly well put together. More like this please, Valve.

Download The Lab from Steam

EVE: Valkyrie (₹989)

We've played this one a number of times now, and the latest build keeps it firmly at the top of our most wanted list. It's a dogfighting spin-off from the huge (and hugely complicated) Eve MMO, and it's ludicrously gorgeous, fast and exciting.

Multiplayer is at the heart of the game, with teams of fighters facing off against each other, but CCP has confirmed that there's also a single-player story mode and another mode dedicated to simply exploring the game's beautiful recreation of outer space.

Battles are awesomely dramatic, beginning with a Battlestar Galactica-like launch from a huge battleship and involving seat of your pants chases through fleets of cruisers.

The game is already available on Oculus Rift as an early access Founder's Pack, but CCP promises it will also be coming to Vive later this year.

Download EVE: Valkyrie from Steam

Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine (free)

You’re standing by a landing pad on the desert planet of Tatooine when the Millennium Falcon lands just feet away. R2D2 rolls out while Han Solo tells you over the radio (you never see him in person) that he's delivering a gift from Luke Skywalker.

After a spectacular strafing run by a Tie Fighter, said gift - a lightsaber - pops out of the wee droid’s hatch. As stormtroopers disembark from a nearby shuttle, you grab it and instinctively start deflecting their fire back at them.

After a couple of minutes of what is undeniably the coolest gaming experience you’ve ever had, Han gets the Falcon’s guns online and finishes off the remaining troopers. Then he flies away, the demo is over, and you struggle to wipe the smile off your face for a week.

Trials on Tatooine is only a tech demo right now, but with any luck it will be made available for download before long. Be warned, though: the rig used to power it for press demos contains two Titan X graphics cards costing around ₹50,000+ each, and it's very possible that most computers simply won't be able to run it.

Download Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine from Steam

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Fantastic Contraption (₹729)

Perched on a grassy platform, floating high in the sky with nothing but a green, cat-shaped toolbox for company, your job is to assemble a machine to move Thing A to Place B. Sounds easy, right?

Well despite the cutesy visuals it doesn’t hold your hand – we spent far longer than we’d care to admit manipulating and maneuvering items before frustratingly sending our machine trundling off the edge to its doom.

Playing Fantastic Contraption is a bit like being inside one of those physics-based mobile games like Cut the Rope or Contre Jour, while some truly ingenious mechanics show how VR could really revolutionise how we play games: to access menus you pick up and put on an in-game helmet, which temporarily changes what you can see.

Download Fantastic Contraption from Steam

Audioshield (₹565)

Imagine a cross between Guitar Hero and Fruit Ninja and you’ve almost got Audioshield – a rhythm game that’s powered by the music on your hard drive or tracks pulled in from Soundcloud.

With a shield in each hand, the game turns the tunes into volleys of coloured blobs that you must fend off with the shield of the corresponding colour. Clearing an incoming flock of the same colour with a sweep of your arm is oddly satisfying and being able to add your own songs means its lifespan is essentially infinite.

Download Audioshield from Steam