When it comes to the latest gaming trends virtual reality offers some of the most unique, original experiences around. Whether you’re a PC gamer looking for a new upgrade or want to dip your toe in the immersive world of VR, there are plenty of choices available at various price points. So if you’re looking for the best VR headset of 2023 then keep on reading.
Best VR Headset of 2023
Like any tech purchase, there’s not a one size fits all VR headset for everyone’s needs. Maybe you have a computer, or perhaps a PlayStation 5? Are you bothered about wires or would you prefer a wireless option? All of this and more is covered, so to help your decision XR Source has looked at which devices best suit particular requirements.
Meta Quest 2 – Best Entry Level
Currently, the Meta Quest 2 is by and large the most popular headset on the market. Whether you search ‘VR headset’ online or pop into a tech store, the Quest 2 will be front and centre. And for good reason. Meta (previously Facebook) has created a great little VR device for mainstream adoption.
Battery powered and with onboard processing there’s no need for a PC or wires. The Quest 2 is its own VR powerhouse, with inside-out tracking so you can play almost anywhere, it’ll even remember multiple play areas if you need to use it in separate locations. It got an excellent selection of games and apps on the Quest official store plus there’s the less curated App Lab for more content.
Quest 2 also has advanced features like hand tracking. On supported content, you can put down your controllers and simply use your hands. If you do have a compatible PC, you can also connect the Quest 2 for an even wider content library.
The Meta Quest 2 128GB retails for $399 whilst the Quest 2 256GB model retails for $429.99
- Lots of games & apps
- Controller battery life lasts ages
- Plenty of accessories
- Requires Facebook Account linking
- Front heavy
Valve Index – Best PC All-rounder
The Valve Index might be considered an older model considering it launched in 2019 but it’s still more than capable. In fact, it still holds its own as the best VR headset for PC gaming thanks to a beautifully weighted design and clear display.
For $999 USD you get a 1,440 by 1,600-pixel resolution, 144Hz refresh rate and a 130-degree field of view. It also requires two external SteamVR base stations to track your movements which have to be wall mounted. That may put some people off but the tracking is excellent once set up.
As a PC VR headset, it is cabled to the PC. This does mean that you get a far more high-end experience than the Quest 2, with AAA titles like Half-Life: Alyx looking exceptional. If you love PC gaming and want VR, then the Valve Index is hard to beat.
- Very comfortable
- Huge range of games & apps
- Clear display
- External tracking sensors
- Needs a decent gaming PC
PlayStation VR 2 – Best Console Headset
Brand new on the block having launched in February 2023, the PlayStation VR 2 is everything you could want from a modern VR device. You’ll need a PlayStation 5 to run it – so you’ll be looking at around $1000 all in – but for many its the best VR headset currently available.
Boasting two 2K OLED HDR screens – effectively 4K gaming – as well as eye tracking, the new Sense Controllers with their haptic triggers and headset haptics built-in, PSVR 2 is brimming with features. The library of games is growing slowly with some notable AAA content like Gran Turismo and Horizon Call of the Mountain.
If you already have a PS5 then PSVR 2 should be your next upgrade.
- Excellent 4K display
- Easy to set up
- Redesigned controller for VR
- Needs PlayStation 5
- Small games library
- Poor controller battery life
PICO 4 – Best Quest 2 Alternative
Not everyone wants or has a Facebook account which can put a dampener on the whole Quest 2 experience. So what alternatives are out there? For standalone VR it’s the PICO 4. Looking and functioning quite similarly to its rival, it has inside-out tracking, PC compatibility, a 4K screen (2,160 x 2,160 per eye resolution) and a 105-degree field of view.
Its library of games doesn’t quite match Quest 2’s, coming in at around 300 but the PC connectivity does help to bolster that.
PICO 4 is only available in Europe and Asian markets currently (there’s no official North American reseller at present). The PICO 4 128GB model retails for £379 GBP with the PICO 4 256GB model costing £448. Register the device before 31st July 2023 and you’ll get Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom, LES MILLS BODYCOMBAT, Golf 5 eClub, and Wander for free.
- Cheaper than Quest 2
- Easy to use
- Connect PICO 4 to a PC
- Small native library of games
- Not available in certain territories
- No headphone jack
HTC Vive Pro 2 – Best High Resolution
If money’s no object and you want the best PC VR experience possible then the HTC Vive Pro 2 is the headset you want. The main reason you’d go for the Vive Pro 2 is its impressive ‘5K’ resolution (2448×2448 pixels per eye),120Hz refresh rate coupled with a 120-degree field of view. Perfect for all manner of VR games and applications.
It’s SteamVR compatible so there’s that huge library of games to enjoy, but that does mean you have to fit the external base stations just like the Valve Index. The Vive Pro 2 is a comfortable, very well-balanced headset with built-in headphones for decent audio. The one downside is the Wand controllers which remain unchanged from the original HTC Vive. However, the far better Valve Index controllers are compatible.
All of that means the HTC Vive Pro 2 comes at a cost, $1,399.00 to be precise. That price is for the kit (SteamVR base stations and two Wand controllers). Or grab the headset, SteamVR 2.0 base stations and Index controllers separately for the ultimate setup. This is one headset really built for VR enthusiasts.
- Very high resolution
- SteamVR compatible
- Wide FoV
- External sensors
- Wand controllers remain unchanged
Pimax Vision 5K Super – Best FOV
All of the aforementioned headsets have a field of view (FoV) of around 100 to 130 degrees, which is fine for most people. A wider FoV can mean an even more immersive experience, with no black bars on the edges, just a gorgeous digital vista to enjoy. The leader in that field where consumer VR tech is concerned is Pimax, with its most budget-friendly headset being the Vision 5K Super.
All of Pimax’s headsets have a whopping 200-degree FoV, no other PC VR headset comes close. The LCD panels offer a 2560x1440p resolution and a maximum 180Hz refresh rate. The Pimax Vision 5K Super works with the SteamVR base stations for external tracking and is compatible with all Steam VR games.
So why don’t all VR headset manufacturers make these super wide FoV headsets? Because they are heavy due to the size of the screens and lenses required. Hence why the Pimax Vision 5K Super is perfect for seated flight sims rather than energetic games like Beat Saber.
Amazon sells just the Pimax Vision 5K Super headset for $599. Or the full Pimax Vision 5K Super kit (including controllers and base stations) is available for €697.00 from the official store.
- Excellent FoV
- SteamVR compatible
- High resolution
- Requires decent gaming PC
- Front heavy
That’s XR Source’s best VR headset 2023 roundup complete. Was there one we missed? Let us know in the comments below.