Gladius is an immersive VR sword fighting game set in ancient Rome. As a gladiator, you will choose your weapons, train against different enemies, and finally fight for your freedom in an epic battle against the mightiest warriors and mythical creatures of the time. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (136) - 78% of the 136 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Dec 21, 2016

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We want to create the best sword fighting VR game and bring it to the general public as soon as possible. Early access gives us time to properly polish the game, and a opportunity to involve the community in the development process. They can provide invaluable feedback to refine the game mechanics and the overall experience during the production process.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“The game is planned to be completed in the next 6 months, but could be longer depending on the user feedback”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Full version is planned to have:

Seven full levels:
- Day 1: Gladiators (included in early access)
- Day 2: Underworld (included in early access)
- Day 3: Horde Invasion (included in early access)
- Day 4: Naval Battle (included in early access)
- Day 5: Siege of troy (included in early access)
- Day 6: Labyrinth: (included in early access)
- Day 7: Mount Olympus (final battle against mythical creatures)

more enemies (Barbarians, archers, crocodiles, scorpions, and titans),
more weapons (tridents, nets, flails, bows, halberds, knives, maces, siege weapons and incendiary devices),
more polished assets and graphics,
better sword combat mechanics,
and of course unannounced upgrades & features, depending on user feedback.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Gladius is fully playable and currently features two full levels, Day 1: Gladiators and Day 2: Underworld, as well as the training arena where you can have casual fights against any number of enemies and the armory. Additionally, we also included 7 weapons, 5 shields, and 7 helmets that are available from the start, as are 8 different enemy types.
Occasional bugs and crashes might still find their way into the builds, but we'll try to fix them as soon as possible, while also continuously working on overall game development.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price of the full version will be higher than the early access version to reflect the higher value of the game once it's finished. All Early Access versions will automatically be updated to full versions upon release.
Please, expect constant updates in form of bug fixes, tweaks, features and major additions to content during the early access period.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Player feedback is very important to us and we believe the best way to get in touch is to post here on Steam's Discussions page. We'll be reviewing every post, fixing reported bugs, and taking each community suggestion into serious consideration while we continue building the game. We will also keep players updated with regular posts on the Gladius Steam page to report on the status of the development.”
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Notice: Requires a virtual reality headset. See the VR Support section for more info.

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Recent updates View all (33)

September 2

Update 1.28 - Fixes, difficulty adjustments and improvements

Hi everyone,

I just uploaded a small update with some fixes, difficulty adjustments, and quality of life improvements based on what you guys told me since the last big update.

  • New arena! Added colosseum at night arena (Egyptian theme)
  • Added configurable number of total enemies to spawn and max enemies at the same time.

  • Ballistas now don´t reset their loading position if you lose grip of the handle. This makes it much easier to use them in the heat of the combat.
  • Changed the colosseum sand back to original color (more saturated).
  • Changed the name "spectator screen" for "PC Screen" and modified the position to make it more visible and understandable.
  • Flail damage reduced to 30 from 45.
  • Trackpad movement speed is now independent from framerate. Makes trackpad locomotion smoother if you get into reprojection.
  • Grabbing a ladder now makes a sound for improved feedback.
  • Enemies now always drop weapons if you don´t have any weapon on your hands.
  • Improved how enemies drop their weapons when they die so they don´t fly away from the player. This is especially noticeable if you kill them up-close.

  • Added tip explaining the double tap trigger to reverse the grip.
  • Added tip explaining the helmet view is available on the options menu.

    Difficulty adjustments
  • Challenge arena: Added a 5s delay on Easy, and 3s delay on Normal in the beginning of the match to give more time to players to equip the weapons.
  • Chariots: Archers won´t fire until the first curve.
  • Day3:
    • You can now move within the confines of the cell using with trackpad, teleport or arm swing. You can still break the stone in the last stage to break free.
    • Added an additional quiver in easy and normal difficulties.
  • Day4:
    • Increased the spawning frequency to 45s from 15s for the ballista soldier on hard
    • Added a shield and an axe in the last stage
    • Added wooden struts to offer additional protection in the first stage
    • Increased the spawning frequency of the enemy waves in the third stage from 15s to 30s on easy, and from 12s to 20s on normal, from 8s to 15s on hero.
    • Fixed player sometimes falling through the cracks.
    • Enemy Ballistas now make a "lock" sound 2s before firing, and fire every 7 seconds (vs 5 before).
  • Fixed archer not being damaged while being grabbed.
  • Fixed not being able to store items on the back with the left hand and grip mode "hold".
  • Fixed being able to take away items from the market just by storing them on the belt.
  • Fixed visual issue with a flag clipping the wall in the blood arena.
  • Fixed ballistas not killing gladiators with shields sometimes.

