iRacing is one of the best online games for realistic racing simulation. It’s modeled after reality and how cars feel and drive on different terrains and in different conditions. With all its focus on being realistic and the most accurate iteration of the actual thing, you’d naturally want to be as immersed in the game as possible so as to experience the racing action the best. This means you want to be able to use a VR headset with it, and in this article, I will explore the best VR for iRacing and what headsets will suit different types of users.
Bottom Line Up Front
My favorite VR headset for iRacing is the HP Reverb G2. This light, immersive headset works while tethered to a PC system. This headset offers an interesting square display per eye with a 2160 x 2160p LCD panel per eye that offers a refresh rate of up to 90Hz. This means extra screen real estate when playing VR racing. The weight and the additional features of the headset also make it an excellent piece of equipment for an immersive and enjoyable VR experience.
The other headsets in my article are by no means short of excellent, and there are multiple others that you could prefer if there is a different type of experience that you’re looking for from these headsets. My top picks from the other selections are discussed in the section below.
My Top Picks
- The HP Reverb G2 is the overall best pick. Solid in every category, this headset will not disappoint you. However, it is a bit on the pricier side.
- The Oculus Quest 2 is the most versatile headset, and I have no issues recommending it for a vast majority of VR experiences. It’s also priced very cheap, and for the features and wireless options it offers, it’s an easy suggestion to make.
- The HTC VIVE Pro is the most high-end headset on my list. If you don’t mind paying the premium, this headset is definitely one of the most immersive experiences you can find for VR iRacing.
My selection criteria for this list will be based on some of the aspects of iRacing that are essential to the immersive nature of the experience. First and foremost, the weight of the headset is extremely important to consider since your neck will be moving around for a lot of the gaming as you look around at turns, at the rear-view mirrors, as well as at the apex of corners that you can take.
Secondly, the criterion will be the displays on the headset. The graphics and how they’re output on your eyes are very important in iRacing, especially when you’re overtaking or defending another car. The refresh rate and the resolution of displays will be essential to a good iRacing experience.
The price of the headset is always a valid point to consider since every user will not be on the same end of the price spectrum, and you may be looking for more premium headsets in some cases and more budget ones in some other instances.
Lastly, the overall immersion in the game, as well as the ease of using the headset in the game, will also be relevant criteria to consider when planning to purchase a VR headset for iRacing. Along with this, the features on the headset that could help with iRacing are also important and will be considered.
Best VR Headsets for iRacing
HP Reverb G2
The HP Reverb G2 is an immersive, tethered headset offering that comes from an unlikely entrant in the market: HP. HP is not known for its hardware in such fields. However, they really nailed it with this one. It checks most of the boxes and lines up against some of the best competitors in the business.
The Reverb G2 has a lightweight body weighing in at just under 500g, making it the lightest headset on this list. Weight is extremely important when you’re considering buying headsets for iRacing since you’ll be looking around a lot, trying to spot the apex and braking points, and this makes it really comfortable for that.
Additionally, the square displays are large and very responsive, with a 90Hz refresh rate. The wider aspect ratio of the displays makes the game more immersive as you can see a little more above and below the car, and that helps with the overall experience of the game.
The Reverb G2 is slightly on the expensive side, with a release price of $600. However, if you factor in the lightweight design and the responsive display, I think this is the best headset for VR iRacing. It serves the purpose correctly and does not falter when used. It’s comfortable to wear and play with for long periods as well.
The immersive nature of the overall experience is boosted by the large displays and the responsive refresh rate. The weight of the headset will not make you forget that you’re wearing it by any means, but it’s better than some of the heavier options out there. That plus the displays make it a winner for this category, in my opinion.
- Weight, Display
Oculus Quest 2
Once again, I’ve found myself suggesting the Oculus Quest 2 as a purchase option for a different type of game. This headset does not disappoint. It’s solid, and it keeps you free with the option of wireless attachment to the PC.
The weight of the Oculus Quest 2 is about 503g which is only some 5 grams heavier than the Reverb G2. However, the Oculus Quest 2 comes with the added advantage of the Oculus Air Link. This is a way in which you can tether the Oculus Quest 2 to your PC for SteamVR and other tethered games without the use of a cable.
This means its overall weight without the cable is lighter than any other headset on this list. However, the downside to this is that your broadband needs to be excellent for the air link to work smoothly. Seldom is this the case since WiFi is erratic by nature and some stutter and lag are to be expected? But if you can live with that or compensate for it with an excellent internet connection, then it’s ideal for lightweight use.
