Virtual reality (VR) entertainment used to be confined to movies and animations. Now, it has conquered the gaming world as well, and who knows how far it would go? It used to be that VR headsets need to be connected to a PC or a console for them to work. Today, some VR headsets can function on their own. These are called standalone VR headsets; also called all-in-one VR headsets. The Oculus Quest 2 is one of the newest in the market but it’s not nearly as expensive as the others, and it is so dynamic that you’ll be surprised just how much you can do with it! This review will cover all its features, design, and performance so you can decide if it’s worth buying.
What Is the Oculus Quest 2?
As you might have guessed with the number “2” in its name, the Oculus Quest 2 is a reimagined/redesigned model of the first Quest headset. It was manufactured by Oculus, a tech company focused on consumer virtual and augmented reality products. The first Quest VR headset did become very popular but it lacked some features and has an almost out-of-date processor. It was also heavier and has a limited storage capacity.
The Quest 2, however, runs on a new advanced processor, is incredibly light, and supports all kinds of games. Surprisingly, the Quest 2 also comes at a lower price than the original! The design is sleek, it has huge storage space and is compatible with fun accessories that will give you an out-of-this-world gaming experience. What else can you expect from the Oculus Quest 2 All-in-One VR Headset? Let’s dive right in.
Out of the Box: First Impressions
At first glance, the Quest 2 already makes a stunning impression. It looks as futuristic as can be, like in sci-fi movies, from the headset, controllers, and other accessories. One of the best things about the Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset is that it doesn’t require cables, unlike the first Quest. It is completely wireless/untethered so it gives you a lot of freedom to move around even if you are playing games from your PC. This makes it all the more convenient. You can use it not only for gaming but also for exercising, and of course, watching your favorite VR movies.
As mentioned, the Quest 2 is lighter and also smaller than the first Quest headset. It weighs only around 17 ounces. Although it only comes in white, the surface is easy to clean so you can maintain its sleek look even with regular use.
Look and Feel
The fact that the headset itself is super light is worth mentioning again because it means that you can use it for hours and not get physically exhausted with its weight. This VR headset is designed with a white smooth plastic chassis and on the inside is a black foam eye mask; a perfect contrast when it comes to aesthetics. More about the comfort of the eye mask below. The exterior is bare except for the brand name. You can see the four tiny round cameras on the edges which the headset uses for tracking your movement and position while you are using it.
Instead of a hardtop, cap-like headband, which other VR headsets use, this model is designed with elastic straps. They are mounted on the left and right extensions of the unit and are adjustable. You can move the straps slightly up and down. Many users reported that the fit isn’t too secure. If this is a problem for you, you can connect the included extra strap on the top to make it a tighter fit. Or you can purchase the Elite Strap which comes with a round cap at the back to lock it into position.
In terms of comfort, the eye mask’s foam provides enough padding and you can easily pull it out so you can reposition the lenses. A great plus is that the bundle includes an accessory for people who wear eyeglasses. It’s a simple plastic separator that you can attach inside. This provides extra space to make way for your glasses. It slightly lifts the unit away from your face to create some distance between your face and the lenses. So, with or without glasses, this VR headset allows for immersive gaming or viewing experience.
Controls and Ease of Use
The Oculus Quest 2 comes with two motion controllers but you can use the headset without them as well. How is that possible? As briefly mentioned above, there are four tiny cameras on the exterior. These are position-tracking devices that easily detect your movement with your arms outstretched on the front.
With the Motion Controllers
The controllers are not exactly “wearables” but they do come with straps that you can loosely put around your lower arms. They are designed with thick ergonomic handles so you can hold them comfortably and securely. On top of the handles are the round panels that have the controls. They are not enclosed but there is a ring around it them for extra comfort. The controls each have three buttons and a stick, with the third one being your access to the menus. On the inner side of each controller is a switch which, depending on the game, you can press and hold for various purposes.
Using the motion controllers gives you the feel of playing with a gaming console. While most users find this ideal, you have the option to not use them in case your hands get sore.
Without the Motion Controllers
Using the Oculus Quest 2 without the controllers undoubtedly makes your gaming experience more comfortable. The position-tracking cameras allow you to use this feature. You have to use various movements or gestures to activate or “simulate” the motion controllers’ functions. For example, you have to pinch your thumb and forefinger to make a “click” or selection. To “hold” an object, you can use the same pinch action for a few seconds—much like a long press on a mouse. This also lets you drag and drop objects within a game.
But as always, it comes with some disadvantages. The hand tracking feature isn’t always available for all games and apps. There may also be some lags as you can naturally expect from any app that uses cameras. Another disadvantage is you will not have tactile feedback which the controllers provide.
Setting Up the Oculus Quest 2
Setting up the Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset is pretty easy but it does come with some caveat, discussed below. It has an in-system software where you can access plenty of paid and free games and apps. When you first activate the device, you will be given a fool-proof setup tutorial. All you have to do is follow the prompts. You will also have to do the “player area tracing,” which tells the headset how you are positioned in the room. This is important because it allows the headset to warn you if there are obstacles or potential hazards that you may bump into. It also makes it easier to track whether you are gaming in a standing or sitting position. But before you can use any of its features, you need to do one thing.
Full disclaimer here: you also need to connect your VR headset to a smartphone to complete the setup.
Spoiler Alert: You Need Facebook!
To access Oculus Quest’s games and apps, you need to connect your Facebook account. This is for users who have never owned a Quest device and have never set up an Oculus account. Existing Quest members may access all features without Facebook until January of 2023. This may or may not be a big issue for you, depending on how you feel about connecting your social media. If you are concerned about privacy, you can always use a Facebook account solely for Quest gaming.