I´m still working on other issues and suggestions that you reported this week (especially hits sometimes don´t register in slowmo, and swords sometimes get into a weird state after stabbing a knocked enemy). Some issues are proving to be hard to replicate (and thus difficult to fix) but as soon as I fix them I will push another update.

17 comments Read more

August 25

Update 1.27 - Summer big update! Stabbing, Grabbing, Better AI, New Crowd and much more!

Hello Gladiators!

I hope the heat of the summer is not preventing you from a good battle in the arena, because the new update is finally here and with a ton of improvements and gameplay changes! :steamhappy:

    Weapon Grip Improvements
  • You can now grab swords or knives depending on the direction of your hand.
  • You still can use double trigger to switch between those two positions (very useful for sticky or lock grip modes)
  • For a more spectacular gameplay, I strongly recommend using the "hold" grip. This is the default grip mode now :)

    Stabbing completely revamped!
  • Stabbing is now much easier than before. I reduced min stab speed to 125 (from 200), and increased min angle from 20 to 35.
  • Stabbing a human enemy on their chest or face will instantly kill them if you are close enough to them (<170cm)
  • Weapons will stick to the body and spawn a blood spurt when you stab them.
  • While the weapon is stuck to the body, you can move the enemy (They are physically attached!).
  • Added specific sound effect for stabbing.

  • Now you can grab enemies and hit them while you grab them!
  • You can also throw them away, but you need to use both hands. If you try to throw them using only one hand they will automatically detach.
  • Grabbing is only allowed on human enemies for now.

    Weapon throwing improvements
  • Revamped throwing calculations, force and rotations of all weapons to make them more predictable.
  • Reworked knives throwing from the ground up.
  • Knives now stick to flesh like arrows and can be recovered from enemies even while they are still alive.

    Slow motion improvements
  • New slowmo SFX! (desaturation of all colors except red, and background blur to focus on nearby enemies).
  • Slowmo will now auto-activate if you parry enough enemy attacks. You can still manually activate slowmo.
  • Added option to disable manual slowmotion.
  • Added option to disable automatic slowmotion.

    Improved Crowd!
    Yes, we can finally say good bye to our beloved Amiga64 guys! :D
  • Added more realistic 3d models.
  • Added new gates to the colosseum.
  • Optimized Colosseum stands polycount
  • Made crowd face textures clearer.
  • Skeletal meshes only tick when rendered. (Improves performance)
  • Removed bones from fingers (Improves performance)

    AI Improvements
  • AI blocking improved! Enemies will now try to block the most pressing threat and respond better against two swords.
  • Dodging
  • Gladiators and sword masters will now try to dodge your attacks.
  • AI Dodging behavior becomes more frequent on higher difficulties.
  • Enemy kicks now push you away from them. This is especially dangerous in Day 4, as they can push you into the water.
  • Unconscious enemies now take a random time to get up (between 2 and 3 seconds). This gives you more time to stab them or grab them while they are on the floor.
  • Hits to helmets will only stun enemies if you hit them with the sword edge and with enough force (10 vs 5 before).
  • Improved skeletons arm hitboxes.
  • Improved reposition to attack to properly detect distance to player camera and always is triggered if you get too close to the enemy.

    Day 4 Improvements
  • Added two wooden boards hanging from the last ladder to provide cover from the archer.
  • Fixed water particles continuously spawning after enemies falling into the water.
  • Applied gravity to enemies in the water.

