4 Best Standalone VR Headsets in 2023

Like it or not, we’re slowly moving to a future that’s far from reality. We’re inching towards mass adoption of virtual and augmented reality with several VR headsets and even glasses like the Ray-Ban Meta becoming mainstream. So, if you too want to dip your toes in the Metaverse, here’s a list of the best standalone VR headsets that don’t require a phone or computer.


While there are several virtual reality headsets, most of them need to be tethered to a PC. This isn’t ideal if you don’t have a powerful PC or you want to game on the move. Being connected via a cable to a computer at all times isn’t ideal. So, it’s best to get a VR headset without a PC — one that has its own brains. From budget options that are slightly older to the latest cutting-edge tech, we’ve included the best VR headsets across different categories. But before we get to them –

1. Best VR Headset on a Budget: Oculus Go

  • Storage: 32GB
  • Screen resolution: 1280 x 1440 pixels per eye
  • Battery life: 2 hours
Oculus Go

Let’s first get this out of the way — the Oculus Go was launched five years ago. So, it doesn’t have the sharpest display, best graphics performance, or even a wide library of games. However, it’s the most affordable entry point into the world of VR which is why it makes it to this list.

The Oculus Go is strictly for those who have an extremely tight budget and want to experience the world of VR before investing in something more expensive. Lots of users have motion sickness caused due to VR so if you only want to test whether you can handle being in VR for an extended duration, the Oculus Go is the way to go. For most other users, the Meta Quest 2 mentioned below is a much better pick — albeit at a higher price.

Despite being five years old though, the Oculus Go is still capable of playing several lighter titles. So, if you’re looking for a VR headset to gift your young kids this holiday season, you can still consider the Oculus Go. Moreover, the headset can also be used to view 360-degree videos without any issues. Considering these parameters, you can also look for a used version of the headset if you can find one for cheap.

Do note though that Meta/Oculus doesn’t sell replacement controllers or offer any sort of support for the Oculus Go anymore since the headset has been discontinued. So if you run into any issues, you’re by yourself.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • It can run basic games

What We Don’t Like

  • No official support from the brand
  • Cannot run the latest games

2. Best VR Headset for Most People: Meta Quest 2

  • Storage: 128GB
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1832 pixels per eye
  • Battery life: 3 hours
Meta Quest 2

Even three years after its release, the Meta Quest 2 remains to be the best VR headset for most people. It’s considerably affordable compared to the new Meta Quest 3 and for anyone looking to enter the world of VR gaming, the Quest 2 offers a stellar experience.

Despite having a lower-resolution screen and an older chipset, the Meta Quest 2 holds its own even in 2023. Most games run smoothly with the display going all the way up to 90Hz in terms of refresh rate. You can even run intensive titles and the Quest 2 can handle them without breaking a sweat. The controllers have been refined as well with haptic feedback.

In fact, the Meta Quest 2 has slightly better battery life than the Quest 3. However, it misses out on all the AR and mixed reality features of the newer headset. If that doesn’t interest you though and you only want to play VR games, the Meta Quest 2 is still a fantastic choice. Users who bought the headset in 2023 speak highly of how immersive the gaming experience is even now.

The only con that I personally experience when using the Meta Quest 2 is that the tracking can sometimes be off if your controllers go out of the range of the cameras. This doesn’t occur often though so it’s surely not a deal breaker.

What We Like

  • Excellent performance
  • Reliable even in 2023

What We Don’t Like

  • Tracking can be glitchy at times

3. Best Lightweight VR Headset: PICO 4

  • Storage: 128GB
  • Screen resolution: 2160 x 2160
  • Battery life: 2.5 hours
Pico 4

If you notice, the PICO 4 is the only VR headset on this list that’s not developed by Meta. That’s how limited the standalone VR headset space is currently. So, if you don’t want to have cameras and mics connected to Facebook at all times, the PICO 4 is your only option.

The PICO 4 is similar to the Meta Quest 2 in a lot of ways. The controllers, battery life, and even the storage capacities are similar. Where they differ though is in terms of design. The PICO 4 looks more futuristic and is also lighter compared to the Meta Quest 2. This results in a more comfortable experience when gaming.

Compared to the Quest 2, the PICO 4 also has a larger resolution display. This results in content and games looking slightly sharper. While these improvements surely make a difference, the biggest letdown with the PICO 4 is its game library. Some popular titles for VR are exclusive to Meta’s headset so you may not be able to run those titles on the PICO 4. Additionally, the Meta store has several apps to me your headset more functional that won’t be available on the PICO 4. And the reviews concur with that sentiment.

Considering these parameters, the Meta Quest 2 or 3 makes more sense if you want wider compatibility. Meta is also more proactive with regard to software updates. So consider the PICO 4 only if you strictly want to stay away from Facebook/Meta’s services.

What We Like

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Doesn’t have Meta’s services

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited collection of games/apps

4. Best Mixed Reality Headset: Meta Quest 3

  • Storage: 128GB
  • Screen resolution: 2064 x 2208 pixels per eye
  • Battery life: 2 hours
Meta Quest 3

The Quest 3 is the latest and greatest MR headset from Meta. If you’re wondering what MR or Mixed Reality is, it combines the best of virtual reality and augmented reality in one headset. So you can play immersive VR games while also being able to work or project objects into the real world with the help of AR.

Since AR has picked up considerably in recent times, the Meta Quest 3 is more future-proof compared to the Quest 2. It has all the functionality that you find on AR glasses but can do a lot more thanks to the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset. You can connect the headset to your computer wirelessly and project multiple screens in the real world to form a virtual triple monitor setup. Now that’s super cool!

Combine this with the ability to play games in VR with a higher resolution and frame rate, and the Meta Quest 3 is easily the best VR and AR headset you can buy. Early adopters of the Meta Quest 3 seem to be highly impressed by the headset’s tracking abilities and the new color pass-through feature. All the new features surely improve the functionality of the headset but as a result, the battery life has taken a hit.

The Meta Quest 3 lasts just two hours on a single charge so if you plan on playing for longer, you’ll have to invest in a battery pack for the Meta Quest 3. If you want the best VR and AR experience, the Quest 3 surely justifies the price tag.

What We Like

  • Excellent AR and VR capabilities
  • Games run smoothly

What We Don’t Like

  • Sub-par battery life

Enter the Metaverse

Like it or not, it seems like we’re all going to roam around with glasses or headsets in the near future while living in the world of virtual and augmented reality. If you want a taste of it right now, you can pick up any of the best standalone VR headsets from the list above.

Last updated on 10 November, 2023

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