The best VR headsets of 2023 either cost a lot less or way more than you may expect.
Virtual reality is finally starting to break into the mainstream as a new medium for gaming. Companies have noticed, and now several tech giants are offering all-in-one VR solutions that both run on computers or work entirely by themselves. However, it’s also important to remember that smaller specialized companies are also major players in VR hardware development. If you’re looking for the absolute best VR system to play with in 2023, these three headsets should be the first options you check out.
The Valve Index is the flashiest all-in-one VR system
Valve pioneered the field of full-room virtual reality with the HTC Vive, and the Index is the company’s follow-up to the grandfather of room scale. The Valve Index is a computer-based VR system that comes with everything needed to turn an empty room into a digital paradise. It does require a strong computer with plenty of GPU power, but Valve’s newest batch of headsets is the best all-in-one VR option of 2023.
The Index’s headset is solid with two 1440 x 1600 LCD screens, a 144-hertz refresh rate, and integrated audio options. The Knuckles controllers are the true star of the show. The innovative grip style is extremely comfortable, and individual finger tracking brings a new level of immersion in supported titles. The lighthouses themselves are basically just refreshes, but the new platform allows for dozens to be hooked up to a single system if the owner wishes. You can purchase the Index VR kit on Amazon, but if it’s available in your Steam store, you might find it to be significantly cheaper directly through Valve.
Meta Quest 2 is one of the best VR headsets of 2023
Even if you don’t exactly have the best gaming rig in the world, Meta has you covered for VR headsets in 2023. The Quest 2 is its latest standalone VR headset, and it runs completely separate from a computer. In fact, it doesn’t even require sensors to be set up in the room. The camera-based tracking system allows players to take VR with them wherever they go, making it the perfect solution for VR-curious gamers with only a budget CPU setup.
Unlike Valve’s computer-based VR options, the Quest 2 works right out of the box with the majority of VR killer apps, including Beat Saber and Among Us VR. The included controllers are surprisingly ergonomic, and the majority of games have Quest options to seamlessly with their design. The Quest 2 also boasts onboard memory to store games and applications, which makes it the ideal option for VR gamers on the go.
The Meta Quest 2 is available from a variety of online retailers starting at just $400. The base model comes with just 128 gigabytes of storage capacity, but a 256-gigabyte version is also on sale for $500. Several bundle kits that include accessories like carrying cases and extra cables are also available, which all make it much easier to travel with.
For top-tier performance, the Pimax Vision 8K X is king
If you’re already an experienced VR enthusiast and you want the absolute best experience, look to Pimax. The Shanghai-based VR tech company produces the absolute peak of VR headsets for gamers who want more than the standard fare can provide. Its latest high-end product is the Pimax Vision 8K X, which blows the above two options out of the water when it comes to features and visual fidelity.
The Vision 8K X lives up to its name with a 3840 x 2160 screen for each eye, giving it the absolute best resolution of all VR headsets on the market in 2023. The real selling point is its field of view, which registers at 200 degrees diagonally. Full peripheral vision combined with the absolute best screens produces the most immersive experience possible in VR. However, the Pimax is meant to be used with existing VR platforms like the Index for tracking. The company does produce its own controllers, but if you have a pair of Index Knuckles already, they’re perfectly compatible with the Pimax.
The Pimax Vision 8K X is available on Amazon for $1,400, making it the most expensive option on this list by far. However, it’s hard to argue with the insane specs of the unit. For gamers with deep pockets, the Pimax Vision 8K X is the ultimate way to experience virtual reality in your own home.