While hardly a new industry, the increasing prevalence of virtual reality gaming or video content may have you considering one of the many available headsets. Some are highly advanced and expensive, while some are simply 360-degree video viewing machines. Want to know what the best ones are and what’s right for you? Check out our top picks below.
The Oculus Quest offers up a fantastic experience and will likely be the go-to option for most people. Not only is it a self-contained system that doesn’t rely on additional connections, but it also comes in at a cheaper (read: not cheap) price than a lot of the competition out there at $400.
Built-in spatial tracking allows you to explore freely and built-in audio ensures that you can hear both your VR content and the environment around you. Not only that, the Quest allows you to cast content to smartphones and TVs if you want to share your experience with others.
While it does offer a large game library, some of the competition bests it. Then again, much of the competition relies on additional wires, PC connections, and can cost twice as much in some instances, so it really depends on what you’re looking to get out of your VR headset. For what it does do, the Oculus Quest finds balance between function, price, and just plain fun.
The Playstation VR hardly needs an introduction, given that it’s been around for a handful of years at this point. That said, the gaming options made available to the headset are hard to ignore, still making this a worthy purchase, even today. One of the greatest parts of the PS VR’s age is that you can find it on sale fairly often. A bundle containing the PSVR and a few games can sometimes go down as far as the $200 mark.
The resolution on the Playstation VR’s 5.7-inch OLED panel is limited to 1080p and not the 2K+ resolutions found on some of the other, more expensive options. Nonetheless, the lack of pixels shouldn’t sway you, as it’s made up for with the overall experience and game selection.
If you already have a Playstation 4 and you don’t have a powerful PC that other VR headsets require, it’s really a no brainer to go with the PSVR. As long as you’re okay with the possibility for it to be superceded after the Playstation 5 is announced sometime next year.
If you have a capable PC and graphics card, you’re undoubtedly looking for an equally capable VR headset. If so, then the Oculus Rift S is a great option. Technically speaking, you can get a more powerful VR headset, but the Rift S gives you a better value for what you get, coming in at around $400.
Like its cousin, the Quest, you’ll also be treated to built-in tracking, alleviating the need for external sensors. Of course, since this is a headset design for use of a PC, you’ll be tethered.
If money is no object, you can feel free to go big with the HTC Vive or Valve Index, but the Rift S will help you go at least some of the distance for substantially less.
If you’re not looking to spend a ton of money on a new headset and want to work with what you have, then smartphone VR headsets will help you do just that. There are several options to choose from, but if you own a Samsung smartphone, the Gear VR provides one of the best experiences for you.
This particular segment of VR is more closely associated with 360 degree video experiences than full-on gaming ones. The Gear VR itself hasn’t been updated for newer phones in the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note lineup, but it will more than likely work just fine. It comes with a controller for navigation as well.
If you don’t have a Samsung device, but want to dive into VR, you can also look into Google’s own Daydream VR headset.