Virtual reality is becoming more mainstream every day, especially when it comes to gaming. With a wide variety of VR headsets on the market, ranging from the most advanced technology to budget-friendly options, there is a headset that will please everyone.
Meta Quest 3 is an upgrade over Meta Quest 2 in every way. The latest version of the mixed-reality headset has a higher-resolution screen, improved haptics, smoother graphics, color pass-through cameras, and a faster, more powerful processor.
If you want to experience virtual reality completely cable-free, this is an excellent option to consider. Free from cable tangles, you are free to fully immerse yourself in wireless gaming. And the beauty of this standalone device is that it doesn’t require a high-end gaming PC or a gaming console to control it either.
With superb 3D audio also thrown into the mix, this VR headset is a veritable feast for the senses. And with a massive library of Quest VR titles to explore, Meta has upped the ante for wireless virtual reality gaming.
Meta Quest 3
With full-color walk-through cameras and room-scanning capabilities, Meta’s Quest 3 is the best standalone VR headset yet, providing immersive experiences anywhere and without the need for a high-end gaming PC.
- Does not require a gaming computer
- Large library of games
- Relatively short battery life
As enticing as the world of VR may be, you might want to dip your toe in to try it out first before spending hundreds of dollars on a headset. You can do that with the Meta Quest 2 for a fraction of the price compared to newer, more expensive VR headsets.
It’s a versatile device that allows for both wired and wireless gaming, with the option to connect it to a high-end gaming PC to experience some of the more demanding VR titles in the Quest library. While it may lack some of the bells and whistles of its more sophisticated successor, it’s a good place to start if you’re new to VR and don’t want to go all in from the start.
The Quest 2 is light and comfortable to wear and represents excellent value for money. It doesn’t require any kind of extra hardware to get started (other than pairing with a smartphone) and makes for an enticing entry-level prospect for the VR curious.
Meta Quest 2
250 USD 300 USD Save $50
Meta Quest 2 is Meta’s entry-level all-in-one VR headset that lets you play games with or without a PC. It has a high resolution screen, a large game library and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. This VR headset is a great VR device for both beginners and experts.
- A good entry-level option
- Relatively affordable
- No PC required
- Short battery life
- Lower spec compared to the competition
Best Premium VR Headset: Valve Index
The Valve Index represents the best premium VR experience right now. Pushing the boundaries of the home VR experience, with features like individual finger tracking that perfectly complements the sharp, smooth image, large area mapping and 130-degree FOV. Also throw its direct integration with Steam into the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for a truly expansive VR game.
The index also offers a best-in-class sound experience. Near-field speakers sit on either side of the headset, just above the ears, pumping out exquisite 3D sound and enveloping you in an arena of sound that provides total immersion while still allowing you to hear ambient sounds around you.
While Valve Index is very much a wired VR experience, there are few rivals out there that can compete with the scale of what it provides. It may cost a pretty penny and require a more extensive setup, but for advanced PC gamers, this is still one of the best VR headsets on offer.
Best Premium Headset
Valve Index is a high performance PC VR headset with high refresh rate, finger tracking controls and off-ear speakers. It is compatible with Steam VR, which means you can enjoy a huge library of VR games with this impressive kit.
- High refresh rate
- Finger tracking controls
- Amazing 3D sound
- Large library of games
- Very expensive
- Not wireless
The PlayStation VR2 is a remarkable piece of kit and is the very best way for console gamers to experience the thrills and spills of VR gaming.
It only takes seconds to install, with a simple wired connection to your PS5 console. A quick tutorial later, and you’re good to go. An impressive pass-through feature lets you control your IRL surroundings at any time with the push of a button, and the OLED panel inside the headset provides vastly improved visuals with higher resolution and an improved FOV. Additionally, the haptics of both the headset and the controls have been given some love in this latest iteration, making for a much more immersive experience.
On the downside, you may well forgo the asking price, which is currently higher than the PS5 itself. But with many PSVR-exclusive titles currently available and on the horizon, it’s clear that Sony is betting big on this hardware. And with the promise of even bigger and better titles to come, the future looks bright for PSVR2.
Sony PlayStation VR2
Best for consoles
With a simple one-cable connection, 4K visuals, innovative walk-through cameras and stunning 3D audio, PlayStation VR2 is the best way to immerse yourself in VR games on your PS5.
- Excellent graphics
- 3D sound
- Super easy installation
- Walk-through cameras at the touch of a button
- Costs more than a PS5 console
The HTC Vive Pro 2 VR Headset impresses in part because of its phenomenal resolution rate. With 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye, you’ll struggle to find anything that delivers visuals in the same league as this headset. Couple this with a 120Hz refresh rate and a large 120-degree FOV, and you get an almost unbeatable visual experience.
You need a powerful high-end gaming PC to get the most out of Hive Pro 2 and experience that level of visual fidelity. Not to mention a lot of disposable income. But for those who do, your eyes are really in for a treat here.
While this is primarily a wired VR headset, the HTC Vive Pro 2 offers the ability to go wireless, with the addition of a wireless adapter (sold separately). And being compatible with Steam VR means there’s no shortage of titles to enjoy here either.
HTC Vive Pro 2 VR headset
Best for PC
790 USD 800 USD Save $10
HTC Vive Pro 2 is a wired VR headset with a stunning 5K resolution and provides gorgeous and immersive visuals for high-end PC VR games. With silky smooth motion tracking and an ultra-wide field of view, it provides an unparalleled visual experience for gamers.
- Incredible 5K resolution
- Very smooth motion tracking
- Wide FOV
- Works with Valve Index regulators
- Control units and base unit not included
- Not wireless unless you use a separate adapter
Q: What do VR and AR stand for?
VR and AR stand for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality respectively.
Q: What is the difference between a VR headset and VR glasses?
VR glasses tend to be slimmer and less bulky than VR headsets, making them more comfortable to wear for longer. However, they lack the processing power of VR headsets and are therefore less capable of rendering immersive VR environments.
Q: Will a VR headset give me motion sickness?
Possibly. Some headset wearers may experience motion sickness during VR gaming, but it varies from person to person, as well as the specs of the hardware you’re using.
Q: Can I use a VR headset if I wear glasses?
Yes. Many VR headsets are adjustable and built to accommodate wearers in glasses.
Q: Do you need a console or PC to use a VR headset?
Not necessarily. There are some VR headsets, like the Meta Quest 3, that allow for wireless VR gaming without the need for a gaming PC.
Q: How do I keep the VR headset lenses dust-free?
You can keep your VR lenses clean between uses by dusting them with a microfiber cloth and moving them in a circular motion as you clean. This ensures smooth, stain-free cleaning.
Q: Can I play Meta Quest 2 games on my Meta Quest 3?
Yes. Meta Quest 3 is backwards compatible with Meta Quest 2 titles.
Q: Can I play PSVR games on my PSVR2?
No. PSVR2 is not backwards compatible with the PSVR headset.