Will Chess Still Have its Classic Wooden Feel in Virtual Reality?

Chess is one of the oldest games on the planet, and it’s showing no signs of fading into obscurity.

In fact, it continues to evolve and progress alongside new technology developments, which have helped spread it to more people than ever before.

Although chess is more popular than ever since moving online, today’s digital versions don’t capture the wooden feel of the physical game well. This is something that could be rectified in virtual reality.

Chess Likely to Evolve in VR

The VR industry is still in its early stages, but chess has already been adapted for the Meta Quest. Virtual Chess allows VR users to play the classic board game in several stunning environments. They can get the sense that they are picking up the pieces and moving them on the board, just as they would in a real-world scenario. There’s also MR Chess, which aims to capture the social side of the game more.

Games like these are just a small taster of what’s to come in VR, however. Indeed, the current state of the technology could be compared to the early days of consoles, and there are going to be a lot of advancements over the next few years.

chess pieces

Along with improved graphics, haptic technology is going to play a big part. This will give VR users the chance to feel their surroundings, upping the immersion levels massively. When this comes to fruition, it could give digital chess players the chance to finally feel the wooden texture of the pieces when they move them. This will never truly replace the feeling of holding a chess piece, of course, but haptic gloves with sensors, force feedback, and sophisticated vibration could get us close. 

Taking Inspiration from Other Realistic Forms of Entertainment

Developers in the entertainment industry have constantly strived for improved realism, and this is something that is gradually being achieved through the introduction of new advances in technology. The online casino industry is a perfect example of this, as studios in the sector have always tried to supply online players with titles that replicate real-world games.

Brands like Fanatics, for example, have various table games for players to choose from, including American Roulette and Three Card Poker. The new brand is also committed to offering live casino games, which bring players even closer to the action as they include live dealers who host the games in real-time.

When is VR Chess Likely to Boom?

The fact that chess has already been adapted for VR is a great sign, as it suggests that developers believe it has a firm place on the platform. However, it could be a while before VR chess booms in popularity. According to projections from GlobeNewswire, the VR industry could be thriving by 2030.

It's likely that there will be many developments to VR chess games in the time between now and mainstream VR. This could include huge upgrades to haptic technology to add to the real feel of the games.

Digital chess players may soon get to experience the incredible wooden feeling of the pieces, as the VR market picks up pace. There are going to be some massive advancements in the technology over the next few years, which will create highly immersive VR environments.

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the wooden crafts and 3D product design space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.


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