VR developer focused on creating immersive storytelling experiences. Follow me on Twitter: @VRHeavenNews
November 25th, 2023

Best VR Headsets Right Now (Complete Guide)

As a VR developer, I’ve been fortunate enough to own most the VR headset on the market and I gotta say, VR headsets have evolved so much over the years that many of the older ones are obsolete now. 

For this reason, it’s easier to choose the best VR headset than ever, because there are only a few headsets that are relevant today. Those ones are:

Category VR Headset Rating
Best Overall Meta Quest 3 4.9
Best Budget Meta Quest 2 4.1
Best for PS5 PSVR 2 4.6
Best for Sims Pimax Reality 12K 4.7

VR Headsets to Avoid

I see these headsets get recommended a lot. I own all of them and definitely do not recommend them because they’re either outdated or there’s a better version for cheaper:

  • Meta Quest Pro – more expensive & worse than the Quest 3
  • Quest 1 – outdated & unsupported
  • HTC Vive Pro 2 – expensive & outdated
  • Valve Index – expensive & outdated
  • Oculus Rift – outdated
  • Windows Mixed Reality headsets – outdated

The HP Reverb G2 are still viable if you can find a cheap seller (under $300 for new), but should be avoided at retail price.

Best Overall: Meta Quest 3

Meta Quest 3

Right now, the best VR headset by far is the Meta Quest 3. If you can afford it, you can even buy it without thinking. It’s that good. And for whatever reason, if you’re dissatisfied with it, you can return it due to Amazon’s return policies.

Why the Meta Quest 3?

Sharp Visuals: One of the standout features of the Quest 3 is its sharper screens and lenses, offering a more vivid and immersive visual experience. This improvement is especially notable compared to its predecessor, the Quest 2. The Quest 3’s display boasts a resolution of 2,064 by 2,208 pixels per eye, surpassing even the PlayStation VR 2 in terms of clarity​.

No Blurriness: Thanks to the new pancake lens optics, there is virtually no blurriness in the Quest 3. Pancake lenses are a profound innovation for the VR industry, and it’s almost impossible to go back to the old days where headsets use Fresnel lenses which are much more blurry.

Standalone: Under the hood, the Quest 3 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip, doubling the GPU power of the Quest 2. This upgrade translates to faster performance, allowing games to provide better graphics and enhanced immersion

Mixed Reality: A significant innovation in the Quest 3 is its mixed reality cameras and depth sensor, enabling users to combine their virtual world with the real world. This feature not only enhances the sense of presence in virtual environments but also allows for quick checks on the real world without removing the headset. However, it’s worth noting that the mixed reality view can sometimes be fuzzy and pixelated.

Accurate Tracking: All the Quest headsets have superb tracking – one of the best in the market, allowing you to be competitive in games. With that said, I think the Quest 3 has the most accurate tracking out of all the Quest headsets, allowing me to get higher scores in Beat Saber.

Large Library of Games/Software: The Quest Store has over 500+ games, meanwhile App Lab has thousands of titles from (mostly) indie developers. If you have a computer powerful enough for the Quest 3, you can also connect it to your PC to play SteamVR games.

Limitations of the Quest 3

Price: The Quest 3 is considered a mid-range headset and may not be affordable to everybody. With that said, the tech you’re getting inside this headset makes the price 100% worth it. Read more on: Why is the Quest 3 so expensive?

Grainy Mixed Reality: Although the mixed reality is good, it’s not perfect. When using the passthrough cameras to see the real world, the image can be grainy, like looking through an old phone camera. There’s also image distortion when you move your hand in front of the cameras.

Low battery life: Since the Quest 3 uses a more powerful processor, it will also drain the battery faster than it’s predecessor, the Quest 2. For normal games like Beat Saber, you can get a battery life of 2+ hours. However, more intensive games and mixed reality can drain the battery in 1:15 hours. This can be solved with a powerbank or battery Elite Strap.

How much size do I need for the Quest 3? 128 GB or 512 GB?

128 GB is good enough if you’re trying to save money. Read my Quest 3 file size breakdown.

Best Budget VR Headset: Meta Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2

So you don’t have the money to afford the newest iPhone model, so what do you do? You get an older model. The same logic applies here to VR headsets.

The Quest 2 is like an iPhone 10/11 compared to the Quest 3 which is the newest iPhone 15. It’s still a great headset, which you can get for a much lower price.

Why the Meta Quest 2?

Price: The Meta Quest 2 offers the best bang for your buck and is significantly more affordable than the Quest 3. If it’s your first time buying a VR headset, you’ll be blown away at how good the Quest 2 is. With that said, if you can afford the Quest 3, then I still would recommend that, simply because the upgrade is worth the price. Overall, both headsets are great.

