The engine’s roar, the smell of rubber on the asphalt, and the rush of wind as you navigate a high-speed corner. This is what sim racing is all about. And to experience it to the fullest, you’ll want the best VR headset by your side. In this guide, we will be covering everything you need to know about the top VR Headsets for Sim Racing.
Whether you are a seasoned gamer or an enthusiast, buckle up and get ready to shift into high gear. Let’s look at the list below and explore the world of Sim Racing through VR headsets.
What is Sim Racing?
Sim racing is where rubber meets the digital road, and where the thrill of motorsport knows no bounds. Picture yourself in the driver’s seat of a powerful sports car, surrounded by the deafening roar of engines, the wind whipping through your hair, and your hands on the wheels.
Sounds incredible and exhilarating, right?
It feels even better when you are behind the wheel from the comfort of your home.
But sim racing isn’t just about playing a fun game. It’s about becoming a pro at driving these cool cars. You’ll learn the ins and outs of each vehicle and discover the secrets of every track. You’ll practice to get faster and better, just like real race car drivers do.
Gamers use specialized hardware, such as racing wheels with force feedback, pedals, and often gear shifters, to control virtual vehicles. These components are designed to closely mimic the controls of a real car, providing a more realistic and engaging driving experience.
VR Headsets for Sim Racing – Unique Features
Before we jump over to the list of the best VR headsets, let’s look at some of the unique features these headsets offer while you are playing sim racing games on your devices.
➡️ Haptic Feedback
Most of the VR headsets you will find have Haptic Feedback. This means that as you race, you can feel vibrations and forces that mimic what you’d experience in a real car when we speak of Sim Racing.
Imagine this: you are having the best time playing Sim racing, and you hit a rough patch on the track. The headset might vibrate to simulate the feeling of the car’s suspension working, or when you brake hard, you’ll feel a corresponding jolt. This tactile feedback adds an extra layer of realism to the simulation.
This isn’t only limited to Sim Racing but multiple other genres of games you might have played or yet to explore, such as FPS games.
➡️ Integrated Audio Systems
You can hear the roar of the engine, the screech of the tires, the subtle nuances of the environment, and so much more. Some of the VR headsets you might come across in this list have built-in audio systems. These headphones or speakers are specially designed to provide high-quality, spatial audio.
Furthermore, the spatial audio feature enhances your situational awareness, allowing you to react to in-game sounds just as you would in real life. Also, some headsets might come with noise cancellation or isolation, reducing external distractions and ensuring you’re fully immersed in the racing experience.
➡️ Refresh Rate
One of the major aspects of having a VR headset for Sim Racing is the Refresh Rate. The higher it is, the better it is while you are driving a car. 90Hz or higher reduces motion sickness because it provides smoother and more fluid motion.
Furthermore, it ensures that the visuals are updated more frequently, making the motion on the screen closely match your actual head movements. This prevents any lag whatsoever and keeps you hooked on the virtual reality.
➡️ FoV or Wide Field of View
Another important aspect to consider while you are getting a new VR headset for Sim Racing is FoV. It is the extent of the virtual world you can see and makes it truly like you are in the inside of the car. You can see the car’s interior, racetrack, and more.
You are also more aware of your surroundings, such as the situation, anticipate curves and overtakes, and react to on-track events with greater precision.
VR headsets can be heavy on the head for a prolonged time period. Hence, these are designed to give you comfort and more wearability.
Some of the design specs you will notice are the head straps to secure the device comfortably to your head, soft, well-padded interfaces for your comfort, and breathable material to keep away sweat and heat.
Now, let’s jump into the list of the best VR headsets for sim racing!
Also Read: Best VR Games for Kids Entertainment
HP Reverb G2 Virtual Reality Headset
Reverb G2 is an absolute beast when it comes to Sim Racing. This VR headset has significant upgrades in its design compared to its predecessor. You will find two cameras on its front and two on the side to track its position.
