Best Hand Tracking Games for Oculus Quest Android Central 2021
The Oculus Quest is an amazing piece of technology, but did you know you can actually use your hands instead of controllers in some games and apps? Once an experimental feature, there are now a few titles on the official Oculus Store available to download, but most are only available via the third-party Sidequest application. To get the most out of your Oculus Quest, be sure to install Sidequest on your Oculus Quest before you begin.
Note: For the best results, always play in a well-lit room for optimal hand tracking performance. The brighter, the better. We cannot stress that enough.
- ★ Featured favorite: The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets
- Cast your own Hadouken: Waltz of the Wizard: Extended Edition
- Tentacle fingers: Elixir
- What can your hands do for you?: Hand Physics Lab
- Pew pew forever: Tea for God
- Failing driver's ed…again: Car Parking Simulator
- Learn how to play your piano: VRtuos
- When you simply don't have a piano at home: Virtual Piano
- Pulling worlds apart: Interdimensional Matter
- Tetris in the fourth dimension: Cubism
- Craft and mine all the time: Voxel Works Quest
- Giving beast mode a new name: VRWorkout
★ Featured favorite: The Curious Tale of the Stolen PetsStaff Pick
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets is a charming game for all ages, heights, and skill levels. Follow the narration of your grandfather through half a dozen imaginary worlds to find the stolen pets and discover a wonderful tale of lost childhood memories in the process. Hand tracking is a perfect fit for this laid-back title, and the accuracy and consistency of hand tracking in this game is second to none.
Cast your own Hadouken: Waltz of the Wizard: Extended Edition
Waltz of the Wizard pits you as a wizard with nearly unlimited magic power. Practice your moves in your den before heading out into the world to vanquish evildoers and monsters alike. Aside from some incredible hand tracking capabilities, Waltz of the Wizard features an impressive new movement system that's sure to keep your mind off typical "fake" VR movement and more on the action at hand.
Tentacle fingers: Elixir
As a fledgling apprentice, you get free rein of the sorceress' lab and all the amazing magic hidden within. But be warned, you may just alter yourself in unintended ways with no option of turning back. Do you think you can master the spells and tasks assigned to you, or are you doomed to live the rest of your life with tentacle fingers?
Only available on Sidequest
What can your hands do for you?: Hand Physics LabStaff Pick
Developer Dennys Kuhnert of Holoception fame has been working on this incredible collection of hand tracking experiments since Oculus opened up the development floodgates a few months ago, and the results are nothing short of revolutionary. Simply put, there's nothing on the Sidequest market that competes with the accuracy, interactivity, or imagination of Hand Physics Lab. The only thing we can hope for is that all of these concepts make their way into a full game because it could certainly compete with the likes of Boneworks without ever requiring a controller. So long as you're in a bright room, of course.
Pew pew forever: Tea for God
If you're looking for a great example of what hand tracking can add to an already unique experience, the oddly named Tea for God is a great choice. Tea for God is a never-ending procedurally-generated experience. That means the game creates its world as you play, and it's different every single time. On top of being one of the best room-scale experiences available, Tea for God utilizes the hand tracking feature in a wholly natural way. You can make guns by simply holding up your thumb and index finger, punch enemies when they get too close, and even use your fingers to touch buttons and control environmental objects.
Failing driver's ed…again: Car Parking Simulator
Did you hate driver's education when you were a teenager? Maybe you didn't learn the skills you needed to make it in the real world? This virtual experience puts you back behind the wheel of several different types of cars in an attempt to help you learn the ropes all over again. You'll be using your hands to grip the wheel and change gears, adding to the feeling of realism in 45 surreal challenge courses. Just as most "simulator" games have shown, this is more than just recreating a real-life experience; it's about creating an experience unique to a virtual world.
Learn how to play your piano: VRtuos
Were you once interested in learning how to play the piano, only to find that the keyboard you picked up from a garage sale was too challenging? VRtuos works by lining up your real-world piano, whether it's a bargain-bin keyboard or a glorious grand piano, with a virtual one that teaches you the ropes. Colored notes rain down into each key you need to press, helping you not only press the right notes but to hold them as long as you're supposed to. Five bundled songs get things started, and you can even import any MIDI file to help you learn that song you've always wanted to play.
When you simply don't have a piano at home: Virtual Piano
Virtual Piano is a similar concept to VRtuos but with one big exception: you don't actually need a piano to play this virtual one — just a table. Virtual Piano starts by aligning the real table in front of you as if it were a piano and then overlays the appropriate keys where they would actually be if there were a piano in front of you. While it's not quite as geared toward teaching piano as VRtuos is just yet, it's still under development and gives you a great way to practice. The physical table helps deliver convincing tactile feedback that would otherwise be lost in the virtual world without a real piano.
