17 Best VR Accessories for a Totally Immersive Experience
Immersing yourself in the virtual world is a relatively new thing. The experience can be surprising and sometimes breathtaking as it can quickly transport you to different locales that are just not possible on other devices.
The reality, however, is that this is very much fledgling technology and the headsets are indeed impressive, and the other bits and pieces that surround it may need a little work. For example, the handheld controllers that these headsets come with are surely not the best, and these can eventually ruin your immersive experience.
Fortunately, there are a lot of alternative accessories that are available in the market that can drastically improve your overall experience. With these accessories, virtual reality can be as immersive as you want it to be.
Virtual reality headsets out-of-the-box act more like a screen rather than a total entertainment system. Getting the right accessories will allow you to unlock the potential of your headset fully. You can genuinely use it for what it’s meant for, like moving around a room with motion trackers to mirror your movements in the virtual world or controlling a car or an aircraft with the proper control devices.
Best Accessories for Your Oculus Rift
The Oculus Rift is one of the first few devices that reawakened people’s interest in VR. It relies on an external computer for processing power and delivers the images to the headset’s screens. Initially launched as a Kickstarter campaign and eventually bought by Facebook, virtual reality has further gained traction as a consumer product.
The Rift is definitely an excellent device that can bring you to new worlds just by strapping the headset on. It can surely give you an incredible VR experience. However, there is still room for improvement. To provide you with an optimal experience, you’ll need a bit of help from some clever accessories.
Here are some of the best accessories to take VR to the next level:
Retail Price: $399
As one of the first consumer-level virtual reality headsets, the drawback of the Oculus Rift is that it heavily relies on cable connections. You’re still essentially tethered to your computer, and if you’re looking at a room-scale setup, tripping on cables is not really something you’re looking forward to.
No More Wires
The TPCast wireless adapter allows you to preserve your immersion at all times. It eliminates the need for long cables in exchange for wireless signals. An advantage it carries compared with other similar options is that installing it does not require a PCIe slot. Its ingenious design uses a separate router that’s different from your home network, so it minimizes signal interference.
This solution makes it a robust accessory since you will be able to use it even with a high-performance gaming laptop. All you need is to link the dedicated router for your TPCast and your PC via an Ethernet connection for optimum results.
To send and receive signals from your VR equipment, the TPCast comes with a lightweight receiver that quickly straps on to the top of your headset. It also comes with a battery pack that you can clip on your belt to provide you with at least 5 hours of uninterrupted room-scale virtual reality gaming.
This is a major talking point when it comes to wireless VR technology, and TPCast has addressed that with a system that that offers latency of less than 2ms. This is virtually similar to what wired connections can provide. As with all wireless systems, you can experience some sort of signal drop due to interference occasionally, but not breaking immersion because of wiring concerns is undoubtedly something you can live with.
The TPCast wireless adapter is something that you should consider getting if you’re looking to maximize your VR experience with a room-scale setup. You don’t want to accidentally trip on any wires or have them wrap around you at very inconvenient times. It’s an excellent option since it does not require much in terms of hardware installation. It is a device that can deliver a genuinely seamless virtual reality experience.
Retail Price: $59
The Oculus Rift comes with an Oculus Sensor out of the box, however, having one won’t really give you a fully immersive virtual reality experience. Installing one and positioning it in front of you can only pick up limited motion and won’t be able to support a complete room-scale setup.
Getting this setup allows you to have a dedicated virtual reality room where you can walk around, and the sensors can pick up all of your movements. It is recommended you set up two near the front of the room, and add an extra one at the back, so it tracks everything no matter where you turn. You can even consider getting a fourth sensor so you can set one up for every corner for even more accurate tracking.
These sensors come with a 16-foot extension cable and plug into a USB port on your computer so you can easily connect three of these without needing to install dedicated hardware. It’s a quick process so you can enjoy a full room-scale virtual reality setup in minutes.
