Pistol Whip was first teased at E3 back in June of 2019. It took nearly 6 months to get this game on our headsets, but its finally here and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Pistol Whip is a first-person action shooter game that has some rhythm infused into it as well. It also is a shooter on rails, as you will be moving forward at all times in this game, regardless of how dark and eery the environment in front of you seems to be. 

This game has a lot to love, and there is a lot to learn about this game. From learning how to score highest on the global leaderboards to what pistol wraps look best with each gun, this in-depth look at Pistol Whip from Cloudheads will give you everything you need to know about this game. We will be covering the following:

  • What is Pistol Whip
  • History of Cloudhead Games
  • Where to buy Pistol Whip
  • How to play Pistol Whip
  • Each song (scene) in the game 
  • Levels of difficulty and how to master each one
  • Level modifications 
  • Gun modifications 
  • How to increase your score and get on the global leaderboards

Pistol Whip is one of the best games inside of virtual reality right now and it won’t change anytime soon. With the developers working on new music packs and dedication to the game early on, Cloudheads Studios have put themselves in perfect position to compete with Beat Saber as the top title in virtual reality for the foreseeable future. 

What Is Pistol Whip?

Pistol Whip is a rhythm-based first-person shooter on rails. This game has a lot of different mechanics packed into it, and putting this game in one simple category would be unfair to the developers who clearly put their heart and soul into this game. If you are interesting in shooting a pistol, dodging bullets, acting like John Wick, and really good music, you are going to be a huge fan of Pistol Whip inside of VR. 

It’s rare to find a game that appeals to such a wide variety of gamers. We are going to mention Beat Saber quiet bit in this post, but that is only because both that game and Pistol Whip are in their own class of virtual games. They have rhythm, action, and some awesome soundtracks. Pistol Whip isn’t going to take you to unseen worlds and present voodoo crystals to you behind a dumpster in a cave, but it will present you with crisp gameplay, clean controls, and progressive gameplay that will appeal to millions as it entertains you for months on end. 

History of Cloudhead Games

Cloudhead Games are one of the more established studios in the virtual realm for a reason. Before Pistol Whip, they had two other games on the market, and one interactive experience. The two games were the first and second episodes of Call of the Starseed. This game. It wasn’t ever the most popular game in any of the virtual stores, but it maintained good feedback and happy buyers. These games were far from perfect, but they got the job done for a virtual gaming studio trying to make waves all the way back in 2016.

If it weren’t for the Valve Index, we might be looking at Pistol Whip as the first real success for Cloudland Games. Valve and Steam reached out Cloudlands and asked them to help develop an intro to the Valve controllers application. What Cloudland did was phenomenal. They created an interactive experience that was highly regarded as one of the top in the world inside of VR. In this app, you are presented to different robots that are trying to help you master your new hands. Of course, these are your virtual hands that are attempting to mirror the hands you have on your real body. This was not only done with great precision and utilization of the Valve controllers, but it was hilariously fun. The interactions with the robots were funny, and it even featured a mini-story for you to follow along with while you learn the capabilities of your new controllers. This set the studio up to develop and release one of the best games we have seen up to date, Pistol Whip. 

Where To Buy Pistol Whip

Pistol Whip can be found on all virtual stores except for the PlayStation store as of now. The Steam Store, Oculus Store, and even Viveport have this game available for purchase. It is not a part of the Viveport Subscription, and we doubt it will be for a long time, if ever. Games this popular and successful early on rarely get put on a subscription service, especially when they are still pouring new DLC into the game from popular music makers. 

This game is $24.99 on the Steam Store, Oculus Store, and Viveport. It won’t be changing prices anytime soon, and the DLC will likely continue to be paid as it releases early on in this game’s life. There is a DLC pack available for purchase right now, but you need to stay away unless you are trying to listen to the Pistol Whip music in your spare time. We didn’t realize this, and now we have $12 worth of EDM music in our library that will likely never be played. 

How To Play Pistol Whip

There is a training mode right when you get into the game, but it isn’t anything that is groundbreaking teaching. As long as you have played VR, video games, shooting games, shot a real gun, or even dodgeball before, you are going to be just fine. The training will teach you the mechanics of the game, but they are pretty self-explanatory. Dodge when the bullets are flying at you, and shoot your gun at anyone trying to harm you. (We won’t blanket statement the blameless bystanders that will be around you in moments of the game)

You will be moving forward at all times inside of this game, like a shooter on rails, but you are on your feet. It’s like you are on a moving sidewalk that is destined to get you killed here add there. Your gun will be placed in your right hand, but you will have the option to switch it to your left and even to a duel wield (we will touch more on that later on in modifiers). This game isn’t kind to your stomach though, as anytime you are moving around with a big black box on your head you are going to be subject to motion sickness. It isn’t the worst game when it comes to motion sickness though, as you will be pleasantly surprised to see this game maintain the same speed throughout the levels. 

Below, we will include the songs listed in the game. There isn’t a lot right now, but they will continue to add them throughout the game’s lifespan. They are called “scenes” in this game, as they are more than songs. The entire level changes, the colors switch, and the vibe is different in each and every scene in the game. 

