Jonathan Story

Video gaming has been around for over 50 years now, in all different shapes and sizes, be it action, adventure, puzzle, or horror. New ideas have come and gone, consoles invented and outdated, and players have always asked for more. But what has not been around for all that long is the relatively new breakthrough in gaming technology: Virtual Reality gaming.

Virtual Reality gaming really first caught on when a 17-year-old in Long Beach, California named Palmer Luckey invented the first prototype for the first reliable gaming VR headset, known today as the all-powerful Oculus Rift, which has just now released its next generation of VR headset, called the Crystal Cove (awesome!). As VR gaming got popular, and hundreds of games started and are still adapting to VR playability, the cost for VR gaming headsets has also spiked in the past couple years, with a good Oculus Rift set now costing over $600!

I know, for one, that six hundred dollars is not easy to come by, so I have compiled a small list of VR alternatives that will upgrade your gaming experience by 100% while keeping your wallet intact.


  1. The Samsung Gear VR

Samsung has invented a smaller, slightly less quality (780 pixels per eye) VR set to the Oculus Rift for gaming, watching videos, or just goofing around, and it only costs $99. That’s a heck of a lot cheaper than the 600$ minimum demanded by the Rift. Reviews have always been good for this product, and it has a very good picture resolution, so obviously, the Samsung Gear VR is a steal. And, it’s a Samsung product, so an added perk is that it is easy to use and doesn’t require any special computer. The downside? It’s a Samsung Product (kind of a catch-22), and thus requires you to own a Samsung phone for best use.

  1. Zeiss VR One

The Zeiss is a relatively new VR headset entry, and is a strange one as well because Zeiss originally made Camera glass for lenses. But, seeing as this headset gets only good reviews and is made from higher-quality glass than the Rift is, it has an amazing clarity in its pictures and can work with almost any phone, not just Samsun or Apple. At a low price of $99, this headset is for those who just want to plug-in-and-play!

  1. Fove

Although Fove has technically not been released yet, it’s looking like one of the most impressive gaming VR sets available today. With intense eye-tracking technology, this headset can pinpoint exactly where you are looking at in a game, and make an object behave differently depending on where you are looking (this one is awesome for Minecraft, I’m told). A little more expensive than the other sets, but still much cheaper than the Rift, this set comes at the price of $375 for early backers.

  1. Star VR

The Star is one of those systems that we don’t know if it’s going to be good or not, as it has not been released yet, but it looks very promising. With a viewing range of 210 degrees (as opposed to the average 100 degrees) this headset beats almost every gaming headset available in the market in almost every category (theoretically)! This headset was designed with playing almost any Steam game in VR, and since Steam is such a huge gaming industry, who wouldn’t like that?

  1. HTC Vive

How can we talk about VR sets and not talk about the Vive? The Vive is the ultimate gaming experience, and the ratings for this VR set are completely through the roof. Compatible with almost any Steam, app, or VR console game, the Vive not only tracks your eyes and gives you an impressive 90 fps, 1080 HD gameplay, but allows you to walk around and use your hands and feet to interact with your virtual environment, a feature that no other headset can boast (even the rift only allows you to use your hands). This baby is all-immersive, but it is also very expensive, at about $800. Ouch. But, I couldn’t go through a VR article and not mention the ‘Hype’ Vive.


Well, that’s my top 5 alternatives to the Oculus Rift headset for gaming, video watching, or just doing Virtual Reality. I hope this article helps you in your quest for treasure, victory, or cinema-watching experience!


Note: Some people have talked about the Playstation VR, but honeslty, for the price of $500, you might as well get yourself a Oculus Rift or a Star, which are only a hundred bucks more and are way more powerful and can play on more systems.