In terms of the viewing experience, the Reverb G2 features a 2160×2160 resolution with a refresh rate of 90Hz. Also, it is super comfortable to wear among all the others you will come across, allowing you to enjoy playing games for hours. Moreover, it weighs only 1.2 pounds, which isn’t too heavy, and you can simply flip the headset over your head to take a break instead of removing it completely.
Similarly, there is no screen door effect as well, which is when you can see the grid of pixels on the display. This results in a visually immersive experience, allowing for a clear view of the track and surroundings.
The setup hardly takes minutes and is fairly easy compared to other headsets you might find in a similar category. Since this is a tethered headset, you need to plug it into your PC to install the necessary software. This could be a drawback as well since you never know when you could trip through the wires around you.
Overall, the headset offers a smooth experience in racing games, even with max settings and 100% render resolution. The pixel size is small enough to be ignored, enhancing the overall clarity of the visual experience. This is crucial for sim racing, as it enables the identification of braking points and other critical details.
|Comfortable design and build quality||Cables can be distracting and make you trip at times|
|Easy to connect and set up||Performance variability with different games|
|No Screen Door Effect|
|Lightweight and perfect for VR racing games|
|FoV is pretty decent without any modifications|
HTC VIVE Pro Starter Edition
HTC Vive Pro is a game changer in the world of virtual racing. The standout feature of this headset is the 2880 x 1600 pixel resolution and OLED display that offers a stunning level of detail and vividness. When you’re on the track, you’ll easily spot distant braking points, read minute details on the dashboard, and feel like you’re genuinely in the driver’s seat.
Similar to HP Reverb G2, this too has no Screen Door Effect where you will find no visible grid of lines between pixels. Furthermore, you’ll have an uninterrupted view of the racetrack, making for a truly immersive experience.
The FoV of the HTC Vive Pro is wide and engaging. It feels like you’re wearing a high-tech race helmet, and the entire experience alone gives you the sense that you are inside the car in reality. While playing Sim Racing, you require perfect precision tracking while checking the mirrors, glancing at the instrument panel, and much more.
VIVE Pro tracking system is top-notch and something you will experience firsthand while driving the car. Above all, this headset is comfortable to put on for long hours of gaming sessions.
|HTC VIVE Pro Starter Edition- Virtual Reality System||$609.70||Buy on Amazon|
The adjustable head strap and cushioned design make it easy to wear for extended periods without discomfort. The headset is well-ventilated, so overheating is rarely an issue during those marathon races.
When it comes to affordability, it may not be a budget-friendly option. However, if you are a pro gamer and an enthusiast willing to invest money for the best experience, you won’t regret it.
|Exceptional Resolution and visual experience||Highly expensive|
|Precision movement tracking is brilliant||It can cause fogging during an intense gaming session|
|Comfortable with amazing build quality|
|No Screen Door Effect|
Meta Quest 2
If you are looking for a VR headset under budget, Meta Quest 2 is the best one I have used so far. You can step into the world of VR sim racing with this headset that serves all the purposes and has everything you could ask for on a suitable budget.
As for the design, this headset is completely wireless. This means you can move and turn without worrying about getting tangled up in wires, enhancing your immersion and ease of movement during sim racing sessions.
It is also super comfortable as opposed to other bulky headsets. Meta Quest 2 only weighs 1.1 pounds, and the soft padding around the eyes and head makes it easy to wear for a longer gaming session.
|Meta Quest 2 — Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality Headset — 128 GB with Carrying Case||$304.00||Buy on Amazon|
The Quest 2 boasts a resolution of 3664 x 1920 pixels, providing decent visual quality for sim racing. It’s more than sufficient for most racing titles, allowing you to see the track, cars, and key points with reasonable detail. The touch controllers, on the other hand, are easy to use and handle.
The only disappointing aspect of these controllers is that they run on battery power instead of rechargeable battery, which makes things difficult. Furthermore, Quest 2 uses a Snapdragon XR2 chip and 6GB RAM, making it a highly powerful machine.
