Best racing VR headsets 2024

A white and black VR headset next to controllers in front of a light pink and blue gradient backdrop.
Credit: Meta

A white and black VR headset next to controllers in front of a light pink and blue gradient backdrop.
Credit: Meta

To completely immerse yourself in racing, you're going to want to add the best racing VR headset to your setup.

With the evolution of this technology and augmented reality in recent years, which includes the likes of Meta and even Apple getting in on the action with the Apple Vision Pro, virtual reality really can make it feel like you're in the driver's seat. By combining these headsets with a quality racing wheel and a top racing seat as well, the line between virtual and real-world conditions really does become hard to differentiate between.

The thing is, not every VR headset deserves a podium place finish, which is why we've rounded up the best VR headsets below, considering price, reviews, and standout features to make our selection. We've also taken into account resolutions that enhance visual clarity, the weight of the devices for comfort during extended play, and connectivity options - be it wired or wireless - for added flexibility. Compatibility is also a huge factor to consider because there's no point investing in one if it doesn't fit with your gaming platform or favorite VR racing game.

Fortunately, we've done all that consideration for you and summarised it all in our guide - here are our top recommendations that bring the thrill of racing closer to reality.

Best racing VR headsets

  1. Valve Index - best overall choice
  2. Meta Quest 3 - a more budget-friendly alternative
  3. PlayStation VR2 - best for console-users
  4. VIVE Pro 2 - a standout choice for PC
  5. VIVE Pro McLaren Edition - a great racing-themed headset
Valve Index product image of a black VR headset next to a set of controllers and sensors.
expand image
Credit: Valve

1. Valve Index

Best VR headset for racing overall

Weight: 809 grams
Resolution: 1440 x 1600 per eye
Refresh Rate: 80/90/120/144Hz
FOV: 108 degrees (horizontal) × 105 degrees (vertical)
Platform(s): PC

If budget isn't a concern and you're seeking the ultimate VR racing experience, the Valve Index is an excellent choice. With its exceptional sound quality, stunning display, and wide field of view, this headset can deliver unparalleled immersion with a top direct drive or force feedback wheel alongside it.

More specifically, you can view your surroundings up to 108 degrees horizontally and 105 degrees vertically, which is one of the best fields of view we've come across. Also, the device can deliver up to a 144Hz refresh rate, which is ideal as nobody wants their fast-paced racing action ruined by a stuttering display.

Not only does the Valve Index boast some impressive specs, but it is also compatible with a wide range of games from the SteamVR library, including popular titles like Assetto Corsa, DiRT Rally 2.0, and F1.

While a potential Valve Index 2 might arrive in the coming years, for now, the original Valve Index remains the undisputed king for a premium VR gaming experience.

Reasons to buy:

  • It can hit 144Hz if you need it too
  • Compatible with a wide range of games
  • It's a decent price for the features you get

Read More: Best deals on sim racing equipment

Meta Quest 3 product image of a white and black VR headset above a set of controllers.
expand image
Credit: Meta

2. Meta Quest 3

Best budget(ish) VR headset for racing

Weight: 515 grams
Resolution: 2064 x 2208 per eye
Refresh Rate: 90/120Hz
FOV: Approx. 110 degrees
Platform(s): Oculus (Meta), PC

When it comes to delivering top-notch VR experiences, Meta has consistently proven itself, and one of the company's latest offerings, the Quest 3, is an excellent option for anyone venturing into the realm of virtual reality for the first time.

It stands out as a standalone console and VR headset in one, providing access to a wide range of experiences from its ever-expanding game library, which includes GRID Legends, as well as most PC-compatible racing games.

With storage options of up to 512GB, weighing a mere 515 grams, and offering a staggering 2064 x 2208 per eye resolution upgrade from its predecessor, the Quest 3 delivers a compelling package. Interestingly, you don't even need a PC to play on the Quest 2 overall. However, if desired, you can connect it to a PC or laptop using the wired Link cable or wirelessly through Oculus Air Link, enabling a more traditional VR setting.

