How to Play VR Games Without VR? – Here is the Solution

Virtual Reality (VR) video games have surged in popularity, but not everyone possesses VR headsets – and that’s perfectly normal! However, it’s hard to ignore the unique experiences some VR games offer, leaving non-headset owners wondering if they can join in. Can you play VR games without VR headsets? Brace yourself; CityRyde is here to clarify.

Can You Play VR Games Without VR? 

Absolutely, you can dive into VR games without needing any fancy VR gear. These games are cleverly designed to work smoothly on regular gaming setups, letting you enjoy them on your plain old screen with a keyboard, mouse, or trusty gamepad.

Playing VR Games without a Headset

Here’s the deal: Some VR games are headset-free friendly, while others require that fancy headgear. It boils down to the specific game you’re eyeing. Traditional “flat” games, played on your trusty TV, remain the go-to for most gamers. Yet, VR games take a leap, immersing players in a captivating virtual realm. So, can you play VR games without a headset? The answer’s not a crisp yes or no; it’s more of a shade of gray. VR features and spaces have their followers but aren’t quite as mainstream as flat-TV video games.

How to Determine VR Game Compatibility

To gauge whether a VR game supports headset-less play, check its official specs on the game’s official website. If you already own the game, fire it up and keep an eye out for a “standard play” option on the main menu. A word of caution: Before shelling out cash for a VR game sans headset, exercise due diligence—you might find yourself unable to dive into the virtual world.

VR Games You Can Play without a Headset

There are two categories of VR games that play nice with both VR headsets and conventional controllers:

Games with VR and Classic Controller Support

Some games, originally VR-centric, offer features allowing players to use regular wireless controllers. Examples include:

  • Bound: A social game where you dance your heart out, playable with both a VR headset and a regular Dualshock controller.
  • The Playroom VR: PlayStation’s answer to Mario Party, offering various VR games for both headset and controller users, perfect for a fun time with friends.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator: This flight simulation gem can be enjoyed in both VR and with standard controller buttons.

Games with Separate VR and Flat Versions

These titles have distinct VR and flat versions sold separately. A few standout examples:

  • Skyrim: Enjoy the standalone Skyrim VR game with VR glasses or opt for the classic Skyrim version available on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation consoles—same game, different ways to play.
  • Doom: The 2016 release, Doom, offers a standalone VR version and a separate classic version for those sticking to flat screens.
  • Minecraft VR: Mojang thoughtfully updated Minecraft Java and Bedrock Editions for VR support, available to those who already own the game.

Playing VR Games without a Headset

Now, how do you embark on the headset-free VR gaming journey? It’s relatively simple but crucial to grasp to avoid wasting money on incompatible games.

  1. Check the Game Label: Start with a quick Google search to see if a game supports both VR and flat versions. Confirm from the official game label if it indeed works without a headset. Some games, like Half-Life Alyx, remain exclusive to VR devices.
  2. Explore Steam VR Driver (with Caution): There’s an alternative method involving Steam VR Driver, tricking it into thinking you’ve got a headset while you’re on your screen. Be warned, though: this approach can be glitchy and often doesn’t work with most games. It’s not the first choice.

Final Thoughts on VR Gaming

VR mode exists for a reason in many games—without a headset, you might miss out on some incredible experiences. Thankfully, a variety of options are available in the market, allowing you to pick the one that suits your preferences. 


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