The Meta Quest 2 is the absolute best VR headset you can buy, with a fantastic wireless performance and improved screen resolution ensuring a best-in-class experience.
- Fantastic wireless performance
- Improved screen resolution
- Massive library of games, especially with Oculus Link
- Affordable price
- Battery life is still pretty short
- Oculus Link cable isn’t included, and is very expensive
- Review Price: £299
- Release date: 13 October 2020
- Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
- 6GB RAM
- 1832 x 1920 display per eye
- Refresh rate: 72Hz (90Hz coming)
- 64GB / 256GB storage
- Weight: 503g
Disclaimer: Since the publication of this review, Meta has since increased the price of both models by $100/£100. Our verdict and rating are both based on the original price when the headset launched back in 2020.
The Meta Quest 2 is the second generation of the VR heavy-weight’s stand-alone headset, arriving just a year after the original.
The original Quest headset was such a huge success – even winning our own ‘Product of the Year’ accolade – that it was difficult to see how Facebook could improve upon the very best VR headset we’ve ever tested.
Well, I’m happy to say my initial assumption was wrong. The Meta Quest 2 is an outstanding device, featuring game-changing upgrades such as a beefed-up performance, a higher screen resolution and more comfortable design. What’s more, its also had a whopping £100 price cut from the original Quest.
The Meta Quest 2 isn’t just the ultimate VR headset, it’s also a genuine gaming alternative to the PS5 and Xbox Series X. You’ll need a fair bit of free floor space (6.5 x 6.5 feet recommended for room-scale) to experience the full potential of the VR headset, but shifting around your coffee table is well worth it.
Price and availability
The Meta Quest 2 originally arrived in stores back on 13th October, and is available to buy right now.
The Meta Quest 2 has a starting price of £299, which bags you a model with 64GB of storage. A 256GB model is also available for £399.
Specs and performance
- Can run multiple games independently
- Oculus Link cable unlocks more power via gaming PC
- Inside-out tracking removes need for external sensors
The Meta Quest 2 is more powerful than its predecessor, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor and 6GB RAM. That’s still mobile-grade performance, so don’t expect the new Quest to be able to run more demanding games such as Asgard’s Wrath and Half-Life: Alyx without being plugged into a gaming PC.
However, there’s still lots of great games than can run on the Quest, with the extra grunt ensuring a smoother performance and generating more pixels to take advantage of the 1832 x 1920 per-eye resolution – that’s a higher pixel count than the more expensive Vive Cosmos and Oculus Rift S VR headsets.
|Meta Quest 2||Meta Quest|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Storage||64GB / 256GB||64GB / 128GB|
|Display resolution||1832 x 1920 per eye||1440 x 1600 per eye|
|Refresh rate||72Hz at launch
(90Hz support coming)
In-game worlds immediately look sharper, making it more difficult to see those immersion-shattering screen door effects. The odd game, such as Thumper, still sees a bit of pixelation among all the hypnotic visual effects, but the likes of Beat Saber, Robo Recall and Tetris Effect all looked outstanding with bright colours and clear detail.
The Quest is also capable of plugging into a gaming PC via the Oculus Link cable (sold separately for £89), which is basically just a 5-metre USB-C to USB-C connector. You have to make sure your gaming PC or laptop has a USB-C port, but if it does you’ll gain access to a huge library of VR games that are too demanding for the Quest when operating independently. Asgard’s Wrath looked incredible with the Quest 2, with a flawlessly smooth performance.
That performance will only get better too, as Meta will be upgrading the current 72fps cap up to 90fps post launch. It will be up to individual game developers to support the increased refresh rate, but those that do will benefit from smoother motion and a reduced likelihood of causing motion sickness.
Meta has also cranked up the max storage option to a whopping 256GB, which is twice the size of the counterpart configuration of the previous headset. The base model is still stuck at a 64GB capacity but I don’t think that’s a major issue. Most games and applications take up less than 1GB of space, while Robo Recall is the most demanding at just 3.51GB.
Like its predecessor, the Meta Quest 2 features inside-out tracking, which means it can track your movement without the need of external sensors. It’s surprisingly accurate too, with even the slightest head turn registered with pin-point accuracy. I still can’t get over how easy this headset is to set up – literally pull it over your face and you’re good to go.
