Notice: This post was written before the Oculus Rift S came out. However, feel free to read this post if you want to learn more about the original Oculus Rift and some tips like making sure your PC is VR Ready. I recommend checking out the Oculus Rift S because it’s about the same price and has built in sensors and a bunch of other improvements.
Ah, virtual reality… or for short, VR. I’m going to tell you exactly what I think about it. More specifically, I’m going to be reviewing the Oculus Rift Headset along with what comes bundled with it.
So for this Oculus Rift VR headset review, grab your popcorn and get yourself a soda because we are going to go right at it!
Product: Oculus Rift + Touch Virtual Reality System
Price: About $400 when I got it in 2019.
My Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Genius Stars
Are You VR Ready?
Before even thinking about getting an Oculus VR headset you need to make sure your computer is capable of handling it.
Steam has free software called SteamVR Performance Test for testing if your computer is ready for an Oculus Rift.
Even if your computer is VR ready it doesn’t mean it can run every VR game at top-notch, so always check the recommended requirements for running certain VR games.
For example a GTX 1060 is recommended for having an Oculus Rift, but some games recommend having a GTX 1070 for better playability.
That is why I love the SteamVR Performance Test because it has a scale of how ready your PC is after the test.
The following are the recommended computer specifications for an Oculus Rift:
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 480 or greater (Although I recommend a GTX 1070)
- CPU: Intel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
- Memory: 8GB RAM or greater (I recommend 16GB of RAM, but 8GB is OK)
- Video Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3
- USB Ports: 3 USB 3.0 ports + 1x USB 2.0 port
- OS (Operating System): Windows 10
So first, I’m going to tell you all about the headset itself. The screen is an OLED with an aspect ration of 128:75 and the resolution is 2160 x 1200 px, which is 1200 x 1080 px per eye.
The higher the resolution, the less likely you will see the pixels.
The Rift’s resolution isn’t high enough for your eyes to not notice the pixels and that is what people call “the screen door effect” because it looks like you are looking through a screen door.
Before I got my hands on an Oculus Rift I kept that in mind, but when I actually tried it I was surprised to see that the screen door effect people were talking about wasn’t so bad after all.
Sometimes you don’t even notice the pixels because the games are so immersive and it’s really not that bad as I thought it would be.
The Oculus Rift Headset has a 110° field of view and the field of view effects how much you can see around you.
You can see some black around your eyes, but it goes unnoticed when you get immersed into a game.
It’s really not that bad in my opinion, it almost feels like you are wearing an astronaut helmet or a scuba mask to be honest.
The headset as a whole is really light and comfortable and it only weighs 1.04 lbs. In addition there’s foam surrounding the headset when you put it against your face for optimal comfort.
The foam is replaceable and there are other companies that sell foam if it ever starts to get worn out or overused.
The headphones are decent quality as well and I’m glad they come with the Oculus Rift.
Although you can adjust the Windows volume before starting the Oculus VR Software, the headphones were really loud for me.
Luckily there is a second volume slider in the Oculus VR Software for adjusting it to make it go even lower.
Once I adjusted the volume in the Oculus application, it sounded a lot better than when it first did.
I haven’t tried removing the headphones that are attached to the Oculus Rift, but apparently you can, which is cool.
The headset is really immersive and the lenses really make you feel like you are in the game.
The first game I downloaded and played was Mission:ISS where you are on board a replica of the International Space Station.
Probably a bad choice for my first game because I didn’t have my “VR legs” yet so it made me a little sick. It wasn’t a bad game though, it was really fun and an amazing experience.
I was terrified to go outside the International Space Station and do the space walk because it feels like you are actually there, but I did it and it was such an awesome experience.
As I played various VR games I eventually got used to the motion sickness and didn’t get sick anymore.
So if you ever get into VR, be careful how intense of a VR game you start with because you could get a bit motion sick at first.
If you pick lower intensity games and then get used to them you have less of a chance of getting as sick. You can view how intense games are in the Oculus Store before downloading them.
For wearing glasses or contacts in VR, I’ve tried both and they work just fine for me. It really depends on the kind of eyes you have and how big your glasses are.
Be careful with the depth measurement part below because if your glasses are too close to the Oculus Lenses you can scratch them.
Your glasses need to be the following sizes to fit in the Oculus Rift Headset:
- Width: 142mm or less
- Height: 50mm or less
- Depth (The deepest spot from the lens to your face): Less than 50.8mm
All in all, I prefer to wear contacts when using the Oculus Rift because it’s a bit difficult to get the headset on when I wear glasses, but it is possible for me.
There are straps on the Oculus Rift for fitting it to your head and a focus slider to find the right clarity for you. Once I found the right fit for me, I never found the need to adjust the straps ever again.
There is a considerably large nose gap built on the Oculus Rift’s headset and it is a little noticeable at times, but you eventually ignore it (similar to how you ignore your nose in front of your face) once you get into a game.
The Rift has a built in microphone, which is another plus.
Sensors and Cords
Included with the Oculus Rift Headset are two sensors to track your movements in VR. An additional sensor is recommended if you want to have the best tracking.
One of my sensors couldn’t reach the other end of my room so I had to get a 6ft USB 3.0 extender.
