Space Pirate Trainer

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Space Pirate Trainer
Developer I-Illusions
Publisher I-Illusions
Platform SteamVR
Device HTC Vive
Operating System Windows
Type Full Game
Genre Action, Early Access, Early Access, VR, Great Soundtrack, Space
Input Device Tracked motion controllers
Play Area Standing, Room-Scale
Game Mode Single Player
Language English
Review Overwhelmingly Positive
Release Date Apr 5, 2016
Price $11.24
App Store Steam
Infobox Updated 09/15/2016
Space Pirate Trainer is a VR App.


I-Illusions' game sells itself as an immersive 80s arcade cabinet game. But will it only be blasting away robots, or the doubts of VR skeptics as well?

Space Pirate Trainer is one of HTC Vive’s release titles. The Vive does not have quite as many “core” release titles as the Oculus – many of the games being relatively small in size and scope and meant to showcase the concept of VR more than deliver a complete experience. This makes sense, the tech is still relatively new and we have not seen a big push from the AAA industry towards it yet – with CCP’s Eve Valkyrie being one of the few exceptions to the rule. Most of the titles we see are built by small teams on limited budgets, but these indie devs are laying the groundwork for what is to come, and if nothing else, it is certainly interesting.

Space Pirate Trainer is no different. I-Illusions’ game is really simple. You stand on a platform with a fancy skybox in the distance and you defend your ship from a bunch of flying robots. If Space Pirate Trainer were not a VR game, it would be nothing more than a functional but very limited first person shooter. However, being able to move your head to look around while also independently moving your two motion controllers fundamentally changes how the game plays.

It is a difficult feeling to explain, but physically dodging projectiles and suddenly remembering that, you can, in fact, simply duck when someone is shooting at you, gives the game a sort of physicality that a mouse and keyboard or controller setup could never hope to achieve. Being able to blind-fire off screen to your right while raising your shield against projectiles coming from the left makes you feel like an action movie hero – it certainly does help that the motion controllers themselves are gun shaped as well.

That said, Space Pirate Trainer remains a demo. You will be fighting wave after wave of enemies, ever larger in size, without any real change in opponents or location. Your twin pistols and shields are your only weapons, albeit with different fire settings. At the end of the day, like a lot of the HTC Vive’s library, it remains a proof of concept.

Will Space Pirate Trainer ever go any further than that? In theory, the game is in early access. According to I-Illusions, further content can be expected throughout 2016, with a final release by the end of the year. Exactly what this content will entail remains to be seen, but it will doubtless be interesting to see what direction they take their game in.

All that said, the fact that what could be considered a simple tech demo can still be so enchanting speaks volumes about the kind of experiences VR headsets could be bringing into our homes in the next few years. Perhaps Space Pirate Trainer will only entertain for a couple of hours, but the thought of more shooters going its way in the future makes a relatively static and stale genre new and exciting again.

Space Pirate Trainer is out now on Steam. It will set you back $15 or your regional equivalent.


Space Pirate Trainer is the official trainer for wannabe space pirates on the HTC Vive.

Remember those awesome classic arcade cabinets? Imagine if those were immersive... Space Pirate Trainer puts you in one of those; fighting off relentless waves of droids with all the weapons and gadgets you would ever need as a Space Pirate. You better dodge some of those incoming lasers though, since just using your shields won't get you in the top rankings. Pick up your blasters, put on your sneakers, and dance your way into the Space Pirate Trainer hall of fame.

No real droids where harmed during the creation of this game.
Use your straps and stay in your VR area to make sure no humans will be harmed.

(Other VR headsets TBC)


System Requirements



  • OS: Win 7 or higher
  • Processor: intel i5
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GTX 970
  • Storage: 600 MB available space


  • OS: Win 7 or higher
  • Processor: intel i7
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GTX 980 or better
  • Storage: 600 MB available space

Setup Instructions

Images and Videos