Credit: Tom’s Hardware
Virtual reality lovers have extolled the wonders of virtual reality for years. Virtual reality has, admittedly, taken a long time to develop. VR, on the other hand, began to receive popular attention near the end of last year. Everyone seems to be talking about the Metaverse these days, which implies that more people will be seeking a virtual reality headset to enable them to experience the promised immersive future.
In the previous five years, virtual reality technology has advanced significantly. So, if you were one of the early adopters with a first-generation headset, or if you’ve avoided VR entirely, now could be the time to reconsider.
Early users had to tolerate low-resolution screens, poorly tuned optics, low frame rates, and often poor tracking accuracy when VR headsets initially reached the market. Furthermore, headset makers have tried for years to make their devices pleasant. Thankfully, most of the issues with previous VR devices have been addressed in the most recent HMD designs. Also, you can see the best PC controller
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The format of virtual reality gadgets has changed. We used to see smartphone-powered VR headsets, and while they still exist, they’ve essentially vanished from the market. The PlayStation VR is still the only VR headset that can be used on a console. However, in 2022, the business plans to produce a new version. Xbox CEO Phil Spencer has stated that he has no intentions to introduce virtual reality to Xbox platforms shortly.
VR headsets with the finest resolutions and sophisticated capabilities like eye-tracking are available. However, to make use of their better pixel count, refresh rates, and feature sets, they usually require a high-end gaming PC.
Rapid innovation is boosting the standalone HMD market. Many firms, including Meta (previously Facebook/Oculus), Pico Interactive, and HTC Vive, have chosen Qualcomm’s SnapDragon XR-2 SoC to power their virtual reality headsets. Pimax also intends to incorporate Qualcomm’s technology in its next-generation virtual reality headsets, which will be available late next year.
The virtual reality headset industry is fast-growing, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the options. We’ve put up a quick cheat sheet to help you avoid all the confusion. Our picks for the best VR headsets in 2022 are listed below.
Best VR Headset in 2022
1. Valve Index
Display: AMOLED | Resolution: 2880 x 1600 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz, experimental 144 Hz mode | Field of View: ~130 degrees | Controllers: Index Controllers | Connections: Display | Port, USB 3.0, USB 2.0
- The hardware is of the finest quality
- Wearable and comfortable
- Virtually there is no SDE
- The setup is odd
- Finger-tracking support is limited
With a display resolution that matches the Vive Pro, Quest, and Odyssey+ but with a 120Hz refresh rate, the Valve Index has some of the greatest images of any major, commercially available HMD. The FOV is also best-in-class at 130°, and there’s hardly any screen door effect within the headset.
It also has some outstanding technology and convenient convenience features, such as per-finger tracking on the superb Index controllers, USB passthrough for future peripherals, and great, crystal clear music via the near-field speakers that hover just off the ears. It’s also quite comfortable to wear, thanks to the careful selection of high-quality materials and excellent weight distribution.
All of this, though, comes at a cost. If you ignore the value proposition, it’s the best VR headset to buy on the market. The entire Index bundle costs about a thousand dollars, which is the same as three Quest 2s. Apart from Half-Life: Alyx, which is available for free, there aren’t many viable use cases for the finger tracking technology.
2. HP Reverb G2
Display: LCD | Resolution: 4320 x 2160 | Refresh Rate: 90 Hz | Field of View: ~114 degrees | Controller: Odyssey Controllers | Connections: Display | Port 1.3, USB 3.0
- Simple setup and a lengthy cable
- Toggle IPD Toggle is a directly accessible IPD Toggle
- There is no screen-door effect
- FOV is less than average
- Tracking volume is limited
The HP Reverb G2 has earned a spot among the best VR headsets in 2022, owing in part to its incredible resolution. It will not disappoint you if future-proofing your system in terms of visual fidelity is your primary priority. With a resolution of 2160p per eye, the Reverb G2 eliminates the screen door effect that may be problematic with lesser resolution headsets—provided you have a powerful enough GPU to handle it.
Even at lesser resolutions, you can enjoy wonderful features such as the extremely inclusive, tactile IPD toggle on the underside of the headset; the range is outstanding when compared to other alternatives on the market. You also receive a long cable for big rooms and a comfy headset, however the FOV is a touch low.
Without base stations, the tracking space is likewise restricted. Nonetheless, HP offsets this with excellent IMU gyro sensors that, as long as the movements are smooth, are quite effective at anticipating movements outside the tracking region. Holding your hands still communicates a different tale, but in most in-game settings, this shouldn’t matter.
While the Reverb G2 may not have all of the bells and whistles of some of the other headsets on the list, it does have enough outstanding features to warrant a look for the money.
