Best VR headset – the top budget and high-end VR headsets in 2022. Which vr headset to buy for pc

The Vive PRO costs a lot more than any other device, but it’s a very niche product. So people who really need it will pay for it. For example, our clients who study brain responses.

Best VR headsets for PC gaming 2022

Our latest recommendations, including Oculus Quest 2.

VR games really peaked in 2022, and several high-budget options like Half-Life Alyx exist alongside popular indie titles like Beat Saber. This page aims to make choosing the best VR headset for these PC games as simple as possible, giving you the information you need to find a headset that suits your needs at a price you can afford.

Just looking at all the options available can be daunting, especially if you’re new to VR, with dozens of VR headsets recommended by various outlets – even though many are out of active production today. Here are the best headsets you can buy right now:

Headset Summary Best price
Valve index The best VR headset for PC gaming £ 459 / $ 499 (HMD only)
£ 689 / $ 749 (with cons)
£ 919 / $ 999 (full kit)
HP Reverb G2 A high definition headset at a decent price £ 542 / $ 599
Oculus Quest 2 Best value option £ 299 / $ 299 (128GB)
£ 399 / $ 399 (256GB)
HTC Vive Pro 2 HMD with high resolution, but outdated controllers £ 719 / $ 799 (HMD only)
£ 1,299 / $ 1,399 (starter kit)
HTC Vive Kosmos High fidelity, with some problems £ 699 / $ 699
£ 899 / $ 899 (elite)

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With different physical designs, screens, tracking solutions, and price points, there’s a lot to talk about about each option. Fortunately, once you’ve learned a little about each of them, you’ll quickly be able to choose the right one for you. This makes choosing the best VR headset for games like Half-Life Alyx and Beat Saber quite simple – as long as you’re equipped with our recommendations.

Of course, these recommendations will also be more widely used in other VR games, such as Star Wars Squadrons, Tetris Effect, Superhot, and so on. Overall, fast-paced games will benefit from a higher refresh rate, while slower games and VR experiences will benefit from higher resolution and field of view.

If you’re in a hurry, here are our quick recommendations:

  • We believe Valve Index is the best option on the market, thanks to its excellent display, great targeting and precise controls. That way, at least one member of the Digital Foundry played the game and had a lot of fun doing it. Unfortunately, the Index is the most expensive option and availability may be low.
  • The HP Reverb G2 is a good mid-range option that offers great performance and doesn’t have Facebook annoying, but is a bit hard to find in some regions.
  • If you’re not interested in investing almost a penny in your VR habit, the Oculus Quest 2 stands out as a top pick with good controllers and excellent tracking with no base stations required, whether wired, wireless or standalone.

For details, click on the links below or scroll down!

  • Valve Index: Specs, Info, and Best Offers
  • HP Reverb G2: Specifications, Information and Best Offers
  • Oculus Quest 2: Specs, info and best offers
  • HTC Vive Pro 2: Specs, info and best offers
  • HTC Cosmos: Specs, Info and Best Offers

Valve Index: Specs, Info and Best Deals


lCD screen 2880×1600 ● 130 ° field of view ● 80/90/120/144 Hz ● Base station tracking

Valve Index is the best way to play Half-Life Alyx as the game is built to take full advantage of the Index hardware. The 130-degree display has a total resolution of 2880 x 1600 and uses a true RGB sub-pixel array that provides a sharper image than the AMOLED Pentile screens commonly used in VR. The Index screen is also capable of higher refresh rates than other headsets, reaching 144Hz for a much smoother experience but requires a more powerful PC to realize its potential. If you already have a powerful set, Index is the natural choice.

The index is based on base stations which allows for excellent tracking but requires some setup while Knuckle controllers are the best currently available thanks to their tracking by numbers. Audio is also a strong point, and the built-in speakers provide a comfortable and engaging experience. All of this means Valve Index is the VR headset you can get for Half-Life Alyx. Expect it will be difficult to find a stock of this headset despite being one of the most expensive options.

  • HMD only: £ 459 / $ 499 on Steam
  • HMD + controller: £ 689 / $ 749 on Steam
  • HMD + controller + base stations: £ 919 / $ 999 on Steam

We chose the $ 300 mark because it is now a full $ 100 less than the Oculus Rift. That’s a lot of money that could be spent on a better processor or, most importantly, a better graphics card.

