Is the Rift S or Valve Index Better?

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By Eric Wilson

Virtual Reality (VR) has gained immense popularity over the past few years, and with it, the demand for high-quality VR headsets has also increased. Two of the most popular VR headsets on the market are the Oculus Rift S and Valve Index.

Both of these headsets are known for their impressive features and immersive experience, but which one is better? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at both headsets to determine which one is worth your investment.

Design and Comfort

When it comes to design and comfort, both the Rift S and Valve Index offer a sleek and modern look. The Rift S has a lightweight design that sits comfortably on your head, while the Valve Index is slightly heavier but offers a more secure fit thanks to its adjustable head strap.

Both headsets feature built-in headphones that deliver excellent sound quality and can be adjusted for optimal comfort. However, The Valve Index’s headphones are detachable, which allows you to use your own headphones if desired.

Display Quality

The display quality is where these two VR headsets start to differ. The Rift S features an LCD screen with a resolution of 1280×1440 per eye, while the Valve Index offers an industry-leading resolution of 1440×1600 per eye.

Moreover, the Valve Index also features an impressive refresh rate of 120Hz compared to the Rift S’s 80Hz. This higher refresh rate results in smoother animations and less motion sickness for some users.


The tracking system is another area where these two VR headsets differ significantly. The Oculus Rift S uses inside-out tracking technology that requires no external sensors or base stations. This makes it easy to set up and use in any room without needing any additional equipment.

On the other hand, The Valve Index uses SteamVR tracking technology that requires external sensors or base stations to be set up in your room. This provides more precise tracking, but it can be more complicated to set up.


Both the Rift S and Valve Index come with their own unique controllers. The Rift S features the Oculus Touch controllers, which are comfortable to hold and offer intuitive button placements. The Valve Index, on the other hand, features the Index Controllers (previously known as Knuckles), which offer more advanced finger tracking technology.

The Index Controllers also have a strap that allows you to let go of them without dropping them, making it easier to switch between using your hands and using a controller.


Finally, we come to the price. The Oculus Rift S is significantly cheaper than the Valve Index. At the time of writing this article, The Rift S costs around $399 while The Valve Index will set you back around $999.


In conclusion, both the Oculus Rift S and Valve Index are excellent VR headsets that offer a great experience. If you’re looking for a more affordable option with easy setup and portability, then the Rift S is an excellent choice.

However, if you’re looking for a headset with superior display quality, advanced finger tracking technology and don’t mind spending extra dollars then The Valve Index is worth considering.

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and budget when choosing between these two VR headsets. With so many options available in today’s market, it’s essential to do your research before making a final decision.