Ultimately, the Quest d offers an exceptional VR experience with its comprehensive game library, impressive hardware specifications, and the flexibility of standalone or PC connectivity options.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's quite cheap as far as top-tied VR goes
  • You can use it with a lot of racing games
  • Plenty of built-in storage

Read More: Best racing game deals

PlayStation VR2 product image of a white and black VR headset with two circular controllers.
expand image
Credit: Sony

3. PlayStation VR2

Best racing VR headset for console

Weight: 560 grams
Resolution: 2000 x 2040 per eye
Refresh Rate: 90/120Hz
FOV: Approx. 110 degrees
Platform(s): PS5

The launch of the highly anticipated PlayStation VR2 now means virtual reality is possible on the PS5. As a result, this impressive headset has set a new standard for console-based VR action.

It's quite pricey, but you get a lot of new, unique features that elevate it well beyond its predecessor. Its 2000 x 2040-pixel resolution is impressive, and with the headset’s built-in cameras, you can fine-tune the boundaries of your play area using the controllers. This isn't necessarily crucial if you race with a wheel, however, it's certainly handy to have when using the PSVR2 for other games in your library.

Additionally, the PSVR2 offers a hugely impressive 110-degree field of view and features a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. As a result, the headset can maintain a stutter-free experience while you play games like Gran Turismo 7 on the PS5.

So, if the admittedly high price tag is within your budget, the PSVR 2 offers a wealth of new and immersive features without the need for a PC or a high-powered PC-based VR headset. Sony has truly delivered a top-tier VR solution for PlayStation gamers.

Reasons to buy:

  • Unrivalled for console gamers
  • It boasts a very good resolution and refresh rate
  • You get a wide field of view

Read More: Best wheels for PS5

VIVE Pro 2 product image of a black and dark blue VR headset that goes over your head.
expand image
Credit: VIVE

4. VIVE Pro 2

Best racing VR headset for PC

Weight: 850 grams
Resolution: 2448 × 2448 per eye
Refresh Rate: 90/120Hz
FOV: Up to 120 degrees (horizontal)
Platform(s): PC

The VIVE Pro 2 sets an impressive standard when it comes to resolution, rivaling, and even outperforming some of the best gaming monitors on the market in many ways. With its 5K display, expansive 120-degree field of view, and swift 120Hz refresh rate, this virtual reality headset can truly immerse you in a lifelike racing experience.

To fully harness its capabilities, however, you'll need a powerful gaming PC. But, with the right setup around it, you can take advantage of the headset's incredible AMOLED screens to showcase racing action in next-level quality.

The device also considers comfort. For instance, you can adjust the interpupillary distance (IPD) for optimum viewing comfort, and it features an ergonomic design for balance and comfort for a wide range of head sizes. You can even wear it with glasses.

Admittedly, the VIVE Pro 2 comes with a higher price tag, but we believe it offers excellent value for the racing experience it can deliver.

Reasons to buy:

  • It has one of the best resolutions in the VR game
  • The AMOLED screens can make racing look even more realistic
  • It has plenty of additional features to keep you comfortable

Read More: Best wheels for Xbox

VIVE Pro McLaren Edition product image of a blue and black headset and set of controllers with orange trim and McLaren branding on the front.
expand image
Credit: VIVE

5. VIVE Pro McLaren Edition

Best racing-themed VR headset

Weight: ‎803 grams
Resolution: 1440 x 1600 per eye
Refresh Rate: 90Hz
FOV: 110 degrees
Platform(s): PC
Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!

To round off our list, we've picked out something a little bit different. It may not be the absolute best VR headset you can buy specs-wise, but the limited edition McLaren VIVE Pro is tailor-made for racing fans.

Unsurprisingly, its design is modeled on the McLaren F1 car, so features a combination of dark blue, black, and bright orange tones. That may not improve its performance, but it does give it a unique look and helps it stand out in practically any setup.