Valve Index

The best VR headset is Valve Index.

Valve Index is the most compelling argument for high-quality tethered VR for PC – provided you have the hardware to handle the load. And it does this by breaking form in several ways. Over-ear speakers – while one of the most dubious features before it was launched – have proven to be some of the strongest in the Index. They’re somehow both engaging and comfortably spaced from the ear, with no sound leakage… witchcraft.

In addition to great sound, Index offers two 1440 x 1600 RGB LCD screens, equipped with more sub pixels than their AMOLED alternatives. They’re also a tad wider when it comes to field of view and can run up to 144Hz, rivaling the best gaming monitor. The end result is a display with greater sharpness, clarity and eye comfort for longer. And its controllers are really the best in the world. Index is truly the ultimate VR gaming headset.

What we like
Fantastic sound
Cube controller
Minimal screen doors
Accurate tracking

Valve index specification
Screen Dual LCD display 1440 x 1600
Refresh Up to 144 Hz
FoV 130°
tracking Steam VR Base Stations

Read the PCGamesN Valve Index review for the full verdict and score.

HTC Vive Pro 2

The best VR headset screen is HTC Vive Pro 2

If you’re looking for a great virtual reality experience, the HTC Vive Pro 2 should make you feel itchy. HTC’s latest VR headset has one of the most impressive screens on the market, with a native resolution of 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye, meaning it can provide high-fidelity viewing that will put even some gaming monitors to shame. The HTC Vive Pro 2 screen also runs at 120Hz and has a 120-degree field of view, so you may need to routinely check your reality while wearing this headset.

The Vive Pro 2 is admittedly expensive, especially when compared to some of the other headsets on this list, but if you’re serious about VR gaming, this headset is likely to tick all the boxes. If you already own a previous HTC headset, you’ll be able to pick up the Vive Pro 2 yourself. However, if you’re new to VR assembly, you’ll need to pick a first-gen pair of controllers and a 2.0 base station kit.

What we like
High fidelity screen
120 degree field of view
easy setup
Refresh rate 120 Hz

HTC Vive Pro 2
Screen Single LCD Display (2488 × 2488 per eye)
Refresh 120 Hz
FoV 120°
tracking On the left side

VR appeared in our lives not so long ago and I believe that it is far from the climax. There are many reasons why it is not yet widespread enough.

PlayStation VR

Best VR Headset for Console Players

PlayStation VR

Platform: PS4, PS4 Slim, PS4 Pro | Resolution (per eye): 960 x 1080 | Refresh rate: 120 Hz | Field of view: 100 degrees | Tracking: 6DoF | Weight: 1.34 pounds

Virtual reality has become more accessible than ever, especially for PC gamers, but console gamers aren’t left in the cold of reality. PlayStation VR gives PS4 owners the opportunity to immerse themselves deeper into their games than ever before. The PSVR is a somewhat modest system that can’t boast of the highest-resolution displays, and doesn’t go for crazy room-scale tracking. But while it may lack these extreme features, it makes up for it with a high-quality experience. Many of the best VR games have hit PSVR.

The PSVR has a resolution of 960 x 1080 per eye, but offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz for a smooth experience. And for immersion, a field of view of 100 degrees is enough. The headset itself is one piece of the puzzle as there is also a separate camera and motion controllers that can unlock even more immersive gameplay. And while PSVR was built for both PS4 and PS4 Pro, Sony has made sure it will run on PS5 as well. There is even a free PlayStation Camera Adapter, which shows the commendable commitment of Sony to continue supporting its headset.

Oculus Rift S

Best VR Headset for PC

Oculus Rift S

Platform: PC | Resolution (per eye): 1280 x 1440 | Refresh rate: 80 Hz | Field of view: 110 degrees | Tracking: 6DoF | Weight: 1.2 lb

While headsets like the Oculus Quest 2 and Valve Index show the limits of VR capabilities, the Oculus Rift S (read our review) still offers an experience that has its niche. Since the launch of Quest 2, the price of the Rift S has dropped to a par, making it a PC-connected counterpart. While you can connect Quest 2 to a computer, the Rift S is designed for computer connections, so you’ll have more durable cabling with less latency and more bandwidth than if you weren’t careful with the cables on the Expedition.

