Making the leap into VR? Between PC, consoles, and standalone devices, here are the best VR headsets 2022 has to offer.
Virtual reality is trucking along, with Meta, Sony, and Valve still investing a lot of time into their various headsets. While we have no news on the upcoming Meta Cambria headset, Sony did finally show off a few new features from the upcoming PSVR2.
So what is currently the best VR headset to get in 2022? Does the Meta Quest 2 still hold the top overall spot? Or is it just not worth it since they increased the price?
Like many buying decisions, the best choice is not universal and comes down to your personal circumstances. Depending on where or how you play, your choice of headset can change.
There’s never been a better time to invest in VR gaming, though! As we’ve seen an increasing number of developers invest in premium VR experiences. Between killer apps like Beat Saber and Half-Life Alyx – or even smaller ones like VRChat – many big streamers have jumped into the action too.
If you’re looking to discover what’s the best VR headset to buy in 2022 for some VR gaming, here are our top five recommended choices.
Oculus Quest 2
Originally named the Oculus Quest 2, it is now known as the Meta Quest 2 — although it’s the same headset.
Look, we know it got rebranded to ‘Meta Quest 2’ last year, but many of us still call the Oculus Quest 2 by its original name. Meta’s wireless standalone headset has been an incredible success on every front, pulling ahead of the competition. It’s not complicated to set up, making it an accessible entry point for VR newcomers, doesn’t need additional hardware to run games – no expensive PCs or consoles required here – runs up to 120Hz, and it’s affordable too.
If you’ve got a gaming PC, you can link your Quest 2 for PC VR, either through a Type-C cable or Wi-Fi streaming. That means you can access all the big PC releases, alongside Quest’s exclusive games library. One of the biggest downsides was that you needed a Facebook account to use your Quest 2, although Meta will be removing this requirement in August.
Meta has announced that the Quest 2 will be getting a price increase, something that hardware has rarely been given during the middle of its life cycle. There are no upgrades coming for the device either. While Meta has increased the price on their store directly, there will be a few retailers that might be keeping the price low to move units.
Otherwise, the Quest 2 is still the best all-rounder when it comes to VR headsets right now, available in 128GB and 256GB models.
- Key Specs
- Max Resolution – 1832 x 1920 per eye Field of View – 100° | Screen Type – Fast Twitch LCD | Max Refresh Rate – 120Hz Weight – 503g | Tracking Type – Inside-out
- Release Date: October 13, 2020
- Price: 128GB Model – $399/£399, 256GB Model – $499/£499
- What Else Do I Need?: Nothing
- Where To Buy?: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Meta Store
- Despite a price jump, it’s still one of the cheaper headsets available
- A strong library of exclusive games
- Very accessible for newcomers
- A rise in price has scuppered the original budget option’s value
After working on the Vive with HTC, Valve decided to enter the VR game themselves.
Following Valve’s work on the original HTC Vive, it wasn’t long before they delivered on their own headset, and Index certainly delivered. Offering another wired PC VR experience, Index remains one of the most powerful experiences currently available, providing up to 144Hz refresh rate for incredibly smooth gameplay. Valve’s brought us a high-quality headset, delivering great sound quality through quality off-ear speakers and some excellent controllers.
Our only real issue is that this could use a price drop. It’s been three years since the Index’s first launch and while we’re not denying the strong specs or performance, this isn’t the same high-end experience found in 2019. All the other listed headsets here (PSVR excluded) have Index beat when it comes to visual resolution, but that doesn’t make it a slouch. If money’s no object, you can’t really go wrong here for a PC VR headset.
- Key Specs
- Max Resolution – 1600 x 1440 per eye Field of View – 130° | Screen Type – LCD | Max Refresh Rate – 144Hz Weight – 809g | Tracking Type – SteamVR Base Stations
- Release Date: 28 June 2019
- Price: $999/£919
- What Else Do I Need?: High-End PC
- Where To Buy?: Steam, Amazon USA, Amazon UK
- 144Hz refresh rate provides smooth gameplay
- Comfortable audio design
- Great controllers
HTC Vive Pro 2
The Vive Pro 2 may be the most expensive option on the list, but it makes up for it with performance.
If you’re a PC player after the highest performance, Vive Pro 2 is a worthy Valve Index rival. Offering a wired PC VR headset – you can buy a Vive Wireless Adapter but that’ll cost an extra $349/£359 – HTC’s latest option houses a comfortable design, 120Hz refresh rate to help ease potential motion sickness, and, perhaps most impressively, 5K resolution. If you’ve got the right PC for it, Vive Pro 2 is a high point that runs VR games beautifully.
Unfortunately, there’s one massive caveat here. Vive Pro 2 is easily the most expensive option on this list. Vive’s wand controllers also feel outdated in 2022, although these can be swapped for Valve Index controllers. It’s a good choice if you’re looking to futureproof yourself for PC VR and while it likely won’t appeal to many outside the hardcore VR faithful, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth from this.
