If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Best VR headsets: the best virtual reality headsets for PC

Virtual reality check

At-home VR has come a long way since those first low-res, invariably expensive kits that launched just a few years ago. The models you'll find below - the absolute best VR headsets for PC - are a testament to that improvement, with both technically superior and more affordable, attainable headsets that make it easier to get into VR for the first time.

Demand for these headsets can be high, especially since Half-Life: Alyx came along to give PC VR the closest thing it has to a killer app. As such some kits may be harder to get hold of than others, though conversely, it's fairly common for VR headsets to get big discounts as well.

You can check out our guide to the best VR headset deals if you're trying to nab your first HMD on a budget; we also have a list of the best VR games to get the most out of your new toy.

Best VR headsets 2022

Oculus Quest 2

The best cheap VR headset for PC

Oculus Quest 2 headset on a white background

The original Oculus Quest showed how much more enjoyable VR can be when you're not tripping over several heavy cables that also happen to be dangling from your head. The Oculus Quest 2 took the concept and made it even better, with a much more lightweight and comfortable chassis and a sharper, clearer display. Somehow, it launched at a lower price than the Quest as well, making it a fine low-cost choice with appeal that endures today.

The Quest 2 uses inside-out tracking, meaning all the trackers are built into the headset and controllers rather than spread across base stations. It's less accurate than external tracking but does mean you don't need to scramble around finding extra plug sockets, or configure your room in a special way to accommodate any external trackers in order to do full room-scale VR. Oculus' inside-out tracking is also noticeably better than what you get on the HTC Vive Cosmos; the only big drawback is that you need a Facebook/Meta account to use it.

Read more in our Oculus Quest 2 review

Valve Index

The best VR headset for PC overall

For those who want the best VR experience that money (a lot of it) can buy, then the Valve Index is the one to go for. Perhaps you've had a VR headset previously and are looking to upgrade, or maybe you've just got buckets of cash and want in at the very top of the VR food chain from the word go. Either way, it really doesn't get much better than the Valve Index.

Its key advantages over cheaper headsets like the Quest 2 include higher refresh rate options, going all the way up to 144Hz for super smooth VR gaming, a wider field of view and absolutely stunning built-in headphones. The speakers and earpieces on other headsets are often fine, but the Index's off-ear headphones are something else entirely, offering a rich, full-bodied sound that really heightens your sense of immersion.

You'll need a pretty powerful PC in order to take advantage of the Index's higher refresh rates, of course, but even if you don't have a super-powered PC right now, it does at least give the headset room for improvement when you next come to upgrade.

Of course, you don't strictly need to spend almost a grand to get a great VR headset, and for most people the Quest 2 will serve just fine fine. However, if you've got the space and the cash, and want the absolute bestest best VR headset on the market, then the Valve Index is a much better buy than both the Oculus and the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite.

Read more in our Valve Index review

What PC specs do I need for a VR headset?

If you're buying a VR headset for PC gaming, then you're going to need to make sure your rig is powerful enough to run it. Thankfully, the minimum requirements for most of today's best VR headsets are pretty low, so you shouldn't have much trouble getting your VR headset up and running if you've recently upgraded your PC. For the full list of minimum requirements, have a read of the table below.

Minimum PC requirements Valve Index Oculus Quest 2 HTC Vive / Vive Pro / Vive Cosmos Windows Mixed Reality headsets
OS: Windows 10 / 11, SteamOS, Linux Windows 10 / 11 Windows 7-11 Windows 10 / 11
CPU: Dual-core with hyperthreading Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350 Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1400
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon RX 480 Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon 400 series Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 470
USB: 3.0+ USB-C 3.0+ 3.0, USB-C
Output: DisplayPort (HDMI not supported) USB-C (Oculus Link), Wi-Fi (Air Link) DisplayPort (Cosmos) / HDMI (Vive / Vive Pro) HDMI, DisplayPort

Tagged With

About the Author

James Archer avatar

James Archer

Hardware Editor

James retired from writing about Dota for RPS to write about hardware for RPS. His favourite watercooler radiator size is 280mm and he always takes advantage of RGB lighting by setting everything to a solid light blue.

Support Rock Paper Shotgun

Subscribe and get access to supporter-only articles, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and game discounts. Your support helps us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information


More Features

Latest Articles

Supporters Only

Rock Paper Shotgun logo

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch