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Best VR Headsets for Sim Racing Reviewed (2020) | Buyers Guide

Sim Racing… it might be something you’ve begun hearing a lot about lately. And in this article, we’re going to go over the 6 best VR headsets for Sim Racing in 2020.

See our Editors’ Picks if you are in a hurry!

 

Now, if you want to simulate racing as best as you can without actually going out in the real world and racing, VR headsets are going to be your best bet.

But from there, you want to get the VR headset that’s best for the experience and immersion. So, which one should you choose?

It will depend on what exactly you’re looking for, your particular situation, budget, etc., which I’ll cover all here in this Review/Guide article.

There won’t be one clear cut answer in this article, as everyone will be a little different.

But we will make sure to help anyone reading this article pick out their own best Sim Racing compatible VR headsets.

So, let’s see our Editor’s Picks first, which is followed by a useful Comparison Table before going to the Reviews and Buyers Guide/FAQ!

Overall Best VR Headset for Sim Racing

 

Valve Index

View on Amazon


It offers a great resolution of 1440 x 1600, the best ever 130-degree field of view, the best refresh rate of 144Hz, and the best battery life among others!

It is the best option at combating motion sickness, and is my absolute best pick for any simulated racing VR experience.

See the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best VR Headset for Sim Racing for Value

 

Samsung HMD Odyssey+

View on Amazon


It offers an impressive resolution of 1440 x 1600, an OLED display, a nice 110-degree field of view, and the Anti-Screen Door Effect technology.

With some other great features, this Windows Mixed Reality headset is the most valuable VR option for Sim Racing considering its price.

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best VR Headsets for Sim Racing on a Budget

 

Sony PlayStation VR

View on Amazon


If you already have PlayStation, this is your best budget pick!

With a great 120Hz refresh rate, an OLED display, a decent 100-degree field of view and 3D audio feature, you are guaranteed to experience a nice Sim Racing VR immersion with this budget option.

Refer to the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

 

 

Lenovo Explorer

View on Amazon


If you don’t have a PlayStation and already have a powerful enough PC, then this Windows Mixed Reality headset is your best budget option.

With a nice resolution of 1440 x 1440, a decent refresh rate of 90Hz and 110 degrees field of view, it ensures a great VR experience at lower cost.

This is also the lightest option on the list weighing in at only 380 grams. More comfortable perhaps!

Refer to the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

There’s a good deal to consider with a VR purchase such as this.

You want the best VR headset for Sim Racing in 2020, but you need to do a little research before you can go and get it.

Maybe you already have a game or two or even more in mind.

They might be Assetto Corsa, iRacing VR, VR Racing, Live For Speed, Driveclub VR, DiRT Rally VR, Project CARS, RaceRoom Racing Experience, Gran Turismo Sport, or any other VR racing games.

You’ll want to make sure that any Sim Racing games you want are available on the stores of any devices you plan to get.

If you already have some hardware that can be used with a VR headset, that would be important to take note of as well.

Don’t have any hardware?

Take a look at your budget and other desires and decide what you would be willing to spend on some hardware to complement your Sim Racing VR headset.

There will be some other important information that we’ll go over a little later.


Some of it you may already know, perhaps not, but it’s good to make sure we cover as much as we can so as not to leave any stone unturned.

You want to make sure you’ve got all the information at hand when making a big decision like this.

Speaking of information, let’s make sure we go over all the information necessary for several different VR headsets that you’re going to want to consider.

 

I’ll detail all pertinent information for each Sim Racing compatible VR headset so you have a good idea what each one is about.

We’ll compare and contrast these options and let you get a nice, wide scope of what the Sim Racing VR Headset landscape looks like.

There’s a lot of options out there, a lot of options you’ll surely love.

So, let’s go over the best VR headsets for Sim Racing in 2020 and figure out which is the absolute best one for you!

What are the Best VR Headsets for Sim Racing in 2020?