The Oculus Rift S has a fairly sharp resolution and offers smoothness with a refresh rate of 80Hz. It also allows you to see more of the virtual world around you thanks to the 110-degree field of view. Unlike the original Oculus Rift (CV1), this model uses inside tracking, meaning you don’t need to set up external cameras and deal with some serious calibration issues. And since this headset is only $ 300 now, you get a really solid value.

We chose the $ 300 mark because it is now a full $ 100 less than the Oculus Rift. That’s a lot of money that could be spent on a better processor or, most importantly, a better graphics card.

Best PC VR headset under $600: HP Reverb G2

If you don’t care about wireless VR and want to invest a little more in a high-quality PC headset, the $ 599 HP Reverb G2 is for you. It was developed in collaboration with Valve, and has some of the best features from the more expensive Index headset, such as near-field speakers. The Reverb G2 also has sharp screens, offering 2160 by 2160 pixels per eye, a refresh rate of 90 Hz, and a relatively wide field of view of 114 degrees.

It’s also the first Windows Mixed Reality headset to include four tracking sensors to help provide more accurate VR tracking, especially during fast-paced games. I also commend HP for creating a headset that is incredibly comfortable thanks to the luxurious cushioning around the eyepiece and back strap.

The Reverb G2 motion controllers weren’t my favorites, but they are still a big step up from the previous HP model. You can also update it to use Valve’s finger trackers, but that does involve hooking SteamVR sensors and a lot of other settings. Still, it’s nice to have an update path available.

Best PC VR headset for gamers: Valve Index

The Valve Index Kit remains one of the best high-end VR solutions on the market. For $ 999, you get an Index headset, Valve’s finger tracking controllers, and two SteamVR base stations. While we’ve seen higher-resolution headsets appear in the last two years, it’s still a very solid option, with a resolution of 1440 by 1600 pixels, an eye-pleasing 144Hz refresh rate, and a huge 130-degree field of view. I’d happily lose a few pixels for a smoother and more expansive screen that’s still way beyond any other consumer headset.

As a SteamVR product, Index requires that two sensors be installed in opposite corners of the room. And of course, it’s wired to your computer. But that clunky is worth it for the higher refresh rate and more accurate tracking. Sure, it’s not as easy to use as the Quest 2, but at this price point, we’re assuming you’ll have a little inconvenience to get a really high-quality VR experience.

Valve’s finger trackers are also fantastic, with a comfortable strap that locks them in place on your palms. They make playing Half-Life: Alyx feel like a dream. It’s a shame that other VR games don’t take full advantage of the finger tracking feature.

We are pleased with the number of high-quality VR headsets that are now available to VR enthusiasts. The Rift and HTC Vive have long dominated the PC VR space, but that is finally over.

What is the Difference Between PC and Standalone VR Devices?

Let’s check out some specific features of the different types of VR.

# 1. Mobility

Mobility - Visartech Blog

Most professional headsets and their controllers have 6 degrees of freedom. See how it works in the photo.

This means that apart from rotation, controllers and goggles can transmit information about their displacement in relation to world coordinates.

Oculus Quest and HTC Vive Focus can determine these 6 degrees of freedom without having to place special sensors in the room to read your location. Most PC virtual reality helmets condemn their owners to placing these sensors in rooms where the immersion session will take place. Therefore, they cannot be used outside of this space.

Additionally, there is a need for tethering to a computer, most of the time this tethering happens literally: with a wire! This significantly reduces the ability to move around the room, causing inconvenience and discomfort. But the biggest disadvantage is precisely the lack of mobility, the inability to use this device without a computer. Even if we get rid of the wire and transmit the information stream via wireless means of communication, we will still be tied to a computer, a separate device.

In our digital age, technology looks wild, just like a wired phone with internet access. On the one hand, you get excellent quality of communication and access to modern technologies, on the other hand, all this does not make sense when you understand how this device limits you.

# 2. Image quality

Yes, that’s a fact. A PC can render an image with much higher quality and better consistency, with a large number of polygons, larger shadows, post-processing and other facilities that allow us to implement the latest gaming graphics cards.

Therefore, if the quality of graphics in your project should be at the highest level, then stand-alone VR is definitely not suitable for you. And if the user experience over graphic quality is your priority, keep reading.

