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Oculus Quest 2: Your complete buyer's guide

The Oculus Quest 2 is here, and it's lighter, smaller, and more powerful than the original.

The Oculus Quest 2 is the easiest and best way to experience virtual reality today. With its powerful Snapdragon XR2 processor and 6GB of RAM, it lets you enjoy untethered, immersive VR without needing a powerful PC to run games — though you can play PC VR games with the Quest 2 through Oculus Link. Whether you're new to VR, considering upgrading from the original Oculus Quest, choosing between this and the Oculus Rift S, or buying this as a gift, we have all the information you need on which headset, games, and accessories you should buy.

The future of VR

Oculus Quest 2

$299 at Amazon $299 at Best Buy $299 at Oculus

The best VR headset without a PC

A significant upgrade on the original Oculus Quest, it offers more pixels per eye and graphical power than any other wireless VR headset. Aside from a smaller SSD, the 64GB model has the exact same features as the 256GB, making it the best for budget VR shoppers.

Oculus Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2 Pricing and availability

The Oculus Quest 2 was released on October 13, 2020, and is currently available in over 20 countries. The standard 64GB version sells for $299, $100 lower than the original Oculus Quest. You can also find a 256GB version priced at $399. While there was some initial trouble finding the more popular 64GB Oculus Quest 2 in 2020, both variants of the headset have been freely available in the US throughout 2021.

So far, we have not seen a single Oculus Quest 2 sale or discount, not even during Black Friday. We suspect this popular headset will rarely get discounts in its first year, but we'll call out any price drops or sales on popular accessories as they appear in our best Oculus Quest 2 deals hub.

The Oculus Quest 2 is available in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Oculus Quest 2 review VR "leveled up"

While we appreciated the original Oculus Quest at the time, the Quest 2 stepped up enough in performance and visual quality that it truly feels like a standalone VR console, as opposed to an underpowered mobile device. Our Oculus Quest 2 review dives into all the significant improvements of the Oculus Quest 2 vs. the Oculus Quest.

Each headset plays the same library of games, but the Quest 2 boosts their performance by adding 50% more pixels per eye, supporting a faster framerate per second for smoother visuals, and employing a more powerful chipset. In our Oculus Quest 2 vs. Oculus Quest graphics comparison, the Quest 2 blew the original out of the water, much better equipped to handle more enemies and objects on the screen without slowdown.

Outside of games, everything else has received a much-needed performance upgrade. Menus load faster while games download faster. The strap is more comfortable, while the headset itself is lighter so you won't feel uncomfortable as you play. The speakers are less tinny and do a better job of handling 3D audio effects. The new facial foam does a better job of padding the headset as it rests against your face. All in all, we gave it a near-perfect rating of 4.5/5.

What kept it from being a "perfect" VR headset? The battery life only hits about 2-3 hours without a battery pack. And while the Quest 2 is comfortable enough, it won't be a perfect fit for many people, meaning you'll have to spend extra money on a Quest 2 Elite Strap, Fit Pack, face cover, or other accessories — making the real cost of the Quest 2 much higher. Also, the new requirement that all Quest 2 owners have a Facebook login will be a problem for some people.

Oculus Quest 2 64GB or 256GB?

Assuming you're certain you want the Quest 2, your main concern will be choosing between the Oculus Quest 2 64GB vs. the Oculus Quest 2 256GB. After you remove pre-downloaded software, the actual storage sizes for both are about 50GB and 245GB. Both headsets have the same specs and features, so you must consider how many games (or other media) you'll be downloading.

Most Oculus Quest games range between 1GB and 2GB, and cost anywhere from $10 to $40 on the Oculus Store. In theory, you'd have to buy about 15 to 25 Quest games to fill the 64GB Quest 2, which at around $20 each would cost at least as much as the headset itself! So you're unlikely to fill up the smaller Quest 2 unless you have a large game budget.

On the other hand, newer and high-profile Quest 2 games tend to use more storage space: Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy's Edge is 5.69GB and Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is 8GB, for example. Even if a game is small by itself, you can download custom content and mods that make it much larger, such as custom songs for Beat Saber that make it far larger than its initial 643MB download. There are also a decent number of free Quest games and demos you can download, either through the App Lab beta program or via sideloading apps on the Quest 2.

We believe the 64GB model is enough for most and saves you money for accessories that address some of the Oculus Quest 2's deficiencies. But if you know you'll use it as your main gaming console and don't want to run out of space, the 256GB Oculus Quest 2 is still a great deal. Unfortunately, if you end up deleting a game from your headset, that will also delete your saved data unless the game's developer supports cloud saves.

