The best VR headsets in 2024

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best VR headsets are a captivating gateway into an entirely fresh and intimate gaming experience, especially if it's your first time checking out the immersive tech. In 2024, there are more products than ever to choose from, so you're bound to find something to suit your setup and gaming space. That said, we've gone ahead and narrowed down our top picks to make the decision even easier for you. 

VR tech is only becoming more impressive, which is something the best VR headsets are sure to showcase. Especially with the release of the esteemed PSVR 2 earlier this year, and the imminent launch of Oculus Quest 3, more players than ever are keen to get hold of the hardware and some of the best VR games which typically retail for less than more traditional releases.

We're not going to sugarcoat things, however; VR is a relatively expensive hobby, and individual headsets can cost as much as, if not more than, the best gaming consoles and PCs. We've endeavored, then, to pull together a range of products that stretch across every platform and budget scope, including alternatives for people who want to cut the cables and go entirely wireless.

The Quick List

Best VR headsets in 2024

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The best VR headset overall

The Meta Quest 3 in action

(Image credit: Meta)
The best VR headset overall

Specifications

Availability : Out now
Wired? : No
Additional Equipment Needed?: No, standalone
Resolution: 2064 x 2208 per eye
Field of view: 110 degrees
Refresh rate: Up to 120Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Vastly better graphics than Quest 2
+
Improved mixed reality
+
Incredible suite of software

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier than the Quest 2 at launch
-
No eye-tracking
Buy it if

You want a mixed reality machine: Mixed reality isn’t perfect on the Quest 3, but it is very good (especially when you’re in a bright room).

You can afford it: The Quest 3 is far from the priciest VR headset, but it's also not as cheap as the Quest 2 was at launch.

Don't buy it if

You have a Meta Quest Pro: In terms of mixed reality, the Meta Quest 3 is a substantial improvement over the Meta Quest Pro; however, it doesn’t offer much of an upgrade in other areas

The Meta Quest 3 is the new king among the best VR headsets you can buy today. A significant improvement over the Meta Quest 2 and coming in at a relatively affordable price point among other headsets in this list, it's easy to recommend as our top choice whether you're upgrading from prior hardware or diving into VR for the first time.

The Meta Quest 3 is impressively compact, requiring no extra cameras or wires during play. It can be played as an entirely standalone experience, free from cables or extra bits that could run the risk of tripping you up. All the headset's features can be accessed while wearing it, too, including its home and store front, providing a seamless experience that doesn't require you to take the headset off.

It is worth noting that the Meta Quest 3, while far from the most expensive choice in our list, is pricier than its predecessor. Coming in at $499.99 / £479.99 / AU$799.99 for the 128GB version and a loftier $649.99 / £619.99 / AU$1,049.99 for the 512GB model, it is a costlier investment overall.

It helps, then, that the Quest 3 is compatible with the existing Quest game library. If you're upgrading, you won't need to purchase all those games all over again, which we feel takes some of the sting out of the chunkier price tag. Other improvements include support for a wider 110-degree field-of-view and an increase to 2064 x 2208 pixels per eye for a richer, sharper image quality.

The best headset for PC gaming

Valve Index

(Image credit: Future)
The best headset for PC gaming

Specifications

Availability: Available through Valve's Steam store
Wired?: Yes
Additional Equipment Needed?: Yes, PC
Resolution: 1440x1600 per eye
Field of view: 130 degrees
Refresh rate: Up to 144Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Widest field of view
+
'Knuckle' controllers great for tracking
+
Well-supported game library

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires a high-end GPU
-
Still expensive compared to competition
Buy it if

You want a seriously powerful headset: Despite being a few years old, the Valve Index still impresses as one of the more powerful VR headsets out there.

You want VR on Steam: The Valve Index's Steam VR compatibility means hundreds of VR games are supported.

Don't buy it if

You don't have much space: Valve Index is quite complicated to set up, requiring several cables and cameras to function properly.

The Valve Index is one of the best VR headsets because it represents a next-gen system compared to its predecessors. We found it has a crisp display that runs well even with older GPUs, a wider field of view, a higher refresh rate, and Valve’s 'knuckle' controllers, which can track the movement of every finger.

The Valve Index certainly looks the part of a high-end headset, but that means it also requires a complex setup (and a powerful PC) to match. In fact, our least favorite thing about Valve's headset is the setup process, which requires several wires and a dual camera setup to work properly. Make sure you have enough desk and room space (not to mention a few free power outlets) to ensure a seamless experience. The process is worth it, however, as you'll be treated to impressive wide field-of-view and full Steam integration, making browsing your existing library in VR a cakewalk.

