The best VR headsets will soon have a new competitor in their midst - the Meta Quest 3's release date is looming, and it's bound to fly in now we're getting excited. With PSVR 2 and Meta Quest Pro already paving the way for VR excitement in 2023, Quest 3 could really be the icing on the cake. If you want to scope out the field before this new challenger arrives, we've pulled together a list of the best VR headsets down below.
Paying $3.5 grand for Apple's ski mask probably isn't the most appealing option, so you'll be glad to know that it is possible to find some of the best VR headsets for between $300 and $600. Premium devices from the likes of HTC, Meta, and Valve can still trickle into that four-figure mark, but not nearly to the tune of $3,000. If you're looking for the best tech available for PC VR, we'd argue a grand's investment is worth it. Keep in mind, if you already have one of the best gaming PCs, you might not need to spend as much. Don't forget though, that PC gaming isn't your only route in. The Meta Quest 2 is still as viable as ever, and PSVR 2 is one of the best VR headsets for gaming we've seen.
To help you navigate this often complicated-seeming market, we've rounded up the best VR headsets you can buy at the moment down below. We've put this guide together based on both our own hands-on experience and by balancing spec lists and price points to find the best value platforms. Of course, VR isn't the cheapest gaming space to jump into, especially when the cost of living is as high as it is. PSVR 2's launch marks a great moment for affordability in high-end VR gaming, though, and in our PSVR 2 review, we praised it for its premium feature set that usually costs far more.
The Quick List
The best VR headset for gaming overall
Sony's second venture into VR blends top specs, value, and innovative features. With a growing library of games every month, this is our top pick overall.
Best PC VR headset
The best VR headset for PC
The Vive Pro 2 has some of the best specs on the market, and can turn any doubter of VR into a believer. It's pricey, and there's a lot to set up, but it's just brilliant.
The most affordable VR headset
The Meta Quest 2 still packs a punch, and is still worth buying despite the Quest 3 being so close. If you'd struggle to afford another headset, go for this one.
Best premium VR headset for PC
If it's the most premium feeling VR headset for gaming you want, the Valve Index might just take the cake. But be warned, it doesn't come cheap.
Best for mid-range PCs
The best VR headset for mid-range PCs
If your PC doesn't have the beefy specs a lot of VR headsets require, you might be better suited to a less demanding headset like the Vive Cosmos Elite.
The best VR headset for gaming overall
PSVR 2's list of impressive tech specs adds up to a highly cohesive VR package. This is a headset that absolutely oozes value for money, especially when you add up the costs of VR gaming on a PC. A high-end PC that will make the most of the other VR powerhouses on this list will likely set you back more than a grand. Add in the thousand or so you'll spend on one of those headsets alone, and you've got quite the investment. Meanwhile, a PS5 will set you back around $500, with PSVR 2 setting you back $549. For that amount, you get an incredible VR platform and a growing number of must-play games.
✅You play games on a PS5 anyway: If PS5 is your platform of choice, it makes total sense for you to grab yourself a PlayStation VR headset.
✅You don't have a powerful gaming PC: If you don't have a beefy CPU and GPU, and can't afford to build a PC that's VR-ready, a PSVR 2 saves a lot of hassle.
✅You want the best VR features for cheaper: PSVR 2 has some features that are exclusive to high-end PC VR headsets - and thanks to some great innovations, even beats them. Despite that, it's cheaper than the majority of them.
❌You don't have a PS5: It goes without saying, but if you don't have a PS5, PSVR 2 won't work on its own or with a PC. Hopefully, it gets PC compatibility at some point.
❌You won't use it: VR isn't for everyone, and being a lifelong PlayStation gamer, I know what it's like to want the next bit of hardware just because it's available. This is a hefty investment. If you aren't going to use it for VR, give this a miss.
❌You want access to loads of games right away: PSVR 2's library of games is still growing, and it isn't a patch on Steam's options or Meta's expansive library. If you want more games right away, look elsewhere.
Design: The aesthetics of PSVR 2 are a beautiful evolution of Sony's first visor. Subtly rounded corners and camera placement on the corners of the headset's front panel make it look futuristic. The raised headband design makes it feel lighter than the original as well, although can put some uncomfortable pressure on your noggin.