I noticed the tracking is really good with just the two sensors, but sometimes when I turn around and go a certain spot in the room it loses track of me, but with a 3rd sensor it probably wouldn’t lose track of me in that situation.
Room scale is possible with just two sensors and not that bad in my opinion, but a 3rd sensor would make things better.
There are different player modes such as:
- Standing – Requires enough room for standing and moving arms in all directions
- Roomscale – I recommend a room size of 5ft x 5ft for this mode
You can look at the supported player modes in the Oculus Store before getting a game to see if it is compatible with your room size.
All the cords can sometimes get in the way if you are walking around or turning around a lot.
Some VR gamers have found a way around this by suspending retractable dog leashes from their ceilings and then attaching the cords to them so that they stay out of the way.
There are even some companies that sell these cable management systems to prevent the cords from being in your way as much.
Even though I have a roomscale setup, I mostly stand in place when using my VR.
The User Interface (UI)
The Oculus Application you download is really comfortable to use and unique. You can view your VR library or even go to desktop mode within the VR itself and use your computer.
Some things can be a bit confusing at first when using the interface, like figuring out how to bring up the virtual keyboard, but I eventually got the hang of things.
I did find the virtual keyboard a little annoying to use when typing things in because it’s so much slower than using an actual keyboard.
It’s awesome because in the Oculus Software you can make your home VR home and customize it to your liking. You can even watch movies or surf the web on your Oculus Rift.
There are exclusive games that can only be played through the Oculus Store like Lone Echo and The Climb. These kinds of exclusive games can’t be played with other VR headsets.
What I love about the Oculus Rift is that I can not only play exclusive games, but I can also use Steam VR with the Rift.
In addition, I was given 6 free games from the Oculus Store when I got my Oculus Rift. Those 6 games were Robo Recall, Lucky’s Tale, Quill, Medium, Dead and Buried, and Toybox.
There are a lot of free applications and games you can download to in the store as well, which is another plus.
The Oculus Rift + Touch Virtual Reality System comes with two touch controllers.
The touch controllers make the Oculus Rift a lot more immersive. These controllers are so comfortable to use and enable you to do amazing things in games.
I had my mind blown when I first entered the Oculus Rift and these controllers really added to the excitement.
It really messes with your mind at first and feels awesome because you can look around yourself in a 3D environment whilst being able to move your hands however you want.
Most games allow you to turn your hand into a fist, allow you to point, and even wave. The controllers are built with haptic technology so you can feel a sense of touch from the vibrations on the controllers.
From personal experience I don’t know how long the battery lasts because I haven’t had to change them yet. The batteries do feel like they are lasting a really long time though.
Oculus says the batteries can last up to 30 hours without haptics and with haptics they should last about 20 hours.
Batteries were included with my order and each controller takes one AA battery. So that’s a total of two AA batteries for a set of controllers.
Pros & Cons
- Comes with a built in mic
- Removable headphones included
- 2 touch controllers included
- 2 sensors included mounted to stands
- The 2 sensors can be removed from the stands they come on
- If you buy certain wall mounts, you can attach the sensors to them. I did a review on a inexpensive, solid metal wall mount here and I personally think it’s the best.
- Headset is very light
- Headset and touch controllers are comfortable
- Headset foam can be replaced
- Mind blowing immersion
- Can be used with Steam VR too
- Can fit most glasses
- Excellent and fun way to be active
- Adjustable slider for clarity
- Access to purchase exclusive games
- I got 6 free games (at the time) for purchasing the Rift
- Many other free applications and games in the Oculus Store
- High quality packaging box
- Sleek design
- 360° head tracking
- Cheaper than a lot of other VR headsets
- Good value for everything that comes with it
- Has a guardian system to help prevent you from running into/hitting objects
- Can be played sitting, standing, or room scale
- Watch videos or surf the web with the Headset
- Requires a powerful computer
- One of my sensors cords wasn’t long enough to go to the other side of the room so I had to get a 10 foot USB 3.0 extension for it.
- May need an additional sensor if you want to get the best VR experience
- Uses up a lot of USB 3.0 ports
- Cords on the floor sometimes get in the way
- Headset isn’t waterproof and too much sweat can damage it
- Requires some room for standing
- Requires a lot of room for room scale
- Pixels are noticeable at times
- Nose gap noticeable at times
- Intense games can cause motion sickness
- Playing too long can cause headaches
- Sometimes a bright white glare when you look at an entirely white background
- Guardian system only works with a certain room size
- Some games require standing or room scale to be playable
What I Think About it
The Oculus Rift + Touch Virtual Reality System has a few minor things I personally don’t like, but all in all I think it’s worth it and an awesome piece of technology.
It’s hard to explain, but it was so weird to use for the first time because I could feel the motion even though I wasn’t moving. It almost felt like the feeling you get when you are falling in a dream.
It’s really fun to use and it blew my mind when I first tried it. I really think that VR is headed in the right direction and is going to be the future of modern PC gaming.
I wasn’t expecting the Oculus Rift to be this good, but it was pretty good in my opinion.
Well I hope whatever you plan on doing that all goes well. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments and happy gaming!