Availability for the Valve Index has greatly increased in 2024, much like with some of the company's other hardware such as the Steam Deck. Priced at $999 / £919 / AU$1,425, there's no getting around the fact that it's an expensive option, but if you've got the budget for it, it's one of the best options on the market right now.

The Valve Index is a significant upgrade over both the HTC Vive, and the HTC Vive Pro. The Index also offers a much higher-resolution screen and a better refresh rate which in turn lowers the risk of discomfort or motion sickness. We're also huge fans of the Index controllers, their knuckle-shaped design proving to be a fantastic layout for VR play.

The best budget VR headset for PC

HP Reverb G2

(Image credit: HP)
The best budget VR headset for PC

Specifications

Availability: Out now through retailers like Amazon
Wired?: Yes
Additional Equipment Needed?: Yes, PC
Resolution: 2160x2160 (4K) per eye
Field of view: 98 degrees
Refresh rate: 90Hz

Reasons to buy

+
 No screen door effect 
+
 Easy to set up 
+
 Incredibly high-resolution lens

Reasons to avoid

-
Motion Tracking lacks some precision 
-
Requires a decent gaming PC 
Buy it if

You're on a budget: In the high-end VR headset space, you'll find it hard to buy a headset that's cheaper than this.

You want high resolution: At 4K per lens, the HP Reverb G2 provides impressively high image clarity for its relatively lower price point.

Don't buy it if

You want more accurate play: The headset's motion tracking could be better overall, and it's the one big weakness it has compared to others.

The HP Reverb G2 is an excellent headset for anyone looking for something slightly cheaper than the Valve Index or HTC Vive Pro 2 and something easy to set up. Although it’s not as accurate as the somewhat pricier options, it’s a fantastic alternative that still maintains the visual enchantment of VR gaming. If anything, the HP Reverb G2 exceeds visual expectations and presents an entirely new experience while undercutting the cost of its peers.

The HP Reverb G2 is an incredible bang-for-your-buck headset that's very smartly designed. It avoids the 'screen door' effect that plagues many a VR headset, and out of the box, it's extremely easy to set up. The only really irksome thing here is a multitude of wires, ad the Reverb G2 does require a PC unlike Meta's offerings. You'll also need a decently powerful PC thanks to the headset's high-resolution output. Additionally, since it’s compatible with Steam VR, you'll have no shortage of games to play when buying this headset.

The HP Reverb G2 can be picked up for $599 / £682 from most major retailers as well as HP itself. That's expensive on paper, but its relatively high-end features make it one of the cheaper offerings for what you're getting overall.

The HP Reverb G2 features an impressively high resolution of 2160 x 2160 (4K) per lens. That's pretty exceptional for a headset that's relatively low-priced, and that image clarity means you won't be dealing with image ghosting or smeary visuals throughout your playtime. The headset is slightly let down by its motion tracking precision, which isn't quite as accurate as other, pricier options. Still, it's surprising to see just how much the Reverb G2 gets right at its lower price of entry.

The best premium VR headset

Apple Vision Pro battery pack

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
The best premium VR headset

Specifications

Wired?: Yes
Additional equipment needed?: Battery pack
Resolution: 4K per eye
Field of view: Around 100 degrees
Refresh rate: 90-100Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Controls are intuitive and precise
+
Unmatched visual experience
+
Superb spatial video functionality

Reasons to avoid

-
On the heavier side
-
Requires a battery pack
Buy it if

You want to work, play and live differently: Vision Pro is an adept content and entertainment machine. It’s great for communication, and it can integrate work in ways no other mixed reality set has done before. 

Don't buy it if

Money is tight: This is a very expensive piece of hardware and while we think it’s worth the price, it might be hard to justify the cost if you just want to play some games. 

There's never been a mixed reality or VR headset quite like Apple’s Vision Pro. It’s the most expensive consumer VR headset in recent memory and makes even the Valve Index look like an absolute bargain, but after spending considerable time with the headset and inside Apple’s new visionOS platform, we can say it’s worth every bleeding edge dollar (sorry, international readers, Vision Pro isn’t currently available outside the US).

It’s built out of exquisite materials like aluminum and carbon fiber. It’s sleek and looks more like expensive snowboarding goggles than it does an AR/VR headset. Every other headset, including our current overall top pic, the Meta Quest 3, look clunky by comparison. It’s still over a pound and that’s with leaving the battery outside the device and connected through a long cable. Even though it can be a struggle to find the right fit, once we switched to the included Dual Loop Band, it became easy to wear Vision Pro for hours.

