Do VR Headsets Require Internet? (Standalone VR)

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Oculus Quest 2 — Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality...
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Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset
Oculus Quest 2 — Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality...
Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset
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$375.00
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16,949 Reviews
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Oculus Quest 2 — Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality...
Oculus Quest 2 — Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality...
$299.00
1,419 Reviews
Editor Choice
Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset
Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset
$375.00
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16,949 Reviews

Last update on 2021-10-11 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

When most people put on a VR headset, they expect to be immersed in another world without distractions, disconnections, and lags. Besides the hardware and media used, your internet connection plays a vital role in preventing those issues.

Read on to figure out if you can use your VR headset without a WiFi connection and how.

Do VR Headsets Require an Internet Connection?

VR Media should be high resolution for you to have a quality experience. For instance, you need 4K resolution games with a high fps rate or 3D 360° videos, but these are challenging to stream over the Internet.

You don’t always need an internet connection with your VR headset. But you need to be online to set up the VR headset, update the system or games, and unlock content or purchase stuff. Participating in multiplayer games also requires an internet connection. 

If your internet connection isn’t fast enough, you may get stutters and lags, ruining the immersion experience. Let alone the fact that you may want to use your VR headset somewhere without an internet connection.

Additional reading: What Do VR Headsets Connect To?

Many VR brands feature their own app stores that let you download and save some of the games onto your device, most of which won’t need the Internet to work afterward. But some games won’t work unless you have an internet connection, even when you save them.

For headsets that let you connect to apps like Netflix, you can download the content first and watch it later when you’re disconnected.

The Steam gaming library has made an additional installer available for offline use, called the SteamVR offline library.

Do VR Headsets Require A PC?

Whether or not a VR headset needs a PC depends on its type and model.

There are four major types of VR headsets on the market, yet some models mix and match the features:

PC VR

The PC VR is the first generation of Virtual Reality headsets and the only model that requires a connection to a computer. They’re constantly tethered to a PC and function using its resources. 

Not all computers have the specifications required for working with a VR headset, let alone giving you the ultimate experience in the VR world. But if your computer has the right hardware, PC VR headsets give you an unmatched graphic experience. 

Most of these headsets also require you to put some sensors around the room to track your motions, although some can work without external locators.

Console VR

A Console VR is a type of headset that connects to a gaming console with a wire. Currently, only two console VR headsets are available: The PlayStation VR and Nintendo Labo VR for the Nintendo Switch.

The PSVR is an add-on that you purchase to connect to either PlayStation 4 or 5. You also need to get the PlayStation camera with the VR headset for tracking your moves.

Some of the games you can play on this device also require purchasing additional Move Controllers.  

Standalone VR

The latest and by far most popular generation of VR headsets is the Standalone version, which can operate independently and doesn’t require other equipment.

These headsets work with built-in batteries and processors. They also have integrated viewfinders that can recognize your position and movements.

Standalone VR headsets are also a good choice for iPod users.

Their most noticeable advantage is that they provide convenience and comfort without limiting your movements. Their graphic quality isn’t as impressive as the PC VRs but acceptable for the modern gaming world.

Phone VR

Some VR headsets use a smartphone as their processor and display resource. You can use some headsets with both PCs and phones. You can find out if VR headsets can be used with any phone.

What Do You Need for VR Headsets to Work?

Depending on the headsets’ type and brand, you’ll need all or some of the items on this list:

  • A Strong PC: If you’re using a PC VR headset, you’ll need a strong computer with the essential specs. Normal laptops and computers may not give you the ideal experience with these headsets and often have plenty of annoying lags. The best PC for a VR headset needs a strong CPU, GPU, and RAM. Get more information on this topic by reading this article: Do VR Headsets Need A Computer?
  • Console: Obviously, if you buy a console VR headset, you’ll need the console to go with it.
  • Hand Controllers: All famous VR headset brands have their hand controllers that go with their products, including Oculus, Sony PlayStation, HTC Vive, and Valve Index. You put these devices on your hands to transform your gestures into the VR world.
  • Base Stations or Lighthouse Boxes: These are the devices you place around the room to track your movements.
  • Internet Connection: As mentioned, you need an internet connection to set up your VR headset, play some of the live games, watch movies online, and so on.
  • A Large Room: You won’t get an enjoyable VR experience if you’re in a cramped-up environment. You might break some lamps or even hurt yourself when you’re moving around, throwing punches into the air. So, try to free up some space.

What Are the Limitations to Use a VR Headset Without Internet?

