In this article we’re going to explain why VR is important for racing simulators like iRacing along with sharing with you our personal favorite VR headsets, with options from low-end & cheap headsets to higher-end options. Afterward, we’ll tell you exactly what to look for in your next VR headset so you can get the best experience possible with it.
Top 5 Best VR Headset for iRacing
|Oculus Quest 2
|Mid-End VR Headset, one of the cheapest options.
|3D VR Virtual Reality Headset
|Worst of all the options, but very cheap, only go with this one if you're on a tight budget.
|HTC Vive Cosmos
|High-End VR Headset, one of the best ones in the market currently.
|HP Reverb G2
|Another High-end headset, very good although not quite as good as the HTC VIVE.
|Another Mid-End VR headset, even more popular than the Oculus Quest
Take a step into the future with the next generation of Oculus. Redesigned from the ground up, Oculus Quest 2 features an all-in-one gaming system built for virtual reality. With balanced weight distribution, new lenses, and a flip-up design, Quest 2 lets you play how you want to play. Play solo or team up with others. And forge friendships in the most immersive multiplayer experiences available with Oculus Quest 2.
This 3D VR Virtual Reality Headset is specially designed with comfortable material. There is more padding on the face that touches your skin, and there are straps to keep the headset balanced while you wear it. It can be used with glasses and is more lightweight than other VR headsets. The view through the VR glasses looks pretty clear, you get a wider peripheral view than some at this price because we use a large lens, and you’ll see every pixel in glorious 1080p HD reality. These virtual reality glasses have built-in adjustable headphones which provide 3D surround stereo sound field sound quality. You can hear every sound from any angle. A clear voice allows you to hear exactly what you need to do when entering the world of virtual reality.
The most versatile headset yet with premium virtual reality features. Take a reality check with an ultra-bright display and a redesigned head strap to fit more people more comfortably. Integrated on-ear headphones are removable and the flip-up design makes it easy to jump between reality and VR in seconds. Lighthouse tracking brings objects to life, while ease of use makes VR feel limitless. The Vive Cosmos goes where you go and puts control at your fingertips with a flip-up design, a comfort-focused headset and controllers that work in any environment, plus high resolution graphics and crystal clear audio. Roomscale 1 headset tracking enables 360 motion tracking so you can move in any direction throughout your playspace without any external sensors. With 2880 x 1700 combined Pixel resolution, LCD panels reduce the distance between Pixels, minimizing the screen door effect that can be a barrier to immersive content. With 6 camera sensors for wide angle inside out tracking all over your space – near or far – your virtual world will come to life. Vive Reality System lets you navigate seamlessly between virtual experiences!
Take virtual reality to the next level with the HP Reverb G2 VR (Virtual Reality) Headset! This headset drops you into realistic environments and immersive worlds that allow you to see, move, and interact with digital content. The wide 110-degree field of view allows you to take in your environment while the two 2160 x 2160 LCD panels keep it just as clear as a crystal without any mura. Get closer than ever with a 6 meter cable, letting you stretch your legs without losing connectivity.
Oculus Go is a standalone VR headset that has everything you need to try out VR. With crystal clear optics and state-of-the-art 3D graphics, the headset feels more like a personal theater. Simply move your head to aim the controller and press the trigger to select an item. With its ergonomic design, Oculus Go is lightweight and can be worn for hours on end.
What is IRacing?
IRacing is one of the most popular racing simulators available today. The game was developed by the Microsoft Garage team and has been used in many high-profile events, including NASCAR and Formula 1 races. It’s also widely known for its impressive graphics and realistic physics engine.
It features over 200 cars from all major manufacturers like Porsche, Ferrari, and Mercedes. You can also find a lot of rare and exotic models which are only featured in high-end video games such as Gran Turismo, Assetto Corsa, and rFactor 2.
The main goal of the game is to win races against real racers online while maintaining a position within your class. There are three classes to choose from depending on your skill level: Beginner (which includes beginner and intermediate drivers), Intermediate (including drivers who have competed at the highest levels), and Expert (which contains professional racers).
To race in any given event, you need to either pay $39/month or purchase annual memberships. This means there aren’t too many free users on the site. However, it does offer plenty of content for those who do subscribe.
Why is VR Important For Racing Simulators?
If you’ve ever played a top-end driving simulator like iRacing, GTR2, or Dirt 4, then you’ll probably understand why VR makes the world of the racing simulation even better. These types of titles usually feature extremely detailed and immersive environments with very little pop-up during gameplay.
Another advantage of implementing VR into a racing simulator is that it helps to eliminate the motion sickness often experienced while playing games on traditional monitors. When you move around in VR, your eyes actually follow the movement.
What to look for when buying a VR Headset?
So now you know why VR is great for racing simulations, but what kind of headset should you buy? Well, there are several factors to consider here.
First off, you should decide whether you want to go mobile or stationary. Mobile VR headsets like Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR are cheaper and provide a lower quality viewing experience than more expensive alternatives.
You may not notice the difference between both platforms until you try them yourself, but generally speaking, VR headsets with a higher refresh rate tend to produce smoother visuals. This is especially true if you plan on using your VR headset outside.
Next, you should determine what type of input device you’d prefer to use with your VR headset. Most people will likely opt for controllers, but others may prefer steering wheels or pedals. Whichever method you choose, make sure you pick something comfortable to hold.
Lastly, you should think about aesthetics. While most VR headsets aim towards being sleek and minimalistic, you may want to consider purchasing one with a colored display panel. Colored displays allow you to set specific colors for certain parts of the screen instead of relying on standard white frames.
Now let’s talk about some of the best VR headsets currently available on the market.
Best Overall VR Headsets: Oculus Rift S and Quest 2
Oculus Rift is arguably the biggest name in VR right now. Both the original and the newer model of the headset are excellent choices for gamers looking to play the latest titles.
Both devices come equipped with built-in headphones. So you won’t have to deal with annoying wires anymore. They also support Dolby Atmos audio, allowing you to enjoy an incredible listening experience.
The new Oculus Quest 2 is the newest member of the family. Although it doesn’t pack quite as many bells and whistles as the older versions, it still offers a solid package.
Best Budget VR Headsets: HTC Vive Pro Eye ($799) and Valve Index Eye ($399)
HTC Vive is another big contender among VR headset manufacturers. But unlike the newer Oculus Quest 2, the company’s flagship headset, the HTC Vives Pro Eye and Valve Index Eye require a hefty price tag.
Despite costing hundreds of dollars more, the HTC Vives Pro Eye and Valve Index Eye are still worth considering. They offer superior visual clarity compared to other VR headsets thanks to their 90Hz refresh rate.
They also support room-scale tracking which provides an enhanced sense of presence.
Best VR Headsets for First Time Users: Pimax 5K Plus ($499) and Steam Deck ($299)
Pimax is well-known for producing unique and affordable VR products. Their newest offering, the Pimax 5K Plus, packs tons of power into its tiny form factor.
Its 120Hz refresh rate and dual 8k screens help deliver smooth and clear visuals.
And if you’re interested in getting started with VR, the Steam Deck is a good option. It’s compatible with any PC running SteamOS, making it easy to install and use.
Best Overall VR Headsets for Virtual Reality Games: HP Reverb G2
HP’s entry-level VR headset, the HP Reverb G2, is made specifically for casual consumers. It’s lightweight and fits snugly on your head.
At just under $500, it’s one of the cheapest VR headsets available. It uses a single 1080p LCD display and lacks any sort of eye-tracking capabilities.