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VR technology has come a long way in just a few short years. With the emergence of fully wireless headsets and advancements in display technology, sim racing enthusiasts now have more options than ever before. The immersive experience provided by VR headsets puts you right in the driver’s seat, allowing you to look around the cockpit and feel like you’re actually racing.
Why Race in VR?
While triple monitor setups and widescreen monitors were once popular choices for sim racers, they can’t compare to the immersion offered by VR headsets. With a VR headset, you can turn your head to see approaching cars, look into corners like real racing drivers do, and even look around your entire cockpit. The sound adjusts as you turn your head, providing a more realistic experience. VR also enhances your sense of speed and amplifies the forces you feel through your wheel, giving you better control over your driving.
Now, let’s dive into the best VR headsets for sim racing.
Meta Quest 2
The Oculus Quest 2 is currently the latest and only available VR headset from Oculus. Its wireless features are a huge selling point, allowing you to play games without being tethered to anything. To use the Quest 2 for sim racing, you’ll need to connect it to your PC via a USB-C cable. Setting up the Quest 2 is incredibly easy, making it a popular choice among sim racers.
Oculus Rift (CV1)
Although the original Oculus Rift (CV1) has been overshadowed by the Rift S, it’s still a great choice for sim racing. The CV1 offers superior refresh rates and lens technology, providing a smoother and more vibrant experience. Plus, its price point is more budget-friendly, making it ideal for those on a tight budget.
HTC Vive Pro
The HTC Vive Pro, an upgrade from the original Vive, offers an improved AMOLED display. However, the improvements may not be worth the increased price for sim racing enthusiasts. The original Vive or the more affordable Rift S are better options.
The HP Reverb boasts the best VR lenses on the market, with stunning resolution and picture quality. However, it requires a powerful PC setup to fully enjoy the high graphics settings. The Reverb’s performance in motion is not as impressive, causing blurring and slight shakiness. It’s a unique headset that some might love, while others may find its flaws off-putting.
Samsung Odyssey +
The Samsung Odyssey + features a stunning display with superior AMOLED lenses and a higher refresh rate. It also has built-in head tracking, eliminating the need for external sensors. However, it can be difficult to find in Europe due to limited availability.
The Lenovo Explorer is a budget-friendly VR headset that competes well with more expensive options. While it doesn’t excel in any particular category, it provides a respectable experience across the board. It’s a great choice for sim racing on a budget.
The Valve Index is the newest and most advanced VR headset on this list, but it comes at a higher price. Its display and refresh rate are top-notch, and it even features finger tracking. However, many of its advanced features are not relevant for sim racing. Unless you have the budget to spare, the more affordable Rift S is a better choice.
What are the Best VR Racing Games of 2023?
Most sim racing games on PC now support VR, providing players with an immersive experience. From popular titles like iRacing and Project Cars 2 to fan favorites like Assetto Corsa Competizione and Dirt Rally 2.0, there are plenty of options to choose from. Unfortunately, Codemasters’ F1 games still lack true VR support, but other games like rFactor and ACC let you race Formula 1 cars.
Best Sim Racing Wheel for VR
When it comes to racing wheels, any wheel will be compatible with a VR headset on a PC. The two devices work independently of each other, allowing you to pair your favorite racing wheel with any VR headset. Fanatec offers some of the best high-end force feedback racing wheels on the market, and the CSL DD wheel base is a fantastic option for those on a mid-range budget.
Is it Worth Buying a VR Headset for Sim Racing?
Absolutely! VR technology enhances the sim racing experience by providing a level of immersion that can’t be replicated with traditional displays. As VR becomes more mainstream, it’s becoming more accessible and affordable. There are already a wide range of VR headsets available, and most mainstream sim racing games support VR. If you have a reasonably high-end PC, purchasing an Oculus Rift S is a great starting point. Give it a try and see how it elevates your sim racing experience.