  • Made easier to behead gladiators. Relaxed a bit the angle and hit location requirements.
  • Hold + Trackpad is now the default mode for new players.
  • Added smooth turn as an option.
  • Added speed slider to smooth snapturn.
  • Added arena selection in the training mode. For now you can choose between the training arena and the colosseum. I plan to add the rest of the arenas in the next updates.
  • Reduced Minotaur attack speed by 10%. Still working on this one though, not finished!
  • Added a new option to make the helmet visible while you are wearing it. It´s OFF by default.
  • Made easier to get close to the enemy. Reduced 20cm the safe distance to enemies to make it easier to get to them.
  • Increased the minimum distance to register a stab instakill to 170cm.
  • Added grab sound to bodies and weapons.
  • Chaperone bounds now indicate forward direction, this makes it much easier to orient yourself in VR.
  • Improved physics of bodies when falling to the floor.
  • Added 50 angular damping to heads to make them more stable when they are dead.
  • When you kill an enemy, he will always spawn a weapon if you are bare handed.
  • Spectator and mirror screen performance improved. It still decreases the overall performance of the game, but the effect is less severe than before.
  • Legionaries got a better (and lighter) shield! Working on making this one available at the market too.
  • Grabbing weapons on the floor is easier now. Grabbing radius increased to 30cm ( from 20).
  • "Only tick montages when not rendered" option applied to mesh crawler and crocs. This allows to have more enemies on the screen.
  • Day 5: Changed skeletons for sword masters in stage 1.
  • Added new section in the options menu to group combat settings.
  • Added option to disable extra blood on strong hits.

    New Weapons
  • New Scissor! Available at the market for 15.000 gold (deals 45 damage). Special thanks to for this amazing model.

  • Fixed archer firing right after being killed.
  • Fixed stones not doing damage when wielding them.
  • Fixed duplicated hands when opening the menu and grabbing a knife.
  • Fixed skeletons and mummies getting duplicated sometimes in the second stage of the Challenge Arena.
  • Fixed enemies on the boat falling to the water day 4 before boarding.
  • Fixed food falling from the boat.
  • Fixed error that would register a double trigger if pressed in both controllers at the same time.
  • Fixed arrow blood spurt not being attached to the body sometimes.
  • Fixed recently spawned arrows not dealing damage.
  • Fixed AI not aligning properly to player position when circling you.
  • Fixed Hold grip would automatically swap weapons by just touching another weapon.
  • Fixed text description of the arena menus.
  • Fixed bug that would send 0 as a valid result to the chariots leaderboard.
  • Fixed arrows still doing damage after they hit something and being completely stopped.
  • Fixed cell´s music volume not being affected by settings.
  • Fixed tiger attacking with a wrong orientation sometimes.
  • Fixed quadruple clicks needed to reverse the grip when the weapon was initially grabbed reverse gripped.

This update is the first of a series of updates that will improve the combat engine and prepare the game for its official release from Early Access during Q4 2018. The work is now going to focus on improving two-handed weapons, making each weapon unique (special abilities, different values for stabbing, slashing and bludgeoning, and using any part of the weapon to inflict damage), the work on Day 7 and much more :)

As always please let me know what you think, if you find any bugs, suggestions, etc. here, in the forums or in our discord channel.

22 comments Read more
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About This Game

Gladius is an immersive VR sword fighting game set in the ancient Rome. As a gladiator, you will choose your weapons, train against different enemies, and finally fight for your freedom in an epic battle against the mightiest warriors and creatures of the ancient world.


  • Sword fighting: Hold weapons directly in your hands, block enemy strikes with your shield or sword, throw your sword at the enemy, and cut their limbs and heads! The longer you play Gladius, the more you'll hone your skills.
  • Bow and arrow: If swords are not your thing, you can still open your way in the arena with a bow. Use your arrows wisely as you have a limited number of them!
  • Four Game Modes: engage in casual training in the small arena, survive in the blood arena, win a chariot race, or fight in campaign mode in the glorious Colosseum.
  • Ten different enemies: Gladiators, Legionaries, Praetorians, Barbarians, Archers, Tigers, Lions, Skeletons, Mummies and Minotaurs.
  • Four locomotion options: You can either teleport, sprint (dash), arm-swing, or use the trackpad movement.
  • Energy system: allows you to teleport and to slow time for spectacular moves that will wow the crowd.
  • Armory: Unlock new weapons, shields and helmets in the armory as you progress through the levels.
  • Market: Buy new equipment with your hard earned cash in the arena. You can buy more weapons, shields, helmets and food!
  • Three grip modes: You have different options to hold your weapons: "hold" maintain trigger pressed to hold the weapon, "sticky" use grip buttons to toggle the attachment, "lock" use the combination of grip+trigger to unlock your weapon and pick another one.
  • Dynamic crowd: People in the stadium react to your actions, they root for you if you do spectacular moves, they get bored, and throw you food if you deserve it. Win the crowd, and you will win your freedom!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 SP1 or newer
    • Processor: Intel i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350 equivalent or greater
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970 / AMD Radeon™ R9 290 equivalent or greater
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2 or newer, 1x USB 2.0 or greater port

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