But to justify standalone headsets, the quality of the graphics they can reproduce is good enough by modern standards.

# 3. Additional means of communication

In this category, we classify additional functions, such as imitation of smells or tracking the position of students, which are very rarely used even by owners of devices that have this technology. For example, the HTC Vive PRO EYE with a value of 400 500 has special cameras that monitor the position of the pupil. This method of communication is rarely useful. Although our company has experience in creating a similar application for scientists studying brain reactions.

These devices are very expensive and not very popular. So, if you are looking for a mass consumer, you should not focus on the users of such devices.

Why Standalone VR is Beneficial?

Why am I saying that a stand-alone VR has greater prospects than its older brother?

Here is a list of standalone VR benefits:

  • Graphics chips in standalone devices have made significant gains in performance. Now they are high-performance devices that can process beautiful 3D images. For example, the Oculus Quest has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor with 4 gigabytes of RAM. At the same time, unlike a mobile phone, it does not run applications running in the background, such as GSM network processing, synchronization of applications with the network, etc.
  • The matrices inside such devices are as good as those of professional headsets. Sometimes they are even better.
  • Full mobility.
  • Low price.
  • The possibility of implementing real applications – from the manual for the lawn mower, which is downloaded via the QR code on the package, to the online multiplayer shooter.
  • The ability to use such devices everywhere: at work, at presentations, on the train, at home, with friends. They are as mobile as possible!

I personally created the application for the Oculus Quest platform and I am absolutely delighted with it! The creation process is not complicated at all – everything is exactly the same as with any other VR headset.

In fact, it’s not much different from creating 3D applications for PCs. The processor power allowed us to implement all the planned graphics. He just swallowed complex shadows and lights. Everything was just wonderful. It tracks the controllers no worse than the professional Vive PRO EYE headset, which costs 400,500. The number of feedback interfaces is as high as possible. There are 4 cameras on the front that can be used to control your hands instead of the controllers. And the fingers work like keys.

VR fingers work - Visartech Blog

Moreover, you can implement a certain analog of augmented reality over it. The image obtained through the viewfinders can also be involved in the application. You can broadcast camera images and place both static and dynamic virtual objects in the room. You can interact with these items using your hands or controllers. So I really liked this headset. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to work with Vive Focus yet, but I’m sure it won’t disappoint me either.

Let’s take a look at the starting cost of the most popular headsets at the moment.

  1. Standalone Virtual Reality:
    • Oculus Quest (2019) – From $ 399
    • Vive Focus (2018) – from $ 599
  2. PC VR:
    • Oculus Rift S (2019) – From $ 399
    • Vive (2016) – from $ 499
    • Vive PRO (2019) – from 400 599

As you can see, standalone VR headsets and PCs cost about the same.

Vive Focus is more expensive than Oculus Quest. Perhaps this is its main drawback.

The Vive PRO costs a lot more than any other device, but it’s a very niche product. So people who really need it will pay for it. For example, our clients who study brain responses.

But standalone VR is definitely cheaper than VR for PC. In addition, for PC VR, you still need a fairly powerful computer with a graphics card worth around 400,000.

Analysis Interpret messages based on evidence, including data; predicting how events might develop based on past events or comparing products and services to each other.

Computer Gaming Headsets Under $300

We chose the $ 300 mark because it is now a full $ 100 less than the Oculus Rift. That’s a lot of money that could be spent on a better processor or, most importantly, a better graphics card.

As graphics quality matters a lot in VR, we believe that a cheaper VR headset paired with a powerful graphics card would be a fair compromise.

Acer AH101 Mixed Reality Headset with Wireless Motion Controllers ($327)

Acer AH101 - affordable virtual reality headsets for PCs

Even though the Acer AH101 costs a little more than the $ 300 we’ve set out for the affordable VR headsets, we believe it’s worth a look at.

It comes from a well-known brand of PC hardware and is designed around a VR plan developed by Microsoft.

The Acer AH101 has great potential as a VR gaming headset. It ticks the right boxes when it comes to strict hardware specifications. It has two internal displays with a resolution of 1440 × 1440 pixels each, and the displays work with a comfortable frequency of 90 Hz.

Here the Acer headset competes very well with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, at least on paper. The 90Hz refresh rate is crucial as it offers protection against nausea.

