One of the biggest post-launch features added to the Oculus Quest so far has been controller-free hand tracking. With more and more games and experiences implementing support either officially or through SideQuest, we’ve narrowed down the best Oculus Quest hand-tracking games so far.
When the Oculus Quest launched last year, your only input option was to use the included Touch controllers. However, more than a year down the line, the headset now also supports controller-free hand tracking. You can use your hands not only to navigate the Quest’s UI and menus, but also as an input method for games and apps that have been updated with hand tracking support.
What Are The Best Oculus Quest Hand Tracking Games?
While support started out slow, more and more games have added hand tracking capabilities since Oculus moved the feature out of beta. If you’re looking to try out the best hand tracking experiences the Quest has to offer, start here.
10. Gloomy Eyes
Gloomy Eyes is a wonderful immersive story experience on the Quest, featuring a delightfully eerie art style and a captivating story. Even on Quest, the visuals and animation are a sight to behold and well worth your time.
So why is it so far down on our list? Well, while the app does technically support hand tracking, the only time you use your hands is in the main menu — the actual experience itself features no interactivity, even if you were using Touch controllers, and your hands won’t even be represented in VR while you watch. Nonetheless, it’s nice to be able to put on the headset without controllers and launch an episode of Gloomy Eyes with just your hands, so it still makes the cut.
While unconventional, learning the Tetris theme on piano while using a VR headset with hand tracking enabled is definitely one of the cooler uses of technology that we’ve seen so far. This SideQuest app lets you load any MIDI track, calibrate the virtual piano to match a physical one, and then displays your hands over the keys as synthesia-like bars fall on the notes.
It’s not without its limitations, but definitely worth checking out for the music-inclined. You can read more about it here.
However, this app isn’t available on the Oculus Quest store — you’ll have to sideload it through SideQuest.
8. Tea for God
Though it’s a little scrappy, there’s few experiences as immersive as losing yourself in the winding corridors of this experimental FPS. It is genuinely possible to forget where you’re really standing as your sheepishly step around corners and take cover in elevators. The game is best played with controllers, however it does also support controller-free hand tracking on Quest. Be warned — it’s definitely not perfect and can be quite buggy at times, but it’s still fun to mess around with.
Like VRtuos, Tea For God is only available through sideloading, which you can do via SideQuest.
7. Virtual Desktop
Virtual Desktop recently received an update that allows you to log into your PC on your Quest from anywhere with just your hands, no controllers needed. If you’ve sideloaded the alternate SideQuest version of the app, the feature even extends (in an experimental capacity) to control of PC-based VR games, where your hands act as emulated Touch controllers.
This game initially debuted at Oculus Connect 6, where attendees could try it out as a demo, after hand tracking was announced at the opening keynote. Once hand tracking moved out of beta and into full release, the game was made available to the public as a free download.
It’s free and a good demo for what you can do with hand tracking, so you’ve got nothing to lose. You can read more here.
5. The Line
Similar to Gloomy Eyes, The Line is a short immersive experience that follows the story of Pedro, a miniature doll and newspaper delivery man. It only lasts about 15 minutes, but unlike Gloomy Eyes, you’ll actually use your hands to interact with things in The Line. The animation is absolutely superb and the narrative is quite charming. It may be a small package, but it’s definitely worth it.
4. The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets
This wholesome VR title released towards the end of last year, but was one of the first games to officially support hand tracking in the Quest store a few months ago. Each level is a diorama-style world with layers of puzzles and collectibles. We had a few nitpicks in our review (written pre-hand tracking) but were still big fans of the game. Unlike some other games on this list, Curious Tale supports hand tracking as a input method for the entire game — it’s not a dedicated or different mode specifically for hand tracking, so you’ll be able to play the game start to finish without controllers if you like.
You can read our review of the game (written before hand tracking support was integrated) here, and watch an interview about hand tracking support with Curious Tale developer Kristoffer Benjaminsson from Fast Travel Games above.
3. Hand Physics Lab
While there are many experiences available on SideQuest that support hand tracking, very few of them provide something of such substance as to rival official Quest store offerings. The Hand Physics Lab, an experience put together by the same studio as SteamVR’s Holoception, is the most comprehensive and fun sandbox to demonstrate everything hand tracking has to offer.
A plethora of switches will let you adjust modifiers for your hands and the environment, and you can change between a bunch of different scenes and devices to play around with. If you’re looking for a killer app to demonstrate hand tracking on the Quest to your friends, this should be high up on your list.
2. Richie’s Plank Experience
Even before hand tracking support, Richie’s Plank Experience was known for producing some of the most immersive moments in VR — you’ve all seen that video of the guy jumping into the TV.
However, with the latest update for the Oculus Quest version of the game, the immersion just got upped even more with the addition of hand tracking support. While the support is only for the main plank sections of the game for now, it’s still a fantastic and terrifying experience. The lack of controllers makes everything feel a little bit more real, just like you’re standing on a plank suspended off the side of a skyscraper.
You can read more of our impressions here. That piece was written when the feature was still in beta, but hand tracking support has now been implemented into the public release of the game on Quest.
1. Waltz of the Wizard
There’s a lot of hand tracking experiences available on the Quest, but one is particularly magical. Waltz of the Wizard’s hand tracking support allows you to use your hands to cast spells and manipulate the environment around you in a multitude of different ways. Like any hand tracking experience, it’s not perfect but it is still one of the most memorable experiences we’ve had with the technology yet.
What’s your favourite hand tracking game or app available on the Oculus Quest? Let us know in the comments.