The Oculus Sensor is a crucial accessory for your VR experience. One is fantastic, but if you’re looking for a totally immersive experience, it is recommended to go for a three-sensor setup, even four.
Retail Price: $79
You can do a lot of things in the virtual world, and flying ships, aircraft, even spacecraft are certainly one of them. A flight stick such as the Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas 4 gives you advanced and more refined controls over your craft.
In real-life aircraft, pilots use a stick and throttle as their primary controls. The Thrustmaster gives you the same amount of realism, and much more when wearing a VR headset. It has an ergonomic design that allows you to fly just about any type of aircraft. You can also adjust the resistance of the stick to suit your preferences or if you want an authentic sim experience with a more massive craft.
The Thrustmaster flight stick does not lack control, it comes with 12 action buttons, 5 axes, a rapid-fire trigger, and a multidirectional hat switch. You can map these buttons and controls however you want for a complete and immersive gaming experience in your VR headset. You can even split the joystick and the throttle to match control positions in VR.
If you love to use your Oculus Rift to run flight sims, then this Thrustmaster controller is definitely for you. It’s affordable and designed with virtual reality sim enthusiasts in mind so you can control your aircraft or spacecraft with precision.
Best Accessories for Your HTC Vive
The HTC Vive is one of those first few consumer-ready virtual reality headsets together with the Oculus Rift. The Vive, from the get-go, has been designed as a room-scale ready device. So, it’s meant to be used standing up and walking around, out-of-the-box. Although you can also use it while you’re sitting down, when you choose to get up, you won’t need to get accessories that will enable you to do that.
The Vive is a virtual reality headset that’s comfortable to use and has taken steps to minimize nausea. It is, more or less, a complete device to take you to the virtual world. However, using it with some useful accessories will drastically improve your overall experience.
Here are some of the best accessories that will work well with the HTC Vive:
Retail Price: $299
The HTC Vive wireless adapter is the official product that will enable the headset to function as a wire-free system. Getting this installed will quickly eliminate all your cable problems so you can fully enjoy the Vive’s built-in room-scale technology. The Vive wireless adapter supports a play area that’s 20 ft x 20 ft in size, so you definitely have room to walk and move around for a truly immersive VR experience.
One particular downside of this adapter is that it requires additional hardware for it to work correctly. You will need a free PCIe slot on your computer so you can install its signal transmitter and receiver. If you’re using a laptop as your VR machine, you may need to get a little creative, so you’ll be able to use the Vive wireless adapter.
The Vive adapter is boasting near-zero latency, that means it works, and performance just like you’re wired in. Although there will be some hiccups because of interference of the wireless signal. The device promises that a majority of the time, you’ll have the same experience as if you’re wired to the computer.
As a device that enables you to go wire-free for your gaming sessions, it needs power. The adapter comes with a small battery pack that offers about 2.5 hours of juice on a single charge. For a solo session, this should be enough, but if you’re planning to host a VR party, then you’ll definitely need extra batteries to keep going. One of the notable features of the Vive wireless adapter is it can support multiple users in a single room. So, you can surely meet and play with your friends in the virtual world.
The HTC Vive wireless adapter is a great companion accessory to your VR headset. It’s not as quick to install as some other similar options out there, but it can definitely provide you with tons of immersive virtual reality fun with your friends.
5. VIVE TRACKER
Retail Price: $99
The Vive Tracker is a small hockey puck device that will add loads of immersion to your virtual reality sessions. It has a simple task to bring physical objects into the virtual world. What does that mean? Well, it’s not going to consume the object and transfer it into VR, but it simply monitors the position of the object so it can translate it into the virtual realm.
The design is ingenious, all you need to do is screw it on an object, something like a tennis racket or a toy gun, then the object will appear on your headset. This small device basically measures the device you attach it to and then renders it for you to use virtually.
The Vive Tracker is an excellent way to get your regular household objects into the virtual world. It’s also a boon for game developers since it significantly minimizes their time to come up with attachments and accessories that match their games. It’s also an advantage for consumers, since you’ll only need to invest in a single device, the tracker, and have the entire library of software and apps for the Vive at your disposal.
