While many high-end VR headsets are hard to find and selling at inflated prices, a lot of mid-range sets are flying under the radar, which is great for you if you want to save some cash! The following are the best VR experiences that can be had for under $200.
The Top-Rated VR Headsets Under $200
|Editor's Pick||VR Headset||Score|
|Top Pick||Samsung Gear VR||91%|
|Runner Up||Zeiss VR One Plus||90%|
|Best for Console||PlayStation VR (Refurbished)||90%|
|Best Hardcore||Lenovo Explorer MR||90%|
|Runner Up Hardcore||Dell Visor||88%|
Top Pick: Samsung Gear VR (Mobile)
- Go anywhere, do anything, be anyone with virtual reality
- Complete 360 immersion with a wide 101o field of view
- New social features to interact with friends in VR -watch a movie/TV together, play a game or just chat in a virtual world
- Seamless integration w/ Samsung Gear 360 to create your own VR content
- Compatibility: Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+
The Samsung Gear VR is, bar none, the best VR experience that can be had at a sub-$200 price point. This sleek set, co-developed with the folks over at Oculus, is capable of playing all of the great VR games available for Android via the Play Store as well as Samsung’s own storefront. Many of these titles are even free, adding to the epic value!
There is one caveat: the Samsung Gear VR is driven by (and therefore requires) a mobile device from the Galaxy line. But don’t fret – if you don’t have one, you can still get the headset and a pre-owned compatible device (such as a Galaxy S6) for well under $200!
Frankly, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to snag an extra mobile device for dedicated use with the Samsung Gear VR, as you won’t have to bother with swapping the phone around, receiving phone calls while gaming and other inconveniences.
If you’re looking for a truly awesome VR experience without breaking the bank, Samsung Gear VR is the best choice!
Runner-Up: Zeiss VR One Plus (Mobile)
- Experience the world of 3-dimensional videos and games
- Your smartphone is the screen
- Universal smartphone tray is compatible with most iOS and Android smartphones (must have screen size between 4.7" and 5.5", including iPhone 6/6S/7/8 and iPhone 6 Plus / 7 Plus 8 Plus and most Samsung Galaxy/Android smartphones
- Hundreds of apps and free videos available, including ZEISS and Google Cardboard
The Zeiss VR One Plus is a sleek, well-made VR headset from the storied lens-maker that works with just about any smartphone under 5.5 inches! This does include iPhones as well, though iOS users should probably consider snagging a cheap Android phone for VR as there are not very many VR games and apps available on the App Store.
While the Zeiss VR One Plus is ready to watch videos and use many apps out-of-the-box, it doesn’t include a controller. The great news is that, because of the low price of the headset, you can get a great controller such as a Razer Kishi or Moga XP5 and still come-in under budget!
While this option will require a bit more planning on your part, it will be well worth it when you’re lost in great VR experiences without having lost too much of your hard-earned cash!
Best for Console: PlayStation VR (Refurbished)
- This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
- Contains: PlayStation VR headset, Processor unit, PlayStation VR headset connection cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, Stereo headphones, AC power cord, AC adaptor, PlayStation VR Demo Disc
- Games Come First - With gamers in mind, PlayStation delivers a new world of unexpected gaming experiences through PlayStation VR.
- Just Plug and Play - Getting into PlayStation VR couldn't be easier. Just plug the PlayStation VR headset and your PlayStation Camera into your PlayStation 4 system. Sold separately.
- Advanced VR Display - Seamless visuals keep you connected to the virtual world through an expansive 5.7” OLED 1080p display running at up to 120 frames per second.
The PlayStation VR (Refurbished) is the best VR experience that can be had on a budget, and without a gaming PC! While there is the requirement that you already have a PlayStation 4 and a controller, that’s it! Some games do require the PS Move controllers, but the vast majority play great with a simple Dualshock 4 – however, it is completely possible to get a set of the dedicated motion controllers as well and still stay under budget!
