One of the wonders of virtual reality is that you get to explore entire worlds and have it feel as real as being there. Visually, anyway. One of these worlds is our very own, and if you’ve got an interest for exploring it in VR, you’re in the right place!
In this article I’m going to be talking about the 8 best Oculus Quest 2 travel games and experiences. Namely:
- National Geographic Explore VR
- 360 Travel Videos
- Google Earth VR
- Flow (Bonus Entry)
First, let’s talk about the native Oculus experiences in more detail so you can see where you want to be going!
1) National Geographic Explore VR
Spit on that virtual camera lens and wipe it clean as you experience the wonders in National Geographic Explore VR. As an explorer, you’ll have to visit locations and capture the same photographs as the one who came before you.
The VR experience that will have you demanding more. Like, seriously. The biggest criticism of the game is that it’s only got two locations for you to dive into.
- An expedition to Antartica
- Machu Picchu, Peru
Although the game doesn’t have the best graphics out there, it’s still worth checking out by VR standards. Survive a snowstorm, keep still during a mummy worship, and experience much more with National Geographic Explore VR!
Since there’s not much replay value with only two locations, you might want to wait for a sale to really get the most bang for your buck.
Get National Geographic Explorer for $9.99 on Oculus Store
ecoshpere is a collection of fantastic 360-degree exploration videos. But they’re not your typical 360 videos!
The ones in ecosphere are beautifully narrated documentaries that add to the element of immersion. You have over 10 episodes to download and start your virtual adventure. Learn more about locations such as Africa, Malaysia, and Indonesia from the comfort of your Oculus Quest 2.
What’s even more is that ecosphere is getting constant support with new updates and features, so the future for 360 travel is looking really good on this app!
Get ecosphere for free on Oculus Store
There’s one big reason I’d like everybody to at least give Alcove a try: variety. Okay, there are two big reasons. It’s also free. But let’s talk about the first one more.
While not being big on high-end graphics, Alcove does a fantastic job of letting you go on a tour in virtual reality. The game includes virtual tours across hundreds of landscapes and beautiful sites around the world. Ride hot air balloons or go for long drives in VR.
What’s more is that you can even take to the seas of Australia and the Pacific Ocean!
That’s not even where the possibilities end. Alcove allows you to customize your personal vacation home in VR, and invite your friends over to appreciate it even more.
Although the majority of minigames like Chess and Puzzles are single-player, Alcove is constantly receiving fresh updates and new features. The opportunity to do more with your friends may not be far off!
Get Alcove for free on Oculus Store
4) 360-Degree Travel Videos
These are the travel experiences you’re looking for if your main goal is to explore the world. Leaving out the gaming and interaction parts, 360-degree travel videos are available across the Internet and have plenty of thrill to offer.
How do they work? All you have to do is load the video from within your browser in your headset.
Oculus Browser will do just fine, but some Quest 2 users recommend using the Mozilla Firefox browser. They experience higher frame rates and an overall better VR tour experience.
Since the durations of many 360-degree tour videos are short, you can look for multiple videos and add them to a playlist. Then, simply hit play and let yourself be taken around the world from the comfort of your couch.
For your convenience, here are two of the best VR tour compilations I came across:
Wander is not your average adventure app, not by a long shot.
And by that, I mean that this app lets you travel in time. With a unique feature, you get to actually visit different areas at different points in time. See your hometown since you moved away or the construction of Dubai from a desert.
The magic of this app also integrates Google Street view to give you a truly one of a kind experience.
Even with time travel being an amazing feature, it doesn’t mean you can’t travel in the present. Wander lets you visit the world without restrictions. Explore the Wonders of the World in VR and live the traveling dream you always had!
Get Wander for $9.99 on Oculus Store.
Best PCVR Travel Experiences for the Quest 2
Since we’re talking about the best travel experiences you can have on the Quest 2, it wouldn’t be fair to leave out the PCVR possibilities!
You can immerse yourself in PCVR experiences on your Quest 2 through PC streaming options such as Virtual Desktop or Oculus (Air) Link. If you are new to VR and want to know more about how these options work, check out this article.
6) Google Earth VR
First, let’s address the elephant in the room: Google Earth VR. When it comes to travelling experiences, everybody should have at least heard of this app.
Google Earth VR lets you travel the literal world in your VR body. You get to float around in any location and take in the marvelous sites created by man and nature anywhere!
As a bonus, this app comes with preloaded tours for selected locations like the Amazon River and The Grand Canyon. All you have to do is not forget to enjoy the ride.
So whether it’s the Eiffel Tower, Pyramids of Giza, or the entire Great Wall of China, Google Earth VR is something definitely worth trying out!
Did I mention it’s free? Get it from Steam now!
With additional add-ons that are just as free as the game, Realities is a mesmerizing historical VR experience.
This app takes you to a bunch of different locations that are incredibly detailed for a VR game and lets you explore what once was. Photorealism is at the core of Realities as it abandons the traditional 360-degree approach to VR experiences in favor of greater and more realistic immersion.
You’ll especially like this app if you’re interested in knowing what the less popular “tourist sites” are like!
Get to explore the chill of the Alcatraz prison, the lifelessness of Death Valley, and the ruins of old castles with Realities.
Get Realities for Free on Steam
8) Bonus Entry: Flow
Not everybody wants to travel for the fun, the thrill, or the exploration. Some people want to visit new locations for the serenity and to discover new ways to relax.
If your next trip across the world in VR is like that, then Flow is the app for you. The locations in this app revolve around what Iceland has to offer, mainly because of the natural scenery there.
The features of Flow revolve around meditation and calmness. Even the chosen locations from around the world are an inspiration to help the human brain feel more calm.
There’s also a specially curated playlist to help VR enthusiasts make the most of their virtual vacation.
Recharge yourself in all the soothing experiences that Flow has to offer on the Quest 2!
Get Flow Free from SideQuest
Note! For more information on how to sideload an app onto your Quest 2, give this article a read.
That concludes my current list for the best travel experiences on the Quest 2. There are a few games that are currently only compatible with the Oculus Go that are slowly but surely making their way to the Quest 2.
Stay tuned for more, especially as new game releases and updates roll out!
HARDWARE USED FOR TESTING AND WRITING THE ARTICLES:
* Meta Quest 2 (My “daily driver” headset which I absolutely love & recommend)
* Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (AMD Ryzen 5 5600H, Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060, 16GB RAM)
* TP-Link Archer C6 (budget dedicated router for Air Link, see my full setup tutorial)
ESSENTIAL QUEST 2 COMFORT ACCESSORIES:
* VR Cover Foam Replacement (one of the easiest & cheapest ways to improve headset comfort)
* BoboVR M2 Head Strap (reduce pressure on your head and improve the overall fit of the headset)