Twitch has been at the forefront of gaming for a very long time. The ability to open up a window to millions and stream new games, favorite games, bad games, and old games is amazing.
Twitch has gone through its phases and fads, with different technologies entering and exiting the playing field what seems like every year. However, one type of tech has turned into such a snowball that it’s beginning to take the Twitch front pages by storm – VR headsets.
It is a personal cinema screen in front of your eyes, and companies such as Valve, the leading digital publisher of the modern world, have taken it under their wing.
There are plenty of options you can pick up to get into streaming, and we’re going to go through some of the best VR headsets in today’s article.
Our Ranking Process
We will be diving deep into many categories in our hunt for the best VR headsets, and ranking them based on the following criteria;
- Price and value for money
- Public opinion
In each VR description, we will give a brief overview of the VR headset and then a rundown of the four main categories, giving them a score out of 10. We will then give it an overall ranking to determine which are truly the best VR headsets.
Which VR Headsets Do Streamers Use?
Headset One: Oculus Quest 2
The first VR headset that we will be delving into is the one that will take the crown of “best VR headset” within both this article and the general, wider public.
It’s a sleek designed, wireless VR headset with incredibly fast processors and next-generation graphics. It features a full headset alongside two sleek controllers which fit snugly into your hands.
Price and value for money
In terms of the value for money, Oculus Quest 2 is far and beyond the winner in this category overall. For a lower range price tag, you will get access to a fully immersive VR experience and two controllers unrivaled by almost every inside the space.
Oculus Link cable, allowing you to connect your gaming computer to your VR headset.
Advertised as an incredibly easy setup
A huge library of games to play, including Beat Sabre and Job Simulator.
3D cinematic sound and positional audio.
The ability to cast directly to television to allow others to look on.
The general opinion of many in the public domain, as mentioned earlier, is that it is one of the best VR headsets for the current modern market. Whilst others may be slightly more technologically advanced, either their negative features or price ranges hold them back behind the Oculus Quest 2.
There doesn’t seem to be too many problems with the longevity of the Oculus Quest 2, aside from some controller replacement issues that seem to be prevalent across the VR space – but make sure to do your own research into warranties and future options before purchasing.
The battery life on it seems to be fantastic, with some users reporting battery lives of multiple days before they need to recharge.
Headset Two: Valve Index
This VR headset is without a doubt the most technologically advanced on the market, and its price point reflects that at a whopping 4 times the price of the Oculus Quest 2. Valve are the frontrunners in this space and it shows, with the Valve Index having the top-of-the-range sensors, technology, and gaming experiences. To some, it is absolutely considered one of the best VR headsets.
From a streaming perspective, you will have a great time with this VR headset. Many large creators such as Jacksepticeye have used it for their content creation endeavors, leaving you with little problems other than general tech fixes that come with all forms of streaming life.
Price and value for money
In terms of value for money, the general consensus seems to be that although the Valve Index is the best in terms of technological advancement – it isn’t always worth the price tag that Valve has placed upon it.
It would be up to you as the consumer to decide whether spending that money would be worth it and whether this really is the best VR headset.
Placing fidelity at its forefront, pixel layout and frame rates have been given a huge upgrade that allows for 50% larger pixels than OLED.
Head adjustments to account for skin and head placement.
A system to account for designers and makers, allowing access to cameras and a front expansion slot to tinker around with.
A free copy of ‘Half Life Alyx’ included with purchases of Valve Index equipment.
The public opinion on the Valve Index is much the same as has been discussed already – it is the best VR headset, but it may not be worth the price.
However, despite the huge disparity in price, the Valve Index still accounts for 17.50% of all VR headsets. It is in front of the Oculus Rift S at 17.21% and behind the Oculus Quest 2 at 33.19% of players. So, it is four times the price but has half the player base of the Oculus Quest 2, its main competitor.
It may appeal more to PC gamers than console gamers due to the affiliation with Valve,
The Valve Index seems to be overall well robust and long-lasting, with again a few of the same problems which often plague many of the VR space right now such as controller replacements.
Headset Three: HTC Vive Pro 2
The HTC Vive Pro 2 is another VR headset that has hit the ground running and is a strong, robust VR headset that will give you a fantastic experience. It is given the title of ‘best VR headset’ by some, however, some believe it is far too overpriced.
It provides no more benefits to streaming other than some potentially new or unique VR experiences for viewers with the compatible software – and unfortunately, it does not have a very good microphone so you will need to purchase an extra for streaming. Many people love this one, but its flaws have caused some to believe it is not close to becoming the best VR headset.
Price and value for money
The HTC Vive Pro 2 is sold as a standalone VR headset itself and does not include controllers or base stations.
This price includes a two-month subscription to Viveport Infinity, which is a huge library of videos, games, and apps for the HTC Vive Pro 2. A link to which can be found here.
Smooth graphics and extremely high resolution provide stunning image quality with a 5K clarity viewing experience and wide 120-degree field of vision which aligns with the human eyes.
A large array of accessories t0 makes up for the lack of ones included in the base package.
A huge library of VIVE Business stories to get an insight into developer solutions and problems for interesting reads.
