Despite being a sport that’s very popular in countries like the UK and the Netherlands, and growing viewership for the bigger tournaments being played too, there has never really been a very successful Darts video-game despite some officially supported PDC titles in the past – there are alternatives particularly through themed games as these options are popular online that use Darts as a theme, but nothing that really focusses on the game specifically. This largely comes from the way the games are played, it’s hard to get the same feel that comes from really throwing a dart and the skill required to do it well – but this is something where virtual darts and reality may be able to change things.
With simulation games growing rapidly in popularity as a whole in recent years, particularly with the growth of virtual racing for example, it has shown some need in different sports to have a different option, but darts has typically been much easier to approach as it doesn’t require a huge space to play or a huge investment – simply hanging the dart board on the wall. But there’s also a more competitive sense to the game and the desire to play with others, and this is where virtual reality could play a role in the future – and something pro players have already explored in the past.
It ticks many of the boxes, having to rely on depth perception rather than a pre-determined aiming method will make a huge difference for both amateur and more experienced players alike and will make the games much more enjoyable right off the bat – no more simply lining up a reticle and clicking a button, but the actual action of relying on depth perception and hand-eye co-ordination will lead to a very different experience and something, whilst not 100% accurate, more representative of a real game – and perhaps provide a whole new way for players to not only play but to improve as pro players could benefit from something that other sporting options have offered with online coaching too for example.
Whilst the majority of VR options right now are more of an arcade style and may not be the most accurate, great features are already implemented with the likes of dart weights and different flight adjustments too that do at least provide some more realism, so there could be an exciting future in the world of virtual darts and offer a very welcome change to those who have been holding out hope for a solid darts video game and a way to play online with friends too where in-person play may not always be an option.