Acer also provides a 105-degree field of view, which is good news for such budget VR headsets. Most cheap headsets have a narrow field of view, which can detract from the experience by showing less than what your eyes would normally see in the real world.

A wide field of view is more natural and allows you to see more of the natural world.

The AH101 design is a bit old-fashioned. The bold blue color scheme is sure to catch the eye, but doesn’t look too elegant or restrained.

Cameras placed at the extreme lengths of this device make it look strange. But this is where the design details end.

As a headset it certainly fits very well. The head strap is quite comfortable and holds the headset well on the head.

The neat detail of the design is that the headset is a bit like a helmet, you can just flip it over if you want to deal with something in the world. This makes it a very comfortable headset to use.

The controllers included with the AH101 are almost the same as the other WMR controllers. They were designed by Microsoft and Acer is simply responsible for the manufacturing process.

The budgetary nature of this device can also be seen through the controllers. They feel cheap. But they do come with some impressive LED tracking lights and fit nicely in the palm of your hand.

These controllers are battery operated and require two AA cells. The controllers come with AA batteries, so you can get started right away, but they are not rechargeable.

Since the AH101 is a Windows Mixed Reality device, it gets access to all VR content in the Windows app store.

Honestly, the game’s content is pretty limited at the moment and compares very poorly to the number of titles available for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. SteamVR support is on the way, so AH101 owners don’t need to despair.

The Acer AH101 is by no means perfect. Its tracking is inferior to that of the HTC Vive, and game support is seriously lacking. But this is a new fixture, so we’re ready to loosen it up a bit. It may take several months for the game support for the WMR platform to really start working.

Final Thoughts

We are pleased with the number of high-quality VR headsets that are now available to VR enthusiasts. The Rift and HTC Vive have long dominated the PC VR space, but that is finally over.

Affordable headsets from China and the Microsoft Mixed Reality platform are likely to force Oculus and HTC to lower the prices of their own headsets even further.

That said, the VR experience of these budget headsets certainly leaves something to be desired. Even great companies such as Acer have not been able to match the Rift or Vive when it comes to VR.

We recommend these headsets if you’re on a tight budget or if you can’t afford a better computer.

However, if you’re ready to wait for the best VR experience, we’ll continue to recommend the Oculus Rift as the best inexpensive way to play VR.

If you’re still wondering whether to go for VR for desktop or console computers, check out our picks of the best inexpensive VR gaming headsets where we analyze headsets like PSVR etc.

The HTC Vive Pro 2 is the best looking VR computer I’ve ever seen. It has a surprisingly sharp 5K screen and a solid 120Hz refresh rate. Just be prepared: the full kit, which includes the goggles, two SteamVR sensors, and wand controllers, costs 150,399. You can also purchase the headset separately for $ 799 as an upgrade to the original Vive Pro or Valve Index.

– All the top VR systems you can buy today

(Pocket-lint) – The idea of ​​virtual reality is certainly not innovative, but in the last decade, technology has broken down some long-term barriers.

VR goggles are now more affordable, both in terms of price and usability. It started with devices like Google Cardboard that opened the door to anyone with a smartphone, but even high-end headsets are now easier to use – and also more attractive.

Modern slot machines are also more efficient, helping you create realistic virtual environments from the comfort of your own home. This makes it a much more exciting time for VR.

As always, we tested some of the best options on the market by experimenting with games and apps to see how they work. We test many different indicators, not only their graphical performance, wearing comfort over an extended period of time and the level of compatibility they offer.

So let’s describe the best choices.

What’s the best VR headset you can buy? Our top recommendation is the Pimax Vision 8K X. However, other great headsets to consider include the HTC Vive Pro 2, HP Reverb G2, Oculus Quest 2, and Oculus Rift S.

Our Top Pick: Best VR Headset

best vr headsets to buy top virtual reality gear in 2020 15

  • Some of the best specs you’ll see
  • Ultra-wide field of view
  • Stunning gaming graphics


The Pimax Vision 8K X is without a doubt the craziest and energy-hungry VR headset we’ve seen.

This VR headset has two 4K displays – one for each eye – and an impressive field of view and high refresh rate.

If you are tech savvy, have a powerful computer to operate, and want the best of everything, this is it today.

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