Quick Answer:

Comparison Table for the Best VR Headsets for Sim Racing in 2020

Sim Racing VR Headset View on Amazon Resolution (Per Eye) Refresh Rate (Hz) Display Weight (grams)
Sony PlayStation VR q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07R4XM477&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07R4XM477 960 x 1080 120Hz OLED 610 g
Lenovo Explorer q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07BNP7K46&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07BNP7K46 1440 x 1440 90Hz LCD 380 g
Oculus Rift S q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07PTMKYS7&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07PTMKYS7 1280 x 1440 80Hz LCD 500 g
Valve Index q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0876HSX6J&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B0876HSX6J 1440 x 1600 120Hz (Experimental Mode: 144Hz) LCD 809 g
HTC VIVE Cosmos q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07TWNTGCH&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07TWNTGCH 1440 x 1700 90Hz LCD 470 g
Samsung HMD Odyssey+ q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07HS7R1RT&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=vrchat 20&language=en USir?t=vrchat 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07HS7R1RT 1440 × 1600 60/90Hz OLED 590 g

Best VR Headsets for Sim Racing in 2020

1. Sony PlayStation VR | Best on a Budget for PlayStation Owners

A good place to start is with the Sony PlayStation VR, which costs somewhere in the neighborhood of about $360.

This is the obvious choice in many people’s opinions, if you already have a PlayStation.

That is the hardware you would need to pair with the PlayStation VR, so if you already have a PlayStation in your home, you’re one step on your way there.

Even if you don’t already have a PlayStation… you may look at the cost of the PlayStation along with the VR headset (which is the cheapest among all these options) and find that to be the best fit for you anyway.

In terms of budget, this certainly could be the best VR headset for your Sim Racing experience.

 

 

TECH SPECS

To start with, one of the great features of the PlayStation VR is that it has a 120Hz refresh rate.

That’s one of the highest on this entire list.

So, it cuts down on latency with the best of them and is definitely a candidate for suppressing any potential motion sickness.

With the high refresh rate, you do get the trade off of a low resolution.

The 960 x 1080 is the lowest resolution of any Sim Racing VR Headset on this list.

And clocking in at 610 grams, it’s the second heaviest headset here.

This may not be a big problem for you if you don’t plan on playing games for all too long, or have strong neck muscles.

However, if you plan on playing games for hours upon hours, this could be a deciding factor for you.

The field of view is 100 degrees, which is definitely good enough for you, but is the lowest of all options on this list.

With 3D audio, the PlayStation VR will have you living the race, as you’re able to pinpoint direction and distance of sounds you hear.

And how about the display?

If you want OLED, this is one of two choices on this list with it.

Fantastic colors and true blacks will allow you to immerse yourself into the racing world. You’ll feel like you’re racing right next to Vin Diesel himself!

Pros

Cons

2. Lenovo Explorer | Best on a Budget

Now, we take a look at the Lenovo Explorer, running on Windows Mixed Reality.

You’ll need a powerful PC with all the correct requirements, so make sure you know what they are.

If you already have a PC filling the requirements, fantastic! The Explorer only costs about $400, so you can keep it on the cheaper side.

You will have access to Windows Mixed Reality store and Steam libraries for many games & experiences.

 

 

TECH SPECS

Starting with the good stuff, the resolution on the Lenovo Explorer is 1440 x 1440, so you’re getting a much better experience in this category vs. the PlayStation VR.

That’s a lot more pixels!

Speaking of pixels… the display on the Explorer is an LCD.

LCD’s have a lot more subpixels, leaving less space between pixels, and thus doing a better job avoiding that screen door effect that nobody wants to experience.

The LCD also means cleaner and brighter whites in your gaming experience.

Important to note if you want a brighter experience or play games that tend to have brighter and lighter colors.

With the LCD though, you won’t get the truest colors and deepest blacks like you would with an OLED.

And the refresh rate is 90Hz. Not as high as the PlayStation VR, though not many headsets are, but still respectable and good enough to keep you from motion sickness.

And how about the fact that it only weighs 380 grams?!

This is the lightest option on the list.

Wear it for hours, don’t worry about fatigue.

Need to escape for a second? The goggles flip up with ease while the headset stays on.

The field of view is 110 degrees which proves to give you a great experience.

Though, it doesn’t come with audio built in. It has a headphone jack, so be sure to bring your own headphones to the race.

And with the Lenovo Explorer, you’ll have four options on how to interact within the game.

With the lightweight, handheld motion controllers, keyboard and mouse, Xbox controllers, or talk to Cortana… the digital assistant!

Pros

Cons

3. Oculus Rift S

From Oculus, the Oculus Rift S is another great option for VR Sim Racing. Buy your games through Oculus or through Steam.

And if you choose the Rift S, you’ll once again want to make sure your PC is compatible, as there are certain requirements.

Keep in mind, it costs about $680, so if you don’t have a PC already powerful enough, you’ll need to buy one in addition.

