5 Best Virtual Reality Gaming Accessories
Once a focus only of tech enthusiasts, virtual reality (VR) gaming is now becoming a mainstream pastime. In fact, by the end of the year, shipments of AR (augmented reality) and VR headsets are expected to hit 13.9 million units.
Already ahead of the curve? If you’re a VR gaming fan and you’re looking for new ways to level up your gaming experience, it’s time to add some VR gaming accessories to your collection.
Here are our five favorite VR accessories:
1) VR Covers
Wearing a VR headset definitely makes the gaming experience more exciting—but it can also make it a little uncomfortable.
It’s not unusual for VR gamers to experience skin irritation when playing with a VR headset for a long time. Think about it: If you’re sweating up a storm playing your favorite game for a few hours, it’s bound to get a little dirty and uncomfortable. (And let’s be honest. The best VR games are the ones that make you sweat a little.)
A VR cover can make the whole experience more comfortable.
Usually made out of silicone, VR covers add some extra padding to your traditional VR headset. Not only does this make your headset more comfortable, but it’s more sanitary, too. Rather than your headset soaking up all that sweat and basically just holding it in its padding to fester and smell, a silicone VR cover provides a sweat barrier. When you’re done playing, simply wipe the silicone VR cover to remove the sweat.
Bonus: By providing an extra layer, VR covers also inadvertently help to block out any tiny rays of light that eek through into your headset and compromise your sense of immersion.
2) VR Gloves
Obviously, the goal of VR gaming is to make the experience as immersive as possible. But it can be a little hard to lose yourself in the action when you’re holding onto a plastic controller.
One way to amp up the action and truly lose yourself in the game is with VR gloves.
VR gloves are designed to match each motion of your real hands during the VR gaming experience so you can see your own hands in VR environments. They work with hand and multi-angle finger tracking technology, providing a realistic touch sensation that makes the game more appealing and life-like. With VR gloves, you can touch and control virtual objects with your very own hands—not a controller. In some games, you can even feel the weight of objects when lifting them.
VR gloves are some of the most exciting gaming accessories because they provide a quick way to experience deep VR immersion. As you look to add VR gloves to your PC gaming setup, make sure you search for a pair that is device agnostic so you can play across different hardware whenever you want.
Ready to take it to the next level? Fully immerse yourself in your favorite VR games with a haptic vest or suit.
With one of these special vests or suits, you can experience touch sensations, physical exertions, weight, the roughness or smoothness of an object, and even hot and cold sensations. Whether you’re slaying dragons or you’re engaged in a covert mission, the right haptic vest or suit can make it feel like you’re really doing these things in real life.
For example, suppose you’re playing a shooting game and you get shot in the game. In a regular game, you’ll know you got shot because you’ll hear sound effects and/or see some kind of on-screen indicator. But with the right vest or suit, you can actually feel the impact. It doesn’t hurt; instead, it’s often more a vibration.
Besides being just plain fun, this level of immersion can also help you play better. If you’re shot from behind in the game, for example, you’ll feel it with a haptic suit or vest—and you’ll know you need to turn around to face your enemy.
When you shop for this kind of VR gaming accessory, you have options. While both kinds of accessories use sensors and haptics to provide feedback, a full-body suit will transmit the position and posture of your entire body in VR for a more immersive experience.
4) Cleaning Pen
Like it or not, VR gaming isn’t all fun and games. That’s right—you also need to take the time to maintain and clean your gear.
That’s why, if you’re a serious gamer, your lineup of PC gaming accessories should include a cleaning pen.
Whether we want to admit it or not, VR headsets get dirty. Over time, oil, dust, sweat, and dirt all build up and collect on the headset. On top of that, lenses are often a trap for pesky fingerprints that affect your line of sight in the most crucial moments of the game.
A good cleaning pen will help you keep all your VR gaming accessories clean so you can enjoy them to the fullest every time you play. With the cleaning pen’s brush, you can sweep away particles that collect in the headset’s small nooks and crannies. You can also use the pen to clean the lens. And because cleaning pens are specifically designed for VR headsets, you can have confidence that they will effectively clean the lens without scratching it or damaging its coating. Plus, these cleaning pens are often designed with circular shapes so you can easily clean every last edge of the lens.
It’s not the most exciting VR gaming accessory, but a cleaning pen is an investment you’ll be glad you made.
5) VR Chair
Imagine: You’re all ready for a day of VR gaming. You’ve got your VR headset, your VR gloves, your haptic vest, and … your desk chair?
Complete your VR gaming experience with a VR chair that takes full-body immersion to the next level.
With a traditional VR headset, you’re restricted to only head movement. Your head can move sideways, up, and down, but your body remains seated. Sure, if you’re wearing a haptic vest or suit, you can feel new vibrations, even gunshots and knife slashes. But for games where the action is taking place behind a wheel (e.g., in a car, in a spaceship, or in other aerial experiences), your regular desk chair or couch just won’t cut it.
Instead, new VR chairs often include a footplate. This adds a whole new level of immersion. For example, during racing games, you can engage directly with the gas and the brake pedal to feel like you’re really behind the wheel.
VR gaming is rapidly advancing, and today, it’s about more than just the headset. Make your VR gaming experience as immersive as can be with a complete lineup of VR gaming accessories.
About Dan VanPatten: Dan is a full-time technology writer with interests in gaming, gadgetry, and all things PC tech related. He writes about a variety of topics including technology news, product reviews, and software. His experience stems from years of experience writing & producing content for technology newsletters & publications.