The Holiday season for 2018 is finally upon us and with it comes lots of deals, a shopping frenzy, and plenty of new toys and gadgets under the Christmas tree. If you picked up a new PSVR headset on Black Friday last month or have plans to get one this holiday season, then we’ve got you covered with our buying guide full of recommendations for the PSVR headset, its top accessories, and the best games on the device so far after over two years.
We’ve separated the guide with nice, big headers so it should be easy to navigate!
PSVR Headset Buying Guide
Sony’s PSVR headset is now officially two years old! Over those two years hundreds of games have hit the platform and its earned the rank as the most popular non-mobile VR device on the market with over three million units sold. That’s a big achievement. Despite the limited tracking and relatively under-powered hardware in comparison to expensive gaming PCs, the PSVR is a great platform full of creativity.
Which PSVR Model To Get?
You may not realize it, but there are actually two models of the PSVR headset. We covered both in our full, in-depth PSVR headset review. The original model (CUH-ZVR1) has a cord extending from the headset down to a breakaway connection with volume controls, mic mute, and a power button inline along the cord itself. There is also no HDR-passthrough, meaning if you want to play games with HDR settings on your PS4 Pro and 4K TV, you have to unplug the processor unit to do so.
However, the newer model PSVR headset (CUH-ZVR2) is the new standard model in all modern bundles and packages. This device has the volume, mic, and power buttons on the headset itself underneath the visor and along the headstrap, as well as a single long cord that goes all the way from the headset to the processor unit directly. Finally, this device does allow for HDR-passthrough, so you don’t need to unplug the PSVR to use HDR settings on your PS4 Pro and 4K TV.
Visually and in terms of performance/tracking these devices are identical. If you don’t have a 4K TV or a PS4 Pro then you have zero reason to upgrade, but if you do own those more advanced pieces of tech then you might want to for convenience. If you are just now looking to buy a device, now you know the difference.
You Need The PS4 Camera
Regardless of which model or bundle you buy, you need to make sure you have the PS4 Camera otherwise you cannot use the PSVR at all, whatsoever. You can have either the old, original PS4 camera (shown above, it’s rectangular) or the newer circular model — they’re literally identical in terms of technology and performance. Whichever comes with your headset is fine, or if what you bought does not include a camera then you must also buy one.
There are lots of great PSVR bundles out there. Most recently are the two bundles shown above, which include either both Astro Bot and Moss (excellent top-down view third-person platformers that really show the creativity of the platform) or both Creed and Superhot VR (two super-active motion controlled games that are guaranteed to get you sweating). Either bundle is a great choice, but if you can’t decide then I actually recommend the bundle that comes with Move controllers. This way you have them for other VR games that use the devices (like Job Simulator or Skyrim VR) and you can just buy Astro Bot and/or Moss separately.
Should You Get A PS4 Pro For The PSVR?
The honest answer about a PS4 Pro is…maybe? It really depends. If you have a 4K TV already and you can take advantage of the Pro’s other benefits for non-VR games, then probably. But if you don’t have a 4K TV and you’re just looking into a Pro for its VR benefits, then it’s a little more up in the air. While the Pro undeniably does improve visuals and make PSVR games overall run and look a bit better, the bump in quality isn’t dramatic in most cases.
If visuals aren’t the most important thing to you and you don’t feel like spending a few hundred extra dollars, then don’t. You could put that money towards other things on this list!
PSVR Accessories Buying Guide
That’s not it though, just because you have a fancy PSVR headset doesn’t mean you’re ready to dive into the immersive realm of virtual reality just yet. You need accessories of course!
All PS4 owners already have a DualShock 4 gamepad which can be used with most VR games. Titles like Moss, Astro Bot, The Persistence, Resident Evil 7, and lots of others are all gamepad-focused games so you’re all set there. But what if you want to reach out and touch the digital world? That’s where the PS Move comes into play.
Lots of bundles come with Move controllers now, so I’d recommend one of those just to get the most value, but if you don’t have them already then you definitely should get them so you can play some of the best games in the list down below.
Beyond that you absolutely need to get a PS Aim controller to play the best PSVR shooters the way they were intended. Games like Firewall Zero Hour, Farpoint, Arizona Sunshine, and DOOM VFR are infinitely better when played with the PS Aim. You can even grab a bundle that includes Firewall with the PS Aim controller for the price of a single, standard non-VR game.
There is a nice assortment of add-ons you can buy for PSVR as well. Pictured above are the Bionik Mantis on-ear headphones that clip onto the headband of the PSVR headset and hang down over your ears just like the Rift or Vive’s Deluxe Audio Strap. All you do is clip them on and plug it into the headphone jack. The PSVR has a built-in microphone so you’re good to go and don’t need to fuss with headphones every time you use the device anymore.