Perhaps not the best option for those shopping on a budget, but if you want excellence from Oculus, then you’ll love the Rift S!

 

 

TECH SPECS

The resolution of the Rift S is 1280 x 1440.

Not quite as good as the previous Lenovo Explorer, but better than the PlayStation VR.

Still a great resolution that you’ll love… and an LCD screen you’ll love as well!

Clean, bright whites and plenty of subpixels.

You’ll be experiencing your Sim Racing in a bright, crystal-clear world with little to no screen door effect, giving you an ultimately realistic experience.

The colors will look great, not quite as vivid as with OLED displays. Perhaps for racing, you’ll be less concerned with this.

And an 80Hz refresh rate is far enough above the 60Hz minimum to avoid motion sickness, but it’s one of the lowest on this list.

Going back to the realism of the Rift S, the controllers provide extremely realistic and intuitive movement, never taking you out of your game.

And the halo headband has a nice ergonomic design that has your comfort in mind but won’t slow you down!

And the weight of 500 grams won’t slow you down much either. Not the lightest option here, but definitely on the lighter end of the spectrum.

The field of view is 110 degrees, giving you the ability to see all your surroundings easily.

And audio is built right into the Oculus Rift S.

Paired along with your ultra-smooth experience, you’ll have fantastic quality audio surrounding you, immersing you right into your experience on the road!

Pros

Cons

4. Valve Index | Absolute BEST

Let’s take a look at the Valve Index, another incredible option and is powered by Steam.

Also going to require your PC to be compatible and powerful enough. Check the System Requirements

The most expensive option as well, but its cost is high because its quality is high.

 

See also: Best VR Headsets for Steam

 

 

TECH SPECS

A great resolution of 1440 x 1600 is the best and largest we’ve seen so far. Lots and lots of pixels for your viewing pleasure.

And lots of subpixels as well, as this is another LCD option.

Less room between pixels means less empty space and less screen door effect.

Pristine whites will accompany your game, brightening up the race track!

And remember the 120Hz refresh rate the PlayStation VR had?

The Valve Index comes with 120Hz as the standard… and it even has a 144Hz experimental mode!

This is the lowest latency you’ll experience with any of the Sim Racing VR Headsets here.

If you’re someone who wants to try some Sim Racing but is afraid of the possible motion sickness that can come from VR, then this may be the best VR Headset for Sim Racing in 2020 for you.

The best Sim Racing VR Headset at combating any possible motion sickness… the Index!

This headset also boasts 7 hours of battery life! Astonishing!

Weighing 809 grams, this is, by far, the heaviest of all the headsets. Keep that in mind if you plan on wearing this often.

And the field of view on the Index, a whopping 130 degrees!

Its custom lenses actually maximize the field of view, all while not compromising the edge-to-edge clarity. Every spot, edge, and corner stay sharp.

All that extra stuff for you to view… and it doesn’t come with any distortion.

Valve managed to put out this impressive field of view while maintaining optical sharpness.

And the Valve Index thinks you should experience sound as naturally as you can.

The Index Speakers don’t touch your ears, so that the sound won’t appear to be coming from inside your head, but rather, from all around you.

Pros

Cons

5. HTC Vive Cosmos

And now, the HTC Vive Cosmos with both Steam and Viveport library access.

This excellent Sim Racing VR Headset is cheaper than the Valve Index but still on the more expensive side among all these options. It’ll run you roughly about $700.

Definitely check the System Requirements for HTC Vive Cosmos.

 

 

TECH SPECS

The Cosmos is going to have the best resolution of every item on this list, at 1440 x 1700.

And it’s another headset showcasing the LCD technology.

Combining the high resolution and LCD screen, if you’re someone who wants many pixels, sub pixels, and little to no screen door effect, then this may be among the best VR headsets for Sim Racing in 2020… if not the best.

 

Of course, the colors and blacks won’t be as true and deep without OLED, but that’s only a downside if you’re worried about the colors as they whiz past you on your races!

The 90Hz refresh rate ranks right about in the middle on this list. Definitely a great refresh rate to avoid latency and motion sickness.

And weighing only 470 grams, it’s the second lightest headset on this list. Wear it for long periods of time, you may forget it’s there!

The field of view is 110 degrees, which isn’t as high as the Valve Index, but as you’ll notice is a standard value that delivers a fantastic experience for you.

