I'm new to VR and looking for a setup to play Steam games. Please advise ...

harddud

Limp Gawd
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Hello all,

The title says it all. I am heavily invested in Valve's Steam platform and am looking for a good, but reasonably priced solution to try out VR. The games played will mostly be from Steam. If it helps, I wear glasses. I was looking at buying the Oculus Quest II set that is currently offered for the holidays at $300 but not too sure I want to buy into a "Made by and for Facebook" product. What product(s) would you recommend for playing these types of games?

Thank you ...
 

sharknice

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Your choices are Quest 2 for $300, Reverb G2 for double the price, or something else for over a thousand.

And the more expensive options aren't better. There are tradeoffs to all the options.
 

Chief Blur Buster

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Quest 2 currently dominates the VR market by an order of magnitude now. Generally has the best and most enjoyable games, too.

If your wallet is unlimited, there are quite a lot of options. But at $300, the Quest 2 outperforms the quality of many $1000 VR headsets. It's rather shocking.

Favourite unexpected VR trojan horse to bet on is the theoretical Valve standalone VR headset rumored to use the same chip as their Steam Deck, with an obvious shoo-in of a Half Life Alyx pack-in, no computer mandatory. And an in-VR Steam store using the brand new Steam user interface similar to Steam Deck. It's surprisingly very very similar to the Oculus Store, which is another hint of Valve's future VR direction. Almost an open secret, Valve is biding their time until tech catches up to run PCVR games directly in-headset without a computer

I'd guesstimate 2023 or 2024 at slightly higher prices, such as approx ~$499, once new chip fabs are up and running to ease chip shortages, and companies like Valve can release new products faster.

In the meantime, if you want to stay in the Steam sandbox and stay away from the Oculus Store (er, Meta Store, I'm gonna miss the Oculus name) ...you could just get a Quest 2 and just AirLink (or Virtual Desktop) to your SteamVR, enjoying cordless PCVR freedom not available in a sub-$1000 headset. It's harder than Oculus Store, but at least you get your Steam sandbox for cheap and you can keep your SteamVR games for your next headset, as SteamVR is mostly headset-independent.

By unit sales (>10 million) and market share, Quest 2 has now literally almost monopolized the VR market, by marketshare, at the moment -- and it's easy to know why it became dominant: price, ease of use, and (mostly) high quality.

One problem is Quest 2 is still the only headset easy enough you can mail to grandma at a locked-down nursing home, and she is in VR the next day without much help. It's easier to setup than an iPad. It's the only headset with a very good easy in-VR setup wizard that doesn't require a computer. It's also the only headset with a very good in-VR application store where you can shop and download VR apps without ever touching any other gadgets like a phone or a computer. The 2nd easiest VR headset is 10x+ harder to setup for an average user than a Quest 2. So, Quest 2 has been selling hot in the VR world (like Nintendo Wii back in the time). No other headset lets you safely suddenly play full size RoomScale immediately in a brand new hotel/guest/whatever room in a mere 10 seconds flat after arriving at a new room, without fear of crashing into walls. With its near-photogrammetry quick self contained in-headset RoomScale setup. Carmack's masterpieces really shows here. Features/ease/power per dollar, it is THAT good, standing-ovation good.

But....

That said, the main issue is the dreaded Facebook login. D'oh.
 
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harddud

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Quest 2 currently dominates the VR market by an order of magnitude now. Generally has the best and most enjoyable games, too.

If your wallet is unlimited, there are quite a lot of options. But at $300, the Quest 2 outperforms the quality of many $1000 VR headsets. It's rather shocking.