Moreover, there are plenty of free Meta Quest 2 games available on the Meta Quest Store. This means that you’ll easily get more than your money’s worth with this VR headset!
|Highly affordable and accessible headset||Poor Battery Life|
|Completely Wireless||The strap is a bit uncomfortable for prolonged use|
|Easy to set up and use|
|Comfortable and lightweight design|
|Provides impressive tracking accuracy|
Valve Index VR Kit
The Valve Index sets a new standard for visual clarity. With a combined resolution of 2880 x 1600 pixels, the image quality is nothing short of extraordinary. This level of detail is crucial for sim racing, enabling you to spot distant braking points and read the finest details on the dashboard.
Furthermore, it boasts an impressive refresh rate of 120Hz, which you can take up a notch to 144Hz, too. This reduces motion sickness and enhances your sense of control greatly.
Valve Index is one of the best so far regarding comfort and amazing build quality overall. It features a balanced weight distribution to ensure comfort during extended gaming sessions. The weight is evenly distributed to reduce strain on your neck and head, allowing you to stay immersed without discomfort.
Speaking of the controllers, they fit perfectly in your hands, and the finger-tracking technology offers a new level of immersion. The FoV in this headset is probably the best you will ever come across.
You will love the integrated off-ear speakers that are super comfortable and do not touch your ears at all. The sound quality is truly something out of a movie where you can hear every engine roar, tire squeal, and in-game audio detail.
|Best Display and overall visual masterpiece||Expensive|
|Finger-tracking controllers||The strap is a bit uncomfortable for prolonged use|
|High Refresh rate for smooth gaming||Wires get in the way|
|Ergonomic weight distribution and comfort|
|High quality audio|
Sony PlayStation VR
We have another affordable option for anyone looking to get started with their journey into the VR gaming world. Sony PlayStation VR is the one you can look forward to and see if it is exactly what you need.
Apart from being super cheap, if you already own a Playstation, you simply need to get the VR, and you are set for life. You do not require any high-end gaming PC.
Unlike other headsets, this headset only uses a single camera to track your position, which can make things difficult. So it’s best to either keep standing or sitting in a single position for the best experience.
The Sony PS VR is surely comfortable, has adjustable head straps, and is well-padded for extended gaming sessions.
Moreover, the setup is pretty simple, too. A simple plug-and-play is enough to get started, as it seamlessly integrates with your console. As for the specs, this headset can easily handle 1080p games with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Additionally, the refresh rate here is initially 90Hz, which isn’t too bad and can even go to 120Hz.
Of course, considering Sony’s huge library, there are plenty of PS VR games for you to dive into as well. And, if you truly want to experience the power of the Sony PS VR, you can dive into the best PS5 racing games for the ultimate immersion!
|Highly Affordable||Limited Field of View (FoV)|
|Seamlessly integrates with the PlayStation console||Wired connection limits movement|
|Easy to set up and connect|
|Integrated headphones provide a decent audio experience|
|Wide selection of games available|
Step Into the World of VR!
Did you check out our comprehensive list of VR headsets created especially for Sim Racing enthusiasts? Well, make sure to go through all the details before you select one for yourself. If you are looking for budget-friendly options, the best ones on the list are Sony PS VR and Meta Quest 2.
Also, apart from this, the headsets that we love overall, considering everything, are Reverb G2 and Quest 2. If budget is no bar, you can, without a second thought, go with Valve Index or HTC VIVE Pro. Overall, each of these have their unique abilities that compete with one another. You can carefully make your selection and enjoy the world of VR.
To completely utilize these VR headsets, make sure to check out our selection of the best PC VR games on Steam as well! We’ve listed a little bit of everything, including racing simulators. This will help you feel the roar of the engine from the comfort of your home!
Kanika is a freelance writer that is looking to add meaning to what you read and consume in the digital World for 7 years now. She loves writing about Gaming related content for both pro and casual Gamers. You can find hundreds of reviews, guides,… read more