Features: For your money, you get a slew of impressive features that ground you in VR experiences like never before. Haptic feedback in the excellent VR2 Sense controllers, the headband, and some light trigger resistance - these features arguably feel more at home in VR than they do on the DualSense. The OLED panel looks astounding whether you're fully immersed in the 110-degree FOV, or whether you're playing non-VR content in cinematic mode. The clever integrations thanks to really solid eye-tracking and foveated rendering will have your jaw continually hitting the floor too.
Performance: PSVR 2's well of high-end VR features all add up to such a great platform to experience gaming on. It's admittedly hamstrung by its lack of compatibility with PSVR1, or indeed PC. Its list of games is growing though, and barring a couple of exceptions, each game that's released for it is capable of turning a lot of heads (pun intended).
The OLED panel technology inside PSVR 2 is second-to-none. It makes a device that's just over $500 feel like something worth double that. Visual fidelity in this headset is breathtaking, and combining OLED tech with foveated rendering is a work of genius.
When it comes to room tracking, you always feel safe. PSVR 2 never fails to warn you if you're overstepping the mark. Continual software updates have helped improve performance, and Cinematic Mode is continually one of my favorite uses of this device. Outer Wilds, Returnal, HUNT: Showdown - games that are totally immersive at the best of times get a heart-pounding boost played like this.
In terms of specs, features, and value for money, PSVR 2 has blasted its way onto the scene, leaving the rest of the VR gaming competition in its wake with a stellar all-round package.
Editor's note: PSVR 2 is now available at other retailers! After an initial launch period where it was only available through PlayStation's Direct store, you can now get a headset, or a Horizon Call of the Mountain bundle at a myriad of UK and US retailers.
We've used our price comparison software down below to find you the best deals in your area.
The best VR headset for PC
If you're after the best VR headset for PC gaming money can buy, we'd point you in the direction of the HTC Vive Pro 2. This is certainly a big kid's toy, coming in at $800 for the headset alone, without taking the extra required accessories and high-end PC into account. However, for specialists and budget-busting enthusiasts, the HTC Vive Pro 2's 4896 x 2448 resolution, pinpoint motion tracking, and Steam VR integrations make it a must-see.
✅You have a powerful PC: VR can be CPU and GPU-intensive. If you want to make use of this headset's visuals, make sure your rig is equipped for it.
✅You want the best visuals possible: If you don't have a beefy CPU and GPU, and can't afford to build a PC that's VR-ready, a PSVR 2 saves a lot of hassle.
✅You're okay with a VR setup dominating a room: HTC Vive Pro 2 does require a mapped-out space with dedicated sensors that are a faff to install every time you want to use them. If you're happy with VR being a mainstay, buy away.
❌You don't have the funds: VR is expensive, especially if it's this headset. If you want VR but can't afford this and a hefty gaming PC, go for a cheaper option.
❌You don't have a powerful PC: To get the most bang for your buck, you'll need a hefty rig. If you don't have one, go for a standalone headset.
❌You don't have the space: If a permanent PCVR setup isn't something you can fit in your living room, maybe don't go for this one.
Design and Features: That 4896 x 2448 per eye resolution sits at the very top of the current market, offering up super clean visuals that you won't find on cheaper headsets. You are tethered to a PC here, and that's going to need to be capable of the heavy lifting required for that visual fidelity.
Combine that incredible resolution with the gargantuan 120° field of view and refresh rate of up to 120Hz, and you're onto a high-end headset. Everything encasing all that tech is also incredibly premium. We love the futuristic external aesthetic, but not as much as the lightweight design.
Performance: The quality of the HTC Vive Pro 2 does reveal itself over time. It took our reviewer a couple of days to fully adopt the correct settings for his eyes, so it's worth noting that you'll need some extra tinkering time for the best result. However, once you're there, the investment you've made is well worth it.
Make no mistake, as far as all-round PC VR performance goes, the HTC Vive Pro 2 is up there with the best on the market. Sure, there are competitors that do certain aspects just as well, but those can be even more pricey, and even then, you won't get this graphical fidelity.
We did find the setup process a little tedious in our testing, plotting out the base stations took a long time, and we'd heavily recommend wall-mounting them for the best effect (which will take even longer). You'll need to pick up two Steam VR base stations and motion controllers for the full experience, which will set you back around $600 extra all in. However, once you do there's a new level of tracking and motion at your fingertips - one that other VR headsets can sometimes struggle to match unless doing so while sacrificing other features.
The most affordable VR headset
The Meta Quest 2 is still the best value VR headset on the market for the majority of players, even if it's staring down the barrel of the Quest 3's launch. This remains one of the cheapest mid-range VR options out there, so if you're looking for no-fuss VR on a budget, this is just the headset for you.
