I’ve been in the queues for a PS5 for almost a year now, with no success during the various PS5 restocks. So my partner and I decided to just stick to our good old Xbox One. Sadly, that came to an end when our cat tipped it off the shelf and broke it. We had to buy something to replace it, and that’s when we came across the Oculus Quest 2.
A strange alternative you might think, but that’s exactly what interested us. I’ve never tried VR before, but the idea of being immersed within the games sounded amazing. Also, when you compare the price, the $299 Oculus Quest 2 is much more affordable than the $499 PS5, so we took a gamble and bought one. We’ve learned a lot in a few short weeks.
- Check out how to clean Oculus lenses
- Here’s how to setup and use your Oculus Quest 2
- Plus: I tried an Oculus Quest for working out — and it saved my fitness routine
Oculus Quest 2 fit and comfort
First of all, the Oculus Quest 2's straps are fiddly to get the right fit on your head. There’s one strap that uses velcro but the other two that go around the head are more awkward to thread and change. It’s fine if it’s just you playing on the console, because once you’re set up, it’s secure and you don’t need to look at it again. But, if there’s more than one of you using it, it does become a hassle.
Once fit, the Oculus Quest 2 flush to the face and feels comfortable to wear. Previously, there were complaints of rashes on the face from the foam interface; however, our model was supplied with the silicone cover which was issued to fix this problem. Neither of us showed any skin irritation after repeatedly using the Oculus Quest 2. My only complaint in terms of the fit was that I could still see through a small gap to the outside world when looking down towards my nose.
At 1.1 pounds, the Quest 2 headset is fairly lightweight, although it does take some getting used to. My partner stopped noticing it, but I still feel it when I start a fresh session.
A small, but important point to make is how to store this console. It’s an awkward shape, and with two controllers, you need to clear a drawer as it doesn’t look great on display. You can buy a case separately, but one should really be supplied to protect it from damage.
Oculus Quest 2 games and experience
We bought a wide selection of apps to see what the Oculus Quest 2 could really do. I watched some of the virtual videos on Jurassic World, and loved that you could literally look all the way around to 360 degrees and catch hidden details. As the dinosaurs approach you and rear up, it really does catch your imagination and feel like you’re there with them.
We also had a go on Zombieland: Headshot Fever, which turned out to be my partner’s favorite game. Once you get the hang of the controls — releasing the clips and reloading from your harness — while using two guns at once makes the gameplay much more exciting. Another game we particularly liked was Death Lap, in which you can race, drift and destroy other drivers.
Resident Evil 4 VR is an awesome Oculus Quest 2 game as well, and will add The Mercenaries mode via free DLC in 2022.
The only game we weren’t so keen on was Warplanes WW1 Fighters. While the simulation looked amazing and the controls were spot on, this made each of us feel sick quite quickly. I could only manage about 10 minutes of game time, while my partner had to take off the headset almost immediately. That’s not to say some of the games don’t compensate if you struggle with motion sickness. There are options to choose a more relaxed play in some, which won’t throw you about so much.
Moving onto sound — it’s very impressive on the Oculus Quest 2. It’s loud, crisp, and you don’t need headphones to improve the experience. You really can hear every detail, from chirping birds, to the wind rustling the bushes. There is a headphone jack available though, if you’re disturbing others with the noise.
Oculus Quest 2 battery life
A full charge of the Oculus Quest 2 will give you 2-3 hours of battery life, which doesn’t sound like much, but I wouldn’t recommend playing it for much longer in a single sitting as it will start to take its effect on your eyes.
The only drawback with this battery life is you can’t use it in succession if there’s more than one of you — not for very long anyway. When you do run out of battery life mid-play, there’s not much warning either. It flashes up that it’s low with about five minutes to spare and that’s it. It could use more warnings.
Oculus Quest 2 Verdict
To sum up, we are pleased with our Oculus Quest 2 purchase. Of course, it's very different from a PS5, but it’s a whole new, immersive experience, which we’re happy to have on demand. You can’t play on it for as long as you would on a traditional console, but you feel much more involved.
The only downside is that the Quest 2 is not easy to share. The constant adjusting of the straps and fairly short battery life makes this impractical. But, you can buy a secondary headset to solve this, which we may do now. We can then play the same games together at the same time. too. Otherwise, it can make you feel a little antisocial if there are others in the room.
I admittedly still want a PS5, I won’t deny that, but this is more than enough to keep me entertained for now. We couldn’t be happier with the quality of the games and our overall experience with this headset.