A huge range of compatible software that can work with the Vive Pro 2, including programs such as Unreal Engine, Unity, Autodesk, Mindesk, and more.
Unfortunately, the general opinion of the HTC Vive Pro is a more harsh version of the criticism of the Valve Index – that the VR headset is fantastic and does exactly what it says it does – but the price tag does not match the quality that you receive.
Again, it would be up to you to put together an opinion as to whether you may want to spend the money on putting together a good setup for this VR headset.
There don’t seem to be any huge issues with the longevity of the HTC Vive Pro, leading me to think that it will be relatively solid – however as per usual, there may be some teething issues with the VR software as a whole.
Should You Stream VR on Twitch?
Now that we’ve gone over the best heavy hardware and mobile VR headsets to buy in general, the question of whether you should actually stream VR on Twitch is posed to us. Is it actually a good way to grow a channel? More importantly, is it enjoyable?
While we can’t give you an exact answer to this question, we can deep dive into some of the statistics. By looking at the popular game VRChat, arguably one of the most influential VR experiences, we see that it is ranked #78th in ‘unified rating’ by TwitchTracker, it has a few thousand viewers per day – and the peak viewers occurred on September 6th, 2020 at 81,185 viewers.
Whilst it might not bring in millions of viewers like Fortnite or Minecraft might – it is still very popular on the platform.
In terms of enjoyment, VR is absolutely one of the greatest ways to enjoy playing video games. The drive to become fully immersed with your gaming experience is one shared by millions for many years, and this can now become a (virtual!) reality.
If you aren’t too prone to motion sickness or eye glare -you often forget about everything in real life, as you become caught up in the stories that you used to only be able to view through a screen.
So, to sum things up, streaming VR on Twitch is absolutely something that should be considered and it can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Best VR Games to Stream
You can play games on VR?
Playing games has become one of the staples of the VR world, and even though it is still a relatively new technology in the grand scheme of things, there have been many VR games that will define the product’s history, transcending PC and even console gaming.
I’ll go through three of the ‘classic VR games’ that defined the genre and set their players up for a whole new world – literally. By playing games on stream, you are all but guaranteed to have a good time!
Often hailed as one of the first VR platforms to allow for widespread social interaction, VRChat allows the power of creation to be in the hands of the users by offering hundreds of virtual reality social interactions. (You may remember one such ‘Do You Know De Way’ meme originating from this game a few years back.)
It truly is one of the benchmarks for which many VR games aspire to.
Its four main features include making friends with people from all across the world, creating your own worlds using the Unity game editor, custom avatars to express creativity, and metaverse virtual space community building!
By jumping into the 3-D specialized audio world of VRChat, you are sure to enjoy yourself and create many (virtual?) memories with you and your chat – even if you are wearing a mobile VR headset.
Made for lovers of VR, music, and fast-paced action gaming experiences alike, BeatSabre is a fantastic rhythm game where you use real-life VR controllers to slash and hack the beats as they fly towards you in a flurry of rhythms. Its wealth of VR content will keep you entertained for hours, allowing you to practice your skills with ease.
It is designed in such a way to mimic the motion of dancefloor movements and as such can result in some very elegant (or not!) movement spiels.
The audio and visuals of Beat Sabre are unmatched within not just the VR space, but the video gaming community as a whole.
There is also a whole community of e-sport like events and competitions revolving around the game – so you won’t ever be strapped for things to do within the game. Beat Sabre ties in perfectly with the VR headset and controllers to provide a perfect experience.
If e-sports VR action with a huge community is a thing that you enjoy then Beat Sabre will absolutely be the game for you!
Half Life Alyx
Some people argue that this is the most technologically advanced game ever in existence, and my personal bias would tend to agree. Half-Life Alyx is a fully-fledged AAA game set in the Valve Half-Life universe.
It features an entire multi-ten-hour story, alongside a gigantic world with pristine graphics and one of the most advanced VR interaction systems ever. It also garners hundreds of views on Twitch, and as such would be a fantastic game to stream.
As a side note, the VR headset and tracking cameras also provide for a very funny experience on cameras – as can be seen on many of Jacksepticeye’s Half-Life Alyx series!
It won ‘VR Game of the Year’ in a landslide from multiple outlets such as ‘The Game Awards’ and ‘VR Awards’ and was worked on by developers from many previous Valve titles. The team who worked on the hit game ‘Firewatch’ were even involved with the project, showing the true diversity of talent across the board.
This was the new step forward from Valve in their strive to always set the benchmark for video game development and it will hopefully open the door for more revolutionary experiences in the future.
There is a new VR headset rumored to be coming out next year, developed by Valve.
In conclusion, virtual reality is a fantastic option for streaming and there are a wide variety of options of VR headsets for anyone out there – dependent on their budget and what they would be looking for in an experience.
We picked the ‘Oculus Quest 2’ as our best VR headset for both budget and ability to stream with, but all of the others are fantastic as well and it is, at the end of the day, up to you to make the decision. Whatever you choose, you will take solace in the fact that you will be part of a new generation of video gaming technology.