✅You're on a budget: VR is an expensive hobby. If you want to give it a try without investing too heavily in a PC or high-end device, the Quest 2 is your dream come true.
✅You want no strings attached: This is a fully standalone device, so there's no fussy setup process and you aren't tethered to a gaming PC or PS5.
✅You want to do more than just game: The Meta Quest 2 has a library of tonnes of apps and media streaming services. If you're into the age of spatial computing, a Meta Quest Pro might help you step into it.
❌You're okay with battery life gripes: Not that we'd recommend playing VR games for more than 30 or 40 minutes without a break, but the battery life will drain if you do that fairly often.
❌You don't mind privacy concerns, and trust Meta: Facebook and Instagram, now owned by Meta, don't have the cleanest track record when it comes to privacy and data protection. This device falls under that same company umbrella, so if you're alright with that, go right ahead.
❌You won't get decent use out of it: VR is a really fun novelty to try out, but if you aren't certain you'll use it regularly, there's not all that much point in buying a Meta Quest 2. That said, if you don't plan to use a VR headset often, this is one of the best to go for.
Design and features: While we were a little disappointed to find the Oculus Quest 2 felt a little cheaper than its predecessor, it's actually very comfortable to wear, and there are plenty of great Meta Quest 2 accessories if you want the perfect feel for you.
The Quest 2 is lighter than most other headsets on the market, with a weight of 503g. The resolution of 3664 x 1920 per eye may not be all that impressive compared to newer headsets, or ones that can utilize gaming PC power, but for a standalone this works just brilliantly. Similarly, 100 degrees of FOV is more than enough for something of this price - you won't need to sustain your disbelief with specs like these.
In our Meta Quest Pro review, we found the battery life and AR features made it much less viable than the Meta Quest 2 remains today. The Quest 2 will last just over 2 hours on a full charge, and that's without the Elite Strap that can give you an extra battery pack boost. To be fair, whoever is gaming solidly in one VR session for over two hours, we salute you. Please remember to play responsibly and keep hydrated!
Performance: With the Quest 2, you're free to roam your surroundings with no limiting tracking area and a super flexible setup overall. This is an all-in-one self-contained unit with a speedy processor and plenty of RAM for today's games. That means you won't need to invest in a high-end gaming PC to keep things running smoothly here - you're all good to go straight out of the box. And it's difficult to understate just how important that is to Meta Quest 2's value.
With so many of the best VR headsets costing well over $500 / £500 (and still requiring a separate PC brain or PS5 to function), packing the tracking features, high-resolution display, 90Hz framerate, and comfortable experience into a sub-$400 / £400 price point is incredibly impressive.
The best premium VR headset for gaming
The Valve Index is one of the go-to VR choices for PC gamers, and for good reason. This is a total luxury device that will match anyone who has a beefy gaming PC already. It isn't pricey though, and arguably these days you can get better all-round performance for less cash.
Design and Features: There are a few features of the Valve Index that we need to get out of the way right at the start. First up is that finger tracking system. Rather than relying on per-controller tracking, the Valve Index has stepped where no VR headset has gone before - adding sensors for each individual finger via a touch-sensitive panel. The second is a 120Hz refresh rate that will cover for a slightly lower resolution by allowing games to slide across the screen without a hint of a flicker.
✅You play a lot of Steam games anyway: This is an excellent choice for anyone who has a massive Steam library already.
✅You want a premium-feeling device: Just by looking at it, you can tell the Valve Index is a luxury device, even in the VR market.
✅You want gaming features more than resolution: It's a close call between the Index and HTC, if you'd rather go with Valve's option, you will miss out on some extra visual oomph.
❌You're short on cash: There are plenty of great headsets that are cheaper but are still worth buying. You don't need to go high-end if your budget won't allow it.
❌You don't have a high-end gaming PC: This is a headset that you'll get more value out of if you have a powerful gaming PC waiting for it at home.
❌You're worried about futureproofing: The Valve Index is still a powerhouse these days, but if you want something even more future-proofed in 2023, maybe wait for a newer model.