There are two options of play: roomscale and stationary. The former offers the best experience by far, allowing you to move around and dodge incoming enemy attacks, but not everyone has the required 6.5 x 6.5 feet floor space for this. Fortunately, most games support a stationary mode so you can still play even if you’ve got limited space. In-game boundaries pop up if you do come too close to a collision, preventing you from smashing into a wall or a television.
The Quest 2 also supports hand tracking which means you don’t need the bundled controllers to play select games. The technology here is incredible, and feels like next-gen wizardry, but it’s not quite accurate enough for a seamless experience. I recommend sticking to controllers for now, but the prospect of being able to use your hands is certainly exciting.
The only area that Meta hasn’t improved substantially is the battery life. The headset lasts just over 2 hours of game time (and around 3 hours for video content) which is more or less the same stamina as the original headset.
You can technically keep playing with the headset plugged in to a power source, but the bundled charging cable is far too short. You could buy your own USB-C to USB-C charging cable (the Oculus Link cable is a good shout), but it feels like a needless extra expense.
- Quest 2 is 10% lighter than original headset
- Two speakers are built into the sides of the headset
- There’s no longer a physical IPD slider for lens adjustment
The Meta Quest 2 initially doesn’t look hugely different to its predecessor, other than the new white paint job that Meta hopes will draw in a wider audience. Meta claims there are no current plans to release alternative colour options, but also said, “never say never.”
Take a closer look at the Quest 2 and you’ll notice a couple of subtle design tweaks. It’s now slightly smaller and 10% lighter than the original headset. It can still cause your head and neck to ache after extended use, but the trimmed-down design is still very much welcome.
The strap has also seen a couple of changes, as there’s now only one velcro clasp, ensuring you don’t need to make as many alterations when swapping between players. The elastic straps accommodate for various shapes and sizes of heads, although Meta will also be selling strap accessories for those who can’t find a good fit with the default design.
Two speakers are built into the sides of the headset, and can be cranked up surprisingly loud. Detail is fairly impressive and the positional audio helps you to determine exactly which direction gunfire and approaching footsteps are coming from. The built-in speakers do suffer a little with bass-heavy music and sound effects, but you can plug in some headphones via the 3.5mm jack to remedy that. Unfortunately, there’s no support for Bluetooth headphones.
The only other port on the headset is the USB-C slot for charging. There are very few physical buttons on the headset, with the volume control found on the underside and a power button built into the right.
Previous Quest owners will notice there’s no physical IPD slider. Instead, you can just pull on the eye cups to toggle between three preset positions. I personally found the default setting perfectly comfortable, but it’s still good to see Meta allowing for some customisation.
- New Touch Controllers are slightly larger than before
- Button placement smartly simulates real-life hand movements
- Still use AA batteries rather than being rechargeable via USB-C
Meta claims it has “completely redesigned” the Touch Controllers, although I can’t see many major changes from the previous pair.
They feel slightly larger now, while the rear and side triggers feature more travel for more satisfying presses. Haptic feedback has also been re-positioned for improved immersion. Otherwise, these new controllers feel very familiar.
That’s no bad thing though, as the Touch Controllers are fantastic. The button placement smartly helps to simulate real-life hand movements, such as squeezing a gun trigger, giving your friends a thumbs up or catching a ball. The buttons feel great to press too, and are all easy to reach.
I am a little miffed that the controllers still use AA batteries rather than being rechargeable via USB-C, but the batteries come pre-installed and last for ages – I’ve been playing on the Quest for countless hours so far, and the controllers are showing no signs of running out of juice.
The controllers also turn on as soon as you don the headset. Previous VR experiences have been an absolute pain to set up, forcing you to turn on every device individually, so having all the Quest hardware spring into action simultaneously makes the whole process significantly easier.
Games and apps
- Great library of VR games, both new and old
- Oculus Link opens up support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive games
- Meta requires you to log into Quest with a Facebook account
The Meta Quest 2 has access to all of the same games and applications as the original headset – what’s more, all of your purchased software should transfer over with your profile if you’re upgrading.
