‘Echo Arena’ Update Overhauls Social Lobby, Makes Way for ‘Echo Combat’


Echo Arena, which ranks among our 5 favorite Rift sports games, has seen the release of patch 9.0, which totally overhauls the game’s social lobby, a place where players can socialize and participate in a number of activities while waiting for matches to begin. An incomplete section of the lobby teases forthcoming Echo Combat content.

Launched in 2017, Echo Arena is the multiplayer spin-off of Lone Echo. It’s proved to be a popular and competitive title, bringing zero-G ultimate frisbee-like action to VR.

Surprisingly, the game’s lobby space—which automatically connects players together into a shared environment—has turned out to be one of the most fun social spaces to spend time in VR, thanks to its intuitive locomotion, fun props & toys, and functionality which supports Echo Arena’s actual matches (like customization and practice).

What was good is now being made better, developer Ready at Dawn says, thanks to an update which has brought a total overhaul to the social space which they’re calling Lobby 2.0. The new lobby has been significantly expanded in size and scope, adding a new quarter court to one of its wings, which gives players the opportunity to practice shots and passing on a more accurate representation of the arena used in matches.

Image courtesy Ready at Dawn

The symmetrical mini arena remains, leaving the door open for other types of practice and some honor-rules mini matches. Players can now summon their own ‘personal disc’ to allow for faster practice iteration and less trolling from other players who might try to steal or hide the lobby’s shared disc.

New launch tubes in the lobby let players practice the essential round-opening blitz, before entering a live match, which sees players catapulting themselves off of the launchers to be the first to reach the disc.

Image courtesy Ready at Dawn

The brawler room (for punching and blocking practice) and customization room return with some tweaks of their own.

In addition to Lobby 2.0, the patch also brings some gameplay tweaks to Echo Arena. Notably, the backboard behind the goals has had its geometry simplified, which the developers say should increase the consistency of bounces, leading to more predictable disc behavior.

‘Lone Echo’ Behind-the-Scenes – Insights & Artwork from Ready At Dawn

Some issues relating to throwing inconsistencies, a few exploits, and some bugs have also been seen adjustments and fixes, along with other tweaks like single-player private matches and global control of private match settings. Check out Ready at Dawn’s blog post for the full details.

Echo Combat Tease

Image courtesy Oculus, Ready at Dawn

Last year Ready at Dawn teased Echo Combat, an upcoming expansion to the Echo universe which promises to bring zero-G FPS combat to VR. There’s been almost no details reveal thus far, but a huge section of the new Echo Arena lobby is currently cordoned off with a sign that says “Echo Combat – Under Construction.” On the Oculus blog the company writes, “And don’t forget your hardhats—one of the most exciting parts of the update is still under construction…. Stay tuned for more on Echo Combat very soon.”

This interesting development suggests that Echo Combat might be an update or expansion of Echo Area rather than its own separate title. Or perhaps the under construction section will just be a teaser or promotional element of Echo Combat. We’ve reached out to Oculus and Ready at Dawn to learn more.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Lucidfeuer

    Lone Echo is amazing, Echo Arena is just fun for now, but what I’d wish that Ready At Dawn took the “game as a service” approach, and integrated Echo Arena and the upcoming Echo Combat as part as Lone Echo…

    • Jistuce

      Echo Arena used to be integrated into Lone Echo. They intentionally DE-integrated it so they could offer it as a free-to-play action title.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Which I regretted, for the “game as a service” reason.

    • FireAndTheVoid

      Wow, Lone Echo and Echo Arena received Lucidfeuer’s ultra-rare seal of approval. Devs should strive for this badge of honor, display it in their advertisements, and RoadToVR should include a Lucidfeuer rating with each game/hardware review.

  • Luke

    Echo Arena is my second home it’s beautiful to see how much devs care about this game.
    The new update may really help people to practice and improve their skills.

  • SandmaN

    So when is it officially coming out for the Vive/Steam VR?

    • Luke

      I hope it will, and cross platform with PSVR

  • Jerald Doerr

    I’m going to say it before J.J and J.C come in crying about how they wish they could play with there Vives and refuse to us revive… This is the quality of game you get when Devs get paid the big bucks for exclusives and they actually use that money to pay GOOD artists and programmers to get the job done right!

    As a Vive user I recommend you get yourself revive and download Echo Arena or pay for Lone Echo if you want to see a VR AAA masterpiece that was designed from the ground up for VR specifically.

    • JJ

      Hey i got a shout out! thanks.

      I’m going to get revive and get echo arena because its not only an awesome looking AAA vr game but it looks like the Battle Arenas in Ender’s Game.

      I was mostly annoyed by the exclusive events and giveaways by rift and though I would love for echo saga to be on vive I cannot resists this.

      I’ll see you in the arena :D