Beat Saber VR Game Review

Beat Saber is a virtual reality rhythm game that takes players on an exhilarating and immersive journey into the world of music and lightsabers. Developed by Beat Games, this VR title has gained widespread acclaim for its unique blend of engaging gameplay, electrifying music, and captivating visuals. Released in 2018, Beat Saber quickly became a staple in the VR gaming community, offering a thrilling experience that combines precision, coordination, and rhythm.

Simple to Grasp, Challenging to Master

Beat Saber is a virtual reality rhythm game that revolves around a straightforward idea. Synced with music, players wield two ‘lightsabers’ – defaulting to one red and one blue – to cut through blocks hurtling towards them in space. The block colors signal which lightsaber to use, and arrows indicate the direction to slice – up, down, left, right, or diagonally. Picture Fruit Ninja in virtual reality.

The blocks follow the music’s rhythm, and the precision of your slices determines your score. Maintaining accurate, on-time slices builds combos, while missing blocks or errors reset the combo, potentially leading to a level failure.

Adding to the challenge are obstacles like walls to avoid, bombs to steer clear of, and special blocks requiring unique slicing techniques. Despite these twists, Beat Saber remains a conceptually straightforward game with a steep learning curve. While elite players compete at an exceptionally high level, the game caters to everyone. Its diverse music selection, various modes, and adjustable difficulty levels ensure enjoyment for both newcomers and seasoned experts.

Traditional Style, New Platform, Unchanged Emotion

The gaming world loves rhythm games, no matter the platform, and Beat Saber nails the rhythm game formula and masters the art of delivering an exceptional VR experience – a remarkable feat for 2018.

What sets Beat Saber apart is more than just its addictiveness; it’s the tangible connection you feel with every move. Unlike some games where actions don’t quite match the virtual world – like your hand going through a virtual wall when you touch it – Beat Saber eliminates that disconnection. The slicing of blocks is designed to feel weightless, creating a seamless link between your real-life actions and the virtual world. Your brain expects nothing less, and everything just clicks.

Tackling the challenge of providing realistic feedback and resistance in VR remains an unsolved hardware problem, likely lingering for a while. Beat Saber cleverly sidesteps this issue, making it a timeless experience that remains satisfying across different hardware generations. Whether in 2018 or today, playing Beat Saber feels just as satisfying, securing its spot as a standout VR experience.

Games Modes, Modifiers, Accessibility

Beat Saber now offers a broader range of features compared to its launch. The music library has significantly expanded (more details on that later), and there are multiple game modes to keep players engaged.

The classic Solo mode remains the standard high-score challenge where you can play through any track with various optional modifiers. Additionally, a new multiplayer mode allows up to five players to compete for high scores in public or private lobbies.

Although there is a campaign mode, it feels neglected and overdue for a revamp. Currently, it doesn’t compete with the Solo mode regarding enjoyment. A revamped campaign with better structure and progression could bring fresh interest (and might be in the works), but the existing campaign’s overlooked state isn’t a significant loss.

Beat Saber is rich in accessibility options and gameplay modifiers, allowing players to customize the game according to their preferences. You can activate different options to make the game easier, more accessible, harder, or entirely different, providing depth for those who want to vary their gameplay or cater to specific needs.

Special 360 and 90-degree levels add a twist, requiring players to turn on the spot as blocks approach from different directions. While a fun gimmick, it doesn’t necessarily bring a groundbreaking experience.

An Extensive Library

With its library significantly expanding since its launch, Beat Saber now boasts a music selection that caters to diverse tastes, although it comes at an extra cost.

Initially, the game started with a modest collection of original electronic tracks composed by Beat Games Co-Founder Jaroslav Beck. While free updates occasionally introduce new tracks from Beck, the paid DLC releases steal the spotlight by featuring renowned artists like Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park, Green Day, BTS, Lady Gaga, At The Disco, Panic! Billie Eilish, Skrillex, and Imagine Dragons, among others.

Each DLC pack is meticulously designed to capture the essence of the featured artist, adding a unique feel to the overall experience. This personalized touch contributes to a well-crafted variety across the music library. The only drawback for newcomers is the potential cost, as adding DLC to the base game might become a bit expensive.

However, the expansion of Beat Saber’s music selection has introduced a challenge of consistency. The skill ceiling for Beat Saber players has soared recently, accompanied by a significant evolution in track mapping styles and varieties. Despite the developers refining the game’s mapping, the difficulty labels (Easy, Normal, Hard, Expert, Expert+) now mean vastly different things from one track to another. For instance, what was considered Expert in 2018 now feels comparatively easy compared to an Expert map released in 2022.

There’s ample space for enhancing your technique, even after successfully navigating through a song without missing a beat.

Scoring high on the leaderboards isn’t just about hitting every block in time—it involves precise execution of your swings. Your score depends on following through with a strong swing, not just tapping a block. The closer your blade passes to the block’s center, the better. This leaves room for improvement in technique, even after flawlessly slashing through a song. It encourages exaggerated swings, making it feel like you’re cutting the blocks with force.

The frustrating part for me is missing a block during an intense song section. It’s often unclear what happened; you only hear the fail sound and your score resets. Without recording gameplay, there’s no way to review if you swung in the wrong direction, used the wrong Saber, misjudged timing, or encountered a tracking glitch.

The leap from Hard to Expert difficulty is substantial. While I can S-rank almost every Hard song, Expert challenges me with intricate block arrangements and increased speed. Then there’s Expert+, which is so fast and tough that beating it feels like joining the Avengers. Watching videos of players conquering these courses is a spectacle.

There are other modes for varied challenges. The campaign gradually increases difficulty and introduces twists, like briefly displaying directional indicators before hiding them. Another mode removes directional requirements, letting you hit red and blue blocks however you want. It compensates by increasing the quantity and mixing colors more closely. The single-saber mode adds its own difficulty. All modes offer unique challenges, adding variety when the track selection exhausts.


A fantastic round of Beat Saber truly takes my breath away. When I get into the rhythm, slicing through incoming boxes with red and blue sabers feels like I’m a Jedi at a lively party—it’s quite an experience. This challenging rhythm game starts with a modest number of tracks, but they are both catchy and offer high replay value. The scoring system encourages precision and follow-through, and there are several alternate modes to keep things interesting. If you’re on PC, you can expand the experience endlessly with custom tracks using the level editor and mods. It’s a must-try for introducing anyone to virtual reality.


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