After only three days since launch, Beat Saber (2018), the VR rhythm game that puts two lightsabers in your hands, is now the highest rated game on Steam—not just the highest rated VR game, but the highest rated game out of all titles, flatscreen games included.

Even at this early stage of development, it’s already won over the VR community enough to place it just above Valve’s Portal 2 (2011). At the time of this writing, Beat Saber boasts a 99% positive score with 1250 reviews, giving it an ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ rating.

Hyperbolic Magnetism‘s Beat Saber is still in Early Access, featuring 10 songs and four difficulty modes; the objective is to slice incoming blocks with your trusty red and blue lightsabers. The video below, which was released by mixed reality company LIV, currently has over 1.5 million views.

It’s an impressive feat for sure, although there is some method to the game’s meteoric rise on the list of ‘Highest User Reviews’. Steam weighs the number of reviews against the review score—a method that weeds out titles with high ratings, but only a handful of reviews. So when you click the ‘User Review’ dropdown, you get something a lot of people have played and rated highly too.

The game also holds a 5/5 rating on the Oculus Store, with over 350 reviews at present.

'Beat Saber' Early Access Review – a VR Rhythm Game for Budding Jedi Knights

Valve’s The Lab also held the coveted top spot of highest rated game on Steam after its 2016 release, but has since fallen to the 250th spot on the list at present—a prescient example of how player expectations tend to change over time. Beat Saber does however have the benefit of an active development team, who have pledged further development on the game for its exit out of Early Access.

Either way, it’s a great start for a game that critically hit the mark on polish, replayability, and ease of use—something you could consider a good candidate for showing off to friends and family. It doesn’t hurt that the music is catchy too.

Check out our Early Access review for a deeper dive into all the hubbub around Beat Saber.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Luke

    this game is really fun imho!

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    Congratulations! I can only imagine how pumped the devs are :)) Congrats also to Jaroslav for crafting such a catchy soundtrack. I think right now most VR games are a product of love (made by devs that happen to by VR enthusiasts themselves and just want to work with the tech) so this type of recognition is definitely great for VR in general.

    • jacobpederson

      I just hope the pressure isn’t getting to them. It’s got to be a shock going from just another EA steam VR rhythm game to viral on every website ever overnight!

  • plrr

    I must confess I applied for a refund. But that’s because I already have Audioshield, another VR rythm game. Beat Saber seems less fluent and expressive, and more musically homogeneous, compared to Audioshield.

    • Tomixcomics

      As someone who has both, I agree that Audioshield has the (temporary) advantage of being able to play custom songs and therefore play ANY song not just one genre, BUT
      1. custom song support is coming to beat saber in the future.
      2. I disagree that it’s less fluent and expressive. In Audioshield I often felt like I was just standing in place, moving my arms right and left and lightly bopping to the beat. Sometimes throwing punches when I really wanted to MAKE myself get into it. But Beat Racer doesn’t leave you much of a choice! You gotta move lef,t right, duck, make big swooping swings! You gotta DANCE buddy! And fluid motions help you transition!

      • plrr

        “Beat Saber doesn’t leave you much of a choice…” That’s what I mean. The headroom to be creative, in essence, to dance, is limited. The restrictions – that is, the gameplay mechanics – make the user react in predefined ways, as oppose to express themselves freely. Depening on what you want, this is either desirable or not. For me, I’d be thrilled to try a “disco simulator”, for pure expression. If you’re after gameplay, a directed challenge, Beat
        Saber is much more appropriate.

  • Mythos88

    In the videos I’ve seen the music has been hideous but I’ll check it out when you can pick your own music. Audioshield has set a high bar with the custom music options as well international and regional leader boards.

    • Michael Slesinski

      eh.. holodance craps on audioshield. not being able to use your own music DESERVES negative reviews.

      • Alexisms

        DESERVES? The self entitlement of some gamers never fails to surprise :-(

        • Michael Slesinski

          yea, “deserves”. how the fuck is “the best rated game on steam”

          missing a key feature all of its major competitors have? its like not putting a brake button is a driving game!

          • T

            iz called Early access, young padawan. Have patience.
            Also – computer generated levels SUCK BALLS.