Speaking of performance, this headset still boasts some good specs. It features 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye, a more than decent 90Hz refresh rate, and a 110-degree FOV. You also get a dual AMOLED screen that can bring brightness and vivid colors to your racing games, plus six hours of battery life on a single charge.

So, while there may be better VIVE options out there, this McLaren edition is no slouch, but it's the design that helps this VR headset truly stand out from the crowd.

Reasons to buy:

  • Features a unique F1-style design
  • Has some all-around decent specs for its price
  • You can often find it on sale as it's an older model

Read More: Best controllers for racing games

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

VR often raises a ton of questions, so let's address a few of them to help you make an informed decision when selecting the ideal headset for racing.

Is a VR headset worth it for racing games?

Yes, a VR headset can be worth it for racing as it can greatly enhance your experience. VR provides a more immersive and realistic feel by placing you directly in the driver's seat, allowing you to see every inch of the track or road as if you were there in real life. This enables a heightened sense of depth perception and spatial awareness, which can significantly improve your racing skills and overall enjoyment of the game.

With VR, you'll feel like you're actually sitting in the car, looking through the windshield, and taking tight turns with precision. It adds a new level of immersion that traditional gaming displays can't match, making VR headsets a worthwhile investment for racing game enthusiasts.

That said, VR isn't cheap, so we'd only recommend adding a headset to your setup if you take your racing games seriously and have the budget to do so.

Are VR headsets compatible with all racing games?

VR headsets are not universally compatible with all racing games, as it depends on the game's specific support for virtual reality.

While an increasing number of racing games are being developed with VR compatibility in mind, it's important to check the system requirements and supported platforms for each game individually.

Some racing games have dedicated VR modes or options, while others may require additional plugins or modifications to enable VR support. Therefore, we'd recommend you research the VR compatibility of the specific racing games you are interested in before purchasing a VR headset.

Additionally, different VR headsets may have varying degrees of compatibility with consoles, so make sure you double-check that the headset you're looking to buy works with the platform you race on.

How does a VR headset work?

A VR headset works by presenting separate images to each eye, creating a stereoscopic effect that gives the illusion of depth and three-dimensionality. The motion sensors track your head movements, allowing you to look around and interact with the virtual environment.

In a racing game, this means you're placed directly in the driver's seat, putting you in the heart of the action so you can experience what it's like to drive an F1 car, for example, as close to real life as possible from the comfort of your own home.

Are all VR headsets wireless?

No, not all VR headsets are wireless as some headsets are tethered. In this case, they require a physical connection to a computer or gaming console through cables. As a result, a tethered VR headset may sometimes offer more advanced graphics and performance capabilities due to its reliable, stable cable connection.

Wireless headsets tend to have built-in processors, displays, and tracking systems, and rely on a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection to your console or PC. However, you're more free to move around with a wireless headset as you don't rely so heavily on being close to whatever a wired headset is connected to.

Therefore, choosing between them is a matter of personal preference, the level of mobility desired, and the specific use cases intended for the VR experience.

Can you wear glasses while using a VR headset?

Yes, in many cases, you can wear glasses while using a VR headset. Most VR headsets are designed with enough space inside the headset to accommodate glasses comfortably. However, the level of comfort may vary depending on the size and shape of your glasses and the specific VR headset model you are using.

Just remember to adjust the straps and positioning to ensure a comfortable fit. Your headset should sit securely on your head without putting excessive pressure on your glasses. Also, make sure both your glasses and headset are clean and free of dust before using the headset to avoid scratching your glasses or the VR lenses.

As a precaution as well, always be gentle when putting on or removing the VR headset while wearing glasses to avoid damaging either the glasses or the headset. Additionally, it's a good idea to check the specific instructions and guidelines provided by the VR headset manufacturer to ensure compatibility with glasses.

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!

HardwareAffiliates
Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!