Bringing Virtual Reality Into Firearms Training

Let’s take “gaming” to a whole new level, shall we. Loke Uei Tan, a self proclaimed geek and USPSA shooter, spent a few months developing a virtual reality shooting simulator for the Oculus Rift. Dubbed the ‘Practisim VR’ the software’s goal is to provide competitive shooters with the ability to stay sharp in the off months when weather may make it impractical to train on a hot range

“The aim was the simulate the sport of USPSA, IPSC, Pro-Am and Steel Challenge so that shooters can use this during the winter season or as dry-fire practice,” said Loke. He has submitted Practisim to Steam’s Greenlight to make it available via Steam for purchase/download.

Whether training for competition or tactical missions, virtual reality setups like Loke’s will eventually be commonplace. With the obvious benefits of safety, logistics, realism and cost, VR and the firearms industry are bound to collide in a big way in the near future.

Check out the YouTube demonstration below.

Practisim VR – Virtual Reality Shooting Simulator:


When I first came across this story, I sent the demo video to a family member who is heavily immersed in the Virtual/Augmented Reality industry. He doesn’t shoot, but without provocation brought up the same concerns I had: Will training “virtually” create bad habits in the real world? Apparently, there is an effect called “ghosting” where VR activities adversely affect a users abilities to do the same task in the real world.

Now, bad VR training habits for competition might manifest as lower scores, but bad VR training habits for military and law enforcement personnel could have serious consequences.

Obviously, a lot more study is needed before drawing conclusions, something I see a whole generation of shooters starting to do very soon.

Practisim VR:

An accurate simulation of the competitive practical shooting sport. This VR experience allows you to participate in IPSC, USPSA, Pro-am and Steel Challenge matches within the comfort of your own home. It features accurate gun handling, common stage props such as swingers, movers, texas stars, polish plate rack, Irish plate rack, movers and innovative stage designs.


LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete


  • JT Win

    The frame rate will prove challenging.

  • Alan Perez
  • Psylant

    Next time develop it for VIVE instead of feeding from the teets of Mark Zuk.

  • Lazaro Lima

    Check out Hotdogs Horsehoes and Hand grenades on the HTC Vive. If your gonna write an article on shooting in VR, dont be one sided and talk only about the Oculus… The Vive is king of the hill when it comes to shooting in VR.

    • noob

      h3 fans unite!

    • baserock love

      Yup, oculus is crap compared to the vive. My business partner and I are big shooters working on a vive survival horror game with completely true to life gun handling and manipulation for the vive. First thing we developed is a true to life in every way firearm handling and manipulation system which we’re selling as it’s own asset on ue4. Posted a link above to a little demo level we threw together. It definitely goes far beyond Onward as far as simulating actual gun mechanics.

  • EdgyTrumpet

    This won’t be very useful for firearm training unless there is some controller that simulates both weight and recoil, but regular 3D games have been proven to improve spatial skills, so there might be some benefits.

    • VR

      A Rifle controller with small electromagnetic accelerator weight can simulate recoil. (and changing magazins)

  • Slim934

    Didn’t Inrange TV do 1 or 2 videos where Karl Kasarda plays around with a sort of jerry rigged firearm setup? That sort of thing where you do drill tactics and whatnot might be useful.

  • Friend of Tibet

    “Hotdogs Horsehoes and Hand grenades” on the HTC Vive hands down the most realistic one so far, better than Onward when it comes to firearm operating system.

    You can use a spare AK mag to bump out the used one.
    You can even feel the trigger reset after each shot (I was so impressed with this)

  • Sunshine_Shooter

    You may develop bad habits from the VR that need to be corrected with live fire, but even then you’d still be ahead of sitting on the couch doing nothing.

    If you implement this into times where you cannot do live-fire, and never REPLACE live fire, then you will only get better.

    Live fire > VR > couch potato

  • Loke

    Hi all! Thanks for the great comments. Just to reiterate, PractisimVR is written to support both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. I use the Vive as my primary VR headset/controller to develop this and prefer its room-scale features.

    H3VR is awesome and I draw a lot of inspiration from Anton’s work.