Additionally, if you’re a big racing fan and enjoy games like Gran Turismo: Sport or DriveClub VR, then I highly recommend the Thrustmaster T300RS GT Edition racing wheel and pedals combo. The force feedback is great, it’s got a hefty weight to everything, and feels excellent in your hands.
If you’ve got the aforementioned PS Aim Controller then we highly recommend investing a bit of cash to improve it with a stock. The Aim Controller is an excellent peripheral, but it’s too short. There is no stock at the back of the rifle to cradle in your arm, so we recommend grabbing one of these if you’re big into VR shooters.
Finally, for storage, this is a great deluxe case that will let you bring it along to other people’s homes to demo VR (that’s the only way to truly convince someone of the magic).
PSVR Docks And Stands
When it comes to stands/docks we have two main recommendations: one is based on style and one is based on function. If you want a super stylish and classy-looking stand, then look no further than the Cybust, pictured above. It looks like the disembodied head of an enemy from Superhot VR, which is fitting. They’re nice and hefty, making them great for propping up your multi-hundred dollar set of goggles for all to see.
But if you’re looking for something more functional, that’s the PowerA Charge & Play Display Station. This thing is excellent. Not only does it have a hook for your PSVR to sit on, but you can clip the DualShock 4 and two Move controllers into the sockets so they charge when not in use, ensuring your battery never dies mid-game.
Best PSVR Games Buying Guide
Now we’ve reached the big finale of our guide: the very best PSVR games available! We split this into two sections: free games and paid games. The free games are a great starting point since it will help you figure out what types of experiences you like best in VR before shelling out cash for premium products.
Best Free PSVR Games, Experiences, and Demos
Let’s keep this simple: we’ll list the game/experience, summarize it, and give you a link to learn more. These aren’t in-depth reviews here:
Rec Room: This is a social VR app that drops you into cartoon gymnasium where you can dress up, hang out with friends, and play a variety of games like dodgeball, paintball, and even go on quests to slay monsters and fight pirates. It’s one of the most varied content lineup in all of VR and it’s totally free.
Playroom VR: This is a small, free collection of short demo-style experiences that are designed around local cooperative and competitive gameplay. It’s especially excellent for parties and a must-download for all new PSVR owners.
Dark Eclipse: Do you like playing MOBAs like League of Legends or DOTA2? Then check out Dark Eclipse, it’s totally free and made for VR. While not the best game ever, it’s decent. Here’s our full review.
The Last Guardian VR: The Last Guardian is a moving and mesmerizing game and its VR spin-off, while brief and limited, is a glimpse at what it could be like to visit that magical world.
Spider-Man: Homecoming VR: If this weren’t free it wouldn’t be on this list because it’s not that great, but we’ll take any chance to be Spider-Man a little that we can get.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Jackal Assault Mission: A short but very high-quality space-based dogfight mission. Very intense and fun for what it is.
Free Game Demos
Moss: Definitely one of the best VR games to date and undoubtedly one of the very best third-person VR game so far, Moss is charming, exciting, and a blast to play — even if it is far too short. Read our full review and check out the demo.
Apex Construct: The VR market is full of short wave shooters and social VR sandboxes without much content, but Apex Construct is an actual single player story with a fun bow and arrow mechanic to play through. Read our full review for more.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood: Part horror game and part gallery shooter, Rush of Blood is still one of the best all-thrill and no-chill experiences out there. It’s just full-speed terrifying from start to finish. Read our full review.
Free Non-Game Experiences
Other Free Non-Game Apps
YouTube: This one is so obvious it’s easy to forget, but there are tons of great 360 and 3D videos on YouTube that are a blast to watch inside the headset.
Within: Sort of like YouTube, but specifically for VR content. Lots of cool videos to watch.
Littlstar VR Cinema: Similar to Within — more free video content!
Jaunt: Yep, you guessed it. More free VR content.
NextVR: Like sports? Check this out.
Best Paid PSVR Games and Experiences
We have a whole entire list dedicated to our favorite PSVR games, you can see that here. It’s constantly updated to reflect what we think are the current top 9 best available. If you scroll down to the bottom you can see past entries for other recommendations as well.
For now, I’ll just highlight a few stand outs:
Astro Bot: Rescue Mission: He’s an adorable little robot and he’s the mascot the PSVR deserves. This 3D platformer is part Mario and part VR genius. Read our full review!
Beat Saber: You probably know about this one already. It’s DDR with lightsabers and it’s amazing. Read our full review!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR: One of the largest and most expansive video game worlds ever crafted, but in VR. This one is a no-brainer. Read our full review!
Firewall Zero Hour: This is basically Rainbow Six Siege in VR and with a PS Aim controller it’s just pure magic. Read our full review!
Remember though: check here for the full list.
There you go! This concludes your 2018 buyer’s guide to the PSVR. If you’ve got any questions at all