- Key Specs
- Max Resolution – 2448 × 2448 per eye | Field of View – 120° | Screen Type – LCD | Max Refresh Rate – 120Hz Weight – 850g Tracking Type – SteamVR Base Stations
- Release Date: 23 September 2021
- Price: $1399/£1299
- What Else Do I Need?: High-End PC
- Where To Buy?: Amazon USA, Amazon UK, HTC USA, HTC UK
- Sharpest resolution on the market
- Comfortable design
- Can be adapted for wireless play
Sony has provided fans with a high-quality headset, but at the cost of it only being compatible with their consoles.
PlayStation VR is a unique entry, as it is the only VR headset that requires a console instead of a PC. Compatible with PS4 or PS5, Sony’s wired headset made waves as one of the first “affordable” options back in 2016, offering an accessible price point that PC headsets didn’t match. Sure, the resolution was limited to 1080p, but you can find a strong library of first-party exclusives these days like Blood & Truth, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, and Firewall: Zero Hour.
However, PSVR’s getting on in the years, and in 2022, Sony is preparing for the PS5’s PlayStation VR 2. Full motion controls are mainly limited to PS Move controllers too, PS3-era tech which lacks a joystick or D-pad, and that can hamper controls. Sony may have wrapped up support for new first-party games too, but we’re still seeing big third-party efforts like Sniper Elite VR, Moss: Book II, and the upcoming Among Us VR, meaning there’s life in it yet.
- Max Resolution – 960 × 1080 per eye Field of View – 110° | Screen Type – LCD | Max Refresh Rate – 90Hz| Weight – 644g | Tracking Type – Inside-out with PS Camera
- Release Date: 13 October 2016
- Price: From $299/£259.99
- What Else Do I Need?: PS Camera, PS Move Controllers, PS4 console. PS5 Console with PlayStation Camera adapter also supported.
- Where To Buy?: Amazon USA, Amazon UK
- Solid library of exclusive games
- Affordable pricing
- Near the end of his life
- PS Move controllers aren’t fit for purpose
HP Reverb G2
The HP Reverb G2 is a quality headset for those on a budget but stay away from older models.
Rounding off this list is the HP Reverb G2, another wired PC VR headset that is a mid-range option. Priced between the Oculus Quest 2 and Valve Index, there are several perks the Reverb G2 offers over these competitors. This is a 4K headset, so there’s a noticeably higher visual quality that just falls short of the Vive Pro 2 but at half the cost, and HP Reverb G2 also makes use of the Index’s audio speakers.
It’s a fine option if you don’t mind a tethered setup but if you’re not that worried about the resolution boost, this may prove a tougher sell against the Quest 2. Unlike Meta’s latest, HP Reverb G2 can’t be used as a standalone unit. It’s worth noting that original models had reported tracking issues but thankfully, HP issued a revision that resolved this. There are no obvious indicators that separate the two though, so we’d suggest buying new to avoid picking up the older model.
- Key specs
- Max Resolution – 2160 x 2160 per eye Field of View – 130° | Screen Type – LCD | Max Refresh Rate – 90Hz| Weight – 550g Tracking Type – Inside-out
- Release Date: November 1, 2020
- Price: $599/£610
- What Else Do I Need?: High-end PC
- Where to Buy?: Amazon USA, Amazon UK, HP USA, HP UK
- Great visual quality
- Comfortable design
- Off-ear speakers offer strong audio quality
- Noted tracking issues on older models
What’s the best VR Headset for you?
As with most major hardware purchases, the best VR headset ultimately comes down to your own personal preferences and circumstances. There are plenty of choices but not everyone can afford a high-end PC after all, never mind an often-expensive VR headset to go alongside it.
If nothing but the absolute best will do and you’ve got the funds to back it up, then the Vive Pro 2 is your strongest choice on PC right now, providing a strong 5K experience. If you’re working within a budget, want minimal fuss in setting it up or you’re relatively new to VR, the Oculus Quest 2 is a solid all-rounder. It doesn’t require extra hardware, has numerous exclusives, and Meta’s investing heavily in this platform.
Upcoming VR headsets: PlayStation VR 2, Cambria, and Deckard
VR headsets don’t typically follow the same generational trends consoles do, meaning you can expect new releases each year. There are a few upcoming headsets on the horizon, most prominently including PlayStation VR 2.
Since revealing it last year, Sony’s gradually teased new details and we know it’ll feature a 4K OLED display, improved tracking, and haptic feedback.
Sony has begun to reveal more features for the upcoming PSVR2 in recent weeks, including the new ‘see-through’ mode. This will allow you to use the built-in cameras to see, without taking off the headset.
Otherwise, Meta’s rumored to be working on four new headsets and that includes Project Cambria, a high-end mixed reality headset. Valve’s allegedly preparing a standalone VR headset that could compete with the Quest, currently codenamed ‘Deckard.’
Finally, Apple’s believed to be preparing their own VR headset for 2023, which remains unconfirmed. There’ll always be something better on the horizon, although what we’ve currently got is pretty great.