The Best PC VR Headsets in 2020


11 min read

PC VR is where you’ll find the highest quality visuals and the most ambitious VR games like Half-Life: Alyx. Of course, you’ll need a reasonably powerful gaming PC to plug your headset into. See this article for the specs your PC needs to handle VR headsets.

The Best Valve Index—$1,000


If you’re looking for the very best overall PC VR headset, Valve Index is our pick. It’s pricey compared to the rest, but has an excellent balance of quality, performance, and comfort. That’s why we called it “the enthusiast’s choice” in our full review of the headset.

Pros

Things to love about Index are its excellent tracking performance, wide field of view, quality controllers, and range of ergonomic adjustments that make it easy to dial in a comfortable and clear fit.

Index is one of the few headsets that offers an eye-relief change. This lets you bring the lenses as close to your eyes as comfortable, allowing you to maximize your field of view; it also makes the headset easier to adjust for glasses. Index has a physical IPD change which ranges from 58mm to 70mm, making it easy to align the lenses with the width of your eyes for the sharpest visuals.



But Index isn’t perfect. Compared to other headsets on the market, the external tracking system is more work to set up, typically requiring two tracking beacons mounted on opposite corners of a room, stuck on a tripod, or placed up high on a shelf. They also need to be plugged into their own power outlets. And while Index has cameras on the front for a pass-through view, it isn’t as quick or useful as we’ve seen on other headsets. And did we mention the price tag of $1,000? You can get it cheaper though if you already have Steam VR Tracking base stations from an old Vive headset.


Valve Index Specs
Resolution1,440 × 1,600 (2.3MP) per-eye (LCD)
Refresh Rate80Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz
LensesDouble element Fresnel
Field of View~130° diagonal
Optical AdjustmentsIPD, eye-relief
IPD Range58–70mm
ConnectorsUSB 3.0, DisplayPort 1.2, 12V power
Cable Length5m + 1m breakaway
TrackingSteamVR Tracking 1.0 or 2.0 (external beacons)
ControllersValve Index controllers
AudioOff-ear headphones, 3.5mm aux output
MicrophoneDual microphone
Pass-through CamerasStereo 960 × 960

Content Compatibility

Valve Index is officially compatible with the Steam VR library where the vast majority of VR content is available. If you’re looking to play content, that’s exclusive to the Oculus PC library (like Asgard’s Wrath) you can use the free but unofficial Revive mod to play Oculus PC content on Valve Index. It may take some tweaking for performance and controlled inputs, but mostly Oculus content will play reasonably well on Index.


Value Pick: Oculus Quest 2 with Oculus Link (and Elite Strap)—$350


Although Quest 2 is a standalone headset (which means games run directly in the headset without plugging into something else) it also has a feature called Oculus Link which gives you the option to plug the headset into a PC and run PC VR games.

Pros


Along with the useful pass through feature, high resolution display, and great controllers, Quest 2 is a pretty great all-around headset. Oculus says that Link on Quest 2 will see some updates to improve performance soon, but even at its current level of performance, the hard-to-beat price of Quest 2 makes it a great value, especially considering the fact that the headset also runs standalone VR games from the Oculus Quest store.


Unfortunately, the cable that comes with Quest 2 isn’t long enough to work well for Oculus Link, and we can’t recommend the official cable because of its crazy $80 price tag. Thankfully, you can get 26 feet worth of Oculus Link cable for $34.

And, as we found in our full review, we weren’t big fans of Quest 2’s soft head strap, so we’d highly recommend dropping the extra $50 for the Elite Strap accessory [Amazon] if you’re serious about playing PC VR games. It’s also worth noting that you need a Facebook account (and be ok with Facebook’s strengthening grip on the VR industry) to use the headset.

