Beat Saber is a virtual reality rhythm game developed and published by a Czech studio named Beat Games. The game takes place in a surrealistic neon noir environment and features the player slicing blocks representing musical beats with a pair of contrasting colored sabers. Following an early access release in November 2018, the game was fully released for PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows on May 21, 2019. The game supports most virtual reality headsets, such as PlayStation VR, Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, and Windows VR headsets supporting both Steam VR and Oculus VR APIs.
The game includes several songs with up to five levels of difficulty, starting from Easy all the way to Expert+. The player uses VR motion controllers to wield a pair of lightsabers, the left one colored red and the right one colored blue by default. In each song, the game presents the player with a stream of approaching blocks, laid out in sync with the song’s beats and notes, located in one of the 12 possible positions of a 4×3 grid. The game also features the option of playing some songs in 360°, or 90° orientations where blocks approach from around the player. Each block varies in color, corresponding to the color of the saber that should be used to slash it, defaulting to red on the left hand, and blue on the right. It may also be marked with an arrow indicating one of eight possible directions in which the block may be required to be slashed through.
There are also blocks with dots instead of arrows, which players may hit in any direction. When a block is properly slashed by a saber, it is destroyed and a score is awarded, based on the length and angles of the swing and the accuracy of the cut. In addition, there are occasionally mines (also known as “bombs”) that the player should not hit, and obstacles in the form of oncoming walls that the player’s head should avoid. There is also a white bar underneath the path where the blocks travel, which slowly fills up as the player hits notes correctly. If the player hits any note in the incorrect direction, the white ‘health bar’ will become less full by a small chunk. If the player completely misses a note, the bar will lose a large chunk. If the bar becomes completely empty, the game will end.1