Whether you’re brand new to VR or simply looking for an upgrade, we’re here to help you choose your next device.
VR has come a long way since the launch of the Oculus DK1 in 2013. What was once a niche technology is now on the verge of going mainstream, due in large part to the immense success of popular VR headsets like the Meta Quest 2 and PlayStation VR. The standalone VR headset, developed by Meta (formerly Facebook), was one of, if not the hottest item of the holiday season, with the Oculus companion app becoming the #1 download on the Apple App Store.
That said, the Meta Quest 2 isn’t the only VR headset worth checking out in 2022. From high-end PC VR headsets like the Valve Index to entry-level devices such as the Quest 2, here are the best VR headsets you can pick up right gosh darn now.
Meta Quest 2
Who saw this coming except everyone? Meta’s incredible standalone VR headset has set the bar high for competing hardware manufacturers, offering players access to a massive catalog of AAA games and apps from some of the industry’s most sought-after developers. The hardware itself is nothing short of amazing. The all-in-one 6DoF headset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor and features an 1832×1920 per-eye resolution. Inside-out tracking powered by several onboard cameras removes the need for external trackers.
No external hardware is required in order to operate the headset; all you need is a smartphone, a stable internet connection, and some free space. Interacting with the in-game world can be done using the Touch controllers, though certain games and apps also feature support for Quest hand-tracking technology. Those with a VR-ready gaming PC can even tether their Quest 2 headsets (with a cable or wirelessly) to access even more games and apps; the headset can be used as a standalone VR headset as well as a PC VR headset, making it arguably the most versatile device on the list.
- Type: Standalone
- Resolution: 1832×1920 per eye
- Field-of-view: 89-degrees
- Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ XR2 Platform
- Refresh rate: 90Hz or 120Hz (experimental)
- Audio: Integrated positional audio
- Price: $299 (164GB) or $399 (256GB)
HP Reverb G2
The HP Reverb G2 offers some of the most impressive visuals of any VR headset currently out in the wild. The criminally-underrated PC VR device was released in November of 2020 as part of Windows Mixed Reality, which may explain why it flew under the radar for many. Don’t sleep on this incredible piece of immersive hardware. The G2 features some genuinely impressive specs that come together to deliver a truly captivating in-headset experience.
The headset features a killer 2160 x 2160 per eye resolution and 114-degree FOV. Similar to the Quest 2, a handful of built-in cameras power inside-out tracking, removing the need for external trackers like those needed for the HTC Vive, another PC VR headset. A generous 6-meter tethered cable offers plenty of freedom of movement and the ergonomic design is comfortable enough to play for hours. Those seeking a high-end PC VR experience without breaking the bank will definitely want to check this one out. That said, you may want to consider picking up a fresh pair of motion controllers.
- Type: PC VR
- Resolution: 2160 x 2160 per eye
- Field-of-view: 114-degrees
- Refresh rate: 90Hz
- Audio: Off-ear speakers
- Price: $499
Valve made waves back in 2019 with the release of its own VR headset, the Valve Index. Like all of the company’s products, be it hardware or software, the Valve Index is fantastic. Built for use with SteamVR, the Valve Index features captivating visuals, accurate tracking, and a modular “frunk” that can be customized to enhance your in-headset experience.
The biggest selling point of the Valve Index, however, is its controllers. In addition to standard inputs such as a joystick, touchpad, two face buttons, a menu button, and trigger, the “Knuckles Controllers”—as they’re now referred to by the community—feature 87 sensors that track everything from hand position and finger position to motion and pressure. This allows you to interact with the in-game world in more detail when compared to other motion controllers, such as the Quest Touch controllers or the HTC Vive Wands.
- Type: PC VR
- Resolution: 1440×1600 per eye
- Field-of-view: 130-degrees
- Refresh rate: 80 Hz, 90 Hz, 120 Hz, or 144 Hz (experimental)
- Audio: Near-field, off-ear speakers
- Price: $499 (headset), $749 (headset & controllers), or $999 (full VR kit)
An oldie but a goodie, the PlayStation VR is a must-have for anyone with a PS4 or PS5. The console VR headset boasts a sizable catalog of exclusive VR games, from cinematic action-adventure experiences like Bood & Truth to colorful cartoon platformers like Astro Bot Rescue Mission. My personal favorite is Dreams VR, a game creation tool that allows you to craft your own interactice experiences.
The PlayStation VR features a 960 × 1080 per eye resolution and a refresh rate of 90 or 120 Hz, offering an impressive visual experience further enhanced by dual 5.7″ OLED displays. The PSVR supports the DualShock 4 controller, PlayStation Aim, and PlayStation Move. Sony has also been teasing the arrival of PSVR 2, which will feature unique “Orb” VR controllers and potential haptic feedback support.
- Type: Console (PS4 and PS5)
- Resolution: 960 x 1080 per eye
- Field-of-view: 100-degrees
- Refresh Rate: 90 Hz or 120 Hz
- Audio: 3D audio through 3.5mm headphone jack
- Price: $299 (headset)
Feature Image Credit: VRScout