Among Us VR Will Need to Invest in Online Safety Features to Succeed

The Game Awards 2021 offered plenty of world premieres and announcements galore from games like GTFO that released soon after to games as far off as Star Wars Eclipse. One such announcement was Among Us VR being developed for PSVR, MetaQuest, and Steam VR headsets. The idea seems like a great way to experience Innersloth's big break-out hit, but in practice things seem trickier than that.

Among Us has been around since 2018, but took off in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a nice way for friends and family to get together and play a fun party game, offering many players a laugh during a dark time. The IP has grown substantially and seen various updates, merchandise, and more in the last year. The game has also listened to its frequent players and upgraded safety features, but these are features Among Us VR will need to have from the start.

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Playing Among Us in Public Lobbies is a Mixed Bag

When it comes to gathering friends and family for a fun game of Among Us, sometimes there won't be enough people for a full private game. Other times people want to enjoy the game without gathering a group, and this is where the public lobbies come in handy. Any number of players can be paired together at random to play in a matter of minutes, and while this helps those who may not have enough for a long game, it also has some unfortunate downsides.

Gaming can get competitive, and many public lobbies for online multiplayer games have their share of toxic individuals. Among Us is no exception, with some players joining games and growing grudges against others for the smallest of reasons - or sometimes no reason at all. While Among Us is known for having a nice playerbase, for almost every peaceful lobby there's another ruined by a few mean-spirited players. Neither is guaranteed.

VR All-But Requires Verbal Communication

What makes Among Us different from other party games like Mario Party is that the latter is about stealing stars and ruining friends' chances at victory in a fantastical environment. The same could be said about Among Us, but an important factor to both crewmates and imposters winning is trust. Among Us turns players against each other by nature, and these moments can get heated between friends, much less with strangers.

Many VR multiplayer games tend to forgo a chat feature in favor of verbal communication. While this makes sense since typing in a VR environment can be a hassle, this sets up a bad precedent for Among Us VR. In a game where one player's best friend could be the traitor, things may escalate for the worst quickly with players' voices. For those who join games of Among Us to accuse, irritate, and harass others for little-to-no reason at all, this could make or break matches fin the VR game immediately.

While many are used to these sorts of situations, some aren't as equipped, and the chance of players yelling at each other and being harassed is high with the VR version of Among Us. Innersloth's game is played by almost everyone, including gaming veterans, streamers, and kids. While there are age restrictions for children regarding VR headsets, this won't necessarily stop younger players from playing.

While in-game text can be moderated, censored, and limited, the same cannot be said for voice controls. There are plenty of terrible things that could be said to any of Among Us VR's players regardless of age, and the game will need to have features in place to prevent this if it wants to remain a good experience for all. In that regard, there's plenty it can learn from the original version of Among Us, such as having a pre-set text wheel to speed up text-based chat in order to keep things civil. Hopefully, the developer will keep players in mind, and make sure everyone stays safe in VR.

Among Us VR is currently in development for PC and PSVR.

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Zackari Greif (192 Articles Published)

Zackari has loved video games since he first played Sonic the Hedgehog on the SEGA Genesis as a toddler. He enjoys writing about the games he's loved his entire life, and when he isn't writing for Game Rant, he's found either playing those same games or dabbling in more creative endeavors.

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