The crown fit on the Cosmos means it slides comfortably right onto your head. It also fits many different face shapes, sizes, and even can be popped on over your glasses!

And this headset has high-quality audio that comes from the built-in form-fitting headphones that fit right on your ears.

If you feel the need to escape the virtual reality… there is a flip-up design that allows you to pop back into regular reality in seconds.

Pros

Cons

6. Samsung HMD Odyssey+ | Best for Value

And from Samsung, the HMD Odyssey+ Windows Mixed Reality headset costing around $490, putting it right in the middle of the road in terms of cost.

And this headset will require you to have a PC that meets all the qualifications.

You will have access to Windows Mixed Reality store and Steam libraries for many games & experiences.

So, make sure you know what the qualifications are and if your current PC meets those requirements.

 

 

TECH SPECS

The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ has an impressive resolution of 1440 x 1600.

Not the best, but one of the highest on this list. That’s quite a high pixel count for those interested in that.

And it’s the other headset of two headsets on this list with an OLED display.

You may think since it isn’t LCD, that you may get the screen door effect. However, this headset smartly implemented Anti-Screen Door Effect technology, so you’ll get all the pros of an OLED screen and less of the cons.

 

So, true, vivid colors and deep, deep blacks will be in your future if you go with the Odyssey+.

 

Get movie-like quality while you race the streets in your Sim Racing VR Headset.

 

At 590 grams, it’s the third heaviest on the list. So, you will be dealing with some weight on your head if you choose this headset.

 

Depending on the PC you’re using, the Odyssey may have as low as a 60Hz refresh rate.

 

That would be the lowest on the list and just passing the threshold of not getting motion sickness.

 

But you could also be afforded a 90Hz refresh rate if your PC is powerful enough, putting you in a much better position.

 

And Samsung has included premium AKG headphones that are built into the headset.

 

They feature 360-degree surrounding audio which will further immerse you, so much so, that you’ll swear you smell the rubber on the road.

 

This headset doesn’t include a headphone jack, so be sure the built-in audio is what you want.

 

It has a nice 110-degree field of view, and for your comfort, touts an adjustable headband that’s now 10% lighter with comfortable materials.

 

With the comfortable and flexible band that feels as if it isn’t there, you’ll forget you aren’t really sitting in the driver’s seat of your favorite racecar.

Pros

Cons

Best VR Headsets for Sim Racing (2020) — Buyers Guide

Alright, a lot of great information. A lot of great VR options.

As you can see, any of the above options can handle some Sim Racing quite well. But we still want to explore a few more details. General details and details that may pertain to you specifically.

Now, to go over what Sim Racing is briefly, it doesn’t apply to any one specific game.

But it’s the general term describing games that are attempting to simulate racing as realistically as possible.

And yes, with a VR Headset, it’s going to be very realistic. But is the headset enough?

People acquire lots of other equipment to get the realest experience possible.

You’ll decide if all the extra equipment is necessary for you, or perhaps just some of it.

If you really want to get the feel that you’re getting fast and furious out on the road, you’ll want to at least get a steering wheel and set of pedals.

It is, after all, supposed to be a car that you’re driving. The basic necessities would include the wheel and pedals to give you that feel.

You could be done with it there, sit on a chair or your couch, and mount a table in front of you to hold the steering wheel.

But to make the experience even more real, to get off your couch and onto the virtual street, you can go further.

Many people opt to get a driving seat and have it attached to a ‘slim rig’ or some type of metal frame.

As long as it’s something that has locations to attach everything. Your steering wheel, pedals, anything else, you can get it all attached to the frame.

 

Now, the car is really coming together. After all, when you’re really driving you don’t hold the steering wheel in your lap. Why not emulate it as closely as possible?

You can get yourself a shifter and a handbrake as well. Perhaps you want to hang a car freshener somewhere in the room to really duplicate your typical driving experience.

Whatever you choose to get, just keep costs in mind. Some of these items come in kits, perhaps you can find deals where they’re added on to games or headsets.

 

Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Okay, I’ll figure out the add-ons later. I still need to figure out which Sim Racing VR Headset I’m getting.”

I hear you. Let’s go over some frequently asked questions on this very topic so we can help you narrow it down and figure out which are the best VR headsets for Sim Racing in 2020.

What are the cheapest VR Headsets for Sim Racing in 2020?

The cheapest option is the Sony Playstation VR which does require a PlayStation.

Every other option will require a PC with the correct requirements.

