We Have a Visual: Our Complete Review of Zero Caliber

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Sci-fi, zombie, and military simulation (mil-sim) VR FPS games are always in high demand for immersive experiences. While a myriad of these games are just trend chasers, XReal Games’ Zero Caliber proves itself as a breath of fresh air for a quickly staling genre. With exceptionally detailed gun mechanics, stand-out character design, awesome graphics, and intuitive use of VR hand controls, Zero Caliber shows promise for what VR FPS titles can aim to be.
For those unfamiliar with XReal Games, they are an up-and-coming VR dev team who specialize in intense, immersive, exhilarating VR shooters. Their first game was A-Tech Cybernetic; a VR love letter to sci-fi shooters from the 90s and early 00s. A step away from the Doom and Duke Nukem atmosphere of its predecessor, Zero Caliber approaches VR FPS with a more modern military aesthetic, but with hints of sci-fi and “early years” FPS charisma. 

What Is Zero Caliber?

Set in the near future, the world’s water supply has turned hazardous because of careless discarding of waste and pollutants into the earth’s major bodies of water; consequently, drinkable water is in dangerously low supply, resulting in warfare divided amongst private armies, cultist zealots, and the federal military. As war wages, it’s confirmed the aforementioned zealots, the Tlalokii—worshippers of Talco, the Aztec God of rain—possess information that can change the fate of humanity and ultimately turn the tides of the war.
Equipped with magnetic gloves, an extensive arsenal of weapons and attachments, and an impressive central base, you will fight your way across the globe in a variety of missions that vary in terrain. Each weapon you pick up emulates the mechanics you’d expect from its real-life counterpart, making for realistic gun play that demands memorization of a firearm’s mechanisms. 
Traversing terrain using ladders or barehanded climbing, shooting from cover, accurate firing, and the efficiency of reloading all come down to your skill with VR controllers, ultimately encouraging quality equipment for the best experience.

Specs of Zero Caliber

While they released the game last year on November 9th, XReal Games has provided continuous updates, support, and responses to their fans. The core gameplay revolves around your gloves’ ability to magnetically attract weapons and attachments. What you can outfit your guns with is practically endless, with every design meeting any imaginable combination you think of. 

New Features

Developers are still adding features to this game. One of the more recent features are the ability to change the paint job on your guns and your characters appearance, giving you the ability to make them look exactly like the Doom space marine, a Trojan soldier, or keep them as the default space marine meets Crysis soldier.

How you fight as a soldier, and what you outfit them with, is up to you in any mode you play, be it campaign, co-op campaign, or the recently added PVP mode. With this new mode comes (you guessed it) more guns, and a tactical shield, so while using a one handed weapon, you do not have to crouch for cover. 

You can fight in a World War II inspired no-man’s-land, a basic training field, a prison, or in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. There’s not much of a limit to where you can wreak havoc and destruction with or against your friends.


With the last few updates, Zero Caliber has gone through some serious performance and UI enhancements. Graphics have been sharpened in a recent patch; the enemy AI has been fine tuned to be much receptive and aware of when you’re aiming; and there is now a comfort mode for players susceptible to motion sickness.

Movement and Feel

Along with improved aesthetics and user experience, the developers have optimized movement, reloading, attaching and detaching gun attachments for players using the Native WMR and Valve Index Controllers. However, even with the optimized controllers and interface, users can still expect to have recoil on their guns, which is a still a feature being fine tuned. While you wouldn’t want this be an issue either, grenades can sometimes be hit or miss to use, resulting in inaccurate throwing arcs or preemptive/accidental pin pulling.


Much of the focus for development has gone into the campaign and co-op, understandably since this was Zero Caliber’s focus for the longest time. However, with an increase of quantity in the player base, there’s been a surge in demand for fixes to the PVP mode. Unfortunately, while death screens have been patched to where they now show up (preventing accidental premature leaving from matches) there’s still no dedicated servers to the game, resulting in spotty wait times, bad match performances, and unexpected match terminations.

XReal Games’ sophomore title does what many military VR shooters do not: juggle strong single player and multiplayer experience. Their game embraces the weird aspect of a sci-fi military shooter with an odd post-apocalyptic campaign narrative, crazy character and weapon customization features, and insane levels that take you to every earthly place imaginable.