Oculus Quest 2 Specs
Resolution1,832 × 1,920 (3.5MP) per-eye [LCD]
Refresh Rate60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz
LensesSingle element Fresnel
Field of View~90° diagonal
Optical AdjustmentsIPD, eye-relief (via included spacer)
IPD Range58mm, 63mm, 68mm
ProcessorSnapdragon XR2
RAM6GB
Storage64GB / 256GB
ConnectorsUSB-C
Battery Life2-3 hours
TrackingOculus Insight (no external beacons)
ControllersOculus Touch v3
AudioIn-headstrap speakers, 3.5mm aux output
MicrophoneYes
Pass-through CamerasYes
Content Compatibility

Without being plugged into a computer, Quest 2 can only play games from the Oculus Quest library. If you plug into a computer via Oculus Link, you’ll have access to everything in the Oculus PC and Steam VR libraries as well. That means that Quest 2 is compatible with the vast majority of top VR content out there, as long as you’ve got a powerful PC to plug the headset into.


Though HP’s Reverb G2 hasn’t launched yet, it’s worth keeping your eye on if you don’t want to drop the full $1,000 on Index but still want a dedicated PC VR headset. Reverb G2 should be on your radar, especially if you’re thinking of picking up a VR headset for seated PC VR games like driving and flight simulators thanks to its high resolution.

When it comes right down to it, G2’s defining feature is its class-leading resolution of 2,160 × 2,160. Thanks to collaboration between Valve and HP, G2 also borrows the excellent headphones of Valve’s Index headset and will be the first headset to finally deliver improved controllers compared to prior WMR headsets.

Although the headset hasn’t launched yet, our hands-on with the Reverb G2 prototype earlier this year had us very impressed with its clarity, and at $600 we’re definitely intrigued.

Reverb G2 will begin shipping in November, but pre-orders today expected to deliver until December. If you don’t mind waiting a few months to pick up a new headset, it might be worth holding out for the verdict on the G2.

HP Reverb G2 Specs
Resolution2,160 × 2,160 (4.7MP) per-eye (LCD)
Refresh Rate90Hz
LensesSingle element Fresnel
Field of View114° diagonal
Optical AdjustmentsIPD
IPD Range60–68mm
ConnectorsUSB-C, DisplayPort, Power
Cable Length6m
TrackingQuad on-board camera (no external beacons)
ControllersReverb G2 controllers
AudioOff-ear headphones
MicrophoneYes
Pass-through CamerasYes
Content Compatibility

HP Reverb G2 works natively with the Windows Mixed Reality store, but very few VR applications are available there. Fortunately, a free and official plugin from Microsoft also makes it compatible with Steam VR content. If you’re looking to play content, that’s exclusive to the Oculus PC library (like Asgard’s Wrath) you can use the free but unofficial Revive mod to play Oculus PC content on Reverb G2.


The Best Standalone VR Headsets in 2020

Standalone VR headsets are fully self-contained and don’t need to plug into anything. They offer high ease-of-use thanks to their all-in-one nature and lack of tether. With their low overall cost (thanks to not needing a high-end PC) standalone headsets are a great way to take your first step into VR.

The Best: Oculus Quest 2 with Elite Strap—$350


Quest 2 is an upgrade over its predecessor in almost every way. You need a Facebook account (and need to be ok with Facebook’s strengthening grip on the VR industry) to use the headset.


With an impressive resolution, powerful Snapdragon XR2 processor, useful ‘pass through’ view feature, and great controllers, there’s a lot to like about Quest 2. also, if you ever decide to upgrade to PC-powered VR, Quest 2 can plug into your computer and  used like a PC VR headset. With overall value, no other standalone headset is in the same ballpark right now.


But there’ are a few things we wish were better. As we found in our full Quest 2 review, the included soft head strap just isn’t that comfortable, which is why we recommend the Elite Strap ($50 on Amazon) or Elite Battery Strap (bundled with a case for $130 on Amazon) accessories if you’re a serious VR user.


The hidden built-in speakers are convenient, but we wish they were more powerful for better immersion (luckily there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack if you want to bring your own audio). And while Quest 2 has a pretty strong game library, since it’s a standalone headset you won’t be able to play any of the big PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx or Asgard’s Wrath unless you have a powerful PC to plug into.

