Meta Quest 2 Review: "The Creme De La Creme Of The VR World"
Let's clear up some confusion to kick things off: this Meta Quest 2 review is also applicable to the Oculus Quest 2 because they are the same device. Thanks to Facebook's rebrand to Meta, the Oculus brand has also undergone the same change.
Consumer-focused virtual reality is one of those technologies that has come such a long way in a short time, and it's safe to say that we're nowhere near reaching the potential it holds. Meta Quest 2 is perhaps the crowning achievement of VR so far, combining everything into one affordable, well-rounded package that suits anyone looking to take the plunge into VR for the first time. It's not a perfect experience, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a VR headset that suits the average player better than this.
- Some of the best VR games are a must-play on this headset.
Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give the Meta Quest 2 is that it looks and feels like an Apple product. Right from the moment you open the box, you're met with the matte white finish of the headset, a colour that instantly separates it from the rest of the dark grey or black products on the market. Everything is compact, from the packaging of the few cables and controllers to the design of the headset itself, coming in 10% smaller than the first Quest and feeling less bulky as a result.
Everything is in the right place on the headset itself too, exactly where you'd expect it to be. On the right-hand side is the power switch, with the volume buttons on the bottom of the goggles and the USB-C power socket on the left. The sensors on the front are considerably smaller than the first Quest too, making it more aesthetically pleasing, even if it doesn't impact the performance.
When it comes to the controllers, you'll likely first pick them up in the wrong hands because it looks at first glance like the lower trigger should go on the inside of your palm, but it eventually clicks and they fit snugly in your grip. They're not too weighty at all, coming in at around 126g each, but despite this they still feel sturdy and well-built as opposed to giving a cheap impression.
Being a standalone VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2 can play most titles freely, but some will require the use of a link cable (purchased separately). Beat Saber, Superhot VR, Vader Immortal, and all the classic titles you've no doubt been itching to play all work without being connected, but if you want to dive into Half-Life: Alyx or Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, you'll need to fork out for the accessory.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to the Quest 2 is the battery life. It only lasts for around two hours playing a game, so while you're unlikely to want to continue for longer than that because taking regular breaks from VR is key, it means you can't pass the headset around a group of mates for very long before it needs to be charged.
What's most impressive about the Quest 2, however, is how easy it is to set up and get right into the action. After creating your "guardian", which is essentially your playing area whether you're stood up or sat down, you're introduced to the intricacies of the controls, such as pinching your thumb and forefinger to select a menu option.
While using a PSVR, for example, it can start to weigh your neck after a while, and the cables can get in the way if you've not taken the headset off to readjust and reset for a while. With the Meta Quest 2, none of this happens. While you may get a slightly better screen on a higher-end VR headset, or a little more power elsewhere, this is the best complete package for anyone looking for a self-contained VR experience.
Annoyingly, while the headset is comfortable to wear, it doesn't sit snugly enough on your face, especially towards the bottom. This means there's always a slight gap between the headset itself and your nose, so you can see the floor. It can be slightly immersion-breaking, especially for the first few minutes with the headset on.
Unfortunately, it does require a Facebook account, but this can be a throwaway one you've created specifically for this purpose rather than being an active account if you're not an active Facebook user.
One of the most impressive aspects of the Meta Quest 2 is the value for money. You can pick up a headset and two controllers for £299 ($299) - factor in a few games and you're looking at an extra £50 or so, but that's astoundingly cheap to say you don't need any accompanying hardware whatsoever.
Compared to a PSVR starter pack (£300) which requires a PS4 or PS5 console, a HTC Vive (£1,000+ with controllers), or a Valve Index (£900+ with controllers and base station, and you need a gaming PC), the Meta Quest 2 is the most accessible. Even with the Oculus Rift, which has now been discontinued in place of the Quest, you need a PC compatible of running the software attached. The Meta Quest 2 means the barrier to VR gaming has never been easier to bypass.
Should you buy a Meta Quest 2? If you're in the market for a VR headset, there's no better choice. It isn't perfect - only a couple of hours of battery life and requiring a Facebook account to use the device at all are certainly drawbacks, but when you get into the games, this is the creme de la creme of the VR world right now. Whether you're a VR newbie or this is the latest addition to your collection of headsets, the Meta Quest 2 is bound to impress.
Product provided free of charge.