It’s a not in any way an alternative to the HTC Touch Controllers that the headset comes with. These are excellent complementary devices that give your virtual reality immersion experience a whole new dimension.
Retail Price: $99
It’s surprising to think that a device such as the HTC Vive VR headset did not come with its own headphones. Although it’s understandable since you can always strap on what you currently have. There are times when wearing a VR headset and gaming earphones may seem a bit too bulky and clumsy. This is where the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap comes in.
It’s a rigid plastic headband with built-in headphones that quickly replaces the Vive’s elastic strap. This makes the entire setup much more stable and comfortable to wear. It hugs and hangs on to your head better compared to elastic straps that can stretch, especially if an activity requires you to look down for extended periods of time.
Let’s not forget about the audio strap’s headphones. They’re not the best in terms of sound quality, but they are incredibly convenient. Even though you’re going to have better headphones, when you reach out for your Vive with the Audio Strap attached, you won’t be longing for them. The headphones hang down from the sides of the band. They’re also comfortable and are built to have a sufficient amount of movement to accommodate different ear sizes and positions.
The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap changes everything about HTC’s virtual reality headset. It transforms the entire package into a more secure and comfortable headgear. The built-in headphones also make it a more convenient device, so all you really need to do is grab your Vive and enjoy the virtual world.
Best Accessories for Your Sony Playstation VR
The PlayStation VR is an affordable virtual reality headset. It is by far one of the most affordable in the market if you take into account the machine you need to run it. This only requires a PlayStation 4 compared to the high-performance computer you’ll need for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
As a device that’s solely dedicated to improving your gameplay, it does come with a built-in audio system that provides 3D sounds and a microphone so you can quickly communicate with your teammates. Out-of-the-box, it’s a decent system, although it helps if you get some cool accessories that will ultimately take your immersion to the next level.
Here are some of the notable accessories that you can get with your PlayStation VR:
Retail Price: $99
The PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset is Sony’s official PS4 headset and is the perfect companion for its virtual reality gear. It delivers an excellent performance in a sleek and compact package. It’s a pretty affordable option that gives you 7.1 surround sound that’s an excellent fit for an immersive experience.
The headset is plug and play, and it plays into the hands of PS VR users since you as soon as you have set up your profile, all you really need to do is flick a switch, and you’re good to go. You won’t need to check your settings or make sure that everything is plugged in the way it should before you can start using it. Convenience is a big thing for virtual reality enthusiasts, and the Gold headset can deliver precisely that.
Since it’s designed around gaming, the headset certainly delivers excellent audio, especially with games and movies. The virtual 7.1 surround sound feature definitely helps and significantly improves immersion, especially when you have the VR headset strapped on.
The headset is compatible with other devices as well, but if you’re going to use it for your PS4 in tandem with the PS VR, then you’ll have no problem getting everything set up and connected. There is also an option for a wired connection, but in order for you to not break immersion, you’ll most likely choose the wireless option. It promises eight hours of game time on a single charge, and that’s certainly enough for multiple virtual reality gaming sessions.
The PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset is a functional, comfortable, and accessible device. It is convenient to use and deliver high-quality virtual surround sound. Definitely an excellent product if you’re a PlayStation gamer and looking to take advantage of its VR headset.
Retail Price: $73
There are simply a lot of shooter games that are available on the PlayStation VR. That’s why Sony has come up with this exciting accessory that makes those types of games more immersive, especially when you have the VR headset on. The PlayStation Aim is a controller that’s shaped like a gun but has the controls of the DualShock controller.
Looking at the Aim, it seems kind of weird but acts like a rifle analog. When you’re in the virtual world, it doesn’t really matter what it looks like as long as it has a trigger. Apart from the trigger, you also have an analog stick, and the rest of the buttons are strategically placed on maintaining the immersive experience, while still being able to use the rest of the controls.