3. Oculus Quest 2
Display: LCD | Resolution: 3664 x 1920 | Refresh Rate: Up to 120 Hz | Field of View: 100 degrees | Controllers: Oculus Touch | Connections: USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone
- Tethering using the Oculus Link
- Graphics enhancements
- Amazing deal
- Login to Facebook is required
- Awkward strap
The Oculus Quest 2 both improves on the specs sheet of the original Quest and delivers it for cheaper. With a new LCD at 1832 x 1920 per eye, the Quest 2 offers exceptional clarity for an entry-level headset, through which you can enjoy a slew of games either purpose-built for the standalone headset, and thus rendered by the onboard Snapdragon XR2 chip, or beamed from your PC using Oculus Link and a compatible USB Type-C cable.
The Quest 2 becomes more than a solo VR headset thanks to Oculus Link. It transforms into a VR Swiss army knife, capable of fantastic on-the-go VR and gaming with SteamVR and Oculus Rift compatible games. Thanks to a recent upgrade, it now has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, making it an even better value.
The Quest 2 is also one of the quickest headsets on this list to get up and running. You can go from unpacking to up-and-running in VR in only a few minutes thanks to the built-in Inside-Out tracking and hand tracking. The memory capacity of the Quest 2 has recently been increased, and $299 now buys you a 128GB device, which is a nice upgrade.
The Oculus Quest 2’s strategy for virtual world dominance has only one flaw: Facebook account connection is required. A Facebook account is required for the Oculus Quest 2. The corporation claims it’s to better serve you, the consumer, with services and goods, however the only evident ‘benefit’ for a long time was direct screenshot feed. This isn’t ideal. Although Meta appeared to be doing rid of the necessary login, it is still in place.
If you don’t agree with Meta’s (formerly Facebook’s) business policies, you should go farther down the list for a VR headset worth investing in.
4. HTC Vive Pro 2
Display: LCD | Resolution: 4896 x 2448 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Field of View: 120 degrees | Controllers: HTC Vive | Connections: DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0
- Fantastic display
- Exact tracking
- Tracking of mature individuals
- Excessively costly
- It takes time to set up
- When used, it becomes heated
The HTC Vive Pro 2 is the most recent headset to enter the market, and it comes with a number of improvements to the display, making it one of the most amazing mainstream alternatives available. The original resolution of 2,448 x 2,448 pixels per eye is remarkable, and when combined with the 120Hz refresh rate and 120-degree field of vision, it creates one of the most immersive viewing experiences available.
To guarantee precise controller tracking, HTC has persisted with the satellite configuration for the Vive Pro 2, which means you’ll need a lot of power plugs to get everything up and running. The headgear, two first-generation controllers, and two Base Station 2.0 satellites are all included in the whole beginning kit. The headset may also be purchased separately if you’re upgrading from a first-generation setup. The whole package costs $1,399 (£1,299), while the headset alone costs $799 (£719). Not exactly budget-friendly.
It’s an expensive improvement over the Valve Index, and it doesn’t offer anything to justify the expense beyond a better display. Still, there’s a case to be made for the Vive Pro 2 if you’re seeking the greatest display available, especially as an upgrade. It’s a big shame the beginning package is so pricey.
5. Oculus Rift S
Credit: PC Gamer
Display: LCD | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | Refresh Rate: 80 Hz | Field of View: 110 degree | Controller: Oculus Touch | Connections: Display | Port/Mini Display: Port, USB 3.0
- Outstanding resolution and refresh rate
- Exceptional game library with a wide range of genres
- tracing from the inside out
- Image fidelity is lower
- 80Hz is a bit of a low frequency
- Officially, life has come to an end
It’s almost time to bid the Oculus Rift S farewell. It will no longer be refilled at merchants, according to Facebook, so once the supply that’s out there is gone, it’ll be gone forever. Should you get one before it’s too late? Well, the Rift S was once a good deal, but in all honesty, the Quest 2 has basically supplanted it—not only is the Quest 2 cheaper, but it also has superior specifications. The Valve Index, in all its magnificence, sits at the top of the heap.
Still, the Oculus Rift S does an excellent job of completely replacing its predecessor, the original Oculus Rift, if that’s what you require. It was an improvement over the previous item, but in these post-Quest 2 times, it’s more difficult to sell. It does offer a large library of games to choose from, which is a plus, but anyone looking at this should probably go back to the Quest 2 section.
The Rift S is still a tempting option if you’ve already invested in a mid-tier or higher gaming PC and want a powerful headset but don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. It’s still a remarkable piece of gear, and it’s a great way for PC consumers to have their first taste of virtual reality. However, the same may be stated with Quest 2. Basically, the time has not been kind to this headset.
