What are the best accessories for the Oculus Rift?
You've finally got your hands on an Oculus Rift and you want to maximize your VR experience. We're here to help with these accessories that range from basic things you ought to have on hand, to the absolute coolest accessories in development to take VR to futuristic heights.
- Microfiber cloths
- Leap Motion controller
- Lanshowed Rift carrying case
- Bang and Olufsen Beoplay H6
- Oculus Rift VR Cover
- Oculus Rift Touch controllers
- Virtuix Omni Package
- Virtuix VR Boom
There's nothing worse than foggy or dirty Rift lenses. It obstructs your ability to properly focus on the action in the headset and frankly, it's just gross. The consumer version of the Rift does ship with a cleaning cloth, but you'll probably want to buy more quality cloths as backups.
Quality cannot be understated here. A common complaint about the Oculus Rift DK2 is how susceptible the lenses are to scratches while cleaning. To prevent that, you'll want to use high-quality cloths that are specifically designed to clean sensitive glass surfaces. These cloths from SecurOMax come with a money-back guarantee not to scratch your devices.
Granted, if they do end up scratching them, getting your $6 back is hardly going to mitigate the frustration from the damage. That's why you should always be sure to clean your lenses the proper way, by softly wiping in a circular motion starting in the center and working outwards.
Leap Motion controller
Leap Motion is an awesome product that lets you see your hands in VR. We're not just talking virtual hands that are tracked by motion control — e.g. Vive Wands or the upcoming Touch controllers — that don't give individual finger control, but actual precise movement tracking. If you hold up a finger in real life, you'll also hold one up in virtual reality.
You mount a receiver on the front of your Rift, which then picks up your hand's movement in front of you. Once you've seen Leap Motion in action, it's hard to get it out of your head — you want to be able to use your hands just like that! Ready for next level hand movements in VR? Leap Motion VR bundle starts at about $90.
One of the greatest parts of using the Oculus Rift is how immersive the experience can be. The flipside of that coin is missing out on important notifications and messages from friends, family, and social media while you're plugged into the VR matrix, so to speak.
A good smartwatch with vibrating notifications is a must if you want to balance your immersive VR experience with your real-world responsibilities and whatnot. It's also the quickest way for you to flip up the VR headset and check the notification to see if it requires your immediate attention or can wait until you've finished up your current session.
We're not going to make a specific recommendation here, as it really doesn't matter which make and model of smartwatch you prefer as long as it will notify you of incoming calls, text messages, and/or priority emails. Whether you prefer an Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, Android Wear, or even a Fitbit Blaze, you'll be able to dive into your VR world without missing out on anything important going on in the real world
Lanshowed Rift carrying case
You're dealing with some very expensive equipment here, so why not protect it with a nice, soft case? The inside is lined with velveteen to keep your Rift from getting scratched or scuffed, and the outside is made of hard EVA that protects against shocks if you happen to drop the case while in transit. The surface of the outside is PU leather, which is waterproof and can be easily cleaned.
There is a mesh pocket on the inside to keep the small stuff in, and it all zips up with a dual zipper. The case, nice as it is, starts at only about $18.
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay H6 headphones
The Oculus Rift comes with convenient, built-in headphones that are comfortable and eliminate having to contend with another cord while moving about with your headset on.
Having said that, if you're less than impressed with those built-in headphones and want to use your own headphones for a better audio experience, you can. The Oculus Rift allows you to remove its built-in headphones by loosening screws on the inside edge of the headset, then simply popping them off.
From there, you just plug your own headphones into the computer and away you go. If you're looking for a comfortable, high-quality pair of headphones to use with the Rift, we recommend the B&O Beoplay H6. We use them in our VR setup in the office and they're fantastic, featuring a great balance between the bass and high-end tones. Plus, they're light and comfortable enough to wear for marathon VR sessions.
Oculus Rift VR Cover
You know the foam padding around the Rift's display? It can get uncomfortable over extended periods of play, especially when it absorbs sweat. The company VR Cover likens their product to a pillow case. It's 100% cotton, it fits over the foam padding on your Rift, and it will keep oils and dirt from seeping into the foam where it will stay forever. You can remove the cover, wash it, and replace it, all very easily.
Your field of view won't take a hit at all thanks to the cover's design, so all you'll notice is how comfortable this thing feels. The package only costs about $20, and you actually get two covers and a carrying pouch.
We've officially crossed the line from essential accessories to fantasy accessories. This is the first on the list, since it's actually available for purchase right now.
The Subpac M2 attempts to give you a full-body experience when listening to music or playing action games by essentially giving you the sensation of strapping a subwoofer to your back. Wearing it while listening to music should give you the sensation of being at a live show, and wearing it while playing in VR should add another level of immersion and give you the sensation of actually being on the battlefield or on the racetrack or what have you.
You will feel every gunshot, every explosion, and every cinematic swell in the music as you play through your favourite games, letting you experience them in ways you've only dreamt possible. On top of providing a unique new dimension to your gaming, it also looks pretty badass as far as gaming accessories go. If you're the type of person who prefers to sit while playing games, even in VR, there's the Subpac S2, which is designed to slip over your chair.
In summation, no one needs the Subpac to have a great time gaming with their Oculus Rift, but damned if it isn't one of the coolest gaming accessories available.
Oculus Rift Touch controllers
The Oculus Rift ships with an Xbox One controller and a small clicker remote for navigating and controlling your VR experience. If you were hoping for controllers similar to those shipped with the HTC Vive, you're in luck — sort of.
The Oculus Rift was developed to work with a pair of touch controllers, and developers have had access to them for some time now as they go about developing their VR content. The only issue: they're not available to consumers just yet.
Expect to see them go on sale in the second half of 2016; once they do, they will be a must-buy for any Oculus Rift owner.
Virtuix Omni Package
This is the accessory that every VR Head has probably been waiting for: an omnidirectional treadmill that lets you control your game avatar's 360-degree movements with your own feet when playing in VR.
The team behind the Omni completed a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2013 and have continued to develop and tweak the final product for years. It's been showcased at trade shows for years and finally appears set to start shipping its first production run to early US backers and game developers by summer's end.
We have a few months to wait to see whether this thing is a game changer, but if you're convinced already and love being an early adopter to cool new tech, you can pre-order your Virtuix Omni from their website. With the full package, you'll get the Omni treadmill itself, the Omni harness, a pair of shoes specially designed to work with the Omni, and a pair of Omni trackers, as well as the tracking software.
If you're serious about gaming in VR and plan to dedicate space in your home to your new hobby, the Omni is definitely worthy of your consideration. If you are opting to go down the Omni route, you'll probably also be interested in picking up another pair of Omni shoes in a different size to accommodate family or friends with differently sized feet.
Virtuix VR Boom
While we're on the subject of Virtuix, it's worth mentioning that they're also working on a boom that will free you from cable-entanglement, which will be even more pressing when the Rift's Touch controllers are released and you're standing up to play.
The boom has the necessary cables to connect your head-mounted display, and a retractable mechanism keeps the cables at just the right length. It all folds down into a small footprint for easier storage, and even has a hook on it from which you can hang your Rift. Like the omnidirectional treadmill, Virtuix is also working on the boom, but is expected to release near the end of 2016. Right now the price is set at about $80.
What would you include in your dream Oculus Rift setup?
Are there any must-have accessories for your Oculus Rift that didn't make our list? Let us know in the comments below!