Performance: The Valve Index is a VR headset for those fully invested in the PC gaming space, the specialists that already have the PC humming away in the corner and are looking to put it to the test. While the headset itself costs £499 / £459, the full kit will set you back $999 / £919. That's cheaper than the full price of the HTC Vive Pro 2 and all of its gadgets, though you're favoring tracking over resolution here
With the whole of Steam behind it, you'd be hard-pressed to be bored in this headset's list of virtual worlds. However, it is worth noting that fewer Steam titles can take full advantage of these unique tracking features so you're certainly proofing yourself for the future rather than enjoying better visuals in every game.
The best VR headset for mid-range PCs
If the HTC Vive Pro 2, or indeed the Valve Index looks a little pricey, the Vive Cosmos Elite system might be the best VR headset for those looking for something mid-range. HTC launched its Cosmos headset to very little fanfare a few years ago, and on its own, the headset sits as a fully modular system that you can upgrade with a different faceplate and SteamVR tracking bases as you please. However, its final form is the Vive Cosmos Elite, making this iteration the best VR headset in its line.
Design and Features: While the resolution is behind the much cheaper Oculus Quest 2 (the full Cosmos Elite system will do over $800 worth of damage, there's enough power in that 2880 x 1700 display to keep up with the premium Valve Index system. That means no screen door effect and a clear display (supported by a 90Hz refresh rate). If you're after a full suite of tracking sensors, then, this is the most affordable option available to you right now - and it still does a solid job of rendering everything in high-quality graphics.
The best looking VR headset
✅You want faff-free room tracking: The cameras on this device do all the room tracking with cameras.
✅You want a good-looking headset: The design of this headset is futuristic and makes it look just like the Valve Index.
✅You want a PC VR headset on the cheap: It's not as pricey as other PC VR headsets, and it has some competitive features compared to them.
❌ You'd rather have the best of the best: If you can afford more, shop further up this list.
❌You don't play on PC: As mentioned, PC VR requires a decent PC - maybe go for something else if you don't have a machine capable of harnessing this headset's power.
❌You want something more readily available: This can be a bit harder to find than other headsets.
Not many have the HP Reverb G2 on their shopping list, but HP does have a sleeper hit on its hands with its $600 VR headset. It's worth noting that this is much easier to find in the US, and you'll likely be limited to special editions running over £600 if you're browsing in the UK.
Design and Features: With heavy emphasis placed on resolution, but some nice quality-of-life features baked in (how has nobody else thought of having the display flip up so you can see your surroundings?) there's plenty to love here, even if overall this set doesn't quite beat out some of the higher options on this list.
More than that though, this is a headset that looks like something taken straight out of the Batcave. You'd also be forgiven for thinking it was a Valve Index, as the two have very similar aesthetics. Essentially, if you want a cheaper route into high-end PC VR, this might be your best bet.
Performance: You won't need any external tracking sensors here, the HP Reverb G2 takes care of all of that itself with cameras. Plus, there's very little setup to get out of the way. This is a Windows headset through and through, so connecting to your PC is as simple as plugging it in and letting Windows 10 or 11 complete your installations and software tweaks.
While tracking a little behind Oculus in its value offering, the HP Reverb G2 is a solid buy for any PC enthusiasts who don't want to have to kit out their home to step into a virtual world.
Best VR headsets 2023: FAQs
What is the current best VR headset?
The best VR headset for the vast majority of people is going to be the Meta Quest 2. It's an affordable option that still offers plenty of functionality with a wide range of services and games. However, PSVR 2 punches well above its weight thanks to its all-around excellence. It has specs and features that are reserved for much more expensive headsets. If you're after the full experience on PC, we'd recommend a headset with full room tracking, like the HTC Vive Pro 2, or the Valve Index.
Is the Meta Quest Pro worth it?
Although it's the latest release from the folks at Oculus, we found that the Meta Quest Pro couldn't escape the DNA of its Meta rebrand. As a standalone gaming VR headset, it has some impressive specs, but it has a lot of Metaversal fluff that can't be avoided, and that brings some serious privacy concerns into play. Unfortunately, we can't recommend it over the Meta Quest 2 in any real capacity, especially due to the extremely poor battery life that didn't even live up to the 10 hours Meta quotes for it.
Will Apple Vision Pro be good for gaming?
Certainly in terms of the Apple Vision Pro specs and hardware features we know so far, it could very well be one of the best VR headsets for gaming. Having said that, it's not designed specifically for gaming, so it could also swing the other way. There are no controllers for Apple Vision Pro, and the battery life with the small battery pack you're tethered to will only last you up to two hours, so it might not be ideal. We also don't know what kind of video game library we'll get for it yet.
