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Virtual reality has become a hot topic and lately, I have had many people ask me, “Is Virtual Reality Possible without a Computer?”
Yes. There are a few different ways to experience virtual reality without a computer. One way is through the use of a mobile phone. You can purchase a mobile VR headset, such as the Samsung Gear VR or Google Day. You can also use stand-alone headsets like Meta Quest 2 or consoles.
In this article, I will comprehensively cover different ways you can use VR without a computer and answer frequently asked questions on this topic.
How Can You Use VR without a Computer?
Using a Mobile Phone
You can use your mobile phone to enjoy the VR experience. This is by far the most convenient and affordable way to enjoy virtual reality. You can purchase a mobile VR headset, such as the Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream.
The Samsung Gear VR is one of the most popular mobile VR headsets. It is compatible with a range of Samsung phones, such as the Galaxy S series, Note series, and A series. The Gear VR has a built-in touchpad and button for navigation.
The Google Daydream is another popular mobile VR headset. It is compatible with phones such as the Google Pixel, Moto Z, Huawei Mate Pro, and Asus Zenfone AR. Daydream has a wireless controller for navigation.
Use Your Phone Without a Headset
If you don’t want to purchase a mobile VR headset, you can still use your phone to experience virtual reality. There are many apps available that will allow you to do this.
One popular app is Google Cardboard. This app turns your phone into a VR headset where you can view 360-degree photos and videos or even explore virtual environments.
Google Cardboard is compatible with a wide range of phones.
Using Stand-Alone Headsets
Stand-alone VR headsets are another way to enjoy VR without the need for a computer or phone. These headsets have everything you need inbuilt into the headset itself. The Oculus/Meta Quest 2 is a great example of a stand-alone VR headset.
Some of these stand-alone headsets are like:
An Oculus Go
The Oculus Go is a stand-alone VR headset that doesn’t require a computer or phone. It has built-in speakers and a microphone, so you don’t need to connect it to anything else. The Oculus Go comes with a controller for navigation.
The Oculus/Meta Quest 2
The Oculus Quest is a stand-alone VR headset that doesn’t require a computer or phone. It has built-in speakers and a microphone, so you don’t need to connect it to anything else. The Quest comes with two controllers for navigation.
Use a Console
Another way to enjoy virtual reality without a computer is by using a console. The Playstation VR is a popular option for those who want to game in virtual reality.
You will need a Playstation console to use it, but it is not required that you have a powerful computer.
Use the Oculus Rift S
The Oculus Rift S requires an Xbox One or PC. You can use it without a computer if you have an Xbox One. The Oculus Rift S is a tethered headset, meaning it needs to be connected to something in order to work.
It is one of the most popular ways to experience virtual reality.
For more information about the different VR Headsets, check out this page: Product Specification VR Headsets
Pros and Cons of Using Virtual Reality without a Computer
The advantages of using VR without a computer include:
- You Don’t Need a Powerful Computer or Phone to Use VR: Any modern smartphone will be able to run VR apps and games. You don’t need to purchase a mobile VR headset. There are many apps available that will allow you to use your phone for VR.
- It Is Cheaper: Using VR without a computer is cheaper than purchasing a high-end VR headset like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
- You Can Use It Anywhere: Since you don’t need a computer, you can use VR anywhere. This is great for people who want to enjoy VR but don’t have the space for a dedicated VR setup.
The Experience is not as Good as it would be with a High-End VR Headset: Using a high-end headset is advantageous because you get more features like
- room-scale tracking
- better graphics
- more immersive experience
Such features are not available when you are accessing VR without a computer.
You Have Access to Limited Games or Apps: If you use a mobile you are limited to mobile VR apps and games. While there are many great VR apps and games available, you will be limited to what is available on mobile. You won’t have access to the same quality of content as you would with a computer or console.
Is Virtual Reality Possible Without a Computer?
Can You Use Oculus Rift Without a Computer?
Do I Need a Powerful Phone to Use VR?
So there you have it! Virtual reality is possible without a computer. You can use your mobile phone, purchase a stand-alone headset, or use a console to play.
You can enjoy the virtual reality experience without a computer no matter what method you choose.
Espen is the Director of PursuitMeta and has written extensively about Virtual Reality and VR Headsets for years. He is a consumer product expert and has personally tested VR Headsets for the last decade.