Oculus Quest 2 Review: Budget VR for Everyone

The future of gaming is here, and now it's more available than ever! Oculus has released the Quest 2 at a very competitive price and it brings untethered virtual reality to a whole new level. The Oculus Quest 2, specifically, has been called one of the best budget headsets on the market and now we test out that claim to see just how well it actually plays.

Oculus Quest 2 Review: Budget VR For Everyone Cover

Virtual reality has come a long way since its first inception in the 1950s. Technology has advanced considerably since then and thus more evolved tech has become easier and more accessible than ever. We’ve still got a long way to go, but the options are ever-expanding and becoming more and more affordable. We are approaching ever closer to a time when every gamer could have one device, although that seems to still be a long ways off.

Price is important, but what else is there to consider when buying a VR headset? First is a matter of how powerful your PC is and whether you have the ability to play tethered or not, then there’s the platform you wish to play on, what games you want to be able to play, etc. Oculus is one of the VR companies that will have you covered no matter which option you choose. The Oculus Rift S may be able to satisfy you if you have the PC power, but what if you want to play untethered? That’s where the Oculus Quest 2 brings you the best of both worlds.

Being a gamer, I obviously wanted to test this new hardware to see just how it stands up to the competition, and that’s why I’ve tested the Quest 2! No matter if you’re a casual VR user or a seasoned gamer, I answer if the Quest 2 is the right gateway headset for you.

Introducing Oculus Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2 is available to purchase from Amazon as well as the Oculus website.

DESIGN

The Oculus Quest 2 has vastly improved performance over the original Oculus Quest; it boasts an upgraded processor, more RAM, faster refresh rate, the option for more storage, and is nearly 70g lighter! The overall design and appearance of the Quest 2 is very similar to its predecessor; however, the tracking cameras are smaller and this headset is white as opposed to black. The headset is slightly shorter and smaller than the original, giving it a sleeker look.

With four tracking cameras, one less than the Rift S, the Quest 2’s cameras are spaced evenly around the headset providing decent coverage for hand tracking. These four cameras also allow the set up of things like the Oculus Guardian Boundary which scans your play area and warns you if you are about to stray out of it and, say, into your furniture. This is a very handy feature, as you’re not tethered to anything so no cords are holding you back. Oculus Guardian Boundary is not new, however, and was available on the original Quest as well.

Oculus Quest 2 comes with built-in tracking.

Oculus Quest 2 comes with built-in tracking.

The modest Oculus Quest 2 is a very simple plug-and-play system that merely requires you to turn it on and link to a Facebook account. Once the account is linked and your Guardian Boundary is set, you’re off and running in virtual reality! Other features include a 3.5mm headphone jack and adjustable distance between the lenses for an optimal fit. The visor comes out of the box with an eyeglasses spacer as well so there may not be a need to remove your glasses.

The straps on the headset are the same as the original, a soft pair of straps, with the option to upgrade to the Quest 2 Elite Strap that features the halo design. Both the top and back straps are adjustable for a comfortable fit. There is also a good bit of foam padding in the face-shield making it even more comfortable to wear. Thankfully, Quest 2‘s face padding is replaceable as part of the Quest 2 Fit Pack. This means that if your padding wears out, it can be replaced with relative ease, unlike previous headset models. Quest 2 weighs a mere 503g, making it one of the lightest Oculus headsets yet, allowing you to wear it longer without fatigue.

The new touch controllers are sleek and comfortable.

The new touch controllers are sleek and comfortable.

The Quest 2 comes with two new touch controllers that have a reimagined ergonomic design with repositioned thumb rests making them more comfortable to use than the original Quest and the Rift S. Other than that, the touch controllers haven’t changed much and still feature a joystick and five buttons each; two triggers and three face buttons. The controllers are slightly textured to provide a comfortable grip. Overall, the new touch controllers are comfortable and remain easy to use.

Resolution 1832x1920 per eye
Screen type/Refresh Rate LCD/90 Hz
Sound 3,5mm headphone jack/internal speakers
Dimensions 191.5mm x 102mm x 142.5mm
Weight

503g

 

On the whole, when it comes to design and comfort, both the headset and the controllers look and feel quite comfortable. They are designed with mindfulness of those new to VR and should feel natural to use after just a few minutes spent in virtual reality.

PERFORMANCE

The Quest 2 comes with plenty of game and entertainment options right out of the box; however, you can expand your library and functionality further by tethering your headset to your PC using Oculus Link.

Beat Saber continues to be one of the best games in VR.

Beat Saber continues to be one of the best games in VR.

Wireless (on its own)

On its own, the Quest 2 will provide a quality VR experience, though it will lack some of the performance of its tethered cousins. The screen is a bright, fast-switch, LCD with a total resolution of 3664x3840, this equates to 1832x1920 per eye. That’s nearly 4K resolution! You can adjust the lenses for pupillary distance as well which couldn’t be done on the Rift S.

The refresh rate is up to 90 Hz, giving you a smooth image, though some users may still experience motion sickness depending on their selection of game. Of course, much of your experience will be based upon your game choice as the graphical integrity remains up to the developers.

Tethered (connected to your PC)

Quest 2 has the option of Oculus Link for improved functionality and access to a larger library of games including access to SteamVR and the Virtual Desktop. It may also improve the experience in some games that don’t have full Quest support. The full experience will solely depend on your PCs performance.

Oculus Link is available for the Quest 2.

Oculus Link is available for the Quest 2.

It will work best if you have at least the recommended system requirements directly from Oculus.

Component Recommended Specs
Processor Intel i5-4590/AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
Graphics Card NVIDIA GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 480 or greater
Memory 8 GB+ RAM
Operating System Windows 10
USB Ports 1x USB 3.0 port

 

GAMES AND EXPERIENCES

Whether you decide to go tethered or wireless, the Quest 2 will take you on most of the journeys you wish to go on. You can watch movies, play games or even control your PC thanks to Virtual Desktop. Exercise your way through music and rhythm games such as Beat Saber or Oh-Shape. Explore the world around you like never before with unique programming specifically for VR. Dive into 3D puzzles in games like Down the Rabbit Hole. Or enjoy a true horror experience in games like Phasmophobia.

Of course, you can always enjoy the free games out there as well. Socialize with your friends and family like never before with experiences like VR Chat or REC Room. The possibilities are almost endless in just where you can go in the (virtual) world!

VR Chat offers free social VR experiences.

VR Chat offers free social VR experiences.

The future of VR may be a wireless one, but there’s still a long way to go to compete with tethered functionality. Thankfully, Quest 2 gives you the best of both worlds and the freedom to choose or upgrade your hardware later. With Quest 2, you don’t need an astounding PC to have an enjoyable VR experience, but if you do, you can choose Oculus Link and get the same experience as any other tethered user. While it still lags behind tethered options, Quest 2 has the potential to change the VR market as it presents a new alternative that balances performance, simplicity of use and price.

Summary
If you are looking for a VR headset on a budget, with the option to upgrade it further if you have the PC power - the Quest 2 may be the headset for you. It provides some great improvements over the original Quest and allows you to have the best, cordless, virtual reality experience without breaking your bank.
Good
  • Quality built-in tracking
  • Great graphics
  • Easy setup
  • Light and comfortable
  • Touch controllers
  • Can play untethered
Bad
  • Requires Oculus Link for full functionality
  • Short battery life
8.7
Great

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