Oculus Quest 2 Specs

For Quest owners considering buying the new headset: between the Oculus Quest 2 versus the Oculus Quest, the Quest 2 has significantly better specs than its predecessor.

It runs on a custom Snapdragon XR2 processor built off of the Snapdragon 865 in 2020, and is three generations beyond the Snapdragon 835 that shipped with the original Oculus Quest. It has 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage, compared to 4GB and up to 128GB on the Oculus Quest.

Visually, the Quest 2 also made noticeable strides. The Quest arranged its subpixels in diamond shapes that left black gaps inside of them, making content blurrier; with the Quest 2, each lens has 50% more pixels than the original at 1832 x 1920 per eye, and uses a new RGB-stripe fast-switching LCD that packs pixels closer together into square grids.

Gameplay looks much smoother, as most Quest games were locked at a 60Hz refresh rate, while the Oculus Quest 2 will automatically switch games to play in 90Hz mode if the game supports it. You can also enable 90Hz for all Oculus Quest 2 games if you want to support higher frame rates for PC VR games, and Oculus has hinted that the Quest 2 will even support 120Hz gaming in the near future.

The new Oculus Touch controllers also have some major improvements. They have four times the battery life on a single AA battery, enhanced haptic feedback, and a redesigned battery compartment compared to the original Oculus Quest's Touch Controllers. The new Touch Controllers also have a dedicated thumb rest. You can see what's new with the Oculus Quest 2 controllers in more detail in our full breakdown.

The main disadvantage of the new Quest 2 headset is that its battery life lasts about 30 minutes less than the original. You can see all of the exact Oculus Quest 2 specs in the table below:

Category Oculus Quest 2
Display Type RGB-stripe fast-switching LCD
Display Resolution 1832 x 1920 per eye
IPD adjustment Three distinct positions
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
Memory 6GB
Storage 64GB or 256GB
Wireless Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 LE
Ports USB Type-C, 3.5mm audio jack
Audio Built-in speakers, support for headphones
Headset Battery Built-in rechargeable Li-Ion
Headset Battery Life 2-3 hours
Controllers Improved Touch Controllers
Hand tracking Yes
Controller Battery 1x AA per controller
Controller Battery Life 4x the Original Oculus Quest
Dimensions 191.5mm x 102mm x 142.5mm
Weight 503g / 1.1lbs

Who shouldn't buy the Oculus Quest 2?

Your experience with the Oculus Quest 2 will be significantly impacted by your physical proportions, especially the size of your head and the interpupillary distance (IPD) between your eyes. The original Quest has a slider that lets you manually adjust the IPD anywhere between 56 and 70 mm, but the Oculus Quest 2 has you physically move the two lenses between three IPD settings: 58mm, 63mm, and 68mm. For comparison, most IPDs fall between 55mm and 72mm with an average of 63mm.

You can check our guide on how to adjust IPD eye distance on the Oculus Quest 2 for more info on which setting you should use. The author, his eyes sitting inconveniently at 66mm, found a way to set the Quest 2 lenses in-between the second and third presets to give him a better experience. But if your eyes are narrower than 58mm or are 69mm and up, your Quest 2 experience will make your eyes cross-eyed or wall-eyed for a sustained period of time, which generally isn't good for you.

We recommend measuring your IPD before buying the Quest 2 for yourself, but especially for a child. VR is generally safe for children in short doses, and some Android Central folks let their kids use the Quest 2 in short doses. But if their eyes are too narrow, it can cause eye strain that could damage eyesight over time if they use it unsupervised.

Also, Oculus requires each Quest 2 account owner to use a real Facebook account and doesn't support parental controls. You can now create secondary Quest 2 accounts and share apps between them, but your child will need to be 13 years old at least to make a Facebook account to associate with his Oculus account. They can play games on your account, but you'll have to decide if you trust them not to play your M-rated games while you can't see them.

Those specific concerns aside, we believe the Oculus Quest 2 is a great purchase or gift for VR newbies and veterans alike! So your next questions should be the following: which accessories are must-buys to make your Quest 2 experience as comfortable as possible, and which games should you play?

Oculus Quest 2 Accessories

We appreciate the affordable price for the Oculus Quest 2, but the headset only ships with the Touch controllers, charging cable, power adapter, and glasses spacer. Trust us when we say that you'll need to buy a few more accessories to get the most out of your headset. We're here to help you decide which Quest 2 accessories you actually need, versus the nice-to-have tech you can live without.