If you’re starting from scratch and need to buy the hardware along with it, the Sony PlayStation VR is likely still the cheapest choice.

However, if you’re starting with a powerful PC that can get the job done, the Lenovo Explorer running on Windows Mixed Reality is the cheapest option among those needing a PC.

If I plan on wearing this headset for a while and don’t want it weighing me down, then what’s the lightest best VR Headset for Sim Racing in 2020?


Currently, the lightest option on this list is the Lenovo Explorer, Windows Mixed Reality headset.

What’s the most comfortable VR Headset for Sim Racing in 2020?

If you’re looking for comfort, you may have to figure out your exact definition of comfort.

The Lenovo Explorer is the lightest option, as mentioned before.

The HTC Vive Cosmos claims a comfortable design that fits many face shapes and can fit over glasses.

An easy flip-up design and form-fitting headphones incorporated and is the second lightest.

The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ claims an adjustable headband made from comfortable materials that is 10% lighter than before, good to know if you’ve tried it on before.

However, it’s still the third heaviest on this list. Heavier than the first two mentioned in this answer… and heavier than the next one…

The Oculus Rift S… which does claim an ergonomic design which could be very important for your comfort. And it’s the third lightest on the list.

 

 

If you’re asking what I’d pick for myself, I’d choose either the HTC Vive Cosmos for being quite light and raving about its comfort… especially if I had glasses.

Or the Oculus Rift S, as it’s fairly light and they use the magic word… ergonomic.

What are the best VR Headsets for Sim Racing in 2020 if I want the best field of view?


If it’s the best field of view you want, then definitely choose the Valve Index.

What are the best VR Headsets for Sim Racing in 2020 if I want realistic colors and a movie-like quality when racing?

I’d go with one of the OLED options to achieve true colors and deep blacks.

The Sony PlayStation VR is the cheaper OLED option.

The other option is the Samsung HMD Odyssey+ Windows Mixed Reality headset, and though it costs a bit more, you also get better resolution and Anti-Screen Door Effect incorporated into it.

If I’m most worried about motion sickness and want to avoid it at all costs, then what are the best VR Headsets for Sim Racing in 2020?

When you want to avoid motion sickness, you want a high refresh rate.

The two options that are head and shoulders above the rest in that category, are the Sony PlayStation VR and the Valve index.

The Sony PlayStation VR with 120Hz refresh rate is significantly cheaper than the the Valve Index, which runs at either 120Hz or 144Hz in an experimental mode.

So, the Valve Index technically can achieve the best chances to avoid motion sickness.

What is the overall best VR Headset for Sim Racing in 2020?

I’d have to choose the Valve Index.

It sports the best refresh rate, best field of view, and has one of the highest resolutions of all options on the list, and gives you an incredible audio experience to boot.

What are the best VR Headsets for Sim Racing in terms of Value?

I would choose the Samsung HMD Odyssey+ Windows Mixed Reality headset.

It’s fairly cheap, third cheapest on the list, coming in just under $500.

It has one of the best resolutions of them all, giving you benefits of OLED without so many of the cons with its Anti-Screen-Door-Effect in place.

It has fantastic built-in audio and has been made with your comfort in mind.

The only caveat is that you should make sure your PC is powerful enough to grant you the 90Hz refresh rate vs. the 60Hz option.

Best VR Headsets for Sim Racing (2020) — Conclusion

There you have it. The best of the best is all here.

Each Sim Racing VR Headset brings its own great qualities to the table.

Not everyone looking to buy a great Sim Racing VR Headset comes with only one aspect in mind. Though, many people do come with one or two aspects being of the most importance.

Knowing what’s most important to you can help you decide on a headset quite easily.

Each VR headset excels in different areas, whether it’s refresh rate, resolution, display, weight, audio, or even the comfortable feel on your head.

Plenty of people desire something well-rounded in all areas. And you never know, you may have decided on a new factor being quite important as you read this article.

That’s why it’s always good to go over all the details. And now that all the details are laid out for you, you can go ahead and make your buying decision confidently.

The best VR Headsets for Sim Racing in 2020 are waiting for you. Choose the absolute best for your scenario and get racing!

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Mike has a PhD in Engineering and is currently a Scientist in an international research institute. He is 39 and loves researching about interaction of light with solid materials. Application of his research includes but not limited to solid state lighting, white-light emitting diodes (LED)photodetectors and optoelectronic devices

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