The Best Virtual Reality Headset in 2021

October 2, 2020 • Zachary Amos


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It looks like virtual reality is going to be the next big thing in gaming. When the technology first came out, VR was inaccessible and expensive, but you have plenty of options now. Given this variety, though, what’s the best virtual reality headset you can get right now?

The answer to that depends on what your needs and wants are. Different VR headsets are better suited to different systems, games and budgets. So here’s a variety of headsets that offer the best experience for all kinds of gaming.

1. Oculus Quest

Oculus is one of the most recognizable names in VR, as is their flagship headset, the Quest. The Quest has already made Oculus more than $290 million in 2020, and for good reason. It’s the best overall VR headset on the market right now.

The Quest stores games on the headset itself, so you don’t need a PC or console to use it. You don’t need any cameras or sensors, either, as it has built-in motion tracking features. The only real problem with it is its short battery life, which may be frustrating given its $400 price.

2. Oculus Rift S

If you’re looking for something affordable to use on PC, the Oculus Rift S is your best bet. The Rift S improves on its predecessor, the Oculus Rift, in nearly every way. Most notably, it features a better display and doesn’t require external cameras.

You still have to connect the Rift S to a PC with a cable. This wire is long and thin enough for you to move around the room, though. If you want a PC VR headset with easy setup, the $400 Rift S is the way to go.

3. Valve Index

The Valve Index may be the most advanced virtual reality headset on the market right now. You can’t find some of its features, like its pressure-sensitive “knuckle” controllers, anywhere else. With access to the Steam VR platform, it also has one of the best games libraries out there.

All of these advantages come at a cost, though. A $1,000 cost, to be specific, plus a high-end PC to be able to run it. If you have the budget, though, the Index offers an unmatched VR experience.

4. Sony PlayStation VR

You may equate VR with names like Oculus and HTC, but Sony’s been a key player for a while. Sony has been the world’s largest VR device vendor for the past three years. That shouldn’t surprise you, either, since the PlayStation VR is the best console VR headset out there.

As you’ve probably assumed, you’ll need a PlayStation 4 to use the PlayStation VR headset. A PS4 costs less than the PCs needed for the Index and Rift S, though. At $300, the PlayStation VR is also one of the most affordable headsets you can find.

5. Nintendo Labo VR Kit

If you’re one of the 7.8 million people who bought a Nintendo Switch this year, you have an option too. The Nintendo Labo VR Kit is the only virtual reality headset for the switch, but it costs just $80. Unlike other options, with the Labo, you turn the console itself into a VR headset.

The resolution isn’t as good as other headsets, but the Labo is a unique experience. You can get other Labo kits to build “Toy-Cons,” cardboard controller housings that give you a more immersive playthrough. It’s not as high-tech or impressive as other VR systems, but it’s a lot of fun.

Choosing the Best Virtual Reality Headset

No matter what you play on, you can find a virtual reality headset that’s right for you. The market’s a lot more varied than it used to be, and the offerings are higher-quality too. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a headset that fits your desires and budget.

VR is still a relatively new technology, but it’s getting better all the time. There’s never been a better time to try it out, and these five headsets are all excellent options.