Winston is a VR developer focused on creating immersive storytelling experiences. Contact him on Twitter: @VRHeavenNews
April 23rd, 2022

What is FOV (Field of View) in VR?

diagram explaining what is FOV

In a nutshell, field of view is how much of the world you can see in front of you. A higher FOV allows you to see more, whilst a lower FOV means you can see less.

FOV is broken down into horizontally FOV and vertical FOV. A high horizontal FOV with a low vertical FOV can make your VR experience feel unnatural as it feels like looking through a letterbox.

How Important is FOV in VR?

FOV plays an important role in VR, as a higher FOV can greatly enhance immersion and make you forget you’re in VR. Unfortunately, the headsets that offer a high FOV cost over a thousand dollars, so most people opt for a lower FOV headset.

There are 3 things that affect FOV in VR:

  • Distance between eyes to lenses (closer = higher FOV)
  • The size of the lenses
  • A person’s IPD (the distance between their eyes)

Since everybody has a different facial structure and head shape, the distance the your eyes and the headset’s lenses will vary from person to person. Also IPD varies from person to person. For these reasons, there is no “objective” measurement of FOV, just a rough estimate.

What is the Quest 2 FOV?

Games on the Quest 2

  • Horizontal: 95°
  • Vertical: 95°

The Quest 2 is a balanced, 95° FOV both horizontally and vertically for those with an IPD of 65 mm.

It is a binocular headset, with a stereo overlap of 85%, and the HAM (Hidden Area Mask) is only about 9%.

How to Increase the FOV of the Quest 2

There is a realistic view to fiddle around with the Quest 2 FOV by adjusting the lenses to your IPD (Inter-pupillary distance). This will help the headset feel a lot more natural to the eyes, and it will increase your field of view if you adjust it correctly. Because these settings are quite limited, as they are adjustable only on fixed values, sometimes they cannot be adjusted perfectly.

Another way to increase the FOV is by removing the facial interface entirely, allowing your eyes to get closer to the screen. This is a great way to test out what a higher FOV feels like.

To remove the facial interface, you need to pull it out with enough force. Take care not to scratch the lenses.

Quest 2 FOV mod

Quest 2 FOV Mod

The VRCover Facial Interface Replacement is a mod that increases the Quest 2’s FOV by replacing the foam padding with a slimmer one. This allows your eyes to get closer to the screen and increases the FOV by a few degrees. Note: The slimmer foam is also more comfortable than the default Quest 2 foam.

Unfortunately, there is no way to drastically increase the FOV by 20+ degrees. At most, you’ll get a 10 degree increase by removing the facial interface entirely.

HTC Vive FOV

HTC Vive Pro 2

  • Horizontal: 103°
  • Vertical: 102°

The HTC Vive FOV is 103° horizontal and 102° vertical which is quite impressive for an older headset. The stereo overlap is 88%. Unfortunately, the resolution and refresh rate do not feel great when compared to modern headsets.

HTC Vive Pro 2 FOV

With the vertical FOV being 96 degrees and the horizontal one being 116, it has that letterbox feel. It also has a very low stereo overlap of 65%. Even if the HTC Vive Pro 2 is a powerful piece of equipment, the default FOV settings are not for everyone. 

Valve Index FOV

Valve Index

  • Horizontal: 109°
  • Vertical: 109°

The Valve Index FOV is 109 degrees for both horizontal and vertical planes. It is one of the biggest advantages of the headset, especially because the stereo overlap is 78%, which is high enough to avoid that distortive feeling.

Pimax 8K X FOV 

Pimax 8K X

  • Horizontal: 160°
  • Vertical: 103°

The Pimax 8K X has a vertical FOV of 103 degrees and horizontal FOV of 160 degrees – one of the biggest fields of view is offered in VR. The overlap is also quite nice, being 82% and with HAM at only 8.73%. There are various ways to adjust the Primax 8K X FOV, but these native settings are fantastic.

HP Reverb G2 FOV

HP Reverb G2 HMD

  • Horizontal: 98°
  • Vertical: 90°

Using a 2x LCD binocular display, the HP Reverb G2 FOV is 90 degrees vertically and 98 horizontally. The stereo overlap is 84%, and the HAM is 16%.

Quest 1 FOV

Oculus Quest and Motion Controllers

  • Horizontal: 93°
  • Vertical: 93°

Lastly, we come to Quest 1, which has a similar FOV to its successor. Both the vertical and horizontal FOV is 93 degrees. The stereo overlap is also slightly lower than the one used by Quest 2, being 83%.

VR Headsets FOV Comparison

Headset Vertical FOV Horizontal FOV
Quest 2 95 95
HTC Vive 102 103
HTC Vive Pro 2 96 116
Valve Index 109 109
Pimax 8K X 103 160
HP Reverb G2 90 98
Quest 1 93 93

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