Moon Rider is a free VR rhythm game built on the WebVR standard which means it runs directly from a web browser rather than being downloaded and installed on a specific VR storefront. Its creators say the game has garnered thousands of daily players.

Launched in May 2019, Moon Rider is a relatively simple VR rhythm game, but its web-based foundation makes it as easy to play as visiting a website, and just as easy to share with others.

Want to see for yourself?

  • On Oculus Quest: just launch the browser and enter moonrider.xyz, click the ‘Enter VR button’ at the bottom right.
  • On PC VR headsets: Launch a WebVR compatible browser (Firefox currently has the most frictionless support) then ready your VR headset by launching its base software (Oculus desktop software or SteamVR for most), then visit moonrider.xyz and click the ‘Enter VR’ button at the bottom right.

And… viola! You’re playing.

Photo captured by Road to VR

It’s this web-like ease of access that’s the crux of WebVR (and its forthcoming successor, WebXR), and what’s allowed Moon Rider to organically reach a surprisingly large audience, says one of the game’s creators, Diego Marcos, who is also the founder of Supermedium which built a browser specifically for leveraging WebVR content on VR headsets.

Marcos tells Road to VR that Moon Rider is seeing somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 daily active users with an average session duration of 45 to 60 minutes with 50% player retention. That makes Moon Rider likely the leading WebVR game to date by those metrics.

“It’s head and shoulders above anything else in the [WebVR/WebXR] space,” Macros says.

Moon Rider is built on A-Frame (of which Marcos is a maintainer) a framework which makes it easier for web developers to build WebVR content (and WebXR, which brings AR into the mix).

“The message we wanted to send with Moon Rider is that A-Frame and the Web are now ready to deliver compelling VR content with user reach,” he added.

Like Moon Rider, some other seriously impressive VR web content has also been built atop A-Frame, like Supercraft, a Google Blocks-like VR environment builder with seamless web sharing, and Mozilla Hubs, a web-based social VR chatroom that works across almost any headset, smartphone, or computer.

Moon Rider itself is open source, giving developers an opportunity to see how it was built and to use it as a foundation for their own web-based VR experiments.

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  • Immersive Computing

    Excellent stuff! I was super impressed with WebVR and A-Frame when I had my Daydream. Lots of interesting and cool experiments to try.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6e3b235ffef1af48b6f67a83d45ee56cfc0001d44ac01c6baca0c365d8ad2eb1.png

  • Ad

    This is great especially since it means that no matter what, all the work done by the community on beatsaber maps can’t be taken away. I hope this gets improvements, a 360 mode, slightly better hit detection and sabers, and so on, but it’s very strong and free and open source.

  • Sillik

    Just a remark to the article writer: The French word you are looking for is “voilà”, not “viola”, which literally means “raped”.

    • stafs

      No, that’s violer. Viola is a musical instrument similar to a violin.

      • impurekind

        Violer also just means someone who plays the viola, when not said in French.

      • Martin355

        “Viola” is third person passé simple of “violer”, so it means “raped”.

        • Lynwood

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          • Mihai

            Cool story =))

      • Sillik

        It is indeed also a musical instrument, but the first signification that comes to mind (to me at least) is linked to rape…
        EDIT: actually, I think the musical instrument is “viole” in french anyway.

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    I’m glad WebVR exists. It’s the only real alternative to walled garden right now that.

    Also it’s nice not having to worry if your work will dissapear along with the platform it was released on.

    • kontis

      It’s just sad what these corporations do. As Joe Blow often says: the same hardware architectures require different APIs and different code for no rational reason.

      The same GPU in Mac, WinPC and Linux PC needs different code (Metal, Directx, Vulkan) and even when there is a possibility to use one for 2 platforms (Vulkan) it’s practically discouraged for various nuanced technical reasons (done on purpose by the corps). The same CPU in those computers needs a different build (executable). The same exact transistors…

      It’s a miracle the open web (www) and e-mail exist. If internet was made today it would be a few big walled gardens. Basically Facebooks and Twitters as the ONLY way to put anything into the net.

      We let that happen in the mobile revolution.

      We cannot let that happen again in XR.

  • impurekind

    “On PC VR headsets: Launch a WebVR compatible browser (Firefox currently has the most frictionless support) then ready your VR headset by launching its base software (Oculus desktop software or SteamVR for most), then visit moonrider.xyz and click the ‘Enter VR’ button at the bottom right.”

    This simply does not work on my Rift CV1.

    How come sites keep saying it like it just works out the box, easy as pie, yet whenever I try to open a WebVR game on my browser I never ever get an option to actually view it in my headset in VR Mode. The best I can do is open the web browser in my Rift and play it in 2D on the pop-up window in “desktop” mode.

    Anyone?

  • impurekind

    Not as good as Beat Saber but pretty decent, especially considering it’s free on WebVR.

    • Guest

      Actually, way better than beat Saber… specially the price of $0 and the AMAZING amount of good music available. Played to the Avengers theme, LCD soundsystem, “Take-on-me”. Just love the game

      • impurekind

        Nah, regardless of price, it’s not as good as Beat Saber.

  • So… Marcos has a vested interest in A-Frame… and he says this A-Frame game is doing amazingly well… a game that was made to promote A-Frame. Is there any 3rd party to back up this claim? This sort of reads like a paid advertisement.

    My personal experience with WebVR is that most of it’s experiences don’t run on the Quest, and those that do run tend to perform at around 1/10th of the Quest’s graphical abilities. It’s a tantalizing idea, instant free 3D web games, but in practice doesn’t really work.

    SideQuest does though.

    • David Mulder

      Let’s contextualize this sceptism:

      First of all it’s important to note that WebVR and A-Frame are both completely open source and free. These are technologies meant to last across generations of devices.

      Second of all, for usage and sales numbers there is typically no third party backing it up, because knowledge of those figures is frankly private. Sometimes they can be estimated based on third party figures, but especially with a privacy respecting platform like WebVR that won’t be the case. So yeah, at the end of the day all I an say is that Diego Marcos is a somewhat reputable figure in the community and that I am inclined to trust him, but if you don’t then the only thing you can do is try out the application for yourself and judge it on those merits.

      Lastly, when you compare it to SideQuest though it’s something completely different. Where WebVR allows the building of a single game/application that will work across devices and platforms, SideQuest just allows the sideloading of Oculus Quest applications by breaking the Oculus T&S. As much as I am in favor of laws and regulations prohibiting intential blocking of third party software on a device (such as Oculus does with their Quest and Apple with their iphones), it’s currently fully their right. On the other hand WebVR might – just like traditional applications – run worse indeed (although often in just the tens of percents, not the hunderds), you get interoperability and future-proofness in return. A worthwhile trade off for a lot of applications and the same trade off traditional web applications have to make as well.

      • Immersive Computing

        Good comments. Yesterday I was using WebVR on my Index trying a music application from LCD Sound System. It’s still a feeling of awe that it’s actually possible in a web browser. Very cool technology and their open source philosophy is inspiring.

    • kontis

      And there is also a huge hypothetical issue of Facebook purposefully never supporting WebVR as well as it could (performance, features), adding friction etc. (like with sideloading requiring a PC).

      There needs to be another big player in the standalone VR space with different goals, so once an open standard get enough traction FB will be forced (by market/customers) to support them too.

  • Great! I love WebVR, and what people at Mozilla Foundation are doing to create a healthy opensource community out of it!

  • Mihai

    Cool article, yea, Moon Rider as a free webapp is amazing :D
    Btw, you missed the proper “voila” :P A viola is a big violin :P ^_^

    LE: nevermind me, I missed the entire discussion about it a few posts down :))