Favourite unexpected VR trojan horse to bet on is the theoretical Valve standalone VR headset rumored to use the same chip as their Steam Deck, with an obvious shoo-in of a Half Life Alyx pack-in, no computer mandatory. And an in-VR Steam store using the brand new Steam user interface similar to Steam Deck. It's surprisingly very very similar to the Oculus Store, which is another hint of Valve's future VR direction. Almost an open secret, Valve is biding their time until tech catches up to run PCVR games directly in-headset without a computer

I'd guesstimate 2023 or 2024 at slightly higher prices, such as approx ~$499, once new chip fabs are up and running to ease chip shortages, and companies like Valve can release new products faster.

In the meantime, if you want to stay in the Steam sandbox and stay away from the Oculus Store (er, Meta Store, I'm gonna miss the Oculus name) ...you could just get a Quest 2 and just AirLink (or Virtual Desktop) to your SteamVR, enjoying cordless PCVR freedom not available in a sub-$1000 headset. It's harder than Oculus Store, but at least you get your Steam sandbox for cheap and you can keep your SteamVR games for your next headset, as SteamVR is mostly headset-independent.

By unit sales (>10 million) and market share, Quest 2 has now literally almost monopolized the VR market, by marketshare, at the moment -- and it's easy to know why it became dominant: price, ease of use, and (mostly) high quality.

One problem is Quest 2 is still the only headset easy enough you can mail to grandma at a locked-down nursing home, and she is in VR the next day without much help. It's easier to setup than an iPad. It's the only headset with a very good easy in-VR setup wizard that doesn't require a computer. It's also the only headset with a very good in-VR application store where you can shop and download VR apps without ever touching any other gadgets like a phone or a computer. The 2nd easiest VR headset is 10x+ harder to setup for an average user than a Quest 2. So, Quest 2 has been selling hot in the VR world (like Nintendo Wii back in the time). No other headset lets you safely suddenly play full size RoomScale immediately in a brand new hotel/guest/whatever room in a mere 10 seconds flat after arriving at a new room, without fear of crashing into walls. With its near-photogrammetry quick self contained in-headset RoomScale setup. Carmack's masterpieces really shows here. Features/ease/power per dollar, it is THAT good, standing-ovation good.

But....

That said, the main issue is the dreaded Facebook login. D'oh.


Outstanding feedback! Thank you! Yeah, it appears that Quest 2 is the way to go ... but Facebook ... what's up with that? I know FB bought Oculus back in 2014 but requiring a login? BTW, connecting via "AirLink (or Virtual Desktop) to your SteamVR" interests me. I checked it out ... easy. I used the Steam VR Performance Test to check my system. I have an old 3770K with 16GB memory and a 1660Ti and the tester states that I am good to go. Was concerned that my system wouldn't have enough horsepower.
 
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kaneO

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I just jumped into the oculus 2 and it's pretty cool to say the least.
 

Zedicus

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the PSVR headset works well with the IVRY driver and can be found for dirt cheap. it makes a good 'intro to VR' headset.

theres lens stoppers for the PSVR on ebay for 10$ for people with glasses, they work well, have a set on mine.
 

Chief Blur Buster

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Outstanding feedback! Thank you! Yeah, it appears that Quest 2 is the way to go ... but Facebook ... what's up with that? I know FB bought Oculus back in 2014 but requiring a login? BTW, connecting via "AirLink (or Virtual Desktop) to your SteamVR" interests me. I checked it out ... easy. I used the Steam VR Performance Test to check my system. I have an old 3770K with 16GB memory and a 1660Ti and the tester states that I am good to go. Was concerned that my system wouldn't have enough horsepower.
Your system is somewhat entry level but you'll get started fine -- just reduce detail level in your VR games -- and you may need to reduce your video bitrate.

That being said, you will want to test both AirLink and Virtual Desktop to see which one works best for your 1660 Ti.

To reduce VR stutters, make sure you don't have anything less than a three-antenna (plus) 11ac WiFi router, if you want to wirelessly stream your VR. Or buy a 2nd dedicated router just for wireless Quest 2 PCVR -- and use that router in the same room you play most in.

