Review – Beat Saber (PSVR2)

It’s finally here! One of the best VR games has finally received a port for the PSVR2, and it arrives in style! Announced during the PlayStation Showcase in May 2023, Beat Saber dropped as a free upgrade if you already owned the PS VR version.

Beat Saber developed by Beat Games initially released back in May 2019 is a VR rhythm game that has you wield two different coloured sabers to slice blocks to the beat in the corresponding direction. The gameplay itself is simple, but in combination to responsive gameplay, great block choreography, great selection of tracks, and a variety of game modes and modifiers, the game makes for a top notch rhythm game. 

Choose your beating preferences

The game opens up with a quick calibration with your sabers and a quick tutorial on the basic gameplay elements that are present in Easy and Normal difficulty: normal block notes, the bomb, and walls. From there you have to option to play any of the four different gameplay modes which are Solo, Campaign, Online, or Party. 

Most of your time will be spent in Solo mode which allows you to play any of the free tracks (forty-five of them) that comes with the base game. Or pick from the many amazing optional paid music packs varying from the newly added Queen to Billie Eilish to Linkin Park. From there, you can choose difficulty, modifiers, play around with settings, or practice.

There are five difficulty options: Easy, Normal, Hard, Expert, and Expert+. They provide a decent difficulty spike without overwhelming you. This is my first experience with Beat Saber however, I am pretty familiar with rhythm games so I was able to start off with a few songs in Normal to get an understanding with what they want, but I definitely suggest playing in Hard. Before Beat Saber, my gold standard for rhythm games available to PSVR2 was Synth Riders because of the overall movement the game makes you do. Playing this game on Normal is too stationary and slow that I found it actually hurt my back from standing still and only moving my arms. Hard difficulty allows you to feel the songs better and even for a person that is not familiar with rhythm games, can get into playing in this difficulty and enjoy it more.


Besides its difficulty, some songs allows you to choose between playing the game normally with two sabers or with just one. Not all songs provides this because the song is actually specifically choreographed for it instead of a lazy solution where they could’ve simply just removed blocks. This adds an amazing replay value to some songs and an interesting challenge. The only downside to playing songs with one saber, is that it adds too much stress on the wrist or arm that you are using. I did one play session where I replayed all the songs that allowed this mode, and to alleviate the stress on my right arm, I switched to left-handed mode and vice versa in-between songs which added additional fun and challenge for me. This mode is typically limited to Expert and Expert+ difficulties.

Blocks to beat in multiple directions!

Some of the songs also allows for 360º or 90º play where the blocks come at you in multiple directions, which I attempted, however it way far beyond my comprehension especially because it is also limited to the higher difficulties, which meant that the block combinations are not only more confusing, but it is now coming at you in multiple directions. 

I love games with modular difficulty.

Another way to play Solo mode is to play around with the many different modifiers available. It’s a great way to make the songs more difficult or vice versa without. The cool part about it is that it incentivizes you playing it with a modifier because it increases your potential score as well. Choosing one where the blocks will disappear before it gets to you is +11%, alternatively, having the arrows disappear instead is only +7%.

However, the opposite can be done as well! I let my father play try a song, and he’s incredibly new to VR and gaming in general, so I opted for “No Walls and No Bombs” especially since he’s old and I didn’t want him squatting and dodging anything. This reduced his overall potential for score, but if you don’t care about that and just want to enjoy moving and playing to the music, this is a great alternative! I will always give points to games that allows for modular difficulty and this game does a great job of it.

If you want to take a break from Solo mode and looking for new ways to play by yourself, check out Campaign Mode. Campaign gives you the same songs that comes with the game and asks you to complete it certain ways. Objectives such as needing to reach a certain score, asking you to move your hands as much as possible (and vice versa), reaching a max combo, or being limited to a combo amount. It adds interesting challenges, letting you tackle the same songs you’ve played many times before.

There are fifty-one campaign missions in total and with increasing difficulty. The only thing I disliked about the campaign mode is that I automatically skip the ones that ask for maximum hand movements. As the songs gets more complicated, the hand movement requirements become very unrealistic because you have to go out of your way to make exaggerated movements which end up making you miss notes and fail the song. Being new to the game, I thought that playing through Campaign would be the best way to learn the mechanics of the game. Although, once you get to Level 11, it nearly acts as a barricade, and may not discourage you from continuing to play it due to this hand movement challenge. Therefore, I recommend playing through Solo first instead of Campaign, and the game is very easy to learn as you go.

If you don’t want to do that, here’s a quick run-down of the game elements and what to do with them.

How to best beat with the sabers.

After all the single player options, you have the Online and Party modes that is a staple to many rhythm games. Party Mode is pretty typical where you just pass down your headset, and Online puts you in a room either randomly or one you’ve created yourself. The players can vote on a song in a specific difficulty, and play it competitively on who gets the highest score. Also, note that in the Player Options you have the ability to choose a pretty basic avatar of yourself and this is how you’ll be represented in Online Mode.

Beat sabers alone or as a group!

When I finally decided to join the world of VR for the first time with PSVR2, the number one game that everyone recommended for me as the best game for VR is Beat Saber. Did it meet my incredibly high expectations, especially as someone who LOVES rhythm games? Absolutely! With so many songs to choose from, and amazing music packs (many which I already purchased and enjoyed), it is a must have for any VR owner. Modular difficulties allowing even the least experienced can enjoy, allows for great movement to the beat especially in higher difficulty, and a beautiful backdrop/stage. 


Graphics: 8.0

Clean, simple, and atmospheric. A fantastic design for a rhythm game.

Gameplay: 10

Simple and satisfying gameplay that will keep you playing for a very long time. A masterful rhythm game!

Sound: 9.0

A great collection of original tracks and an amazing collection of purchasable music packs.

Fun Factor: 10

Easy to pick up and fun to master, one of the, if not the best rhythm game for PSVR2

Final Verdict: 9.5

Beat Saber is available now on PSVR, PSVR2, Meta Quest, Oculus Quest, and PCVR.

Reviewed on PSVR2

A copy of Beat Saber was provided by the publisher.