Your first step should be choosing one of the best best Oculus Quest 2 cases. The box it ships in is too large for travel or convenient storage, and you don't want to leave it out uncovered because sunlight can damage the lenses. The official Oculus case is great, but the alternatives are handy if you want a sturdier case for potential falls or if you need more room for other accessories.

What type of VR gamer are you? If you are someone that wants a headset for exercise VR games that get you sweaty, seriously consider investing in some of the best Oculus Quest 2 face covers: these can either replace or attach to the default foam interface, and do a much better job of handling sweat and germs. Or, if you're someone that genuinely plans to play for more than 2 hours at a time, you should look into the best Oculus Quest 2 battery packs, which attach to your headset and provide hours of extra juice without needing to stop and recharge it.

Do you plan to play your Quest 2 games in the same room as other people? Because of the headset's improved audio volume and quality, it is distinctly audible to other people nearby. So if you're concerned about privacy or just not annoying them, invest in some of the best Oculus Quest 2-compatible headphones — they'll spare your roommates' ears and definitively improve the audio quality. You can technically connect any wired headphones through the audio jack, but these were specially designed for the Quest 2 to avoid dangling, bouncing cords.

Wondering if you should buy the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap? It's a fair question, as Oculus had to halt Elite Strap shipments after numerous reports of the straps snapping. Thankfully, Oculus claims they isolated and corrected the issue, and Elite Strap sales resumed in late 2020. Now we recommend you buy it if you're unhappy with the fit of the included Quest 2 strap, and you can follow our guide on how to install the Quest 2 Elite Strap once it arrives.

For any other accessories that could improve your VR experience, check out our general picks for the best Oculus Quest 2 accessories.

Oculus Quest 2 Games

The Oculus Quest 2 can play all games from the original Oculus Quest. If you purchased games for your old Quest headset, you can import your purchases so long as you sign on with the same account, associated with the same Facebook account.

Developers can make games even better by enhancing them for the Oculus Quest 2. Doing so takes advantage of the headset's improved hardware and makes games quicker and better looking. In our collection of every game for the Oculus Quest 2 and Oculus Quest, we add a mark to every title that's been Oculus Quest 2 enhanced.

With over 200 games to pick between, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide which games to buy first! To get a taste of what VR has to offer, you can start with the best free Oculus Quest games. Then, once you know what you're looking for, check out our massive guide of the best Oculus Quest 2 games, split up into categories like best shooters, multiplayer, horror, rhythm, family-friendly, and exercise games.

Now may also be a good time to point out that you can gift VR games in the Oculus Quest store; in other words, if your birthday or a holiday is approaching, you can not-so-subtly tell people you want Beat Saber or another game, and they can purchase and gift the store code to you.

App Lab and SideQuest

Don't limit yourself to the games you can find on the Oculus Store! Indie developers that can't get their games through the difficult Oculus approval process put them on SideQuest, where you'll find hundreds of free or cheap games to enjoy. You'll just have to know how to sideload apps on the Quest 2 to access them.

If you don't want to worry about sideloading, Oculus has started a program called App Lab where it puts indie devs' games, betas, and demos on its store, so they can be downloaded directly to your library. Because they're unlisted and can't be found easily, we made a list of every App Lab game available on the Quest 2. But for the best of the pack, look through the best SideQuest and App Lab games, where you'll see which indie games can be directly downloaded or require some Quest 2 hacking to work.

Oculus Quest 2 PC VR and Oculus Link

The Oculus Quest 2 can also connect to your gaming PC using an Oculus Link cable. This allows you to play Oculus Rift or SteamVR games using the power of your PC with much better graphics than your Quest 2 can normally handle — with the downside that you are tethered in place.

Before you start buying PC VR games for your Quest 2, check the official Oculus Link compatibility page and make sure your PC and graphics card have the minimum requirements necessary to handle them. If your PC isn't up to the task, we made a guide on the best prebuilt PCs for Oculus Quest 2 and Oculus Link 2021, letting you buy a device that's instantly VR-ready.

With that settled, you'll need an Oculus Link cable to connect to your PC. You can buy the official (but expensive) Oculus Link cable, or check out our list of the best Link cable alternatives. They connect your headset directly to your PC, transferring data and power for more hardcore VR graphics and immersion!

Or, if you're excited for PC VR but really want to keep your headset wire-free, there's an app called Virtual Desktop that allows you to stream PC VR games to your Oculus Quest 2. To get the best experience with this setup, you'll want to invest in one of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers for consistent streaming speeds, then follow along with our guide on how to stream PC games to your Oculus Quest.

