Playing Beat Saber is a game-changing experience. It takes what you expect from VR, like a sense of immersion and real physicality, and uses it to build a fun and unexpectedly fresh arcade workout. Today, we’re happy to say it’s getting even better with the addition of the hit song “POP/STARS” by the League of Legends pop group known as K/DA. It’s the latest track in Beat Saber’s playable list of electronic tunes. Created by indie developer Beat Games, Beat Saber launched in Early Access back in May and introduced the concept of rhythm-based sword “fighting” that feels like a kinetic blend of Fruit Ninja and Dance Dance Revolution.
Hard to beat: ‘League of Legends’ pop group K/DA joins ‘Beat Saber’
So far, it’s been a winning formula that’s drawn a diverse crowd of beat-happy players. “We’re extremely happy to see how engaged the community is,” says Beat Games co-founder and CEO Jaroslav Beck. “They’re discussing content, helping each other with tips, and coming to us with ideas for improving Beat Saber. That's awesome! We know Beat Saber's community is something people really appreciate; that feeling of family, all united, playing together.”
League of Legends, a wildly popular MOBA by Riot Games, is one of the most successful games in the world. K/DA is a virtual pop group of playable champions from LoL that debuted during the League of Legends Finals Opening Ceremony this last November. Fans and casual viewers were instantly smitten by the one-of-a-kind performance. The group, which includes Ahri, Evelynn, Kai'Sa, and Akali, put out its first single, “POP/STARS” shortly after, which hit No. 1 on Billboard's World Digital Song Sales Chart and scored over 120 million views on YouTube. Each persona in K/DA is voiced by legitimate talent, such as Jaira Burns, Madison Beer, and the K-pop group (G)I-dle, and they’re all lending their talents to “Pop/Stars” on Beat Saber.
“My fans have never seen me do something like this before, so they were super excited to see me in a full choreographed K-pop routine,” says singer and performer Madison Beer. “The experience was something I’ll never forget!”
If you’re new to Beat Saber, here’s how the game works: Standing in a neon-lit corridor, you take a pair of sabers, one in each hand, and slice through glowing cubes as they fly toward you. Sounds simple, and it is; anyone can fully grasp what the game’s about in a matter of minutes. The trick is slicing through the right cube, with the right saber, at the right time, quickly and accurately. By keeping the core mechanic dead simple (everyone knows how to swing at stuff) Beat Saber has captivated hundreds of thousands of players, casual to hardcore, in a matter of months with zero signs of slowing down.
“We find something inspiring on social media every day, with players sharing stories about how they lost weight or how Beat Saber helped them fight depression,” says Beck. “Players message us about hosting their first VR party, with their friends picking up VR headsets afterward. What I'm seeing in our community is the fact that our player base is diverse. We want to reach all people and be relevant to all of them.”
Today, there’s a bustling community of players adding filming hundreds of hours of video dedicated to Beat Saber playthroughs, grassroots competitions, and gameplay tips. Since launch, developer Beat Games has been fine-tuning the game’s systems and improving the overall experience. There’s a new Expert+ mode, for instance, which will test the most stalwart swordsmen. You’ll also find new gameplay modifiers, lighting options, and sabers to try, with tons of new content (including songs) planned for future release.
If you’re new to Beat Saber, there’s never been a better time to give it a whirl. If you’re an old pro, then get back in there and try what’s new!