Inside New York's Largest Virtual Reality Arcade

Racing games in VR | © Amanda Suarez/Culture Trip
Racing games in VR | © Amanda Suarez/Culture Trip
Virtual reality arcades are becoming increasingly popular all around the world. In New York City, there are already three in place at least. But none of them are as large as VR World.

Located near the Empire State Building, VR World boasts three floors of virtual reality games and experiences, ranging from Tilt Brush, which allows you to draw in 3D, to zombie survival game Brookhaven. The venue is said to be the largest VR arcade in the whole of the U.S.

As with all virtual reality arcades, you won’t be paying with coins in slots on the side of machines. For a two-hour pass, you pay $39 and get access to all of the experiences. If you want to stay a little longer, a day pass costs $59.

VR World has three floors © Amanda Suarez/Culture Trip

When you enter the virtual reality experience you’re given a wristband with a tag on it. This contains all your player data, and to play a game you swipe the tag on screens next to the station. This puts you in a queue to play, and if you want to go away and come back, you’ll receive a text you on your phone when your turn has arrived.

The Tap In system at VR World © Amanda Suarez/Culture Trip

There’s a good mix of single- and two-player games, which makes it a great place to take a friend or even a date. The two-player games include one where you each build a snow fort and then have a virtual snowball fight.

There are some interesting experiences, like the plank. In real life you walk along a plank on the floor, but in virtual reality you’re precariously balanced at the top of a skyscraper looking down, and probably terrified.

Archery in VR © Amanda Suarez/Culture Trip

There are also a handful of games that give you a bit of a workout, like the virtual boxing and the Icarus games, in which you fly, but have to be able to execute a plank to participate.

For the less-active adults, there’s also a bar, and the good news is the drinks definitely aren’t virtual.