When the AceXR Virtual Shooting System Goes Beyond What You Can Do at the Range

In a previous article, I gave my first impressions of the AceXR virtual shooting system. In short, it’s an excellent piece of software for Meta Quest 2 and 3 VR headsets, combined with an excellent handset that converts the stock VR controller into a pistol that feels realistic.

Not only does it provide authentic weight and feel, but it also has a self-resetting trigger with a realistic take-up, break, and feel. The end result is a virtual experience that my brother says is a lot like shooting a heavy-barreled .22 pistol at the range.

But as I’ve used AceXR more, it’s become clear that it’s a lot more than just a nice dry fire system like LASR-X or Mantis. And it’s more than just a cheaper way to practice the fundamentals. It’s a real skill-builder that lets you do things that you can’t even do on the range.

Normally, no range is going to let you shoot in every direction (without a 360ยบ berm), and none will let you shoot over the berm. Also, it’s a federal crime to shoot drones down (they’re legally considered aircraft, so it’s a felony to interfere with their operation). But in AceXR, you get a chance to defend yourself from incoming drones carrying steel targets.


A similar exercise is the “360 Zombie” range. It sets you up in a little shack with holes and windows, and then zombie targets come at you from all sides, with increasing speed and frequency over time. Like the drone challenge, you’re judged based on how long you can last until one of them gets too close.

Another thing that I’ve found to be really nice is the range of available guns and optics. While the feeling of the gun can’t change in your hand (that’s a function of the handset), the behavior of the gun on the screen does change. So far, I’ve shot two 2011 pistols and a SIG P320, both with iron sights and two red dot sights.

One thing I was really happy to see was that the Primary Arms custom Holosun 507C-X2 with the ACSS Vulcan reticle. I have that same optic on my 10mm M&P pistol, and found that the optic in the app acted just like the real thing. When I find myself struggling with the dot on the harder competition drills (AceXR has dozens of different drills), the ring guides be back onto the chevron fast.

Also worth pointing out is that we’re just scratching the surface of what VR can do for training. AceXR gives about the best range experience most people can get from home and goes beyond what you can do on the meatspace range in some ways. And a lot more should be possible in the coming months and years. I plan on reviewing more accessories soon, along with games that let you do force-on-force practice against other human beings with real brains.

If you haven’t already, consider picking up a VR headset if you’re serious about training. They can be had for about $250 right now (for the same older Quest 2 I have), but they go up to $650 for a fully-loaded Quest 3. AceXR costs you about $250 for a year of access to the software, the handset, and shipping.

Add a rifle stock and some other games like Ghosts of Tabor, and the possibilities become pretty amazing.

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