What You Will (& Might) Need To Buy For The VR Experience

VR has arrived. Take the fast track route to learn what you'll need to buy to enjoy virtual experiences.

What You Need To Buy VR
VR Headset

The Headset

The fundamental element of the whole VR experience. Without a headset, there's no VR.

There are three main types, defined depending on which hardware they work in combination with - either Desktop PCs, Smartphones, or Gaming Consoles.

Your buying decisions need to be based around which of these will work best for you, both from a quality of experience and pricing perspective.

Read more on the VirtualReality101 headset buying guide.

VR Accessories


Most accessories are not critical for a worthwhile experience, but many can deliver definite enhancements

You can expect obvious accessories such as controllers to be included with most purchases of headsets, but when it comes to the add-ons you're almost certainly going to be paying.

At a lower price level good quality headphones are fairly important, but moving on to the accessories designed to increase the sensory experience can be expensive.

Items as treadmills, gloves, and bodysuits will all involve a significant hit on the credit card.

Read more on the VR accessories that enhance your experiences.

VR Ready PC

Desktop PC's & Laptops

The headset on its own doesn't necessarily seal the deal.

If you've chosen a smartphone headset, all you need is a smartphone to get started.

But headsets that work with PCs need a lot more processing and graphics power to give a great experience.

You may to buy need a high powered PC - known as a VR Ready PC - or possibly just a more effective graphics card if you already have a high end machine.

Ready for VR laptops are thin on the ground, but time will surely see the release of some powerful models that can do the job effectively.

VR Games

Games & Content

There's a lot of free VR content available, ranging from a great selection of 360 degree video at sites such as Youtube and Facebook to various apps. Access to these apps normally comes free with the headset you've chosen.

Much of the free material though is more promotional in nature, designed to give a beginner type introduction to VR.

As you move into the more complex games and premium quality virtual reality video, it's going to involve some cost.

This shouldn't be a problem given you've already laid out on the hardware. The games and other experience type videos will be well worth the money.

Read more on the various forms of VR content.

Buy VR

To get the best out of the new breed of VR entertainment – including games, experiences, and movies – there are a handful of items you’re either certainly or most likely to need to buy.

On top of that are a few more which you might need to consider buying, but are arguably not critical to getting a good taste of virtual reality.

Essential items include VR headsets themselves, and potentially either a smartphone if you’ve chosen a smartphone compatible headset, or a high powered PC or laptop for those headsets that need either of these to work.

You may also need to buy the console for games-console powered devices, though if you’re taking this route it might be safe to assume you already have one.

Aside from this there are a range of accessories which may enhance the experiences, though many won’t be critical.

And of course you’ll need software – mainly games or apps. Content is king as they say, but with virtual reality the content will come. There is plenty of free content, with much more to come.

As the starting point to VR, it’s the hardware that’s going to be prime focus of any buying decisions.


Buying To Create

We’ve seen what you’ll need to be thinking about buying to enjoy virtual reality, but creating your own will put the experience into a different league. Well, if it’s done effectively, anyway.

Once you’re up and running with the equipment that gives you the VR experience, it’s only a short step to making your own experiences.

To do that we’re once again moving into both the hardware and software realms.

Hardware is going to come in the form of cameras. Made for VR cameras to be precise, also known as 360 degree cameras. These have multiple lenses that will shoot video footage from multiple angles at the same time, delivering the 360 degree end result.

And once you get involved in shooting VR video footage, it’ll soon become apparent that investing in a tripod will become a necessary extra expense.

From a software perspective, getting access to good quality video editing software will end up with your videos looking the best possible.