Battle Royale in VR: I played Contractors Showdown on Meta Quest 3

Battle Royale in VR: I played Contractors Showdown on Meta Quest 3

As a fan of battle royale shooters, it was only a matter of time before I played Contractors Showdown. Read on to find out how my first few rounds went.

Caveman Studio is best known for its Counter-Strike-esque VR game Contractors, which has been on the market for several years. In April, Contractors Showdown was added to the series, bringing the popular battle royale genre to VR. While the graphics and assets are taken from the original Contractors, the game looks like a cross between Playerunknowns Battlegrounds and Call of Duty Warzone 2.

In addition to Contractors Showdown, there is also the shooter Population: One in the battle royale genre, which is more reminiscent of Fortnite in its design and does not rely on realistic weapons and graphics as much as Contractors Showdown. For my play session, I chose the mobile version for the Quest 3, Quest 2 and Quest Pro. But enough preamble, let's get started.

A fine start

After starting Contractors Showdown on my Meta Quest 3, I quickly landed in a short menu. Here I can set various comfort functions and the way I move. Then a tutorial starts that explains my first steps in the world of Battle Royale. In addition to the basic movement, I should also learn about the various weapons and equipment, and then understand the more specific functions of the game. For example, I have a small device on my chest that I can use to send an airstrike to a location. This is very reminiscent of the launch rewards from Call of Duty and works really well in VR because of the laser on the device.

In terms of controls, Contractors Showdown doesn't make any contortions and plays like most games in the genre. Collecting, modifying and reloading weapons was pretty easy for me. Due to my extensive experience with normal battle royale shooters, I feel like I picked up the game pretty quickly. Once I'm familiar with all the features, I'm transferred to a hub, which becomes my main residence, especially between rounds.

Here I can visit various vendors, buy skins, or try out weapons on the firing range. To start a round, I open a small screen, which is unfortunately a bit crowded at first glance. After a short time, however, I find my way around and start my first real round. Since the announced solo mode in Contractors Showdown is not yet available at the time of testing, I start my first round alone and without automatically selected team members.

The weapon customization of a handgun in Contractors Showdown.

The weapon customization of a handgun in Contractors Showdown. | Image: Caveman Studio

Jump into the action

After a match has been found for me, I start in a lobby, as is typical for the genre, where all the participants of the round are gathered. Then it's off to the plane, where I wait for the right moment to jump. Since I don't really know the map of Contractors Showdown yet, I decide to jump a little later to hopefully have a moment of peace. The parachute that I have to use to land safely works really well, and it's really fun to just glide across the map or plummet to the ground in free fall.

In flight, I choose a smaller location and head straight for a house to get my hands on a weapon as quickly as possible. Just before landing, however, I notice that at least one enemy has landed in the house next door. So I try to hurry so that I can defend myself in case of an attack.

Not always lucky

I can't find the gun I want in the first house. So I take to my heels and search the next four walls. On the floor of the first room, I find a bolt-action rifle, which I immediately pick up and aim out the window. It's only now that I realize I'm in a team match, as I see two enemies right in front of me. One of them immediately runs towards my house and tries to attack me. With the first shot from my rifle, I manage to take most of his life, forcing him to pause for a moment.


Knowing that I have to face at least two opponents and that I only have one gun that needs to be reloaded after each shot, I run upstairs in search of more weapons. There I find what I'm looking for: I am now well-equipped with an AK. But before I have time to calm down, the second enemy storms up the stairs behind me. I grab the assault rifle and send a volley of VR lead at him.

This forces him to retreat, but unfortunately, his teammate has healed by now and immediately launches a second attack. With more luck than sense, I manage to knock him down. Unfortunately, I also take a few hits myself, which effectively seals my fate. Panicking when he realizes that his teammate is down, the second enemy sprints up and shoots, hitting me in the process. My first round is over.

A radar station on the Contractors Showdown map.

A radar station on the Contractors Showdown map. | Image: Caveman Studio

My verdict after my first matches of Contractors Showdown

After the first round described above, I played a few more matches with random teammates. In these rounds, I was also able to increase my survival time significantly, as I wasn't constantly fighting against a superior force. Overall, I truly enjoyed Contractors Showdown and it went very smoothly. After the first round, I was very familiar with the controls and the speed of the game. Beginners should be able to pick up the game quickly.

I had my biggest problems with actions like changing magazines, looting or using equipment. The controls are quite fluid, and the trigger points are correct. But making the right moves in the heat of battle is a challenge with the fast pace of a battle royale shooter in VR.

In terms of visuals, Contractors Showdown looks pretty solid on the Quest 3, with the muddy textures only noticeable during the landing approach. It is only when you get closer to the ground that the various buildings render properly and get the necessary detail. Considering the power of a mobile VR headset and the size of the map, this is not surprising. I will definitely be playing a few more rounds of Contractors Showdown after this first playthrough — especially now that the solo mode is available.