Resolution: The Quest 2 offers a resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, providing a high-quality visual experience. You won’t notice any screen door effect (SDE) unless you try really hard to look at the individual pixels.

Standalone: It’s very convenient to use the Quest headsets – all you have to put it on and it’s ready to use – no cables required. The Quest 2 and 3 are the best standalone headsets.

Large Game Library: The Quest 2 shares the same library as the Quest 3 and can play the same games. However, beware that in the future, there might be a few games that don’t support the Quest 2, since the Quest 3 has a much more powerful processor to run more powerful games. This will only be for a few very big triple A titles though.

Limitations of the Quest 2

Mixed Reality: The Quest 2 has no color passthrough cameras and is even more grainy than the Quest 3. Most people don’t even use the Quest 2’s mixed reality passthrough apart from setting the headset up.

Fresnel Lenses (blurry): The Quest 2 lacks the pancake lenses of the Quest 3. Fresnel lenses are still quite clear in the center of the lens, but if you’re looking around in your periphery, it becomes blurry. We call this the “sweet spot.”

Weaker processor: The Quest 3 has superior graphics and a faster processor, offering more detailed and smooth gaming experiences.

In-depth comparison of Quest 2 vs. Quest 3

Best VR Headset for PS5: PSVR 2

PSVR2 headset and controllers

If you’ve got the PS5, the Playstation VR 2 might be the best option for you. The Playstation Store offers a different catalogue of games to the Meta Quest Store, which might be more suited towards your tastes.

See my post: PSVR 2 vs Quest 3 for more info.

Stunning Graphics: Since the PSVR 2 headset will be running on the PS5’s graphics card (the equivalent of an RTX 2070), it can run more powerful games than the Quest 3 which runs on a mobile processor.

Eye Tracking: Eye tracking greatly helps with social presence. It’s a unique feeling knowing that other people are looking at you in VR and I really wish the Quest 3 had this feature – it’s a step forward in terms of online communication.

OLED Displays: The OLED displays of the PSVR 2 allow for more vibrant colors and deeper blacks, which definitely enhances immersion. It’s a small thing, but definitely makes a difference, especially when you switch from one headset to another.

Limitations of the PSVR 2

Fresnel Lenses: The PSVR 2 lacks the pancake lenses of the Quest 3, making it more blurry. Fresnel lenses are still quite clear in the center of the lens, but if you’re looking around in your periphery, it becomes blurry. We call this the “sweet spot.”

Mixed Reality: The PSVR 2 lacks the mixed reality features of the Quest 3.

Tethered: You need to be tethered to a PS5 to use the PSVR 2. The wires can be a huge inconvenience when inside VR, where you don’t see the outside world.

No PCVR: You can’t connect your PSVR 2 to your computer to play SteamVR games like other headsets. This doesn’t matter unless you have a VR-Ready PC.

Best VR Headset for Sim Racing: Pimax 12K QLED

Pimax 12K QLED

The Pimax Reality 12K QLED VR headset is a cutting-edge device that pushes the boundaries of virtual reality technology. If you’re looking to splurge money on one of the most immersive VR headsets, this is the right choice.

Dual 6K QLED Panels: The Pimax 12K boasts dual 6K mini-LED QLED panels for a significantly high resolution.

Hybrid Lens Design: It incorporates a new hybrid lens design, combining Fresnel and aspheric lenses, resulting in edge-to-edge clarity and the elimination of godrays.

Wide Field of View: The headset offers an impressive 210-degree horizontal and 135-degree vertical field of view, which is among the highest in the VR market​. This is a huge deal. Here’s what it feels like:

  • Most other headsets: Feels like looking through a pair of binoculars
  • Pimax 12K: Feels very close to human vision

Advanced Tracking Technologies: It features Tobii eye-tracking hardware, foveated rendering, motorized IPD adjustment, and facial/body tracking for a more immersive VR experience​

Hybrid Functionality: The Pimax 12K is a PCVR hybrid device, capable of both tethered and standalone operation, powered by a Qualcomm XR-2 chip​


Price: The Pimax Reality 12K QLED is priced at $2,399, making it a high-end option in the VR market. Pimax offers credit towards this purchase for current Pimax headset owners.

Weight: The headset is very heavy. Although the strap is well designed, it’s not as uncomfortable as you may think. However, I definitely feel the weight after long periods of use.

Overall, if you’re looking for the best headset to play simulators such as iRacing, DCS World or Microsoft Flight Simulator, this is the best headset for it.

Tl;dr (Too long, didn’t read)

If you can afford it, just go for the Quest 3

Quest 2 is still a good budget option. PSVR 2 is good if you already own a PS5 and want to play the Playstation Store games. Pimax 12K is good if you’re looking to splurge thousands of dollars to play realistic sim games.

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