With the rise of virtual reality, two chief contenders have been vying for dominance: Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive. Both of these PC-based peripherals require fairly sturdy machines. Each has a robust set of software options for you to use in virtual reality. But which one stands as the best over the other?
In this guide, we’re going to compare the two virtual reality devices so that you can fully understand which might be the best for your VR experience. To start, let’s take a look at what each offers when it comes to hardware specs.
Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive: Specs
|Product Name||Type of Headset||Price Range||Resolution||Field of View||Sensors & Controls||Platform||Our Rating|
|Oculus Rift||Tethered||$$||2160 x 1200||110-degree||Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Gyroscope, External tracking, Oculus Touch, Xbox One Controller||Oculus Home (PC)||4.5 / 5 Stars|
|HTC Vive||Tethered||$$||2160 x 1200||110-degree||Gyroscope, Accelerometer, lighthouse laser tracking system, front-facing camera, and modified Steam controller||SteamVR, VIVE||4.7 / 5 Stars|
As you can see from the stats, the two devices are relatively similar. Both provide a lot of fun VR gaming opportunities for players. Some gamers prefer the HTC Vive because of the built-in compatibility with the Steam Platform (Valve, the producers of Steam collaborated with phone giant HTC to create the VIVE).
This isn’t to say that the Oculus Rift doesn’t have robust gaming options; in fact, games like “Airmech: Command” and “Please, Don’t Touch Anything” are Oculus exclusives that have received a lot of attention. That being said, HTC has expressed dismay at the concept of exclusivity and wants both platforms to have access to the same titles.
Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive: Pros & Cons
Oculus Rift Pros
Oculus Rift Cons
HTC Vive Pros
HTC Vive Cons
|There are several excellent exclusive Rift games for gamers to try out;||It’s not uncommon for the headset to disconnect from your computer;||HTC Vive has room scale tracking, which means that the device uses two tracking stations in your room so that the Vive can actively track your positioning;||The Vive is definitely the more expensive of the two;|
|The Oculus Rift is capable of video with a refresh rate 90Hz; this is excellent for providing realistic action and immersing you in the game. It’s also fast enough to prevent motion sickness;||There are some tracking issues with the Rift;||The HTC Vive feels really comfortable on the head;||Its setup process can be difficult;|
|The Rift controllers have haptic feedback, which makes things like grasping and interacting with objects in the gaming world feel more realistic;||Room-scale tracking was only just recently added, so many games weren’t built with it in mind;||The Vive is partnered directly with Valve, which is the owner of one of the most popular platforms for gaming;||You need a beefier computer to run the Vive;|
Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive: Design & Requirements
|Oculus Rift||HTC Vive|
When it comes to design and system requirements, both of these VR headsets vary somewhat. In fact, when it comes to design, both have some major pluses and minuses that you may want to consider. First, if you are a hardcore gamer that has a tendency to play for hours at a time, you may want to consider the Oculus; it has a great strap system that tends to feel better during longer sessions.
On the other hand, the Rift has been known to be a bit hotter to wear when taxing the hardware. Moreover, it is not as comfortable for those that wear glasses. In addition, the Vive seems to have a slightly more comfortable overall design, but doesn’t have a great strap for longer play. The Vive is also a bit heavier, but both headsets won’t weigh your head down too much.
When it comes to requirements, you’ll need strong computers for both headsets, but the Vive definitely requires slightly better hardware. For the Rift, you’ll need an Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater CPU, 8 GB+ of RAM, and Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer. Insofar as GPU, you’ll also need a GTX 970 or above, but a Pascal series graphics card is recommended to avoid “asynchronous spacewarp,” which is a tech that can curb the Rift’s performance in favor of framerate.
For the Vive, you’ll need a Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 GPU, Intel i5-4590, AMD FX 8350 equivalent or better, and 4 GB of RAM, which is actually less than the Rift. You’ll also need to be running Windows 7 SP1 or better.
Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive: Controls & Display
When it comes to display, both of these products provide a similar experience. They have the same resolution of 2160 x 1200 and each has the same field of view. These also both pack in OLED displays, which provide some excellent visuals acuity, and as long as you’re meeting the system requirements and run on a Pascal 1060 or better, you should have the 90Hz framerate that will provide the most immersion.
When you consider controls, the Oculus has had a major upgrade in their control scheme when they changed up to the Touch controller. The Touch controller has some excellent features like haptic feedback, gesture mapping, and use the same tracking tech used in the headset. It’s a shame that the system originally shipped with Xbox One controllers because these aren’t as VR-ready as the Touch units.
HTC Vive uses the Vive controllers, which are very responsive and work well with the room tracking to provide a true sense of immersion. They come with plenty of input methods like grip buttons, a trackpad, and a dual-stage trigger. One charge lasts for about 6 hours.
Both VR options now come with room-scale tracking, which is useful. That being said, with the range of movement and the unique hardware of the Vive controller, HTC wins out.
Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive: Setup
When it comes to setup, the Oculus Rift has a very good setup tool that you can download when you’re ready to hook up your Rift. For physical hookup, you’ll need a HDMI and two USB 3.0 ports. After these physical connections are made, you’ll need to set up the controllers and the remote control for the device, which is really easy when you use the setup tool.
The software will ask for your height. You’ll need to confirm your fit, and to prepare your external space. Once you’ve completed this process, your Rift will be ready for use.
The Vive, on the other hand, is slightly more difficult to setup. Like with the Rift, the Vive has a software suite that guides you through the setup process. It’s supposed to take less than a half hour, but with the physical aspects of the setup, you can expect more time. You’ll need to connect two USB 3.0 connectors and an HDMI for the Vive.
One of the more complex features of the Vive is the included base stations; you may mount these on a wall, so they have a tendency to add some time to the setup process. This is because the software will need to run several checks in order to verify the stations are communicating.
Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive: User Experience
When it comes to the user experience, both products perform admirably. The Vive provides a more robust VR experience that requires some setup. With its strong control scheme, though, the extra work is well-worth it. The Rift, on the other hand, is great for gamers that have less space. The Rift uses a sensor that can be placed on a desk to track your movements. So, there’s less setup, which means that it’s more convenient for gamers.
The game experience on both platforms is pretty robust, with an increasingly diverse list of software options available for purchase. If you’re not running an optimized system, the Vive can run a little less smoothly, but you should be able to see 90 fps in most games.
While both systems perform well, especially considering they are some of the first of their type on the modern market, one does come ahead of the other. For our money, the HTC Vive just provides a stronger VR experience. The Rift isn’t bad, but its Touch controllers just aren’t as good as the HTC Vive controllers. Also, there are more room-scale software options on the Vive. This is probably due to the fact that room-scale came out later for the Rift.
If you’ve tried both and want to discuss our Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive verdict, or you’ve just got questions about the two VR headsets, please feel free to comment and share your experiences, questions, and thoughts.
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