Is Meta Quest 2 worth it?
The Oculus, or Meta Quest 2 is definitely one of the best VR headsets on the market, whether you want something for gaming or more general VR use. Perhaps the best thing about it is that it it's wireless, and doesn't need to be linked to a PS5 or PC in order to play at full power. Of course, it can be linked to a PC, but the fact it's independent of more expensive hardware means it's highly accessible for folks who can't afford it all. Oculus also has an expansive digital library of games since its one of the original names in VR gaming.
Is it worth buying VR in 2023?
Even the best VR headsets won't be worth it for everyone - in fact, the very top of the range will likely only make sense for a small selection of people. However, now that developers have started producing more and more larger-scale games (Resident Evil, Half-Life, and Star Wars franchises all have recent releases) and those prices are starting to fall, it's well worth investing in a VR headset if you're keen on exploring a new avenue in gaming.
What VR has the highest resolution?
Technically, the HTC Vive Pro 2 has the highest resolution display on our list. Per-eye, you get 4896 x 2448 pixels. For gaming, it doesn't get much better than that up or down the price bracket. Having said that, PSVR 2 gets pretty close with a resolution of 2000 x 2040 PPE, and since it has an OLED panel to the Vive Pro 2's LCD one, its visuals are also stunning.
What do you need for VR?
The first thing you'll need to get started in the world of virtual reality is a VR headset. Of course, finding the right model is easier said than done, but if you're looking for a solid experience while just starting out, we'd recommend sticking with the Oculus Quest 2. It's a fully standalone headset, which means you won't need a premium gaming PC to run it (or the cables to hook it up).
However, if you're opting for something a little more luxurious, you will likely need a PC with at least an Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card, 8GB RAM, and an Intel i5 processor - better specs will produce a far better result, of course.
On top of that, you may also need to purchase additional controllers and tracking stations to complete your setup.
Which VR headset is the most realistic?
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Speaking broadly, all VR headsets will give you a sensation of realism like no other type of gaming. The entire appeal of the platform is that it puts your sensations in the middle of whatever virtual experience you want. In terms of realistic visuals, however, one headset beats out the rest by having a stronger resolution. If you want the best of the best, our top pick would need to be the HTC Vive Pro 2, which has a 120 degree field of view and a 2448p LCD display.
How to choose the best VR headset for you
One of the biggest factors when choosing the best VR headset for you will likely be your budget. If cash is your only factor, you'll find a breakdown of the best VR headsets in each price range just below, but be aware that there's plenty more to this story if you're browsing above $600.
- $100 - $400 - Meta Quest 2
- $400 - $600 - PSVR 2
- $600 - $1,000 - HTC Vive Pro 2
- $1,000+ Valve Index (or a mixed reality one like Meta Quest Pro)
Beyond cash value, there are a number of features that separate budget, mid-range, and high-end headsets. Generally, these are screen resolution, panel type, field of view, and tracking support.
The best VR headset for you might be the one with the highest resolution. That's because resolution is such an important aspect of the virtual reality experience, and a high-quality display will remove the screen door effect and keep your games feeling fresh and immersive. If you're spending more than $600 on your headset, you'll want to make sure you're getting a resolution of above 3664 x 1920.
VR headsets are quickly adopting OLED displays moving forwards, thanks to the increased color contrast and vividity. If you want to remain on the cusp of emerging developments, then, it might be worth waiting for the perfect headset with an OLED panel (many of the best options today still use an LCD).
Field of view
The average field of view among the best VR headsets is around 100 degrees, with variances running around 10 degrees either way. The higher the field of view, the more you're going to be able to see around you, and the better the headset will recreate natural human vision. If you're looking to use your VR headset for gaming, then, it's well worth making sure you're hitting at least 100-110°.
Cheaper VR headsets use onboard cameras to track their placement, and your heads, within a virtual world. However, moving up the price scale, more specialist devices often employ additional hardware like tracking bases to set up room-scale tracking with far greater accuracy. You can game on a headset with onboard tracking, and if you're simply looking for casual entertainment, we'd recommend sticking with this far more affordable solution. However, if you're splashing some cash, it's well worth investing in a rig that can accurately track your whole play space.
Many of the best gaming laptops are also VR-ready now, but if you're keeping your search strictly to headwear, check out our guide to PSVR vs HTC Vive vs Oculus for more buying advice. Find out more about how we make our recommendations with the full GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy.