I’ve had the chance to play with a lot of virtual reality headsets over the years, but with the Meta Quest 3, players have a powerful and accessible entry point into the tech that REALLY showcases just what it is capable of. It has quickly become my favourite virtual reality headset and paints a really wonderful picture for the future of the tech.

Check out some images of the headset down below:

Can we take a moment to talk about the packaging of the Meta Quest 3? When it arrived, I was surprised to see just how small the box was – so much so that I automatically assumed that it must have been something else. But nope, Meta have really streamlined the packaging now, which is a big change from the bulky box that the original Quest came in. Honestly? I missed having sturdier packaging, especially since it gave you a safe place to store the headset when not in use, but it’s impressive to see that it has been trimmed down so much and emphasises the Meta Quest 3’s slimmer design.

So, what do you get in the box? You’ll get the headset, a strap, two controllers, a plug, a USB-C charging cable that’ll plug directly into it, and a couple of AA batteries for the controllers. It’s worth noting that the wire isn’t really long enough to charge the headset whilst using it, though the fact that the headset supports USB-C does mean that you can work around this if you have a long enough cable.

It’s something that is worth considering, especially since the battery of the headset will only last around two-hours or so on a full charge (and this will vary depending on what you’re playing). This comes in a little less when compared to the Meta Quest 2, though it’s still long enough to get a good gaming session in. It’s rare that I’d play virtual reality for longer than two-hours per session anyway, so the battery life is more than adequate for the average user. Of course, there are other options available if you want to extend the battery life (such as using a power bank or a head-strap with a battery pack), but what’s on offer is certainly sufficient.

One thing that impressed me almost immediately was just how comfortable the Meta Quest 3 felt to wear. This isn’t because it’s smaller than the Quest 2 (it actually weighs a little more), but rather that it has been more effectively designed to feel more comfortable on the face. Not only is the Meta Quest 3 less bulky (I even managed to drink from a can whilst playing without it knocking into the headset), but the facial interface sits nicer and is and less restrictive. It can also be adjusted to allow for more room if you wear glasses, which immediately makes it accessible for more players. It’s easily the most comfortable headset that Meta have released, which I especially noticed when using fitness apps like FitXR where I’d have to actively exert myself when playing.

“Everything just looks sharper than before, whilst it felt easier than ever to get the optimal viewing perspective when adjusting the headset to make everything clear.”

That being said, I would still recommend considering investing in the Elite Strap (or a similar product) if you’re a regular user of the headset. The standard elastic strap still isn’t perfect and will put a bit of pressure on your head after extended use, whilst the Elite Strap better supports the weight of the headset to make for a more comfortable experience. Of course, it’s not vital, but it will certainly make a big difference if you do experience some discomfort when playing.

On a side note, one thing worth noting about the standard strap is that it can be fussy to adjust if different people are using the headset regularly. I’ve had complaints that it “doesn’t feel comfortable” or that I’m “pulling my hair” when adjusting it, with the straps requiring some pulling and tugging to finely adjust. It’s a minor complaint, but noticeable if YOU’RE the one who has to change it all of the time for different users.

The Meta Quest 3 also makes some other improvements that set it above its predecessor when it comes to design. For one, there’s a lot more freedom when configuring the IPD (the distance between the pupils) on the headset, with it no longer restricted to just three options like the Meta Quest 2. Being able to move freely between distances of 58mm and 70mm can make a big difference to the clarity of the image, whilst getting to do it with a slider on the headset as opposed to manually moving the lenses is a massive convenience. Other headsets have nailed this (such as the PlayStation VR 2 which uses eye tracking to allow users to fine-tune the setting), so it’s great to see that the Meta Quest 3 is taking things in the right direction.

The new controllers have also ditched the IR rings found on previous iterations, which makes them even lighter than before. In fairness, I never found their weight an issue, but after using these, I’d find it weird to go back. You’re less likely to cause damage to them too, which is a relief considering I’m a bit of a klutz. I actually managed to catch the IR ring of the Meta Quest 2 controller on a door handle once, so knowing they’re no longer there is actually a bit of a relief (and will save me from getting another telling off from my wife).

Check out some screenshots of the games available on the headset down below:

The first thing you’ll notice when playing (other than the fact that the passthrough is now colour – more on that in a bit) is just how sharp everything looks on the screen. This is thanks to the increased display resolution of 2064 x 2208 (which is a big increase over the 1832 x 1920 found on the Meta Quest 2). It also offers a greater FOV of 110 degrees horizontal and 96 degrees vertical (compared to the 90 degrees for both found on the Meta Quest 2).