With a modest VR PC and possibly no dedicated router, I would advise against simultaneously streaming PCVR and chromecasting at the same time though. (Spectators on a TV can watch you play while you Chromecast your Quest 2 view to a television set -- great for letting family laugh at your BeatSabering)

At least, it will whet your appetite for a GPU upgrade and help you decide which direction you want to go with VR in the future. And if you decide to get a higher end PCVR headset, the Quest 2 is a good 2nd headset for things like head-to-head Beat Saber or other multiplayer games.

Quest 2 also happens to be ideal for showing off easy introductory VR -- you show off those Oculus trainer apps such as "Oculus First Steps" followed by "Oculus First Contact" which are free introductory apps that teaches any layperson how to operate the VR headset and controllers. No cables, no mice, no keyboard, no fuss, not even AirLink needed as they are free Oculus Store in-headset apps (hey, free, so might as well) -- just launch the app and give the headset to your friend or family. You can watch their VR view through a TV or through a smartphone/iPad screen (initiated smartphone/iPad-side), and tutor/coach a friend or family member while they're using VR -- without the hassle of fumbling with a faraway computer mouse/keyboard. While one can hate Facebook, it is the most in-person social headset that is the easiest to show-off in-person to a family member, and far by the easiest to teach another family member to use.

Meanwhile, for those looking for an alternative -- Valve's competitor to Quest 2 can't come soon enough -- just need to wait out chip shortages. Valve's got almost all the missing technology pieces now (Valve Index VR hardware, Steam Deck hardware, Steam Store with new "Oculus Store Clone" Steam Deck UI, and their custom Linux Proton software capable of running most PC games. Just needs add VR support to Proton, along with ARM64-to-x64 translation layer. Next, add a M1-powerful ARM chip and possibly a future AMD's FidelityFX II sequel that increases framerate more at less power. Boom, PCVR games in-headset without a PC (at usable detail levels and full VR frame rates) -- that's exciting. It's kind of an obvious Valve direction for ~2023-ish since they are already 90% technologically there (hardware-wise and software-wise). And piecing together what Valve has hinted to media.
 
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kaneO

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Watched the Hawks vs Timberwolves last night with the oculus 2 and I was so close that I felt like Karl-Anthony Towns dunked on me.
 

MrC4

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Watched the Hawks vs Timberwolves last night with the oculus 2 and I was so close that I felt like Karl-Anthony Towns dunked on me.
What interface did you use to watch the game? May give this a spin with my Rift.
 

kaneO

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What interface did you use to watch the game? May give this a spin with my Rift.
I used my oculus quest 2 with a free app call horizon events. which I could not find when connecting to the oculus store while connected to my PC. Only could find it using the oculus only
 
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Chief Blur Buster

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Yes - if you have a gaming PC and decent 5g router or 5g capable wifi hotspot. Otherwise you'll need a good usb-c cord ranging from $30-$75.
You meant WiFi 5 or newer, not to be confused with 5G. ;)

But yes, your existing steamVR catalog is playable on Quest 2 without any extra cost if you already have decent WiFi in the same room.
 

harddud

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OK, based upon the excellent information shared in this thread (especially by Chief Buster), I am looking at purchasing either a (new) Oculus Quest 2 ($300 plus tax) ... OR ... a sightly used Oculus Rift S ($200 with no tax). Which should I purchase and why? Thank you ...
 

MrC4

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As a PC gamer, I would get the Rift S (and have). Slightly worse visual quality, but better for hardcore VR gaming.

Get the Oculus Quest 2 if you want a simpler setup but a more limited game selection.
 

reaper12

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As a PC gamer, I would get the Rift S (and have). Slightly worse visual quality, but better for hardcore VR gaming.

Get the Oculus Quest 2 if you want a simpler setup but a more limited game selection.
What do you mean? The Quest 2 can play all the games that they Rift S can and more. And what's more is that you play those PCVR games wirelessly on the Quest 2.
 

reaper12

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OK, based upon the excellent information shared in this thread (especially by Chief Buster), I am looking at purchasing either a (new) Oculus Quest 2 ($300 plus tax) ... OR ... a sightly used Oculus Rift S ($200 with no tax). Which should I purchase and why? Thank you ...