The controller was built primarily to play immersive shooter games on the PlayStation VR. If you’re a big fan of these games, then this is an exciting addition to your controller collection. The PlayStation Aim is a lightweight and comfortable controller that has all the buttons you need, but with the additional virtual reality capability.
Retail Price: $39
The Skywin PSVR is a multi-function showcase stand that has room for all your virtual reality accessories. It’s one of the charging stands that has a spot for your VR headset. It looks small and compact, but believe it or not, it can cram almost everything in that stand. You can charge two DualShock and Move controllers, up to four devices on the spare USB ports, and a spot for your console.
It is the perfect accessory to keep all your PlayStation stuff organized in one place.
The fact that it can charge multiple controllers is a big plus. At least you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to plug in to charge all of your accessories.
If you have a PlayStation VR, it is highly likely that you also have a ton of other accessories. This is the perfect stand to keep everything organized and to make sure that all your controllers are charged up so you can just pick them up and start playing your favorite games.
Best Accessories for Your Samsung Gear VR
The Samsung Gear VR is an entry-level virtual reality headset that relies on the power of your smartphone. You basically use your phone as the screen, where special lenses on the headset give the user an immersive experience. It’s one of the best ways to try out virtual reality experiences without spending an astronomical amount on hardware.
The Gear VR is indeed one of your best options when it comes to mobile virtual reality. No other device really comes close to matching its performance and capabilities. One of the key features of mobile virtual reality headsets like the Gear VR is its portability and accessibility. This feature is also a bane since you want it compact enough that there are little things that are surely going to get left out. That’s why you need additional accessories to get the best experience possible out of the Gear VR.
Here are some of the best accessories we have rounded up that you should consider for your Samsung Gear VR.
Retail Price: $37
One of the areas where mobile virtual reality headsets need supplementing is its controllers. The latest version of the Gear VR comes with a handheld controller. However, it’s not really enough if you want to have a fully immersive experience when you have strapped the headset on. This is where an external controller like the SteelSeries Stratus XL comes into play.
The Stratus XL is a robust controller and comes with your usual set of buttons that keep it familiar, so you’re going to have no problem using it while donning the headset. An additional advantage it comes with is that it’s compatible with multiple devices so you can use this outside of playing in virtual reality with your Gear VR.
Its wireless nature, connecting via Bluetooth, makes it a perfect addition to your Gear VR accessory collection. You will definitely enjoy a lot more games with the Stratus XL compared to merely using the Gear VR’s handheld controller.
Retail Price: $225
One of the things you will be able to do with the Samsung Gear VR is to watch virtual reality content like videos and pictures. Even though it’s considered an entry-level VR headset, consuming content is one of the best experiences you will be able to do with it.
The Samsung Gear 360 VR camera takes your watching experience to the next level. Not only that you will be able to watch other people’s content, but you can also now create your own. This is where you’ll be able to appreciate what your Gear VR can do.
The Gear 360 VR allows you to capture a full 360-degree view of your surroundings. It also enables you to shoot videos in all its 4K glory so you will be able to watch it later on with your VR headset or a supported device. Now, all your videos are going to be crisp, clear, and high-quality.
The 360-degree camera comes with two cameras that capture both the front and rear views at the same time. It stitches it together so you’ll be able to share it or view it later on. It’s small and lightweight where it easily fits inside your pockets and get it at the ready for any notable moments you want to capture.
The Gear 360 has a battery life of up to 130 minutes, which is certainly enough to create your own memories. One exciting feature this camera has is its expandable storage slot where you can add a memory card of up to 256 GB so you’ll be able to capture more moments that you’ll want to watch in the future.
If you’re into creating your own virtual reality content with ease, then the Samsung Gear 360 VR camera is the perfect accessory for you. It’s not your typical accessory that you use in tandem with your Gear VR, but it will definitely take how you consume virtual reality content to the next level.
