These Are the Best VR Headsets, Accessories, Apps, and Games to Work and Play in the Metaverse

The Meta Quest 3 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a massive improvement over its predecessor in almost every category—save price. It has improved specs across the board—slightly higher resolution, a faster processor, more RAM, and the option for up to 512 GB of internal storage—but the biggest change is mixed reality upgrade. The previous model, the Quest 2, had external-facing cameras for orienting itself in the world and a pass-through feature that lets you see the room you’re in to avoid obstacles. But the Quest 3 takes it several steps further, making immersive AR core to the experience.

For starters, the pass-through cameras can now show you a color image instead of black and white. It’s also slightly higher-resolution, so it’s easier to tell what you’re looking at. It still feels a bit like you’re looking at a 2000s-era YouTube video of your own living room, but it’s worlds better than not being able to see your surroundings at all.

This tech enables some innovative new games and experiences. One of my favorites, PianoVision, is designed to help you learn the piano by overlaying helpful information and even piano rolls onto video of your actual, physical keyboard. It turns practicing the instrument into a Guitar Hero–like experience, and it’s something that wouldn’t be possible with VR alone.

The downside: The Meta Quest 3 is more expensive than the Quest 2 ever was (even after the latter’s midlife price hike). Starting at $500, it’s on par with buying whole game consoles, so it’s not quite an impulse buy, but if you’re looking for the best stand-alone VR headset with the widest library of games and apps that support both VR and mixed reality, the Quest 3 is the headset to beat.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the company behind it all is Meta (aka Facebook). You might not like that, given Facebook’s less-than-stellar history of managing user data (not to mention how that data is used). If you’re in the market for a VR headset, the Meta Quest 3 is still our top pick. Just try not to buy too many things from the Meta Store. Stick to purchases on a more stable marketplace, like Steam (which also supports the Quest 2).

Supports room-scale VR, pass-through mixed reality, can operate with or without a PC, and comes with two controllers.

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