It’s not just the look that set Vision Pro apart. The stereoscopic visuals beat all comers in this buying guide. Dual micro-OLED, 4K displays deliver 23 million pixels of ultra-sharp imagery whether you’re looking at a fully immersive experience or with apps and other experiences blended into your real world. And it’s a wickedly responsive platform thanks to the M2 and R1 chip combo. Vision Pro is one of the smartest mixed reality headsets when it comes to spatial computing (yes, we said it). It understands your world and when you leave an app in another room in your house, it stays there, and you can visit it later.

Gamers will enjoy some of the gesture-based games but will also appreciate the game controller and legacy game support (which is a bit hit and miss at this point). It’s not a powerful VR gaming system like PSVR 2 and doesn’t offer as rich a library as you might find with the Meta Quest 3, but we expect that to change quickly over time. 

The best VR headset for console

PSVR 2

(Image credit: Future)
The best VR headset for console

Specifications

Availability: February 22, 2023
Wired?: Yes
Additional Equipment Needed?: Yes, PS5
Resolution: 2000x2040 per eye
Field of view: 110 degrees
Refresh rate: Up to 120Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Superb image quality
+
Simple setup
+
Comfortable in-game experience
+
Pin-sharp responsiveness

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Occasional image ghosting
-
Poor controller battery life
Buy it if

You're interested in console VR: PSVR 2 is really the only console-based option at present, but sets a high bar for future hardware.

You want some exclusive VR experiences: From Horizon: Call of the Mountain to Gran Turismo 7, PSVR 2 has some excellent VR experiences you can't play anywhere else.

Don't buy it if

You've just bought a PS5: Bizarre as that sounds, PSVR 2 is even pricier than the console, making it a hard sell if you've only just picked up a PS5. Consider waiting on a price drop as the Holiday season approaches.

The original PSVR had its share of shortcomings back in 2016, most of which have been brilliantly addressed last year with PSVR 2. Sony has set a phenomenally high bar for any future console-based VR headsets, and comes highly recommended from us if you own a PS5.

PSVR 2 has a pleasing, rounded silhouette that matches the aesthetic of the PS5 console. Compared to its PS4 counterpart, it's phenomenally easy to set up, with just a single wire needed to connect it to your PS5. The setup phase doubles as a tutorial, walking you through features like eye-tracking, room space visualization and the new passthrough feature that lets you view your surroundings at any time at the press of a button.

PSVR 2's price will be a sticking point for many. At $549 / £529 / AU$879, it is cheaper than many PC and standalone headsets. On the other hand, it's more expensive than the PS5 itself, which has proven to be not such a good look for the average consumer, especially as PSVR 2's software library is quite small at present.

PSVR 2 exclusive games like Horizon: Call of the Mountain seriously impress with stellar image quality. Meanwhile, solid ports of PSVR favorites like Tetris Effect, Rez Infinite and Moss: Book II return looking better and playing more responsively than ever. The device is massively helped by its 2,000 x 2,040 panel resolution, allowing for much clearer image quality. You may struggle to find and maintain the headset's 'sweet spot' though, meaning you might find yourself readjusting the headset during sessions. However, our guide to the best PSVR 2 accessories can help to make this process significantly less stressful.

The best high-resolution VR headset

HTC Vive Pro 2

(Image credit: Future)
The best high-resolution VR headset

Specifications

Availability: Out now
Wired?: Yes
Additional Equipment Needed?: Yes, high-spec PC
Resolution: 2448x2448 (5K) per eye
Field of view: 120 degrees
Refresh rate: 120Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Very high resolution
+
Wide field of view
+
Access to great games

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Can get hot
-
Lots of cables
Buy it if

You're want ridiculously high resolution: The Vive Pro 2's '5K' resolution is worth the price of admission here, offering gorgeous, clear visuals more effectively than competing headsets.

You want premium features across the board: High resolution, high refresh rate and an impressively wide field of view, the Vive Pro 2 is stacked with high-end features.

Don't buy it if

You don't have a high-end PC: The Vive Pro 2's system requirements are astronomical compared to many other headsets we've listed here.

It doesn't come cheaply, but if you're after the very best in PC VR visual fidelity, the HTC Vive Pro 2 should sit near the top of your list thanks to its borderline absurd '5K' resolution. Just make sure you've got a seriously powerful PC to make the most of this admittedly experimental headset.