Technical Features

While there’s been talks about Zero Caliber heading the PSVR, there’s been nothing concrete to confirm this will be a console title. For PCVR, the minimum hardware required to run Zero Caliber is:

  • 64-bit processor and OS
  • Windows 10
  • Intel i5-4590
  • 8GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
  • 20GB avilalable space

XReal Games has a recommended list of hardware if you want to experience this game to its fullest extent though:

  • 64-bit processor and OS
  • Windows 10
  • Intel i7-4770
  • 16 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • 20 GB available space

It’s important we point out these are the recommended specs for the game in early access, and these are subject to change as the developers continue to work on it. Compatible headsets for this game include:

  • Valve Index
  • HTC Vive
  • Oculus Rift
  • Windows Mixed Reality

The game is only compatible with motion controllers and requires a standing area and/or room scaling in order to play.

Zero Caliber Pricing:

Zero Caliber is available for purchase at about $25 on Steam, the Oculus store, Humble Bundle, and Green Man Gaming.

How Zero Caliber Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare:

  • Pavlov

  • Onward

  • Squad

Zero Caliber

Price $$

Platform 4 Stars

It is widely accessible for those on PC, but does not have a console release (yet).

Design Quality 4 Stars

The overall sound, level, character, and gun designs are top notch, but the campaigns voice acting and writing leaves something to be desired.

Popularity 4 Stars

In relation to its total purchases last year, and the player base now, the game has garnered significant attention and popularity.


Initially an early access title started by one developer, Pavlov has evolved into a popular 5v5 FPS title for VR hardware. Dripping with influence from titles such as Counter-Strike and Call of Duty, Vankrupt Games’ multiplayer shooter focuses on doing what it’s efficient at: providing a solid, fast paced, engaging VR experience through the FPS genre. Whether you customize your own maps, or play on someone else’s, the games’ dedicated servers will assure you never unexpectedly drop out of a match.

Price $

Platform 3 Stars

Available for various VR headset systems, Pavlov unfortunately is not for purchase on other store fronts, aside from Steam.

Design Quality 4 Stars

Once a fairly barebone 5v5 VR FPS multiplayer title, Pavlov now contains a create-your-own map workshop, new weapons, and quality character models.

Popularity 4 Stars

Once a small project by one developer, Pavlov has involved into a multi-manned team of devs, back by a growing dedicated fan base.


More focused on the mil-sim aspects rather than being an FPS, Onward drops you right into levels that seem as if they’re modeled from exact locations that have seen the brutality of war. Downpour Interactive’s shooter provides a solid 5v5 multiplayer gaming experience, but the lack of polish, weaponry, and activity leaves the game feeling empty at points.

Price $$

Platform 3 Stars

While the hardware required for this game is minimal, Onward is only available on the Steam and Oculus stores.

Design Quality 3 Stars

Like the hardware, Onward doesn’t have much fluff. It’s a 5v5 military VR FPS, and this is its focus; unfortunately, at the cost of an extensive weapon and map library.

Popularity 2 stars

While there are a few who have purchased this game within the past 30 days, Onward has lost a significant amount of momentum since it’s initial debut.


One of the most popular military VR FPS titles to date, Squad emphasizes on emulating the feeling of being in an enormous skirmish. With matches capable of hosting up to 72 players, you’re guaranteed to feel the pressure of being in a fire fight, surrounded by gun fire from every direction. While the matches are enormous and entertaining to engage in, the lack of diversity in maps and sound design can wear any player down over time.

Price $$$

Platform 2 Stars

There are extensive hardware requisites and a lack of availability on store fronts other than Steam; but we do acknowledge its half controller support.

Design Quality 4 Stars

There have been improvements in audio design and dynamics, but it begs for more diversity in its level design; although it is hard to design levels around 72-player games.

Popularity 3 Stars

New player count has been stagnating in the recent year, but it still keeping the title of one of the most popular VR FPS titles out there.


In the end, we give Zero Caliber 4.5 stars compared to the competition. It’s fun and can stand toe to toe with the most popular out there.

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