Answered By: Genista Kippin
Last Updated: Aug 27, 2021     Views: 28

How do I choose the best VR Headset for me?

You can choose the best headset by considering the following: 

  1. What will you use the headset for? Are you planning to use the headset for gaming or for socializing (including Altspace)? Do you plan to code or create your own content for you or others to experience using your VR headset? For gaming and socializing most headsets will work out for you. If you plan to create your own VR content or use your VR headset for long periods of time you may want to look into getting a tethered headset that will be faster, because it runs off a PC.
  2. Do you want a tethered or standalone experience? A standalone headset offers a wire free, all inclusive, strap-on-a-headset and go experience. It means you can take your VR experience with you, even if you leave your computer. You will have to charge your headset after use, like your cell phone. Tethered headsets will never run out of battery, so long as the computer they're paired with doesn't. They do however need to be paired with a high powered gaming computer, so they aren't as portable.  
  3. Will you have reliable access to a computer, and if so, which type of computer? If you do not already have a high powered gaming computer that you can access each time you want to use your VR headset, then it may be worthwhile to look into standalone VR options, such as the Oculus Quest. The same thing can be said for Mac users, as many tethered headsets require strictly a gaming PC to operate. 

The chart below is designed to help you compare some common, readily available headsets. Note: they are 6DOF headsets (so they each have head and hand/controller tracking). 

Oculus Quest/Oculus Quest 2

The Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 are standalone headsets, meaning you do not need a high powered PC to operate it. They are fairly affordable, compared to some other options. These factors make it a great option for those who do not have a high enough powered computer or who have Apple computers.

The headset runs off the Oculus software, so you will purchase experiences and access free ones off of the Oculus store. The headset utilized inside out tracking, so you will not have to set up any additional sensors in the play space. The headset also has built in audio, via headphones on the headset. There are additional accessories that you may or may not need, depending on what you will use the headset for, such as a comfort strap (for making the headset more comfortable for long time use), an Oculus link cable (to connect the headset to a computer and access any content that is not housed on the Oculus store (including content you create yourself).

Please note: you will need to login to the Quest/Quest 2 with a personal Facebook account.   

You can borrow a Quest from the library service desk to try out!

HTC Vive Cosmos

The HTC Vive Cosmos is a tethered headset. It is a great alternative to the Oculus Quest for those looking for a way to access VR without linking to their Facebook account.

It offers some freedom for a tethered headset as it utilizes inside out tracking, rather than external sensors (like its predecessor the HTC Vive did). The best way to access experiences is through Steam VR or Viveport. There are both free and paid options.  

It does require a decent PC gaming computer (Processor: Intel ® Core™ i5-4590 or AMD FX™ 8350 equivalent or better Graphics: NVIDIA ® GeForce ® GTX 970 4GB, AMD Radeon™ R9 290 4GB equivalent or better VR Ready graphics card. Memory:4 GB RAM or more). 

Visit or book the Experience Lab in the library to try out a Vive Cosmos. 

HP Reverb G2

The HP Reverb G2 is a tethered headset. It can be an alternative choice for those considering a Vive. It also utilizes inside out tracking. The headset differs from the above in that it has speakers as built in audio, rather than headphones, so you will need a private place to experience VR. Reviewers say the headset is comfortable, which is something to consider if you'll be wearing it for long period of time or very often.

The best way to access experiences is through Steam VR. There are both free and paid options.  

This headset does require a decent gaming PC (Graphics: DX12 capable graphics,​ Processor: Intel Core i5, i7, Intel Xeon E3-1240 v5, equivalent or better. AMD Ryzen 5 equivalent or better, Memory: 8 GB RAM or more). 



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