Oculus Quest 2 Facebook accounts and bans

Unlike the Oculus Quest, which lets you use a standard Oculus account to play games, the Quest 2 requires a Facebook account to use. That means if you ever decide to delete your Facebook account, you will lose access to all your purchased Quest games associated with that account. That's something all Quest 2 owners will have to come to terms with.

The greater problem for some users is that Facebook account bans make your Quest 2 completely unplayable, and it's not always clear what will lead to a ban or suspension. For what to do if your Oculus Quest 2 Facebook account gets banned, the linked guide will walk you through the support ticket process.

Oculus Quest 2 FAQ

There's a ton of useful information about the Quest 2 hidden in support pages, which you may not know about unless you go looking for it. Here's what else you should know, whether you're planning to buy a Quest 2, recently unboxed it, or just ran into a serious problem with it.

My Oculus Quest 2 doesn't feel comfortable! What should I do?

We have a detailed guide on how to get the best fit for your Oculus Quest 2, to make sure that it physically fits you properly as you play. If it still doesn't feel comfortable, you may want to invest in an Elite Strap, which rests more weight on the back of your head so it doesn't feel so top-heavy. You can also invest in a Quest 2 face cover, which replaces the foam material pressed against your face with a leather or silicone material that your face may prefer.

Can I wear glasses with the Oculus Quest 2?

You can, but not without inserting the complimentary glasses spacer first. Otherwise, your glasses are highly likely to press directly against the Quest 2 lenses and scratch them permanently.

How do I turn the Oculus Quest 2 off?

You may think you're turning off the Quest 2 when you press the power button, but you're just putting it to sleep, which means it'll turn back on if you put it on your head — and that the battery will drain much faster in the meantime. To fully turn it off, press and hold the power button for 3 seconds until you hear the power down chime.

What is the best way to extend my Quest 2 battery life?

First, make sure to fully turn off your Quest 2, not just put it to sleep. Next, Oculus recommends that you only use its official charging cable that comes with the headset to charge it. Other USB-C cables can give it power, but too much or too little could theoretically cause problems. Finally, when your headset finishes recharging, you'll see a green light next to the charging port; at that point, remove the cable! Don't leave the headset charging indefinitely, as this can lessen its maximum battery life.

For more advice, see our official how-to on how to extend battery life on your Oculus Quest 2.

Can I use my Oculus Quest 2 outside?

NO, you should not use the Oculus Quest 2 outside. Sunlight can and will easily damage the headset's display. The Oculus Quest has lenses that allow you to immerse yourself into VR, which is great, but they also act as magnifying glasses for sunlight. If sunlight hits the lenses on the Oculus Quest 2, it can burn the display inside the headset. Moisture in the air can also damage the headset.

Even assuming you go outside with the headset attached to your face so no sunlight gets inside, the Oculus Quest 2's cameras have a hard time keeping track of your Touch controllers if sunlight interferes.

Is the Oculus Quest 2 backward compatible?

Mostly. All Oculus Quest games are playable on the Oculus Quest 2, many of which with graphical enhancements. The one exception is that the Quest 2 is not backward compatible with Oculus Go games. Several dozen Oculus Go games work on the original Oculus Quest, but they will not work on the Oculus Quest 2.

Can I play SteamVR games on Oculus Quest 2?

Yes! We have a guide on how to play SteamVR on Oculus Quest that walks you through the steps. And, since this is the most popular VR game that'll never come to Oculus, we have a specific guide on how to play Half-Life: Alyx on the Oculus Quest for those who can't afford to buy the Valve Index.

Can other people watch what I'm playing on the TV?

They can if you own a Chromecast! We have a guide on how to share Oculus Quest games on the TV, but casting is built directly into the user interface. You can make VR a much more social experience by sharing what you're playing with others.

An exciting time for VR

The Oculus Quest made significant strides for the VR industry during its time, but its time in the spotlight is over. While it still plays the same games as the Oculus Quest 2, it will never have the graphical power to play them as the developers intended.

Whether you are coming from the original Oculus Quest or considering jumping into VR, now is the perfect time to invest in the Oculus Quest 2. It delivers improved graphics, a lighter and more comfortable fit, and a much better display for a reasonable price. With a starting price of $299, it's one of the most affordable ways to get into VR.

The future of VR

Oculus Quest 2

From $299 at Amazon From $299 at Best Buy From $403 at Walmart

Grab one while it's hot!

The Oculus Quest 2 is selling just as quickly as its predecessor, so don't delay in picking yours up! Facebook has improved just about everything with the second-generation Oculus Quest, making this the VR console to get.

Source: androidcentral

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