12. CHROMECAST ULTRA
Retail Price: $69
A significant disadvantage of virtual reality headsets is that it makes it difficult to share your experiences with friends. You can share experiences with friends only if they have headsets of their own. Google’s Chromecast Ultra changes all that. This small dongle allows you to stream your VR sessions to a nearby TV. You can now show your friends what’s it like to be in the virtual world without a headset.
It’s a great way to show everyone what’s it like to play a virtual reality game. They may not have the same immersive experience as you, but they will surely understand at least part of it. There are a ton of games and content that you can stream with your friends.
The Chromecast Ultra has its own set of capabilities, but streaming is undoubtedly its top feature. Now, you can stream just about anything, and this takes your Gear VR to the next level.
More Notable Accessories for any VR Device
Retail Price: $799
If you’re looking for true virtual reality immersion, you’ll want some sort of physical feedback. The Woojer Haptic Vest does precisely that and more. You can now take your VR gaming experience to the next level. It uses sound to give you the feedback that you need when you’re playing your favorite game.
It comes with eight haptic zones so you’ll be able to feel things you’ve never thought possible. You might think that this device takes some time to set up, but it’s ready to use out of the box. It’s a simple plug-and-play system where you’ll need to connect via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm audio jack so you can use it on just about any VR system.
As a vest, it needs to be comfortable to wear, and it is. It’s made of high-end breathable fabrics to keep it lightweight and get the audio systems to provide you with the best haptic feedback possible.
Whether it’s gaming or watching videos in VR, the Woojer Haptic vest, is something that can take any experience to the next level. The compatibility is excellent so you can surely use it no matter what VR device you’re using. You can even pair it via Bluetooth with your mobile phone giving you some usage with the Samsung Gear VR.
Retail Price: $79
If there’s an accessory you need to invest in first after getting your virtual reality headset, it’s a robust, heavy-duty carrying case. The Hyperkin Polygon VR protector bag is the case you’re looking for. It’s a bag that can fit just about any type of VR device from an Oculus Rift to the Gear VR. It also has space for all the other accessories that you’re going to get with your headset.
To keep your prized hardware safe, the carrying case comes with extra protective padding. This padded build provides you peace of mind so you can be comfortable knowing that everything is secure whenever you knock the bag around.
A great feature that you look for in bags is its compartments, and the Hyperkin Polygon bag definitely has them. This gives you that extra space so you can carry all the accessories that come with your VR headset. This ensures that you have enough space to fit everything you need, so you always get an immersive experience.
The bag is equipped with a 4 feet adjustable shoulder strap and gives you a choice on how to carry the bag and everything inside. The strap also makes sure that you’re always comfortable even when you’re carrying a significantly heavier load with all the accessories.
The Hyperkin Polygon protector bag is the best way to carry your VR headsets. It’s especially useful if you love to travel with your virtual reality rig so you can play anywhere in the world. The bag comes in handy if you’re into a mobile setup so you can lug everything around with ease.
Retail Price: $198
The Leap Motion controller offers a unique way for you to interact with your computer. Think of it as an upgraded version of the mouse without the wires. The technology is quite new, but mostly, what it does is it allows you to control your computer by waving your hand around.
At first glance, the controller looks unassuming since it just looks like a tiny box. Inside resides an array of infrared sensors that will eventually allow you to wave your hands around and control your computer.
Setting it up is quite simple, all you need to do is plug in one end to a free USB port on your computer and the other to the controller. You can now position the controller in a location where it will be able to see your hands, that’s preferably in front of your monitor. Once the controller is fired up, it will download the necessary software and will show you its online portal for Leap-friendly apps.
Virtual Reality Experience
Leap Motion’s software and the hardware feels like the best companion to your virtual reality headset. It’s latest hand tracking build allows you to take your VR experience to the next level. Smoother hand controls, more accurate and reliable tracking, and quick responsiveness to your motions are some of the advantages you get when you use this controller for your VR activities.
There are definitely downsides, however, since the technology is relatively new and doesn’t have the support of a lot of developers, especially those working with virtual reality. For now, some limited apps and games can take full advantage of the Leap Motion’s features.
