Pavlov Shack hands-on: I tried the "Counter-Strike in VR" on Quest 3

Pavlov Shack hands-on: I tried the

Counter-Strike was one of my first favorite shooter games on the PC. Of course, eventually, I had to try the similarly themed VR shooter Pavlov Shack. In the following article, you can find out what my first hours of play were like.


I took a closer look at Pavlov Shack, the quest version of the popular VR shooter Pavlov by Vankrupt Games. The tactical shooter is similar to one of the most popular shooters in the gaming scene: Counter-Strike. Since I spent a lot of time playing the competitive shooter a few years ago, I am, of course, already familiar with the core gameplay of Pavlov Shack. But how does it feel in VR?

In addition to the classic Search and Destroy or Deathmatch, Pavlov Shack offers several other game modes. These include two that are more reminiscent of Call of Duty, namely a zombie mode and a gun game mode. All in all, the shooter is quite varied, especially since community servers can also be modified with mods. For my play session, however, I opted for the classic Search and Destroy.

Getting Started and the First Round

After starting the game, I let the tutorial show me the different functions of Pavlov Shack. In addition to basic movement, I try out the various weapons, attach attachments and even place and defuse a bomb. Those who know VR shooters will not be surprised.

I then try to start a round with other players, which leads directly to my first point of criticism: Unlike Contractors: Showdown or Counter Strike, there is no direct matchmaking.


So I open up a somewhat confusing server browser and search for a server where the desired game mode is playable in the appropriate region. I also have to make sure that I don't select a server with mods. After about five minutes of searching, I found the right server with enough players and the desired settings.

Disarm the bomb or defeat the terrorists

My first round in the classic Search and Destroy mode throws me right into the deep end, pitting me against experienced players. This is a challenge at first, but fortunately, I quickly found my way around the fast-paced gameplay. After a few initial struggles, I began to try out the various weapons and equipment.

The weapon purchase system is intuitive and easy to use with the controller's thumb stick. From buying a bulletproof vest to choosing the right weapon for the next round, everything is easy. Using the weapons themselves also feels natural. Reloading, aiming, and firing are precise and instantaneous.


The sound conveys perfectly the dense atmosphere and important cues, whether it's gunshots or the characteristic sounds when an enemy is eliminated. This allows me to find my way around the map at any time.


However, my lack of knowledge of the map's structure has left my fellow players in despair on more than one occasion. Search and Destroy often comes down to a few seconds. Nevertheless, we managed to win a few rounds and I quickly became an asset in eliminating the opposing team.

My verdict on Pavlov Shack on Meta Quest 3

Technically, Pavlov Shack cuts a fine figure on Meta Quest 3. Essential mechanics such as reloading, weapon management and interaction with the purchase menu work flawlessly and feel intuitive. Graphically, the VR shooter also impressed me. Everything looks sharp and detailed, allowing me to fully immerse myself in the role of the anti-terrorist fighter.

In terms of gameplay, Pavlov Shack offers exactly what you would expect from a classic tactical shooter à la Counter-Strike. Team members must coordinate their actions, be smart, and prove themselves anew in each round. It's fun, especially if you're playing with experienced colleagues.

But it also has the peculiarities of a close-knit community. Beginners like me who are playing their first rounds are quickly criticized when they make mistakes. However, this is a known problem of the genre and not a specific criticism of Pavlov Shack.


Overall, the competitive VR shooter entertained me well, but I would have liked a full team of self-selected players. Pavlov Shack does many things right and skillfully brings the proven gameplay of Counter Strike to VR.