VRChat is a virtual world that lets you interact in a number of ways with a variety of other VR users in the VR space through your avatars. It’s a quickly growing platform that’s getting more and more social by the day and is a very promising experience for VR headset users. You can find yourself immersed in VRChat for hours on end because it’s so much fun to interact and meet users in the VR space. If you want to explore the platform in the best way and learn about it, you need to know what the best VR headset for VRChat is and how to enhance your VRChat experience.
Bottom Line Up Front
My favorite headset to recommend for most things is the Oculus Quest 2, and it still holds true for this platform. The Oculus Quest 2 is powerful enough to make it easy to connect to the PC and play via a tethered Oculus Link or an Air Link, which means that you can play all SteamVR titles, including VRChat. This also gives you the ability to play it while not tethered if your internet connection is particularly good and has a bandwidth that can support VRChat and the Oculus Air Link at the same point in time.
Additionally, of the headsets that I’ve listed out, some of them stand as my top picks if you’re looking for a specific type of experience in VRChat. You can find these in the next section.
My Top Picks
1. The Oculus Quest 2 is a lightweight, wireless headset that is new and very versatile in how it can be put to use. I recommend it for most things VR as my outright top pick.
2. The Oculus Rift S is a great tethered option from Oculus with enough power to keep you playing. It’s also fairly lightweight and offers a good experience at a decent price point.
3. The HTC Vive Pro is an absolute beast that tries to be the best at everything; however, it does land on the expensive side of the price spectrum. Nevertheless, it would be criminal to say this isn’t one of the absolute best VR headsets available in the market.
For a great VRChat experience, you’d need to have multiple criteria in place to decide on what headset suits your needs and wants best. In my opinion, the foremost in this is the display. Visual immersion is a key aspect of VRChat, and an excellent display can really make your experience much better. The audio onboard the headsets will also be part of the selection criteria since you may decide to use the onboard rather than your own headphones.
This is particularly relevant when the spatial audio helps you experience users behind or around you that are out of your field of vision.
Further, the weight of the headset is a very important thing to consider, especially if you’re comfortable in VRChat and have a lot of friends to interact with. You’ll naturally want to spend extended periods of time on the platform, and the comfort of your headset matters. Weight and comfort will be considered together under this criterion.
Naturally, the price of the headset will be an obvious factor to consider since every user will not be looking for the same experience and the same level of performance or immersion from their headset. Therefore, I’ll try to cover headsets from a wide range of prices.
The motion tracking, responsiveness of the headset, and the level of immersion and control offered by the controllers will also be considered since this is what you’ll actually use to interact with players in the space. These will all be different criteria, along with the processing power of the headset and the overall experience, in my view.
Best VR Headset for VRChat
This offering from Oculus is an excellent tethered PC VR headset offering from Oculus.
The display on the Oculus Rift S is comprised of an 80Hz pair of LCD 1280 x 1440p panels. They’re a great pair of displays and don’t offer any issues while in-game. The only downside is that the contrast ratio can feel a little lacking in some games, especially since so much of the competition has moved into the AMOLED field. However, by no means is this display substandard and is adequately equipped to provide a great VR Chat experience.
The Audio on the Oculus Rift S is mounted on the headset, but users have reported multiple issues with it being erratic and not working as expected in some instances. However, the audio is decent enough. For this headset, I would definitely suggest that you use your own headphones if you can since there will be no issues that way, and since there is no spatial audio, the experience would be as immersive and maybe smoother.
The Oculus Rift S weighs in pretty average at 500g for the headset. It’s fairly comfortable to wear as well, with lightweight straps that are padded. This should make a good enough experience for VRChat even when you’re wearing them for an extended period of time. Even the straps are supported by the halo ring around the top of your head. This makes sure that the weight of the headset balances itself out. The ring at the back of the straps can be used to adjust the tightening.
The touch controllers on the Oculus Rift S are very responsive and work really well. They cause no major problems in the game. However, the tracking on the Oculus Rift S uses a set of onboard cameras. This means that anytime you make inputs on your controller when they are behind the headset, it will fail to register motion, gesture, and other inputs. Button inputs will still go through.
However, the cameras on the Rift S point forward, so it’s not possible for them to register any motion when the motion takes place behind the back of the user. In comparison, there aren’t a lot of occasions in VRChat where you’ll find yourself needing to look back. There is 6 Degree of Freedom tracking on the Oculus Rift along with the onboard five cameras that are on board to sense user movement, map the external environment, and help with registering controller input.