Ok, if I’m going to tell the absolute truth, I’ve never been one for technical jargon on specifics with things like this… in fact, I grabbed that information directly from the Meta website. If you understand it? Great, you can see that there’s a substantial improvement made. And if it means little to you? Just know that the display on the Meta Quest 3 looks a LOT better than its predecessor, whether that’s when playing games, browsing the store, or simply being able to see smaller text more clearly. Everything just looks sharper than before, whilst it felt easier than ever to get the optimal viewing perspective when adjusting the headset to make everything clear. It’s really impressive, with the improvements immediately obvious after coming over from the Meta Quest 2.

The improved cameras are wonderful too, with it now offering full colour passthrough when using the headset. I found that the black-and-white passthrough on the Meta Quest 2 made it hard to make things out, but this time around there are no blurry visuals to deal with at all – in fact, I was even able to read and reply to texts on my phone, which I could NEVER do before. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that the cameras are only 4 megapixels does mean that it won’t be the sharpest image that you’ve seen, but it’s a massive step in the right direction and makes it viable to keep the Meta Quest 3 on your head whilst performing everyday tasks.

It also enhances setting up your playing boundary, with the Meta Quest 3 now able to scan your surroundings and recognise walls, objects, and furniture to fine-tune your playing area. Of course, you can still use a stationary boundary or simply draw your own if you prefer, but there was something satisfying about walking around my room and seeing a wireframe boundary appear around me… simple things for simple minds, right?

“First Horizons is an absolutely wonderful demonstration of what the tech is capable of and easily stands out as one of the most impressive things I’ve experienced in a virtual reality headset.”

You’ll also use those improved cameras with what is my favourite addition of the Meta Quest 3: mixed reality. The Meta Quest 3 allows you to enjoy gameplay that takes place directly in your living space, with the user scanning their surroundings, setting up any necessary objects (this varies on a game-to-game basis), and then seeing the action unfold around them. The best example of this comes with First Encounters, which comes pre-packaged with all Meta Quest 3 devices. I don’t want to spoil too much about it, because honestly, it feels so magical experiencing it for the first time. Just know that you’ll be shooting at a bunch of creatures that’ll scatter across the room (and even hide under or behind objects) and you’ll see your surroundings get blasted apart as you play. It’s an absolutely wonderful demonstration of what the tech is capable of and easily stands out as one of the most impressive things I’ve experienced in a virtual reality headset. There are plenty of other dazzling mixed reality experiences available on the Meta Quest 3, but we’ll focus on those is another feature in the coming weeks.

Of course, it’s all well and good for the Meta Quest 3 to improve upon its predecessor in every way, but what about the games?! Well, you’ll be glad to know that it supports all previously released titles on the platform, with some even taking advantage of the improved tech to offer a better experience than before. The library of games on offer really is incredible, with titles such as Assassin’s Creed Nexus, Asgard’s Wrath 2, Beat Saber, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, Arizona Sunshine 2, Iron Man VR, Resident Evil 4, PowerWash Simulator VR, Walkabout Mini Golf, I Expect You to Die 3, The 7th Guest, and many more standing out as must-play titles on the platform. There are plenty of interactive experiences too, whilst those interested in socialising with others will really enjoy Meta Horizon Worlds, VR Chat, Rec Room, or Big Screen.

The first big Meta Quest 3 exclusive has been revealed too, with Batman: Arkham Shadow making its way to the platform later in the year. As a massive Batman fan, I’m incredibly excited to check it out, and hey… it’s only possible on a Meta Quest 3.

Meta Quest 3 Review

The Meta Quest 3 is a wonderful piece of tech that improves upon its predecessor in just about every single way. The sharper visuals and enhanced display, the full colour passthrough with improved cameras, the immersive mixed reality features, and the increased range of IDP all help the Meta Quest 3 stand out as one of the most impressive virtual reality headsets available, whilst other little things like the lighter controllers, improved playing boundary detection, or more comfortable facial interface will immediately stand out to long-time virtual reality users. It comes with a massive library of games too, whilst the future looks bright with titles like Batman: Arkham Shadow on the horizon.

I won’t go into the ins-and-outs of the technical specifications because I’d be talking about something that I don’t fully understand. Just know this: the Meta Quest 3 is the best standalone headset available on the market, and, if I’m being completely honest, my favourite virtual reality headset to use. It might not have the power or features of some of the more high-end options, but as an affordable and accessible entry point into virtual reality/, you won’t get better than this.

You can find out more about the Meta Quest 3 on the official website through this link.