Interested In VR Gaming But Don’t Know Where to Start? All Your Questions Answered
What began as a niche interest has now taken a solid hold on the gaming world. Thanks to headsets like the PS VR2 and Quest 2, VR gaming has come a long way since the first mainstream headset was released in 2016, and if you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon then it may feel overwhelming to try now. But despite how futuristic they are, VR headsets are pretty easy to use these days.
And they’re great! VR isn’t about to replace your PS5 or Xbox Series X as your main gaming console any time soon, but a headset is a fun complement to your existing setup. Besides the novelty of feeling like you’re in the game, VR is great for getting you on your feet. Games like “Pistol Whip” and “Beat Saber” require you to move around to play. There’s even a whole sub-genre of fitness games that are only available in VR. Even VR games that are focused on story, like “Horizon Call of the Mountain”, can be more immersive than games on consoles thanks to the fact that you physically have to move to swing a sword or fire a gun.
Does this sound like something you’d be into? If you’re ready to take your first step into the virtual reality, here’s your guide to VR gaming for beginners.
What Do You Need to Play VR Games?
All you need is a VR headset (more on which headset you should get later), a TV or monitor, and a console or device to connect it to. Depending on your headset, it’ll connect to either a PC, smartphone, or PS5. To get the most out of your VR headset, you’ll also need a big enough space to move around in. That’s it!
The Best VR for PlayStation
The PS VR2 ($879) is the first and only virtual reality headset made for the PS5. Amazon currently has the best price at $878 with free delivery, or $958 with free delivery for the “Horizon Call of the Mountain” bundle.
The Best VR for PC
The Meta Quest 2 ($630) is the VR headset for PC gamers. You’ll need to make sure your PC meets the system requirements first, though. To play VR games on the Meta Quest 2, your PC will need to meet these criteria at a minimum:
- Processor: Intel i5-4590/AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
- Memory: 8 GB+ RAM
- Operating system: Windows 10+
- USB ports: 1x USB port
You’ll also need to check your graphics card is compatible. Most Nvidia GPUs from the 970-series and higher will work, but you can check the full list here if you’re unsure. Finally, you’ll need a high-quality USB cable that’s at least 3m long.
The Best VR for Phones
The Meta Quest 2 is also the best headset for anyone who wants to get into VR, but doesn’t already have a gaming setup. It connects to your smartphone via an app so you can play games directly from the headset.
The Best VR for Xbox
Unfortunately, Microsoft and Xbox don’t have their own VR headset yet.
The Best VR for Switch
Neither does Nintendo. Sorry, team Switch!
What Are the Best PS VR2 Features?
The PS VR2 is made specifically for the PS5 and makes use of its best features, like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
- Display: OLED
- Resolution: 2000 x 2040 per eye
- Refresh rate: 90Hz, 120Hz
- Sound: 3D audio
- Required play space: 2m x 2m minimum for roomscale mode or 1m x 1m for sitting and standing modes
- See-through view:
- HDR support? Yes
- Eye tracking? Yes
- Can you wear it over glasses? Yes
Additionally, the PS VR2 features haptic feedback in the headset and controllers, and the controllers feature adaptive trigger effects similar to the DualSense wireless controllers.
What Are the Best Quest 2 Features?
The Quest 2 is a high-end headset that gives a lot of bang for your buck. It’s got:
- Display: LCD
- Resolution: 1832 x 1920 per eye
- Refresh rate: 60Hz, 72Hz, 90Hz
- Storage: 128GB, 256GB
- Sound: In-built 3D positional audio / 3.5-mm audio port for headphones
- Required play space: 2m x 2m minimum for roomscale mode or less for stationary mode
- HDR support? No
- Eye tracking? No
- Can you wear it over glasses? Yes
Can You Play VR Games Sitting Down?
Although one of VR’s main selling points is the way it makes you feel like you’re embodying your character, it’s entirely possible to play VR games while sitting down. In most cases, you’ll still need to move your arms to reach for objects and press buttons, for instance, but you don’t always have to walk around a room to make your character move.
Will You Get Motion Sick In VR?
This has gotten less common as VR has gotten better, but some people still experience motion sickness after playing. It normally occurs when your movement in the game drastically differs from your movement in the real world, causing a kind of disconnect between what you’re doing and what it looks like you’re doing.
In most cases, this goes away once you get more used to VR. In the beginning, take it slow and give yourself plenty of breaks to minimise the chance of feeling sick.
What Is VR Gaming Good For?
You can’t play just any game in VR. Sorry if your plan was to launch “The Last of Us” and play as Joel, but that won’t be happening any time soon. With a limited library to choose from, it can help to look at the most prominent genres of VR games to find out if there’s anything for you.
FPS games lend themselves very well to VR, as do horror and racing games. Similarly, space exploration games like “Elite: Dangerous” and “No Man’s Sky” are popular with VR gamers. It’s great if you like dancing and rhythm games, or want to gamify your fitness regime; it’s less so if you play multiplayer games or go deep into big RPGs. There are also lots of puzzle games and short-form narrative games for VR, as well as the aforementioned fitness games.
So, Is VR Worth It?
VR is still too niche to recommend to very casual gamers or anyone with just a passing interest. However, if you play a lot of the games above and want to feel more immersed in them, then VR is a fun addition to your gaming setup. It’s also worth it for anyone who wants to feel like a more active participant in games, as long as they know the list of games that will make them feel this way is still quite short (but growing).
The good news is that VR is only getting better, so opting in now will net you decent rewards in the future.
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