Pulling worlds apart: Interdimensional Matter
Interdimensional Matter is a puzzle game that appears to be simple on the surface; take the object apart, insert the "cores" into the correctly shaped slots, and put the object back together. Even a preschooler could do it, right? In this dimension, sure, but between dimensions, there's no telling what's going to happen to the matter as it bends and moves in ways you won't expect. It doesn't feel the same without your hands, and that's what makes this such an excellent experience!
Tetris in the fourth dimension: Cubism
Tetrominoes get a three-dimensional enhancement in Cubism, a puzzler that has you placing funky-shaped pieces inside a larger puzzle. The trick here is that, like playing Jenga, you'll be utilizing your primary digits to grab these pieces and put them in the right place. It's a great way to relax while keeping your brain active, and using your fingers to grab virtual puzzle pieces feels amazing.
Craft and mine all the time: Voxel Works Quest
While the Oculus Rift has an official version of Minecraft, the Oculus Quest is without its own port of the venerable voxel survival game. Voxel Works Quest attempts to recreate the magic of Minecraft with the bonus of letting you use your actual hands to interact with the blocky world. It's still got a long way to go before it has all the features of Microsoft's incredibly deep title, but it's darn fun to play, given the new level of interaction present.
Giving beast mode a new name: VRWorkout
VRWorkout is designed to be a way to get exercise rather than playing a game that happens to accelerate your heart rate. It's better designed for hand-only interaction than games like Beat Saber or Pistol Whip, which rely on ultra-precise controller aiming and movement. It's actively being developed and has seen several updates since its debut in late December, and the developer has been very responsive with feature requests and additions.
Make happy trees: Mr. Scribbles
Mr. Scribbles is a unique drawing game that aims to create a completely natural way of interacting with virtual elements. Utilizing a set of gestures and hand movements, virtual artists can create lines and shapes out of thin air. These shapes can then be manipulated in several ways, including resizing, changing the color or material, and just about anything your mind can concoct. You can even create little planets, set them to spin, and toss objects into their orbits. It's still early in the prototype stage, but the potential here is massive, and the development is very active.
A god-game on a smaller scale: Sun Shard: Hand Tracking Demo - Might of the Gods
Gamers familiar with the Black & White series will know that god games can be incredibly rewarding to play. While Sun Shard doesn't encompass all the qualities of a full-fledged god game, it does put you in the shoes of a rather large deity who's goal is to defend a totem against an invading hoard. Grab, smack, pummel, and shoot magic at your enemies as they head wave-after-wave into your sanctuary and try to dismantle the totem that gives you power.
Rock, Paper, Scissors: RPS Championship
It's rock, paper, scissors in VR. There's little in the way of extras here, and, at the present moment, you can only play against a computer-controlled opponent. It looks like the developer will be adding several new features and a possible multiplayer mode but, until then, it's a fun distraction for a few minutes.
An aptly-named experience: Hand tracking demos
While the title is a bit ambiguous, it perfectly describes the experience you'll find inside. The developer took the Oculus trains demo and added hand tracking to it, including some neat modifications that'll make you feel like you're 6 years old and playing with trains again. The developer has taken to Reddit and unveiled plans to continually update this app with additional demos, including concepts like Rocket Punches, Rubber Stretchy Arms, Finger Guns, and Hand grenades.
Hand tracking 101
Hand tracking is finally becoming a major feature on the Oculus Quest, thanks to nearly a year of testing and development. Early partner developers have now released their first big updates to include hand tracking in existing games like The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets and Waltz of the Wizard, but there's certainly a lot more on the horizon. For now, Sidequest remains the bastion of experimentation, particularly when it comes to hand tracking, and sports dozens of developers working on intriguing titles.
Hand Physics Lab is probably the single most impressive hand tracking demonstration on Sidequest, while other experiences like Tea for God, Interdimensional Matter, and Cubism are a bit more along the lines of an actual game. These titles will give you a few good hours of fun between them, and they won't cost you anything more than your time. Setting up SideQuest is a breeze, and once you have it down, you can enjoy all sorts of titles and mods for your existing games that wouldn't otherwise see the light of day on the Oculus Store.
Oculus was quick to roll out automatic hand tracking to the Quest after just a month of testing, and we expect significant improvements to hand tracking just as we saw significant improvements to controller tracking just a few months after the release of the Oculus Quest. That being said, expect a few bugs but go into the experience expecting to have fun. After all, having fun is one of the biggest purposes of gaming, and the immersion of VR only makes that fun more palpable.
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