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Oculus Quest 2 vs Rift S (2021): Which VR Headset Should You Buy?

Now that the Oculus Rift S has been discontinued by Facebook, you’ll only be able to purchase an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset going forward. If you’re interested in VR gaming but haven’t pulled the trigger on one yet, should you buy the Oculus Rift S now while there are still some leftover stocks? Or should you just get the Oculus Quest 2? We compare the two VR headsets to help you decide.

To be clear, the Rift S will still be supported, for now. They just won’t be replenishing stocks once retailers sell their remaining inventory.

Oculus Quest 2 vs Rift S Comparison Chart

ModelOculus Quest 2Oculus Rift S
 Oculus Quest 2 — Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality Headset — 64 GBOculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Hardware RequirementStandalonePC
Storage64GB
256GB
N/A
Resolution1832 x 19201280 x 1440
Refresh Rate90 Hz80 Hz
Controllers2 Oculus Touch Controllers2 Oculus Touch Controllers
Motion Detection 6DOF6DOF
AudioIntegratedIntegrated
Included Accessories2 AA Batteries
2 Touch Controllers
Charging Cable
Glasses Spacer
Power Adapter
Quest 2 Headset
2 AA Batteries
2 Touch Controllers
Mini DP to DP Adapter
Rift S Headset

Design and Comfort

The halo strap of the Rift S is more convenient than the split strap system of the Quest 2.

oculus quest 2 vs rift s design and comfort
Front view of the Oculus Quest 2 (top) and Oculus Rift S (bottom).

The most obvious difference between the two is their colors, with the Oculus Quest 2 having a matte white finish and the Rift S sporting a matte black finish. Another design difference that can greatly affect comfort is their straps.

The Oculus Rift S has a halo strap that can be adjusted using the fit wheel at the back. In contrast, the Oculus Quest 2 comes with fabric split straps that can be adjusted like a standard strap on a bag or backpack. While both are easy enough to use, we found the halo strap of the Rift S with its fit wheel to be easier to adjust.

As for their controllers, they have the same Oculus Touch controllers, with some minor aesthetic changes. They both come with wrist straps to prevent accidents and they require AA batteries.

Since the Oculus Rift S requires a PC, it is a wired VR headset that needs a USB 3.0 port and a DisplayPort out. You’ll need to be tethered to your PC while using the Rift S and this can be a bit annoying and restricts your movement. On the other hand, the Oculus Quest 2 is a standalone device so it can be used wirelessly. It can also be connected to a PC wirelessly or with a cable.

Hardware and Performance

When it comes to PC VR gaming, the Oculus Rift S has the advantage over the Oculus Quest 2.

oculus quest 2 vs rift s hardware and performance
The Oculus Rift S (right) needs to be tethered to a gaming PC while the Oculus Quest 2 (left) is a completely wireless VR headset, especially with Virtual Desktop.

The Oculus Quest 2 is a standalone VR headset that comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor to power its Android platform. It has a resolution of 1832 x 1920 per eye with a refresh rate of up to 90Hz. You’ll be able to play VR games without the need to be tethered to a PC, allowing for more freedom when it comes to movement.

As for the Oculus Rift S, you’ll need a PC that has decent specs. A PC that has at least an Intel Core i5 4590 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500x, an NVIDIA 1060 or an AMD RX 480 and at least 8GB RAM is ideal. For the VR headset itself, it has a resolution of 1280 x 1440 with a refresh rate of up to 80Hz.

One of the biggest selling points of the Oculus Quest 2 is that it is a standalone VR headset. You don’t need to have a PC to start using it which makes it more accessible for people that want to try out VR gaming. A nice feature is that you can also use it with a PC via Oculus Link and/or Virtual Desktop if you already have a gaming PC.

As for their performance when it comes to PC gaming, the Rift S has a slight advantage when it comes to visuals and responsiveness. With the Oculus Quest 2, your PC is streaming the game to the headset in addition to running the games, so there are some visual degradation and higher latency.

Controls and Tracking

Both the Oculus Quest 2 and Rift S have 6DOF motion tracking.

oculus quest 2 vs rift s controls and tracking
The Oculus Quest 2 (left) and the Rift S (right) controllers are practically the same.

The controllers included with the Oculus Quest 2 and Rift S are basically the same. These controllers come with textured grips and wrist straps so that they are secured while in use. Each controller has two face buttons (X and Y on the left and A and B on the right), a thumbstick, a trigger button and a grip button. They are powered by AA batteries. Battery life is not that great, so it is wise to invest in a pair of rechargeable batteries for these controllers. Better yet, get 2 pairs so you always have an extra pair ready to use.

Both VR headsets have 6DOF tracking (6 degrees of freedom). The tracking precision for these headsets are very good. You’ll be able to move around, reach out, lean forward, etc. All of your movements are translated very well to in-game actions.

As for your play area, you need at least a circular space with about a 3ft. radius. Of course, having a larger play area will mean more freedom of movement, but if you don’t have a large room, then a circular space with 3ft. radius will work. Both VR headsets come with a Guardian system that will help you map out your play area.

Verdict

The Oculus Rift S is great for PC gamers while the Oculus Quest 2 is perfect for people that want more versatility.

If you prefer a wireless VR experience, then you should get the Oculus Quest 2. It is a standalone VR headset that will also work with gaming PCs, albeit with a slight performance hit. Since it is wireless, it has the advantage of portability as well. For PC gamers, the Oculus Rift S is the better VR headset since it will give you better visuals, lower latency and an overall better PC VR gaming experience than the Quest 2.

FAQs

📌 Is the Oculus Rift S still worth it?

Yes, even though it is a discontinued product, it still offers an excellent PC VR gaming experience without costing an arm and a leg.

📌 Is 64GB enough for Oculus Quest 2?

Yes, but if you want future proofing, it is better to get the 256GB version. There are no difference in hardware between the 64GB and 256GB Oculus Quest 2 headsets.

📌 When will the Oculus Rift S be discontinued?

Facebook announced back in 2020 that the Oculus Rift S will be discontinued in spring of 2021.

📌 Can I use the Oculus Quest 2 wirelessly with a PC?

Yes, you’ll need to download to Virtual Desktop app to do so. Also, you’ll need a fast internet connection as well as a wireless router with a 5 GHz band.

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.