It's admittedly difficult to recommend the Vive Pro 2 as a commercial headset. The wired headset requires several cables for it to function properly, meaning managing it as part of your PC gaming setup can be stressful. Plus, all that power means it can start to run hot after just a short session, so we'd say it's best enjoyed in shorter bursts.

The HTC Vive Pro 2 is one of the more expensive VR headsets on our list, coming in at $1,399 / £1,299, which includes all cables and a pair of motion-sensing controllers. It's available at most major retailers, though we'd certainly suggest waiting for a significant price drop or sale before committing to a purchase.

We've been harsh on the Vive Pro 2 so far, but we can't ignore the strengths it boasts over other headsets in this list. The Vive Pro 2 is capable of outputting a '5K' resolution (that's an astronomical 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye), a 120-degree field of view and a 120Hz refresh rate. Yes, you will need an ultra-powerful PC to make the most of it, but the Vive Pro 2 is capable of providing some of the most accurate and immersive visuals of any headset on the market right now.

The best headset for comfort

The Meta Quest Pro

(Image credit: Future)
The best headset for comfort

Specifications

Availability: Out now through retailers like Amazon
Wired?: No
Additional Equipment Needed?: No
Resolution: 1800x1920 per eye
Field of view: 106 degrees
Refresh rate: 90Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable for long sessions
+
Impressive performance
+
Sleek controller design

Reasons to avoid

-
Short battery life
-
One of the more expensive options
Buy it if

You prize comfort in a VR headset: The Quest Pro is simply one of the most pleasant VR headsets to wear, making for a blissfully comfy gaming experience.

You want access to a huge library: Quest Pro shares its library with previous iterations. If you're upgrading from Quest 2, then your existing library will carry over, too.

Don't buy it if

You want more battery life: The Quest Pro's one significant flaw is its relatively low battery life, maxing out at a meager two to three hours on a full charge.

The Meta Quest Pro, the company's latest and arguably greatest headset, is certainly one of the more expensive VR options currently on the market, but it's not like you won't get your money's worth. The headset's comfortable design and sleek controllers are easy to use from the get-go, and you don't need any external equipment to get set up.

The Meta Quest Pro, in essence, is a souped-up version of the Meta Quest 2. The improved controllers are a particular highlight here, featuring a sleek, comfortable design that feels more premium than similar motion-based gamepads. And comfort really is the key word here, as the Quest Pro is well-suited for longer gaming sessions thanks to a cushioned headband.

It's a luxury headset with a price tag to match. Expect to pay $999.99 / £999.99 for the Quest Pro. And as it's relatively new, sales are very rare across all major retailers. As a high-end headset, though, it still undercuts the price of the Valve Index and HTC Vive Pro 2, which is worth considering if you're looking to buy the best hardware possible. 

The Meta Quest Pro's hand-tracking shows an improvement over the Quest 2. While not quite as accurate as the Valve Index or even PSVR 2, it's a welcome upgrade that helps most VR games play even smoother than before. One slight drawback, however, is the headset's relatively short battery life when used standalone. It's the one key flaw with the headset that we hope to see addressed with the upcoming Meta Quest 3.

Best VR headset - FAQs

Do you need a PC to use VR?

You don't always need a PC to use VR tech, especially with the amount of console-specific models that you can currently get. In our list of the best VR headsets we've tried to capture products available across all platforms, like the PSVR 2 and the Meta Quest Pro, so there's a lot of opportunity to find a VR headset to suit your setup or gaming space outside of PC specific models. 

Why does VR result in motion sickness?

There's a range of factors that can contribute to motion sickness through VR use, especially wide field of view, low resolution, and motion blur with certain games. This can be offset with features like limited movement and vignetting, which tightens the camera angle when in motion. If you're starting to feel motion sickness coming on, we recommend taking an immediate break.

Are VR headsets bad for your eyes?

VR headsets are essentially like strapping TVs up close to your face, so extended periods of time can cause a little discomfort. We recommend taking breaks and standing or sitting in a comfortable position. If you start to feel any discomfort or blurred vision, take some time away from the VR headset until you feel confident to return to it.

How we test VR headsets

Every VR headset that we include in our best VR Headsets buying guide has been reviewed in the environment and on a machine that meets the recommended specifications of the manufacturer.  

Each device is tested extensively across a range of software available in the headsets' associated store. Many of our reviewers have experience using different ranges of virtual reality hardware, enabling them to make informed comparisons between products. No device in our buying list above has been included without first being tested and reviewed.

Not overly keen on VR and prefer to stick to consoles instead? Be sure to arm yourself with a pin sharp display with our best monitors for PS5 and best monitors for Xbox Series X buying guides.