Why is Facebook involved? The low-down is that the company provided the technology funding to improve the overall system of the Oculus Quest 2. It is, after all, an upgrade from the original Quest headset. Another reason for this Facebook pairing requirement is to enforce some “moderation” since more and more multiplayer games are becoming compatible with its system. Both designers and developers believe that this will improve player-to-player interactions. One other obvious disadvantage of this is you cannot just lend your VR headset to anyone. Doing so means they will have to log in with your account.
Once you are set up, you will have access to Oculus Quest’s main menu, called the Home Hub. The hub is where you can access compatible games and apps. This is also where you can change your account settings. It is connected to the Oculus Link platform where you can download compatible PC and Steam VR games.
The Oculus Quest 2 standalone VR headset is equipped with the Snapdragon XR2 processor. This processor is the latest release of Qualcomm, dedicated to extended reality (XR) gaming. It supports 5G connectivity and also boosts any equipment’s performance, resolution, audio, and artificial intelligence (AI) features.
This VR headset boasts a 1920×1832 pixel display, giving you a crisp and clear viewing or gaming environment. It’s a 50% upgrade from the original Quest in terms of resolution. This also lets you see and interact with distant objects more easily within games. You can even watch YouTube videos in VR! When used for movies, the headset produces a digital screen in front of you, giving you a movie theater experience. It has a 90Hz refresh rate—meaning there is less latency or simply put, you don’t have to worry about lags and connection failures too much.
The Oculus Quest 2 all-in-one VR headset features 3D cinematic sound. It has built-in speakers that provide excellent positional audio which lets you hear sounds from all directions. If you don’t want to use the speakers, you can connect your headphones to the headphone jack located on the right side of the unit. You can adjust the volume from the lower edge of the VR headset. It also has a built-in microphone for player interactions.
This model comes in two versions. One has a 65 GB storage capacity and the other has 265 GB, available at a higher price. Either way, it is still a lot of improvement from the first Quest headset in terms of storage.
The battery life of this model is its main issue. Compared to other brands and models, the Quest 2 only allows for two to three hours of use per single charge. If you want to use it for longer sessions, you have the option to purchase the upgraded strap that comes with extended battery life.
The motion tracking feature is extremely accurate, and this is consistent among various user reviews. With the four tracking cameras installed, the headset easily scans your surrounding area and detects your movements. It is also linked with the controllers’ internal sensors, which allows the headset to keep track of your body.
There is no question that the Oculus Quest 2 is one of the most dynamic standalone VR headsets. It’s dynamic in a way that it is not confined to gaming and watching VR movies alone. The Quest 2 features apps that allow you to exercise and dance. It features so many apps like Beat Saber which lets you strike moving objects while dancing to music. You can play immersive games—kill zombies, solve puzzles, venture into different fantasy worlds with story-driven games, play sci-fi games, and more. Another reason that makes it so dynamic is that you don’t need an extra-wide space to move around. You can adjust your play area so if you have a small apartment, you will have no problems whatsoever.
How to Get Games on Oculus Quest 2
To get Oculus Quest VR games, you need to go to the Oculus Store. You can access this either directly from your headset or from your computer as long as it is linked to your Oculus account. As mentioned, you also need to be logged in to Facebook to get the games to your device. For paid games, you would need to enter your credit card details. Once it’s saved, you can choose any game or app you like and get it with a few clicks and simple verification. All Oculus games are compatible with the Quest 2.
Best Oculus Quest Games
These are some of the best Oculus Quest VR games based on user reviews, in-game features, and user experience.
This is the most popular VR game across platforms. A lot of users find it extremely addictive and it’s easy to play so anyone can enjoy it. Your goal is to strike incoming blocks with your saber weapons and avoid moving walls, all while dancing to your chosen music. In other words, you are slicing the “beats,” hence the name. You can adjust the difficulty of the game and the great thing is you can play it even in small spaces.
Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR
More popularly known as Racket Fury, this game fully immerses you in a ping-pong game, similar to what you play in the arcades. Except, of course, it’s in virtual reality. You can choose from two game modes, either arcade or simulation. It’s a great way to exercise and practice if you play table tennis in real life as well.
Creed: Rise to Glory
This app is perfect for those who love workout and boxing. You can play a single-player mode which lets you practice your dodging skills as well. Improve your strikes by hitting your virtual opponent’s hit areas accurately.
Star Wars fans would surely enjoy this game, slashing enemies with a lightsaber as close to reality as possible. It also has an immersive storyline with three episodes. Each episode is sold separately. Here, you will journey through an extraordinary sci-fi world with a mission to defeat Darth Vader’s fortress.
Can You Play Games From Your PC?
You can use your Oculus Quest 2 VR standalone VR headset to play any PC VR games. To do this, have a couple of options. You can purchase the optional USB-C cable that lets you connect your headset to your PC. This means that you need to tether your VR unit while playing which is an obvious disadvantage. However, you can also stream your VR games directly to your headset. You can do this by linking your device with your PC through a wireless network. You also have the option to play games directly from a USB. The Oculus Quest 2 is designed with a USB port located on the side of the headset.
Here are the steps to install the Oculus app to your PC from the official Oculus site.
Oculus Quest 2 Verdict
The Oculus Quest 2 is a truly dynamic all-in-one VR headset. It is a complete upgrade from the original with an advanced processor and fully redesigned unit. You don’t need to worry about technical configurations. It is a simple plug and play except if you want to play PC VR games wirelessly that requires a more complicated process. It’s worth repeating that the best part is it comes at an infinitely more affordable price not only than the first Quest but also other brands and models!