YUR.watch and the Future of Fitness on the Oculus Quest

Over the last couple of weeks, four fit friendly Oculus Quest videogames were updated to include YUR.watch. A virtual fitness watch that, after signing up, shows you heart rate, squats, and lets you level up by burning calories.

Synth RidersThe full list of YUR.watch compatible titles are:

VRFocus covered Synth Riders when the update happened because it was much bigger than just YUR. The developers added live Sunday fitness classes (which you should try to check out), increased multiplayer room capacity, and added an endless mode for those long workout sessions. All in an effort to keep people fit while they’re trapped indoors.

Now I’m not a… healthy man, by the normal definition. I was never drawn into virtual reality (VR) for the workout potential, or to get a sweat going. No, the main attraction for me was feeling like a badass without having to change out of my pyjamas. 

Luckily, Sairento VR: Untethered doesn’t care what I’m wearing as I backflip, shoot, and fling knives at hordes of virtual samurai. But I was still sceptical about YUR. To be honest, it was actually the interface that convinced me to try it. 

The virtual watch is just… there. Unobtrusive, subtle, and it expands with a simple flick of the wrist. It feels futuristic in a way that VR always should, so I signed up.

And I regret nothing.

Seeing your heart rate and burned calories is great, but what really caught me with YUR is the gamification. You level up and unlock watches as you play, and I started finding that I went out of my way to exercise. I was shocked too. Instead of opting for guns, I started leaning completely into swordplay and slashing my way to better health.

I tried the YUR.watch in Racket: Nx and Synth Riders. I discovered that just having it there made me change how I played – I made an effort to push the workout further. Maybe it was the gamification, maybe it was just seeing a calorie count, but it was exactly what I needed in this time of isolation.

I am eagerly waiting for YUR.watch to reach other games on the platform, and just having it as an option will make everyone more conscious of just how much they’re flailing for good. 

But, if you’re as impatient as me…

Using YUR in every game

While YUR has officially rolled out its watch in the above four games, it’s actually been accessible on a lot of platforms for a while now.  Sadly, the actual virtual watch is only widely available on PC VR, meaning you can monitor your Combine killing calorie burn in Half-Life: Alyx if you’re so inclined…

YUR - Half-Life: AlyxOn your Oculus Quest, however, you can use SideQuest to add in an interface that goes across every videogame or experience you play. So I started experimenting.

Beat Saber was a natural first choice and proved exactly as good a workout as you would expect. Rec Room paintball was a decent workout too, and Lies Beneath wasn’t bad – but it was amazingly immersion breaking.

I’ll be the first to admit that some tests were a little misguided…. It turns out that the one squat you get from sitting down at the start of Epic Roller Coasters isn’t going to be earning me a few extra years anytime soon, but hey – worth a try.

If you’re at all on the fence about trying YUR, or if you’re antsy about staying healthy while quarantined, give one of the above four games a try and hopefully it will do to you what it did to me.

And if you’re looking for other games that will get you sweating through your pyjamas, check out VRFocus’ The 10 Best Fitness Apps For A VR Workout from earlier in the year. Feel free to share the videogames where you get your best workout below.