If you don’t have access to the Internet, you won’t be able to set up your VR headset and complete the registration process. Downloading new apps and games is off the table, along with updating the ones you already have. Plus, participating in multiplayer games with your friends isn’t an option without a decent connection.

Some games require you to be online to access certain features, especially the paid ones. Meaning even if you’ve already paid for and downloaded a part of a game, it won’t let you access it without an internet connection.

Some games may work without a WiFi connection, but you may experience lags and low-quality videos that might even cause motion sickness and nausea in some people.

Best VR Headsets That Do Not Require Internet

Oculus Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2 — Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality...
1,419 Reviews
Oculus Quest 2 — Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality...
  • Next-level Hardware - Make every move count with a blazing-fast processor and our highest-resolution display
  • All-In-One Gaming - With backward compatibility, you can explore new titles and old favorites in the expansive Quest content...
  • Immersive Entertainment - Get the best seat in the house to live concerts, groundbreaking films, exclusive events and more

Last update on 2021-10-11 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

The Oculus Quest 2 is a top-rated standalone VR headset that doesn’t need any additional equipment to operate. The cost is relatively low compared to its competition, but at the same time, it frees you from the wires and provides 360-degree video content.

Setting up Oculus Quest 2 is easy, but you need to be online. You should have your phone, connect to WiFi, and download the Oculus mobile app. Then you should sign in with a Facebook account. You may also need to install the recent software updates.

The Quest 2 has some demo titles pre-installed, but you should also install or transfer some games and content to the headset so you won’t run into an empty library once the WiFi is out.

The good news is, most Oculus VR games won’t need an internet connection after installation, except for multiplayer ones.

You can also transfer movie files from your PC to the Quest 2 via a USB cable and watch them later without an Internet connection.

You can also go a bit out of the edges to preload and watch movies offline from apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

It is one of the VR Headsets With Sound & Mic.

Pros

  • Standalone.
  • Lightweight.
  • 360-degree video.
  • High quality.
  • The ability to stream games and movies offline.
  • Reasonable price.
  • No external tracking stations.

Cons

  • Requires a Facebook account.
  • May cause motion sickness.

Oculus Rift S

Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset
16,949 Reviews
Oculus Rift S PC-Powered VR Gaming Headset
  • Top VR gaming library: Blast, slash and soar your way through the top library in VR gaming. Oculus Rift S lets you play hundreds...
  • Improved optics: Stare down the competition with next-generation lenses and a sharper display. Improved optics deliver bright,...
  • Ergonomic design: Keep your head in the game thanks to a Halo headband redesigned with speed in mind. Rift S stays securely and...

Last update on 2021-10-11 / As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more about us.

The Rift S is Oculus’s latest PC VR headset that comes with lots of improvements. This device is somewhere in between the traditional PC headsets and standalone ones.

It requires a tethered connection to a PC, but it doesn’t require external tracking stations. In terms of features, it has all the Quest 2 qualities, plus a better imB07PTMKYS7age quality.

In terms of the Internet, the Oculus Rift S has the same features as the Oculus Quest 2. So enjoy!

Pros

  • 360-degree video.
  • High quality.
  • The ability to stream games and movies offline.
  • Reasonable price.
  • No external tracking stations.

Cons

  • Wired
  • Requires a Facebook account.
  • May cause motion sickness.

How Much Internet Data Does VR Use?

There’s no exact answer to this question because it depends on multiple factors, including the type and model of the VR headset you’re using, the game you’re playing and its quality, the movie you’re watching and its resolution, and so on.

The best way to determine how much data your headset consumes is to purchase a certain amount of mobile data and connect your headset to your phone. Do the activities you usually do and see when the data runs out.

How Does Virtual Reality Collect Data?

To set the virtual reality scene, commercial VR headsets track up to 18 types of movements at the rate of 90 times per second.

These movements include head and hand orientation and positions. A few systems can even track chest, elbows, knees, and feet.

Most VR headsets require you to hold hand controllers as trackers. Some need you to wear optical markers, and more advanced devices use magnetic fields or soundwaves to identify your position. Some headsets have built-in sensors to receive the tracker’s signals, some use cameras, and some lighthouse boxes and base stations.

Oculus Quest headsets also have integrated outward-facing cameras to track your surroundings.

Final Thoughts

The Internet is a key factor in the modern world. So much so that you might have trouble finding activities that won’t require you to have an Internet connection.

Fortunately, using VR headsets is on the list. It does have some limitations, but it’s good to know you can use your VR headset while camping or during your lunch break where there’s no WiFi!