All in all, the Oculus Rift S is a great headset for all VR experiences, especially interactive ones like VRChat. The Rift S was released for $400. However, it’s easily available for less than that at retailers presently. If you’re someone who’d rather have a tethered experience, then the Oculus Rift S is a solid headset, and you can’t really go wrong with this purchase.
- Weight, Comfort
- Availability, Controllers, Audio
This is my favorite headset to suggest for most interactive experiences and light games. This stays true even for VRChat. A solid overall headset with great features and comfort, the Oculus Quest 2 is an easy suggestion for extended hours of VR use.
The headset houses a pair of 1832 x 1920p LCD panels that can run up to 120Hz. This is much better than the Rift S and a more immersive experience, particularly because of the immersion you get due to the high refresh rate. There is also an onboard stereo speaker with spatial audio. One, again, this is one of the better onboard speakers on any headset. However, you should use the 3.5mm audio jack if you can connect your own headphones.
The headset weighs in at about 500g. However, with the added padded straps and halo to rest it on your head, the balance is great, and it’s comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Moreover, unlike the Oculus Rift S, there is technically no need for any wires on the headset for use with VRChat. You still need to do the Oculus link to play the PC VR game on a Quest series headset. However, if you’re confident in your internet’s abilities, you can perform an Oculus Air Link and wirelessly play the game.
It may not be the smoothest experience, but you can cut the weight from cables down the most this way. Alternatively, you can just use an Oculus Link Cable or an alternative to connect and play. It’s still a very light experience, and you won’t feel weighed down even after an extended time.
The Oculus Quest 2 retails at $299 for the base version. There’s great value for money in this, considering that it’s a standalone headset, so it’s the only headset with multiple capabilities and doesn’t need a PC to work. Also, there is no need for wires, even when you’re connected to a PC. For the features and the freedom the headset offers, this price is easily justified.
There are four cameras on the Oculus Quest 2 that track body and hand movement. There is sensor support for the same 6 degrees of freedom as most other headsets, so you can move around freely when in VRChat. Additionally, there is great support for the controllers, and they’re very responsive. The Only downside I can think of is that the controllers are annoying to managing the battery. They run for a long enough time, lasting for a month or two sometimes.
However, the AA Battery setup just does not feel like 2022 at this point (Xbox players will crucify me for saying this).
The controllers aren’t the only thing you can control the headset with, though. The new firmware lets the onboard cameras track hand movement, with support for specific gestures as well, so you can enable hand tracking and have a very immersive experience.
Overall, because of the weight and price, the Oculus Quest 2 has great immersion and offers a very smooth VRChat experience. Since the price point is also very convincing, I also made this my top pick, and I stand by that. It’s an excellent headset for everything VR, and you really cannot go wrong with this purchase.
- Price, Weight, Wireless if needed, Hand gesture sensing
- Lacks pure processing power
The HTC Vive Pro is a high-end tethered PC VR headset that absolutely smashes it out of the park in every possible category. It’s not cheap by any means, and they don’t want to price competitively at all since they know the high-end user will not be discouraged by the price, and that’s because the headset really aces the benchmarks.
The Vive Pro has two 1440 x 1600p panels that run up to 90Hz. Though the resolution is not as high as the Quest, the panels are AMOLED, and that makes it very obvious that they’re a better pair of displays than the LCDs. A negligible loss of resolution at the cost of an infinitely better contrast ratio is a deal that you should have no second thoughts about. This one wins the display battle clearly. The audio onboard the headset is 3D spatial audio with Hi-Res support.
This is more than enough to make you feel right inside the VRChat platform. Even headphones offer a great experience, but the onboard audio is by itself more than adequate for an immersive experience in VRChat.
The Vive Pro weighs in slightly heavier at about 555g. However, all the internals and the great displays more than justify the added weight. The strap is also very futuristic-looking. All the tech rests on a strap that extends over the head with the sides padded. There are a number of head straps you can get for the headset, but most will have similar build designs and functionalities, and it’s not uncomfortable to wear over long periods.
The sensors onboard as well as on the base stations are great, and they track you for 6DoF movement. The base station sensors also ensure that controller input all around you is registered, including then the controllers are behind you. The separately attachable VIVE Tracker also tracks full-body movement and creates a connection between actual real-life objects and objects in the VR space.