          • Michael Slesinski

            being forced to listen to gay-ass j-pop to play a game sucks fatter stinkier balls…

      • “Audioshield has set a high bar with the custom music options”

        What you smoking?

        • Michael Slesinski

          i was referring to beat sabre.. and audioshield really doesnt set ANY bars. its gameplay is boring, im pretty sure i could play it on 1000mg of thorazine.

          • NooYawker

            Holodance is basically the same as audioshield. Things come at you, hold up your hand and block it. Not sure what you’re talking about.

      • NooYawker

        Holodance looks ok, but it isn’t taking a crap on anything.

        • Michael Slesinski

          i suggest you actually play it instead of just “looking” at it. not only can you use laser swords (in addition to the normal game mode), you can also change game modes again and use blaster pistols. it also has osu! beatmap support, unlocks, and a story mode.

          you show the world your ignorance by saying something “looks ok”.

          • NooYawker

            What I find hilarious is how triggered you are about a game people are saying they enjoy. So if your opinion this holodance is better than beat sabre. Ok good for you, but what is so lacking in your life that you would get this angry about people enjoying a game? Are you a dev? Do you know the devs of beat saber and hate them? or you have nothing to do with any of these games are you really are this pathetic?

          • Michael Slesinski

            what i find hilarious is how much your use of the word “triggered” says about you (mostly that you are just a stupid twat kid).

            people who have only ever tasted vanilla have no RIGHT to declare it the best flavor, they have whats called “uninformed” opinions. i have played every VR rhythm game on steam, i have whats known as an “informed” or possibly “expert” opinion, though not a “professional” opinion since i dont get paid to have it. why would a game that has the same EXACT gameplay as another game but less features score higher than the original game? oh right, stupid trendite fucktards..

          • NooYawker

            I don’t think you find anything hilarious. You’re just angry. Again, you are triggered and literally went off the deep end. It’s a game, we have opinions on it. You on the other hand have gone nuclear because… I don’t know why. Again, either you know someone who worked on Beat Saber and have a personal issue, or you are a just nut and just that pathetic. I’m going to say the latter.
            But I think I’ll just add you to the list of morons on my block list. I don’t want to waste time with losers on an entertainment site.
            Bye loser.

          • Michael Slesinski

            oh no! the simpleton who cant comprehend what im saying is going to ignore me.. how ever WILL i survive? for the record its a news site twat.

          • B

            Everyone understands what you’re saying. They don’t agree with you and you’re being kind of annoying in the way you assert your opinions as indisputable on a pretty fundamentally subjective issue.

            I’m also not a fan of people who use the word “triggered” but something has clearly got you worked up about this.

            I’m not sure you’re taking into account the fact that good game design is an art form involving more than just ticking off a list of features. In particular, supporting arbitrary songs would require algorithmic rather than manual level design, so an artistic choice was deliberately made not to go that route.

            Perhaps if your tone was more “If you like X, you should really try Y”, people would be more amenable, rather than “Anyone who likes X sucks because Y is so much better”. Does that make sense?

          • Michael Slesinski

            so now we have “subjective” facts? get the fuck out.

    • neil rosson

      Game play is actually ok. Not sure its that amazing though. Music is really cheesy. I didn’t think there was much game either, each level seems really short. I gave it 3 stars.

    • NooYawker

      It’s still in early access.

  • Well, it’s fun, just needs more content.

  • Michael Slesinski

    i honestly dont get it, boxvr and holodance are both better than this game by miles if for no other reason than being able to use your own music! im seeing a may the 4th wankerware title getting high marks for having light sabers (that holodance has anyways).

    • J.C.

      Yeah, it’s astounding how people think this is the same thing as any other rhythm game. The other titles are essentially “press a button”. Audioshield, you just put your hands in front of oncoming beats, so any number of them can get tossed out. Beat Saber requires you to cut through blocks at certain angles, and your score is based on speed/distance the saber moves…meaning it absolutely cannot allow Autogenerated music. The algorithm would have to recognize the physical limits of human movement, while also trying to make a song feel unique. The physical recovery time for moves is comparatively massive, like the difference between changing course in a speedboat and driving an R/C car. It could potentially be done, but it’d be a Herculean effort, and the results would still be disappointing when compared to handmade.

