Best VR headsets 2021: The top VR gaming systems to get you started

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Virtual Reality

gaming has exploded over the past year, with the best VR headsets providing a unique gaming experience currently unavailable on console. With more people stuck inside staring at the same four walls for weeks on end, VR offers a well-needed escape, immersing you in fresh, exciting environments otherwise inaccessible.

And with more attention, comes more products.

Further brands

and tech companies are shifting into the VR space to create either unique headsets or games for those wanting a brand-new gaming experience. In attempting to remain competitive, this has led to VR becoming probably more affordable than it should be, given the infancy of the technology.

With that in mind, here are the best VR headsets to get you started.

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The Best VR Headset: Oculus Quest 2

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Oculus was really the catalyst of the VR movement when it released the Oculus Rift in 2016. Since then, the VR brand has continued to innovate (under the watchful eye of Facebook), with the

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Oculus Quest 2

being its latest headset, and our favourite for VR gaming.

With a price point of just $299.99/£299.99 for the 64GB variant, the Quest 2 is the most accessible and affordable VR headset on the market. With it comes a wireless headset and two controllers that gives you the complete freedom to play VR games wherever you like, without the need for wires or an expensive PC.

The Quest 2 also supports most of the top VR games available, including 

Beat Saber

The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, SUPERHOT VR 

and 

The Climb 2. 

If you're worried about the battery life, while the headset needs charging every three-to-four hours, the controller's never seem to die - I've had my Quest 2 for three months now, and have yet to change the Quest's controller batteries. It's a technological miracle.

 

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The Best PC VR Headset: HTC Vive Cosmos

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One step up from the Quest 2 is HTC's Vive Cosmos VR headset.

When HTC first released the

HTC Vive,

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it rightly received some hefty criticism for the annoying Lighthouse base station setup. The Cosmos is a response to such criticisms, getting rid of what made the Vive so annoying, while keeping its best qualities.

The Cosmos offers high-quality resolutions, with a whopping 2880 x 1700 display for a truly immersive experience. If you're worried about getting too caught up in the VR world, its 'flip-up' design allows for instant switching between VR and reality.

As a PC-based VR headset, the Vive Cosmos requires a decent PC to use. This allows you to link the Vive Cosmos with PC-based VR games like 

Half-Life: Alyx 

- covering the areas where the Oculus Quest 2 cannot reach.

The Best Console VR Headset: PSVR

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Until Microsoft's HoloLens comes down in price, Sony has a monopoly on the console VR market with its PSVR headset.

Featuring a collection of amazing exclusives such as 

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Iron Man VR

Astro Bot Rescue Mission

, Blood and Truth

, and even a 

Hitman 3 

VR mode, the PlayStation VR headset is a safe choice for any console gamer wanting to make the jump into VR.

Since the release of the

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PS5

, Sony has also announced it will release a

new PSVR headset

, although it has yet to specify any details about this product. If you're thinking about fully investing in VR when the PSVR 2 comes out, the original headset could give you an insight into what to expect.

The Best Cheap VR Headset: DESTEK V5 VR Headset

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Even if you don't want to splash out on a VR headset, there are still ways to experience VR for a low price.

Mobile VR headsets will allow you to play mobile VR games and watch videos in VR - giving you an insight into what a full VR experience will be like.

Our choice is DESTEK's V5 headset, which offers a comfortable VR experience for just £27.89. As a lightweight VR headset, it won't put too much strain on your neck, either.

The Best Premium VR Headset: Valve Index

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While Valve has received a significant amount of criticism for its limited software releases in recent years, the Valve Index proves that the company offers much more than just Steam Support.

With its flagship game 

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Half-Life: Alyx

winning countless VR awards, the Valve Index remains the premium VR experience for those who can afford it, marking a successful hardware venture for Valve following the failure of its

Steam controller

.

You can always judge the success of a product by how fast it sells out - and the Valve Index is no different. It remains out of stock on the Steam storefront, but we'd expect a restock to happen at some point, so keep an eye on the page for when that happens.

Best PC VR headset: Oculus Rift S

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The Quest is certainly Facebook's golden goose at the moment, and this has come at the expense of the Rift brand, which seems pretty dead in the water.

However, the Rift S lives on as the best PC VR headset - an aspect where the Quest 2 can struggle.

The Rift S features an improved resolution compared to the base Oculus Rift, alongside the amazing tech found in all Oculus headsets. As it requires users to be tethered to their PC, it is capable of playing the most high-end PC games that the Quest 2 cannot.

If you're interested in the Rift S, we'd recommend picking it up sooner rather than later, as Facebook won't be producing many more of the Rift product, focusing instead on the Quest line.

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