List of Pistol Whip Songs

  • Black Magic by Lektrique x Sam Lamar
  • The Grave by Apashe x Black Tiger Sex Machine, Featuring Gabriella Hook
  • R U Afraid by HVDES
  • Revelations by HVDES
  • Lilith by Dabin x Apashe x Sullivan King
  • Trap Requiem by Apashe x Tha Trickaz
  • Replicates by Black Tiger Sex Machine
  • Download The Future by Black Tiger Sex Machine
  • Death by Black Tiger Sex Machine x Lektrique
  • The Fall by Dabin

If this game continues to keep the EDM heavy music, we will likely not see the game put up the same numbers that Beat Saber is putting up after a year of being on the market. One of the biggest reasons Beat Saber is still pulling in so many fans is that it is constantly adding music to the game. On top of that, the developers have let the community put their own music on the game. Whether that be good or bad, it shows that they are open to the game being spread around even if it doesn’t directly benefit their bottom line instantly. 

Pistol Whip has a unique advantage here, as many people will be paying attention to their environments much more than the environments in Beat Saber. That means that they have the power to influence the game much more than just a song, quickly immersing you in the new world of Pistol Whip. 

When selecting a song, the following is the information you can see about it:

  • Title
  • Artists
  • Tempo
  • Length 
  • Enemy Count
  • Personal Best
  • Levels of Difficulty 

Pistol Whip only features three different levels of difficulty. You have Easy, Normal, and Hard. This is as basic as it comes, and it won’t take you too many runs to figure out which game mode is best for you starting out. We doubt you are going to start on hard, but we know working up to it is as fun and easy as you make it. 

The level difficulties aren’t going to change how fast you move or how accurate your gun is, it will just be changing the way the enemies are presented to you and how many of them there are. On the more difficult levels on hard, you could see the enemy count get near the 200 mark. If you go to easy and play one of the first levels, you will see the enemy count be nearly half of that. We assume most of the levels are the same length in real-time, so cutting the enemies in half is a pretty big deal. 

To beat easy, the best way is to simply shoot the players as they are coming out of hiding. It will take them a fat minute to shoot their weapon, so shooting them before you have to even dodge them is the best way to go. As for normal it is almost identical to hard just with a little fewer characters coming at you. You will need to dodge enemy bullets as quickly as possible and it is going to take a lot of work from your glutei and legs to maintain the finesse of a John Wick try-hard. Patience is the name of the game here. 

Level Modifications 

Each game that cares enough to put customs mods inside of it is going to keep a lot of customers happy. This game doesn’t blow us away with 30 different game mods and settings, but it does get the job done and holds some promise that it may be able to add more in the future. The develops clearly knew this was an important part of the game, and what they gave us getting the job done for right now. Below, you can find the list of game mods that are included as of the launch date of the game. 

Game Modifiers 

No fail – Unlimted lives, never letting you die regardless of the amount of bullets you eat

Deadeye – Takes off aim assist, something we never knew we needed so badly

No ammo – Have you ever killed 158 men with your gun without shooting it once? Try here!

Hardcore – Will instantly kill you on first contact with any enemy bullets

Duel wield – Take your eliminations to the next level with TWO pistols, one for each hand

Infinite ammo – Takes the reloading out of the equation, making killing seamless 

Each of these mods are going to come at a price. Whether it be taking your final score down 20% or 50%, you won’t be getting away without reloading without having a real hit to take. If you happen to be confident enough to do deadeye, you will receive a bonus 20% to your score. This can be incredibly helpful when you are chasing a close score on the global leaderboards. 

Gun Modifications 

There is a lot to love about Pistol Whip, and one of the things we love most is the customization we have during this game. Without any earning points or anything like that, you will be able to fully customize your pistol. This is a cool feature that we rarely see, as these levels of customizations are usually behind paying walls or behind a factor of you playing their game for countless days. Cloudhead’s game will let you play with a wide variety of customizations early on in your download. 

Below, we have broken down what the level of customization is with your guns. 

6 Guns

2 pages of gun wraps (18 in total)

2 pages of gun colors (18 in total)

3 different sound effects

Although this doesn’t change the way you play the game in the slightest, its pretty fun to see your own colors being represented. 

How To Score More On Pistol Whip

Although there was a lot of trial and error getting this method down, we have finally found the scoring system inside of Pistol Whip. Unlike other shooting games that score you based on where you hit the enemy, Pistol Whip scores you on how close the hits are to the beat of the song you are playing. This won’t come naturally to most, but it forces you to fine-tune your rhythm and will be fun to learn with throughout the game and the extra DLC coming in the near future. 

You also will be rewarded more points for whipping your opponents rather than shooting them the name of the game is literally Pistol Whip, so try to utilize this as much as possible. In scenes and songs like “R U Afraid”, this will be key to getting into the top 10. 

Pistol Whip is a generational game that is going to give users years of fun gameplay. Whether you have a VR headset or not, you need to go try this game out as soon as possible. You can find it on all major VR stores, but will be making its way to PSVR very quickly. This is a fun game that won’t let you down. For $24.99, you can justify any reason you want to become an expert with the pistol. 


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