The original Quest had a superb line-up of games when I reviewed it back in 2019, including Beat Saber, Moss, Robo Recall and Superhot VR. It was a delight to revisit these gems, particularly Beat Saber which has only got better thanks to the new music packs from the likes of Green Day, Imagine Dragons and Linkin Park.
Since 2019, an abundance of new games have arrived on the platform, resulting in an even broader library with pleasingly varied experiences that will appeal to people of all ages.
The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners will scratch that zombie-slaying itch, Cook-Out is a scrumptious cookery co-op venture and Pistol Whip is an addictive rhythm-based shooter. You’ve also got the amazing Echo VR, which is essentially PvP online multiplayer volleyball in zero gravity. It’s a surreal experience, and one of the best showcases of VR’s potential.
And if that’s not enough, if you’ve a gaming PC / laptop with a USB-C port, you can buy the Oculus Link cable in order to play games such as Asgard’s Wrath and Lone Echo. It’s even possible to access SteamVR, which means the likes of Half-Life Alyx and Skyrim VR are on the menu.
I’ve got no concerns that the well of game releases will dry up either, as Oculus has revealed new Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell VR games will be arriving and will be “created from the ground up exclusively for the Oculus platform”.
There are plenty more games arriving in the next couple of months too, including Jurassic World Aftermath, Rez Infinite and Warhammer 40,000: Battle Sister. You could comfortably argue that the launch lineup is even stronger than what PlayStation and Xbox have on offer.
And while the Meta Quest priority is unquestionably gaming, there are also plenty of social-based experiences, fitness apps and video content from the likes of Oculus TV and YouTube VR. Rec Room is one of the standout social apps, allowing you to meet up with your friends, customise your own in-game hubs and challenge them to various games including paintball and laser tag.
There is one big caveat though, as Meta now requires you to log into your Quest with a Facebook account. That could understandably be a deal breaker for you, but Meta argues this move will allow them to take advantage of Facebook features such as messaging, live streaming and events. The upcoming Facebook Horizon app will also provide a new way to hang out with your friends in VR in the future, but it’s currently unknown when this will launch.
You should buy it if…
- You want an all-in-one VR headset
The Meta Quest 2 is one of the only headsets that can function both independently and connected to a gaming PC (with the required cable), ensuring a huge and varied library of games from both Meta’s own digital store and SteamVR.
- You want an entry point for VR
The Meta Quest 2 is the most affordable VR headset that’s capable of running full-fat games. If you’ve never played VR before, this is the absolute best starting point.
- You want a more affordable alternative to the PS5 or Xbox Series X
VR is admittedly offers a very different gaming experience to traditional consoles, but the Quest 2 still remains a fantastically affordable gaming platform for gamers of all ages.
You shouldn’t buy it if…
- You already own the original Meta Quest
The Quest 2 arguably doesn’t offer enough of a performance jump to justify an upgrade if you already own the original headset, unless you really care about pixel counts.
- You want to play VR games primarily with a gaming PC
While the Meta Quest 2 is capable of hooking up to a gaming PC with the Oculus Link, it excels most when used independently. Consider the Vive Cosmos if you want a VR headset that plays nice with gaming PCs.
- You don’t have much room space
The Meta Quest 2 is at its best when you’ve got plenty of space to move around in. Don’t try to play in a tight space, or you might end up hurting yourself or breaking something else.
You might like…
No. The Meta Quest 2 is a standalone headset that can play many games independently, although using an Oculus Link cable to connect it to a gaming PC will unlock a larger library of games that includes Asgard’s Wrath and Half-Life Alyx.
The Meta Quest 2 comes pre-loaded with demos for the likes of Beat Saber, Space Pirate Trainer and Journey of the Gods, but you’ll need to pay to unlock the full-length games.
The battery-powered Meta Quest 2 houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor that’s powerful enough for entry-level VR games, while also featuring inside-out tracking technology that eliminates the need for external sensors. Otherwise, it works just like any other VR headset, with a lens built inside the headset and motion controllers determining your hand movements.
Virtual reality is the term given to a computer-generated three-dimensional simulation that can be interacted with real-world movement thanks to hardware such as headsets, controllers and gloves.
Screen door effect
When the resolution of a VR headset is too low, the gap between the pixels can become noticeable and result in a mesh-like appearance over an image.