6. HTC Vive Cosmos Elite
Display: LCD | Resolution: 2880 x 1700 | Refresh Rate: 90 Hz | Field of View: 110 degrees | Controllers: 1st-gen Vive Controllers | Connections: Display| Port 1.2, USB 3.0
- Displays with high resolutions
- Tracking with precision
- Half-Life: Alyx and Viveport Infinity are included
- Controllers and base stations from the first generation
- Not really creative
The HTC Vive Cosmos Elite is aimed to fix some of the issues with the original HTC Vive Cosmos while preserving the basic capabilities of that device. The two 4.3-inch 1440 x 1700 monitors with 90 Hz refresh rates are well worth keeping. The Cosmos Elite comes with Half-Life: Alyx and a 6-month Viveport Infinity subscription, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to check out your new headset.
The Cosmos Elite is the original Cosmos with first-generation base stations and controllers, as well as a redesigned faceplate. As a result, part of the original’s inside-out tracking immediacy is lost, but you gain enhanced accuracy in exchange. In the appropriate games, that’s a hit that makes sense. However, you’ll need a large enough space to hurl your helmeted self around in.
The Cosmos Elite’s original launch price of $899 was unnecessarily exorbitant, which is one of the reasons it didn’t perform better in our review. Regardless of the option you choose, if you want a quality VR gaming experience, you’ll have to pay a lot of money.
7. Playstation VR
Display: LCD | Resolution: 1080 x 960 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Field of View: 100 degrees | Controllers: PlayStation Move motion controller | Connections: Display
- Excellent gaming library
- The setup is quite simple
- Reasonably priced
- Cameras can be incredibly precise
- It may be more aesthetically crisp
The PlayStation VR system is your best, and pretty much only, option if you want to play VR games on a console. It combines a stylish headset that appears semi-futuristic and is surprisingly comfy with a fantastic game library that has been steadily growing. Games such as Star Wars Battlefront: Rogue One X-Wing Mission, Eve: Valkyrie, and Batman: Arkham VR, as well as Astro Bot Rescue Mission, one of the most fascinating contemporary VR games, are available.
PlayStation VR is one of the most economical methods to play VR games if you have a PS4 or PS4 Pro, especially because you don’t require an expensive gaming PC. Despite this, the initiative Move controllers and movement tracking provide a high-end VR experience.
It may be utilized for more than just games; it can also be used to make watching movies more immersive. As a result, if you’re a PlayStation enthusiast who wants to get into virtual reality gaming, PlayStation VR is a must-have.
One thing to also bear in mind is that the PS5 also has support for PlayStation VR. The only problem is that it doesn’t play nicely with the Move controllers. But there’s good news as the PSVR 2 headset is in the works and it will bring with it a pair of new controllers.
What are the best virtual reality headsets?
The Oculus Quest 2, now known as the Meta Quest 2, is our selection for the best VR headset to buy. That’s because it’s an all-in-one VR headset that’s perfect whether you’re new to virtual reality or just want a headset that doesn’t require a powerful PC to play with. Imad Khan, a news editor, came up with a convincing rationale to choose the Oculus Quest 2 above other VR headsets. There’s also the option of connecting the Quest 2 to a PC and playing Oculus-compatible games.
Beyond the Quest 2, you’ll need a VR headset linked to a powerful PC if you want truly high-end VR. The HTC Vive and Valve Index are your best choices in this circumstance. Keep in mind that to get the most out of these headsets, you’ll need a lot of open space, especially if you want to conduct room-scale VR.
The PlayStation VR is an excellent alternative if you have a PS4 or PS4 Pro on hand. You’ll be playing games like Batman: Arkham VR and Star Trek: Bridge Crew in no time thanks to its straightforward setup. Just make sure you have a PlayStation Camera on hand, and keep in mind that it may not function flawlessly with the PS5.
In virtual reality, what is inside-out tracking?
Inside-out tracking eliminates the need for external sensors because the headset can monitor both itself and the controllers in its immediate vicinity. Originally, this strategy was less successful, less responsive, and disrupted in-game immersion. However, with the greatest VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2, the technology is now almost as responsive as the lighthouse. And it’s unquestionably more convenient.
What exactly are virtual reality lighthouses?
Your VR headset must use some technique of sensing both the headgear and the controllers in your hands to keep track of your motions. Lighthouses, or individually installed sensors or positioning trackers, were used in the early VR headsets, which were hooked into your computer.
This is the most precise tracking option, but it’s also the most time-consuming. Unless they’re permanently put in a room, you’ll have to set them up each time you want to play, which means calibrating them each time.
Are there any PC VR headsets that are wireless?
Although the Quest 2 is a wireless headset, it is required to connect it to your gaming PC through a USB Type-C connection in order to get the most out of it. However, there are currently various wireless choices available. To get the throughput you need, you’ll need a Wi-Fi 6 router. Otherwise, you’ll spend the entire time puking your guts out due to constant latency.
The original Vive had a wireless module you could add to the system that was almost successful, albeit the connection dropouts were not something we could live within the long run, based on our experience.
The Valve Index might be owing to the company’s own wireless module since patents have surfaced revealing that a wireless head strap has been investigated for the company’s spectacular goggles.