      The devs already said there will be a way for custom music to be added, but it won’t be autogenerated. Someone will have to build a beat map for each song, for each difficulty. This game does desperately need a wider range of music styles, but the included tracks are quite well made. I’d prefer more with actual lyrics, as they’re otherwise just techno. BUT, electronica tends to change up the beat quite often, while traditional music doesn’t…and this game is about the beat, not the tune. I think people would find that most of the music they’d want to play in it would feel horribly repetitive if it just followed the beat.

      • Michael Slesinski

        holodance had the same issues.. it used OSU! files before it had map generation, but it got done. it ALSO scored based on impact speed, as does boxvr (which again has custom map generation). simple “electronica” is limp dicked. do it with crab louse by lords of acid, the jet set radio future soundtrack, pigface, kmfdm, skinny puppy, etc. and you are talking challenging.

        • J.C.

          Mmm yes, JSRF. The rest tend to lean toward offensive, so expecting that in the base product is…overreach. I think it’s likely that until they allow custom tracks, we’re probably only getting stuff made specifically for the game. I’m hoping that a couple bands step forward to offer to have their songs added to the game, with the dev of course allowed to say no…fun sounding songs aren’t always fun to PLAY.

          Either way, the base game is solid fun, and a spectacular one to put VR newbies into. It *feels* good to play, and we’ve all played plenty of VR titles that don’t. More effort was put into this than it appears initially. I’m excited to see where they go with it.

          • Michael Slesinski

            “offensive” is subjective, and i dont give a fuck about that. im talking BPM and the difficulty of the tracks, not the lyrical value of the songs. it drives me crazy that so much “electronica” sounds like it was made by some hipster homo on quaaludes.

            i honestly think you overestimate the “effort” that went into this.. there was already atleast 1 light saber game, there were already several games with this same gameplay, there were already several rhythm games. it doesnt really take much effort to rip off somebody elses ideas.

          • J.C.

            You may not care if a song has offensive lyrics, but the devs sure do.
            As for “because someone else already did something kind of like this, it must be easy”, you’re so wrong, it’s painful. Anyone can slap together some halfass trash for VR. Unity makes it super easy! But making something that feels solid and professional takes a LOT longer. It’s the difference between a trailer park home and a castle. They both are technically a house, but one is clearly a work of effort leagues above the other.

            I think that once the game allows custom tracks, the type of tracks and the quality of the accompanying beat programming will vary wildly. I assume you plan on building your own tracks? If not, then you have to rely on others to make something you find worthwhile. I’m hoping that by purchasing the title, it helps them be able to afford to add in all the features they plan to, including more tracks and track importing.

          • Michael Slesinski

            you dont get points for creativity twice.. im not saying it was EASY to code (nothing ever is), im saying its nothing BUT a collection of stolen ideas. have you PLAYED boxVR and holodance? i mean atleast audio shield (as bad as it really is) is quite different than both of them, this has VERY nearly identical gameplay to boxVR.

            hell no im not going to build my own tracks! that was one of the early problems with holodance.. a month later they had tracks auto-generated and i could listen to music i LIKE instead of the awful trendite crap that comes with games. same problem with osu! really, its almost entirely either shit music to choose from, or shit beat maps (once you factor in unapproved tracks and taiko and all that). to me and i would guess quite a few other people out there it is NOT “fun” to be FORCED to listen to fucking j-pop to play a game.

  • impurekind

    Well it is brilliant.

  • Jon

    Having just got a Dell visor 2 days ago (impressed at 2nd hand price…I’ve had DK2, Gear VR and Vive in the past). Beats Sabre and the WMR headset is already proving the perfect mix for a travelling party game. I arrived at my friends house, drew out the play area in VR in a minute and everyone instantly understood and loved Beats Sabre….. the perfect game for a competitive bunch of (sweaty) friends who have never experienced VR…. (This, and then Richies Plank Experience for my parents and we’re golden). The tracking with controllers is super impressive with the headset.

  • tHE_uKER

    Well deserved. The game is da bomb.

  • Congrats to developers

  • JJ

    the general consensus seems like this position isn’t really deserved but still good job devs. I just wish these charts and people would be more accurate

    • KallePellePolle

      Stupid people enjoying a game. They should be punished.