What GPU/CPU do you have?
 

harddud

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What GPU/CPU do you have?
I posted my config above. I have an old 3770K with 16GB memory and a 1660Ti and the Steam VR tester states that I am good to go. Was concerned that my system wouldn't have enough horsepower.
 

Youn

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Quest 2, even if just using PCVR, it's a better experience than Rift S. Not sure if it was mentioned before, but Rift S would also require a FB account.
 

sharknice

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Q2 is a huge upgrade over the Rift S. I wouldn't even consider the S unless you could get it for $50.
 

robijito123

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I would look, there was a refurb deal from walmart for $199 on the quest 2 64gb model recently. I went from HP windows mr to rift 1 to quest 2 and would say it is a great experience upgrade for pc VR. Only downfall over rift 1 is speakers but easily fixed with headphones, visuals are way better and usbc extension cables can be fairly inexpensive to find aftermarket, if you dont have the right router to stream. Also I found inside out tracking good enough to not have to mess with sensors and wire mess.
 

aliaskary77

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Im still breaking in the Q2, but one thing I noticed with my Rift CV1 with external sensors. Playing Eleven Table Tennis..the CV1 was deadly accurate in terms of sensing the ball and hitting it back...but with the Q2, feels disconnected, and many times it missed hitting the ball completely. Hope I can figure it out and improve some things.
 

reaper12

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Im still breaking in the Q2, but one thing I noticed with my Rift CV1 with external sensors. Playing Eleven Table Tennis..the CV1 was deadly accurate in terms of sensing the ball and hitting it back...but with the Q2, feels disconnected, and many times it missed hitting the ball completely. Hope I can figure it out and improve some things.
Are you playing the Quest 2 version of Eleven table tennis or the PC version?
 

aliaskary77

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Are you playing the Quest 2 version of Eleven table tennis or the PC version?
PC version through Steam. Was at least playable first 2 days. Last night, it starts but stuck in some weird view and cant play it. Half Life Alyx also give some crash pop up on pc, i close it then it seems to run ok.
 

SeymourGore

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Finally got the link cable for my Q2 and have been playing some Alyx. Holy crap is it immersive - I only played for about an hour last night and just felt exhausted afterwards. Maybe a little nauseous but mostly exhausted. Definitely will take me some time to find my 'VR legs'.

Also looking into setting up some sort of pulley system. The VR-Wire 2 (iirc) looked the slickest, but I don't think I'd have the ceiling height for that system (the room in my basement is about 7 feet). I'm currently leaning towards a Kiwi setup (with a triangle pattern for my main play area).
 

Chief Blur Buster

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Im still breaking in the Q2, but one thing I noticed with my Rift CV1 with external sensors. Playing Eleven Table Tennis..the CV1 was deadly accurate in terms of sensing the ball and hitting it back...but with the Q2, feels disconnected, and many times it missed hitting the ball completely. Hope I can figure it out and improve some things.
Try testing Virtual Desktop vs AirLink vs USC-C cable. One or two of them will be better for twitch operations, due to the minor latency of wireless. A faster dedicated router (just for Quest 2) can help with PCVR.
 

Chief Blur Buster

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Finally got the link cable for my Q2 and have been playing some Alyx. Holy crap is it immersive - I only played for about an hour last night and just felt exhausted afterwards. Maybe a little nauseous but mostly exhausted. Definitely will take me some time to find my 'VR legs'.

I used this VR carabiner kit with the Rift CV1 and it worked well to keep the cable directy above me. I used a 33 foot repeater cable for the rear sensor to make my playspace large.