The displays on the Quest 2 are 1832 x 1920 panels per eye. These LCD displays aren’t nearly as sharp as the Reverb G2, but they do run at a refresh rate of 120Hz, making them more responsive and making the game feel more real and feel faster. At the cost of a little resolution and widescreen ratio, you get arguably more immersive displays.
The Oculus Quest 2 starts at only $300, which makes it one of the cheapest options on this list. This is an absolute winner in the value for money category because due to its standalone nature and the option to tether it, it is clearly the most versatile headset on the market right now.
The Oculus Quest 2 is immersive because of the responsive displays, the ease of use, and the smooth interface. It’s an excellent option if you want a headset that’s great but also does not run into a very high price point.
- Versatile, Weight, Price, Refresh Rate
HTC Vive Pro
The HTC Vive Pro is one of the most premium and outrightly one of the most powerful VR headsets on the market. It’s a very high-end product and not for every type of user. However, if you are a user that purchases it, you will not be disappointed.
The Vive Pro weighs in at 555g. It’s fairly lightweight ut not as comfortable to use as the others on this list. However, the weight is a small consideration when you think about the other aspects of the headset and the features. It’s also the most high-end headset on this list and is meant for users who want the most out of their VR experience.
The Vive Pro comes with two 1440 x 1600p displays that run at 90Hz. However, these are AMOLED Panels. This means an infinitely higher contrast ratio and much better color and graphics than LCD panels.
The Vive Pro, unfortunately, prices itself at a very high $799 price point. It’s not the best thing to convince an average user. However, if you’re a high end-user, then you’ll find that the headset is excellent to use.
There are no hiccups, the display is excellent, and the overall experience is great. While it may not be the most comfortable headset on this list, it is definitely the most premium and outperforms the rest in terms of pure power and the overall immersion in the VR space that it offers.
- Display, Power, High-end
- Price, Weight, Comfort
Samsung HMD Odyssey+
The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ is a headset that aims at the best possible experience for a user from a visual perspective. It’s a premium headset from Samsung. While it doesn’t check all the boxes or price itself very competitively, it wins one battle very clearly, and that’s what the manufacturer banks on to make sales for this headset.
The HMD Odyssey+ is unfortunately very heavy at about 800g. While this is not ideal for sim racing, you can try to ease it by wearing the head strap tighter or adjusting where your setup is and how you sit. However, it’s not going to be a good headset for long-term use when you’re moving your head about that much.
The headset comes with a pair of AMOLED 1440 x 1600p panels that support 16M colors. These are marginally better than the Vive Pro, but they’re sensational to look at in person. I personally seem to forget the weight of the headset any time that I’m using the displays for something as immersive as sim racing.
It is a pricey headset, priced on release at about $500. It doesn’t justify the shortcomings of the headset, such as some audio issues and issues with the weight and adjustment. However, the displays are so good that you need to see them and believe them. This much is justified for the price, in my opinion, especially if you’re someone who wants to prioritize the visual aspects of the gameplay in iRacing.
The immersion of the headset is excellent, largely because of the displays, which are a class apart. If this is your focus for the best VR experience, then you can always opt for this headset, and I promise it will not disappoint you.
- Weight, Price
Question: Which Headset is the Most Comfortable for iRacing?
Answer: In my opinion, the HP Reverb G2 wins this category because of how light it is. It also sits pretty firmly on top of the head, and it’s not a headset that will cause you too many issues when you’re playing for long periods of time.
Question: Which VR Headset has the Best Display for iRacing?
Answer: The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ has the best display of any VR headset. That high-resolution Samsung panel with AMOLED 16M colors is excellent for most things you can do in VR. However, it’s not very solid with other criteria that you could consider in iRacing. If the display is largely what you care about, this is a great headset.
Question: Do iRacing Headsets Need to be Tethered?
Answer: Yes. Technically all iRacing headsets need to be tethered. However, if you’re using the Oculus Air Link with the Oculus Quest 2, then you can undercut this and be tethered while technically not being required to use a wire.
There are a number of criteria you can consider for iRacing in VR if you want to buy an immersive headset. For me, the standout thing to consider is the weight of the headset because you will likely move around a lot with your head when you’re in the heat of the racing action.
Because of this reason, the HP Reverb G2 is my clear pick for the best VR headset for iRacing. However, if there are other criteria that you value, such as the ones I’ve listed in the above portions of my article, then you can have a look at the top picks I’ve selected across criteria for the best VR headset for iRacing.