Refurbished units are cleaned and tested to make sure everything works as great as it did the day they came off the factory line – and they’re a great choice for console gamers on a budget!
Best Hardcore: Lenovo Explorer MR
- MIXED REALITY HEADSET: Taking just minutes to set-up, the Lenovo Explorer headset combines the thrill of VR with a phenomenal sense of presence; tour top travel destinations, be the hero in the most exciting games, plus more all from the comfort of your own home
- COMFORTABLE DESIGN: Journey far and wide in real comfort with this adjustable virtual reality headset; at less than one pound, it's light and perfectly balanced so you'll hardly notice you're wearing it
- MULTI-DEVICE INTERACTION: Lenovo Explorer gives your four ways to interact with your virtual world: use the Lenovo motion controllers, your keyboard and mouse, Xbox controllers or Cortana digital assistant for new ways to work, play and explore
- ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES: Windows Mixed Reality enables you to transform your laptop or PC into something out of the ordinary with access to over 20,000 Microsoft apps, including the latest games, entertainments, and Microsoft Office Suite
- BOX INCLUDES: Lenovo Explorer Headset for Windows Mixed Reality, cable, quick start guide and warranty (motion controllers sold separately)
The Lenovo Explorer MR is the absolute best choice for serious gamers on a serious budget! This Windows Mixed Reality set is one of relatively few headsets that are capable of playing killer apps such as Half-Life: Alyx on Steam for PC – and can now be had for under $200 if you’re comfortable buying a gently-used VR headset, that is.
Frankly, the trade-off is absolutely worth it if your PC is VR-ready. The Lenovo Explorer has been sold-out in stores for some time, presumably because consumers didn’t realize how good this machine is until it was too late to find them anywhere!
If you’re looking for an experience that’s comparable to Oculus Rift or HTC Vive but can’t fit those premier sets into your budget, Lenovo Explorer is absolutely the best choice for you!
Runner-Up Hardcore: Dell Visor
- Windows mixed reality designed to deliver a truly immersive mixed reality/virtual reality experience
- Gorgeous 360° views 1440x1440 resolution per eye and a 90 Hz2 refresh rate
- Exceptional comfort weight-balanced, adjustable headband and premium face cushions
The Dell Visor fits into this list in much the same vein as the previous pick – it gets your foot in the door of top-end VR gaming at a super-low price!
As this headset has been discontinued by the manufacturer, they’re getting harder and harder to find – but luckily for you, most people are unaware that this headset, which can be found for well under $200 dollars, will also play most VR games available on Steam!
If you can’t track down a Lenovo Explorer, or if you just want to save a few extra bucks, the Dell Visor is a solid choice!
What to Look for in a VR Headsets Under $200
While it’s tough to squeeze a great VR experience out of $200, it is totally possible! Focus on the following to ensure you’re getting what you need:
Your search must be predicated on what pre-existing hardware you have to work with! If you have a gaming rig, you’ll want to go with a headset that works with your PC to play Steam VR games. If you have a PS4, you just need one more item to dive into VR! If you have a recent, mid-range or better mobile device, go with the devices that slot them in!
If you don’t have any of the requisite hardware – or if you have multiple options to choose from – your baseline concern should be deciding which platform has the games that you want to play! Steam on PC is hands-down the only way to go, if you have capability to run PC games in VR. PS4 does have a wide array of great games as well, in addition to some killer exclusives. Mobile VR will have less to choose from, but does have a great variety of free/cheap casual experiences to offer.
Another thing to consider is the weight of these headsets. Whereas the PC/PS4 headsets are relatively light and comfortable, the mobile headsets house your phone while in VR and can be considerably heavier if you have a large or high-end device. Considering that it’s always advised to take frequent breaks from VR – combined with the fact that it drains your battery pretty fast – this won’t be much of an issue for most, but it’s something to consider!
Last Updated on March 1, 2021 by Thomas Bush