The controllers are excellent with a ton of sensors, and the haptic feedback is also very responsive and immersive. Moreover, the battery on these is rechargeable, so it makes for a convenient gaming experience.
The Vive Pro is on the expensive side, starting at $600. This price isn’t a great value for money, considering my top pick is half the price and offers a great experience. However, this is the highest-end tech you can have for VRChat, so if you really want to overkill, then go for it and use this one to interact. You’re not going to be disappointed by the headset by any means. If this fits your budget, you can get it, and be sure that you’ll have a long-lasting headset that is an absolute powerhouse.
- Display, Audio, Power, Controllers, Sensors
The Odyssey+ is the PC-based VR offering from Samsung that promises an immersive experience. The displays on this one are incredible, and that’s mainly the reason for the high level of immersion it offers. Samsung always aces the display in every single piece of tech it makes, and the Odyssey+ is no exception.
The Odyssey+ comes in with a pair of 1440 x 1600p AMOLED panels that run at 90Hz. The AMOLED makes it so far clear in terms of the display that only looking through the lenses will have you wanting to buy the headset. The 16 million color panel is gorgeous, and it offers some great contrast and color that will make VRChat feel like a real space,
The audio on the headset is a little glitchy at times, but if you reset it enough and change the default sound device a few times and change it back again, then it should be good to go. It will not cause issues in the game once it’s fixed at the outset. It’s best to connect your own equipment to this one since that’s the best experience of audio you’ll have with this headset.
Unfortunately, this headset is very heavy, so you’ll need to have some patience and strength to play with it for extended periods of time. At 798 grams, it is by no means light, and if you want a lightweight headset, then this one isn’t for you.
Even the release price of the headset was $500, so it’s not cheap by any means, but that is to be expected from a manufacturer like Samsung. Samsung has a history of making its premium products excellent but also expensive. If you can afford it, however, it offers an excellent VR experience that is based on a very interesting Windows-based operating software.
There’s onboard inside-out position tracking with the help of sensors on the headset, so it does 6DoF movement support as well. The Controllers are very smooth, and the interaction through them feels almost like real-time. They’re not erratic or laggy and feel very low latency when input is converted in the game.
All in all, it’s a great headset where the display is the clear, convincing factor for anyone planning on purchasing it. Of course, it’s a bit of a stretch to say that that is all that they have to justify the price, but it is the main focus on which they market the headset. If the visual component of VRChat is what you want to focus on, then this headset is a good purchase if you can shell out the money. Alternatively, you could shell out some extra and make the leap to the Vive Pro.
- Best display, Controllers, Operating software
- Weights, Price, Audio issues
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: Which Headset has the Best Controllers for VRChat?
Answer: While the answer to this will vary from person to person, depending on your preferences, my answer here is that the HTC Vive Pro is a great headset and the addition of base cameras to the onboard sensors makes the controllers feel like real-time input devices that cause no issues and work all around the room. This makes it a clear winner for controller responsiveness and tracking.
Question: Which Headset has the Best Display for VRChat?
Answer: This is a close one between the HTC Vive Pro and the Samsung HMD Odyssey+. I think the AMOLED panel on the Odyssey wins this battle because of the support for more color and also the higher contrast ratio. It’s a close battle, and the Vive Pro is the overall better headset, but Samsung has been known for making the best displays in a variety of tech, and VR headsets are no exceptions here.
Question: Can VRChat be Explored Wirelessly?
Answer: Not on all headsets. However, if you have an Oculus Quest 2 headset with Oculus Air Link, then you can stream your SteamVR experience to your headset and play wirelessly. However, your broadband has to be excellent for this because it would need to support the bandwidth required for online interaction in the software as well as the streaming at the same time.
It’s clear that there is a wide range of headsets that you could buy to interact in VRChat. All of these are great options, and it only depends on your preference what you choose to purchase.
For me, the winner overall is the Oculus Quest 2 because it’s the newest headset on the market and the most versatile by a margin. It can technically play the game wirelessly, and it’s lightweight and offers excellent value for money. While the panels are LCD, they offer a very high refresh rate, and the onboard stereo speakers are great for spatial audio. The controllers are decent and don’t offer too many issues, except when behind the back.
I hope this article helped you out in deciding what headsets to consider and also what to consider when buying a headset specifically for VRChat.