Overall, the Leap Motion controller shows us the potential of what virtual reality will be about in a couple of years. It is an exciting piece of hardware and will definitely give you a different experience in the virtual world. It is a device that’s geared towards entertainment, and if you’re into that, then this is something that’s a perfect accessory for you.
Retail Price: $199
To be able to enjoy a high-end virtual reality gaming experience, one of the main considerations is excellent motion tracking. This is one of the downsides of mobile VR since there is no reliable tracker out there for accurate positioning. The NOLO motion tracking kit is the hardware that quickly solves all of this.
This is a system that’s designed to be used on all types of systems, from PC to mobile. One of the advantages of this type of system is its ease of use and setup. It offers a full room-scale experience coupled with six degrees-of-freedom tracking with only minor settings changes for different virtual reality rigs.
The entire system is composed of a few parts namely the Base Station, which acts as the control center of the whole operation. It also comes with two controllers that provides hand tracking and is also a means to grant you control for your games or other VR experiences. Lastly, it is equipped with a headset marker that you strap on so your movements in the real world are quickly transferred to the virtual world providing a fully immersive experience.
The great thing about the NOLO motion tracking kit is that it’s compatible with a wide variety of games, so you’ll be able to use it on your favorite virtual reality game. One of the hallmarks of the system is its accuracy as it can determine your position to within 2mm.
The NOLO motion tracking kit is definitely an accessory that you’ll want to add to your VR system. It is especially useful if you’re going to enhance your mobile VR experience as there are limited choices in that arena. But if you intend to use it with systems like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or the PlayStation VR, it can surely take them to the next level with full room-scale support and hand tracking.
Retail Price: $25
One of the problems you will face when wearing your VR headset for hours at a time is a sweaty face. Your headsets definitely have their own face covers, but when you subject them to endless hours of gaming, they are going to get soiled and dirty. What you need is a good set of replacement disposable face covers, so you can keep your headset fresh every time you decide to wear them. Disposable face covers also make it possible for you to share your headset with family and friends since you can quickly swap them out every time a new user puts them on.
These covers are durable, and the fabric is made out of soft and breathable fibers to ensure a comfortable fit. It also serves as protection so sweat, dirt, and cosmetics won’t directly affect your headset keeping it clean and hygienic at all times.
Whether you’re sharing your VR headset or using it exclusively, getting high-quality disposable face covers is essential to keep you and your equipment clean.
What Makes a Great VR Accessory?
Virtual reality accessories are a great way to enjoy all the experiences your headset provides. Whether it’s gaming or merely watching VR-ready content, it can take things to the next level.
Improves the Whole Experience
An excellent accessory should, at all times, improve the entire experience. It should boost it, so you’ll continue to use it rather than just a novelty device that you’ll forget after a few weeks. Accessories that elevate your gameplay or viewing are definitely worth keeping and using over and over again.
Does Not Break Immersion
Another hallmark of an outstanding accessory is that it helps you keep immersion. Those that provide quick wireless transitions to systems that rely on a lot of wires, such as adapters, are something worth considering. Especially if you have set up a room-scale environment, it is essential that you don’t trip on any wires, so you don’t break your immersive experience.
Provide Real-Time Feedback
Putting on your headset transfers you to the virtual world instantly where your senses might be limited. It is crucial to get accessories that will give you real-time feedback, so you know what’s happening at all times. This is where controllers come in handy, so you can take complete control all the time. They are also capable of giving you feedback with their haptic or vibrating capabilities, so your hands feel what your eyes can see, thus giving you a more immersive experience.
Get the Best VR Accessory for Your Needs
Virtual reality is undoubtedly a growing space. This means that new and better headsets come into the fore. Accessories that come with these headsets also evolve to meet the demands of users. The most important feature of any device that involves the virtual world is how immersive it is, and accessories should address these deficiencies.
As a consumer, you have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing the best accessory to improve your virtual reality experience. The most crucial part of deciding what to buy is knowing how a particular accessory can enhance your overall experience.