Strap on a powerful virtual reality headset and prepare to play your games with all your senses. This incredible technology can transport you into the heart of many video games and experiences. There are a variety of headsets available all providing a deeply immersive VR experience, so you can enjoy the next dimension of gaming. Browse headsets, accessories and best VR headsets for PC games.
Which VR headset should you buy?
Honestly, price and platform will make most of the decision for you – there aren’t any headsets for console gamers besides PlayStation VR and, if you need a standalone headset, you’re basically stuck with the Oculus Quest.
At the moment, the four best on the market – the Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Quest and PlayStation VR – are unsurprisingly the most expensive of all the mainstream VR headset offerings, but there are some less expensive options if you’d rather dip your toes into VR before spending your entire paycheck.
Each headset has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and if you’re not aware of these before you buy, it could be a very costly mistake to make. But that’s exactly why we put this guide together.
SONY PLAYSTATION VR
Imagine Resident Evil where the horrors are right there in front of you, clawing at your face with their disgusting, decaying hands; or Ace Combat where you can see the missiles whoosh past your ear, fizzing as they harmlessly sail into the blue skies. Imagine a dating sim where you can reach out and touch… okay, you’ve probably got the picture now.
The point is that the PlayStation VR headset is now well established, and developers have been busy unlocking the potential of PlayStation 4’s powerful virtual reality headset. There have been some gimmicky uses for it, sure, but it’s been carefully massaged into numerous games already, and it looks as though a follow-up might be on the way soon.
Google’s Cardboard headset is the cheapest, simplest way to experience virtual reality. I dare say you even get more than you pay for. All you have to do to join a growing selection of virtual lands and games is download the Google Cardboard app and fasten your smartphone into the cardboard case.
The set up is as basic the headset’s exterior, but it has a small magnetic switch on the side which can be used to perform simple actions within games or adventures. The Cardboard is ideal if you want to treat your children to their first virtual reality experience without overspending, as well as being a pretty fun party trick. Some great apps include Google Arts and Culture or Within VR, which has a range of videos and documentaries.
Google and Samsung were the biggest names in mobile VR, with Google Cardboard and the Daydream View, and Samsung’s line of Gear VR headsets. They respectively worked with Google’s and Samsung’s flagship phones, like the Pixel 3 and the Galaxy S9. However, both companies have been very quiet over the last year or so about the category, with Samsung in particular not having pursued a Gear VR that works with the S10 or Note 10 phones.
Google continues to support the Daydream View, though we’ll see if any update is revealed when the Pixel 4 is announced later this year. If you have compatible phones, these headsets offer functional 3DOF VR experiences for just $60 to $130. You slide your phone into one, put it on your head, and start tapping away with the included remote. It’s interesting, but underwhelming next to tethered and 6DOF standalone VR experiences. And, if you don’t have the right phone and are fine with 3DOF, spending $200 on an Oculus Go is less of an investment than using either of these.