What do you mean you've never played Half-Life: Alyx? Y'know one of the best VR headsets is down below $200 for the first time, right?

Meta Quest 2 on a blue gradient background
(Image credit: Meta)
Meta Quest 2 | 128GB model | $249.99 $199 at Amazon (save $50.99)

Meta Quest 2 | 128GB model | $249.99 $199 at Amazon (save $50.99)
This is a great deal on a VR headset that, while it has been replaced by a shinier model, is still an ideal device for getting into VR. Whether you use it tethered to a gaming PC or as a standalone device, you'll have a good time wandering in virtual reality with a Quest 2. And the essential Elite Strap is just $25 right now, too.

Price check: Best Buy $199.99 | B&H Photo $199.99

When the first Oculus Rift headset broke cover it brought with it the promise of affordable virtual reality in the home and it was going to be some brave new world of gaming... which inevitably hasn't come to pass. So yeah, VR isn't the pinnacle of PC gaming by any stretch of the imagination, but it can still deliver some of the most immersive, tangible gaming experiences you can find. And with the Meta Quest 2, one of the best VR headsets around, now being priced down below the $200 / £200 mark, VR is now an affordable extension of your gaming PC. And I reckon a worthwhile one at this price.

After all, if you want to experience Half-Life 3 you're not going to get any closer than grabbing a crowbar and braining a Combine grunt in the outstanding Half-Life: Alyx.

As a package, the Meta Quest 2 for $199 at Amazon (or £199 at Amazon UK) is the perfect pick for anyone wanting to dabble in virtual reality who hasn't already taken the plunge. Admittedly, most of the VR-curious will have already dropped cash on some kind of VR facehugger, but this is bringing the price down to a level where it can almost be picked up on a whim.

The Quest 2 is an older generation of headset, but Oculus-then-Meta kept updating the software to the point where it's a more capable device now than it was at launch. It's got a refresh rate that can go all the way up to 120 Hz—which can have a big impact on how comfortable it is to game with them on—and a decent native resolution of 1832 x 1920 per eye. 

It can be used independently, with apps running natively on the Snapdragon XR2 chip, or you can tether to your gaming PC to run SteamVR games, or titles from the Meta store with a good USB Type-C cable. You can even play while connected wirelessly to your PC, too, so long as you're rocking a modern Wi-Fi router, anyways.

There are higher-resolution devices, with broader fields of view—the Meta Quest 3, for example—but they're all far more expensive than this budget VR eyeball-filler. And, honestly, unless you're all-in on VR, spending more than a couple hundred notes is a lot just to dabble.

One thing I would say, however, is that the strap the Quest 2 ships with is absolutely abhorrent. Luckily the Elite Strap replacement is similarly discounted down to $25 at the moment, and it's pretty much essential for any kind of comfort while playing on the Quest 2.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.