The 9 Best Star Wars VR Experiences We’ve Seen So Far

Science fiction and virtual reality go together like medieval fantasy and LARPing. Two intergalactic peas in a space pod, if you will. So naturally, the popularity of the latest and greatest form of interactive entertainment – VR headsets – means it was only natural that one of the largest and beloved sci-fi properties on the planet got in on the action. But despite that obvious overlap, we still don’t have a comprehensive, commercially released, AAA-quality Star Wars VR experience on the market. Fingers crossed unannounced VR support makes Battlefront 2 that game.
We’re still waiting on that epic jedi VR simulator that everyone wants deep down in their heart of hearts, but there are a few concepts sprinkled around to satiate a bit of the appetite. Below, we’ve compiled a sampling of the very best Star Wars VR experiences that we’ve seen so far – most of which you can experience right now, some you can’t quite yet. May the 4th (and the force) be with you!

Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission
This is the big one. After you try to say that name five times fast, just look at it. You get to fly an actual X-Wing and shoot down Tie Fighters! It doesn’t get much better than that. It’s incredibly short and currently exclusive to the PlayStation VR (PSVR) but it’s by far the best Star Wars experience you can have inside of a VR headset right now. Easily.
The whole mission will only last you maybe 10-20 minutes, but everything from the way it starts to the way it ends is incredibly polished. You can inspect the ship beforehand, look around inside of an insanely detailed cockpit, and really feel like you’re flying an X-Wing into battle. This is free if you own Star Wars Battlefront and it’s totally worth a download.


Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine
When word came out that Star Wars would have a big presence at GDC in 2016, excitement was at an all-time high. Would we finally get a full game announcement that lets us use the motion controllers as lightsabers? Can we pilot ships in space dogfights now? Can we have multiplayer lightsaber duels?
Well, sort of, not really, and no are the answers to those questions, but Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine is still an excellent tease at what could be coming in a full experience some day. Developed by ILMxLAB, Trials on Tatooine is sort of like the Bullet Train of the Star Wars universe – an amazing tech demo that may lead to a larger experience down the line.

Rogue One: Recon – A Star Wars 360 Experience
The new hotness is releasing a 360 video to coincide with the release of your new movie and the folks behind Star Wars are no different. Since this one is uploaded in high quality on YouTube with up to 8K resolution it’s definitely one of the prettiest videos we’ve seen.
It’s only a little less than two minutes long, but is a great teaser of what could be. The content is similar to the X-Wing VR Mission from Battlefront, as it puts you behind the controls of an X-Wing during a routine recon mission, during which things naturally take a dramatic turn.

Lightblade VR
Remember that scene from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope where Luke is training with a floating orb, deflecting blasts? Lightblade VR is that, but not officially licensed by Star Wars. It’s a simple little game, but it really does a good job of making it feel like you’re holding a lightsaber.
The higher difficulty levels are nuts and you can even unlock different “lightblade” colors and hilts as you progress through the ranks.

Jakku Spy
This is perhaps one of the most widely available and well-known official VR implementations of the Star Wars brand so far. All you need is that Star Wars app installed on your smartphone of choice and a Google Cardboard headset. In fact, they even gave away Star Wars branded Cardboard devices back when this experience launched.
In Jakku Spy, you (unsurprisingly) take on the role of a Resistance spy on the planet of Jakku observing activity of the evil First Order. BB-8 is featured of course and some of the action moments that take place really do an incredible job of utilizing the spatial audio to wondrous effect.


Raw Data
I know that Raw Data, a cooperative multiplayer wave-based survival game by Survios for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, is not a Star Wars experience. But come on. If you watch the trailer or play it for yourself and experience the satisfaction of reaching behind you to pull out the hilt of a laser sword, press down on the activation button, and see a long crackling blade ignite from the base before you mow down advancing evil cyborgs, you’ll start to feel like a Jedi in no time.
They can’t call them lightsabers and it’s not based on Star Wars, but the feeling those lightning swords gave me was unlike anything I’d experienced before or since. I could deflect lasers back at flying robots to destroy them and pulling it out from the holster on my back established such a convincing sense of presence I accidentally punched my couch at one point because things got so intense. ILMxLAB and Disney should definitely be taking notes.

Robo Recall’s Lightsabers Mod
If you haven’t had enough unofficial Star Wars VR content, don’t worry: there’s more! Robo Recall is one of the most popular and talked about VR games to date, which isn’t too surprising when you consider it was created by none other than Epic Games. As a fully moddable game, players are already hard at work tweaking things and adding in their own content.
One such mod is this Star Wars one from Oculus Forums user tonsta31 of MGS Studios. Since the above video was uploaded they’ve also added in more areas and stormtroopers.

Star Wars Battle Pod
Some variations of VR trickled its way into the arcade scene years ago. I remember playing motion-tracked fighting games, boxing games, and lots of shooters that mimicked some of the VR principles we’re seeing in HMDs today – all back in arcades several years ago. In a lot of ways, arcades have always predated home entertainment in terms of concepts and technology, although that’s starting to change now. Nevertheless, one of the most intense ways to experience Star Wars is undoubtedly through one of Bandai Namco’s Star Wars Battle Pods.
Think of them like big upgrades over the old-school Star Wars arcade games of yesteryear, with a huge 180-degree panoramic dome screen that really immerses you into the action. Throw in some 5.1 surround sound, vibration feedback, and air blasts and you’ve got a pretty convincing cockpit experience, complete with a HOTAS control setup.

Original Star Tours Recreation From Disneyland
There are a few constants in this world: death, taxes, and Disney updating its rides every few decades to something that is inspired by, but almost entirely different from, what it used to be. The latest victim of this constant force of “updating” is the Tower of Terror in California Adventure and I’m still not over it. Before that, plenty of other rides were updated, one such being Star Tours, one of the most popular attractions in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland area that lets you experience what it’s like to fly in the series’ most iconic ships.
Well luckily for you, through the immersive power of VR, you can relive the original 1987 version of Star Tours in glorious 4K resolution! Unfortunately watching this won’t force your chair to bounce and move around like it does at the park, but hey, it’s pretty close.

Note: This article was originally published last year on May 4th, 2016, but we’ve updated it for this year’s “May the Fourth” with the better Star Wars VR experiences we’ve seen over the last year.
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