With this, I’d recommend the Oculus Link optical fiber USB cable ($$ but more flexible), combined with a 6 foot or 10 foot extension cable at the computer end. The Oculus Link optical cable is 16 foot but it’s a repeater cable, so can be 20 to 32 foot by chaining cables (as it is essentially a repeater’d cable).

Use bright lights or multiple IR lamps to make Quest 2 tracking more accurate than Rift CV1.

Quest 2 tracks much better in big rooms than Rift, but only if brightly lit and contrasty (for Quest 2 cameras to do rock solid tracking millimeter accurate)

Only thing I miss in Rift is the OLED blacks.

As a PC gamer, I would get the Rift S (and have). Slightly worse visual quality, but better for hardcore VR gaming.

Get the Oculus Quest 2 if you want a simpler setup but a more limited game selection.

If this is a dig at your previous fuzzy-picture AirLink experience with a subpar router, why not cable your Quest 2? Rift is cable-mandatory anyway, so apples vs apples.

With the right cable, the PCVR Quest 2 resolution and motion clarity is better with Quest 2, especially with 300 Mbps H,EVC over USB-C, which is clearer than AirLink / Virtual Desktop.

That’s 20x the bitrate of a 4K Netflix stream, to make it essentially perceptually lossless, without compression artifacts. When cabled this way, does not even look like a video stream, Quest 2 streaming looks sharper than Rift native uncompressed.

AirLink and Virtual Desktop is better for freedom, but you *can* choose to use the cable to get much better quality and resolution than Rift CV1, and much sharper than Quest 2 in-headset games. You want an RTX 2080 or 3070+ series, ideally, to handle that perceptually lossless Holodeck-league streaming bitrate.

Besides, for sitdown games like simulators, the cable doesn’t matter anyway. Go AirLink for beatsabering or bowling type stuff, while using the cable for Microsoft Flight Simulator, for example.
 
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Ripskin

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For entry try it out Quest 2 is a good bet. But if the lower screen quality is a concern the G2 is the next up. The latest patch does help tracking but the Quest's is better. I love my G2 as I needed better visuals to keep my eyes from tripping into a migraine and its been great. Tracking a bit disappointing but not enough to really be a major issue.
 

reaper12

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PC version through Steam. Was at least playable first 2 days. Last night, it starts but stuck in some weird view and cant play it. Half Life Alyx also give some crash pop up on pc, i close it then it seems to run ok.

If you like Eleven Table Tennis you should buy the Quest 2 version. Playing the PCVR version of the game needs a good setup to get the lowest latency.

When you are in the game, press and hold the "Y" button on the controller to reset the view.
 

Chief Blur Buster

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If you like Eleven Table Tennis you should buy the Quest 2 version. Playing the PCVR version of the game needs a good setup to get the lowest latency.

When you are in the game, press and hold the "Y" button on the controller to reset the view.
I also prefer the Quest 2 version of Beat Saber over the PCVR version of Beat Saber.

I suspect similar recommendations would apply for bowling games and tennis games (where ports exist for PCVR GPU and Quest 2 mobile GPU), where low-latency movement is lovely.

This has been my experience, as I have double-purchased Beat Saber and Premium Bowling for PCVR (Rift/Quest2) and for Quest 2 (computerless operation). The in-headset app versions have slightly lower latency.

For Beat Saber, the graphics actually look near identical anyway in that specific game, and in-VR rendering is better than connecting it to an external PC. Kinda annoying to purchase the same game twice, but hey, at least I can play anywhere -- bring it to family and share headset, even in a household that doesn't have a computer.
 

bobzdar

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You meant WiFi 5 or newer, not to be confused with 5G. ;)

But yes, your existing steamVR catalog is playable on Quest 2 without any extra cost if you already have decent WiFi in the same room.

I meant 5ghz, not 5G or wifi 5. 5ghz is required for best quality, you can run it on 2.4ghz but you get a lot of compression artifacts.
 

Ripskin

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The G2 does not, just plug it in and Mixed Reality in Windows does the rest.
 
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