An upcoming update for the Oculus Quest enables real-life laser tag

The new mode for arcade-shooter ‘Space Pirate Trainer’ will let two people Quest wearers battle it out in a virtual laser tag environment.

Amy Erdt, a community leader in the virtual reality space, sits in her living room and travels to fo...

There’s a new arcade-shooter game coming to Oculus VR headsets that will let two people in the same physical space battle it out in a real-world laser tag.

Space Pirate Trainer was first released in 2016 as a first-person shooter where waves of robots descend on you and your goal is to fight them off as long as possible. But a new two-player mode being released on September 9 will pit you and a friend against each other instead. Five different battling arenas will include a mix of walls and other architecture for hiding, though you can also design your own arenas once those get old.

Ars Technica earlier reported on the update.

How it works — Getting this all to work will be a bit complicated, as you need to have a large space for you and your friend to run around in — and of course, you’ll both need an Oculus headset. Either the first or second editions will work.

The developers of Space Pirate Trainer say that set up will work like this: you and your friend stand on opposite sides of a large player space, and then map out a Quest “chaperone” space so that you receive warnings when you’re about to run into the boundaries. Both headsets will need to temporarily connect to the internet to sync up.

Ars Technica received a preview of the new laser tag mode. Ars Technica

But if you have all the necessary requirements checked off, you and your friend will be transported from whatever space you’re in — say, your garage — to an elaborate laser tag arena full of walls, hallways, and other architecture where you can wait to blast your prey.

Cool, but — You could imagine this game being used for organized events where people rent out a space and play — like the VR equivalent of an old-school LAN party. Although, at that point, it might make more sense to play actual laser tag. It’s probably very hard to “lean” against virtual walls or other cover. The Oculus Quest 2 is also sort of heavy, which could become a problem if you’re moving around aggressively.

Add in the fact that Oculus is owned by Facebook, and the whole concept is not quite as cool as it sounds.

If you don’t have a massive space where you can play that mode, the latest version of Space Pirate Trainer will also include a new online versus mode where you are paired with another player to fight off enemies, and your goal is to see who can last the longest. Both new modes will be available for free to those who already own the game.