Oculus Quest 2 Specs
Resolution1,832 × 1,920 (3.5MP) per-eye [LCD]
Refresh Rate60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz
LensesSingle element Fresnel
Field of View~90° diagonal
Optical AdjustmentsIPD, eye-relief (via included spacer)
IPD Range58mm, 63mm, 68mm
ProcessorSnapdragon XR2
RAM6GB
Storage64GB / 256GB
ConnectorsUSB-C
Battery Life2-3 hours
TrackingOculus Insight (no external beacons)
ControllersOculus Touch v3
AudioIn-headstrap speakers, 3.5mm aux output
MicrophoneYes
Pass-through CamerasYes
Content Compatibility

Oculus Quest 2 is compatible with all content in the Oculus Quest library. If you have (or get in the future) a gaming PC, you can plug it into your PC to play content in the Oculus PC library and the Steam VR library.


Yup, our value pick for standalone headset is the same as our ‘Best’ pick: Quest 2! But if your brand new to VR and are just looking for a taste, you can probably hold off on the Elite Strap accessory and save yourself $50 in the meantime. If you use the headset often, you can always add the strap later.

See the section above for thoughts and details on Quest 2.

The Best Console VR Headsets in 2020

If you know anything about VR, you’ll already know what we’re going to say! PS4 is the only console that currently supports a VR headset (sorry Xbox fans), and PlayStation VR is the only console VR headset you can use. That makes PSVR ‘the best’ console VR headset by default, but that doesn’t mean we recommend it.


PSVR launched in late 2016 and was a great headset for its era, including a handful of excellent exclusive VR games you won’t find anywhere else. However, the headset is officially past its prime in 2020 and feels ‘last generation’ in resolution, tracking, and controllers compared to what’s available elsewhere in the VR landscape.


It’s hard to recommend buying the four-year-old PSVR today as it’ll still cost you around $350 new [Amazon]. By all means, if you find it somewhere on sale or used for cheap it might be worth picking up to run through some of Sony’s great exclusive VR games, but otherwise wait and see what Sony has planned for VR on its next-gen PS5.

PSVR Specs
Resolution960 x 1,080 (1.0MP) per-eye (RGB OLED)
Refresh Rate90Hz, 120Hz
LensesSingle element non-Fresnel
Field of View100° diagonal
Optical AdjustmentsEye-relief
ConnectorsUSB, HDMI
Cable Length4.4m
TrackingStereo camera (external camera)
ControllersDual Shock 4, PS Move, PS Aim
AudioEarbuds, 3.5mm aux output
MicrophoneYes
Pass-through CamerasNo
Content Compatibility

PlayStation VR is only compatible with VR content in the PlayStation store, which includes a handful of excellent exclusives not available on PC like Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Blood & Truth. You can also use the headset to play non-VR PS4 content in a ‘theater mode’ through the headset, but with relatively low resolution it’s not something you’re likely to do often.


You should also check out the following articles:

  1. Apple’s first headset will focus on “high-quality” games, reporter claims
  2. Pets, people, and Android Phone Notifications are now visible in Quest 2.
  3. 30 The top virtual reality games in 2021
  4. 10 Accessories to Improve Your Flight Simulator in VR
  5. November 26, 2021 is Black Friday. Deals on Video Games and Virtual Reality in 2021
  6. Facebook wants to build a metaverse. Microsoft is creating something even more ambitious.
  7. Metaverse’s Cryptocurrency Leaps in Price After Facebook Rebrands as Meta
  8. Best VR Gifts for Christmas in 2022
  9. What is Augmented reality (AR) ?


Subscribe now to our YouTube channel


Subscribe now to our Facebook Page


Subscribe now to our twitter page


Subscribe now to our Instagram


Subscribe To my personal page on linkedin


Subscribe To my personal page on tiktok page for those who love to dance :)


Don't forget to be my friend. Sign up for my friend's letter. So I can tell you ALL about the news from the world of VR&AR, plus as my new friends I will send you my new article on how to make money from VR&AR for free.